September 05, 2017
Choosing the right DC-DC PSU
August 27, 2015
AMD's Project Quantum
August 13, 2015
The Redstone PC is the ultimate Mini-ITX Minecraft Machine
October 09, 2014
The "Restomod TV"
April 09, 2013
February 28, 2013
Building an XBMC 12 Home Theatre PC
January 25, 2011
XBMC Guide updated to version 10.0
August 06, 2010
Building a Green PC
February 15, 2010
Building an ION powered HTPC with XBMC
October 10, 2008
The "Cambridge Autonomous Underwater Vehicle 2008"
September 12, 2008
"Florian", the DVD burning robot
September 05, 2008
May 22, 2008
April 14, 2007
The "Digg" Case
January 19, 2007
December 07, 2006
The "Tortoise Beetle"
October 02, 2006
The "DOS Head Unit"
August 31, 2006
The "Janus Project"
August 05, 2006
The "Leela PC"
June 26, 2006
Nano-ITX in a Football
May 17, 2006
The "EPIA Alloy Mod"
April 11, 2006
Neatorama's Collection of Case Mods
February 18, 2006
October 24, 2005
The "ITX TV"
October 06, 2005
August 05, 2005
The "Waffle Iron PC"
July 21, 2005
July 18, 2005
July 07, 2005
May 25, 2005
The "Accordion ITX"
May 16, 2005
May 15, 2005
The "Mini Falcon"
May 13, 2005
The "Bender PC"
May 11, 2005
The "BBC ITX B"
May 10, 2005
April 20, 2005
March 09, 2005
The "Cool Cube"
January 30, 2005
First Nano-ITX Project?
January 17, 2005
January 15, 2005
The "Gumball PC"
December 15, 2004
The "Deco Box"
December 03, 2004
October 06, 2004
September 17, 2004
August 26, 2004
The "C1541 Disk Drive ITX"
August 25, 2004
August 13, 2004
The "Quiet Cubid"
August 06, 2004
July 14, 2004
The "Moo Cow Moo"
July 02, 2004
The "Mini Mesh Box"
Full alphabetical archive on right hand side of page...
By Jamie Kitson -
Posted on July 31, 2003
The internal power lead screwed to part of the rear panel
and the copper heat sink / transfer plate bent to shape.
I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't keep the copper
flatter while I was cutting it (as clearly the flatter
the copper the more contact there will be between it and
the CPU) but I didn't have the patience to cut the whole
thing with a hacksaw, so bought a hacksaw blade for my
jigsaw and jigged around with that for a bit.
More finally positioned stuff. I drilled 4 holes in the
phono stage PCB and screwed the hard drive to it. I had
to drill an extra hole in the DC-DC converter and drilled
corresponding holes in the front board, used a couple of
nuts as spacers and bolted it in place.
And the final product, pretty much. You can see some of the
(electrically non-conductive) heat transfer grease squeezed
out around the original heatsink (I decided that this was
the easiest and most reliable way of attaching the copper
plate to the mainboard and it would add some more heat
slinkiness. Though at this point the words "sledgehammer(s)", "crack" and "nut" were
coming to mind :) In the end I did wire up the front panel
power button to use as the power button. I realised I did
need one, and besides, you can stop the power button from
doing anything (unless you hold it down for 10 secs), So
I took the switch apart and removed the pin which makes
the switch latch, and then broke the switch with some over
zealous plier use on the reconstruction.
Some careful plier use and a cable tie later all was well,
and I had a power switch. Wiring up the LED and power switch
was very easy, the LED already had a suitable connector
and I used another connector from the amp and soldered
it to the switch connectors on the PCB.
And my test setup. After I had checked and double checked
everything I could think of, I plugged the PSU in and pushed
the power button. Nothing happened. Quite a bit of swearing
happened and I drew all sorts of conclusions about damaging
the motherboard when I ripped the heatsink off, or maybe
I hadn't checked that the motherboard was properly isolated.
first thing I did was to check that the power button worked
with a multimeter, which it did, so next
the connection in the motherboard hand book, and sure enough
I had the connector across pins 8 and 7 rather than 8 and
6. So I pressed the power button again, heard a loud click
through my speakers, which I wasn't too keen on, but the
monitor clicked into life and it looked happy :) I left the
PC in bios on the PC Health Status screen to watch the CPU
temperature, it peaked at 61 degrees, and apparently in bios
the CPU is almost under maximum load, or at least gets close
to the maximum temperature. After I had installed windows
another check on CPU temperature revealed that it had reached
67 degrees, a bit warm for comfort, but it seems ok to me,
and the heatsink wasn't even getting close to the temperature
of the north
and south bridge heatsink.
A couple of days later, once I had moved my installation
of windows and set up everything the way I wanted it, I put
the lid on and positioned the amPC in the only space I had
available, over my current amp. I'm not sure if it was having
it over the warm amp, having the cover on, the incredibly
hot weather we'd been having (this was 14th July) or the
updates that took almost 100% of the processor for about
8 minutes, probably all of the above, but it became extremely
hot. A reboot allowed me to view the CPU temperature, which
had reached 74 degrees. I quickly removed the cover and used
it to fan the board :) The whole of the aluminum heat sink
was hot to the touch, and the bridges heat sink was taking
the skin off my fingers. I was just thinking to myself the
network chip seems a bit hot, when the server seemed to stop
routing internet traffic. I could still ping it, but I wasn't
able to browse from any computer other than the server. I
decided to take the server off the amp. After restarting
all machines concerned, everything worked again, and I breathed
a sigh of relief, it was a nice breeze in my, by now, stifling
room. I wasn't looking forward to having to take it all apart
again to drill more holes in the bottom and top of the case,
adding a fan would kind of defeat the object :-/ I decided
that since the bridges heatsink was the thing that was warmest,
I should provide that with some extra ventilation.
The dreaded holes weren't so scary after all :)
And they work splendidly :D So this is the finished product.
If you think there has been a lack of pics of its rear
end, there is a reason...
It's a bit of a pig's ear :-/ but it's functional, and I
do need to sort something out so that I can attach the
firewire/extra USB ports for when (if!) I get an iPod (yeah
I know they use USB too, but disks are up to 70% faster
with firewire compared to USB 2.0).
problem with not having any fans doesn't seem to be getting
the heat away from the cpu, it seems to be getting
it out of the case. I did think about extending my copper
T to include the Bridges (like The Hush and The Tranquil
PC), but was
worried that in my case, rather than help matters, it would
just heat up the CPU even more.
Building a totally silent
computer is not possible! Every time you take away the loudest
your ears adjust to hear
next loudest. I run a webcam which writes to the hard drive
once a second, so I replaced the old loud drive I had with
a Seagate Barracuda, apparently one of the quietest,
was still annoying me at night (this was once I had taken
the fans away, which used to drown out even the old hard
drive) so I bought a flash drive and put the webcam software
and temp file on that. But then instead of the hard drive
seek, I could hear a clicking sound, which actually seemed
louder than the hard drive seek (the click was actually
coming from the motherboard, and was absent with my USB
drive, but not the faster USB 2.0 drive). So now I use
RAM drive and have a batch file copy the software to
it on start
up. But there is still noise. The DC-DC converter has a
quiet high pitch whine, and there are lots of quiet clicks
coming from the motherboard, none of them loud enough to
bother me while I am in bed, so the harddrive whirr is
the only thing I can hear now.
I walked into my room today to find a very happy cat asleep
on a not so happy server. Maybe I shouldn't have sanded
the burns from the holes so well :)
The site I am serving is here ,
though I am only on a normal broadband connection
so please only visit if you are interested, thanks :)
Shout outs to me muva Sally, and Pete at Steyning Motor
Spares for the nuts, bolts, screws, patience and, as always,
good humour :)
Now, can anyone provide a good home
to some transistors and a toroidal transformer for a
Cambridge Audio A4? Think
you'll have to pay the postage on the toroidal though :)
and if anyone would like to commission me to make an ITX
out of a cd player I think it would be the perfect case
tray, display window and buttons you can actually do useful
things with, though no heatsinks, so you'd have to have some
fans hanging around...