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CVN-65 USS Enterprise Aircraft Carrier
By Russ Caslis - Posted on 21 January 2003

Electronics

The electronics in this mod were simple, but effective.

The majority of the electronics were the standard computer stuff. A motherboard, a DVD-ROM, a laptop hard drive (with desktop hard drive adapter), power supply, the usual. The only thing about them (besides fitting everything in the case in general) which wasn't standard was two things. First, most of the connectors from the motherboard required extension cables to be made to go the small distance between the port panel at the back of the mod and the motherboard. Also, I had to open the power supply to both move the power plug connector external to the power supply and to move the motherboard connector to exit the power supply at the top rather than the side (because the space was so tight inside the mod).

There was another cool circuit I used. I got this complete 20-second digital voice recorder/player circuit from an electronics chain store for $20 dollars. I replaced the switches and adapted it to work with a 12 volt power source rather than a 9 volt battery like it came. Next, I recorded 20 seconds of the USA national anthem and mounted it to the underside of the deck of the carrier. Through holes I drilled in the deck, the mod can now play some audio. The button to re-record the audio is also accessible on the outside of mod, should I want to change the music to something else (Top Gun soundtrack, perhaps?).

Lastly, there are the runway lights. I carefully dilled holes down the sides of the runway to place ultra-brite white LEDs along the runway. I also carefully sanded each LED so that the light was more evenly spread. These lights are turned on and off via a switch on the control tower. Also, I drilled holes down the center stripe of the runway for amber LEDs (also sanded for better light distribution). With these, I built a circuit that would light one LED at a time in a sequential landing pattern. Note that 2/3 of the LEDs are on the removable panel that makes the computer accessible. I used a bit of network cable as the wiring harness to carry the signals to that panel. Thus, the panel can be removed (even while the lights are running) without affecting the rest of the mod.


I opened the power supply so I could move the power plug external to the hull and I also made the wiring harness come out the top instead of the side.


The completed exhaust fan structure.


The runway electronics and the sound circuit circuits are mounted to the underside of the deck.

Assembly

The final assembly was actually one of the easier tasks. By this point, I had already measured every cable and every element of the case. I simply placed everything in it's proper position and either glued / taped / screwed the items together as they should be.


The power supply, DVD-ROM, and USB/firewire ports are in place and it's ready to have the motherboard mounted.


A quick test of all the components in place. Luckily it all worked.


Getting ready to attach the deck to the hull.


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