Posted on February 26, 2003
Chris Adams disarmed a U.S. Air Force surplus bomb tail assembly and gave it a much more useful payload - a Mini-ITX motherboard running Redhat 8. Our weapons inspectors report that its improved capabilities include MP3 and DivX playback, and that the inner workings have a propensity for turning up in unusual places.
Code name: KiSA 444, Surface to Surface PC
Speed: 800Mhz by 512MB - VIA EPIA 800 motherboard
Range: 3.2Gb Western Digital, plus 1 HP CDR/RW
Payload: Linux Red Hat 8
Cooling: 2 x 80mm Antec LED fans; 120mm motherboard cooling fan; PSU fan and CPU fan
This started as an actual U.S. Air Force surplus Mk 81, Low Drag General
Purpose (LDGP) bomb tail assembly. Because of the unique nature of this case, almost all pieces had to be customized. Most were built from scratch. The case took about a month to complete.
The tail section came with two large dents to prevent reuse in its former capacity. One was able to be pressed almost all the way out by a hydraulic press and a torch, that wasn't enough, the press broke and so the major dent was only turned into minor surface rippling.
The upper portion and nosecone were hand crafted from an old cpu case and a stainless steel mixing bowl. All internal support brackets had to be custom created for this project.
Manual I/O is handled by a CUSA wireless keyboard and mouse. The motherboard is a VIA EPIA 800 with an 800Mhz C3 Processor.
Here you see the customized motherboard platform on the left. I used a standard ATX platform and cut it down to size for the VIA board. Not knowing what the cooling situation was going to be in this shell, I decided to add a 120mm case fan to the bottom of the platform to ensure that the motherboard stayed nice and chilly. The shot on the right is of the tail assembly right after the dent got pressed out, and the old OD green paint stripped off.
On the left is the upper half of the case with the HDD and CD rack installed. I made those from a rack out of an AT case - I just cut it down to size, bent it to make brackets and then used post screws to attach it. The shot on the right shows the old shell just after bending it. The markings are where I cut out the bay door.
The nosecone was fashioned from a stainless steel mixing bowl. I cut the rim off and then cut out a hole for the 80mm antec red led fan. The grill
cover is a laser cut acrylic guard.