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AMD's Project Quantum

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The Redstone PC is the ultimate Mini-ITX Minecraft Machine

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Building an XBMC 12 Home Theatre PC

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August 06, 2010
Building a Green PC

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The "Quiet Cubid"

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The "Moo Cow Moo"

July 02, 2004
The "Mini Mesh Box"

Full alphabetical archive on right hand side of page...

By Andreas Bartelt - Posted on November 12, 2003

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R2D2PC is a completely fanless router running OpenBSD 3.4-stable. It serves very well as firewall, router, mp3 player, web and file server. To guarantee absolute noiseless operation the complete OS is placed on a 512mb compact flash card. I've used a boot floppy for the OpenBSD installation and downloaded the necessary packages via FTP. The mechanical hard drive is mounted as /home. It starts spinning only when personal data is accessed or when the system gets upgraded from sources. Httpd, smtpd and all other services are completely independent from the mechanical hard drive. A mfs (memory file system) RAM disk makes it possible to play many mp3 files without the need of a spinning hard drive. On average (low CPU usage) the router consumes less than 20W.

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The R2D2 case is a former Star Wars toy with a space station inside. I had to get rid of some plastic stuff. A pair of pliers and a file did a good job. On the photo you see the results.

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Here you see all the components needed to build the router. On the photo they are already connected to each other.

  • Mainboard: VIA EPIA-CL6000 Mini ITX with VIA EDEN 600Mhz fanless processor
  • 256MB DDR266 RAM
  • 512MB Compact Flash card
  • 20GB 5400RPMM hard drive
  • IDE compact flash adapter
  • Fanless 60W PSU (external)
  • 2 simple push buttons for "power on/off" and "reset"

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Here you see all the components built inside the case. The hard drive is simply attached with tape. The blue gel pad is useful for heat spreading (at least I assume it's not counterproductive - the hard drive doesn't get very hot when spinning :). I've had no problems yet running the hard drive in this uncommon position. Instead of using screws I've attached the mainboard with 4 soft plastic spacers combined with double-sided tape. Putting all the parts inside the case was not a big deal because the size of the components matches pretty well.

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Bottom view of R2D2PC. The 4 USB ports, 2 LAN ports, parallel & serial connectors and the monitor adapter are directly accessible. Inside the case it's still possible to connect a PS/2 mouse & keyboard and plug in headphones or speakers. Because R2D2 is intended for use as a router I normally only need the LAN ports and the line out for audio. R2D2 is remotely administered via SSH.

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Here you see R2D2PC "at work".

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