Quiet Media PC made from Junk

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MikeC
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Quiet Media PC made from Junk

Post by MikeC » Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:56 pm

Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
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dcuccia
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Re: Quiet Media PC made from Junk

Post by dcuccia » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:43 pm

Nice job Mike!

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Post by MikeC » Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:40 pm

Please give credit where it's due -- the project is Edward McKeating's.
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nightmorph
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Post by nightmorph » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:06 am

That bit about wood warping was very informative; I'll always remember that now. Never occurred to me why ordinary lumber might be a bad idea for that reason. And the interesting thing is ... about an hour later I visited viaarena and read the article on the book PC. That author noticed that the wood of his case was warping due to...you guessed it, heat! Well, the heat differential, at least.

Note to self: for once, plywood is good for something!

dcuccia
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Post by dcuccia » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:13 am

MikeC wrote:Please give credit where it's due -- the project is Edward McKeating's.
My mistake, cheers Edward!!

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Post by kater » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:19 am

Always praise a guy who creates things! GJ, Edward :D

One thing tho - you might want to be cautios with the PSU. Codegen is a brand, uhhhh, how to phrase that, known for blowing up. Sorry for being blunt but they make coughcrappycough PSU's and even tho your PC needs v little power you'll be much safer with, say, a 2nd hand FSP, Delta or SS. Suffice to say a Codegen combo of case+PSU sells for app. 15-20 GBP around here. And that's new. And I don't just mean it's got a poor & loud fan - I mean the whole thing can be dangerous for your other components.

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Post by Bluefront » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:23 am

Nice setup.....the price was right. I'd have been tempted to spend a little money and get a better PSU however. And the CPU heatsink/fan could be vastly improved for almost nothing.

I'm not sure how much ambient temperature variation there is in your location, but a better/automatic fan speed control could quiet the whole project enough to be worth the expense.

Building computers from left-over pieces is always fun. I'd like to see more of these sorts of projects among the SPCR population. :)
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Post by dhanson865 » Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:43 am

Good job Edward, and thanks to SPCR for hosting the article.

If you weren't on the other side of the pond I'd happily hand you one of the many PSUs I have laying around my apt that are better than that codegen. I really can't think of anything to do with them other than trash them or give them away...

While I'm here, grammar/spellcheck alert:

page 2. "I created a space space"
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Please put a country in your profile if you haven't already.
This site is international but I'll assume you are in the US if you don't tell me otherwise.
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Palindroman
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Post by Palindroman » Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:20 am

Fantastic job, Edward!

I'm thinking about building a wood case myself. I was thinking about using pinewood but not anymore after reading about the wood warping in this article. I'm not a great fan of chipboard or fibreboard because they can't be stained but have to be painted several times. Great material for making cabinets etc but a lot of extra work goes into the painting and it lacks the charm of real wood. Does anyone know if bamboo warps easily?

And after reading kater's post on the Codegen: does a wood case pose a greater risk of your PC catching fire?

ps page 1: self-explanatary

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Post by jaganath » Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:35 am

I was thinking about using pinewood but not anymore after reading about the wood warping in this article.
Note the wood didn't actually warp, this was just a hypothetical warning. Personally I think if you keep your temps low and live in a low humidity climate the wood should last way longer than the computer will before the warping is a real problem.
does a wood case pose a greater risk of your PC catching fire?
inevitably. With a normal steel case the chances of your computer setting fire to anything but itself is minimal. One way round this might be to build a steel case with wood cladding.

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Post by Sylph-DS » Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:46 am

jaganath wrote:
does a wood case pose a greater risk of your PC catching fire?
inevitably. With a normal steel case the chances of your computer setting fire to anything but itself is minimal. One way round this might be to build a steel case with wood cladding.
Yeah, or just get proper hardware. The chance of a PC catching fire is rather slim as long as you stick to quality stuff, and don't tinker with it without knowing what you're doing.

Anyway. Good stuff Edward, you inspire me :)
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Post by merlyn » Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:09 pm

great job Edward :) couldn't believe it when I read this story this morning, I've just spent most of the weekend designing and building a wooden media centre case! it's in fibreboard too, more luck than planning though. hadn't even considered warping effects. I wanted pine but couldn't find any the right thickness!!

that IR sensor and software looks fantastic, I checked out ebay at lunchtime. just gotta find out if I can get one made up for an internal serial header as I have no external serial ports.

other than that I just wanted to mention that i've had an old Codegen 300W ATX PSU for over five years and it's one of my favourites. Unfortunately it doesn't have a ATX12V connector so it's just about end of life now unless I get brave and solder one in. I swapped out the fan some years ago. It has been one of my quietest power supplies because it has no coil whine which I have found common in other cheap PSU's. I was given it in an old case and initially though it would be rubbish but it surprised me and has performed sterling service ever since. maybe it's just sample variance or maybe they don't make them like that any more, who knows? ;)

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Post by Filias Cupio » Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:41 pm

3. A fan with a given output will completely change the air in a small compartment much more quickly than in a large one, especially one with lots of nooks and crannies.
However, a large compartment will take longer to heat up. Independent of the compartment size, every second the circuitry is dumping a fixed amount of heat into the case air, and the fan is expelling a fixed quantity of air. When the compartment temperature rises such that the excess heat in that quantity of air equals the heat dumped from the circuitry, equalibrium is established. This equalibrium temperature is independent of compartment size.

If we look more carefully, it can still make a difference. Small compartment size means you'll have higher air velocity within the case. This means:
+ better flow over passively cooled components, which could otherwise form local 'hot spots'
- more prone to reducing the air-throughput due to obstructions.
(- more noise from airflow through the case, but this should be trivial.)

Unless you're making the compartment very crowded, or using passive heatsinks on important components, I suspect the compartment size doesn't matter much.

J. Sparrow
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Post by J. Sparrow » Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:03 am

I don't love wood cases but this one looks pretty good, indeed. Just a little suggestion:
If I need to flash the BIOS, I can simply remove the lid and attach a floppy drive.
I always burn my BIOS files to optical media (usually CD-RW, turn on verification to stay on the safe side), and no need for a floppy :)

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