Home theater PC without a keyboard

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Rebellious
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Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:15 pm

Steve Jobs did it the right way, he designed platforms to suit the purpose. I'm doing it backwards, using a standard PC to suit a propose for which it wasn't designed. But it's fun to play with, so I'm sharing my photo notes. Without photos I can never remember what I've done.

Basically I'm streaming Flash video from pre-selected URLs, and using a remote-controlled "channel selector" and custom-written software. I wrote a Linux applet, and a simplified Windows version to run the "channel selector". We use it to watch live news streams from several European countries, since there's no TV in this house.
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Living room
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Bedroom
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The weapons of choice, a standard infrared control and a Wii Remote

In case you’re not familiar with the Wii remote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETAKfSkec6A
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Rebellious
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:21 pm

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A sensor bar ($5 from Amazon) allows the Wii to locate itself in 3-dimenional space through triangulation. In Windows you can use GlovePIE to run the Wii mouse, but the driver is problematic. The Linux driver (CWiid wminput) is far superior, so we run Linux instead.

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The Wii has a trigger button. My original idea was to have software to momentarily enlarge/zoom the screen area around the mouse pointer when you press the button. This would help aiming/clicking from across the room.
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Rebellious
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:04 pm

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Mini-ITX
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Rebellious
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:13 pm

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Both fans run below 200 RPM



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mobo /w Intel Core i5-3570K



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Mini-Box picoPSU-150-XT
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Rebellious
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:39 pm

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ATX hardware in the living room




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AMD 965BE with custom heatsink mount



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Lian-Li A17
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thierry.
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by thierry. » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:44 pm

Hi Rebel,

The mini ITX box, is it a PC-Q03?
Why did you choose this one, over other Lian Li and other brands?

What is the CPU cooler that you are using?
What's the CPU?
Running cool all the time?

If using picoPSU, why not having a tall tower, HR-02 or Mugen 4?

I'm planning a mini ITX with the Q07 so all your info are really appreciated.
Thanks

(By chance, would you know the differences between Q3 and Q7?)

Rebellious
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:45 am

thierry. wrote:Hi Rebel,

The mini ITX box, is it a PC-Q03?
Why did you choose this one, over other Lian Li and other brands?

What is the CPU cooler that you are using?
What's the CPU?
Running cool all the time?

If using picoPSU, why not having a tall tower, HR-02 or Mugen 4?

I'm planning a mini ITX with the Q07 so all your info are really appreciated.
Thanks

(By chance, would you know the differences between Q3 and Q7?)


I designed the whole thing to fit in the furniture. The Q03 is just the right size to fill the gap between screen and wall and covers up the mess of wires behind.

Heatsink is Prolimatech Samuel 17. I also tried the Noctua NH-L12, it cools a little better but I don’t like its Mini-ITX mounting hardware. If you want absolute silence, you can use the Noctua fan-mounting rubber-gooshies to dampen fan vibrations (as in the photos below). I’ve found these Noctua fans to be unacceptably out-of-round.
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thierry.
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by thierry. » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:17 am

Thanks for the info.
I will be running a small i3-4330 without any heavy work. It should be cooler than your i5.

You are running at 200rpm for both fan, all the time?

Other question (sorry, just curious):

Why not a tower cooler, since you went for picoPSU? (you have the room)
Maybe with just the tower cooler and a single fan at the back.

On the other hand, why not a normal PSU, since you have a slim CPU cooler?

I can't get the Q03 for cheap, around here in Austria. (Maybe the Q27 can be better than older Q07.)

Rebellious
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:44 am

thierry. wrote:Thanks for the info.
I will be running a small i3-4330 without any heavy work. It should be cooler than your i5.

You are running at 200rpm for both fan, all the time?

Other question (sorry, just curious):

Why not a tower cooler, since you went for picoPSU? (you have the room)
Maybe with just the tower cooler and a single fan at the back.

On the other hand, why not a normal PSU, since you have a slim CPU cooler?

I can't get the Q03 for cheap, around here in Austria. (Maybe the Q27 can be better than older Q07.)
The mobo ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe WiDi + i5 makes very little heat, so a tower cooler is overkill and you can’t safely ship it. Top-down heatsinks also cool the chipset & VRMs, weigh less and don’t strain the mobo with all that cantilevered weight.

I tested it without the exhaust fan, and it was fine. But one has to build for the worst case scenario. The problem with all these ASUS mobos is that CHA_FAN minimum duty cycle in BIOS is 60%, much too high. And CHA_FAN doesn’t modulate much. So I’m running both fans off CPU_FAN header and they will modulate up to 100% if necessary. I’m only using CHA_FAN header for RPM feedback (see photos below). It settles at <200 RPM, that means little or no dust, which makes it maintenance free.

I haven’t seen Q07 but it looks similar to the Q11, we have one in the guest bedroom. ATX PSU fits fine but with picoPSU it’s much easier to work with and with more plenum it cools better (see photos).
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Rebellious
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:50 am

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with PicoPSU


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Q11
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thierry.
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by thierry. » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:07 am

Thanks a lot for the pictures. Yes, the Q11 is just bit higher and deeper (with the front fan mounting)

Thanks so much for showing me your cable solution for the case fan. It looks perfect, with the feedback info of rpm.

I think I have the same issue on my current Gigabyte mobo (GA-B75M) and my front 180mm on the TJ08-E.
There is a switch on the side of the case (HIGH / LOW). But if I put LOW, it stop turning.
So I guess I have the same issue with the minimum duty of this fan.

I will try to find this kind of cable, here in Austria. (never easy to figure out the name in German, for these little items)
How do you call it in English?

The tower cooler would be overkill with a core i3-4330, but the idea is to keep it silent. One giant cooler, one fan at the back at low rpm.
But now, you are showing me a solution with 2 silent fans ~200rpm.
Anyway, if I was going with ATX PSU, it would be with
slim Kozuti 28€,
or NH-L9i 40€,
shuriken 36€

compared to the HR-02 at 40€, it's not much difference.
And I should have enough room with picoPSU.

PS: I am now looking at the Q27, which looks better than Q07, still at good price. (my topic is here)

thierry.
Posts: 126
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Location: Vienna - Austria

Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by thierry. » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:35 am

thierry. wrote: Thanks so much for showing me your cable solution for the case fan. It looks perfect, with the feedback info of rpm.

I think I have the same issue on my current Gigabyte mobo (GA-B75M) and my front 180mm on the TJ08-E.
There is a switch on the side of the case (HIGH / LOW). But if I put LOW, it stop turning.
So I guess I have the same issue with the minimum duty of this fan.
On a second thought, it won't work, because this case fan in the Temnjin, is not PWM. It's a 3-pin.
I'll keep it at 700rpm for now. (until I sell it for my next one. :mrgreen: I can't wait)

Rebellious
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:05 am

thierry. wrote:Thanks a lot for the pictures. Yes, the Q11 is just bit higher and deeper (with the front fan mounting)

Thanks so much for showing me your cable solution for the case fan. It looks perfect, with the feedback info of rpm.

I think I have the same issue on my current Gigabyte mobo (GA-B75M) and my front 180mm on the TJ08-E.
There is a switch on the side of the case (HIGH / LOW). But if I put LOW, it stop turning.
So I guess I have the same issue with the minimum duty of this fan.

I will try to find this kind of cable, here in Austria. (never easy to figure out the name in German, for these little items)
How do you call it in English?


The tower cooler would be overkill with a core i3-4330, but the idea is to keep it silent. One giant cooler, one fan at the back at low rpm.
But now, you are showing me a solution with 2 silent fans ~200rpm.
Anyway, if I was going with ATX PSU, it would be with
slim Kozuti 28€,
or NH-L9i 40€,
shuriken 36€

compared to the HR-02 at 40€, it's not much difference.
And I should have enough room with picoPSU.

PS: I am now looking at the Q27, which looks better than Q07, still at good price. (my topic is here)

The cable is just the standard “splitter” that comes with these Noctua fans. You only have to add the yellow wire in the empty connector. I stole mine from the Scythe extension kits included in the box. Extracting the yellow wire can be a pain, I find it easier to carefully cut/nibble the plastic connector with a wire crimper tool.

And yes you must have PWM fans to run at 200 RPM, both Noctua and Scythe slipstreams start very reliably at 200 or less.

Also, you can use the Noctua rubber-gooshies that come with their fans to mount 2.5" HDs, which makes a silent HTPC, very important if it’s in the bedroom.

thierry.
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by thierry. » Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:56 am

Rebellious wrote:The cable is just the standard “splitter” that comes with these Noctua fans. You only have to add the yellow wire in the empty connector.
Ha ha, very clever!!
I was looking everywhere and could not find these splitter with 2 wires for the sensor rpm of each fan.
Of course, it's only existing after a DIY. :lol:

Good to know it's working with just a single wire like this. Thanks Rebellious.

Farnsworth
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Farnsworth » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:09 am

Rebellious wrote:
IMG_7672_25P.JPG
ATX hardware in the living room
Where did you find the black "support beam" you used for the graphics card?

I'm looking for something similar to support my drooping graphics card.

Rebellious
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:28 pm

Farnsworth wrote:
Rebellious wrote:
IMG_7672_25P.JPG
ATX hardware in the living room
Where did you find the black "support beam" you used for the graphics card?

I'm looking for something similar to support my drooping graphics card.
It comes with the cooler, prolimatech kit. It's good for holding fans, but otherwise ineffective.

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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by NeilBlanchard » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:38 pm

Do these machines function as a DVR? Could they?
Sincerely, Neil
http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/

Rebellious
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:03 am

NeilBlanchard wrote:Do these machines function as a DVR? Could they?
Firefox has extensions that can save any video to disk, e.g. DownloadHelper. I use it occasionally to save movies. But for the most part it’s a TV replacement, we watch live programs, and switch “channels” using the remote. I also wrote a sleep-timer applet, so it goes out after x hours.

Rebellious
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:06 am

Things you can do with Noctua rubber fan mounts.


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Wet it and screw it into a Lian-Li adapter HD-321, instead of the regular Li part.



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Or just pull it through.


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One use only for the rubber gooshies, once installed cannot be removed.
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Rebellious
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Re: Home theater PC without a keyboard

Post by Rebellious » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:18 am

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2.5" adapter HD-321 ready for mounting.

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Installed.

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The softest ride ever for a pair of HDs, and with the perfect jiggle per gram of weight.
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