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Thread: Project Napoleon (new system)

  1. #1
    Ok, well it started out I wanted to get one of those Pico-ITX boards and build a really tiny pc that is totally without moving parts. But as seeing those are well over $200, ive decided to make one with mostly components I already have. The guts:

    Pentium Dual-Core E2200 @2.2GHz (might underclock to keep temps down)
    ECS cheap-o motherboard (micro-atx)
    2x 1GB Adata DDR2 800
    Radeon HD 2400Pro (low profile)
    2-8GB Compact Flash as harddrive (still working this out)
    Custom acrylic case
    Windows XPe Operating System


    MOBO/CPU
    Still unsure if I will be using a mini-itx + onboard processor or the micro-atx with the E2200. I want something that is very low power consumption. Somehow I went from wanting to build a router with linux to building a tiny HTPC. So that would be something I needed info on. If a board with the VIA C7 (1.5GHz cpu) would be capable of handling 1080 content. It will have the HD 2400 vid card, so I am not positive if the GPU can do most of the work for that aspect. Currently I am highest bidder on a Via VB7001 + 1.5GHz CPU ($32 total w/ 30hrs remaining)

    HD/CF
    This is something I really wanted to do. As a router, it should work great (could even set it up to read-only access). But as for handling larger files, I know the speed take a huge hit. Would this impact the performance of playing off a USB harddrive?

    Ive read the life of a Compact Flash drive isnt really something to worry about theoretically (should be +/- 50yrs at full speed reading/writing). And it should extend total life by running multiple cards in a Raid0 setup. Since the access will be spanned out. I was planning on getting 2 cards anyways. Im looking at the Lexar 300x cards right now. As for as I know, those are the fastest available ATM.

    Operating System
    Just heard about Windows XPe(mbedded). Can use that to remove unwanted stuff. Even load it into RAM on bootup? That way most the reading/writing is to the RAM and not the CF, preserving its life. Or should I just use XP + xplite? Ive seen people get the size down to 800MB, so even a 2GB card would be plenty. But I do really like the idea of loading into the RAM, unless that would take away the possibility of playing the 1080 content.

    PSU
    Most likely go a low profile PSU off ebay and mount on the top of the case, as with the CF. Was thinking of something like this

    Custom Case
    Im hoping this to be a possible guide for other people when im finished.

    I plan on the total system size to be around 10x10x3". It most likely will not have a dvd drive. Or else it will cover up most of the visual aspect of the acrylic case Can still use a laptop/thin drive but it will drive up the total cost + the power consumption.

    Anyways, I am in need of some design help. I need to cram everything into as small of a case as possible. Obviously I cant go smaller than the size of the motherboard (9.6 x 9.6 x ~2"). The highest points will most likely be the fan on the CPU (e2200) and the vid card.

    For the CF, I will most likely get a IDE-to-CF adapter. But I am also looking at the SATA adapter. I will probably get 2 of the SATA ones because the price is so high for the adapters with a 2x connecter for CF. Im thinking it will be mounted on the top of the case (if the case top flips open).

    Would a "flip-top" be best? Or designing a way to slide out the motherboard. I dont want a mobo tray, maybe little pegs/spaces made out of the same acrylic material that the motherboard screws into. So it give it the appearance of floating on air. Well, not really but you get the point. How would put in the screw holes? Pre-drill it slightly smaller then put the screw in?

    Ive never worked with acrylic before. A tile saw should be able to cut through, say, plexyglass with no problems, right? Then simply solvent weld the pieces together. If I went with the "flip-top" method, would it be best just to "weld" everything together then take the tile cutter and chop off the top portion. Should make it look more professional. Then make some mortis and tenon joints so it all fits together snug.


    Looks like ill be going by TAP tomorrow to check prices. I hear they'll even cut your pieces for you for free with the purchase. (where clocker be @)
    Last edited by SingaBoiy; 05-12-2008 at 09:52 AM.
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  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    Quote Originally Posted by clocker View Post
    Wow, great info. Will def. read through the whole thing. Thanks
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  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    I'm sure you already have something figured out, but how do you plan to install XP without a CD/DVD drive?
    I love the idea of no moving parts, I'll likely go the same route as soon as SSDs drop in price a bit.
    Q6600 @ 3.42Ghz | Gigabyte EP35-DS3R | EVGA 8800GT 721/1802/2006 w/ Accelero S1 | 4gb Crucial DDR2 @ 760mhz | 750gb Hitachi 7k1000 | Corsair 520HX | 2 x Samsung SyncMaster T240 24" | Windows 7 Ultimate

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    Detale's Avatar Go Snatch a Judge
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    You could use a flash drive but I thonk you would want a DVD drive on it no? I almost did something similar a while back but instead of making my own case which is way more invlved that I originally thought I decided to get one of these cases @ Tiger for cheap

    Ultra Micro Fly with crappy 40w PSU $70


    Now the cool thing about this case is you can use a regular ATX PSU on it instead of having to get the smaller PSU for Shuttles. Anyway it's pretty small

    Depth: 15"
    Width: 11.25"
    Height: 9"
    Also consider price and time to make. If you are absolutly hooked on the acrilic thing Newegg has this case for $80 US

    Sunbeam Transparent Clear Acrylic ACHT-T ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

    Not my cup of tea but what will material to build cost you? if it's more than $80 then is it really worth it to build yourself? Now i am a Carpenter so I fully understand the pride involved in building something yourself so I see if you still want to tackle a new project, but again weigh out the cost vs time and headache involved.

    Also what will you be using this rig for, or did I miss it in the first post? I am playing around with the HTPC using that tiny cheapo Micro Fly case now when I get all the kinks out of what exactly I want then I might spend some big bucks on a good HTPC case like

    SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum Crown Series CW02B-MXR ATX Media Center / HTPC Case


    OR

    Moneual LAB Silver Aluminum MonCaso 832P ATX Media Center / HTPC Case


    They are pricey but I figure I will use it for everythiing Home Theater again when I figure out exactly what I want.

    Good luck man and please keep us posted

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    Plan on connecting one to install it, then disconnect afterwards.

    Picked up 2 18x24" acrylite (i think lol, dont remember) for $31.26 total. Says 1/4" but it looks like its at least 3/8 or 1/2. Will have to measure.
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  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    I got some work done yesterday. I only needed 1 of the 18x24's. I didnt feel like doing the math lol. Anyways. Heres my tools of destruction:


    7" diamond blade. It has no teeth on it. Laser guided (proved to help destroy my project). Water cooled. That empty space is where the water goes. The table only went up to 10", piece of crap.



    This thing was not designed right. The L shaped bracket that held the laser guide/guard in place was on to of the table. Causing whatever is getting cut to get caught on it. Forcing you to lift up as you're cutting. That + the table was too close to the blade, causing plastic to get stuck in between, as you can see from the pic, interfering with the cut.



    I made little cubes (these will be used as spacers between the case and the motherboard)




    This is the plan:


    I am going to heat the copper "screws" that come with cases. Then I should be able to stick em in the plastic spacers I made. Like a hot knife through butter Use the Weld-On to "weld" the spacers to the bottom of the case.
    Last edited by SingaBoiy; 05-15-2008 at 09:11 AM.
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  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingaBoiy View Post
    I am going to heat the copper "screws" that come with cases. Then I should be able to stick em in the plastic spacers I made. Like a hot knife through butter
    In the ghetto...in the ghetto...in the ghetto.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    Quote Originally Posted by clocker View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SingaBoiy View Post
    I am going to heat the copper "screws" that come with cases. Then I should be able to stick em in the plastic spacers I made. Like a hot knife through butter
    In the ghetto...in the ghetto...in the ghetto.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...er/cartman.jpg
    Whats your easy solution?
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  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    Detale's Avatar Go Snatch a Judge
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    on a cold and gray Chicago morn' another little baby child is born....

    Where??

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