View Full Version : Interocitor Mk15

08-05-2007, 09:23 AM
Well, the time has come to start my second proper mod. I was torn between improving my current LAN machine (The Interocitor Mk.14) and doing something completely new and different. However, I saw another one of those fantastic oscilloscopes on ebay and my mind was made up. I am building a new and improved Interocitor, with all the ideas I had for the old one that didn't quite come off! It will have an improved layout, more cooling, lighting system and a larger case window.

The hardware list will be:
Abit LG-95 Micro Atx Motherboard (I won this in Custom PC Magazine!)
Intel Core 2 Duo CPU (Not sure which one yet)
Nvidia 8800GTS 320Mb (When finances permit)
2Gb of Geil DDR2 Memory (Already purchased)
500Gb Samsung SATA2 HDD (Already purchased)
Laptop Style DVD-RW (Nice Slot Loader)

I want to really make a feature of the old valves contained in the case so they will be moved to a much more prominent position and lit with superbright LED's. The knobs dials & buttons on the front of the case, will again, be made as functional as possible. So Lets get started....

Here's my new case....I'm starting the stripdown.




08-05-2007, 09:28 AM
Valves in the top of the machine...


Carefully saved for later...


08-06-2007, 03:54 PM
This one is going to be super cool!
I'm amazed looking at the pics... they don't build stuff like they used to.

Quick question: Are the black metal sleeves over the tubes... are those like, 'air shrouds' for forced-air cooling?
Or are they there just to hold the tubes down?

Hey guys, am I calling the valves "tubes"? :?

The black metal sleeves provide some protection for the delicate valves and hide the glow of them as well. The sleeves are spingloaded and have a bayonet fitting to secure them to the socket where the valve plugs in. Also if a valve 'lets go' they keep all the broken galss in one place.

I need at least 16 valves for this project....here's why....


08-08-2007, 11:00 AM
Today's Update

Spent another couple of hours stripping the old machine...
Carefully unscrewing everything...

Cutting the wires...

Getting there...

Carefully with the Cathode Ray Tube...


Front Panel Free at last...

This thing is put together like a battleship. I am working methodically and saving all the important parts. The screws and nuts are all old british imperial sizes and will almost certainly be unavailable, so I'm carefully saving them for later!

See you soon


08-14-2007, 06:14 AM
Work, work, work..... All work and no modding makes Ouch! a very dull boy.
I haven't had much time off lately and it was beginning to get me down. But there is good news for Interocitor fans. I spotted this on ebay. Hardly used, and mine foer the princely sum of 33 GBP or approx $60 US.


I had to drive down to hastings yesterday to collect it. So we had a game of mini-golf a paddle in the sea and fish & chips!

Back to the mod. I may get some more done later and I've got some interesting ideas about incorporating lasers into the mix.


08-14-2007, 02:03 PM

I'm experimenting with the idea of lasers for the new interocitor. Here's how to make them do those wonderful spirograph patterns.


It doesn't matter how high quality your electric motors are there's allways a bit of slack in the bearings. This is enough to produce a pleasing effect that varies with the speed of the motors. It gives those spirograph type patterns.

So, I have ordered a couple of cheap 40mm PC case fans that will be donor motors. I will stick small mirrors on them and experiment. If this works, I will either have the laser on the front of the machine on the screen or, pointing out of a hole in the top shining on the ceiling. It's gonna look cool.


08-17-2007, 10:05 AM
More stripping today......

I centre punched all the rivets holding the aluminium frame together. Ready for drilling out the rivets.

Using my excellent new drill I drilled the rivets...

Then I freed the top and bottom frames

Making a start on the front panel I carefully removed all the knobs and labelled them before putting them away......

More later....I might actually get to be creative soon.


08-20-2007, 11:48 AM
Stripdown is finally finished....whew!

I cleaned the parts in good old warm soapy water and used an old tooth brush to remove the grime of several decades.

The quality of construction of these old items has to be seen to be beleived. All the parts are signed by the man that made them...

I really need some sheet aluminium, so I will visit my local scrap metal man tomorrow and see what I can find. The prices charged in local DIY shops are crazy! I have found a cheap case that will surrender it's I/O panel and it's MATX motherboard tray. I don't fancy making one from scratch!


08-22-2007, 08:06 AM
My nice plastic mirror tile turned up today so i spent a while cutting small circles out of it with a hole cutter. It was really difficult as the perspex is very thick and it all generates so much heat that the blade kept sticking!

I then stuck the small mirrors onto the fan motors using araldite epoxy. I left them on a nice flat surface in the kitchen to cure.


When I returned the mirrors have magically 'floated' to a new position in the glue and then set firm.....2 40mm fans wasted and 2 difficult mirrors. D'oh!


I'll have to bin the lot and start again.

I also visited my scrap metal man and he did not have any aluminium sheet, so I'm stuck, until next week!


08-31-2007, 03:10 AM
I tried my laser experiments yesterday and found that with 2 little mirrors spinning on the 40mm fan motors you do get a spirograph type pattern that varies with the fan speed.

I just taped everything together and used a laser pointer and a couple of zalman fanmates to control the speeds.

The trouble was that the patterns were tiny and to project them onto the front of my little screen in the interocitor I'll have to find a magnifying lens of some sort that will make the patterns bigger. As you know the Interocitor case is quite small as it's a LAN PC so this problem will have to be solved.

I could project the patterns out of a hole in the top of the machine so that they hit the ceiling but I don't think that the effect would be so pleasing.

The only other thing would be to go back to the idea of an LCD screen in the front window, but I did that last time, so I want to avoid that if I can.

More experiments!

09-02-2007, 09:04 AM

Still no aluminium at the scrap metal dealer so I've ordered some on ebay. Much more expensive, so I'm a bit annoyed.

But good news my donor micro-ATX case arrived and I set to work drilling out rivets and cutting up the back panel, so I can have an easy install for the motherboard.

I also have a deadline now which will help focus the mind. I am signed up for i32 a LAN party event in Novemeber, so I have to get a move on with this.

Nice back panel & motherboard tray

Measure carefully and mark it out before cutting.

It's not a proper mod until it's got some blood on it............Ouch!

I'm still undecided about what will feature on the front panel and where to position the Valves. I know I want a much larger case window than last time and I want the voltmeter to show HDD activity.

I also want switchable power led in the volt meter like last time.

But I don't know whether to go for laser effects, LCD sreen, or just a nice fan in the main front panel part....

Still, ideas and changing the plans, are the joy of modding. If I'd wanted all this to be easy I'd have bought a box off the shelf!
The large knobs on the front panel will be used for fan controls etc.

09-08-2007, 12:22 PM

Right, so I temporarily put the frames back on the front panel so I can measure accurately.

The aluminium I got from ebay was bent using nothing more complicated than a couple of straight bits of wood and some clamps.....then I smacked it with a rubber mallet to obtain this:

Perfect fit......phew!

Dry fitting the back panel.

The motherboard tray will have to be cut slightly smaller to fit perfectly.
Then all the components will have to be flush riveted, so that the whole thing will slide in and out of the case. I will need to prime & paint the inside surfaces, unless I decide to polish all that aluminium.

I'm still worried about fitting the PSU I do not think the ATX style will fit and I want either a 1U or a 2U Rackmount PSU, but I'm not sure if they will be suitable for ATX.
A micro ATX would be better, but I don't think they will be 'beefy' enough for the job..

Decisions decisions?

I'm enjoying this mod, even though my plans are fluid, at the moment.


09-10-2007, 09:36 AM

Okay, so I clamped the aluminium side to the frame today and drilled all the positions for the pop rivets; to hold the thing together. Once riveted, this should made a really sturdy structure. The original Interocitor (Mk.14) had nearly 2mm aluminium and weighs a ton, so this time the aluminium is only 1.2mm thick. The benefit of this is, it is very easy to bend and work. It should still be strong enough for everyday use.

Drilling for the rivets

Contersinking for the rivets that need to be flush

Because of the unusual size of the case I was puzzling about how to put a normal sized ATX power supply in this case without running into major problems. The last time I did it the PSU ended up covering the motherboard and was very close to the CPU cooler. With this machine I intend to run either a Dual Core or Quad core chip with a Arctic Cooling Pro 7. So there simply would not be room. Also, I would like to run a respectable graphics card. Either the Nvidia 880GTS or the ATI X2900XT So I need plenty of power and plenty of clearance.

Some of you have been helpful in suggesting a solution with the Shuttle series of PSU's but I thought I'd try modding an old 500w ATX supply, that I have here at home.

Here goes....

With the lid off, you can see the rear of the power socket. This needs to be moved to the other side of the PSU, so I can mount it near the top, without having the power cable emerging fron the top of the machine.


Using tin snips, I cut a slot for the socket, drilled and tapped holes for the screws.

Having de-soldered the plug and re-soldered it in the new position I got this.....I'll make some blanking plates for the holes later.

This is roughly the position I'll have the PSU in, there is a convenient blow-hole in the case above this position that will allow the PSU to blow directly out of the case.

More soon...


09-11-2007, 11:40 AM
Got loads done today:)....I'm back to work tomorrow:(

I marked out and cut out the holes in the back plate for the internal part of the case. Then loads of filing to get a straight line.

Dry fitting the motherboard tray

From the back

Then I started cutting out the back of the outer shell; a very dusty and dirty job.

I have some ideas, in my head, for the side window and I have already got some nice chunky perspex. So If I dont run out of dremel cutting disks I think that my be the next job.

See you soon,


09-11-2007, 12:07 PM
Don't use a Dremel for cutting the plastic, if you have one use a jigsaw, just a get a plastics blade and your set. I guarantee you it will be ten times as fast and if you use a plastics blade you wont get any melting.

Oh, I use the dremel for cutting the window out of the metal and then I actually use a coping saw to cut the plexi.

I found I get a straighter cut, than with the jigsaw and there is less filing and sanding to do afterwards. I may be tempted to buy a plastics blade and give it a try though.

I've looked on the internet and I can't see a specific blade for plastics here in the U.K.



09-19-2007, 03:57 PM
Spent this morning making a nice rack for my valves....they will be lit wirth high intensity LED's via an electronic gizmo that gives different lighting patterns.....It's gonna be cool!

I used my new step cutter but didn't have any life in my camera batteries

10-15-2007, 11:30 AM

I am feeling a bit better today so I got lot's of work done on the new Interocitor!
I must be careful though, I'm still not allowed to lift heavy things or stretch too much in case my stitches let go!

So, to business.....
I spent the morning cutting, drilling and filing to get all the chassis parts as near to finished as I could. Then a good wash in the kitchen sink befrore a coat of primer,


I'm not sure of the final colour of these components but they need to be a light colour, so I went for the old white primer.


Then I used about 20 Dremel cutting disks to cut the side window in the outer shell.


Filing all the cuts straight took ages. I put tape on and then filed up to the edge of the tape so I could see the line clearly.


I'm so pleased to be working on this mod again, being on the sick list was getting me down!

I have also done some soldering work on my lighting system but more of that next time.

See you soon


10-17-2007, 11:50 AM
So I sprayed 2 layers of satin green pain on the interior components today....This paint will get scratched and chipped as I slide the computer in and out of the casing. (That's the idea anyway!) I want the thing to look old and battered.....

I then riveted tha main parts together. (Fush rivets on the sides and ordinary rivets at the back)

I will still have to make some minor changes on the back panel but noting drastic.

I hope you can begin to see what is gonna happen here.

More updates soon


10-30-2007, 07:37 PM
Sorry there have been no updates on this for a while.....I have been working hard on it but no new photos....

Have started work on the lighting system for this case and it's gonna be a surprise....It involves the valves and some lasers. But, it's meant quite a lot of work. I have also made a side window for the case and drilled & tapped all the holes to bolt that on the outside. I have a deadline and at the moment it doesn't look good! It may not be ready for the LAN party (i32)......but, I'm not going to rush it.

More soon...


11-01-2007, 04:22 PM
Here's the new rack I built to hold my valves.....They'll be lit from behind by super-bright LED's controlled by this unit.....

This is the front.

I dismanltled the voltmeter and put 3 led's in the face Red Green & Blue. These will act as a power led and just means you can switch between the colours. The voltmeter will show hard disk activity.

Here's my little wiring block LED's are colour coded.

The wires will be connected via a big chunky switch on the front of the case.....you'll see....


07-14-2008, 07:45 AM
I am so sorry that this worklog fell by the wayside, but here's an update....

My Mum is back to her old happy self and we are all very releived and thankful.

The mod was rushed into a sort of semi-finished state for a LAN party (i33) and runs okay!
I was not happy with the laser effects as the laser I was using kept burning out. The side window and lighting works very well, after repositioning all the valves for the umpteenth time.
The voltmeter hard disk monitor stopped working in mid LAN. I have to investigate why.

I'm off to another lan at the beginning of August so I will post some final pictures when everything is up and working again.

The system I installed has:
4GB DDR2 6400 Memory
500Gb Samsung SATA2 HDD
Nvidia 8800gt 512Mb
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (Overclocked to 3Ghz)
Slimline DVDRW (Slot Loading type)
On-Board Sound

I did have Vista Home Premium 64Bit installed......but hated it so much I went back to XP!

I love these old oscilloscopes and this one still turns heads at the LANS.

Pictures soon!


07-24-2008, 04:55 PM
Here we go....


Those valves flash in all sorts of different paterns. You can see the side window is much bigger than the Mk 14.

The laser show is ok.....I need to move the optics down a tad....but you can adjust it to get a 5 pointed star.....Cool!



As berfore; the clunky big buttons on the front control the lights.


The screen for the laser is a sheet of tracing paper.

I have added a programmable fan......It Flashes Interocitor Mk15....The my name ....Then the temp...Then my clan The mighty DVDF!!!!!