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Thread: Project: K-9-PC

  1. #1
    If it isn't stock, it's modded! slaveofconvention's Avatar
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    Default Project: K-9-PC


    My son is Doctor Who crazy, and after about a year messing with card and ideas to build him a tardis - I've scrapped the idea and I'm going to go foreward with this idea - build a scale model of K-9 with a decent, upgradeable PC integrated into it - very very early in the planning stages at the moment - so early my wife has banned me from even telling my son about it in case it doesn't happen - but it will happen...

    The idea's I have in place at the moment are as follows...

    The area in the nose where the blaster usually comes out will have a couple of USB ports
    The control pad on his back will do, well, other stuff - it will be functional - power and reset buttons for starters - I also have a set of USB buttons from an old media center PC case which I'm going to look into rewiring to do the job.
    The tail will probably be a wireless LAN antenna - there is a wired gigabit network connection in his room but I thought it was a nice touch.
    Convert the front recessed panel into a sliding door for the optical drive and card reader.

    So far I have acquired....

    A Removable motherboard tray
    Several sets of plans
    Lots of earache from the wife :p

    Keep your eyes peeled - this is going to be done, and it's going to be done right....

    EDIT: After spending a week or so with drawings and test fits, it turns out that it won't be a scale model at all - it's going to be full size - I could have maybe squeezed a 10-15% size reduction out of it but I'd prefer the extra space for airflow, expansion and ease of access, plus it'll be a little extra kudos for my son having a Real Full size K-9 - not a tiny model like some of his mates have

  2. #2
    I've got the madcow, what's your excuse? Bopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: K-9-PC

    I'll be watching this one. I have had plans in the noodle for a K-9 or Tardis case in the far future.

    "Technical neglect is one of the worst kinds of neglect, won't you sponsor an octal or adsl2 card so they can someday grow up into big capable adsl2+ cards? random celebrity does."

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    If it isn't stock, it's modded! slaveofconvention's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: K-9-PC

    Quote Originally Posted by Bopher View Post
    I'll be watching this one. I have had plans in the noodle for a K-9 or Tardis case in the far future.
    Well I decided on the K-9 because, lets face it, the tardis is a box - and if you want a pc in a box - you can get those anywhere - the real thing I'm looking forward to here is trying to make the outside look as little like a PC as possible - I already have some plans in my head to find a way to get all of the cooling in the base to keep the outer shell as pristine as possible....

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    Default Re: Project: K-9-PC

    OK - first question for the masses...

    On the back of the dog there's a 12/14 button control panel...


    This isn't a good pic but it represents my point. I was thinking about making the two large buttons as lights - one for power, one for HD activity. That leaves 12 buttons - two of those are easy enough - Power and Reset. In addition, I have a USB multimedia control thing from an old silverstone LC14 which will cover another 7 if I can rewire it without destroying it - Vol Up - Vol Dn - Mute - Play/pause - Next - Last - Stop.

    That leaves me with 3 buttons going spare - any ideas?

    One thing that occurred to me is to replace the two lights with temp displays, and then use the two of the spare buttons as lights but I'd prefer to have them as buttons which will actually DO something....

    P.S. I don't want to go with BIOS reset - I don't want that on the outside of a case which will be my young son's PC

  5. #5
    Like a Lightning Bolt in Your Cheerios! Drum Thumper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: K-9-PC

    Is this case/dog/robot going to have a window? If so, one of those buttons could, in theory, be an on/off switch for the lights.

    EDIT: What about adding a sound module like Crimson Sky did with his Doom3 mod?
    Quote Originally Posted by artoodeeto View Post
    aw heck guys. We're modders. Let's just build our own, shall we?

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    If it isn't stock, it's modded! slaveofconvention's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: K-9-PC

    Quote Originally Posted by DrumThumper View Post
    Is this case/dog/robot going to have a window? If so, one of those buttons could, in theory, be an on/off switch for the lights.

    EDIT: What about adding a sound module like Crimson Sky did with his Doom3 mod?
    I'm 50/50 on that at the moment - on the opposite side to the K-9 logo there's a rectangle in the panel - it's meant to be a display and I do happen to have a couple of spare 10" lcds so it'll either hold one of those or a window - thing is, the monitors aren't really reliable (and I don't know why) and a window would probably be easier - I'm designing the internal layout so IF it's a window, it'll look at interesting stuff as opposed to the back of the motherboard tray...

    Just been checking - the buttons are going to cost a fortune - looking at around $6 each in the US - can't even find them yet in the UK

  7. #7
    Banned Eclecticos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: K-9-PC

    Looks like a really creative idea. One cool control panel. +Rep
    You could use the others to power the fans, and lights.

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    If it isn't stock, it's modded! slaveofconvention's Avatar
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    Default Woohoo - Big design boost!

    Ok so I was having a little scour of the old interwebs n stuff, looking for more specific information regarding size, dimensions etc and came across a complete set of plans for the whole thing - some of you might think it's cheating but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth and this will bring the project on in leaps and bounds. The only problem with them, is everything is in inches and with me being a modern man, I work in mm lol - oh well - lots of x254 calculations to do

    Anyway - check these out....


    The external drives are going to sit behind a door where that recess is under the head on the front. The tail is going to be a wireless LAN antenna - I'll have to sacrifice the chrome and extending bits of the antenna and it'll be plain black plastic but I kinda want the antenna to DO something - although, I am vaguely considering putting an FM radio in there - when I say vaguely, it didn't even occur to me until I started writing this....

    Thinking about some kind of perspex/painted steel sandwich for the logo so the edges glow, probably just white but not decided yet on that

    As mentioned previously, this is where either the 10" LCD or the window is going to go - I'm leaning heavily towards the window at the moment because of the reliability issues (and image quality) on the 2 10" IBM LCD's I have

    There's those buttons I was talking about
    I don't see the head doing much other than just being there - I was thinking about a couple of USB ports as my son is always plugging his phone into the USB to upload ringtones n pics and it'd be nice for them to be easily accessible

    And finally a nice template for the logo...

    Should certainly make things a LOT easier and should speed up progress - I was initially expecting this to take a LONG LONG time - now I think it'll just take a LONG time :p

  9. #9
    If it isn't stock, it's modded! slaveofconvention's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: K-9-PC

    And now it's time to start digging through this lot....








    For some stuff to make this into something outside of my head....

    Edit: Yup, for the eagle eye'd out there, that IS an original 48k rubber key Spectrum in there :p

  10. #10
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    Default Base Layout

    Thought it'd be a good idea to make sure everything is going to fit and if I could get away with making the whole thing a little smaller or not. Turns out that I'm going to be building this to the original full scale and the bits will fit in relatively easily, without being overcrowded, and without wasting huge amounts of space.



    For now, as I don't have access to the actual hardware (it's at home, I'm at work, and most of the parts are currently in my son's PC and I don't think he'd appreciate me taking it apart now when this project will probably take a good few weeks, if not months to complete)

    Couple of things to mention which might make this a little clearer

    1. The Hard disk (and spare hard disk bays for future expansion) will sit directly above the Optical Drive - as the Optical Drive is by far the larger of them, I thought I only needed to prove that would fit.

    2. The intake fans (bottom in image) are going to be set at an angle (actual angle yet to be determined) - this should mean that I'll have a nice airflow from 2x120mm fans directed onto the motherboard, and one straight up the side of the drives.

    3. The exhaust fans will have a shroud which creates an intake funnel going most of the way to the top of the case, so the air being expelled SHOULD be the hottest air which is at the top (heat rises, after all). At the same time, the PSU will also draw air out of the case, at a lower level.

    4. All of the wires connecting things like KB, Mouse, PSU, Monitor etc will come out of the base of the case, in a hole under the area partially blocked by the rear slope of the case - this will allow me to keep the outer shell as pristine as possible.

    All in all, it looks like I'm going to have plenty of space for future expansion - I've based it all on full ATX 2.2 specs, and the current PC is using a MicroATX board so space should not be an issue.

    I've also laid out the front panel - this will go under a flap of some sort under K-9's neck.


    In total I'll need 4 5.25 inch bays, because I plan to install a Thermaltake iCage in the case - it's a module which allows you to fit 3 3.5 inch hard disks into 3 5.25 inch bays - I happen to have a couple (or maybe 3) of them lying spare as I bought them for my server and have yet to pass the 10 HD point. This will allow me to put the first hard disk in immediately and leave room for two more for the future - there's a fan mounted on the icage which will help with cooling the drives too - in fact, in light of this, I may remove one of the intake fans in the floor of the case - 3 120mm fans taking in air will be more than enough - pretty sure I won't need a 4th.


    There's also lots of space left so I may well put a couple USB ports, front Audio and maybe (if I can find a way to do it without obstructing screwdriver access to the 5.25 bays) a fan controller.

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