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Thread: Project: Whisper

  1. #1
    Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus Technochicken's Avatar
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    Default Project: Whisper

    I present to you my first scratch build:


    As the title implies, this build is going to be quiet- a key feature of any HTPC.
    To start off, here is the hardware I will be using:

    Ultra XVS 500 watt modular power supply:

    There are two reasons I am using this power supply. One, it is very quiet. Two, and more importantly, I did not have to pay anything for it. I got a PC Power and Cooling Silencer 500 for free, and switched it into my main system, so I had this one left over.

    Sparkle GeForce 8400gs 512mb, passively cooled:


    Hitachi Travelstar 60gb:

    I got this for free also.

    Slot loading DVD drive:

    I pulled this from a dead Ibook, and soldered an eject button onto it.

    Commell LV-670, courtesy of d_stilgar, 1gb DDR266, Celeron 2.6



    That's it for the core hardware. Now onto the building.

    My first obstacle was the CPU cooler. I did not have a spare low profile socket 478 cooler, so I had to make my own. I pulled a generic aluminum cooler out of a computer to be recycled. Then I cut off the two outermost fins on each side, and drilled a hole in each corner. To mount it, I just put a bolt through each hole, and put the nuts on the bottom of the board.





    Next part is the motherboard tray. I cut a piece of metal out of the enclosure from an old VCR, glued standoffs to it, and cut a hole for the backpanel. The video card screws into the top like it would in a case.

    The original piece of metal:


    standoffs:




    Back panel cut:


    Hardware mounted:



    The fan comes to within a millimeter of the height of the video card:



    I know what the internal layout is going to be, but as of now, I have no idea what it is going to look like on the outside. I spent two hours on onlinemetals.com, looking at aluminum mesh and other metal, got everything perfectly measured, only to find out that shipping would cost nearly 3 times as much as the actual material would.

    So that's all for now. I hope to finish this within the week, as I go back to school on Monday, so there should be lots of updates relatively soon.

    Thanks for looking!

  2. #2
    A.B. normal msmrx57's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Whisper

    Nice start. +rep for going scratch built. You'll have to let us know what you think of that vid card, it's one of the ones I'm looking at to replace the one in my wifes computer.
    Quote Originally Posted by SXRguyinMA View Post
    Now, off to the basement to do some fiddling with the rods and such.
    so far left of center i'm in right field

  3. #3
    Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus Technochicken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Whisper

    Small update:

    I got the CD drive mounted. I canabalized part of the CD drive bay from a laptop, lined the inside with felt to eliminate vibrations, and screwed it onto the bottom of the motherboard tray.

    felt on the tray:


    CD drive shown with motherboard installed:


    Also, I got 6 feet of 3/4" aluminum right angle to build a frame with.

  4. #4
    Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus Technochicken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Whisper

    I've been working on building the frame, using the aluminum angle. I have already gone through nearly 6 feet of this stuff, and I am going to get 12 more feet of it today. All the joints are bolted together with hex screws.







    Thanks for looking!

  5. #5
    A.B. normal msmrx57's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Whisper

    Nice progress. Looking good so far.
    Quote Originally Posted by SXRguyinMA View Post
    Now, off to the basement to do some fiddling with the rods and such.
    so far left of center i'm in right field

  6. #6
    Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus Technochicken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Whisper

    Quote Originally Posted by msmrx57 View Post
    Nice progress. Looking good so far.
    Thanks!

    I've pretty much finished the frame now. All I have left to do on it is cut some bits out of the back panel, so the ports are not covered.






    This is not the CD drive I will be using, it is just for demonstration:




    Thanks again for looking!

  7. #7
    baaah. billygoat333's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Whisper

    good work so far. like the L angle work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega
    ber is id elicous
    Centurion 5 Mod <<--- ON HOLD FOR THE WINTER

  8. #8
    Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus Technochicken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Whisper

    Yay, another update! Admittedly it is very small, but I've started school again, so that can not be helped.

    I have made the mount for the hard drive, near the bottom of the case, and under the CD drive:




    When I was planning this case, I thought about using aluminum modders mesh for most of the outside. So I went to Onlinemetals.com, spent 2 hours getting everything the right size and quantity, and then found out that shipping would be 3 times as much as the actual products. So I thought aluminum mesh was out of the question. Until last Tuesday. During robotics after school, I noticed some of the exact perforated aluminum I had been looking at sticking out from behind a shelf. I asked the teacher where he got it, and he decided to give me some for free!



    That puts the entire cost of materials (not computer hardware) up to 14$!

  9. #9
    Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus Technochicken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Whisper

    The inside frame of the case is 95% done now. All that is left to do on it is to cut away the back panel, and mount proper CD and power buttons on it. Then I just have the outside to work on.

    Here's the frame with hardware installed in it:





    One of the biggest challenges of this compact design was routing the cables so that they do not interfere with airflow. This was especially difficult since all the connectors on the motherboard are in the middle. I had just enough space to cram the power cables underneath the video card on one side, and the IDE cable on the other. I also cut holes for them in the motherboard tray.






    I used the space under the motherboard to cram most of the length of the cables:


  10. #10
    Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus Technochicken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project: Whisper

    Well, I spent pretty much all day today working on the outside, so here goes.

    It is made of two different kinds of wood. Most is a birch plywood, and the front is marine mahogany. The sides of the plywood are notched to fit the front piece of wood.





    Here's where the frame will go.



    All screwed together.




    I bent the aluminum mesh to cover the rest of the top and the front. The sides are folded down to give a nice edge and a place to screw it into the wood.








    My current idea is to have the internal frame on a sort of track, so I can slide it in and out easily to access parts.




    Here's what's coming up within the next week or so:
    All the wood will have a gloss coating- by the way, mahogany looks epic when glossed.

    A slot will be cut for the CD drive.

    Switches will be put in the front panel, for power and CD drive. I do not know exactly what ones yet, but they will almost certainly be big, metal, and shiny.

    That's all folks! Once again, thanks for taking a look.

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