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Thread: Design suggestions?

  1. #1
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    Design suggestions?

    Hey guys,

    I am going to build a small case for my new carputer motherboard. The board itself measures roughly 4x6" and is maybe a little over an inch thick, with the RAM and CF card slot on the back side, and CPU on the top side.

    It is a Celeron 650 and it runs fanless, however I still think it would be a good idea to put a small fan inside the case.

    I plan to make a case roughly the size of the Mac Mini, but a bit thicker and it won't have an optical drive. I will probably build this out of sheets of clear polycarbonate.

    I am going to have the motherboard mounted on a piece of PC and have the hard drive attached to that same piece on the underside, as that would be best for cable routing. I am going to have the board/drive assembly accessible from the top of the case so I can take it in and out easily.

    I know that without pics it is hard to picture what I am thinking of, but I was wondering if anyone had some design / assembly suggestions before I go hacking up the polycarbonate? Anything that you guys have realized you should have done differently after you got started?

    I don't have any CAD skills, but I am pretty good ad just sticking something together, so I think I will jump right into the final product.

    I was thinking of installing the motherboard behind the screen between the vents onthe dashboard as it would fit perfectly up there and would be all in one nice unit but I am a bit worried about heat as it would be right under the top of a black dash. Building a seperate case would make it easier to take out of the car and hook up a CD-Rom drive to do software installations, etc... and would keep it a bit cooler under the seat.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate GoHybrid's Avatar
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    maybe for kicks think about using two smaller fans in a push-pull arangement to get better airflow. and after you get all your cables in, figure out what the most direct and clear line to the CPUs heatsink is and place the fans on that axis.
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  3. #3
    Newbie MRVJ245's Avatar
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    well if you feel like it, you can always sorta copy the mac mini case...

    get some perspex

    a sheet of 6mm thick (enough for the top and bottom)
    and a Sheet 1 Inch Thick, but this time you ask the Perpex shop to cut the center out and shape it to the caseing

    So you have one Complete 1" Thick Chuck with the center punched out
    Ill draw what i mean later on
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRVJ245 View Post
    well if you feel like it, you can always sorta copy the mac mini case...

    get some perspex

    a sheet of 6mm thick (enough for the top and bottom)
    and a Sheet 1 Inch Thick, but this time you ask the Perpex shop to cut the center out and shape it to the caseing

    So you have one Complete 1" Thick Chuck with the center punched out
    Ill draw what i mean later on

    I think I know what you mean.. kinda like hollowing out a book? Hmm.. I don't know if any shops around here will do that.. I can always ask the local plastics place.

  5. #5
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    Just picked up some sheets of Lexan today and I will build it as I originally planned.

    I will probably be cutting it with a jigsaw so I can round the edges, any tips on cutting and working with it? I'll have to go to the plastics shop tomorrow because Home Depot didn't have the proper adhesive for it.

  6. #6
    Newbie MRVJ245's Avatar
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    So I take it they couldnt hollow it out...

    You can always do it with a Hole saw and a File....if you are that bored tho...
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  7. #7
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Lexan and other plastics cuts really nicely and cleanly with a laser cutter. If you know anybody that would let you hire their machine for a couple bucks it is waaaaaaay worth it. I have full access to a laser vector/raster machine but only 30W so plastics/wood/vinyl only. Some fancier school districts have them, most plastic warehouses have them and usually either charge per minute of the laser's time, or by number of cuts. It will come out much cleaner, and CAD is really easy. Or at least it is for me.

    And I reccommend drawing it on CAD or at least paper to the correct scale to make sure everything will fit together keeping in mind thickness. THe plastic I use is usually 3mm or 6mm exactly which is what they sell as 1/8" and 1/4" but really isn't. When you go precision such as a laser, a 3mm width is correct for sheets they sell as 1/8" and same for the 6mm/~0.25".

    And if you are doing clear sheets, then my advice would be to get that acrylic bonder. Not glue, but it melts and refuses plastic with no smoking or clouding whatsoever. So if you want a clear, clean seam, this stuff is great. I got it from an industrial supply shop. You need a medical syringe to take it out of the metal can and apply. Thinner than water. Evaporates instantly, but works extremely well.

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  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate GoHybrid's Avatar
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    if you can control your tool speed, slow it down to the point where it's cutting chips and not making an ever-expanding pile of goo at the cutting edge. If you're using a jigsaw, use a fine tooth blade and tape both sides of the cut line before you cut... sometimes it helps prevent chipping of the edges.
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    Worklog for my 2007 Civic Si ...f*** it...
    Pictures of the Corolla (retired)here
    Need to make something? Here are a few ideas.

  9. #9
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    Well, after taking some measurements, I won't be able to make the case to sit under the seat as I had planned.

    I am going to have to build it somewhere else, and my first idea is right behind the screen, under the dash. I am worried abut heat build up as the dash is black and I ahve had a problem before with the screen not working when parked in the sun on a hot day.

    Any suggestions for cooling? Active or passive, just want to keep it cool. I am thinking a fan won't really help as all that will do is draw hot air from under the dash over the motherboard...

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate GoHybrid's Avatar
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    insulate the crap out of the case that you build... make it airtight, and use hoses and ducts to pull air from a cooler part of the car, or from the outside if that's cooler. just make sure you have a solid fan that will generate turbulent airflow through the case.
    Et ipsa scientia potestas est.

    Worklog for my 2007 Civic Si ...f*** it...
    Pictures of the Corolla (retired)here
    Need to make something? Here are a few ideas.

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