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Go-PUTER: Mobile Briefcase PC - 5th Grade Science Fair!!! - Mini ITX / 10.4" TS

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  • Go-PUTER: Mobile Briefcase PC - 5th Grade Science Fair!!! - Mini ITX / 10.4" TS

    Hey guys,

    This is pretty cool, just HAD to share it with ya!

    My son wanted to do something really special for this year's science fair. He came up with the idea of putting a PC in a briefcase, based on a chat we were having about the upcoming PC install in my Escalade this spring.

    He has been in the shop tinkering with me since he was old enough to stand, and has helped me with the past 2 carPC installs when he was a little younger. So, indirectly MP3car was inspirational to him.

    His goal was something more powerful than a netbook, but more portable than a desktop. All of it needed to fit inside a briefcase which looked like a regular briefcase when closed so nobody would know it was stuffed with electronic goodies. Also had to be light enough to carry. Yeah, I know a laptop is the logical choice, but he's 11 OK? These were all his solutions BTW, including the name Go-Puter.

    He decided a mini-ITX was the best balance of size and power after reading some pros/cons of various sized motherboards I found on the web.

    Project: Go-PUTER

    Parts list:

    Intel D945GSEJT Atom N270 Ultra Thin Fanless Mini-ITX off e-bay. 12V POWER!

    320 gig SATA at Best Buy.

    I had a GoodDeals18 10.4" TS laying around forever, so that became the monitor. The things we do for our children...

    An 80mm LED fan.

    A silicone keyboard with touch pad I had shipped from China. We saw it at a Verizon kiosk, knew it would fit and solve some size problems, so a Google search netted one for $70.00.

    Rocketfish USB Hub

    Briefcase from Staples

    12V outlets and cables from Radio Shack

    Wood and Plexi Glass (his idea) from Home Depot.


    The plexi would allow people to see the guts of the PC. He thought that would be cool, but knew it would trap heat. A fan and a few holes would take care of that. He also felt a little blue glow never hurt either.

    The monitor went into a 1/4" MDF panel, bezel and case and all. I'll admit to cutting the hole in the wood, but the kid did the rest. He used a black foam sheet to cover the MDF and screwed it to blocks screwed to the inside of the lid.

    The 'tray' on the bottom is 1/2" pine strips and 1/4" pine for the bottom. He laid out all the PC parts in the 1/4", cut the frame, stapled/ glued /spray painted and mounted the parts to the tray himself (supervised of course). We then screwed it to the bottom of the briefcase from the outside.

    Last was hooking up all the components and running the wires. Important condition set forth by the boy was that it "run off car power so you can put it on the seat next to you." Not bad, eh? We opted for a 12v lighter cord hooked up the the existing power brick, and a 12v receptacle drilled right through the briefcase for quick connect /disconnect. A 12v m-m cord would work in the car just as well, LOL.

    Again, he did all the pairing, heat shrinking, etc. I gave him a little help with tucking the wires away neatly and wrapping them with zip ties.

    Final step was a piece of plexi, held in with 2 screws to the frame below it, and then to poke all the wires through the holes. We even installed a SS switch!

    We tossed Windows XP on it, and he made a PowerPoint presentation that runs his pics as a full screen slide show in PPS Viewer for the judges, who I just KNOW are gonna think I did it for him!!! The pics are worth 1000 words in this case (no pun intended LOL). OK, the soundtrack of "Eye of the Tiger" running in the background was my input. Yes, we have audio out and a pair of PC speakers to place on either side of the briefcase at the fair.

    My wife (the graphic designer and website developer) made his logo under his direction, he liked being a "client." She also helped him brand his invention (gotta have one).

    Yes, it closes easily and the latches/hinges still work. Not very heavy at all, he can carry it no problem. Other then the receptacle on the side, it looks like an ordinary briefcase when closed. Heat is a non issue. Speedfan says stable, ran for about 5 hrs on the bench, barely got warm.

    Whaddya say guys, job well done? Science fair is next week, I'll let you know how he did. Please wish him luck, and TY!

    .





















































    Last edited by quantum; 04-08-2011, 12:19 AM.
    Working on - 2006 Cadillac Escalade with all the TOYS!

    COMPLETE! - 2002 Cadillac DTS - Summer 2008 - SOLD SUMMER 2010

    COMPLETE! - 1998 Cadillac Deville Concours - Summer 2007 - SOLD SUMMER 2008

  • #2
    Great job!
    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.

    Comment


    • #3
      That's cool. I hope when I have a son he's interested in what I do.
      Project X10 Belazer
      Progress: NEVER ENDING!!!
      http://www.mp3car.com/show-off-your-...ime-puter.html

      Comment


      • #4
        He's too young! Only us oldies should be able to hold a Rigid tool in our hands (the 3rd "sawing" pic). (Do Rigid still have that slogan?)

        And after seeing that, I reckon it'll be a while before I'll hold my Rigid tool again.

        But yes - absolutely brilliant. I love the last pic!

        And though his ideas do not surprise me (children are un-taught things, and dream-bashed), that he has been able to realise them is a refreshing change. And one I appreciate. I wish more kids had that ability and support.


        For me, I'm planning to retire. Yes - it's late (1:50AM), but I'm thinking more like permanently. With tweens like that, why bother? (Resistance is handy, but futile!)
        Any supportive partners out there wanting to adopt...?

        Comment


        • #5
          looks great!!
          My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
          "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


          next project? subaru brz
          carpc undecided

          Comment


          • #6
            I feel inferior all of a sudden.

            Comment


            • #7
              That is great! I'm going to show this to my daughter - it could be her next project one day!

              We built this when she was 5, about one year ago. This is the kitchen/den computer, she used it a lot until we got the iPad. Now it's forgotten...



              Of course, she just colored stuff (see the painted cables for the power, leds, etc.?) and helped me mount the case. I taped the HD, the PSU and DVD drives, and she used spray paint all over them. She picked the color for the leds and plugged the drives, cables. Of course all the hard work was mine, but I hope she will be doing cool projects by 5th grade too!

              Congrats to your son, job well done!
              Worklogs: 08 Sequoia Platinum Carputer (In Progress!)
              Skin: MetroSex on the Beach preview

              07 Infiniti Fx35 (done!) & 06 Infiniti M35 (gone...)

              Comment


              • #8
                looks awsome. I always thought about building computers in sometihing other than a plan old case. Nicely done

                Comment


                • #9
                  Lol

                  Hope the president won't have to use it to start WW3!!!
                  LOL!

                  Creativity and stimulation...
                  Will keep kids out of the streets...

                  Great job...
                  "Most of the users you'll see in this site are still learning specially me"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well Done!
                    TruckinMP3
                    D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

                    Yes, you should search... and Yes, It has been covered before!

                    Read the FAQ!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the compliments all!!! He's a smart lil' kid, no doubt about that!

                      The invention convention was this afternoon, and unfortunately he didn't win a damn thing (they had 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for each grade level). The inventions that did win were OK, but nowhere near the complexity of this baby. Personally, I feel he should have swept the show, but of course I am totally biased.

                      I know, I know, as a good parent I must teach the whole "not if you win or lose" thing. And also it's not right to take the glory from the winners, who should all be proud of their work of course. But this was a bit of a stunner to both of us, and I'm a little conflicted, k? LOL.

                      So, I'd like to ask a favor of the members here..would you be kind enough to post as many replies as possible on this thread for encouragement (not for me, for him, ) I figure who better to come from than those people that gave him the inspiration for this project in the first place, namely those of us in the MP3car community.

                      I figure maybe it will help him swallow the convention a little better if he gets a few comments from people who actually put PCs in cars and understand the trials and tribulations he had to overcome to put a PC in a non-traditional environment. Who knows that better than US? LOL

                      Can you show him a little love for me? THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!
                      Last edited by quantum; 04-13-2011, 08:02 AM.
                      Working on - 2006 Cadillac Escalade with all the TOYS!

                      COMPLETE! - 2002 Cadillac DTS - Summer 2008 - SOLD SUMMER 2010

                      COMPLETE! - 1998 Cadillac Deville Concours - Summer 2007 - SOLD SUMMER 2008

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        i imagine that some of the judges had a hard time believing that your son did all of the project himself with minimal parent-intervention..

                        i have judged a couple of pinewood-derby car races myself, and the really nice stuff is always tough to judge-- sometimes the kids do such a great job, you'd swear a adult did all the work(there was a couple of kids that i saw build their cars, so i knew the adults didn't build it), and the other times, the adults really did do all the work..

                        but as long as you both had fun along the way, the show really doesn't matter
                        My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                        "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                        next project? subaru brz
                        carpc undecided

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That was a well crafted project! Certainly better than my fabrication skills.
                          TruckinMP3
                          D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

                          Yes, you should search... and Yes, It has been covered before!

                          Read the FAQ!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
                            i imagine that some of the judges had a hard time believing that your son did all of the project himself with minimal parent-intervention..

                            i have judged a couple of pinewood-derby car races myself, and the really nice stuff is always tough to judge-- sometimes the kids do such a great job, you'd swear a adult did all the work(there was a couple of kids that i saw build their cars, so i knew the adults didn't build it), and the other times, the adults really did do all the work..

                            but as long as you both had fun along the way, the show really doesn't matter
                            I believe this is EXACTLY what happened. The judges did not believe he did the project himself. We just did our first science fair (kindergarten! Crazy world) and my son designed his 'experiment' and we (parents) helped him conduct the experiment. Of course we typed up the results and put it on poster board... not like a 5 y/o can do that... but he did glue and place all the parts etc...

                            Result? A project where he came up with the idea, we helped him with experiment, he gave us his observations, we typed up a typical research 'presentation' in little kids words (teach them the correct way to do things from day one...) and let him glue the layout etc... All in all, a nice project that obviously had kid and parent involvement. NOW... some of the projects by other kids were obviously ALL parent...

                            Where am I going with this? Your son's briefcase PC is awesome! I know adults that are afraid to open a PC case, much less add memory... and lets not even talk about drive upgrades, dual boot systems, or bios changes... Your son obviously can do all of the above and more! Fabrication, PC build, concept... the whole shebang! It seems obvious to me that the 'judges' probably have never touched the inside of a PC much less hacked one... and to them they figured your son did not do the work.

                            What REALLY matters is he now has a kick a** PC mod... and obviously will continue to develop tinkering skills. What he is learning at a young age many never will... and when he gets his first home HE will be able to take care of the plumbing, wiring, home repair... ALL EXTREMELY valuable skills that are missing from the vast majority today. I get called routinely to change batteries in smoke detectors. Who calls 911 to change your battery? I'll bet the judges might be some of those very same people...

                            Congrats on a FANTASTIC build! Don't let the naysayers take anything away from what you built. Great JOB!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dekonick View Post
                              Don't let the naysayers take anything away from what you built.
                              Naysayers? wtf?
                              Oh..... out T H E R E...


                              I can only reiterate what I wrote earlier - brilliant, superb, etc. And re-write it for the subsequent stories.
                              It sounds like excellent (and maybe uncommon?) parenting and mentoring to me. I wonder how the "re-badged" kids turn out later in life - especially when I see a parent writing their University level assignments or thesis - even one PhD thesis!! (Proof reading etc is one thing, but to actual do (all?) their work...!)

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