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  • New Case design...

    I've been trying to stuff my Kontron 986LCD motherboard into the black Opus ITX case that I have.. and came to the conclusion that it just won't fit..

    The Opus ITX case is 13" wide, 9" deep, and 3" tall... a little bit of a tight squeeze, in this instance.

    I've decided to design my own (slightly larger) case - 15" wide, 10" deep, and 4" tall.. I started with a clam-shell box from

    Rough draft picture - not all features are included yet.

    Suggestions, ideas?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    The bottom rear of the case, with 6-32 threaded standoffs 3/8" high for the motherboard.

    3/8" is sufficient clearance for most under-board components, such as Compact Flash.

    The PCI slots were tricky..

    You should be able to use any 2-slot PCI riser card, as the dimensions are relatively constant.

    I chose this Flex Riser:

    It's relatively inexpensive, and made by Morex.

    Next steps are probably a horizontal support bar going across the middle top of the case - to strengthen the case, and provide a convenient mounting point for the PCI riser, and possibly a vertically mounted 2.5" hard disk.

    Other thoughts are to include 1 or 2 3.5" hard disks, and an Opus 120W or similar power supply mounting point off to the left of the motherboard, mounted vertically.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      More modifications..

      Added a horizontal slot over the I/O area for a PCI-E card, using a PCI-E riser such as this:

      Commell PCIE-2PR

      It would face the PCI-E card over the motherboard, with the components facing up... there would be about a 1/2" clearance between the PCI-E card and the CPU heatsink fan.

      Also added cutouts for the ports on my Kontron 986LCD-M/mITX board.

      The I/O shield area is still there, attached by 4 small nubs of metal, so I can knock out the area for a different board if needed.

      *tap* *tap* Is this thing on? I know some of you are watching this...
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Hey man, your case looks good. I have tackled similar projects and have a couple chassis designs in prototyping right now. What material are you using for this? I always use .063" finished aluminum in my builds and can recommend it. Other than that your visual rendering of the case looks perfect, and I can tell you the final product is ALWAYS better when you design it in a CAD app first. Looking foward to seeing the build. Also I had one of those VGA risers and it was a PITA to get working good. I had to fabricate 3 mounts to hold the video card in place and keep the riser connection good.
        Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

        AutoPC v1 (Retired) - AutoPC v2 (in progress) -


        • #5
          I dont know where you gone put it, but i have used driled (don't know if its the right therm for it) aluminium, cooling no probleem, soundprofing, non at all.
          Cold weather mobo list: Copy the list and add your board
          my hidden screen in action (youtube) , the worklog , RR Volvoskin


          • #6
            Material is somewhat undetermined at this point, but it'll probably be similar - .063 aluminum or steel.

            Probably also with a powdercoat finish.

            A case of this size is intended for the trunk.

            I'll also probably be including features for shock absorbers on the bottom of the case.. similar to Opus's shock kit.

            The shock mounts are these ME-100 series:

            They're pretty much meant for mostly vertical shock absorption, and some horizontal as well.


            • #7
              Assembled view with the Kontron 986LCD Mini ITX board and an Opus 120W power supply on the side wall.

              The motherboard has approximations for the PCI slot, the PCI-E slot, the memory slots, and the CPU Heatsink / fan.

              The Opus 120W power supply is mounted to the right side of the cover with 3/8" standoffs for clearance.

              The idea is that you slide the cover over the chassis vertically, but offset by about 1/2", and then you slide it back to pop the power supply connectors out the back.

              My brain hurts from thinking in 3 dimensions for too long.
              Attached Files


              • #8
                Design and tweaking continues.

                So far I have:

                The Mini-ITX board (Kontron 986LCD).

                An Opus 120W power supply on the inside right wall of the cover.

                A x16 PCI-Express Riser card and horizontal slot over the motherboard.
                (Commell PCIE-2PR riser)

                A 2-slot PCI Flex Riser card on the left, away from the motherboard.

                A 2.5" hard disk on the vertical crossbar, on the left side behind the PCI Flex Riser.

                A 3.5" hard disk on the bottom pan, underneath the PCI card area.

                Next steps:

                Mock up of PCI and PCI-E cards to make sure the slots are positioned correctly.

                Mock up of 80mm fan for cooling.

                Design vent / air circulation holes.

                Miscellaneous extra ports such as USB, 1394, RP-SMA WiFi, DB9 Serial..
                Attached Files


                • #9

                  Having discovered that the Opus 120W power supply won't actually power the board I have... time for a redesign.

                  The higher capacity power supplies are wider (taller), so I increased the height up to 5.25", or 3U in rack space terms.

                  The dual PCI flex riser moved up as well, allowing room for four hard disks - 2 2.5", 2 3.5"... or 4 2.5", if you prefer.

                  At least, that's the idea...
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Case sizing

                    Originally posted by Giuliano View Post
                    Having discovered that the Opus 120W power supply won't actually power the board I have... time for a redesign. The higher capacity power supplies are wider (taller), so I increased the height up to 5.25", or 3U in rack space terms. The dual PCI flex riser moved up as well, allowing room for four hard disks - 2 2.5", 2 3.5"... or 4 2.5", if you prefer.

                    At least, that's the idea...
                    Giuliano thank you for working this hard man! I've got a Kontron and i too have been looking for a case to fit all the options the board provides. i've got a couple ideas or more like questions:

                    I'm not sure if your risers for the board are high enough? The bottom of the 986LCD has a mini-PCIx, not sure if you're gonna utilize it; but w/o anything hooked to it the connectors got some thickness.

                    What would the size be if you put a standard PSU where you have those 2-3.5" drives are?

                    With a full PSU could we run a 8800GTS card so 2 slots over the m0b0, is that possible?

                    And what would the size be if the 2-3.5" drives were arranged in the same way as those 2.5" in front of the m0b0, then where those 2-2.5" are at put 2 more 3.5" drives, making the total to 4-3.5"!?

                    Last questions what pr0g are you using, like sketchup or maya?? and can i get a copy so i too can help design a system?!
                    thanks again for the good work, look foward to your reply!


                    • #11
                      Actually, I am using the Mini PCI-E under the board for a Wifi card.

                      I made the standoffs 3/8" tall, which is more than enough clearance.

                      A standard ATX size PSU? I'm not sure, but there's probably room for it.

                      See the object up against the right wall in this picture?

                      It'll be able to feed your 8800. I can't say much more than that at this point.

                      As for the drives, if you rotate them 90 degrees like the 2.5" disks, they fit, but theres not a whole lot of room for things like power connectors or IDE / SATA cables.

                      I actually moved the PCI flex riser slots up a bit, so there might be room for a third 3.5" disk..

                      That area of the case is still very much a work in progress.

                      I still have to design in vents and air flow..

                      And I'm using Solidworks, a 3d CAD / CAM design program.
                      Attached Files


                      • #12
                        Alternative view..

                        Here's another view, with an ATX sized power supply under the PCI slots.

                        An ATX power supply would fit, but you'd lose the bottom PCI slot.

                        There's not enough room for both the ATX supply and both PCI slots, not unless I increase the height another 1" or so.

                        And it's already at 5.25" in height, so I'm trying not to make it any larger.

                        Do you really want a ATX PSU, presumably a AC-DC one?

                        If so, I might be able to make an alternate configuration for you when I send the design out for manufacturing.. I'm not expecting it to be cheap, though.
                        Attached Files


                        • #13

                          Wow man that's badass you can do it up so fast! My whole reason for the standard PSU is cause i couldn't find any 550watt dc-dc board, what board were you going to use?

                          i've been wrestling w/ a setup on sketchup, this is the smallest dimension volume i could get to fit a standard psu. The closest i could find was this emko case i could maybe change the top 5.25" drive bays to the 3.5" drives.

                          But it's like a Cechz company that makes it, what manufacturer are you taking about.


                          • #14
                            Why five drives?

                            The Kontron 986LCD only has 4 SATA ports on board, and the 2 slim CD's would have to use the single master/slave IDE connection, unless you used a USB converter board.

                            Typically you can get disk enclosures that will fit 5 3.5" drives in 3 half-height spots...

                            But honestly, do you really need 4-5 3.5" drives in a mobile environment?

                            You can get 500GB 3.5" SATA hard disks for less than $150 now, and the larger capacity 750GB disks are also available.

                            I can't comment further on the PSU, other that it'll be sweet, and I expect to write a review on it in the next few months.


                            • #15

                              what's the dimensional volume coming out to on your model?

                              this is the highest small psu i could find but it's only 220w, shuttle sells a 400w psu in it's latest case, but i don't think people can buy that seperate. Will your psu handle 550w?? will i be able to buy one!
                              ur right I don't need 5-3.5" drives, but i do have 2-raptors and 2-350sataII's so i was thinking of getting them all stuffed in there some how. But, then again i'm thinking about mobility, and seeing this:

                              it's got two slots for the vidCard, but a 220w wouldn't handle the 8800gts load, so i'm just confused and drawing straws looking for answers..
                              Then i find your thread, you got good ideas, man! Looking foward to more of your results