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Hardware Review: Mobile Computing Solutions Mini-ITX case

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  • Hardware Review: Mobile Computing Solutions Mini-ITX case

    Hardware Review: Mobile Computing Solutions Mini-ITX case

    What it is/does: Holds the parts needed to make a computer?

    Reviewed by: Dingo
    Manufacturer: Mobile Computing Solutions Please read Manufacturer comment below
    Model: Black Aluminum Mini ITX Car PC Case
    Specs:
    Dimensions: 10" x 9.25" x 3.125"/254mm x 235mm x 80mm
    Weight: 1 kg/2.2 lbs
    Color: Black with light grey logo
    Hard Drive Support: 1 x 2.5 inch
    DVD/CD Drive Support: None
    PCI Expansion Slots: None
    Power Supply: 80 watt 12Vdc to dc Listed as a 80w but mine shipped with a 120w
    Case Ventilation: 1 40 x 40 x 10mm fan
    Mounting Position: Universal

    Compatible with both the M1/M2-ATX power supplies

    Price: $69.95
    Rating: 9/10 See other notes
    Manufacturer website: www.mo-co-so.com
    Purchased at: Ebay.com
    Pros: I think the best thing about this case is the height. It comes in alittle over 3". this gives more room for airflow inside the case and more room for cables. Otherwise it's very close in footprint to the Zoom case. I haven't tried yet but i think you could get a HQCT and a OEM GPS module both inside this case. Of course that would restrict the airflow. Another think i really like is the mounting of the components, they are all mounted a single sheet of aluminum that then slides into the case. And this case allows for that board to be inserted either rightside up or upside down. It ships with three end plates; One sealed end, and 2 open ends. One for either way you want to mount the Board. See pictures at bottom. Comes with a 120w power supply.

    Cons: The size may be an issue for some. The case is not extremely heavy built. but let's face it it's not a stair step, it's a computer case. the power supply i thought was a nice touch, but in the end it's not going to work, main reason? it does not have a Startup/Shutdown controller integrated. Would work great for bench testing though. And possibly as a 5 volt PS for a USB hub?

    Other notes: My main concern initially and the reason for the 9 out of 10 rating, is this unit's lack of cooling fans/options. As you can see in the pics it has one 40mm fan and the exhaust port is directly acrossed the case from the fan inlet. This is at the same end as the I/O connectors. This leaves the processor sitting in what i feel is stagnant air, apparently this works though as they sell complete carputers with this setup. But i wanted more, so....
    due to the smooth sealed endplate construction, I think i will be able to mount a couple 60MM (or larger?) fans. This will require you to cut and modify the end plate, but come on, if your putting a computer in a car, what's a few holes. In my application (Offroad vehicle in heavy dust/dirt) i felt that this was the best option, as this way i can install 2 or 3 fans with filters to the otherwise sealed end, thus creating a "possitive pressure" inside the case. This will allow the inlet/exhaust ports to now both be outlets, and the positive pressure should also help to impead the amount of dust coming in around the connections. The fans will have to be mounted externally, but will also aid in cooling the HD. I will post pics of this in my build log, once i do it.

    Manufacturer comment: I have dealt with alot of different companies while i managed a offroad store, over 250 total. and almost everyone of them i had to contact at one point or another regarding a warranty or defective item. So after dealing with all them i thought customer service was a lost art.
    I was wrong Chris at MCS has been in almost constant contact with me since this case arrived. The first power supply was dead. and with being a newbie to the carputer scene, there was a few things that didn't make sense to me. Chris has been able to answer every question i have had, and usually emails back within 12 hours. yes, 12 HOURS, no more waiting for weeks for a response. He has also taken calls from me after hours when he sounds to be at home. And after discussing the dead power supply and my requirements he suggested a M2-ATX and offered me a deal i couldn't refuse.

    Final thoughts: Very good case for the price. Case has lots of potential for modding. Shipped power supply usability questionable. Customer service 12/10 unbelievable!

    Pictures:






    Dingo
    Progress: Installed and working. Needs some cleanup and trim work done. now for complete integration.
    91 Jeep Cherokee 8" custom lift, 3/4 ton running gear 36" swampers, Snorkel, Onboard air, Onboard Shower. Now with in dash PC!

  • #2
    Nice review, thanx - I am keen on getting one of these for my Commell LV-677 mini-itx board, nice compact footprint.

    On the plus side, it looks like a small Amp, so thieves probably won't be to interested.

    Keep us posted on your project, looks like it's going to be a good one

    edit: After taking a peek at the shipping options, I guess I'll have to pass. $124- US for expedited shipping to Australia is just to much to make it a worthwhile solution
    F6 Tornado Project Log ; HP Blackbird Watercooled Server

    Beta Tester for Centrafuse and 3dConnexion (No business affiliation with either)

    Comment


    • #3
      Great review! Thanks for helping me to make a decision. Whats an onboard shower? Sounds luxurious.
      My 2007 Scion Tc Install

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by deeznudts View Post
        Great review! Thanks for helping me to make a decision. Whats an onboard shower? Sounds luxurious.
        Very luxurious, at least when your camping. What it does is pump water out of a lake, stream, bucket or whatever, heats it up using the engine heat, and pumps it out the side. so as long as you have a water source and the engine stays running, you have unlimited hot water.


        Before you order check out the new Gen2 case. last time i checked it wasn't listed on the website, but is in the ebay auctions. It has a molex power plug and an a pair of USB plugins in the case. I'll be talking to chris soon to see about upgrading mine.

        Dingo
        Progress: Installed and working. Needs some cleanup and trim work done. now for complete integration.
        91 Jeep Cherokee 8" custom lift, 3/4 ton running gear 36" swampers, Snorkel, Onboard air, Onboard Shower. Now with in dash PC!

        Comment


        • #5
          Actually I think there's a 3rd gen available ?

          http://cgi.ebay.com.au/3rd-Gen-Black...QQcmdZViewItem
          New Car PC Build list in progress

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kosti View Post
            Actually I think there's a 3rd gen available ?
            Yeah that one! I new it was a newer version, just forget the number. Good catch.

            Dingo
            Progress: Installed and working. Needs some cleanup and trim work done. now for complete integration.
            91 Jeep Cherokee 8" custom lift, 3/4 ton running gear 36" swampers, Snorkel, Onboard air, Onboard Shower. Now with in dash PC!

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the heads up. Thats actually the one I just bought. Can't wait to start assembling this system.
              My 2007 Scion Tc Install

              Comment


              • #8
                make sure you take heaps of pix
                New Car PC Build list in progress

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hmm... That's pretty cool, I've got to say! Thanks for the review
                  Zen Fat Loss

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I ordered a few more parts from Chris at Mo-Co-So.com and also ordered the endplate and wiring for the new 3rd gen case. If you have the old Case call and him and ask about the newer end plate. It's worth it.

                    Some features of the new endplate design include a 6 pin Molex connector. I can only see myself using 4 of the 6. Power, Ground, Ignition, and amp turn on. The 5&6th wires are Probably for 12v and 5v out. Which is a good idea, but the most common thing that is powered from 12v is the monitor so Chris also included a 12V power/ground cable that mounts with a coaxial plug on the case. This plugs into the included 13' power cable to plug directly into the monitor.

                    So with these changes to the endplate and the bigger cooling vents, and larger 50MM fan in the new case design, This case now is even better and worth a look.

                    Dingo
                    Progress: Installed and working. Needs some cleanup and trim work done. now for complete integration.
                    91 Jeep Cherokee 8" custom lift, 3/4 ton running gear 36" swampers, Snorkel, Onboard air, Onboard Shower. Now with in dash PC!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've had this case for over 6 months and just love it ! And I agree Chris is a stand-up guy and will resolve and help any issues you have.

                      Dingo :-) Nice Cherokee ! Do you belong to a Jeep club out there ?

                      I use to belong to Blue Mountain Jeep Alliance here in Reading, Pa .. But with the price of gas I sold all my jeeps :-(

                      Had a '99 Wrangler, 35" MTR's, d30 front with ARB, Superior d35 rear with ARB, Kilby on board air with a compressor I pulled from a AMC Eagle and lots of other cool mods. WIth that I had a '01 Dodge 2500 Diesel with 19' Trailer to tow it around on, and a '01 Jeep Liberty on 32" MTR's. I miss my Jeeps and all the fun wheeling :-)

                      Now I'm down to just my '05 Precision Cycle works Detroit Chopper, '02 HD Sportster and my Toyota Yaris.

                      Check out BMJA.org if you want to check out a cool jeep site. They are the largest Jeep club on the east coast.

                      Mini Sumo Was Here

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