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June 10, 2008, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Toronto, ON
My System Specs
Here is a case I made for a friend of mine quite a while ago. He was going to the Caribbean for a six month work term so making him a portable computer case seemed like a good idea at the time. We decided to go for a steam punk look with dark wood and brass as a motif. We aimed for a piece of gear that you could just put down, open up, and plug in to use. To achieve that we made a box with removable end caps; you put them on for travel and you take them off for use. Here is the box all buttoned up for travel.
It is designed to have all the I/O connectors, power, and peripherals accessible from the top. The ventilation fan sucks in from the top and blows out the bottom. Here it is with the end caps off and ready to be hooked up.
The tongues that secure the end caps will provide some space for ventilation but for lengthy stays there are feet that can be added to lift the unit off the floor. The feet are actually door stops. This was my friend's idea as my creative capacity was tapped out by the time we got to the final details of this project. They work great and match the brass fittings used on the rest of the case. The metal guts were originally a Compaq case that we bought at a second hand shop. I ripped off the ugly plastic bezel and crap and found a decent mATX case underneath. The bottom of this case is actually the front of the original case. I wanted to mount the power supply here so I cut out the CD/floppy bay and replaced it with a piece of another case that had the right size holes. The other case was so ancient you can see the hole for the old style five pin DIN keyboard switch. Here is the bottom showing the feet and the rebuilt power supply mount.
The power plug and switch on the bottom are non-functional. I rewired the power supply and put these on the top of the case. The holes left by removing them would have been hard for me to cover so I left them. The back of the original case is the top of this one. I cut an opening for the CD bays where the power supply used to be. I salvaged the CD mounting bracket from the front of the case and attached it back here to support those peripherals. The side panel has a great locking mechanism so I incorporated that into the design to allow access to the inside of the case. Here it is with the side open.
All in all we were both very happy with the results but it had one major flaw: it is really heavy. The brass, hardwood, and ply I used for construction wound up amounting to a lot more than I had expected. The case is very durable and could survive some rough treatment but the gear inside is not shock mounted so it would probably be damaged by concussions that would barely scratch the case. It did survive two plane trips and baggage handlers are know to be second only to the post office for their destructive capacity.
Oh well. Live and learn. Next time I will do better.
He either fears his fate too much, or his deserts are small, that dares not put it to the touch, to gain or lose it all.
- James Graham
My System Specs
OCZ Vertex 30G
Antec Sonata II
Philips Brilliance 170P (x2)
Windows 7 (7100)
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