Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Placing the Motherboard

The motherboard fits onto the lower sheet of metal.
It is to stand on 1cm hex brass spacers.
It is a little bit tricky to place the board at this stage - becuase the positioning relative to the back edge of the metal is important, as it will have to help support the thin metal facade that goes around the various plugs on the back of the motherboard...
Hence probably at this stage will not accurately position the motherboard and drill the holes.

After doing a test placing of the motherboard - I found that there was enough room on the side to place the hard disk also on this base piece of metal... hmmm...
Will drill some holes to allow the hard disk to also go here - then gives two options for the hard disk - or the option of adding an additional hard disk later.



In order to be able to drill the holes however for the hard disk, I had to trace out the placement of the attaching holes using paper...



Then I had to mark the holes onto the reverse side of the paper, and stick it to the base metal plate. Tomorrow I will mark the holes with a nail/hammer and drill.

My original plan for attaching the top and bottom metal plates together was to use some acrylic support beams - but couldnt find anything though. So second choice, not quite as pretty, is to use some old hardware flooring pieces that were left over from the renovation.
So I have cut 4 of these, 12.3 cm long. This should give a clearance of around 1cm on top of the cooling fan on the CPU, and under 1cm from the bottom of the power supply to the motherboard and/or hard disk if mounted on the bottom.



These pieces of wood are a little wider than planned - so I cut grooves into them so the 90 degree bended piece of metal would basically slot in. This would mean that around 1+ cm of wood would end up on the inside of the metal plate, and support a screw for mounting. On the outside would be < 0.5 cm of wood - this wood is to be glued to the external acrylic case. The result is a small several mm gap ending up around the edges of the base sheet of metal - providing a place for air to flow in and help cool the motherboard...
See how it goes.

With the top sheet of metal fitted, the result is as follows




Note that in the photos the pieces of wood on the left hand side are actually installed the opposite way than they should - this is becuase it doesnt quite fit with the motherboard - will need to fine tuning of the shape of wood at the bottom to match the motherboard.
Will have to work out a way to square up the whole assembly later - not that easy to square up.

Tomorrow I go and collect the acrylic plastic sheet for the casing outer... I have to buy 3 sq meters of it - that is the minimum I can buy... so plenty in case of some mistakes.
Here is the sample I got previously - checked that I could drill it, and that I could bend it with a hot air gun... bending was quite easily.



Not looking forward to getting up early to ride out to the market place to collect the plastic... am betting that it wont be the same quality as the sample... etc... etc... etc... and it will be very cold in the morning.... oh well.

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