Construction

Mounting the power supply:

[Case, Power supply, aluminum sheet] Since the case was designed for a different power supply, than the one I'm using, I had to come up with my own mounting system. I started with a 0.064 x 4 x 10" sheet of aluminum, then cut it down to 6 1/4 x 3 1/8". This provides an extra 3/8" on each side and covers the entire width of the power supply.

[Drilling new holes] Next, I drilled four new holes in the bottom of the case. These were used for mounting the new stand-offs. In order to match the case as closely as possible, I used a countersink bit that was designed for flathead M3 metric screws. Next I attached four M3 x 20mm female stand-offs to the case, using M3 x 8mm flathead screws. Then I drilled four holes in the plate, to match the mounting holes on the bottom of the power supply.

[Standoffs] [Standoffs] [Power Supply Mounted]

Next I attached the power supply to the aluminum plate, using standard #6-32 x 4mm hard drive screws. These are like a shorter version of the case screws that are commonly used on desktop computer cases. Finally, I attached the plate to the stand-offs.


Fan:

[Fans] [New fan mounted in case] The case came with a "Colorful" 50mm x 10mm fan. I would've used it if it hadn't been so noisy. It sounded like the bearings were bad. The fix was easy. I ordered a different fan, then swapped the wires over to the new one.



Power connector upgrade:

[Stock power connector cutout] [Tracing the powerpole connector] The case came with a 6-pin molex power connector. It was a real pain to connect and disconnect. That's with everything out in the open. I'm sure it would be an even bigger headache when the computer is mounted in the trunk of the car. After looking for something that would be a bit easier to work with, I decided to use Anderson Powerpole connectors.

[Make cutout taller] [Get rid of notch] I used a file to increase the height of the cutout opening. Then I filed the right side to the cutout, to get rid of the notch.

[Left side of cutout made taller] [Cutout mods complete] [Picture of cutout and powerpole connector] Next I increased the height of the left side of the cutout, to make it tall enough so that I could insert the connector. Then I used the file on the right side of the cutout to make the right side wide enough for the connector. I left little pins. They prevent the red section, of the connector, from sliding past the others.



DC output connector mod:

The case comes with a DC output connector, for supplying power to a LCD display. It comes wired for 12v. My LCD character display requires 5v. The fix was fairly simple. I removed the pins from the connector. Then I put some red heatshrink on the positive lead. Finally I inserted the pins in the 5v side of the molex connector. [Power output connector, stock configuration] [Pins removed from the molex drive connector] [Modified power output connector]



Boot Switch:

[] [] When I start up the computer, it can either be: playing music through the analog output of the sound card, playing music from the s/pdif output of the sound card, loading DOS network drivers so I can perform basic maintenance, or booting from a BartPE image so I can perform heavy-duty maintenance. A standard serial port has four input status lines. These status lines can be hooked up to a switch, to form a very simple input device. Here is a link to a page that explains how to do this.

To handle all four possible choices, I cut the cable off a serial bracket then wired it to a rotary switch. On the switch, I connected nothing to position 1, CD/DSR/CTS to positions 2/3/4, and DTR to common. On startup a program will run, checking the input status lines on the serial port (COM4). Then the program will return an errorlevel based what it read from the serial port. From there, one can check the errorlevel number, and go to the appropriate section of the batch file.


Misc Mods:

[Extra holes drilled into back plate] Since I'm not using the RCA connectors that came with the case, I removed them. Then I drill a few extra holes: one for the rotary switch, one for a power switch, and another for a remote reset switch.

[Finished modding the back plate] I mounted the rotary switch on the far left. Next, I put grommets in the holes, where the RCA connectors used to be, and ran serial cables for COM2 and COM3. On the right-top I mounted a power switch. Finally, on the bottom right, I ran a wire that will be hooked to a remote reset switch.



Wiring:

[Side of the case] [Other side of the case] [Computer fully assembled] With all of the case mods complete, it came time to wire everything together. The output of the power switch (yellow wire) was wired to the coil, on the relay (green wire). The power switch is an on-off-on switch. I wired it so the power can be always-off, always-on, or switched. "Always-off" happens when the switch is in the off position. "Always-on" happens when the switch takes the power-in from the, red power connector, and sends it to the relay coil. "Switched" happens when the switch connects the blue power connector to the relay coil.

A ground wire was ran to the power supply, and to the other side of the relay coil (blue wire). A power wire was run to the relay (red wire), and to the "always-on" position of the switch. Then, out from the relay (yellow wire), I connected power to the power supply.

Beyond that, it was mainly a matter of plugging in connectors. I was able to fit everything in the case, but as you can see, it was a tight fit.



Last Update: 10-11-2009