LumberJocks

Mini HTPC (Computer case)

  • Advertise with us
Project by Mosquito posted 05-17-2012 04:17 PM 2435 views 11 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yet another computer case that I’ve just completed. I don’t have anything for size comparison visually yet, but it’s footprint is about the size of a “standard” mouse pad. The dimensions are about 8.5”x9.5”x4”. It will be a little computer that will be used for streaming videos to the TV. That’s about all it will do.

The structure was made with 1/4” Baltic Birch plywood, and a few Poplar square dowels. The Veneer is African Mahogany, and the front is 1/4” curly maple.

The stain on the veneer is Verathane Cabernet 257 oil stain. I “popped” the grain on the curly maple a little using TransTint and Bulls Eye Seal Coat (as per a WoodWhisperer video). The top coat is 3 coats is General Finishes Arm-R-Seal hand applied to the whole thing with a rag.

A complete set of the work in progress pictures can be found here: At this link

Just a few shots from the Blog series as a recap, for anyone who hadn’t seen them already

Thanks for checking it out!

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods





18 comments so far

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

314 posts in 969 days


#1 posted 05-17-2012 04:27 PM

Sweet build Chris. I looked at your other projects and I really like how you spend time to classy-up these babies rather than slap them in a boring metal enclosure.

-- Rex

View ITnerd's profile

ITnerd

261 posts in 1318 days


#2 posted 05-17-2012 06:33 PM

IT Nerd Approved. :) Really nice case, and the finish is fantastic. Thanks for the tip on the curly maple.

-- Chris @ Atlanta - JGM - Occam's razor tells us that when you hear hoofs, think horses not zebras.

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

5022 posts in 1011 days


#3 posted 05-17-2012 06:38 PM

Thanks Rex and Chris (Ha!)

Here’s a link to the WoodWhisperer article/video that I was referencing:
http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/pop-goes-the-maple/

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View ChrisK's profile

ChrisK

1254 posts in 1800 days


#4 posted 05-17-2012 07:13 PM

Nice build. I have plans for a {C to stream to my TV. I feel bad that I put in a cabinet door to hide the ‘Ugly’ PC. I may rethink my center speaker channel cabinet so I can put a HTPC in it. Is that an IR sensor on the front?

-- Chris K

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

5022 posts in 1011 days


#5 posted 05-17-2012 07:46 PM

Thanks (so many Chris’s!)

The thing on the front is a small 16mm bulgin switch with a white illuminated ring (which I use as the power indicator light) I have a USB IR+remote for it, if I chose to go that way, but may just use a cheap wireless keyboard with it instead

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View kgardiner02's profile

kgardiner02

6 posts in 919 days


#6 posted 05-18-2012 12:04 AM

Love the case. Do you have any problems with things getting too hot?

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

5022 posts in 1011 days


#7 posted 05-18-2012 02:00 AM

Thanks. I haven’t had any problems with heat yet. It’s all pretty low power hardware, typical of that which might be in a netbook, or low power laptop. I’ve upgraded the fan on this one from a small 40mm diameter fan to a much larger 120mm fan. This was mostly because it moves more air more quietly than the 40mm. I stress tested it for an hour the other day and it never got concerning warm.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View 69BBNova's profile

69BBNova

338 posts in 935 days


#8 posted 05-21-2012 07:05 AM

It looks good…

Off topic (at least for Lumberjocks), it looks like a mini-itx mobo, also the HSF assembly remindes me of a Scythe but without actually seeing the heatsink I’m not quite sure. I’m also curious as to what CPU are you using.

I was a frequent visitor at overclock.net, I had a massive GPU addiction but its over now, almost to the day I found Lumberjocks. I use the same name there.

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

5022 posts in 1011 days


#9 posted 05-21-2012 03:03 PM

Thanks Nova.

It is a mITX motherboard, and it is a scythe slim 120mm fan, but it’s just a fan, no heatsink with it, just the ones that were the CPU/Chipset already. It’s an AMD T56N 1.6GHz dual core cpu. It’s a Jetway mobo/cpu combo board. I would have gone with a cheaper option, but I wanted to have mSATA on the board, so I could use an mSATA SSD, for ease of mounting, and the smaller space requirement of it.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1412 days


#10 posted 05-21-2012 03:24 PM

Wow, that’s a micro! I build on on a full ATX a few years ago. I absolutely love mine. Quad extreme on a black ops mobo with 8gb ddr3 and a 1.5tb sata.
.

My next one will be liquid cooled with an ssd. Mine is far away from the screen with a passively cooled vga and it sounds like a plane taking off. Way too loud. But I put temperature probes on everything (visible in this terrible picture) and it stays cool as a cucumber even after many hours of BR playback. The foxcon boards have built in temperature probes and they’re actually pretty accurate compared to the ones I installed.
.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

5022 posts in 1011 days


#11 posted 05-21-2012 03:31 PM

Thanks Al! I’ve built… well, we’ll just say “a few”... computers over the past few years lol An Extended-ATX server, 4-5 full ATX desktops, 3-4 mATX HTPCs/Desktops, and now this is my second mITX/micro (the other one being my Music Box). I think it’s an addiction… no, no, I meant hobby, it’s a hobby! And then I’ve helped a few friends build their computers too (those are my favorite, as I get to do the building with out having to do the $$ spending :-D )

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1412 days


#12 posted 05-21-2012 03:37 PM

I was away from my shop getting some training and I needed a hobby. Picked up computers so I could have something to do in a small apartment. I used my shop budget to build an absolutely ridiculous i7 with everything. Crossfired GPUs, liquid, you name it. I built is as a gaming PC but I don’t like gaming, lol. Now it just sits upstairs collecting dust because I don’t want to wait hours for all the stupid updates to complete. I’ve never built a micro. Perhaps…...:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

5022 posts in 1011 days


#13 posted 05-21-2012 03:43 PM

That’s a nice looking HTPC, I built my first in 2008, and needed to upgrade the graphics a bit to get it to play BR’s nicely.

I’m not a gamer either, so I don’t spend tons of money on graphics cards, but I do a fair amount of video converting and such, so I do like to put a little extra money towards SSDs and CPU … I picked up computers as a hobby because I always liked them, and it was a good something to take my mind off of other things that I didn’t necessarily want to dwell on… which is sort of what woodworking/LJ’s is doing now… it just so happens that I’ve combined the two a few times already, getting the expense, erm, I mean best of both words ;-)

I’ve started to take quite a liking to these micros. It adds a sort of challenge, to see how you can cram everything inside to get it as small as you can, while not having it catch fire lol (it also helps that they’re cheaper, too)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1412 days


#14 posted 05-21-2012 04:13 PM

I had probably the most fun building my HTPC for the reasons you describe. I had to mod the case a bit to accommodate a HD fan array, a real slim one that goes under the HD bay and vents downward. I like monitoring all the goings on with fanspeeds, temperature, etc. I never really got big into overclocking but the BlackOps board makes it so easy that I overclocked my HTPC right to the point where it starts warming up and all the fans start blazing. My big PC is clocked to the gills under liquid. If I upclock it any higher, it starts BSOD’g on me. 24GB DDR3, OCZ 240GB SSD OS/2-RAIDED 3TB Seagate SATA, 2x Crossfired Radeon 6950s, in a big Thermaltake full. Monstrous.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

5022 posts in 1011 days


#15 posted 05-21-2012 05:23 PM

That sounds like quite the rig! My desktop is still rocking 8GB DDR2, and an OC’d Intel Q9400 quadcore… I do have 2 intel 120GB SSDs in RAID0 though, so that’s fun :-) my ATI 4850×2 is far from new, or “great” but I had a need/want to run more than 2 monitors (I always have 2, but while programming, sometimes more are nicer) and the 4850×2 has 4 DVI ports, so it fit the bill…

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase