My tiny computer

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japes
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My tiny computer

Unread postby japes » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:33 am

I wanted to get a computer running inside a Sun-411 hard drive case. Here's a couple shots.

See more on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hexdream/s ... 116922153/
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Arabski
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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby Arabski » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:36 am

Very nice! :D What are the specs of this little box?
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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby japes » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:17 am

Arabski wrote:Very nice! :D What are the specs of this little box?


It has a Intel Little Valley board (D201GLY) with a 1 GB stick of DDR2, a 100gb laptop drive and a picoPSU-120 power supply.

I had a bad 3.5" ide to 2.5" ide (40-44pin) adapter causing me problems, in diagnosing the problem I ended up picking up a 80gb drive and I'm considering whether I should swap it out and continue using the 100gb in an external case or not. I'm happy it's finally together and working though so I think it'll stay the way it is.
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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby SupremeCmdr » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:27 am

Brilliant work.
Apple Unibody MBP 2.66Ghz, 8Gb OSX 10.6
Apple MacMini 1.83Ghz, 1Gb OSX 10.5
Apple Power Mac Cube 450Mhz, 256Mb, OSX 10.3 Sweet!
Sun Ultra10 440Mhz 1Gb, SunOS 5.10

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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby D-EJ915 » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:03 am

Nice, I guess the cooling is alright given the fan in the back of the unit.
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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby un_ » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:09 am

That's cool. like a retro theme cousin of the Mac Mini.
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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby pentium » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:27 am

It looks really well done though I think it would of been better if that little pushbutton was located where the ID switch used to be.
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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby ChristTrekker » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:17 am

Dang, that's cool! What's your total outlay for that setup?
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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby japes » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:00 pm

pentium wrote:It looks really well done though I think it would of been better if that little pushbutton was located where the ID switch used to be.


You're right, that would have been a little better. I had to find a place for the Ethernet connection though so I made the ID switch hole a little bigger and found this http://www.datapro.net/products/cat6-panel-mount-ethernet.html to put behind it. DataPro happens to be about 30 miles from where I live so I was able to just go get the part from them.

ChristTrekker wrote:Dang, that's cool! What's your total outlay for that setup?

Hmm, I scavenged a few bits (hd from an external case, cables from the junk pile) and had to do a bunch of customizations. I probably sunk about 50-100 hours between just testing things out and building things. Aside from the parts I had laying around I think it was about $200-$225 in parts. I probably spent another $50-$75 in overage though, buying two heat sinks for example hoping one would work out and extra cables for other projects and such.

Here's a list of the parts I bought:
    Intel D201GLY, $70
    1GB DDR2, ~$30
    Notebook HD adapter, $7
    PicoPSU 120, $62 (shipped a year ago)
    Cooler Master Northbridge cooler, $8+shipping
    CAT6 extension, $8
    Stand-offs, $2

From the parts bins and scavenged (w/approximate prices):
    Sun 411 Case, ~$20-30 shipped...sometimes free, $2-$10 from recyclers
    notebook HD, $60
    misc hardware, internal cables, plugs, jacks, $15-$20

It helps to have friends with access to plasma cutters and other fun tools :D
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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby noisetonepause » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:05 pm

That's beautiful. Well executed.

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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby japes » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:07 pm

D-EJ915 wrote:Nice, I guess the cooling is alright given the fan in the back of the unit.

The motherboard controls the speed of that fan too, but the southbridge has no heat sink and the northbridge has only passive cooling they both sink a lot of heat into the ground plane of the board. As a result the temperature sensor gets warmed up pretty quick and stays warm so the fan runs full out all the time.

After running for a few hours (not much load, just playing itunes) the internal temperature was reporting about 106 if I remember correctly (and it always read high in open air as I discussed above). The design of the case draws air in from the underside near the front and the sides. I was afraid the HD would get pretty toasty on top of the psu brick but it was reporting 85 F.

It's a cute little machine, not sure exactly what I'll use it for though. I'd been planning to do this since I saw the Via motherboards locally and got my hands on one about 2 or 3 years ago. I just finally got all the parts together and made it happen.
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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby andyjpb » Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:04 am

Hi,

Looks good.

Why did you put Windows Server 2003 on it rather than Solaris? ;-)

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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby milatchi » Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:42 am

Good job.
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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby japes » Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:08 pm

andyjpb wrote:Why did you put Windows Server 2003 on it rather than Solaris? ;-)

Good question! Not sure, mostly because the crappy SIS integrated video is poorly supported in anything not windows or plain text mode. I guess I could run just text mode, but my intention was to use it as a media player at work or maybe in the car on long trips and I wanted to run iTunes.
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Re: My tiny computer

Unread postby Gray Fox » Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:55 pm

Really Cheap Sun Workstation

This person used a Intel Micro ITX board with SiS Mirage 1 integrated graphics.


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