DIY PC case
May 18, 2019 at 5:42 pm #33453
I’m making a PC case from plywood. It will go on the wall in the footwell under the desk. I want to get rid of the PC case that is next to the desk so I can put a large plant there.
You can see a rough sketch bellow.
The SSDs will have to be attached to the underside of the top. Still thinking how I am going to attach it all.
But if any of you have something that could come in useful and you no longer need (like an SSD holder, maybe a DVD drive holder, or a removable motherboard tray) that you would be willing to post me please let me know. I will pay for the postage of course. Or even for the part.
Or if you have any ideas regarding this build feel free to share them.
At the moment I’m thinking of attaching long thin bolts to the motherboard (push the bolts through each of the holes in the motherboard and fasten them with nuts) then drill holes in the plywood lining them up with the motherboard holes. The bolts should just slide in into the holes and hold the motherboard in place.
Let me know if you have anything for me.
June 21, 2019 at 9:00 am #34281
The DukeModerator@sgb101Forumite Points: 2,926
Many people build bespoke DIY cases and I’ve ne er heard one speak of grounding. Your psu will ground it all anyway, and I’m amiming you have a breaker box in you elecy cuboard. So all will be fine.June 21, 2019 at 11:41 am #34282
+1 for Duke’s reply – check at Toms Hardware for more detail.
As a total diversion from the subject the biggest problems occur when parts of the mobo are properly grounded to the case but others are not – then you can get all sorts of little problems that are a real pig to sort out.(Mainly really carp sound).June 21, 2019 at 1:14 pm #34284
+1 for Ed and Steve, the PSU will be grounded by the mains connection. There used to be concern about different parts not having a common earth reference point that could lead to hum and other sound issues. I never was able to confirm that this was a theoretical or real world concern.
If external components, e.g. the screen are about to send in uncontrolled mains voltages into the PC I suspect you have bigger problems than an unearthed video card! The other issue talked about with non metallic cases is EMR into or out of the PC. Has anyone ever produced a definitive paper confirming or denying this as an issue?
If you have ever run a naked mother board to test its working did you wonder how it was able to work? I have, so my answers should read Yes and No. It just worked OK.June 21, 2019 at 1:35 pm #34288
Dave RiceModerator@ricedgForumite Points: 2,686
…ever run a naked mother board to test its working did you wonder how it was able to work?
That’s true, done that many times. usually on top of a phone book or similar.
If screwing a mobo direct to something I’d say you need some sort of “stand off” though to avoid any potential damage to the underside. Expansion cards back plates overhang the bottom of the motherboard too.
That’s why I thought using a motherboard tray would get around all these issues – helping give correct spacing between the mobo, components and their surroundings.June 21, 2019 at 2:43 pm #34293
Probably the easiest way of fixing would be hot glue as Toms Hardware posts make clear that bolts that go right through the work can be a problem.
As a divert the biggest source of EMR used to be switched psus (a la Apple II). This was so bad that Apple was rumoured to recommend to its sales force that the Apple was sat near a Trash 80 as it totally stuffed the Trash 80’s screen. It was also probably responsible for the US bringing in EMR certifications regs.June 21, 2019 at 7:16 pm #34303
Alright, I’ve just put this thing together and it’s working. Typing this on it now.
No DVD drive to keep things simple. It can always be connected temporarily if needed. The PSU and the SSDs will be held in place by some double-sided foam-tape.
All that’s left to do is to figure out how to fit a fan, power switch and some sort of mounting bracket to hang it on the wall. I’m thinking a 20cm fan and ideally a replaceable filter in front of it. Will have to do some googling to find something suitable for this purpose.
Here are some pics:July 2, 2019 at 12:36 pm #34621
Looking for ideas to attach those mesh pieces to the board. Glue as I planned won’t work as they are twisted and wont stay flush with the case. How else can they be fastened in such a way so it won’t look horrible as this is the side that will be facing the room?
Also looking for good ideas how to hang that box on the wall easily.July 2, 2019 at 1:58 pm #34623
Make a frame work around the wire using pieces of picture framing (just looking for the rebated x-section so any rebated wood would do). Liberally hot glue the wire to the frame or staple it, then hot-glue the wooden frame in place. All this was to conceal the staples. Of course if you do not care about appearance just staple it in place.
If you have never used a staple/nail gun do try – it is amazing how quickly you can lash things together e.g. left over wood and plastic sheeting makes a great teepee for the grandchildren!July 2, 2019 at 3:18 pm #34624
I like the frame idea. I’ll staple it first then see if it worth the effort putting a frame on it. Though I don’t have a staple gun, bought some U shaped staples and will try hammering them in.July 2, 2019 at 3:31 pm #34625
JayCeeDeeParticipant@jayceedeeForumite Points: 2,048July 2, 2019 at 3:37 pm #34626
It is definitely worth getting a gun, they are not overly expensive and well worth the angst of trying to hammer staples without turning a thumb and finger dark blue!
My personal recommendation would be to go for a hand-gun that handles a reasonable range of staples as you will be surprised the range of jobs that can be covered. However, I am a bodger by nature so keen DIY folk may have better ideas.
 I personally think u-staples are fugly by comparison with flush staples.July 2, 2019 at 6:46 pm #34632
Wheels-Of-FireParticipant@grahamdearsleyForumite Points: 1,952
U staples are mostly used in cable tackers. Should be noted that they increased in width when the industry switched from 4 wire to 3 pair. The old ones will pinch 3 pair. Not good for ADSL.July 10, 2019 at 5:23 pm #34788
finished fitting the fan and filter and put it all together but it is not working… the leds are lit but when I press the power button it just gets a little burst of energy to the fans and goes still. any ideas what I could have done wrong? it worked last time I had it all connected. I hope I have not killed it.July 10, 2019 at 7:05 pm #34791
Usually this should be down to a slightly displaced part. For example a memory item not properly seated, or the processor or its fan not fully home, etc. just reseat each item piece by piece before going further.
This does assume that you have fully checked for short circuits below the board and for correct connection of e.g. the video adapter, etc., check, check and check again. Even the power connection to the board can give this sort of trouble if it is not fully home in its connector. The all too usual and understandable reaction is ‘Panic, I’ve broken it.’ while usually you were simply tired and missed some careful step along the way.
Good luck with the fault-finding, initially with the power off!July 10, 2019 at 7:59 pm #34793
I disconnected everything but ram and cpu. no change. then I removed the motherboard from the plywood and removed the screws going through it. now it is powering up with just ram and cpu. so that seems to indicate that the screws are causing the problem. but I had them in when I did the test last time. the only difference this time I had them pretty tight. any idea why the screws stop it from working? i have washers on both sides of the motherboard. those washers completely cover the round beads around the holes on the motherboard. there are two circles of those beads around each hole, whatever they are. thoughts? should I get some sort of insulating washers to go under the metal washers?July 10, 2019 at 8:16 pm #34794
My initial reaction was distortion – screwing up tight distorted something and causes a moving part to foul something. e.g. a fan gets fouled then blows a soft fuse. The other possibility is the screws are too long and are shorting/grounding something when tightened.July 10, 2019 at 9:04 pm #34795
can’t be distortion, it’s all lined up perfectly with perfect spacing. can’t short the screws either, it’s just plywood. when I say tight I mean the washer and nut on both sides of the hole sandwiching the circuit board. I’m ordering some fibre washers for insulation and I won’t tighten the nuts as much. but until then I’ll try running it with the case on its side and the motherboard not attached at all.July 10, 2019 at 9:29 pm #34796
It’s working for now. The motherboard is just laying flat in the case not attached at all. The fibre washers should be delivered tomorrow by Amazon. I just hope they are not conductive.July 11, 2019 at 7:07 am #34802
Are you certain that the mobo cannot be distorted when screws are tightened? It need not be fans that are getting jammed but it could be you are just partially unseating push-in connectors and causing bad contacts.July 11, 2019 at 7:28 am #34804
If there is any hint of stressing the board when tightening it down then I would prefer the use of rubber grommets to avoid stress while still holding it securely in place. However, do remember that stress can be accumulative, every future incident adding to past history until the failure become permanent. That said I still favour the idea of a badly seated part that is very slightly moving out of position. While the machine is working try a memory testing programme and see if it reports any hint of an issue.
Both the semi spring-loaded contacts and the tracks on PCBs can very easily become deranged by unwanted movements so such pulls are best avoided, even poor soldering can become an issue when the tension pulls just a bit in an undesirable direction.
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