Cardboard Box Computer

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I wanted a small, low power, rackable PC for my Idratek home automation system, so I got a PD-10000 mini-ITX board from Linitx, some memory and used an old hard-drive.

I selected the PD-1000 to give me more than the normal 1 serial port. The Idratek system requires a "proper" serial port with hardware handshaking, and I also have a modem and a Caller-ID device to connect. The PD-10000 has a nominal 1GHz processor, upto 4 COM ports, some USB ports, onboard graphics and sound, pretty much everything needed. It got a fresh install of Windows XP Pro, which seems to run perfectly nicely in 512Mb of RAM.

I was using an Asus Terminator machine with an Athlon XP1200 processor, but had some problems with the dual-port serial card I was using. It was running Windows 2000, and I used VNC to access it from my main computer, which could be a bit lumpy. These factors combined to shove me over the edge and build the new dedicated controller.

I was planning to rack this computer, but since the people at ICP don't want to sell me one of their rack enclosures ("sorry, we're trade-only"), whilst simultaneously not having any retailers actually selling them, I was a little stumped (Update: now available from Linitx). I really couldn't transplant it to the roof in this state:


Fortunately, those nice people at Linitx had sent me my order in a very well chosen cardboard box, so I decided that this would have to do:

Boxputer top

Actually, I was quite pleased with the result. The power supply has an exhaust fan, which seems to suck the air through the cut-out perfectly well:

Boxputer rear

If I had been thinking ahead I might have chosen a better side of the box for the front for the ...err... optimum aesthetics:

Boxputer front

Still, it seems to be working well enough without overheating. Takes the pressure off finding a "proper" enclosure, anyway.

1 Comment

Buy a nice fire proof Pelicase you tight git :-)

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This page contains a single entry by David published on January 22, 2006 7:02 PM.

Landing Light Automation using Idratek + X-10 LD11 was the previous entry in this blog.

This weekend's project was the Bathroom is the next entry in this blog.

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