Portable Desktop PC

Yes it is nice to be able to put your projects INSIDE something isn't it? You know, to hold everything together so it doesn't flop around? Discuss the techniques here!

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kingIZZZY
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Portable Desktop PC

Post by kingIZZZY » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:22 pm

Hey there guys!
Hope someone here can help with this.

I travel around a lot + I need my high-end desktop PC with me (+ i upgrade my hardware every once in a while)
= I need a case-mod solution to make my desktop PC portable.

No, not battery powered :P The idea is it should remain as upgradable as any regular l33t rig (all hardware components easily replacable by unscrewing/rescrewing stuff), and yet portable (and as durable as possible) enough to carry over airplane flights and to LAN parties etc.

A case mod that would end up looking something like this
Image

So I went ahead and tried to do it myself. I planned it out with Google Sketchup
Image


Image


Image

Then I went and bought that Zeikos case from amazon, a Envision G19LWK which i stripped down to the core, a PEXP16-RX2 riser card, and tried putting it all together with my PC hardware.

To make a (very) long story short, I did successfully fly and travel around with it several times (don't ask what happenes at security :P )

But- it was an ugly mess.

Things were'nt holding in place, both deployment and packing-up was taking way too long, PSU wires were strewn all over, the system would mysteriously refuse to power-up... it was a real pain to utilize. I realized that if i dont do this professionally its not gonna serve my purpose.

What do you guys suggest? Can any of you modding gurus make a case mod like this for me? I dont really have too much to spend but I really need this kind of mod... I wouldn't mind doing all the planning and sketching and acquiring the materials etc. So long as it ends up as i need it.

Here are the fundamental features i need;
  • Quick Plug-n-play deployability. Something Like - 1) Unpack (see 3rd image) 2) pull out the retractable power cord 3) power up.
  • Size and Weight are not (really) an issue. I'm perfectly fine carrying a gynormous heavy case around.
  • As Durable as possible. I'd like to carry this around with a shoulder strap, handle, or wheels, on bumpy flights (as carry on) and through rainy streets.
  • Well cooled (i'm playing crysis on this :) ). Water cooling doesnt sound like a good idea... but i dunno
  • Relatively easy access to hardware in order to replace parts. So nothing should be welded or permanently closed in or such.
  • Mechanism to easily unpack/packup the LCD screen outside of the mod, as shown in the 3rd pic (see more details later)
Size & Dimensions
The mod should accomodate the following hardware:
  • ATX form factor motherboard [Optional: EATX if possible]
  • 19" or larger LCD Screen. (Depending on how the rest of the hardware will be modded and arranged, the LCD will either be 4:3 or widescreen, 19" or more, etc)
  • 2 HDDs
  • NVIDIA GPU (the nowaday huge monsters)
  • ATX [or EATX] sized PSU
  • DVD drive
  • AC Power cables (PSU and LCD),
  • (if possible) Room for Keyboard / Mouse / headset. see below for more details
More boring details:

- I always unpack/deploy on a desk. It would be awesome to figure out some mechanism to easily and quicly remove the LCD screen (with its custom cables already connected to the case's gpu/power) out of the case and set it up on a stand of its own (see 3rd pic) and then quickly packing it back into the case when done. Because otherwise, using this case-mod as a laptop (as in 2nd image) - literally atop your laps - would be extremely inconvenient.
- It would be great if we could fit a keyboard/mouse/headset into the case and easily unpack it during deployment and pack it back into the case when done. Otherwise i'd just carry these in a seperate bag or something (which defies the whole purpose here a bit, besides for increasing deployment time to plug/unplug them). Integrating these items directly into the case would once again be quite inconvenient for desktop usage.
- Because of the rain-proof factor, it would be awesome to have covers for the external openings (like the DVD tray / USB ports / all other I/O ports) much like a cellphone battery cover.


Any advice?

paintodeath
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:19 am

Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by paintodeath » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:24 am

How about having the TFT built into the top for the case, so it cant come out, build the keybord into the bottom of the case (above the hardware :roll: ) wich you can flip up to remove/change the hardware, have all the cables connecting and then all you need is to carry 2 power leads for the PC and TFT,

Ifi could show you what i mean i would but not sure how to computer draw stuff only know paper and pencil

kingIZZZY
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:25 pm

Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by kingIZZZY » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:15 am

Would that allow for quick unpacking of the screen/keyboard/mouse/headset onto a desk as in 3rd image and repacking into the case?

In any case, what i'm wondering is if someone can take up this project and do it professionally, as in make it look slick like benheck's 360 laptop mods etc which end up looking like they were manufactured like that.

Talking of which, what about benheck himself... any way to solicit his services?

Like I said, I dont have too much to spend, but whatever it takes I really need this case mod.

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snowpenguin
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Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by snowpenguin » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:15 pm

Well, what are you looking to pay?
Image

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vskid
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Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by vskid » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:57 pm

kingIZZZY wrote:Talking of which, what about benheck himself... any way to solicit his services?
Shoot him an email.
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kingIZZZY
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Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by kingIZZZY » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:35 pm

snowpenguin wrote:Well, what are you looking to pay?
Thanks for asking.
Can you maybe give me a guesstimate of what would a modder take for this kind of project? I definitely have a couple of hundred $ for this to begin with.
vskid wrote:Shoot him an email
I actually did so a little while ago. Some of the text from my first post here is from that email :)
No response so far. And boy, $80/h plus materials and overtime... dang thats quite hefty

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samjc3
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Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by samjc3 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:50 pm

you cant afford ben. :wink:

it looks to me, like cooling will be the hardest thing. do you mind having big vent holes all over? seems like airflow will be hard to achieve. as for the lcd, i cant really think of an easy way to have it clip in and out, without some pretty complex cnc'd parts. i could try my hand at it, as i am looking for money, and something to do, but i dont have much under my belt. but i have awesome people! :mrgreen:
AfroLH wrote:
HotDog-Cart wrote: Also, the codename stuff adds a little bit of sexyness, in my eyes.
Yeah well Alcohol adds a little bit of sexyness in my eyes, but I dont drink it all the time. :wink:
SpongeBuell wrote:As proof, I offer this picture of a monkey on my head.

kingIZZZY
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:25 pm

Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by kingIZZZY » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:22 pm

samjc3 wrote:It looks to me, like cooling will be the hardest thing. do you mind having big vent holes all over? seems like airflow will be hard to achieve. as for the lcd, i cant really think of an easy way to have it clip in and out, without some pretty complex cnc'd parts.
Flash of genious: If the LCD snap-out/snap-in mechanism involves coming off with the case cover, we solve ventillation!
i could try my hand at it, as i am looking for money, and something to do, but i dont have much under my belt. but i have awesome people! :mrgreen:
Thanks for your interest!
Do you mean to say you have access to professional guys with real modding materials and tools the likes of which we see in benheck's xbox360 mods? That would be the best. I'm really in need of this turning out looking like a real manufactured product.


Please check your PM

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snowpenguin
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Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by snowpenguin » Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:33 pm

Nvm.
Image

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64M320N3
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Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by 64M320N3 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:32 pm

I have a CNC machine in which you can use CAD modeling to cut out the parts.
Check it out.

Nice and accurate cuts for around $70 an hour. (And since this is just a box, it shouldn't take too long.)
Making stuff with my new beautiful CNC machine!
Would you like a professional looking custom case for your portable? I may be able to help you. Check out this link:
http://forums.benheck.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=32724

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snowpenguin
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Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by snowpenguin » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:58 pm

Just noticed the rainproof part. Sorry, that's pretty much impossible. You would need to cover everything, fans, cracks, vents, plugs, and it would all need to be watertight. Don't see ANY feasible way to do that.

Also, I know you want to go custom and that's what we spoke of earlier, but know this: Doing a custom case in the long run will cost you 100s of dollars more than using a simple prebuilt case. As we were saying earlier, it is entirely feasible, but will cost more. Might also have trouble getting everything perfect and ready for components without doing mockups as well, which requires that I had the parts to do the mockup.


kingIZZZY wrote:Hey there guys!
Hope someone here can help with this.

I travel around a lot + I need my high-end desktop PC with me (+ i upgrade my hardware every once in a while)
= I need a case-mod solution to make my desktop PC portable.

No, not battery powered :P The idea is it should remain as upgradable as any regular l33t rig (all hardware components easily replacable by unscrewing/rescrewing stuff), and yet portable (and as durable as possible) enough to carry over airplane flights and to LAN parties etc.

A case mod that would end up looking something like this


Then I went and bought that Zeikos case from amazon, a Envision G19LWK which i stripped down to the core, a PEXP16-RX2 riser card, and tried putting it all together with my PC hardware.

To make a (very) long story short, I did successfully fly and travel around with it several times (don't ask what happenes at security :P )

But- it was an ugly mess.

Things were'nt holding in place, both deployment and packing-up was taking way too long, PSU wires were strewn all over, the system would mysteriously refuse to power-up... it was a real pain to utilize. I realized that if i dont do this professionally its not gonna serve my purpose.

What do you guys suggest? Can any of you modding gurus make a case mod like this for me? I dont really have too much to spend but I really need this kind of mod... I wouldn't mind doing all the planning and sketching and acquiring the materials etc. So long as it ends up as i need it.

Here are the fundamental features i need;
  • Quick Plug-n-play deployability. Something Like - 1) Unpack (see 3rd image) 2) pull out the retractable power cord 3) power up.
  • Size and Weight are not (really) an issue. I'm perfectly fine carrying a gynormous heavy case around.
  • As Durable as possible. I'd like to carry this around with a shoulder strap, handle, or wheels, on bumpy flights (as carry on) and through rainy streets.
  • Well cooled (i'm playing crysis on this :) ). Water cooling doesnt sound like a good idea... but i dunno
  • Relatively easy access to hardware in order to replace parts. So nothing should be welded or permanently closed in or such.
  • Mechanism to easily unpack/packup the LCD screen outside of the mod, as shown in the 3rd pic (see more details later)
Size & Dimensions
The mod should accomodate the following hardware:
  • ATX form factor motherboard [Optional: EATX if possible]
  • 19" or larger LCD Screen. (Depending on how the rest of the hardware will be modded and arranged, the LCD will either be 4:3 or widescreen, 19" or more, etc)
  • 2 HDDs
  • NVIDIA GPU (the nowaday huge monsters)
  • ATX [or EATX] sized PSU
  • DVD drive
  • AC Power cables (PSU and LCD),
  • (if possible) Room for Keyboard / Mouse / headset. see below for more details
More boring details:

- I always unpack/deploy on a desk. It would be awesome to figure out some mechanism to easily and quicly remove the LCD screen (with its custom cables already connected to the case's gpu/power) out of the case and set it up on a stand of its own (see 3rd pic) and then quickly packing it back into the case when done. Because otherwise, using this case-mod as a laptop (as in 2nd image) - literally atop your laps - would be extremely inconvenient.
- It would be great if we could fit a keyboard/mouse/headset into the case and easily unpack it during deployment and pack it back into the case when done. Otherwise i'd just carry these in a seperate bag or something (which defies the whole purpose here a bit, besides for increasing deployment time to plug/unplug them). Integrating these items directly into the case would once again be quite inconvenient for desktop usage.
- Because of the rain-proof factor, it would be awesome to have covers for the external openings (like the DVD tray / USB ports / all other I/O ports) much like a cellphone battery cover.


Any advice?
Image

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64M320N3
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:27 pm
Location: Ft. Collins

Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by 64M320N3 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:13 pm

snowpenguin wrote:Also, I know you want to go custom and that's what we spoke of earlier, but know this: Doing a custom case in the long run will cost you 100s of dollars more than using a simple prebuilt case. As we were saying earlier, it is entirely feasible, but will cost more. Might also have trouble getting everything perfect and ready for components without doing mockups as well, which requires that I had the parts to do the mockup.
This is very true. Custom work never comes cheap... just ask Ben! :wink:
Making stuff with my new beautiful CNC machine!
Would you like a professional looking custom case for your portable? I may be able to help you. Check out this link:
http://forums.benheck.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=32724

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samjc3
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Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by samjc3 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:20 pm

64M320N3 wrote:
snowpenguin wrote:Also, I know you want to go custom and that's what we spoke of earlier, but know this: Doing a custom case in the long run will cost you 100s of dollars more than using a simple prebuilt case. As we were saying earlier, it is entirely feasible, but will cost more. Might also have trouble getting everything perfect and ready for components without doing mockups as well, which requires that I had the parts to do the mockup.
This is very true. Custom work never comes cheap... just ask Ben! :wink:
yup. looking at what he is asking for, plus talking to him, i figure a custom case to fit his needs would be well over 1000$, being conservative. :? :roll:
AfroLH wrote:
HotDog-Cart wrote: Also, the codename stuff adds a little bit of sexyness, in my eyes.
Yeah well Alcohol adds a little bit of sexyness in my eyes, but I dont drink it all the time. :wink:
SpongeBuell wrote:As proof, I offer this picture of a monkey on my head.

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vskid
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Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by vskid » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:40 pm

I have a couple ideas that will hopefully keep this on the cheap and meet the requirements (even rainproof). :idea: Just give me some brainstorming time, I'll see if I can draw something up. :)
Image

kingIZZZY
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Re: Portable Desktop PC

Post by kingIZZZY » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:49 pm

awesome vskid, lets see what you can come up with

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