The FrankenServer

When being cheap looks worse!

So in 2008 I got a 4 digit gas/electricity bill.

There were numerous reasons why I got it, but one of them was working from home with 2 systems running almost 24/7, one big rig for rendering my showreel, one smaller rig for downloading.
Well, that sure changed things. I stopped trying to be selfemployed and got a steady job. I got rid of my backup rig, to stop temptation. I still wanted to get a dedicated download rig, to save money on electricity, but it had to be cheap.
I got it into my mind that I could buy an Atom board + a stick of ram for under 80 euros, then add everything else from parts lying around. For a case I'd gut a dvd player that hadn't worked in, well, a long time.
So there.

The atom board, old DVD case, an old ATX ups, old dvd writer, and an old sata drive.

Testing the components in a frankensetup, I found that the hd was running extremely hot.
Luckily I had a heatsink from a nvidia card lying aorund, and a surplus 80mm fan

Speaking of fans, this little whiny bitch is way too annoying:

so off it goes

A standard northbridge heatsink fits the wire clamp.

And it fits on the board:
Now to gut the DVD player. Everything went out, butI put in the new CD-rom before I took snaps.

The board will overlap the cd-rom a bit when installed, so I decided to cut the dvd-burner in half.

FYI: yes, it still works, yes it's very loud, no, I'm not actually using it atm, and I will remove it soonish.
next thing I started preparing for the placement of everything. Mark that the hdd is still bearing its cooler.

The mobo is going to go in upside down, with a bottom fan blowing air over the new northbridge cooler, pushing it past the dvd and the hdd, across the psu and exiting the case left.

So here I prepare for adding the bottom fan.
Now it's a question of tinsnipping.. nix that, we'll need a dremel.Which I had already lying around, just needed some practice.
We can pretend it's perfect ;)

Now we're getting there...
For those of you who thought cutting a dvd-burner in half was a bad idea, check this out: who needs a custom mini-ITX supply?

trust me, it's worse than it looks.
Now, just so the rig isn't totally ghetto- I was booting with a coin held across the mobo pins- I'm going to make the dvd case power button work.
I did this a little earlier:

And found this beauty:

Even an idiot can make those connections. I therefore mangled the correct mobo connectors, some redundant wires, and a fan connector.
Time to fit it all together:

And it booted!
I had it hooked up directly to my wrt-54g and controlled it via remote desktop. I always wanted to crossing to ubuntu soonish, but since the setup worked perfectly it stayed on windows until I used the mobo for an unraid server.
I'd post pics of the finished product, but the case needed more outflow on the left side, next to the psu, and I botched that.
I also bothched the placement of the dvd-drive
So basically one of these days (well, after I move next month and have a basement to hide my activities in) I'll pick up a new case on a fleamarket and update this.


Nope. This one is done and dead. The mobo went into various other setups, from my first unraid NAS to my 2013 Nas4free box.