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Author Topic: GUIDE - Make your own open frame rig.  (Read 112110 times)
Detritus
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July 17, 2011, 07:53:39 PM
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How to build an Open Frame Case  - Detritus style


Parts
two(2)  8 foot lengths of 3/4" square aluminum tubing for connectors. (Source Brunner Enterprises)
six(6)   3 - Way Corner Connector (Source Brunner Enterprises)
two(2)  3-Way Flat Connector (Source Brunner Enterprises)
two(2)    2-Way Corner Connector (Source Brunner Enterprises)

One(1)  Motherboard mounting panel  - Harvested from an old mini/mid tower case.

Tools
Dremel type rotary tool with metal cutting wheels - (used for cutting down motherboard panel - use a metal cutting band saw if you have one)
Hack Saw - (Used for cutting aluminum tubing - use a power miter saw or band saw instead if available)
Philips Screwdriver
Hammer
Power Drill and bits
A dozen or so  6-32 computer case screws - You probably have a jar full, or get some from amazon or ebay, or a local computer shop
Marking pen/pencil
Center punch


Construction

Step 1 - Harvest your motherboard mounting panel.
Generic mini and mid tower cases work best for this. Stay away from brand name computer manufacturers such as Dell or Gateway, they often use non standard standoff placement and will not work well for our needs.

The optimal cases are ones that use a single metal (steel) panel, with no large open ventilation/cable guild holes, and that mount the PSU on the top of the case.

This is a prime example of the type mounting panel you want...


You may have to remove multiple screws, drill out rivets, and cut the case down in order to get it down to this state. Basically remove everything that isn't this basic steel panel.

I had to cut away large areas of the case to get it down to this configuration..

Make sure to remove any burs or jagged cuts..


Step 2 - Cut your tubing to length.

(These measurements make a rack with a final width of 19.5", if you want your case to fit into a 19" equipment rack shelf cut the width of the main runners from 18" to 17.5" inches, and trim your motherboard panel to fit. )

Cutting the tubing with a hacksaw works well. So does an abrasive wheel in a miter saw. The abrasive wheels tend to make rough cuts that need to be cleaned up. The best cuts are from dedicated aluminum cutting blades for a miter saw or band saw such as this... Aluminum blade

Use your hack saw, miter saw or other tool to cut the tubing into the following lengths...

Four(4)   18" length (width) main runners.
Four(4)   9" length (depth)  
Two(2)   8" length (height) card mount risers.
Two(2)   4 3/4" length (height) lower card support standoffs.
Two(2)   2 1/2" length (height) upper card support standoffs.



Make sure to remove any burs created during cutting..



Step 3 - Assemble the lower frame square

Using Two(2)   18", Two(2)   9" tubing pieces and Four(4)  3 - way corner connectors assemble the lower square box so it looks like this..


The connectors are easily inserted into the aluminum tubing by pounding them into place with a hammer. It's difficult, but not impossible, to remove the connectors from the tubing so try to get it right the first time.


Step 4 - Fitting and trimming your motherboard mounting panel

This step will be a little different for all builds because no two of the panels we harvested will be identical. The goal is to create a panel that covers the whole lower square, without overhang.


Most of you will find that the corners need to be notched out with your dremel to make it fit...


Then place the panel on the square frame, and mark the excess to be cut away and trim it off...



Step 5 - Assemble the upright supports
Assemble the rest of the metal frame.
Use the 8" support pieces with a 3 way "tee" on the front side (the side the cards screw to with their mounting plates.)
Use the 4 3/4" support pieces on the lower rear with a 3 way "tee" on the back side.
Finish up with two more 9" depth pieces, the two 90 degree corners, and the two 2 1/2" upper support pieces.




Step 5 - Drilling/tapping the card support mounting holes.
I wanted to do this with a proper drill and tap, but the place I ordered my tap from sent me the wrong size. I didn't want to wait, so I worked around it.
Steel screws will easily cut/deform threads into the relatively soft aluminum. You can drill a proper size hole, just big enough for the screw to fit into, and force it in, and the steel screw will cut good threads into the aluminum than can be re-used many times.  I ended up using an oddball 7/64" drill size, because it was what came in my craptastic home tool kit. Use whatever you have, as long as the drill is not so wide that the threads will pass through the whole without touching. It is still a good idea to practice this on a peace of scrap aluminum.







I made a marking guide for marking the mounting screws out of the top part of the card mount from my old case. Basicly I just cut away everything from the top edge of the card mount..


Use the guide to mark the holes to drill for the card mount. I find it best to put a card in the far right position and use a marker to mark the hole spots, and then continue working my left with the hole guide, marking as I go.

After marking, use a center punch to make an indentation in the aluminum so your drill doesn't wander, and then drill out the holes, and thread them with a screw.


Step 6 - Screwing down the mounting panel and creating a power supply mount.

I find that three screws along the front edge and three along the back edge are plenty to hold the plate securely. Use the same drill / screw tap method as before..


The power supply mount. I really can't guide you much here. No two have been alike for me, and all are dependent on any support rails on the mounting panel, and the configuration of the power supply mount from your case. The idea here is to cut out a usable bracket from the cases power supply mount and screw it to the frame as the new PSU bracket on your frame. Here are some pictures on ones I've made, but your imagination will have to fill in the rest for yourself..






Suppliers and Source material
The aluminum tubing and connectors were purchased from http://www.brunnerent.com/ - There may be cheaper suppliers but for a no hassle, nice shopping cart order system, this is the pace to go.
The power supply is a Corsair AX1200
The motherboard is a 890AFX-GD70
The riser cables are cablesaurus brand. http://www.cablesaurus.com/
The power meter is a Belkin Conserve Insight. http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Conserve-Insight-F7C005q-Energy-Use/dp/B003P2UMP8

All the original images from this guide and some random other crap are available here.. http://www.stomped.me/pics/case/

Estimated costs
There is a lot of cost in the S&H here, if you can bundle orders together it makes  significant savings.

Code:
Preview Cart
 
Item Description Price/Unit Quantity Total Price
----------------------- --------------- --------------- ---------------
3/4 in Square Tube for Connectors
Stock#: S122R

3/4" Square Tube w/ .054" wall
Satin Anodized
8 ft.
$22.16 2 $44.32


3-Way Flat Connector
Stock#: PF32

3-Way Nylon Flat Connector for either 1" or 3/4" Square Tubing.
Black
3/4 in.
$2.42 2 $4.84



2-Way Corner Connector
Stock#: PF21

2-Way Nylon Corner Connector for either 1" or 3/4" Square Tubing.
Black
3/4 in.
$2.41 2 $4.82



3-Way Corner Connector
Stock#: PF33

3-Way Nylon Corner Connector for either 1" or 3/4" Square Tubing.
Black
3/4 in.
$2.42 6 $14.52


Sub Total: $68.50
S&H: $30.53

Grand Total: $99.03

That's it!
If you found this guild useful, please consider donating - 1D48JXC8hMZGVwwjNVvJJVgJ2H4svzvgyG
Questions and comments welcome.
Don't be a douche and copy this and claim it as your own.

Thanks!

Make your own open frame rig 1CZPRrsf2TifGSr9zUU1wSzELx8J8PiRGt
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Detritus
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July 17, 2011, 09:06:31 PM
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Are those 5970s?

Did you get all 10 gpus recognized and mining?

If so Linux or Windows?

TIA!
They are 5870's, so single GPU cards.

I'm running linux.

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July 17, 2011, 09:35:31 PM
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Awesome, thanks for all the infos.

But I would like to know more about the extensions used for the VGAs: what are they and where they could be bought?

Thanks!

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Detritus
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July 17, 2011, 09:39:03 PM
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Awesome, thanks for all the infos.

But I would like to know more about the extensions used for the VGAs: what are they and where they could be bought?

Thanks!

Those are the x16 PCI-e risers sold by cablesaurus... https://cablesaurus.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=9

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July 17, 2011, 09:42:23 PM
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have you tested a one of the Cablesaurus x1->x16 cables?  really interested in how those ones specifically work out.

thanks for posting this.  printing it out right now Smiley

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July 17, 2011, 09:57:52 PM
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have you tested a one of the Cablesaurus x1->x16 cables?  really interested in how those ones specifically work out.

I have not, but I would be interested in hearing others experiences. The word of mouth I've heard on them is that they can sometimes be difficult to make work.

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July 17, 2011, 11:55:23 PM
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The parts link don't seem to show prices at first glance. Could you list them in the page to give a ballpark figure of what it would look like to put this together?

Would love to make one myself, but don't have any of the tools 8(

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July 18, 2011, 01:33:33 AM
 #8

The parts link don't seem to show prices at first glance. Could you list them in the page to give a ballpark figure of what it would look like to put this together?

Would love to make one myself, but don't have any of the tools 8(



Updated: Includes price dump from thier shopping cart.
WARNING: Old version had the wrong number of 90 elbow connectors listed as six, this has been corrected to the proper number ... Two.

If I make kits available the only tools you'd need are a hammer and a screw driver.


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July 18, 2011, 02:01:29 AM
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If I make kits available the only tools you'd need are a hammer and a screw driver.

I might be interested, contingent upon price of course Smiley

BTW, this is super badass, great job!
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July 18, 2011, 02:05:03 AM
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If I make kits available the only tools you'd need are a hammer and a screw driver.

I might be interested, contingent upon price of course Smiley

BTW, this is super badass, great job!

Add me as a second interested party.  Would the kit include the motherboard mounting plate, or would we have to do that ourselves?  I know you can buy plates online at various sites for cheap.

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July 18, 2011, 02:13:52 AM
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I approve of the model M in the pictures i have several myself (including a few i unsuccessfully tried to sell over in the goods section) they are the standard all modern keyboards pale in comparison to.

"If we don't hang together, by Heavens we shall hang separately." - Benjamin Franklin

If you found that funny or something i said useful i always appreciate spare change
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Detritus
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July 18, 2011, 02:56:38 AM
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If I make kits available the only tools you'd need are a hammer and a screw driver.

I might be interested, contingent upon price of course Smiley

BTW, this is super badass, great job!

Add me as a second interested party.  Would the kit include the motherboard mounting plate, or would we have to do that ourselves?  I know you can buy plates online at various sites for cheap.

I'd rather not modify a bunch of different motherboard types, and have to matching each one to threaded holes in the chasis, so I'm talking with some local sheet metal shops about making up some specifically for the case. If I can get a good price this would be the way to go, because they would all be the same, and designed spefically for our use and have better plate mounting and a real power supply mount.

If that doesn't pan out I'm talking to some recycling outfits in the area the seen interested in processing the computer waste they get and selling me the plates and a price not a lot higher than what they get for scrap.

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July 18, 2011, 03:19:43 AM
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cant wait Smiley

if any kits are ready before Winter hits here in Northern Michigan, i'll definitely be getting one.  Plan to stick it in a back storage room that gets just as cold inside as it does outside.  I just hope I can get a good wifi setup on it so it doesn't lose connection.  No real way to run a network line over to it, so i'll just have to make due with whatever speed i can muster via Wifi.

I did a quick test with my iPad and on my 18Down/2Up cable connection and a 2.4GHz N Wifi network, the iPad was able to connect and get about 512K down and up to a Chicago IL server.  A better antenna set up will help for sure, as well as better overall placement in general.

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July 18, 2011, 03:20:30 AM
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Good post.

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July 18, 2011, 05:34:31 AM
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have you tested a one of the Cablesaurus x1->x16 cables?  really interested in how those ones specifically work out.

thanks for posting this.  printing it out right now Smiley

I have, the version with the molex to get the energy directly from the psu. I have two 5870 running with those cables. Not a problem, no reduction of speed.
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July 18, 2011, 03:19:34 PM
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hey this is an awesome guide. it would have saved me a lot of time, although material does cost a little more than what i started building. i used a bunch of aluminum angled (L) bars to make the frame, and rivets to hold them together. not completely finished yet because my dog just chewed the drill's power cord in half, so i can't continue until i get a replacement drill  Angry

have you tested a one of the Cablesaurus x1->x16 cables?  really interested in how those ones specifically work out.

if i remember correctly, i think when using the x1 pci-e extension cable, i had to short the two presence pins together on each of the pci-e slots for my MSI 890FX-GD70. i think it's easier to just use a x16 cable

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July 18, 2011, 07:18:16 PM
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Cheers mate.

Thank you very much for the awesome guide.
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July 18, 2011, 07:45:12 PM
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have you tested a one of the Cablesaurus x1->x16 cables?  really interested in how those ones specifically work out.

thanks for posting this.  printing it out right now Smiley

I am using 20 of the Cablesaurus x1 -> x16 adapters with no problems https://cablesaurus.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=10

I had bought a few of the x1 -> x1 type and found modding them too much of a pain, so when I ramped up I went with the pre-modded ones.
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July 19, 2011, 06:21:02 AM
 #19

I was about to ask where the mounting area for the hard drive was, but then I realized you could just plug in a USB Flash Drive and use that as your boot drive with a linux-bitcoin distro.

Or, if it is supported, possibly a USB3 flash drive.  Not sure of actually real world usage, but some of the reviews I have seen possibly put it at least on par with PATA drives (according to Wikipedia, PATA can do up to 133 MegaBytes/sec.  USB3 apparently can do 640 MegaBytes/sec, plenty of room to breath).

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Detritus
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July 19, 2011, 06:25:24 AM
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I was about to ask where the mounting area for the hard drive was, but then I realized you could just plug in a USB Flash Drive and use that as your boot drive with a linux-bitcoin distro.

Or, if it is supported, possibly a USB3 flash drive.  Not sure of actually real world usage, but some of the reviews I have seen possibly put it at least on par with PATA drives (according to Wikipedia, PATA can do up to 133 MegaBytes/sec.  USB3 apparently can do 640 MegaBytes/sec, plenty of room to breath).

Yeah, it could defiantly use a HDD mount. One could be added pretty easily, especially if you can harvest a 3.5" mounting frame from the mini tower case.

I don't bother because I boot my rigs off a 32GB compact flash in a SATA bridge. The system see's it as a 32GB SATA drive.

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