Crono Labs C1: Portable case that mounts a monitor

Crono Labs

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Crono Labs
Jan 11, 2017
7
10
The Crono Labs C1 is a portable computer case that is compatible with high end hardware. It mounts a monitor so it can be easily moved using the included removable carry handle. It is aimed at people who want to retain control over the components in their PC (unlike a laptop), but still want to be able to bring it with them to LAN gaming events, or even to and from work.

Hardware compatibility:

GPU: Up to 10.5" (with included PCI riser)
Motherboard: mITX
Fans: None, all components vent directly out
Drives: 2x 3.5" drive bays
CPU cooler: Under 55mm in height
PSU: ATX

Other features:

Monitor tilt and height adjustment
Power switch and USB ports on the base for easy access
Removable carry handle
Dust filters
Aluminium construction

We have just launched on Kickstarter and someone on reddit said you guys might appreciate it, any feedback or support would be appreciated! If you want to support it or get more information, the campaign can be found at: kickstarter.cronolabs.com








Note: Overwatch is photoshopped onto the screen due to lighting issues
 

K888D

SFF Guru
Lazer3D
Feb 23, 2016
1,460
2,918
www.lazer3d.com
Welcome to the Forum! I like the idea very much, how big is the case itself?

What is your reason for not including support for any case fans?
 

Crono Labs

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Crono Labs
Jan 11, 2017
7
10
The case is 446mm X 270mm X 90mm without the stand. We designed it so that all components could vent directly out so that it wouldn't need them and it worked well in testing so we went with it. That way it saves money, space and is quieter!

Glad you like it!
 

cadiguno

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 18, 2016
128
116
Welcome to the forums!

The idea of a case with handles and monitor mount is great, but I think it's unfortunate that you launched your campaign at the same time as the Sentry. They have far more exposure to the community than you do, so that's where people flock to.

Best of luck to the campaign!
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,243
2,357
freilite.com
BTW, you are explicitly allowed to post a link to your website and/or kickstarter on this forum, as long as you then engage in discussion around it and answer questions that forum members might have :)

EDIT: For the next time, generate exposure first, then launch the campaign. Nobody knows about the case right now, and a lot of people only visit forums very casually. Building up hype and making sure your project is spread through word of mouth is vital to the success of a campaign, and even that isn't enough sometimes.

I don't want to sound too negative, but I'm fairly certain that this campaign has already failed. Not to worry though, there's always a second time :)
 
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Crono Labs

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Crono Labs
Jan 11, 2017
7
10
BTW, you are explicitly allowed to post a link to your website and/or kickstarter on this forum, as long as you then engage in discussion around it and answer questions that forum members might have :)

EDIT: For the next time, generate exposure first, then launch the campaign. Nobody knows about the case right now, and a lot of people only visit forums very casually. Building up hype and making sure your project is spread through word of mouth is vital to the success of a campaign, and even that isn't enough sometimes.

I don't want to sound too negative, but I'm fairly certain that this campaign has already failed. Not to worry though, there's always a second time :)

Yes unfortunately we made some mistakes and the campaign reflects that. This was mostly due to inexperience, so at least we don't have that excuse next time! In terms of forums, we had some bad experiences at the start of the products development in that we were told not to post, as it was advertising, even though at the time we didn't even have anything to sell and were looking for feedback. This made us think forums weren't really an option, until someone pointed out that this forum supports projects like ours.
 

K888D

SFF Guru
Lazer3D
Feb 23, 2016
1,460
2,918
www.lazer3d.com
I had the same issue over at HardForum where my project was flagged as Spam and I got banned for life! I made the mistake of including a link to my website though.

We designed it so that all components could vent directly out so that it wouldn't need them and it worked well in testing so we went with it. That way it saves money, space and is quieter!

It is good that you have so much direct intake ventilation over your main components (CPU, GPU and PSU) which will help draw in cool external air, but at the same time I don't think you have enough exhaust ventilation to cope with getting rid of the heat produced.

With regards to less fans = quieter system, this not neccesarily correct.

A system under high load with 2 fans running at 2500rpm will be much louder than a system with 4 fans running at 1500rpm.
 
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Crono Labs

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Crono Labs
Jan 11, 2017
7
10
It's a learning experience this business, I'm sure you'll be successful next time if you prepare properly!

Much appreciated! We both learned a lot, and definitely think we can do much better next time.

A system under high load with 2 fans running at 2500rpm will be much louder than a system with 4 fans running at 1500rpm.

That's a fair point, from testing it seemed to work quite well, perhaps a direct comparison would have been good though.
 

K888D

SFF Guru
Lazer3D
Feb 23, 2016
1,460
2,918
www.lazer3d.com
That's a fair point, from testing it seemed to work quite well, perhaps a direct comparison would have been good though.

It looks like in your testing you've used a GT740 Graphics Card which has a TDP of 64 watts, but your case has room for GPUs up to 10.5" long allowing you to fit some pretty high end cards such as the GTX 1080 (depending on card height limitations) which run at 180W = allot more heat generation.

The average user will probably fit something like a GTX 1060 though, which run at 120W, but this is still around double the heat output of a GT740. Its just something to consider, if you can't get rid of heat out the case then the computer will get loud.

I reckon you could fit 3x 80mm fans across the top face of the case pointing upwards, and/or even a 120mm fan facing over the motherboard.
 
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cadiguno

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 18, 2016
128
116
I'm personally worried about your campaign target. Looking at the predecessors:
- NCase M1 : $67,500
- Dan A4-SFX : $125,000
- Zaber Sentry : $19,000

But they've been building their audience for so long. w360's first post in [H]ardforums is on 2012, Dan's on 2013, while the Zabers on 2014. Their projects only come to their respective crowdfunding sites 2,5 years later. By that time a significant amount people have shown interest.

I know it's hard to wait that long, so perhaps another angle to take is to lower your target. Assuming this project continues its development and tries for another round sometime in the future, is it possible for you to aim a smaller number for first-batch manufacturing?
 
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Crono Labs

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Crono Labs
Jan 11, 2017
7
10
I reckon you could fit 3x 80mm fans across the top face of the case pointing upwards, and/or even a 120mm fan facing over the motherboard.

Yeah adding fans wouldn't be too much of a problem, there is some space.

I know it's hard to wait that long, so perhaps another angle to take is to lower your target. Assuming this project continues its development and tries for another round sometime in the future, is it possible for you to aim a smaller number for first-batch manufacturing?

Unfortunately we aren't continuing with development as with the manufacturing cost and the scale needed it would be extremely unlikely that a 2nd campaign would work. I really hope that someone else picks up the concept or that something changes in the future that makes it more feasible for us, as it is a product that both myself and my co-founder are passionate about and wanted to use ourselves.
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,243
2,357
freilite.com
Unfortunately we aren't continuing with development as with the manufacturing cost and the scale needed it would be extremely unlikely that a 2nd campaign would work.

How would a second campaign be more costly than the first? You already have everything at hand, you don't need to invest any more money, just time to spread the word. If you are confident in the concept of your product, you should be able to defend all your design decisions against the feedback of users, so a major redesign won't be needed.
 
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Crono Labs

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Crono Labs
Jan 11, 2017
7
10
How would a second campaign be more costly than the first? You already have everything at hand, you don't need to invest any more money, just time to spread the word. If you are confident in the concept of your product, you should be able to defend all your design decisions against the feedback of users, so a major redesign won't be needed.

It's not that it would be more costly, it's that we've realized that with the same goal, it would be extremely difficult to fund a campaign, and we can't lower it because of manufacturing and shipping costs.
 

ignsvn

By Toutatis!
Moderator
Apr 4, 2016
1,402
1,239
In a more positive note, this case has different target market than NCase, Sentry or Dan-A4, so I guess you just need find your market.

(I know it's not gonna be that easy, but still)

* EDIT:

Like what others have said, you need to do some introduction / marketing "campaign".

1. Create threads in tech forums. Introduce your case.
2. There are people who are looking for such cases. These are the easy part.
3. There are people who are into more options. You need to convince these people, selling idea like.. "Hey, my case will look way cleaner on the desk!".
4. Listen for inputs / comments / critiques / salts.
5. Proceed based on those.

I said this because, In a way, those Sentry / Dan A4 / NCase project planning threads actually act like a campaign.

Good luck.
 
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Sean Crees

Airflow Optimizer
Jan 1, 2017
352
316
How would this be superior to just taking a Node 202 and mounting it to the vesa mounts on the back of a monitor?