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DAN A4-SFX

dondan

King of Cable Management
Original poster
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
769
2,615


Introduction

The A4-SFX case is a one-man project with the goal of creating the smallest case possible while still using high-end standardized components, such as Core i7 processors and powerful full-length GPUs such as the GeForce GTX 980 Ti.

The result is a unique product that is much smaller than all competing cases. This case is perfect for SFF (Small Form Factor) enthusiasts, those who need a highly portable system, developers who require a case with a smaller footprint due to limited desk space, and gamers who want a high-end PC experience in their living room.



How it works

A number of creative ideas were needed to create the case. Using a PCIe extender allowed for the most prominent design feature of this case, which is the location of the GPU behind the motherboard. The A4-SFX will come with the highest quality PCIe extender on the market, made by 3M, which allows for PCIe Gen3 and Gen4 support.

The case allows for easy mounting of either SFX or SFX-L power supplies. The PSU is located in the front of the chassis.

Depending on the size of the PSU, up to two 2.5” HDDs or SSDs can be mounted in the drive bay. This drive bay could potentially be mounted with rubber spacers to reduce vibration. A third drive can be mounted behind the front cover.

Every component is able to cool itself by getting fresh air directly from the outside. Hot air in the case will move to the top and then outside without the need of an extra fan. This principle works perfect and results in an amazing cooling efficiency compare to other cases.



Specification

Case Dimensions (H x W x D): 200 x 112 x 317mm, 7.25L
Overall Dimensions: 205 x 112 x 327mm (including feet and rear protrusions)
Weight: 1,25 Kg

Graphic cards support: Dual-Slot up to 295mm length
Motherboard support: Mini-ITX
Power Supply support: SFX, SFX-L

Drives: 3 x 2.5" HDD/SSD

Front ports: 1 x USB 3.0 (internal 20pin plug)
Power button: Premium-grade button

Material: 1.5mm aluminum, brushed exterior
Sidepanels: Easily clippable with Lian Li Push Pin technology

Colors: Anodized black or silver exterior, matte black painted interior

Risercard: Includes the 3M Twin Axial 300mm riser cable
PCIe Gen3+ support, Link: 3M product page



Gallery



Example Configurations
 
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dondan

King of Cable Management
Original poster
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
769
2,615
Hi guys,
I thought is was time to create also a thread in this amazing forum.
Thanks to Aibohphobia and PlayfulPhoenix for making this platform for SFF enthusiast.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
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Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
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Welcome to the forum and awesome to see your project featured here !
 

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
SFF Workshop
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Jun 19, 2015
3,237
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sff.network
Welcome aboard! Let me be the first one to say.. I want one!

(i'll see if i can get the funds together to support the crowdfunding campaign.. not looking likely though :/)
 

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Feb 22, 2015
1,006
1,616
Hi guys,
I thought is was time to create also a thread in this amazing forum.
Thanks to Aibohphobia and PlayfulPhoenix for making this platform for SFF enthusiast.
You're too kind ;)

I'm very happy to see you post here! I don't have enough hours in the day to follow all the awesome projects out there, but I've made a point of following yours. The A4-SFX has a pairing of layout and component support that's very compelling. And the tradeoffs (and inherent strengths in the design) are excellently executed.
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,223
2,330
freilite.com
Hi Daniel, great to see you here! One small thing I've got to note: you forgot the 3M product page link in your first post.
 

jtd871

SFF Guru
Jun 22, 2015
1,164
841
Hi Daniel, great to see you here! One small thing I've got to note: you forgot the 3M product page link in your first post.
He's mentioned on the [H] thread that he's going to be using a new super-secret and less-expensive riser. The omission may be deliberate.
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,223
2,330
freilite.com
Was just noting that because there still was a mention of it in the post that said "link" but didn't actually link to anything.

I thought it was established already that the new riser would be coming from LiHeat.
 
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rawr

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Mar 1, 2015
137
9
Checkin in. Best of luck for the next few months, should be busy.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
Feb 22, 2015
4,955
4,681
That looks really good! Is the manual going to be printed or just available as a PDF to download?
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
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Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
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It seems to be really well done !
It reminds me of that one single person that kept asking Necere EVERY month for doing a manual after he received the case, over on [H].
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,223
2,330
freilite.com
It seems to be really well done !
It reminds me of that one single person that kept asking Necere EVERY month for doing a manual after he received the case, over on [H].
Wasn't it something like every other week? Still, I feel like it makes the case more suitable for mass-market.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
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Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
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Could also have been ever week, indeed :)

Mass-market viability seems to far reached for most of these community-developed mITX cases. The problem with cases like the Ncase M1 and the A4-SFX is that it's so specific on what works, most people having made their own PCs are comfortable with something as roomy as a Prodigy, but not something as space-optimized as the M1 or the A4-SFX. Also, going to mass-market has a lot of other issues like production, support and transport all needing to scale out immensely, which Ncase or Dondan wouldn't be able to do with just one or two guys helming it.

I admire Dondan for this effort though, as this is often overlooked and it could bring community-developed cases unto a new level. It makes it more accessible to people who don't have as much experience but still did the research what fits and what doesn't.
 

dondan

King of Cable Management
Original poster
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
769
2,615
I don't want to make a new thread, so I thought I post it here. Because I am on the last steps to bring the A4-SFX to market I had to deal with laws that need to fulfill to sell a case in the EU.


What you have to know if you plan to sell a case in the EU:

1. CE conformity declaration

With the CE declaration a company guarantee, that there product conforms all laws for this type of product. This means the EU had specified a ton of guidelines for every product.

1.1 So at first you have to search for the guidelines that match for you product. For a computer case that has no hardware inside the guidelines are:

Low voltage guideline: 2014/35/EU

RoHS guideline: 2011/65/EU


1.2 Now you must search form the DIN/EN norms that tell you how to test your product so that it fulfill the guidelines. So for a case that should fulfill 2014/35/EU and 2011/65/EU the norms are:


EN 60950-1:2014-08 (in german: 280€, in english: 500€)

EN 50581:2013-02 (in german: 40€, in english: 180€)

You can buy these norms on www.beuth.de.


1.3 The next step is to do the test that is described in the norms. You have to do only the test that is necessary. You need special test equipment to do some of the test: For example let fall a standardized iron ball on you case or do a fire test and so on. I think it is impossible to do the test by your own if you aren’t a larger company, but there are accredit companies in every country that can help you to do the test. In Germany for example TÜV Süd, Tüv Rheinland. It will cost between 2000-5000€ that they will do the tests for you.

1.4 After that you have to create a user manual for you product. You have to describe how the customers have to use this product and how they have to assembly it. If you don’t have a user manual you are violate against the CE law. This means if a customer isn’t able to use your product because you don’t describe how to assemble it they have the right to send it back and you have to refund the money and pay the shipping cost.

1.5 After that you have a test report for your case and you are able to write the CE conformity declaration.

What can happen if I print the CE logo on my case without the test?

- Other companies can serve a notice to you by their lawyer or the customs can ban import. The punish could up to 100.000$/€



2. WEEE

The WEEE is an EU law how every country have to handle the electronic waste. For example in Germany there are a privatize company that named EAR that operate a register where every electronic product (also product that will be used with other electronic components) is registered. Every company that sells electronic products in Germany has to register their products by the EAR. You must send monthly reports how many tons you have sold. So registration progress is very complicated and must be done by a representative that has a residence in Germany. This is very complicated for companies that are located in other countries so it is possible to do the registration over an service provider like http://www.take-e-way.de/.

What can happen if I don’t register my company and product?

- Other companies can serve a notice to you by their lawyer or the customs can ban import. The punish could up to 150.000$/€


Conclusion
As I know many of the products that sell by startup over crowdfunding aren’t registered and have real CE declaration with test report, because they think we aren’t located in the EU so what could happen or they don't know these laws. But this could be a problem and destroy your company faster as you can look if a person will be hurt by your product, a bigger company like Silverstone, Lian Li see you as a competitor or a lawyer wan’t to earn money by serve a notice to you. I can only recommand deal with the laws of the countries where you like to export, because every succesfull company do this.

Lian Li, Silverstone and many more are registered by the EAR (you can check in on their webside) and have suitable CE declaration.
 
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Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
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May 9, 2015
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Wow, what a load of BS. It doesn't keep low quality products out of the European Union though. But does this hassle need to be done for products produced in Asia or America and shipped overseas or is this only an issue when you make make and sell it in Europe ? Would it be possible to produce in Switzerland to go around this ? It's just an awfully large cost for something that is redundant in this scenario, or is there a minimum level at which it's not applied (minimum required turnover for instance) ?
 

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Feb 22, 2015
1,006
1,616
Wow, what a load of BS. It doesn't keep low quality products out of the European Union though. But does this hassle need to be done for products produced in Asia or America and shipped overseas or is this only an issue when you make make and sell it in Europe ? Would it be possible to produce in Switzerland to go around this ? It's just an awfully large cost for something that is redundant in this scenario, or is there a minimum level at which it's not applied (minimum required turnover for instance) ?
It depends on what you're doing. But for something like an enclosure, if the electric components that comprise it are all certified (think the I/O and such), then the whole thing complies.

This presumably gets a lot more complicated once you have pre-installed fans and lighting, however. There's a reason those aren't very common with community projects :confused:
 

dondan

King of Cable Management
Original poster
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
769
2,615
It doen't matter if you change the location of production. If you sell/export products to Europe you have to fulfill the laws.

@PlayfulPhoenix: Also for the enclosure you have to do the tests. Like EN 90650:1 because this norm is for enclosure that is used with electronical products. It is the same with WEEE if you sell a case with a included cable you have to register.