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Production DeskNano x300 - a 1.2L replacement for the DeskMini a300/x300

msystems

Master of Cramming
Original poster
Apr 28, 2017
497
835
























make (DIY Guide)

Parts Store

DeskNano x300 Specifications
[Requires DeskMini x300 (sold here on Ali Express) or a300]

Base Dimensions: 156.1mm x 142.6mm x 53.2mm
Base Volume: 1.18 Liters
Supported Cooler Height: 37mm (base) to Unlimited
Supported CPU Cooler Fan Size: Up to 120mm, any thickness
CPU Fan Grille Styles: Cutout or Mesh (pattern controlled by slicer)
Natively supported coolers: Noctua L9A, Wraith Stealth, AXP 90, NH D-15

Modular Expansions:

1) Storage Bay
Supported Storage: 2x 2.5” SATA drives, 15mm Height (support 5TB drives)
Supported Cooling: Yes, 120mm Hole Pattern

2) Vesa Adapter

3) Graphics Bay (Very early development) ETA AUGUST
Supported Riser: ADT-Link R43UH 4.0 10cm
Supported GPU Length: Unlimited
Supported GPU Slot Width: Unlimited
Supported GPU Power Systems: External. Others TBD

4) Or Design your own expansion modules


Rev 4.0: Production



Update 6.28.22


Prototype Rev 3.0

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Prototype Rev 2.0

Rev. 2.0 Update 6.22.2022
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Prototype 1.0

The Deskmini stock case feels cheap & really doesn't do it justice, so I've been working on designing a replacement with better ventilation and features.

Features:

1. Its smaller. Compared to the stock chassis, the "Base width" is reduced from 80mm to 54mm, the minimum when using a L9a/L9i without SSDs. The "base volume" is reduced from 1.92L to ~1.2L. Using a larger cooler or swapping to a 120mm fan will be made possible by switching the lid, so the case is always exactly the height of the fan no matter what cooler is used.



2. Better portability by collapsing the antennas into the footprint of the frame. They are flush with the furthest protruding I/O (the D-Sub). Works with the stock antennas, but looks even cleaner with shorty ones. It works nicely on the a/x300 and should also work on the Intel boards with some adjustments.



3. Removable rear panel for accessing m.2. and Sata ports, and 4. Rear-facing m3 hole pattern for attaching an m.2 eGpu -OR- an expansion tray for holding SSDs or disk drives. This is still being designed.



5. 16mm Vandal switch, however this may be changed to something smaller (a 12mm) for greater compatiblity as the clearance is tight.


(First prototype - size comparison)

There's some fitment issues I am working on fixing for the next prototype.

Special thanks:
J-Hack, Curiosity, Revoccases
 
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kevpatts

Cable Smoosher
Jul 2, 2019
11
10
Love this. Have you considered a cut-out for the optional additional 2 USB ports too? I cut one into my existing x300 and it works well (had to cut it cause I'm using the IS-60 cooler with a Noctua fan).

I'd love to give this a go, have 3D printer ready and L9a in a box ready to go too!
 
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msystems

Master of Cramming
Original poster
Apr 28, 2017
497
835
For a while now (literally years actually) people have wanted to be able to put 15mm 2.5" drives up to 5TB into the Deskmini. So here is the modular storage attachment.



It also features a ventilation area which can either be left open, closed, or covered with a plastic or printed mesh.



Additionally, in case you want some active disk cooling for your Deskmini file server there is 120mm and 140mm hole patterns on the underside. The fan cable can be snaked through the rear of the case and to the #2 fan header.


The arrangement allows cooling to reach the underside m.2 slot as well.



The storage attachment is 17.3mm thick without the fan, so if you are using the L9a then the total thickness will be about 71mm.

Everything fits inside the existing footprint so there is no increase of length or width and it should mount flush to the case.



Next to design is a simple snap-in cover for the rear m.2 slot for protecting the access area when not using the "storage bay".
 
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msystems

Master of Cramming
Original poster
Apr 28, 2017
497
835
Update 6.22.2022



DeskNano Prototype Rev 2.0



The DeskNano prototype has been overhauled to rev 2.0, with many small but important changes to all parts.
The exterior remains similar, but fitment is visibly improved.

On the left is v1.0 and on the right is v2.0.




DeskNano NAS Edition

Storage Bay v1.0 - External Side w/ Mesh


The storage bay has been prototyped. It supports 2x 15mm drives with optional breathable mesh or active cooling.


Storage Bay v1.0 - Internal Side w/ Fan



Storage Bay v1.0 - Installed

The total width with the storage bay is still ~10mm less than the original chassis.

Active cooling with 120mm or 140mm fans is supported in order to get airflow to the M.2 area.


Rear m.2 area

Installing the secondary fan cable can be done without any major disassembly of the chassis. It will only require loosening two lid screws, elevating the rear panel off it's standoffs, feeding the cable through the i/o area.



Allowing for a clean look.


Completed Installation


New CPU Cooler Support



DeskNano now supports Wraith Stealth and 120mm fans. The Wraith Stealth comes with Ryzen APU's but doesn't fit in the stock chassis. So if you don't have a Noctua L9a yet, you'll get similar performance from the Wraith Stealth, and won't have to buy the $50 Noctua.


Wraith Stealth

Also supported are 120mm l9a swaps - either slim version, or standard 25mm by scaling the design's Z-height. This configuration can be useful when overclocking memory. Slightly higher core temperatures (but still within tolerance for single core loads) but massively improved memory and VRM cooling.


Scythe Kaze 120mm x15 swap

Scythe Kaze 120mm x15 swap

This 120mm lid design relies on a simple "press-fit" into place, held by the compression of the rubber anti-vibration pads. This frees up their hole pattern for a mesh or fan grille if you prefer.


120mm w/ Mesh Grille

It's also possible to fit much larger coolers with the 120mm cutout, such as the Wraith Prism, Blackridge, etc. It will be quite easy to design your own custom lid to fit any cooler you want.


Next Revision

The switch area is in need of redesign for better compatibility, since it's currently causing a defect in the attachment system. I am waiting to receive the new low profile switches I need to fix this. Any feedback is welcome on design or features.
 
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SFFMunkee

Airflow Optimizer
Bronze Supporter
Jul 7, 2021
277
237
This is some amazing work.

I'll need a custom cover to fit my GC Alpine Ridge rev2.0 Thunderbolt3 card, would love to assist with design work and/or testing :)
 
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msystems

Master of Cramming
Original poster
Apr 28, 2017
497
835
Minor update 6.26.2022:

The faceplate has been redesigned to accommodate the new low profile switches. To by shown tomorrow or the next day.

And the snap-fit rear cover is done.








It presses into place and can be removed by prying the edge gently with a screwdriver.

This will protect the rear M.2 slot but still allow it to breathe a bit. This is the default option used when not using any expansion bay.

As for the vertical cutout in the tray, that is a cable relief area for the m.2 to x16 riser, so the case can still remain as narrow as possible with the backside of an expansion card next to it (Pci-e Expansion Bay planned as future modular bay option).
 
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msystems

Master of Cramming
Original poster
Apr 28, 2017
497
835
Update 6.28.22








Rev 3.0

The design process is basically finished and there is testing underway now.

To create & assemble the case yourself though, you'll need the right hardware. I am researching how to best make a hardware kit available for the DIY crowd, which will contain everything you need + include customization options such as different choices of pre-wired switches & HDD LEDs to match your desired color scheme.


Chrome Bezel+Blue, Black Bezel+Red
 

HidekiRin

What's an ITX?
New User
Jul 1, 2022
1
1
Is there anywhere that we can buy the files for the 3d print? Both rev.2 and rev.3 look amazing and i'd love to build one for myself
 
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BellySyrup

What's an ITX?
New User
Jul 9, 2022
1
2
Signed up to SFF.net just to follow this project. Absolutely loved your Deskmini: Extreme edition post on reddit and can't wait for this project to be available. Hopefully asrock will continue with the Deskmini for AM5.
 

msystems

Master of Cramming
Original poster
Apr 28, 2017
497
835
Quick update:

Hardware kit is mostly final. DIY kit will have multiple switch and LED styles.

16mm Switch Options:

Switch Bezel: Chrome, or Black

Switch Led color: Red, Blue, White, Green, Yellow, Orange

Switch Sheathing: MDPC Black, MDPC Carbon BTI, MDPC Shade-19, MDPC White, MDPC Grey. (+ special requests) . Clear or black heatshrink.

HDD LED: None, White, Red, Blue, Green, Yel, Orange


New features (to be shown next week)

1) Vesa Adapter - with integrated mount and printable attachment.

2) New, "3dMesh" lids for l9a-92 and l9a-120mm. 2mm grille. The pattern and density of the grille is completely arbitrary (controlled by the slicer).
 
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