Prototype DIY "laptop" / portable PC

mbrown278

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Jun 20, 2018
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Out of interest, what thickness is your screen? I may consider trying to do it your way in future - struggling to find a 17" USB C monitor with holes for VESA mounting, so I'm using a 15.6 inch 60hz portable monitor which is 11mm thick and then a couple of mm for the sheet metal supporting it, but I think size wise I could go to 17 in the future. I'd need to figure out the controller board etc but your thread has been useful in getting my head around that if I did go for it
 
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timginter

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Apr 21, 2019
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Still wish I'd got an SFX unit, and also glad I hadn't - my mind still can't decide
I went with GxR-ONE because of battery, but now I'm sure I don't miss it I actually ordered the Corsair I linked for prototype v2 ;) Everywhere out of stock, though, ETA mid-May.

I finished a rough draft of 2 new designs - everything in the bottom box, one with SFX PSU and the other with modded server PSU: https://www.tinkercad.com/embed/h6Y1FxaMTHG
Colours are the same as in my first posts. GPU dimensions are for RTX 3080, though. GPU and CPU fans would be exhaust, 3 fans in the front as intake.
Modded server PSU is a bit narrower, I thought that design will be smaller, but looks like I'd need same size plates to accommodate standoffs.
Feels like it would actually make a neat custom case, then just bolt the screen on top of that.

Out of interest, what thickness is your screen? I may consider trying to do it your way in future - struggling to find a 17" USB C monitor with holes for VESA mounting, so I'm using a 15.6 inch 60hz portable monitor which is 11mm thick and then a couple of mm for the sheet metal supporting it, but I think size wise I could go to 17 in the future. I'd need to figure out the controller board etc but your thread has been useful in getting my head around that if I did go for it
The screen is 4mm thick, the controller board is 77x55x16mm. It's probably less convenient with extra cabling and having to mount separate controls (brightness, etc.), but there's already space for it and a 17'' DIY screen is much cheaper than a 15'' USB-C one
 
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timginter

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Apr 21, 2019
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I ordered two 425 x 300 x 1.5mm and one 425 x 300 x 2mm aluminium sheets for Prototype V2: https://www.tinkercad.com/embed/0A6wNi00cOB

402mm is minimum to fit 17'' screen. 425 x 300mm should fit up to RTX 3080 with Corsair CP-9020186-UK SF750 or modded server PSU and GxR-ONE.

Played around with different hardware layouts, with a modded server PSU and GxR-ONE I was able to cut dimensions down to 402 x 280mm for RTX 3070 or RX 6800XT, probably 410 x 280mm realistically.

GPU still mounted to top plate, but motherboard to the bottom and vent holes in the top plate for CPU exhaust like in your build, @ruleh - in the end, I was just making things difficult for myself wanting GPU and CPU exhaust through the bottom
 
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ruleh

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Jan 19, 2021
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Looking nice!
Seems so much cleaner without the battery and stuff.
It even has (unintended?) space for sata drives on top of the psu. :D

Are you going to place the keyboard closer to the front compared to the earlier designs?

Also isn't assembling it, with the motherboard and gpu connected to different plates, going to be a bit of pain?
 

timginter

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Apr 21, 2019
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Looking nice!
Seems so much cleaner without the battery and stuff.
It even has (unintended?) space for sata drives on top of the psu. :D
Thanks. True, a thin drive would probably fit there :D 1TB M.2 SSD is enough for me, though

Are you going to place the keyboard closer to the front compared to the earlier designs?
Keyboard is free standing, wireless, I didn't secure it in the end. I just move it where it's comfortable, depending how I have the rig on my lap.

Also isn't assembling it, with the motherboard and gpu connected to different plates, going to be a bit of pain?
Exactly my thoughts, I was actually thinking about "hanging" the mobo from the top plate on standoffs + steel threaded rods so I can unscrew the bottom lid without hassle. PSU already has to be on the bottom plate, though, to fit the LCD controller.
I'll have to see how much faff it will be if they were bolted to opposites plates, it may just be the GPU cable to disconnect before taking the plates apart
 

ruleh

Caliper Novice
Jan 19, 2021
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Keyboard is free standing, wireless, I didn't secure it in the end. I just move it where it's comfortable, depending how I have the rig on my lap.
What about during transport?
Exactly my thoughts, I was actually thinking about "hanging" the mobo from the top plate on standoffs + steel threaded rods so I can unscrew the bottom lid without hassle. PSU already has to be on the bottom plate, though, to fit the LCD controller.
I'll have to see how much faff it will be if they were bolted to opposites plates, it may just be the GPU cable to disconnect before taking the plates apart
What length riser cable are using for the gpu?
Surely not 30cm. :D
 

timginter

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Apr 21, 2019
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What about during transport?
Rubber feet on the keyboard prevent it from sliding when I move the rig "opened". When I close the lid I just put the keyboard on top.

What length riser cable are using for the gpu?
Surely not 30cm. :D
I have a 10cm riser I'll test first. Looks like a 5cm should be enough, too. I have to wait for new aluminium plates to arrive, though, prototype ones are just 382 x 260mm, won't be enough space for the new layout.

I'm starting prototype v2 with 425 x 300mm plates and see how much I can shave off for the final build.
From drawings, with either 750W SFX PSU or GxR-ONE and a modded server PSU, I should be able to get it down to 400 x 280mm for RTX 3070 or RX 6800XT. 400 x 300mm should fit up to RTX 3080.
 
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timginter

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Apr 21, 2019
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I tinkered around with the final build: https://www.tinkercad.com/embed/h4zX6h5VIB3. Simplicity is key.
Kettle lead in the front is not ideal, but a small tradeoff for a simple design. Bottom box can easily be rotated 180 degrees for kettle lead in the back, motherboard IO in the front for easy access and no need for a front USB panel (may be awkward for external monitors, though).

17'' portable USB-C monitor. Thanks @mbrown278 for the link.
400 x 280mm aluminium sheets for RTX 3070 or RX 6800XT. 400 x 300mm aluminium sheets for RTX 3080.
600W or 750W , 120 x 100 x 63mm SFX PSU. I went with 750W - future-proof and quiet fan with lower load. price difference between 600W wasn't that big.

Bottom box is 70mm tall including two 1.5mm thick aluminium plates. Legs are an extra 10mm.

This has been a great topic and big thanks to everyone for help! In the end I found I don't miss the battery at all and redesigned the rig for an SFX PSU and a USB-C monitor. I'm going through firsts posts, parts and design, and updating everything according to the new drawings.
The Corsair SFX PSU is out of stock and will be delivered mid-May, that will give me enough time for a prototype V2 using my modded server PSU and GxR-ONE for a reality-check before ordering another set of aluminium plates for the final build.

I'm still waiting for the BMS, I'll do the DIY UPS in a separate topic as a hobby project.
 
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timginter

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Apr 21, 2019
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425 x 300mm aluminium plates arrived - that was quick!

I need to find 65mm M4 female-female standoffs (hopefully aluminium or steel) to not faff around with threaded rods. USB-C monitor and SFX PSU should arrive around mid-may, then I can test the final build from: https://www.tinkercad.com/embed/h4zX6h5VIB3

Found a nice box the rig could work with - https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001728011368.html, ideally the 65mm version (and cut out the bottom to fit ATX PSU), but I have to see how much I can shrink internal dimensions with prototype V2. Then I can order one of the boxes to tinker with.
I really like the open aluminium design, though, so I'm not too bothered with squeezing everything in a 59mm internal height box.

With a set height from 65mm standoffs, I can always attach thin aluminium sheets to the standoffs around the sides to block interference a bit (hopefully just front and back so sides still tay open for good airflow). CPU and GPU fans to exhaust, some 60x25 Noctua fans as intake - might even work. A DIY enclosed case like that should solve interference and give me total freedom of where to cut holes for IO and fans, 0.9mm aluminium sides will be easy enough to cut