Production Velka series cases for ultra compact and portable desktops

VELKASE Michael

Master of Cramming
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VELKASE
Oct 7, 2018
446
393
@VELKASE Michael
Is the color of the VK5 prototype the "black" you were considering offering on the VK3 ??
Yes. These photos had to be taken with my phone, so sorry for any color inaccuracies.

Oh wow that quite the optical illusion. :D What's your rationale for using honeycombs on the back and circular on the panels?

And that is amazing space savings, wow. I was also looking at your VK7 tentative specs and I cannot figure out how on Earth you have ATX PSU support, 71mm CPU cooler clearance and 315mm card support in 7.5L, short of using magic. Maybe too early to discuss that though.

I hope I'm not spamming this thread too much, I get excited by space savings. :D
Not sure of what others think, but I love to see people interested in this project so frequent replies are great.

My rationale for using two different vent patterns is the following:
Hexagonal cutouts are good for increasing the open area of panels while minimizing the impact on structural integrity. Circular cutouts on the other hand cause less turbulence when air passes through.
With this in mind, having hexagonal cutouts in the back can help reduce weight to keep the shipping prices reasonable and open up for panel for passive exhaust. The air that passes through will have a low velocity so the hexagonal cutouts will not cause a noticeable disturbance. Air has the highest velocity near the tips of the fan blades which is at the side intakes and circular cutouts can be used there for slight noise reduction, especially for graphics card fans which will always be positioned close to the side panel.

Regarding ATX support in the larger variant, it is not too much of a stretch. SFX PSU dimensions are 100 x 125 x 63.5 mm and ATX PSU dimensions are 140 x 150 x 86. It will be difficult to visualize without a picture, but if you take the previously given VK5 prototype dimensions of 174 x 109 x 301 mm, add 23 mm to 109 mm to add PSU thickness (this is what increases 48 mm CPU cooler clearance to 71 mm), and add 25 mm to 301 mm to add PSU width clearance, you will get 174 x 132 x 326 mm (7.49 L).
 

QuantumBraced

Master of Cramming
Mar 9, 2017
465
333
Yes. These photos had to be taken with my phone, so sorry for any color inaccuracies.



Not sure of what others think, but I love to see people interested in this project so frequent replies are great.

My rationale for using two different vent patterns is the following:
Hexagonal cutouts are good for increasing the open area of panels while minimizing the impact on structural integrity. Circular cutouts on the other hand cause less turbulence when air passes through.
With this in mind, having hexagonal cutouts in the back can help reduce weight to keep the shipping prices reasonable and open up for panel for passive exhaust. The air that passes through will have a low velocity so the hexagonal cutouts will not cause a noticeable disturbance. Air has the highest velocity near the tips of the fan blades which is at the side intakes and circular cutouts can be used there for slight noise reduction, especially for graphics card fans which will always be positioned close to the side panel.

Regarding ATX support in the larger variant, it is not too much of a stretch. SFX PSU dimensions are 100 x 125 x 63.5 mm and ATX PSU dimensions are 140 x 150 x 86. It will be difficult to visualize without a picture, but if you take the previously given VK5 prototype dimensions of 174 x 109 x 301 mm, add 23 mm to 109 mm to add PSU thickness (this is what increases 48 mm CPU cooler clearance to 71 mm), and add 25 mm to 301 mm to add PSU width clearance, you will get 174 x 132 x 326 mm (7.49 L).
Out of curiosity, have you tested hexagonal vs. circular vents for the side panels? What you say makes sense, but I think the hex pattern has so much more open area that any turbulence will be negligible. Moreover, fans will not need to work as hard. I think the hex pattern is almost the same as having no panel at all. The circular pattern is also very open though, so temperature and noise differences are probably negligible. But that's just my feeling, testing could show otherwise.

I know I was arguing for giant vents before, but on second thought I believe the circular pattern is more aesthetically pleasing for side panels, so it's probably a good aesthetic balance you've struck with the 2 vent types. Hex just suits rear/passive exhaust better.
 

VELKASE Michael

Master of Cramming
Original poster
VELKASE
Oct 7, 2018
446
393
Out of curiosity, have you tested hexagonal vs. circular vents for the side panels? What you say makes sense, but I think the hex pattern has so much more open area that any turbulence will be negligible. Moreover, fans will not need to work as hard. I think the hex pattern is almost the same as having no panel at all. The circular pattern is also very open though, so temperature and noise differences are probably negligible. But that's just my feeling, testing could show otherwise.
Temperatures have not been tested; only the qualitative noise difference. A similar open area can be achieved with circles and the honeycomb pattern would be more difficult to manufacture, so I am not ready to make that radical switch just yet.

Keeping the area of each individual cutout (circle and hexagon) equal and distance between cutouts equal, these would be the open area percentages:

45 degree staggered circles (current): 50.8 %
60 degree staggered circles: 58.6 %
60 degree staggered hexagons: 63.4 %

For reference, the side panels of the current Dancases A4-SFX have an open area of about 35% and the side panels on some of the Salvo Studios cases might have an open area of about 80%.

The vent pattern could easily be changed to 60 degree staggered circles for a higher open area without changing the appearance to a great degree. The vent pattern design does not matter much to me as long as it is something that people are willing to buy and the design is consistent among these three VK cases.
 

QuantumBraced

Master of Cramming
Mar 9, 2017
465
333
I see, thanks for the detailed information! Based on this, I think the current vent hole design is a great balance of aesthetics, noise and open area %.
 

Alur

Average Stuffer
Jan 9, 2019
84
51
VK5 might be the perfecto portable solution and VK7 as a great desktop station, waiting eagerly to see more.
 

comagoosie

Average Stuffer
May 8, 2018
56
72
Brick-less builds will only be possible with Flex ATX.
Aww, I take it a brickless 200w (yet to be released) HDPlex is out of running then (seems obvious saying it out aloud). A low powered VK3 build seems attractive, and my opinion on flex has gradually soured through the years. My pipe dream is a 12v meanwell rps-400-12 build, but I'll take what I can get -- keep up the good work!
 

VELKASE Michael

Master of Cramming
Original poster
VELKASE
Oct 7, 2018
446
393
Would anyone here happen to know the diameter of the cutout needed to mount the barrel connector of the picoPSU?
 

Donut

Trash Compacter
Mar 15, 2019
47
29
Would anyone here happen to know the diameter of the cutout needed to mount the barrel connector of the picoPSU?
Do you mean the 5.5/2.5 barrel connector or the 4 pin DIN connector?

I think the spec sheet for the 5.5/2.5 connector can be found on one of Mini-Box's pages (click the DC power jack connector link in the downloads box). Looks like you need a 10.8 mm hole for that one? I'm pretty bad at reading these things, though.

I couldn't find a spec sheet for the 4 pin DIN, but I had to hand drill a hole to use this connector with one of my cases. I measured the diameter of this hole to be about 12.8 mm.

Very nice cases, by the way.
 

VELKASE Michael

Master of Cramming
Original poster
VELKASE
Oct 7, 2018
446
393
Do you mean the 5.5/2.5 barrel connector or the 4 pin DIN connector?

I think the spec sheet for the 5.5/2.5 connector can be found on one of Mini-Box's pages (click the DC power jack connector link in the downloads box). Looks like you need a 10.8 mm hole for that one? I'm pretty bad at reading these things, though.

I couldn't find a spec sheet for the 4 pin DIN, but I had to hand drill a hole to use this connector with one of my cases. I measured the diameter of this hole to be about 12.8 mm.

Very nice cases, by the way.
Great, thanks. That is exactly what I was looking for. The DIN connector has a 12.0 mm diameter, so a 12.8 mm hole diameter makes sense. I will try using 12.5 mm for the DIN because that would allow re-purposing a 12.5 mm hole needed for HDPLEX power supplies.
 

Donut

Trash Compacter
Mar 15, 2019
47
29
Great, thanks. That is exactly what I was looking for. The DIN connector has a 12.0 mm diameter, so a 12.8 mm hole diameter makes sense. I will try using 12.5 mm for the DIN because that would allow re-purposing a 12.5 mm hole needed for HDPLEX power supplies.
Glad to help! The hole I drilled allows a tiny bit of wiggle in the connector, so 12.5 mm is probably just right.
 
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QuantumBraced

Master of Cramming
Mar 9, 2017
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@VELKASE Michael you could also include cutouts for Wi-Fi antennas if you have room on that rear plate. Most motherboards now have them built into the rear I/O, but not all.
 
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VELKASE Michael

Master of Cramming
Original poster
VELKASE
Oct 7, 2018
446
393
@VELKASE Michael you could also include cutouts for Wi-Fi antennas if you have room on that rear plate. Most motherboards now have them built into the rear I/O, but not all.
Do you have any examples of what it would look like without being built into the rear I/O? I am having trouble understanding where else the antenna could be if not there.
 

Donut

Trash Compacter
Mar 15, 2019
47
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QuantumBraced

Master of Cramming
Mar 9, 2017
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Do you have any examples of what it would look like without being built into the rear I/O? I am having trouble understanding where else the antenna could be if not there.
There are motherboards that only have the pigtail antenna connections for Wi-Fi. One could also install an M.2 Wi-Fi card in a board that doesn't have Wi-Fi. Those cards have the tiny antenna connections but you have to then route and mount the larger coaxial connections to your case (usually on a PCI bracket, which is not practical for ITX). Sometimes there are holes for them on I/O shields, like on my X99E-ITX/ac board, but other times there aren't, also I/O shields can be flimsy.

Again, lately the overwhelming trend has been coaxial connections mounted directly on metal brackets in the rear I/O, but some cheaper boards, especially older ones, still require manual mounting. And with an M.2 card, you'll always need to mount the antennas manually. It's a niche use case, but I figured if you have room on the plate, why not. The Geeek FlexATX plate has Wi-Fi mounting points, which is where I got the idea.
 
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