CASE TOOLS - CASE BUILDING DEMO - MIDI FIGHTERS - ALMOST ALL THE PARTS:
In this entry, I'll go over the list of goodies that's nearly complete, a couple of controllers, a nice tool used for making cabinets, and a demonstration validating the use of a wooden DIY computer case.
MIDI Fighters controllers:
The one with the lit-up knobs is called the "Twister", and the one with the arcade buttons is called the "3D". Both use a proprietary software program to set up all of their functions and assignments, the program is free of charge and available at "DJTech Tools".
3D SOFTWARE LINK = https://techtools.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/ ... structions
Twister SOFTWARE LINK = https://techtools.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/ ... er-Twister
Now, there is SO BLOODY MUCH INFOS on setting up, using, tweeking, futzing with either of these two controllers (whether it be stand alone, with Tractor/Ableton) that you could nearly drown in the data. Heaps and great piles of videos ... documents ... forum entries ... more! I've got a total of $350.00 invested in this pair of controllers. I took advantage of a Christmas promotional sale when I bought the Twister (10% off and
free 2-day shipping), and I bought the 3D used from a nice fella in Canadia for $150.00 shipped. Seein's how the Twister wears many hats (controller, sequencer, MIDI CC controller for MIDI synths such as the Nord Micro modular ... more!) and that the 3D is another man of many trades, I feel that $350.00 for all the capability the two of them offer was nearly criminal.
They ~feel~ fantastic! They are covered in a sortof rubbery material, even the knobs themselves on the Twister are "rubber" covered. And although the pots are infinite spin (360 degree), they fee
l like high end potentiometers ... not like funky/floppy/wobbly encoders ... AT ALL. The arcade buttons used on the 3D have a Five Million Cycle MTBF .... five million cycles!!
Like the Twister, the 3D is also covered in that same sortof ~rubberish~ material. It reminds me of what the Ableton Push1 of mine feels like, it too has that rubbery covering/coating on it just like the MIDI Fighters stuff does.
Do they work? I have no idea. Remember, the computer needs to be built yet! Here they are, these are the very two that I purchased:
The Kreg Tool line of cabinet making gadgets has proved itself to cabinet/drawer/woodworkers time and again over the last several years. I got this "starter kit" for Christmas from my attentive wife. This setup should prove to be very useful when it comes time to fabricate the cabinet/box for this computer project. If you've never heard of Kreg Tool cabinet making tooling, just run a search on the mighty mighty Tou Yube and have a look! It's a fantastic and highly cost effective tool that pretty much any garage or DIY builder's shop should put down on their "must have" list. It's one of the easiest and simplest ways to build cabinetry that I've ever seen.
DIY COMPUTER CASE MADE OF WOOD:
I'm sure there are plenty of folks that have read about my intentions to construct my own wooden computer case and have thought "he's fooking out of his friggin mind!". Well, they'd be correct about that ... I am out of my friggin mind. Always have been. I go far out of my way to avoid the overly well pounded path that the average mainstream follower walks upon ... I find the less traveled paths far more exciting. Why take the main roads that the average people follow? We already know precisely where those roads lead, and exactly what the scenery is along the way.
But on this particular project, my choice to build a wooden computer cabinet suits MANY needs I have, and I feel these choices will provide me with all of the capabilities I require .... with the freedom to choose changes, modifications, and ideas of any types I want.
This video provides a bit of a look into what freedoms are available, as well as debunking all of the naysayer's concerns along the way. It's well worth the fourteen minutes it takes to view it. Be sure to watch it all the way to the very end, the producer of the video adds some extremely important information so be sure to see the entire thing!
PARTS IS PARTS .... PARTS IS IN!:
Nearly all of the items on my parts list are purchased and have arrived. All I'll need is a pair of 120mm fans (both used as "pusher" fans to blow air into the box), the OS software, and a few other little trinkets from the hardware store. Also yet to add is an external USB3 CD/DVD drive (about $25.00), and a USB3-to-SATA3 SSD connection pigtail to allow connection of standard SATA3 SSD drives used as external backup means. Both the CD/DVD and the external SSD setups will be stored in a very safe case along with storage medium so the entire "kit" is kept clean and safe. I'll be using either the CD/DVD or the external SSD so infrequently that having them as external setups just makes sense. Fewer things to deal with when making the cabinet, less complexity, lower internal parts count (less parts means greater reliability), and less internal heat.
I ended up going with the Intel i7-8700 CPU (6 cores, 12 threads, 3.2ghz). And after a lot of deliberating (and driving other members completely nuts with my questions) I decided to go with one 240GB M.2 NVME x4 SSD (for the OS and DAW) and a 1TB 7200 rpm SATA3 HDD (for sample libraries and created content). I also ended up going with the EVGA 500 watt Bronze 80 power supply.
Everything seen in the picture below, plus the ASUS Prime Z370-A motherboard came to an end total of just a couple of dollars under $800.00 bucks.
* ASUS Prime Z370-A motherboard.
* Intel i7-8700 8th gen 3.2ghz CPU (6 cores, 12 threads).
* Corsair "2x8" 16GB 3000mhz DDR4 ram kit.
* Samsung 240GB M.2 NVME x4 SSD.
* Toshiba 1TB 7200 rpm SATA3 HDD.
* EVGA 500 watt Bronze 80 power supply.
* Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU cooler.
2 FANS? - THAT PUSH AIR? - WAIT, WHUT? ... let me explain the whole "pusher" thing
. If you use fan(s) to sortof "inflate" the case by blowing air into it, doing so pressurizes the case to a small degree. That means a little air will be blowing out of various seams and holes in the case (as well as the intentionally cut exhaust holes). This pressurized air expelling from those various seams/holes/gaps prevent any dust/lint/cat fur from getting into those small holes in the case. There's a constant flow of air gently blowing out of those leaking holes and seams any time the computer is powered up.
Now, if instead I were to use a pair of fans to blow air out of exhaust ports (large-ish holes cut into the case) and drawing cool air into the case via intake air holes, that would create a small bit of vacuum ... suction ... inside of the case. That method would create air being sucked into those seams and holes, drawing in lint, dust, cat fur into the computer case.
So if I put two fans right over a hole or pair of holes that blow air into the cabinet, they will be "inflating" the cabinet. If I put two fans right over a hole or pair of holes that blow air OUT of the cabinet, they will be "deflating" the cabinet. "Inflating" the cabinet will blow crud away from any leaks. "Deflating" the cabinet will suck crud into any leaks.
The best of the two methods is very obvious.
So I'll be placing a pair of 120mm fans just inside of the intake holes in the cabinet, drawing air through an air filter, and inflating the cab. Exhaust air will blow out of a few holes cut into the cabinet, strategically placed to create a flow across the motherboard before it exhausts the case.
WHY TWO 120mm FANS INSTEAD OF ONE 200mm FAN?:
Simple, if the single 200mm fan quits, there is no air flow moving through the case. If one of the two 120mm fans quits running, there is reduced flow .... but there is still flow. And, two 120mm fans will flow more CFM ("volume") of air than one 200mm fan. I know I touted the use of a single 200mm fan previously, but after thinking about it, using two 120mm fans makes more sense. And not only that, but there is a far larger selection of 120mm fans than there are 200mm fans. So there we are.
Ok ... so pretty soon I'll be doing mockups of various layouts of the mounting locations for the motherboard, HDD, and power supply. That's all of it folks ... just those three things will be all that is actually mounted in the cabinet. The power supply will also be inside of the cabinet, however it will be isolated inside of it's own compartment so it will draw in it's own cooling air, and expel it's own exhaust/hot air from it's own intake ports. But the main compartment will only have two components .... motherboard and HDD. That is just SO COOL!!
The intake fans (the dual 120mm fans) will be mounted to the lid or to one of the sides. And automotive air filter will be mounted directly outside of the intake fans. Contrary to the belief of some folks, a twelve inch diameter by two (or even three) inch tall circular automotive "high performance" air filter will not starve the computer case for air flow. Air filters work exactly like resistors placed in parallel. Think of each tiny hole in the air filter as if it were a 10k resistor. Now, as more 10k resistors (more tiny holes in the air filter) are added in parallel with one another, the more current (air molecules) flow through the filter (resistors) without resistance.
The larger the air filter, the greater the number of holes the air has to flow through the filter, and the less resistance to flow the molecules of air are met with. This is NO different than placing resistors in parallel. The greater number of resistors placed in parallel with one another, the more the total resistance goes DOWN. In either example, "resistance is resistance" ... whether it be resistance to the flow of air molecules, or resistance to the flow of current. The concept is exactly the same in either situation.
.... the larger the air filter (many free flowing holes for air to flow through) the less resistance to flow the fans will be met with. And the greater the overall volume of air that will freely flow through the cabinet.
In short, I'm not worried about it one iota. If it turns out that a single 12 inch diameter x 2 inch tall filter restricts the air flow too much, I'll simply add a second 12x2 air filter ... placing one 120mm fan beneath each filter.
One other solution is to simply stack a second air filter element on top of the 12x2 filter ... effectively making the total filter size 12x4 (doubling it's air flow). When I used to play around with racing in the Baja desert, it was nearly common practice to run AT LEAST two filters stacked up on one another. A bead of silicone sealant between the two filter mating surfaces prevented and "Baja Moon dust" from sneaking past the small gap between the two filters, thereby ruining a $40k engine and losing compression (from dust wearing out the piston rings and pistons themselves) and reducing power output .... and losing the race!
This concludes this entry of the ~ahem~ ... "Racing Computer Project Thread".
More to come! Soon enough!