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Topic Title: NeXT Cube "Stealth" MOD--- Finally Photographed and Documented
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Created On: 02/05/2007 10:56 PM
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 02/05/2007 10:56 PM
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David Ingram
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Joined: 02/03/2007

The NeXT Cube Project:


[URL=http://imageshack.us][/URL]



The Finished NeXT Cube!! How did we get here?

Well 1st you need a next Cube computer.... $10,000 USD in 1988....

This IS the computer that Tim Berners Lee created Http, and thusly the WEB, on..

Lookup Tim Berners lee if you want to see some screenshots of the first web pages ever made.

So lucky me, my boss' dad was cool enough to donate an old one to me!


after HOURS with a screwdriver and a dremel tool and about 50 of those tiny cutting discs we have a case that we can put something into... Every internal screw stud, mounty thing had to be ground off (there were a ton)- Grinding and Magnesium--
not an exceptional combination... anyway heres the case... empty there were 2 other plastic rails on top which were removed.

[URL=http://imageshack.us][/URL]


A visit to home depot and i devised a material for the custom internal enclosure
(Its Angled and bar 1/8" aluminum)

[URL=http://imageshack.us][/URL]


I didnt feel i was up to actually tapping the MOBO tray myself so in my fixit work i found a worthy victim...


OK! one custom enclosure with proper matx standoffs... the black fan in back is from a vantec stealth PSU i bought for the project. The PSU was far too large to fit inside, but the cover once flattened out made a nice air INTAKE... 80 MM Vantec stealth fan used.



the concept was to have a modern computer in the old case, without ANY modification to the look of the case , wheras others had mirrored theirs or installed lights and windows, and knobs or whatever, MY build was going to feature no additional cutting or drilling to the enclosure itself, AND i wasn't going to chintz out by making the DVD burner external, like MR mirror finish did. This was the concept for the original hole in the front of the next cube, remarkably putting the dvd on top ther was just enough room for 4 3.5bays plus a lil extra room in the center!-- This design actually worked although given the length of the agp and pci cards the position of the 3.5 bays had to be reversed.

The solution was a long time in coming... and without any tools besides a dremel and a 6" hacksaw and a drill, i came up with my U bracket.....
The U portion of the U bracket actually came from the inside of the next cube and used to house the disc drive and the optical drive. it was 5&1/4 inches wide and cutting it down really made sense, otherwise i would have had to bend a sheet of metal this way, recycling from the next cube orig parts really paid off.



here is a bottom view



Getting the U bracket mounted was a difficult task but i got it in there-- 1st try!



you can see why the 3.5 devices had to be rearranged. the 3.5 floppy and ZIP 250 were too long to be on the same side as the AGP and PCI cards.



this may be a lil tight for some ppls taste lol!

Initially I really wasnt sure of what kinda heat characteristics i was going to be dealing with so i designed the mother of all CPU cooling available at the time
Including a Massive Copper Heatsink, with a milled aluminum 60MM to 80 MM converter and another 80mm Vantec stealth fan (Yes these are most definitely the quietest fans available)



Ok lets add the first 500 Gigs.... More parts dremeled off an old case, some "Hard drive enclosure extensions" from comp usa a buncha screws, a lot of $$, some aluminum and voila!!






pretty ugly... here it is from the top



here is the ugly [content edited] in place.



Yep..... now this side needs 500 gigs too.....











toldya it would fit....

Heres the whole front
The center venting was actually cut from a portion of the Cubes original backplate.



Ready to install
[URL=http://imageshack.us][/URL]


From the top:


Here you can see the thermaltake ducting mod installed on the rear intake fan.

Intake? shouldent it be an EXHAUST fan?... Conventional thinking would assume so

however, having a constant supply of cool air blowing IN is actually far superior to exhausting hot air. the entire bottom is vented as well as the front vent and many areas across the back to escape hot air, not including the PSU fAN which is always blowing out. Actually this case outperforms my Antec Performance II Tower case for sound and thermal properties. My store bought case is Louder and runs hotter than this lil next cube, even though the NeXT cube is a Athlon 2600 and the Antec Box is a Tbird 1400, w 2 exhaust fan 80mm.... (Yes i turned them around and they are now intake fans too)...{Totally resolved heating issue BTW} lol they shoulda thought of that w Xbox360 teehee

OK Going in......

[URL=http://imageshack.us][/URL]


and from the back...... (I never said it was gonna be pretty)




ANND its complete...... 1TB for less than $1000....



Parts:

Shuttle MN31N Motherboard
AMD AthlonXP 2600+ (Barton) 333 MHZ CPU
512 MB Corsair PC3200 (400Mhz) 2x 256MB Dual Channel
NVIDIA Geforce FX 5200 AGP 8x w 128 MB DDR SDRAM
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 24 Bit w Firewire, etc
Maxtor ATA 133 PCI IDE controller
Pioneer 16X DVD Burner-- Black
Vantec Nexus 4 channel fan controller (Really helps w noise BTW)-- Black
Bay One AVI 6-1 card reader with 2 front USB and 2 front firewire, Cmos reset
Teac 1.44 MB floppy diskette--Black
IOMEGA 250 MB ZIP drive -- Black...

And this was 3 Years ago.......

that little copper fan you see in the motherboard pic is one i just installed because nvidia one decided to become the god of noise.

And OHO! guess what.... Now the Computer won boot.... thats all i did i changed out the IGP (northbridge fan) on this Mobo... and BAM no video on boot....

Will not synch to my monitor using either port on Geforce Card...


Ok so i install a AGP Radeon 9600 SE P.O.S. card i have lying around what was given to me

NO video

I try diff power supplies... NO video

I disconnect HDs, firewire, USB, all AGP and PCI cards, cmos reset and am running with just CPU RAM and built in video, and cpu fan... No synch...



SO IF YOU HAPPEN to have an NVIDIA chipset MOBO (This one was nforce2) AND
your CACHE fan becomes too loud, I would strongly recommend NOT attempting to replace the Cache fan, as i did with a nice vantec copper iceberq thingie for 10 bux
(nice Kit by the way). Not using silver grease, and just disconnecting the fan and taking your chances with the aluminum sink that is already there.

SO whats going to happen?

Shuttle is going to become mr ECS Geforce 6100 SM-m
Barton is going to become mr Athlon 64 X2 3800+
rams are going to become PC 6400 2x 512 for 1 gig total

and video card is gonna be built in for a while... until I can afford a 7600gt or higher
and Bogey TY for the advice.... i wish i was a lil more adventerous and wish i woulda went a week without trying to replace the sink... anyway... at least ill have a faster better terabyte cube now.

thank you any comments appreciated

Edited: 08/27/2007 at 01:51 PM by David Ingram
 02/05/2007 11:37 PM
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David Ingram
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here was the noisy fan....

[URL=http://imageshack.us][/URL]


you can also see a rediculous idea i had for the cpu cooling.. using 2 of those ducting mods with a fan in the center.... a good way to keep the CPU fed with cool outside air?... perhaps

the vantec tornado isnt gonna help the noise level much though hahaha this was abandoned for the 2 fan method shown previously.... 1 blowing right in..... and one BIG fan on the CPU...

I could run SETI@home command line version for weeks at a time... i could get over 7 complete workunits done per day.... It was pretty impressive for its time....

An then just recently that fan acted up.....

I replaced it with a nice copper one

Vantec Iceberq... Nice Kit for 10 bux too...... was quiet....



After i put it in .... no boot... not from any combination of 2 known working video cards or built in video

no post no synch to the screen regardless...

so again I say IF your northbridge/ IGP w/e, Fan, becomes the king of noise... leave everything alone and hope the sink does its job.... i was careful and somehow... unknown to me clipped in one lil fan and jacked my system.....

Edited: 08/27/2007 at 01:36 PM by David Ingram
 02/06/2007 05:35 PM
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Ravanger
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Joined: 01/11/2006

hmm, although it looks ok i dont think u did too good of a job. i think u cut too much of the back part out and the case itself looks fugly, paint it maybe?, but all in all good job

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<img src="http://img247.imageshack.us/im...7387/316515972mak2.jpg" border="0" alt="IPB Ima
 02/06/2007 06:57 PM
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David Ingram
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like i said in the topic, only hand tools were used.... i dint have a work bench, power saws or table equipment of any kind.... I didnt even have a c clamp.... it was like hold these 2 pieces together with one hand and drill with the other... Screwdrivers, a dremel and a 6" hacksaw were my tools for the entire project, and a drill.

the backplane i still have black bezel with which i can fabricate any kind of back i wish.

this entire project was done on the ultra cheap, yes i colud've done a much better job of everything if i had a nice band saw and drill press and huge workbench with vices and clamps.... lacking that i did this on my round dinner table in a 500 sq foot apt 3 yrs ago. thx for the reply though...
 02/06/2007 07:02 PM
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zeppelinrox
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Joined: 11/30/2005

actually, the pics of the finish is kinda hard to see due to being backlit..
do you have a brighter pic?
i have a feeling that the pics don't do it justice

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Overclocking Help and Links . Why DRM, BluRay and HD-DVD Blow Great tools-> OC Bible v1.52 and Guidemania v1.2
 03/08/2007 09:07 PM
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ballsandy
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What a waste......
Even for how old it was you could of sold it for the supplies needed to make the case yourself.

Yep, the cheapest you can get a cube for here is just under $1000

http://www.blackholeinc.com/sp...ls/blackhardware.shtml

I also think you butchered that case.

EDIT: I over reacted on what you did to the system. Can I rephrase "butchered" as "poorly recrafted"?
 03/09/2007 10:28 AM
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David Ingram
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Joined: 02/03/2007

quote:

Originally posted by: ballsandy
What a waste......
Even for how old it was you could of sold it for the supplies needed to make the case yourself.

Yep, the cheapest you can get a cube for here is just under $1000

http://www.blackholeinc.com/sp...ls/blackhardware.shtml

I also think you butchered that case.



Actually... the case itself is untouched and unbutchered in any way... all 5 sides except for the back are completley stock. The inside had several raised screw mounts which were cut and ground off but as for the appearance of the case it is bone stock with no modifications. The back part of the case is unseen, as it faces a wall but i will eventually finish it as i have the backplane/ bezel still.
 03/09/2007 11:06 AM
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David Ingram
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The Whole Motherboard.... Yes I kept this



Detail showing the EPROM.. (1989... v1.0--- another number on sticker 1142.00-- seems theres another sticker below this one)



Detail showing the RAM bank.... 8 of 16 slots filled



Sorta Blurry photo of the edge....

Ports are as follows: Display, Enet (coax), Printer, SCSI, A&B serial, DSP.


What else can I tell you? Well the Processor is a MC68030 (RC25B) im guessing 25 Mhz...
the other chip i recognize says MC68882 (FN25A) which I believe is the Math coprocessor.

The panasonic lithium battery is intact, no leakage marked as a Panasonic Lithium BR-2/3a 3 volt--- Matsushita electric

The Stamp on the Motherboard says c1989 NeXT Inc MADE IN USA 857.00.AD
 07/10/2007 03:07 PM
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Orlock
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Seems the photos have all gone stale. Any chance you could refresh them? Just picked up an old cube myself and was toying with the idea of a matx mod.
 08/27/2007 01:40 PM
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David Ingram
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Yeah the forums used to say the more photos the better

Now they say 5 max...

trying to refresh some of the best ones

heres the whole thing on another forum

http://z9.invisionfree.com/Rad....php?showtopic=536&hl=
 02/04/2008 08:40 AM
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macdee1823
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Yea, modding the cube would give it a more appealing look.

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