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Razbit

Zenbox - A Tiny HTPC Build [Finished! April 6th, 2015]

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Zenbox - A Tiny HTPC Build

First of all, this is a JokuTyypi - Razbit joint operation.

 

All this started last summer: I was looking into buying a Raspberry Pi (because my friend JokuTyyppi had one), but as I searched for alternatives I found a company called Hardkernel that makes single-board-computers, called ODROID. So, I bought a ODROID XU Lite. It has a Samsung Exynos5 Octa-core ARM CPU, running at 1,4GHz. It is equipped with 2GB of RAM and has a full-size USB3, a USB3 OTG and 4 USB2.0 connectors. Networking is done via a 10/100 Ethernet, and video goes through HDMI or DP. For storage I use a Hardkernel's 16GB eMMC module (micro SD slot is provided, the eMMC is just WAY faster). The board is able to run pretty much any Linux distro (it came with Android. Eww..). The board cost about 170$, so it is not *quite* as cheap as the RPi..

 

The XU Lite got fried somehow, now I'm using a Exynos 4412-based U3 board.

 

Odroid-8.jpg.171192f9c218eed14e1c68a4d6f37ebb.jpg

 

 

This is what the ODROID looks like (I've soldered a power button to it):
odroid.jpg.596868884e4d9c2e0c1972dcf0cdc1e6.jpg

 

odroid2.jpg.91dbd42d6602c462e3c4e2f52e7283ca.jpg

 

The board is 94x67mm and is approx. 20mm "thick" with the connectors.

Alright, lets see what we're turning this board into: an HTPC. The project begun with drawing the case in Autodesk Inventor.

This is what we came up with:

front_top.jpg.e1e7fa6411592ae9d3ed4608adfbdfd3.jpg

 

front_top2.jpg.02a15d8f05729b86e2559a4bc28d9edd.jpg


rear_top.jpg.4b7c89a13c4c680f9eb4db6db26a5c7f.jpg
Its black aluminium with mahogany, 126x40x83mm.

Building the case started today by cutting the top and bottom aluminum plates and drilling some holes:
topbot.jpg.6dfd1b156c8bae3101be470ae79777f3.jpg

 

topbot2.jpg.337cdbcee9a6d254ffb9020cc63266e5.jpg


Here they are (very much in-progress), accompanied with the piece of mahogany:
5b76010b99c55_almahogany.jpg.97ee296d43b7ea167777592ebde8172f.jpg


Thanks for reading, stay tuned! I hope this build is ready for xmas :)


Current rig: i7-5820K, R5E, 1070ti (windows), Radeon HD7850 (Mac), a bunch of SSDs and HDDs, running MacOS Mojave, Windows 10 + a bunch of debian servers on Proxmox KVM hypervisor

Laptop: MacBook Pro 13" 2017

 

Previous projects: Razmac G5, Server, zenbox HTPC

 

See my GitHub profile!

A coder/modder from Finland

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Jan 21, 2015

 

Hello everyone!

 

Now with xmas and all that behind, we got back to building with JokuTyyppi. Today, actually :)

 

This media machine is for my little sister, who has this Monday undergone a big heap surgery. She is just 10.5 years old, so it'll cure just fine. Because of that, she needs a way to spend time: this build is quite fine.

 

As I said in the comments below, the Odroid I had got fried. I don't know what happened, but it ain't working no more.. So, I've got a new one, an ODROID U3. It is based on the Exynos 4412 instead, and I think it handles video better (finds out the resolution by itself instead of the crappy boot.ini method as with the XU Lite..). Anyway, the case stays the same, so here we go!

 

The internal structure of the case is made from 10x25mm C channel (or U channel, whichever you call it). The profiles are fastened using short M3 bolts.

 

Alright, time for pics:

rear_c_done.jpg.e6713e7b11d29e574ba94a0ef1f8796c.jpg

 

mounting_the_board.jpg.c29e44efee7100824265ffb9ded4fab8.jpg

 

The board is directly bolted to the bottom plate, with 3 mm risers in between. Some washers are used, too.

rear_c_done_board.jpg.f08319011d0786a4154519da65e9f533.jpg

 

 

The new board is quite a bit smaller, eh?

 

long_cs_with_board.jpg.64f809ab0c26d380796ef9a68d2f8617.jpg

 

long_c_done.jpg.9f4af8f66ae959fbd47cbcb5f215febc.jpg

 

upside_down.jpg.2edcca81b60ee2da43021fefc5838bf8.jpg

 

cs_inplace_side.jpg.6032b63cbd63efe72f0c9fba7c3021d0.jpg

 

And now, to what we did today (January 21st)

 

While I made the short C channels to the sides, JokuTyyppi cut the rear piece in half to make a hole for the cables:

in_progress.jpg.b4264c1fca6c0fa2234eb981bcbf7524.jpg

 

 

After a while, the rear  was quite done (and sides):

internal_done_left_up_rear.jpg.3e47a284f186de4f2d3bf7c8e8f6fddf.jpg

 

internal_done_rear.jpg.c3e8286c935f95471ceb0cccb512e41b.jpg

 

internal_done_uprear.jpg.9db130f1452b9f7b279803ff77116675.jpg

 

And the edges filed:

inner_done.jpg.415cdbb55b056079480fdc1170032f81.jpg

 

assembled.jpg.e55602cab986787028d8f154f3b01f3a.jpg

 

 

There ya go! Some sanding is still to be done and we haven't started making any of the actually visible surfaces yet!

 

See you guys soon, I'm going to bed now!


Current rig: i7-5820K, R5E, 1070ti (windows), Radeon HD7850 (Mac), a bunch of SSDs and HDDs, running MacOS Mojave, Windows 10 + a bunch of debian servers on Proxmox KVM hypervisor

Laptop: MacBook Pro 13" 2017

 

Previous projects: Razmac G5, Server, zenbox HTPC

 

See my GitHub profile!

A coder/modder from Finland

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Feb 22, 2015

 

Hello!

 

Quite a bit has happened since the previous update, so here we go! No, the Zenbox still ain't ready.. 

 

In the end of the previous post the internal structure was quite done. Here it is with the board installed:

internals_with_board.jpg.bff3f207f8f7474f704a9d7af926ac71.jpg

 

I then made the side and front aluminum pieces and glued them in place.

First, dummy-clamp the front:

glued3.jpg.1ac7fe0a539a6ee6af33b573dbb74359.jpg

 

Then glue the side

glued2.jpg.9f228be43a4909f9fb4c797f5bccc080.jpg

 

And last but not least, the front:

glued.jpg.243a750b4f8d5d1c17ff498b72ce79ca.jpg

 

The following day I went to JokuTyyppi's to have a good time modding, we worked on this build and his RaspberryPi NAS, check it out!

The hole for the power button was made, the thing got sanded and painted for the first time.

b4_painting_button_hole.jpg.592536c1b06b53df6eb187ff8705ac7e.jpg

 

b4_painting_button.jpg.9df7e82b054dce53eedcc34db15fbd93.jpg

 

The power button is from ebay, it's got a blue LED.

 

After the first round of painting it was the time to re-sand and wash the parts and paint again:

sanded.jpg.be0d855680aa398f1154d54664f2bad2.jpg

 

washed.thumb.jpg.58fec7be6e18c80ca594f345f374dc28.jpg

 

painting.jpg.d2b107eb2ce159141bd1c7c8e6426b83.jpg

 

 

After a day of waiting (and drinking  :P) the case was put together. In the following pics the power button is not properly secured, that's why it looks.. off..

internal_assembly_painted.jpg.b32a362b3d53bd319cd872b99adbad42.jpg

 

assembly.jpg.fa80f8a5d26d3627911aa25ffcecfb11.jpg

 

assembly2.jpg.a03101e22773be0c627abf323ff44bbe.jpg

 

And last, the mahogany pieces! My step father cut the pieces at his work last Saturday, here they are:

mahoganys2.jpg.d6a381216bbfb5ebade374f848be9bdd.jpg

 

Trying them on:

mahoganys.jpg.f22e6480e02569c7bfa28486882a5665.jpg

 

top_mahogany.jpg.48a5746bbb2df92a9e52e96a96b26b40.jpg

 

 

There you go!

 

Second update wont air until March, since I'm going to CERN for a week now.. See ya then!

 

Thanks for reading, please comment and say what You think!  :)


Current rig: i7-5820K, R5E, 1070ti (windows), Radeon HD7850 (Mac), a bunch of SSDs and HDDs, running MacOS Mojave, Windows 10 + a bunch of debian servers on Proxmox KVM hypervisor

Laptop: MacBook Pro 13" 2017

 

Previous projects: Razmac G5, Server, zenbox HTPC

 

See my GitHub profile!

A coder/modder from Finland

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Posted · Original PosterOP
March 19th, 2015

 

Hi again!

 

Now there is a bunch of progress to be shown; all the aluminum parts are done, the power switch -thingy is ready and the mahogany is getting there!
 
Let's start with the power switch. Yeah, the board has (had) a power button, but it was in a crappy location (and was destroyed while I tried to remove it..) SO I needed a new one. JokuTyyppi has a little something for relays, and thus told me to put a relay to this.. uh.. thing. So, I got to designing and came up with a circuit utilizing a JK flipflop, a transistor and a few resistors and caps. When the button is pressed, the relay switches its state (with that awesome *click*  ;) ). Neat, huh?
 
Heres the first try:

 

power_thingy_test.jpg.dc737489239f8bac2f576ba89294b51f.jpg

As usual, the first try wasn't quite succesful: the circuit board was too long, and couldn't fit well. There was less space available than what I first thought, so I had to redo the whole board. Luckily, it didn't take that long.

power_thingy.jpg.a267ead9b76befd91b75308fcf87a15a.jpg

 

power_thingy2.jpg.4fb0f5b8c4cfa82864ce18e0763360fb.jpg

It's not too pretty, but it works  :D
Installed using hot glue:

 

internals1.jpg.33b2966df6b87a98b628207995d969b3.jpg

 

internals3.jpg.187e5b99bab366a0318fc7f74d323251.jpg

 

 
Also, a new power connector was installed to the back of the case.alu_done_rear.jpg.c821ea05ec046558e7d886c682331b69.jpg

 

And from the front, with the light on:alu_done.jpg.b92f126badc6ba80fe8827d8f4656b2f.jpg

 

And without:

 

alu_done2.jpg.a0c9a03b14a1507c75393286ce61e729.jpg

 

Then on we go to the mahogany! I glued them together, like so:gluing_mahogany.jpg.794ec6979335f920c5997dafdb041850.jpg

 

I let them dry over night and then glued them to the aluminum parts that were then screwed to the case:

 

side_by_side.jpg.0110546a8eeee148073aa870e25ccdd9.jpg

side_by_side2.jpg.1f7205e9a8b1af0fd97b0257fe1dc6dd.jpg

 

about_to_glue.jpg.88bb2dc2c6d1785da15d21b23aa3a537.jpg

 

gluing.jpg.512f50277ed3a15a04f71b71a802f05e.jpg

 

 
 
That's it for now guys (and gals)! Next week we should get the build ready, some sanding and the finishing of the mahogany, then its just software left  :D

 

 

Thanks for your time, please comment  :)

 


Current rig: i7-5820K, R5E, 1070ti (windows), Radeon HD7850 (Mac), a bunch of SSDs and HDDs, running MacOS Mojave, Windows 10 + a bunch of debian servers on Proxmox KVM hypervisor

Laptop: MacBook Pro 13" 2017

 

Previous projects: Razmac G5, Server, zenbox HTPC

 

See my GitHub profile!

A coder/modder from Finland

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Posted · Original PosterOP

April 6th, 2015

 

Finished! Finally!

 

the wooden top was sanded and finished using wax from Osmo Color. I installed Lubuntu on it together with XBMC/Kodi and vóila! Works like a charm. :D

 

Today my friend Janne (Darkened from Bit-tech) was taking the final photos of the now complete Zenbox, here they are:

Odroid-1.jpg.7ce465cc77c8eb4818681d2c13c76821.jpg

 

Odroid-4.jpg.c2b76e1a7ebdbfbb9797989290fd478b.jpg

 

Odroid-5.jpg.3930175707bc3f92a8bf7b89db293d36.jpg

 

Odroid-7.jpg.c6ba3b6acd8cf7af4e7c8e599996cb40.jpg

 

More photos here: https://www.dropbox.com/sc/tlbu5xrm63n3krq/AACwqDm65nP_HBGYJS8TWtuda

 

Thanks to all the people who took part in this project, especially JokuTyyppi for helping me with this build and providing tools and keeping up motivation (check out his awesome projects!) and Janne (click to check out his photographing blog!)  :)

 

Oh, and of course, thank you all who have been reading this topic, the whole community of the Linus Tech Tips!

 

This is a prototype; I might start making these to order if somebody's interested!  ;)

 

 

And now, on to the G5! (and a tube amplifier :D )

 

Cheers,

 

Razbit


Current rig: i7-5820K, R5E, 1070ti (windows), Radeon HD7850 (Mac), a bunch of SSDs and HDDs, running MacOS Mojave, Windows 10 + a bunch of debian servers on Proxmox KVM hypervisor

Laptop: MacBook Pro 13" 2017

 

Previous projects: Razmac G5, Server, zenbox HTPC

 

See my GitHub profile!

A coder/modder from Finland

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Hello fellow woodworker. That's a nice piece of mahogany. I like your idea, and I like the way you plan on using the mahogany. I just gotta wonder though, if the piece of mahogany is supposed to be one piece, it looks like you are going to have to orient it so that the end piece will be end grain. As you know, (but readers might not) end grain mahogany is super dark when a finish is applied. You won't have consistency in terms of color, how are you planning on getting around that? Are you just going cut a couple thin slats and then joint them together?

 

Also, what material are you planning on making the sides out of? More aluminum? How are you planning on attaching the two together without anything showing on the outside of the mahogany? Rather, how are you planning on mounting the mahogany onto the piece of aluminum so that it is able to stay in place securely? Also, how are you planning on finishing the aluminum to make it black? Spray paint? What are you going to use to finish the mahogany? Mineral oil? Lacquer? Wax?

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subbed. really want to see how tis turns out and what performance you get for it


Cpu: Intel i7 2600 @3.8 Ghz (stock cooler) | Case: Home made | Motherboard: Gigabyte P67-DS3-B3 Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws 16 GB 1333mhz | Video Card: Gigabyte R9 280X |
Power Supply: OCZ GSX 850 Monitor: iiyama prolite b2403ws 24 inch (1920x1200) | KeyBoard: 10$ keyboard  | Mouse: Corsair M65 FPS Headset: Afterglow Agu 1S |

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 11/15/2014 at 4:18 AM, JarJarBanksy said:

Hello fellow woodworker. That's a nice piece of mahogany. I like your idea, and I like the way you plan on using the mahogany. I just gotta wonder though, if the piece of mahogany is supposed to be one piece, it looks like you are going to have to orient it so that the end piece will be end grain. As you know, (but readers might not) end grain mahogany is super dark when a finish is applied. You won't have consistency in terms of color, how are you planning on getting around that? Are you just going cut a couple thin slats and then joint them together?

 

Also, what material are you planning on making the sides out of? More aluminum? How are you planning on attaching the two together without anything showing on the outside of the mahogany? Rather, how are you planning on mounting the mahogany onto the piece of aluminum so that it is able to stay in place securely? Also, how are you planning on finishing the aluminum to make it black? Spray paint? What are you going to use to finish the mahogany? Mineral oil? Lacquer? Wax?

 

Hi, and first of all thank you for your comment :)

 

wood-explosion.jpg.17733f1b6b3e7196fd0ec69c8247909b.jpg

 

I hope that render clears it up for you. The gray aluminum pieces are to be glued to the mahogany and then screwed (bolted) to the top aluminum plate. I think that the piece of wood on the side will just be glued to the top mahogany part.. We'll see :D

 

And about finishing the surfaces: I think I'll finish it using some china wood oil (tung oil), should give it a nice finish.. I think I'll have try it to some scrap piece first, though ;)

And the aluminum parts will be spray-painted (matte or glossy, we'll see)

 

And yes, everything is made from aluminum, including the sides and front. The internal structure is very rigid, you'll see in the next update (ssssooooonnnnnnnnn)

 

 

Thank you everyone for your support!

 

Cheers,

 

Razbit


Current rig: i7-5820K, R5E, 1070ti (windows), Radeon HD7850 (Mac), a bunch of SSDs and HDDs, running MacOS Mojave, Windows 10 + a bunch of debian servers on Proxmox KVM hypervisor

Laptop: MacBook Pro 13" 2017

 

Previous projects: Razmac G5, Server, zenbox HTPC

 

See my GitHub profile!

A coder/modder from Finland

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Posted · Original PosterOP

@Laputacake

 

I'm very sorry to tell you guys that this project is now on hold for a little while.. I don't know what happened to the Odroid, but it just doesn't work anymore.. I think it has something to do with the thickness of the PCB (only 1 mm), and thus the rigidness of it. Mounting the board using the custom cooler required removing the original cooler, which was attached using some sort of double-sided tape that was strong as hell.. My hypothesis is that the PCB broke in the process, but anyhow it doesn't work. At all.

 

A couple of pics of the cooler

Spoiler

cooler1.jpg.75ed6100d56cc7c4e22e79a9b537d171.jpg

 

cooler2.jpg.5af8e2581d2a4b2cbba995c001617132.jpg

 

The cooler probably wont be used in the future though for the reason being that the project is on hold until I receive another board (the ODROID U3), which is different. Might take a while, might not take a while. But don't be scared, there might be a "5th generation" project coming before xmas ;)

 

I'll get back to this project ASAP.

 

sorry,

 

Razbit


Current rig: i7-5820K, R5E, 1070ti (windows), Radeon HD7850 (Mac), a bunch of SSDs and HDDs, running MacOS Mojave, Windows 10 + a bunch of debian servers on Proxmox KVM hypervisor

Laptop: MacBook Pro 13" 2017

 

Previous projects: Razmac G5, Server, zenbox HTPC

 

See my GitHub profile!

A coder/modder from Finland

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@Laputacake

 

I'm very sorry to tell you guys that this project is now on hold for a little while.. I don't know what happened to the Odroid, but it just doesn't work anymore.. I think it has something to do with the thickness of the PCB (only 1 mm), and thus the rigidness of it. Mounting the board using the custom cooler required removing the original cooler, which was attached using some sort of double-sided tape that was strong as hell.. My hypothesis is that the PCB broke in the process, but anyhow it doesn't work. At all.

 

The cooler probably wont be used in the future though for the reason being that the project is on hold until I receive another board (the ODROID U3), which is different. Might take a while, might not take a while. But don't be scared, there might be a "5th generation" project coming before xmas ;)

 

I'll get back to this project ASAP.

 

sorry,

 

Razbit

Thats one big chunk of coolingness. Thats disappointing. Will you have to buy a new one. Cant wait for it to get started again. Nice little project it is indeed. :D


Steve

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Posted · Original PosterOP

@Laputacake

 

Yes, I'll have to order a new board.. I'll do it very quite soon, so don't lose hope ;)

 

Thanks for your support!


Current rig: i7-5820K, R5E, 1070ti (windows), Radeon HD7850 (Mac), a bunch of SSDs and HDDs, running MacOS Mojave, Windows 10 + a bunch of debian servers on Proxmox KVM hypervisor

Laptop: MacBook Pro 13" 2017

 

Previous projects: Razmac G5, Server, zenbox HTPC

 

See my GitHub profile!

A coder/modder from Finland

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@Laputacake

Yes, I'll have to order a new board.. I'll do it very quite soon, so don't lose hope ;)

Thanks for your support!

Oh exciting. I've had an awesome idea for a server. What program did you use to create and render your design?

Steve

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Oh exciting. I've had an awesome idea for a server. What program did you use to create and render your design?

 

Autodesk Inventor is the one I used, with raytracing.. If you are a student, I think you should get a free copy from education.autodesk.com :)


Current rig: i7-5820K, R5E, 1070ti (windows), Radeon HD7850 (Mac), a bunch of SSDs and HDDs, running MacOS Mojave, Windows 10 + a bunch of debian servers on Proxmox KVM hypervisor

Laptop: MacBook Pro 13" 2017

 

Previous projects: Razmac G5, Server, zenbox HTPC

 

See my GitHub profile!

A coder/modder from Finland

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi guys,

 

I received mail from UPS, saying that the new ODROID U3 has arrived in Finland, and I shall receive it before Christmas!


Current rig: i7-5820K, R5E, 1070ti (windows), Radeon HD7850 (Mac), a bunch of SSDs and HDDs, running MacOS Mojave, Windows 10 + a bunch of debian servers on Proxmox KVM hypervisor

Laptop: MacBook Pro 13" 2017

 

Previous projects: Razmac G5, Server, zenbox HTPC

 

See my GitHub profile!

A coder/modder from Finland

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Hi guys,

 

I received mail from UPS, saying that the new ODROID U3 has arrived in Finland, and I shall receive it before Christmas!

Oh, Exciting. Are you gonna assemble the case while you wait?

Steve

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Oh, Exciting. Are you gonna assemble the case while you wait?

I don't think so, I'm not sure if I have the time for it..


Current rig: i7-5820K, R5E, 1070ti (windows), Radeon HD7850 (Mac), a bunch of SSDs and HDDs, running MacOS Mojave, Windows 10 + a bunch of debian servers on Proxmox KVM hypervisor

Laptop: MacBook Pro 13" 2017

 

Previous projects: Razmac G5, Server, zenbox HTPC

 

See my GitHub profile!

A coder/modder from Finland

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