Plans had evolved at this point. Note the cup holder
Had to loose the fans on the top. Could not stand the idea of all that noise. wasn't sure how to vent at this point.
Note the unequal sides. This was the first step into the final 'cut corner' look.
The light panels needed to be detailed. This LED count turned out to be WAY LOW!
This was the INITIAL cable considerations. Sad to think of all the cable it has now. over 100 feet of Cat-5 was used for various applications.
I wasn't sure what the dash should look like (or do).
Finally a design that would eliminate the noise from the fans. Air comes from under the desk and is returned to the underside of the desk. Very quiet.
First attempt at a sectional view. furniture 101 here.
Mother board box air flow idea. The only thing I kept in this design was the furnace filter.
8' x 8' Top
Two peices of 3/4" MDF glued together. Man, talk about heavy.
Its January and 4degrees outside. This is the beginning.
These started as a matched set. Things changed along the way.
Base half (Upside down)
At this point it became clear the initial design was way to big.
Took it all apart and cut the corners. A much better design.
The base has one purpose. Be strong.
More 3/4" MDF made the sides. Note the rabbit joints.
The whole thing was a bit fragile at this point. Constant bracing was initially required.
Reinforcements in key places made a lot of difference.
There are never enough clamps.
MDF is a great material. It is ultra smooth and uniform.
With the double MDF top on, it started to take shape.
When we put the MDF on the top, we quickly found the need to add reinforcement along the inside edges.
Holding squareness on something this large was a bit of a challenge.
Note the accidental foot stand we created. It's structural.
The top was oversize and routed to size.
This side was a bit over-over size. Better that than under size.
3/4" Oak plywood was used for the top sides.
"Hand carved" fan ports. There are far easier ways to do this.
The top has a 3/4" solid oak base.
The top, when complete, is very strong. It is also very heavy.
We ended up staining the top and painting the base. Oak trim between the two.
Finally all sides on.
This space quickly turned into storage. Shelves we sized for game cases.
First rough with Plexiglas in place.
The wizdom at the time said there would be equal airflow out the left port and venting on the right.
Knowing the motherboard door would need to cover the return air vent, This was the first test for sizing.
At this point the top and bottom were completely separate.
This is the first time I could see the what it looks like with panels in place.
Mother board door in process. Note that is stained glass, not tinted.
The mother board door after glue up.
These were cut with a router using a homemade jig.The corners where filed square by hand.
This is the air filter box. The actual filter (blue) fits inside the door.
A better view of the filter in the door.
555 Timer with a few resistors and a few capacitors. Each timer can run about 40 LEDs
It all started right here.
This was a pain...
Its peg board. Who would have thought of that?
We ran out of LEDs. Had to order more.
Close up of the hot glued LED's
This is where 100 feet of Cat-5 go.
This first run wasn't very sophisticated but worked very well.
Note the connector was still attached.
This is the second board. It is much cleaner than the first one.
This low profile came in handy when working around the filter box.
What a mess of wire. Look closely and you can see the individually wrapped resistors.
Shrink wrap comes in 100' quantities.
Here is the light controller.
Various test runs to make sure all strings were lighting. some didn't and had to rewire.
Brightness variation from the long exposure time.
Test run of the matrix "roughly" in place.
Final work was being done. At this point I ordered in most of the hardware.
Almost everything was in place.
It didn't leave much room in this corner.
Low voltage switches with LED's mounted to a plastic backing & Plexiglas over top.
Switches in testing phase.
Monitors in place. didn't know how to pull the monitor bases at this point. notice everything becomes a shelf at this point.
Clean up of some router marks
Initial mother board placement. This big space got awfully small.
Check out the #6 all-thread. The salvation for mounting the video cards.
Runing but still on life support.
Lights though the furnace filter.
Final shot of the filter box.
Furnace filter in action.
The all thread holds the three video cards securely in place.
The smoked glass was the perfect tint. Just the right amount of reflection.
Upper left is the 'lightning' controller. It needs a shield to hide it better.
This came out much better than expected.
The one switch is locked to the 'on' position. that would be the beer fridge.
From right to left; Beer fridge, Z-5500, UPS.
Everything is unpacked and running. note the reflections.
I have yet to fully wire the main feed.
The meters on the right track the key power vitals.
Lower right. That is the beer fridge. holds six.
Official test run.
Low light, long exposure time.
My daughters first run at sims2