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Building an Invisible PC

Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...
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RichardW

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Building an Invisible PC

PostThu Sep 03, 2020 8:42 am

I saw this today on YouTube. It also has links to similar projects.

Basically, we are shown how to build a working PC into what looks like a desktop. I immediately thought of Hauptwerk applications. There are various things I would change for a Hauptwerk console but the ideas are interesting.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Perqf0dOGLk
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engrssc

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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostThu Sep 03, 2020 8:57 am

Much work to hide a computer which may need to be serviced on occasion. Altho, on my last, for me console build, the computer components are not mounted in a (conventional) computer case. But rather similarly as shown in that DIY video, on a 9" X 12" piece of aluminum. Who said that I need to use a case which entraps eat and is difficult to accomodate in an organ console? :o

In any pre-built, commercial organs, none of the components are fabricated in a "case" similar to a computer case. I was initially concerned about heat from the CPU and possibly the power supply. After now several weeks of these computer parts living open inside the console, there is no appreciable heat issue at all. And the computer is running 24/7. Such things as lights and the audio system are switched off when the organ isn't in use.

If the last played sample set is the one to be used, turning on the organ (lights and audio) the organ is ready virtually instantly :) .

The most temperature rise I've noticed is 2 degrees C above ambient. I'm using a Noctua NH-L9i Low-Profile Noctua CPU Cooler which is rated to cool a 65 watt CPU is being used to cool a 90 watt (rated) Intel i7 9700K CPU. BTW, Noctua support said I should have no problem with this setup as long as I don't overclock the CPU.

Never has the cooler's fan run any faster than it basically does in the idle mode (923 rpm). Same is true for the psu fan (625 rpm), In this setup up, there is no case fan (needed) so all in all, the system is totally silent. Since the system NVMe drive is mounted to the Gigabyte B360M D3H GSM MicroATX Motherboard (10.43 x 10.43 x 2.12 inches with the cooler mounted) there is no external SSD needed except maybe for backup? So the entire computer system consists of the above motherboard with it's components (including 64 GB RAM) and the power supply - 3 1/2" tall.
BTW, mobo standoffs and hardware are available at Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=standoff+kit&crid=CJ5IIA7WPAI7&sprefix=standoff%2Caps%2C265&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-ap-p_6_8

Small and sweet. 8) and yes, very cool.

Rgds,
Ed.
Last edited by engrssc on Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:11 am, edited 4 times in total.
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David Baldwin

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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostThu Sep 03, 2020 9:44 am

This is quite creative thinking and I think it is quite. Mind you, a regularly faulting pc would result in a tidy desk.
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engrssc

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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostThu Sep 03, 2020 1:04 pm

I should add that I did include provisions for air flow around this open computer by drawing air in from the open area around the expression pedals using a 60 X 25 mm Noctua NF-A6x25 FLX as an intake fan "pushing" air thru a 1 1/2" PVC setup to the computer area and then using another NF-A6x25 FLX as an exhaust fan "system" which blows the air out of the bottom (floor) of the console. The actual bottom of the console is raised approx 4" above the (room's) floor. These fans are shock mounted and altho are running (as needed - controlled as case fans by the computer) are totally silent. I calculated in their present configuration, they should last approx 30+ years. Most likely longer than me. :wink:

Rgds,
Ed
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micdev

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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostThu Sep 03, 2020 3:44 pm

Ed,

In some of my projects I've use Ac Infinity Airplate products.

Many model (power) to select from. No noise. Using 2 (intake / exhaust) will keep your electronic components cool.

https://www.acinfinity.com/quiet-cabinet-fans/

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=ac+infinity+airplate&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

...as an exhaust fan "system" which blows the air out of the bottom (floor) of the console


Btw, you should have your intake at the bottom and exhaust at the top... how air rises :wink:
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François

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engrssc

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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostThu Sep 03, 2020 4:25 pm

micdev wrote:
...as an exhaust fan "system" which blows the air out of the bottom (floor) of the console


Btw, you should have your intake at the bottom and exhaust at the top... how air rises :wink:


Very true, understood. I debated that (internally) however, due to "the console's appearance" I'm taking a (slight) "risk" by defying laws of natural "rules". All for the "sake" of keeping the looks of this console. And so far, all is good.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostFri Sep 04, 2020 10:41 am

Enjoyed the video and really appreciate the creativity. I am confused about one point, if the idea to have a stealth PC, wouldn't an HP all-in-one type of unit accomplish the same with a lot less work? That came to mind when he added the monitor with the wireless keyboard & mouse. I know towards the end he mentioned a hide away screen. It just seems to be a lot of labor and more expensive (with all the cooling fans) when an all-in-one unit could accomplish the same minimal look.

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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostFri Sep 04, 2020 11:42 am

magnaton wrote:Enjoyed the video and really appreciate the creativity. I am confused about one point, if the idea to have a stealth PC, wouldn't an HP all-in-one type of unit accomplish the same with a lot less work? That came to mind when he added the monitor with the wireless keyboard & mouse. I know towards the end he mentioned a hide away screen. It just seems to be a lot of labor and more expensive (with all the cooling fans) when an all-in-one unit could accomplish the same minimal look.

Danny B.


There's a man who has serviced a few PCs :D
I kept waiting for the hiddenlaser projection system to be installed in the back or the table, like the one that was announced several years agao which produced a monitor picture and a keyboard grid on the table top.

Thomas
Complete Hauptwerk™ systems using real wood consoles, PC Sound Engines, Dante Audio for Home or Church. info (at) organtechnology.com http://www.organtechnology.com
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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostFri Sep 04, 2020 12:12 pm

How is this different than an iMac sitting on a table?

I don't get it.

So much effort so little return. :-(
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engrssc

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Re: Building an Invisible PC

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RichardW

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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostSat Sep 05, 2020 8:42 am

I think the original idea was to incorporate a state of the art graphics processor into the system which the all-in-one solutions typically do not.

As for appearance, it depends on how fussy you are about your rooms. Some people do not like to have any electronics visible.

As Ed suggested, for Hauptwerk use you could opt to make your own PC without a standard case and place it wherever you like. That includes inside the console.

With some thought, you could probably modify the design shown to have a drawer with the PC in it. That would overcome any maintenance issues.

I don't think I would have included all those fans in the table. Some large fans lying on the base of the table should be a workable solution and be quieter. Micdev points out that such fans already exist.

I wasn't proposing this as a genuine Hauptwerk solution just as some ideas to spark creativity.

I am still waiting for the solution that looks like a conventional cupboard but when you pull the handle, the organ pedals drop down, the keyboards slide out and the monitors are revealed. ;)

Regards,
Richard
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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostSat Sep 05, 2020 2:21 pm

Invisible PCs need shielding cases.

There are certain government regulations on the emissions of radio frequency interference from unintended radiators. In the USA the regulation in general is called Part 15 and can be identified by a sticker on the card or part used in the computer. What they do not say is that the Part 15 testing of the computer included the case or housing and specifically how the case acted as a shield to keep the RFI inside. Removal of the case completely as in the PC built into a table as was shown, invalidates the Part 15 certification. As an individual it is not a big deal unless a neighbor complains that you are interfering with his TV or FM radio reception. Theoretically the FCC could make you quit using the computer or require you to put it back in a case. But if you are a vendor, the fines for selling such equipment can be very painful and the importation of the devices can be halted because of this problem. There is usually a warning letter and if you cooperate and fix the problem all will be well. This is a very low probability for an individual but is more probable for those who manufacture or sell such devices. It is also a violation of your FCC issued radio license (amateur, commercial) to ignore Part 15. Look at most modern digital organs, the computer is in a card cage or metal box inside the console and many wires have ferrite cores on them to provide this RFI shielding.
Complete Hauptwerk™ systems using real wood consoles, PC Sound Engines, Dante Audio for Home or Church. info (at) organtechnology.com http://www.organtechnology.com
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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostSat Sep 05, 2020 4:31 pm

organtechnology wrote:Invisible PCs need shielding cases.


This is a very real issue. A short story - Years ago I worked for a private organ repair company. We got called to a customer who had just purchased a small home organ. When turned on, it just roared continuously. We found a (I believe I remember correctly) 400 Hz square wave riding in on the power line (could have been 200Hz). We called the local power company. They wouldn't listen. So we then called the FCC. The power company started listening. Chief Engineer wanted to meet at the home having the problem. He brought in a much bigger oscilloscope than we had, but it showed the same 400 Hz square wave. Long story short, they found the 'chopper' which supplied power to the large mainframe installation of a major insurance company about 2 miles down the road was radiating the 400 Hz chopper frequency back out the power lines. The insurance company was told to fix their issue immediately, which they did. That one was easy since 400 Hz is not (really) an RF frequency, but the ~3 Ghz clock of a processor is RF and it can go a long way and cause a lot of strange issues with other electronic devices which could be hard to solve (and could become expensive tracking down). Good advice from organtechnology.
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engrssc

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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostSat Sep 05, 2020 4:51 pm

Of course 400 hz isn't normally considered rf, but being a square wave, which is rich in harmonics? :o

I had also already considered this issue and have ordered an emf/rf (Faraday) cage as it won't be seen being in the console. Approx same cost as a computer case but with better air circulation.

How's this along with a virus mask for protection?

https://getlambs.com/products/emf-proof-beanie?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Google%20Shopping&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9-DklPfS6wIVAdvACh1JIg66EAQYAiABEgIj3_D_BwE

And one size fits all. :wink:

What does concern me is above all, my cell phone. And then the plastic encased laptop and tablet :shock: ??

Another large source of rf radiation is a WiFi router which runs 24/7 in most of our homes. What's interesting, many times the idea behind the router is to increase coverage (eliminate dead spots) and then to put the router in a cage to minimize rf radiation. Go figure.

Probably the only one safe from all this is a shepherd in the back hills of an underdeveloped country.

And then there's loud (organ?) musiic.

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/musicians-guide-hearing-protection-doctor/?utm_content=article1-button&utm_source=insync&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200905-t1

Not to be facetious, but as someone once told ne 'Living is dangerous to your health'. :roll:

Rgds,
Ed
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RichardW

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Re: Building an Invisible PC

PostWed Sep 09, 2020 8:07 am

organtechnology wrote:Invisible PCs need shielding cases.


I imagine that is part of the reason that the top and bottom panels are not wood but aluminium.

Regards,
Last edited by RichardW on Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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