PDA

View Full Version : 5150 Case Ideas?



zombienerd
June 17th, 2017, 05:17 PM
I'm tossing around the idea of building one of the PC-Retro DIY boards. The problem is that I don't have a case for the unit. I know that the 5150 has a cassette port and I think I remember hearing that the ISA card spacing is different than the standard AT case format.

Two questions - Would the 5150 board sans the cassette port fit and line up in a 5160 or XT clone case? I don't really see the need for the cassette port, so could leave it unpopulated to make my search for a case easier. Secondly, what is the ISA port spacing difference, how hard would it be to shoehorn it into a standard AT tower?

Or, if anyone has a 5150 case lying around they wouldn't mind letting go of for peanuts + shipping, that would work too. UPS shipping shouldn't be more than $30 or so. I just can't see myself spending ebay prices on a case for this potential build, when I'm already going to shell out way more than the finished product is worth to build it and make it work. I have zero PC/XT parts on hand as it stands. :)

Lastly, homebrew case ideas would be welcome!

modem7
June 17th, 2017, 06:50 PM
I'm tossing around the idea of building one of the PC-Retro DIY boards. The problem is that I don't have a case for the unit. I know that the 5150 has a cassette port and I think I remember hearing that the ISA card spacing is different than the standard AT case format.

Two questions - Would the 5150 board sans the cassette port fit and line up in a 5160 or XT clone case?
Not even the keyboard DIN connector lines up. See comparison photo at [here (http://minuszerodegrees.net/5160/misc/5160_to_5150_slot_comparison.jpg)].

zombienerd
June 17th, 2017, 06:51 PM
Not even the keyboard DIN connector lines up. See comparison photo at [here (http://minuszerodegrees.net/5160/misc/5160_to_5150_slot_comparison.jpg)].

Fun times. Guess it's 5150 or bust.. Or build something from scratch.

KC9UDX
June 17th, 2017, 09:30 PM
A home brew case would be a piece of cake for me, but it wouldn't look like a 5150 unless I somehow get enough cash to sell my pan brake and buy a press brake and all the necessary tooling, which I don't see happening.

lutiana
June 17th, 2017, 10:59 PM
I have a spare 5150 motherboard if you are interested.

Stone
June 18th, 2017, 02:18 AM
I have a spare 5150 motherboard if you are interested.Doesn't he have the board?

Isn't he looking for the case?

lutiana
June 18th, 2017, 03:04 AM
Doesn't he have the board?

Isn't he looking for the case?

O right, I totally mis-read the original post. Ignore me then.

mR_Slug
June 18th, 2017, 04:23 PM
As its a homebrew motherboard, you could go ultra-low budget and build a wooden box. Lots of homebrew systems have been built out of wood. This guy built a 5150-ish case, although he seems to have used parts from an ATX case:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lLoO5tI5cQ

The slot spacing. You *may* be able to mount the board in one of those low-profile AT cases, and use the riser-board for the slots. You probably would have to move every motherboard stand-off to get the one ISA slot to line up, and drill a new hole for the keyboard port. I have on occasion used a case screw to tap holes for new stand-offs. If you drill the right sized hole, and go slow, the heads don't break off that often.

Alternatively you could just mount the whole motherboard to a piece of steel, and stick some kind of plastic cover over it. Or instead of steel a nice piece of hardwood. There are also lots of steel/aluminum project boxes. Some would be great for a 19" rack-mount piece of hardware.

Another thing that might work is to just secure the ISA card back-plates with a stack of motherboard stand-offs. As far as I can tell there would be room with the 5150 slot spacing. Any gaps between the back-plates, you can justify as "ventilation". I think that's what I would do, as fabbing up a 5-slot back-plate mount is going to be a real pain. If you are gong to cut steel I would highly recommend a nibbler and a straight-edge.

If you want to justify massive gaps in your case, just take a look at the TRS-80!

KC9UDX
June 18th, 2017, 07:10 PM
I wouldn't use a nibbler. Mark the line you want to cut with a scribe and cut with a cutoff wheel.

With practice, you can cut very very straight, and you can easily end up with a perfect edge.

If you have a bandsaw or jigsaw, rough your cuts with that first.

Chuck(G)
June 18th, 2017, 08:01 PM
A nibbler, particularly a power one can make very clean and exacting cuts--doesn't raise burrs like a saw does.. I use one on occasion.

Doing one on an EDM would be a piece of cake, but that's not likely to be found in the average home shop.

KC9UDX
June 18th, 2017, 09:43 PM
Waterjet would be even easier not to mention faster. If you can get the cutting head, a pressure washer and cheapo CNC router can be turned into one. Get your checkbook out, don't forget the garnet.

I've never had success cutting perfect lines with a nibbler. Sure it can be done, but one hiccup and you've got a disaster. Cutting to a scribe line by hand with a die grinder and cutoff wheel or sanding disc is hard to mess up, with patience.

Maybe every nibbler I've used was dull and undersized, I don't know. I've avoided them for decades due to bad experiences. I've cut some amazingly straight and square lines with a die grinder.

zombienerd
June 19th, 2017, 01:17 PM
I'm quite handy with a dremel and masking tape. I was considering Acrylic now.. Lot of work to build a case from scratch, but would look really neat when it was done.

ibmapc
June 19th, 2017, 01:53 PM
You could probably use a 5160 case or clone there of and cut out the rear panel and make one of your own. That way you don't have to make the whole thing. I think the mounting of the motherboard is the same. Just the rear panel is different.

Chuck(G)
June 19th, 2017, 02:31 PM
Maybe every nibbler I've used was dull and undersized, I don't know. I've avoided them for decades due to bad experiences. I've cut some amazingly straight and square lines with a die grinder.

Most of my nibbler work has been with nonferrous metals, so that could be another issue. I've even modified a nibbler to cut "dragon's teeth" for joint sheet metal.

After all, there's no particular need to make the expansion bracket out of steel. Brass might look pretty sexy.

KC9UDX
June 19th, 2017, 03:15 PM
I've got a big enough piece of copper sheet I could sell him. :)

flashedbios2012
June 19th, 2017, 03:58 PM
i built the PC-Retro motherboard. took me 4 days. it didn't work

bobba84
June 19th, 2017, 04:19 PM
i built the PC-Retro motherboard. took me 4 days. it didn't work

This forum is the ideal place to seek assistance in getting it going! :)

framer
June 21st, 2017, 07:33 AM
I have an un-used 5150 case bottom frame. It's free if you want to take a day trip to RI. It's a nice clean one. I bought it for the top/cover. If I keep it I'll start another build, NO more for me.

framer

billdeg
June 21st, 2017, 10:16 AM
I have an empty 5150 case available, it's the B model case. $79 plus shipping. I bought boxes that fit them perfectly with padding to minimize the cost. I also have complete systems, displays, cards, motherboards, keyboards that I plan to put on Ebay soon. It's not my business, I am just trying to make space. These are all hardware that appeared on the XMEN Apocalypse movie, the 1983 CIA room. I rented them to the movie production house through my computer club when it was still called MARCH. I don't need them now. If you're near southeastern PA, you can pick these up cheaper than if you want them mailed. PM me if interested.

Chuck(G)
June 21st, 2017, 11:40 AM
IMOHO, you're passing up a great opportunity. One of my bucket list items is a PC case done in teak with polished brass fittings. :)

ChrisUnionNJ
June 21st, 2017, 02:37 PM
I have an empty 5150 case available, it's the B model case. $79 plus shipping. I bought boxes that fit them perfectly with padding to minimize the cost. I also have complete systems, displays, cards, motherboards, keyboards that I plan to put on Ebay soon. It's not my business, I am just trying to make space. These are all hardware that appeared on the XMEN Apocalypse movie, the 1983 CIA room. I rented them to the movie production house through my computer club when it was still called MARCH. I don't need them now. If you're near southeastern PA, you can pick these up cheaper than if you want them mailed. PM me if interested.

And just to help out it starts at 39:03

RuudB
June 22nd, 2017, 02:54 AM
Alternatively you could just mount the whole motherboard to a piece of steel, and stick some kind of plastic cover over it. Or instead of steel a nice piece of hardwood.
What about using Plexiglas / Perspex / Poly(methyl methacrylate)?

zombienerd
June 22nd, 2017, 06:44 AM
What about using Plexiglas / Perspex / Poly(methyl methacrylate)?

I had mentioned acrylic above. I have some experience working in that material. It's on my list of options :)

KC9UDX
June 22nd, 2017, 07:03 AM
Polycarbonate is usually better than acrylic.

smbaker
June 22nd, 2017, 08:21 AM
I bought an aluminum tray from a company called "Mountain Mods" and then formed an oak and acrylic case around that. Not shown is a top acrylic piece that's held in by some brass fasteners.

I'm not sure how this approach would work for a 5150 motherboard -- the mountain mods tray was set up with an ATX screw pattern, but it sure was easier than trying to fab the back supports for the cards myself.

39216

framer
June 22nd, 2017, 09:03 AM
Polycarbonate is usually better than acrylic.

No it scratches too easy, do we need it bullet proof? Regular plexi is harder, also a scratch resistant and reduced static types are available. The plexi is not cheap unless you have it from scape.

Warning plexi burns at a low temperature and is difficult to put out. Using it in close proximity of any component that might overheat could be disastrous.

framer

Chuck(G)
June 22nd, 2017, 09:31 AM
Probably few remember this, but it was customary for model shops to use acrylic for case prototypes. They'd start with 1/2" thick or thicker stock and machine the nice 200" radius curves into it on the Bridgeport mill; then stick the pieces together with solvent cement. The end product was a case stable and perfect in every detail from which molds could be made. Rather than being see-through clear, most were left in a "frosted" state, suitable for painting when a prototype was to be shown.

The 5150 case (and most modern PC cases) is too slab-sided with too few interesting details to show the technique off, but my Durango 820's case was originally done in acrylic.

3pcedev
June 22nd, 2017, 02:43 PM
No it scratches too easy, do we need it bullet proof? Regular plexi is harder, also a scratch resistant and reduced static types are available. The plexi is not cheap unless you have it from scape.

Warning plexi burns at a low temperature and is difficult to put out. Using it in close proximity of any component that might overheat could be disastrous.

framer

One other issue with polycarbonate is that it is very tricky to heat form without 'bubbles forming'. If you overheat it even slightly it will bubble. Acrylic is a lot more forgiving in this regard.

KC9UDX
June 22nd, 2017, 06:10 PM
No it scratches too easy, do we need it bullet proof? Regular plexi is harder

If a clear case is desired, then scratch-resistance is an issue. If it's going to be painted, the hardness of acrylic is not desirable, in my opinion. It cracks and shatters too easily. It's downright annoying to machine, and forming it is not feasible for the average home-brewer in my experience. Polycarbonate is much easier to work with. Of course, if it's going to be plastic at all, it probably pays to do some shopping. There are many plastics with many different properties.

Never underestimate sheet metal; I would use plain steel. But aluminium is not completely undesirable, and Chuck(G)'s suggestion of brass is very much worth considering.

framer
June 28th, 2017, 02:22 PM
I told you I need to give away that bottom. I just found & bought a nice top cover for it so now I have to build it out. I have a 16-64K system board for it but it needs a bios.

framer

zombienerd
June 28th, 2017, 02:44 PM
I told you I need to give away that bottom. I just found & bought a nice top cover for it so now I have to build it out. I have a 16-64K system board for it but it needs a bios.

framer

Nice! I still haven't gotten the board yet, though. I'm thinking it may be a present from my wife next month, we'll see :)