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One for the computer folks

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Eric R Snow, Aug 31, 2005.

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  1. Eric R Snow

    Eric R Snow Guest

    Greetings All,
    I have built two CNC controllers that are built around a PC. This has
    worked well but now I'd like something smaller. I have a small lathe
    that right now is portable. Adding a CNC control would make it more
    versatile. But even a laptop computer is bigger than the lathe and
    would make the thing way less portable. The space available is a cube
    about 6 inches a side. I already have a 5 inch monitor that accepts
    NTSC video signals. The mouse and keyboard are wireless units made by
    Gyration. The mouse has a motion sensor inside which allows it to be
    just waved in the air to move the cursor. So it seems to me that a
    small motherboard, small hard drive, video card, and power supply are
    what I need to build this. Any suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Eric R Snow,
    E T Precision Machine
     
  2. Don Bruder

    Don Bruder Guest

    Mac Mini. Form factor: A cube about 6-ish inches on a side.
     
  3. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

     
  4. quietguy

    quietguy Guest

    The new Apple Mini Mac may fit your space - and it is a very nice
    machine

    David
     
  5. impmon

    impmon Guest

    [snip]
    Look up ITX. They are very small and if you use one HD, maybe a slot
    loading CD-ROM or DVD-ROM that are thin and you could use a small power
    supply, they will end up close to laptop sized if not smaller.

    Failing that there are industrial boards that would work. When I used to
    work at my former company, their machines had 486 that were only about 4" by
    6" with VGA, 1 IDE, floppy, 2 serial, 1 parallel, and 1 72 pin SIMM slot.
    While it was designed to be plugged into industrial backplate, it can run
    independently by wiring up 5v and 12v to appropierate pins. They were
    expensive at that time, around $300-$400 each while you could get used
    133MHz Pentium desktop for about that price.

    I'm sure those industrial CPU cards are still around and available in higher
    CPU speed. I'd suggest looking for one that uses Pentium-M as it uses about
    1/4 the power of Pentium 4 with same speed and can use passive heatsink, no
    fan.
     
  6. David and Don beat me to it, but my answer is the same. See it here:
    http://www.apple.com/macmini/

    I had a different idea for the mini. I was thinking of taking the case
    from a non-functional TRS-80 model 4 and mounting the mini in one of the
    drive bays, keeping the original face panel from the 5-1/4" drive.
    Since the CD loads from the front of the mini, this arrangement would
    allow me to insert the CD into the mini through the 5-1/4" slot, thereby
    keeping an authentic look. Replace the mono CRT with a 12" VGA tube and
    add the video board. Swap the keyboard (biggest challenge
    cosmetically), add a wireless mouse, and run the other ports to the back
    with cables. End result would be an up to date computer with that 1984
    look. ;-)

    Nels
     
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