May 25, 2011

LCD 117, a little thinner

I really like the Modern Devices LCD serial backpack kit based on the work of P.H. Anderson. These boards allow you to connect a standard HD44780-controlled LCD to an arduino with just +V, GND and Tx from the arduino. The command set is easy to use and fairly broad.

The standard build on these kits connects the 117 to an LCD with female headers from the 117. For space constrained projects, though, I'd like the attached 117 as thin as possible.

I took a hint from the way Sparkfun implemented their version of the backpack. They soldered the backpack directly to the LCD headers, but not pushed all the way down. This way, the backpack is less thick, but won't short out by contacting the LCD board.

I emulated this by using a piece of closed-cell foam as a shim between the 117 and the LCD. I had to pull the foam out in pieces when done, but it worked.

The picture below shows the direct solder version on the right, the female header version on the left.



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May 12, 2011

Silverstone SG05 Sandy Bridge Build

My wife needed a faster computer but was space constrained where she could locate the box. The solution was to get a Silverstone SG05 mini-itx case , which included a 120mm front fan and a 300W small form factor PSU.

The motherboard I used was an Asus P8H61-I Rev 3 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item%3DN82E16813131727&ved=0CBkQFj...) with an Intel i3-2120 Sandy Bridge processor.

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Disassembling the combined optical drive and hard drive bay.

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The space available for the motherboard.

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Tight space in screwing down the mobo.

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Motherboard with stock Intel HSF (plenty of clearance in my particular build) and memory installed.

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Cable routing nightmare. I only installed a hard drive, no optical drive, and it was still a chore to arrange the cables from the PSU.
The build was actually straightforward, perhaps one of the easiest I've done lately. The box, with Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS installed, runs fast and quiet.
Recommended.

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