Introduction: $0 COST, 100% E-WASTE, COMPACT IMAC CLONE
PLEASE KINDLY VOTE FOR MY INSTRUCTABLE IN THE "3RD EPILOG CHALLENGE", THANKS ^_^
In the beginning, this project was conceived after i had watched a documentary about E-wastes being dumped in 3rd world countries and another about the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative and how it contributed to education which in turn ended the poverty cycle, it struck me that if the same children that the OLPC were trying to reach were able to learn how to make their own computers from these E-wastes, then it would be possible to fulfill OLPC's goal as well as solve the problem of E-waste recycling, both at a much faster rate, as information always spreads faster than resources.
Step 1: POSTER, IMAC, 1YEAR
When going through E-wastes, you will often come across electronics that you've never seen before, simply because they weren't made during your generation, thus i have found the above poster highly useful when sorting through piles of E-wastes (print it out like i did). As i had to salvage all my materials as well as use only hand tools, and i made things even harder still by trying to design an IMAC clone (where the CPU is mounted behind the screen) so that it is at least comparable to OLPC's laptop in terms of portability, keep in mind that it has taken me more than a year of spare time to finish this project, so pls give constructive comments, thanks
Step 2: HANDTOOLS, SALVAGE, NO INTERNET
In due course, i soon realised that in order for the proof of concept to be credible, i would have to use purely salvaged materials and tools, and how often do you find a junked electrical tool that could be repaired without special parts, never is the answer, so i had to use the above salvaged hand tools to do all the work shown in the next few pages. Some of the salvaged materials came from the freecycler network, and i have personally been in some junkyards hunting for parts, and it has been an experience to say the least. Also, the internet was not used during the project build, as there would be no internet access in the proof of concept scenario.
Step 3: MOTHERBOARD (MATERIALS 1)
The best motherboard i could salvage that appeared relatively undamaged was a totally unpopulated ASROCK, but it had extensive rusting on all its connectors that needed grinding off using a stone.
Purely using the "computer hardware chart" i gathered that it had
-1 ATX 20pin connector
-1 EPS 12v 4pin connector
-1 LGA775 processor socket,
-2 dual-channel DDR2 ram slots
-1 IDE connector
-1 floppy connector
-4 sata slots
-1 PCI-E X16
-1 PCI-E x4
-3 PCI slots
-4 internal USB ports (printed on circuit board)
-1 internal serial port (printed on circuit board)
-1 set of front panel headers (printed on circuit board)
With the ASROCK motherboard as the base i salvaged the following to populate it
-1 3.0GHz LGA775 processor from under an absolutely corroded heatsink and caked in thermal paste (which probably saved it from being corroded too)
-2 512mb DDR2 kingston value ram from a motherboard that had been broken in two
-1 intel stock heatsink and fan had need some heavy cleaning (you'll be surprised how many of these you can find)
Step 4: VIDEO CARD AND ACCESSORIES (MATERIALS 2)
After grinding off the rust, the VGA port of the motherboard was beyond repair, so i had to find a video card, while doing so i found some other things that could be added onto the motherboard
-1 asus Geforce 6600GT 128MB with a broken fan that i switched out
-1 PCI linksys wireless-G with a broken antenna connector (still works with short ranges)
-1 internal USB extender
Step 5: HDD AND FRONT PANEL BUTTONS (MATERIALS 3)
The 3rd item in the previous step was a rounded IDE cable i made using a knife and black electrical tape, for use with a maxtor IDE HDD (found out later it was size 40.1GB and had 20 bad sectors) [It was one of the few E-waste HDD that didn't click when powered up]
The triangle front panel was created from a scrap piece of metal, the indicator leds from an electrical thermos flask (1 red, 1 blue), the 2 red buttons from a broken car dashboard (1 colored black with a permanent marker) and the serial port from an ancient broken PCI card, pls excuse the make-shift splicing with electrical tape. By the way, the metal rail is from a broken sliding keyboard shelf.
Step 6: LCD PANEL, FIX AND STAND (MATERIALS 4)
The HP 15-inch LCD still works, but it has a broken stand and the CCFL tubes had blown so there is no backlight, so i used the CCFL tubes of an ancient NEC 15-inch which LCD was burnt out, its stand is also unusually large (allowing it to store 2 adapters as seen in a future step),which i used to prop up the HP LCD
Step 7: MOTHERBOARD MOUNT AND L-FRAME (MATERIALS 5)
The above piece of metal was taken from a discarded mini-itx casing that had a rear inserted motherboard mount, a L-frame was also cut out from the same casing for support of the PSU, what was left after i was done is also shown above
Step 8: ATX 20PIN PSU (MATERIALS 6)
I found the tiny PSU above in a CPU casing that had no motherboard in it, it is only 150w according to the label, thus cannot power the whole computer but i choose it for its small size anyway, as i had an idea, as seen in the next step.
Notice the sides of the PSU are swiss-cheesed because the L-frame blocks a PSU vent, thus these holes were made to vent the hot air
Step 9: EPS 12V 4PIN ADAPTERS (MATERIALS 7)
Above are 2 12v 3A adapters without their casings, 1 is from the NEC LCD, the other was originally a printer power supply, but splicing them in parallel to the EPS 12v 4pin connector i can supply 6A of 12v power (72W), though doing so makes the power supplies fluctuate abit.
Step 10: LCD BASE PLATE AND L-FRAME (ASSEMBLE 1)
Saw out the L-frame shape from the mini-itx casing while leaving space where the PSU exhaust fan goes
Using a rock as a hammer and a screwdriver, puncture holes wherever bolts need to be used to fasten the L-frame to the LCD base plate, taking care to avoid the areas where the adapters are gonna be located (next step), then bolt them together
Step 11: LCD BASE AND 12V ADAPTERS (ASSEMBLE 2)
Insert and attach the 12v adapters inside the plastic portion of the LCD base using screws and superglue as needed, notice the cable goes through the center of the swivel assembly, later on more will be added, the rectangle cut-out at the top right hand side is for the 40pin ATX connector (see next step), as the cable for it is too short to be routed through!
Step 12: PSU AND LCD BASE UNIT (ASSEMBLE 3)
Bolt the 150W PSU onto the L-frame and the plastic portion of the LCD base onto the LCD base plate, then thread the cables through their respective holes to complete the LCD base unit
Notice the swivel assembly is attached to a metal-L, it is described in the next step
Step 13: SWIVEL ASSEMBLY AND METAL-L (ASSEMBLE 4)
This is made by bending out the hinges of what's left of the broken HP LCD stand and bolting them onto the metal-L of the NEC LCD stand as seen above, the thickness of the metal-L made puncturing holes impossible, so elongated semi-circles were made by grinding away the metal from the left and right edges using a stone.
Step 14: LCD PANEL AND METAL-L (ASSEMBLE 5)
Attach the LCD panel to the metal-L using the 3 screw mounting that originally existed on the broken HP LCD stand, as seen above
Step 15: MINI-ITX MOUNT AND LCD PANEL (ASSEMBLE 6)
Puncture 4 holes in the mini-itx mount that correspond to the 4 holes that are normally used for attaching the LCD to wall fixtures, then bolt it onto the LCD panel
Step 16: CUSTOM POWER CORD (ASSEMBLE 7)
I spliced both 2pin power cords for the power adapters to a 3pin plug so that they can be fuse protected, but didn't add an earth wire as the entire LCD base unit (adapters included) are attached to the earth wire of the 150W PSU.
Step 17: MOUNT EVERYTHING (ASSEMBLE 8)
Finally mount the motherboard, HDD, video card and all the other accessories
Plug everything in, do some cable management and double check the connections
Step 18: FULLY ASSEMBLED
Here are the front and back pics of the fully assembled unit.
Step 19: OMG IT WORKS
After formatting the HDD in NTFS and installing windows XP, i boot it up and OMG IT WORKS! YEA! ^_^ VOTE FOR ME!
The last time i visited my local hackerspace, i was shocked to see that it had become a cultural center, besides the occasional arduino lecture by overseas visitors, almost nothing electronic or mechanical was being planned or built, when asked about it, members explained that they didn't have the tools required to do so, and the Epilog Laser could potentially change all that, allowing people like me to finally build to our hearts content! (By the way if shipping of the prize is an issue, i would gladly pay for it, thanks)