Picture of Micro Processor Chess Set
Rather than play the computer chess, why not make a chess set out of the computer!

This is version 0.1 (beta). If I can get enough Pentium "586" chips, I'd like to make a regulation size chess set.

Any constructive criticism would be appreciated!

Step 1: Chess Board

Picture of Chess Board
The board is the underside of a mother board, and 32 black microprocessor chips.  This creates the colors Green vs Black.  Each chip was attached with epoxy.

The principal hardware was left on the bottom side.  Legs for elevation are bolts press-fitted into the chassis mount holes.

All subsequent pieces were painted green or black, if necessary, to indicate side.
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郁城高9 months ago


yugioh544442 years ago
CrLz (author)  yugioh544442 years ago
fazgard5 years ago
Very cool.

GOnna have to empty out some spare parts bins this weekend and make one!
CrLz (author)  fazgard5 years ago
It's almost more fun exploring parts to use.  Motor and the inner parts of drives are filled with interesting parts.

A tip for the explorer: Since the electro-mechanical function is not necessary, I dropped each circuit board into the washbasin and cleaned the parts off with water.  This removed most of the dirt and residue common inside electric parts, definitely making the job nicer work for my hands.
pfred2 CrLz3 years ago
Board manufacturers wash boards after assembly in water. They expect new components to function after doing so as well. Place I worked for actually used a dishwasher to clean the water soluble flux off the PCBs after we ran them through our wave solder machine.

Trick is to just let everything dry out and it is fine.
shdsteel5 years ago
how do you remove the microprocessor chips?
CrLz (author)  shdsteel5 years ago
I used a razor blade / skill knife. the tool you buy at hardware stores. Easiest way was simply cut through the feet connecting to the circuit board. Then I just trimmed off the stubble with the razor.
pfred2 CrLz3 years ago
To desolder quad flat pack packages you can just blowtorch the back of the board and they fall right off. It does stink to the high heavens when you do this though! So it isn't an indoors friendly activity. Some use toaster ovens or frying pans for doing this too. I bet even a barbecue grill would work. Then a big empty cardboard box to catch the hot parts is used. This method is called the, "heat it and beat it technique". Because after you get the boards hot enough you quickly slap the boards against the inside of the empty cardboard box to dislodge as many parts as possible into the box.

It goes without saying you hold the board in big pliers and wear gloves to protect yourself from the high heat. Safety glasses are stylish as well to protect your eyes from molten globs of solder that can go flying. Most stuff ends up in the cardboard box though.

Pro tip: after you've slapped the board a few times into your cardboard box transfer the parts to another box, or tray or something so the little molten solder balls don't end up on your parts so much.
this is sooooooo cooollllll i wish i cold find all the parts to make this .
i just wanna know y u would take apart computers just for the parts if like the board went beep everytime u moved that would of been ok or if it said the position u put it at that would be cool but y i bet those computers wanted to go onto the internet one more time before u ripped them apart
CrLz (author)  hopekiller305 years ago
Prototyping- I was exploring for parts, as much as building the idea.  So  the small waste was a lower priority.  (The crosses on the Kings are a great example, discovering parts with such character was a real exploration-accomplishment.)

That said, after slogging through the salvaging for this prototype, I'm buying most parts directly for version 1.0 : it becomes almost prohibitive to find enough of the same parts. (see my comment about the pawns).

No worries though- I'm buying straight from computer salvagers now, so all the parts I'm acquiring are headed for the junk yards already.  Everything I buy saves the waste.
ok. just to remind u that u can always make it beep or say "A1" or something like that can always be done.
shdsteel5 years ago
what brand and style of paper shedder was it?
CrLz (author)  shdsteel5 years ago
Can't remember the brands.

The longer core came from a 15-page shredder I bought years back from Staples.

The shorter core came from a 8-page shredder a neighbor threw out. Similar design, it was probably a home-use shredder from Staples or Office Depot.

You may have some luck at thrift stores. When the shredders begin to fail, they first loose cutting power. An empty shredder will falsely appear to work. Some savvy people must realize this, and turn the shredder in for a tax-refund at a thrift store. I bought shredders on [(discount) * (thrift store discount)] by demonstrating this to thrift store-staff.

Good luck finding all the parts if you're making something similar. Best place I've found for 586 chips is from bulk electronics salvagers. Look them up on alibaba , usually selling chips for gold reclamation.

Exploring for parts is 60% of the fun!
shdsteel5 years ago
looks greatly stupendous! where did you get the motors?
CrLz (author)  shdsteel5 years ago
Ooops! (been a while since I salvaged these parts) Queens: motor cores from an old HP pen-plotter, I think one was the pen left-right motor and the other was the paper forward-back motor. Kings: Both motors from light weight paper shredders (two different manufacturers).
danlab5 years ago
I love the idea, partially because nobody else will have a chess set quite like you do. It's just too bad it's to late for you to enter it in the Dead Computer Contest. And I think you're right, it would be better with bigger squares, but It is still a great project, keep up the good work.
CrLz (author)  danlab5 years ago
Thanks danlab.

I got lots of positive feedback for this beta, so I'll get started on the final.
lemonie5 years ago
Very nice.

CrLz (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Thank you lemonie.

Looks a bit crowded to me. If I can get enough large CPU chips I think the set would be just about right.
lemonie CrLz5 years ago
The Chess board is a representation of a battlefield, "a bit crowded" and I'm looking at a fight in a nightclub up there. I agree that these would show better spaced out a bit more, but they still look good as pieces.

CrLz (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Seems like using bigger chips will solve this then.  Most components were 20 to 30mm in size.  The chips I used were 27mm square (green spaces were 31mm).  The Rooks, in fact, slightly overlap black squares.

The "586" chip is 50mm, which should make a great fit for pieces constructed similar.
lemonie CrLz5 years ago
Yes these bigger-socket chips are more like it, but less easy to get a bag of I should think?
Another idea might be to get a red and a green PCB and cut squares out of them?

CrLz (author)  lemonie5 years ago
I'm hoping to connect with local e-waste companies to get enough chips.  More modern chips are sold in lots on alibaba or ebay , should be able to get the parts.

I'd like to incorporate custom PCB boards in the piece design, using the red and green PCB as the two sides.  Definitely would be a nice touch.

XOIIO5 years ago
Freaking brilliant!
CrLz (author)  XOIIO5 years ago
Gracias XOIIO,

It's good fun find cool parts scavenging.  Got lucky on the dual motor cores for the Queens, not quite as lucky for the kings.
knektek5 years ago
at the bottom actually have a power source, so that when the pieces are on the spots, they light up.
CrLz (author)  knektek5 years ago
That would be a natural fit for the Queens also!

In a dream scenario, I'd like to embed RFID chips into the pieces, and have micro-reader coils under each square.  Wire it all up and using one of the PC connections left on the underside, connect to a CPU, auto-tracking the game moves.

Definitely powering up the board would be a great fit for the concept.
nickodemus5 years ago
Awesome. I especially like the bishop in the third picture.
CrLz (author)  nickodemus5 years ago
Thanks nickodemus - I think I should use higher gauge wire for more detail in the clerical robes.  Couldn't scavenge up enough thin green wire though.
jeff-o5 years ago
I like it!  Very clever.
CrLz (author)  jeff-o5 years ago
Glad to hear it.

I'm a bit unsure about the motor cores for a computer-concept set.  However, the heft and appearance seem right.
jeff-o CrLz5 years ago
I've seen motors far larger than that pulled out of old computer equipment!  The company I worked for recently trashed an old 350MB external hard drive.  It was the size of a dishwasher, and used about 2kW of power when running.

So yeah, you're fine.
Lindie5 years ago
Really nice!
CrLz (author)  Lindie5 years ago
Thank you Lindie.

I think the knights need some work, lost a lot of appeal with my rough assembly.  But the concept seems OK.
=SMART=5 years ago
Looks awesome !
Great attention to detail !

a few great projects missed the deadline by a hairline, they should extend it a day !
CrLz (author)  =SMART=5 years ago
Thanks =SMART= !

Scavenging is largely serendipity- I was really psyched when I found the crosses for the kings.  Matches the typical Staunton set nicely.

The heat sinks for rooks was one of my first designs.  I wish I had found three more of the black spiky sinks, which look the part the best.
frollard5 years ago
CrLz (author)  frollard5 years ago
Thank you frollard.  Hope you like how the board came out.
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