Lug-able ATX workstation and monitor in hand luggage sized Pelican case

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This is my latest iteration (3rd version) of lug-able full ATX workstation within the carry on hand luggage limits for most airlines. This includes wight limit (7kg) for machine without a monitor

Based around the Pelican Air case 1525 which weighs in at 2.7kg (5.99lb)

The first two iterations of this project were based on packaging up an ATX motherboard and PCIe graphics card and using a separate ATX power supply.

When the Pelican Air cases were released it was time to get to what I was aiming for from the start. A lugable, full ATX motherboard, good size GPU in a hand luggage sized case. Preferably with integrated monitor. The completed unit should be rated IP67 resistant, because of the selected power (Amphenol MS3102A 10SL-3P) and ethernet (Amphenol LTW, RCP-5SPFFH-SCU7001) sockets (by the handle).

The key to this build is the Seasonic TFX 350W power supply, which provides sufficient power for running a reasonable Xeon CPU, reasonable GPU, couple of SSDs and 22" LED monitor.

  • I still need to run the network line to the waterproof socket on the front
  • Make a mounting bracket for the USB3.0 ports onto the lid / top plate (white)
  • get the correct DC power plug for the monitor 12V
  • secure the monitor when its in use and placed in the lid, when stored it will be placed on foam on the top plate (white painted carbon fiber sheet)

  • Fitting hardware

    David Brown04/24/2017 at 21:24 0 comments

    The hardware fits well, its not perfect, but that's a function of the options available for construction.

    Ideally you would cast the foam and case hardware in place onto plasma activated plastic surface of the case. But i'm pleased with what i've achieved.

    Initial fit up, In this photo i've not fitted the two carbon angle beam that support one side of the GPU card and prevent it moving in the direction of the CPU.

    Back cover and bezel removed from the monitor (Dell S2240Lc) means it just fits inside the case, The USB3.0 adapter needs a hole cutting in the carbon fiber top plate and also a mounting plate making, i'm still deciding on how to best go about it.

    I'm using flexible flat cable to HDMI adapters, which can be found on ebay for $15 (search for "HDTV FPC Flat Cable") and make connecting the monitor easier. I still need to trim the foam so that the cable does not rub against the top plate.

  • Mounting hardware

    David Brown04/24/2017 at 21:12 0 comments

    The motherboard and power supply are held in place by ties to rings fitted to the case, this keeps the components firmly attached to the base of the case, whilst allowing some movement and thus reducing the shock loads.

    This case is not designed for the same environment that you would normally subject a pelicase to, but provides resistance to being moved frequently.

    I recycled the carbon-foam sandwich panel from the previous case iteration, to keep a rigid base for the mother board.

    Cable ties hold the base board to the base of the case, I used small triangle d-rings used for hanging pictures as the are small and light weight, and fit the M3 button head screws well.

    Similar for the PSU, i'm going to replace the nylon line with cable ties, as although the line is strong enough, i'm not sure of its elacticity / the amount it will stretch.

  • Custom Modular Wiring

    David Brown04/24/2017 at 21:02 0 comments

    The wiring used TE Connectivity 400R series 18AWG cable rated at 600V, the insulation on this is nice and thin, and reduces the space required for the wiring.

  • Fitting foam

    David Brown04/24/2017 at 20:50 0 comments

    The case is lined with lightweight anti-static, rigid polyethylene foam, held in place by 3M 90 high strength spray adhesive. Which is reasonably good at adhering to the plastic of the pelicase.

    Pelican are good, in that they supply CAD models for the inside cavity of their cases, this makes designing much easier, producing less errors.

    Masking out the areas for the spray adhesive

    Counter coating the foam pieces, only the side pieces are bonded to the case

    Side pieces fitted

    Base installed

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