[HPC] 3D rendering


got a lot of request of the LoP HPC case design, I will release them as soon as I get the Soildwork working! and here are some of the 3D rendering (kinda working backward, as all my design was on paper, and now going from physical product back to the designing board!)




Robot Tank Linkage!


Some media material for my RobotTank, more detail @ 15th

what is:

my “Lop HPC” + “Microsoft XBOX Kinect” + ARM” + “WinCE” + “a year something of goofing off/2 months of real work” = ?… answer is my ROBOT Tank!

(Feb-08-2012) Lab Test Run Photo & video:




(Feb-09-2012) Intercity Mall, Innovation Week Pic & Video:



Valentine 2012


This is what i made for my wife, total damage $2.50

1 X roll of RED duck tape

1 X dollar store garden flower

1 X Green electrical tape

(just b/c wanna something shows electrical engineer, as duke tape usually referring to mechanical engineers)

i remove the garden flower, replaced with my duck tape rose




[SHOWOFF] Who ate my MOONCAKE? = MOONputer!


a bit lazy, here is the breakdown

– My old Hydra Terminal PC (my creation) is reaching end of life, mostly due to sluggish performance and burned out C-MOS (complementary MOS, PMOS+NMOS), the CMOS is in transit but I decided that it is due to an upgrade

– Hydra had become my Wife’s personal PC, and this justify for me to build another one with much better performance.

– I was given an old broken APPLE G5 iMac 17” iSight, I fixed the board, upgraded the ram, installed brand new Mac OS X 10.6 Leopard, but performance is very undesirable, especially running any non PowerPC architecture application. i.e. any apps for Intel

– as like ME, I decided that “won’t it be great if I can fit a SBC or “PC” into the iMac? I can almost keep everything but with a much faster Intel inside!”

Original Plan: (keeping the exact iMac look, without any physical modification to the outer casing)

– Keep iMac’s 17” LCD LG LM171W02 which is using TMDS (Spec Sheet)

– Keep the build in PSU (consist of AC-DC and DC-DC portion)

– Keep iSight, Speakers, IR, Sensors

– Keep the same slot-loaded super drive (DVDRW)

– Making extension to match the back of I/O ports



since the LCD is using TMDS instead of LDVS (the BCM and most embedded board/laptop use LDVS signals), It is no longer just making a direct cross reference cables, now I need to find a way to convert the TMDS to other useful format.

after a bit of research, TMDS is what DVI is using, which is perfect, consider I am planning to use a Nvidia 520GT as dedicated CUDA/Display


DVI DVINumber  
DVI Pinout DVI Pinout(Female)  


and here is the chart of LCD sides TMDS to DVI Pin

iMac G5-20 DVI pinout


The PSU is a 220Watt high efficiently PSU, after I replaced most of the Caps, it is working perfect, the PSU is consisted of two blocks, AC-DC and DC-DC

Original PSU Mounts

DVDRW Super drive

The drive is IDE/PATA using JAE, so I simply use JAE to SATA convertor


The iSight camera is unique and stupid @ same time, the internal connector is a mini-firewire connector (IEEE1394 4pin MINI connector or call i-Link), however, it turn out it is USB signals…

PB130103 PB130104PB250153
iSight I Wonder why.,..

Red = VOLTATE (5Vcc)
White = DATA-
Green = DATA+
Black = GROUND

Case Modification

I will need to keep everything inside the case, and with no external case modification, however, I did chop down the internal support frame to accommodate more room


Original Case+Frame  



something horrible happened, it turn out that the ITX board is just a tab too tall…. we looking like 0.5cm  and there is no way I am going to chop the case for it…

During the mist of thinking what to do next, I got my eye on a MOON CAKE tin box, it looks just about the right size, and guess what it is about right..



– BCM MX45GM/MX45GM2 (MX45GM2 for testing, MX45GM for final product)

– Intel Q9100/T6100 (T6100 for testing, Q9100 for final product)

– 8GB/4GB DDR2 SODIMM PC6400 (Final/Test)

– Toshiba P4 Laptop Speakers

– Nvidia Geforce 520GT low profile

– 52-in-1 Card Reader

– Broadcom BCM94312HMGB Reference mini-pcie Wifi 802.11n+ BT3.0 combo card(DataSheet)

– Maxtor DiamondMax21 250GB SATA HDD 3.5”

– Fuji 200GB SATA HDD 2.5”

– 65W AC-DC Power Brick / Wide Range Input PicoPSU  (Final/Test)

lg_GM45_MX45GM_01 lg_MX45GM2_ATX_Power_00



This is very very unique board, beside it is industrial grade and quality…

– it support ALL the socket P CPUs (including all the Quad and Extreme),

Headless/Serial Port management (I can just use serial port to login to bios so on)

– 5 serial ports


10Watt DAC Op-AMP (allows me to use speakers without need of external power source/amp)

– build in LDVS+DVI+HDMI+VGA, 2 independent display (even though I find that instead of those 3, dual HDMI will works better, as HDMI can convert to DVI or VGA, while DVI is not a great idea, as DVI to HDMI you lost the audio)

– 4 SATA connectors + Compact Flash slot

– Dual Giga Lan!!!

– PCI, PCI-e 1X and mini-PCI-e (PCI-e 1X for my GPU, mini PCI-e for wireless communications)

Intel AMT and TXT (I can remote login to the board even it is off, or corrupted bios, this is a hardware base remote, it is also independent of OSes)


I have few complain about the design, the PCI-e 1X is running off south bridge, it will be more ideal running off north bridge by chopping the 16X –> 1X, the advantage of running north bridge allows better communication and bandwidth, and also reduce interconnection communication between north and south.

there is enough space in the back for another or two mini-pci-e slots

P9230086 PB120092  
Broadcom BCM94312HMGB Geforce 520GT with 16X->1X adapter  



PB120093 PB120094 PB120095

I also convert the same Apple Super drive to SATA , and funny thing about it is, it wont boot from it, but it does boot from my other home made notebook DVDRW to USB drive.

At the end I just put the Apple Super drive with JAE to USB adapter with case for external use.

PB120098 PB120099
Who ate my mooncake? the fitting time!


Grinding and Painting

It looks trashing if I don’t paint it, so I decided to paint it, and the only paint I found in my basement is BLUE….and I am cheap, Homeless Depot (Homedepot) and Crappy Tire (CanadianTire) is bit far away…again I am cheap…

PB130105 PB130106 PB130107
Top lid  (progress) Top lid (after sanding) Top lid (after sanding)
PB130112 PB130113 PB130110
Lower lid (after sanding) Lower lid (after sanding) Heating after a good shower!


PB190125 PB190126 PB190127
Final Assembly    
2nd Layer (under the GPU)    
PB190131 PB190134 PB190135
Complete Views 0 Complete Views 1 Complete Views 2
PB190136 PB190137 PB190138
Complete Views 3 Complete Views 4 Complete Views 5


Stay Tune for Part2- Building of a Mount and Completion!