The Custom Case Arrives

Posted: May 17, 2011 in Hacking, Hardware, ubuntu
Tags: , ,

Yea, back from UDS one day and Fedex showed up at my door with a large box in hand.  It is the custom case for the Ubuntu ARM build cluster.

I open the box and look inside expecting to see a 4U (rack Units or 7″) high,  27″ long 19″ wide rack mount case.  What I actually see is a bunch of loose metal pieces, some nuts and bolts and 3 fans.  What the heck????

Oh I get it, it’s a flat pack like when you buy furniture from IKEA.  It’s a do-it-yourself case, which I guess sort of fits this project as it’s a do-it-yourself cluster of ARM boards. Everything I asked for is where I asked for it to be, I just have to do the final assembly. It’s pretty cool but caught me off-guard. I took some before and after photos.

It came with no hints on how to put the case together but how hard can it be?  It has 2 handles, 2 slides, 2 sides, a front, back,  top and bottom panel right?  Well turns out it’s a tad more complex then that:  The side panels are threaded on one end and have through holes at the other end; the top and bottom panels have one edge bent up at a 90 degree angle and the other end has 3 threaded screw holes instead of the bent angle.  Not that I paid any attention to this before I started.  Got out my tools, my little container of thread lock liquid (I learned a long time ago always use thread lock liquid when assembling things you want to stay permanently together) and began the assembly.

I installed both sides to the bottom panel.  Whoops, I had one side threaded the other not, which I noticed when I attempted to attach the rear to the sides. Confusing to say the least.  With some study I figured out that the 90 degree lip on the top and bottom panels go toward the front of the case, the threaded holes are to mount the back panel.

OK, take one side off, flip it and reinstall.  Now take the front panel handles and find the long screws that are the correct size for the handles.  The screws go through the holes in the side panel, through the holes in the front of the case and into the handles.  OK all good, front panel attached well.  Onto the back panel and then install the fans into the front panel.  Yep you guessed it, it would have been much easier to install the fans first.  Oh well live and learn, the next case I assemble will go much faster.


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