My Box PC.

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N1SQB

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I love having friends who work in the computer field! Sometimes the stuff people are willing to simply just throw away makes me go nuts! This is one of those examples, which worked in my favor. My friend revived these box PCs as I call them,which were slted to be deep 6, just because he had time to kill at work and felt like putting stuff together for fun. It worked out in my favor. This is a small PC about the size of a Pro-2005/6 scanner. It has a Pentium 4- 2.8 Ghz. processor, a 160gb HD,windows 7 pro 32bit and 2 gigs of DDR2 ram. For what I am using it for, it is perfect. The real nice thing is that this pc has 4, yes 4 serial connections that operate independently of each other. This is great for programming older radios via serial connection ( if needed ). I however, will be using the serial connections to remotely control 4 of my 6 XT series scanners using ARC XT PRO software. That still leaves me with 6 USB ports to use as I need. It came bare metal, until I took it apart and painted it. I cut a hole on top to give the cpu fan more breathing room. I had it on for 24 hours straight without any problems. I finally found a use for those serial cables that came with the scanners...LOL To think this baby was going to be scrap metal!:roll:

Manny
 
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Thayne

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If you have the time and a way to get ahold of stuff before it hits the dumpster you can indeed do some cool, cheap things. Most computer stuff more than 5 yrs old is not worth messing with nowadays.

When I was a kid in the 60's I was at a scrap yard and found a whole bunch of electronic parts like 10 amp 500V silicon diodes in the original packaging that came from a company that had Govt contracts.
The guy that owned the yard sold me over 300 of them and a whole bunch of Teflon wire of various sizes from 16 to 10 for 35 cents a pound.
When I went back about a month later the owner said he was not supposed to sell it but was required to smash or burn it only for scrap; but it was a good one-time deal---
 

N1SQB

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I like it! That would make a dandy PC for a scanner audio feed.
Oh, the thought has seriously crossed my mind, believe me! The BIG test comes this week, when I leave it on continuously for a few days straight. I might be acquiring a second one if all goes well actually! I love this little box PC !

Manny
 
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N1SQB

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That's great. I would love to have a couple of those around the shack for various uses.
Steve AA6IO
Same here, which is why I'm thinking about acquiring a second one. This will depend on how the 3-5 day continuous test goes. I want to use it for an audio feed.

Manny
 

CapStar362

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Most computer stuff more than 5 yrs old is not worth messing with nowadays.
uh huh...... i have a Dell 1600SC Full tower Server, runs beautifully and its older than 5 years, its actually 10.... runs 4 GB of DDR400 on 2 Xeon 3.4 GHz Skt 604 CPU's and hosts 10 other thin client systems


care to explain how anything over 5 years is not worth messing with?

i still have a P-III 933MHz w/ 1GB of PC-133 SDRAM system as a NoS Smoothwall, that guards my network... wanna take a crack at how old THAT is? yet holds 40x the security over ANY consumer grade router on the market.......



might wanna think about that comment of yours.... just a tip
 

N1SQB

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uh huh...... i have a Dell 1600SC Full tower Server, runs beautifully and its older than 5 years, its actually 10.... runs 4 GB of DDR400 on 2 Xeon 3.4 GHz Skt 604 CPU's and hosts 10 other thin client systems


care to explain how anything over 5 years is not worth messing with?

i still have a P-III 933MHz w/ 1GB of PC-133 SDRAM system as a NoS Smoothwall, that guards my network... wanna take a crack at how old THAT is? yet holds 40x the security over ANY consumer grade router on the market.......



might wanna think about that comment of yours.... just a tip
You know Capstar, I used to overlook older PCs, until I got this one! Now I want a second one! Definitely worth a second look at older equipment. I had this little gem going for 24 hours straight without any issues. Now, I'm letting it run for 3-5 days nonstop to see if it will serve well as an audio feed provider. The price alone was worth it. ($40):D

Manny

Manny
 
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pinballwiz86

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You might want to throttle the CPU to reduce heat. You don't need much to run a feed.

Just a tip.
 

CapStar362

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if its the right P-4 and the right board ( pun intended here ) it wont happen.... most P-4 Micro boards and P-4 CPU's were NOT adjustable in those combinations.


by the looks of that CPU bracket it IS a Skt 478 P-4, and that size board, is most likely a Micro board..... time to hack the BIOS if you want to adjust it..... way too much time involved in decoding the BIOS, for that. for cooling hes got a PSU output, HS output for main heat, and from the looks of it... plenty of passive ventilation. and he is drawing cool air directly onto the HS from the top vent.... he will be fine.


my tip

pop it open ( if you havent already ) remove old thermal goop, use 98% Alcohol, wipe the CPU spreader and sink completely clean, drop a paper thin layer of Arctic Silver 5 TIC on that P-4 and let it sit for 24 hours before cycling it with power, i love AS5, best stuff ever made for thermal compound!


id love to see a internal shot of that "Beast" !!


did you stress it @ %50 or higher usage for that 24 hour period? or just sit idle?
 

N1SQB

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if its the right P-4 and the right board ( pun intended here ) it wont happen.... most P-4 Micro boards and P-4 CPU's were NOT adjustable in those combinations.


by the looks of that CPU bracket it IS a Skt 478 P-4, and that size board, is most likely a Micro board..... time to hack the BIOS if you want to adjust it..... way too much time involved in decoding the BIOS, for that. for cooling hes got a PSU output, HS output for main heat, and from the looks of it... plenty of passive ventilation. and he is drawing cool air directly onto the HS from the top vent.... he will be fine.


my tip

pop it open ( if you havent already ) remove old thermal goop, use 98% Alcohol, wipe the CPU spreader and sink completely clean, drop a paper thin layer of Arctic Silver 5 TIC on that P-4 and let it sit for 24 hours before cycling it with power, i love AS5, best stuff ever made for thermal compound!


id love to see a internal shot of that "Beast" !!


did you stress it @ %50 or higher usage for that 24 hour period? or just sit idle?
Capstar, new thermal goop was put in this past Sunday. I spread it thin but generously. I did NOT let it sit 24 hours before cycling power though, more like 4. Here is a link to the manual:http://www.dfi-itox.com/pages/support/mbd/4v100p/G4V100-Pmanual.pdf
I will work on an getting an internal picture. The first 24 hour test was idle just for observational purposes. The second test is taking place now with a good amount of activity. ( opening/closing web pages, running video, programming a scanner or two, virtual control of two scanners) Basically, all the things I would normally do with it besides running a feed.

Manny
 
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N1SQB

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This s how the PC is doing so far, and some more info as well. I let the machine idle for a bit while I took the picture.
 
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CapStar362

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YIKES!! that really is a "Micro" board..

Northwood P-4... yup locked

your label " Intake Fan" its actually output or "Exhaust", the rear of the fan is facing outwards, pushing air out, but that is not a bad thing..... its forcing more air in through the top right onto the CPU, which is better anyways.


you might want to bench that Northwood, grab MEMTest 86+ and run a continuous mem cycle on it, then grab Prime95 and stress the CPU @ 50 or higher % Usage, both tests for 24 hours.... just to verify ultimate stability and endurance.

Speedfan has lost some credibility with me, its too erratic on the temps and fan RPM's


and TIC "Thermal Goop" , you want to be as THIN as possible.... use a straight edge razor blade and make it PAPER thin....


EDIT:


just noticed your 12+ VDC rail ..... showing 11.92.... not much alarm there, and even worse, look at your -5VDC --> showing +3.60 <-- HUH?!?!?



EDIT2:

80 Wire IDE PATA Cable! SUPER +++!!

good job there, those older 40 wire cables sucked PC performance like frozen molasses!


that Blue fan, does it have a Sensor wire, or is it just feeding 12+ VDC from a Molex ?
 
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N1SQB

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Cap;

The fan actually brings air IN not out! Not sure why that grill is there like that. Maybe my friend forgot to take it off, I will look into that. It does NOT have a sensor, just a straight forward 12VDC feed. As far as the thermal goop, I did spread it thinly but since you mentioned razor thin, I may just do it again, no big deal.
I'm gonna perform those tests you suggested. The -5VDC issue, is that adjustable? Can I adjust that somehow to bring it to the proper voltage?

Manny
 

CapStar362

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the voltage is NOT adjustable... not on that rail... thats just inaccurate reporting by SpeedFan, or the SMBus/IO Chipset is giving improper output readings


for the fan thats a first then...


when you see the label and the plastic frame of a fan.... thats the direction its blowing towards.... not from.... if you look closely at the CPU fan, you have a logo.... but look at the blue fan.... its the Manufacturer label, showing the CFM, Voltage and wattage consumption, and then you can see the plastic frame supporting the motor.

take a look... i blew up the image....see how you can see the back side label....something isnt right if that fan is drawing air into the case, when its supposed to be blowing out due to its physical orientation.
 

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N1SQB

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Cap:
I talked to the guy who put it together. He said that that grill he put on after the fact but it did not come with the fan. He purposely made it intake instead of exhaust, because I had told him it might be on all the time as a feed provider. In the Bios, the voltages are reading fine, so it IS a speedfan issue.

Manny
 
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