Advice sought regarding building a WOODEN laptop! (Heat, grounding, etc - please!)

Jedipadawan

Commendable
Aug 16, 2016
25
0
1,580
0
Hi I have posted this in another thread with a query specific to the touchpad but now I will re-post here for more general advice if I may.

First - background:

OK, here's an interesting project. I am trying to build a wooden laptop! Balsa wood to be exact.

Now, I have little hardware experience. It's just that my old MSI netbooks - a u135DX by name with single core atom n455 - broke. Well, the case has cracked and one of the screen hinges was too loose for the machine to be usable. But the electronics were/are all sound including the battery!!
And it just so happens that my father-in-law is a carpenter! Well, it's taken me a long time to get the work started by the laptop has been disassembled and the case handed to the man in question to rebuild in wood.

I have built desktop boxes before but I am now out of IT and in the world of education where a laptop is a MUST! I am now constantly on the move and use my laptop for everything. Fortunately, speed is not much of an issue (though I will be video editing on the machine!! I'm like that.)

Oh, the laptop will be running Mint Linux KDE.

OK, I have touchpad probably covered. My father in law has a dremel and knows how to use it in anger. Of course he does. But the electronics are all me and I have never handled a laptop at this level before. First time I have taken a laptop completely apart! I took photographs at every step.

Heat is a possible issue. My father in law has opted for balsa wood which seems to be a very good choice. But he knows his stuff. But, can I squeeze a second small fan in the case? Where could I draw power from? Can I add to the heatsink? I will be buying thermal paste, BTW. I all also ensure there are airholes everywhere, yea, even in the keyboard casing!

I assume fact this is a single core Atom n455 machine a help in terms of heat here?
Is it possible to fit a physical temperature monitor to the machine - like a simple LED or LCD thermometer so I can check while the machine is being shaken down?

Also, the MSI u135dx was considered 'chunky' even in its day and so is not exactly slimline. So even if my father-in-law maintains the original dimensions this machine will have some air. But I will ask him to add a bit more depth.

Do I need to worry about grounding the case? How would I do it in wood?

Any further thoughts, hints and tips appreciated!

I really want to see this thing fly! Thanks in advance.
 
It will look clunky as well as feel clunky but oh well, I know too well when an idea gets stuck in one's head.

Heat: as long as vents are provided.

Ground: You won't have any obviously. With todays micro electronics I don't think this should be huge issue.
 

Jedipadawan

Commendable
Aug 16, 2016
25
0
1,580
0


The MSI u135DX was a netbook and the case will have to match the mothrboard so it is a 10" machine. But relatively thick. Portability and battery life is more critical to me than processing power.

Yes, I know about wooden skins but:

1) That does not solve my initial casing problem which made me think of this.
2) My Father in law is here, with me, right now and I am not going to pass up the chance to give this a go!
3) This is way cooler! And it's not as if I am trying this on a gaming rig!

:)

Original specs:

https://www.msi.com/Laptop/U135DX.html#hero-specification

CPU
Intel® Atom™ N-series processor
OS
Genuine Windows® 7 Starter
Chipset
Intel® NM10
Memory
DDR3, Max: 2GB
Display
10" 1024 x 600 WSVGA LED
Graphics
Intel® GMA 3150
Graphics VRAM
share with system memory
Storage
2.5" 160 GB or above SATA
Audio
HD Audio, Stereo speakers
Webcam
0.3M
Card Reader
SD/MMC/MS/XD
LAN
10/100
Wireless LAN
802.11 b/g/ draft n
Bluetooth
optional
D-Sub (VGA)
1
USB 2.0 port
3
Mic-in/Headphone-out
1/1
Keyboard
83 keys
AC Adapter
40W
Battery
3/6 cells
Dimension
260x180x19-31.5mm
Weight (KG)
1.2
 
 

Jedipadawan

Commendable
Aug 16, 2016
25
0
1,580
0


Ah! Me dumb! I think I get what you mean now. Sorry, I am only typing this up during a bout of insomnia.

If you are asking, can I expand the size of the machine to a but bigger then yes! I could go with that. But I need access to all the ports. But,I assume I can extend the length of the USB sockets via, er, extenders.

I am happy to give the machine both more depth and more width as long as I can access everything. I don;t mind if it looks 'clunky.'
 
It will look clunky as well as feel clunky but oh well, I know too well when an idea gets stuck in one's head.

Heat: as long as vents are provided.

Ground: You won't have any obviously. With todays micro electronics I don't think this should be huge issue.
 

Jedipadawan

Commendable
Aug 16, 2016
25
0
1,580
0


Oh yes! I don't mind clunky and I actually do have good reason for this project. But I'll explain after completion.

I don't care if it looks like this!




Great. This is what I figured when I started this but I do want to confirm. Can anyone else confirm this? If I have one other person saying, "Yup, what he said." I know I am in the clear.

The machine will have masses of vents! I'll look for some filters/meshing.

Many thanks! And clunky is a feature here and not a bug!

Oh, and idiot that I am, I can use KDE monitoring software to return the CPU temp. Duh!
 

Jedipadawan

Commendable
Aug 16, 2016
25
0
1,580
0
OK. I am taking silence as assent as, as long as the machine has heat vents (It will have masses!) it will be OK.

If not - someone tell me!
Work continues.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Mr. Colgate Laptop General Discussion 1
V Laptop General Discussion 0
BlaiM Laptop General Discussion 0
W Laptop General Discussion 0
K Laptop General Discussion 0
D Laptop General Discussion 0
J Laptop General Discussion 2
Cole69971 Laptop General Discussion 1
rorebbel Laptop General Discussion 0
wuws Laptop General Discussion 1
Richieefc Laptop General Discussion 4
fistinair Laptop General Discussion 0
Dudugvili Laptop General Discussion 0
P Laptop General Discussion 0
A Laptop General Discussion 1
O Laptop General Discussion 1
JeckDesigner Laptop General Discussion 1
M Laptop General Discussion 2
J Laptop General Discussion 1
J Laptop General Discussion 9

ASK THE COMMUNITY