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Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

1410886800 Tech News Today
1410890400 MacBreak Weekly
1410897600 Security Now
1410904800 Before You Buy
1410908400 Tech News 2Night
1410912000 All About Android
1410921000 Padre's Corner

Wednesday, September 17

1410967800 FLOSS Weekly
1410973200 Tech News Today
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1410984000 This Week in Google
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1411002000 Ham Nation

Thursday, September 18

1411059600 Tech News Today
1411063200 Know How...
1411066800 The Social Hour
1411072200 Coding 101
1411075800 Home Theater Geeks
1411081200 Tech News 2Night
1411083000 The Giz Wiz
1411092000 OMGcraft

Friday, September 19

1411146000 Tech News Today
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1411156800 Android App Arena
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Saturday, September 20

1411236000 The Tech Guy

Sunday, September 21

1411322400 The Tech Guy
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Monday, September 22

1411405200 Tech News Today
1411408800 Triangulation
1411414200 iPad Today
1411426800 Tech News 2Night
1411428600 Marketing Mavericks

Tuesday, September 23

1411491600 Tech News Today
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1411502400 Security Now
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Wednesday, September 24

1411572600 FLOSS Weekly
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Thursday, September 25

1411664400 Tech News Today
1411668000 Know How...
1411671600 The Social Hour
1411677000 Coding 101
1411680600 Home Theater Geeks
1411686000 Tech News 2Night
1411687800 The Giz Wiz
1411696800 OMGcraft

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Know How... 13

Portable-ize Your Desktop PC

September 27 2012

Make your desktop PC portable! Future co-host of Photography Unfiltered Ryan Marsh guests to show off his desktop PC built into a case that he can take almost anywhere. Ryan even put together the instructions below so you can know how to do it, too!

The background story:
Thought up the idea when I was traveling back and forth between SF and LA for work and vacation.

Tired of dealing with the limitations of a laptop and being very comfortable with building my own desktop PCs, I grabbed an extra Pelican 1600 Case.

Finding the right monitor was difficult. I needed one that was very slim and could fit the case. I also chose a monitor with some built in audio so that I wouldn’t need separate speakers.

The Steps:
1. Pelican Cases are made of polypropylene and along the surfaces generate a lot of static charge. With sensitive electronics, I needed to minimize this property so I spray painted the interior surface with an automotive paint that bonded well with plastic. This removed the static properties of the case.

2. I removed the motherboard mounting plate from the inside of my old tower case using a metal cutting bit on my circle saw. I then sanded the edges and using very short wood screws mounted it to the bottom of the case.

3. I drilled out all of the fan and cable access holes in the sides and back of the case using hole saw bits on my drill. I also drilled bolt holes for each fan position.

4. Using the sawzall and dremel, I added the rectangular holes for the monitor back in the lid, the Blu-ray drive, and the front usb ports.

5. To put the Blu-ray drive and SSD in the spot I needed, I would need the mounting rack from my tower case so I cut it out of the old tower.

6. I premounted the SSD and the Blu-ray drive into the rack before screwing the rack into position.

7. PSU: I had drilled out an area for the power supply exhaust fans and used the existing bold holes on the back of the power supply to attach it to the rear right corner of the case.

8. I then electrically bonded the drive rack with the motherboard base plate and the shell of the power supply using connection wires to build up a path to ground.

9. I added all the fans and the cable access ports by either using glue (for the cable port plates) or bolts for the fans.

10. I had to creatively brace the motherboard, ram, CPU, heat sink, video card and wireless card so they didn’t slide out of their slots in transit.

11. Monitor: I had to use the dremel to remove some of the monitor’s plastic shell so that the back would slide out the hole I made for airflow and the front would not extend past the edge of the lid so that the case would be able to close completely.

12. Using some of the lid space, I mounted the wifi antennas on the inside of the lid below and to the side of the monitor.

13. I used zip ties to clean up the wiring. It also stopped the cables from moving around in transit and wouldn’t restrict air flow.

14. The final case piece was the lid. A small sheet of 3/8 thick black plexiglass was bought from tap plastics. Airflow and bolt holes were added to it. An intake fan was placed right above the CPU intake. Using hinges, the “hood” was then mounted into the case. A cabinet door latch was added to hold up the hood while working inside the case and the sticker diagrams of the motherboard were placed in the hood’s underside.

15. A custom power cable was created so that a separate power cable for the monitor would be unnecessary.

16. A beer cozy was bolted into some available space in the case to hold the wireless mouse during transit.

Send us an email at knowhow@twit.tv or leave us a voicemail at 408-800-KNOW (408-800-5669).