Updates for October – New Vintage computer “Nomad”Posted: October 13, 2011
As there haven’t been any recent posts, I thought an update on just what HAS been happening behind the doors of Byte-my-Vdu was deserved.
I’m pleased to report the vintage “mini ITX” machine I was constructing, was completed over the weekend. With the front panel lights and the regulator now both working properly. The major burn out that was suffered several weeks ago, was a result of the current from the ITX PSU overloading the tiny LED pcb. Originally I had been testing the front panel circuits using a generic universal power supply, which had a maximum output of 9v 1.5mah. When I hooked the circuits up to the ITX psu, it didn’t occur to me until it was too late, that the current (amps) going through the regulator would have altered. The result was the tiny microchip on the led pcb cooked itself.
Luckily the circuit was pretty cheap to buy, I returned to the store and purchased another two sets of cycle lights, there’s now no shortage of illumination at our house that’s for sure. Given the fun I had wiring the pcb the first time round, I was prepared for something going wrong. As it happened, nothing did. The new circuit looked much better then the original, as I had trimmed down the length of the wires going from the pcb to the LEDS on the front panel. This was actually a tricky job, as the LED’s had been hot glued in to the front panel so they didn’t move about or fall inside the case.
With thanks to Thrashbarg, I wired a 20 ohm resistor in line with the positive feed from the regulator. This would control the current being drawn through and prevent the PCB burning out again. It’s been suggested that with the cycle light originally used the 2 AA batteries for regulation. With these removed, the resistor now did the job. As my understanding of electronics is still on the learning curve, you will have to bare with me when describing some of this.
Name of the beast! Nomad!
For as long as I have been building this machine, I have been trying to come up with a name for it. Simply wiring components together and hooking it all up with the MSI fuzzy board wasn’t good enough. As I was using the Altair for inspiration, I wanted to find a name with a similar air to it. I finally came up with something while visiting a StarTrek event in Manchester. What if I called it Nomad, the name of the artificially intelligent probe the Enterprise beams aboard. It was a lot better then the name I originally came up with “EPIA”, the name of the mother board I had originally planned to use for the project. Plus “Nomad” seemed pretty fitting, especially as Altair is also a Startrek reference.
Today I hope to have the badge finished and glued to the front panel of the machine. I spent last night designing it before bed. Next it will be printed on to decal paper and then attached to silver card, to give the fake impression of metal. As I sadly don’t know where to locate a 20mm x 90mm strip of aluminium.
And below is the front panel logo in all it’s glory.