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Old 12 September 2006, 17:24   #1
alexh
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A4000D Tower Cases

In todays world of spectacular cases it is a shame that non can be used with an Amiga 4k motherboard.

Does anyone understand the dimension issues of getting the A4kD mobo vs AT/ATX/BTX form factors?

I guess that the reason there are not more A4k compatible case designs because the rear edge of the A4kD motherboard cannot be made to conform to any of AT/ATX/BTX form factors with a simple mechanical adapter?

I do not know if this is true. My ATX PC tower case has a completely removable motherboard tray and part of that tray is a back plane with ATX cutout bits and it seems like it would be fairly easy to make an A4k back plane for it.

The other issue is the A4000D Daughter card. When "Towerising" I realise that you need a replacement daughter card that is parallel to the motherboard rather than at right angles but are the dimensions of these cards made for a specific tower or are they more or less generic, moving the slots to where they would be on an ATX tower?

Can you buy these boards cheaply? If not then it is game over already.

What I am asking is can we together come up with a cost effective and EASY technique of modifying Quality, exciting PC cases for the A4000D motherboard?

Side Note: Is the A4000T really compatible with large form factor ATX cases? By all notes it was supposed to be compatible. Although quite RARE, if I was interested in a "good case" for my Amiga4k does it sound like it might be worth hunting an A4kT motherboard?
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Old 12 September 2006, 22:25   #2
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Dave Haynie said that when Amiga 4000 and 4000T were designed no ATX standard existed.

There is no standard for 'mounting of the mounting holes' so you can't make adapter to fit A4000 or A4000T in all cases - but for each case individually .
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Old 12 September 2006, 22:49   #3
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it is sad that a suitable tower cannot be found... and even worst if u have a g-rex4000D
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Old 13 September 2006, 00:18   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowman040
Dave Haynie said that when Amiga 4000 and 4000T were designed no ATX standard existed.
I know, but the AT standard was out and I think the 4000T does meet one of them. ATX is a superset of AT and I think that means that the A4000T motherboard should fit inside a quality FULL tower ATX case with the correct AT mounting plate.

Quote:
There is no standard for 'mounting of the mounting holes' so you can't make adapter to fit A4000 or A4000T in all cases - but for each case individually .
I dont think that is true. I've mixed and matched 100's of PC cases and motherboards and everyone has always fitted. Most cases have LOTS of pre-drilled holes, many of which you dont use.

If we could find a quality, value for money ATX case, from a well known brand that isnt going out of buisness any time soon (Lian Li, Enermax, Coolermaster) I had hoped we could come up with a cheap tooled replacement motherboard tray.

However it has become clear to me that the replacment daughter cards are not available at a reasonable price so this is a non starter.

I may look out for a 4000T, but they are like rocking horse poo
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Old 13 September 2006, 02:28   #5
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power tower case

Not sure if the Elbox Power Tower case (Power computing) is still on the market. It was a nice case.
 
Old 13 September 2006, 02:36   #6
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@AlexH those Lian Li cases are never gonna be cheap

Just a thought how about a clear acyrillic case? maybe a solution to the problem but having never seen ANY a4000 mobo i wouldnt know, was just thinking if you could find a maker of these cases and then get them to adapt one to what you need maybe you'd have a start! Or another potential idea is those meccano style interchangeable sticks where you can make your own case in any dimensions you like! maybe impractical but just trying to help

a couple of off the wall ideas
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Old 13 September 2006, 08:30   #7
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Indeed, the biggest problem with the A4000 is that the ports are all along the edge of the motherboard.

Thus any AT/ATX case modifications will require you to drill out the card cage from the case and manufacture a custom backplate.

It just takes patience, but it is doable by anyone who can afford a tape measure, dremel, drill, pop-riveter..
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Old 13 September 2006, 09:41   #8
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so, you have found a suitable tower that only needs a backplate?
FYI, I own laser cutting cnc machinery... so *maybe* I make a backplate...
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Old 13 September 2006, 10:16   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keropi
so, you have found a suitable tower that only needs a backplate?
Several, however without daughter cards they are useless.

Quote:
FYI, I own laser cutting cnc machinery...
Wow, very cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amiga4k
Not sure if the Elbox Power Tower case (Power computing) is still on the market. It was a nice case.
They are a pile of poo and that is the source for this email. The Elbox Mirage 4000 Pro as it is called now is a cheap, naff, dated, powder coated converted midi ATX case from china and they have the nerve bundle it with a mediator and charge €500!
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Old 13 September 2006, 10:41   #10
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The Eagle people solved the daughter card problem by making (removable) brackets to hold the riser + zorro boards in place when using the original riser board.. However in my opinion having the zorro cards upside down is not very handy.

The tower case could also be converted to use the Eagle backplane, you needed to change the card cage too. With the Eagle backplane the zorro boards are the normal way up, of course. :-)

Perhaps a BTX case is a better option for A4000 tower mods? IIRC the motherboard is the other way around in those.

Oh, and some homebrew case mods I've seen just cut a huge hole in the back of the case and then mount the A3000/A4000 lower case inside the tower. :-)
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Old 13 September 2006, 10:43   #11
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perhaps there is a suitable tower that we can remove the entire back side, and make another , completelly new? is this a good idea?
I must look on towers on a nearby computer shop... maybe I can make a small amount of those back-sides for eabers... maybe.
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Old 13 September 2006, 10:47   #12
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Yeah, That's the way to do it..

The mounting holes aren't really a problem, just drill new holes and use a threading kit.. :-)

I do realise that most people don't have all these tools. :-/
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Old 13 September 2006, 12:42   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope
The Eagle people solved the daughter card problem by making (removable) brackets to hold the riser + zorro boards in place when using the original riser board.
I dont understand. Do you mean that the cards were mounted vertically instead of horizontally? Almost like a Desktop case on its side?
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Old 13 September 2006, 12:55   #14
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If anyone wants an A4000 tower case, I have one spare. Realistically, would have be UK only (there are still some cheap couriers!) as the postage abroad would be, well, prohibitive.

I'm in the process of moving, so if interested PM me a name and phone number just in case I lose connectivity!
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Old 13 September 2006, 15:08   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh
I dont understand. Do you mean that the cards were mounted vertically instead of horizontally? Almost like a Desktop case on its side?
Yeah, exactly. :-)

It's a pain to screw in the card cage screws with the cards upside down.. They should have had a slot on the bottom of the case for a screwdriver to go through..
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Old 13 September 2006, 15:15   #16
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Dell have the best design I've seen for this... the Riser board + blanking plate backplane come out... you fit your cards and then pop the Riser board (plus cards) back in.

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Old 13 September 2006, 16:21   #17
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See mine http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=24707 I wanted something specifically to fit the Prometheus without sacrificing additional Zorro slots, it worked. Though most cases are not designed for upside-down board mounting, nor do they have removable top panels, so it's not entirely a practical solution for retrofitting a standard ATX case. A removable card cage/backplane like the dell one would work, but the insertion force for the A4000 daugterboard is quite high, I'd be concerned about causing stress fractures from repeated installation and removal
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