Jerry Can Garage Computer

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The starting point for this project was the computer system, complete with monitor, keyboard and mouse along with the tower itself. It was in reasonable condition with the exception of loads of dust and marks from being placed in the bin – yeah, I saved it! just in time!

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I had the thought of making it wall mounted in a box with a perspex cover to show it off, but this has been done and done well. I wanted to do something a little different. I started to ponder what I had sitting about that would have enough room to house the components and allow it to remain cool, look good and keep me happy… I ended up staring straight at the jerry can and knew it had to house my little rubbish computer. The starting point was to disassemble the tower and take the parts needed and bin the rest – This was when I decided to use both the hard drive mount and the main board mount as it gave the pair a good base and kept it all nice and simple.

Next I used my renovator tool to cut out the two indented squares on the can to be used as windows with the scrap perspex. with some sanding and filing I got it all nice and smooth. This is where I decided to size up the components to see what I was up for, I figured removing some of the bottom of the can would be the only way to get the mainboard in due to size – I was correct!

Once I could get the motherboard plate in and the mainboard, by removing the CPU fan, I made up some templates for the power supply and chassis fan and marked everything out, drilling the required holes and cutting out the holes for the two fans to blow through.

Next it was time to cut down the scrap perspex and test fit it to ensure it was going to work – the worst part was it was from a small promotional stand that had contact adhesive on it and no matter what I did it left a residue – I spend ages cleaning it up!

With all of the holes now drilled it was simply a matter of assembly. It took some effort to make it all sit right and I did tuck some of the wiring and ended up placing the power switch in one of the filler necks.

The machine is exactly what I wanted for my garage, it allows me to look at diagrams, play videos and music and in general is handy for when I need to know something and don’t want to see it on my small phone screen! It currently runs Linux Mint and is similar in spec to my little Linux Book project. I may go to another linux OS in the future to gain a little more speed but for now this is just what I needed!

Happy Garage Computing!

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