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Thread: Rattle Snake Computer

  1. #1

    Rattle Snake Computer

    Hi, i'm finally starting another mod, this one is for my father and as you can tell by the title
    it is going to be an interesting one.

    This is going to be a rattle snake that ate the computer. When finished it will look like the snake ate the components one by as as you will see the bumps in the snake like it naturally happens when a snake eats something large and the hard drive will still be in the process of being eaten in the snakes mouth. At this point there is no name for it yet but I will come up with one.

    Features at this point:

    Half eaten hard drive.

    Stealth dvd drive, open/close button is located on top of snakes head.

    Power is turned on/off by pressing down on the hard drive in snakes mouth.

    Blue light from within the snake coming out it's mouth when computer is on.

    Motion sensor and working tail rattle on their own power so it's active even when computer is turned off.
    Hidden sensor to be located on face of snake so the tail will rattle as you are reaching in to turn it on.

    More features to come as I build it.

    Build process:

    For the body I will use plaster bandages that are usually used for casting arms legs and such. After some testing I know it will be around 7 layers thick when complete.

    Casting will first be coated in and out with a water proofing spray to avoid any moisture soaking into cast material or a moisture build up that could possibly soften the material, more of a precaution really as with the fans and standard conditions there should never be that much moisture. Second it will be covered with a spray on rubber coating before painting to give it a realistic kind of feel.

    Scales on the body will be made by locking some kind of fishnet stocking over the body when applying last coat of rubber coating and then removing it. Other material may be used instead of fishnet stockings at the time to aid in giving the impression of scales after aplying the rubber coating but I will have to experiment to see what gives me the best result.

    Compartments that will hold the separate components within the snake will be made of a light gauge steel. All accessible from virtually hidden panels. I say virtually as panels will of coarse be coated and painted to match the rest of the snake to blend in.

    3 small fans including the cpu fan will cool everything while being virtually hidden with vents on the back/bottom of snake and vents will be finished to match snake with rubber coating and paint job.

    I will be doing the paint job half by hand with brush and half by rattle can (pardon the pun) and will finish with some kind of a clear coat to protect the finish.

    Also, the mold/shape of the snake will be made in sections using those long balloons that are usually made into balloon animals, though it sounds silly it works after shaping and then casting them which I have tried. After creating the standard snake body parts and then the component snake parts I will then lock them together with another couple layers of bandage.

    The snakes head and rattle I will mold /make from scratch without any preset molds.

    Parts inside will be laid out as follows:

    PSU: toward the end of the snakes tail.

    MOBO: shortly before psu in last bend near ground level of snake body.

    DVD Drive: mid section of snake that is raised up in the air.

    Hard Drive: in snakes mouth.

    Limitations to consider:

    Mother board must be close enough for connection to hard drive
    as sata cable limit is 3 feet, which in a snake can go fast.

    4 Building phases:

    1. build component cases/compartments.

    2. build snake body.

    3. wiring and extras.

    4. paint and finish.

    Tedious/long/annoying stuff to do:

    Hand paint the color on the scales with a brush and extend all wires as needed.

    Parts got so far:

    Mobo: Intel LGA 775 Intel G41 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard.

    Processor: Intel E4300, laying around and old as hell but with a sale I will upgrade it.

    PSU: Athena Power AP-MFATX22 220W Mini ITX / Micro FLEX ATX / ATX12V Active PFC Power Supply.

    DVD: SONY 8X DVD Multi Writer Black Slim SATA Model AD-7700S.

    Hard Drive:
    a 2.5'' 80 gig drive that I had laying around but if price is right I will most likely get a 60 gig SSD drive when done.

    1 gig of Adata pc6400 ram I had laying around but will upgrade to 4 gigs (2 x 2g sticks) when near finished.

    CPU Cooler:
    Rosewill RCX-Z775-LP 80mm Sleeve Low Profile CPU Cooler.

    Parts to get:

    A couple small quiet fans around 50mm to 70mm.


    With all that being said let's begin.

    The plaster bandage I am using is orthotape and with any luck 12 rolls should be enough. If not it is cheap enough and I could always order more. Cost about $22 usd including shipping.

    I sheared some scrap metal at work today for the component bays.

    It's late and I will be starting the component bays tomorrow, with so much to come I will keep you updated as much as possible.


  2. #2
    The Main Man Dewayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Rattle Snake Computer

    Now THIS is an original idea!!

  3. #3

    Rattle Snake Computer

    Now I have GOT to see this!

    This sounds crazy. My kind of build :P

  4. #4

    Rattle Snake Computer

    Looking forward to this

  5. #5

    Rattle Snake Computer

    Time for the first update.

    I figured I would start with what should be the hardest component bay to build just to get it out of the way, the motherboard bay.

    When I got the metal and cut it at work I made a mistake and didn't think about one bend and cut the metal too short so the first few pics are extra work to correct that problem. So as a tip to any newbees (such as myself), never be foolish like I was and just quickly come up with the dimensions you think you need off the top of your head, take the time to plan everything out on paper first.

    Attaching the bottom of the mobo tray to the back of the mobo tray which should have just been 1 bend in a single piece of metal had I not screwed up:

    First I made the bend on the back piece to create a lip on it to attach it to the bottom piece using a makeshift metal bender.

    Then I used JB Weld to lock it together.

    Now came drilling out the standoff holes and adding the top hinge after confirming standoffs aligned correctly.

    The test fit:

    I attached the top cover to the hinge with sheet metal screws.

    I cut up and attached 2 wooden dowels to use as spacers and lid lock plate.

    Set mobo in place and added valcro strapping to lock the lid closed.

    Added valcro to the top sheet.

    There is more space on the left side to allow for the thicker psu wiring.

    And then this first compartment is all finished.

    well,... almost finished. I will be buying a hole saw soon to make a hole above the cpu fan this Friday. After I cut that I will be finished with this piece.

    With the next update I should be done with all the component bays as the rest are easy, then comes the fun stuff.

  6. #6

    Rattle Snake Computer

    sorry for the update delay, I decided to go with a slot loading dvd drive and had to wait for it to get here so I can get the new dimensions.

    Obtained a hole saw to finalize mobo bay.

    Got the psu bay done.

    Added hinges.

    Hard drive bay:

    Took old drive case from a laptop for case parts.

    Plastic casing removed and new bottom support shown.

    new support added to bottom.

    I will add more parts to the drive case further in the build such as the spring setup and power switch after snakes head is built.

    Dvd bay:

    Now with all bays done with specs including space for pass through wiring all that is left to do with them is add the large valcro strips and gasket material that will hold the components in their bays (excluding mobo as that uses standoffs) but I will save that small step for next weekend when I pick up the valcro sheets.

    Next is the AWESOME part of the build! Building the snake body around the component bays and then attaching the snake parts together.

    Stay tuned for next update.

    Will have many pictures.

  7. #7

    Rattle Snake Computer

    Almost forgot, the lid lid lock plates I will add soon for the other 2 component bays will be quarter round pieces of wood with valcro stripping and secured in place with a hot glue gun.

  8. #8

    Rattle Snake Computer

    Finally, the next update.

    I changed my mind about how the other 2 components will lock closed but I will get into that later in the build.

    For the fun part of casting.

    mobo compartment:

    first I taped off the hinge so the plaster would not seize it up.

    Then I added the cardboard for the shape.

    Then started the casting. All cardboard will be removed from the inside after I cut the slots in the casting for the openings on all the components when it is all dried and final cuts for component openings/faces will be done then too when it is dried.

    mobo bay all finished for now.

    PSU bay:

    DVD bay:

    All 3 together drying:

    The next step is to get the lids to work by cutting the seams. After that I will start making the body and then attaching them together. I will be cutting off part of the ends of the castings you just seen when fitting the snake body to them so if the ends seem a little odd shaped at this point don't worry as all will be good.

    Stay tuned for next update

  9. #9

    Rattle Snake Computer

    Hi, sorry about the lack of updates, been really crazy for me lately.

    Expect an update in the next day or 2.

  10. #10

    Rattle Snake Computer

    Time for next update.

    Keep in mind that all internal areas will be painted later on.

    PSU component before:

    PSU Component now:

    I will add the 40mm fan grill soon, just have to get one this weekend. Also the fan is not permanently locked in, I have it held in place by velcro stripping. this way I can always change it if the fan ever dies.

    Needed a power extender for this.

    Power plug in and part of my overly curious cat Diablo in this pic.

    40mm fan to help keep psu cool.

    Power extension:

    Psu added:

    PSU bay finished (minus the fan grill):

    DVD bay before:


    I will be adding some kind of felt/soft material later to the slot openings so it doesn't scratch a cd when inserted.

    Mobo bay before:


    The casting is still wet around the 80mm fan grill and that is why it is discolored.

    I have got rid of those damn wooden dowels as they looked and felt like crap with this build. I will be picking up another kind of lock plate this weekend and installing it so expect those pics in my next update.

    Tomorrow I will start casting the body of the snake. I can't wait.

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