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Janktop 4 ALPHA RELEASE


StripeySnake
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This is the initial public release of my open source project, Janktop 4.

This will act as a hub post, not only explaining what the project is, but how to use it and where to access the files. 

To start things off, what is the Janktop?
It's a custom hybrid chassis housing both laptop and desktop components, with the capability to make them work together. This includes Almost any laptop keyboard, (sometimes requiring a bit of modification) A display assembly from and Alienware M17x R3 or R4, although that can house any screen that will fit within it. Later on, I will be designing a fully custom display housing for compatibility with more modern 17.3 inch displays, including high refresh and resolution models. The chassis also houses an inverter board of your choice, as well as another open source project, not by me: https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Make-a-USB-Laptop-Keyboard-Controller/

Many thanks to Frank Adam for this wonderful project.

Last but not least, the chassis is compatible with most MINI-ITX motherboards, flex ATX power supplies, and Dual slot video cards 231mm long or less. Especially "tall" cards may not fit properly however. Additionally, the primary cooling for the chassis comes from the dual 40mm Triple Radiators in the rear, on each side of the power supply. Currently the chassis is only designed around the Alphacool 40mm X-flow triple radiators, but if anyone can find another type of similar size, I may add compatibility in the future. The custom cooling loop has to be used to cool the CPU, as the chassis Does not have room for a low profile CPU cooler. The GPU however, can draw and circulate air from outside the case on it's own. A blower card under 230mm (if you can find one) should perform normally, but more traditional cards will struggle to cool themselves. Expect to see temps close to 50-60 c in light to mid gaming with this setup, and excess of 80-90 under synthetic workload such as FurMark. As I was not satisfied with those temperatures, I have purchased a GPU waterblock, and will update the post when I get temperature results with both the CPU and GPU in my loop. That said, The dual radiators have quite a bit of cooling capacity on thier own, they had no difficulty keeping my 2600x running at 110 watts under 70 degrees during a synthetic workload, and that was with heavily kinked soft tubing, which I will soon replace with nice clean hard PETG. Once again, I will update once I have results on this setup. 

 

Pros/Cons:
Pros:
More portable than most desktops

More powerful than most to all laptops (depending on config)

Modular and standardized, so repairs modifications, and upgrades are extremely easy compared to a laptop. 

Max spec configurations are generally cheaper than laptop performance equivalents.

Lighter than most desktops

Much cheaper to repair than a laptop

 

Cons:

Less powerful than high spec desktops
A bit more difficult to assemble than a desktop

Less cost effective than a desktop

Much heavier than most laptops (Current config is around 18 pounds)

No Battery or integrated pointing device (I could add the latter if there is demand)

 

This design is certainly not for everyone, as it is extremely bulky and heavy, and requires AC power at all times. That said, if you need to bring your device from place to place, but plan on staying stationary for a decent amount of time and don't mind a bit more weight, the Janktop offers great performance and serviceability. The design is meant to fit into a middle ground between heavy, modular desktops, and light unfixable unupgradable laptops.


Building  a Janktop

First things first, you're going to want some basic tools:
A hardline watercooling kit, or at least tools to cut and bend tubing.

A decent amount of fast bonding super glue for holding your nuts in place till assembly. 

A file for cleaning up 3d printed parts.
Any paint, stickers, or vinyl wrap for aesthetics.

And Plenty of time. While the case is only a bit harder to build in then more complex desktops, actually building the case itself takes quite a while, and it took well over 100 hours of printing to print all the chassis components. 


Optional: Soldering equipment to splice your fans onto one fan header. (yes you can technically use adapters, but there is not a lot of space in the chassis, and you want things to be as compact as possible. Splicing is as simple as connecting every lead to it's correlating color on another fan, except for the PWM pin, which instead should simply be carried over from one single fan. If you don't understand this part, just look at a fan header splitter, you're basically doing the same thing as that except more compact and permanent.)

 

 

As of today, the Cad files for the Janktop design will be available to Print and manufacture. The vast majority of the chassis is 3d Printed, except for the palmrest and Bottom cover. The palmrest should be cut with either CNC, Laser, or Waterjet from 6.35mm (or .25 in) thick polycarbonate. I ordered mine from Xometry, and they did a fine job of manufacturing it for me. Just make sure to select Sheet Cutting for the process, and polycarbonate for the material. The final cost from them is around $140 USD.
Next, the Bottom cover is the only other non 3d printed component. It should be ordered in 2.5 mm Aluminum, Xometry will do it in Aluminum 6061 T6 for around $135 USD. 

Note: You will have to bend the bottom cover yourself. It's much cheaper to order that way, and all you have to do is clamp it to a table and bend it around 3 degrees.

The total cost of printing a chassis, if you do your own printing and order these two parts custom made will usually fall between 300-350 dollars. However, it will be considerably more expensive to order the printed parts, as having someone else print for you saves a lot of time but is noticeably more expensive.
The rest of the chassis is 3d printed, but these two parts are required not to be for the sake of durability and ease of assembly. 

Next up, you'll need to print, or get printed, every 3d printed component that makes up the chassis. I would personally suggest PLA, as that's what I used and it was inexpensive and reliable. It should be noted that this is quite a lot of 3d printing, so I would only suggest doing it yourself if you know your way around a printer, and have one on hand, as it is quite a lot of complex printing. That said, all parts should be small enough to fit on an average sized 3d printer, I printed all of mine on and Ultimaker 2+. You will want to have a file on hand while assembling the chassis, as 3d printed parts don't always want to fit together perfectly first try, and a bit of light filing is sometimes needed to achieve a good fit. A simple nail file does quite well. 
Finally, the chassis is held together via a combination of m3 Screws, Nuts, standoffs, and a couple of m2 screws for the one component that doesn't have holes big enough for m3. I would suggest buying both shorter 6mm and longer 12mm screws, as different parts of the chassis require different lengths to connect. The mechanism that holds most of the chassis together consists of a screw hole on one element, that then passes through another and into a socket in which an m3 nut should be glued. These sockets are hexagonal, and pretty easy to spot. Before assembly, m3 nuts between 5 and 5.5 mm in diameter (which is standard size) should be glued into these sockets with super glue. The super glue is not the thing that ends up holding the nuts in for more areas, however it is good to use to prevent them from falling out before you screw into them. It is worth noting that there are a LOT of nuts and screws in this build, and it is fairly time consuming to build the first time around. With that said, the nature of having all of the components attach to one another via nuts and bolts means that the machine can be disassembled fairly easily in comparison to a normal laptop, and individual 3d printed parts can be replaced without having to replace large portions of the chassis. 

Non Choice Components

As of right now, these are the parts that are not reconfigurable and have to be a certain model:

1. The display assembly has to be from an m17x R3 or 4, as no other display's hinges will properly connect to the chassis. 

2. The watercooling radiators must be two of the Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper X-Flow 40mm Triple Radiators.

3. There isn't really another keyboard option other than building Frank Adam's open source Teensy Based keyboard controller. I will provide a teensy script compatible with the Alienware 17 r1 keyboard, which can be loaded onto the teensy to utilize the keyboard over USB.

4. Keyboard. This is a grey area, because while the keyboard support area on the Janktop can be modified to support pretty much any keyboard, and Frank's controller works with the vast majority, it is only currently configured for the 17 R1. If anyone wants to test other keyboards with the teensy and they work, then send me detailed measurements for the keyboard's size and shape and I will happily make an alternate set of supports that are compatible with the keyboard in question.

5. Riser cable. You will need a segmented PCIE cable 500-600 MM long, which can be quite hard to find. This is probably the hardest cable to route, as it is massive and very important.

6. An FPC HDMI cable. You want to get a very compact HDMI cable to run back into the chassis in order to feed your GPU output to the internal display. Ideally you want 90 degree connectors, and to cover the whole cable in something durable such as strong tape, as they are fairly fragile.

 

Choice Components
1. Most to all MINI-ITX motherboards should fit in the case and function, just make sure the VRM heatsinks don't get in the way of your waterblock. (by extension any CPU is supported so long as a working ITX board exists for it.)

2. Pump. I would heavily suggest going with a hybrid waterblock pump combo, such as the alphacool Eisblock XPX, but be careful, pumps that are too tall or have inlets and outlets on the "top" will not fit because of clearance. The internal chassis clearance around the motherboard is 50mm vertically, but some of that is taken up by standoffs and the motherboard itself. 

3. Storage. The current design has a small intake on the palmrest that provides airflow to most back of the board NVME drives, as such setups are common on ITX boards. There is enough clearance under the board for a small M.2 Heatsink as well. Sata Drives may be mounted in free space around the chassis, and connected to the motherboard. Using a GPU waterblock opens up quite a bit of valuable space for more SATA drives.

4. GPU. Most desktop Dual-Slot GPUS will fit, so long as they are no more than 231 MM long, and only extend 10 mm or so past the lip of the GPU I/O shield. (in a standard desktop this would be facing towards you when looking through a side panel.) I will update the post on whether or not the cooling can handle a waterblocked GPU alongside CPU.

5. Fittings/ Tubing. I would strongly suggest going with tubing at 16mm OD or smaller, due to size constraints. Soft tubing is easy to set up, but gets heavily kinked in this chassis. Hard tubing is strongly recommended for the sake of reliability. Keep in mind there is a fill port on the right hand side of the chassis, so you can top off/drain the loop without disassembling anything.

6. Power supply. As of right now, only Flex-ATX is supported which comes in up to at least 600 watts. However, there are server power supplies of similar size that may be possible to modify to work with standard PC components, in which case the threshold would be well over 1000 watts.

7. A screen and inverter board. You will need a screen that will fit in your m17x Display assembly (the stock screens are fine), and a matching inverter board to convert the signal to HDMI. Since the board uses external power, get a MOLEX to DC12v converter, and you should be able to power it off of your internal PSU, which will make it turn on and off with the computer. Most inverters come with a button board for controlling the display, this will screw into the 3d printed side panel next to the GPU I/O via two M2 screws. 

8. 40mm FANs x6. I would strongly suggest using Noctua PWM fans, as while they are more expensive than alternatives, bad 40mm fans can be very loud and annoying, and the noctua ones are quite soft except at full speed, while moving a decent amount of air.

 

Picture Gallery:

IMG_8569.jpgIMG_8571.jpgIMG_8572.jpg

Something to note: these images are of the prototype, Janktop 4 Alpha looks very similar, but is considerably stronger, and more compatible.image.thumb.png.eae2b6865642a494fa97337ace53f2cd.png

This however, is a schematic of the Alpha Chassis, with improved durability, compatibility, and aesthetics.

 

FAQ:
(will expand with time)

Will kits be available?
Currently, I am just starting college, so I don't have a way to manufacture 3d printed parts on my own; so kits will not be readily available from me for quite a while. However, if anyone else wants to make and sell them, that is fine by me. With that said, that's not a complete no, 

printing can be outsourced to a third party company, however this would have to be done on a commission by commission basis, and it is significantly more expensive. I would also only be able to sell the chassis itself with none of the electronics save for the keyboard controller. (as I didn't design it, I'll happily solder one, but I will only charge for the cost of materials on that component.) If this interests you, shoot me a DM on this site, or Discord.

Will there be more Janktop designs one day?
The only thing I have planned for certain is finally finishing the 4.0 into the 4.5, which will include a fully custom display housing, which will house standard 17.3 inch panels. That said, I have had passing thoughts about designing an ultracompact Janktop,(perhaps 4.5-S) cut down to a 15.6 inch chassis, and about 10-15mm thinner. The current 4.0 is around 70mm thick, so that would make roughly 60 - 55mm thick. Still very chunky, but such is the limitation of MINI-ITX. The other side model would be some form of performance Janktop, with a slightly larger chassis, and improved PSU wattage, as well as cooling. I'm not sure if it's possible, but being able to cool a 3090 in a laptop-ish chassis would certainly turn some heads. 

 

Closing Thoughts
First and foremost, if you see an issue with this Post or project, don't hesitate to shoot me a DM, either here or on my Discord server. 

(That said, please be respectful) If you build a chassis, and something doesn't fit, I will happily adjust the CAD model to negate the issue so that you and nobody else will have to deal with it again.

https://discord.gg/Uey5drgDnw
If anyone wants to modify one of my part designs to achieve a different function, be my guest! In fact, if you send in an alternate design, I will add it to the Alternates file repo on my GitHub(so long as it is a viable part), and you will be credited alongside the part in a text document.

As is the nature of Open-source, I am and always will be the original creator of this project, but if anyone wants to modify, manufacture and even sell copies of the chassis, then they are free to.

GitHub Link:https://github.com/StripeySnake/Janktop-4.0 (all STLs are in mm)

Until Next time,

 

StripeySnake

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OWNED:

14 R1 - 4710MQ @ 3.6 Ghz, hd 4600, 12gb DDR3L 1600 Mhz

JANKTOP IV Mini-ITX Laptop - R5 2600X, 16gb DDR4 3000 Mhz, RX 5700 XT - (ONGOING)

Under my wing:

15 R3 - GTX 1060 6gb, i7 7700HQ, 16gb DDR4

17 R4 - RX 470 8gb i7 6700HQ, 16gb DDR4

M17x R4 - 3630QM, Quadro P4000, 16gb DDR3L 1600 Mhz 

M17x R2 - i7 920XM @ 3.4 Ghz, GTX 770m 2gb, 16gb DDR3

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absolutely amazing work on this, my hat goes off for you sir! brilliant contribution to the community here 😃

Mine: Hyperion "Titan God of Heat, Heavenly Light, Power" (2022)
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X / Asus ROG Crosshair X670E Extreme / MSI Geforce RTX 4090 Suprim X / G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6600 2x16 GB / Seagate Firecuda 530 4 TB / 2x Samsung 860 Evo 4 TB / Arctic Liquid Freezer II 420 / Seasonic TX-1600 W Titanium / Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2 TG / Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 32" UHD 240 Hz / Ducky One 3 Daybreak Fullsize Cherry MX Brown / Corsair M65 Ultra RGB

 

My Lady's: Clevo NH55JNNQ "Alfred" (2022)
Sharp LQ156M1JW03 FHD matte 15.6" IGZO 8 bit @248 Hz / Intel 12600 @ 4.4 - 4.8 Ghz / Nvidia 3070 Ti 8 GB GDDR6 / G.Skill 16 GB DDR4-3800 / Samsung 970 Pro 1 TB / Intel AX201 ax+BT / Win 11 Pro Phoenix Lite OS / 230 W PSU powered by Prema Mod!

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That took longer than expected. GitHub link is now live and so are the files. I might have to use something like google drive for the autocad files, they are too large for github.

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OWNED:

14 R1 - 4710MQ @ 3.6 Ghz, hd 4600, 12gb DDR3L 1600 Mhz

JANKTOP IV Mini-ITX Laptop - R5 2600X, 16gb DDR4 3000 Mhz, RX 5700 XT - (ONGOING)

Under my wing:

15 R3 - GTX 1060 6gb, i7 7700HQ, 16gb DDR4

17 R4 - RX 470 8gb i7 6700HQ, 16gb DDR4

M17x R4 - 3630QM, Quadro P4000, 16gb DDR3L 1600 Mhz 

M17x R2 - i7 920XM @ 3.4 Ghz, GTX 770m 2gb, 16gb DDR3

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That is a thing of beauty! :classic_love:

 

I have downloaded the stl files.....now I just need to work out a printer

Lenovo Legion Y740 17" i7-9750H rtx2080maxQ win10  |  Alienware 17 (Ranger) i7-4910mq gtx980m win8.1  | Panasonic CF-31 i5-2520M win7

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On 8/13/2022 at 8:24 AM, StripeySnake said:

. The chassis also houses an inverter board of your choice, as well as another open source project, not by me: https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Make-a-USB-Laptop-Keyboard-Controller/

Many thanks to Frank Adam for this wonderful project.

 

 

7 hours ago, Rengsey R. H. Jr. said:

How does the keyboard connect to the motherboard ? Is there some type of converter ? 

a Teensy :classic_biggrin:

 

Lenovo Legion Y740 17" i7-9750H rtx2080maxQ win10  |  Alienware 17 (Ranger) i7-4910mq gtx980m win8.1  | Panasonic CF-31 i5-2520M win7

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Now this is what you call a proper laptop!

AlienyHackbook: Alienware M17X R5 | i7-4930MX | GTX 1060 | 32GB DDR3L Kingston HyperX @ 2133 MHz | MacOS Sierra 10.12.5 | Windows 10 LTSC | Hackintoshes Rule!

Desktop Killer: Clevo X170SM-G | i9-10900K | RTX 2080 Super | 32GB DDR4 Crucial Ballistix @ 3200 MHz | Windows 10 LTSC | Slayer Of Desktops

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