Pseudo Senfu DIY
Date posted: 05/07/02
To tell you the truth, part of my reason for using such a strange
title was to lure you into checking this article out, but it is also
equally true that my rather strange string of words is really the best
way to describe this project.
Perhaps it would help if I break it down so to speak. Most of us are
familiar with the word "Pseudo" meaning to "fake" or "imitate", the next
two words are actually the name of a real product from a real company.
The Senfu DIY (do-it-yourself) is best described as an open-air case
made for ultra quick installation of a computer parts. The "case" I am
talking about is not much more than a miniature shelf to set all the
computer components onto. Anyone that repairs or tests computers
regularly can understand how much time this device can save. The time it
takes to install some components such as a motherboard can seem like an
eternity when you have more than a few boards to install and test.
Of course there is always the option of laying all the components on a
table or floor, but this is rarely practical especially if you do not
have the extra desktop space as in my situation.
Before I get into talking about what I did to solve this problem and
what you may want to try as well, here are some links to information on
the Senfu product.
The Senfu DIY reviewed at Overclockercafe.com, and for sale at Highspeedpc.com and Plycon.com.
Here is an image of the genuine Senfu DIY
A cardboard box and an idea
At first I was going to make a hardware reviewing test bed system
with all the parts just sitting on top of my desk, after a second or two
I realized that it was going to be a very tight fit and I would
probably have to put the keyboard and mouse in uncomfortable positions.
With the vision of the Senfu DIY in mind I grabbed an old Abit
mainboard box, emptied its contents and began cutting, taping, and
wiring all the while trying to find ways to save on desktop space and
make a versatile testing station.
Here is the Frankensteinish creation very near completion. The idea
is simple, a hard drive and cd-rom drive reside inside the box with a
fan for air circulation while the mainboard rests on top easily switched
out in the blink of an eye. Of course you may need either an AT and an
ATX power supply for different projects so it just sets on the desk next
to the box.
After using a utility knife and scissors to cut holes for the air
intake, drive bay, and exhaust fan there was not much rigidity left to
the cardboard at all.
They say "time heals all wounds" my answer to that is "heh, so does
electrical tape!". =) After using quite a bit of tape I was glad to find
that the box had become quite sturdy once again.
The wiring is as simple as it gets, if you have a dead power supply
laying around you are ahead of the game. I just cut off one of the main
sections that is used to power a hard drive .etc and presto there was a
connector for both drives. The cheapo 60mm fan I used cost only a few
dollars if memory serves me right. To tell the truth you might be able
to get away with using something as small as the fan from a CPU cooler.
Having a fan that plugs into the standard "drive" power is pretty
important, as you can see I just spliced that into my stolen power
supply wire and that was that.
Finishing it up
After this point all that was left to do was run two IDE cables out
the side of the box. As you can see they folded over nicely without even
putting up a fight.
Putting it to the test
Sure enough it only took what seemed like seconds to get everything
installed and running. Defiantly a great first experience with this new
addition to my reviewing routine. As far as a power switch I just used a
jumper to bridge the "power on" pins, I may mount switches and LEDs
later but we shall see.
There we have it, a fully functional open air system that does not
take up the entire desktop.
It may not be as fancy or last nearly as long, but this homegrown
"testing station" has really impressed me so far. In all honesty I
believe this will save me many hours and much frustration in the long
run. So DIY, grab a cardboard box today and go pseudo a senfu!