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Old 01-20-2019, 01:55 AM   #1
ratdude747
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Default Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

Tonight I did some major clean up work on my electronics workbench... it was a real pit and I need work space for what was going to be an upcoming project. Might as well, because working on my car outside is out of the question:



Before I show what the project was (and why it became a complete fail), while it's clean and presentable (or at least the half I'm going to show), here's my current PC work area:



Note that I said half was presentable... the other half is mostly organized but has a bunch of crap stacked up (and the empty pop can, I know ). I retired Main rig V2.8 (Twin Xeon Gallatin's on BCN's first server's mobo) and moved Main Rig 4.1 into its place, since V4.1 was bumped by my uATX sleeper build. Since the case is on 3/8" tall feet (shallow flood protection) and is a beater, I felt OK moving it to the floor to open up some bench space (and to clean the wiring up). I also added a KVM to the setup:



Provided are two USB channels, VGA, LAN, Speakers (and an unused mic), and PS/2 keyboard. The latter isn't part of the KVM, but since the keyboard I'm using is one of the few Microsoft keyboard with both USB and PS/2 on a splitter, accomplishing such only requires a PS/2 extension cable:



This is handy for systems like my old aforementioned Xeon Gallatin rigs that do not have good USB emulation support (enabling it makes the POST time far longer than normal)... and since said keyboards also have USB 1.1 hubs in them, that also means I can plug the mouse in there and use the freed 2nd KVM USB port for the webcam. The other nice thing here is that since I'm using a CRT, I can run virtually any resolution I want w/o distortion. Yes, this is Topcat's old 24" trinitron monster... needs some degaussing work (need to get a proper coil) but otherwise it works great and is the highest resolution monitor in the house.

Anyway, so here's the project:



Some of you may recognize that as the notoriously unreliable Supermicro X7DWA-N from Main Rig 5. Topcat tipped me off to an auction w/ best offer for another board... and was able to best offer it down to $72 shipped (cheapest I've ever seen on eBay is $100). The board isn't here yet, but I can still mock things up.

The plan was to gut out Main Rig 4.1 (see above) and move this board into it... it's a supermicro case with a midplane, so this ought to work, right? I knew that I'd need to add some missing parts to make it run right based on past experience with FB-Dimms:



These being the air duct and rear fans... this case is missing the duct and had dummies in place of the fans in the back. In addition, I'd need to upgrade some things:



The PSU is due to the 545W unit currently installed not having any PCIe connectors (and being marginal for running this board). The Optical drive is because while the IDE drive I currently have would work, I might as well upgrade here. The card reader is due to the lack of a 2nd USB header, I have to use a USB card to use a card reader, so I might as well use a USB 3.0 card with this reader pulled from Main rig 5 (card ordered, not here yet).

Ok, let's tear into the transplant recipient:



Good old Irwindale netburst awesomeness (with 16GB of DDR2!).

Started pulling it apart... and very quickly some issues cropped up. First, while it does use an ATX sized PSU, the mounting isn't standard:







Unless I drill out the PSU and make a custom bracket, that ain't going to work. The air duct also is a no-go:



This was made for supermicro eEATX cases with 1U modular power supplies, like main rig 5 and 6 used:



Hence why the case was missing the air duct

Due to these, I'm not feeling that the X7DWA swap is going to be a good idea (better keep an eye out for a deal on a fresh EATX case). While I'm here, I might as well upgrade the AMCC 9650SE to an LSI 8708EM2 SAS card I had sitting:



...but wait, that doesn't fit either!



The bleeping mini-SAS is too short... *sad trombone*

Put it back together, at least the rear fans fit... but why won't they throttle down like the other fans? Well, here's why:



Apparently they made these fans in a non-PWM version... great.

So after all of this mess, main rig 4.1 is literally right where it started.

I do have a NOS Supermicro H8DAE-2 to play with... but I don't have CPUs or coolers for such. Also, I'd want to run SLI'd cards on such (since it's an Nforce pro chipset), and unless I found another 9800GT like I'm using, I'd have to do a PSU swap of some sort (newer supermicro/ablecom?) or use adapter cables (I hate adapter cables for GPUs). It's an option though... as for reviving main rig 5.x (in a different case since it was replaced by Main rig V6), well, until I find a case, that's on hold.

All of that said, the irwindales do still run well (rock solid ever since I stopped using Engineering sample CPUs) and I really don't have a need to upgrade since I'm not gaming on it nor do I want to upgrade to Windows 8.1 or 10 (Irwindale/Paxville is a couple CPU instructions shy of being compatible with the x64 versions).

What a way to burn a snowy Saturday... ... at least I have a mostly usable work bench again.
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

I have a KVM...the convenience is wonderful !

Right now it switches between an i3-3245 HTPC (Mythbuntu 12.04 I think) and my main AMD 8150 system (Win7 / Mint 18.3).

EDIT: I just realized I'm probably "preaching to the choir" here.

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Old 01-20-2019, 10:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

I think you need to degauss that old Triniton monitor....what's with the blue lower left corner?
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
I think you need to degauss that old Triniton monitor....what's with the blue lower left corner?
I said that already:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
Yes, this is Topcat's old 24" trinitron monster... needs some degaussing work (need to get a proper coil) but otherwise it works great and is the highest resolution monitor in the house.
I'm a cheapskate... will check ebay for deals. It's been that way ever since it came home from your attic.

Last edited by ratdude747; 01-20-2019 at 11:46 AM.. Reason: wrong emphasis, dumb***
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

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I said that already:



I'm a cheapskate... will check ebay for deals. It's been that way ever since it came home from your attic.
Check the settings first, theres actually some settings that will alter that....I don't remember what it's called....but its along the lines of convergence....that is if a blast of degauss doesn't cure it.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:08 PM   #6
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Check the settings first, theres actually some settings that will alter that....I don't remember what it's called....but its along the lines of convergence....that is if a blast of degauss doesn't cure it.
The internal Degauss didn't help... I tried to fix it using fixed magnets but to no avial.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:30 PM   #7
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The internal Degauss didn't help... I tried to fix it using fixed magnets but to no avial.
Check some of the more obscure settings & convergence stuff....I remember dealing with discolored corners on Trinitrons that these settings fixed. I have a good degauss coil from my TV service center days....I'd be glad to let you borrow it....I'd just have to have it back.....its been with me a lot of years.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

RD- Try moving that subwoofer housing away from the monitor. I don't think the magnet inside is shielded.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

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Check some of the more obscure settings & convergence stuff....I remember dealing with discolored corners on Trinitrons that these settings fixed. I have a good degauss coil from my TV service center days....I'd be glad to let you borrow it....I'd just have to have it back.....its been with me a lot of years.
Nope, it's definitely a degaussing issue. It's only one corner. I have a thread on this:

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=66844

What it does (I have videos if interested) is I'll command it to degauss, it does it, and for 1 second or so it's good before the corner "pops".


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RD- Try moving that subwoofer housing away from the monitor. I don't think the magnet inside is shielded.
Good catch! I was able to move the subwoofer and make the corner de-distort... but now the upper right corner is out. Even moving the subwoofer to the back of the bench doesn't help... moving the subwoofer 5' away causes both corners to distort. Moving the satellite speaker has no effect. I guess this sound system and the monitor are incompatible... or I need to somehow shield the subwoofer?


Edit- the subwoofer is totally un-shielded:



Not sure where I could move it... Either this system was made after CRTs fell out of favor or they intended for the subwoofer to go somewhere far away. Ideas?

Edit- auto degaussing after moving the subwoofer to the "corner correcting" position causes the issue to return... which leads me to believe that the subwoofer is a red herring. Sure, moving the subwoofer has an effect, but degaussing seems to undo it.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

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Good catch! I was able to move the subwoofer and make the corner de-distort... but now the upper right corner is out. Even moving the subwoofer to the back of the bench doesn't help... moving the subwoofer 5' away causes both corners to distort. Moving the satellite speaker has no effect. I guess this sound system and the monitor are incompatible... or I need to somehow shield the subwoofer?
The larger Sony's are really sensitive to magnetic fields -- they even tweak the magnetics based on whether you purchase it for use in the northern hemisphere or southern!

Also, a nearby lightning strike will screw monitors up for scores/hundreds of degauss cycles.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

Yup...definitely needs a good degaussing then. Lemme know if you need my coil.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:21 PM   #12
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Yup...definitely needs a good degaussing then. Lemme know if you need my coil.
Best offered on one... I see a bunch of uber cheap green wands, but I read those are garbage and only a true round "hoop" will do the trick.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

RD, got something with a C frame shaded pole motor?

Small fans, electric pencil sharpeners (of all things), can openers, etc.

These motors give off a large stray field and can be used to degauss shadow masks & aperture grilles.


FWIW, the grille wires in the bigger Trinitrons can get stuck to each other, giving the appearance of a degauss-stubborn purity/convergence error. Gentle tapping on the side of the monitor, closest to the error, while degaussing usually corrects this. If the internal degauss doesn't work, use an external one.

"Sony, no baloney."
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

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RD, got something with a C frame shaded pole motor?

Small fans, electric pencil sharpeners (of all things), can openers, etc.

These motors give off a large stray field and can be used to degauss shadow masks & aperture grilles.


FWIW, the grille wires in the bigger Trinitrons can get stuck to each other, giving the appearance of a degauss-stubborn purity/convergence error. Gentle tapping on the side of the monitor, closest to the error, while degaussing usually corrects this. If the internal degauss doesn't work, use an external one.

"Sony, no baloney."
Yep. In the Old Black and White single gun crt days that was how you got rid of black or gray spots in the corners or the sides when the tvs were sitting in one location for a very long time and then suddenly moved elsewhere.
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:08 AM   #15
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Best offered on one... I see a bunch of uber cheap green wands, but I read those are garbage and only a true round "hoop" will do the trick.
Yup.....and mine is a jewel from the 1960's.....lights dim and buzzes loud!! ...and degauses the fock out of anything!
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:07 PM   #16
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So after all of this mess, main rig 4.1 is literally right where it started.
Well, sometimes certain rigs just don't work out the way we want them with the parts we have on hand. My latest one was supposed to have 8 GB of matching RAM, but one of the RAM sticks turned out to be defective. Not like I could return the RAM either, as it was from the scrap bin at my previous job (and explains why I found it there too, now ).

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Also, I'd want to run SLI'd cards on such (since it's an Nforce pro chipset), and unless I found another 9800GT like I'm using...
Ah, if only I knew you were looking for cards like that. I saw two end on eBay last month for very cheap (both less than $15 and working). One of the auctions was actually for a SLI set of these cards. Pretty good deal.

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The other nice thing here is that since I'm using a CRT, I can run virtually any resolution I want w/o distortion. Yes, this is Topcat's old 24" trinitron monster... needs some degaussing work (need to get a proper coil) but otherwise it works great and is the highest resolution monitor in the house.
Have you considered moving those speakers and the subwoofer away from it. If anything, I am betting it is the subwoofer. Remember, CRT monitors don't like magnets around. In my college apartment a few years back, I had floors speakers next to my desk - a set of Realistic Nova-18. Didn't realize they had absolutely no shielding and for a the first month I had that setup, I always wondered why one of my CRT monitors was looking a bit "off". Eventually I changed the speakers for a different set and noticed the affected monitor was now fine too. Put back the Realistic speakers again just for a test, and there it was the problem again.

*EDIT*
Seems that I didn't read the thread fully, as someone already suggested that.

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Edit- the subwoofer is totally un-shielded:

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1548042930

Not sure where I could move it... Either this system was made after CRTs fell out of favor or they intended for the subwoofer to go somewhere far away. Ideas?
If your desk is near a corner in the room, place the sub in the corner, on the floor - that way you will get the best/most sound output too.

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Yup.....and mine is a jewel from the 1960's.....lights dim and buzzes loud!! ...and degauses the fock out of anything!
I have a 17" Sony Trinitron from 1994 that does this too - dims the lights very hard when it degausses. Scared my newphews the first time they saw it power on.

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Old 01-23-2019, 08:32 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

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dims the lights very hard when it degausses.
I hope not a loose neutral somewhere in the house or service drop...

I would compare the voltages of both legs, when heavily loaded. (That also means the furnace and range running at the same time, and if you get a sag down to 111 V on one outlet and 132 V on another outlet, for example, means a shit neutral.)

Besides 285 Clinton St. in Springfield, Vt., 50 Atkinson St. in Bellows Falls, Vt., which is a Victorian, has knob-and-post wiring and I suspect a cob job, most likely done in the 1990s or the late-1980s. (maybe some in the current century?) Well, at that B.F. Victorian house, my sister said that the microwave we briefly had, would fail to work in a kitchen outlet! But the outlet in the living room on the north-end first floor, right before the bathroom, worked well with long extension cords to my UPS in the bedroom that I had, which was the first floor apartment on the north side. The UPS didn't complain at all, relating to the ground, the UPS got a ground at that outlet, hooray! (same living room outlet that was used for the TV)
That was from June 18, 2016 to February 24, 2018.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

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If your desk is near a corner in the room, place the sub in the corner, on the floor - that way you will get the best/most sound output too.
Workbench is on the side of the garage.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:24 AM   #19
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Default Re: Ratdude's computer workbench... and epic fail build

Let me know if you want to borrow my degaussing tool. It is a Radio Shack hand-held wand-style unit, it only weighs a few ounces. It is good for (and marketed for) removing residual magnetic fields that build up on cassette player heads. I think I deliberately discolored an old CRT monitor with a magnet once as part of a test, just to prove the de-gaussing wand worked. And it did.

If the high frequencies (violins in classical music for example) disappear when playing back cassettes, this wand will fix things right up.

Let me know if you need it or would like to try it.

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Old 01-24-2019, 06:48 AM   #20
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Let me know if you want to borrow my degaussing tool. It is a Radio Shack hand-held wand-style unit, it only weighs a few ounces. It is good for (and marketed for) removing residual magnetic fields that build up on cassette player heads. I think I deliberately discolored an old CRT monitor with a magnet once as part of a test, just to prove the de-gaussing wand worked. And it did.

If the high frequencies (violins in classical music for example) disappear when playing back cassettes, this wand will fix things right up.

Let me know if you need it or would like to try it.
Topcat is loaning me his... given the severity of the issue I think I need old trusty here.
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