We finally found a viable solution for the notebook chassis

Acube Systems, the company carrying out the the electrical schematics design, is also investigating a possible motherboard layout that would fit into an existing notebook chassis. However, this research is delaying the publication of the electrical schematics, the goal of the first donation campaign. This –initially unplanned– activity is a necessary step that is required to properly launch the second donation campaign, the one aimed at the PCB design that should take into account a target notebook chassis. The main problem facing the second campaign is going to be the high temperature generated by the MXM video card, that, together with the CPU and other onboard chips, will require a properly designed thermal dissipation mechanism in order to obtain a stable system. Once the few remaining aspects will be cleared up, most probably by the end of October 2018, we will be ready to publish the electrical schematics, and after that, we will be ready to launch the second donation campaign.

PowerPC Eletrical Schematics

To get into details, and as already described in the past, finding a notebook chassis was an unexpectedly difficult task, and it was mostly due to a lack of a manufacturer or a notebook reseller willing to provide an unbranded and empty chassis. The good news is that after 3 years of tireless research, ACube Systems finally reached an agreement with a company allowing us to buy and use a notebook chassis without restrictions. The bad news is that under this agreement it was not possible to obtain an empty chassis, forcing ACube to buy a complete laptop, then take the x86 motherboard away (and possibly, reselling it).

 

The first release of the PowerPC notebook will fit into the above mentioned disassembled notebook chassis. In parallel, our voluntary-based mechanical 3D team is assessing the feasibility of an Open Hardware notebook chassis that would fit the PowerPC motherboard layout. Hopefully, ACube Systems will be able to provide two distinct batch of notebooks, a first one using the off the shelf chassis, and –possibly– a second one, later on, using our custom chassis.

 

 

 

 

By VIA Technologies - OpenBook project website, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4122051

IT IS NOT our Notebook chassis. Is by VIA Technologies – OpenBook project website, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4122051

 

 

In any case the Open Hardware PCB and the Open Source Notebook Chassis will be useful for other Open Hardware notebook projects. There is a much bigger community out there that will be able to appreciate our effort!

If you want to collaborate on the 3D design of the Open Source Notebook Chassis contacts us or fill our collaboration survey.

2 thoughts on “We finally found a viable solution for the notebook chassis

  1. I’m surprised it’s still so hard to manufacture a custom chassis. Sure it involves case, connectors, screen, keyboard and custom pcb mounting. But so many things are created these days and especially with the rise of 3d printing. I think x86 has contributed to stifling custom creativity as when I researched custom laptop cases most of what I got what was just a customised laptop with a pc motherboard where you chose other add ons. Since most laptops would just be a pc. However tower cases have remained to be less rigid and allow themselves to be built with any custom board.

    • Our experience is that cost too much in small quantities, even with a good quality 3 Printing. In any case its a complexity that is quite big for a little manufacturer of motherboards. In any case we are starting even the design of the notebook chassis from scratch with a more long run. I hope that other experience and way will be opened from others. In any case usually we are in contact with many others interesting project , so we are open to collaborations.

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