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John Morrison

Aurora Design's DeToX

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The beginning:

AMD released their DTX and M-DTX form factors in 2004, to answer a need for a standardised form factor like Shuttle's dual slot SFF systems. Unfortunately, like Intel's BTX, the form factor never really took hold outside of OEMs. I've been a fan of the form factor since launch, admiring it's almost M-ITX size with the ability to have 2 expansion slots. When the opportunity came up to grab one of Elitegroup Computer System's new H61H2-MV boards, I jumped at the chance.

DeToX - the name derived from DTX, and the organic, natural feel of the wood as a medium for chassis work - is designed to look like an older appliance, found in someone's attic and dusted off - maybe something from the late 40's/50's. I chose the flawed sides of the wood to accentuate this, bringing out the 'used and abused' aspect of the design. The cutouts are also designed to accentuate this, not quite perfect, as if it has taken damage over the years.

I will be staining the pine a darker, cedar-like tone to help with the effect.

The board features Intel Socket 1155, H61 chipset, and a couple of nifty features:

Great socket placement compared to most M-ITX boards:



And two expansion slots!


The design work started by mocking up the proposed hardware in Sketchup and in reality: (missing is the cooler, drives and power supply :P/> )


And then I began cutting the parts. The wood here is 4 and 7mm thick, 3 ply, Pinus Radiata, grown in the largest planted forest in the Southern Hemisphere (Kaingaroa Forest, just a stone's throw from where I grew up)





And now for some real work. Mocking up here:


I attached the side panels with 'panel pins', little 15mm long nails well suited for working with such materials.



The fan here has had 5mm shaved off the frame to enable the blades to sit within the hole provided for it



Where I am at now: most of the cutting is done. Need to do some tidying up, then work on the aluminium struts for the corners. All in all, I've spent 6 hours on this so far!


And off I go to complete more work.

The system specifications:

ECS H61H2-MV board

Pentium G645/Core i3 (still to decide/purchase)


eBay special gigabit card

HD4550 (upgrading to the low profile Sapphire HD7750 when budget allows)

Flex-ATX PSU (to be purchased)

Deepcool Gamma Blade cooler


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Thanks Bill. Yeah, they seem to be one of the only motherboard companies actually reaching out and pushing modding - the ECS ModMen contest for example. It's great to see them take an interest - my contact in ECS appears to know a bit about modding which is great too.

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First coat of stain, a custom mix by my mum's partner - 'Aurora' Oak. The orange will fade as it cures/dries, in 18 hours or so I will be doing a second coat to even out the colour and darken it a bit.


Remember my aim here is not 'as new' perfection, the aim is to look like it's been used for 10-20 years back in the Art Deco era, then stored in an attic until recently when it was 'found and dusted off'.

I also cut a set of case feet from the same wood as the corner struts:


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Thanks mybadomen :)/> Lots of work to do - mostly in saving for CPU, RAM, SSD, GPU, PSU :/

Also need to order some mesh now that I think about it. No part purchases till after the jolly red fat man visits though - my 2 kids come first!

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Love the rough look to it, Really makes it special.And hear you with the Christmas and kid thing. I am also kinda slowed down a bit also.Modding will still be here after Christmas :)/> by the way Wish you and your Family the best and Happy Holidays Mate.

Will be watching after Christmas to see how this builds looks in the end. I am sure its going to be incredible.

Take Care


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Now to consider the top 'vent/window' area. It needs to be somewhat open to enable airflow - the only 'intake' is the front 70mm fan, the only exhaust will be the PSU, so convection is important. What are your thoughts?




Please remember to vote for me in the ECS ModMen contest - http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Activity/Modmen/vote.aspx :)/>

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Ok folks, time for an update.

I live in a sub-tropical climate here in Auckland, New Zealand. This leads to 99% humidity in summer - for weeks on end! Unfortunately the humidity was absorbed by DeToX v1 before the stain cured, (and thus before I could seal it). This led to a massive warp of the chassis - not fixable :(/>

Sooooo I started again. After obtaining a few pieces of an old drawer set - 40 years old and has been in Auckland's climate for all of that time - I redesigned the chassis to work within the new material limitations. Still sticking with the art deco/retro theme, I've developed this:



Still to do:

PSU mount

hardware purchase

stain and seal the chassis


sleeving :)/>

Just a friendly reminder - I'm entering the ECS ModMen contest with this build.

http://ecsmodmen.com/entries/866q5xqv67#.UOzZqG8XZLk Please vote for me - you can vote daily!

Also please flick my friend Al (http://ecsmodmen.com/entries/4210w3bcT4Pt#.UOzZzm8XZLk ) and Masbuskado (http://ecsmodmen.com/entries/4389ey8h8a66#.UOzZ-G8XZLk) a vote each - you can vote for up to 5 entries a day.

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Your upholstery-fu is weak Mr. Chan. For such a stretchy/open weave material, you need more mounting points in the back, and a more even stretching. I can tell there's only 3 staples in each side.;)/>

If you hollow out the corners a bit, you can hide the folds better too.:D/>

Other option would be a tacky glue treatment during stretching.

-Otherwise, looks pretty good.

-Wait... Screws are overkill on such a tiny box. Just glue and finishing nails would be strong enough to stand on.

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