Personal computing discussed

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Redocbew
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Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Tue May 26, 2020 9:41 pm

Fellow gerbils, lend me your brains. I'm the not-so-proud brand new owner of a dead ITX motherboard. The question is: what should I do with it? I was going to try to ebay it, but obviously that's out of the question. If it were bigger I might try to strip off all the components somehow and make another PCB clipboard like you used to be able to get from thinkgeek.

Got any ideas?
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 4:41 am

I got nothing. If I had anything I would've done something creative with the dead electronics I've racked up over the years, instead of just recycling it.
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meerkt
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 5:18 am

Training ground for bad capacitor replacement on a multilayer board.
 
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 5:29 am

meerkt wrote:
Training ground for bad capacitor replacement on a multilayer board.

Great idea! Not particularly creative, but at least it is educational.
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meerkt
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 6:04 am

just brew it! wrote:
Not particularly creative

Okay. Not just capacitors, but add sockets for the capacitors. :)
(I did it once on a graphics card. It sure looked shoddy, but it seemed to work.)

Though that assumes the problem is capacitors, which nowadays is not a given.
 
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 6:38 am

meerkt wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Not particularly creative

Okay. Not just capacitors, but add sockets for the capacitors. :)
(I did it once on a graphics card. It sure looked shoddy, but it seemed to work.)

That probably reduces the effectiveness of the capacitors somewhat, by adding a bit of series resistance and inductance. Still better than a defective capacitor though. :wink:

meerkt wrote:
Though that assumes the problem is capacitors, which nowadays is not a given.

Yeah, it seems manufacturers have learned their lesson. I've probably had only one or two things die of capacitor failure in the past ~10 years. Early to mid '00s seemed to be the peak.

Now I've got a stash of spare capacitors with nothing to use them on... :roll:
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meerkt
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 7:10 am

just brew it! wrote:
adding a bit of series resistance and inductance

If the graphics card doesn't mind, who am I to judge.

Now I've got a stash of spare capacitors with nothing to use them on... :roll:
Monitor power supplies!
(Yeah, well, different capacitors.)
 
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 7:31 am

meerkt wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
adding a bit of series resistance and inductance

If the graphics card doesn't mind, who am I to judge.

All electrolytic capacitors degrade with age/use, so good board designs typically over-spec them by a healthy amount. You probably shortened the useful life of the repair by a bit, since you've got less margin for degradation. But assuming you used decent caps, the card will likely be obsolete years before it actually becomes an issue. And of course with the sockets, replacing them again only takes minutes (assuming you have spares), so there's that.
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meerkt
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 7:40 am

That was the idea. Desoldering multilayer was a pain (it might've been with a cheapo iron), and probably unhealthy for the PCB. Sockets to the rescue!
But I didn't really use that card, other than stress testing it right after the operation. Just wanted to see how well it would work.
 
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 10:19 am

You can turn it into a clock!

Just get a 3 hand modual from joanne fabrics, drill a hole, mount it on wall using a standoff hole...

What's that on the wall daddy?

That's my all digital/analogue clock! :D
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Redocbew
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 10:27 am

That's a good idea. I might do that. :P
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 12:48 pm

Aranarth wrote:
You can turn it into a clock!

Just get a 3 hand modual from joanne fabrics, drill a hole, mount it on wall using a standoff hole...

What's that on the wall daddy?

That's my all digital/analogue clock! :D


I have a clock someone gave me like that. For the face it uses a Windows 95 CD.
 
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 2:16 pm

Anyone got any pointers on how to remove the ports and slots and stuff without losing my mind trying to desolder eleventy-one tiny pins? The surface mount components I probably won't worry about, but the bigger stuff most likely needs to go if I'm going to use it for something.
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 2:33 pm

If it's Sn/Pb, just put it in a 450F oven on a sheet pan you don't care about and let it come up to temp. Melts at 370F for 60/40 and 361F for 63/37.
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 3:05 pm

Or a heat gun.
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 3:12 pm

I think I have a heatgun stashed away in the shop somewhere. I also have a baking sheet I wouldn't mind using if necessary. I used to preheat it, and then dump water on it while making bread as a cheap way to create steam in a conventional home oven, so it's a little wiggy now from the thermal shock. I'll check on the heatgun this weekend and see how that goes.
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Wed May 27, 2020 8:13 pm

Redocbew wrote:
Fellow gerbils, lend me your brains. I'm the not-so-proud brand new owner of a dead ITX motherboard. The question is: what should I do with it? I was going to try to ebay it, but obviously that's out of the question. If it were bigger I might try to strip off all the components somehow and make another PCB clipboard like you used to be able to get from thinkgeek.

Got any ideas?


Slice it up like a very young person puzzle. Clean it. Place it on a board with 1 to 2 inches between each piece. Secure it to the board (with a nice backing) and frame/hang it.

Being even more clever put in a clear tablet mirror - where the tablet only comes on when you touch the frame. It's kind of a homogenization of dead/alive vs old/new.
 
Ki Haao
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Thu May 28, 2020 1:36 am

Put it in fish tank for display. However, prudent to remove surface components that might hurt the fish.
 
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Thu May 28, 2020 8:11 am

Blahpony wrote:
I have a clock someone gave me like that. For the face it uses a Windows 95 CD.

I think those might have been at least somewhat mass-produced. My cousin has one that her husband got on eBay several years back.
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Thu May 28, 2020 8:20 am

Ki Haao wrote:
Put it in fish tank for display. However, prudent to remove surface components that might hurt the fish.

I think there's too much risk of leaching harmful chemicals, unless you encapsulate the whole thing in something clear and waterproof (a.k.a. "conformal coating").
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Thu May 28, 2020 10:56 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
Blahpony wrote:
I have a clock someone gave me like that. For the face it uses a Windows 95 CD.

I think those might have been at least somewhat mass-produced. My cousin has one that her husband got on eBay several years back.


Yeah, I'm about 80% sure my uncle gave it to me. He wasn't the kind of person to have spare motherboards lying around. He was the type of person that would buy a clock like that, though.
 
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Thu May 28, 2020 11:41 am

Blahpony wrote:

He was the type of person that would buy a clock like that, though.



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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Thu May 28, 2020 9:14 pm

I'm a little late the party but the wife and I agreed that dead / old hardware ends up on the office wall. Once you amass enough of it you end up with a pretty awesome tech-wall that tells a story of your hardware over time.
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Fri May 29, 2020 5:49 am

just brew it! wrote:
Ki Haao wrote:
Put it in fish tank for display. However, prudent to remove surface components that might hurt the fish.

I think there's too much risk of leaching harmful chemicals, unless you encapsulate the whole thing in something clear and waterproof (a.k.a. "conformal coating").

Well you don't usually give raw motherboards to fish. Cooking time is about an hour, which should be enough for most water-soluble chemicals to be released into water.
 
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Fri May 29, 2020 5:59 am

Waco wrote:
I'm a little late the party but the wife and I agreed that dead / old hardware ends up on the office wall. Once you amass enough of it you end up with a pretty awesome tech-wall that tells a story of your hardware over time.

Must be a lot of fun driving those memory ICs from 80286 motherboards into drywall ...
 
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Fri May 29, 2020 12:25 pm

Dead boards make for excellent prop parts for retro sci-fi devices. If you have any amateur filmmaking friends, give it to them. Instant robot brain or plasma rifle control panel.
 
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Fri May 29, 2020 7:17 pm

Waco wrote:
I'm a little late the party but the wife and I agreed that dead / old hardware ends up on the office wall. Once you amass enough of it you end up with a pretty awesome tech-wall that tells a story of your hardware over time.


Now son, you see this one? You shoulda seen the flames coming off of it! I finally figured out what the 125/250 switch on the back of the box was for! :D
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Fri May 29, 2020 11:16 pm

I actually wish I'd kept my old DFI P35 Blood Iron. I literally exploded the VRMs off of it in a monstrous gout of fire with my Q6600 under water. Somehow everything lived except the motherboard.
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:02 pm

Trident Troll wrote:
Dead boards make for excellent prop parts for retro sci-fi devices. If you have any amateur filmmaking friends, give it to them. Instant robot brain or plasma rifle control panel.

Just make sure they have enough technical background not to turn a serious moment into an accidental gag, like this old classic "dental tracking device:"

Image

Granted, that was 1997 (X-Files, S5E3) but everyone into any kind of SciFi knew what a "real" microchip looked like by then.
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Redocbew
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Re: Creative uses for a dead motherboard

Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:11 pm

I like the clock idea. I might rummage through the scrap bin in the shop and mount it inset in some kind of backer. Since it's an ITX board it's a bit small to cram in all twelve numerals on the board its self, but I dunno it might work. I didn't get a chance to look at it last weekend, so maybe I will this upcoming weekend.

That way I can make something out of it, and put it on the wall. :P
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