I've been building all sorts of things with craft sticks for more than 10 years. Lately I've only built little
houses for my daughter's toys to "live" in.
Just after the World Trade center attacks on 9/11, I was activated by the Air Force and assigned to Scott AFB, IL base
Police. We worked 12 to 15 hour shifts and what little time I had after I got off work, and before I went to bed, I
wanted something to do. Out of sheer boredom, I bought a box of craft sticks and spent the next two weeks building an
airplane. When done it would measure 3 feet long and have a wing span just shy of that.
Since then it's been collecting dust in my basement.
I saw it in the basement one day and wondered if a Mini ITX motherboard could fit inside. So my airplane had
a new life and a new purpose. I would turn it into a PC.
After I removed all the sticks along the side and removed the wings (above), I was able to slide in a real thin 140 watt
power supply (below).
Besides the CPU, this is the only cooling fan in the plane. It serves as an intake fan and sits directly behing
the cockpit. Since I do not plan on actually using this as a PC, one fan will suffice.
As you can see the motherboard is about 1 inch too wide on each side of the plane. To correct this problem I used
longer and wider sticks resembling tongue depressers to create a base for the board to rest on. I also had to offset
the wings away from the board. I used two thick dowel rods to support the weight of the wings and so their weight wouldn't
crush the mobo.
The only problem is, that if you actually needed to fix something you would have to pop off a few sticks on top to get
to it. Luckily a little wood glue would quickly allieviate that problem too.
I understand that this isn't exactly what you've come to expect of me in the way of building computers. But I beleive
that if you are not having fun and are suppressing your imagination while building a PC, then you risk losing creativity on
the next project.
I didn't want this to be a plain craft stick plane. I wanted something that popped. Something that made it
appear that a little bit more creativity and planning went into it.
I went out and bought four 40mm fans that would connect to the PSU and actually turn like propellers.
As you can see after hours of prep time and installation, the propellers are on the wings.
The hard drive is below. This is a nearly dead 4GB hard drive that I only use for projects like this. It
runs Windows 98 and has failed 4 out of the 5 test run on it.
Here's the nose cone. This was the hardest part of the project. Making this work was a hell of a lot harder
than I ever imagined. Patience....
Here's the completed plane from the top.
And the side, under the wing, showing the I/O access ports.
Like I said, not a great mod. But since I have worked on it I have expanded my understanding of what can and cannot
be achieved when building a PC. What's next? Something far better. Check my upcoming projects to see what
I'm working on.