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Design a Computer .. Where to start





Possum
Hi

As a hobby I would like to see if I can design an build a low watt computer that is a Router as well

Where would I go to learn how to do this..

Are there Hobby Hardware Sites?

Thank you..
thnn
Possum wrote:
Hi

As a hobby I would like to see if I can design an build a low watt computer that is a Router as well

Where would I go to learn how to do this..

Are there Hobby Hardware Sites?

Thank you..


Are you meaning to design and manufacture the CPU and everything? Or to buy parts and put it together?
And when you say router do you mean a home router, or a commercial router that could be forwarding 10's of thousands of packets every second?
Possum
More on the line of putting CPU's and memory onto a circuit board

For example how do the people who build the Fit-PC go about designing and building their computer.



I would like to do what they have done but include a Router (home ) with wireless as well as a modem.

Where do you start on a project like this?

How do Fit-PC do it?

Thank you..
Jean-Clod
Errr... build a 'normal' PC, but a specialized one. There must be tutorials about building a router running Debian, or even better, DD-WRT, google it!
Possum
I think you are right.

By building a normal size computer I can have a proof of concept. That I can use a model for a smaller one.
thnn
I would imagine for the smaller ones, they use custom built motherboards, and for alot of (well probably all) home routers, they would use MIPS or ARM cpu's probably built into the motherboard.

If you were to go along the way of building a full sized model to prove you could do it, Vyatta is a good operating system for routers. It is heavily specialized to be a router operating system, and can compete with Cisco IOS and JuniperOS. I believe it can route over wireless also, and possibly has the ability to make and establish broadband connections, but I have not tried this.
Possum
Quote:
If you were to go along the way of building a full sized model to prove you could do it, Vyatta is a good operating system for routers


Cool Link.. And I do remember listening to them on Floss weekly

http://twit.tv/floss131 too...

Thank you..
airh3ad
This is great!
Helios
It is quite possible to place several SDRAM chips for memory, run NIOS-II on an Altera FPGA for instance and have a slot for an SD card or flash memory which can act as a hard disk.
For ethernet there are ready chip controllers which you will only need to interact with.

An even easier choice would be using Actel's FPGAs which have an in-chip ARM Cortex.


Not an easy task, definitely not for hobbyists.

You can however buy a small development kit (for a CPU or a FPGA) with a ready ethernet module. All you'll have to do in that case is design the software and that's about it. Though in that case it won't be a product you can sell...
zeda
Here are some steps:
1. What is your budget?
2. Describe for what purposes you want to use the computer.
3. Choose between AMD and Intel.
4. Look around in forums where self built computers are suggested.
5. Ask advice in a shop.
6. Ask advice in forums.
seemidip
Well to be honest, it depends on many factors, but most importantly on two things.
1. your skill level
2. your budget

for buying components i can suggest two online retailers, newegg in usa and grossbil in france.
i did build my amd phenom II rig few months back.

Goodluck for your adventure Smile
Dennise
I have no connection with Asus, but I highly recommend their motherboards. I have built three PCs using Asus motherboards and have never has a single problem with any one of their mother boards.

http://usa.asus.com/ProductGroup2.aspx?PG_ID=mKyCKlQ4oSEtSu5m
Possum
Yes.. I see your point..

You design a computer from

Your requirements first then the Motherboard

I know my requirements so I better take a look at the motherboards now

Thank you..
badai
i don't know anything about designing a computer, but if you manage to build one base on x86 architecture, i know a router that would run on it:

Free Cisco

http://www.freesco.info

it would run on any x86.
Cliffer
great idea! but if we designed a computer,can we find a factory to build it only one for us?
Possum
Cliffer wrote:
great idea! but if we designed a computer,can we find a factory to build it only one for us?


lol

Its just a hobby. I want to Design (or put together) and build a computer from existing components and software.

Some times I leave my computers and router sucking maybe 500 watts plus.

I want to reduce that to maybe 25 watts (long term goal)

Sadly the NetGear WNDR3700 RangeMax, Wireless Router almost does what I want but is not an ADSL modem
Possum
Quote:
Free Cisco

http://www.freesco.info

it would run on any x86.


Great Link thank You
FunDa
Good luck with the building. Are you planning on making your own motherboard ? That would be awesome and difficult.



I have only put together a regular computer from the proper components and I know how excited I was when the thing booted for the first time. All the best mate.
Possum
My router / ADSL modem is always on. So I think it should be doing something. Like downloading or sending files as well as what ever other duties a user might want.

But apart from that I have just finished (no such thing as a finished program Wink ) writing an CMS in delphi and want to port it to a Web app. My site is made with this app. To test it I want to it to organize a real world project. Like umm design and build a computer.

I feel there really is a need for an always on computer in the house. If its alway on then it may as a well be the modem. If its a modem it may as well be a router. There are already Routers that are almost like what I want. For instance the NetGear WNDR3700 RangeMax, Wireless Router, 300Mbps, 802.11b/g/n, Ethernet.

I have decided the best thing to do is build a large computer and get separate components.
    Wifi card
    ADSL modem
    Router card


Build this and install software. Then build a second lowest wattage one I can. All the while researching who and how motherboards are made. The sky is the limit.. Wink
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