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914 PCI network card mod
Saturday, 17 March 2007
ImagePaul Foster sent me this modification which he made to his 914 that he has named A1-DW. Paul has added an PCI network card to his Bot and also upgraded the mini-itx system board.

Paul says: "I drilled an 11mm hole in the mother board box on the 914. I then used a BELKIN F5D7000UK WIRELESS 54G DESKTOP CARD from PC World for £19.50. I removed the support bracket simply by undoing the two screws. With careful placement the card can be inserted and removed without having to remove the mini-ITX motherboard. With the attached aerial pointing down the new wireless card fits securely within the plastic casing of the 914.

ImageThe Belkin card comes with the typical cheap software utility which runs from the system tray. You can switch this off and opt for Windows to configure the card. I’d recommend this option as you don’t need a live user session to get the 914 onto the network.

I have also just upgraded my mini-ITX board to the EPIA EN 15000G which has processor speed of 1.5Ghz. A1-DW is now much more responsive with my MSRS application running at around 17 – 25% CPU utilisation with the web cam set to 160x120 res for 4fps. The power consumption of this board is just 18w, compared with the shipping SP 13000G which according to Mini-ITX consumes 34w (all most double). I didn’t get the 13000 with my PCbot I opted for the no cpu option as I had an Epia M and a Epia TC already. I started running with the Epia M but at 1Ghz it didn’t really have the ummph needed, while the 1.5Ghz Epia EN seems to be full of power."

ImageYou can also Check out Paul's A1-DW blog which is full of lots of interesting info including testing Windows Vista on the 914, the plastics assembly, and testing various mini-itx boards. Paul's blog also features on the White Box Robotics corporate website The Buzz page.

This article will remain in the Enthusiast Projects section for future reference.





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