Upgrading the PC inside the Flex 5000 C

Amateur Radio Projects and Software Defined Radio

Upgrading the PC inside the Flex 5000 C

This is an article submitted by Ken W9YNI on installing a upgrade PC motherboard inside his FLEX 5000 C

 

First I want to say there was nothing wrong with my Flex 5000 C. It worked just great, and I have never been more pleased with the Radio or with the Team at FlexRadio.

I just wanted to go to Windows 7 64 bit, stay up to date with the current OS and get some more head room for future Software. The computer in the 5000 C is a 2 Core Processor running Windows XP, and just adding more memory did not seem to be the answer. I started looking at Mother Boards and CPU’s and Disk Drives both Hard and Solid State. This sort of gets over whelming with all that is on the market. So I took a short cut and called NEAL CAMPBELL K3NC. Neal had also been working down the same line and after 20 or so Emails and a few Phone calls, I bit the bullet and ordered parts. Neal is a wealth of information and goes over backward to help. I can’t give him enough credit for all he does not just for this project, but for all who have had contact with him. After the project was complete he then went in remotely and tuned the OS for even better performance.

Access to Connections

First the problems. The 6 core processor I selected is a 95 Watt CPU and draws more current than the Flex 5000 C inboard PSU could provide. It is a Mini-Box M2-ATX. When Windows was in the booting process the PSU would shut down and crash. I then called Mini-Box and purchased a M4-ATX PSU which was to be able to provide 300 watts and 350 peak. It worked and all seemed fine until I tried running a ACRONIS Backup. When it seemed to fire all the cores up, it too exceeded the PSU’s current potential and crashed. Heat was also an important consideration. The solution was to remove the PSU from an Antec 450 Watt external AC Supply and mount it inside.

Aside from the metal work and adding Stand Offs to the shelf in the 5000 C, mounting a 92 mm Fan on the front panel where the internal speaker was and a separate Power Switch on the front panel for the computer, it all went fairly smooth. Everything fits in the current computer cage. I added an opening in the top of the cage so I could keep wires short and connect them
when the front panel was secured. A plate then covers up the opening. Some cutting on the back panel for the Fire Wire and AC connections was then necessary.

Here is a list of the components.

Mother Board ASUS M488T-I Deluxe ITX
Memory 8 Gigs
CPU Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8 Gig 95 Watt
Disk Drive OCZ Vertex 120 GB Sata 2 (SSD)
Cache L1, L2, and L3
Fire Wire SYBA PCI-Express 1394 Model SD-PEX-FWB
PSU Antec 450 Watt AC Unit
Misc Power Switch, Led’s, Stand off’s, Toroid, etc.

Passmark Rating 1405.1, DPC 70 us, CPU Utilization 4 to 7%

I guess I could have just purchased or built another computer and connected the Fire Wire Cable to it but this was a lot more fun and looks GREAT.

I hope FlexRadio dosn’t mind my changes, but thats Ham Radio.

Finished Product

AC for PSU

Final Assembly

 

 

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