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The Unidyne PC
April 21st, 2006
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The Shure 55 Unidyne microphone is a classic Machine Age design from the thirties. It is so popular that it still being produced and sold today. This custom built computer is my tribute to this great piece of industrial art.
Here's the money shot. A size comparator and solid proof that this truly is a computer.
Here is a photo taken from one of the many Shure 55 available for sale on eBay. I don't have one. I wanted one. I guess I built my own.
The Shure 55 Unidyne is also known as the Elvis mic. Here the mic is immortalized on the Elvis commemorative stamp.
Wood!?! Yes.....I work in wood. Specifically, basswood from Michigan. It is a lightweight and very millable wood. This picture shows the beginning of the top cap.
I blew up a Shure .pdf file diagram and used it as a template.
This sequence of photos illustrate how I made both end caps.
The center section of the mic body starts off with panels that include spacers for the fins.
This series of pictures show how the different panels and pieces come together.
The project is not glued up at this point. The next step is to take this square chunk of wood and add all the curves. This is easier to do if I can still disassemble it and work on individual parts.
The next series of pics show my "rounding" operation.
The computer consists of a mini-ITX board with aluminum angle iron pieces attached to the motherboard mounting holes.
This picture shows the minibox picoPSU power supply. I love these things. They solve so many problems I've had to deal with in prior projects.
This is a PCI slot cooling fan modified to suspend between two more pieces of angle iron.
The 2.5" hard drive and cooling fan parts mount to the board structure.
The whole package slides into the cavity of the case.
Just taking a break.
An aluminum panel is cut to fit.
Each of the computer's ports is cut out by hand. This includes the DC power plug, power switch and fan exhaust.
The computer portion of this project is entirely self-contained. It plugs into the case body like a cartridge.
This series of pictures show how I made the attachment lug and mounting system.
This is a real mic stand that I am modifying to be a desktop stand. The base is cast iron and very heavy. This project will never accidentally tip over.
The stand has two concentric tubes with a steel rod running through the center. I added the outer tube to get the scale right.
Sanded and spray painted with aluminum paint.
The recesses are hand painted in flat black.
For the final act I threaded all the cables into a large piece of heatshrink. This was heated and formed to wrap around the stand to look like a single mic cable.
I would like to thank all my sponsors for their unwavering support.
Thanks for looking!
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