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Take The Train: Lian Li PC-CK101, Built, Tested, And...Driven?

The Motor's Power Supply And Switch

In order for the train to reverse direction at the end of its 10-foot track, a reversing switch is needed. A power cable with a USB plug is connected to the battery pack at the back end of the train. I wouldn't suggest plugging the USB cable into a motherboard header, though. First, the motor draws more than 500 mA, exceeding the USB 2.0 spec. Secondly, a commuted DC motor feeds all kinds of electrical noise back into the power source, and this could affect audio quality during music playback.

There's a tiny metal bracket on the first and last piece of track, which is responsible for tripping the switch on the bottom of the tender. The polarity of the cable connections is absolutely critical if you want the reversal to work correctly.

Mounting the switch is easy, but it needs to be correctly oriented.

Finally, the motor's on/off switch has to be installed at the back of the tender. It's not positioned ideally; when the locomotive is lifted up, flipping the switch inadvertently is too easy. So, you'll want to make sure to keep the battery pack's switch turned off before transporting the train.

With cables run between the switches and battery pack, it's time to put the locomotive on the tracks for a test run. But what's the point of having a non-working PC moving around? Thus, I decided to replace all of the system's cables (except power, of course) with wireless connections.

  • Trueno07
    I am so jealous right now, this looked like it was a blast to put together!
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    I am surprised you didn't use the model with the moving train!
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  • bit_user
    Not the first time I've seen it, but I still think this case is just an exercise in sheer ridiculousness.

    But since the PC era is coming to an end, who can blame Lian Li for having a little fun while they still can?
    Reply
  • edogawa
    This thing is so awesome...if it wasn't for the noise I would get one...I love trains...
    Reply
  • ASHISH65
    awesome! i want to drive that train
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    The Little Engine That Could...
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    *Ozzy Osbourne Voice* ALL ABOARD!!! HA HA HA HA....
    Reply
  • bambiboom
    Just brilliant. Finally, a computer case with a bit of style suitable for grownups.

    Taking the mobile computing theme further, and addressing the limitations on computing power, if you had a Dell Precision M6600 or 6700 laptop with a broken screen, how about mounting the components, motherboard , PSU, batteries, drives, Wifi and all? Then, there could be an i7 CPU and a Quadro 4000M, all very quiet and still getting more air than it's used to. And, appropriately, no power cord!

    The idea of a serious, self- propelled workstation steam train model seems the best use possible of this fantastic enclosure idea. That the computer is itself the game is on the borderline of being art.

    And congratulations to Igor Wallossek for an excellent description of something so wonderfully out of the ordinary.
    Reply
  • shikamaru31789
    I remember when I first saw this on Newegg. I thought I'd lost my mind for a moment. It's definitely a unique case.
    Reply
  • ojas
    Tom's Hardware's German team has a lot of fun, i can see :D

    Really enjoyable read, Igor! Also got to know about that Gigabyte wireless streamer, should prove useful!

    Nice house btw :)
    Reply