3rd build: Black FC10 is Beautiful

This build will be sent to a reviewer who prefers black instead of silver.

This is the first time I see the computer fanless case, Streacom FC10 Alpha, in black. It is beautiful.

FC10 Alpha black just opened from the box
Closer look

First step is remove the top cover and place the 2 power supply PCB.

2 blank power supply PCB placed

The voltage regulator chips are then inserted and secured by nylon screws. It needs to be done this way since the voltage regulators need to be aligned with 3.5mm holes at the sides of FC10 case.

Voltage regulator chips inserted into power supply PCB

Next step is to solder the voltage regulator pins from the top side of the boards. This is to secure the chips so that they are aligned to the case holes even after the boards are removed.

Voltage regulators solders to the board

The power supply boards are then removed from FC10 case, then all other components are placed and soldered progressively. The case also needs to be drill for toroidal transformer M6 mounting nut and bolt and also to enlarge the vent area below IEC inlet to install AC rocker switch.

Single 6mm hole for toroidal transformer mount
Cutting the vertical vents below IEC inlet to make way for AC rocker switch
2 vertical vents removed
Hand filing
Test whether AC rocker switch can go in
Cleaning after all the mess
AC rocker switch installed
LPSU boards completed and installed with transformer
Motherboard and USB filter added
SSD tray installed
Rear view showing USB filter, IEC inlet and AC rocker switch
On the shelf without top cover
On the shelf without top cover (zoomed)
Rear view without top cover
Build 03 with top cover
Build 03 with top cover, rear view

A few changes were made. TO-220 sized thermal pads were changed from unbranded mica to Laird Tgard 200 series (silicone elastomer) – they are not cheap. PCB terminal blocks are now Phoenix Contact MKDSN (made in Germany) instead of generic brands used in the first two builds. The power supply copper cable and Molex crimp connectors remain the same. However, it was soldered after crimp to ensure strong contact and crimp not coming loose when improperly removed.

An example of slight solder after crimp. This is for slimline optical drive Molex power connector
Slim TEAC optical drive installed

Among the three builds, this sounds the best. This is my new reference.

By Anwar

Dr. Anwar Ali is a consultant in the area of Operations Research / Decision Science. During his free time and as a side business, he builds high-performance and moderate-cost music streamer.