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Old 4th December 2006, 12:50 AM   #1
klightspeed Thread Starter
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Default Worklog: Yet another VCR HTPC

I was thinking about how in my AM2 Sempron 3000+ -- 2000MHz @ 1.025V thread how I said that I'd like to "create a custom enclosure, about the size of a VCR", and I thought, why not make it out of a VCR. So, here I am making one.
The VCR is an AKAI VCR I picked up for $2 from the local dump.

Saturday 2nd December.
The VCR:

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Inside the VCR:


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Exploded View:

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Just the case:

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Centre Divider:

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Rear IO Port:

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After Cutting, stage 1:

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Size fit for the motherboard:

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After cutting IO port to size:

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Sunday 3rd December:
After more cutting and adding the motherboard supports:

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Motherboard mounted:

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Power supply mounted and connected:

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Last edited by klightspeed; 4th December 2006 at 9:55 PM. Reason: Add images in placeholders
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Old 7th December 2006, 10:45 PM   #2
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Default Front display / buttons

I'm going to be using the original front display board of the VCR for the buttons and as the base for the new display.

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I'll be using a 16x2 LCD display, controlled by an AVR.
I've ordered the display, AVR, a socket for the AVR, and a Jaycar Catalogue, so they should arrive in a few days.
I'll have to rewire the board a bit, so that the AVR has an easier job.

Tomorrow, I'll see if I can create a base for the DVD drive and the HDD.
It'll be a squeeze, since the case is only 3" high. The main cavity of the VCR is 16" wide x 3" high x 9.5" deep, so there isn't enough room for the HDD next to the motherboard, and I'd need to do some cutting to the front of the cavity to fit a uATX board.

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I wonder if I bit off more than I can chew?
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Last edited by klightspeed; 7th December 2006 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Adding Pictures
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Old 7th December 2006, 11:08 PM   #3
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Thats going to get bloody hot inside, looks like the fan wont have much clearance either. Forget getting a DVD drive in there unless you have a laptop style one.

That processor + lack of air + hdd + psu in such a small case will give you greif with overheating


At least your VCR had a flat base unlike mine :P

Last edited by -KoMoD0-; 7th December 2006 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 8th December 2006, 7:30 AM   #4
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I'm fiddling around with 2 amplifiers riveted on top of each other and Its going to be a tight squeeze I couldn't imagine just having 1.
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Old 8th December 2006, 7:40 AM   #5
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hmmmm....are you going to drill some ventilation holes in the VCR? should put a few above the heatsink...
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Old 8th December 2006, 9:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klightspeed
I'm going to be using the original front display board of the VCR for the buttons and as the base for the new display.

Click to view full-sized image!
i'm doing a similar mod but using my old 5disc dvd player (will start a work log over the weekend, just waiting for my dremel to arrive ) and have the same little micro switches on the front that I would like to re-use.

are you thinking of running the wires straight from the switches to the mobo? that should work yeah?
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Old 8th December 2006, 3:24 PM   #7
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That'll work as long as they're just momentary-on switches, which is pretty much a given.

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Old 8th December 2006, 3:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -KoMoD0-
Thats going to get bloody hot inside, looks like the fan wont have much clearance either. Forget getting a DVD drive in there unless you have a laptop style one.

That processor + lack of air + hdd + psu in such a small case will give you greif with overheating


At least your VCR had a flat base unlike mine :P
Keep in mind -KoMoD0- that you also had to fit your relatively large PSU in, didn't you? Those DC/DC style PSUs produce bugger all heat, so you don't have to worry about that (not to mention how little space they take up )..
It looks like you'll easily fit your DVD drive in there, if you can customise a nice bracket for it. Though you'll probably want to be soft-mounting your hard-drive or it won't sound very nice in your living room.



Just out of curiosity what's the stock volts for your Sempy? 1.4V?
If so that's pretty good getting it to 2GHz on 1.025 (I'm assuming stock is 1800MHz).

::EDIT:: Read your thing on the overclocking, missed that link earlier. Stock is 1.35, not bad to get it stable at 1.025V

I've got my A64 3000+ at 2000MHz (stock) on 1.1v (stock=1.4V) (though it's S754....and passively cooled..)

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Last edited by OCMunkee; 8th December 2006 at 3:35 PM.
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Old 8th December 2006, 6:21 PM   #9
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Default MDF Base

I've decided to make a base for the motherboard and HDD using MDF. The DVD base is also MDF.

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The DVD base is right on the HDD and 3 PCI slots, since I used 25mm spacers.
I'll have to find some way of ventilating the HDD. Probably cut a hole in the base under the HDD, and put a HDD cooler fan there. I'll probably redo the base anyway, and cut off the base of the VCR, so that I can screw the base to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by -KoMoD0-
Thats going to get bloody hot inside, looks like the fan wont have much clearance either. Forget getting a DVD drive in there unless you have a laptop style one.

That processor + lack of air + hdd + psu in such a small case will give you greif with overheating
There is zero clearance between the fan and the lid, so I'm going to be cutting a hole in the lid, and perhaps reversing the fan so that it sucks up, pulling the air through the vents.

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As you can see in my AM2 Sempron 3000+ -- 2000MHz @ 1.025V thread, when it's going full boar, the overclocked undervolted CPU uses 24W, The DVD drive uses 18W after being spun to full speed, the HDD uses 5W after being spun up, and the rest of the system uses about 24W. That's about 70W in total.
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Last edited by klightspeed; 8th December 2006 at 10:09 PM. Reason: correct name misspelling
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Old 10th December 2006, 2:08 PM   #10
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Default Motherboard, HDD, DVD fitted

I've made a new base for the motherboard, so that there is enough room for the HDD. I've also moved the PSU from the side to the front, so that the cords will reach the HDD and DVD drive.

It's been a rainy day, so I can't do any work on e.g. the backplate.

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Motherboard, HDD, PSU fitted:

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DVD drive, front control panel fitted:

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DVD Drive front:

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I'll still have to get a 12V brick power supply for it, and wire up the control panel with the parts I'm waiting on, and cut a hole in the top for the CPU fan. The CPU fan is a 7cm fan, so it'll be a challenge getting a grille for it.

Note that I took these pictures in my car. That is because

we live in a tent. The other pictures were taken either on the drive beside my car, or on the cement outside the amenities block.

Note: I discovered that UGBox Imagestore cannot accept filenames longer than about 40 characters.
"DVD Drive, front control panel fitted.jpg" (41 characters) results in:


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Old 16th December 2006, 4:21 PM   #11
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any progress?
how did you mount the hdd onto the base? 'L' brackets?
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Old 16th December 2006, 6:16 PM   #12
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...You live in a tent?
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Old 16th December 2006, 6:41 PM   #13
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Dah!! Who doesn't. Save on your air conditioning bill.

Just thought of a great mod. Put a computer in a tent. With blackjack and hookers. Well skip the tent
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Old 20th December 2006, 2:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSmith
...You live in a tent?
Yeah? What's the deal with that?

J.
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Old 22nd December 2006, 5:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archie
any progress?
how did you mount the hdd onto the base? 'L' brackets?
Haven't made any progress in the past fortnight. Been spending a fair bit of time working out how to do the front panel. The original board used an IC with a weird pin spacing - close to 2mm instead of 2.54mm. So, I'll probably be using a veroboard.

I discovered that, as I suspected, the case isn't high enough even for low profile cards.


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The HDD is screwed to the MDF base.


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The CDROM drive is screwed to its base.


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I've rolled the CDROM cable so that it fits.


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I've started memtest86+, and will check later how it goes.


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