Project Fishtank - HTPC in a Fishtank

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by Ronza, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Ronza

    Ronza Member

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    Project Fishtank - HTPC in a Fishtank [56k Beware]

    Project Fishtank will start as a normal, beige and generally boring home computer, from there I aim to transform it into a single unit that acts as a DVD Player, Digital TV Set Top Box and Recorder; Music, Radio and Mp3 Player plus an Internet Browser combining News, Sport, Weather, Email and everything the World Wide Web has to offer right on your TV.

    From there, I aim to mod the case into a sleek, glossy and stylish black case with a window, custom switches, LEDs and a handmade front bezel. Finally, it will go into a personally-designed aquarium and act as a useful, good-looking and original Home Entertainment System.

    Motherboard: Asus A7V8X-MX SE
    CPU: AMD AthlonXP 2200+
    RAM: 256MB Legend DDR400 CAS 3.0, D43 Hynix Chips
    Hard Drive: Seagate 200GB PATA, 7200RPM
    Optical Drive: Pioneer DVD120S Slot Loading DVD-ROM
    Graphics: PowerColour Ati Radeon 9250
    Audio: SoundBlaster Audigy w/ IEEE1394
    TV Tuner: DviCO Fusion DVB-T Plus Analogue Inputs, Half Height, HDTV
    Speakers: Logitech X-530 5.1 Channel, 70W RMS​

    Apart from the fishtank, a couple of case mods have been planned for Project Fishtank. The beige desktop case I've acquired is a haven for modders. I'm planning to cut a bubble-shaped window into the top of the case using the shiny Ryobi 550W, 6-Speed Orbital Jigsaw. Also several coats of glossy black spray paint to cover the boring beige. Ill rebuild the fascia of the case using speaker mesh (if I you find it...email me) and then rearrange the switches and LEDs and replace them with my own custom set.

    From there its a meticulous struggle to get the PC Silent using all the tricks in the book ready for it to go into the Fishtank.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2005
  2. OP
    OP
    Ronza

    Ronza Member

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    The Modding has begun, the entire old Beige Paint has been stripped from the case using a Orbital Sander. The case is ready to be cut as soon as I decide on a design. From there it'll be coat after coat of spray paint. Also have completed Lapping the CPU Heatsink along with the Northbridge one to a smooth 1500-Grit Finish.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2005
  3. OP
    OP
    Ronza

    Ronza Member

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    14th January
    Well cutting the shape I had in mind out took alot longer than I thouhgt it would. Straight lines are piss easy with the Jigsaw but to cut the curves and combat the freaking vibrations is impossible.

    Turned to the DSE Rotary, snapped two discs but finally cut it out. Finish is absolute crap though, good thing the Rotary comes with the sanding wheel. Started sanding away when the cheap thing dies on me.

    Got it replaced, only to have the replacement go the same way in 5 Minutes.

    Started the Spray painting on the case. Laid down two coats of Dulux Primer over a day and then added the first colour coat. Sanding in between coats from 180 through to 240, 400 and currently I am at 800. Spray painting is easy, the drying process is the hardest. I've had everything from Ladybugs and stray newspaper to paint lid cans land on the wet paint leaving ugly marks.

    Sanding it back and respraying leaves a great finish.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

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    Also Available here
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2005
  4. OP
    OP
    Ronza

    Ronza Member

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    Yet another Filler
     
  5. kimnkk

    kimnkk Member

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    Got concept sketches or at least anything so we can get an idea of what this looks like? Looking good so far.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Ronza

    Ronza Member

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    It aint pretty, was done in Paint and before I even had the Case. Measurements are all off but hopefully you get the drift with this image
    [​IMG]

    The PC sits inside that inner tank, the inner tank has an I/O Shaped Hole Cut out from the bottom for the cables to drop through. The PC Faces upwards, rests on the bottom and the DVD-ROM Drive will eject upwards.

    Open to Suggestions and Comments Guys
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2005
  7. garry_starling

    garry_starling Member

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    will this fishtank have water inside it?
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Ronza

    Ronza Member

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    Yes :D

    Also will have fish...
     
  9. garry_starling

    garry_starling Member

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    ahhhh nice, goodluck mate and keep us posted!!!
     
  10. OCMunkee

    OCMunkee Member

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    Just wondering how you plan to water proof the whole thing, are you putting it inside another box or are you putting some sweet sealants etc. on (which would probably screw with the cooling)?
    I thought that you may be interested in polyurethane resin, which is clear resin that is hard setting and absolutely crystal clear.. which you can make perty things out of, and would probably look rather neat in a fishtank :p
    just my 2c
    --Munkee
     
  11. oliffied

    oliffied Member

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    lol seal it with that outdoor silicon in a tube for roofs and gutters u get at the hardware store. but that resin will be clear if theres no dust and u dont streak it too much. but itll look schmick..

    If its inside the fish tank are u gona provide ventilation via a valve releasing hot air into the water making bubbles, or a hose?
    and do u think the heat from hours of comp use will kill the fcukin fish?? lol
     
  12. rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    this is going to look ACE
     
  13. White Rhino

    White Rhino Member

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    Good to see you got this project on the way Ronza. I would be interested in something similar myself.

    For thoes asking about sealing? What for?
    Imagine a square doughnut with a comp sitting in the middle. Nothing to seal it from. Maybe a bit of accidental splashing.
    That's how I see it anyway.

    White Rhino
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Ronza

    Ronza Member

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    Yeah, White Rhino has the idea. It wont be sealed...just a completely seprate tank the PC Goes into. The above picture is just for the Tank alone, the inside area should be completely 'dry' and then the PC Goes into that :D
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Ronza

    Ronza Member

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    Everything went horribly wrong, the Clear Coat was being applied. I had put a little too much on and decided to simply wipe it off. Then the cloth stuck and left an ugly mark. I then decided to wipe the rest off quickly, that just made things worse :S. Finally though, I knew it had to be done....I spent a day sanding the entire finish back to very fine grits to get all the peeling enamel off.

    Another week of spray painting the newly sanded finish, it actually came up better than the old one. A blessing in disguise.

    The Perspex window was cut to size, a 300x300mm Square and after measuring and mounting was attached to the back of the case using Double Sided Tape. A nice finishing touch to the case lid. The Front bezel still needs to be remade using mesh.


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  16. csimpson

    csimpson Member

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    arg, ultra bad luck with the clear coat ronza.

    but it seems it's turned out well :D

    good luck with the rest of the contstruction... i think this is going to look... fishy.


    C
     
  17. Crimmo

    Crimmo Member

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    Make sure the case is sealed tight :)
     
  18. DarkNation-

    DarkNation- Member

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    Its comming along there Ronza, nice work. Your gonna have to bring this along to Valhalla to show off when your done (ull never compete with my rice tho : D)
    Good work : )
     
  19. don256us

    don256us Member

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    Very cool. I am very interested to see more of this.
     
  20. gumbyss

    gumbyss Member

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    Love the design :) Great job!
     

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