Worklog Media Center

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by Revenger, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    I decided to mod a desktop case to a htpc case like you see on some sites with nice fancy front.

    The original case had virtually no fans or places for them and instead had lots of air holes all over the case that I will be covering up soon as the design I'm doing is about airflow and looks.

    Well onto the log.

    Tech:

    The system will able to both record and watch Hi Def 1080p broadcasts.

    Will have 2 actual fans in it a 92 at the front and a 80 at the back with a cutout for a optional a 120 on the side.

    Front will be like commercial HTPC cases that is a nice flush finish with a hidden drop down door to show the DVD Drive and various inputs.

    LCD will be mounted behind a new see though acrylic front.

    Progress Log as of: 27/8/08
    Completed stuff will be removed from list.

    - Brace the chassis sides after removing that top bracing from the middle. (Hold till Oct)
    - Stealth the DVD/AV areas. (40% complete)
    - Remeasure (case to match front) and Cut and glue the blowhole pipe on.
    - Bondo up the front chassis and blowhole pipe inside (as in fill in chips in the pipe) (hold till cleanup)
    - Make |_| shape peices for the LCD and a full sqauare |_| peice for the AV area and glue them on. (Next on list)
    - Make mounting brackets for the front so it can snap onto the case.
    - Clean up the metal case from old rust bits and make sure my first cuts like that (original bracing) bit between drive bays are straight and clean. (hold till cleanup)
    - Bondo up that bottom fan hole at the bottom (as holes like that are dust collectors) (hold till cleanup)
    - Bondo cleanup and smoothing on the back. (hold till cleanup)
    - Wire up front panel.
    - Smooth, prime and paint case.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Day 1

    First Mark out space for a front blowhole.

    For those wondering the pipe is a storm drain cap that came from bunnings for like $2

    [​IMG]

    Then cut the blowhole

    [​IMG]

    Test mount

    [​IMG]

    Test mount and marking the metal case inside

    [​IMG]

    Main case cut you notice that big hole where the speaker was (at the time i didn't know what to do with it but I will get to that later

    [​IMG]

    Side measuring using a CD spindle cover as its a 120mm fan.

    Also note all the holes there from its passive no fan cooling (I'm going to cover all them up later)

    [​IMG]

    Hole cut.

    [​IMG]

    Back marked out for cutting notice the old fan mount Ill get to that later like the front one.

    [​IMG]

    Back cut (crappy pic)

    [​IMG]

    So far not that much but basic cuts

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2008
  2. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Remember the front with that speaker hole.

    Well I'm putting a plate in to cover it up and make it look more pro.

    [​IMG]

    Front plate cut you'll agree it looks better
    [​IMG]

    Remember the back well I'm also doing the same thing and here is the plate marked out.

    [​IMG]

    Test of the back plate after cutting and its looks allot better.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to completely get rid of the back to mount the plate.

    [​IMG]

    Back pop riveted on looks nice.

    [​IMG]

    Inside shot and you see how the back panel is a bit higher than the case chassis.

    [​IMG]

    I marked out a area where the fan goes.
    [​IMG]

    And cut it out so the fan sits flush.

    [​IMG]

    Front pop riveted on with a check of the fan.

    [​IMG]

    Inside view of the front

    [​IMG]

    Things to do.

    Bondo everything up and smooth everything down.

    Mod the front of the case with a flip down covered part like those media cases so its neat and will hide the DVD drive.

    Put a LCD in the front 3 1/4 bay and a IR remote sensor to use a remote control.

    Suggestions on doing these are most appreciated.

    Especially what LCD I should get
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2007
  3. ojk007

    ojk007 Member

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    looking good, im interested to see how the front fan fits in with the overall .

    good start tho
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Front fan actually fits well with the overall feel and I do have a Idea on how this will look finished.

    I will mold it out a bit to give it that built up effect.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
  5. Tobes1990

    Tobes1990 Member

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    Lots of modding going on there. Are you sure that ALL of those fans are a good idea if you want it to be a quiet HTPC?? Or are you going to be using high-end silent fans? Or a fan controller? Just things you should think about if you haven't.

    Looks very interesting, I'll keep an eye on this one!
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Fans will be HI end fans the front will be a led I think the other 2 may be good quiet fans.

    May put a small fan controller in I dunno.

    I'll be using it on a Sony 5.1 surround sound system vis optical the speakers we have are than the originals for the front and centre.

    So I don't think the fan noise will be a problem when the sound from the amp will surely be louder.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2007
  7. Tobes1990

    Tobes1990 Member

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    Yeah, background noise might make a difference though, and in quiet dialog only scenes it could be irritating.

    And surely you wouldn't have the sound full-ball when you are just watching TV off this thing??
     
  8. bojo

    bojo Member

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    very interested in seeing how this comes out. HTPC cases are waaay to expensive when you can get normal cases for nothing :D.

    I second the idea about noise but, my half-hacky HTPC i've been trying to make 0DB. fanless graphics cards, netbooting (no hdd), no cdrom drive. I've only got to fans i'm trying to get rid off! I don't see why your adding more.

    Though i've never heard hi-end silent fans.


    Remember with your speakers, the better it sounds, the more those fans will begin to piss you off :p.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Agreed on the fan noise.

    But I'll look at a fan controller once this thing is built and see what the noise level is etc.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    I was half thinking of making drive cages but I'll ask first.

    Anyone have any spares of both the 3 1/4 and 5 1/4 drive cages?

    I need both of them.

    If not I'll make them.

    Though I have never made drive cages before and I'de I do how I go about it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
  11. alvarez

    alvarez Member

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    Whats wrong with the drive cages in the case already?
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    For that case there are none.

    I just got the case with no drive cages.

    It was when I did volunteer work last year.

    (I didn't think about grabbing cages back as i wasn't planning a desktop mod then as all I wanted was the metal sheets for other projects)
     
  13. alvarez

    alvarez Member

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    The reason I ask is I may have the cages from that very cae, from my attrocity in my sig.

    If your interested you could have them, Although they are not a very post friendly shape :lol:
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    I have started working again a after a long run of bad heyfeaver etc.

    Big thanks to alvarez for the drive cages that fit in quite nicely.

    I have done some work since the last update and ill post that later once i have progressed a bit more.

    Question
    On the sides of the case lid there are lots of holes for the old the passive cooling.

    What is the best way and how would I go about filling these in?

    Image from previous thread:
    [​IMG]

    Reason I want to fill them in is because I want to direct the airflow using the fans I'll be getting (haven't decided what fans I want yet)

    Well what is left to do.

    - Fill all the little holes from the passive cooling.
    - Sand everything down ready for painting.
    - Paint the case.

    - Make new front of the case and finish that off.

    Also if this could be moved to the worklog forum forum thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
  15. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Just tried bondo on the holes I hope it comes out ok.

    Will sort through my pics on what I have done recently and post up
     
  16. mofohobo

    mofohobo Member

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    No way… I have the exact same case and I use it as my media PC… what is it, a Ipex pos case?
    I thought about modding it but never had the time… depending on how this one turns out I might mod it as well…
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Well looks like I'll have to go and do a good job on it.

    The interia is nice and big the pos about it I think is the actual outside all the holes for passive crap etc.

    If you can clean all that up I think It'll be a nice case.

    Update
    The bondo I tried looks like it may have worked but with some crap on the inside but I won't be using windows etc so inside doesn't bother me too much.

    I'll do some more over the next few days and get a update of things on here.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    mofohobo: You are going to quite pleased to know everything is coming smoothly and that by the looks of it will turn out extremely well so subscibe to this thread mate.

    And for others, I know I don't update this allot thats because I'm always coming down I'll with colds, viruses etc, tired or weak and not feeling like working (modders you all know what I mean here)

    And about 4 games came out in like 1-2 weeks crysis, ut3 etc.

    But I'm back working on it which is the main thing and if I can keep working its all good.

    As for working through the next 2 weeks well yea I will be, only Christmas day and and new years eve/day I would be be doing anything atm rest of the time is open for modding.

    And if you could sit through all that its now time for the update.

    Update:

    (no pics in this one they will come when I have time to sort the new ones out)

    I have done allot of bonding on the case.

    The sides filling in all the passive cooling holes I had doubts as I thought all the bondo was going to fall out as soon as i sanded both sides down.

    But it has worked the sides are sanded right back to the metal with each hole supporting itself for the bondo.

    So far I applied 3 layers by roughly sanding back the previous one to smooth metal before reapply and the 3rd layer is setting atm.

    So I'm happy that worked out

    My dad helped by soldering the back fan panel on where I couldn't pop rivet due to the fan in the way.

    That worked and needs to be sanded back smooth.

    So whats left to do? (in no particular order)

    - Sand down remaining bondo.
    - Sand down lumps of solder.
    - Plate over up bottom fan hole (easy to do).
    - finish the drive mounting bracket.
    - Sand and paint case.
    - Do front panel.
    (started marking out a great design thats truly HTPC ready but I'll leave that as a surprise for later)
    - Buy more hardware
    (Dad 'nicely stole' my free 120gb WD drive for the Satellite STB that the old maxtor drive died a few days ago)

    1 remaining maxtor left in the house out of 20 thats in my ps2 with no crucial data on it.

    Thats about it at this stage im sure something extra will pop up to do which is always the way.

    So stay tuned for the next update and possibly allot of pics if I can pull myself to sort them and upload them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2007
  19. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Did quite a bit of work today on it finished todays stuff at 10pm local time.

    (apologies to the neighbors that had to put up my drilling until that time)

    No pics atm expect them sometime over the next week.

    What did I do today.

    Sanded down all remaining bondo smooth and drill fan holes.

    Fan holes took the longest because I couldn't get them aligned on the front but go there in the end.

    Even if I have to fix up 4 mistake holes that happened in the process.

    Also worked out a few parts today for purchase which is the next thing after (another round of) bondo, on the failed fan holes.

    After this patchup is done its time for the :) front :) of the case.

    That will be fun and I'm looking forward to it and also :rolleyes: looking forward to the errors I'll have with it also.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Time to post the latest screenshots and progress updates.

    First off sorry to those that it took a long time after the work to be done till the screenshots got up, I just haven't been bothered till now to connect my camera up to my pc.

    Progress on where I am now after the screenshots.

    Pop riveted the back plat on and checked it with the lid on and guess what the lid doesn't fit properly.

    [​IMG]

    So I marked the lid out for cutting and cut it so it fits.

    You can see the fitted back later in this post.

    Here is the drive bays mounted and note between the 3 1/4 and 5 1/4 bays theres a gap well a square bit of channel goes all the way to the back from there.

    [​IMG]

    But because it would interfere with the back fan and cpu fan on this case I cut the channel to fit.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a test of components in the case you can finally see it coming together.

    Note the dead motherboard with the blown caps.

    [​IMG]

    And here is a test of the front filled with old drives.

    [​IMG]

    That black thing is a tape drive in fact a DDS 3 tape drive to be exact, but I have no tapes for it and dunno if it even works.

    Here the default small space for the ram under the drive bay but I'm leaving that as is unless required to change.

    [​IMG]

    Case lid on and finally it looks a normal case again.

    [​IMG]

    Remember those passive cooling holes on the side of the case?

    I bondo'd them up.

    [​IMG]

    I was scared all the bondo was going to fall out when I rubbed it flat on both sides, but that never happened.

    And I got a really smooth finish after a few coats of bondo.

    [​IMG]

    And the back bondo'd above the PCI cages

    [​IMG]

    The back with the fan holes drilled and a fan there.

    [​IMG]

    Remember me saying I spent till 10pm drilling.

    Well that was because the front blow hole just never drilled properly on 'every hole' even after measuring them all.

    [​IMG]

    You can just see that the screw holes are massive and go walkies thats because I had to open them out allot after drilling about 2 holes and finding out that the screw was meant to be in the middle of those holes, oh well I'll bondo them up later.

    The lid on and note earlier I said that cutting at the back, The case is looking really nice at this stage.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the case in its potential home but It'll go at the top of that gap in that corner.

    Looks like my camera screwed up taking this photo and induced lines and colours been getting that allot with this camera never on a photo though. Time for a new camera me thinks.

    [​IMG]

    Note that it just fits there, that means no side fan but the hole is made and designating it as a expansion with a plate that screws into the fan holes will probably go there until that hole is needed.

    And what to do now.

    Well I'm waiting for my bank balance to build up a little as after bills etc to get a VFD and I cant do much until then as the front is next on the list.

    I need to strengthen the side tops to keep the front from bowing which its doing quite bad and my dad has some metal rods for me but he is going to use them first and I'll let the unused bits.

    In the meantime I have started modding the case that will become my server and stopped on that very earlier because i need to get a welder to go further as theres no space for pop rivitus.

    As for my proliant case I'm modding into my main pc I don't want want to do that till i get the welder and actually have a good run with it than going between projects as that is like over 1000 times more complex than these jobs.

    So I just sit back and wait for the next couple of weeks.

    I'de never thought I would see the day where I finish the core mod and have to buy a product like the VFD to continue.

    And its here and that makes me feel great getting to this stage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2008

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