HTPC and small space question

totmachen

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
177
I recently got enough spare parts to build myself a modest but capable HTPC. I am not doing any TV watching, just playing my backed up DVDs on my TV. I have an really old entertainment center until that was given to me a few years ago. It has a space for cassettes on the right side. I was thinking instead of putting a case next to the TV, I would put the parts inside this compartment. Measurement wise, everything seems to fit ok on paper. I just want to see if this looks like a doable situation. Take a look, the measurements of the compartment are included. Specs are in my sig.

Oh, I royally suck at photoshopping so dont mind the cheezy graphics.

Thanks!
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,670
How about putting it under that VCR? If not you'll probably have to go with a miniATX setup instead since your typical mid tower case is about 8 inches in width.
 

valve1138

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 14, 2003
Messages
11,264
What parts do you have available?

So if I read things right you want to "build" the PC right into the TV console.

That should work just fine.

Should be a neat mod. You might want to check out the case mode subforum here for some ideas.
 

Mohonri

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
5,755
As far as height and depth are concerned, you're fine. You'll be cramped on the width, but it should still be ok. Just make sure all the hot air can get out. You might even be able to get away without any front-panel air intakes--just put an intake in the back on the bottom and the exhaust in the back at the top. It sounds like a great project--make sure you post a worklog!

 

OregonLAN

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 20, 2001
Messages
2,627
Forget the case; just mount the components to the entertainment cabinet. Then, cover it using some speaker grill fabric. :)
 

IanG

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 20, 2004
Messages
2,087
Are you getting a btx mobo, because it looks like you have the mobo on the wrong side of the case if you want the cpu at the top.

Looks like a nice little project though, just remember to give it a decent amount of airflow and let us see some pics when it's finished.

 

spotdog14

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Messages
1,297
i have an Asus Prudit-R barebones that is really small and i think would fit perfectly in that space.I have currently using mine as a HTPC, its got a 2.8 celeron, 1 gig of ram, 80 gig hdd, its got an integrated Ati 9100, and i have the 150 as a tv tuner card, it works great!
 

totmachen

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
177
Thanks for all the replies! Im using the Shuttle MN31 and I did put it on the wrong side. I thought drilling holes would be easier since I can drill from the VCR side and then through, but forgot about needing it on the other side. I am going to mount things right in the cabinent, no case. Im thinking of cover the front with either a some plywood thats black and put it on hinges so it swings out, or go ghetto style and use black poster board. In the picture you cant tell that 120mm fan is in going to be in the front for intake and the 80mm is mounted on the back for exaust. That should give me decent air flow. I know the width is gonna be my major problem, but its almost exactly the size of a DVD drive and the PSU fits snug too, which is is almost helpfull. Once I get my layout in order, I will take pictures and keep a log of my progress.
 

totmachen

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
177
I finally got time to work on this project. This is really my first mod, unless you count my watercooling setup on my main rig. I am going for functionality, not looks. Since the reciever/speakers have to be from the 70's, and the housing is old too, I really dont mind trashing it a bit. Just get something functional, then move on from there.

First, lets start with the overall mockup again (the MB is on the wrong side)

HTPCMochup.jpg


First I started with a mockup of my motherboard using a paper bag for easier layout setup.

MotherboardMochup.jpg


Since I couldnt fit a drill inside the space, I just drilled from the outside. I measured everything out and put my motherboard mochup on the side with marks for the mounting holes.

PreSetup.jpg


All my holes are drilled, brass mounts put in.

MountsInstalled.jpg


Now I had to cut out some openings for the PSU, motherboard, and video card.

BackplateCut.jpg


Since I dont have a saw, I just drilled a few starter holes and cut with the small saw blade on my leatherman. It worked, but looks like ass. Again, I am not going for looks, so I dont mind.

I didnt get a detailed picture of it, but instead of screwing my cdrom and PSU in, I just put some shelf plugs into a drilled whole and set them ontop of them. You can kinda see them in the next picture.

I installed the components, some of the motherboard mounts were just a tad off, guess my measurements were not accurate enough. Maybe next time....

ComponentsSet.jpg


I just am throwing the hard drives in a cage and then having them rest on the bottom. Good enough for me. Here's the overall setup so far.

OverallSetup.jpg


I threw the speaker back, cant see a thing. I got everything running and tried the new Aeon Flux DVD, works well. The TV itself is old and tints everything red, but for now will do.

AeonFlux.jpg




My next steps are first do some better cable management. Probably gonna get warm in there, so they should be put out of the way. Then I will mount an exaust fan in back. Also, the DVD drive is white, which I dont like. I will paint that black. I dont want to be able to see the components, so Im going to take a piece of wood, paint it black, and mount it on hinges so it can swing open when I need to get inside. I think I'll mount a 120mm fan on it, as well as a Power/HDD LED and Power/Reset Switch.

I have my old 8500 in this, but the HSF on it is louder than all hell, so that probably will be changed to just a giant heatsink if possible. Same goes for the CPU fan, seems a bit too loud. But, for now, all is good until the next time I have a few hours to spare.
 

IDversusEGO

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
5,015
very cool. if you could just find a way to make a speaker grill to cover it, it would blend nicely. I know that there are speaker grill kits at partsexpress.com for not too much
 
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