modded htpc case - my slot loading ahanix mce301 (and other mods)

dualblade

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 19, 2000
Messages
4,180
so here she is, sitting on the rack and showing off her sexy self. sorry for the slightly odd lighting and shadows, but i have to go to class and don't have time to set up well distributed lighting for a better shot. i'll have more pics soon to detail how i mounted everything and the other internal mods you can't see from here. suffice to say, it looks a whole lot nicer this way then with a big 'ol plastic dvd drive behind the flip down door

mce301.jpg


and now for other mods/procedure

in the next two pics, you can see the front panel before mounting. i had the slot made by a local machinist, realizing there's no way with a dremel i'm going to make an accurate cut through 1/2" thick aluminum. i gave him the specs but he did the cutting, and it cost me $40 (but he did a really good job). i had him machine out part of the back panel as you'll see in the coming photos.

13.jpg


here you can see the back of the panel where the panel was taken down to 1/16" thickness 1/4" above and 1/2" below the slot. this is so the drive could mount as close as possible to the front of the panel, so the cd could be pushed in and retreived with reasonable ease. also, i figured that less metal would result in less scratching of discs, which this seems to have accomplished well.
14.jpg


the mounting plate that the cd rom sits on top of is right here. i then used double sided sticky pads to affix the cd drive to the plate because they provide easy attachment and some vibration dampening
18.jpg


in the coming photo, you can see the mods done to the front of the case to accomodate the slot loading drive. the 4 posts are what the mounting plate sits on top of. the hard drive bracket was scrapped completely and the 4 circled holes are what the hard drive is screwed into. i screwed a motherboard standoff into each of the bottom hard drive mount holes so the drive would be spaced off the case bottom a bit. the right angle red lines was the bit of case that i had to cut off (there was material inside the lines) so the drive would mount correctly. it was a small bit of material and didn't really effect chassis stability.
15.jpg


this next pic show the mods for a power supply with a 120mm fan
16.jpg

i cut a hole with a holesaw so that hot air could exhaust via the bottom of the case. i also had to make new mounting holes for the ps because the stock holes put it upside down (fan facing upwards instead of downwards). i wanted to utilize the power supply as a rear cooling element, since the only active cooling in the case is next to the hard drive in the front corner. the factory operation of the power supply is that the 120mm fan is an intake, and the air passes through the power supply and out the back. i wanted the ps to take in air from inside the case and exhaust it via the 120mm fan. i did this by blocking off the grill on the back of the power supply with a plate, shown here
17.jpg

i opened up the power supply and turned the fan upside down so it would be exhaust instead of intake. i then used my drill press to drill a ton of holes (swiss cheesing is fun!) in the side of the power supply panel, so it would be able to draw in air from the inside of the case.

here you can see the block off plate doing it's job blocking off the back of the power supply
19.jpg


and a bottom shot of the unit with the fan running, exhausting air
20.jpg


the system is attractive, functional, and quiet so i feel i've done a good job in my modifications. i also still have a free 5.25" bay behind the door so this leaves me with options and expandability. if some new drive or device comes out that i want to add, it can be done. i was thinking of possibly getting a 5/25" to 3.5" bay and putting a memory card reader in there. on the plastic piece that turns the 5.25" opening to a 3.5" opening, i could drill some holes in the excess space and mount front av in ports for the tv tuner, but this will be down the line. for now, i'm satisfied with my work and my car just decided to break itself so i'm onto an automotive project next it seems.


what do you guys think of it?
 

Joni Nitro

Gawd
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Messages
820
Let me be the first to say that it look very nice. I love the slot loading front. I have been wanting to build a htpc for a while to run my 42" Plasma. The system is built but I can get my software to run correctly.

Anyways very nice...looks so sexy and would match my silver plasma perfectly
 

dualblade

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 19, 2000
Messages
4,180
what software are you running? i'm brand new to mce (as of this weekend), but i've got my dvd and downloaded videos running pretty well so perhaps i can offer some advice. i'd say anything complex, just post a question in the htpc section and i'll see if i can answer it.
 
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