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Modding Bluebird Radio Concept

Discussion in 'Modding' started by C-DUB, 17 Jun 2004.

  1. C-DUB

    C-DUB New Member

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    Hey all. Just signed up recently. I'd thought I'd share my concept for a mod I'm thinking about putting together.

    My father collects antique radios. From what he tells me, the 'Holy Grail' of antique radios is a Sparton Bluebird, designed by Walter Dorwin Teauge in the mid 1930's. A master of Art Deco design, he fabricated several mirrored glass and chromed metal radios that have fetched upwards of $10K-$20K US ( waaaay outta my leauge! :D ).

    This floor model is called the 'Nocturne' Bluebird and it stands about 45" high:
    [​IMG]

    This is the desktop Bluebird radio, and it sits at about 14.5" high:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    There is a 'mini' replica of the desktop model out there (8" tall) made of acrylic. The feet are different:
    [​IMG]

    So I thought it would be cool to build a replica bluebird desktop model out of a small form factor PC for my father. This won't be super hardcore modding, mind you. No LCD/VFD, no funky lights, as it's basically a box with an elaborate blue mirror on the front. The dial has some lights to illuminate it, but that's it. The dials up front would power the box, fan speed, cd eject(?). Maybe I'll make the dial a volt meter. I'm going to try and keep it as true to the original as possible.

    I tooled around in Illustrator to map it out a bit:
    [​IMG] Full Size (BIG!)

    Color:
    [​IMG] Full Size (BIG!)

    I have no experience with small form factor PC's. This will most likely be built from the ground up in acrylic. The grill in the front is perfect to draw in air from the fans. I'll have the DVD/CD leap out of the side of the box, rather than have it come out of the front anywhere to keep the design. The box behind the glass can go as far back as I need it to since it will be hidden behind the mirror (wow. an entirely stealthed PC!).

    Lemme know what you think, if you have any hints for me about small form factors, etc., that would be great. Thanks for looking!
     
  2. stoned penguin

    stoned penguin New Member

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    hehe, even better

    make a top loading cd drive and make the circle thing swing up (or down) to load the cd!

    you can always put fans in the side
     
  3. Zogthetroll

    Zogthetroll New Member

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    well, my sff experience is with microATX right now, but i'm designing a system around a miniITX board so i'll see if I can offer any suggestions. first off, you'll probably want to go with 1/4" material for the front. i've got some lexan of that thickness laying around and its great stuff, it doesn't have much flex to it, and price wise it isn't bad (around $7.50/ft{param}.), as opposed to 1/2" which is pretty pricey. although you might consider investigating some different materials since while lexan is easy to work with, it also scratches, but there are coatings that can help with that. the two form factors you're probably limited to by the size of the box are going to be FlexATX (think shuttle-sized mobo, 9"x7.5" spec) or mini-ITX, 6.7"x6.7" spec. i'd probably go miniITX if i were building the box myself, mainly so it could be as small as possible, since it might look funny if it got too large behind the front face. also, silence should probably be a consideration. I'd leave the mesh in the front, it looks good, but not put a fan behind it, locate the fan as far in the back as possible to cut noise, and in my experience with boxes, exhaust fans are more important. if you've got the budget for it, i'd look at a slot-loading cdrom, check out www.mini-itx.com/store for some of those. they're pretty sweet. i might even play around and see how it could fit together. overall, i love the look of the design. go for it.
     
  4. C-DUB

    C-DUB New Member

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    Cool, thanks for the help/info! I'll look into the miniITX, that looks like the way to go, due to the size.

    The fan info is good too, since looks are what I'm going for up front, not noise.

    How hot do the small form factors get? Will one exhast be enough? Not like this is going to power anything legendary. My Dad surfs and checks e-mail, so no extreme hardware will be involved.
     
  5. Zogthetroll

    Zogthetroll New Member

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    I don't see a problem with a single exhaust fan, especially if all you've got in there is a mini-ITX board with the standard laptop drive and a hard drive. some of the ITX boards are even fanless. and it sounds like they would be perfect for you dad, casual use. I got bored and did a little 3d modeling this afternoon, looks like you won't have any problem spacewise. I used a sff power supply (which would give you a 50mm exhaust fan also) and lost the use of the pci slot, but if you went a little larger or went with the dc-dc power converters you could get that back. I figure you can fit an 80mm or even 92mm fan if you cram it in there. I can post the shots I came up with if you want (side, top, and angled view) lemme know if you're interested.
     

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