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Modding How to squeeze 5.1 into small htpc case! (not)

Discussion in 'Modding' started by myke, 1 Nov 2003.

  1. myke

    myke New Member

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    I've had this htpc thats taken loads of money and loads of time to put together. But I had a big problem. 5.1 speakers and no 5.1 sound card that would fit, so......

    My nice little case...

    [​IMG]

    Removed the game port and back plate from a new creative 5.1. The riser board I've used is for an epia mobo so I can only use the bottom slot :grr:

    [​IMG]

    Modded the heatsink :dremel: The cpu is a celery 1G running at 1.2 This heatsink doesn't even get hot. The fan is nice and quiet too.

    [​IMG]

    The guts...Not the best of pictures but it does show i'm running everything off a 256MB CF card (7MB Free!), and the gfx card on the right is a modded ATI9000 PCI with very nice tv output. The sound card rests on a bit of rubber glued to the lan port. You can see why the heatsink had to be chopped.

    [​IMG]

    Finally the money shot...Ports drilled out at the back. DVD sounds and plays like it should...

    [​IMG]

    Doesn't look too much of a mess does it?
     
  2. Neb

    Neb New Member

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    looks really neat, what case is that? im looking for something similair
     
  3. ajack

    ajack rox

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    Looks fine - took me a few seconds to locate exactly what looks fine so thats gotta mean something :)

    I would also like to know what case that is as im after one too
     
  4. myke

    myke New Member

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    Cheers guys. It took me ages to find the case. Its an AOPEN A340A and I think you can get them from Dabs in the UK. The PSU is V QUIET and the only problem is the lack of low profile cards out there, most other cases have the slots parallel to the board.

    The gfx card is a powercolor ATI9000 PCI and there is an ATI9200 AGP version also from powercolor which is pretty good which can be modded to fit the case.

    As you see I couldn't get hold of an elusive 5.1 low profile sound card so out with the dremmel!
     
  5. hydrogen18

    hydrogen18 Banned

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    will a laptop hdd not fit in there?
     
  6. Lucifer

    Lucifer New Member

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    what OS did you fit into 249Mb?
     
  7. hydrogen18

    hydrogen18 Banned

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    i'm betting he is uber1337 and uses cpm
     
  8. taliban_raider

    taliban_raider Just some guy; you know

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    Cool I am going to do something very similar except in a dvd players case.
     
  9. Darkside

    Darkside New Member

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    That's a very nice job you've done there, I like the idea of booting from the CF card, must be a nearly silent box :clap:

    Looking at the front of the case in the first pic, is the DVD drive stealthed ??

    Nice looking case too :lol:

    Darkside.
     
  10. myke

    myke New Member

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    lucifer - running windows 98 (lite) with dvd, divx and xvid playback. Tried movix and linux and even xp cut down (only got it down to 400mb).

    hydrogen18 - I did try a laptop hdd, but the one I had was just too noisy. I could have used it as a second drive though and set the sleep mode. Didn't think of that... and cpm :lol:

    Darkside - It's nearly silent, only the dvd player sounds like it's taking off when I use vcd's. I tried the nero software to slow it down but that didn't work too well. Anyone recommend a quieter better dvd drive or better software? (I'm using an Aopen one as it'll play dvd+/- and is region free).

    taliban_raider - That's what I wanted to do but couldn't find a broken one quickly enough. You can get them now for about £37 so that may be a better option.
     
  11. whypick1

    whypick1 The über-Pick

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    myke, I've heard that Samsung makes the quietest optical drives out there, and their SD-816B reads all DVD formats.

    Oh yeah, and good job on the mod.
     
  12. myke

    myke New Member

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    whypick1 - Thanks for the info, I'll have a look at the Samsung drive. I read quite a few reviews on the aopen one, but it just didn't to the job.

    darkside - The case has a built in spring loaded flap for the dvd drive. Kind of cheating really!
     
  13. JazzXP

    JazzXP Eh! Steve

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    That's a great idea to use the CF card for the hard drive... how did you get it to boot from it?
     
  14. Darkside

    Darkside New Member

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    Cool, built in stealthing !!! Does it sound really good through those funky 5.1 speakers ??

    Darkside.
     
  15. myke

    myke New Member

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    JazzXP - The CF card was the best move I made. I picked up a CF adapter from linitx.com which makes the CF card act like an IDE drive. The main problem with using the CF card is you have to turn off the virtual memory, to try and limit the number of writes to the card, as this degrades the performance and life of the card. The best way to set this card up is to install your software to a normal IDE drive and use powerquest drive image or ghost to copy to the card. Acts like a normal hard drive only SILENT. It is quite slow, allthough you can now pick up 40x speed CF cards

    Darkside - 5.1 .... aw3some....Watched 2 fast 2 furious this weekend. Only problem is that the Girder Remote control software I use clashes with the Creative software. I've been told to try UICE remote software. Anyone used this?
     
  16. mikaelgu

    mikaelgu New Member

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    Been using uICE for quite a while now, very powerful and very easy to use and extremely customizable... I made a set of scripts for it that allow me to "type" with the remote, just like SMSing with mobile phones. (I use it to type short ICQ messages mostly). All in all, a great piece of software and good support too.
     
  17. Solarius

    Solarius New Member

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    There is a program called AnyDVD which will allow any player to play any region DVD. That case is also available on Newegg.com for those of us that are State Side. Thought about using it myself. Does that sound card have digital IN and OUT?
     
  18. myke

    myke New Member

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    mikaelgu - I'll try UICE, like the typing idea with the remote! Just been having a look at the website and it supports my Packard Bell card... :D

    Solarius - I've been using regkiller which I think is now a comercial product, the one I use was free when I downloaded it. It does a great job with multiregion dvds. The soundblaster live 5.1 has digital out (not optical) but no digital in. One of the jacks doubles up as Centre/Subwoofer and Digital out. It also does it's own ac3 decoding which takes the load off the cpu. Had a few teething problems setting it up as I only had 70MB to squeeze it into with no temp intall space! :wallbash:
     
  19. hydrogen18

    hydrogen18 Banned

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    I just noticed u desoldered the game port connector! A+ :rock:
     

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