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Project: Dead Silence -A Home Theatre PC

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by ZapWizard, 7 Dec 2004.

  1. ZapWizard

    ZapWizard Enter the Mod Matrix

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    [​IMG]

    Hey folks it's been a while since I posted a project log, but I have been modding, just too busy to post anything.

    The Kingston PC is done, with photos to follow in another thread.
    But my current project is a HTPC for my living room. It's nothing fancy, but it does achive my goals, I also didn't have much time to build it.
    I still have more to come on this also.

    The goals:
    -Watch computer recorded movies
    -Backup DVD's
    -Backup Audio CD's
    -Play Internet Radio
    -Record from Cable Box
    -Control Home Automation/Security
    -Burn CD's / DVD's
    -Edit Movies
    -Store family photo's / Display photos
    -Home File Server
    -FTP Server
    -HTTP Server
    -Video Survailance/Recorder

    [​IMG]

    The specs:
    -AMD Athlon 64 3400+ 2.2Ghz with Cool'n'Quiet
    -Gigabyte K8N Pro
    -1GB PC3200 DDR
    -ATI Radeon 9600 128MB Graphics Card
    -ATI TV Wonder
    -Broadcom 802.11G Wireless NIC
    -200GB Maxtor 7200RPM IDE Harddrive
    -200GB Maxtor 7200RPM IDE Harddrive (2nd Drive)
    -80GB Western Digital 7200RPM IDE Harddrive
    -Pioneer 120S Slot Load 16X DVD Drive
    -Pioneer DVR-108 Dual Layer DVD Burner
    -8-in-1 Media Card Reader
    -AMS G-Mono Mid Tower Case
    -300-watt Clever Power Silent PSU
    -Zalman Flower Heatsink
    -Gyration Ultra GT wireless keyboard and mouse

    [​IMG]

    I won the Gigabyte K8N-Pro motherboard at QuakeCon '04, but it end up being a perfect motherboard for a HTPC/Server. It has 4 IDE connections, and 2 SATA connections, for a total of 6 drives. It also has Gigabit LAN, and sound card with optical output.

    I choose the Clever Power power supply as it is nearly totally silent and has four extra power sockets that I can utilize for other home theatre devices.

    The AMD G-Mono case was used as it's beautiful silver paint job matches my TV, it's Plexiglas faceplate is easy to customize, and it only costs $40.

    A custom laser cut faceplate was created to match the existing faceplate.

    [​IMG]

    On the rear of the PC you can see the power supply with it's extra power plugs. The stamped fan grills were removed, and quieter rounded wire grills were installed.

    The entire PC only requires only four external connections: Power, DVI Video, Optical Audio, and USB to the wireless Gyration Receiver.

    [​IMG]

    To make the entire PC run dead silent a AMD exclusive processor feature called Cool'n'Quiet is essential. Cool'n'Quiet allows the 2.2GHz CPU to run at a few different speeds and voltages, down to 800Mhz when Idle. Akasa sound deadening material was also installed to add an extra layer of sound isolation.

    At idle the system specs are:
    -CPU Speed: 800Mhz
    -CPU Temperature: 38C
    -CPU Fan Speed: 1140 RPM
    -Case Temperature: 25C
    -Case Fan Speed: 1300RPM
    -WD Harddrive: 46C
    -Maxtor Harddrives: 40C

    [​IMG]

    The case airflow was improved by cutting a faceplate that allows air to be pulled into the case across the two heat generating 200GB harddrives.

    [​IMG]

    One of the greatest things about having a DVD burner is backing up your DVDs. (No comment on the movie please)

    In this case I am taking one of my oldest DVDs that has started to crack in the center, plus the DVD is a double-sided disk with a tiny center label.

    Since I don't need the "Full Screen" side, I can make a copy of the Wide Screen side of the disk, and make a better looking DVD with a full label.

    I used a program called DVD Shrink that can shrink a full sized DVD onto a single layer DVD. I could also of course make an exact copy by using more expensive Dual-Layer DVD Disks.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the HTPC at home in my living room.
    The Gyration mouse and keyboard allow me to use it from across the room.
    The PC is connected directly to the TV using a DVI to HDMI adapter. The Sound card is connected directly to the surround sound system using an optical cable.
    This PC is so quiet that the harddrive in my Time Warner HDTV DVR is louder.

    In case you are wondering the HDTV is a Samsung 47", the surround sound is also a Samsung 600-watt with a 5-disk DVD changer.

    I ordered a $12 Black and White camera from www.supercircuits.com which I will wire up as a security camera for my front door.

    I also am trying to decide on what color of lights to make the PC (Blue or Green)
    I know Blue is overdone, but the surround sound has blue lights, and it would match that way.

    I also trying to decide what to etch into the large side window, and the front of the case.
    Currently my plan is simply a large AMD logo one the side, and I have no idea for the front.
     
  2. fastbullit

    fastbullit What's a Dremel?

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  3. sKuLLs

    sKuLLs What's a Dremel?

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    Nice and simple, yet an effectively awesome setup. I seem to recall your other HTPC, with the planned custom case and the ipaq and all...What ever happened to that?
     
  4. ZapWizard

    ZapWizard Enter the Mod Matrix

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    Canceled, due to time.
     
  5. kaotic504

    kaotic504 What's a Dremel?

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    nice work, but i know you have to have more instore for the case. great work though. man, 480gb of data, WOW!

    oh, i like CloneDVD for burning dvd's, soooo ez to use. DVDShrink is great also.
     
  6. woodshop

    woodshop UnSeenly

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    Grumble Grumble Grumble

    TBH unless this project has some hidden complication your not saying (or had).

    This is way below par for you Zap
     
  7. RotoSequence

    RotoSequence Lazy Lurker

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    Cool setup, ZapWizard. And awesome movie :D

    No really, I love that movie. :)
     
  8. RR5

    RR5 What's a Dremel?

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    Few things, the most important is the flooding of them theater computers. Bit saturated but still, its nice to see new things being done with them.

    Second, how is the zalman flower? I was orignially looking at one myself but opted for the ThermalTake silent boost.

    Next, lighting is simple.. LED FADER! LED FADER! LED FADER! LED FADER! LED FADER! :lol: :rock:
     
  9. ZapWizard

    ZapWizard Enter the Mod Matrix

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    I know, I know,but I've been busy.
    I love the zalman flower. I used it on my main PC for a while, the replaced it with watercooling. On the HTPC it keeps the CPU at 45C under full load (Fan at about 30% speed) at idle it's 38C with the fan at 5% speed.

    Hmm, I do have a ton of left over LEDs, and I don't want to run cathodes 24/7.
    I don't know if I would fade it though, as the animation might be disracting while watching a movie.
     
  10. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    Looks to be promising, knowing you it'll end up as one of those unforgettable mods that we all wish we had... :jealous:
     
  11. ZapWizard

    ZapWizard Enter the Mod Matrix

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    Sigh, can't I make a normal PC? :worried:
    :D
     
  12. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    You already set the bar so high... so... nope :p
    I mean honestly, after the AMD/ATI shuttle, you're really going to have to post under a different name to build a normal computer :hehe:
     
  13. RR5

    RR5 What's a Dremel?

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    Simple Zap, fade between 50% power to 0%. Not as bright, plus they'll last forever! (If they already dont.)
     
  14. ZapWizard

    ZapWizard Enter the Mod Matrix

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    No animation for this PC, but you did give me an idea.

    The surround sound system has a dimmer built in, allowing for 100%, 50% and Lights off, I can wire a sensor into the surround and let that control the brightness. That way I can do it by remote, insync with the surround.
     
  15. RR5

    RR5 What's a Dremel?

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    Glad to be of service, I still feel however; the led fader would look nice.

    Picture it, an RGB led for each corner of your windowed case, each fading different colors (ie not all red, all green.. etc).. but throw a nice resistor to dim them down so the light is not blinding. Just an accent.
     
  16. Sea Shadow

    Sea Shadow aka "Panda"

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    Well you could create some audio circuits that could be engaged only when you are listening to music oh wait... theres R4 for that and would make good use of that nice big screen:thumb: However I think you should make another HTPC but out of a mini ITX motherboard, and put it into the shell of an old DVD player:D

    Edit: I spy a christmas tree!! Happy holidays everyone :clap:
     
  17. Bob 1234

    Bob 1234 What's a Dremel?

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    Couple of questions:
    1) what do you plan to use for your Home Automation/Security (as in both hardware and software)
    2) Why does your desktop screen not fill up your entire TV screen, and are you using any gui for your HTPC (like meedio or WMC 2005)?

    -Bob
     
  18. DickH

    DickH What's a Dremel?

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    why didnt you use one of those very large passive heatsinks with one or two 120mm fans at 7v?
     
  19. Soul__Assasin

    Soul__Assasin What's a Dremel?

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    Hey Zap i kina like your modding skillz...

    If I remeber right you even won the Screensavers modding compo... because they don't broadcast the show in Europe i see parts of episodes on their site

    do you still have that lazer etching device

    Your a real contribution to the modding scene :clap: :clap:
     
  20. ZapWizard

    ZapWizard Enter the Mod Matrix

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    1) The camera I linked above, and Gotcha! security software.
    2) It does fill the whole screen. (Maybe doesn't look like that in the photo)

    No need, the PC is dead silent right now. Plus I already had the parts taken from my main PC when I want to water cooling.
    I did drill and mount a large copper/alluminum heatsink onto the northbridge, making it passive.

    Yes I did win it, info on my website.
    I still have access to the Laser, but technicaly I don't own it anymore.
     

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