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Case Mod - In Progress Project: HTBox - PC in a Xbox 360: 09/04/11, Test fit and it's functioning!

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Trance, 11 Nov 2010.

  1. Trance

    Trance Two steps forward, one step back

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    Well hello all and welcome to my first case mod :thumb:

    So anyway a bit of history. I was browsing the web as you do and stumbled across the Xbox 360 pc which I'm sure many of you have seen, if not just youtube it. Anyway I thought to myself, hey thats pretty neat, but why go to all the trouble of replacing all the components and such and then keep it looking like a bog standard xbox360, albeit with a fan in the side. So I decided to embark on the adventure of creating my own, modded xbox pc :)
    I have the xbox and a few bits and pieces but none of the hardware yet, as I'm not 100% sure on what I'm going to put in it yet, but I'm thinking an Asus AT3IONT-I DELUXE for some low power, internal psu goodness, but I'm open to suggestions if anyone has a better idea ;). Apart from that I'm thinking laptop blu-ray drive and 4-5 50mm Fractal Design fans, I hope these are as quite as they say they are as I'd like to keep it as silent as possible.

    Anyway, onto the modding. Sorry about the picture quality, only got my phone camera... which is 5meg but still not that great inside, only outside and in very dark rooms...
    Naturally I bought a dead xbox360 premium off fleabay for £20, and a few days later it arrived :):

    [​IMG]

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    Apart from a few blemishes (marks on the side panel and crack on the top panel) its in pretty good shape, so onto taking it apart, and after a bit of fun and some mild swearing I have:

    [​IMG]

    A pile of bits...

    [​IMG]

    Wait a sec, why do I have 2 of the top and bottom panel?!? ;) Well as I'm not going to have a hard drive caddy on top I decided it would be much nicer to have two flat panels rather than an ugly empty slot, plus when testing this theory I found it left me rougly 15mm gap between the internal tray and the outside plastics, which is where 4 of those fans are going to push air into the case :)

    [​IMG]

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    Only trouble is it doesn't really fit... so it's time to say good bye to 2 of those legs:

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    Er, better, but it still doesn't really fit that well as you can see in the last picture, so after a bit of filing and:

    [​IMG]

    Perfect, fits brilliantly and looks so much better, not very secure so going to have to think up a method of securing it, I'm thinking velcro on the top of the fans at the moment, but I'll continue to think about that, anyway time to get rid of those case feet...

    [​IMG]

    And thats taking me a little longer than expected :D trouble is the whole piece is concave (nothing is flat on the outside :wallbash: ) which makes filing pretty tricky because you can't get a decent flat stroke on it...
    Anyway I fancied a break from filing so I decided to mask up the panels for painting:

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    And the side window:

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    Pretty much done with that, just need to do the power button, which is gonna be fun...
    Yup, it's going to have go faster stripes, I figured as it was a low powered atom pc (currently) it would need something to help it go that bit faster :thumb:. The plan is gloss black with mid-blue (the same colour as the heatsink on the mobo) stripes and mobo tray.

    With that done I decided to do a bit of the electronics stuff, so I bought a internal front panel cables, and started on the power button. I'm wanting to keep the original power button, but I'm going to change the centre LED for a white one, and not use the outside ones at all, believe me in the dark this looks so much better :thumb:.

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    Looks great! Except it doesn't seem to work :grr: well it doesn't seem to in my pc, might try it again in a bit but I was going off a picture by another person (the one mentioned at the start of the thread), maybe that was wrong, maybe I need to do something else as well? Open to suggestions. I also changed the led but that was a complete fiasco... think I may has burnt it out whilst trying to get the damn thing soldered down! So I think I'm just going to have to drill a hole through the board and stick a normal 3mm led in there.

    Anyway I leave you with a picture of 'the mess':

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking, till next time :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 9 Apr 2011
  2. its

    its What's a Dremel?

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    Great start! Sub'd.
     
  3. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Minimodder

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    I do like mods like this :)
    Kinda reminds me of when I modded a pc into a PS2...
     
  4. sixfootsideburns

    sixfootsideburns modeteer

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    I can't understand the interest in putting a PC in a 360 case (because I think they're ugly) but maybe you can make it pretty with your mod! hell it wouldn't take much :hehe:


    So far so good though, the fitting for that panel looks damn near perfect :thumb:
     
  5. Trance

    Trance Two steps forward, one step back

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    Thanks for the comments guys :)

    In other news I've been thinking about the hardware in the pc, this is what I've come up with:

    [​IMG]

    Yup a Asus M4A88T-I Deluxe with a Athlon II cpu all under water :) thinking of using the 2x40mm radiator that should be able to dissipate the heat off a 65W cpu reasonably well. I also would put a tube reservoir on the top of the pc on the outside. Thinking about changing the colour scheme to just white and black as well, black outside, white inside/tubing (or maybe even liquid looking at mayhems new dyes!).
    Will however knock the price of the build up... like double and a bit... so it is still on the drawing board... if I do take this option it would definitely extend the build time due to funds :sigh:

    Stay tuned :thumb:
     
  6. Gtek

    Gtek Doesn't raise the bar; he IS the bar.

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    I fell in love with SFF... I will keep an eye on this one, look interesting :thumb:
     
  7. Trance

    Trance Two steps forward, one step back

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    Ha! To think that I thought I had this build all planned out before I began! What rubbish I say!
    The design has now progressed even further:

    Option 1, DFI P55 board:
    [​IMG]

    Option 2, Gigabyte H55 board:
    [​IMG]

    As you can probably tell I've been trying to squeeze the most performance possible into this tiny machine, the specs being as followed:
    Intel i5 760
    DFI P55/Gigabyte H55
    Powercolor 5750 low profile
    4gb low profile (or might just be able to squeeze full height in with the H55) RAM
    Blu-ray slim drive
    500gb slim sata drive
    Shuttle 300W PSU
    2x120 External Radiator
    Tube reservoir
    CPU, GPU and possibly chipset (unsure whether there is enough room) watercooled

    However I'm still trying to decide which motherboard to go for...
    The H55 has the advantages (usb3, cheaper, should be able to get full height ram) but it has the disadvantage that there would be the riser covering pretty much the whole board...
    Oh and the only way I'd fund this would be to sell my current pc lol (after ripping the cpu and possibly ram of course)

    Decisions, decisions :D
    You never know, I might decide I want an atom build again!

    Thanks for looking

    EDIT: Er, just tallied up the cost of these builds... its pretty high... too high... so maybe a future build lol... back to atom, although I am going to use elements of what I've learnt here to improve it :p
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2010
  8. Trance

    Trance Two steps forward, one step back

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    This isn't dead! I have just been having a lot of problems with deliveries, however now a certain tool has arrived :dremel: and the modding shall commence!

    I can also confirm my hardware:
    A few of the parts are going to be ebayed to cut costs a bit

    AMD Athlon II X2 220 2.8GHz 45W
    Asus M4A88T-I DELUXE
    Gelid Slim Silence AM2 Low Profile Heat Sink
    250GB Samsung Spinpoint M7
    Blu-ray Slim drive (possibly a samsung one)
    Samsung SODIMM DDR3 1333MHz 2x2GB
    either a PC40 or PC50 Shuttle PSU which will be rewired (and possibly made modular ;))
    4 x 50mm Fractal Design fans
    and a few other bits and pieces

    Possibly a 5570 depending on temps of final build.

    Until next time
     
    Last edited: 11 Dec 2010
  9. MarkW7

    MarkW7 Total Noob

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    Nice work so far. Subbed!
     
  10. Trance

    Trance Two steps forward, one step back

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    Ok, so it is time for my second update :)

    Firstly say hello to my new toy:

    [​IMG]

    Not quite a dremel, but an Einhell multitool, it was cheaper, came with more accessories and is dremel parts compatible, and to be honest works very well in my opinion.

    Anyway onwards with the modding. To try out my new toy I decided to start simple, I thought I'd make the front usb ports. Now I already had a dual port pci backplate thingy, so I took the back plate off and vola! 2 front USB ports, now all I had to do was drill the holes for the thing:

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    All ready to be drilled :)

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    Fits lovely like!

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    The ports shall be painted black and the cable sleeved so don't worry it'll look much better yet!

    Anyway onwards to what I have been doing today, the main side window, time to break out the dremel again!

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    Possibly the most useful accessory this came with was the extension, it has made the whole thing a lot easier as I find I can be far more precise with it.

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    All cut out, looking a bit rough but thats plastic for you. So onwards with the filing!

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    Two sides done.

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    All sides done! Edges are all pretty straight, all I need to do now is sand it...

    Thats all for now, thanks for looking. Will try to get at least one more update before I go home for Christmas.

    Until next time :thumb:
     
  11. bulldogjeff

    bulldogjeff The modding head is firmly back on.

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    Ah, very interesting.I like the concept behind this one. I'll have to keep an eye on this . Good start Trance:thumb:
     
  12. jjsyht

    jjsyht Hello, my name is yuri

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    This mod's gonna be great.

    I've got a Silverstone SG05 for gaming, but it looks out of place next to the PS3; an 'xbox' would be awesome next to my ps3.

    would it be possible to fit a double-slot gfx in there - I was thinking where the pump is in the first mockup?


     
  13. Trance

    Trance Two steps forward, one step back

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    I'm not going to be using watercooling now, just a very low profile heatsink and I'm going to be using a shuttle psu instead of a pico-psu, so I don't have a power brick hanging around.
    As far a graphics cards are concerned, no, I double slot one wouldn't fit, a single slot on just about fits, and depending on temperatures without it I may fit one.
    Trying to get some parts before I progress with this build further, but at the moment I'm in the middle of my exams so I'll wait till those finish before I do anymore.
    This is what the internals of the case stand to look a bit like at the moment:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Trance

    Trance Two steps forward, one step back

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    So my new hardware has arrived and I've done some more work to the main case, time for an update I think.

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    Mmm, lots of shiny stuff :)

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    Such an awesome motherboard packing so much in its tiny size, including wireless N, USB3, 3 satas, Bluetooth and a HDMI. Definitely one of my better purchases.

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    All set up for testing, windows all loaded and working great :) also those fractal design fans are amazingly quiet, especially considering how small they are, but still pack a reasonable punch. Oh and I now officially love low power cpus, with just that 37mm high heatsink and 80mm fan it keeps the cpu at just 17C at idle :rock:

    [​IMG]

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    Test fitting. It's tight, but it all fits with space for the chassis screws still to pass through. Just.
    After doing this I though it might be an idea to actually make a custom case for the shuttle psu using the sides of the xbox chassis and a bit of sheet metal which should give me more room and provide better airflow.

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    Anyway, onwards with the modding. First off I cut out the second part of the window.

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    Ready for fan hole to be cut out.

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    Halfway shot. Using the technique of angling the dremel to get a round cut is all well and good when your cutting through a mm of metal, but when its 3mm of plastic which melts back when you cut it it takes some serious time...

    [​IMG]

    Finally through.

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    All filed, sanded and drilled. Test fit of fan shows its near perfect. It look better than the last picture shows, it is actually centre just the angle and thickness of plastic makes it look otherwise in that shot.

    Anyway thats all for now, so until next time :thumb:
     
  15. Uran

    Uran What's a Dremel?

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    Trance tell me in your sketchup model, what dimensions have radiator placed on bulit-in graphic card (in millimeters) ?
     
  16. KidMod-Southpaw

    KidMod-Southpaw Super Spamming Saiyan

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    We need moar! I love this too much.
     
  17. coolamasta

    coolamasta Folding@Home CC Captain 2010/11/12

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    Nice work bud, need to see how this turns out :D
     
  18. Trance

    Trance Two steps forward, one step back

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    I'm working on it! Hopefully have an update for the weekend.
     
  19. Trance

    Trance Two steps forward, one step back

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    Well with the semester finished and masses of coursework lifted off my shoulders it was time to get modding again! Plus we needed a music PC for a flatparty so I tasked myself to get it to a running state beforehand. Also got a new camera so will now have much better quality pictures :)

    So without further ado, I give you update number 4 :)

    [​IMG]

    Bit of a boring start but bare with me. Gave up on the smd led and instead soldered a 3mm one, which will go right through the board.

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    Bought a nice tap and die set so that I could fit the fans with proper screws rather than horrible fan screws.

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    Test fit of 3 out of the 4 fans (wasn't any holes for the 4th fan), much better with those screws than dodgy fan screws that never ever seem to go in straight.

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    At first glance this may just appear to be the front of the xbox as normal. But if you look closely you can see there is now no gaps on the top port holes. I filled them with repair putty and once painted, should look much better (It appears white in the picture but the putty is actually gray).

    [​IMG]

    Next thing I wanted to do was to start on the mount for the optical drive, which I decided to carve out of 10mm plastic, was hard work I can tell ye!

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    Nice little angled cut to bring some interest to the flat surface.

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    Almost there, did I mention that I did this by hand because the dremel just couldn't manage the thickness...

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    So close...

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    Finally cut out, now to file and sand it.

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    The finished piece all sanded nicely, well apart from the holes it needs in it, haven't decided whether I'm going to paint this yet, I kind of like it frosted, plus It'll do pretty things with the lights, like...

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    Ha, couldn't resist, if it can do that with just a small LED on my power button imagine the possibilities with many...

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    Onto the window for the side panel, test fit with screw holes drilled.

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    Fan hole cut out and and protective tape pulled off. Notice all the nick in the edge, this is to dodge around all the random bit and bobs on the back of the panel, most of them are pretty rough, but it isn't going to be seen anyway.

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    Side panel finished :)

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    Now onto the metal chassis. Beginning of rear I/O hole cut. Photos get a bit sparse around here due to time constraints, like 5 hours remaining at this point till flat party... and I still had to finish my costume!

    [​IMG]

    Hole cut out.

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    I/O panel fitted.

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    As I was going to have the power supply open chassis I needed to give it proper standoffs, so I enlarged the hole so that it could take normal pc standoffs.

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    Madly extending cables and adapting it from a 20 to 24 pin at the same time. Connectors will be redone at a later point and sleeved. You may be able to see that all the cables are in groups of 4 and flattened, as I intend eventually to sleeve them with SATA mdpc-x sleeve which I think should look good (and will be cheaper :worried:).

    [​IMG]

    And here it is finished, woop! It has power and it turns on... except it won't see the hard drive :sigh:. At this point the party had already started so I decided that taking it apart would take too much time so I grabbed a handy hard drive which I knew had windows on and attached it to that, and it worked! Temperatures were fine as well, around 22C idle and that is it missing 3 of its fans as well... Notice the dodgy on switch... yeh two wires :D.

    [​IMG]

    Not much clearance in there, will mess around with cables, shortening and getting rid of unneccesary ones... so hopefully the cables will be able to go under the motherboard giving me a bit more room in there...

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    Very dodgy power connection, warned people to stay away on pain of death, litterally.

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    Messing around with camera, not bad for a cheapo point and click.

    Well thats all for now folks and hope you enjoyed :thumb: Now I just have to leave it for 48 hours before I can touch it again, downside of an open power supply...
     
  20. KidMod-Southpaw

    KidMod-Southpaw Super Spamming Saiyan

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    What a great update! You've done a wonderful job, I'm very impressed trance.
    Well done.
     

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