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Project: "Remora" -=[Toddlers, No!]=- 2/25/07

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Captain Slug, 25 Apr 2005.

  1. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    After having successfully converted my PDA into a portable video player I became increasingly annoyed that my TiVo was utterly incapable of allowing me to tack TV programs with me. So in order for me to have the video to nullify the increasing boring gaps between my classes I need a TiVo alternative. The "Remora" will effectively be used to suck my favorite TV shows off DirecTV so I can burn them onto CD from another machine, or compress them for remote playback on my cheap PDA. Here's the meat of what I plan to do.

    I decided against fabricating a case from scratch due to both my schedule, and the environment in which this machine will be operating. I need something that can withstand abuse and dust so a clear case just doesn't fit the bill. And don't bother recommending that I hack my TiVo, because it's not really mine. :grr:

    The Case
    [​IMG]
    ITX-PG Falcon 120W Mini Tower Case

    # Mini-ITX Tower/Desktop Chassis
    # 1 Low Profile Slot for low profile add-on card
    # 5.25" Bays (exposed) x 1
    # 3.5" Bays (hidden) x 1
    # 2 Front USB ports
    # Flex ATX 120W PSU
    # Dimensions: 10.24"(D) x 5.31"(W) x 11.75"(H)

    The Hardware
    + Pentium 4 2.4c
    + ?mb PC2700 DDR RAM
    + 40gb main Hard drive
    + ?gb secondary drive
    + 802.11g
    + Undecided Low-Profile TV Tuner card

    I will probably be running Media Portal as the front-end. This machine will be a dedicated file host and PVR, but probably won't serve any other functions for a while.

    Plans
    1. Convert the Optical drive tray into a CPU intake duct so that the entire case will be cooled with a single quiet 120mm fan.
    2. Cable sleeving
    3. UV and Red lighting
    4. Variable fan speed control
    5. Integrated RF remote control

    At the moment I'm collecting hardware and measuring the case for modification. Nothing is finalized at this point except the motherboard and CPU.
    Does anyone know of any software or HTPC front-end than will automatically recompress videos into two sizes?
     
    Last edited: 26 Feb 2007
  2. kaltag

    kaltag New Member

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    So you decided not to go with a MythTV setup? Any particular reason why?
     
  3. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    This project is still up in the air right now.

    I'm leaning towards Media portal because
    1. I've found specific plugins for my remote
    2. and direct serial port control of DirecTV receivers
    3. I have no real previous Linux experience, so I'm not comfortable with it.
     
  4. kaltag

    kaltag New Member

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    As far as previous linux experience goes I'd be more than happy to give you a hand, especially after helping me get the preliminary design of my case done! As for the remote that should be independent if you use LIRC and you can just use a keyboard like I do :D. As for the direct serial link to the direct TV box I'm not sure. My friend's just uses an IR trasmitter that is attached to the front of the receiver and runs off the serial or parallel port, don't remember which right now.
     
  5. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    I felt like drawing so I made a placard image for what's going to replace the grey circle on the side of the case.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    ARGH!!! My schedule is so insane right now. I probably won't have any interesting updates on this for a week or two.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2005
  7. ehrnam45

    ehrnam45 New Member

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    so you're skipping the optical altogether? if you want to make a modified intake duct, perhaps you could get a slimline to 5.25 adapter bracket and mount a PCI slot blower in the 3.5" bay, or even a zalman ZM-OP1 80x80x15 fan @5V. I can't see how much clearance there is around where the optical bay would sit, so i'm not sure how you would squish it in there. For the 120mm fan (sans optical drive) you could just make an intake hole in the side panel with a nice aluminum mesh grille and mount the fan itself to the chassis/bay.

    I know how hard it is to fit in updates, so just post as time allows. :)
     
  8. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    Ahhh! Quit reading my mind!! :hehe:
    I will be experimenting with using this cross-flow fan for cooling the CPU heatsink from the optical drive tray while using the rear of the case (or the front if I have to) as an intake.
    [​IMG]

    If it turns out to bee too weak or makes too much mechanical noise I should have enough vertical clearance between the optical drive and the CPU heatsink to mount a 120x120x25mm fan directly onto the underside of the optican tray. And the slimline drive bracket I have is shallow enough to give the fan enough room on the tray. The rest of the optical tray would then be ducted so that the 120mm fan draws air in from the empty 3.5" section of the slimline drive bracket, and from the hole I plan to cut in the rear of the case if needed. The solution I end up with will really be determined on how everything fits in the case once it arrives.

    Right now I'm concentrating on end-of-semester work and waiting for parts to show up in the mail.
     
  9. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    I've been having a seriously difficult time sourcing the case I want to use for this project. I had two supplies back out after I placed and order, but I should hopefully have one coming in the mail later today.

    I have also been running experiments with the strange cooling setup I plan to use for this case. So far the results are very impressive and I'm getting very excited to have this project underway.
    You can read more about the cooling tests here: http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=382717
     
  10. angelorus2000

    angelorus2000 New Member

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    i like to see more, it´s sounds good :rock: :rock:
     
  11. SoylentGreen

    SoylentGreen New Member

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    how did you convert your pda into a portable video player? link?
     
  12. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    You need
    + A program to resize/recompress the video to a size your PDA can play smoothly. I use Dr. DivX & VirtualDub
    + Betaplayer for your specific processor loaded onto your PDA
    + Some portable storage for your PDA to hold the video files. My Ipaq 3635 has a compactflash sleeve adapter so I simply use CF cards.
    [​IMG]
    More details: http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?p=3622913#post3622913
     
  13. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    I just killed the hard drive that was supposed to be going in this machine as well as the backup power supply that I would use if the one that comes with the case stinks.

    Bummed, but I did some research and decided on how I plan to organize the cables to keep them out of the way and easy to disconnect and remove. I have most of the theme for this case thought out, but I'm still working on the details and things will probably change bit-by-bit as this project moves along.
     
  14. TTmodder

    TTmodder Hammertime

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    be careful with your stuff
     
  15. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    My replacement power supply didn't die after all! Yay!

    My case arrived today so I went right into modification mode. I ran into a number of delays but got everything resolved after resetting the CMOS and some other issues. The case itself is about the size of a 4-slice toaster. (seen here with drive-bay door removed)
    [​IMG]
    The first thing I did was modify the 5.25" drive cage to mount the cross-flow fan in the correct spot to feed the CPU heatsink directly. My jigsaw made quick work of the steel and then I drill the additional screw holes I needed to fix the fan in place. I also had to notch out one of the rear corners to fit the miniature hard drive tray, which you'll seen in a second.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I reused the mesh I/O cover from a previous project to help ventilate the rear of the case.
    [​IMG]
    My package of goodies from cableorganizer.com arrived so I tidied up the wires with some white split loom tubing.
    [​IMG]
    The CPU intake duct is a stand-alone unit that's easily removed with the unplugging of a single cable, and the removal of one screw in the back of the case.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    And that's all I finished today. I have alot of things planned which I will probably get to over the weekend.
    [​IMG]

    Planned
    + Cut metal backing of side panel to allow light to "bleed" out vents
    + Add window/logo to side panel
    + Replace LEDs
    + Make intake duct shroud
    + Modify drive bay door by adding intake mesh
    + Add some LED lighting to front of case
    + Find a way to integrate RF remote receiver

    And then order a few parts after I figure out if my current TV tuner will work. I'm not currently sure if I want to paint the steel frame or just leave it as-is.
     
  16. dubya01

    dubya01 New Member

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    Hey wow, another Pocket PC movie/show watcher!! I too use Dr. DivX and virtualdub, along with Pocketdivx/pocketmvp on my Cassiopeia e200.

    Anyways, project looks good. I'm guessing you have a fish type theme going?
     
  17. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    Yeah kinda. I picked the name mainly because of the strange air-cooling setup I'm working with.
     
  18. KodiakStar

    KodiakStar New Member

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    Interesting mod.. Good work!
    - Fold [H]ard - [​IMG] - Or go [H]ome -
     
  19. DR_K13

    DR_K13 New Member

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    get b0rging.
     
  20. Bloody Mary

    Bloody Mary New Member

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    I love the shape, its coming alon smoothly :D
     

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