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Shona's Retro-Themed HTPC : Complete. All pics added to post #1

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by airchie, 24 Jul 2006.

  1. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

    22 Mar 2005
    Likes Received:
    Hi folks,

    This is my first proper foray into modding.
    The reason behind it is that my girlfriend got given an old TV for her flat when she bought it.
    The TV didn't work that great and gave burning smells when used but she really liked the look of it.
    I suggested, half jokingly, that we put an LCD TV inside the old TV's case and she loved the idea.
    I figured I may as well use the rest of the space inside the old carcass somehow and the HTPC idea was born.

    I have a spare Epia 13000 jobby with a DVD/CD-RW combo drive and 40 GB laptop HDD so I figure buy a TV card, cheap LCD screen and cheap-ish 2.1 speakers and throw them all in and wahey.

    So, background out of the way, on to the pics of the victim and what we did to it... :D

    This batch of pics show us gutting the old TV.
    I think its older than me (seriously, its at least 26 years old, maybe more) and its certainly had 26 years worth of grime inside! :D

    Here's the pics. :)

    I have created links to all the pics from this first post to make it easier to view them all. :)
    Picture 1

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    Picture 24

    You can see how well the new screen fits in the old hole here.
    Picture 25

    The holes where the buttons were, will relocate them somewhere else.
    Picture 26

    Picture 27

    Here's the naked screen.
    Picture 28

    Damn stanley knives are dangerous! :D
    Picture 29

    And my ghetto plaster...
    Picture 30

    And my new pride & joy!
    Picture 31

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    Me, ready to rob a bank to fund the project!
    Picture 39

    Hehe, just kidding, its my sanding booth...
    Picture 40

    ...which just so happens to be my girlfriend's bath! :D
    Picture 41

    Got the 1st coat of paint on the shell now.
    Picture 42

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    Picture 44

    Still lots of primer showing so a few coats to go.
    Picture 45

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    Finally, the screen is mounted inside the front!
    Picture 53

    The screen's buttons from the front being relocated out of the back.
    Picture 54

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    The new power button...
    Picture 61

    ...that sits behind this.
    Picture 62

    The reverse of the front panel.
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    Picture 64

    The fan's mounting holes match up almost perfectly with the speaker's existing ones!
    Picture 65

    View from the front, will be hidden by the speaker grille.
    Picture 66

    Dremel'd floppy cable which is soldered to the other end of the power switch.
    Picture 67

    Inside the sub
    Picture 68

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    The 'modded' screwdriver. its sooo ghetto! :D
    Picture 71

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    Finally, after using almost a whole charge of the dremel the internal's are removed. :)
    Picture 74

    The panel behind the door on the front housing the hidden power isolator and USB ports.
    Picture 75

    The internals of the subwoofer's connections
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    The mess in my GF's living room. :D
    Picture 77

    The slot for CDs/DVDs. black bits are marked pen which I used to hide it a little before I sanded some more.
    Picture 78

    The stealthy grille for the speakers. :)
    Picture 79

    The sounds system liberated from it's enclosures ready for testing.
    Picture 80

    The sub-woofer (and tweeter above) mounted to the chassis.
    Picture 81

    Tweeter on other side.
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    Optical drive mounted behind slot with ghetto mounting system. :D
    Picture 83

    Breaking into the power transformer for the speakers.
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    Wasn't the easiest task but dremel to the rescue once again.
    Picture 85

    Hot glue fortehwin! :D now ready for mounting
    Picture 86

    My home-brewed mobo tray. :)
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    The underside of said tray.
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    Tray mounted in base of the chassis
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    Insulating the screws from the underside of the mobo
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    But still have the ability to access the screws! :)
    Picture 91

    Everything mounted. needs some tidying up done on the cabling etc. Note the HDD mounting system (though its a bit hard to see).
    Picture 92

    Another internals pic showing the mess inside. :(
    Picture 93

    The PSU, Sub and sound control circuits.
    Picture 94

    Fired it up and holy s***! It works!! :thumb:
    Picture 95

    Trailer Park Boys fortehwin!! :D
    Picture 96

    The place hasn't gotten any tidier. I really need a garage for this kinda thing... :D
    Picture 97

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    Fellow forumite's lovely 'modification' of my picture
    Picture 100

    Money-Shot 1

    Money-Shot 2

    Money-Shot 3

    Money-Shot 4

    Money-Shot 5

    Money-Shot 6
    Last edited: 7 Mar 2008
  2. jokkos

    jokkos too busy to mod *sigh*

    10 May 2005
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    nice pics! :thumb:

    I'm curious to see how this will end up!
  3. foundsoul

    foundsoul What's a Dremel?

    24 Aug 2004
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    Was that even color? :hehe: I'm interested how it will turn out.
  4. Fr4nk

    Fr4nk Tyrannosaurus Alan !

    12 Mar 2005
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    Just a lil dusty there :hehe:, looks like a cool idea.
  5. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

    22 Mar 2005
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    Thanks guys.
    It was colour, must've been one of the first!! :D
    I'm wondering if my girlfriend is a little confused with dates though.
    Were colour TVs even available back then?

    Ah well, it'll be colour for sure soon! :D

    As soon as I work out the whole media centre software counundrum... :D
  6. M3G4

    M3G4 talkie walkie

    13 Dec 2001
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    Interesting idea, I can't wait to see this mod in progress. :) Why not try to find a similar sized speaker (car speaker?) as the one the TV had, and build/buy a simple amplifier so the TV can run independently of any external sound equipment? Sure, there are the ones that will come with the LCD TV, but they're almost ALWAYS grossly underpowered, and the built-in amps are barely capable of powering piezo buzzers, let alone full range speakers!
  7. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

    22 Mar 2005
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    I was planning to use a 2.1 PC speaker setup and modify it so that it gets switched on with the rest of the kit. I have a Creative 4.1 setup I plan to use in 2.1 mode in this.

    Kinda worried about magnetic interference if I plonk the sub and the sattelites inside the TV shell too.
  8. coorz

    coorz Miffed

    25 Apr 2003
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    Good lord, we had exactly the same telly when i was a kid! I know how it smells....
  9. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

    22 Mar 2005
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    LMAO!! :D

    OK, my mrs and I took our large paper sheet with the size of the hole for the screen drawn on it to PC world last night.

    Holding the sheet up to the monitors on display it seems we'll need a 20" 4:3 LCD.
    That won't be cheap... :(
  10. oasked

    oasked Stuck in (better) mud

    24 Aug 2005
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    Looking good so far, please don't break anything new like usual! :D
  11. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

    22 Mar 2005
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    Hi oasked, don't I know you from someplace? :D

    Yeah, I'll be a bit more careful than my usual cavalier attitude as it'll be my girlfriend's money buying the parts... :D
  12. The_Gnu

    The_Gnu 8-bit addict

    12 Sep 2005
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    hehe.. opening up those old thing is like opening up an ancient tomb..a travel in time to unreveal the secrets of the past 70's. hehe
    good luck

  13. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

    6 Oct 2004
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    Awesome idea... Keeping my eye on this one!
  14. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

    22 Mar 2005
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    OK, I think a Samsung Syncmaster SM203B screen will fit perfectly.

    Problem is, I can't get exact measurements of the screen size without the stand. :(

    Anyone know where to get the exact measurements of the visiblw screen area, size of the screen with housing (without the stand) and where to get one as cheap as poss?

    I'll start another thread with this questions in...
  15. scifi3018

    scifi3018 Minimodder

    6 Feb 2005
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    Dont worry about magnetic interferances from what i know, speakers have sheilding in their cases, besides how many people sit a sub right next to their rig? (i do and no ill effects so far).

    If you are removing the speakers from their cases, im sure there are ways to sheild them from the rest of the parts.

    And if you have a 4.1 system, why not use them?
    Mod the sattelite speakers with some longer cables, and re-route connections for them from the back of the sub (my speaers at least) to the back of the TV box. Worst case scenario - you dont use them, and its a 2.1 box.
    Best case - 4.1 instead of 2.1... and you win the lottery...

    I personally would be more concerned about virations from the sub than interfearance... but thats why my sub is sitting on a 4" piece of foam :)
  16. scifi3018

    scifi3018 Minimodder

    6 Feb 2005
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    the screen size is the diagonal of the screen, so if you know the aspect ratio (4:3 unless its widescreen, then its 16:9 (i think)), and you know the diagonal, some algebra should be able to figure it out...

    however after a few hours studying for my calc II exam later this week, i care not to think about math for the rest of the day.
  17. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

    22 Mar 2005
    Likes Received:
    Good point.

    I was planning to take the speakers out of their cases but if I leave them in, they should be fine.

    Hadn't thought of potential problems with vibration though, will need to think about some kinda vibration dampening...

    The old screen ratio is 4:3 and I know that the width of the hole I need to fill is 44.5cm.
    Can't remember the height but I'd assume its about 33.3cm by using the ratio.

    I think that Samsung is gonna be a pretty good fit... :)
  18. scifi3018

    scifi3018 Minimodder

    6 Feb 2005
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    I think the best option might be to make a cardboard template and visit a local computer store with lots of monitors.
    You will look like a mad man holding it up to each monitor, but in the end it will be worth it. And dont neccesarily buy the monitor from the store... newegg it or something :)
  19. zachjowi

    zachjowi What's a Dremel?

    15 Jan 2005
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    be very careful when moving the CRT it can kill you
  20. airchie

    airchie What's a Dremel?

    22 Mar 2005
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    Hehe, that's exactly what we did.
    Unfortunately, not many non-widescreen 20" screens there, in fact, only one.

    That's the only reason I know 20" is about the right size. :D

    The CRT is out of the case now but its still sitting in my living room.
    Gonna bin it soon. :)

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