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Guide Stealth Floppy Guide (56k beware!)

Discussion in 'Modding' started by RallyRoach, 22 Jan 2005.

  1. RallyRoach

    RallyRoach What's a Dremel?

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    RallyRoach's Stealth Floppy Drive Cover

    I, like many, just can't have a computer without a floppy drive. USB keys are still too expensive (yes I squeak when I walk :) ), but the floppy drive is just so ugly. So I dug into my old bag of tricks from building model cars. The hinge shown here is the same I used when I was making a working trunk (boot for those of you across the pond), is really simple, but slick looking. I'll apologize in advance for my pix, as I'm only using my Palm camera here.

    Materials needed:
    - Floppy Bay cover (duh :) )
    - razor saw
    - X-acto knife
    - Jewelers files
    - Side and End cutters
    - pliers (needle nose, flat nose, large and small)
    - Hot glue gun (or epoxy)
    - Clicky latch (someone tell me the proper name for these things PLEASE!!)
    - Dremel
    - Solder (1.2mm best)
    - Brass rod and Brass Tube (any size, but rod must fit inside tube nice and snug. I used 3/32" rod with 1/8" tube)

    First, we need to get the bay cover ready.
    [​IMG]
    I'm using plastic here (Cheiftec Dragon case), but any cover should work. Put some masking tape on the outside part to preserve the finish of the paint (or metal). With the plastic covers I have, we need to cut off the clips that hold it in, and remove the ribs from the outside thirds only.
    [​IMG]
    We need some flex, but not too much. Decide which way is "UP" for the cover (I always mark it), then remove about 2-3mm from the inside edge of the top and sides. End cutters work great for all this.
    [​IMG]


    Next, we add the hinge barrels. Cut slots in the bottom edge of the cover large enough for the rod you're using.
    [​IMG]
    Clean up the remains of the ribs and tabs so it's nice and flat with some files and your knife. Then cut a length of tubing about 3/4 the inside width of the cover. Use some hot glue to secure these in place at each end.
    [​IMG]

    On to the hinge! Remove your case's front bezel and cut a piece of tubing about 3.5" long and TACK it in place as shown with the glue gun.
    [​IMG]
    Grab a length of solder, make it long enough so you've got about 3" to play with on each end. I use solder here because its softer and easier to work with than brass for desiging the hinge template. Hold the bay cover in place and bend the solder in the general shape as shown, sticking each hinge pin into the barrels we put on the bay door. You can also place the upper 3.5" bay cover in place for this, but the design of this hinge allows the door to swing out cleanly without catching on anything. I actually ended up moving the tube back about 1/4" from where I show here after testing.
    [​IMG]
    Once you're happy with the hinge, cut the solder so you preserve the hinge pins, and pull them out. Also, pry the tube off with some pliers, and clean up the glue residue.

    Using the templates, make a copy out of the brass rod for ONE END ONLY. Pliers and strong fingers help here. Now put the tube on the rod BEFORE you bend up the other end. You have no idea how many times I forgot that when I was working on model cars :wallbash:
    [​IMG]

    You should now have a complete hinge. Place it on the front bezel and fine tune the shape of the brass hinge pins loops until everything is swinging nice, and the bay sits flush when closed. Don't glue the hinge to the bay cover yet though. When you're happy, glue the tube to the front bezel.
    [​IMG]
    Temporarily install the front bezel back on the case to see if you need to remove any metal for the hinge to swing. Use the Dremel to cut slots for clearance. Now, take the bay cover off the hinge to install the latch.

    THE LATCH: Where did I get my latch? Take a wild guess from the pic.
    [​IMG]
    Yup, old monitor, but these things are everywhere! Old VCRs, TV's, scour the surplus and junk stores. Anything with adjustment pots could have this latch, and it should just pop out with a little prying. At worse, you'll have to take the item apart around the latch to get it :D Try to find one with a decent catch too. Cut out the catch as shown, and grab your bay cover again. Cut a slot in the bottom (sorry for bad pic), and glue the catch flush with the edge.
    [​IMG]

    Put the bay cover back on the hinge pins and click the latch onto the catch you just installed. Swing the cover closed and mark where the latch rests. Keep testing so the door will latch and unlatch freely (you may need to take some more material from the cover edges to get enough movement to work the latch), then glue it in place on the front bezel. I needed to recess my latch a bit for a solid mount, and also added a piece of aluminum for more strength. I used hot glue here again, but this would be a good spot for some epoxy if you have it.
    [​IMG]

    Done! :rock:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I painted some black on all the new parts for a cleaner look. Then install the floppy drive so it butts into the back of the latch as shown. The ribs we removed from the cover allow it to flex enough so you can press it at the bottom to work the latch. A little light oil on the hinge and latch, and it should pop all the way open every time. The pins and barrels on the cover should be snug enough to hold it in place, but you can glue it too.

    Very stealth, still fully functional floppy drive, and watching your freinds' reaction when you show them the "CLICK" as it opens is just classic :D If anyone has questions, post them here and I'll answer/modify the guide.
     
  2. BvBart

    BvBart What's a Dremel?

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    Dang, that's pretty slick! Nice work!
     
  3. kongen

    kongen What's a Dremel?

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    I like what you did, but I was thinking how cool it would be if it used a motor to reveal its location. Anyone know exactly how you could mod this trap door style mod to be a flip this switch or push this button and *makes motor sound* opens a slot where a floppy can go. :dremel:
     
  4. RallyRoach

    RallyRoach What's a Dremel?

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    Well, I have seen this style of hinge used on car audio motorization. You make the hinge hoops out of plastic or netal and put gear teeth on the outside radius. Use a switch with a small motor and a contact on the gear. Flick the switch, it moves until the contact runs out. Flick the switch back, reverse polarity and motor retratcs door. Not sure if thats clear or not. Mebee I'll fire up Paint and do a sketch of what I mean in the morning :idea:
     
  5. antiHero

    antiHero ReliXmas time!

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    really clean mod like this one. gonne try to do this one maybe can use it for my mod.
     
  6. Isuo

    Isuo What's a Dremel?

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    Really nice, and it might even be handy sometimes. :clap:
     
  7. star882

    star882 What's a Dremel?

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    Wow, who actually uses a floppy drive nowadays? Of course, this idea can be used for zip drives, flash media readers, etc.
    The small ones are cheap or even free nowadays. But that inspired me: install a USB hub/extension into the keyboard so I don't have to reach down to plug in a USB device!
     
  8. Stuntman

    Stuntman Minimodder

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    Looks awesome! :rock:
     
  9. Irvine

    Irvine What's a Dremel?

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    Sweet, man :rock: :D
     
  10. jezmck

    jezmck Minimodder

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    would love to see these pics...
     
  11. dream caster

    dream caster just lurking from out there

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    me, too!
     
  12. SteakTheMooCow

    SteakTheMooCow What's a Dremel?

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    I saw the pics a few days back, I must say I'm impressed by the mod, but I would also like the pics back :(
     
  13. 731|\|37

    731|\|37 ESD Engineer in Training

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    yes, pics would be apreciated, id like an "inside view" on how this was done... and for the record I STILL USE FLOPPYS ON OCASION
     
  14. Devil_909

    Devil_909 What's a Dremel?

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    I really wish I could see the pics
     
  15. jezmck

    jezmck Minimodder

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    me too!
     
  16. KAMIKAZE-FREAK

    KAMIKAZE-FREAK What's a Dremel?

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  17. Grunnsetning

    Grunnsetning What's a Dremel?

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    No pics?
     
  18. pcbuilder03

    pcbuilder03 What's a Dremel?

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    If you right click on the pics and open the pic URL in a new window, it comes up with a site on "Everything you need to know about Homeschooling". Maybe he deleted the pics off the server?
     
  19. mattthegamer463

    mattthegamer463 What's a Dremel?

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    hopefully hell put them back, i want to see this!
     
  20. vaderag

    vaderag I know what a Dremel is...

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    Wish the pics were working on this... :(
     
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