1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Case Mod - In Progress XBMC in the Sky+ (HDbox)- A HTPC Build - Update 30/11/13

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by dynamis_dk, 18 Nov 2011.

  1. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,656
    Likes Received:
    289
    [​IMG]

    Background

    So, Having moved around my bedroom a little I've never been happy with my El cheapo
    standard desktop case as my HTPC. Having a bit of a day dream as you do, I came on the idea of modding out a SkyHD box to accommodate my HTPC kit.

    Now as far as I've been able to find from my limited googling and modding site searches - I'm not sure if this has been done before so I thought - well why not.

    I'll pre-warn I don't have a great deal of free time so progress during the week maybe slow but I'll be trying to get sorted soon as i miss my HTPC already :(

    Mission Spec

    There are a few things I wanted to complete, as say a personal mission, while working on this build. I figured just opening the case and adding a motherboard would be too easy so during this build I'm aiming to:

    • Keep existing buttons functional - Navigate, stop, start etc without the remote using existing buttons.
    • Very low Noise
    • Keep case looking very 'stock' with only subtle outer changes

    Hardware

    I was initially going to use my existing kit based around a E7600 but the motherboard I had didn't fit so was time to take a look whats on offer. ITX to the rescue!! I'll list specific details on the hardware when I get to that part of the build to keep things intresting and relevent :naughty:
     
    Last edited: 30 Nov 2013
  2. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,656
    Likes Received:
    289
    Update 18/11/2011

    So having googled around a bit and checked on the XBMC support forums I order a few bits to start me off. Look what turned up:

    [​IMG]

    Here was have the Asus AT5IONT-I motherboard, 2GB RAM and a lovely small PicoPSU 160-XT.

    and as per usual 'kid-in-a-sweet-shop- syndrome kicked in so have to try it out. Looked to me working together ok :)

    [​IMG]

    Now I know the bits work together I started to look at how best to fit the bits into my empty SkyHD box. Theres a fair few holes in the back of the SkyHD box and I decided upon the following as I'm hoping I can use the IO plate cutout to remove a lot of the holes - less filling in later. Note the 'tester' ITX board - Didn't want anything nasty happening to the new one :p

    [​IMG]

    Items in place and pretty happy at the rough layout I've started working on the IO Plate cutout. I had done this before for another little project so I had a plastic template which was very useful. The plastic wasn't 100% square but was good enough to set me off started.

    First I used some Acetone to remove the existing writing from the metal back (shifts all types of stuff done acetone!).

    [​IMG]

    Marked out using the template and started to get busy with the dremel :dremel: <-- Finally an excuse to use it lol. Cutout was pretty accurate, best I've ever managed anyway.

    [​IMG]

    Edged ran over with fine file and some wet & dry paper, IO plate test fit and went a treat.

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow I'm going to start filling in the holes in the rear plate and measuring up to drill the power cable holes for the PicoPSU external brick.
     
    Last edited: 18 Nov 2011
  3. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

    Joined:
    26 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    3,277
    Likes Received:
    71
    Are you going to use the Linux version of XBMC with silent boot, auto login and XBMC as environment (instead of KDE or Gnome) ?

    This on an SSD would make it great, fast to load and sexy : )
     
  4. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,656
    Likes Received:
    289
    In an ideal world yes. It kind of runs down to how the button support and IR remote function works in XBMC over linux. I'm running Windows 7 with XBMC as a replacement shell and it works very well so in the short term I'll be using Windows 7 to get up and running.

    The end aim is to run on a SSD and linux (as you say for the speed more than anything) but I've got to sort my funding to see if I can run to a SSD as well as the other bits. So far selling my old gear is funding the project so I'm trying to keep the spending low with Xmas on its way.
     
  5. jrs77

    jrs77 Modder

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2006
    Posts:
    3,487
    Likes Received:
    103
    I'm using Ubuntu/XBMC with my Zotac IONITX A-E as a HTPC and it works like a charm.

    Then you could use an Arduino Nano, which offers enough pin-outs to keep the media-buttons of that Sky-box functional. It's a very cheap and powerful solution for €30, without alot of work required.
     
  6. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

    Joined:
    26 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    3,277
    Likes Received:
    71
    How is XBMC running on this Asus board ? What front end are you using ? I'm curious because I was planing to make something similar.

    Nice job so far
     
  7. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,656
    Likes Received:
    289
    jrs77 - I've actually got a i-PAC2 games controller to take care of the buttons. I'm not overly good with the electronics side so the i-PAC2 seemed the easier option. It has linux support tho and as far as Im aware I can program its key emulation from the hardware itself. Apparently there we're some driver issues on the Asus but the thread is 60 pages long so its gonna take a while to sort over it all.

    GuilleAcoustic - I've not done the full install yet using it day to day, just a quick Window 7 install and XBMC to check it played back 1080p stuff ok. Very limited testing but I've had a 8gb MKV playing just fine. I'm not sure what you mean by front end? I would consider XBMC to be the front end unless you mean which skin - in which case its Aeon. I have it setup so XBMC runs instead of the Explorer shell so the PC boots directly to XBMC without the windows desktop.
     
  8. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

    Joined:
    26 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    3,277
    Likes Received:
    71
    Yup, I was meaning the skin :) ... The menu nav is smooth ? This could do a nice, no too expensive HTPC.
     
  9. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,656
    Likes Received:
    289
    yeah Aeon menu (IMO) is much better than the stock one. One of the main reasons I went with XBMC was the georgous fluid menu system and effects / transitions.

    Once setup its been say for my girlfriend to use which is always a bonus.

    99.9% of the time it will be streaming from a file server but I might make the HDD cage to support adding a 3.5" drive too so I can always have it with say a 1GB local media drive as well as the OS drive.
     
  10. RedManc

    RedManc What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    30 Jul 2011
    Posts:
    338
    Likes Received:
    11
    Subbed for this one my second or third build is goign to be a htpc for my new house so im very interested in all these builds right now!
     
  11. bulldogjeff

    bulldogjeff The modding head is firmly back on.

    Joined:
    2 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    8,403
    Likes Received:
    634
    This looks like it's going to be an interesting little build. I thought about doing some thing similar, so I'll keeping an eye on this for some ideas.
     
  12. OmightyOne

    OmightyOne Minimodder

    Joined:
    7 Nov 2011
    Posts:
    168
    Likes Received:
    7
    not a bad idea, maybe sky should make a media centre edition for there box's. would be handy only having to have one device/box that does everything!
     
  13. dubsjw

    dubsjw What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    1 Nov 2011
    Posts:
    29
    Likes Received:
    1
    It would be pretty sweet if you had enough room to throw a tv tuner in there aswell for recording funtion and you could use the mythtv addon in xbmc.
     
  14. peteski

    peteski long live the pc

    Joined:
    8 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    384
    Likes Received:
    8
    looks intresting mate cant wait to see more :rock: :rock: :rock:
     
  15. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,656
    Likes Received:
    289
    I did thing about a tuner at one point but i've decided against it based on the fact I hardly ever use freeview as I pretty much watch everything (and record) via the skyHD box.

    I'd done a few small bits over the weekend but I've unfortunately had a poorly girlfriend and baby so been looking after them more of the time
     
  16. Noob?

    Noob? What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    18 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    3,349
    Likes Received:
    159
    Tabbed mate, we want more!

    Thanks, it'll be a nice MOD!
     
  17. Mojo

    Mojo Multimodder

    Joined:
    18 Nov 2011
    Posts:
    3,362
    Likes Received:
    346
    Subscribed as well!
    Look forward to this!! :)
     
  18. Mojo

    Mojo Multimodder

    Joined:
    18 Nov 2011
    Posts:
    3,362
    Likes Received:
    346
    Thanks for the heads up on the ipac controller too!
    Will be handy for one of my other projects :)
     
  19. Dave Lister

    Dave Lister Minimodder

    Joined:
    1 Sep 2009
    Posts:
    880
    Likes Received:
    12
    Just started a similar project myself using an old vhs recorder. So will be watching with interest your progress ;)
     
  20. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,656
    Likes Received:
    289
    Update: November 24th 2011

    Had a bit more time this last few days so put another couple hours in.

    Tried to get the main 'big' (in my eyes) bits done to deciding on best ways to mount other bits should be pretty easy here on.

    I reinforced the rear case to try and help with the flexibility - SkyHD cases arn't the most rigid. Also used this as a easier way to fill in the holes left over from the SkyHD ports etc

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Bit more of the same, case a but jelly like so also used a bit of scrap (NEC side panel in this case) to bulk up the base. This helped with the rigidity again and allowed me a decent footing for the motherboard standoffs

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Bit of test fitting:

    [​IMG]

    Standoffs in place:

    http://forums.bit-tech.net/album.php?albumid=1630&pictureid=23831

    Also mounted the plug for the external PSU to power the Pico. Tested the Asus motherboard for fit (and a little cause I just couldnt resist).

    [​IMG]

    Now for the laugh - Like my (actually Dads basement but only place I've got to work) workspace! :wallbash:

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page