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:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    288
    At the moment the Circular lights is on hold :p

    I've not looked into it massively as although it wasn't announced - there will be a version two of this at some point as I'm not happy with a few things so I'll be taking the time to rebuild from scratch at some point down the line.

    The issue I've had in my mind is how I can get the XBMC/PC part to tell something its playing back? Ideally I would have a message sent from XBMC to a controller of some type to say start LED's because I'm playing something, then on stop it would turn them off. I don't know if something like a arduino would be suitable for this but I've really not investigated it much.

    I had an idea in mind but I'm not a real PCB or electronics man - the PCB's I've made are purely to rework existing connections. I need to rock on to a circuit design site and see if my idea is workable :p
     
  2. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    288
    Spend a bit of time today modifying the MS MCE IR receiver as its going to live inside the case with its important IR bits moved to the PCB's on the front to allow it to still get signal but keep the nasty bit receive bits out of sight

    [​IMG]

    Note the headers on the board now, these will act as my extension points to feed the bits up front. Also took the LED off as it gives me the option of having an LED for IR signal received :p
     
  3. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    288
    So that pesky SilveR_172 popped up and asked about this Circular blue light the skyHD boxes have when playing back. Naturally I had noticed this but did initially dismiss it as something I could also look at later.

    Well, mind awondering and a fair google later I'm making progress. Arduino and some more custom PCB work on the front - and we have a working prototype. So I've had to learn Python programming to create an XBMC addon to talk to the Arduino, then learn how the program the Arduino to receive the instructions and rework the PCB to include the addtional LED's as SMD parts. Not bad for work for one week :p

    All being well tomorrow I'll get a actual board etched out and get down to maplin's for some supplies. I hope I don't get drawn into anything else as this little side project has knocked me off course a little.
     
    theoeyeo likes this.
  4. theoeyeo

    theoeyeo What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    27 Nov 2011
    Posts:
    77
    Likes Received:
    1
    fantastic amount of work on small details - love it
     
  5. SilveR_172

    SilveR_172 Minimodder

    Joined:
    24 Nov 2011
    Posts:
    463
    Likes Received:
    5
    Haha , sorry mate , glad things are going your way though :)
     
  6. Noob?

    Noob? What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    18 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    3,349
    Likes Received:
    159
    This is coming along nicely bud!
     
  7. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    288
    So not having the run of free time I had hoped. Girlfriend had friends over on Saturday getting wasted in the process and spent all Sunday recovering so I was enteraining our daughter all day... then today when I expected to have a free evening I get a call at 6:30, can I come to her house, shes seen a big rat running around the bedroom!!

    Needless to say not ideal! Had pest control guys out who think they know how its getting in and so they have dropped a few traps down and ask us to keep an eye on them. Girlfriend doesn't want to sleep at her house tonight so I've got them both moving in with me for a few days so no free afternoon :(

    Although a good thing is, I've been running over a few ideas of having a few days not doing any real work I've come upon a better idea for my wiring so its saved me prototyping for no reason which is always good.

    Hopefully I'll have some progress before the end of the week
     
  8. pcplod

    pcplod What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    2 Feb 2012
    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think your Calendar has stopped ::D
     
  9. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    288
    lol - theres always one :p

    Basically, work has been busy and the girlfriend decided she's not sure she want to be together anymore so we're looking after our little one on various different nights etc so its put a lot of strain on my free time this past 6 months.

    However, I am continuing to make a progress where I can - I've actually just finished redesigning the IR PCB for the front this afternoon and I've done a fair bit of work on the software setup to ensure everything I want to work, will with my current hardware. About 2 weeks ago it looked like I may have to swap to another motherboard / i3 setup but I've got the ION2 working well now so progress will be slow but I know it'll work once I'm done :)

    I've decided to save up for a decent update rather then just the odd photo here and there like i've don't above so when the updates do start again, I should be worth the read
     
  10. pcplod

    pcplod What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    2 Feb 2012
    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry about the break up.

    Look forward to further updates - on both fronts :)

    pcp
     
  11. SilveR_172

    SilveR_172 Minimodder

    Joined:
    24 Nov 2011
    Posts:
    463
    Likes Received:
    5
    Sorry to hear about that, i was only thinking about the project the other day too , =) hope all goes well for you mate ,and i can wait a while for the result =)
     
  12. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    288
    So several months later, a general new outlook and a few more spare hours I've decide to get back to it.

    Although not directly towards the final results I've learnt a lot this past 6 months, have seen things on this worklog that I wish I did differently and want to do a little but better with the pictures and details soooo.....

    This project in now abandoned!!

    Making way for....

    [​IMG]

    A smaller, new model box which brings many good things to the fold.

    Look out for the initial starting posts with details this weekend as I hope to get a little bit out of the way and I've a bit of time next week to really get cracking.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jul 2013
  13. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    288
    First couple days back at it have gone well enough. Unfortunately I haven't had my camera gear with me today so no stage by stage progress photos but I have made a little headway.

    I'm not very good in the visualising department and work with layout much better then I have the parts in my hands so this weekend I've:

    • Dismantelled the new Sky+ Box, removing all the internals and salvaging the PCB's I'll need for layouts for the new boards I'll make.

    • Desoldered all the switches and parts I'll be recycling as part of my PCB's

    • Reworked most of the internal casing to provide a flat section to allow for mounting the motherboard, utilising metal based car body filler and hammering flat the press-cut parts of the original mainboard mounts.

    • Mounted the 4 standoffs, measured and cut the IO shield hole

    • Started on the design work for the new PCB artwork to allow for the 15 buttons to function as in XBMC controls and to include the trademark 'blue ring' as the center piece.
    All this work means next week I can focus on mounting the IPAC unit, Arduino and SDD and I'll be able to get a few quick shots of the current build and ideas tomorrow after work :)
     
  14. YEHBABY

    YEHBABY RIP Tel

    Joined:
    22 May 2010
    Posts:
    3,635
    Likes Received:
    1,640
    Subbed :thumb:
     
  15. Noob?

    Noob? What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    18 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    3,349
    Likes Received:
    159
    Ditto! :)
     
  16. LegendaryScott

    LegendaryScott Trying to live up to the name

    Joined:
    5 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    192
    Likes Received:
    9
    Really cool idea with the sky box

    Looking forward to seeing your progress
     
  17. David

    David μoʍ ɼouმ qᴉq λon ƨbԍuq ϝʁλᴉuმ ϝo ʁԍɑq ϝμᴉƨ

    Joined:
    7 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    16,148
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    I have an old Sky+ box I'm considering doing the very same to.

    Definitely looking forward to this, mate.
     
  18. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    288
    The small update of what I've does so far in physical work. Due to weather this weeks I've basically done nothing more since the weekend as its just too hot in the house to work on anything so I've been playing with a few bits of braiding, wiring and planning.

    This is what it looks like at the moment from front and back. Backside shows the Sky original IO holes which need to be patched and filled (which will then be followed by a matt black spray along with the IO plate. I'm in two minds to create a IO plate from some 3mm Alu sheet I have but I'm not sure yet as I don't think I'll get it accurate enough to be happy.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Heres the hole filling started. As the main part of the layout is based on where the motherboard ends up I filled the lows and sanded highs to give a decent level based to work with. Stand offs have been drilled and tapped along with the IO plate hole cut so how I know how much room I have to mount all the other modules.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Next up is making a mount for the IPAC, Arduino and SSD - thinking maybe Plexi to start with to prototype it and maybe again the 3mm Alu for the final product.
     
  19. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    288
    So as per, progress is mostly slow with the odd boost - this update isn't any different :)

    I've actually been doing a lot of thinking about how to finish different bits and I've done a few odd jobs in spare 10-15min bursts over the last couple months where I can so I'm afraid I'm missing a lot of in progress photos. Last couple I took was as I started to get some of the metal work out the way and filling in holes, sanding back etc.

    When the case is stripped down the thin metal leaves everything very floppy so I've beefed up the rear panel with another full strip of metal from a thick old computer case. Its done a great job and greatly helps with flex. As part of this I've also had to cut out the IO plate hole again to match the first one so its allowed me to neaten up a little.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Since those photos I've done a lot of the filling work so I installed the 'real' hardware (rather then the via dummy board above) so get an idea for best laying out the HDD and PCBs internally. Here's where I hit a bit of a wall :(

    I'm looking at using 2 internal USB headers and unfortunately the ION board only has 1 so I decided since things have moved on tech wise since I initially got this lot moving, I'd look what else was out there. Couple days of digging into what hardware looks suitable and I've ended up with:

    i3-3220
    MSI B75IA-E33
    8GB (2x4gb) DDR3
    Noctua NH-L9i

    This in turn opened up another can of worms as the ATX socket on the motherboard is in a different location which means a bit of cutting work is needed and the big thing is there is now a real HSF thing to consider. I've spend most of today looking after my daughter and stealing 10min slots to get some work done and I've managed to get a lot of work out the way (so pretty proud of my slow modding self as its movement in the right direction!).

    Tomorrow I'll grab some photos of how its all looking now and then make an effort to start taking more snaps as the work progress continues.
     
  20. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    Joined:
    23 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    288
    So haven't forgot about this one lol - still working on small bits here and there when I get chance. I have done a fair bit of work to the main body of the case but unfortunately my progress shots seem to have gone walkabout so I've taken some more to show where we stand today.

    [​IMG]

    Here's an overview of the patching work I've done with some thin case metal and some metal epoxy. This was all to allow me a square hole to match the size of the CPU HSF.

    [​IMG]

    This hole will get some form of gasket so the cool air intake from the outer plastic case will act to feed cool air to the heat sink, which will be taken out of the case side by another slow moving fan. This shot also shows where I've patched the side fan mount to try and reduce a little of the open areas in an attempt to make it such out as much warm air from within the case as it can.

    [​IMG]

    This is the side fan. Its stock location etc I've just patched up a few holes :) I will before I'm finished remove the cross section in that area to open it out to a full hole - sometimes helps reduce air noise.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the case top. Having struggled to think of a suitable mounting point for the SSD I came up with this solution using a slide in laptop mount. Seems to work a treat, vibration isn't a issue as its a SSD and it means I get to keep maximum room inside for other PCB parts

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Couple more of the HDD bay.

    [​IMG]

    I've filled in a few holes inside the case as I'll be shooting the whole inside black at some point so wanted as level surface as I can get so it looks ok. Not overly worried on finish as it won't be seen - its more cause It'll play on my mind knowing its silver inside still lol

    [​IMG]

    Initially when I added the black piece to the case rear so I can get my own IO layout I didn't take into account the cutouts so the plastic outer case side panel would fit still so had to take a dremel to it freehand to shape these out. Again not the best work but I'm hoping once the matt black goes on it will be less visible and its on the back of the case so isn't a big deal.

    That's it for now. Still a lot to do but I've a few electrical projects I'm working with at the same time so I want to know how they will fit into the bigger picture before I start to cut more metal :p
     

Share This Page