Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Kind of fixed

After returning the CM Media 260 to the guys at Wikidi (that were quite nice with the return). I tried, again unsucessfully, to recycle an old Samsung DVD but unfortunately it was not large enough for all the stuff to fit in. So I went back to what I could find around and I bought, for the second time from the same seller, an Antler DM-318 case that seems to be a clone of Antec Minuet II case but with a distinct front plastic piece.

This first image shows the original inside of the box. After several attempts and given the case only accepts low-profile PCI cards I "borrowed" the dual PCI riser card from my Pundit case: It didn't work, as none of the two TV cards were detected. Anyway, it was impossible to fit that in. So I went to an extreme solution. I put a sheet of 3mm Depron on the bottom of the box. I removed everything and I started from scratch. The new photo shows the end result.

Unfortunately, right now everything is just laying on top of the Depron sheet without any screw but it works and it fits in. Of course the back of the case is a mess as the ATX window to get all the connections out of the motherboard is off almost two inches. I guess if I can find a reverse PCI riser of the proper height I could get the motherboard to its proper position and also the power supply. But for the moment I have a working solution using a PCI riser from a Supermicro 1U computer. I have had to forget about the analog TV tuner and I am only keeping the Hauppauge DVB-S card.

The front of the box is redish black but it is not infrared friendly so drilled a small hole and I stuck the IR receiver on the front. It does not look bad and it is now more or less quiet; I needed to reduce the voltage of the power supply fan to 7 volts (connected between the +12v and +5v terminals) and so I did with the other fan that right now is actually outside the box to get the warm air out of my TV cabinet (which is closed on the back). So this is the last word of warning: Even if your case has the proper thermal desing; it might not work on some of the available furniture that is not designed with the idea of having that amount of heat in there.

For the moment I am more than tired about this [apparently] simple project of replacing an old and trusty case with a new stylish one.

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