Tuesday, February 14, 2012

HTPC Build – Stage 1 – Parts and case


The HTPC case – don’t think that Samsung ever taught about this :) 

Recently i got a Samsung DVD player from a friend – perfect condition BTW, but as a first generation player, it did play only DVD’s – so not much of a use. It was the perfect box for my HTPC, so i ripped it all apart, and i was ready to go. Here is the case:

Samsung DVD 709 - As new
The HTPC case - ready for action

The HTPC parts – or some atleast


I have since a while a MiniATX P3 motherboard with a 1ghz CPU (yes one), 512 SDRAM, what just sits and gathers dust. I have a few HDD’s, and a spare Laptop DVD drive. What do i need? A PSU, some cables, the project, software and a lot of thinking and wireing :) Here’s a picture:

HTPC parts

BTW, do not worry, it will have a dualcore at the end. Read all :)

Explanations of the pictures and HTPC parts from above


1) probably you wonder, why the mouse is there in the above image? Well the DVD player had 5 action buttons on the front panel (you can see in the 1st image) and i wanted to keep them somehow. Initially i wanted to buy a cheap gaming pad, but i remembered i had a mouse with 5 buttons with a cracked case (that is why top is removed). So my plan is to direct-link the DVD front button electronic board to the mouse buttons, and reconfigure thoose with some mouse editor software later.

2) I want to position the mainboard in the middle, PSU in the right, HDD and mouse on elft, DVD in the middle. Here i encountered another problem with the case: you see the 2 bumps in the sides on the second image? Those lift the bottom with 1cm, and the cooler of the PSU does not have enough space for proper airflow – so i need to cut thoose out and replace the created whole with something.

3) If you check the front panel of the case, you can see, that the DVD tray is in the bottom. Well, my laptop dvd player cannot be there, becase the battery and the memory on the mainboard does not allow it to go in :( Here my plan is to take out the black plexiglass (above the hole), move it down a bit, cut the case again, and in the created whole to insert the optical drive. Simple no? :D

4) The power button on the right had only 2 wires, so i cut it, and linked it directly with the power wire what leads to the mainboard. Plus connected the powerled the same way. That should not make any problems.

5) Bottom-right: VGA to s-video cable (2 bucks)

6) Bottom-middle (between the DVD and the cable): laptop drive to PATA cable converter, with floppy drive type power connector. Smart huh? 2 bucks :)

7) For software i have several options:
a) LinuxMCE as standalone OS
B) WinMCE + MOOVIDA (http://www.moovida.com/)
c) WinMCE + Mediaportal
d) several others, not deceided yet, and probably i will try out a few

That’s it for now. Let’s start the building process!

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