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Orac³ Part 1

Orac³


Part 1 - From Power Supply to Junction Box

Welcome to the first of a series of articles covering my efforts in converting a C³ acrylic case into a tribute to vintage British science fiction (and then some).

Over 240,000 views were recorded to the project thread (and many thousands more to a static page put up when the server went down) within a week of this project first being posted on the BiT-Tech Forums. The project became front page news on Modding and Hardware websites around the world - and it wasn't even finished! Want to see what all the fuss is about and join me on my modding odyssey (or Modyssey if you prefer)? Read on...

Inspiration

Orac³ Part 1 The Beginning
Pic courtesy of the BBC

Ever since I saw the first series of Blakes 7 I have wanted my own Orac. For those that don't know, Blakes 7 was a late 70s/early 80s British Science Fiction series and Orac, the box in the picture above, was this intellectually snobbish, difficult and incredibly brilliant computer, hand built by an eccentric scientist. The special effects were straight out of 60's Star Trek and a lot of the props were converted from (or later converted to) props from other classic BBC series such as Doctor Who and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (where the Bambleweeny 57 sub-meson brain looks like it was made by the same bloke!). I just thought it looked too damn cool, in a retro-futuristic way - plus it reminded me of most of the computers I have owned , being difficult, temperamental, making you feel stupid and simply refusing to help when you need it the most.

Seeing some of the nicer acrylic cases that were appearing, I decided to mod one of these cases into my own version of an Orac-type computer - I'll be calling the project Orac³ as it's my own Orac in a C³ case. Mine won't look much like the original though! The original Orac was a messy mish-mash of cheap electronics components and coloured Perspex. I plan on creating a tidy mishmash of expensive electronic components and coloured Perspex! I do still hope to retain some of the characteristics of the original Orac.

Most of the Mods I am doing with this case are fairly simple ones, the majority have already been done before by bit-tech members, but I have tried to put my own stamp on most of them or take them a step further.

Also, while on the subject of inspiration, big thanks have to go out to macroman, Linear, ZapWizard, Eddie-Dane, MrHaz, Cpemma, Nexxo, Scopedog and all the other modders who contribute to bit-tech, for your great mods, guides and project threads, without which I wouldn't have been able to even start.

Anyway, on with the Mod...