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The Pentagram HTPC

The Penta PC

Once again I, the crazy Swede, am going to share a case mod adventure with you all. This time it's all about acrylic and UV lights, which is quite a change from my usual engravings.

The idea of this project was to make a PC that could provide music and web access in my living room. I've already got way too much stuff and very limited space, so I needed something that wasn't going to add to the already cramped floor-plan. That's when I came up with the idea for a wall-mounted PC - something that would really pop out and be a real eye catcher.

My choice of the pentagram as the inspiration for this case is not based in any religious beliefs at all, I am an absolute hardcore atheist and think that both God and the Devil are nothing more than children's stories. I wanted to make this very clear because I've had some complaints before about my choices of themes and symbols in my mods. I chose the pentagram simply because it looks cool, m'kay? Now, since we've got that bit sorted, let's go on to the important stuff - the actual mod.

Stage 1 - The Body

The whole case is made from layered 5mm acrylic sheets. I used 26 sheets of AC Ryan acrylic 50x50cm panels in all - 13 green and 13 black. The case contains a VIA Epia 1500 EX mainboard, 1GB of Corsair XMS2 memory and a 250GB Seagate hard drive, all powered by a 120 Watt Pico PSU.

The Pentagram HTPC Starting off The Pentagram HTPC Starting off
Click to enlarge

The first thing to do was mask all the acrylic sheets and draw the circle that would become the main body of the case. After working hard for several hours, I finally got all of the layers cut and ready for the next step. So, what is next? Well, now I had to cut out the centres of all but two sheets to make room for the hardware.

The Pentagram HTPC Starting off The Pentagram HTPC Starting off
Click to enlarge

The first thing I had to do was to drill a hole in the centre of each sheet and make a template of the area that was going to get cut out. After that, the long and hard process of cutting each layer could begin. This took some time, because I had to go really slow and had to drill starting holes in each sheet. Looking back, one of the worst things about making this case was the constant repetition of the same thing - each step had to be done 15 times.

The Pentagram HTPC Starting off The Pentagram HTPC Starting off
Click to enlarge

The cutting was very messy and covered my entire kitchen in a thick layer of acrylic dust. The actual clean-up took about five times longer than the actual cutting did! Oh, how we suffer in the name of modding!

When all of the above was said and done, I had a compartment to fill with hardware. I did a quick test with the mainboard and an old, dead hard drive just to get a feel for how the layout would be before going any further.