bit-tech.net

Mod of the Month - May 2008

Tiny HTPC

by ichessblumen
Worklog


HTPCs are a bit of a fantasy love for me. Here in the States, we've got a lot of great things that they could do - hell, TiVo is one nice, well-designed Linux-based HTPC. However, random rules and draconian copy laws make it a lot harder to be willing to have a big old PC in your living room. I guess that's why they made HTPC cases, right?

Of course, there's HTPCs and then there's HTPCs - and ichessblumen's Tiny HTPC is definitely one of the more noteworthy ones. It's been designed and created from scratch with the idea of being mostly passive, and it's really seemed to make it!

We held off on featuring this for a little while because of a couple of the other great mods that were cropping up, but I just couldn't hold off on it any more. With a tentative status of finished at the end of last month, it's now or never - so let's get to showing it off!

Mod of the Month - May 2008 Tiny HTPC by ichessblumen Mod of the Month - May 2008 Tiny HTPC by ichessblumen
Because of just how many great shots there really are for this mod, we're skipping right to the build process. Here you can see ichessblumen has assembled the most basic frame for his Tiny HTPC out of thick aluminium sheeting and some aluminium square rods. The actual ATX backplate is scrounged from a previous case and given a little haircut to fit the project.

Mod of the Month - May 2008 Tiny HTPC by ichessblumen Mod of the Month - May 2008 Tiny HTPC by ichessblumen
Next up were the fins, which you'll note have quite a resemblance to the assembly method used in Dark Blade. A big heatsink is attached to the processor, and uses heat pipes to channel the heat up into these fins for cooling potential. That's right, the case is its own giant heatsink.

Mod of the Month - May 2008 Tiny HTPC by ichessblumen Mod of the Month - May 2008 Tiny HTPC by ichessblumen
Some parts, it just doesn't pay to cut at home. So, ichessblumen sent away plans for Tiny HTPC's top and faceplate. This way, things could be machined to his exact tolerances and specifications. Once they arrived, a little Modder's Mesh on the top panel helped to form the look he was going for.

Mod of the Month - May 2008 Tiny HTPC by ichessblumen Mod of the Month - May 2008 Tiny HTPC by ichessblumen
With the top done, you could really begin to see the case finding its real glory. All that was left was adding the hardware, which was a fairly easy feat due to the tight machining. Of course, there are some things we're not showing you here...

Mod of the Month - May 2008 Tiny HTPC by ichessblumen Mod of the Month - May 2008 Tiny HTPC by ichessblumen
The "final" assembly of Tiny HTPC is really something to behold. Everything looks so tightly fit and polished that you'd honestly start looking for the brand label next - it looks like that professional of a product.

Of course, as I mentioned, there's quite a lot that you're not seeing here - including fantastically hidden hard drives, how the heatsink was assembled and other pivotal and brilliant elements. But, that's what the worklog is for, isn't it?

While you're on your way there, if you think that this little HTPC that could has what it takes to be this month's Mod of the Month, make sure that you swing by and vote for Tiny HTPC by ichessblumen!