Thursday, January 22, 2009

Attaching the Back Plate

Having basically cut out the back plate, next step was to attach it.
Easier said that done.
Difficult to line up the holes in the perspex, with holes in the sheet metal. Also there wasnt much space left, with the holes having to be drilled very close to the edge of the perspex.

Anyway - with hind sight, the preferred method seems to be to drill a line of holes in the metal - then align the perspex sheet and mark the holes through with a pencil - finally drilling the perspex. Preferable than the other way around, as it is easier to accurately align the drill holes to the marks on the perspex. With the metal you need to punch a small locating mark, and then drill it - seemed to be less accurate.

So in the end I had to slightly over-size drill the holes to get them all lining up - but generally OK.

It ends up that the bent up 1cm of sheet metal at the bottom helps hold in the port faceplate - which was an un-planned thing...


  1. Hi Richard,
    I must say i find this project quite intreiging. Smaller form media PCs aren't something that are custom built often. I heard about it from Judy and John (I'm Nick, their grandson). I've got a fair bit of experience with computers and have a few questions/suggestions.

    How much airflow are you intending to allow for through the case? Just bear in mind that whilst most small form PCs don't have a lot, they are normally built on lower power and thermal output components, as opposed to the desktop components you have selected.

    You might also like to visit
    They are an Australian online retailer who stock a large amount of gear for custom PC building.

    Also, how are you planning to watch TV on your HTPC? A PCI card appears impossible as you have set up, but if you are using a USB or FireWire externally mounted card, it may prove more elegant and effective to mount the card inside the case using the internal USB/FireWire I/O connectors.


  2. Nick,

    TBD exactly what I will do. Default option is to use the power supply's fan to allow for a bit of fresh air to flow into the case, and out the back. There will be a 5 mm gap around the base of the case between the sheet metal and the eventual acrylic outside casing - ideally this can let a bit of fresh air flow in, and then eventually out the power supply opening on the back. The other point to notice is that the CPU fan pushes quite a bit of air down onto the motherboard - cooling components in the vicinity.
    Note that this is the default option - as it is now winter in Shanghai - freezing cold - so no heat issues :-)

    Fall-back option - it will be possible to actually place maybe a 80mm~100mm fan inside the middle of the case, just near the back panel IO ports... possibly attached to the top sheet of metal, with some ducting to vent the air out the back of the case... just some thoughts - will see what happens with the temps when summer comes.

    Actually, that is where the Scythe Shuriken came from :-)
    Not easy to grab one here in Shanghai - so bought one online, shipped through to Adelaide, and they forwarded here :-)

    TV Watching:
    I am having a bet both ways here.
    USB TV is one option - seems that the gets good reviews - need to find a suitable PAL one somewhere.

    The other option is for a PCIeX1 card - I found that by making the case around 1.5 cm wider, there should be just enough space to squeeze one in - need to cut a few new holes, but should be OK.