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Topic Title: Project: Dead Silence
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Created On: 12/06/2004 09:39 PM
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 12/06/2004 09:39 PM
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ZapWizard
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Posts: 1393
Joined: 10/06/2003

Hey folks, we need more project logs!
Here is the start of my HTPC project-



The goals:
-Watch computer recorded movies
-Backup DVD's
-Backup Audio CD's
-Play Internet Radio
-Record from Cable Box
-Control Home Automation/Security
-Burn CD's / DVD's
-Edit Movies
-Store family photo's / Display photos
-Home File Server
-FTP Server
-HTTP Server
-Video Survailance/Recorder



The specs:
-AMD Athlon 64 3400+ 2.2Ghz with Cool'n'Quiet
-Gigabyte K8N Pro
-1GB PC3200 DDR
-ATI Radeon 9600 128MB Graphics Card
-ATI TV Wonder
-Broadcom 802.11G Wireless NIC
-200GB Maxtor 7200RPM IDE Harddrive
-200GB Maxtor 7200RPM IDE Harddrive (2nd Drive)
-80GB Western Digital 7200RPM IDE Harddrive
-Pioneer 120S Slot Load 16X DVD Drive
-Pioneer DVR-108 Dual Layer DVD Burner
-8-in-1 Media Card Reader
-AMS G-Mono Mid Tower Case
-300-watt Clever Power Silent PSU
-Zalman Flower Heatsink
-Gyration Ultra GT wireless keyboard and mouse



I won the Gigabyte K8N-Pro motherboard at QuakeCon '04, but it end up being a perfect motherboard for a HTPC/Server. It has 4 IDE connections, and 2 SATA connections, for a total of 6 drives. It also has Gigabit LAN, and sound card with optical output.

I choose the Clever Power power supply as it is nearly totally silent and has four extra power sockets that I can utilize for other home theatre devices.

The AMD G-Mono case was used as it's beautiful silver paint job matches my TV, it's Plexiglas faceplate is easy to customize, and it only costs $40.

A custom laser cut faceplate was created to match the existing faceplate.



On the rear of the PC you can see the power supply with it's extra power plugs. The stamped fan grills were removed, and quieter rounded wire grills were installed.

The entire PC only requires only four external connections: Power, DVI Video, Optical Audio, and USB to the wireless Gyration Receiver.



To make the entire PC run dead silent a AMD exclusive processor feature called Cool'n'Quiet is essential. Cool'n'Quiet allows the 2.2GHz CPU to run at a few different speeds and voltages, down to 800Mhz when Idle. Akasa sound deadening material was also installed to add an extra layer of sound isolation.

At idle the system specs are:
-CPU Speed: 800Mhz
-CPU Temperature: 38C
-CPU Fan Speed: 1140 RPM
-Case Temperature: 25C
-Case Fan Speed: 1300RPM
-WD Harddrive: 46C
-Maxtor Harddrives: 40C



The case airflow was improved by cutting a faceplate that allows air to be pulled into the case across the two heat generating 200GB harddrives.



One of the greatest things about having a DVD burner is backing up your DVDs. (No comment on the movie please)

In this case I am taking one of my oldest DVDs that has started to crack in the center, plus the DVD is a double-sided disk with a tiny center label.

Since I don't need the "Full Screen" side, I can make a copy of the Wide Screen side of the disk, and make a better looking DVD with a full label.

I used a program called DVD Shrink that can shrink a full sized DVD onto a single layer DVD. I could also of course make an exact copy by using more expensive Dual-Layer DVD Disks.



Here is the HTPC at home in my living room.
The Gyration mouse and keyboard allow me to use it from across the room.
The PC is connected directly to the TV using a DVI to HDMI adapter. The Sound card is connected directly to the surround sound system using an optical cable.
This PC is so quiet that the harddrive in my Time Warner HDTV DVR is louder.

In case you are wondering the HDTV is a Samsung 47", the surround sound is also a Samsung 600-watt with a 5-disk DVD changer.

I ordered a $12 Black and White camera from www.supercircuits.com' ">http://www.supercircuits.com which I will wire up as a security camera for my front door.

I also am trying to decide on what color of lights to make the PC (Blue or Green)
I know Blue is overdone, but the surround sound has blue lights, and it would match that way.

I also trying to decide what to etch into the large side window, and the front of the case.
Currently my plan is simply a large AMD logo one the side, and I have no idea for the front.

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The opinions expressed above do not represent the views of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.
 12/07/2004 06:56 PM
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helpmenow
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two words.. holy crap
 12/07/2004 07:57 PM
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Dan.M
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Thats... reall.. nice



I would do some mod projects..

the only thing restricting me is money..

dont got the cash.. >_<

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 12/07/2004 08:21 PM
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Old Camper
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ZapWizard, do those Akasa vibration pads work very good?

I've been thinking of buying something similar.

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 12/10/2004 09:55 PM
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ZapWizard
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I made the new side panel: (night shot, normal white light blub for testing)
I used a piece of M.C. Escher artwork.






Unfortunently for some reason the laser etcher decided to etch a little extra out along the edges, I tried to fill these in with paint, but as you can see it ruined the consistancy of the paint.

I will try again tommorow using alluminum tape to protect the edges, and I have decided to paint the surface black, rather then silver to provide greater contrast during the day.

Or I may etch this onto the front panel, and use a different image for the side panel.

-------------------------
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The opinions expressed above do not represent the views of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.
 12/10/2004 10:24 PM
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SLaY3r
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QUOTE (helpmenow @ Dec 7 2004, 05:56 PM) two words.. holy crap
LOL Same here

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 12/11/2004 07:38 AM
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Missile Maker
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ZapWizard-

Very Nice

Cheers,
MM

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 12/13/2004 11:45 AM
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ZapWizard
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QUOTE (Old Camper @ Dec 7 2004, 05:21 PM) ZapWizard, do those Akasa vibration pads work very good?

I've been thinking of buying something similar.
They are not the best, I just happened to have them from a giveaway.

I have been told the stuff called "Brown bread" is great, also Bathtub sound deading material from Home Depot is supposed to be good and cheap.

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The opinions expressed above do not represent the views of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.
 12/13/2004 10:06 PM
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ZapWizard
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In order to create a from backlit etch I had to remove, measure, and re-create the front faceplate.



The original faceplate was removed, and the case behind it cut to allow for backlighting the front etch.



Using left over grill material from the Ammo PC I created an LED array of 16 ultrabright 3mm LEDs. (Each 4000 mcd)
I choose to use LEDs as I trust them to run 24/7 without generating excessive heat, and cold cathodes will eventualy die out like any neon tube.



The array is more then enough to light up the entire etch.



Here is a night shot of the etch.
When laser etched the acrylic is still very transparent, and the LEDs intensity overwhelms your eyes, so a defuser is needed.
After trying a few different ideas such as sanded plexi, or a sheet of paper, I found the best defuser was plastic cut from a white shopping bag.



The new faceplate sits on-top of the old faceplate allowing for more room when aligning the drive faceplates, which were not totaly flush due to the drive mounts. Custom bolts were also created to allow for the extra thickness.

Along with the etch, nearly every possible LED was changed to blue to make the complete set match.
-System IDE LED
-DVD-ROM Activity
-DVD-RW Activity
-Gyration Keyboard status LED
-Gyration Charger LED
-Gyration USB Receiver LED
-Gryation Optical Mouse LED

Most of the LEDs also required a resistor increase, as superbright LEDs are quite bright and discracting when trying to view a movie in a dark room.

-------------------------
' ">http://www.ZapWizard.com
The opinions expressed above do not represent the views of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.
 12/13/2004 11:41 PM
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toyowheelin
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WOAH that's A LOT of blue LEDs. How much are the LEDs you buy? From what I understand is that they are kinda expensive, but you are right about being able to trust them. I didn't even think about the cold cathode lights dieing, guess it's a good thing I got mine for free Maybe when my street glow "neons" die I will think about some kind of LED array like you built, I'll have to check out some of your wireing schematics on your site to see how to wire it properly Oh yeah almost forgot, great job on the etch looks good, now lets see you do it by hand instead of laser
 12/14/2004 10:44 AM
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ZapWizard
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I buy my LEDs from www.lsdiodes.com
They are absolutly an awsome source for LEDs, and reliable, I have ordered hundreds so far with zero problems.

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The opinions expressed above do not represent the views of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.
 12/14/2004 03:26 PM
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OliverMaltby
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Very nice mod indeed, I was thinking about getting my parents a shuttle and somehow turning it into a multimedia PC also; although I'm probably going to wait until socket 939 makes an appearance.

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 12/14/2004 03:41 PM
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ZapWizard
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QUOTE (OliverMaltby @ Dec 14 2004, 12:26 PM) I'm probably going to wait until socket 939 makes an appearance.
Umm, if you mean a SFF 939 system, it's been out for months a GREAT system BTW.

http://www.zapwizard.com/reviews/SN95G5/Index.htm' ">http://www.zapwizard.com/reviews/SN95G5/Index.htm



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The opinions expressed above do not represent the views of Advanced Micro Devices or any of their affiliates.
 12/14/2004 07:52 PM
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toyowheelin
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Thanks for the info on the LEDs, I may end up doing something like what you did with that huge cluster of LEDs you used on this project when my "neons" die
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