This weekend I took all the parts I had and began doing a Mock up inside the case.
So far everything seems to fit ok (Which surprises me). The only exception is that I've run into a few problems with the router, which I'll rant about a little later
Here's the Unit with the Back off. The cat was not included w/ the stereo. The black box is removabe and held the optional 8-Track Recording station. I removed the 8-track and sent it to my father, who needed one for his work.
After removing the black 8-track case...
The entire radio is mounted on very dense particle board. The styrofoam enclosures are the "subs". You can see in the second shot that there is not much room around the speakers. You can also see the pully mechanism controlling the tuner(s).
I started the mock up by placing the A/V reciever first. at almost 25-30lbs, it needed to sit on the bottom. I soon found a small hiccup...
The top of the unit kept bumping into the AM radio Antenna. I tried rotating the unit 90 degress, different angles, the sucker wouldn't fit. I eneded up unscrewing the antenna and just letting it sit on top of the reciever (its not like I listen to AM anyway, lol). I bent the prongs for the FM antenna also.
It's a close fit, but I pushed the Receiver all the way up to front, giving me just enought room in the back....
Next, I tossed the Matx tray on top of the Receiver. I'll probably use spare standoffs and drill a few holes so I can attached the tray permanently to the metal case of the reciever. By using stand offs, I can have a small bit of space bewtween the two units for some airflow. I set the box for the Cooler a, CNPS9700 on top of the tray to approximate the HTPC's height.
I was thinking of going with a CNPS9300 AT cooler, as it is smaller and space is a premium. However, this whole project is going to have the cooling ability of a brick, I figured on betting on the 9700's performance.
Next came the router and switch:
Dlink Green Ethernet Switch
I have to say, I'm very impressed with DLink. I open the box and to my surprise, this cheap switch even came with drywall plugs and screws for mounting!
Now, I've never had a good experience with any Linksys product, from routers to adapters, we are not friends. I bought the WRT600N solely based on MPC's review, despite the unit being discontinued and replaced with the less expensive 610N.
Screws? drywall plugs? Not on this $200 unit! Not even the holes to mount the router if you provided your own screws. Well that's not too bad, atleast I splurged on teh 600N, since the 610's antenna are internal. I can atleast upgrade my units antennas and mount the antennas to the back of the entertainment center and toss the router inside. Well after 30 minutes of trying to get the unit apart, guess what - Linksys doesn't do teh upgradable antenna thing anymore. Instead of an RP-TNC antenna, Linksys just ran a wire from the radio's into a plastic housing shaped link an antenna.
Oh well, I atleast have Linksys's great firmware and support
I mouted the Dlink unit next to the Magnavox PCB. There's not enough room to use a drill, so everything is done with a dremel.
I'm not too sure where to put the router. I'm pretty sure the antennas need to be out of the entertainment center to minimize interference. That leaves me with 2 options. Neither of which is very ideal:
I can turn the unit on its face and try to run the antennas out the back. However, I'm planning on making the back panel work like a door(s), on hinges (currently, Its screw on). Considering my original lay out was to have the door swing down, I'd have to make sure the Door would swing correctly without getting stuck on the antennas:
Alternativly, since the outer shell of the router is actually decorative plastic covering the actual case, I can take them off again and drill mounting holes in them and mount the sucker off of the top of the interior the entertainment center. It would be very tight, but there would be some space on the "roof" just above the right sub:
Lastly for the day is the Power supply
It can be simply attached using a mounting bracket and will help with the coolin' by pumping air right out of the Entertainment center. I kinda wanted all the power chords to remain inside the Entertainment Center (hooked to a surge protector - so only 1 cord comming out the back!), but I think the benefits of letting the PS exhale air makes it worth it. If I change my mind, I can slife it back 6 inches and keep everythign thing inside.
So here's the finished mock up! The only things not included, besides the HTPC itself is the cable box (which will actualy be in the upper lever), the DSL modem, IR repeater, and surge protector. The assorted fans are also absent.
The Modem and Repeater are small and can fit almost anywhere. The Surge protecter will be the only problem as I will need space for all the wall warts as well. The only options at the moment are the upper level (not much space) or trying to sqeeze everythign around the left speaker.