I hope you all have been doing well. I have a small update for you. I hope you enjoy...
I'm starting to realize the limitation of working upon a deck (and in an apartment) - I tend to spend about an hour before and after of prep and cleanup. Ahhh to one day have a house and a garage
Today's goal was to attach the Drive cage, front bezel, and apply the EMI Sheild. I also completed some misc tasks.
After some careful fitting, I clamped in the Drive cage and lined it up to drill pilot holes and fasten it in. All the holes will be hidden under the bezel.
Well, I think you see the problem. I've never worked with plastics before, and its clear it shows. I've had nothing but problems with the acylic. I attached the HDD cage to the plastic using maching screws, breaking the heads off of half of them in the process (with an old fashioned screwdriver too!). In the picture above, I tried to attached the plastic cage to the Entertainment center using wood screws, causing the Plastic to split.
In order to make sure it was sturdy, I had to seal everything with Loctite.
After some thought and a quick discussion with my Father , I figure I should have used a tap and die set on the plastic to avoid the problems. Alternatively, I could have just used plywood and saved some $$.
I used spackle to seal the rear intake fan and made sure its in there snug. I still need to clean it up a bit by sanding it. I also used the spackle to fix up a few nicks and scratches in teh Entertainment Center.
I got a 15x36 sheet of MagnetSheild Plate from Less EMF
at a fairly reasonable price. They are one of few places that I found that actually ship small orders. After some cutting and grinding, the sheilds were ready to be placed.
It was really fun waving the sheet at my radio antennea and watching it switch stations!!
Because strong magnets have a tendency to saturate the Sheild, Multiple layers = Better. The transformer and regulators for the Original radio in the Entertainment center are closest to the Drive Cages. I placed one plate infront of the transformer (background) and another larger plate covering the regulators and transformer (foreground). A third plate (not shown) is on the plastic, giving three layers of protection.
I placed a shiled in every cardinal direction around the HDD Cage in particular. The only sides un-sheilded are the top and bottom (Intake fan and access to HDD's)
By then, the Caulk had dried, so I was able to start a misc job - Refinishing the top. Its not real wood, wood veneer, so that limits some possibilities with it.
I first sanded off the clear coat and roughed up the veneer, just enough for the stain to adhere. I then applied several thin coats of Stain:
After drying for 24 hours, I sanded and covered it in an enamal flat clear coat. I chose flat as I have cats (gets less dirty) and I was hoping it would minimize the problem of staining veneer - streaks. In retrospect, I think it highlighted the streaks (yay) - So I'll have to grab an ultra fine sanding block or paper and a wet towel and see what I can do.
While everythign was drying outside, I started modding the AV to have an air intake fan.
A few quick whooshes of the Dremel and Drill, and a Hole was cut and fan added:
While I was cleaning up, I received the custom faceplate I had ordered for the back of the Entertainment center. After scouring Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, etc, I quickly discovered while they all have Keystone Face plates for Speakers, Cable, Phone, and Ethernet, More specialized connections aren't available.
I designed my faceplate on the DataPro Website
and was even able to buy panel mount cables for the HDMI, DVI, 2 P/S2 ports, and 2 USB ports, which makes life easy.
Here's a sneak peak of the Face plate sans cabling.
With most of the components in my possession, I'm ready to start cabling. The tedius art of measuring, cutting, and crimping cables for the face plates. I also have to build the entire back panel (and attach the face plates to it). Preliminary measuring is done, I just need to find the time and correct weather (like not rain) to go to town on it.
Once the cabling is done and most componenets are afixed to their respective nests, I can test run and setup the rig (so I can see the display on the AV). After its set up, I can permanently afix the AV into the Entertainment center, Close her up and I'm good to go! Sounds so Simple, lol!