So back in the "old" days I had an external iomega cd burner on my desk and after I got that I moved my pc to behind my desk and never interfaced with it again. I loved it, never had to see or hear that ugly PC. This was however before usb was so pervasive. Fast forward 5 or 8 years and I'm still very tired of seeing my pc case, no matter how cool the cases are they do not look good in a room and I don't want to see mine again, plus even as quiet as I have gotten my PC it gets even quieter if i move it to behind my desk.
I am very handy and have access to any tool you can imagine (welders, planers and joiners oh my) but have never built a custom pc enclosure so I have a number of considerations I'd love to get some advice on because I would love to get it right the first time. This photo is a very rough and quick google sketchup of my idea but it lets you guys know what i'm thinking. But it shows the ultimate goal of having usb connectors and my optical drive sitting on my desk with a cable running to the pc which is buried away behind the desk. The final product will probably have more curved surfaces because right angles are so blah but a router and some sanding and i can make this sleeker.
To power it I am hoping to take a regular sata power cable and run it to this device from my case by extending one from my pc. As far as I know it's simple 12 and 5 volt dc which will have no problem running an extra 6 feet. The 5V connector will be spliced into the USB hub i'll bury in the top of the enclosure because all USB hubs run off of 5V there's no reason for me to use the USB hub's included AC adapter and waste electricity while the pc is off keeping the power brick warm.
I am thinking MDF. I really don't know though. Both items will be grounded to the computer via the sata power cable so I don't think i care if it's a metal or wood enclosure. The inside of the box you see would be as hollow as possible to let air get around the sides of the optical drive and i was thinking little legs in the back to support the drive but not have it totally sandwiched in mdf to help with heat.
I could fiberglass it but that just seems like more work than i care to do. However like i said i'm in over my head on this one so i really don't know.
So if i do this do i need a fan? I've bought some external drive bays recently because at first i thought about buying an enclosure then taking it's guts and burying them in my enclosure. But they all came with their drawbacks because of one reason or another, the worst of which was one had a really loud fan that I would never want to be in the same room with.
Esata to sata. That's how i'm hoping to connect the optical drive. Just run an esata cable from the back of my pc to a sata into the back of the drive. I don't see any reason why this won't work, they sell em on newegg so it must work right!.
Piano black to match the monitors is the ultimate look i'm going for. I'm presuming a bunch of black and clear coat spray cans of any quality will take care of it. Even if it's 5 coats of sprayed on clear coat that's not a big deal, wouldn't take but 2 minutes of painting each coat.
So, I bow down before you in humility. Where have I gone wrong and what can I do better... show me the way.