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Project: Media TV

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Media TV Build log

Case mod/Scratch build of an old CRT TV using a core2duo system. Eventually it will replace my P4 media PC.
The plan is to leave the outside looking as stock as possible so I will be stealthing the DVD drive opening and re-using the existing buttons where I can. I wasn't planning on it at first but after looking around I really feel like doing some sleeving and proper cable management on the inside. If I don't sleeve, never fear, I will at least make the effort to keep all the wiring out of view.
There are some crazy thoughts swirling around in my head about mechanised hinges and pop-out bits but we will have to wait and see whether I remain sane or not.
Now check it out.

List of updates:
Found the TV
Taking it apart
Measuring Stuff
Computer Bits
Initial Plans
Opening up the Vacuum Tube
Cardboard Mock-ups
Edited by Amp3r - 3/6/11 at 3:34pm
post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 
It is about time to upgrade from our current P4 media pc and I have found the perfect bits to do it with.

I have been wanting to build a computer inside an old TV for a while and a few weeks ago I saw one sitting on the side of the road during a council clean-up. So I grabbed it and it has been sitting in my basement since then. I have heard people say that it takes a long time for the voltages inside the vacuum tube to dissipate so I figured I would play it safe.


I brought it up last night to see what I could see.

-----


Pretty cool. Can't wait to take it apart







Oops I already began. Sorry everyone.
Edited by Amp3r - 2/18/11 at 7:59pm
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Let the dissection begin/continue!

-----




I think I will try to use these to control lights or fans or something.


Old school!




Front control plate bit thingy


Some nice button options

Edited by Amp3r - 2/18/11 at 7:59pm
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Disassembly complete!

-----
Time to do some measuring.
I put the shell back together and measured everything I could see.


It looks like there is a lot of room in here so I should be able to fit a matx or maybe even an atx would just fit. It really seems to depend upon the height of the graphics card because of how I plan to fit things.

Here are the dimensions inside and outside of the empty case. There aren't too many things getting in the way in there so it is all fairly straightforward. I might do some kind of solidworks or photoshop mockup later if I can get around to it but you will have to put up with hand drawn diagrams for now.


I guess they are more for my reference. I don't know how much sense they make a to anyone else.
Edited by Amp3r - 2/19/11 at 4:14am
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Oh no I had this post reserved and I am now going to answer your question jackeyjoe before you even asked it.
WoooOOoo (ghost_noises_or_something.wmv)

What I would love to do is somehow manage to take apart the vacuum tube so I can re-use the screen part and put it back in the case as a window of sorts.


Has anyone heard of or seen this being done before? Link me if you can please, I would prefer not to kill myself or something.


Some more pictures of it.






It looks like there is some sort of silicone seam here where the black and the clear glass meet. I'm wondering whether I can cut through there and it will all fall apart. I can dream.


Failing that I would just get some translucent acrylic or perspex. I'm thinking some black mirror or something along those lines.
Either way I would like it to be semi-opaque so you can't see into it unless there is a light on in the case. This is going to be connected to a 32' LCD so there is no real reason to put a small screen in the case. Would probably just be a distraction anyway. Thanks for the sub

Thinking about it now, there are a lot of air holes in the case. I'm going to have to do something about that to keep light leakage to a minimum. Probably would be worth doing it just to help air movement too.
Edited by Amp3r - 2/18/11 at 8:00pm
post #6 of 20
Awesome start, I'm just curious as to what you have planned for where the screen was? will you put a new one in (like an LCD) or make it a window (just get some acrylic or you could be smart and get the glass from the TV). Anyways, looking forward to the finished product, and subbed
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
We are almost caught up to real life now. This all happened last night and I only separated it into different posts to help with the index later.

-----
I was on the lookout for a cheap upgrade path and I found myself looking at an Athlon II system that would cost me around $200 or so. I don't really need a very fast system because the P4 3.0 HT with onboard graphics seems to be doing the job pretty well as it is.
Then I saw a core2duo HP on ebay for like $5 with 2 days to go. I couldn't tell if it was dodgy or not but I went for it anyway, PayPal buyer protection FTW.

So I ended up getting this for $32 which I am pretty happy about. My girlfriend is going to think it is crazy fast so this should keep her happy for a while. (Oh did I say this is basically her computer? She uses the media PC to do her uni work on and watch TV and whatever else. Meanwhile her laptop is cultivating a nice layer of dust)

Back on track, here is the 'new' computer.


It is a slimline desktop or some other such buzzword but that isn't going to matter in the TV case.



I now wish I had taken a picture before I cleaned it. It was filthy, and I do mean filthy. There was dirt falling out of the PSU and fan holes in the car on the way home and when I opened it up there was basically one large dust bunny. I just vacuumed it all up right way and tested if it worked. It did.


More guts.



I was just at Bunnings (big hardware chain) before trying to buy a dremel but apparently my ATM card has died. Their machines couldn't read it at all and the bank is closed today so I can't get a new one. So cutting up the shell and getting it ready for fitting stuff has stalled a bit.

But the trip wasn't a complete loss because I picked up a whole bunch of cardboard boxes to begin rough mock-ups with.


I don't have any time now because my friend just called to invite me to a corporate box to watch AFL. Football isn't really my favourite but the free beer and food should be awesome. I just might manage to do something after but I was up till 5AM last night messing around so who knows.
Edited by Amp3r - 2/18/11 at 8:01pm
post #8 of 20
Subbed! gotta see this!!!
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Blue Balls
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post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the sub. Hope I don't disappoint.

-----
So here is where I am up to right now.
Just planning the layout of things on paper for now but everything seems to fit fairly well with quite a lot of room left over. I wonder what I can fill it with.



Once again, I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else. The diagram on the left is a side on view left-right (screen was on the right) and the one on the right is a top-down view (screen was on the bottom).

I drew everything to scale as much as possible but this was basically just a proof of concept. The aim is to have the mobo on an angle as illustrated so that the IO plate is pretty much flush with the sloped top bit of the TV, I hope to use part of the existing back of the TV over the IO area as a stealthing device on a hinge so the cables can fit through slots but the workings are still hidden.
That way there is easy access to all the cables and stuff when you need it and when a light is on in the case the mobo would be on display through the screen.
This also allows the PSU to be hidden behind the mobo and for the HDD's to be hidden behind the control panel faceplate thing. The ODD would be in the area above the screen so should mostly be out of view in normal viewing circumstances.
There is still a lot of empty space around the case so depending on the GPU I choose in the end I could upgrade the PSU if I need. There would still be a fair amount of space left anyway so we will see what I can fit there.

See you later
post #10 of 20
Cool, subbed for sure.
I hate that HP case, such a mess. i have 3 similar pc's laying around somewhere. lol. The t.v idea is awesome, might even be easier to work with than that HP compact thing
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