Project Revival: Gateway 901X HTPC modernized - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I figured I would start a thread on this quest of mine to revive an older HTPC to a modernized HTPC rig. The system is an older Gateway 901X HTPC which really has seen better days. I have been wanting to upgrade this for some time now but there are a lot of issues with that.

If your not familiar with the system I am speaking of then here is a picture of it for refrence.

175

244

I would have taken some pictures myself but I am already in the process of stripping it down lol...

There are several problems with this system, hence the reasons for my modding:

First the motherboard is limited to a Pentium 4 3.0GHz and only 2GB of memory.

The on board SATA is not easily recognized by windows 7 or any OS for that matter.

The case is special made for the motherboard.

The VFD on the unit only works for XP Media Center.

The entire front is specially made to only plug in to the motherboard that came with the system. I struggled with trying to figure out the pinouts for everything, but since the VFD wont work anyway.... I might as well do it over and replace it all. There were integrated buttons for controlling media center, a VFD, IR receiver, memory card reader, front firewire, front audio, front USB, video inputs, etc, etc.


Now I know a lot of you are thinking this is a HTPC.... you don't need much power. Well part of that is true.... but at the same time my HTPCs have always been all in one boxes... and by all in one I mean Gaming is a big part of it. In addition I know there are a lot of cases out there.... but the size of this case combines with it's custom buttons always attracted me as it looks more like a HT component. The biggest appealing factor to me is that when I am done this will be a one of a kind system smile.gif



So here is the list of things I am trying to do through this:

Change from the ugly champagne color to black to match my components and give the system an updated look.

Improve cooling

mod case to take any mATX board

Keep all buttons functional on the front face of the unit and behind the drop down door in the front.

Replace VFD with new unit that will work for Windows 7 & and possibly beyond

Integrate windows Media Center IR receiver

Integrate Xbox 360 wireless receiver

Fix face plate to use a 3 1/2" drive bay memory card reader and USB




as soon as I get the last bits taken apart here I'll post pics of the mess I have made smile.gif


As always I am looking for any input for this mod, things like:

Should I have the aluminum parts anodized instead of painting? Any ideas on costs?

or what is best way to paint aluminum to prevent easy scratches if I don't anodize this?

recommendations on a VFD for my setup?

Silk screening labels and logos after the painting / anodizing?


This project will be a slow going one, I want to take my time on this and do it right. I want this case to last me a very very long time smile.gif
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Video isn;t up yet, says 1 hour remaining

http://youtu.be/NlMbzQIXqb4

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post #3 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 10:54 AM
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First thought would be to replace the vfd with an LCD. That would futureproof it and give you the flexibility to display just about anything you could ever want.

As far as re-anodizing a different color: it's technically possible to DIY, but it's pretty involved, involving caustic soda and sulfuric acid baths. Do a google search. Also for any logos, if you're anodizing, you can etch the logo in.

If you're going to paint, you can pretty much follow any online guide for wet sanding and painting a case. Only thing I recommend is using scotchbrite pad or steel wool before applying primer (very thing coats). Then paint/wet sand whatever.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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forgot to subscribe to my own topic biggrin.gif

Well I was looking at having someone do it possibly (anodize or powder coating the metal)... for the two sections that I need to do, I would imagine it wouldn't be too much money.... but may not be worth a local companies time to do lol

Also decided I am going to do a method I always wanted to try for the plastic parts on the bezel and the buttons in it... Dye them smile.gif


I have it all the way apart now and am working on getting the adhesive they used to stick the metal on.... WD-40 is working nicely so far!
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 12:12 PM
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This looks really cool. Looking forward to some pictures. Subscribed!
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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man all this adhesive is making my fingers sore lol

I'm hoping the final parts config of this will be (again keep in mind gaming HTPC):

MSI H67MS-E43
8GB DDR3
i5 2500k
if it will fit...and by god I will try Corsair H60 (cant remember if I have the H80, 70 or 60....)
Sapphire AMD Radeon 6950
120GB SSD for OS (I absolutely LOVE SSDs!!!)
1TB HDD for programs / recordings (pondering 2x 1TB RAID 0 biggrin.gif )


I may end up with a 6970 to put in it from my main rig if an upgrade goes through.... but really the 6950 is plenty for me.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 02:01 PM
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Yes, definitely take pics. Because I want to see all that stuff crammed in there. What are the physical dimensions of this case btw?
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Trying to upload a vid now.... why I didn't upload at work where I have a 20mbps up connection I don't know lol

my thumb i sore as hell working to get the damned adhesive off the plastic parts. for most of it I sprayed WD-40 and let is soak, came up pretty easy that way. but the main part of the front bezel can't be sprayed that way due to the curves and angles it will not soak right.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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vid is uploaded, but I forgot to rotate it before I uploaded, so it is re-encoding on youtube now
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-26-2012, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nintari View Post

Trying to upload a vid now.... why I didn't upload at work where I have a 20mbps up connection I don't know lol
my thumb i sore as hell working to get the damned adhesive off the plastic parts. for most of it I sprayed WD-40 and let is soak, came up pretty easy that way. but the main part of the front bezel can't be sprayed that way due to the curves and angles it will not soak right.

Have you tried Goo gone or something similar? Also, I can't really picture the part you're referencing, but sometimes you can soak a cloth or paper towel in the solvent and then let the cloth sit on the adhesive. Might try something like that.
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-26-2012, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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No Progress today, we had to install a new 3 meter sat dish @ work.

The WD-40 worked wonders and I had some nearby, so didn't see a need to buy anything else. I may try the paper towel soak method on the last bit. I just dont want to remove some of the labels on the other side on accident by spilling over the WD-40.
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