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A-Tech Fabrication HTPC Case: update

post #1 of 2846
Thread Starter 
Today I received an update from A-Tech Fabrication with regard to their up coming HTPC case.

No prices yet.

Here's a link with more info...
post #2 of 2846
That's very impressive. The way it's built it may be the last case anyone needs (as long as the ATX form factor is around, anyway!)
post #3 of 2846
Nice, looks expensive.................
post #4 of 2846
Not only does this case look totally cool, but it will fit on my shelf with room to spare, depth- AND height-wise. The solid construction will help to keep any CPU and video card fan noise inside the case, too. Plus, I think it solves the issue of making the DVD drive look nice by integrating it behind the front faceplate.

As soon as order info is up, I'm in.

- Chris
post #5 of 2846
Man thats beautiful, i might like it better then my Dign case. If I could change only one thing I would make the irman sit in the lcd window so its a cleaner look. Everything else is awesome!
post #6 of 2846
11" depth! I wish these cases would have been available a few months ago. I had to "settle" for a couple of Lian-Lis.

Plus, long PCI cards will fit (e.g. H3D). My compact Lian-Li cases will not accomodate a full-size pci card.

BTW, the guy that created this case, Glen, is a member of the AVS Forum. I can't recall his user name.
post #7 of 2846
Good that they give a tray load option... the slot loaders look cool, but radiate a lot of noise (I have one)... and also they can't handle mini DVDs (3 1/2 inch)... their choice of sound leaves a bit to be desired too, needs 24/192 sound card for the system.
post #8 of 2846
The word 'tank' comes to mind! it looks very very nice

post #9 of 2846
If you're interested in this case, you may also want to check out the Matrix Orbital powerbuy thread that just opened.

What fortunate timing!

- Chris
post #10 of 2846

The IRman can not be placed next to the display without blocking several PCI slots because of the depth of the IRman enclosure. Also, the circuit board of the VFD is wider than the actual display area, so the window cutout would have to be considerably wider.

RSawdey ,

The instructions that come with the Pioneer 106S drive says that it can play 3.5" discs using a adapter (which is not included). I have never tried it since I don't use 3.5" discs for anything right now. There is a utility that you can download to make the drives run much slower which makes them almost silent. I wish you could still buy 1X DVD drives?


Yes, the VFD's in the new powerbuy will fit this case.

post #11 of 2846
This does look like a nice case. I notice you were able to squeeze a lot into a small area by using a 200W rackmount power supply.

Question: If I want to use a maxtro maxline disk drive, ati 9700 pro, and a holo3d card, what sort of motherboard/processor/memory can I use. I assume 2GB of DDR 333 with a 3GHZ P4 is out of the question.
post #12 of 2846
Gotcha, maybe if you took the irman apart and had just the snesor there, or had a vfd with the ir receiver built onto it (I think that the one with the dign has this). Either way just ideas, I love the case and will scoop one up if a decent price, and can be had in black.

Keep up the excellent work.

post #13 of 2846
work permit,

The case uses a 350watt power supply, more than enough for two HDD's and any size processor. I tested the system with load resistors simulating 8 HDD's with no problems.

I am running a P4 2.26 GHz with RDRAM. With this set up I optimized fan speed at 2350 RPM using a 47ohm inline resistor (stock fan speed is 3200). At that RPM, fan noise barely noticeable. With case cover closed, the case temp is 32deg C with the CPU maxed out using HotCPU test program. With case open, the case temps go up to 40deg C indicating the effectiveness of the cooling system.

The thing to keep in mind is that the more heat you create, the more air you need for cooling. More air equals more noise. So you need to balance the CPU power/noise ratio.

I will be doing a test next with a Asus TUSL2-C running a Celeron 800 and a Celeron 1.2. I will see how much less air is needed in this configuration. This is the setup I have in my old HTPC case. I will basically be reducing the fan speed to maintain a 32deg C case temp.

post #14 of 2846
I was thinking about a config similar to work permit's. How about if I use one of the Enermax power supplies that regulate the fan speed based on temp, and a motherboard/case fans that also change speed based on temperature? I think it's even possible to get a cpu heatsink fan that does this (Zalman?). Wouldn't this solve all the noise/heat problems?
post #15 of 2846
350watts? Glen, you are a stud. I thought you were using the smallish power supplies that the shuttle uses.

You also mention that your case temp goes up when you remove the cover? Thats a test of a REAL good case design. With my rackmount case, the temp would go down with the cover open. With My coolermaster and Lian-Li case, the temps remain the same.

I want one. Well, at least one

Phoner: Looking at the pics, it doesn't look like an ATX power supply would work.
post #16 of 2846

The new Asus MB's can do that with the Q-fan option, but I wish it was a little more configurable. It will control the case fans and the CPU fan. You can also route the power supply fan wire out to the motherboard for controlling the speed. I have done a lot of research on that topic and would like to offer a fan speed controller at a later date, or find one that is already for sale that works well. If anyone knows of some good ones let me know.

post #17 of 2846

Any update on price or availability? Will you be able to include some type of silkscreening or "decals" for logos like Dolby Digital and DTS? Thanks.

post #18 of 2846

I could do logos later, but I did not want to delay the release any longer while trying to work out a logo design that everyone would be happy with (if that is even possible). A clean look can make it easier to fit in with existing components.


Sorry for not getting the ordering information up yet. I have had delays on a current project due to added scope. Once I finish, I can devote 100% of my time to getting these cases built.

post #19 of 2846
I seem to recall several case fans with built-in heat sensors, like these:

Unfortunately they all I can find so far after a quick search is 80mm. Can they be shoehorned into your case?

The Zalman CPU heatsinks/fans seem to generate little noise, even for the faster processors.

This leaves the noise from the power supply and the video card. Zalman makes heatsinks for video cards. As to the power supply, I'm sure your 350W is plenty!

So I'm thinking I could put together a pretty quiet HTPC with your case even if I put in a fast processor and videocard. What do you think?
post #20 of 2846

I am also interested in your new case. Looks like a great design.

I agree with you that you should focus on the existing design and manufacturing it first, before making more changes. Given the fit problems that have been reported in the DIGN threads, I hope that you will take extra timeto ensure that whomever builds your panels takes great care to meet the specs and the screw holes line up properly. That is a big challenge once you start a manufacturing operation...
post #21 of 2846

Put me on your mailing list, the clean slot loader front panel is exactly what I've been looking for. Can you provide blue led's for the front panel indicators?

post #22 of 2846

The standard type of speed controlled fans could work in the power supply and may become a option. For the case, the fans I am using are very low noise. I have not seen any controlled fans with the temp/rpm range I'm looking for. An adjustable hi/lo controller would be better here.


That's the problem with stamped and folded cases. My cases are machined to close tolerances.


I plan to have a blue power LED as a option.

post #23 of 2846

Is there a list forming for this case or will you just notify us here when it is available? If there is a list please add me to it.

post #24 of 2846

I'd like a general idea of the price you're thinking of charging, actually. This seems to be the perfect HTPC case; I'd hate to see that ruined by a USD 500 price tag...
post #25 of 2846

I will be taking orders soon. At that time a waiting list may be needed.

I'm trying to keep the price as close to my $250 target as possible. The extra time I am taking now is being spent trying to reduce the cost. Sorry for the delays.

post #26 of 2846

One way for you to reduce cost may be to omit the fans. Many of us case buyers replace the case fans anyway with the ones we prefer. You can always offer fans a la carte along with other options.
post #27 of 2846
Hi Glenn,
What is the approx weight? just the case no fans PSU's etc etc, i need to know how much i'm gonna have to shell out for shipping to the UK.
BTW i notice the little "window" for the IRman will this window be big enough to take my Keyboard infrared receiver (i've stripped the outer cases from both mine & incorporated them in my existing case).
post #28 of 2846

I will list the weight when I post ordering info.

You can make special requests for custom work. I would need to know dimensions of the receiver.

post #29 of 2846
Hi Glenn,
The receiver PCB has been removed from it's case (as has the irman) the smoked plastic front of the keyboard receiver then being glued into a standard 5-1/4 inch case blank, the irman & keyboard PCB's sit behind this "window"
It's going to be difficult to mount both with the tiny hole already in your case, unless i have another/bigger hole made, & a bracket to mount them.
I should imagine other people are going to want their keyboard receiver & irman inside their machine or is just me how is your keyboard receiver mounted??

P.S why do painted cases look sooo bad under flash photography
post #30 of 2846
The IRman & keyboard receiver PCB's inside the 5-1/4 inch bay
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