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Discussion Starter #1
Guys,


Here's a peek at the case that I've been working on.

http://nickyen.tripod.com/htpc1.jpg
http://nickyen.tripod.com/htpc2.jpg

[If the links don't work, you may need to type in the URL.]


It's an all-aluminum 4U rack mount. There're mounting holes on the side as well as 4 round feet on the bottom of the case. The case has 4 USB ports up front, 5 3.5" bays and 3 5.25" bays. The cut-out on the left of the picture is for Irman, the power button is at the center and the reset button on the top right of the picture.


The color has not been finalized yet although we're looking at black or silver. The power button also comes in two choices. One is the one illustrated in the pictures and the second is a similar switch that is lit by a blue LED.


The costs have not yet been finalized but I hope to be able to provide an initial pricing by next week.


The design has not been totally finalized, so please let me have your comments.


Thanks!


Nick
 

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Not dead... just tripod doesn't allow you to link jpg's directly... you have to go to this link: http://nickyen.tripod.com and scroll down...


I also recommend you view htpc2.jpg first, as htpc1.jpg is a monstrous 2400x1800 :)
 

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Hi Nick,

Very nice looking case.


But I am getting confused here.


Where will cards go? Do you plug them in in the front?

If yes, how are you going to close the cover with all wiring in the front?


Will this case accept P4 based MOBOs?


Any work on quieting it?


What power supply will it have?


Price/availability?


Silver color will be very nice, although it will be hard to get matching HD/DVD/floppy drives.



Thanks

Roman
 

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Nick - exceptional!


Is silver the only color? Powder Black would be fantastic.


What are the 2 buttons? Reset and Power?


It looks like the slot covers on the left are for front access to (USB?) and are held with plastic snaps. I would think the plastic snaps would easily break, leaving big holes (I don't mind screws as it is behind the front plate as long as they color match.


Again with the slots on the left, they are all vertical. Probably not in the design, but a place for a multi line LED/Florescent display might be nice, with a window in the drop down front. This would mean a horizontal slot.



What is the expected $$$.
 

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Very nice! When will it be available?
 

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Fventura,


Shipping from where?


Would it include the DVD Rom drive like in the pic?


Would it be available without the floppy?

I don't want a floppy for my dedicated HTPC, I know I'm silly but that's just how it is.


If it doesn't come with the DVD than are all the drive bay covers included and are they all painted?


Am I asking too many questions?


Can you tell I want one?


-Brian
 

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Brian,


I am in Massachusetts and you could have one anyway you like it.

The price was for the case alone, but I can paint a DVD for you also.


You can email me direct at [email protected] if you like..


Frank
 

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Nick,


Let me emphatically tell you "Nice Work!!!"


IMHO black would be the best color for this box; making it a true audio/video component (that matches my hardware ;-)


Obsidience
 

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Just looked at the pdf document at the same site. Looks like a lot has changed! I don't see the window for the IRMan and one of the LED's (probably Harddisk activity).


I guess I was right on the 2 switches as they are on the old drawings.


Wow - just noticed there is another jpg of the inside - 6 fans! All though they look like they might be noisy (stamped openings rather than open with wire guards.) It looks like Under CPU venting too.


This thing is HUGE! how deep is it? Plenty of room for a giant power supply too. Great work on the wire management!


Only thing I see else is the number of back open slots. Maybe 7 is enought, but considering a sound card can use up to 3 of them.

The Audigy would have 1 for the card, 1 for the firewire and one more for the coax/optical.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for the encouragement!


Here's a picture to let everyone have a better idea of what the internal layout looks like.

http://nickyen.tripod.com/htpc3.jpg

[Sorry about the hassle!]


Roman, yes, it will accept P4 motherboards. In fact, it will also accept motherboards meant for dual CPUs. My objective was to make it as future proof as possible, therefore the size. I have chosen to work with this particular case manufacturer because it will also be possible in the future, if it happens, to swap out the rear panel if other form factors surface. This will ensure that you will be able to use the case for a loooooong time.


In terms of noise, I 've tried to minimize the need for fans by going with an all-aluminum solution. You can also see that there're multiple ventilation slots on the sides. The bottom of the face place is also open. For users who are not as concerned about noise but are concerned about heat, you will see that there're multiple fan mounts across the case.


Going back to the front of the case, the reason why we have put in some many bays is to allow for maximum flexibility. But if everyone feels that it may be better to have at least 1 or 2 concealed bays, let me know. I will continue to work with the manufacturer on finalizing the design. The slots up front will allow you to put in 1 floppy, at least 4 hard disks for future PVR use, and at least 2 CD/DVD-ROM drives. I will also take a look at plastic tabs to see if we can change it to something more durable.


This case has a front cover to ensure that you don't have to go the extra length to source for black or matching-color components. However, this also means that the USB ports will not be accessible with the flap closed.


Also, the case will be shipping without power supply. Because I've been lurking here long enough to realize that different people have different considerations in terms of noise and specifications. Plus, it will be much more expensive to ship with the power supply. I hope that this wil not be a concern.


Right now, we're looking to go into production before the end of November. However, to be conservative, I would like to say that we should be able to get this thing into your hands before Christmas. Please let me know if you're interested because I believe the minimum order is 200 pieces.


Jkaiser, I'm not sure if the flap is going to be able to support the weight of a display. I considered that option as well but thought it may be a little too difficult to implement on the current design. We also do not have enough real estate to incorporate a display unless we compromise on the flexibility. I'm working on another design right now and I'll see how a display will fit. What is the size you're looking at?


In terms of costs, I will be looking into this in more detail this week. We're trying to bring this case in within the price range currently for aluminum server cases. I still need to sort out the logistical aspects of this because we will need to ship the finished case to everyone. I should be able to provide more information next week.


Thanks everyone and I will keep you posted on developments! I will be traveling this week so there may be a lag in communication for a few days. Yes, I will be in discussions with the various people invovled.


Nick
 

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Nick, this looks excellent. Let us know the price when you have sorted out the details. I would prefer black but can live with silver.


Regards

Paul:p
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Forgot to mention that the reset button will be in gray and the power button in silver. I'm not sure what your thoughts are if we use these for a black case. One thing though, Mark Levinson components are usually in black with gray buttons.


A Mark Levinson HTPC....now that's a thought....


Nick
 

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Color of buttons is of no concern.


I guess you missed my thoughts on the LED?Florescent display. The display would be mounted to the case front. Only a window opening would be on the flap.


I spotted this earlier but failed to relay it. It might be a hassle for DVD's having to open the flap when ever you insert a new one. Of course with a case this large, maybe ripping them to hard drive would be OK.


I have to know the price before I could commit. I understand the no PS situation and totally agree.


I was thinking of either (same size)

http://www.matrix-orbital.com/products/vfd2041.htm

or
http://www.matrix-orbital.com/products/vk204-25.htm


Of course this is also an option, but would be difficult for buttons and 4 lines would use 2 bays (ouch! - maybe suffer with only 2 lines???)
http://www.matrixorbital.com/pcbays.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I will have to take a look at the display issue more closely. In terms of a cut-out on the front flap, I think it can be done. Although I need to verify the distance between the flap and the drive bay. If the distance is too big, it will not only look ugly but also obstruct part of the display.


Talking about cut-outs, we did consider using a spring-loaded front flap. But upon evaluation, we felt that the weight of the flap, although it's aluminum, would still consitute a substantial load on the DVD tray mechanism. The spring-loaded flap is definitely a much more elegant solution but in consideration of long term wear and tear on the DVD drive, we opted to go with a clip. A cut-out would work but it would destroy the simple look of the front.


I understand about the hesistance about commiting to anything without knowing the cost. Right now, I'm just looking for a rough estimate on the interest of everyone here for such a case. We're working very hard to bring down the cost.


Thanks!


Nick
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by fventura
Here's one I've been working on..

Antec KS-788 with soundproofing.

$170 + shipping

http://www.ht-systems.net/photos/case-front.jpg
fventura - That soundproofing must really be very good for the markup that you have put on the case. Pricewatch has them at $36 (no PSU) or $56 (w/ PSU), and you are selling them on for $170! That's some profit margin.


And I really do feel that it is rude of you to soi shamelessly hijack NickYen's post.
 

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Genixia (and Nick)


I apologize for (the perception of) hijacking Nicks post. It was not my intent to hijack the post but present options.


If anyone has painted a case they know it takes time to sand and paint it. And you are not including shipping cost in your price estimates. All in all you may be right on the price being a little high and have consider lowerring it a little to make it more attractive. Ultimately the price will be what the market will bare..



(PS: Nick it is a beautiful case and if in the end you decide to paint them black I too will be interested)
 

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Thanks nick - I was only making suggestions. What I do with it after I get one is up to me. Since it is Aluminum, I could always make my own modifications like adding a window/slot to the flap.


BTW, I don't think you ever answered the depth question. By the htpc3 jpeg, width and height look normal, but it looks extra deep. will it fit a standared rack? I just paid $280 for a stereo tower and would hate to have to buy another. I guess I could extend it out the back though.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
jkaiser,


Actually, Ã need to confirm about the depth. The old series was 25"deep but we're using the new series so I will need to confirm the final dimensions. As you mentioned, the width and height should be standard. I will be in Taipei tomorrow and will be going over to the manufacturer for more discussions. I will try to post some information if I can while I'm there.


Thanks!


Nick
 

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QUOTE]This case has a front cover to ensure that you don't have to go the extra length to source for black or matching-color components. However, this also means that the USB ports will not be accessible with the flap closed. [/quote]


I have a rack that will have a glass door. It will be very inconvenient to use USB ports. This means that I cannot close the rack door since the flap has to be open.


You may need to consider moving USB ports to the back.


Thanks

Roman
 
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