Enter the Mini-ITX.com online store

Project Browser

April 09, 2013
Installing NAS4Free

February 28, 2013
Building an XBMC 12 Home Theatre PC

January 25, 2011
XBMC Guide updated to version 10.0

August 06, 2010
Building a Green PC

February 15, 2010
Building an ION powered HTPC with XBMC

October 10, 2008
The "Cambridge Autonomous Underwater Vehicle 2008"

September 12, 2008
"Florian", the DVD burning robot

September 05, 2008
The "i-EPIA"

May 22, 2008
The "GTA-PC"

April 14, 2007
The "Digg" Case

Mini-ITX Online Store

January 19, 2007
The "ITX-Laptop"

December 07, 2006
The "Tortoise Beetle"

October 02, 2006
The "DOS Head Unit"

August 31, 2006
The "Janus Project"

August 05, 2006
The "Leela PC"

June 26, 2006
Nano-ITX in a Football

May 17, 2006
The "EPIA Alloy Mod"

April 11, 2006
Neatorama's Collection of Case Mods

February 18, 2006
The "Rundfunker"

October 24, 2005
The "ITX TV"

October 06, 2005
The K'nex-ITX

August 05, 2005
The "Waffle Iron PC"

July 21, 2005
The "Supra-Server"

July 18, 2005
The "Mega-ITX"

July 07, 2005
The "Encyclomedia"

May 25, 2005
The "Accordion ITX"

May 16, 2005
The "FileServerRouterSwitch"

May 15, 2005
The "Mini Falcon"

May 13, 2005
The "Bender PC"

May 11, 2005
The "BBC ITX B"

Mini-ITX Online Store

May 10, 2005
The "Frame"

April 20, 2005
The "Jeannie"

March 09, 2005
The "Cool Cube"

January 30, 2005
First Nano-ITX Project?

January 17, 2005
The "iGrill"

January 15, 2005
The "Gumball PC"

December 15, 2004
The "Deco Box"

December 03, 2004
The "TERA-ITX"

October 06, 2004
The "Coealacanth-PC"

September 17, 2004
The "Gramaphone-ITX-HD"

August 26, 2004
The "C1541 Disk Drive ITX"

August 25, 2004
The "SEGA-ITX"

August 13, 2004
The "Quiet Cubid"

August 06, 2004
The "BMWPC"

July 14, 2004
The "Moo Cow Moo"

July 02, 2004
The "Mini Mesh Box"

June 17, 2004
Jukebox ITX

May 24, 2004
The "ERN005PC" (KANA)

March 13, 2004
The "Underwood No. 5"

February 04, 2004
The "Humidor CL"

Full alphabetical archive on right hand side of page...


The "Mega-ITX"
By Nick Young, Berkshire, UK
Posted on July 18, 2005
Jump to:

Introduction

I have been working with computers for a long time now, but it was not until I moved home from University in December 2002 that I realised how noisy they had become. I now have a PC in my bedroom that kicks out a lot of noise, even using silent components. In addition to this, I have been looking at the Mini-ITX modifications and projects for a long time, and patiently waiting for the Nano-ITX to be realised. By Summer 2004 I finally got bored of waiting and having all that noise I just could not bear any longer, so I finally decided to do something about it.

What I wanted was a computer that would be silent, in the true meaning of "silent," that I could use to check my emails and produce all of my material for my job (teaching) on. I also wanted this to be cheap, especially if there was a chance I could seriously mess it up. Therefore I went with the VIA EPIA 5000 motherboard, purchased from Mini-ITX.com

Components

To start with, I wanted a case before purchasing anything else. This is a key point for anyone building a Mini-ITX project. Get the case first, and then plan the rest of the components around the case, something I am only too familiar with now. Anyway, I wanted something small, unobtrusive and would not look out of place. I finally decided to go "RETRO" and obtained a non working SEGA Mega-CD from EBay for £15 as shown below.

Click to launch image viewer

Next, the case was opened-up and gutted as shown in figure 2. Several parts of the casing removed and a part cut out of the back of the case for access to the ports on the motherboard. This then allowed me to measure the space and figure out what components I could fit in to the box.

At this stage I the remaining components. A complete list of parts is given below (just to give you an idea):

• VIA EPIA 5000 Motherboard
• SEGA MEGA-CD
• Slimline DVD-ROM
• 40GB Laptop Hard Disk
• 60W PSU Kit
• Slimline CD Adapter
• 2.5" to 3.5" IDE Adapter Cable
• 256MB Memory (from previous project)
• Netgear 11Mbps Wireless USB
• USB Cable Adapter

Construction

Click to launch image viewer

As I said earlier, the case was gutted and several of the plastic parts of the case were removed (see figure 2). I wanted to reduce the noise coming from this system, electrical noise that is, due partly because we have a HAM operator living next door but also to reduce interference with any of my other equipment. This is something that many designs simply ignore or forget about, and is certainly worth considering early on with any design. Hence some of the original metal shielding has been left in place.

The next step was to open part of the back of the casing up to allow access to the ports on the motherboard. I decided at this point to make a hole large enough to allow the standard metal bracket to be mounted:

Click to launch image viewer

Initially I was going to sit the motherboard level. However this then creates a major problem. That is that the RAM sits too high to allow for the DVD-ROM to fit in the case and use the original CD opening. I could have moved the DVD-ROM tray and created another opening, but then what’s the point in modding something like this if you are not going to use the original characteristics? At this point, the only real alternative was to sit the motherboard in at an angle, which presents another minor problem that I will discuss later. Two holes were drilled through the case to allow the motherboard to be secured. To stop any shorting, a sheet of plastic was placed between the metal on the casing and the motherboard. The same problem is presented with the PSU board, and so the same solution was applied.

Click to launch image viewer

Click to launch image viewer

At the start of this project, I thought a motherboard, 17cm x17cm and a case as big as the MEGA-CD would have plenty of room. At this stage it was becoming apparent that I may be wrong. I attached the PSU cable to the motherboard, which instantly showed how tight it was going to get:

Click to launch image viewer

*Advert* Tiny ARTiGO Pico-ITX Kits! *Advert*
Plenty in stock at the Mini-ITX.com Online Store. We serve the UK, Europe, USA and beyond. Order in-stock items before 7.30PM GMT and we'll ship same day!


Quick Links
Mini-ITX Online Store

Mailing Lists:
Mini-ITX Store

Mini-ITX 101
Mini-ITX History
Advertising

Projects:

Show Random
How to submit
your project

Most Viewed Today

XBMC-ION

OpenELEC

NAS4Free

ITX-Laptop

Mini-Cluster

Accordion-ITX
Aircraft Carrier
Ambulator 1
AMD Case
Ammo Box
Ammo Tux
AmmoLAN
amPC
Animal SNES
Atari 800 ITX
Attache Server
Aunt Hagar's MI
Bantam PC
BBC ITX B
Bender PC
Biscuit Tin PC
Blue Plate
BlueBox
BMW PC
Borg Appliance
Briefcase PC
Bubbacomp
C1541 Disk Drive
C64 @ 933MHz
CardboardCube
CAUV 2008
CBM ITX-64
Coelacanth-PC
Cool Cube
Deco Box
Devilcat
DOS Head Unit
Dreamcast PC
E.T.PC
Eden VAX
EdenStation IPX
Encyclomedia
Falcon-ITX
Florian
Frame
FS-RouterSwitch
G4 Cube PC
GasCan PC
Gingerbread
Gramaphone-ITX-HD
GTA-PC
Guitar PC
Guitar W/S
Gumball PC
Hirschmann
HTPC
HTPC2
Humidor 64
Humidor CL
Humidor II
Humidor M
Humidor PC
Humidor V
I.C.E. Unit
i64XBOX
i-EPIA
iGrill
ITX Helmet
ITX TV
ITX-Laptop
Jeannie
Jukebox ITX
KiSA 444
K'nex ITX
Leela PC
Lego 0933 PC
Legobox
Log Cabin PC
Lunchbox PC
Mac-ITX
Manga Doll
Mantle Radio
Mediabox
Mega-ITX
Micro TV
Mini Falcon
Mini Mesh Box
Mini-Cluster
Mobile-BlackBox
Moo Cow Moo
Mr OMNI
NAS4Free
NESPC
OpenELEC
Osh Kosh
Pet ITX
Pictureframe PC
Playstation 2 PC
Playstation PC
Project NFF
PSU PC
Quiet Cubid
R2D2PC
Racing The Light
RadioSphere
Robotica 2003
Rundfunker
SaturnPC
S-CUBE
SEGA-ITX
SpaceCase
SpacePanel
Spartan Bluebird
Spide Case
Supra-Server
Teddybear
Telefunken 2003
TERA-ITX
The Clock
ToAsTOr
Tortoise Beetle
Tux Server
Underwood No.5
Waffle Iron PC
Windows XP Box
Wraith SE/30
XBMC-ION

How to submit
your project

Reviews:
CF-S688 E-Note
Cubid 2677R
Cubid 2688R
Cubid 3688
GAlantic GA610i
Hush Mini-ITX
Lian Li PC-402A
Jetway B860T
VIA M 10000
VIA MII 12000
VIA Nano-ITX
VIA Pico-ITX
Sigma XCard
Travla C137

Guides & Tips:
5.1 EPIA Audio
Cubid Tips
EPIA CL Firewall
EPIA COM IR
EPIA SCART
Extra USB Ports
IPCop Gateway
Overclocking
PowerLCD

Drivers:
EPIA  EPIA V
EPIA M  EPIA MII
EPIA CL  EPIA PD
EPIA TC

Mini-ITX Online Store

Contact Us

Store: +44 (0) 845 475 8 475

Store enquiries: store@mini-itx.com

Other enquiries: feedback@mini-itx.com

Visit the Store

Click here to enter the online store

Social

Follow us on Twitter!

Join our Mailing List

Copyright: All content on this site is Copyright © 2002-2014 Mini-ITX.com and respective owners, all rights reserved.