Posted on 25 May, 2005
My friend Jim Wiggins and I have been working on a special case mod for a music server. Here are some photos of the completed computer showing the steps I took during the process of converting an Enrico Bertini accordion into a SUSE Linux RAID5 server to play our library of music from our CD collection. It was a blast trying to figure out how to modify this accordion to fit a computer.
The original accordion (top, rear, front views)
The first thing I did was systematically gut the accordion by removing all the reeds, levers, and left hand button mechanics, leaving only the outer shell and the keyboard.
Wood base (side & front views)
Next I stretched the bellows into a curved shape similar to the first picture above (original accordion top view) and drew the shape onto a piece of 1/2" plywood, where I would be creating a base to mount the hard drives, motherboard chassis, etc.
Added motherboard chassis/power supply (front & rear views)
One of the amazing discoveries was that the back wooden plate where the left hand buttons used to be was exactly the same dimensions as a 3U rackmount case! My rackmount case supplier from my DAW business furnished me with a chassis that fit perfectly, along with the hard drive brackets you see in the above pics of the wooden base and an Enermax ultra-quiet 2U 450W power supply.
Duct taping the bellows to the base (inner & outer edges)
Using a mitre saw, I cut out the back portion of the bellows in order to mount the wooden base to it using duct tape. This way I could keep the airflow controlled and moving from the front of the accordion to the back without leakage.Then I used two white coat hangar wires to reinforce the top part of the bellows so no one would try to squeeze it once I got the computer operational (this was later removed as it proved unnecessary).
Added hard drive bracket guides and securing mechanism
In order to secure the hard drive brackets into place, I made guide rails from 1/4" wooden strips and glued+screwed them into place so the brackets wouldn't slide around. I also chiseled out an area on the base and screwed metal strips down so I could slide the metal clip from the base of the bracket into place, thus locking the bracket to the wooden base. Even with that, there was still about a 3/4" gap between the bracket and the top of the bellows so to further secure it, I slid a 1"x3"x5" piece of acoustic foam into this gap so the bracket wouldn't move when I tilted the accordion up to it's display position.
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