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 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.