Posted on April 28, 2003
Below is evidence of the ruins you create by milling (and thereby melting) the plastic, but please keep your faith: everything will be alright (again depending a bit on your skill and nerves).
The end result after one hour of filing
the plastic with delicate instruments can be seen below. Yes,
this is going to be good. You will notice that the two lids
articulate at an angle (approx. 10 degrees) while the backplate
is straight. I do not recommend you trying to bend this plate
as it is rather fragile and will probably break. It fits OK
though, as you can see:
The next step was to find a suitable place to locate the PCI-bracket for the two additional USB 2.0 ports and the Firewire connections. Let"s see where can we put those:
Here you can see that I did not screw the bracket to the case although I did later on to secure it and again the fit is remarkable. The coincidence rate is reaching significance shortly, I presume. Note that you will have to shorten the bracket a little bit by sawing, to make it go in smoothly. Now, for the first time I was about to test-fit the M9000. The C64 isn"t that big but still the board is dwarfed. There is plenty of room for peripheral gear as you can see. After final positioning, the four holes that were already on the mainboard were also drilled in the casing, and the M9000 was tightened with screws and four nylon rings providing about 2 mm of clearance from the bottom to improve heat dissipation / airflow. The EPIA M-series is known for its low power consumption and heat production but still it is going to be a lot warmer in here than in the days it did BASIC PacMan. Remember, a modern 7200 RPM harddisk is producing quite some heat as is a spinning DVD drive. And they are about to be fitted
First, the DC-DC converter was installed next to the M9000, because I was planning to use the former data recorder opening in the lower tray to become the power connector. Below you see the converter, the place were the power connector is going to be (yellow arrow) and the two aluminum brackets I installed to fit a slimline DVD player (red arrows).
I decided to play around a little bit with the cables just to make sure they had sufficient length, the final arrangement would become a little tidier as you will see later on. A 256 MB RAM module was fitted since I think that it is the minimum (but also sufficient) amount needed to be able to work with XP Professional smoothly.
The next step was to make room for the slimline DVD-player (Samsung SN-608B). I decided against a plain CD-ROM player because the M9000 is sooo suitable for multimedia applications it would be a shame not to use a DVD player. I also decided against a DVD/CDRW combo since the whole project was about doing something fun instead of wasting buckets of money. (This happened anyhow but see, I was beyond the point of no return; I could abandon the project halfway and end up with some pretty useless components or finish and spend even more, what would you do?)
In the following two pictures you have a detailed view of the location and construction where the drive was to be attached. Creating the large slot where the DVD-drive bezel would fit was the most distressing part of the project to get nice "n" tidy without destroying things. In the end, with use of the dremel and file the result looked OK and the fit was pretty good. I toyed with the idea to create a front loader but in my opinion that would give a rather awkward look of the rounded front of the C64. Whether a full-size drive would fit in there? Not in your dreams! By the way, normal IDE cables do not fit slimline drives. You will have to get an adapter to make things work.
WARNING! The next phase should preferably be performed at a quiet afternoon with just you, your C64-project, a cold beer in nearby reach and the absence of anyone that thinks you should grow-up. The height/tilt/rotation adjustment needed to get the player in the right spot will get you to curse, despair and display all kinds of half-grown behaviour. But when, at last, you have put it in the correct place and the lid pops out smoothly, it is time to invite your significant other(s) back in and proudly present your work.
2nd WARNING! They will not understand what you are talking about and they might have a different appreciation of your achievement than you were anticipating. YMMV.