The "The Log Cabin PC"
By Greg Sowell
Posted on March 3, 2003
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This next section is all about wiring up the various parts of the cabin. I purchased a Chieftec wireless mouse and keyboard set. (Schweet bluuuuue color!) The receiver is built into the front of the cabin. I removed the factory antenna and used a larger piece of wire to replace it. The new antenna is the blue wire running around the perimeter of the cabin. I went to the shack (Radio Shack) to try and find some plugs that would fit onto the Motherboard pins for HD light, power light, etc., but they told me they just don't sell anything like that. The little hamster inside my head started running. I ended up using the audio cable that runs from the CD-Rom drive to the analog-in on a sound card to wire into the Motherboard pins. I hooked up the power button, HD, and power this way. Also, the Epia M series Motherboard has one RCA type connecter on the Motherboard. Using a jumper you can select whether this RCA will be analog video-out or digital audio out. I wanted the ability to EASILY select between the two. As I'm sure you can tell everything fits inside the cabin pretty tight, so there was no way I could get my hands in there. What I did to remedy this was to take the shunt off of the jumpers and throw it away. I took one of the aforementioned audio cables and cut it in half. I wired it to a DPDT (Double Pole Double Throw) switch. I then stuck the audio cables on the jumpers. Now I can select between audio and video without having to open the case! The PSU power connecter had to be extended so that it could be mounted on top of the DVD drive. I simply soldered some extensions to it.

HD on right. Wireless receiver bottom

Homemade jumper switch

Kristi doing it up

Front right

Opposite side


Power button

Ohhh yeeaaaah, that's bio-dome

HD light flickering

Window in the dark

See the funnel under the chimney

Log Cabin PC - The Movie

"The movie contains picture out-takes, and well, of course video of the PC in action. Music by Dread Zeppelin in this movie. Maybe some of you remember, the song, and or Dread Zeppelin, or maybe not. You'll need to save the movie to your Computer - it is zipped, 53 seconds run time, and is about 1.5 megabytes in Windows Media Format." ~David

Log Cabin PC Movie


In conclusion, I would have to say that this project was pretty fun. I think I learn something new with every build. Whether that is: hard work pays off, take your time and do it right, or hot-glue has hot in its name for a reason. This baby runs like a top! I also watched a few movies on it...purely for testing purposes. The Mini-ITX form factor integrates into the home multimedia environment seamlessly. The ability to build a small system, add it to your home theater with digital audio and not break the bank is just incredible. I tested the digital audio on Luke's home theater system and was blown away. He was a bit shocked to see that I could build this system for half of what he paid for his DVD player! Needless to say, I'm probably going to be building him one soon. Questions, comments, and slander can be directed to me, or take it on in the Forums. Thanks for giving my article a read.

System Specs:

Epia M 9000 mainboard (933 MHz C3, on board video and 5.1 audio)
10 GB Maxtor Hard Drive
1 stick PC2100 256 MB DDR RAM
Pioneer slot load DVD drive
Cheiftec wireless keyboard mouse combo
230 watt PSU (Micro PSU)

Project kindly donated by