The "Wraith SE/30"
By Carl Thomas
Posted on November 7, 2002

As with many fans of the new mini-itx format, I just had to make something with it. Also like many here, I didn't want to make the standard mod. Don't get me wrong, I like many of the modded cases, but after a while you run out of things to do with standard cases, lights and ducts. The Wraith is by definition the ghost of a dead person or is an apparition of a living person that appears as a portent just before that person's (or company's i.e. Apple's?!?) death. But I digress. The Wraith is a refit of a Mac SE/30 case. The only thing left of the original system is the case. Here's the refit design:

EPIA 800 mini-itx motherboard
256 MB RAM
Mini-ATX power supply
7" LCD TV monitor
8GB 2.5" IDE HD
Lite-On 16X DVD
3.5" 4 port USB hub
USB CF reader
5.25" Front transfer panel (USB, Game Port, Audio, Temp)
YS-Tech 80MM fan w/speed control, 900RPM to 3300RPM (for custom cooling and greater noise control)
Wireless IR Keyboard with built-in pointer
Windows XP Professional OS
Marvel limited edition Punisher skull icon 80mm fan cover. Mates up to the "wraith" theme...

The internal frame

The internal frame is comprised of Luon plywood configured in a reverse "L" shape. The bottom of this frame will hold the Eden motherboard and connect to the bottom of the computer's case. The vertical part will hold the 4 port USB hub, 2.5" HDD, DVD drive and front transfer panel.

The Front View

On the front, you can see the DVD drive, transfer panel, CF slot (above the 7" LCD) and the case sticker backlight. The Apple symbol has been remounted to a super-bright LED (power LED) and gapped at 2mm. The effect is a bright blue glow outlining the apple symbol when the unit is powered on. There is also a blue ElWire mounted inside the base of the case. When powered on, this gives a slight blue glow which also adds to the overall Wraith theme. At the very top of the case, you can see the receiver for the IR keyboard. I originally wanted to mount this inside the case, but I ran into several problems with that plan. The first of all was space. The PCB is larger than it looks and would not fit neatly anywhere. The other major factor was angle. The only space I could have mounted the receiver was under the lip of the case at the bottom front. This would block a good deal of the IR rang of the receiver. I also decided not to replace the red LEDs with blue ones, at least not the super-bright type since my kids will be staring at the screen just below the LEDs. I may replace them with standard ones later (maybe on refit #2).

Controlling the Fan

The Micro-ATX PSU came with a variable fan controlled by a thermal sensor in the power supply. I replaced this fan with the YS-Tech fan. By reusing the front brightness control knob, the fan's speed can be adjusted from the front of the case. The power supply is mounted to the fan and the fan is connected to the case via the Punisher fan cover.

Rear View

Here you see the rear power button and reset button (unlabeled for now), the RG-6 cable bulkhead (for the 7" cable TV) and a switch to select the internal (LCD TV speakers) or the external connection on the front transfer panel.