Win My custom HTPC/Amp build
Once upon a time i was using a lower end Sony bluray home theater system to provide 5.1 sound and play movies and such. It did work but it had quite a few annoying aspects to it, the main one being slow as heck as a lot of modern consumer electronics tend to be. Also the 5.1 audio it provided was not exactly terrific.

Eventually one day i decide that i can do better and go build my own HTPC to replace it. But i didn't just want to plug a PC in to a extra HDMI port and that it. I wanted to also replace the 5.1 sound system, but if i have a separate AV receiver to run it that's one more thing you have to turn on and off and fiddle with. I also wanted to be able to control the HTPC without turning on the TV when listening to music. As a result i resorted to building one from scratch.

This project was done about a year ago, but i decided to do a write up on it in a build log style since the project involves a lot more than just a building a PC from parts. Most of the components had there warranty voided due to being modified, there are electronics involved to make a 5.1 amplifier from parts, there is programming involved in other to make Kodi play nice with the front panel and remote etc.

Part 1


It all starts with a case. This case is the Chieftec HM-03SL-OP .Its made mostly out of aluminum, looks very Hi-Fi-y and is as quality built as it looks.

Once i had the case it was time to fill it with a computer. Its not exactly a monster but the requirement was that it should be able to decode all common formats at up to 1080p 60fps. Keeping the horsepower under the hood low also helps in making it quieter as this particular case does not have a lot of ventilation.

-Micro ATX Motherboard Asrock B85M Pro3
-CPU: Intel Pentium G3440T 2.8GHz
-RAM: 4GB DDR3 1600MHz Kingston KVR16N11S6
-SSD: Intel 530 120GB
-PSU: Chieftec PSF-400A 400W
-Sound card: Asus Xonar HDG


While the case is not particularly small it is not a standard PC case, as a result a special low profile CPU cooler had to be used. Since that Pentium CPU is so power efficient this small heatsink is plenty good enough once a low rpm fan gives it just a gentle breeze.(Even works with no fan if downclocked some)


Here is how the internals of the brand new case look like. Nice little plastic tray they screw in on the motherboard mounts to hold all the case acessories. Those include varius screws for mounting everythyng with plenty left over, adhesive cable ties and a IR remote control that works with the built in IR receiver (Can be trained to use other remotes tho).

In the bottom left are dual desktop hard drive mounts and a fan that is decent (It becomes pretty quiet once speed controlled down to about 30%). To the right of it is the optical drive mount that uses plastic standoffs for vibration resistance. Bellow that is a board that contains a USB hub, card reader and audio jacks. The weird cable in between the two belongs to the VFD display module on the front of the case. The remote allows for powering up the PC from a complete shutdown and as such it uses the 5V standby rail that is only available on the motherboards ATX power connector.(This ugly cable gets taken care of shortly)


Here is what that VFD display on the front looks like. I quite like the retro look of it and it is not too bright so it wont be blaring at you in a dark living room, alto as a result it does get hard to read in the sun. When the PC is off it also can display the date and time in this ugly format so i rather disabled that feature.


And here is how it looks like in its natural habitat.

In the next part i will go over adding the 5.1 speaker amplifier in to this case and how to make it work with the PC.

EDIT: Fixed photos

Messages In This Thread
My custom HTPC/Amp build - by Berni8k - 2016-04-30, 10:20
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by black_eagle - 2016-04-30, 10:29
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by DarrenHill - 2016-04-30, 10:35
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by Berni8k - 2016-04-30, 19:31
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by Berni8k - 2016-04-30, 19:33
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by Berni8k - 2016-04-30, 19:34
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by AchimTuran - 2016-05-06, 21:41
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by M4tt0 - 2016-05-06, 23:03
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by Berni8k - 2016-05-10, 20:58
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by M4tt0 - 2016-05-10, 21:37
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by Berni8k - 2016-05-10, 22:44
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by Berni8k - 2016-05-10, 20:59
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by M4tt0 - 2016-05-11, 19:52
RE: My custom HTPC/Amp build - by Berni8k - 2016-05-15, 18:00

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