Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Make A Home Theater Pc Case

Thermaltake case

A home theater PC is an increasingly popular way to record programming and stream media directly to your television, without paying the monthly costs associated with DVR systems offered by cable and satellite providers. However, a full-sized PC case sitting over by the TV may be unsightly to many. A case for your home theater PC that resembles another piece of television equipment will help it to better fit in with its surroundings. The project outlined in this article involves building this case out of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF). MDF is the type of particle board usually used in furniture manufacturing when wood is not the choice material. MDF is an ideal material for an HTPC case, because it is easier to work with than metal, and since it has no grain, it provides a smoother surface that from a distance could pass for metal or plastic if needed.


1. Sketch up the layout of your home theater PC case on paper. Design the sides of the case so they overlap in such a way that the front panel is visually one solid piece (covering all of the other edges), with the top panel (which will be removed to access the parts) covering all of the sides except for the front panel. The top and bottom panels should be the same size, and both the sides, the bottom and the top should cover the back panel. Remember to account for the thickness of the boards when measuring for the length of each cut.

2. Cut the six sides of your case out of your MDF. Measure and draw the lines onto the MDF based upon the measurements created in Step 1. Using a saw that provides precise cuts, such as a table saw, cut out each of the panels one at a time. Remember that any length that is accidentally cut slightly longer or shorter than it should be will throw the entire case off of alignment, resulting in a finished product that is not truly square.

3. Lay the top panel aside. In the finished case, the top panel will be the only one that is removable, whereas the other panels will be permanently attached together to form the case itself. Drill pilot holes for each of the wood screws that will be used. Lay a line of wood glue along each of the joints before assembling. Next, screw the wood screws into place. Since these will fasten the sides together while the glue dries, the need for clamps is eliminated.

4. Using an 80mm hole saw, drill two holes in one side of the case, and two more on the opposite end. In these holes, intake and exhaust fans will be utilized to help keep the system cool. Keep in mind the eventual location of your computer components when figuring out the placement of the fans. Once drilled, standard 80mm computer case fans can be screwed into place. Attach fan guards to the outside of the case to prevent your home theater system's wiring from getting caught in the spinning blades.

5. Paint your case. This is an ideal place for this step, since the hardware hasn't been installed yet. Any canned spray paint can be used. Since the MDF has no grain and has a smooth surface from the factory, it requires no sanding before applying paint. Though any color can be used, a flat black paint will allow the home theater PC to blend in with your other home theater equipment. Use several coats to ensure even coverage.

6. Using your motherboard as a template, mark where each of the holes for the standoffs will need to be located. Using a drill bit slightly smaller than the width of the standoff's stud, drill shallow holes at each of the markings. The MDF will be soft enough that the brass standoff's threading will dig in and screw into place without a problem. Once you have screwed a standoff into each of the holes, the motherboard can be mounted.

7. Cut any required holes in the case. Using a CD or DVD drive's faceplate as a template, make a cut in the front of the case where the drive can slide into place from the outside. The width of the faceplate will hide the actual cut, making it look just like a drive would in a standard computer case. Small wood risers may be required to support the disk drive from the inside. Additionally, a cutout for the power supply unit and the motherboard's input/output panel will likely be required. Drill any holes needed for status LED's or power switches.

8. Secure the rest of the computer hardware into place. The hard drive can be secured in its place by drilling pilot holes from the bottom of the case, then sliding screws through the MDF and into its set of threaded holes that are located on the bottom of the drive. It may be somewhat difficult to find screws of the proper size for this task, but most major hardware stores should have screws that fit your needs. Next, using the same steps, secure the power supply into place at the back of the case. Finally, wire the system components together like you would a standard PC, and using four wood screws, attach the top panel.

Tags: into place, home theater, wood screws, your home, your home theater, case your, computer case