Quadra 840AV ATX Conversion

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 130

Back when I had myself a SMP Linux server I purchased a Server Tower for it, but since then sold the parts and kept the case. I had always wanted to transplant my 840AV from it's case because the case was so bad to get in and out of and it didn't have alot of room, not to mention bad airflow.

Wanting a bit of style, I purchased a Lian-Li PC67 Aluminum case with a custom tinted window, but sadly, the 840AV's logic board was too big. I didn't want to cut up the Lian-Li case as I'm not that great at doing hacks yet, so I decided to use the Darius CF case.

Here is my progress so far:

I went to Home Depot and purchased some "Surface Guard" Self Adhesive Vinyal Bumpers. The ones I got were 3/4" 19mm. The case I use has a removeable tray where the logic board goes. I had to remove the rivets from the backplate and snap it off so that all the I/O ports would be useable after the board was mounted. Some parts of the backplate will be re-used, just after I figure out how.

I removed all the mounting tabs for the old logic board, and instead put the vinyl bumpers all over to provide the best support for the logic board of the 840AV so that it didn't touch the metal and was safe. I then used some standard Silicone and placed it around all the edges of the board, all the way around and in odd and ends. I left it to seal for about 36 hours. It still has some curing time left, but it is bonded quite well and is secure. I went that route because I'm not good at drilling or doing custom standoffs etc., and was paranoid about damaging the board if I made a mistake, so this method seemed quick and cheap and was a sure way to make sure it worked.

So far the logic board is mounted, and so is the original 840AV's PSU. The PSU is a little backwards though, as the fan that cools the PSU is facing left, so I need to drill or cut out of the left side panel a spot for air to be drawn in. Right now the case has to be left open for good air flow. The PSU fits in sideways, and I am sure I can find a good way to mount it good so it doesn't go anywhere. The size of the ATX tower is perfect, because my new Seagate ELITE 23GB drive which is full height 5.25" can now fit inside the case, and later this month I can purchase a faceplate that has twin fans to provide good airflow.

The next part of the hack is to do a final paintjob on the case, re-wire some LED's (I am going to attach the original power LED to the ATX case's LED switch so that power on will have a LED, plus manually wire an LED light for the hard disk) and secure the floppy drive. The floppy drive might need a litle work but so far it does seem compatible with a 5.25" kit for floppy drives, although mounting it in place seems a bit.. troublesome. There are 4 mounting screws below the floppy drive and they line up with the 5.25" kit, but alas the holes are not threaded and I tried to thread them but they bend too easily..so not that reliable.

When finished the case will have a green paintjob with logos and text on it.

As of yet I don't have photos...I have a Camera but it's not digital. I am going to test some ISO 800 film and see how it does in indoor lighting and if it shows up good, I can safely take some photos with my Canon AE-1. It has a Macro lense so I can get close and take closeups of the case and features.

So, thus far I'm looking for input on the mounting of the floppy drive and making a back panel for the I/O ports plus a safe procedure for removing the RCA Video Plugs from the old 840AV case without hurting them. I'm keeping the old 840AV case stored away for safe keeping, in fact I might even turn it into an external drive case. (How hard would it be to hack a cable to make that floppy drive external? Would it slow it down?)