I have finally finished my silent Taco, started almost two years ago! I stopped working on it because my screen was not particularly pleasing, and I moved up to OS X, which was not possible to use on my 256MB flash drive, and I couldn't stomach OS 9 anymore after seeing the light of OS X. So most of the parts went into a box, and it wasn't until a recent convergence of events that I revived the project. First of all, although I moved up to a Sawtooth, my audio card, an Audiomedia III, was stuck in my old 7300, since it was a revision that didn't work in B&W G3s or newer. And my audio software (Sound Designer II) is tied to the Audiomedia card. So every time I wanted to do serious audio work, I needed to drag out the 7300, locate a monitor and keyboard, find space, find a way to get the finished files over to the G4 for CD burning, it was just a huge hassle. In addition, The transport for my Tascam portable DAT was getting flaky enough to give me headaches. But the preamps and converters are still useful, so I could just plug the DAT into the digital input on the Audiomedia card. But the 7300 is both *extremely* loud as well as non-portable.
Enter the silent taco. Perfect for this application, it can both accomodate my sound card, run my software, be extremely quiet, and is highly portable. I substituted a *very* quiet laptop drive (ditched the CF reader and flash drive), and a quiet panaflo fan is on the bottom of the case blowing air up over the processor. It's not solid state like I would have liked, but all in all it's quieter than the transport of the Tascam, and well within limits for on-location recording. Since the Audiomedia III can record from all inputs simultaneously (2 tracks digital, 2 analog), I now have a portable 4 track hard disk recorder!
It's aesthetically challenged, to say the least, but it's probably the most useful thing I've ever tinkered with. I only had a week to build it and put it through some testing before a recording job I had last week, so looks took a backseat. I'm also working on building a mic pre-amp circuit to use a mic with the analog inputs, and an output amp to either speakers or headphones, because the software doesn't want to playback to the Mac's sound-out jack, only through the card.
The whole thing is mounted on the RF shielding from the 7300's case top. The controller is mounted on a portion folded over.