Custom HTPC Inside Sony STR-DB925!

chrisba

Active Member
After seeing daviddekanter's custom HTPC i thought id have a go myself!

I currently have a Sony STR-DB930 as my main amp, with this is mind i set about looking for a black sony amp in which to build the HTPC. I managed to source a black Sony STR-DB925 off Ian Dudley which is almost identical visually to my amp. :D Chuffed with this as it will look awesome side by side in the stand!

Anyway, heres some of the components that are going in to it:

Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H
Antec 450w PSU
1TB Samsung Spinpoint (For File Storage)
80GB HDD (For O/S Installation)
MCE Reciever

I have also bought a cheap case off ebuyer to salvage parts from. Mainly the HDD caddy, LED's and cables and the front USB ports. There maybe some other bits and bobs that come in handy though during the build.

The courier came with the DB925 yesterday so as soon as i got home i made a start on stripping down the case, what a job! So many screws!! :eek:

Heres a some pics of the process :

Shot of the case im going to use for parts


Made up paper templates of the main components to make sure they fit!


Topless Shot!


Components unscrewed and the back plate removed


The black plate, this is going to be sprayed black and cut for the power and MOBO I/O.


Nearly empty!


Case with front panel removed


Front panel


Finally an empty case!


Front support panel
(note the 2 components left on, these are the headphone jack and a selector knob which are visible from the front of the case.)


Templates placed inside casing for test fit.
May rotate the HDD to give space to fit a fan next no it on the side of the case.


Thats about it for now! Will put some more pics up tomorrow with any progress i make tonight.

Any comments or questions or suggestions much appreciated! :thumbsup:
 

daviddekanter

Active Member
Way to go!!!!!!!!

I would rotate the HDD's if I where you.
This way you can keep most cables on the right side of the case and install a fan. This will increase your airflow drastically.

Good luck with the build:thumbsup:
 

chrisba

Active Member
Way to go!!!!!!!!

I would rotate the HDD's if I where you.
This way you can keep most cables on the right side of the case and install a fan. This will increase your airflow drastically.

Good luck with the build:thumbsup:

Yeah thats gonna be the plan for definate. The case is pretty well ventilated at the top anyway but ive got to get a fan in there somewhere.. :D
 

Jez1

Active Member
I wish I was metalwork-competent. I think I have a fairly chunky old broken DVD player kicking around somewhere that would be great for this.
 

chrisba

Active Member
I wish I was metalwork-competent. I think I have a fairly chunky old broken DVD player kicking around somewhere that would be great for this.

TBH im crap with metal but im gonna have a go! Everything is going to be screwed together so hopefully there will be minimal cutting involved apart from the rear panel.
 

oddsocks

Active Member
I have so many bits and pieces I think I should have a go at this.
I know Ive got an old biscuit tin somewhere!!!

Being serious though, I really do admire both your handiwork. David should be very pleased, and I'm sure Chris will be when he's finished.
Way to go!
 

Razor

Member
Excellent stuff. :thumbsup:

I have an old DB930 in the wardrobe doing nothing. I have never thought of gutting it and modding it.

Good luck with the build. I am looking forward to see how you get on. :smashin:
 

Lampshader

Active Member
Will you guys stop tempting me to do this, after david's one and now this i might have to do this for my next build now. Good luck and can't wait to see it finished
 

chrisba

Active Member
Sourced a HFX 530 iMON internal VFD and IR off the forums today! :clap::thumbsup: Chuffed with that!
This will be installed in the space of the original case display.

Very small build update :

Fitted the PSU (fits perfectly height wise).

Screwed in the Motherboard.

Test fitted the case fan and HDD's.

Made space in back of case face for the VFD module.

Also managed to prep the case for installing the power LED where the blue LED was at the front of the case.


No pics at the moment but i'll get some tonight. :thumbsup:

Heres a few more pics:


 
Last edited:

chrisba

Active Member
Got a fair bit of progress yesterday with the build!

Heres some pics of where it is so far :

Test fitted the Power LED. :cool:



Test fitted the whole casing (need to re-fit the volume knob)



Shot of the internals through the vents in the top.



Rear of case without back panel.



Front flap down showing USB, MIC IN and 3.5mm Jack point. (Needs tidying)



Power button fitted in the hole from the headphone socket



Blue power LED fitted and working along with the HDD 'busy' LED fitted behind the display.



Full frontal! :eek:




Still quite a few jobs to do, decided against a case fan for now (just the CPU cooler), unless the temps get too high. The rear of the front panel has been cut ready for the VFD to be fitted in a few weeks. Need to tidy up the USB panel at the front. The rear case panel is with one of my mates at the moment (he's an engineer) who is cutting the panel for the I/O plate and the PSU.

Thats about it!

Any comments/suggestions much appreciated! :thumbsup::D
 

Hallsy

Active Member
Nice work :)

I was going to go down this route myself, but my wanted ad didn't get much response so I closed it :(

Couple of questions, why did you not use the power button from the Sony?

Are you going to have an optical drive?

Do you think if you used a std ATX board (as I would have to), that it would be feasible to fit it in, if the PSU was mounted to higher?
 

chrisba

Active Member
Nice work :)

I was going to go down this route myself, but my wanted ad didn't get much response so I closed it :(

Couple of questions, why did you not use the power button from the Sony?

Are you going to have an optical drive?

Do you think if you used a std ATX board (as I would have to), that it would be feasible to fit it in, if the PSU was mounted to higher?

Hi mate, thanks!

As for the questions:

The power button on the amp is an electronic style button and didnt have enough travel in it to push the microswitch for the pc.

No, no permenant optical drive.

It would definately be a tight fit with a standard ATX board, i wouldnt like to try it. Although it would depend entirely on the case used!

:thumbsup:
 

chrisba

Active Member
A bit of an update, unfortunately not a good one.

After switching the PC on yesterday to test it, my HDD went pop! :mad:

Gutted, no backup of anything and a 1tb HDD down the drain.

I dont know what caused it, ive since tried another HDD in it and it powers up and works no problem.

:oops:
 

chrisba

Active Member
could it have shorted out on something

Quite possibly, the power leads from the PSU were all piled on top of the HDD (now moved), unfortunately i dont have a clue about this type of thing.

Any ideas how i can find out? Or if it can be repaired easily?
 

Razor

Member
Quite possibly, the power leads from the PSU were all piled on top of the HDD (now moved), unfortunately i dont have a clue about this type of thing.

Any ideas how i can find out? Or if it can be repaired easily?

Just send it back to the manufacture. Most HDDs have a 3-5 year warranty.
 

Ian Dudley

Active Member
Quite possibly, the power leads from the PSU were all piled on top of the HDD (now moved), unfortunately i dont have a clue about this type of thing.

Any ideas how i can find out? Or if it can be repaired easily?

If you've electrically damaged your HD you could have a hard time. Even if you got it going I'd personally not trust it again and only use it long enough to get all the data off.

How dead is it? Will it spool up but not communicate properly, or is it making like a paperweight?

If you can't get it respond and it has important data on, you might be best off sending it to a professional restore company before you hack about with it too much. They can usually get data off even fairly knackered units, but if you star poking at it you could do more damage to the platters themselves and wipe the data. I have some links somewhere, I'll dig em out for you.
 

Ian Dudley

Active Member
Just send it back to the manufacture. Most HDDs have a 3-5 year warranty.

Not sure if 'I shorted it out on top of my PSU' would be covered by the warranty :D

Depends what's happened to it and how obvious it is that it was user damaged. Plus they would likely just replace it and won't restore any lost data.
 

Ian Dudley

Active Member
Hmm, turns out the £250 service I recalled someone talking about is a walk in on Tottenham Court Road in London, which is a bit of a trek from Swansea :)

These people have a good rep (used to be called Vogon), but if you've done something particularly horrible to the drive they will charge you an arm and a leg for a recovery.

I had a quote off of them about 5-6 years ago to recover an accidentally wiped exchange database from a RAID array and they wanted about £10k ! However, I have heard that prices for HD recovery have come down a lot in recent years.

If you want a DIY solution I have a few tricks recomended by people I know (inluding one where you put the HD in a fridge first), but most of those are geared towards head crashes or corrupted drives, if you've just blown something electrical nothing is likely to work short of swapping out the electronics (difficult) or even putting the platters in a new mounting (impossible outside of a specialist facillity).
 

chrisba

Active Member
Not sure if 'I shorted it out on top of my PSU' would be covered by the warranty :D

Depends what's happened to it and how obvious it is that it was user damaged. Plus they would likely just replace it and won't restore any lost data.

Sorry for late reply guys! Crazy stuff going on at home.

Anyway, what you reckon to the chances of them replacing it? There is nothing physically wrong with the drive, its just dead as a doorstop! Doesnt spool up, no power,nothing.

Its a Samsung Spinpoint from ebuyer for the record.

Ive given up on the idea of data recovery now after looking at the costs!

Cheers for the reply's guys! :thumbsup:
 

chrisba

Active Member
Hmm, turns out the £250 service I recalled someone talking about is a walk in on Tottenham Court Road in London, which is a bit of a trek from Swansea :)

These people have a good rep (used to be called Vogon), but if you've done something particularly horrible to the drive they will charge you an arm and a leg for a recovery.

I had a quote off of them about 5-6 years ago to recover an accidentally wiped exchange database from a RAID array and they wanted about £10k ! However, I have heard that prices for HD recovery have come down a lot in recent years.

If you want a DIY solution I have a few tricks recomended by people I know (inluding one where you put the HD in a fridge first), but most of those are geared towards head crashes or corrupted drives, if you've just blown something electrical nothing is likely to work short of swapping out the electronics (difficult) or even putting the platters in a new mounting (impossible outside of a specialist facillity).

Thanks for the reply and the INTERESTING info, unfortunately the amount of data on it would cost me so much i dont think its worth it.

Thanks again anyway. :D
 

chrisba

Active Member
As far as updates go, theres not a lot happened.

The USB ports at the front have been tidied up and the case has been re-built using a 80gb HDD for now. Next up is to install Windows 7 and sort out a replacement HDD for the TB one thats gone pop!

:thumbsup:
 
Last edited:

Ian Dudley

Active Member
Sorry for late reply guys! Crazy stuff going on at home.

Anyway, what you reckon to the chances of them replacing it? There is nothing physically wrong with the drive, its just dead as a doorstop! Doesnt spool up, no power,nothing.

Its a Samsung Spinpoint from ebuyer for the record.

Ive given up on the idea of data recovery now after looking at the costs!

Cheers for the reply's guys! :thumbsup:

If you don't care about the data on the drive, you've probably nothing to lose by trying for a warranty replacement.

If they are lazy, they might just send you a shinny new drive without investigating the old one too much.

If they are a bit less lazy, they might just say 'computer says no' and you'll probably have just lost some courier money.

If they are nasty, they might bill you for looking at it once they figure out it was user damage. This is fairly unlikely though and they should warn you about it up front.

Give the manufacturer a call and explain that its dead (dont talk about building a custom PC, it was just sat in your desktop and died without warning), see what they say. Phone call isn't going to cost you anything.
 

chrisba

Active Member
If you don't care about the data on the drive, you've probably nothing to lose by trying for a warranty replacement.

If they are lazy, they might just send you a shinny new drive without investigating the old one too much.

If they are a bit less lazy, they might just say 'computer says no' and you'll probably have just lost some courier money.

If they are nasty, they might bill you for looking at it once they figure out it was user damage. This is fairly unlikely though and they should warn you about it up front.

Give the manufacturer a call and explain that its dead (dont talk about building a custom PC, it was just sat in your desktop and died without warning), see what they say. Phone call isn't going to cost you anything.

Brilliant advice there, thanks very much. :thumbsup:
 

chrisba

Active Member
Bit of an update :

Set the HTPC up last night in its home under the tv, looks awesome!

Everything works, installed windows 7 RC and the first few essential progs.

Only problem is at the moment is the blue LED on the front is very bright and a bit off putting when the lights are off in the room (will have to get that sorted somehow).

Just need to install the IR reciever later and set up my Harmony 525 to control Media Centre.

Will get some pics later on of it in the stand. :thumbsup:
 

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