Yet another HTPC

by Phunguss  

Number one was the Mac Mini upgrades, used in the living room.  Number two was the Hackintosh Intel Cube, just finished and will be used in the basement.  Number three is this one, which I will donate to my parents.  Let's get started!

Strip down

by Phunguss  

I aquired an old macbook with a broken screen because I needed the top case (the keyboard).  In salvaging it, I received it with no ram, no HD, no battery or power cord.  I assumed there were other problems.  So I took the topcase off and had  look inside.  Things seemed in order, no signs of spillage or other physical damage.  I connected my existing laptop's power cord and installed the ram and drive from my working machine.  It chimed, so the motherboard must be good.  Strip it down!

Case leftovers

The case after stripping everything I need.

Try it out

by Phunguss  

Since it chimed, I thought I would give it a full try.  After stripping out the motherboard, I connected all relevant parts to assemble this:


It's a higher resolution pic, so if you 'view image' it will be larger.  Amazingly small motherboard, only 5 x 7.25 inches.  That should fit into any case.

Test components

by Phunguss  

I downloaded Geekbench and ran it to see what I could get.

about this macbook

macbook 2007

meh, pretty low

Not amazing, but should work fine for HTPC.

Find a case

by Phunguss  

I wanted a small case, because the motherboard is so small.  Standard mini-itx and other HTPC cases are rather expensive for this build.  So, next best thing is an old thin client that I will only use the case.

thin client

Only $14 delivered.

T5145 HP thin

I know how to cover that logo...

Another look

by Phunguss  

I'll have to find another magsafe power adapter... looking on eBay.

Magsafe adapter

When I first connected it (with no power button), it came on automatically.  So once I shut it down, how to start again?  Search and find... There is a small 'power pad' on the motherboard.  After some searching, it was right next to the fan mount.  See the icon?

Tiny solder pads

Two tiny solder pads next to the power icon.  Short with a screwdriver and it powers up!

Power it up

by Phunguss  

Got a 'broken' apple power supply for a macbook.  Disassembling it, yet to test the voltage output...

need more power

Ding Dong

by Phunguss  

Just as I was about to go check my mailbox after a nice afternoon nap, there was  a knock at the door "ding dong".  What?  Oh yeah, this part was shipped via UPS, not USPS...

HP thin client
It all came apart rather nicely.  Not sure how the front and rear panels will pan out yet.

rear panel holes


by Phunguss  

I think the case is large enough for the motherboard, the apple power supply and a laptop drive.  I was originally going to use a desktop size drive, but physical contraints and power requirements outweighed that decision.

empty case

Use the right tool

by Phunguss  

As a kid, I often used a 'nibbling tool' that I had purchased at Radio Snack.  30 years later, and they still sell the same tool.  Picked one up and modded the back cover.  I used some spare case parts to cover the open holes and this is the result:

New rear cover

Fugly but functional.  I still don't have the power sorted out.