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Project: The IntelliPC!

casemod pc intellivision

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#1 zander21510 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:06 AM

THE STORY:

 

I was looking at computer cases the other day for my big PC, as it's getting older, and while the hardware is all still good and plenty fast for me, I figured it might be time for a cosmetic upgrade. Everything looked like the same boring thing. I was like "Man I wish I could get a case that has a retro look...then got to looking at some cool case mods...and then it hit me!

 

For those that don't know, a case mod is where you shove PC innards into something besides a regular computer case. I had a buddy that shoved PC components into an old Xbox case, you can look online and see everything from giant, custom made beautiful cases, to the downright strange (a computer case made completely of ice...somehow?)

 

I looked online, a casual search showed that nobody seems to have made a case mod out of an old Intellivision...so I decided that's what I'm going to do!

 

Space-wise, there obviously isn't enough room for my big PC to fit into the Intellivision, but I have a little server/HTPC on my living room TV, and with some experimentation last night it looks very possible to fit everything inside!

 

THE PLAN:

 

I have a broken Intellivision I bought to fix the controllers on my working one, so it'll be perfect to use and not sacrifice a working unit. Only downside is that there is only one complete controller, so I plan on having that one for realism, and the other side I'll maybe 3D print a cover or some sort of clever thing to make it nice (besides, I might need the space for airflow or the power supply...). I can cut away most of the mounts for the Intellivision innards, and cut out the appropriate holes for the GPIO, power, & USB header

 

I've got my little server/HTPC, it's in a tiny HTPC case, and consists of a mini ITX board, card reader, hard drive, and power supply (also had a DVD drive...but I can forego that):

  • The ITX board just barely fits without cutting, so when I cut the hole for the GPIO, it will fit perfectly, and the CPU fan aligns just right with the center controller cord grille. I can take out the ITX mounting plate from the case, so the board will be secure.
  • The hard drive is a 3.5in, but I have an extra 2.5in laptop drive that will be better for space, I figure I can mount it on the upper cover somewhere.
  • The card reader may not fit, I was planning to put it where the cartridge slot is, but it looks a bit too long for the upper cover mount. However...I may not use the upper cover mount screws...so that will be a wait and see. If not the card reader, then just the smaller USB header that does fit.
  • The power supply will be the biggest hurdle. It simply doesn't fit no matter where I put it, too fat. I'll probably need to buy a new one, but even the smallest kind will be tough to fit without lots of cutting. Alternatively, I may try to open the power supply up and see if I can mount the innards to fit.
  • Since it is very low power (the thing draws less than 40 watts at full throttle!), it doesn't need a whole lot of airflow, so I think as long as a I keep the CPU fan & power supply fans unblocked, I won't need additional cooling. The Intellivision already has some vents underneath the wood grain, so it will be a good intake from the bottom, exhaust up top flow.
  • Obviously mounting everything will be custom, I'm thinking a shopping trip to Frys Electronics to get some stuff for mounting. I'll attempt to keep everything as hidden as possible, but that missing controller will be a dead giveaway either way :)

As far as keeping it look nice, the Intellivision has seen better days, but should be fine after a good cleaning. I'll try and keep most of the mountings and screws and things on the bottom or back of the case where they can't be seen. I think for the sake of airflow and possibly mounting things I may need to put taller "feet" on the console, but it shouldn't be noticeable. I'm thinking I might put a hinge on the cover, so I can open it up easy.

 

I think I'll start by cutting away the old plastic mount moldings in the Intellivision so I can start figuring out where exactly to put things, I'll post some pictures tonight.

 

I know there are easier things to do, yes I'm aware of the Raspberry Pi, & other such items. But I want a full-blown Windows PC that I can nicely display on my living room TV, and I already have almost all the parts for it!

 

Hope 'yall enjoy reading, and hope I can get it done in a reasonable amount of time. Should be a pretty fun project I think. Let me know if you have any tips/ideas, or questions!



#2 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:23 AM

Many HTPC/Mini-ITX builds have an external power supply, so it wouldn't be totally wrong if you went in that direction too. It would leave more room for computer components, and reduce some of the heat.



#3 atarifan88 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:06 AM

And then there's THIS!  Of course you take a flashback shell and stick a Pi in it with an emulator.  I have one and I love it even more than a real Intellivision!  You can add all the ROMs you want and the flashback controllers are much better on your hands.



#4 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:48 AM

Raspberry PIs are great but there are advantages to a full PC.  Remember, if you need Intellivision controllers for it you can get new ones from Intellivision Productions (USB adapters required).  It will be kind of neat to surf the web with an Intellivision.



#5 zander21510 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:06 PM

My main goal is for it to do the same job it did before, act as my personal server and a HTPC...of course that means emulation :). It'd just be a very cool & unique thing to have in my living room instead of another boring black box.

 

I have thought about getting some of those Intellivision controllers though.



#6 m-crew ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:58 PM

Cool, how posting some pictures as you progress the mod....

#7 zander21510 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:36 PM

So here's a picture of how it's basically gonna be laid out...cut out much of the innards and everything just about fits, taking the cover off the power supply, it will just barely fit, just have to make sure it gets good airflow (that may be the side without a controller).

 

Hard drive will probably fit somewhere between the motherboard and USB header (cartridge slot). Sill a trial and error period, need to do some more cutting, marking, figuring...taking the day off work this weekend for unrelated reasons, but it'll still give me some time to tinker! :)

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2016-03-23 16.44.45 (Large).jpg


#8 zander21510 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:46 PM

And here we have it folks...the first rendition of the IntelliPC!

 

2016-03-24 20.32.06 (Large).jpg

 

Still pretty rough around the edges, but all the innards are installed and running!

 

Started out with cutting and sanding down the bottom shell

 

2016-03-24 16.32.47 (Large).jpg

 

Then added some screws to secure the motherboard

 

2016-03-24 16.59.24 (Large).jpg

 

Got everything installed, cables routed & plugged in

 

2016-03-24 17.39.59 (Large).jpg

 

And then the first power on, all is well!

 

2016-03-24 17.40.03 (Large).jpg

 

Finally, added the top cover, and wallah!

 

2016-03-24 17.54.35 (Large).jpg

 

So right now I'm reinstalling windows (the partition clone didn't go so well... :P didn't lose anything though because of my many backups...), and I have my next tasks:

 

- Mounting everything securely to the case. I put taller rubber feet on the console so I can drill and screw in items from below.

- I'll need to mount that fan securely and maybe cut some plastic pieces to cover up the left controller hole and make everything flow a little better.

- Make that reset switch functional (as you can see, the power/reset switches and LEDs are just hanging out the power switch hole), and add a proper power button, and discreetly mount the LEDs

- Clean off that awful residue from the cover

- General fit and finish items, like sanding things down and getting it looking nice.

 

As always I'll keep posting pictures as I progress along. Temperatures are remarkably low, my CPU fan is almost at idle speed and nothing's getting too warm. Probably because of the giant hole for the I/O panel in the back along with the gaping left controller hole, but still very encouraging as that was the main thing I was worried about.



#9 the1hatman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:31 PM

This is so cool!

#10 zander21510 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:42 PM

Got my wicked new wallpaper up :)

 

Untitled.png

 

a few hours running, with Dropbox taxing the whole system doing a full sync, cpu fan is whisper quiet, psu heat is being exhausted effictively, no problems so far.



#11 atarifan88 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:59 AM

With the fan taking up one controller spot, where does the second controller go?

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#12 zander21510 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:28 AM

With the fan taking up one controller spot, where does the second controller go?

Sent from my LGL34C using Tapatalk

 

My parts intellivision only had one controller, and even that one I removed the cord and it's just for show :P though I'm thinking I can get some new controllers with USB converters at some point....but of course the point of this is to just look like an intellivision, I've got a real intellivision to play games on :)



#13 intvsteve ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:00 AM

 

My parts intellivision only had one controller, and even that one I removed the cord and it's just for show :P though I'm thinking I can get some new controllers with USB converters at some point....but of course the point of this is to just look like an intellivision, I've got a real intellivision to play games on :)

It would be awesome if that PC had a TV input device that you could hook your real Intellivision to, instead of directly to the main TV. Then you'd hook your Intellivision to your IntelliPC! :D



#14 zander21510 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:34 AM

It would be awesome if that PC had a TV input device that you could hook your real Intellivision to, instead of directly to the main TV. Then you'd hook your Intellivision to your IntelliPC! :D

Actually, I do have my N64 hooked up that very way (my TV is too fancy and the N64s signal is too weak to be detected properly)...imagine playing n64 thru an Intellivision! :)



#15 zander21510 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:45 AM

Okay a new update...the IntelliPC has been solid! No heating issues at all. I've added some fit & finish to it, mounting the power/reset buttons in the power switch hole, and putting the LEDs in the center grille. Finally, used some of the spare plastic parts to cover up holes by the fan.

 

Mounted everything either with double-sided tape or electrical tape (from the inside so nothing's showing). Fan is not mounted so that I can still take the cover off (it's hard-wired into the power supply). Oddly, a cut portion of the controller is the perfect piece to pull the fan through when the cover is open.

 

Tried my best to get the old adhesive gunk off the cover, it's stuck on there good! But I got most of it off. I think it looks pretty good. Take a look!:

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2016-06-12 14.12.18.jpg


#16 m-crew ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:47 AM

looks great!!!

#17 intvsteve ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:28 AM

Cool!



#18 Utopia OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:42 PM

Fab!







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