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Time for a Different Approach; Old eMachine Cases with upgraded stuff
Topic Started: Dec 24 2015, 01:01 PM (131 Views)
Nogleheimer
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Well I stuffed mobo/processor bundles into 2 different T1115 cases on a budget, detailed in other posts. On both I used Apower AK420 power supplies. Well the PS in my Dads' rig lasted about 5 years and the one in my rig lasted about 4. They both quit recently within 2 months of each other. On both of these rigs I was running an additional system fan in the roof as there is provision there. So last nite in a panic I had to swap my internals into a Compaq S5200NX midtower case, as I have a video I need to stream for X-mas family get-together, and it's the only rig I have up to the task. I had a 500W PS in that Compaq as that midtower can use a regular ATX PS. Conclusion; the T1115 mATX case is just too small. For now I'll muddle along with my Frankenstein Compaq rig, which now has no eMachine stuff at all.

I also have an old 400i case I wanted to do something with, and since I scored a Dell small form factor with Intel E8400 processor, Q45 chipset, DDR3, and Win 7 Pro 64 bit and I like the performance, what makes sense from a budget standpoint is to score a midtower that has the same setup and swap the guts into the 400i. The SFF stuff totally will not interchange. I see potential donors available for around $100 fully functional. 400i seems like more of a midtower and it uses the bigger PS. So I'm thinking this is the way to go. I'll post up once I score the donor and swap the stuff, but obviously there won't be any rocket science involved there. BTW, I still have the old Florida-C Mobo. Anybody wants it just pay the shipping and its yours.

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Nogleheimer
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Well shoot; the 400i uses the small PS too. RATS

Nogle
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Nogleheimer
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...and no worries afterall. Guess Hercules makes a 500W mATX PS and I'm seeing prices around $30 and less. So that's good news. I just remembered that this past summer in Sacramento on hot days my T1115 would shut down. I removed the side panel and it would be fine.

Nogleness
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Nogleheimer
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Okay, just bought a Lenovo M58P tower (not the SFF) for the guts to my 400i, $95 delivered on eBay. Then bought 2 of the mATX Hercules 500w power supplies for $60 delivered, one for this rig and one for my Dads' box. He's currently running a 300w even though he has the same video card that I do, and I don't like 300w being enough there for long. Not bad. The power supply should be waiting for the PC to show up by mid-week, then I can throw them all together and I should be sporting a solid unit in one of the most so-geeky-it's-cool cases ever conceived of. All for like $145 including the case. Hey, a mans' gotta have his hobbies.
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Nogleheimer
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Well too much time on my hands waiting for my new stuff, so I figured 'doh, throw the Florida mobo and XP HDD into the now-idle T1115'. It has Office on it, which I'm too cheap to buy for any of my Win 7 boxes, but since it has like a 4GB HDD it seemed limited. But today after my swap I added in my old laptop 2.5" HDD with the adapter to 3.5" IDE and it shows as a slave just fine. So there's the space I need to run Excel files. So I'm keeping the Florida mobo, and the T1115 lives yet again. It's on its' 3rd life at least. Like a cat. 'Here, kitty kitty'.

Nogleness
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Nogleheimer
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Okay, got my Lenovo M58P tower from eBay, works good. Took it apart, could barely get the extremely small screws out holding the mobo in. Wow, Lenovo, really? I believe a hex would work better, but nothing I have is that small and I do lots of car work. And I won't be re-using those screws. Finally got them out with one of those really small flat head screwdrivers. Phillips will work too.

Well, it's the larger of the two mATX form factors, 9.6 x 9.6, which is good and makes sense, since it's a fully featured board. But it turns out it's not a clean bolt-in; on the longer edge a couple of the RAMs hit the floppy cage of the eTower. You could use one RAM stick and probably power it up, but that's not my gig here. Plus it's dual-channel memory. So I will try to drill out the pop rivets that hold that whole CD/floppy drive cage, then have my retired machinest buddy cut off just the floppy section and I'll bolt it back in using screws. I hope. At least I got the I/O plate swapped over.

The 2 stock stand-offs really need to come out, since they have nothing to grab in the Lenovo board and could do damage. I think I can drive those out with a flathead screwdriver and a hammer. Also on the Lenovo board, again under the floppy cage, there is one screw hole that the case doesn't pick up. There is a hole there, but it does not have the same threaded pedestal for the board mounting. It looks to me that there would be room to put a thin nut on the other side and run that screw in, and use washers or a rubber grommet to take up the slack. Good news is the case has the extra threaded pedestal straight down from that that normally doesn't get used with the smaller mATX board these come with standard.

As I hoped, the Lenovo front panel USB/audio jack panel looks like it could mount in where the game port/USB are on the 400i front panel. I will need to cut out the plastic cutout section for those two interfaces, then figure out how to hold the Lenovo piece in. But it fits really well and it shouldn't be too tough to fab something up. In my experience you can't just run the new USB wiring up to the existing eMachine PCB 1.0; the little board must be incompatible. Initially I'll probably just run the wiring through the bigger hole and leave that piece dangling. More functional the the stock piece.

The front panel wiring looks super easy and I'll detail all that out. I know. I need a life.

Nogleness
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