Media PC Reborn
Posted: August 2, 2006



My original Media PC had a little failure, and by little I mean the fans stopped running due to a wire that wriggled loose somehow, and it eventually overheated and the power supply fried, problem with the case is it is so small, and heat will always be an issue with components so close to each other. With that being said it was now time to redesign some cooling options inside the case, and to secondly locate a new powersupply that will run a little cooler, and possibly provide more power than the last one did, I had noticed some fluctuation on the 12v rail while at load, so any instability in power can lead to problems down the road.


  • AMD Athlon 1.4ghz socket 462(A)
  • Compaq ECC server ram 256mb x 2 = 512mb
  • IBM TravelStar 20gb notebook HD
  • Nvidia GeForce 4 440mx 64mb AGP8x
  • Evga NVTV MCE Tv tuner PCI
  • Linksys WMP54G Wireless-G Wifi card
  • Sparkle Power 200watt flex ATX PSU
  • HP Remote and Receiver

Starting the Retro-Fit

After about 5 hours I had modded in an old Shuttle SV24 power supply however after all that work, it turns out its 12v rail does not have as much power, funny when the original power supply was rated at 100watts and the SV24 was rated at 150, I guess dont believe wattages, make sure you check the amps on the 12v rail.

So it was off to ebay, sometimes to complete a low budget mod you actually have to buy something :shiftyeyes:, I ended up buying a Shuttle replacement powersupply for the higher end models with the P4 processors inside, with the additional atx12v plug, anything with an atx12v plug would naturally be able to handle an athlon 1.4, even if you dont use the plug, its nice to know that the power supply is designed to handle a little bit more load. What was nice is the power supply was 200watt, and from what I heard it ran pretty cool for its size.

Unlike with the last two Powersupplies I put inside Media PC, I decided to leave the untit as much in its orginal case as possible, and preserve its original cooling, this worked out great because the fan on the back of media pc lined up nearly perfectly to the fan that ‘was’ on the back of the powersuply, I chopped the last inch or so off it, where the original power connector had been. also the top fan on media pc blows down into the powersupply further cooling it, making sure it stays nice and cool, and not burned up like the last one.

Here is Media PC Reborn connected to my Sony TV in a small compartment in the entertainment center. From the front all you see is a small metal box with an even smaller hole in the front for the only input it needs, IR.

These show the front and a side shot of the front showing the top fan and the IR hole in the front.

Here is the back of Media Pc Reborn showing the added ports and switches. Added is a multi-function port allowing a cable to be attached breaking out power, status led, and hdd led to a remote display panel. There is a newly added power switch and of course the ports from the NVTV TV Tuner card, also added is the Linksys WiFi card allowing the Media PC Reborn to be setup in a location without ethernet.

This is a side shot showing the air intake fan for the processor and also the rest of the Media PC. Also a shot showing the lid opened with the Media PC on its side.

Showing the internals of the newly configured Media PC Reborn. A new mini shelf was designed to hold the new power supply and contain the AC components from the DC components and the motherboard. The acrylic is smoked grey allowing you to see the components underneath the shelf.

Here is the mini shelf removed showing the motherboard and parts underneath and how the shelf is mounted. Using threaded rod it is easy to construct a support for the mini shelf.

This is the USB IR Receiver used for the Media Center remote and keyboard. The hard drive has been relocated to the front of the computer and is mounted with commercial grade velcro for a secure and vibration reducing placement.

This top shot shows the cards inserted into the motherboard all in a line. From bottom to top you see the Graphics card, TV Tuner, and Wifi Card, also shown is the small CNR (Communications Network Riser) card that adds an ethernet port to the affair.