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Mac Mini media player case mod.


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novaris

novaris

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Well, strictly speaking this is my 4th case mod but this is simple enough for me to post a worklog about it. the other case mods are powermac g5, powermac g4 cube and mac pro(work in progress)

Bought the mac mini from ebay and it didn't arrive in a very good condition as described. front side had some noticeable scratches and the top white acrylic panel had alot of fine scratches. Either way, it remained in my cupboard for sometime, just too small for mini-itx and i did attempt to make it into an iphone dock but didnt materialise.

Anyway, i chanced on some good offers for compact media players for just about ~US$100-110

AC ryan HD2 mini
http://www.hardwareh...inside-full.jpg

asus o play Mini
http://prohardver.hu..._mini_pcb_b.jpg

Western Digital tv live
http://www.storagere...-Live-Apart.jpg

Eventually i chose the WD tv live since, the asus media player didnt have ethernet port and the sale staff was too lazy to give proper answers and the ac ryan circuit board might be just too big for the mac mini. plus, the WD sales staff were well prepared and didn't mind giving a full introduction to the device's interface.

dismantling the media player

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there goes the warranty
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Since the media player's circuit board is too short, i had 2 options

either i place it nearer to the front to connect the power led directly and cut a small hole for the IR receiver and make short male-female extensions for the rear HDMI, power ports, etc so that it can reach the back

or

I place it nearer to the back so the hdmi ports etc, can be directly accessed without any extensions. but i have to solder some extension wires for the front led and IR receiver.

Decided to do the latter, just soldering 5 wires but meant that warranty is 100000% voided and I better get it right.
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soldering point of the power led and IR receiver. solder points look quite dull, sub-optimal soldering?

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the mac mini board has quite a few of little plastic "bumps" so placing the circuit board or anything will not result in a level surface.

Decided to use a 5mm thick junk acrylic to raise the circuit board and use double sided tape to hold it in place because if the media player spoilts or something else better comes in, I can easily replace it.


Instead of reusing the media player's led i decided to use the mac mini's onboard power led instead but its wires are too short so soldering them require some deft handiwork. :o something i am not famous for.


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Had some complications when I wanted to solder the extension wires for the led and Ir receiver.

~~the wires I used were made of twisted thin copper wires so it was harder to solder properly than single core wires.

~~the soldering iron's tip was quite worn out

~~had to get soldering clamp to hold the wires and circuit board because soldering and holding wires in place was just too difficult.

~~while the pinout for the led on the media player's circuit board was labelled clearly, the mac mini's led wasn't




End result...


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mac mini's led powered by the media player. Hope they run on the same voltage.

Later on, i'll test whether the IR receiver works well. Hope I didnt damage it with heat from the soldering iron....





next step is to see whether i can find a slot loading usb powered dvd drive that can fit inside the case without protruding....





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