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VIA Mini-ITX Projects - Case Mods

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By Paul Capello
Inspired by the 1928 Fritz Lang German classic film of the same name, Metropolis is a true object d'arte. Centered around the VIA EPIA Mini-ITX, this impressive tower was first unveiled at CEBIT in Hanover, Germany this past spring.

"What I've done is take their mainboard and placed it among impressionistic replicas of the famous buildings and architecture of the city of Metropolis. I took liberties with the design and placed the mainboard under a clear dome, like so many filmmakers and artists visualized the future of cities in the 20's and 30's."

For all the details visit: Epiacenter.com


By Ian Sharp
Originally posted on Mini-itx.com, the Mac-ITX looks like a Mac, but looks can be decieving. Liking the streamlined design of the classic compact Macs, Ian Sharp decided to give a major update to his old SE/30 with a VIA EPIA Mini-ITX, thereby creating the Mac-ITX.

"Now, I am hardly the first person to put an ITX board in a Mac case, but I was after something a bit different from all the other ones I've seen. Normally the Mac case ends up with lots of ugly mods to it. Inspired by the Stealth SX64 mod I wanted to make it as close to the original Mac as possible - keep the whole look and feel intact."

For all the details visit: Mini-ITX.com


By David Parsons
"Dissatisfied with his original case selections, David Parsons searched for alternatives, and decided to mod a miniature factory building that he was making for a toy railroad. With skillful handiwork, David has put the VIA EPIA 5000 mainboard, Oxygen VG1 PCI card, and an Ituner PW-60 power supply into the smallest of spaces, and has cut panels out of the back wall to fit the components. David has painted the model in boxcar red and depot green, making it look like a real factory building."

For all the details visit: http://www.pell.portland.or.us/~orc/crafts/Factory/


By Captain Veg
Tom Sperling didn’t have to go into any trouble finding a case for his VIA EPIA M10000; he simply used its box. Tom was able to neatly fit all key system components into the box including a 55W Morex PSU, 256MB RAM, 2.5” hard disk, and a slot-loading CD-ROM, as well as the necessary cabling. He skillfully cut out slots for the slim CD drive and the back panel of the VIA EPIA M10000. What creativity from thinking inside the box!

For all the details visit: Epiacenter.com


By Russ Caslis
Having created the highly successful Millennium Falcon casemod that was shown on TV, Russ Casliss took on another modding challenge involving mighty warships, in the form of the USS Enterprise Aircraft Carrier. Russ' projects actually consisted of multiple mods, where he first got to work on the keyboard and mouse, before undertaking the bigger task of the carrier itself. With meticulous touches and precise toolwork, Russ has created holes in the hull and deck to fit the CD-ROM and memory card reader respectively. He added the LEDs to make the runway lights and included an antennae from a toy trainset for the control tower, making his miniature aircraft carrier a very realistic replica. Russ chose the VIA EPIA M10000 for the mod.

For all the details visit: VIAArena.com


By Wolfman
At Virtual-Hideout.net, Wolfman has created a very classy yet cool and modern looking EPIA M system. As he says: "Who have not heard of the VIA EPIA platform? God! Where the hell have you been dude?"

This is not exactly a case mod actually, because it's been built from scratch. Wolfman uses perspex to create an outer shell which then gives it a depth and shine that's quite stunning

For all the details visit: Virtual-Hideout.net


By Russ Caslis
Russ Caslis wanted to turn his old space ship model of the famous Millennium Falcon from Star Wars into a fully functional, self contained computer, and have the engine lights show, and have the hard drive be visible with blue sparks to show off when it was working! Only the VIA EPIA Mini-ITX with its small footprint and low profile could fit the bill and this incredible and famous case mod (featured on TechTV Techlive) is chronicled in detail on VIA Arena, or you can purchase The Outer Mods, which is a video production about the project.

For all the details visit: VIAArena.com


By Adam Bertram
Classic toasters are heating up as one of the more popular case mods for the EPIA Mini-ITX form factor but this is our first 4 slicer! Adam Bertram has packed in just a little more functionality around the VIA EPIA M9000 Mini-ITX mainboard including a wireless networking card as well as TV-tuner. Now his wife can access the recipes and Internet content she wanted as well as watch TV, movies and more. A wall mountable flat screen monitor that will swing down from the cabinets, a wireless keyboard and mouse, mean minimal counter top space is required and a stylish, discrete kitchen computer is born. The only downside is guests inadvertently trying to make breakfast!

For all the details visit: http://mywebpages.comcast.net/adamb29/


By Michael Palmer
Gutting a Hamilton Brach Classic Chrome Toaster was Michael Palmer's answer to building an MP3 project that could play or rip CDs, act as a home Mp3 server for his home entertainment system, stream Mp3s to any PC in the house (or on the net) ...AND...not be boring. With the CD bay popping up burned CDs from the toast slot he's certainly achieved his goal. Built on top of a fanless VIA EPIA 5000 Mini-ITX with RedHat 8.0.

For all the details visit: Sample5.com


Pic-a-uter

By Tim Zickuz
Pic-a-uter is what little 3 year old Dan call's his EPIA Mini-ITX computer. Dan's dad built the Pic-a-uter so Dan could watch DVDs, surf the web for the latest children's content and play games. A specialized children's keyboard (small keys, integrated trackball replacing the mouse) completes this innovative project. Dan spends a couple of hours a day on the Pic-a-uter and will likely grow up to be a champion video game player or a sys admin.


By Greg Sowell
Made from knock off Lincoln Logs Greg managed to give a rustic look and feel to his multimedia system based on the EPIA M Mini-ITX "I wanted to have an MP3 player for my TV, have it not look like a MP3 player, and show the multimedia aspects of my Mini." Definitely the creative type Greg's even got a rockin video of the whole process!

For all the details visit: Extensiontech.net


By Atarien
Vive la difference! Taking a stroll down memory lane to happier times in the 1980s when the whole family would gather round the Atari, modele 600XL (circa 1984) for a thrilling night of video table tennis appealed to the Aatrien's nostalgic side. But to bring family fun up to date for today's crowd required the VIA EPIA 5000 Mini-ITX mainboard housed in a custom built case with faux Atari wood grain side panels and the old familiar logo. This complete system includes an external LCD, DVD drive and wireless keyboard.

For all the details visit: JackyPC.com (in French)


By Jani Pönkkö
Not your typical case mod, but in fact an actual case build, Jani has created "a networked movie machine" from the VIA EPIA Mini-ITX and a large outdoor garden lamp! The unique looking sphere shaped case is completely transparent and with the de rigueur, ultra-cool cathode lighting inside… it could still function as a lamp. Be sure to check out the pics of the EPIA Sphere connected to his TV.

For all the details visit: Metku.net


Helmet PC

By Val Newport
Howdy sports fans! Apparently this is what happens when a laid off Computer Assembly Tech worker has a little too much time on her hands. Building the VIA EPIA Mini-ITX into a good old American football helmet this mod project required no cutting whatsoever but a fair bit of Velcro. A gift for your youth, sitting on your dorm room desk, the options are endless.


By Greg Sowell
Greg Sowell at his fiancée s behest has built a highly creative, yet feminine PC in a box for Aunt Hagar. Mini-ITX met Aunt Hagar's space and budget requirements, and the small form-factor let Greg build a complete system including CD and floppy disk drives.
Greg's resourcefulness even goes so far as to include the use of bungee cords strapping everything firmly in place!

For all the details visit: Extensiontech.net


By Rolf Brugger
Jukebox creator, Rolf Brugger from Switzerland, has made a neat little EPIA-based box, merging a unique range of components

The VIA EPIA Mini-ITX Mainboard (800Mhz VIA C3® Processor) is a highly integrated Pentium compatible PC board with a small footprint of 17x17cm (Mini-ITX form factor). It contains everything that is necessary for a networked jukebox. It has digital audio out, ethernet and many more useful peripherals and interfaces on board. One more nice feature is the low power consumption.

For all the details visit: GiantDisc.com


By Jason Kinney
The smallest Mini-ITX I've seen so far with the power supply inside! The machine I have built is the smallest Mini-ITX machine I've seen so far with the power supply inside an external CD-ROM case. I had a Sony external case for some time and seen the Mini-ITX board being used in all kinds of things. I just wondered if I could stuff it into an external CD-ROM case with the power supply.

For all the details visit: TheComputerShoppe.com


By Kermit
This is a sweat mod. Very neat and extremely compact, just like the Mini-ITX! Here is what Kermit has to say about his Atari 2600 mod:

"This isn't about the same dull computers you can buy anywhere else. It's about art and fun. Turning a vintage game console into a full computer that can play any PC game is cool. Grab a slice of your history and make a statement. Take that corporate machined blah computer off your desk!

This project was suggested by a buddy of mine - I'd been working on the Amiga 1000 project and wondered what to do next. He suggested the Atari 2600. Neither of us was sure you could fit a system inside - but it was worth investigating."

For all the details visit: RetroSystem.com


Tony's Toaster PC

By Tony
It has finally happened, the PC has been fully integrated into the home! This mod has to be a hit. Here is what Tony has to say about his unique kitchen appliance:

"For 10 years they have been saying that we will have PC appliances for the Kitchen. Never been any real progress in that field so I thought to give them a push in the right direction by "lampooning" what a PC Kitchen appliance could look like.

I have been thinking about using a toaster for 2 years due to that it has two slots for CD drives etc. It is made out of metal and the crome just looks cool. So when VIA released the Mini-ITX, I just bought the needed parts."


By Chris
"The Via EPIA Mini-ITX motherboards are so small they are natural candidates for unique and wonderful "case mods". I've been rolling ideas around in my head since the boards were first introduced. This last weekend I created my first EPIA based project PC - the Darth Vader PC.

I hope your sitting down cause this is coolest mod I have seen for a while."

For all the details visit: BurnOutPC.com (part I) and BurnOutPC.com (part II)


By Jeffrey L. Stephenson
Style and elegance has never been used to describe a computer until now. Desktop humidors have been gracing the desks of the worlds most ambitious and successful for generations. Regardless of your thoughts on smoking, the wooden decorative box is a hit on any desk. Thousand dollar French humidors, Chippendale, original pre-embargo Cuban-made and the such. I think it's possible to re-make one of these beautiful boxes into a stylish and elegant office tool. They were originally designed to occupy desk space and make a statement about the owners' life-style and aloof-ness. They still can.

This glasstop variety of humidor is an exercise in the excess that is case modding. Solid tops can come with a key so it won't accidentally expose it's raw tech.

For all the details visit: Mini-ITX.com


By Steve
Steve is based in Canada and together with the rest of the BurnOutPC.com team decided to use the VIA EPIA 800 Mini-ITX in their scanner PC. Here is Steve's take on his project:

"When my associate Marien contacted VIA to do an ITX mod, I had no idea that the job would fall into my lap. Over the last month I have seen Gas Cans, ETs' and various other "non-computer" items get molested (I can only imagine the pain that ET went through) and turned into computers (check out http://www.mini-itx.com). What I have done is brought the computer back to the computer, so to speak. What you will see in the next horde of pics is what I call, The scannerPC.

I went through about 15 scanners before I found what I felt was the closest one to suit my needs. The scanner that I wanted had to have enough room to comfortably fit, the Epia mobo itself, a mPSU a HDD and still have enough room for just a bit of airflow."

For all the details visit: BurnOutPC.com


By Carl Thomas
Yet another great Mini-ITX case mod hosted on Mini-ITX.com. Carl Thomas is based in the USA and with his Wraith project, he has merged old and new with this reworked case that operates with a wireless keyboard and mouse. Here is what he has to say about his Wraith SE 30:

"As with many fans of the new mini-itx format, I just had to make something with it. Also like many here, I didn’t want to make the standard mod. Don’t get me wrong, I like many of the moded cases, but after a while you run out of things to do with standard cases, lights and ducts. The Wraith is a refit of a Mac SE/30 case. The only thing left of the original system is the case."

For all the details visit: Mini-ITX.com


By Clarre Strand
Clarre is based in Sweden and this is his second Mini-ITX HTPC case mod. This time he has changed the design by reversing the position of the board and he has also included a remote controller to power on and off this system.

For all the details visit: Clarre.com


By Simon J
Simon's DVD box is a fine example of a living room PC. The result is a system with real consumer electronics appeal!

"I was looking for a small multimedia type box to sit next to my Television to play my movies on. I decided a small PC would be better than a DVD player as it could also play different content such as MP3's. After a brief look around the net I came across the Eden800, it was just too cute to pass up and the cost was minimal compared to a full blown PC. I even managed to utilise many old parts I had lying around from previous PC upgrades. I hand made the case from MDF and finished it off with too many coats of Automotive spray lacquer and clear coat. What an amazing little unit....how can they fit so much into such a tiny space. Hats off to VIA."

For all the details visit: Overclockers.com


By Dan Gentleman
Dan Gentleman's pyrobriefcase was inspired by versatility of the Mini-ITX form factor. Here is his account of how he built an affordable, portable PC.

"I was inspired to make a Mini-ITX form factor computer ever since I saw the 17cm by 17cm motherboard with integrated Via Eden 800MHz CPU. Sure, it'd be slow, but it can be portable. Some quick searches showed me other mini computers made with the same board, and I was inspired. I saw the briefcase at a local curiousity shop (Bizarre Noir) and Vile sold it to me for $33. Add $120 for the motherboard, some spare parts, and a lot of work, and I got this..."

For all the details visit: Pyromaniac.net


By Johannes Hermen
Johannes Hermen from Germany converts an antiquated tape deck into a state-of-the art MP3 box. See how he cleverly puts together all the essential elements in this genail creation including the EPIA board, LCD, and power supply unit. He also finds the EPIA unique for integrating with a TV. One distinctive feature of this box is that it includes sprayed silver Plexiglass front cover.

Johannes describes the case: "I found an old tape-deck in the cellar, which seemed to be a good case for the project because of it's size and design."

And about the TV functionality with the EPIA mainboard:

"The EPIA board is designed to switch to TV-Out if a TV is connected and no VGA Display is found. This makes it possible to manage the BIOS on a TV. Even PAL/NTSC and over/underscan can be changed in the BIOS."

For all the details visit: Mini-ITX.com


By Dave Helander
Dave Helander is the owner of Webb Speidermann Computers and also the PC Manager of the Rochester Housing Authority. How he decided on a gas can is anyone's guess, but see how good it looks for such a quick and inexpensive project! Here is what he has to say about his NT Gas Station 2.0:

"Though I didn't really need another computer at home, I just had to do SOMETHING with the tiny marvel from VIA. In the past I've put baby AT boards in toolboxes and small file storage boxes and had the idea back then for a PC in a gas can. The size of those boards would have required a 5 gallon can and 'small' was what I had in mind. This project took 6 hours and cost $295."

For all the details visit: Mini-ITX.com


By Mike Chin
Mike Chin is the co-owner and chief editor/publisher of SilentPCreview.com. His main concern is unwanted PC noise and this mod of his is both quiet and small.

"The marriage of a VIA EPIA 5000 Mini-ITX based system and a translucent blue breadbox from IKEA results in a small desktop PC that looks like a cousin to the iMac. Naturally it is extremely quiet, having only one fan at 4.3V (in the flex-atx Seasonic PSU) and a single platter Seagate Barracuda IV suspended with elastic.

For all the details visit: SilentPCReview.com


By Jeffrey L. Stephenson
This project was first shown on Mini-ITX.com and drew a lot of attention because it really is tiny. It is the space conscious executive's PC and what's more is that it seems to use a really quiet power supply with a large fan and no fan grill to reduce unwanted fan noise. Here is a short description of what it actually consists of:

"For executives who have managed to avoid the technology revolution and now face inevitable extinction. It doesn't have to be ugly. EPIA 800 built into a cherry finished cedar lined cigar humidor. 90-Watt power supply from an IBM. No CDROM or floppy; executives have no use for these things. LAN connectivity to a T1 line. Who really needs more? Wireless keyboard and mouse so they can be quickly and easily hidden when other humans appear. "Computer?" says the disbelieving co-worker. "No, just one of those new LCD televisions. I keep it on CNBC all day." Sweet running machine with Windows XP Pro, 256MB Crucial 133, 6GB HD and of course industrial-strength anti-virus protection. Also available in Light Burl."

For all the details visit: Mini-ITX.com


By ZAZ
The Chounga Team is a small group of French case moders. ZAZ , who heads up the team has been working with PCs for more than 20 years. Here is what he says about their all in one box:

"This mod is used for :

1. Videosurveillance, (I connected a Netopia Routeur, 2 IP camera from AXIS and use a PC software called EzlinX (www.nooceo.com), in order to use my ADSL connection to protect my home during the day and during my holidays! It works fine! I use Timbuktu Pro from Netopia in order to remote control my box from any place all over the world. (www.netopia.com)

2. Games (emulation), MP3. It uses a small wireless keyboard (the enermax fan is just for fun , it's not really used because the C3 800 mhz stays really cool!)"

For all the details visit: Chounga.com (in French)


By Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller is based in the UK and modded his Blue Meanie from an old "optical drive" that he got on a recent visit to the USA. Check out his detailed guide on how he created his rig:

"When I first started this project, it was aimed at basically being a very small computer - much like the ShuttleX systems. I really wanted a machine I could carry around, plug into any TV and get on with some work, Play MP3's Films. And this is exactly what it does and at much less of a cost of the ShuttleX systems.
This is my first ever mod, so the article is pretty detailed - going into how I did most stages of the build, with plenty of pictures along the way."

For all the details visit: SpodesAbode.com


By Anthony Winn
Antony is something of a pioneer and legend amongst Mini-ITX enthusiasts. His VW Beetle mod was a star attraction at Computex 2002 in Taipei. Check out his take on what it took:

"There's a rule of thumb about estimating how long a project will take to complete. Take the time you think it will take, multiply it by two, add 10% and then change the unit of measurement to the next largest unit. Building JellyBean was no exception, but in the back of my mind I knew it was unlikely that Computex would be postponed so I could get the paintwork just right, or incorporate just one more feature that I thought would be cool.
Well history has shown that the deadline was met, and that JellyBean was a popular showpiece at the VIA Computex stand. But what a lot of people have been asking about, is how was it done? Well this article goes through the stages of construction, from a concept in the minds eye to a cute little green machine that's already more widely travelled than I am! So here it is, the inside story, or more correctly, the story of the insides."

For all the details visit: VIAArena.com


By Robert Buchenhain
No introduction needed for HiTechMods.com. This is project was one of the first Mini-ITX mods on the web. Here is what Robert has to say about his project:

"This is a fully working PC, the case is about 8.5" x 8.5" x 8.5" in size!

Well since this was the first time working with Plexiglas this will not be as detailed of a MOD as most of our other MODs. I was doing many things over and over due to errors and mistakes. This should and will give you the idea since most steps I'll have pictures for and the steps without pictures I will explain to you. I have learned something the hard way and I will pass those on to you as well so you do not make the same errors I did. Since I love the way this case came out and lights up, you can bet that I will do one more case like this one with better step by step instructions as well as diagrams for you to download and use for your own project."

For all the details visit: HiTechMods.com


By Clarre Strand
Clarre is an experienced modder based in Sweden and this is what he has to say about his project:

"The first thing I bought was a shell/body for a RC/Car. The chassis is made of aluminum sheeting and the shell fits over it. I used an IBM 60GB regular IDE drive and an EPIA 800 Mini-ITX board from VIA. The headlights turn on when it powers up, and the brake lights come on with HD activity. I plan to put in a slimline DVD player, but I don't have the money at the moment.

This is only a simple explanation of the building of my project. In reality, it was a lot of measuring and cutting. I had to cut the front rims because they were too wide, and after putting it all together, it finally started to look like a car. I also had to use some spacers between the motherboard and the PSU. I had to make some other modifications like take away the cover from the PSU. I think that pictures say more than words, so for further information and pictures, please go to my site."

For all the details visit: Clarre.com

Disclaimer
The content of this web page is purely for information purposes and is intended for Small Form Factor case modding, low power and quiet computing end user enthusiasts. VIA Technologies, Inc. does not endorse any of the products mentioned above. This website is merely a vehicle for the display of various Mini-ITX projects and provides the opportunity to be introduced to and share knowledge with other Mini-ITX enthusiasts.


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