Description

I have to start by saying this was the single funnest project I have ever attempted. Learned so many new DIY tips and tricks as well as gained new knowledge on PCs.

This is the second build Ive done. The goal of this was obviously to make a sleeper but I also wanted it to serve dual use as an htpc as well as a decently sff build I could take to LAN parties. I originally intended to use a VCR but I stumbled across this cassette deck on ebay and knew this was the one, so I bought it without any knowledge of interior dimensions.

Ill go through and sum up the main points of each component of the build so to provide a better understanding of the building process.

CASE This is a Sharp cassette deck from 1984. It was originally designed with a metal back panel and a top and side cover that sort of held the unit together and i wanted to stay true as much as I could to the original design and maintain the vintage look. After gutting the unit and heavily modifying the tap receiver I was able to line the bottom with 6mm thick craft foam and 1/8" thick acrylic sheet for the psu to sit on. I also threaded in mb standoffs to elevate the motherboard. The back panel is also acrylic sheet. I used a rotary tool to cut openings for psu extension cable, mb i/o and gpu outputs, and drilled holes for a 50mm rear exhaust which seams small but is enough exhaust to keep the system at respectable temps. Original power button has been integrated but as far as the rest of the front panel switches, I think it would be almost impossible to find room inside to get them to work in any capacity. I also added a remote power button since this will be spending most of its time as an htpc. The most physically demanding part of the build was drilling and boring all the holes on the top cover. I considered just cutting out a rectangle and installing a wire mesh but thought it might retract too much from the stock look. So, I measured and punched every hole and without a drill press I drilled them all out with a hand drill. It ended up being to tight for dust filters this way but Ill try to monitor the dust build up and if it gets to bad I'll reevaluate. Good thing is the case definitely has positive air pressure.

CPU The processor in it is a Ryzen 7 2700 which I already had left over after upgrading my main pc. The cpu cooler is an IS-50x from ID-Cooling. I also already had this cooler lying around and the offset it provides actually couldnt have worked out more perfect. I went through lots of fans before I finally decided to go all out and install a NF-A12x25 for the best noise and performance.

MOTHERBOARD This ended up being the perfect motherboard for this build. All the header locations work perfect. I got this for a great price at microcenter when I purchased my CPU upgrade. I measured the hole spacing to install the standoffs as well as locate the I/O shield on the back panel.

GPU This was the biggest challenge of the whole build. I wasnt sure I would be able to use it because I thought it might be too big. I really didnt want to buy another mini gpu since I already had this one and it was in perfectly good condition, so I decided to make it fit. I ended up cutting down the stock heatsink (with my cheeks clinched as tight as humanly possible). In order to cool it the stock fan shroud was also too large so I tried a slim Scythe 120mm fan on top with an adapter which work functionally great but was a bit noisy so I went with a Noctua slim fan and could hear a significant difference in noise. The pcb of the card is literally the max size it could possibly be. it touches the psu and cpu cooler fan with the 90 degree riser cable I have installed. Cutting out the opening in the rear panel was also a bit of a challenge but I think the final product looks okay and I was able to install a rear mount to give the card some added rigidity.

POWER SUPPLY The focus sgx is the perfect sff psu in my opinion. In low power mode the fan doesnt spin at all, helping keep the overall system noise down at idle and was also the perfect size with the only exception being that I had to install it sideways leaving an exposed 90 degree extension cable outside the shell of the case. This was pretty much unavoidable, and while initially I was bummed it wouldnt have a 100% stock look from the outside, it is really growing on me. Youll also notice some dodgy gluing on that part of the shell. I tried installing a cover over the plug but it honestly looked even worse than an exposed cable so I removed it and thats what is remaining. Ive thought about repainting the shell, but I can live with that blemish for the time being until I decide if I want to repaint or not. Also, I was having trouble bending the stock cables to the desired angles so I peeled them apart and sleeved them together to make them easier to bend.

STORAGE I only have a 250gb M.2 nvme in there right now but I will definitely be upgrading to a 500gb or 1tb m.2 in the near future.

Temps came out better than expected. HWMonitor screenshots show temps at idle, after cinebench, and after a full time spy benchmark at 1440p, resetting hwmonitor between each.

This is by no means a showroom PC but Im super happy with the way it turned out and is basically everything I envisioned. Hope you enjoy.

Edit: 1/6/20 - Added more photos to show the interior layout.

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Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I smell featureee

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

That would be the freshest gnar. Regardless, I had so much fun with this build

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

This is awesome

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I think I want one! What do you think you could do wih a silver faced pioneer from the 70s early 80s?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

nice.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

You're nice.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice Job!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Dude, that is freaking genius! It looks amazing, very creative!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

that has got to be one of the coolest builds i have ever seen. im such a nerd for vintage electronics ! what a great concept and execution. looks so nice on the desk !

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the kind words

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

One thing missing:

A cassette with "Awesome Mix Vol 1." written on it in the cassette slot.

Doesn't even have to have the real music on it, just write that on any plain old cassette and put it in.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Already gotta say I love sleeper builds so really nice build

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Sorry I missed this when you first posted it. This is awesome. The kind of thing I love doing. It takes a lot of persistence to pull this off, so my hat's off to you. Great job.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

No worries, thank you very much!

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  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I agree about the hole. The cover i tried didnt fit the vintage aesthetic very well but its something I will likely revisit at some point.

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