Mediator Tower Advice

abraXXious

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Hey guys,

Im looking at buying a Mediator board for a spare A4k I have. I would prefer the tower version, not the desktop, but I am wondering how difficult it is to find an ATX case that can be modified.

I want to purchase something that is available in oz, as postage would be ridiculous.

Any suggestions?
 

AndyLandy

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Hey guys,

Im looking at buying a Mediator board for a spare A4k I have. I would prefer the tower version, not the desktop, but I am wondering how difficult it is to find an ATX case that can be modified.

I want to purchase something that is available in oz, as postage would be ridiculous.

Any suggestions?

I believe the answer is "How good are you with a Dremel?"

If you've got a Dremel, some bits of spare metal and a whole lot of patience, you could probably mod it into any sensibly-sized ATX case.

The biggest issue is probably going to be lining up the card slots with the case, since PC boards have their slots on the motherboard itself, but on the A4000D, they're raised.
 

abraXXious

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Hey Andy,

Well, before I became an engineer I was a boilermaker - specialising mainly in sheet metal fabrication, so altering an ATX case wont be an issue.

My question was more along the lines of is there particular cases, case sizes etc I should be chasing, and what other considerations do I need to have?
 

rkauer

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If you don't have a laser cutter, nor want to spend too much to someone stamp/cup the rear panel, an economic solution can be done:

Cut the bottom metal shield of the A1200, leaving only the rear metal plate (cut in a straight line where the metal folds. Then make the rest of the leftover rear panel as you wish/need.
 

abraXXious

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?!? - bottom metal shield of the A1200?! This is an A4k I am towerising! :)

If you don't have a laser cutter, nor want to spend too much to someone stamp/cup the rear panel, an economic solution can be done:

Cut the bottom metal shield of the A1200, leaving only the rear metal plate (cut in a straight line where the metal folds. Then make the rest of the leftover rear panel as you wish/need.
 

merlinkv

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Hi

I think a "massive" production of metal plates for A4000D with Mediators, will be appreciated for alot of a4kd users.

Possition of PCI slots, RGB, mouse, parallel, etc are the same in all cases, variations are in the H&W of the plate.

I don't know but maybe It's possible to produce bigger ones and the buyer only need to cut some cm's of W or H.......

Of course, I'm not specialist on metal works. Is only one idea..... :roll:

Cheers
 

HeZoR

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I don't have a cnc router, but I do specialize in sheet metal designing :D
 

abraXXious

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Hey guys, now I really DO need help.

I have won the following ebay auction - http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200528087603&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

In short it is an A4000D Mediator with 64 MB Elbox gfx card, Voodoo 3 gfx card, realtek network card and spider 11 usb card.

I have a nice refurbed A4000 (with a very good condition case for anyone chasing one) that I want to towerise with this Mediator kit.

The seller also has an AOpen ATX case he has offered to me (privately), but it is ugly as sin, the size of a small bus and he wants $130.00 + $70.00, yes, I repeat $70.00 postage!!! He contends that it weighs just under 20 kgs!!! I asked him to take the bricks out of it to save me postage, but I think the joke was lost on him. :)

So, I find myself needing an ATX case. Surely someone here on Amibay has towerised an A4000D and Mediator at some stage? I need advice on what to look for in an ATX case and what to avoid. Modifiying is not an issue, but I dont want to purchase a case just to find that some dimension etc makes it impossible to correctly modify.

Any help and/or suggestions would be most certainly welcome.
 

AndyLandy

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Ideally, you want to track down one of these:
http://www.amiga-hardware.com/showhardware.cgi?HARDID=1338

They're designed ground-up to take an A4000D board and it looks like the Mediator busboard fits in exactly the same way as the Micronik Zorro busboards.

If you're resigned to modding an ATX tower, I'd suggest you get a nice big one, so you can fit everything in. The challenge is getting the cards to line up the bracket on the back of the case. There should be enough room in any full-size ATX case (even the midi tower or desktop ones), but you'll have to do a lot of hacking to get it all in straight. Some cases will be easier to mod than others, but you'll only be able to work that out once you've seen the inside of the case.

Before I tracked down my Micronik tower, I had planned on using this tower case here:
atxtower.jpg


The damned irony is that I'd happily give you this one gratis, except that shipping it to Aus would be completely insane! :(
 

abraXXious

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Hi Andy,

so the Micronik case is the way to go? But its soooooooo fugly! :)

Its actually uglier than the case this guy is trying to get rid of (which is now worthless to him as he has not Mediator to put in it).

Oh well, so track down a large atx case and start hacking huh?
 

AndyLandy

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I was fortunate enough to get the only non-fugly version of the Micronik A4000 tower. The thread is here: /showthread.php?t=4900&page=5 but alas, the pictures have expired from there :(

I'll try and take some photos of it at some point. (There'll be some for "Hardware Pr0n III" when I get round to making that thread) :)
 

Ed.D

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Hi Abraxxious,

I'm doing something similar with my A1200 and an ATX case.

https://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=9670


But if I were putting an A4000 in an ATX based tower (maybe later on) I would probably approach it like this:

  • Assemble the mainboard, mediator and a couple of PCI cards (plus zorro cards if used?) somewhere ESD safe. This should give you an estimate of how large the assembly will be and the required internal dimensions of a new case. I've never seen an A4000 motherboard or mediator up close so can't help with dimensions of configurations etc. The motherboard will stand off on its mountings and you'll need room to allow for disk trays and accessories.

    ;
  • Consider getting a case that has a seperate rear panel. Easier to remove, modify and refit. Or replace with a new panel adding all fixing holes and maybe folds/bends for strengthening.

    I got my Commodore PC gaming case from Wasagi on Amibay. However I was considering the Fractal Design Refine R3, which I think is the case used for the new X1000 ???. Looks very similar but without the boing! logo on the front panel. Not the XL model; less room, more work.

    http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&prod=48

  • Try to get a case without any side-panel-mounted intake fans as they may hit your PCI cards.

    ;
  • If you replace with a new rear panel you may lose your outer panel fixings so these might need to be re-engineered back in with captive nuts, U-nuts or drilled and tapped if you use steel.

    You'll also lose your PCI slots so these may have to be either cut from your old panel and reinstalled or remade from scratch. Unless you have another case you can 'borrow' the slots from like I did.

    Think about adding a couple of extra PCI slots on top of the number provided by your mediator, to allow for USB ports and other possible accessories which use a PCI plate for termination/connection.

  • Consider a microATX PSU. Much smaller with comparable power output. I have a 350W "Be Quiet" BN134 SFX power supply. Virtually silent and gives 22 amps on the 5volt rail (apparently!). Connections are bit sparse though and cable lengths a bit on the short side.

    http://www.be-quiet.net/be-quiet.net/index.php?StoryID=17&ProductID=47&websiteLang=en#
All the best and good luck! (y)
Ed.
 

Kin Hell

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@ abraXXious

I fitted my A4kT Mobo into my Lian Li PC75 Windowed tower case. :)

Just a snip of a bit of the backplane out & all the Mobo cards lined up great.

Same with the Mediator board in it with the PCI cards in place. It was nice to see the component side of the PCI cards for a change. :LOL:

You might need to drill & tap a couple of holes for the A4KD mounts, but for a bit of your Engineering background, it should be a breeze m8.

Best of luck. (y)

Kin
 

abraXXious

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Hey there JuvUK,

if your custom case houses an A4000D with Mediator (the tower version for A4000D, not the smaller desktop version), then YES that would be a GREAT help!

Oh, and any tips you could give, such as adapting the 9 pin mouse/joy ports to external connectors etc would be helpful too.

Thanks for your help.

if it helps i can give you some measurements of my custom A4000 tower case?


---------- Post added at 09:04 ---------- Previous post was at 09:02 ----------

Hey there Kin Hell,

any chance of some close up piccies of your tower masterpiece?
 

cosmicfrog

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9 pin serial connectors make good mouse/joystick extenders
 
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