High Explosives PC Case


[Ilias] let us know about his new HTPC case mod.  He took a surplus Ammo-case and with a bit of work turned it into a livingroom eye-sore masterpiece. His build has some nice touches, including a slot-fed DVD player, switch-based fan control, and key-and-button “nuclear launch” type power-on controls.

A few things to learn from this project: Cleanly cutting holes in a steel case for the connectors is tough.  You can see that [Ilias] did a pretty good job with it and in several cases used rubber gaskets to cover the rough edges. Secondly, the slot fed DVD had to be mounted upside-down.  We assume this will be fine, but we’d like to hear a follow-up after a few years of heavy use. Finally, the GFAF (girlfriend acceptance factor) ran very close to critical on this build as [Ilias] didn’t clean up the metal shavings on his porch and ended up with rust stains everywhere.

Case mods are an enjoyable hobby. We hope this will inspire you to take the leap.  If you do, don’t forget to send your completed project into our tip line.

19 thoughts on “High Explosives PC Case

  1. I hope those AA battery-spaces don’t leak. I have a bunch of old batteries in plastic containers (need to take a trip to the recyclers some time) and about 20% of them end up leaking.

  2. That’s VERY nice!

    Thiose cases lend themselves to SO many cool uses.

    I built a ruggedized portable un-interruptable 12VDC power supply into the same kind of case, only I managed to find one that originally contained explosive bolts for the navy in gray.

    I made a control panel to fit on the inside so you had to have it open to use, but it could get rained on pretty good with no problems when it was closed up. :)

    Nice work, but yeah clean up when you’re done.
    It’ll count towards keeping your girl happy.

    -and when the Queen is happy, the LAAAAND is happy! :D

  3. Just a comment for anyone working on a project like this: If you attempt any project like this where you need to drill nice round holes in thin metal, use a step bit. Depending on the bit, they can drill a wide range of hole sizes from about 1/8″ up to about 1″, and they come out nice and smooth. Harbor Freight usually has them pretty cheap, or you’re sure to find them at any local hardware store.

  4. I have a friend who had a VIA Mini ITX board at least 4 years back yet had no case for the thing. He asked me for suggestions and I gave him an ammo box… yes, the ammo box computer was completed back then, with wireless g (by pcmcia card), 2.5″ HDD, DVD Burner, swivel mounted LCD screen and fold-able keyboard that could be put inside the box for transport… might have had a wireless mouse too, but I forget. It was all shock mounted and sound dampened for fairly strait forward reasons.

    He used my dremel and went through about 50 cutoff wheels… insanity.

    I can’t find the pictures any where, but we did have them hosted for a while some where out there.

    It was pretty kickass… then he sold it to some one else.

  5. and i agree with the guy who talked about using a “step bit”

    not only will you get cleaner holes, but you can size them more accurately and the edges will be far smoother than what this guy ended up with.

    and you should lightly tap a center point for your hole before drilling so that it doesn’t wander before sinking.

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