Dead powersupplies suck

If you've never had a powersupply die on you - consider yourself lucky. I must have the touch of death for powersupplies, because my Avid's PS is dead, my HTPC's just died, and my Mac at work has been acting up too. Here's what I've learned about powersupplies on their death bed: You'll never think it's the powersupply until you've done everything else. Because seriously, who has extra powersupplies laying around? I either repurpose or recycle all my old cases, so I never have those kind of parts laying around. Luckily, this time I did. A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a powersupply for a mod I wanted to do that involves the case from my old stereo reciever that I was/am going to turn into an external drive case to match my HTPC. That amplifier fried, so it wasn't technically a powersupply, but close enough. I use surge protectors, and UPSs, and it has happened at different houses, so don't yell at me for bad power management. I just have bad luck.

Anyways, simple solution right? Wrong. I have an Antec Overture case, and apparently not all powersupplies will work with this because it manages it's airflow in a very specific way that doesn't happen to match my new powersupply (which also happens to be antec).

Here's the current state of the afflicted HTPC. Sad isn't it?

The results of the emergency operation

I didn't want to disconnect it because I didn't want to miss any shows, so it has been sitting there like that for about a week now, waiting patiently for me to sew it back up. It's alright little one, I'm here to help.

The tools:

  • Variable Speed Dremmel
  • 2 fiberglass re-enforced cutting disks.

Kids, don't try this at home. (I've always wanted to say that.) I obviously had to remove everything from the case, because those metal filings would probably be bad if they got all over the motherboard. I also didn't want to inadvertantly carve a hole in my drives. My understanding is holes are NOT considered a good way to cool down hard drives. I might have heard wrong though...

The cutting line:

Hopefully this will be where I cut

At least that's the plan, we'll see how this turns out - dremmel cutting discs aren't exactly known for their smooth curves. It's kind of like trying to cut a smooth circle with one of those one-armed paper cutters - straight cuts.

Half-way through:

So far, so good.

I went through both cutting disks pretty quickly, so this is as close as I could get to a perfect circle:

Close enough.

The finger-slicing edges were smoothed with a grinding stone attachment:

Band-aids not included

See, you can barely see the blood stains.

Stupid Antec:

The internal power extension cord is too short

Their unique powersupply location also threw me this curveball. The internal cable was too short to reach, and that metal panel was in the way. Due to the way it will sit in my entertainment center I don't really care about this. I unscrewed the extension cable from the case, and pulled it to reach, then plugged a normal powercable to the extension, and pulled it through the normal hole. It isn't perfect, but again, no one is ever going to see this:

No one will ever know

I am actually pretty pissed about the strange setup in this case. In an effort to create a case that will fit in HT racks, they really messed things up if anything needs to be replaced. I couldn't re-orient the powersupply without some major modding, which I'm not in the mood for right now. I have movies to watch.



That was fun...kinda. If I had not had to do this, could have lived the rest of my life and been completely happy, so whatever. This mod also helped me out with cooling. This case happens to be notoriously hot, and a lot of owners have opened thier powersupplies and flipped the fans in an effort to increase airflow. This takes it a step further by removing the powersupply's heat from the equation entirely. The air is pulled from underneath (the rubber case feet give it clearence) and it's pushed out the side. My ambient case temps have decreased 4deg C and my CPU reduced 2deg. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Sorry, no pics of the insides when put back together. I'm actually pretty embarassed about how messy it is in there. It works, that's all that matters.

Now should I watch "Sky Captain, and the World of Tomorrow", or "The Village"? Decisions, decisions.