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The Extreme Computer Mod: This article features the step by step creation of an extreme computer mod, aka ECM, utilizing a MA-Audio HK 4000D series digital 4000 watt AMP. You have to see it to believe it.

Date: January 31, 2003
Manufacturer: N/A
Written By:

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Ed. Note: This is another in our series of reader submitted articles. We've always said you guys are the bright ones, and with that being said, we're sure you'll enjoy Pete Goepfert's contribution. He is also selling his creation if you're interested, so feel free to for details. All thumbnails can be clicked to be enlarged.

The Beginning. - The not so detailed version...

The reason I took on this project was because I wanted a custom computer that was unique. I started by looking for a suitable AMP shell. Why? Think about it. It is basically a giant heat sink. I wanted a thermally stable, stream lined, small case. Also, it must have a lot of eye-candy! The problem was finding just a shell. Why pay for a new AMP that I would just gut? After surfing countless car audio sites, phone calls and 40+ emails, I finally found a shell that I could use. was cool enough to donate a brand new shiny shell! Thanks, Chase!

The Project

The victim is pictured below... before any modifications.

The shell's internal dimensions are 10" (W) X 25.8" (L) X 2.25" (H). The mobo I got is 9.6" (W) X 9.6" (L). I was unable to find a high quality flex ATX mobo. The power supply is a full size 300 watt source that was modified to fit inside the case. I didn't want to use a dinky one. I will get to that later.

The Guts

Being true to my nature I dismantled the AMP upon arrival. This gave me access to the inside and a good look at what I had to work with. I made a template of the mobo to use during construction to keep from damaging the mobo. Next came the installation of the mobo.

had to drill holes for the mounting hardware and make new posts. I stripped the power supply down a bit. I removed the 115/220 voltage switch and extended the AC leads.

This was necessary for the case clearance. I also added a power connector to hook up to the LCD display. The LCD, displays Temp and Voltage, Power and HDD LED, and also lights up.

Next, I installed the mobo.

I drilled the mounting holes for the DVD bracket. I used part of an old HP pc hard drive / CDROM bracket for the DVD player.

I used an old hard drive for a Ginny pig, and drilled the hard drive mounting holes.

Here is the finished layout of the inside.


The Top Panel

Now comes the wiring of the mobo to the shell. This involved the LCD panel, and power and reset switches, the power and HDD LED's and the intake fans. The shell came with two cool indigo LED's. I couldn't resist to use them. I went to the local Radio Shack for the switches and had some spare wires and connectors. Extra audio connectors work great. I mounted the switches and fans onto the grid portion of the top.

The Back Panel

Next, I modified the back panel. I cut out a rectangle for the Mobo hook-ups. Then made two small squares for the AC connector and on/off switch. The finished back panel...

The Front Panel

It is time to move to the front of the shell. I cut a rectangle out for the DVD player. The finished front panel...

The End

Now, mounting the 3 - 92mm and 80mm intake fans. What's left? The dress up parts. I used automotive wire looms to keep the wires together and to hide my not so perfect cuts. Now, to assemble the shell. The last mod was to trim the top part of the shell due to the size of the CPU's heat sink. And...the finished product. Don't forget to check out the and check out the rest of , as it has a lot more info on this project!

If you have any comments, be sure to hit us up in our forums.



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