This mod is a collaboration between myself and a friend. Coincidentally, we had been looking at using this platform as an HTPC for its low power usage but ample processing power for HD video. What better way than to incorporate it all in to one sleek, highly functional, expandable package that fits neatly into your home theatre setup.
When we first started thinking about how to achieve this objective, I placed three constraints on the mod that I thought were essential in keeping the essence of the ION platform:
[list type=decimal][*]As small as possible - essentially not bigger than the motherboard[*]Quiet - passive coolingFlexibility - showcase the capabilities of the ION platform[/list type=decimal]
We settled on using the ION platform's capabilities as a full featured media and home center. In trying to achieve this goal we wanted to incorporate the ability to store and share media, play back HD video and music, control lights and monitor security cameras. We came up with the following 'housing' for the powerful little board.
As everyone who tends to have a media center knows - you need a media server. Servers usually hide out in some out of sight closet or basement, but we wanted to bring them up front where they can be easily monitored and changed. We designed a matching enclosure for up to 8 hard drives - hot swappable with status and capacity LED bars.
After designing the sleek case and matching hard drive 'rack' as the starting point, we thought about a way to actually incorporate it into the home. We came up with a "sandwiched" VESA mounting plate solution - pretty nifty. We attached two articulating arms to a VESA mount plate that gets "sandwiched" between the back of your television and your standard VESA compliant wall mount. This allows for a sturdy mounting point for the HTPC and hard drive rack while still maintaining your wall mount solution. It also allows for the ability to pull the entire HTPC closer to you for ease of accessing the dvd drive or touch screen. The entire ION unit can also be removed from the mount and place on your coffee table if so desired.
We think this mod shows off the awesome capabilities of the ION platform while keeping the sleek, small, refined look that the ITX form factor craves. Why put an ITX board in a bigger mod? It defeats the purpose of such a small platform.
Yes, we just squeaked this in time - there is never enough of it!