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Thread: Project: ION Kitty - Hello Kitty Themed Silent HTPC

  1. #1

    Project: ION Kitty - Hello Kitty Themed Silent HTPC

    Hey Guys,

    If any of you have a daughter, sister, girlfriend, wife, or any women in your life, then you have seen or familiar with Hello Kitty from Sanrio. Hello Kitty is a fictional cat character from Japan, which can be seen EVERYWHERE.

    Since Christmas was around the corner, I figure building this mod would be a special and unique gift. My wife uses her netbook to surf the net and stream videos. She can't stand using my Uber Water Cooled, Octo SLI Fire, 1 GigaWatt Gaming Monster for casual surfing, it is just too loud for her. With that in mind, I wanted to design and build a case mod around being small and silent. Being a case modder, I couldn't just paint Hello Kitty on a PC. So I decided to make an HTPC shaped like Hello Kitty's head. I already had parts for this project, which made things go by really easy. Here are the PC Specs:

    Zotac ION n230 ITX motherboard
    Crucial 64GB SSD
    4GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2
    Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse (minimize Unneccsary Wire and Clutter)

    The reason I wanted to use the Zotac ION was for its low heat, low power consumption, and fanless operation. The ION platform is more than plenty for casual surfing and playing back video. The Crucial 64GB SSD has more then enough space to hold the OS and whatever media players are necessary. All the multimedia content is stored and streamed on our NAS.

    Since time was very limited, I was lucky enough to get access to a laser cutter, which saved ALOT of time, and made everything fit perfectly.

    The first thing I cut was the top layer. The top layer would take the most time to get ready, since it also required preparation for painting.

    Here is a picture of the top layer after it has been cut:

    Right after it was cut, i removed the protective layer on the acrylic. Once the film was removed, a quick sanding, and coat of primer.

    Now.. back to the laser. The part I cut next was the "base" of the case mod. If you look closely, you can see that there are notches / channels in the base. These channels will allow the wire to be routed in many different directions. Which will keep any unsightly wires hidden away.

    Now that the base and tops were cut out, I proceeded to cut the enter pieces for the case mod. Each center piece would have a large enough opening to fit a Zotac ION ITX motherboard inside. The opening allows the board to be rotated in 90 degree increment. This allows the IO Ports to face any directions necessary. Once the pieces were cut, the plastic films were removed from the smoke acrylic:

    After the primer was dried, I painted the acrylic parts on that will be mounted to the top of the case. Here is a picture of the parts painted and dry;

    I did a quick test fitting of the acrylic pieces. They fit together perfectly:

    To keep the HTPC structure together, I used a combination of long socket head screws and silver acorn nuts to give the case a polished look:

    With the acrylic parts left over, i cut over a dozen custom shaped spacers. the spacers were designed to maximize gluing surface, and not impact the appearance of the finish project.

    Here is a picture of the Hello Kitty HTPC Frame assembled.

    You can see that the cavity size fits the Zotac ION perfectly. The combination of the Zotac ION w/ External Power and Crucial SSD, gives the case a completely SILENT operation.

    Here is a picture of the unit closed. Since the ION require no fans, the spacing between the acyclic sheet should provide for more then adequate cooling and venting.

    Here is the picture of the completed Hello Kitty case mod:

    I will try to get some action shots of the case in its final spot.

    - Ton

  2. #2

    Project: ION Kitty - Hello Kitty Themed Silent HTPC

    lol awesome Ton!

    My daughter would LOVE that for her first computer. Quick question: How did you mount the SSD?

  3. #3

    Project: ION Kitty - Hello Kitty Themed Silent HTPC

    Are you saying its a case made of a few acrylic panels?

  4. #4

    Project: ION Kitty - Hello Kitty Themed Silent HTPC

    Hey Brian,

    The SSD is actually kind of "floating". The way the wires bend underneath is keeps its up. And sinces its SSD i don't have to worry about the torque fo the platters, or the drive arms, which is cool.

    Well... let me know what character she likes

    ShamanS -

    Yup.. you are absolutely correct. This case is made of like 7 sheets of actylic that are approx 10" x 13".

    The screws is what keeps everything together.

    - Ton

  5. #5

    Project: ION Kitty - Hello Kitty Themed Silent HTPC

    The cables coming out of the top of the head will make it look like cyborg lobotomy kitty. -Hope the missus doesn't notice.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator tech-daddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Plano, Texas

    Project: ION Kitty - Hello Kitty Themed Silent HTPC

    Kitty vs Prawn in a grudge match SHOW DOWN!!!

    Kitty needs some scars and a bullet hole or two...

    Excellent work TiTON

  7. #7

    Project: ION Kitty - Hello Kitty Themed Silent HTPC

    Hey Cheapskate - lol.. dude.. you and cyborgs :P

    Actually if you look at the base, you can see that wires can come out any direction. I do not have any visible IO Ports showing. The board can be rotated to have the wires come out the head, bottom, left or right side. This will help hide the wire clutter.

    Also, I made sure to minimize the wires that will be used. The only two visible wires will be the Power for the motherboard, and the HDMI cable. I have a Bluetooth and WiFi dongles installed.

    I will see if I can snap more pictures this long weekend for everyone.

    TD - Thanks for the compliments

    - Ton

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