Discussion HTPC Build inside of a 90s CD player.


Hello, I have wanted a proper HTPC for awhile, but I figured I could be a bit creative with mine! A few months ago I got the idea to build a computer inside of a VCR, and more recently I was at my local Goodwill, but didn't find any. However, I did find a CD player that looked like it would fit the bill. It appears to be sold under a JC Penny house brand and is part of a stereo stack. I paid a grand total of $4 for it. The CD player works, but without the remote (not included) the volume is stuck at a level that is barely audible.

I had a few requirements for this system, and have been able to meet some properly, and others will take more work.
  1. Still be able to function as a CD player, meaning it must have an optical drive.
  2. Have room for at least a micro atx motherboard, even if ITX is easier to fit.
  3. Have nothing non removable (failed already)
  4. have the front buttons be media controls in Windows.
  5. Be able to fit mostly components I already own.
Here is what I have came up with so far.

AMD Athlon ii X3 (3.2ghz i think) w/ stock HSF
Gigabyte Micro ATX AM3+ motherboard
8gb (2x4gb) HyperX 1600mhz
Onboard graphics
Delta 400W 80+ Gold ultra-compact server PSU
240gb 2.5in Sata SSD
ASUS Optical Drive

The motherboard/cpu/ram are pretty temporary, I do plan to put much newer parts in here at some point.

From the front it still looks quite unassuming.
View: https://imgur.com/wLI4voZ

From the back it doesn't look very factory anymore. Sadly I did not have the proper tools for the job, so the io shield cutout got butchered, but it worked.
View: https://imgur.com/jxXMub6

Here are the insides:
View: https://imgur.com/xFMmsGm

The motherboard is screwed into standoffs which I threaded into the base.
The 2.5in SSD is screwed into the rear, and slides in between the PSU and the chassis.
The optical drive is very very crudely mounted using L brackets made from sheet metal, but it lines up with the original optical drive bay. The brackets are glued to the drive and screwed into the base of the unit.
The front power button of the CD player has been connected to the motherboard and will power the PC on.
The PSU is mounted there using a block of wood as support. This is TEMPORARY.
Power cable has been spliced and run through the chassis where the hole would normally be.

Things to do:
Mount the PSU in such a way that the ODD can be plugged in.
Solder the power cable (its just temporarily taped together for photos)
Sort through the pile of am3 and am3+ CPUs and install something a little better. I have a phenom x6 but it is iffy, and I have a FX 41XX that works somewhere, but not sure if its with the rest.

I wish I had been able to install a GPU, but that does not look like it is going to be possible unfortunately. Even LP GPUs are too tall.
Reactions: Flayed


I think the only way you're going to get a dGPU in there is to use a single-slot GPU (since it will need to sit above the mobo) and a riser cable.

What's the situation with the PSU cable? Did you splice two cables together? You'd want an IEC320 C13-to-C14 cable for proper connectivity. Or just a panel mount IEC C14 (I haven't been able to find a C14-C13 prefabricated cable where the C14 end is panel-mount, if you do, lemme know):

You may also want to look for a IEC C13 cable with a 90 degree end for better clearance (make sure it bends the right direction!)
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I'll get better photos later.

There is a hole in the metal where the ac cord normally came out in it's former life. I am using a normal pc power cord, but in order to fit it through this hole I had to cut the cable in half and it will need soldered back together.

The tape is all temporary. The masking tape is there so the cord doesn't run on the metal, I really need a grommet.

The electrical tape is holding the cable together for photos untill I solder it. (No I'm not plugging it in that way)