Not exactly home theater, but I figured some of you guys might get a kick out of my latest project: a digital music server -- complete with internal amp, lcd screen, and cd drive -- built into an antique radio case. 95% of the parts came from my junk box. But don't tell that to the friend to whom I am giving this for a housewarming present
Little did the antique radio collector who sold me this case for $10 know what I had in store for it.
The 5" LCD screen was stripped from a broken portable Panasonic DVD-L50 player purchased on ebay (composite input still worked).
The mighty little Sonic Impact T-amp stripped of its ugly plastic casing.
Finally my Gateway P3 500 of yesteryear lives again in a form it can be proud of. Air is pulled in by that little fan on the bottom right, pushed across the case by another fan mounted right on the cpu heatsink, and then sent back out by the PSU fan, which I modded for less noise.
A poor shot of the back panel. The composite cable will be replaced with a single RCA to minijack once I can find it (this ones from my working DVD player). One soundcard jack goes to the internal T-amp. Thanks to the KX drivers, I can send another to a separate amp for multizone. Ethernet port allows for tweaking and control via VNC, when necessary (though the monitor port is available to).
The finished project, running a custom Xlobby skin, and controlled by a Remote Wonder that had been collecting dust. Right now, the 80 GB drive has over 300 albums on it in 245kbps MP3, but the CD Rom drive works just like a regular player -- plays discs on insert. Front buttons controll LCD on/off, LCD aspect ratio (an unfortunate necessity), server power up/down, and eject. Original radio knob turns on the amp and controls volume.
Now all I have to do is build the speakers to match.