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Old 20-08-16, 10:54 AM
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The AACC Alien Audio Control Center

Please note this project is not sponsored by any one.



Hello every one and welcome to my next project. I know my other one is not complete yet but that is because I am waiting on two cables in order to be able to spend the hour or so needed to assemble all of the modded parts. In work terms the other project is finished, so it was time to make sure I had all of the stuff I needed for my next project.

Some of you will notice this is not a PC I am building and you would sort of be correct. Whilst it does not perform computing functions it uses PC parts, and since we've had everything from guitars to god knows what else I figured some of you may want to see what I am up to

Projects like this are very good for me as they keep my mind from going to the dark side, where it permanently likes to reside. So having something to do and keeping physically busy are two good ways of alleviating that. Well, that and lots of pills.

Any way, time for the back story. If you want to skip along please do so but you won't really know what is going on if you do. Your call, I don't make videos I'm still very old fashioned and like a good read myself

OK, so before I go into pics and what this is going to look like the idea of the project was relatively simple. A long time ago now I built a cinema surround system and me typically being me it was different and much more convoluted. I could have bought one receiver, one box full of speakers and just did what everyone else did or I could have done it differently, viva Asperger Syndrome !

The story goes that back then my wife sent me some money as a gift and asked me what I wanted to do with it. I said that since I'd arrived back home from the states I'd always wanted a nice stereo hifi system, so started buying it. However, I got pulled off course and ended up building a cinema surround system instead. Viva Asperger's !.

OK so what I am doing here is building a stereo system. But, as usual with me I could not just walk into Currys or what not and buy one, I have to do it myself. From the ground up. Using parts not meant for the purpose. Viva Asperger's !

The thing is I wanted something that could perform multiple functions. The main functions (obs) were playing CDs, MP3, WMA etc. I also wanted it to be Bluetooth so that I could play FLAC files on my phone and send them to the stereo. I also wanted a radio, as I have not had one in years and so on.

So, I started looking at my old hunting grounds, car audio. I found this.



At the lower than the floor price of £129. It literally plays everything you can throw at it, has USB, MicroSD, Bluetooth DVD etc etc. So once I had found that I started thinking and making lists of everything else I would need. Obviously I need a decent 12v power supply and then I remembered I have one of these sitting in a box.



It's been braided black and white but I will be gutting pretty much every wire out of it any way and replacing them with 8awg.



Now the chassis was difficult. Did I build my own out of MDF or just try and find a PC case to hold it? It turns out that after doing a lot of research this fits the bill almost perfectly.



It's 10mm wider than the head unit and should be more than tall enough to house the PSU lying flat on the bottom (needs modding) and the head unit in the front (needs severe modding).

So then I worked out what else I would need. Obviously because of the Nakamichi logo and the colour of the case I have gone for the red and black theme, so this was next to be ordered.



I also wanted it to have some lighting, so I ordered this to go in the back (32 LED, same sort of array as Enermax Vegas)



And I will be making some of my clear/solid/clear/solid etc feet with LEDs inside. They will be switchable of course, and all will be able to toggle between on or off.

Now obviously the top USB/headphone etc will need to be ripped out so I ordered these.



Caps for the audio jacks and these.



To hide the USB. Then I started planning out what I wanted to have on the back panel. Initially I was not going to bring the speaker terminals out as I don't need those (only the RCA out) but then I got nagged by my conscious telling me that one day I may want to use it somewhere else. So I ordered these (speaker bindings)



And these (RCA sockets)



And finally this (video out socket)



At first I was not going to use the video out either, then I realised I could stick in a SD card or USB stick and play movies through the TV. Now obviously I could do this now with my Android console, but given this thing has a screen inside it it could easily be taken on holiday with us. So yeah, I figured it would be wise to include the video socket. Then I also realised we don't even have a DVD player in here so sorted.

The idea is to cut a 5mm red acrylic panel to cover the back, but not all of it. I only want to cover the IO panel and the PCI plates. So I ordered an A4 sheet of 5mm gloss red acrylic.



I also don't have a radio in here (yes I know I could use the PC but that defeats the purpose, I'm trying to get off the PC and onto the couch ) so an antenna was important. I ordered this (I need the screw in base only)



And then ordered this. I figured it would look cool on the top



So that should be about all of the parts I will need for this, as well as a custom order from Pro Bolt of course.



Lots of masking tape, as my PC project pretty much ate all of it.



And I'm good (I think, oh wait no..). I also need a power button or two, but I have no idea what size the actual button on the Metis is and no one seems to know. Once I know for sure I can order a couple from HK, as they're about 80% less buying from there. They will light up of course, in red

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Old 20-08-16, 10:56 AM
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And the first arrivals.



Sadly all was not well. Look where I have peeled up the corner. That's bloody clear not red !!

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Old 20-08-16, 11:50 AM
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Balls ! just looked at the back of my TV and no AV or SCART inputs at all. Bad news.. So I have ordered this lol.



And this.



I will split the video signal so that I get AV component out and now HDMI also. I will need to power it though, so not made my mind up on how to do that yet (I will either use a phone charger or some sort of 5v USB signal from the PSU).
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Old 20-08-16, 01:31 PM
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Interesting idea.

What are your plans for power, i.e are you planning to have the PSU on 24/7?

If not, what do you plan to do with the 12v constant on the stereo to keep all presets?
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Old 20-08-16, 03:39 PM
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AlienALX AlienALX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilbane View Post
Interesting idea.

What are your plans for power, i.e are you planning to have the PSU on 24/7?

If not, what do you plan to do with the 12v constant on the stereo to keep all presets?
It will be left on 24/7 yes. Well, the power source will be unless I decide to move it

The head unit and rear fan will be switched off when it's not in use. I will probably run the fan in the back from the AMP REM cable.
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Old 21-08-16, 12:49 AM
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Now this one is going to be interesting and totally different will be watching keenly to see end result
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Old 21-08-16, 11:29 AM
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Thanks dude ! the main work really is making it fit so that it looks like it's supposed to and doing a decent job with the wiring and panels etc.

Today I took the front on pic of the case (this one)



And blew it up to the correct size in MM (in Photoshop like). Any way, it seems that the front panel switch is 16mm. Well, either that or the hole is 16mm. The only thing that is odd is the height measurement. See, if I take that pic (^) and blow it up I have to stretch it out of scale to get 254mm. So I left it (it was 190 wide in scale and the hole measured 16mm).

I am hoping that the measurement is correct and that the 254mm height dimension is the case *and* the feet. That would explain why it won't fill up a 190x254mm in Photoshop.

Any way I have ordered one of these from Hong Kong for £2.30.



It doesn't matter if it fits or not any way because I am going to need a latching switch in the back keeping the power to the unit permanent so I don't lose all of my settings. I will then turn the head unit off at the head unit with the power still running into the back. If the PSU fan is noisy I will most likely replace it or stick it on a resistor. IIRC it's a 140mm fan and sod's law I gave them all away recently lmao. Still, possibly adding a LED fan will be good any way.

If the switch I ordered is the correct size I will use it, then fit a different one in the back. Either that or I can just wire the green cable to the ground and use the switch on the back of the PSU itself (I think it has one? will need to check that).

Once I feel up to it (need a few days rest been burning the candle at both ends lately !) I will get the PSU out and then the daunting task of removing nearly every single wire from it will begin haha.
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Old 21-08-16, 05:17 PM
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Getting conflicting reports on the power button haha. Some one measured it at 12mm and some one else said it's 15mm :S

Any way I had already ordered a 16mm button (I need two, one for the mains power constant and one for the accessory switch to turn off the stereo) and now I have ordered a 12mm.



I will find out for sure tomorrow but I needed two any way so it's no biggy. You can see in the pic how the 12mm sticks out when off, I would imagine it's down to it being really small.
Either way they'll both get used
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Old 22-08-16, 08:54 AM
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Decided last night I wanted to split the video so I had more options on the back panel. So I ordered this for inside.



The postman just came (good thing I got up super early) with some bounty !



Aerial, braid, rear fan, speaker binding posts and the main wiring kit/fuse. I have everything I need to convert the PSU so I will probably begin doing that later today
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Old 22-08-16, 12:56 PM
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Time to convert the PSU. Here it is out of the box. I originally wired it for a black and white themed Hackintosh but that is long gone. When I bought my 4k monitor it only had one input so I broke down the hack and sold it.



Man what a mess ! that's a serious clump of wires :S So the first thing to do was to find the green "on" cable and the ground next to it.



Then I realised that nearly two years in a box was a long time so I figured I would test it before spending hours working on it.







OK all seems good Then it was time to separate what I needed to keep. I decided on 3 x 12v positive and ground, two 3v positive and ground (LEDs probably) and one 5v and ground (no idea?). I originally planned on three 5v, then realised there was no point.



Time to delid the PSU.



I was pleasantly surprised that the fan lives on its own platform. So no stupid awkwardness here. Fan came off on four screws.



Then the nip and tuck began. Snip, shrink, snip, shrink ETC. 1, 2, skip a few, 99, 100.



You will note I have kept three single 12v from the same post and three ground wires from the same post (three on each is how this thing is wired). You will see why later

Time to put the music on and get ready for my brain to go numb



I really don't know how I used to be able to braid a full PSU. See what those two sets of three wires were for now? the nice big fat cable This will be the constant live to the head unit and a ground, which I will put onto a ground plate and connect up some grounds to.



Test it one more time.



Then assemble. I will probably mod it so that it's all black and red but that will be a ten minute job with some vinyl.

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