Headless MacBook Core Duo 2 Case Conversion
I bought a theoretically dead, liquid damaged MacBook Core Duo 2 which turned out to have only a few things wrong with it: the power switch doesn't work because the keyboard connector cable is bad, the IR may not work, and I took its screen off to attach to a working MacBook that had a cracked screen.
My plan is to use this headless MacBook as my DVR/Front Row/Boxee TV machine using an EyeTV 250. This all works right now, though I may need to buy a Manta TR1 for remote control if my corrosion cleaning doesn't fix the built in IR. I also need to rig a method of turning it on more elegant than shorting pin 4 to ground on the main board's keyboard connector. Not terribly difficult issues. And considering I got the "dead" MacBook for $200, worth doing.
When it is all put together, I'll have what I hope is an elegant DVR that cost me less than a Mac Mini or even an Apple TV, while having more horsepower and flexibility than either. I had originally planned to make an "SE 30 W" using two Mac Plus cases I have lying around, but I have come to realize that the tall mac plus form factor is less than ideal for my soon-to-exist media cabinet that will go below the not-yet-purchased >46" wall mount tv that I may get as early as Black Friday.
So, I need a case for this thing that allows port and DVD access. I don't mind taking the whole assembly out of its lower case, though leaving it in is certainly easier. I don't care about the battery capabilities, and the drive is easy to move from its normal mounting position, so I could even cut the whole front off the footprint of it if I wanted to go taller by stacking things up.
Other things to add only a few are required:
- A mount for the built-in iSight and mic.
- A second internally mounted "external" hard drive, since DVRs use a lot of drive space. The drive that came with it was a moderately generous 120 gigs, but we will outgrow that with two iTunes libraries, iPhoto, and some recorded programs.
- If it proves necessary, the Manta TR1 would be nice if it was internal.
- Moving the MacBook's power supply inside the case would be more elegant. Again, not mandatory.
- I don't want to pay for a power supply that comes with a case when I won't use it.
- It can't block radio waves for the Airport or Bluetooth.
- It should cost less than a replacement LCD screen! A lot less. They run about $170. I would get grumpy spending more than $50.
Our tastes run to the minimalist and modern, not the steampunk or art nouveau. Though deco would be nice.
This will be in our Rec/TV room, so it can't look ugly.
So, what brilliant ideas do you have for a case for this salvaged MacBook?
Left in the existing bottom case, it is 8.75" by 12.75' x 5/8" high. If I cut back the battery bay and moved the hard drive on top of the DVD drive, let's say it would be 6" instead of 8.75".