MacBook/Xserve Shipping Plastic Media Mac Case Mod

As mentioned in my previous post, I have an effectively headless Macbook Core Duo 2 2.16 that I plan to use as my Media Center Mac. I've been casting around for case ideas, and returning again and again to two different ones: Fit it all into a Mac Plus case (or two) or use the plastic packing frames that come in Xserve packaging.

Today I decided to go with the latter for three reasons. Adding a secondary LCD to the Mac Plus case will be overkill. The low, wide form factor of the Xserve cases will be less trouble in a tv stand, and no one has ever done it before. I can't find any example anywhere of some case modder using these heavy duty, nice looking plastic parts to make a case.
So for that reason alone, I have to do it.
The picture above shows my current working simple layout. I'm going with the possibly trickier front load DVD slot because it will be much more user friendly than a side slot. This also puts most of the ports on the back, where I want them anyway. This means the case will be bigger than if I arranged the MacBook wide rather than long, but it is really necessary.

Still up for debate: whether to remove the broken LCD and lid entirely. I really want to salvage the mic and iSight, but taking the LCD out would cool things and maybe give me more room. I doubt I'll run out of that, though the case will include at least one USB hub inside it, the EyeTV 250 (the yellow paper is its stand in) the power brick and the HDMI video adapter.

Also uncertain: What to use for a lid when it is all done. I might just attach it to the underside of a shelf in the media cabinet when we get one, effectively making it more of a drawer than a case.
So, nothing too exciting to report about this now, but I expect the project to gather some speed this weekend, when I have some fabrication time and all the parts should be in. I'm currently waiting on a new bigger internal drive and an external IR controller.


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