Commodore 1541 Disk Drive PC mod – Part 3

Wow, six months since I started this project and only now am I getting round to finishing it off. I’ve actually been using the PC for a few months now as a home NAS server running Freenas so part 3 is purely to finish of a few things that’s been bugging me.

Firstly the PSU -  I didn’t have anything suitable when originally building this project so I used a standard ATX PSU. It’s way to big to fit into the 1541 case therefore it has to sit next to the PC with the connecting wires threaded through one of the holes in the rear of the case. It looks terrible and sounds even worst.

I’ve been musing over getting a Pico PSU and external laptop style main adapter that would increase the amount of internal space, run economically and of course, be totally silent. That will have to wait for another day because i’ve managed to lay my hands on a flex PSU. Flex PSU’s are pretty similar to their ATX counterparts but are about a 1/3rd of the size. Perfect for my needs and will fit inside the case with room to spare.

With the FLEX PSU fitted, the ITX board will sit on top. The case lid fit’s o.k. with just a few centimeters free. The 5cm Akasa fan should hopefully keep everything nice and cool.

The next fix is the harddrive. It’s woefully lacking in size and had filled up pretty quickly once I started uploading data from our other PC’s. In addition, it’s a big fat chunky 3.5″ drive so again, something smaller would be better. My problem here it that the ITX board only supports IDE drives and the only two spare 2.5″ drives I have are both SATA. Raiding my spare parts box I found a  SATA to IDE converter (left over from my HTPC project) and 3.5″ to 2.5″ IDE cable. I really didn’t think that by putting the two together that they would work but they did!  I now have oddles of storage to play with.

I didn’t really want to leave the ITX resting on what could become a hot PSU so firstly I covered the top of the PSU with electric tape and then fabricated four standoffs from cut down ball point pens to raise the board about 2cm above the PSU. The case fan I fitted was directed to provide airflow through the gap between PSU and motherboard. I’ll keep and eye on the temperature for the next few days to be sure it’s all o.k.

Taking a measurement for the board standoffs. The space either side of the PSU will be used to stick the various internal cables.

After testing  everything working o.k, the last thing I wanted to do was to utilise the onboard CF adaptor to boot Freenas from Compact Flash. This wasn’t as tricky as I thought it was going to be!

With the hardrive formatted, I reinstalled Freenas onto the CF card and set up the various network shares, services and started copying over my files to the drive.

I’ve really enjoyed this project and as a fan of older computers (especially Commodore), it gives this unused but iconic case a new life.  It certainly gets some smiles when people see it lit up and working.

oops, forgot the finishing touch!

I’m eager to build another ITX PC, but I be using a more modern PC case for the next one!

My Commodore 1541 Disk Drive – ITX based NAS Server.