ComputerSphere – modding the original base to include a DVD burner

I thought for a change in scenery, I would look at modding the original square base. The square base was an attachment that could be used to support the Videosphere, it wasn’t needed if the Videosphere was hanging. To keep with this idea, I decided to make the base a removable DVDRW drive, with a connection to a standard USB, the base could still be removed and was not essential to the operation.

The original Videosphere base after polishing

I purchased a slot load DVDRW drive from eBay for $50 and a USB slim laptop drive SATA adaptor for around $10.

Slot load DVD burner with USB adaptor

First I glued some wooden pieces to the inside of the base, and this provided me with mounting points.

Glued some wooden pieces for mounting supports

I created some brackets for the DVD drive from some quarter channel aluminium and a hacked older CD drive.

Brackets on the DVD burner for mounting

With the position of the DVDRW drive now know, I cut a slot into the plastic square base with a Dremel.

Rough cut of the slot on the base with a Dremel

Once the slot was large enough it was cleaned up with a file.

The slot on the base neatened up with a file

The DVD burner mounted inside the Videosphere’s base.

Mount the DVD burner into the Videosphere base

The work in progress.

The finished product

Next post I will look at fixing up the USB cable at adding some obligatory lighting to the base.

Integrating an LCD TV with the Videosphere

As I previously posted, I purchased a 8.4″ LCD TV for around $150.

Here is the last update for the year, going on holidays and won’t be back till mid January.

I have started to try to mount the LCD TV into the Videosphere. Firstly removed the LCD from the plastic housing
Removing the LCD from the plastic housing

This is a photo of the back of the LCD
Underside of the LCD

First fit test. You would not believe how close this panel is to not fitting. When choosing the TV I only was concerned about the LCD size fitting the hole, I did not think about the housing. Being a cheap quality LCD the housing protrudes a fair bit. You can observe that the housing isn’t quite flush and this is for two reasons, the LCD is slightly too big, and the hole is actually curved due to the curved screen of the original CRT.
Fit testing the LCD to the Videosphere

The way I solved the LCD size problem was grinding the corners down. This was fairly dangerous as it was easy to damage the LCD, I still haven’t tested the LCD to see if it still works. Before grinding I disassembled the metal housing, this was so that I could see where the glass was as you do not want to be grinding that.
Removing the metal housing from the LCD

Here is a photo of the ground corners of the metal housing; I will explain what the cardboard is for next.
Metal housing with corners ground down

This now solved the LCD not fitting problem. The next problem was the gaps caused by the curved hole. This was solved by using car body filler. First I made a cardboard template with the exact same size hole as the Videosphere.
You can observe the LCD metal housing on top of the cardboard below.
Cardboard template created from the metal housing

It was secured to the Videosphere with some tape.
Cardboard template secured with tape
Front of Videosphere with cardboard in place

Car body filler was applied liberally over the cardboard.
Car body filler applied to Videosphere hole

And the sanding process began.
Initial first phase of sanding

I decided to buy myself an early Christmas present to speed things up. $125 from Bunnings, includes the Flex Shaft and 55 accessories.
Dremel 300 boxed

This was the finished results after another layer of car body filler. It took me a while to get used to the Dremel as I was taking too much out of some areas and leaving indents.
Finished result after sanding

I am quite happy with the results so far. This will be painted black making any imperfections harder to see. Below is a photo of the LCD metal housing over the hole. The hole is slightly uneven and small and that will be fixed up next year.
Back of Videosphere with metal housing used for comparison