Xbcase Review & Photos
Posted 21 April 2004 - 06:55 AM
Okay the time has come for me to put together a 4th Xbox for home. With 2 kids using 2 and running a dedicated web server from the other, I get less and less access to play games myself.
The brief was simple:-
1) I wanted something that blended in with my HI-FI components.
2) I wanted to install a LCD panel for my Smartxx chip.
3) I wanted something that would give me space to add all sorts of goody's
Picking the bits
After looking around the only thing that done the job was the XBcase from BestPlayer. It was a bit on the pricey side at 125 Euros but I thought I would give it a go.
Before I ordered it I put together a shopping list & a list of questions for Bestplayer and sent it off.
I was a bit pissed that after a few days they had not replied so I sent it again. Still no answer from them!!. I then sent it via a PM at Xbox-scene. Still nothing.
I must admit I was a bit surprised as I was looking at spending over 300 euros on bits and pieces with them. I thought hell if they can't even answer a sales question what would their after sales service be like!!
I was determined not to give up and sent 1 final e-mail:-
|Okay this is the 4th time I have tried to contact someone on this site. Would someone please answer even if it is just to tell me "Fuck off we don't want your money". I want to spend money here guys get your act together!!!!!|
I am very interested in one of your silver cases for the xbox. I want to add a tutorial at my site for the installation of a smartxxx, LCD and case.
Please could you tell me the following:-
1) Does the case come with everything I need to transfer the contents of an Xbox into the case. i.e. all brackets, fans etc
2) If not could you tell me what I will need to add so I can install a virgin Xbox into the case and it will work.
3) Does the case come with a cutout for the LCD? If not is this something that you plan to do?
The shopping list I have so far is:-
1) XBcase silver
3) LCD. Please recommend one that would suit me and that you sell :-)
After a day or two I did get a reply from klaus, but it did not answer any of my questions. Against better judgment I placed an order anyway & crossed my fingers
Final Shopping List
1 x IR-Mod V2 for XBOX™ @ 23,95 EUR
2 x LaserCut Aura 80mm @ 13,90 EUR
2 x 80mm LED Cooler - Steel Blue @ 23,90 EUR
1 x XBCase - Silver - Optional: with display-cut @ 125,00 EUR
1 x LCD 4x20 blue @ 34,95 EUR
2 x 300Gb Maxtor HD
They missed out on my order for 2 x Smartxx because of their time to respond and get back to me.
I placed the order on a Saturday afternoon and I got an e-mail on Tuesday saying that the order had shipped. To say I was surprised is an understatement considering their past attempts at communication.
D-Day (Delivery Day)
Well a week after I got the e-mail saying the goods had shipped I received the order. wOOt. This was not bad considering we had the Easter holiday in between.
Now when the package came I was like a madman possessed. I tore and hacked at the box like I was a kid at his first Christmas :twisted: . Luckily for me all the Hardware bits were there, but then I had my first disappointment!! There was no instructions, no nothing. No Installation guide for the case. No data sheet for the LCD. No Installation guide for the IR mod!!
I thought this was very poor service on BestPlayers part. I do a fair amount of modding so I was not too worried, but someone doing their first or second mod would be left high and dry.
I sent another e-mail asking to be sent instructions & data sheets for all the parts. A day later I got a reply telling me to sign up to a website to download them. This I did but they were all in German. Note:- At this moment in time there are no guides in any other language so be-warned.
Putting it all together
The first step was just to get an unmodified xbox up and running in the case before I did any other fancy stuff. This was quite straight forward even without instructions and after a couple of hours it was done. The only problem I had was with the joypad ports 1 & 2. The cable was about 5 inches to short to reach the mobo once everything was in place. This meant I had to cut the cables and add a 5 inch extension. (I think at 125 Euros an extension cable should be included in the cost).
Step 2:- Smartxx
Next I installed the Smartxx mod chip and flashed my bios banks. I won't go into that here, but suffice to say I love this chip. I have mine setup for 6 x 256k, 2 x 512 & 1 x 1Mb banks. That's more than enough even for a geek like me .
Step 3:- DVD Dongle
Because there is so much room inside the case & there is an IR window built in (bottom right of case) I decided to install the DVD dongle in the case so I don't have to have it plugged into a joypad port all the time.
With the use of a DPDT switch it is an easy thing to do and it keeps things nice and tidy.
Step 4:- IR Mod
Next came the IR mod. This does the same thing as the XIR mod (see Prestige's review here..) but it also allows you to reboot, eject tray & close tray. It also has 2 programmable open collector outputs (You could use them for such things as turning lights/LED's on/off).
The install is only five wires (3.3v permanent, 3.3 v switched, GND, eject button & power button) but without any instructions it was a bitch!!. All I had was a 6 inch ribbon cable with a black blob at the end:-
After a bit of going back and forth with Bestplayer I finally got it going. Although it was a lot of hassle to do it does work great and does exactly what it said it would. I just feel the whole process would have been a lot easier if it came with a colour diagram as that would work for anyone regardless of language.
Step 5:- LCD
I can't tell you too much about the LCD install as mine was faulty, but I should have a new one here in a few days and I will come back and fill this bit in.
Step 6:- Hard Disks
Part of the appeal of this case is that I can install 2 drives (albeit you can only use one at a time). I had no tutorial for this, so I decided to just switch the 5v & 3 volt power lines between drives.
I made up a long EIDE cable that allows me to daisy chain the DVD & 2 drives and then I have a switch at the back of the case to flip the power. (Note you have to power down to switch drives). It's great to have 600Gb of space :shock:
Note:- Image above has 1 x 300Gb & 1 x Standard 10Gb drive.
Posted 21 April 2004 - 06:56 AM
Well after 3 days it is all done except the LCD. It was a bit of a bitch to get done but this was more down to the lack of any documentation from Bestplayer then anything else.
I am happy with the results but I won't be using Bestplayer again until they improve their customer support or at the least ship guides with their products. I took a risk buying from BestPlayer without any answers from them and I was lucky this time. Next time I might not be. :shock:
Edited by XBoxgeek, 21 April 2004 - 06:58 AM.
Posted 21 April 2004 - 07:33 AM
Posted 21 April 2004 - 08:20 AM
Posted 21 April 2004 - 08:28 AM
But what a result for your efforts! Absolutely outstanding. If I had the time, the patience, the talent....etc Ah, if only
Posted 21 April 2004 - 08:35 AM
Sorry to hear you had that situation with bestplayer.de.
All I can say is that I have been buying my modchips from them since they first started selling the PC-BioXX and my experience is very similar to yours. Especially when it comes to the language part, but (Germans, don't flame me now) overall, germans tend to be lousy in understanding english, on the other hand, I suck at german.
However, glad you got your box up and running and I join you in your praising of the SmartXX
Both bestplayer.de and chiptech.de (the IRMod origin) are friendly and very helpful and I'll keep buying from them even in the future.
Just my 2 €
Posted 21 April 2004 - 10:50 AM
Posted 21 April 2004 - 12:16 PM
this is all in German words. I do not understand German words. Has anyone got this in English?
Posted 21 April 2004 - 12:18 PM
Posted 21 April 2004 - 12:45 PM
Great work on the case, and great choices on what to put in them, I agree with a few tastefull LEDs here and there though
Posted 21 April 2004 - 12:58 PM
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