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'sPicking 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:-
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.