APEXbox

APEX AD-500W DVD player + Microsoft XBOX = APEXbox

Why?
I wanted an XBOX for my entertainment center that didn't look like ass, so I'm shoving the guts of an XBOX into an APEX AD-500W DVD player. That way all of my components are a nice and uniform 19" across. Plus I'm always looking for a reason to use my Dremel.

Why not just make/get a Home Theater PC?
Because for the cost of a used XBOX, I can stream movies & music from my home network, play Xbox games, check the weather, receive RSS feeds, youtube, etc, etc... plus the xTV skin is pretty damn sexy on my big screen.

Materials:
I'll be using the guts of an old beat up XBOX I got cheap on eBay, a DuoX2 modchip, an XBOX remote control and dongle, a generic Xbox High Definition cables with optical audio out, an old broken APEX DVD player, a modified PC DVD-drive, a spare harddrive, um... pretty much a bunch of junk I have laying around.

Tools:
A Dremel, metal files, soldering iron, and tons of hotglue.

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Under construction...

Soldered a pin-header for the mod-chip onto the XBOX motherboard.

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Gutted the APEX DVD player.

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Prepped the power-supply:
The only PSU I have for an XBOX is a 1.0-1.1, but my motherboard is a 1.2-1.5. Had to cut the ATX connector off of an old PC power-supply. Heavily tinned the bare ends of wire on the ATX connector and shoved them into the right spots on the 1.0's power supply connector.

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Cut out the openings for the fan and installed a fan grille. Also cut out the spots for AV connector and the Ethernet port.

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Hot glued nylon standoffs, and mounted motherboard.

Purchased a XERC 2 IR mod so an XBOX remote can power ON/OFF the XBOX. Has the additional advantage of me being able to mount the remote dongle internally and share the IR receiver.

Modifed the PC DVD drive. Original link for modification. <Local mirror coming> This makes a relatively inexpensive PC DVD drive into an XBOX drive that will read everything (original DVD's/XBox disks, and every brand of dvd-+r/rw and cdr/rw that I have thrown at it). It's a pretty simple firmware flash, and you need to solder a total of four 1k ohm resistors and a bunch of wires.

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Positioned DVD drive:
Had to lay one of the big capacitors down on the XBOX motherboard because it was interfering with the fit of the DVD drive. Pretty sloppy.

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Still had a couple of caps in the way (those 2 big silver ones), but I put a piece of flat rubber on top of them, and used them as additional support for the DVD drive.

Cut holes for controller ports. Got really sloppy so I'm probably going to have to break out some bondo and repaint the area.

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Got some easier access to the power and eject points, as well as the LED's by soldering up some leads underneath the connector.

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Soldered some wire to the controller port cables to extended them out so I could route them where I wanted.

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To be continued...