Sunday, March 7, 2010

We have liftoff!

Yesterday was a big day for my project!

I paid a visit to MSY in Auburn and bought the Blu-ray combo, 1T HDD and the tuner card - at the last moment I bought Windows 7 as well. In order to qualify for the OEM version of Windows 7, I needed four bits of hardware, and so got a cheap wireless network card as well.

OEM Windows 7 Premium cost A$111, compared to a staggering $268 from Harris Technologies - although if forced to by at retail, I would have qualified for the upgrade at a mere A$181, as I've got a spare copy of Windows 98 lying around for just this purpose.

Anyway... got home and the first challenge was to get the chintzy face off the Samsung Blu-ray:

After gently probing with some jewellers screwdrivers, the face of the tray and the case came off and all was good.

But it was pretty obvious that the little button on the Lian Li case wasn't long enough to reach the little button that activated the tray motor. This had me stumped for a bit.

Ended up getting a ordinary drawing pin like this:

and slicing the pin off and cutting a wedge shape into the thicker end with a Sonicrafter. Do you know what a Sonicrafter is? One of these:

The saw part vibrates back and forward very fast over a limited range of motion, and so cuts and grinds very precisely. Initiallly used a bit of Aquadhere to glue the pin over the existing button to test that the idea could work and get the position exactly right - when I was happy that it could work, I sealed the deal with super glue.

The end result looks like below:

Doesnt look great from inside, but you can't see it at all from outside the case and the tactile feedback from the Blu-ray button is preserved fairly well. I think that the superglue should hold it forever.

With that challenge defeated, I screwed in the HDD and Blu-ray into the brackets and positioned it carefully so that the facia that came with the case could be stuck onto the front of the tray. It was a bit fiddly, but got there in the end.

I would have liked to mount the HDD over the other side of the case to better distribute heat, but I found what other builders of this case have discovered: the power cables provided don't reach over to the other drive bracket! No idea why Lian Li would have created such an obvious design flaw in their case... so anyway, the HDD is mounted directly under the Blu-ray.

Plugged in the power and all the lights on the HDD and Blu-ray spring to life.

Things are getting crowded inside the case after I slide the power supply back into position (it slides back to enable access to the drive racks).

Rearrange the wires as best I can and carry the case upstairs.

Break the seal on Windows 7 and put it in the Blu-ray and turn it on. The Blu-ray is by far the noisiest component in the whole assembly! with the cover on the case, it blocks down the sound a lot though.

Windows 7 loads flawlessly and away we go:

Looks cool in the dark!

About this time I realise that the tuner that I have is actually analogue only. Woops. I'm sure that somewhere I read that the model I got did digital. Oh well, I'm not too upset as it allowed me to qualify for the OEM Windows 7 and only cost $25. I'll flog it on ebay.

Here is the very first thing I've streamed from the internet - American "So you think you can Dance?"

I'm very pleased!

I should have left well enough alone, because later on the mouse stopped working for some reason. Turned out that one of the pins was bent back and not engaging. I only discovered this after reinstalling Windows in a vain attempt to fix it and then, when giving up in frustration, noticed that the mouse didnt work on my primary PC either. I sort of feel relieved about that!


  1. Have the same BD player and I can hear a high pitch noise while reading discs. Just wondering if it is common Samsung issue or a warranty will resolve it.


  2. Hi jb,

    It makes a little more noise that I would have liked, but there is definitely no high pitched whining.

    A whining sound would imply that something is probably out of balance or alignment somewhere, which may shorten the life of the drive.

    I'd take it back if its too intrusive.