View Full Version : Arrr! External HDD enlosure pirate style!

05-26-2007, 10:27 PM
Avast, me mateys! Tis' be about time that a pirate mod be made!

Actually there may already be some out there, I just never looked very hard :). Either or this past semester at college, my roommates and I really got ourselves into a pirate mood. Seriously, we were playing pirate music and pirate-based computer games for quite a while. Since the summer was coming up as well as the third and final installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (which by the way I saw opening night and thought was excellent :)) I decided it would be time for a pirate computer mod to be done.

Due to limited time this summer I had to do something small so I came up with the idea of a harddrive enclosure made out of a small pirate treasure chest to hold all of my pirate stuff I have (mainly my Monkey Island games as well as my piratey music - gotta love it:)). I found some cool treasure chests over at www.deadmentellnotales.com (http://www.deadmentellnotales.com/page/DM/PROD/TCW/TCw1br) that looked like they would do the trick just fine (that and they were pretty low priced too :))

As you can see here, the treasure chest isn't very roomy inside so I have to mount the drive in at an angle although it is still upright itself so I shouldn't have a problem with the drive platter getting unbalanced resulting in I/O failures.

Fortunately the guts I am using take their power straight from the 5V line from the USB to power everything which means less cutting holes but I still had the problem of where to conceal the actual USB connector.

For that, my friend bought me a little POTC locket thing that would be perfect to hide a USB behind.

Sorry Jack, but your picture had to come out

I dremeled out a hole with the cutting wheel to fit the USB connector inside it. Took a while and ultimately had some non-straight edges but the USB connector covers it up pretty well.

Next step was to cut the same hole into the chest and dremel the edges around it to compensate for the roundness of the locket.

Here is the final result all Gorilla Glued into place.

Unfortunately that is all I have right now as I have to wait for some other parts to come in the mail. Mainly the USB wire that goes from the drive to the side of the chest. Unfortunately again because of the small space I have to work with I had to "special order" a right angle USB adapter that would fit http://www.ntcdistributing.com/images/UHR2-AAR02-24large.jpg I'm going to have to trim away some of the plastic on the mounts where the screws are to get it to fit, however that shouldn't prove to be too hard.

Also I plan on getting some gold mylar cable sleeving from cableorganizer.com. That will give the USB cable that is used to connect the drive to the back of my computer that "gold pirate treasure" feel to it. :)

That's all that I have right now. It's not much, but I didn't feel like waiting until the end of this week to post everything :) ARR! Give me feedback on what you guys think so far!

05-27-2007, 11:07 PM
Cool mod!

I'm a little confused about the HD though. Laptop HDs (2.5") are 44 pins. SCSI HDs use 50pins. Are you sure the drive is not SCSI, there may be SCSI laptop sized drives.

Ohh, it is an IDE drive, I took it out of my laptop when I put a faster drive in it. I thought all laptop drives were 50 pins because all of the 2.5" to 3.5" adapters say 50-to-40 pins (because of the power pins and hdd light pins that are on the little adapter board) Either or, I still haven't been able to find a 50 or a 44 pin cable that would work. It's alright though, the way I have it now should work just fine.

By the way, thanks for all of the comments so far guys! Hopefully I will get the rest of the parts in by the end of the week and have it all done by the weekend. Arr, stay tuned mateys!

05-31-2007, 06:24 PM
Ahoy, me mateys!!! Just a quick update here to help keep all of you seafaring bilge rats content and not thinking of mutiny!

Haha, man I'm really getting into the pirate talk thing again. Anyways, I just received my gold cable sleeving in the mail from cableorganizer.com and felt like sharing. I figured I would put it around the USB cable that the computer uses to connect to the device - thought it might make it look more piratey :)

Here is what it will look like when everything is all connected up. It looks pretty cool. Arr, better than just a solid color wire me thinks!

I was/am unsure of how to terminate the ends however. I want it to look piratey but be effective at the same time so that it doesn't fray over time. Right now I just shrink wrapped it in place. If anyone has any ideas, please voice them.

I have a 6 foot cable here and ordered just 6 feet of cable sleeving. That was fine and all until I realized that when the sleeving is widened out to fit a wire through it, it shortens in length just a bit. Unfortunately now my sleeving is about 6 inches too short. No worries though, I figure I'll just use this as the end that I connect to the back of the computer with since no one will see it anyways.

And that's it for now again. All I am waiting on is the right angle USB adapter for inside the chest. Hopefully it will be in tomorrow or the day after so I can finish this thing.

On an off topic note, I went and saw Pirates 3 again for a second time last night :) It was even better the second time around. So as your Captain, I suggest if you haven't seen it yet, go! And better yet, go twice, it will make more sense the second time around! ARRR! :)

05-31-2007, 10:13 PM
I was wondering about that, we were discussing on the heat issue earlier. I will probably end up putting some stick on heatsinks on the drive to aid in the cooling that I have used in the past that work well.

06-01-2007, 04:51 PM
Arr! Tis' be completed! The USB cable came in today so I was able to finish everything this afternoon. Here are the final pictures:

All closed up and ready to go (fitting enough, the POTC At World's End soundtrack is sitting behind it :)). It looks like a regular pirate treasure chest but...

...on the inside is a harddrive, ARR!

Just a quick closeup of the POTC locket that covers the USB connector.

A final picture showing the chest. Arr!

All in all, this was a fun little project. Its main purpose is just going to be to store all of my piratey stuff such as pirate music and my Monkey Island games. Don't worry though, nothing was "pirated" everything is legal that will be in this :)

Since I'm running (and have been running since I was a kid) Linux, I am going to make an ext3 partition to store everything on it. Not that anyone really cares, just figured I would share.

If anyone has any questions or comments or whatever, feel free to post them. Constructive criticism is always allowed. I actually did get a little metal skull and cross swords pendant that I plan on putting on the other side of the chest to help balance the two sides out, so I will be sure to add the pictures when I get it done.

Link To Original Worklog (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8573)