PDA

View Full Version : Do ATX Blanking Plates Fit in AT Cases?



jamesbeat
May 8th, 2017, 06:03 AM
I'm currently building a Raspberry Pi based system for running all of my old home computer emulators.

I'm building it in a PC case and breaking out all the ports to the back of the case.
I eventually want a desktop style case, but I'm having a little trouble finding one at a sane price, so for now I'm using an ATX tower.

As I mentioned above, I have broken out the ports to the rear of the machine, so I have various blanking plates with VGA, DB-9 joystick, audio and usb ports mounted in them.
I also made a base board for all the components such as the Pi, a hub, joystick adapter etc, so that it fits into the case like a motherboard.
The idea is that when I get a different case, it will be a simple matter to unbolt everything and transfer it over.

I have noticed that a lot of the desktop cases that I like the look of seem to be the AT form factor.
This isn't a problem for my "motherboard', as it will be simple enough to trim it, add extra holes if needed etc.

It's been a long time since I last owned an AT case, and it just occurred to me that I have no idea whether the AT mounting system for cards is the same as ATX.

Will my ATX blanking plates fit in an AT case?

KC9UDX
May 8th, 2017, 06:08 AM
I don't see why not. I've swapped plates between my ATX cases and Amigas. I don't think I have any AT cases to compare with though.

I wonder though if you want a desktop, why you are settling for a tower. I have a boatload of ATX desktop machines, and I doubt they sell for much these days.

jamesbeat
May 8th, 2017, 07:54 AM
You must have had better luck than me then.
I've been searching for a couple of weeks now; Craigslist, ebay, local PC repair shops, thrift stores etc.

The most promising is ebay, but the Buy It Now prices are ridiculous and I get outbid on auctions.
Factoring in the price of shipping (which is usually at least $30) doesn't leave much room for bidding.

This was supposed to be a cheap project, but it has already cost more than I expected it to - the Pi Zero I bought isn't fast enough for Atari ST (or bizarrely, BBC Model B) so I have to spend an extra $30 on a Pi3.

I'm reluctant to spend more money buying an expensive case which might be cheap or even be free if I'm patient enough.

That's why it is currently in a tower. I got the tower for free from my job.

The idea is that I can at least finish the build and use the machine, so that buys me some breathing room to find a suitable case.

It's pretty nice as towers go - it's an old beige Dell case which is well made and can be opened without tools.
I'm not an admirer of Dell's proprietary motherboards and PSU's, but their cases are usually well thought out and good quality.

Because I made it modular, it will be easy to transplant the guts into a desktop case when (if?) I find one.

KC9UDX
May 8th, 2017, 07:58 AM
Mine are all Dells from that era. Are you sure it isn't really a desktop case?

jamesbeat
May 8th, 2017, 08:17 AM
While you certainly could put my current case on top of a desk, it's definitely a tower.

By 'desktop' I'm referring to the horizontal type that you put a monitor on top of.

I expect you're probably referring to the small form factor type cases that can be used either as a horizontal desktop or stood on its end like a tower.
Mine definitely isn't that type sadly - it's just a regular (albeit quite small) standard tower.

Edit:
Here's a photo (not mine, but the same model):

38332

It's actually quite attractive, but for this build I want a desktop format.
I actually have the cousin of this machine, the Dell l550r, which is the same case but with a PIII. I'm keeping that one the way it is.

Stone
May 8th, 2017, 08:22 AM
I've got this case:

http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?56684-AT-Case

lutiana
May 8th, 2017, 08:26 AM
When you say blanking plates, do you mean slot covers? Or are you referring to the IO shield?

If you mean the former (slot covers) then yes, those are completely interchangeable between AT and ATX cases, at least I've never had an issue.

If you mean IO shield, then the answer is no. AT cases don't use an IO shield.

jamesbeat
May 8th, 2017, 08:28 AM
I've got this case:

http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?56684-AT-Case

That's a nice case, but when you factor in shipping it's going to be out of my price range.

I think my best bet is to try to find something local so I don't have to pay to ship it.
That's the real trick though isn't it....

jamesbeat
May 8th, 2017, 08:34 AM
When you say blanking plates, do you mean slot covers? Or are you referring to the IO shield?

If you mean the former (slot covers) then yes, those are completely interchangeable between AT and ATX cases, at least I've never had an issue.

If you mean IO shield, then the answer is no. AT cases don't use an IO shield.

Yes, I meant the slot covers - I mounted the ports in the spaces that would usually be occupied by expansion cards.

I'm not using the IO shield area at all - I just stuck a piece of plastic over it.

That's good news, thanks.
This means that it will work as intended no matter which type of case I end up with - all I have to do is unscrew the slot covers and move them over to the new case :)

KC9UDX
May 8th, 2017, 09:06 AM
While you certainly could put my current case on top of a desk, it's definitely a tower.

By 'desktop' I'm referring to the horizontal type that you put a monitor on top of.

I expect you're probably referring to the small form factor type cases that can be used either as a horizontal desktop or stood on its end like a tower.
Mine definitely isn't that type sadly - it's just a regular (albeit quite small) standard tower.

Edit:
Here's a photo (not mine, but the same model):

38332

It's actually quite attractive, but for this build I want a desktop format.
I actually have the cousin of this machine, the Dell l550r, which is the same case but with a PIII. I'm keeping that one the way it is.

I think mine are larger than that. They are slightly larger than an Amiga 2000. The difference is that the drives are mounted the other way, the Dell logo is rotatable, and there are eight feet. So you can use them either way, but CD drives work better in the desktop configuration.

Chuck(G)
May 8th, 2017, 09:16 AM
To the original question--the slot covers/brackets haven't changed dimensions materially since the 5160. I'm ignoring, of course, the low-profile ATX brackets. There are some minor variations, such as the short retaining part of the bracket on some models having a "lip" to engage a variation in the top rail.

jamesbeat
May 8th, 2017, 09:17 AM
Yes, I definitely want the drives to be horizontal.
Of course, the drives will only be there for show because the machine is just a heavily disguised Raspberry Pi, but I still want it to look right.

Naturally there will not be any of those space-age newfangled CD drives - floppies only :)

I actually have something similar to yours by the sound of it - it's an HP Core 2 Duo (can't remember what model) and can be used horizontally or vertically, including a rotatable badge.
It's currently hooked up to my tv running the x86 version of Retropie because a Raspberry Pi isn't powerful enough to run N64 games well.
They are actually quite cheap on ebay, but they are black/silver not beige, so they look way too modern.

Are your Dells beige?
If so, can you let me know the model name/number?
Might help me in my quest.

jamesbeat
May 8th, 2017, 09:20 AM
To the original question--the slot covers/brackets haven't changed dimensions materially since the 5160. I'm ignoring, of course, the low-profile ATX brackets. There are some minor variations, such as the short retaining part of the bracket on some models having a "lip" to engage a variation in the top rail.

Yes, a case that requires low profile brackets would present a problem.
Nothing a few minutes with a pair of aviation shears couldn't fix though I expect.

KC9UDX
May 8th, 2017, 01:51 PM
I actually have something similar to yours by the sound of it - it's an HP Core 2 Duo (can't remember what model) and can be used horizontally or vertically, including a rotatable badge.
It's currently hooked up to my tv running the x86 version of Retropie because a Raspberry Pi isn't powerful enough to run N64 games well.
They are actually quite cheap on ebay, but they are black/silver not beige, so they look way too modern.

Are your Dells beige?
If so, can you let me know the model name/number?
Might help me in my quest.
Some are beige, some are black. Maybe 25% are beige. There are only 3 distinct models, I think. They all came from the same place. Unfortunately the only ones I have access to at this point are black.

This may be a situation where you could make use of spray paint. Of course, you will want to feather in some yellow or orange at least around the top. And you'll need separate colours for the drives and blanking covers. :)

jamesbeat
May 8th, 2017, 02:33 PM
Some are beige, some are black. Maybe 25% are beige. There are only 3 distinct models, I think. They all came from the same place. Unfortunately the only ones I have access to at this point are black.

This may be a situation where you could make use of spray paint. Of course, you will want to feather in some yellow or orange at least around the top. And you'll need separate colours for the drives and blanking covers. :)

The exact opposite of retro0bright lol.

I'd rather avoid painting a black case if I can avoid it. I know there are some good spray paints for plastics (that's how a I made my fake Net Yaroze PlayStation) but it wears through eventually, especially on corners etc.

KC9UDX
May 8th, 2017, 03:17 PM
Maybe you could bleach the black first.

jamesbeat
May 8th, 2017, 03:55 PM
I haven't had much luck with bleach and ABS.
I tried it on a (fortunately) scrap piece to see if it would get rid of yellowing.
It didn't strip the color, but it did ruin the surface of the plastic - the surface became crazed and chalky.

That was before I discovered Retr0bright.

I expect the black pigment in black ABS is lampblack, and no amount of bleach will turn carbon white.