View Full Version : System Modification Project: IBM PC AT Case?

January 29th, 2004, 05:10 PM
Lately for the past two weeks since getting my new system, I have been showing a bit of interest in modding projects. For those who have seen well done system, you could agree with me that they look awesome and the effort put into them is more than worth the effort...

Well, I have a spare IBM PC AT Case lying around, and love the idea of cramming my AMD Batron 2600 XP system within and making my computer look like an old IBM terminal/mainframe/legacy system, right down to the authentic IBM PC AT keyboard, monitor enclosure, grey-front-panel optical and floppy drives...

Has anyone modded a case before in a smiliar fashion and if so, could you give any sound advice or good links to find information?


January 30th, 2004, 07:09 AM
Sorry. I think AT cases are beautiful and shouldn't be modified. Put a fast Pentium class motherboard in it and it'll be a usable Linux machine. You can keep the old keyboard, but you'll probably want something nicer than EGA.

My original AT has a 386 in it that I put in there 10 years ago. I still have the 286 motherboard (6Mhz) and the original parts including the ST-225 so I can turn it back to stock.

I picked up another AT that had a nasty 386SX-16 in it from a co-worker. That now has a 486-DX2/66 with 32MB of RAM, 4GB SCSI hard drive, nice video card, CD-ROM, etc. It's my Linux firewall box. The beautiful old AT keyboard is still on it. Makes it kind of interesting - most Linux apps don't care, but DOS apps kind of expect to have an F11 and F12 key, and I don't! Except for the 3.5" floppy and the CD-ROM, it looks like it did back in 1984. Unmodded case, original power supply, keyboard. No monitor - Linux don't need no stinkin' monitor.

If you go ATX in the PC AT case you're going to need to do some serious modification to accomodate the I/O ports, the different power supply, etc. And the airflow in the AT case may not be good enough to cool your system down. It's kind of a leaky case - lots of vents. People make careers out of adjusting airflow for cooling.

January 30th, 2004, 12:27 PM
I have a P2-350 motherboard that uses the AT form factor, and a k6-2-350 (super socket 7) in the same form factor. So you can put something not so ancient in the case without destroying it by doing an ATX conversion.

January 30th, 2004, 02:04 PM
I know that I would have to cut up the -back- of the case somewhat, but it would still look like a full AT case. I'd even get it repainted in original colors to hide all the nasty stains and scratches. I already have one working, original PC AT, so this empty case is more or less just collecting dust. Plus how I visualize the end result in my mind would look truly impressive...

The hardest part would be making my 17" monitor look like an old IBM with the design of the monitor enclosure...

Maybe I'll make a nice sketch in MSPaint to visually show what it would look like when completed...