Introduction: How to Turn a Millennium Falcon Into a PC!

Picture of How to Turn a Millennium Falcon Into a PC!

I wanted to build a unique computer to hook up to my TV to watch movies. I searched the Internet for a while trying to get an idea of what I could make it out of and finally ran across the 1979 Kenner Millennium Falcon. While I was searching I found only a few other people that have modded this, one was a PS3 and a couple were turned into an original Xbox. So as far as I know I'm the first to put a PC inside one of these. It took a little planning and time searching for parts but it finally all came together. There are a few additions I'd like to make in the future: I'd like to add a slot load Blu-ray player, more LEDs, and give it a nice paint job but I'm not in a rush to do them yet. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I do.


***I guess I should've mentioned this to begin with that I didn't use a Millennium Falcon that was is good shape. I had to give it a bath in bleach to remove a bunch of stains and the smells that went along with them. I had to reinforce the rear feet because they could no longer support it's own weight let alone the weight of a computer inside it. There were also parts missing that I had to find to make it whole again.***

Step 1: Materials Needed

1979 Kenner Millennium Falcon (I kept an eye on eBay for a while so I could get one at a decent price)
Han Solo and Chewbacca Action Figures (I chose the 1978 Kenner Large Head Han Solo so I could use him as the power switch and used the 1977 Kenner Chewbacca, I also found these guys on eBay)
Mini ITX motherboard (I used Foxconn H67S LGA 1155)
CPU (I used Intel Core i3-2100T I chose this one because it's low profile and doesn't stick up as high as the normal version.)
PSU (I used picoPSU-160-XT and 192w AC-DC Power Adapter, 12v 16A) (This is the component that took the longest to find)
RAM (I used G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB))
HDD (I used OCZ Vertex Series 30GB Internal Solid State Drive) ( I used the 30gb because I'm only using this for streaming movies and music, Everything I access is either from mapped network drives or on the Internet)
6 x 40mm Fans (I used two 40mm black fans and four 40mm blue LED fans)
6 Port Fan Hub (I used Sunbeam Multi Fan Power Port)
Plexiglass cut to size of Motherboard (You can get this at your local hardware store and usually if asked they will cut to size needed)
Motherboard Standoffs (However many your motherboard supports – Mine was four)
24 x Fan Screws (I used Black Fan Screws)
Miscellaneous cables (This all depends on what you want to put in to it but here’s a list of what I used)
1 x 3 Pin Fan Power Y Cable
1 x 4 PIN Molex Adapter TO 3 PIN Fan Adapter
2 x 3 ft. Panel-Mount USB 2.0 A Male to A Female Cable
1 x 3 feet HDMI Panel Mount Cable
1 x 18” Sata to Right Angle Sata (I already had one of these but you can get them pretty much anywhere)
1 x 2 Pin HDD LED and 1 x 2 Pin Power Switch (I already had both of these from an old PC case but here’s a link to a kit you can buy ATX Case Replacement Wire Kit)
1 x Molex 4 Pin on/off Power Switch 12V DC
CAT5 cable or Wi-Fi adapter (I used a cable because I wanted a fast connection for streaming)

Tools Needed:
Dremel Tool
Drill and bits
Phillips Head Screwdriver
Epoxy
Superglue
Hot Glue Gun and a glue stick
Sandpaper
Velcro strips
Cable strippers
RJ45 Crimpers
Punchdown Tool w/ 110 blade
RJ45 Keystone Jack (Almond color to match the Falcon)
RJ45 modular plug

Step 2: Disassembly

Picture of Disassembly

Remove all screws from the bottom and set the top shell off to the side.
If it came with them remove the paper divider, sound maker, and center gunner’s seat.

Step 3: Clearing the Area for the Motherboard

Picture of Clearing the Area for the Motherboard

Grab your Dremel tool and cut out the thin plastic divider and two studs. Sand it down as much as you like, this area will be covered up but I would just make sure the rough edges are gone.

Step 4: Cutting Out and Mounting the Fans

Picture of Cutting Out and Mounting the Fans

I installed the fans in two groups. The two black fans I installed on the ends and they run continuously while the computer is on. The four blue LED fans I installed between the black fans to be controlled by a switch. With all six fans running plus the CPU fan it is a little noisy during quiet scenes of movies, that’s why I wanted to control them with a power switch. I cut out and mounted the fans one at a time to make sure I had the spacing right. I started with the left and worked my way across. I held the fan up where I wanted it, traced the inside with a pencil to make a circle, and cut it out with my Dremel and sanded it down. I then marked to screw hole locations and used the fan screws to mount them. The screws were sharp enough to go through the plastic for me but you could pre drill the holes and then screw them in if you wanted.

Step 5: Putting Together the PC

Picture of Putting Together the PC

First I took the motherboard and plexiglass and marked the screw locations. I then drilled pilot holes, screwed the standoffs into the plexiglass, and then screwed down the motherboard. The rest of this step goes just like a normal PC setup. Insert the CPU, spread out the thermal compound on it, then put the heatsink over the top of it. Install the RAM and the PSU. I chose to do this step now because I wanted to get an idea of how I wanted it oriented, where I wanted to install the cables for exterior connections, and just to make sure it fit properly.

Step 6: Cutting Out and Mounting All Cables for Exterior Connections

Picture of Cutting Out and Mounting All Cables for Exterior Connections

I started by gathering all the cables/connectors and set them out in a configuration I was happy with. I outlined their positions with a pencil. For the HDMI, USB, and Power connection I cut them out and checked to make sure my cables would plug in without rubbing the plastic. After I got them all fitted I grabbed my drill, drilled pilot holes, and secured them in place with their screws. For the network connection I grabbed a scrap piece of CAT5 cable, stripped one end, punched it down to my RJ45 Keystone Jack. I held it up where I wanted it and cut the cable to the length I needed, stripped the other end of the cable, crimped down the RJ45 modular plug. On the RJ45 Jack there’s a flexible tab, I broke it off, and with some finesse I got the Jack to lock in place. I was going to Epoxy it but it didn’t need it. Next thing on the list is the power switch that controls the LED fans. I grabbed my drill again and a paddle bit the size of the switch. Drilled through the bottom and inserted the switch. It has two tabs that lock it in place.

Step 7: Installing the Power Switch

Picture of Installing the Power Switch

I wanted to come up with a really unique way to turn on the PC. I figured Han is the Captain of the Millennium Falcon and it should have something to do with him. What better way is there to turn it on than by pushing his face? I started by sitting Han and Chewbacca in their seats. I marked where Han’s head was located and then removed them both. I drilled a hole where his head was and inserted the power switch. While holding it there I repeatedly pressed the button to make sure it wasn’t catching on any part of the plastic.  Once I was happy with it I used superglue to glue it down. I then took the Epoxy glue and permanently glued it into place. From the picture you can see I got a little happy with it. It isn’t in a visible location so I didn’t worry about cleaning it up. After letting it set overnight I grabbed Han and put him back in his seat. I marked where the button was coming out of the seat. Then I notched out the back of his head so it will rest right on top of the button. I secured Han and Chewbacca in place by cutting up a Velcro strip into four pieces, one for each of the butts and one for each of their backs. I used Velcro so I can easily take them out.

Step 8: Connecting Everything Up.

Picture of Connecting Everything Up.

I started with the cable that came with the PSU. Connected the Sata end to the HDD. The Pata end I connected to the PATA power cable with 3 pin fan connector. Connected the black fans on the ends to the 3 pin Y cable and plugged the other end into the cable with the 3 pin fan connector. I then plugged the open PATA end into the power switch for the fans and the power switch into the 6 port fan hub and the fans into the hub. Next I placed the HDD in and the motherboard over the top of the cables and plugged in the cable on the PSU into it's adapter, and repositioned all the cables where they need to plug in. I started with the HDMI cable. It’s thicker than the others and not as flexible so I went with it first and worked around it. I placed the 6 port fan hub in next. I then plugged in the USB cables and they hold the 6 port hub in place. Next I plugged in the CAT5 cable and last I plugged in the 2 pin power button. The power button plugs in in different spots on all motherboards so you'll just have to check the documentation that came with your board.

Step 9: Install/Configure Windows

Picture of Install/Configure Windows

After I got everything plugged in and situated, I went ahead and powered it on and installed Windows to make sure everything was working properly before closing it back up. I'm not going to go into detail on how to install windows because there are plenty of other Instructables for that, but I'll give you an idea of what I did. I copied my WIN 7 Professional disc onto an 8gb flash drive. I made another folder on the drive with all the drivers and other software I wanted. I installed WIN 7 from the flash drive and the copied the folder I made on the PC. I then installed all drivers and software and took her for a test drive to make sure everything was working the way it should. I changed the Windows Logon screen with a program called Tweaks.com Logon Changer.

Step 10: HDD LED and Gun Turret

Picture of HDD LED and Gun Turret

For the HDD LED all you need is a drill and a small bit. I drilled through the back of the dish and down through the base. Inserted the LED into the dish and ran the cable through the hole in the base. I've been asked why I connect it to the HHD LED spot and not the Power LED spot. I tell them because I want the light to flicker on/off like the satellite dish is sending signals and not just be on all the time. For the Gun Turret I hot glued it to the clear plastic piece and then hot glued the clear piece to the Falcon. Now the last thing to do is connect the HDD LED to the motherboard and put the top back on.

Step 11: Completed!!

Picture of Completed!!

Fired up and ready to take me to galaxies far, far away

Comments

tgries (author)2017-01-02

http://m.mentalfloss.com/article.php?id=79395

sean.curry.395 (author)2014-08-30

Looks great and just for reference, that Millenium Falcon was re-released a few more times over the years. The most recent version came out in 2005. So no need to hunt down the vintage one.

tjacobs5 (author)2014-07-05

This is so awesome! But I would love to see this painted!

jgood5 (author)2014-05-24

I recently built a Millennium Falcon PC as well, except mine has an AMD 7750 and an i5 3570K, so it can game too. YouTube video here:

jamborambo10 (author)2014-03-05

Excellent

swiltshire1 (author)2013-12-10

Sorry but you where not the first, I did this mod over 4 years ago here's a you tube

link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF4AHVnxegU

This won me the Intel desktop 2009 comp. Also I wasn't even the first I got the idea from about the 50 MF mods I found online before I even started. Though I will admit yous is very nice but give some credit to the loads of us who came before you..

samwolf78 (author)2012-12-20

While this is really cool it seems somewhat sacrilegious to do this to an original Falcon. =)

rathemighty (author)samwolf782013-12-06

Agreed. Have this: http://i.imgur.com/o5fTNVT.jpg

mino2003 (author)2013-10-25

genius

Raphango (author)2013-10-07

Epic! Congratulations!

CreativeGeek (author)2013-05-10

This is epic, however if I were building one, it would be based around an Atom board as Atoms tend to use less power and thus run cooler than i3s, for example, and then install either Xubuntu or Mint Xfce on it. :)

Dark_Haseo (author)2012-12-10

no paint job ?

FutrixEnterprises (author)2012-11-26

One of the best PC cases I have seen!! Love to see thew improvements. Followed.

ehudwill (author)2012-11-17

This is super cool! Great job.

BradJordan (author)ehudwill2012-11-17

Thanks!

FuzzeeDee (author)BradJordan2012-11-24

Great project, absolutely agree you did the right thing with o e exception. U shouldda built a Linux box like Ubuntu or even an apple box since OS/10 will install on almost any intel core duo setup. See apple.com for specs. Just my 2¢. Great job all the same dude.
• • • Fuzzee Dee OUT • • • }~{ <> }~{ ^~^ :->

syates3 (author)2012-11-23

A really god option is something like Revell Star Wars Millennium Falcon Model specs are: Dimensions: 17 inches long x 12 inches wide x 4 inches deep, snap assembly, Pre-decorated parts, Includes an opening cockpit and two small figures. Runs around 35 bucks. Just do some modding to the inside (assuming you want to take this project on your already going to be doing it.) On the other plus side your also not using a collectible toy.

syates3 (author)syates32012-11-23

Keep in mind I don't know how much you could fit in the 4" Tall space but you'd defiantly be suck with a integrated card and probably want an external power supply (I'd suggest you get a pre-built tower like HP's low end slim tower that has an external power supply (you can tell if it does by the laptop like plug on the back and the brick) and use that in order to get the space you'd need for the board to fit comfortably as it's mostly external parts) and so it wouldn't be a great gaming rig but that would also make cooling easier.

Jokeowarp (author)2012-11-22

why would you destroy a collectable toy? :(

BradJordan (author)Jokeowarp2012-11-22

In my opinion I didn't destroy it, if you read my intro I had to clean it up and repair it. I feel that I gave it new life.

rendermatt (author)BradJordan2012-11-23

I think you improved it and put it to good use. Awesome project!

scottsmith (author)2012-11-23

Spectacular! That's a great project, very well done!

ToolboxGuy (author)2012-11-23

Wow! I want to make an ultracool mod like this!
Please told me you saved the box! It is probably worth more than the toy to collectors....

askjerry (author)2012-11-23

I have been seeing a lot of talk about cutting up the '79 Falcon... but since it was in bad shape... I totally agree with this mod. I had an Omnibot 2000 robot that had been played with enough that the joints were shot, the electronics were flaky, etc. Choices...
1) Put it on a shelf.
2) Try to repair as much as possible... still wouldn't be right.
3) Radically modify it and do something new.
4) Chuck it in the dustbin.

We chose option #3... installed modern electronics and LEDs... and now it is getting played with by a whole new generation. (Gave it to my friend Tim... he reworked it.) I will admit that it was odd seeing a picture of the disassembled parts in the dishwasher... but in the end... much better.

And for this project... the same applies... a worn and tired toy becomes something new and exciting. Two thumbs up!

If it had been mint-in-box you would have been hanged however. Just sayin'.
(grin)

BrianTheSith (author)2012-11-23

Did the same thing a few years back, except I used a 2004 OTC Millennium Falcon for mine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hxx6uRndvu8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNoSz51JWQg

Philisawesome (author)2012-11-20

WOW! That is the coolest computer idea I have ever seen. Great job!

JakeCon (author)2012-11-19

Awesome work! Can't wait to see your detailed paint job for this!

BigBadgers2001 (author)2012-11-19

Tis an ingenious thing of beauty my friend. I envy your skills. Freaking Awesome!!!!

The Rambler (author)2012-11-19

I have to chime in with others and say that as someone who can appreciate a Millenium Falcon computer I love this... and as someone who loves collecting Star Wars memorabilia I hate this. Either way it's super cool.

scarecreaux (author)2012-11-17

How fast will it make the Kessel run?????????

BradJordan (author)scarecreaux2012-11-17

It can make it in less than 12 parsecs! lol

abadfart (author)BradJordan2012-11-18

but Han don't you know that a parsec is a measurement of distance lol

abadfart (author)On The 3dge2012-11-19

well that clears things up

Capn Badger (author)2012-11-18

Much win. I could kill you for cutting up a 79 Falcon, but this is the best reason to do it. A+ sir.

romulopericles (author)2012-11-18

omg.. such heresy... looks ok, but still an heresy :(

Kiteman (author)2012-11-17

Did you hear that clang?

That was my jaw hitting the floor!

Man, I can't decide whether to be horrified at the sacrilege of cutting up an original Millenium Falcon toy, or overjoyed at the final product.

Total nerdgasm!

edjsage (author)Kiteman2012-11-18

I totally agree with you. Very awesome result. I don't think I could ever push myself to do this though. As a collector, this makes me cringe. I guess if it was a rather beat up old Falcon in bad condition, this would be a great resurrection. Kudos to the maker though. Awesome build.

Honus (author)Kiteman2012-11-17

I thought the exact same thing! I have to say it's an awesome case mod. Pushing Solo's face to turn it on is brilliant.

BradJordan (author)Honus2012-11-17

Thank You!

BradJordan (author)Kiteman2012-11-17

Thanks, The first cut was definitely the hardest but it was worth it!

AnubisAndIsis (author)2012-11-18

I also have to ask - what was the **first** move you watched after setting it up?

BradJordan (author)AnubisAndIsis2012-11-18

Star Wars ANH lol

AnubisAndIsis (author)2012-11-18

I see a ThinkGeek SciFi entry, why isn't this entered yet? :-)
Do or Do Not, Padawan!

BradJordan (author)AnubisAndIsis2012-11-18

I've already entered it, it's just waiting on approval

jeditanker72 (author)2012-11-17

Brilliant build. Very original

zomfibame (author)2012-11-17

awesome

BradJordan (author)zomfibame2012-11-17

Thanks!

benpic10 (author)2012-11-17

this is probably the coolest thing i've seen in a while

BradJordan (author)benpic102012-11-17

Thank You!

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