Introduction: Seamless Zune Dock - HP Pocket Media Drive Bay

This is my first instructable,

It's a Zune Dock in the front of my HP desktop computer. I noticed one day that the two media drive bays each had their own USB ports at the back. Since I don't have external HP drives, I decided to make use of one. (I made the dock for my Zune 80, but it's really adaptable for anything that needs to be docked - iphones, ipods, etc)

Design Requirements:
- make no changes to the exterior of the machine (didn't want it to look like a hack job)
- make no major changes inside the machine (so I can go back to the way it was if I was going to sell the computer or the like).

Material Requirements:
- 1/16" plexiglass. I used clear, but it doesn't matter.
- USB A Female/USB B Female adapter You might not need this exactly - see the wiring step for more info.
- adhesive felt - black
- crazy glue (3 stars for plastic)
- Zune cable (I used a cheap one direct from Hong Kong - thanks ebay!)
- a bit of heat shrink tubing (if you use the solder method).

Tool Requirements:
- Dremel (I don't see how you could make it without it.
- Straight edge (metal ruler)
- knife
- scisors
- screwdrivers, pliers
- soldering iron (there is a solderless option - see wiring section)
- heat gun (or lighter)

It's my very first instructable. I welcome any comments about photos or process.


Step 1: Disassemble Drive Bay

Remove the pocket media drive bay from the computer

(This required opening the side and front of the computer and removing the two screws on the side of the bay. Remove the connector to the motherboard and then slide the bay out the front.)

Remove the 4 screws on top of the cage.

Remove the components of the ejection mechanism (the spring and button come off by unscrewing the shaft).

Flip the bay over and remove the spring. The plastic insert should slide out the front by pressing the plastic tabs and pulling. It requires a bit of effort.

You can leave the USB cable on, but I pulled it out to keep it out of the way.

Step 2: Build Plastic Base

Cut a plastic base (123mm x 86mm). I used 1/16" clear Plexiglas. I probably wouldn't have used clear plexiglass if I was to do it again since it is hard to photograph.

You can see how it fits in the cage (I put post-its on it so it is a bit easier to see).

There are three pieces of the metal cage that stick up. Because I decided not to modify the cage itself, I routed out the plastic using my Dremel tool. [Similarly, if you didn't care about modifying the cage, you could just cut these pieces off. If you cut them off, then there is no going back).

I then beveled the edge so that the Zune would slide into place. I tested the base in the cage with the top in place to make sure the door would open and close. It turns out that there is a pin on the door. I had to make a cut-out for the pin to pass.

Be sure to check that the door can open and close smoothly with the base in place.

Step 3: Make Top Support

Since the Zune has raised buttons, I didn't want the top support to press them or damage them.

I placed the plastic on top of the Zune and traced around the buttons.

I then cut this away using the Dremel and beveled the edge slightly. [ignore the felt in the second pic, we're going do do that next!]

Step 4: Cut and Attach Some Felt

I wanted the Zune to stick out enough so that I could see the status on the display when it was plugged in. I made sure that the felt only went as far as I needed it to go. [I made it stick out the front cause I thought I was going to need it longer. I didn't. You will see in the next step that it is cut to the edge (and later I cut it even a bit further)]

I also cut the same sized piece for the top support. Cut and wrap the felt around the lip.

Step 5: Create the Sides

Use your Zune with the top and bottom you have made to measure the distance between them (this will be slightly bigger than the thickness of the Zune itself since there is felt there now (Mine was 14.7mm. - yes I know. 14.7mm is a ridiculous measure, but I have a digital caliper so that's where it came from).

I cut 4 pieces, felted them and glued them in place with the Zune there so the width was snug. I glued little support pieces behind the sides (they are impossible to see in the pics - perhaps they are easier to see later).

Step 6: Wiring Fun!

I had initially planned to do the whole thing solderless, but ultimately went the solder route. I'll make some comments at the bottom about going solderless.

I essentially made every mistake possible with this step. You will benefit from my mistakes!

[WARNING - soldering the wires incorrectly can damage your Zune! If you are not comfortable with this step, please read the solderless notes at the bottom!]

Pop open your Zune cable. Yours might look a little different from mine, but you just need to remove the tabs that make the cable lock onto the Zune.

[now I desoldered these wires and did a lot of other stuff. DO NOT mess with these wires. Leave them as is].

Before you close the connector, map the contacts to the USB end using a multimeter. Now close the connector and put a bit of crazy glue to hold it together.

Open up your USB/USB adapter (if you are using the solder method you do not need this adapter specifically, but you do need a cable or adapter with the USB-B Female end on it.).

Cut away the glue carefully to expose the wires (the wires are delicate! be careful not to cut them).

In my case, there was a 5th wire that was unused (to the metal surrounding the connector). I cut this to get it out of the way. Cut your Zune cable about 4 inches from the zune connector end. Strip the wires back. On the USB/USB adapter, cut one wire as close to the USB A end as possible and solder it to the corresponding wire on the Zune cable (from your previous zune cable map). Do this for each of the 4 wires.

I used a bit of heatshrink tubing to insulate the connectors (but you could also use electrical tape). I used a heatgun, but you can also use a lighter.

The cable is now complete. I plugged it into the cable from the pocket media bay and then into the motherboard for a stressful test (didn't want to fry the zune!). Success!!

Notes on going solderless:

I had initially planned to go solderless but all the stuff took too much space for my liking - but it would still work fine. You have a Zune cable and the proper adapter to make this work. I didn't think I could fit all this stuff inside the drive bay, but there was no reason why all the cabling could have come out the back. In this case, the usb plug that is normally snapped into the back of the cage is just loose in the main part of the computer. If you go this route, I would suggest that you tape up all of the metal parts of the cable/adapters so that no contacts are made with your motherboard [read: big fire]. Also, I would suggest cable-tying the wires to keep it out of the way.

Step 7: Finishing the Internals (part I)

[The finished pic of this pic is a bit hard to figure out since all the plastic is clear, but I'll try to explain it.]

I needed some way to hold all this plastic into the metal cage and I also needed to get the USB connectors to line up.

I cut 4 pieces of plexiglass (their sizes are not critical). Two large and two small (the small ones must be able to fit out of the slot at the back).

I stacked the plastic with the big pieces at the bottom and one small piece where the slot in the back was. I glued these all in place.

Then, with the plastic base in the cage, I glued and clamped the second small piece of plastic so it stuck out the back over where that screw is (The height didn't line up *exactly" so so made sure I glued it in place to account for any difference).

Drill the plastic where the screw hole is and put in the screw that you took out from there earlier. The plastic tray is now secure.

Next you need to glue the connector in place. This was a pain and required all sorts of little pieces as braces.

Step 8: Finishing the Internals (part II)

Cut pieces of plexiglass to make a spacer so that the zune connector is at the right height (for the zune to slide in and out easily.

Glue spacer and connector in place.

[I initially thought I would need some other sort of "stop" but the connector on it's own is fine]

I added a support between the connector and the back plastic (tagged in photo).

Next, glue on the top. I added a bunch of little pieces for extra support (better safe than sorry).

I used a marker to color the front of the metal cage black. Just wanted to make sure it looked as slick as possible.

Test the tray in the cage to make sure that the door opens and closes properly. Trim the plastic as required. [I didn't have to trim the plastic, but I did cut off about 3mm of felt off of the front edge]

Step 9: Install and Test!

So you're pretty much done.

Install the plastic tray you just made using the screw from that back arm that we took off.

Install the eject button with the spring that you took off before.

[Note on eject mechanism: I was initially thinking I would use this to "eject" the Zune but ultimately decided not to (I pictured the zune crashing to the ground). There was no need for this project. If you had a larger device or wanted to push your device all the way in, then adapting the eject feature would be dead-easy (although you would need a different method for attaching the plastic tray to the metal cage since I decided to use the mounting hole from the eject arm).]

Install the top of the cage using the 4 screws.

Slide cage into the computer and use 2 screws to secure.

Plug USB cable into motherboard.



You're done!

If you are keeping the leftover pieces to maybe go back to original, you should have the following leftover:
- gray plastic tray
- long spring (from the bottom of the cage)
- ejector arm (from the back)

Hope you enjoyed my first instructable! Please let me know if you have any questions or general comments or suggestions for making my next instructible even better!