Intro: Lego Hard Drive Case Mod
I am a computer geek, age 13. I also like building stuff outta Lego. Now, my two worlds collide.
I made a Lego External USB Hard Drive! Ok, fine, technically, I didn't make it, I just modded the case. The enclosure worked fine, but it was completely SEALED and didn't make a very good heat dissipating case. My original was a Vantec Nexstar CX 3.5" SATA Enclosure. Basically, I took out the SATA-USB logic chip and the frame of the drive and encased it in Lego Bricks. This may not be the best looking design, because my mom doesn't let me have thousands of dollars for mounds of Legos. Oh well, better than nothing!
I also attached a fan to increase air flow, even though there are a lot of holes already. My soldering iron broke and I'm out of solder, so I cant attach the leads for the fan yet. I'm trying to tap the 12v, but the power switch only controls the 5v. So I need to keep looking.
The instructions are not really able to be included because Legos are very versatile and hard to set because we all have different sets, but I'll do what I can to make this easier.
This final has come a long way (3 hours) and a bit of work to turn it into what it is now. Originally, the fan was underneath, but the legs had to be too high. More improvements are to come soon, so keep looking. Advice? Please!
Please rate this instructable!!!!!
Step 1: Baseplate
The base has no vent holes in it. It's just a completely flat piece (made up of a series of smaller pieces) where the hard drive will be placed. See the picture for more details. The base plate is made up of pieces adding up to 24x16 Lego units. A small extension is required to stop it from falling out and for the I/O panel. It looks different from the finished edition on the cover because I took it apart to document for this Instructable and the base fell apart, so had to reinforce it, A LOT.
Step 2: Walls
The hard drive stays on the mounting frame with the chip because it seems more protective for the chip. It also makes for a better mount. The walls are 3 units tall. Some holes are along the walls, but on the side away from the fan assembly. That allows the air to travel a little before it escapes, picking up more heat.
Step 3: Drive Assembly
Coincidentally, my drive and the frame together fit perfectly inside my Lego walls, with a millimeter or 2 or 3 wide gap along the sides. That's perfect for some airflow to travel around the sides of the drive.
For the LED, which was blue, I scrubbed from this project, since I found it to be TOO bright. I found a yellow LED which fit inside the yellow brick. Then I glued it. I found that a CPU fan connector fit on the LED port, so I pulled it off the fan (didn't need it) and attached it here. Apparently, my electrical tape was stolen, so Plastic Wrap!!
Step 4: Cover Plates
There are 3 cover plates, 1 fan assembly, 1 regular gray plate, and a vent plate. The fan assembly is heightened to assist in airflow. It sits on the far side away from the SATA-USB bridge. Then comes the plain old plate. The vents sit above the logic chips, and lets out the air blown in from the fan assembly. The fan assembly uses a 70mm fan.
Step 5: Modding the Modcase
Ok, well, the case is pretty much done, after you solder the fan leads to the power switch, better if you can find the 12v. I haven't done that yet. This case is pretty regular, but if it looks to be boring, it's Lego! Legos are easy to mod, take a look at the 5 minute project. It's really dumb, but hey, you get the idea.
Take a look!