The following will detail the conversion/restoration of this cabinet.

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Okay, here we go again.  Not an arcade conversion this time, but another shot at the jukebox theme.  This project has a lot of potential and appeal for me, since I have been toying with the idea of doing something similar for quite a while.  So let's inject some 21st century into this 70's beastie!


 

Well how many of you remember these things?  They were all the rave at one time, and they were quite common.  This one has had the 8-track to cassette conversion done (some of you kids can go look up "8-track and cassette" on google).  Still, for it's age it is in really good shape.  Now we'll take the conversion to the next level.

   

Computer selection was up in the air for a while, but due to heat concerns, I settled on an Intel P4.  Plenty quick, and check out that monster heat sink!  This will run the juke with lots of horsepower to spare.

   

Another nice little detail on this cabinet will be the touch-screen.  I think I'll have a bit of trouble finding a good one that doesn't break the budget, but I'm sure there's one out there.  Now this is something I've never tried before, but I think it is definitely worth it in 'coolness' factor.  Plus it saves me wiring up a hundred jukebox buttons to the cabinet.

   

Now power for this rig will likely be a full range Kenwood amp.  I picked one up a couple of weeks ago to be installed in my pool house in the spring, but I think it will work better in this project.  The new owner wants to be able to listen to local radio channels, and I want the system to have tons of power when it needs it. 

   

 

Not much of an update, but I yanked the innards out of the machine today.  I had to battle with a few long-time residents, but in the end I was victorious.Here's a photo of the carnage.

   

Okay Now it looks like something is going on.  Really stripped down, and ready to convert.  Strangest thing I have found so far:  The whole cabinet is plywood and some kind of wood putty!  I figured something this old would have more real wood.  Ah but it was the 70's and plywood was probably 'new tech'!

   

 

Working on the mount for the dvd drive and the USB card reader.  I got the idea from another person's project, and it looked great.  I've cut the frame of the new computer case (seen here) and am going to cut a mounting hole under the lid. 

   

The first step towards a new machine.  The card reader/USB is mounted above the dvd burner, which means it will be fairly easy to add new software or songs to this machine.  This will be important since I don't think the new owner is going to share my love of 80's metal.  I'll have to do some kind of cover plate to make it all nice and spiffy, but you get the rough idea.  Hopefully the monitor will arrive tomorrow so I can get an idea of how everything is going to fit.

   

 

The screen is here (finally!).  Many thanks to Knievel for hooking me up with this nice 17".   As you can see, it doesn't have a frame, but I think that is going to work out perfectly, as I wanted a frame that will aesthetically mesh with either the exterior of the cabinet (or the control compartment), plus it's perfect for allowing me to construct a metal frame.  Guess I need to get the tape measure and the welder out.  Oh, and a trip to the steel shop!

   

 

Well here is the exact point when things start to get fun and cool.  I was put onto Touchtone jukebox, and I think this will be the software I will stick with, although I plan to try out SKJukebox since I hear so many good things about it!  I think the attraction to this one is that it set itself up almost automatically and I was up in running.  Gotta love ease-of-use!

   

A trip to a specialty hardware store scored me this fluid filled hinge apparatus and bearing slides.  The fluid in the hinge does not allow it to slam shut, it is a nice resistance.  I bought two of these and plan to include a replacement with the unit in case it ever wears out.

   

 

The cabinet was constructed with a lot of that pressed fiber/cardboard material. It's not strong enough to mount anything to, so I'm building an inner frame out of some plywood I picked up.  I didn't know if it would be visible when everything is done, so I got some of the good stuff, and I can stain it to match the rest of the cabinet if needed.  The circular hole is so the adjustable feet can still function.

   

The plan for this, after a lot of throwing ideas around, is to link the screen to the top lid, and to have it rise out of the cabinet when you open it up, and slide back down when it closes.  That was the reason for the fluid hinge, so it always eases itself back down into the cabinet.  Funny thing is, for such a large cabinet, I'm running out of room for everything really quickly.

   

PART II

   

Back from a nice Vacation in Mexico, I went right back to work on the juke. Here I use a laser to align the bottom of the monitor rails.  If they are not perfectly set, the monitor will not slide smoothly. 

   
The monitor is mounted, but is a lot heavier than I anticipated, so it will need that other hinge to keep it in place.  So the dvd has to move to the front of the cabinet.  I had already cut the side panel for the rear mount, so a new piece had to be cut to give me something to attach the drive to.

   
The monitor rises up with the top lid as hoped.  It's heavy, but pretty cool.  This was going to be one of the most difficult parts of this project, and now that it's out of the way, I can mount the computer board, the stereo, and start all of the various finishing touches I'm going to need to hide things like screws and hinges.

   
It's looking pretty good with the lights out. 

   
Okay, Christmas is over, and I'm back at it.  Pretty close to being done now.

 

   
Now here are the parts for the electrical  connections.  You should be able to see the power bar, the illuminated power switch, the external speaker hookups, and some of the equipment I am using to test the safety of the power hack. It might look roomy in the back compartment here, but it fills instantly with the top down and the stereo in place!! 

   
Trim is finally being installed. I'm toying with either staining it the colour of the cabinet, or going with black.  I think I'll stick with black since I want it to be less noticeable.  All the parts will blend in and look pro when I'm done.

 

   
Working on the wireless network, it seems to be working right out of the box, but we'll see if I can actually make it connect.

 

   
Finally getting some primer on the various parts. 

   
One of my big concerns is the heat in the CPU chamber.  I don't want to seal that area, because I want heat to be able to flow up and out.  However, I also don't want it to be too easy to drop items onto the motherboard, as they are fragile, and don't like conductive materials.  SO I made a removable plexi panel to fit over the board.  I used velcro to attach the window to the frame, and so far the wiring and the monitor all fit together with the lid down (another concern since I never did model this out beforehand. To the right is the nearly complete "chamber".

 

   
Also on that cover window is a replaceable cathode light.  I'll mount a switch on the back panel so that it can be off, but it will come on with the system  otherwise.  To the right is the view down into the machine.  Starting to look good!

 

   
You can kind of see how I've started to snake some of the wires through the cabinet.  A few more anchors and tie-downs and it should be pretty safe and secure.  Now to secure the stereo.

   
I pulled the illuminated rocker switch, in favor of a dual switch, so that the internal lights can be turned on from the main panel.  Here are the switches I had to pick from.  The hard drive activity light has been mounted into the machine, and the system power LED is mounted into the control panel. 

   
I'm making a small label card for the panel, so you can tell which switch does what.  I think I'll try to mount it over the power LED so that it lights up.  Should look cool! 

 

   
The system is functioning, so I am really getting close to the end.  I simply need an easy way for the new owner to rip CD's and add music.  The back panel is in place, and you can see the new external speaker jacks and the center cutouts for ventilation.  I had to make do with holes that were already there in the center.  It's not pretty, but it won't be seen. 

 

   
The topside USB slots make it real easy to plug in a keyboard and mouse, even though the touchscreen acts like a pretty good mouse.  Here is the keyboard in action, and the hole I cut in the panel so that external inputs can be used.  Might as well be able to take full advantage of the stereo!

 

   
Here's a beauty shot before it goes off to the new owner's house.  Everything came together well!  No issues that I can think of, it works well!

   
Here is a view looking down into the unit.  Lookit that crazy glow.  The plexi protects the motherboard from dropped stuff, and the open top lets heat out!

   
   
   
 
   

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