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D.Vine Quiet Media Center Hardware Installation Instructions

Revision 1.15 © 2006 Quietpc.com, written by Paul Lee

Thank you for purchasing a Quiet Media Center from Quiet PC. These instructions are designed to help even the most inexperienced PC builder put together the ideal Media PC with very little fuss. Although not essential, previous knowledge of building PCs would be an advantage. If you have a problem with any aspect of the build please call Paul on 0870 321 4620 or email [email protected] with any questions. Feedback is also very welcome.


Anti-Static Precautions

Before you touch any computer components, it is important to ensure that your body has been discharged of static electricity. The reason for this is because static electricity can permanently damage your components. Static electricity can be built up in your body through friction which occurs during everyday activities such as walking on certain types of carpets (especially nylon). Although static electricity is totally harmless to us, a discharge can very easily fry an electronic component.

There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of static electricity build-up. The cheapest and easiest way is to periodically touch the PC chassis, after the PSU has been installed. The electrical plug will need to be plugged into the wall and also the PSU, but it does not need to be switched on. Another method is to purchase an anti-static strap or even an anti-static workmat! Anti-static straps cost around £5 and mats cost about £10. You can find these products available from places like Maplin Electronics or your local PC shop. The chances of actually damaging anything are extremely low. You have a greater chance of damaging something through physically dropping it than through static discharge, but it does happen, and is worth taking precautions against.


1. Kit Contents and what you will need

In your Quiet Media Center kit you should have received the following items:

  1. Ahanix D.Vine MCE301 (D1) or MCE302 (D2) HTPC case (black or silver)
  2. AOpen i915GMm-HFS motherboard
  3. 2 x Black Gold digital TV tuner cards
  4. Installation instructions (hardware and software)
  5. iMON VFD display with MS IR receiver, iMON CD, ATX power cable and mounting screws
  6. Microsoft remote controller with 2 x AA cells and 2 x blaster cables
  7. Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
  8. NEC ND-3550A DVD/RW (black or silver)
  9. NERO Express software CD
  10. Intel Pentium M 1.7GHz 735 CPU
  11. Cyberlink PowerDVD V6 software CD
  12. 400W semi-fanless PSU
  13. Samsung Spinpoint SP2504C 250GB SATA II hard drive
  14. UK mains power cord
  15. 2 x Corsair 512MB DDR2 PC2-4200 RAM memory modules
  16. 2 x 2M coaxial aerial cables
  17. Bag of accessories containing:
       TV aerial socket converter
       TV aerial Y-splitter
       Approx. 15 x small cable ties
       2 x Black Gold Low-Profile PCI brackets
       Type-A USB to motherboard pins conversion cable (similar to one provided with iMON VFD)

The only tools you will need to put the Media PC together include a number 1 (medium) cross-head screwdriver, a number 0 (small) flat-headed screwdriver and a pair of small side cutters for trimming the cable ties!



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2. Installing the CPU

Installing the Pentium M CPU is very straightforward, although the procedure is a little different to other desktop CPUs. Instead of using a lever to secure the CPU to the socket, the Pentium M uses a locking mechanism which is controlled by a small socket screw at one end of the CPU socket, as shown below.

Using the small flat-headed screwdriver, turn the socket screw towards the unlocked position. The below images show the socket in the unlocked and locked positions. The first image is unlocked the second is locked.



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Once the socket screw is in the unlocked position, you can place the CPU into the socket. Please be careful when doing this. The CPU will only go into the socket in one orientation. Make sure the gold triangle is located as shown in the image below.



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Once the CPU has been dropped into the correct position, turn the socket screw to the locked setting. You will notice that it takes a little more effort to move the screw all the way to the fully locked position; this is because the pins on the CPU are being clamped into place.


3. Installing the CPU Cooler

To install the CPU cooler, firstly you need to turn the motherboard over and place the cooler backplate in position. Try to handle the motherboard by its edges to avoid the possibility of damage through static discharge. There are four holes into which the backplate fits, and it can be fitted two ways round - either way is fine. When you turn the motherboard back over to be the correct way up again, you will need to hold the backplate in position or it will fall out!



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Just before you install the CPU cooler thermal paste needs to be applied to the core of the CPU. It is important to apply the correct amount of thermal paste. We recommend using only a small amount; about the same size of a grain of rice (as you can see from the first image below).



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All that is required now is for the thermal paste to be spread around the core of the CPU. To do this simply using your finger is more than adequate. The paste needs to be as even as possible.



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The next step requires you to screw the heatsink into the four screws holes located on the backplate. It can be fitted either of two ways round, and either way is fine. Tighten each of the four screws using your cross-head screwdriver. When they are all tight, the screw springs will keep the heatsink pressed against the CPU.



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Once the heatsink is secure, you can attached its fan using the two small screws provided, as shown below. Orient the fan so that the 3-pin fan cable is near the CPUFAN header on the motherboard (circled). Once the fan has been screwed to the heatsink, connect the fan cable to the motherboard fan header.



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4. Installing the RAM

It is easier to install the RAM before the motherboard is installed into the case. The RAM provided is DDR2 and therefore can only be installed into the black RAM slots. The blue slots are intended for DDR1 memory and therefore are not used.

To install the two memory modules, ensure the white clamps at either end of each black socket are pulled outward, then line up the key (centre notch) and press the modules firmly into place. Once in place secure them with the white clamps.



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5. Installing the motherboard into the case

Before you install the motherboard, you need to install the rear I/O plate. This is supplied with the motherboard and is simply pressed firmly into position in the case aperture, ensuring correct orientation. Once the plate is in position you can then place the motherboard in the case.



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For a neat installation, you can run the rainbow-coloured audio ribbon cable from the front of the case under the motherboard before screwing in the two motherboard screws nearest the DVD drive. The cable connects to the motherboard port marked “FRONT AUDIO", adjacent to the six on-board audio jack sockets at the rear of the case. It can only be connected one way round.



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Next, align the motherboard up with the mounting posts and secure the motherboard into the case using the eight screws provided. The grounding springs on the rear I/O plate will provide some resistance, so you may need to hold the motherboard in position against them as you insert the first screw. Before doing that, make sure that none of the grounding springs on the I/O plate are obscuring the motherboard I/O ports, paying special attention to the LAN connector.



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6. Installing the VFD and IR Receiver

This part of the installation is possibly the most difficult and can be quite fiddly! The iMON VFD and Microsoft (MS) IR receiver have been modified to allow you to use the MS remote control.



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As you can see, the IR sensor from the MS receiver has been removed and secured to the side of the iMON VFD. This makes it possible to use the MS remote control handset without needing to use an ugly external USB receiver. Please be careful when handling the VFD/IR receiver units because they are connected with three thin wires which could easily be broken off if pulled hard, in which case they would need to be re-soldered. The wires have been deliberately kept short in order to maximise the signal being picked up from the IR receiver, to give best responsiveness when using the remote control.

There are two different ways to attach the VFD, depending on which model of case you have. Please follow the appropriate instructions below.

 

6.1 Installing the VFD in the MCE301 case.

This first step with the MCE301 case is to locate the PCB which is has the power button located on it. Once located remove the two left hand screws (don’t lose these as you will need them again) and replace them with four small stand-offs, as shown below.



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This is where it gets a little fiddly! Secure the two small metal mounting brackets to the right hand side of the VFD using the very small screws and nuts provided. Then, using the two screws you didn’t lose :, attach the VFD to the stand-offs. There are a few images below that will help. The VFD is only secured at one end. The Microsoft receiver sits on the floor of the case and can be secured using double-sided sticky pads.



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6.2 Installing the VFD in the MCE302 case.

Remove the two small silver stand-offs from the left of the tinted glass and replace them with the supplied large brass stand-offs, as shown in the image below.



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Secure the two small metal mounting brackets to the left hand side of the VFD using the very small screws and nuts provided. Then attach the VFD to the stand-offs as shown below, using two more screws (of the same type as the ones you used to secure the motherboard).

Ensure that the VFD is fully visible in the glass window (the lower bracket needs to be approximately horizontal). The VFD is only secured at one end. The Microsoft receiver sits on the floor of the case.



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7. Installing the internal cables and hard drive

Before you install the hard drive cage, you will need to remember to attach the ATX power cable supplied with the VFD. This ATX power cable (circled below) provides power to the VFD and therefore needs to be attached to a 3-pin port on the back of the VFD PCB labelled ‘ST PWR1 CN1’.



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You will notice that the motherboard has a 20-pin ATX connector and the VFD ATX power cable is 24-pin. This is not a problem because at one end of the 24-pin connector, 4 pins slide off, reducing the main connector size to 20-pin as shown below. Using a cable tie keeps the redundant 4-pin connector out of the way.



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It is best if the cables for the USB, Firewire, VFD and IR receiver are bunched together and fed under where the hard drive will be located. This means you will have to connect them to the motherboard before you secure the cage in place.



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  1. Connect the black Firewire cable to the motherboard pins “1394_CN1".
  2. Connect the two grey USB cables to the motherboard pins “FRONT_USB".
  3. Plug the two short USB cables into the motherboard pins marked “USB", ensuring the red wires are nearest the rear of the case.
  4. Plug the Microsoft IR receiver USB cable into one of the short USB cables going to the motherboard.
  5. Plug the VFD USB cable into the other short USB cable.
  6. Connect the red M/B PWR and black GND cable from the VFD to the motherboard. Look for the row of pins at the front of the motherboard marked “PANEL" next to the edge of the case. The red cable should be connected to the red pin nearest the battery, and the black cable connected to the red pin next to it, toward the front of the motherboard.
  7. Route the green/white wire from the case power switch under where the hard drive cage will be mounted, toward the place where the power supply will be mounted at the rear of the case. You will connect this later.
  8. Plug the black/white wire from the case power switch onto the two pins on the VFD PCB marked CN3 PWR SW, so that the words “POWER SW" written on the black plug are visible (upward).

Once the cables are all in place, you can install the hard drive cage. Screw the hard drive into the bottom section of the cage before installing the cage into the case. Installing the drive in this way provides it with plenty of space both above and below, so it does not become too hot. You may find it easiest to put the screw in nearest the front of the case first, as it is less accessible than the other two. In any case, some of the screws can be quite tight so it is best to install them loosely first of all, then go round and tighten up each one in turn.

Finally, you will need to attach the red SATA cable (supplied with the motherboard) from the hard drive to the motherboard. This cable can only be attached one way, so it is impossible to attach it incorrectly. Please connect the SATA cable to the red connector on the motherboard label SATA1 (next to the CR2032 battery and on-board speaker), as shown below.



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8. Installing the power supply unit (PSU)

It is best to install the PSU before the optical drive because any unused power cables can be placed under the optical drive, making the internal layout of the PC look tidier.

Installing the PSU is very easy. All you need to do is secure the PSU to the case using the four screws provided.



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After you have installed the PSU, attach the SATA power cable from the PSU to the hard drive and attach the 24-pin ATX connector to the VFD ATX Power Cable which is also 24-pin. Then connect a yellow and black 4-pin ATX12V connector for the CPU (circled); this is located adjacent to the 20-pin ATX connector on the motherboard.



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Next, connect the green/white cable from the power button to one of the many 4-pin connectors from the PSU. This will illuminate the power button when the computer is switched on.



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9. Installing the optical drive

The method for installing the optical drive depends on which model of case you have, so please follow the appropriate instructions below.

 

9.1 Installing the optical drive in the MCE301 case

If you have ordered a black case it will have been supplied with a black optical drive and therefore you can install the optical drive as is. On the other hand, if your case is silver then you will need to replace the beige optical drive fascia and bezel with the supplied silver versions, as follows.

First, open the optical drive. You can do this without powering the drive up! Just push a straightened paper clip (or similar) into the hole indicated in the image below. This will open the CD tray slightly, allowing you to open it further with the tips of your fingers.



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Remove the fascia from the CD tray. Once this is done, you will need to remove the rest of the bezel. To do this use a screwdriver to push inward the four retaining clips circled below. Then the beige bezel can be pulled off and you can replace it with the silver bezel.



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Once your optical drive is ready to be installed, all you need to do is to use four screws to attach the drive to the cage and then screw the cage down to the case. The thinner of the two supporting bars of the cage should be toward the rear of the drive/chassis. For neatness, make sure any excess wiring from the PSU is hidden underneath the cage.



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Attach a 4-pin power connector from the PSU to the drive, and then connect the ATAPI ribbon cable from the drive to the blue motherboard socket marked IDE1. The black connector goes to the drive, and the blue connector goes to the motherboard.

 

9.2 Installing the optical drive in the MCE302 case

With the MCE302, you need to remove the fitted optical drive tray fascia and stick on the silver or black aluminium fascia supplied with the case instead.

First, open the optical drive. You can do this without powering the drive up! Just push a straightened paper clip (or similar) into the hole indicated in the image below. This will open the CD tray slightly, allowing you to open it further with the tips of your fingers.



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Remove the fascia from the CD tray. Once this is done, you will need to remove the rest of the bezel. To do this, use a screwdriver to push inward the four retaining clips circled below. Then the bezel can be pulled off. Leave the drive without a fascia or bezel for now.



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Next, install the optical drive into the drive cage, but do not tighten the screws just yet. You will need to be able to finely adjust the position of the drive at a later stage. Also don’t forget to put the eject button in place at this point!

Place the cage and optical drive into the case and screw down the four screws that will secure the cage to the chassis. The thinner of the two supporting bars of the cage should be toward the front of the drive/chassis. Make sure you tuck the PSU cables underneath the optical drive.

Now is the time to attach the aluminium fascia. You do not need to worry too much about correct horizontal positioning of the drive just yet, because we will look at that in the next step.



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Once the aluminium fascia is installed, close the CD tray and move the optical drive in or out to align the fascia so that it sits in the recess correctly. When you are happy with it, tighten the screws that hold the optical drive to the cage. If the drive looks out of alignment, slacken the four screws that hold the cage to the case and move the cage slightly. This should make things better.



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Attach a 4-pin power connector from the PSU to the drive, and then connect the ATAPI ribbon cable from the drive to the blue motherboard socket marked IDE1. The black connector goes to the drive, and the blue connector goes to the motherboard.


10. Installing the Black Gold Digital TV Cards

Installing the TV cards can be a little tricky. The reason for this is that they may at first appear not to fit. This is because there is no recognised standard for low profile cases and therefore low profile cards can be a little awkward to install, in comparison to standard height cards.

The first thing to do is replace the existing standard sized brackets on the TV cards with the low profile versions, (see image below). The card on the left of the picture has a standard bracket installed whereas the card on the right has a low profile bracket installed.



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Once the correct brackets are in place, the cards are ready to be installed into the two white PCI sockets. You may wish to postpone this step until you have installed Windows and then the TV card driver software, because in general it is better to install the drivers prior to installing the cards. Doing this ensures that when the cards are detected by Windows, the drivers are there ready to be loaded properly first time. However, you may prefer the convenience of getting all the hardware installed and finished in one go, which is fine.

Before installing the cards, you may wish to install the PS/2 mouse socket in the third slot from the edge of the case. The socket connects to the motherboard header pins marked “KB/PS2", behind the endmost white PCI socket. However, if you don’t ever intend to use a PS/2 mouse, then you don’t need to install the socket.

Both TV cards are identical so it doesn’t matter which one is installed in which socket. As mentioned previously, they may be a tight fit so please be careful. We recommend that you slacken off all the screws which hold the motherboard in place before installing the TV cards. This will make installation easier. Once the cards are fully pushed into their PCI slots, secure them using the screws provided, and tighten up all the motherboard screws again.



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11. Attaching the cables at the back of the PC


As you can see from the above image the motherboard is supplied with a vast array of connections. The RJ45, USB and Keyboard connects are all straightforward. Obviously if you have a USB keyboard then you do not need to use (or even install) the PS/2 keyboard socket.

 

11.1 Audio Connections

If you have or intend to have 7.1 surround sound speakers then it is essential to connect them to the correct jacks. Take a look at the motherboard manual on page 28 for more information.

 

11.2 Connecting the PC to a TV or computer monitor

Prior to purchasing the Media PC you will have been given an option to buy a cable which allows you to connect the PC to a display. Below are four different ways in which you can connect your Media PC to a display.

1. The digital DVI connector can be used to make a connection to LCD PC monitors but it can also be used to connect to some plasma or LCD TV displays. Not all displays support this connection so it is important that you check your display. If your display does support this connection then it is recommend that you take advantage of this digital connection which will provide the best possible visual quality.

2. The analogue VGA port is used for standard PC monitors and gives excellent quality, not too far off DVI. However, because it uses analogue signals it is not quite as good.

3. Component video is the next best thing to VGA in terms of visual quality and still gives excellent results.

4. The final connection type is S-Video. The vast majority of displays, include standard TVs should accommodate this type of connector. However, in terms of image quality, it is the poorest choice.


12. Turning the PC on for the first time

Before you turn the PC on it is highly recommended that you double check the installation. Make sure every item is correctly installed. Just follow this check list:

  1. CPU cooler secured with fan connected to the motherboard
  2. RAM locking clamps in locked position.
  3. All power connectors correctly attached including 20-pin ATX connector and ATX12V 4-pin 12V CPU cable.
  4. Make sure the TV cards are seated correctly.
  5. All cables are attached correctly at the back of the PC.

After checking all of the above, you are now ready to power the system up. Before you press the power button make sure the light indicator on the motherboard is lit up. This indicates that standby power is being received by the motherboard.


13. Connecting the TV aerial cables

Connecting your aerial to the PC is straightforward. In the kit should have been supplied two white 2 metre TV cables. One end of each cable should be connected to “TV IN" at the back of the Black Gold TV cards, and the other end of each cable needs to be connected to the triangular-shaped “Y"-splitter. Also supplied is a TV aerial socket converter. This needs to connect to the final connector of the splitter and then the cable from your TV aerial can be plugged in. To make this arrangement clearer, please refer to the following picture.



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