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How-To: Splinter Cell Portable HDD Enclosure
June 16, 2005
Author: Geno Manufacturer: Vantec
Department: Modding Model: Nexstar NST-350U2
Article Type: How-To Time Spent: 4 hours
 
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Introduction




This mod highlights what modding is all about for me. Being creative by taking an item and modding it into something better. It doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult, require a shop full of tools, or cost a bundle. When your brain conjures it up, and your hands build it, you're modding.

We took the metal Collector's Edition box from Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell 3, and a Vantec Nexstar NST-350U2 USB 2.0 External Enclosure, yanked its guts out, and installed them in the game box. The resulting portable HDD enclosure is very cool, especially with the HDD activity LED’s used as Sam’s eerie night vision goggles.


The Happy Couple


In the first image above, we have our donor—kind of dull. In the next two images, we see the metal game box on the left, and on the right, our “donor” HDD enclosure which you can find at CrazyPC here. They have several other choices, some even lower priced, and you can find those here. I chose the Vantec Nexstar because it has USB and Firewire. Your needs may vary, but virtually any portable enclosure will work, and this simple mod doesn’t damage the donor at all. When you get tired of the modded enclosure, you can reinstall the parts in the original.

As you can see, our game case is only slightly larger than the donor. The finished mod came out a little lighter however.


Bitter Divorce


Here we see an inside shot on the left, with our HDD still installed. Not much wiggle room in there for sure. The right image shows the HDD removed, and the parts we are after. You can see the two small screws that hold the PCB in place. Also worth mentioning, you can see I have replaced the tiny screws that hold the side panels on. This is a good way to avoid loosing them. When all the parts we need are removed, reassemble the enclosure, and store it somewhere safe.


Custody Battle


The first image above is of the screws that hold the green PCB in place being removed. Remove both screws, set them aside for use later. The PCB that contains all of the external connectors and the activity LED pop right out. The middle image shows the power switch being removed by depressing the small locking tabs on either side of the switch body. Depress the tabs and slide the switch forward and out of the casing. The last image shows the two parts from the original that we will be transplanting into the new enclosure.


 
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