Concealed cable modem

Well sort of, let me explain. I was moving my servers to my new rack. I was trying to figure out what to do with my cable modem since it’s not exactly rack mountable. I was going to put it on a shelf, but then I thought, why not put it into my router. Now before you think I’m entirely nuts, let me first say that my router is a pfSense box. So it is just a micro ATX motherboard inside a 2u rack mount case. Now a router does not use a cd rom, and since I was using a flash drive for the os installation, there wasn’t any hard drives to worry about. So I decided to put the modem into the 5.25 drive bays.Since the modem doesn’t fit perfectly onto the drive bay, I needed some way to finish it off. I decided to cut a hole into one of the drive bay covers that came with the case.


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First step was to cover the plate with tape. Not only did this protect the paint, but it made the second step of marking easier.

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To make the hole look a little better, I used a hole saw to make each end of the soon to be hole round. Unfortunately, my drill press seemed to wander off on one of the holes. 🙁 I guess I’ll have to try to hide it. Now its time to cut out the rest of the material.

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I used a grinder with a cutoff wheel to cut out the center.

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To make the edges look nice, I used some edge molding I had laying around. It didn’t like the tight turns, so I used my hot air work station to make it more pliable. Now you can hardly tell my drill press was drunk. Right???? 🙁

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So after installing the bay cover, I had to secure the cable modem. To do this, I just used velcro. But now I have cables coming into the case, If I needed to move the router, this could be annoying.

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The first remedy is power. Luckily, the modem only takes 12 volts. So I just soldered a barrel jack to a molex connector which will attach to a power connector on my motherboard since it has an internal power supply.

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The second remedy is the coaxial cable. I just attached a bulkhead connector to one of the pci cover plates. Then made a short cable to go from this connector to the modem. But what about heat?

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So I hot glued a pci slot fan to the modem. I did rip off the bracket that attaches the fan to the case. Granted, considering it had no cooling, this is complete overkill.

And the final product.

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Categories: HacksOther