Warning, do not discuss anything other than the actual modification of the case your xbox is contained in. No software, bios, whatever, and I mean it. Should you break this rule, we will issue strikes. No questions, and's, if's or but's.
I just wanted to start a new thread about what we devoted xboxers have done to our cases. I really want this thread to survive, so please don't talk about something you shouldn't.
ALSO, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO COPY AND PERFORM ANY OF THESE IDEAS YOU SHOULD SEE IN THIS THREAD, WE AT XBA, STAFF, AFFILIATED SITES OR OTHER MEMBERS, WILL NOT AND ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE WITH THE INHERIT RISKS OF VOIDING YOUR WARRANTY OR DAMAGING/DESTROYING YOUR XBOX.
Now that I got that out of the way.
So, I decided that it was time to shun the plain jane Xbox that I've had and loved for years and years now.
First major step was to throw the exclusive Xboxaddict.com skin that we staff members get as a freebie, onto my Xbox. So far, 100% major improvement.
I wasn't done yet, and since I had cajones like coconuts, I decided to do some more.
I raided my local Radio Shack for supplies, and I soldered in a Hard Drive Activity LED.
I took a Dremel and made a mount for it, on the lid right above the eject button.
Task involved: Two lengths of wire, a 5mm LED, a 220 Ohm resistor and some freaking solder.
I clipped the ends of the resistor to make it more managable, then soldered one end directly to the long leg of the LED. I soldered a 6 inch wire to the other end of the resistor.
This is the power end. I soldered the end of that wire to the +5 volt pin out, on the bottom of the hard drive, right on the PCB of the HDD.
I soldered the other wire to the short leg of the LED, and ran that to the 39th pin out of the hard drives IDE cable on the bottom of the hard drive. Solder without bridging the 19th pin, or it's near by ones.
Take a smoke break.
Drill a hole where ever, make it look nice, and insert LED. Put it all back, and you're done.
I then decided since the lid was out, I wanted a glowing jewel.
Task involved: Remove metal tray from inside of lid and discard. After this, you can't use it again.
I took a heat gun and heated up the center circle on the inside of the lid under the jewel. When the plastic appeared to be hot, I took an exacto knife, and incised a perfect circle, then peeled the side back. The plastic cooled, and I pulled the circle off with no problems, exposing the underside of the jewel, and leaving an 1/8 inch lip to remount the jewel.
I took the knife and inserted it between the bottom of the jewel and the lip I created and sliced through the adhesive, thus freeing the jewel.
With the jewel gone, I took the dremel and cleaned up the lip and made a better circle.
I took some sponges and paint thinner and cleaned off the bottom of the jewel. The glue, and the green paint comes right off, leaving a nice clear jewel, with the silver XBOX letters intact.
I washed it all off and let it dry. Using a small bit of superglue, I tacked the clean jewel back into it's rightful place.
Took a 80mm computer case fan with a red cold cathode tube light, and onscrewed the light ring from the fan.
Using small strips of double sided tape, I mounted the light ring in the underside of the case, it fit perfectly around the whole I made, and you can't see the light through the jewel.
Take the light's balast box and stuff it behind the DVD drive. It fits perfectly. Connect the molex power cable of the light and double it to the hard drive.
Stuff all the excess wire where you can, and make it look good.
Put the lid on, turn it on, and bingo, a glowing jewel and a hard drive seek light.
Total time, 2 hours, 6 beers.
BTW, it takes a steady hand to solder onto the hard drive, because the points are tiny.
I'll snap some pictures as soon as I get my camera back.