Musicbox v2.0 -- a tiny new case, motherboard, and processor for the system.

My musicbox car MP3 player now lives in a nicer, smaller, faster computer.  I was browsing one day, and came across Dave Helander's Bantam-II project.  I loved it, and emailed Dave to ask if he was interested in selling it to me, or making one for me.  He agreed to sell me the original Bantam-II case.

The case was designed for a VIA EPIA M motherboard, which is a mini-itx (but still ATX) form factor board, measuring just 7" square.  I bought the EPIA ME 6000 board, which has a built-in fanless VIA Eden 600MHz processor, and built-in audio, video, networking, USB2, and Firewire (plus the standard PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports, and serial and parallel ports), for $140 from  I also bought 256MB of DDR memory for it, and a PW70 ATX micro power supply.

I used the same notebook hard drive from my original musicbox system, with all the same software.  The only change necessary was to install an audio driver for the sound chip on the new motherboard, and I'm currently using the demo version of the OSS driver.

The mini-itx form factor is just 7 inches square.

Eden CPU on the right, northbridge chip on the left.

They did everything possible to reduce each component's footprint -- the CMOS battery is mounted vertically instead of laying on the board.

256MB of DDR ram is surely overkill for just an mp3 player, but the only smaller option was 128MB, and that wasn't much less expensive. Plus, this gives me the flexibility to do other things with the system in the future if I want to.

That's the PW70 "micro" power supply. It's a complete ATX supply, but it only provides 70 watts; that's how it's able to be so tiny. Of course, when your processor only draws a few watts, and the only drive you're using is a notebook hard drive, you don't need anywhere near even 70 watts.

Motherboard with power supply installed.

Motherboard with power supply installed, side-view.

Overhead view of the Bantam-II case. And feet.

I couldn't have picked cooler buttons myself.

Ventilation holes above the CPU heatsink.

Front view. Unstoppable.