A 'proper' cabinet for Dabba1 could not be found easily as a regular SMPS (salvaged from an old PC) was used and also the PVR PCI card was mounted vertically (no riser card). So a  mini-ITX cabinet could not be found. So with the intent of making the smallest cabinet  possible, I resorted to the 'the caveman principle.

There was one more hitch: As Dabba does not have the usual keyboard, mouse and a normal display (VGA) it is important to provide a front panel with some minimal UI.  The cheapest such UI was to provide a 2-line or 4-line LCD panel. A custom cabinet can be tweaked to house such a panel along with the push button keys for input.

In addition, provision had to be made for the power button, hdd led, USB socket and IR rx  head.

"CAD" stuff...

Disclaimer -  IANAME (I Am Not A Mechanical Engineer)

This is how I conceived the inner guts and the outer shell of the cabiner.


Then working with Matha Techno Fab, Bangalore, created the following cabinet.

Front side:

Back side:

Front Panel

Front panel UI

The front panel LCD is interfaced to the lcdproc  and DMon is a python client for lcdproc.
DMon takes the push button inputs and provides the following menu functionality:

    - Restart mythtv
    - Force shutdown the system
    - Toggle the next system startup between maintenance and normal mode


For Dabba2 front panel design was updated to look like this:

new panel design

Dabba2 panel