Minimalist Guide to Installing a Falcon030 in a Tower Case

This guide is quite old and is now deprecated. It was never a guide on doing a good job either, which with a machine as rare as the Falcon, you shouldn't really consider.

There are many reasons someone might want to put their Falcon into a tower case. The number one reason I can think of right now would be to prepare for your CT60 to arrive. Also perhaps your 2.5" IDE or SCSI drive is failing and you'd like to replace it with a 30 gig 3.5" IDE drive. Maybe your Falcon PSU bit the dust? At any rate, this guide will help you get your falcon in a Tower case as quickly and easily as possible.

What you see here is the original Falcon. This is the subject. You can see that the case leaves much to desired. No room, and takes up all your desk space. The first thing we are going to need to do is analyze the required tools.

The first thing you'll need is a multimeter. You'll need to measure out voltages on the ATX power supply. You'll need a screwdriver. One phillips head should probably do fine. You'll also need a pair of large cutters. You can find them at a large home improvement store like Home Depot. Lastly you will need some sort of drill to cut holes to mount posts to screw down the falcon motherboard. You could use some sort of home drill but I prefer the dremel tool with cuttingwheel to smooth down cut edges in addition to drilling.

The first thing we need to worry about is the keyboard. Obviously you need some sort of external keyboard. You can use one of several PS2 keyboard and mouse adapters effectively solving this problem, or you can try to figure out a way to extend the falcon keyboard cabling.

My choice was to use the keyboard case of a broken mega ST keyboard. This keyboard was broken for a long time and is now missing keys.

Make sure to give the broken keyboard a few good whacks with the hammer. I am not sure why, but it sure felt good. This keyboard has ben hell to work with ;)

Here is the keyboard connector from the Mega ST keyboard. Certainly looks like we'll be able to use that so we'll chop it off.

Ah, here is the Falcon keyboard. Unfortunately I don't think the 6 inch cable will reach from my desk to the case. Luckily though, we have a 9 pin serial cable lying around, so what we'll do is butcher the cable into enough pins to connect a splice from the falcon keyboard cable. Then at the end we'll attach the mega st keyboard connector, that way we only modify the falcon minimally.

And here is the result. Certainly not pretty but effective nonetheless. The Mega ST keyboard connector isn't the same size as the falcon keyboard connector so we'll have to let one end hang off the header. No big deal. Another probably better way is to attach the serial cable to the falcon keyboard pins, and use some sort of connector on the edge of the case. That way you don't have to open the case to disconnect the keyboard, but as I said. This is a minimalist guide ;-).

Unfortunately the Falcon keyboard has the keyboard and mouse ports attached to it. So although it is the same size, some cutting is required. The Mega ST case has two riser feet as shown above.

We'll simply take our Dremel tool and cut out one of the feet. This will provide the room and the opening for the mouse and joystick connectors.

And whala, here is our result. The keyboard now fits into the case and has an extension cable. But now what?

As you can see, most of these full tower cases have a section in the center which, sometimes consist just of a bar. In my particular instance it is an entire sheet of metal. As you can see what I did was chop it out with the large cutters, and then use the Dremel tool to smooth things up a bit.

Unfortunately the board is tall enough that the power supply gets in the way. No big deal, we'll just tilt it vertically and chop the extra space we need. Then drill holes with the dremel.

Now you can see that the falcon video connector is in the way. There's more metal to get through. no big deal, again we'll just us our large choppers to take care of the problem.

Now you'll need to do something that isn't really illustrated here and is difficult. You'll need to find a screw hole on the orignal board that lines up well with a hole on the falcon board. I found one near the top left. Then attach the falcon to it, and mark the other holes with a long tipped sharpie marker. Drill them out and put screw posts in them to mount the board. Again I say, this is not as easy as it sounds :)

Now you'll need to fix the power. The Falcon power uses 12, 5 volts and ground. The blue line needs 12 volts, the red lines need 5. ATX power connector, the yellow is 12 volts and red is 5. Make sure to power up the power supply just to make sure you have the right ones. Also you're going to need to jumper the power on line to ground or else the power switch on the back of the power supply won't work! This wire is usually green, as it was on mine. Illustrated above is nothing important except for effect. Simply chop the power connector off of the falcon power supply and wire it to the ATX leads.

Here is an illustration of the IDE connector. You'll need a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter and attach your standard IDE cable to it. I had to remove a pin from the IDE connector on the falcon motherboard to accomodate it.

Now you'll want to hook up the keyboard. As you can see from this blurry picture, the mega st keyboard connector works, but hangs off the end. Not a big deal though.

Now since I crash my falcon ALL of the time, I'll need to make sure to hook the reset switch up. There's a large axial capacitor right near the reset switch. You can find detailed instructions at the bottom of this article.

Ah there it is, a bad job well done. My falcon is in a tower. There's no shorting and it works great. My power switch is simply the one on the back of the ATX power supply and my reset switch is on the front. My drive access lights are on the keyboard. I can plug everything into the motherboard through holes already existing in the ATX case.

Ah. There's the final product. Certainly doesn't look bad and it works. And this brings to a close the minimalists guide to getting your Falcon into a tower case. This guide is by no means complete. It is however based on the very official, very high quality guide by Lyndon Amsdon. This guide is a much more complex and much nicer version, and gives full instructions on things like hooking up the reset switch.

Enjoy!

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