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New HTPC and Audio Data Store Solution Part 3 - Tweaking the VB

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It has been about a month since I updated everyone on this undertaking. In that time there has been a lot of trial and error.

The Heat Issues Concluded

To summarize, I was not able to make the Wesena ITX7 work with regards to heat during long rips. Even moving things around and trying an SSD drive, the heat always reached 90+C which is too close to the chip set max for my comfort.

I switched to the Wesena E5-B case to provide more room, and use the dual fans. The case shipped with four fans, but I removed one on each side. I also included a PCI Fan Controller Sunbeamtech PL-RS-PCI Rheosmart PCI Fan Controller: Computers & Accessories to throttle down the fans to as slow as possible for quiet sessions, and turn full blast for long rips.

This configuration has worked out well. Most days the chips run at about 20C and get no more than 37C under prolonged full load even with the fans on the lowest setting. Now if only the case was a wee bit smaller.

With regards to the VortexBox software, well there has been a lot of trial and error there as well.

The TimeMachine setup will consume all of the space on the drive, regardless of what you specify in the VB setup. I tried messing around with the use of modified sparsebundles, but this proved more effort than I was willing to invest. Instead, I setup a folder on the VB for CrashPlan and set the MacBook to also backup here.

I have ripped several CDs on the VB and used MusicBranz Picard on the MacBook to update and retag if necessary. Again, this has worked very well and proves to be a good solution if any changes are necessary.

My only issue with the VB right now is DVD and Blu-Ray rips. The VB will rip the disk, but to a MKV file, and for iTunes I need a converter such as Handbrake. I have used Hanbrake on the Mac, but want to run on the VB. I am trying the Command Line Script and it is taking multiple iterations to get it right.

Now it is time to listen to some music for a bit.