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Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti [06.03.02]
Manufactured by: VICS Technology

MSRP: $70

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Case Modding has become one of the favorite hobbies of hardcore geeks everywhere. However, most of the focus has been on looks rather than function. Aluminum cases with windows and neon lights are all well and good, but the PC Geiger RD2 brings not only looks but lots of function to a small device that fits in a 5.25" bay.

Some Assembly Required

Yes, like most good toys, the RD2 comes unassembled, and with a lot of small parts. While assembly isn't terribly difficult, it is definitely not for amateurs. The instructions are rather poorly translated from Chinese, it appears, but the diagrams are quite helpful, and easy to follow. And at least there are no decals involved here.

First thing that has to be done, other than inventorying the parts is attaching the sub-board containing the USB and 1394-Firewire ports to the main board of the device. After that, it gets a bit tricky. The front faceplate has to be attached to spacers, the main device board, AND the "rails" that provide a connection to the case...all at once. Having 4 or 5 hands helps in this case, since the only threading is in the rail pieces (which are labeled L and R respectively) and it's tricky getting the spacers in between the board and faceplate if one screw is already screwed in. Perseverance and luck will bring you through this step, and once done, it's all downhill.

There are 2 plugs on the back of the RD2 board, only one of which is necessary. That one gets attached to a ribbon cable that leads to the PCI card component of the device, which, incidentally, ALSO comes unassembled. Not a big deal to screw on the backplane, but I don't see why they couldn't have screwed this together.

This other plug gets a wire bundle attached, and has several ends for LEDs and 2 and 3 prong jumpers or switches. Once plugged in, 2 of them act as 2-position switches (short, or open) while the third acts as a momentary switch, exactly similar in operation to a power, sleep, or reset switch in the case (useful if you only have 2 out of the three). Two of the leads are for LED interfaces such as power, sleep, or other activity lights.

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