bit-tech.net

Go Back   bit-tech.net Forums > Modding > Project Logs

Reply
 
Thread Tools View Mode
Old 6th May 2012, 19:17   #1
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Project: Dargon

Greetings, folks ...

Long-time reader, first-time project logger ...

I've had a few case mods in the past, but they were all hosted over at the site formerly known as PimpRig (as the user "godling"), and recently known as PCApex, which appears to have met the Final Death (RIP). I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of modders and overclockers like Bill Owen (whom I met in person at CES this year), DarthBeavis, Iateronmly, and a whole slew of others. Those were the good old days ...

Anyway, after housing my current rig inside Project: Eddie (which is an homage to Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat), for about the past year, I started getting the urge to mod again. Wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I saved an old heap of a case from the dumpster, and decided it would be perfect to cut apart. It took me a few months to come up with an idea, but essentially I want to make something that reflects my other great pass time, writing for The Dargon Project (blatant plug: http://www.dargonzine.org) That's dargon, not dragon ...

Anyway, as I said, there was this case I saved ... it housed an old Slot A mobo / processor, and was running Win98 ... yes, that's how old it is ... and I thought, "Well, no worries, if I totally fark it up, nothing lost ... " So here I am.

Note: this will be a slow-moving mod / project log. If I get 30 - 45 minutes of free time to mod during the week, that's a lot (I'm a father of 2, devoted husband, coach for the 6-year-old's softball team, and I have a full time job with a long commute -- plus I actually like to spend time with my wife every once in a while). But I've come to realize I'll never do a mod, let alone finish one, if I don't throw it up on a public site and say, "Hey, look at this" which adds massive peer-pressure to make me work it.

Onto the case: it's OLD (did I mention that?)




And while the exterior is plastic, the interior is steel ...




So yesterday, I went about ripping out the internals, which are:
a) almost exclusively designed to handle parts that were custom made for Dell (back in the day); and,
b) in the way of getting a good feeling for what I can fit in this thing.

The good news is, this case came apart almost entirely by hand, and I didn't need to take a dremel or drill to it (yet).



Next thing I needed to know was, can a modern mobo even fit properly in here? Physically, yes, but what were the standoffs like, and would the card slots in the back panel line up correctly? Well, I've got my old e8400 board sitting around (with RAM and CPU / HSF still attached), so I figured I drop it in for a quick test.



Well, the slots line up just fine.

So ... what's the plan from here? Well, I'm in the design / theorize phase. I want this case to be echo the theme of the Dargon Project, which is a shared-world fantasy fiction mag (completely free, no adds, check it out! ) It's late medieval / early-renaissance setting might best be reflected with both the zine's logo, as well as an armor-type motif on the case (actual knight armor, not like some of the fantastic futuristic armor mods going on with a few other mods here.)

Anyway, that's it for now. A quick intro, a few pics, and on to the concept art ...

Happy modding!

-Jon

Last edited by jon; 6th May 2012 at 19:24.
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th May 2012, 21:18   #2
kelmannen
Supermodder
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Sweden, next to polarbears.
Posts: 358
kelmannen has yet to learn the way of the Dremelkelmannen has yet to learn the way of the Dremelkelmannen has yet to learn the way of the Dremelkelmannen has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
good start! im lurking here to, same position as you my friend, father of 2, long days, lovely wife, it's hard to get time! my main problem is that our 3-room apartment doesn't even have a balcony, which make modding hard, it's restricted to living room or kitchen but i cant use those when the kidsw are awake and when the kids are asleep i cant us any kind of powertool.. :P atm i've given up on moddin but that might change when the summer comes and the sun gives some energy!
__________________
Works as a tool retailer, glad if i can help someone with tool questions!

Hopes that i someday completes my first scratchbuild...
kelmannen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th May 2012, 21:29   #3
jhanlon303
The Keeper of History
 
jhanlon303's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Box under a Bridge, Iowa
Posts: 9,270
jhanlon303 is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.jhanlon303 is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.jhanlon303 is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.jhanlon303 is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.jhanlon303 is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.jhanlon303 is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.jhanlon303 is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.jhanlon303 is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.jhanlon303 is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.jhanlon303 is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.jhanlon303 is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.
Good start.

I watch too

john
__________________
Coming to a forum near you. January 2014.
jhanlon303 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th May 2012, 22:14   #4
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelmannen View Post
it's restricted to living room or kitchen but i cant use those when the kidsw are awake and when the kids are asleep i cant us any kind of powertool.. :P
My exact problem. I'm limited to weekends only, and those are limited as well.

While I was doing "play time" with the kids this afternoon, we took out pencils and started drawing. So, I started sketching out my mod ideas. That's how I'm trying to work in extra time.

-J
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th May 2012, 22:21   #5
PabloFunky
Ultramodder
 
PabloFunky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 1,165
PabloFunky is definitely a rep cheat.PabloFunky is definitely a rep cheat.PabloFunky is definitely a rep cheat.PabloFunky is definitely a rep cheat.PabloFunky is definitely a rep cheat.PabloFunky is definitely a rep cheat.PabloFunky is definitely a rep cheat.PabloFunky is definitely a rep cheat.PabloFunky is definitely a rep cheat.PabloFunky is definitely a rep cheat.PabloFunky is definitely a rep cheat.
At least youve made a start, which always makes you wanna do as much as you can.

My last project was also limited to time that i had, based on about 15 mins a day, and i still managed to finish it.

I think Bulldog worked it out at about 6 years to complete, so i recon in 12 years, youl be finished.

Im not going anywhere, so carry on.
PabloFunky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th May 2012, 20:04   #6
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Update: design phase

After ripping the case apart and getting some solid measurements, I came up with the following Sketchups of the case. The first image is a drawing of how the parts might fit in the case if I wasn't going to touch the interior:


As you can see, there is no motherboard tray, which means there's no room behind the (nonexistent) tray to run cable. I also despise having PSU's on top, as it always makes me feel the case is balanced improperly. There are two ways to handle that, to my reckoning: first is to create a motherboard tray, and second is to cut out the side panel and allow for cable routing exterior to the case -- maybe build it into the design of the case.

I'm all for number 2, there, but it wouldn't fit the theme at all. Therefore, I'm planning on idea number 1:


This will make things a little tighter above the mobo, but I'm thinking of swapping my CPU cooler out with an H80 or H100, so that will decrease the need for room above. My Arctic Freezer 7 Pro might even be able to fit anyway, as there's ample room in my current case (but that's a larger case than this one). I might have to take a little from column a and a little from column b to make it all work out.

In either case, I'll be manufacturing a new back panel, as well as (in all likelihood) a new front bezel, along with the artwork I'm planning for on the "display" side panel.

I also found out about places called "hackerspaces" ... you should google them! There's one less than 10 miles from my house, and it has evening hours. It'll provide a great area for me to bring my parts / materials and do all the cutting / sanding / shining I could want. These are great facilities for folks like me who don't have a workbench to call their own.

Happy modding,

-Jon
__________________
DargonZine: The longest running fantasy magazine on the net. Period.
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th May 2012, 21:04   #7
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelmannen View Post
my main problem is that our 3-room apartment doesn't even have a balcony, which make modding hard, it's restricted to living room or kitchen
Have you checked out a local hackerspace?

http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/Sweden

Best,

-Jon
__________________
DargonZine: The longest running fantasy magazine on the net. Period.
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd Jul 2012, 18:33   #8
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Not dead yet!

Jeez ... it's been a long 2+ months since this project saw an update, and there's not much to show for it. Summer has been ... insane. Puerto Rico was nice (and gave me some ideas for the mod) but our luggage got robbed of $5000 worth of goods, so ... money's been tight.

Only small update I have to announce is the parts list:

Crucial m4 128GB SATA3 SSD (recently purchased)
OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SATA2 SSD (old drive, now the "games" drive)
750GB WD data drive
i5 2500k CPU
Asus Z68 mobo
PCP&C 670w Silencer Pro PSU
8GB (4x4) Corsair Vengeance DDR3

Got a big order of acrylic delivered for mobo tray, side panel, new rear panel, and anything else I want to do with it.

Posting here just to get my ass back in gear and get modding ...

-Jon
__________________
DargonZine: The longest running fantasy magazine on the net. Period.
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd Jul 2012, 21:34   #9
Karrek
Multimodder
 
Karrek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 169
Karrek has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
welcome back - at least you are still thinking about your mod. I have a similar beige box that I'm going to cut up for my first mod (with my daughter's help) - fun stuff. Maybe use your modding as family time with the kids (as much as possible). it may make it easier to justify the time to yourself and your wife - the family could help with ideas, painting, sanding, etc. Good luck!
Karrek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd Jul 2012, 21:44   #10
Cheapskate
↓ Don't trust that face!
 
Cheapskate's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,862
Cheapskate is a Super Spamming SaiyanCheapskate is a Super Spamming SaiyanCheapskate is a Super Spamming SaiyanCheapskate is a Super Spamming SaiyanCheapskate is a Super Spamming SaiyanCheapskate is a Super Spamming SaiyanCheapskate is a Super Spamming SaiyanCheapskate is a Super Spamming SaiyanCheapskate is a Super Spamming SaiyanCheapskate is a Super Spamming SaiyanCheapskate is a Super Spamming Saiyan
Oh, Lord. I've scrapped soooo many of those cases. You have your work cut out for you.

I'd keep the old ABS and mount the plexi directly to it. -Unless you are using transparent...
Cheapskate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th Jul 2012, 09:26   #11
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
Oh, Lord. I've scrapped soooo many of those cases. You have your work cut out for you.

I'd keep the old ABS and mount the plexi directly to it. -Unless you are using transparent...
Lots of work, yes ... I'm going transparent on the side, and black / semi-transparent for the new rear panel. Mobo tray I think is red, but can't remember what I ordered. It's been sitting in storage over a month ..
__________________
DargonZine: The longest running fantasy magazine on the net. Period.
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th Jul 2012, 09:28   #12
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karrek View Post
welcome back - at least you are still thinking about your mod. I have a similar beige box that I'm going to cut up for my first mod (with my daughter's help) - fun stuff. Maybe use your modding as family time with the kids (as much as possible). it may make it easier to justify the time to yourself and your wife - the family could help with ideas, painting, sanding, etc. Good luck!
Good ideas, but not sure I can justify the 6-year-old using sand paper, let alone the 3-year-old ... certainly not going to expose them to the spray paint ...

The 6 does like to use the power drill, so maybe I'll get her to help me do some hole punches or something on the acrylic. I'm going to need fasteners for the panels as well, so ... we'll see.
__________________
DargonZine: The longest running fantasy magazine on the net. Period.
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Aug 2012, 01:53   #13
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Small update ...

My eyes might be bigger than my stomach, as far as this mod is concerned, but I'm going to go ahead with it anyway. Nothing ventured, nothing lost ...

So, in planning for the new back panel I'm going to make, I need to ensure I have the right holes / ports available for the panel. I want the entire back panel to be one piece, including the IO plate and the spaces for expansion cards; in this case, my GTX 560ti Twin Frozr, and a firewire card (video editing, dontcha know). This means having good working templates for all ports. My intention is to fasten the cards directly to the back panel. Makes it a bit more difficult to change hardware, I know ... there might be an adjustment in the design to accomodate removable plates, but I want the entire back panel to look as seemless as possible.

So, tonight my 15 minutes was dedicated to the Twin Frozr ...

Upon removing the screws, this is what the back (or front?) of the Twin Frozr looks like:



Taking a page from +Thew Raselletem's book (any Pimps remember Matt?), I scanned the plate so I would have a template from which to work when I go to make my back panel.



Then, of course, I reassembled the case ... and that was my 15 minutes of modding today.

-Jon
__________________
DargonZine: The longest running fantasy magazine on the net. Period.
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd Sep 2012, 00:56   #14
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Another minor update ... but hey, it's progress!

So, started taping off the case before I make some cuts ...



In the process, noticed that there are actually a few rivets still holding the case together. I thought it was all just slots ...



Since I'm working in a limited space, I figured it was possible to reduce the metal fragments if I taped off the rivets before drilling them out. I think it worked a bit ...



And we all know what a drill bit looks like after you've been popping rivets ...



All for now ... hoping for more tomorrow ...

-Jon
__________________
DargonZine: The longest running fantasy magazine on the net. Period.
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Sep 2012, 17:09   #15
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Ran into a bit of a snag ... assuming my measurements are only off by 10% or less (and I think thats a fair assumption -- I've been pretty careful), and assuming my intended Optical drive has pretty-darn-near measurements to the model I'm using (also fairly good assumption, but I'll be certain to double-check), I've got the following placement problem in my case ...



The only solution I can think of is this:



Thoughts?

Oh, and if you look at the HDD in the drive cage, it also doesn't fit like that, so I'll have to turn that one around as well.

This whole "hey, I know, I'll use an ancient case!" idea seems to be biting me in the backside. But I trudge on. By the time I'm through with it, I might as well have scratch built it ...

-J
__________________
DargonZine: The longest running fantasy magazine on the net. Period.
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th Sep 2012, 02:52   #16
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
First problem solved! Sorry for all the drawings without showing much cutting ...

Traveling for business tomorrow. Be gone for a week. Hope to get some major work done the following week, now that the kids are in school.

-J

__________________
DargonZine: The longest running fantasy magazine on the net. Period.
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th Sep 2012, 21:52   #17
WALKYRIE
Minimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 26
WALKYRIE has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Nice build, I remember years ago, I had identical DELL case, I remember this case was very solid and well made, surrounded on every side with thick strong beige plastic
WALKYRIE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th Sep 2012, 18:41   #18
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
@walkyrie -- spot on. The plastic is thick, and the side panel even has some metal shielding on the inside. Should be fun when I finally start my cuts ...

So, speaking of cuts ... haven't started yet, but did some good measurements. First, planning out the acrylic. The mobo tray will be blue acrylic, backlit with a LED strip



Here's helper #2 assisting me in taping the metal frame. You can see that I've started marking the areas to cut.



And helper #1 who is cutting a pair of cardboard pieces to help build my mockup.



I printed a black and white full-sized image of my mobo (Asus P8Z68-v LX) and taped it to the cardboard slots. It's a pretty good mock up, and will help me determine where to make cuts in my mobo tray.



And laying the mock inside the case. This is very rough, of course. But it does tell me that it's going to be a VERY tight squeeze to fit the mobo and PSU in the case. Might have to re-think how I'm going to run the wires.



And that's my 15 minutes this week ...

-J
__________________
DargonZine: The longest running fantasy magazine on the net. Period.
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st Nov 2012, 18:36   #19
jon
Multimodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 144
jon has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
I'm not dead yet!

Haven't forgotten about this project! Just had some bad news the past couple months -- getting laid off.

Did, however, win MNPCTech's random drawing for the Ostrog case, so the modding bug has awoken again!

On travel next week, but come December I intend to have a lot of modding done ... after all, I've gotta do *something* with my free time .... :/

-J
__________________
DargonZine: The longest running fantasy magazine on the net. Period.
jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st Nov 2012, 21:15   #20
Ragequit
What's a Dremel?
 
Ragequit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 16
Ragequit has yet to learn the way of the DremelRagequit has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Sweet girls! And awesome idea about an old case, i want to do this sometime aswell, would be cool for a first project! Sorry to hear you're getting laid off what do you do for a living? Hope it won't be long till you get back on track with work again!
Ragequit is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
View Mode

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:19.
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.