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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 15:32   #1
Quantum-192
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COMPLETED 24/08/16- Project 'EVIE' - Steampunk Build



I have had an interest in the artwork and ethos of Victorian Steampunk for several years and finally got around to doing something about it – thus, Project ‘Evie’ was born.

To me, Steampunk is before the age of electronics. A Victorian age where steam powered boilers and ornate gear powered machinery collide head on to create amazing creations of brass, copper and bronze. From the very early concept stages of this build it was important to me that I stay as true as possible to the Steampunk genre and hide as much of the electronics in the build as possible – not an easy task when you are building a custom PC.

And why is she called ‘Evie’? Well, the French author Jules Verne (often quoted as the grandfather of steampunk) wrote 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea in 1870 where we find the huge steam powered Nautilus submarine….and here comes the link…..like all steam boilers of the Victorian age the power plant of the Nautilus had a name – Evangeline or ‘Evie’ for short.

Hardware

Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth Z170 Mk1
Processor: Intel Skylake i5 6600K (OC to 4.7 GHz)
Graphics: 2 x EVGA GTX980 TI SC+ in SLI (OC to 1475 MHz)
EVGA Pro SLI Bridge
Samsung M.2 NVME 500GB SSD
Western Digital Black 1TB Hardrive
Memory: 32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 (2400 MHz)
Power Supply: Corsair RM1000X

Loop and Cooling

12/10mm Copper Pipe for the Loop
EKWB Supremacy EVO CPU Waterblock
EKWB FC Nickle GPU Waterblocks
EKWB RES-X3 250mm Reservoir in Custom Brass Cradle
Laing D5 Pump with Bitspower Pump Top
Lamptron CW611 Fan/Pump Controller
1 x 360mm Black Ice Radiator (Top)
1 x 280mm Black Ice Radiator (Front)
Coolant Flow and Temperature Sensors by Koolance
1 x Corsair AF140 Fan (Rear)
3 x Corsair SP120 Fans (Top)
2 x Thermaltake Riing 140mm Fans (Front)

The Concept

The case I chose as the basis for the build was the Corsair 780T. The reason being it was large enough inside for the custom work I had planned and I could easily cut the case to death both inside and out as some serious metal and internal fittings removal was needed (like all the drive bays).



I don’t have access to CAD for design rendering work and without access to CNC lathes and milling machines all the build work would be carried out by hand crafting using easily available hand tools. However, I managed to knock up some basic concept sketches of how the build would develop.









The first task for the 780T would be some case cutting and fittings removal and then onto paint and airbrushing. Across the top would be 360mm radiator but several bars ran across the width of the case (at the top) – these had to be removed as they looked ugly under the custom MNPCTEC grills that would sit there.

Down the front all the 5.25 inch bays were removed as a custom signature plate would sit there along with a front mounted fill port leading to the reservoir. Also, I relocated the Fan/Pump controller to the bottom of the front panel and moved the twin 140mm fans higher to accommodate it (along with removing some more cross bars which obstructed the front fans. Once completed there was only 2mm of clearance with the new bay added into position – it was tight but it worked!

The floor front was cut away in readiness for a new design floor to be inserted, a basement shroud completed and some internal panels to bring back the case strength integrity and tidy everything up. Finally, the inner case could be sanded, cleaned and spray coated with bronze.









The custom basement shroud showing the PSU opening and locations for the exposed pump. Of course a little bit of work on the Corsair badge which has been relocated from the front of the case.













One of the new inner strengthening plates – this one running down the right side to hide all the IO panel cables.



My remit when starting 'Evie' was to hide as much of the electronics as possible as computer electronics and steampunk (if you really want to stay true to the aesthetic) do not mix. This meant that the choice of motherboard was important.

Thus, I went down the route of a Sabertooth Z170 Mk1 from Asus which has the armour covering most of the electronics on the board. I couldn’t just leave it there though so it ended up having full treatment with my airbrush.





Next up is the IO plate on the Corsair 780T case. One look and I said ‘no way is that all staying on show’ plus there was far too many LED’s and glowing bits for my liking – all had to go.

Now, I had chosen to replace the on/off and reset switch with my own buttons but the USB ports needed to be hidden but still be usable if needed. The headphone and mic jacks could go and I certainly wasn’t going to use the inbuilt fan controller so that had to go too.

A full strip down removed the un-needed stuff (along with a ton of wires leading from the fan controller). I made a new custom faceplate, new switches and added a door to cover the USB ports.







Now for the fans (all 9 of them). Definitely had to do some work on those. Brass rings for the Corsair fans finished off some bronze airbrush work and fan grills were added to all fans that would be on show in the case.

To complete the effect I had to change the logo’s on each fan as they were far to modern in design. Thus, I came up with new fan label graphics which I printed off and applied to each fan hub. I went with a Corsair 1886 logo for most of them but had to change the two front Thermaltake fan labels as well to make them all look old and worn.







And now for my custom reservoir mount. I decided right at the start that this was to be one of the signature pieces on my build so only a full custom made brass cradle would do.

The coolant fill port would lead from the front of the case (where the old 5.25 inch bays used to be) into the top of the reservoir but first I had to start with some school boy trigonometry to work out the shapes…..and it’s been quite a while since I’ve had to call on this knowledge!…..knew it had to be good for something!

The full reservoir project took nearly a month to complete on its own as its all hand crafted and polished.

The copper pipe leading from the top of the reservoir cap is just a place holder to show where the fillport tube leads in to the reservoir.













That's it for now - more very soon and happy to answer any questions on the build if you have them.

ATB - Steve

Last edited by Quantum-192; 24th Aug 2016 at 16:06.
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 15:54   #2
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THAT RESERVOIR! O M G! This is the best old-fashioned build I ever seen!

This just proves what's possible when you have the right resources in form of tools, creativity and talent!

Great work Sir, can't wait to the see the final water loop, if you have that kind of standard on the reservoir, I can't imagine what you can and will do with the rest, looking forwarding to see it
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Old 5th Jul 2016, 15:16   #3
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Nice reservoir well worth the extra work
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Old 8th Jul 2016, 12:57   #4
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This update is around the two radiators in the build. There is a 360 in the top and a 280 in the front. Both are Black Ice SR2 radiators from Harware Labs and both had to have a little modding treatment (along with their fans) before they could go in the case.

Before that though, does anyone else have to deal with these issues



The 280 SR2 awaiting its fans (blanking plugs will be changed):





The 360 SR2 built and waiting to go into the case this weekend (again blanking plugs will be changed):





Copper screw thread covers for the fans:



The grills that will protect the open fin surfaces of each of the radiators:



The Laing D5 pump is also finished and will ultimately rise up out of the basement shroud:



ATB - Steve.
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Old 9th Jul 2016, 00:11   #5
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A good build log with a nice eye for detail I'm looking forward to seeing this progress.
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Old 9th Jul 2016, 08:11   #6
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This looks incredible, excellent work mate.
I've definitely got to learn to airbrush...
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Old 9th Jul 2016, 08:13   #7
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Steampunk! Yay! I am excite.

Nice history behind the name as well. Ada, Evie... I see a trend develop. Just let me know if you want me to turn some brass for you on the lathe/mill.
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Old 9th Jul 2016, 13:17   #8
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wow! the quality of your work!!!
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Old 15th Jul 2016, 20:35   #9
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Time for an update on Project Evie as its now starting to come together - even though a couple of unforseen problems chucked me a curve ball this week.

First off is the case feet (or rails is probably better). On the Corsair 780T the feet/rails and lower middle panel form one unit and this was ripe for taking what would be the copper loop, outside of the case and then back inside.

12/10mm copper pipe will be used for the entire loop and I had to find a way of connecting to the side rail cooper pipe from the pipes in the basement of the case. In fact, once the alignment was sorted out the rest was reletively easy as G1/4 12/10mm fittings could be connected.

Then it was just down to spraying the side feet/rails and lower panel in the Oil Rubbed Bronze colour; polishing and airbrushing the side pipes; and then assembly onto the case frame.

Only the window side pipe forms part of the loop but it was some out of the box thinking.....or out of the case thinking















My first problem this week arose when I was fitting the reservoir and reservoir cradle into the case. With all the brass in the cradle it was quite heavy and was flexing/pulling the motherboard tray forwards by a few degree's. Not much, but you could see the reservoir was leaning forwards.

I solved this issue by creating a copper supporting column that rises out of the basement to take the weight of the reservoir and cradle. It now sits upright as intended.



The second problem arose when starting to fit the fill port pipe which runs from the top front of the case to the top of the reservoir. When in place the back of the fillport could be seen through the window along with areas where I had cut away the 5.25in bays. A quick panel was put together to blank this area off from sight whilst providing a bit of visual interest.



With the removal of the IO Panel LEDs etc I had lost the HDD Activity Indicator. I had always planned to have a steam pressure gauge on the build but this now moved inside next to the pump and an LED was fitted into the back which is driven by the HDD motherboard pin header. The gauge flickers nicely.

The gauge has come from an old antique I found in a junk shop. I stripped it down and redesigned the gauge face with my own custom 'steam' graphics and couldn't give up the opportunity to ramp the steam into the red.....hey, Evie is running with two overclocked EVGA 980ti GPU's





To close this update I have now fitted both the top 360 and front 280 radiator/fan assemblies into the case......and finally, my second cat has gotten in on the action now and is seen here making a bed out of some freshly painted/finished case panels....total nightmare!







All the best - Steve
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Old 15th Jul 2016, 22:16   #10
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Getting that Steampunk feel soooo right.

There is an Arduino circuit and program that will convert HDD and CPU activity into a signal that moves a needle on an analog dial. May be worth checking out (in fact, for HDD activity you can hook a VU meter up straight to the HDD activity LED header).
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Old 24th Jul 2016, 21:02   #11
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Finished a couple of small projects on Evie this week and completed one major one.

I'd always bought sleeved cables in the past but for this build I thought I'd better get round to learning how to do it. First off the production line is the 24-pin. I wanted a neutral sleeving colour in the build but a colour/design that would at least retain a small amount of visual interest.

I'm happy how this arched 24-pin came out.



The last small project for this week was the SLI Bridge. The modern design would not suit this build so a mod was called for to replace the illuminated EVGA sign with EVIE. Trouble was for a simple mod it took quite a bit of cutting and shaping to ensure no light bleed around the illuminated EVIE panel.

This just ain't gonna cut it...



Much more like it...



Onto the major project for this week which was the front panel and front fans inset cover. The center piece and main focus for this was always going to be the 'EVIE' signature plate (and front coolant fill port) but my original signature plate design looked crap when finished so a complete redesign was called for including an engraved brass plate.

The main front panel - only the 'oiler' is missing at the moment.





The original design.....did not get much further than this mock up before I knew a redesign was on the cards



The new design...











Front panel fan cover plate...







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Old 24th Jul 2016, 21:22   #12
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Nice.

You could put some subtle ambient LED lighting behind the brass name place.
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Old 10th Aug 2016, 20:43   #13
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For this update to Evie we're going to start with taking a look at the right side panel detail and HDD cooler that I finished this week.

When I set out on Evie there was considerable cutting to the front of the Corsair 780T case removing all the standard HDD bays - I needed room for the extra front radiator and also the custiom reservoir.

The OS and game library would sit on a motherboard mounted Samsung EVO 500GB M.2 SSD but I still had to get my Western Digital Black 1TB HDD in somewhere for bulk storage. The only place available was behind the MB Tray but it was very tight and would leave the HDD with no airflow. A new mount and a custom cooling option was needed.

I ended up placing two be quiet 80mm fans above the HDD as an exterior mounted cooling option. These would blow cool air directly onto the HDD and as they would be spinning at minimum rpm they are nearly silent in operation. This is the build sequence and final result:















Final side panel image showing the HDD cooler in place and the extra side panel details matching my concept drawing from my initial post.



Next I needed to finish the work on the two EVGA 980TI SC+ cards that would be in the build including the EKWB backplates and waterblocks. Engraved brass plates were added to pull both cards in line with my steampunk aesthetic, and of course, maybe just a little custom airbrush work







From an earlier build log it was suggested that I might like to add an 'oiler' on Evie which are often seen on Victorian machinery. Well, it was a fantastic suggestion and now in place just awaiting fluid to be added in a few days time.



And to close this update here are overall shots showing the front and right side panel now complete and the second showing the GPU's in place and the loop work underway with much copper tube bending, polishing and detail work to go.







Finally, a shameless plug in that Evie's doing well in the bit-tec case mod july contest but I could still do with your vote if you like what you see

http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=307786
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Old 10th Aug 2016, 21:09   #14
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Steampunk... Hmmm...

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Old 10th Aug 2016, 21:14   #15
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Don't understand the Homer gif Robin?
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Old 10th Aug 2016, 22:32   #16
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Looks like it came straight out of BioShock

Awesome
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Old 11th Aug 2016, 00:26   #17
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homer did this when see/think smth he likes very much. like beer... or donuts
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Old 11th Aug 2016, 17:29   #18
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This thread should be flagged as Steampunk Porn... Just Saying...
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Old 11th Aug 2016, 21:09   #19
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Very nice work.
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Old 11th Aug 2016, 21:36   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum-192 View Post
Don't understand the Homer gif Robin?
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homer did this when see/think smth he likes very much. like beer... or donuts
Homer drools whenever he thinks of or sees something delicious.
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