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Old 7th Mar 2006, 00:14   #1
gvblake22
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Project: the "Secret of the Ooze" (Finished!!!)

My girlfriend has officially dubbed this project as the "Secret of the Ooze Case". I like the name to, so I'm stickin' with it. It basically refers to the color scheme, which you will soon see piece together

This is actually my first ever bit-tech project log. But it is also my biggest and best modding project ever, so I hope by posting here that I will get some good comments and lots of helpful ideas so I don't screw up.

Spring is nearly here and I'm getting modding fever again!
I've been planning this new project since about fall 2005 and although it has undergone many revisions (and probably still many more) I finally just made my first purchase toward the start (and hopefully completion) of the project! So I guess there's no turning back now

Anyway, the basic premise of this project is a completely custom case of the small form factor variety that focuses on silence. Here are some preliminary sketches of the layout:



As you can see, it is kindof split up into two stories. The bottom will house a full sized ATX PSU, two 5.25" drives, and two 3.5" HDD's as well as a single 80mm exhaust fan. The top portion is then left more open for a microATX sized motherboard, two cooling fans (one 120mm intake and one 80mm exhaust) and the other accessories (including temperature monitors, multi-media card reader, fan speed controller, power/reset buttons/LED's, and front USB/Firewire/Audio ports).

Dimensions are approximately 14" deep (front to back), 10" tall, and 10" wide.

The side panels be 3/16" thick Cast Acrylic in a dark gray tinted color. The and the drive cages will also be 1/8" thick flourescent green Acrylic. The motherboard tray will be 1/4" thick made of the same flourescent green Acrylic. The fans, and wires will also be flourescent UV reactive green. It might be hard to visualize right now, but I'm hoping once it starts coming together it will all make more sense and look good.

I also want to make it clear right from the start that this will be a long, constantly evolving project, probably lasting the remainder of 2006. So any subsribers will have to be patient with updates as they come in from time to time. So why the heck did I even bother to start this useless thread? Well, I'm just too damn excited about this project and I had to do something to occupy my mind! :P

So sit back, relax, and give me some ideas/feedback as I begin this project. It is my first time building a case from scratch and it will also be my first experience working extensively with plastic (Cast Acrylic). So it will be a learning experience for all of us!
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 00:18   #2
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Project Discussion: SFMC² (a.k.a. "Secret of the Ooze")

Oops, double post
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Last edited by gvblake22; 10th Jun 2006 at 22:20. Reason: Combined threads and created a double post
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 00:20   #3
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Cost List

Well, I have never done this for a project log before, but then again I have never done a project like this! So I have decided to include a running cost breakdown for this project. All prices include shipping...
....+Acrylic Corner Cubes (x20) = $31
....+Box of 10mm long black oxide M3 button cap hex head screws (100ct) = $9
....+Acrylic sheets = $74 (ouch )
........-3/16" thick 12"x24" dark gray (x4)
........-3/16" thick 12"x12" dark gray (x2)
........-3/16" thick 12"x24" flourescent green (x1)
........-1/8" thick 12"x24" flourescent green (x1)
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 00:22   #4
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Even if it is a small update, I'm excited
I went out on a limb and ordered those corner cubes. I say "out on a limb" because I contacted FrozenCPU's technical support trying to determine the exact dimensions of the cubes as well as what thread size the inserts were. They said they new for a fact that they were 30mm in all directions but they couldn't determine the exact thread size of the threaded inserts. So I did my own detective work and by looking at the screws that they sold with the cubes decided that they were similar to the ones I've seen elsewhere (which I have already determined to be 3mm screws). SO I was just hoping that these were also 3mm threads so I could use the same screws for everything.

Well, I got them in and the threads were infact for a 3mm (M3) screw!!! *Jumps for joy*

But I measured them and they are 20mm cubes, not 30mm... But that's actually a good thing as I need to save every millimeter of space I can get!


I'm off to order the acrylic now. If all goes well, expect more updates again this weekend

EDIT: Just noticed FrozenCPU just updated their site. The specifications I discovered and e-mailed to them are now listed on the page
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 00:23   #5
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Unfortunately my Acrylic has not arrived yet, so nothing too exciting, but I did at least get one of my packages:

These are the screws that will be used to secure the side panels to the corner cubes. I chose them because they are very low profile, and the natural black color should blend in nicely without a bunch of painting work. Although if I find that they still need to be painted to look better, I will just have to suck it up and do it, lol
Here is a closer shot of the screw heads... Notice that they are nice and round and should be pretty low profile and inconspicuous:


The screws were ordered from www.mcmaster.com in case anyone is interested. The selection is great, prices are fair, and shipping is reasonable but quick. I would highly recommend them if you are looking for hard to find screws or need raw materials for anything your heart desires!
Hopefully my acrylic arrives tomorrow and I can start providing some better updates as to what this project is actually going to start looking like!
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 00:24   #6
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The Acrylic is in!!!

WOO HOO!!! I got's me some ACRYLIC!!!!


I got all the sheets I asked for and the total was even less than I thought too! $74 instead of $78
The smoke acrylic (color #2074 from http://www.delviesplastics.com/) is exactly what I pictured. It is indeed very dark, and depending on the lighting, it can look like a dark mirror (100% opaque). Really cool stuff! I ordered all this stuff in 3/16" thickness and it will be used for the side panels:



The flourescent green (color #2154) is also pretty good looking. The edges look like they glow with just some sunlight shining through from the background. It should look great as an accent to the dark smoke!



More to come...
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 00:25   #7
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Here is a preliminary look at the layout of components. These are not going to be the actual components that will be going into the case, just some spare parts from an old machine:



There will actually be two optical drives in the final plan, but only the bottom one will have standoffs on the bottom. This drive will be secured to the bottom panel of the case and then the second drive will mount on top of it and secure directly to the bottom drive via a custom plate (that will be made out of the 1/8" flourescent green plastic. I'm still not sure though if I will have the drives at the edge of the case like seen here or centered in the middle. It will all really depend on how much room the HDD's take up and how tight I want to squeeze everything in together. I would like to keep the drives centered because I think it will help keep the case looking more symmetrical...


The HDD(s) may or may not have standoffs, I haven't decided yet. It is very possible though (in order to keep sizes to a minimum) that it will not. The HDD's will also be secured directly to the bottom panel of the case with screws. Rubber washers will be used to insulate and reduce vibration. There will also most likely be two HDD's used in the final system that goes into this case. Both will be mounted on their side right next to each other. The bottom edge will be screwed to the bottom panel of the case and the top edges will be secured together, again, with a custom bracket made from 1/8" flourescent green acrylic. you'll just to wait and see what it's all going to look like :P


Finally, the PSU will be behind the optical drives. In order to save space, the rear of the PSU is actually going to stick out the back of the case a little bit. Again, there will be a custom bracket fabricated (by me) to secure the PSU in this way. It's hard to explain now, so I'll just wait 'till later when I start on that part of the project...

And the mATX motherboard will be mounted to a motherboard tray (made from 3/16" thick flourescent green acrylic) right on top of the PSU, HDD's, and optical drives.


Sorry for the crappy looks. I just wanted to get something up for you guys (and gals) to start being able to visualize this project because right now, most all of it is just in my head!
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 13:48   #8
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Just saw that you started a log and thought I'd take a look-see, and I like what I see. The dimensions of your case are pretty close to those of mine. Too bad about the cracked acrylic. That's gotta smart!
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 15:18   #9
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Cracked Acrylic? Nothing is cracked yet.... Can you see the future?!
Now you got me all worried!
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 15:22   #10
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Looks nice
Will be following this one, bad about the acrylig, couldnt find out why it broke?

EDIT: A thougt it was broke, looked like it :P On the second pic of the dark acrylig...
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 15:23   #11
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Is this not cracked?
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 16:22   #12
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Cool project, hope it turns out good.
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 16:32   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guido
OOHHH, HAHA, nope, it's not cracked. I positioned the camera and the light just so that you could get an idea of the reflectivity of the smoke acrylic. That is just a reflection of the lighting fixture above me in our dining room

I went back to look at the pics myself and thought you were talking about the little chip out of the corner edge of the flourescent green piece...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherk
Cool project, hope it turns out good.
Thanks Sherk, so do I!
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 17:07   #14
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Ha, cleaver one. I see it now.
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Old 7th Mar 2006, 17:09   #15
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Oh, well, good it wasnt broken then=)
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Old 9th Mar 2006, 05:42   #16
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UPDATE TIME!!!!
I managed to get four of the side panels cut. But I got a little excited on the last cut and accidentally touched it back onto the table saw blade and it took a nice chip out of the edge...

I'm just praying to god it is not cracked because I will actually be easy to conceal if it's just the chip. I'll just put this piece as the bottom panel with the chip facing back and no one will ever see it, lol
Moving along, here you can see I've drilled four holes (one in each corner) of one of the side panels and attached the acrylic corner cubes with the nice little black screws I'm going to use...



And when you get four side panels (two sides, a top, and a bottom) all cut and drilled with the corner cubes attached, you can make a box!
Here you can get an idea of the size and shape of what this thing is going to look like...



In that last picture with the ruler, you can see that it stands about 11 inches tall. If you read back to my first post you will remember that I mentioned dimensions as being approximately 10". Well, I started laying everything out in the case and started adding a little extra space here, and a little more room there... And next thing I know, I have created a monster!!! HAHA, seriously, I really can't call this "small form factor" anymore. Yeah it's using a mATX motherboard, but it's still a cube that is 11"x11"x14"... Not exactly something you can tuck away behind a monitor...
SO, I am officially changing this project name to the "Secret of the Ooze". It is no longer small, and it just throws off the whole thing. But that's ok, because I like the Secret of the Ooze name better now anyway

Oh yeah, and don't forget to always wear your safety gear boys and girls!!!!!!!


That concludes my birthday day-O-modding. I'll report back later when I've completed the front and back panel, mobo tray, and/or anything else important, stay tuned!
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Old 9th Mar 2006, 05:48   #17
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Got the side panels cut out and put together, Check It Out!
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Old 9th Mar 2006, 17:37   #18
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lol your a dork...

good case idea's though I was going to do something similar...
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Old 10th Mar 2006, 01:48   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kickarse
lol your a dork...
LOL, well poop on you
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Old 10th Mar 2006, 02:25   #20
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Thank you, thank you, thank you
Sorry about the crazy picture, I just thought I would add a little humor into the mix, but I guess I just scared more people than anything...
BUT ANYWAY, How 'bout some free updates with pictures, on the house?!
I got the front and back panel pieces cut out and attached. Here is what the case will kindof look like with all the side, front, and rear panels on...



After the front and rear panels were taken care of, I decided I needed to tackle the motherboard tray. First step was to cut out my first piece of the 3/16" thick flourescent green acrylic. I just cut a piece that will fit inside the case and will span the full length of the case inside:


Then, to attach the mobo tray to the case, I just drilled two more holes in the two side panels and screwed in some more coner cubes for the mobo tray to sit on:



As you can see, I hacked up an old case and managed to rip out the motherboard rear I/O bracket in tact (not an easy task...)


And this is how everything will be layed out. But there will be two optical drives in the front and (obviously) the PSU will be facing so the wires run inside the case. There will also be many more "accessories" that are built into the front panel, so you'll just have to wait and see how that turns out...



And yes, there is still room for a 120mm fan in the front!

My plan for the rest of the cooling still includes an 80mm exhaust fan in the bottom level behind the HDD's, but I think with a little creativity, I might just be able to fit two 80mm exhaust fans in behind the motherboard (above the rear I/O shield). More on that later though. But for now, I think my next goal is to get the rear panel all carved out and mount the rear motherboard bracket, fans, and PSU. I also want to drill and tap the holes in the motherboard tray for the standoffs. Then I will be focusing on the monumental task of securing all of the drives and forming the openings in the front panel for all the devices.
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