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Old 1st Sep 2008, 07:09   #1
IvanIvanovich
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компьютер -- 2009.12.8 - structural assembly finished!

Hello all. This is my first serious mod. Been a long time lurker, first project log. A little bit about the concept - I am going for a grunge / scrap soviet themed case. will be a very old and well used look, with some damage, age (rust etc.) and a somewhat toxic look to it.

I was inspired a lot by numerous 80's post apocalyptic movies, video games, and the work of piloux's black mesa, butterknetters hl2 and industrial cases, Stuyo's Fallout, and Sheyr's FuG-01/ET. So big thanks to all of you. Unfortunately I didn't have a camera during the first phase of my mod. So i will give a quick run down of the first steps before we get to photos.

First I started with a circa 1994 beige boring case. Typical mid tower with 3 optical bays at the top, 3 3.5 internal and 2 3.5 external bays. It had the power supply in the usual place at top and the expansion slots at the bottom of the case as standard. All in all nothing special. First thing I did was to remove the plastic front and toss it in trash. Then take a saws all to it and chopped it down so it was as tall as a matx case. Then I flipped it so the expansion slots were now at the top and riveted the case top as the bottom. I planned on situating the power supply in the lower front of the case. I then proceeded to yank out ALL of the drive bays. I played around with some different layouts in my first phase of this build and made some serious mistakes leaving the structure quite weak. I wasn't able to figure out a decent way to have the optical drive inside the case in a way that didn't interfere with the graphics cards. Freaking giant modern cards... Once I had settled on my layout, i then had to reinforce the frame with some aluminium L frame. Problem solved. I am going to be making a nice mod of an old atari 1050 5.25 floppy drive to accomodate the optical. It will connect via esata.

Now on to some photos so we can see where I am currently with my project...

basic view of the frame

the frame from the back

added the power supply mounting (purchased lian li ps extender) and puts some expanded metal

Last edited by IvanIvanovich; 8th Dec 2009 at 22:05.
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Old 1st Sep 2008, 07:39   #2
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... this photo host sucks. looking for something less awful, will update then.
Also i painted the inside with black primer. Then applied a photo luminescent paint that will glow a little. I made some hdd mounts on the top of the case wiht some aluminium L frame. This space will be covered with some formed steel to make a box over it. There is a top mounted exhaust fan between the 2 hdd (80 cfm 120mm x 25mm panaflo). there is an exhasut fan in the rear (147 cfm 120mm x 38mm panaflow). Plans for another 120mm x 38mm 147 cfm panaflow for intake towards top on front of case. Or possibly use a 110cfm 120mm x38mm for rear exhaust and move the 147cfm to intake to even flow. I may or may not at this point go liquid for the 2x (planned) hd4850 vgas. I think theres enough room to accomodate a simple loop for the graphics cards. we'll see...
real quick the hardware thats going into this build:
ECS KA3-MVP motherboard
AMD 5200+ 2mb L2 dual core CPU
Mushkin PC6400 4x 2GB 4-4-4-10 Ram (4GB current, another 4GB planned)
Seagate 2x 500GB 7200.11 32mb cache sata2 HDD in raid 0
Sapphire HD4850 512mb, Visontek HD4850 512mb
HiPer 580 watt PSU
Phillips spd2523bd Optical drive (external over esata)
Zalman cnps 9700 cpu heatsink
possible:
dangerden 4850 waterblocks, fassomatic barrelhead res, ehiem pump, salvaged heatercore rad...

Last edited by IvanIvanovich; 29th Sep 2008 at 05:21. Reason: ...
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Old 1st Sep 2008, 08:02   #3
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Please, please use Photobucket. Much better image hosting.

Good start anyways.
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Old 1st Sep 2008, 08:43   #4
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thanks. went with flickr.
scratch that, flickr is rubbish also... going to try photobucket... sorry people.
now for some photos:

alternate view of power supply mounted

showing the top 120mm fan hole and the hard drive rails

test fitting the hard disk

starting on the front panel

front panel assembled (will need to age some of the shiny bits)

installed the motherboard and graphics card

Last edited by IvanIvanovich; 1st Sep 2008 at 16:52.
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Old 1st Sep 2008, 08:55   #5
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hmn... got everything hooked up. having a problem with the hdd meter. it worked fine on my test rig, but for some reason the needle stays at max all of the time on this one. i wonder what is the problem? difference is on my test rig it is not set up for raid... would that be it?
off to work on the project some. will have some updates later on.
some reason still is'nt working right on this computer, but works as intended on 2 other boards (one is sata in ide mode (old sb400 chip, dreadful raid performance) the other ide.) how i have it wired up is i have off the positive connector from motherboard to led for voltage drop to 2 resistors ran in series (an all brown one, and a green one with yellow,black,red, black stripe marked on it - these were attached to the meters when i got them from the electronics surplus shop) they're weston model 1011 100Ω meters. they are probably as old as the meters. guessing circa 1950's... maybe someone can tell me a better less convoluted way to make it function correctly. if i connect a led to the hdd activity header it does blink.

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Old 1st Sep 2008, 19:04   #6
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looks interesting, i will keep an eye on his one.
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Old 2nd Sep 2008, 04:25   #7
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компьютер UPDATE 2008.9.1

Hello. Got alot done today, and I am pretty happy with the results. Although I didn't get as much done with the actual case today, I did finish the monitor in one fell swoop. A little about the monitor: It's a 17" flat tube CRT thats 8 years old and still working fine. It's an IBM rebranded Sony Trinitron, original color white. Now lets get to some photos and i'll give the step by step with them.

heres the unaltered abs plastic shell of the monitor. After disassembly i filed off the rasied IBM logo that was on the front top center of the bezel.

This image shows the bezel after being primed.

Heres all of the pieces laid out after getting thier first coat of olive drab.

a closer picture of the bezel painted. I also drilled a couple of holes in line with the bottom buttons for later...

I made this decal for the monitor. It has a message about electronic interference.

applied the electronic interferance decal.

I also made a radiation symbol and a message to accompany it and applied them in the same fashin as the other one but on the topside. I made the aging effect with a cigarette burns and some varnish.

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Old 2nd Sep 2008, 04:39   #8
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Now we get to some fun. Now i am going to show the next steps of the monitor mod. Its the damaging and aging process. I roughed up some of the plastic here and there to simulates heavy usage. Then i broke ou the rust effects paint and got to it.

the monitor base after the oxidization

top of the monitor with iron base coat

decided to reapply the original stickers

I decided for some reason to paint the IBM logo red. I think it looks good against the green.

added the power button which i also painted red. added some knobs (i orignally planned to connect them to brightness / contrast, but after looking closer at the pcb i decided againt trying it. theres 2 momentary buttons for each function and i wasn't sure how to combine them into a single knob. If anyone really knows feel free to offer some ideas. for now they are just decorations).

heres a close view of how the buttons are arranged for the control functions

here you can see the oxidization starting

again you can see the oxidazation getting started.

heres the guts to the monitor ready to be put back into the casing

heres the monitor all assembled again.

a closer view of the end result

heres a detail of the front. I had this little soviet badge that i added... I also will be getting a die cut decal made for the front bezel that has the Электроника text and a fictitious model number. i tried stencil but it didn't look right.

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Old 2nd Sep 2008, 05:03   #9
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Now for the actual computer case. I didn't take alot of photos because i was too busy cutting, riveting, painting etc. i wanted to get it finished so i stopped less to take pictures.

heres the side panel for the motherboard tray side. I used the original side panel that came on the case. i cut it down so it would fit and decided to pop rivet the bottom rail on instead of refashioning the peice from scratch. I primed, then painted the side by hand, no aerosol like on the monitor and it is a lighter shade of olove drab tha matches more closely to the metal i will be using for the front of the case which was already painted and naturally patina since the material came from an old 60cal ammo box. Its 3mm thick steel so i am going to have to have i bent by other than myself as it will require a hydralic break to get it bent. This stuff is very tough. Anyway, I also added the rust effects as i did on the monitor. The oxidization is really unpredictable so you get what you get with it. While originally expireimenting on the paint with some scrap pieces i quickly learned that if you try and manipulate it at all it looks really phoney and strange.

Here you can see me in progress on painting on the stencil i made. Once again painting by hand and it gives it more of a stamped look rather than with the aerosol. looks older this way i think.

here you can see the end result of the stencil.

Here is a picture of the other side panel. I made a cut out for a window. I'm not really all that thrilled with it right now and have stopped work on it. I may try to rework it and go with a more open frame, cutting down to just the rails along the edges that hold it onto the frame. On the other hand i might scrap it all together as i am now thinking of doing some mesh with plexi overlaid instead.

heres a view of the side panel attached to the frame. Its starting to come together and look more like a case now.

A picture of everything hooked up. The unit is operational.

a view of the final top layout with all of the components attached.
I didn't originally intend for the control panel to be on the side, i just kind of dropped it in there so i could hook up the switches and gauges to test my wiring. After looking at it now for a couple of days in that spot, i kind of like it there. It's a little different this way and breaks from the usual postions. Also it leaves the front open to do other things with...
well thats all for today. please feel free to give me some feedback, suggestions, criticisms and keep your eye on it as i will be moving forward with the front panel and top cover pieces soon.
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Old 2nd Sep 2008, 15:54   #10
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What means an inscription "электигре" on the forward panel? In Russian there is no such word.

PS: It is similar to Sidorovich computer from game "STALKER: Clear Sky"
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Old 2nd Sep 2008, 16:35   #11
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I like where this is going.
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Old 2nd Sep 2008, 18:53   #12
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Wow, this is looking very nice.
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Old 2nd Sep 2008, 19:19   #13
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yes i know its not a word, its transliterated french... it's my tagging name "elektigre". since you know russian assumedly maybe you would comment on the correctness of my labels. i've just started learning russian and i probably make some gramatical errors since my brains still in english mode most of the time, or muddled with the bits of french i know... lol. I haven't played clear sky yet. the only thing i've seen from it was the tech demo that was floating around a few months ago. it was some level that was in a big open feild with waist hight grass. there didn't seem to be much to do there, just wander about. i think maybe i came across one of those dog creatures once, but that was it. i haven't had much time to play games lately with working 60 hours a week at my job and trying to get this mod done in my off time...
thanks for the support.
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Old 2nd Sep 2008, 19:39   #14
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For you ресурс: -http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/?page=screens

- can then an inscription to replace with analogue "energised" -> "ПОД НАПРЯЖЕНИЕМ"?
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Old 3rd Sep 2008, 03:16   #15
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ПОД НАПРЯЖЕНИЕМ = over stressed? is that correct? were you referring to a mistake on one of my labels that i already have, or for a new one? the электигре text won't be visable at all once completed, just sort of signature if you will.

some ideas i have that i wanted to bounce off the community:
thinking about building a nixie tube temperature display, but electronics is not my strong suit in the least and i am REALLY uncertain about how to make it. i posted a seprate thread on this, but so far no takers. i did find this page http://www.merseypub.com/nixie/nixie2.htm but most of it is a little over my head. i was never terribly interested in electronics so i have a lot to learn.
since i am thinking the switches and gauges are going to be placed on the side now, i am not really sure to what i am going to do with the front without the controls there. it would be a rather large expanse of metal. at first i thought maybe a small lcd screen, but not sure if this would fit in with the overall look. so i then thought perhaps a vfd, since it looks a little more "old style" and is still somewhat useful for information. my motherboard does have a parallel port pin header very close to the front top that could be taken advantage of for that without alot of wire mess running all over. i'm not a cable management obsessive, but don't want wire spaghetti either. theres going to be plenty to tidy up as it is once i get the usb/ firewire / audio panel on the motherboard side, and the usb / firewire / esata / external power plug connector on the top. its going to be a real challenge so they are not hanging down all over the place, and also not in the way of the fan on the top. probably affix some of those cable lock clamps going in a semi circle around the fan i'm thinking. been looking around for that old style fabric like braiding that you see in antique electrical wiring. if anyone knows where to find some let me know. also looking for really cheap modders mesh type material. need a big enough single sheet for the entire side, but don't want to spend much. so far this project has had a fairly low cost and am looking to keep ti that way. i found an old garbage can at the thrift shop, but it was round and i wasn't confident that it could be flattened so i left it.
on an unrelated note my mate got tired of me asking to borrow his camera, so out of the rummage bin he dug me out one to keep. a sony mavica .8 megapixel (yes thats point eight, not even a megapixel) camera. it has a floppy for the storage... i tested it out and the picture quality was much better than i would have expected. now i won't have any excuse about not having plenty of pictures. but on the downside i had to rummage about for a floppy. haven't had one in any of my computers for probably 6 years now. threw it in my other computer (i'll be starting work on that one once this one is finished, it will match with this project, but be considerably different).

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Old 4th Sep 2008, 03:48   #16
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oh noes... tragedy has struck. one of (or maybe both) of my new seagate hard drives has failed! it started making some clicking noises and then a loud horrible grinding noise, then nothing. so goodbye raid 0 array... along with a bit of stuff i hadn't gotten around to making a backup of yet. luckily though its been less than 30 days since i got them, and the egg is very nice about rma so i should get replacement soon. first time i have had trouble with a seagate drive, and i have been buying them for the last 8 years because i never had a fail with them before. looks like there has been some problems with premature failure in this series from looking around... got these as an upgrade to my 2x 200GB drives that are now at home in my backup file server, which now needs more disk drives... wish i could afford to throw down the mad cash for some ssd's... still so expensive, but the gb / money ratio is getting smaller, though very slowly. also after doing some calculations, it looks like my psu is going to be slightly underpowered for adding a 2nd hd4850 + watercooling kit. thinking about adding a 120watt pico psu as an auxillary power since thery are only $35 and is more justifiable than spending + $80 on a more powerful atx psu... made sure the pico has enough amps / watts on the +12v rail to be adequate and it appears to be up to the task. thoughts?
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Old 4th Sep 2008, 09:23   #17
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Seagate are evil

if you can get a 6 pin adaptor to work with a Pico PSU then it should work (Provided you can get the right voltages)
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Old 4th Sep 2008, 09:38   #18
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Shame about the HDD mate. Shouldn't be hard to get a replacement.
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Old 6th Sep 2008, 05:45   #19
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2008.9.5 small update...

well it's not much but it is an update none the less...
so i "moded" my keyboard. nothing really, just affixed some stickers i got of cyrillic onto the keys...

overall view

detailed view
oh and i found this rather large and rusty panel to something... heater perhaps? in the dumpster at my building when i took my trash out the other day. i rather liked the vents and am thinking of doing *something* with it...




i touched up some of the rust on themonitor a bit, just added some more oxidizer to make it a little rustier...

hopefully will be doing some work on the front panel and top panel pieces tomorrow if the guy at the metal fabricator has some time to help me. they are closed on the weekend, and he seems to have agreed to let me use some of thier equipment with some supervision. if thats the case i should be able to get that 3mm steel cut and bent.

Last edited by IvanIvanovich; 6th Sep 2008 at 05:50.
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Old 6th Sep 2008, 10:34   #20
The boy 4rm oz
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The boy 4rm oz has yet to learn the way of the DremelThe boy 4rm oz has yet to learn the way of the DremelThe boy 4rm oz has yet to learn the way of the DremelThe boy 4rm oz has yet to learn the way of the DremelThe boy 4rm oz has yet to learn the way of the DremelThe boy 4rm oz has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
Rust looks awesome. Nice detail on the keyboard.
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