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Old 23rd Apr 2012, 05:54   #1
E.E.L. Ambiense
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Project BIO-A10 by E.E.L. Ambiense - Completed



Infinitely-Lazy Shortcut - Finished Final Pics


Well, hello there! It's been a little while; not too long though, right? I think? Actually, it's been way too long, indeed. I have some explaining to do and some dirty laundry to air before we get started on this new project log; the 1st of quite a few project logs that have been clogging up E.E.L.'s brain like three runs to Taco Bell in one day does to a lactose-intolerant without any fiber intake, so please afford me this much if I run off-topic before there really IS a topic, okay?

I'm going to answer the main Q that some of you may be thinking right now, assuming you're familiar with me/my work from the past, so here we go.

1). What the bloody-jumpin'-freakin'-hell happened to you!?

Well, see, the short answer is, my life has been turned upside down and back again.

The long answer is, my long-time career-shattering job I was in possession of for close to two decades was ended. Not by choice, but by necessity (because of the piss-poor economy Stateside). I worked for a small business; family-run. I was the only non-family employee, but the odd thing was I was probably the most-valuable considering I was keeping them afloat with over 60% of the income from my department, but I was let go because the company was going to go under if they didn't let SOMEONE go; that person was me because I didn't share the last name with the rest of the employees. The worst part was, I was told on the SAME DAY I SIGNED A LEASE FOR NEW PROPERTY; was given the bad news when I returned to work that early afternoon. Needless to say, I was VERY irate about it. The pseudo-boss I had gave me the news with tears streaming down her face, along with her brother. I'm sure they were crying because the only person who could actually DO any of the work was being swept out the door like a two-day old turd on the brand-new carpet. But I digress.

For those that didn't know, I was (am) a graphic designer and t-shirt printer. I have been tinkering with it since I was 11 years old. To put it into perspective, I worked on Macs when they had a killer reputation for quick and powerful processing, and it was the ONLY graphics platform available. My first "illustration" program I touched was MacDraw. I recall when Photoshop came out--the first one. Illustrator 88+. Etc, etc. Bottom line is, I had been around it for quite a while. And I loved it. I enjoyed every minute of it. I miss it more than I could even begin to iterate here in a stupid project log. It was (still is) a big part of me, and not having my print-room makes me feel naked and incomplete in an odd way. I spent so many hours there; so many records played in there; so many gallons of sweat spilled there because of no A/C on occasion and working in a 100+-degree room. I remember watching the Sept. 11 attacks on an old tube TV from Sears-Roebuck (with wood-grain!) in that room.

I enjoyed that place, and enjoyed my job. And it really wasn't a job to me. It gave me an outlet to push my creativity out and flex that muscle we all seem to have (at least those creative types out there). I put in overtime, but wasn't paid because I was salaried. I loved those 2 hour lunches too. And my own keys to the place. And the 2-am modding escapades in that building! I was modding there when a hurricane dropped right on top of us and my car was flooded out. Bottom line is, I was very sad to see it go.

So now I was unemployed. That fast. I was given what they could afford to me to help me out, but I was screwed, plain and simple. The hell was I going to do? I needed something QUICK, even if it was temporary because of the lease on the new rental being a major increase in rent. But, those $30/hr paychecks will be hard to match.

Then I recalled something. The manager of Performance-PCs had offered me the modding dept about 6 months prior and I kind of laughed softly in his face about it because it was a couple tax-brackets lower. Hell, that could work. Right? So I talk to the owner about it all; explained the situation, etc. I'm hired easily. But things are really bad, financially speaking. I won't go into specifics, but things really sucked in comparison.

A month later, I'm miserable. Work is so different. And irritating. And suffocating.

The lady is feeling a little ill, but nothing really clicked. Then, on a whim we get a pregnancy-test... Yup. Positive. Oh. My. God. So life gets any more interesting.

We scramble to get the wedding plans cemented; making everything from scratch including the clothes and cakes. We get it done. And it was beautiful. Perfect. PERFECT!

And we get the house we were fighting with the bank over and I rely on my impeccable and exorbitant credit to float us into the house. I really believe had I not had such stellar credit, we would be sleeping in a cardboard box right now.

And nine months later, the most-beautiful thing in the world to me was born. And it changed my life. For the better. Made me, along with his mother, a whole person. Complete in every way. Except, for those awesome paychecks I still miss.

There is so much more to the story, like failed business attempts and massive debt, but I'll leave it there. Enough has been said, IMO. You get the picture.

I miss my laser.

-----------------------------------------

Now, time to move on the dirty laundry I mentioned earlier. Heh. Heh.

Now, those that know me personally know I do not take kindly to being snubbed or mistreated in any fashion. I'm a very easy-going kind of dude, and I afford respect to everyone. But sometimes, some just piss me off. And that includes companies. Computer supply companies.

For those with a longer memory can recall I was graciously given an article in Custom PC for my Blu-Bawx I scratchbuild project, thanks to the infinite kindness of Antony Leather and the rest of the staff at Custom PC magazine and Bit-Tech. But--there's a downside to this. There was prize-pack from misc. companies for having your mod or whatever in the mag. Prizes from companies including Corsair, Cooler Master, MSI and QuietPC. Guess what? I only received the gear from Corsair and QuietPC.

***update - As of August 27th, the issue has been resolved with Cooler Master due to the exhaustive help, support and badgering from Bill Owen, Antony L., Richard S., as well as some help from Nic - Cooler Master US and the Cooler Master rep that actually has a brain in his gourd - - Mr. Wu from Cooler Master Taiwan who put his foot down and fixed the whole issue. Infinite thanks, Mr. Wu! Your reputation proceeds you, kind sir.

And it should be pointed out that there was no help at all from the UK team. Shame on you guys! ***


MSI didn't respond to ONE attempt at contacting them. Nothing. Nothing!

So, here's the bottom line with this issue. I didn't necessarily care that much for the prizes I was supposed to receive because they were mid to low-end gear and I tend to use good stuff myself, but I WAS going to give it to my step-daughter for a system for her.

So, good job, MSI! You made my step-daughter cry, you morons! I had been using MSI boards off-and-on for a while as well. Socket 478 days I loved their red-PCB'd boards, since red-n-black was always my color scheme. But, because of this snubbing, you guys have lost me as a customer and supporter as well. You guys suck.

You have a new name to me.... or three...

I think "MSI" probably stands for this, since they don't seem to want us modders to use their gear, right?


Or, perhaps this in my case:


Nah....I think it just means this:


So here it is, you jackasses. Enjoy it. It's for you. Eat my @$$ Award just for you.



--------------------------------------

Now, finally, with all that BS out of the way, let's get to some friggin' moddin'! At least, assuming I haven't been banned at this point for my rant.

This project is based around a Lian Li PC-A10 chassis. Back when Lian Li really new what the hell they were doing. What an awesome case. And so much potential!

Being the new, svelt, and affordable E.E.L., I was able to snag a couple of these extinct cases from work on the real-cheap because they were both missing mobo trays and one was pretty beat up. I was basically sponsored these cases, for the low cost I paid for them.

The irony of it all was, I happen to have an A10 mobo tray in my arsenal of computer parts I've pack-ratted over the years. So, that takes care of that.

This build is for my best friend, who has been extraordinarily patient with all of this. He gets the 1st stab on these cases. His theme is always a "biohazard" type of thing. Some recall my previous build for him based around this idea. Well, he loves it. And who am I to mock him for it? ...I do. Yes. But still. To each their own, right?

So, here's what I'm going to do:



That's what he saw a little while back when it was in the preliminary stage of design, but-- I gave him the option of a "weathered" build or a clean build. He chose clean. ....sooooo, he gets weathered. I'm such a rebel.

Let's take a look at the chassis, shall we?



Nothing special. At least, at first glance. Some one had applied a horrid psuedo-carbon fiber vinyl film to the front door. I'll fix that. Oooooh, I will.



It's in bad shape, but I've seen a lot worse. I can turn it around.



Some dents on the panels, etc. I think it'll add to the theme though.



I love the layout inside. Seriously. For the smaller size of the case, you can really fit some serious cooling in here.



I love it.



Let's start stripping her down. A lot of surgery needed.







A lot of wiring I'll no longer need!



Oh yeah...these are gone.



Let's remove the racks, here...











These are definitely gone!



This too...





Let's get rid of the top IO ports too.



I'll need some room to work and maneuver so this will make it easier.



There. Simple.



I'll keep this thing for later. They always come in handy!



There's a little fan controller built in. It's gone too.



Peek-a-boo!



This is going to be really fun!



Now, hopefully I can post again within a couple more years! Forgive me; It's been a little while since I've been in the driver's seat and my log-fu is a bit rusty. Not unlike this case will be.

I'm sorry, guys. Truly. I'll be a better modder. I promise.

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Last edited by E.E.L. Ambiense; 23rd Sep 2012 at 17:39.
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Old 23rd Apr 2012, 12:58   #2
E.E.L. Ambiense
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhanlon303 View Post
Welcome back young one. You are purged and vented, now mod. Eager we are for updates. Ban us both they might for comment I have.

Missed you. Sry. Emotions. . Next time better will I do.

john
Heh-heh, thank you John! Oh, I'm slightly purged, yes. But I've barely scratched the surface on things. Believe me, I pulled the punches too, lol.

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Originally Posted by kelmannen View Post
Welcome back eel! =) have read some of your older logs and wondered ehere you went, mod on!
Thank you, kindly! I appreciate you reading those long-winded beasts! I will mod on, that's for sure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila View Post
I doubt it. One of the reasons I'm a big fan is because of your clean work and sense of style, Lumiere Noire is still one of my favourites. The other is your sense of humor. I've had occasion to chase prizes as well, but have ended up getting everything I'm owed. I never chased the manufacturers though, I kept nagging the publishers. But I should also mention that CORSAIR were always the first prizes to arrive, without any prompting, on three occasions.

Hooray for Corsair, an honorable company.
Thank you. I always try to inject a couple of laughs, usually at myself. Which really isn't that hard.

Honestly, I didn't see this as an issue with the publishers as they did their job and well, I might add. The spread was beautiful! Even got a direct copy in the mail fairly fast after print-run. But never wanted to bark at the publisher because I didn't want to look or sound ungrateful for their attention. I'm not like that. I truly appreciate any kind of honor bestowed upon me, and always have and will. The Corsair pack came direct from Dennis offices, and first. QuietPC was just amazing; they didn't have what they were supposed to send so the kind lady over there let me go on a shopping-spree of sorts. She even emailed me first! But the other asshats, well... you read it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balder View Post
Wow, alot to take in here, first of all, welcome back, it's awesome to see oldies back, I loved your other mods!

Congratulations on the wee one, I know how kids can change alot, and the wedding to!
Hopefully the economy and all that sorts it self out (Thank god I live in one of the worlds most stable places).
Thank you kindly! I appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedsurd View Post
Holy moly. That's one hell of a story. John wasn't kidding when he said life caught up with you.

I'm glad you're doing better now, many congratulations to you and the missus, and welcome back.
Heheh, thank you! Hopefully, I can keep things under control now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbradford32 View Post
hey E.E.L, keep on this one! i love the older lian li cases, and this one looks like it could turn out sweet! and i understand your story 100%! I am ,ind of going through some of it... lol i have 2 kids since the podcast back in 2010! and a job im not totally in love with, but it payz the bills... Stress sucks! but remember, yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today a gift, which is why it is called the present!
Thanks, man! Jeez, you'd think you'd have learned the 1st time to keep that thing bagged! Nah, seriously, congrats on the kids.

Yeah, during the p'casts, there was so much BS I couldn't even begin to explain. I had to back away from all of that because I just didn't have the time and my head wasn't in it either. I feel like I let everyone down too because of it. I miss doing those things, the p'casts.
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Old 23rd Apr 2012, 15:57   #3
E.E.L. Ambiense
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnpctech View Post
I felt a rumble in the Internets and tracked it down to this thread Your project logs set the bar for many people who first discovered bit-tech, and are now loyal members.

It's Good to have Jeremy Back!

lol @ logos
Hahaha! Thanks for the kind words, man. I try to just do my thing; it makes me feel good that others would actually read this long-winded crap since the majority of the population seems to have some kind of attention-deficit disorder and gets distracted when reading the directions on the back of a Ramen package. "Boil water, and add dried noodles to..... wow, look at that shampoo commercial!"

Having me back is mostly your doing too, bro. If it weren't for your constant encouragement and support and the occasional phonecall to kick me in the arse, I would've hung up the rotary tool out of frustration. Here's to MNPCTech!

Edit: And the logos are me being nice. Those guys suck!
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 00:23   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cown View Post
Awesome to see another modder doing some damage to the same case as myself I really love this case!!!

Looking forward to seeing more of this mod, subbed!

Sad to hear about your troubles, but the part with Cooler Master made my LOL hard, creating stares from some co-workers Nicely written Congratz on becoming a father aswell, I myself became one 11 months ago, it's a bliss you can't even begin to describe!
Thanks, man! I'll check your build out and see what's going on over there.

Kids rock!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
From anyone else I would have skimmed that first 3 pages. Good to see you back. It feels like you smashed through a brick wall and started screaming, though.
MSI customer service is legendary...for not existing.

Rage on, brother!
Hahaha, good ole Cheaps! Thanks bro!

Believe me, I felt like doing that; busting through a wall. I just don't get it sometimes I suppose. I assume too much in that people would maintain a certain level of implied respect for their fellow man, but I guess not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayinBlack View Post
First off, congrats on the kid. Mine's 15 months old.

Second, I'd be gone a lot too if that happened to me.

Third, thanks for the heads up. I know a lot of companies that are acting like that these days. Even though this is my last mod, I'll still probably have to buy parts for others. And I remember things like this. I'll add your names to the list. It's extraordinarily long, to see what some people turn up with.

I'll PM you later over some of this, but if you're at PPCs then you're only a state away. We might have to come visit you.
Thanks, Kayin! Yours is about the same age as mine then (14 months here).

Yeah, definitely. I practically live at PPCs, so feel free to pop in and say hey! It'd be awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnout21 View Post
I got such a horn on when i spotted your name back in the threads, im not ashamed to say that.
LOL! Horn on, huh? Man, you best be careful with poachers around...

Thanks for the kind words, man! I miss doing this, so it'd good to be back, even if it's not as much as I used to (totally online all the time and really trying to contribute to the community/trying to make people laugh and vomit simultaneously, etc).
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 01:40   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhanlon303 View Post
Burning question from me is "Does your modding space have a ceiling?" You never made a mod in a place with a ceiling. Ever.

john
I assure you I have a ceiling. I do. I swear! Actually, I have made quite a few mods at home (wherever that was), but most of my modding was done at the Cave.

I meant to say something about this, but was sidetracked in the chaos.

I built the 1st of two or three workbenches I'm going to build in E.E.L. Cave 2.0:

Progress on it after leveling, etc. She's 8 feet in length. The other I'm possibly going to build in a giant lazy-Susan for easy spinning of cases, etc. She's bolted directly to solid concrete poured walls via Tapcons right through the frame.



And after getting the carpeting finished up and starting to get shtuff moved in/on it:




I still have some work left out there, but it'll get done when it gets done. The garage originally had boxes EVERYWHERE; so much you couldn't actually walk out there....and I have a 2-car garage. It was lit by a single 50w closet light. So I ran electrical and hung twin T5 High-output ballasts up there for some friggin' LIGHT.
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 01:55   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
@John - The answer is yes, and it's lower than it's ever been before, apparently.
@EEL - I know how you feel. I have more appliances in my garage than in the house.

... and the toilets behind the garage can seat more people than the average minivan.
LOL, Cheapskate beat me to it!

Hahah, man. I'm okay in that dept. Only a couple ovens laying around.
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 15:39   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleveland216 View Post
I was wondering what the heck happened to you!!! Why such a talented modder dropped off the radar. Well now I know! Really glad to have you back

You mention carbon fiber or fixing "that" in this build. I'm doing a carbon fiber build as we speak, check it out for how to make carbon fiber and if you have any questions, jus ask. Also, if you really need a piece, give me some dimensions and I'll see if I have something lying around and I'll send it to you. I have alot of raw carbon fiber fabric lying around too...if you want some fabric I'll send some to you.

Anywayz, Glad to have you back, MOD ON
Thanks for the kind words!

I appreciate the offer!; actually someone from work in the past had applied some fake-looking carbon fiber vinyl to the front door of the case and it looks atrocious to me. I'm going to remove it.

I checked out your mod too; awesome and interesting work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWizard View Post
QFT!

Welcome back Jeremy, your presence was missed around here. Glad things are back on track for you, and I can't wait to see what you've got coming down the line!
Hey, MrWizard! Long time no-see! How's it going? I missed all you guys too. Hopefully, I won't let everyone down too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus View Post
Holy crap, one of my favourites has started a new project! Watching!
Hahaha, thanks Antony! I promise I won't take 6 months to finish it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scirocco View Post
Woot! Glad to see you're on it, Jeremy! And thanks for ranting on about those companies. Another reason for me not to buy their gear.
Thanks, Christine!

Yeah they really peeved me off. My story seems to sync with quite a lot of others out there too. It's a shame. Buy a real case from companies such as Fractal or NZXT, where you'll actually get a response back through email.
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 03:54   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayinBlack View Post
Seriously. I have had more luck with support with a hacked Dell case (long story, but super awesome) than I have with CM.

Later this summer, if I'm cleared to travel again I'd love to stop by. We'll see how it goes.

Stop by and take a look at what I've been playing with. Super fun stuff there. I think it's been my favorite mod so far. Also, I'm watching this. I really enjoyed your old builds, I expect this will be just as fun to watch unfold.
I don't doubt it, man. CM has really dropped the ball for me. I'll never buy their products again. Even if they came out, stepped up to the plate and issued a public apology on this very forum. I still won't buy their products.

Yeah, definitely man!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylevdm View Post
blah! Now I have to read all your guff again!

SIGH! Welcome back mate, need to catch you and Bill on Skype again!
Oh, come on, m8.... you just love it when I drone on and on about non-sense!

I have all the files still from the p'cast... including a snippet of Kyle saying, "Face-tube" which kills me every time I hear it. Along with dbradford's laugh... heh heh heh! Man, if he knew we were laughing at his laughing he'd--- BAH! Hey, dbradford!

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I agree about those companies. I believe, if a company wishes to continue to thrive, they should back it up with customer support. I have seen some people talking about how great Lian Li's support was... That is another good one for the money!
Apparently they don't want any business, which is fine by me. Whatever. Lian Li used to actually know what they're doing with cases. Now, I'm not so sure. They've basically recycled the same frame for the past 5 years with some minor changes made to it and slapped new outside shells on it to sell as a different case. If that's innovation, I've created more cutting-edge things with my !
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Old 25th Apr 2012, 04:22   #9
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Log Update #2

Alrighty then. Right back to it! I'm making an effort to make good on my promise to not take 6 months (or 2 years) to finish a log, so here ya go.

I decided to work a little on the switches going on this thing. Nothing special. The typical vandal-resistant poop switch.



But a shiny, new switch isn't going to mesh well with a beat-up case, is it? Let's fix that.

Some 80-grit sandpaper does a quick job of giving it years of use without the actual switch-actuation.



And here we go. Nothing too difficult, right?



There's another switch as well, so I slapped that one around the garage a bit too. Not literally, though. Just figuratively. So don't go calling DCS (Dept of Care of Switches) on me, ok?



Alright, moving right along. I need to strip the rest of these wires out of the case so I have some room to work in there without something smacking me in the face all the time. ...wow, that just came out...wrong....



Here's the stock power/reset assembly. I believe they've used this same unit on a half-dozen cases already or more.



Let's get that thing outta there, shall we?



There we go.



I love how I always end up with a bundle of wires when I mess with LiLi chassis. I have boxes of basically this same pile here. I could probably string them all together and wire up a dozen X-Mas trees with the LEDs alone!



Noticed the cheapy stock case feet are literally screwing themselves off the chassis as we speak. Definitely being replaced by real feet; i.e. MNPCTech units.



Hey, let me ask you something... Do all your 1/8" drillbits look like this?



Yeah, me too. I think that's a side-effect of owning LiLi chassis.

Alright, so I need to make some room down below so I need to de-rivet some cage plates and some other non-sense out of the bottom of the case.









There we go. Nice and easy!



A little more room now. Let's keep going.



Need to remove the PSU stand thingy and that mid-plate that has a 120mm fan spot, probably to keep the airflow through the HDD racks and onto the PSU and out the case. I dunno. I'm not a thermodynaminiscistician.



Much better.

Alright. Now that PSU bracket thing. The hell do I call it? A cheese-grater? No, wait-- it looks like a metal version of Connect-Four!



Oh, I also had some gear handed over to install in this beast... here's a perfect chance to see how things look, shall we?



Heh heh.



It's a decent-sized rad.



My calculations showed I could probably get away with getting it shoehorned into this case; looks like I was right. I probably couldn't fit any other brand rad of this size down there though because of the size of the plenum chambers and the fan-spacing too since EK's spacing on 140mm rads is actually smaller than majority of the other rads on the market. To each their own I suppose.

Until next time, thank you for tuning in!

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Old 25th Apr 2012, 04:23   #10
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Old 26th Apr 2012, 04:01   #11
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Log Update #3

Hello again!

Last we left off, I was about to ruin another case-- er, modify one. Let's get back to it, shall we?

The stock top exhaust port is a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port, er, fan (sorry, had Star Wars going through my head for a second there! ). The top 120mm spot is cool and all....buttttttt it's not good enough. So let's fix that.

First, need to remove the fan first or it's going to be a little more difficult to get it going.



But how am I going to make it different? Well....



By magic, of course! *SNAP!*



Presto!



Man, I just made Penn & Teller look like hacks.

One thing that Lian Li implemented into their case design a little while back that I was less-than-thrilled by were these "watercooling pass-thru ports".



..Why? But then again, I guess being a modder you think outside the box a bit more and the typical system builder schmo isn't really going to mind it. Anyways, I want to cover those things up at the very least, as well as increase the cooling a bit. So I opted to increase to a 140mm top fan.



I designed the acrylic so the frame was just large enough to be able to cover those stupid ports and shift the actual fan itself slightly toward the rear of the case. Honestly, I wish I could've gone even larger, but the rails for the removable mobo tray wouldn't let me because it was being a poopie head.

Any decent modder will know to mask off their work in case something horrid occurs like it spontaneously turning into a typical prime-time network television program or something, so it's always a good idea to make sure your subject is protected. And I don't mean condoms either, guys. We're not talking about chassis-intercourse. ...*shudders* Just got a horrible mental-image. ...Maybe that's what those ports are for! And hey, there's even two for a choice!



Yeah, the fan will sit right about there.



Make sure you mark off where you're actually going to conduct the surgery.



I like to check it against an actual fan as well to make sure things are good.

I decided to bevel around where the fan will sit as a "margin of error" sort of thing. Insurance, if you will.



Nice and easy-peasy.



In a situation like this, I prefer to use step-bits to bevel out the holes in the corners and follow it with jigsaw cuts. It's fast, easy and clean.



The only issue doing it this way is I have to modify the acrylic so it had additional mounting holes to actually hold the fan/acrylic combo onto the chassis, but I was in a hurry and didn't think things through as thoroughly as I usually do. No big deal though. This is just fine! I prefer the fan to sit clean against the acrylic instead of against bits and pieces of what was left of the stock fan hole on the chassis.



If you didn't drill into your own arm, your hole should look like this...



Great. Now four more like that, and we're good!



And a simple straight cut down each side with a jigsaw...



And we're done. I prefer to use a flat-file on the metal since it's aluminum so it's nice and soft and easy to meld into the shape you want.



Sometimes I'll use a rotary tool and sanding band if I'm in a hurry, but no worries here. I have plenty of time. ...actually, not really. This thing needs to be done and off the bench to make room for... well... another log; another time.

Not perfect, but works just fine.



Alright, remember this top IO port assembly?



Here's a little teaser....



Spot-on. Great! This should look just fine...



Until next time. Thanks for tuning in!

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Old 26th Apr 2012, 15:03   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhanlon303 View Post
Seriously, you really need to get one of these:

Can't live without it on the bench.

My CM Sniper has them same 2 'what for' holes in the case back. Not the rubber 'I'm a water cooler poser' holes, the two others. Look like knockouts in old electrical boxes.

Mod on!

john

/edit

Humor and attitude.
Of course, I have THE ruler too somewhere; just don't know where as there's still "dust" settling out here. I use one at work as well; 1st one out of the box when we got the stock in. It's integral to one's sanity. Thanks, MNPCTech!

Exactly, electrical box knockouts! Brilliant. I knew it reminded me of something!
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Old 27th Apr 2012, 01:52   #13
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Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
Gulf Coast indoor-type detected.
Like the biohazard grill. The little one looks like a D*sney swastika.
Space-Coast, actually! Grand-pop is a 40+ yr retired NASA tech so we've been here forever. I love and hate it.

LOL, if I had to pick one I'd be more worried about the Big D than the little n!

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Originally Posted by Evenge View Post
About week ago I was actually browsing some old project logs and was wondering where did you go.

Nice to have you back! Lumi่re Noire and Building Better Worlds are still great projects to get inspiration!
Thanks, man! It's nice to be back if only at impulse-power at this moment.

I appreciate others still poking around on the old threads. I have plenty of new stuff to bring to the table yet. And apparently Weyland Industries has used my account recently to post teasers or something in one of the forums here. I wouldn't know anything about that.
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Old 27th Apr 2012, 04:09   #14
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Log Update #4

Alright, back to it. I didn't get a lot done this evening, but some. I'm just really beat, to be honest. Work is pretty stressful to be plain and simple about it so it can drain my creativity (as well as my soul).

Continuing with the case stripdown, I needed to remove that little fan controller PCB that's mounted behind the top front of the chassis. It's not needed and will get in the way, so buh-bye!



To remove the plate it was mounted to, I need to remove the front door frame. Man, Lian Li...you really don't want me messing with this case, do you?



Finally, I'm able to get at the screws behind the door frame.



Remove the ole floppy-to-5.25 converter tray...



That's a Lian Li MF-515B. Save that guy for later!



Removing grommets, etc. from the chassis. Reminded me of the ole V-series cases. I loved those. The originals, anyway.



Pried the front lower mesh screen in front of the fan down there. It was held on with double-sided tape. Ironic thing was, it was really difficult to tear it out!



That inner plate there that the fan's frame soft-mounted to (same system as the aforementioned V-series); I'm thinking I'll go ahead and rip that out too. Not sure yet. Probably better safe than sorry and go ahead and remove it.

These annoying little weird plates that Lian Li occasionally uses in their 5.25 bays are....well....annoying. I don't know why they use them, to be honest. I think it's to cut down on vibration or something. Regardless, they're irritating to get them out because you have to drill a hole through the chassis just to get at the forward-facing screws on some cases! The A77F chassis is a perfect example of this annoying feature.

I lucked out on this one because the holes were already there from factory; I just had to squeeze the 5.25 bays closer together a bit to slip the screwdriver into the hole to get at those screws. Heh heh.



These things. I'm also not a fan of this type of mounting hardware.



Give me simple screw holes and some thumbscrews and I'm set. Quick-mounts can kiss my... screwdriver.



Another bit of hardware I was handed over was this bay-res unit.



I've used these before, many times for clients. They're cheap and they work reasonably well. Sometimes, someone will get a "lemon" but for the most part they're ok.

This is an old one I had laying about that happens to be the same unit I'll be installing in this case, so perfect chance to check things. Part of the reason I removed those quick-install brackets from the bays; this res isn't that deep so those plastic ears are pointless.

Slipped into the top two bays...



Oops! How did that get in the pic!



See? Doesn't even come close to those brackets.



Oh yeah, almost forgot! You recall those old Corsair Dominator Airflow units? I used to love modding those things back in the day. Anyways, I had come across a brand-new in package one I had in a box so I decided one day to mod it for this eventual project.



I slapped in some 40mm x 20mm UV Orange fans in there as well as some neon orange fan-hub stickers like I always liked to do back in the day. Should fit in just fine. I just hope it fits his RAM in his new setup that currently has no home; at least not permanent. Yet.

Thanks for tuning in! See ya's next time!

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Old 28th Apr 2012, 01:49   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel OD View Post
E.E.L. is back.. With a vengeance!

I can support your problem with MSI! Long story made very short, a $500 graphics card I bought in the US died on me. They wouldn't help me out since I live in Europe. Never gonna buy a product from them again!

I'm sooooo frikkin happy to see one of the greatest modders of all time being back!

Congrats on your son, I really hope everything will work out for you!
LOL, hey Angel! How's it going, man? Glad to see ya still hanging around these forums. It's wonderful seeing all the old gang still here as well as some new (at least to me) faces.

MSI sucks. CM sucks. I've stated by case on it, and plan to state it again when my step-daughter's build steps up to the plate real soon. I love rubbing it in. ...Twirps.

"One of the greatest modders of all time"?..... You had me up to that sentence! I appreciate the kind words and encouragement; that's coming from a kick-ass machinist that modded his friggin' WII into a killer one-of-a-kind little beast. Awesome job, man. Seriously. Bravo!

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Originally Posted by Combatus View Post
Totally agree there. Their cases have got worse imho - they're about twice as expensive and less modding-friendly in some cases. They're still fun to work with, but they're getting a bit old these days.
You said it, m8. I think it's a...case (lol)...of sitting on their haunches. They need some innovation in their studio. Definitely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel OD View Post
Btw. where are we on hardware? I may have missed it although I think I did a good job reading.
Actually, you didn't miss it. I don't have the rig's system itself. That's set up at my best friend's place in a POS chassis right now but I'm sure we'll get it stripped down and transferred over when this new case has opened up like a beautiful (or ugly) butterfly. The w/c gear is all ready to go; just need to get the log rolling up to full-steam so I can show it all. Nothing fancy, but adequate. Should make him happy! Better than air-cooled with stock HSF, lol.

LOL, sorry for the novella-like bitch-fest at the onset. Couldn't help it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio View Post
New to me but already love the dude awesome log writing & presentation, read every word, awesome cool stuff, will follow keenly.

The logo bit cracked me up.

Stars & rep
Hahaha, thanks man! I greatly appreciate the kind words and the other shtuff!
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Old 29th Apr 2012, 00:42   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankz View Post
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boy and Girls...

This is how you do a project log..
Oh stop it, Mankz!

How's it going, m8? Glad to see all the old gang coming out of the millwork--er, woodwork!

Thanks for the kind words and glad you're watching.
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Old 1st May 2012, 04:15   #17
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Log Update #5

Update time!

You'd think I would've had time to at least get one log update in over the weekend, right? Nope. I was busy building raised gardening beds for the wife outside. We're going to have a good crop this year! Farmer EEL!

Anyways, to the update.

The fan controller that I've always traditionally went to for cheap, reliable, no-nonsense kind of fan control was Sunbeam's Rheobus unit.



I still have a few of these laying around unused in the packaging still that I need to use up so this is what's going to go in this mod too.

I popped the knobs off the rheostats so I can test-fit the unit. Simply pop them off!



It's going behind the new custom plate that I traditionally make in some form or another for pretty much everything I do.



Slide the unit into the 5.25 bays where it will reside permanently, soon.



And slap the new plate onto the chassis...



Perfect! I also decided to slap an old dead test-fit optical drive in the bay below the controller for test-fitment reasons as well.



I needed to yank the airport-level brightness LEDs out of the controller too because they're ridiculous. Won't be needing these things, as I'm sure my best friend would prefer to be able to actually see and not have Cessnas trying to auger in for a final approach!

I also removed the outer nuts off each rheostat to give myself a little more length to work with. ...Man, that just sounded.... wow...



These things are just.... augh...



Alright, I slid the unit back in to see how things looked, and installed the knobs back on.



Looks perfect!

Here's a shot from inside the chassis forward to show where the HDD rack is going to reside being actively-cooled by that 120mm fan spot.



And on to other things...

I decided I am going to remove the lower compartment's front fan plate. It's held in by a series of rivets and two of them require me to remove a good dozen or so rivets from the chassis just to allow me to get at them so I decided cheap, quick n' dirty would work. This is a little trick that when done right works pretty well!

First off, I drilled out the two downward-oriented pop rivets inside the 5.25 bays...



Just a couple of them.



And the other...



Now, the other two are down below. Using your favorite rotary tool and sanding band attachment (Black & Decker for me!), carefully "erode" the rivet's mandrel and casing down, but not pushing down hard enough where you "spread it out" over the material. It works pretty well.



And after a couple minutes, it looks like this!



Grr, I hate security loops on the back of cases. Seriously, if someone really wanted to take your stuff, they'll take the whole damn case, right?



Let's rip that sucka off like a bandage!



There, much better. Thank you.



You know, I've been thinking about what to do about the pass-through holes in the mid-plate inside the chassis and decided I'm going to make a series of little "patch plates" that will be "bolted" down covering those openings up. And if I need to run anything through from one chamber to another (and I do...), I'll do it specifically, right? No more gaping holes unless I make them on purpose!



So , let's consult one of the piles of scrap I have laying about for some piece(s) to use... You see any Antec pieces in there?



Something like this, but cut up into a lot of pieces.



It's what I'm going to do; just the details that need to be worked out. I'll mull it over and decide later, as I'm concentrating on other things.

Case feet.

When you hear that, what comes to mind? Some kinda crappy Mitron case feet? Man, I hope not. I hope the first and ONLY thing that comes to mind are these or their brethren! If not, you have some problems. Seriously. Consult a professional.



I mentioned before how these and the diamond-knurled ones felt like a pair of hefty ones hangin' down below. I still feel that way.

Freakin' awesome case feet!

Having some fertility issues? These are the answer. Perhaps you're having issues with your neighbors. Well, you could literally put these in a sock and end the argument real quick*. *disclaimer: EEL does not condone violence with MNPCTech products, although they have been known to be used in that fashion in regards to case modification. User beware.

I'm totally going to doctor these up to fit the theme, but these are the only answer to EEL's case feet needs. Period.

Get some for yourself, foo'!



Of course the hardware's too large for the stock case feet holes.



Well, quick work with a step-bit takes care of the stock threaded insert.



Inserts. Not to be sprinkled on cereal.



Arighty, I'm going to leave it off there. I'll be back soon. Thank you for tuning in!

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Old 2nd May 2012, 18:14   #18
E.E.L. Ambiense
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foregasm View Post
...I...I...I'm in love...
Stunning work, as always.
Thank you kindly!

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Originally Posted by dbradford32 View Post
I particullarly like the disclaimer. lol
Hahaha, thanks man.

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Originally Posted by stonedsurd View Post
I like the work on the fan controller. Bright lights are the bane of my existence too. I like to go to bed with a little music playing softly on my speakers but the blue LED on my amplifier literally lights up the whole room. I've taken to squishing blu-tac onto it
Thanks. Yeah, I can't stand lights and stuff now either; kind of a turn-off. If utilized in a subtle fashion, it works for me. Just depends on the build!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragequit View Post
Sorry to hear about all your problems, hope things are better now! Congrats on the new addition

Having never read any of your previous logs, i'm not as familiar as everyone else with your work, but i'm sure this thing will be awesome!

Also, love the overall theme of your log, makes reading fun!
Thank you kindly for the nice words and appreciate you poking your head in and checking things out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnpctech View Post
Coming along soo nice and sharing the luv of tried and true Sunbeam rheostat

and great photos too! simply the best.....
Word! Still a nice unit to this day!

Thanks, bro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbradford32 View Post
i assume sunbeam no longer produces their rheostats?
Still making them last I checked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
Your disclaimer is all wrong. It should say: "Always assume your neighbor is as well armed as you are and that the peace you enjoy is based on the threat of mutual annihilation."
(-and spell check wanted me to switch 'annihilation' with 'titillation'.)
Good stuff, and only too true down in the south here...

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Originally Posted by MrWizard View Post
Awesome, entertaining updates as always. I've come to expect nothing less!

Side note: At what point did you did you decide (if you have) that you needed to start keeping an alpha-numeric inventory of all your spare parts & pieces? Seriously Jeremy, you're one of the only guys around I know of who consistently, and without fail uses the phrase "I had a few of these lying around." ...New. In the packaging. Only like fifteen or so collecting dust in a corner.

You crack me up.
LOL, if only I was that organized! It's more like, "oh, another box marked 'w/c gear'....greeeaaat..." and tossing it aside to look at the next. Back when I had a real job and I was building commissioned stuff for people before the total collapse of the economy, I would buy up a few of this or that that I knew I'd use on more than one occasion like pumps, some fans, rads, etc. I have one more Rheobus and that's it on those. Hell, for a while there I was buying up AMS CF-1009 chassis a few at a time to keep for future projects. Still a beaut to this day too. Now, it's just an issue of using this stuff up so I can have some room for new stuff (if that ever happens, that is).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhanlon303 View Post
Probably when he had to box everything up and move to new digs. I did that. "Oh, I remember these" I just found my webcam unpacking a box last month after it went missing for 3 or 4 years.

john
I wish I could do that with my career!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balder View Post
Finding long forgotten things is like xmas, I dont know how many things I'we found in boxes during the years, it's like timecapsules (I found my old dual athlon board with self modded sempron cpu's and had to rebuild it for fun a year ago).

Anyway, awesome looking EEL, keep it up!
Yes it is, unless its a failed project or something that you were too ashamed to O-can it!

Thanks, m8!
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Old 3rd May 2012, 04:47   #19
E.E.L. Ambiense
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Log Update #6

Alright, another lil' update.

My son's been pushing some molars out in the back, so he's being "dynamic" with his sleeping habits as of late, so it's slowing my log-updating down a bit. Only thing short of ruining his liver before he's 2 with pain-relief drugs is waiting it out. And that's what we're doing.

On to the update now!

Alright, I needed to work out what I was going to do with the HDD rack situation. And being the packrat that I am, I consulted the pile o' scrap to see if I have anything that will work. I knew when I went into this that I was going to use a triple 5.25 bay insert of some sort, and having cut on 30+ Lian Li cases in the past I tend to keep certain parts, because, you never know.... you may need it some time, right? Well, now's a time!

Lian Li's design strategy is pretty straight-forward; design something awesome and sit on it and basically condition it a bit for years forward. But that will make it a little easier to work out what I need to do. Some of their older removable HDD bays for certain cases, namely servers, were a nice place to grab such things.

I found one I had that used to have a built-in 120mm bracket installed on it with some pop-rivets but it's long since been removed. And good thing too, as I didn't feel like futzing with that right now.



Holds three 3.5" HDDs so that will work perfect. I believe his system has a spinning data drive or two, plus his 2.5" SSD for his OS, etc. I'll just use an adapter for the SSD.

Dug out a dead test-HDD for fitment and installed it in the rack. Works perfect.



One thing about Lian Li's HDD mounting systems; they're awesome. And simple!



Here's a 3.5 to 2x 2.5 adapter, which will hold his SSD and be allowed to be installed in the HDD rack. ...I hope. Let's find out.



I dug out a test 2.5" HDD as well just for completions' sake.



A couple screws to hold it in place in the tray...



And slip into the main rack. Like a glove!



The best part about this kind of rack is even though I'm bolting a new plate over the front of the case, he can still access the tray from inside the chassis to remove/replace/recycle HDDs easily. Hot-swap? Nope. I'd think it'd be cold-swap, since the drives won't be running when he does it.

Alright, next I need to slip the rack into the chassis where it will reside permanently to check for fitment issues or anything nefarious.



Perfect! I think this is going to work.



I needed to test-fit a cheap Yate onto the new plate to see if the fan is going to clear the rack installed, etc. when bolted on the case.



Yup, this is going to work just fine. It's good to know I can still somewhat measure.



You guys remember Winona? My old hotwired test AT PSU?



Yeah, she's still kickin'. I'm surprised with all the abuse I've put her through, but she keeps coming back. Let's fire her up, shall we?



The fan works and everything's looking just fine.

A shot from the back of the case into the 5.25" bays...



Just a few mm's there. Perfect enough for this. Couldn't make me more happy!



That wraps up this update now. I'll be back soon, though. Thank you kindly for tuning in and keeping watch! See you soon.

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Old 4th May 2012, 03:59   #20
E.E.L. Ambiense
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foregasm View Post
Your work makes me happier than pedobear at a playground. Just letting you know.
LOL, Thanks! ...I think?

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Originally Posted by dbradford32 View Post
It's good to horde things!
Like careers! --Wait-

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhanlon303 View Post
Is not hoarding. Is collecting with enthusiasm.

john
It's hoarding. But I guess that's better than whoring, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
They haven't been cheap since people started tossing the name around. Remember getting them for less than $2? Try that now.

I never thought to name my test psu. My portable drives all bet named, though.
I blame Petra's for that one, lol. They're still pretty cheap, but they have gone up in price. I also blame transport costs too. I guess it's a little more costly than it used to be for the Chinese to put them into a t-shirt cannon and launch them across the pond!
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