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Old 13th Sep 2012, 20:52   #21
Mr_Armageddon
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I have recived a few PMs for more clarification on how I built the illuminated mid panel. So here is a "cut-away" view of the light box I constructed that sits atop the mid panel.


There are many other ways to go about doing this, but after some experimenting with different materials, and thickness, this is what turned out the best for my needs. Hopefully this along with the close up pictures I have posted, will clear up any other questions that still may be floating about.
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Old 13th Sep 2012, 20:57   #22
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Because others have been asking for measurements, in addition to the cut away view of the illuminated mid panel above, I have uploaded my SketchUp modle to the 3D Warehouse. It shows an assembled view, along with an exploded view of the panel. Dimensions are inches because that is what my local plastics shop required to make the cuts. It can be downloaded here.



I have also made available my 3D Modle for the Swiftech Apogee HD CPU block. Get it here. There are other waterblocks on the 3D Warehouse, but I couldn't find any for the newer Apogee HD, so I made it.

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Old 13th Sep 2012, 21:01   #23
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Sleeving

Sleeving

I knew it would take a while to make my own custom length cables (for better cable management), and then sleeve them... but I had no idea my fingers would get so abused in the process. Stretching out the sleeving material over and over again to get it nice and tight over the wires has taken its toll, especially on the ends of my thumbs. Too bad the large calluses on my hands from weight lifting don't extent to the tips of my fingers and thumb. Going to take a break for a day or two and finish my tubing runs.

But a little discomfort is well worth it to get good looking sleeved cables. Not too shabby for my first attempt using MDPC materials. I also want to say that the MDPC Crimping tool is worth its weight in gold! Such a great crimping tool compared to others I have used. Perfect crimps every time!

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Old 13th Sep 2012, 21:06   #24
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Here is a small update on the case. I spent a bit of time working on my tubing runs to give my fingers a break from sleeving. Not complete yet, but this will give somewhat of a preview of the look I am going for.
***I no longer plan on using the blue tubing. I will be using clear, but until it arrives, I am checking lengths with what I already have on hand.

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Old 14th Sep 2012, 06:00   #25
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Nice work again, ive worked with acrylic and led strips for 3˝ years - never tried to make illuminated panels like you do.

Had a discussion with my old boss about trying to use mirrored acrylic, but he didnt want to do it because it would be to expensive.

Think i need to show him this

Only one thing, can you post bigger pictures - it's hard to get all the detail from the small scale photos! Cheers, have a nice weekend & recovery of your thumbs
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Old 14th Sep 2012, 19:47   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrizzle View Post
Nice work again, ive worked with acrylic and led strips for 3˝ years - never tried to make illuminated panels like you do.

Had a discussion with my old boss about trying to use mirrored acrylic, but he didnt want to do it because it would be to expensive.

Think i need to show him this

Only one thing, can you post bigger pictures - it's hard to get all the detail from the small scale photos! Cheers, have a nice weekend & recovery of your thumbs
If you look below most of my images, there is some text that says "Larger Image" which is a hyperlink to a higher res version of the pics I posted here.

I was trying to stay within the forum rules for not posting images larger than 640 wide. In addition the the links I have added, I will post a link to the full album once the build is completed.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 15:37   #27
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SATA Cable Sleeving

SATA Cable Sleeving

I worked on sleeving my SATA Data cables last week, but ran into a bit of a hiccup. Two of my 5 cables have both right angle ends. It is near impossible to get the shrink tube over those ends, so I was only able to sleeve the SATA cablest that had a least one straight connection.


I ordered some new cables from Newegg that can be sleeved property. Ended up getting some round SATA cables for easier cable management. They arrived Friday along with some other components.

And just a word of advise to anyone that wanting to sleeve their SATA cables... I had to stretch out my shrink tubing (a lot) for it to go over the connection heads. Otherwise it is VERY difficult to get them over. Maybe it is just the brand of cables I am using, but it seemed much more difficult than it should have been.


SATA Cable Sleeving Continued...

Finally got around to sleeving my new Round SATA Cables. The look great and are a bit easier to bend. Also went ahead and sleeved the motherboard header pins along with the USB header from the front panel.


I ran into a bit of a problem when trying to plug the cables into the mobo with the heat-shrink tubing installed. They were a bit more stiff than normal, making them difficult to bend, and adding a bit too much stress for my liking in the SATA port. So I ended up using my heat gun again on the areas that had the shrink tube making it nice and hot. While still pliable, I inserted the SATA Cables into the Motherboard, and allowed them to cool with the exact bend angles that I wanted. Now they fit perfectly without any undue stress on the ports.


I now have everything I need to finish sleeving the rig. Will update with more pics soon.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 17:12   #28
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Very nice project so far. I like the way you are doing you build log, it's very easy to read.

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Old 17th Sep 2012, 17:26   #29
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New Sponsor & Components

New Hardware Sponsor – Corsair

I am very pleased (and grateful) to announce that Corsair has decided to help me out this with build by supplying me with an AX1200 PSU, Sleeved Black Cables, and a Corsair Link Temp Control & Lighting Kit. I was surprised when I got the news of a sponsorship from Corsair, but will gladly use their great products in this build. Thanks Corsair!



New Components

Here are some beauty shots of the AX1200 that just arrived. I was previously rocking a 1000w Silverstone PSU, but was getting close to the top end of its range (hitting 970-980w) when benchmarking with everything OC’d. The extra 200w will come in very handy, especially if I ever go Tri-SLI. The pouch the PSU came in was a soft suede material. The overall packaging was of high quality, and of course the PSU itself looks great in the 800D.


Here is the full Corsair Link Kit that includes the Temp Monitor / Fan Control, and the LED lighting component. I’m not sure if I will be able to use the LED strip this go around, as I have already installed one in this build. But I like the fact that is so customizable using the Corsair Software, and since its an RGB LED strip, the colors can change based on usage (gaming mode), or vary based on system temps. I am going to run the Link and the Aquero 5 to see which one better suites my needs with this specific build.


On the right is a Set of Black Sleeved cables for the AX1200 from Corsair. I had already decided to sleeve my own cables this go around, but will be using the “guts” from these for my custom cut lengths.


Corsair Sleeved Cables Mini-Review, and More Sleeving…

I have to admit, these sleeved cable packages made by Corsair for their PSUs are a great value proposition. If someone just wants one specific color of sleeved cables, these are a great deal, especially when you factor in the cost of sleeving materials, and the time involved to sleeve and entire set of cables yourself. The connectors are also of high quality (although different layout than standard PSU connectors, more on that later), and the sleeving material is a tad thinner than the MDPC variants, possibly making things a bit easier when trying to manage your cable clutter. Overall for may individuals, these cable kits are a great buy.

But… not everyone will want these types of kits. I can see three main reasons why these would not be for everyone.
  1. Perfectionists will notice that the heat shrink tubing is not even lengths across the connectors. For those going for looks / beauty, that could be a turn off.
  2. Custom Cable Lengths can make cable management a lot easier. I for one have decided to go that route for this build, but in all fairness I did still use these cables, simply cutting them to my preferred length, re-crimping one side of the cables, and resleeving with MDPC sleeve.
  3. Custom Color selections. Right now these kits seem only to be available in solid colors. Many sleevers like to use multiple colors in their strands. I am using 2 colors in this build (black & blue), hence the need for me to resleeve these cables once I had cut them down as stated above.

So for some, these sleeved kits by Corsair are great time savers and can fit a specific need (single color) very well. For others of a more DYI nature (or OCD / Perfectionists), they will be better off making their own sleeved cables. To the left below is a close-up of a few of the connections from the kit.


Above right is a picture comparing the connector for an 8-pin CPU Power connection. This is the side that plugs directly into the PSU. This was not a problem, but something I just found to be interesting. The AX1200 has a different connector layout compared to a standard 8-pin CPU connection, as can be seen in the above diagram comparing the two. I had already completed an 8-pin sleeved set before the PSU arrived, only to find out it wouldn’t plug in. Luckily with the MDPC Pin remover, I was able to switch out to the one that comes with the AX1200 in just a few minutes. All is well.


And here is my completed 24pin Cable/Connector. The AX1200 has the 24pin cable split into two connectors where it plugs into the PSU. The pic on the left is one of those two connectors. Not perfect compared to sets from the “Pros” that I have seen, but it is getting easier each time, and my results are improving bit by bit. Even with it getting easier (and faster)… I have found that sleeving still takes a LONG time if done correctly.
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Old 17th Sep 2012, 17:29   #30
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Originally Posted by Mechh69 View Post
Very nice project so far. I like the way you are doing you build log, it's very easy to read.

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Thank you Sir!
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 17:07   #31
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Sleeving... COMPLETED!

MNPCTECH finally has their MOD Ruler / Gauge back in stock, and mine came in this week. Pretty sweet little modding tool, but I won't have a chance to use it this time around since I am wrapping up the build. But since I can't seem to go more than 6 months without modding / upgrading something, it will get plenty of future use.


All major sleeving is now complete. All I have left on the build is to connect all my fans an pumps to the AquaComputer / Corsair Link, and finish my tubing runs.

I know for sure that I will be using a two (2) AquaComputer USB PowerAdjusts to control my pumps, since they operate independently from other monitoring component. I will be testing the Aquero 5 and Corsair Link separately to see which will end up in my system long term to control my fans.

I still have to secure some of the cable runs to the back of the case with my cable clamps from MDPC, but here is a basic shot of all the major cables connected. Also in the pic is the SATA Power cable that I connected to the Hot Swap plate. It was very easy to sleeve, but a pain to get the actual wire to go in the connector. Ended up using a hammer to "tap" the two parts of the connector together.


Things are progressing nicely... :
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 17:10   #32
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PowerAdjust 2 & Reservoir / Pump Combo Wiring

I pretty much have everything set up now to start playing with both the AquaComputer Aquero5 and the Corsair Link. Just finished making my cables for, and sleeving the Poweradjust USB 2 pump controllers. I will be using them independently from the other control/monitoring units. From what I have seen from other users online, both the Aquaero5 and Link have a lot of capabilities. It just going to come down to which fits my needs the best.

Along with the Poweradjust USB 2, here is a shot of the 5mm Blue LEDs I just wired and sleeved, and a preview of how they will look inside the res. No liquid yet.


Once I decide on which control unit to stick with, I can finish the cable management up no the back of the case. Even with using MDPC sleeving on all of my cables, there are still A LOT of cables to deal with. I don't know if it will look as clean & tidy as I originally envisioned it, but already it is a huge improvement over the spaghetti wire mess that used to abide back there.
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Old 18th Sep 2012, 17:22   #33
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Congratulations on the sponsor! I sooo want one of those Corsair Link modules, but they're not available in the UK yet
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Old 20th Sep 2012, 23:03   #34
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Congratulations on the sponsor! I sooo want one of those Corsair Link modules, but they're not available in the UK yet
Thanks. The Corsiar Link is pretty neat, but I will elaborate more once I post my review comparing it against the Aquaero 5 LT from AquaComputer.
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Old 20th Sep 2012, 23:20   #35
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I haven't made as much progress as I would have liked because I got involved in a side project that took me away from my build for a few days.

I took a Venturing Crew (17-18yr old Boy Scouts) into the Pike National Forest in Colorado for 4 days, where we taught them wilderness survival. Part of the outing will be devoted to primitive weapon construction, and I promised to have my homemade Longbow completed before we left. Happy to say it is complete, and shoots very well.


I made it from scratch using Red Oak for the belly and Hickory for the backing. Started with about 7cm of wood and cut, tilled, and sanded it down to around 1cm along most of the bow's belly.


Maple Red stain for the belly and Ebony for the backing, followed up with two coats of polyurethane to seal and protect the bow.


If anyone wants to see a detailed construction log, head over to my blog for more details and close up pictures.

Mr. Armageddon's Project Logs

Now back to posting updates on my rig
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Old 21st Sep 2012, 15:51   #36
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Checked out your blog other day, very nice. highly recommended
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Old 21st Sep 2012, 23:12   #37
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Checked out your blog other day, very nice. highly recommended

Thanks!


New Corsair "Air Series" Fans

My most gracious hardware sponsor Corsair, sent me the final components to finish up my build. This week I received a bundle-o-fans. These are their new line of "Air Series" fans, and they look great. There area verity of types, but they gave me the AF Quite Editions for case fans, and the SP series for my radiators. Here is the list of what came in:

Radiator Fans (120mm) - SP120s (High Performance Edition) x7
Rear Exhaust (120mm) - AF120 (Quiet Edition) x1
HDD Bay (140mm) - AF140 (Quiet Edition) x1


I really dig the changeable color rings on the fans. It should look good with my black/blue theme. Each fan also comes with an adapter that will step down the voltage and manually slow down the RPMs. Nice that its included, but I will be counting on the Link or AquaComputer for that duty. The blades on the two types of fans are also different. The high pressure fans "SP Series" have blades specifically made to push more air through a radiator. The few reviews I have seen speak highly of them, so I am excited to get them installed.


Last edited by Mr_Armageddon; 9th Oct 2012 at 16:07.
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Old 21st Sep 2012, 23:22   #38
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New Fans are INSTALLED!

I have to admit, the extra color highlights they bring the the build are right up my alley


I did a bit of testing with the new Corsair SP120s against my previous fans, the CoolerMaster Blue LED Silent Fan 120mm (R4-L2R-20CK-GP). Specs on both are as follows.

Corsair SP120:
RPM 2,350
CFM 62
Noise 35dBA

CoolerMaster R4:
RPM 2,000
CFM 90
Noise 19dBA

I actually shot a video of the test, but apparenlty I was an idiot and shot it upside down with my phone So here is a screen cap of the test. Used a basic fan controller, a Decibel Meter on my phone (not super accurate), and a simple "blow test" with a piece of paper about 6in in front of the fan. Keep in mind, this is a very un-scientific method of testing these fans, and the Corsair SP fans are made to work better with static pressure that comes with being attached to radiators than just blowing power, but since I have no way to measure that, I did what I could.


At 2,000 RPM, the Corsair SP120 had noticeably more "blowing" power than the CM fan, and was measured at around 43dBA. Again, this could be way off, but its what the meter said. The CM fan at this same speed had less power, and was louder at 48dBA... much higher than its specification of 19dBA.

Two other observations.
1) With the SP120 cranked all the way up to 2,350RPM, it was at the same noise level of the CM fan (when at 2,000RPM), but much more powerful.
2) When I brought the SP120 down to around 1,500RPM, it was barley audible. This was reassuring being that with a good fan controller, for basic computing (web browsing, movies, etc) the majority of the time the fans will be at a noise threshold that wouldn't bother the average individual.

So all I can really say about these Corsair fans at this point is that they are more powerful, and more quiet than my previous fans, and better looking. So I keep them!

After my very rudimentary testing of the fans I own, I came across a much better review that used big expensive equipment, and has Charts / Graphs! I am an Excel monkey being in the Finance field, so I sometimes get overexcited about that kind of stuff

The video review can be found here:
Corsair AF & SP Series Computer Case Cooling Fans Review

And here are the juicy details. So it look like when comparing static pressure, which is what the SP120s are supposed to be made for, they in fact perform VERY well. The only thing the chart does not show is what RPM these fans are running at, but it still paints a pretty positive picture for using the SP series fans with radiators.


Turns out the Decibel Meter on my phone may not be that far off. At full RPM, I was reading around 48dBA, which is what their results were as well.

Next step is for me to hook up my various "Smart" fan/system controllers to see which will work better with all the different fans and pumps in my build. Stay tuned.
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Old 23rd Sep 2012, 19:22   #39
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I also found a great review on multiple 120mm Radiator Fans. The Corsair SP120s that I am using got top marks. Looks like they were a good choice for this build for both looks and performance.

AnandTech - Choosing the Best 120mm Radiator Fan: Testing Eight Fans with Corsair's H80

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Old 24th Sep 2012, 15:52   #40
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A few changes...

I am really pleased on how everything is turning out so far. But after installing those new Corsair fans, I realized that the fans, and my blue color highlights in my sleeving are a lighter shade of blue than my tubing. The existing tubing looks almost purple next to my sleeving and fans instead of the Royal blue I was expecting.

It was pointed out to me that clear tubing with Mayhem Pastel liquid and Blue Berry dye would match the colors of the sleeving and fans perfectly. As you can see in the picture below, it looks like a dead on match.


I haven't had any experience with Mayhem liquids, but the last time I used a liquid with dye (Fesser One), it left nasty gunk inside of the waterblocks. That is why I decided to go with color tubing, and just use distilled water + PT Nuke / Kill Coil this go around. But the milky blue color looks really good.

From what I have found online, Mayhem liquids are pretty good now, so I went head and got some Durelene tubing and 1L of Mayhem Pastel Blue Berry Liquid.
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