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Old 13th Jul 2016, 17:36   #1
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My Project - The Rise Of The Triad.

TESTING PHASE IMAGE LINKS..

Hey guys what's up. So I have been quietly working on a case mod for about a year now.

Quick as I can story...

OK so last summer my 11 month old 3500 PC blew a motherboard. Basically I had my 3970x overclocked to 4.9ghz for 11 months and then all of a sudden one day it was throttling the CPU to 1.1ghz whenever I put a load on it. After a shed load of testing I deduced that the board was dead (power phases had died) and so I RMAd it back to MSI. Long story short : MSI don't stock 11 month old boards so they had nothing to replace mine with.

In the end after a lot of stress I broke that PC down and sold it and my wife said she would put 500 toward a new PC. So back last summer I ordered this.



So onto the spec of the machine. This is how it was ordered stock.




And what I have added. First up is this, my beloved Asus RAIDR



Which works in tandem with my game drive, my 600gb Velociraptor.



Here is how the machine arrived, bog standard.



OK so the PSU was whining pretty badly so Tom over at OC3D very kindly donated this



Which will be running all blue Bitfenix Alchemy cables in blue. I must say I have used the crap out of BF Alchemy cables and they are absolutely beautifully made. I'm a big paracord fan and prefer it by miles over plastic sheathing.

I have also upgraded the ram to 16gb and have bought and fitted four of these.



I wanted a largish PCIE SSD but they are expensive. The Intel 750 400gb is around 320 and I didn't really want to be paying that just to store my games on. So it's time to think out of the box a little.

I've ordered this and have it ghetto fitted to the PC ATM.



So that should look rather nice. I am also going to tidy up the PCIE power cables and main 24 pin cable using these that I have ordered.

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Old 13th Jul 2016, 17:43   #2
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Warning : Massive post/s coming up.

Just to catch you all up. I have never ever finished a rig. Not on the modding side. I am aiming to completely finish this rig before moving house soon. So it's all hands on deck, but let me catch you up a bit.

First of all let me say that even dropping to 32" 1440p did not help the Furys much. They were still VRAM limited, even when I dropped back to one card. So I sold one of them, sold my Asus 760 Mars, sold a Titan Black (the last one) and bought the Titan X (480) and a used 980 Hybrid kit (unused shroud) 40 and a back plate 17.

The 1080 was still a month away and I caught some one panic selling. In the end it all turned out good, because she's a demon clocker. Any way, without further ado here is the latest.

After suffering with two Fury X for about a year I decided enough was enough. Crossfire was crap and broken and even on a single card I was running short of VRAM. You don't even want to know what that's like... So I gave one Fury X to my wife and sold the other and ended up buying a Titan X for 480 recently. I also ordered a back plate from EVGA Europe (thanks guys, best packing of ever !) and bought a second hand Hybrid kit. Just one problem, it was the 980 version. So let's see what I did about that shall we?

First of all I ordered some brushed alu in blue (it's vinyl with alu film on). I covered the areas on the card I thought looked best.

Here is a pic of that, though this was taken at night. I also covered part of the shoulder too, as you will see later.



I did not want to use the stock fan as I heard they are very noisy. So I bought a Alphacool Eloop (same as Noiseblocker just come in colours) and a PCI slot fan controller.



The fan.



And the controller. This was after I had taken it apart, desoldered all of the wires, braided them, modded it so the braids fitted it and then put it all back together.



Then it was time to measure the shroud inner part.



Chrome vinyl. This stuff is really slick and my plotter was having issues with it so I glued it down to some paper so the plotter could get a grip.



Load up the plotter...



Then it was time to design what I wanted on there. Design.



Send to plotter..



And then cut



After lots of fiddly picking and swearing we have....



That's better.



One shiny new back plate.



Erm....



Precisely one hour later.



And in.



Back plate.



And some quick and dirty overclocking.

http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/12101880?

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

Hi every one. I figured I would share my latest mods. Maybe to inspire some, maybe just to give you a few ideas I've discovered

First up - hose management. Yeah, I know that no one usually bothers trying to make AIOs look better they just look kinda crappy and that's it. I saw this about a week back now and liked the look.



It's not my rig but it gave me a good idea. If you look closely at this pic -



You can see I have issues. Basically the radiator for the Hybrid on the Titan X needs to be fitted with the hoses at the top. It's so that it doesn't foul any of the wires. The problem is the hoses are very long and want to follow gravity and poke out of the side of the rig by about 5". That means I can't get the side back on unless I tie them to the hoses on the CPU AIO. And I don't like how that looks at all.

So, first thing to do was to find out what they actually are. It turns out they are hose clamps for nitrous systems on cars. Here they are here.



First up I needed to know what sizes I needed. So I ordered a set of vernier calipers.



Both AIOs are around 11mm, so I ordered 11mm clamps.

OK, so what I want to do is basically bolt straight through one into a second creating a + or X shape depending on how you look at it. Basically the hoses on the CPU AIO are around 90' in the opposite direction of the hoses on the Hybrid. So I am going to drill through one clamp so I can bolt all the way through two clamps. To do that I have ordered some specialised bolts.



And a M3 tap. (not an actual M3 tap...)



I also need a spacer, because they do not butt up against one another.



TBH it's kinda hard to explain it (and I'm not so good at that any way) so just keep an eye on the log and it'll all eventually make sense.

Moving onto the second part for today. Basically I want to make my rig look as clean as I possibly can. I mean tiny little details. So I decided that even though they looked far better with the back plates on, both of the sound cards did not look how I wanted them to look.

I am running an onboard Soundblaster Recon3D (going into one headphone amp) an Asus Xonar D2X (going into another headphone amp) a Soundblaster Titanium HD (going into yet another headphone amp) and a Asus Xonar U1 USB sound card that runs into the B&O speakers on my monitor and a Bose Acoustimass sub. Yeah, that's a lot of sound gear but that's what I have been doing lately more than anything else. Just chilling to music

So yeah, there were a few things that irked me about the sound cards. They were, in no particular order.

1. I will start with the D2X. First of all there's an orange disc/light diffuser inside the card. Fitted into it are four yellow LEDs. So there's a ring on the face of the sound card (cut out through the alu shield) that glows orange. Not only that but there's a hole cut out of the shroud along the spine so you can connect AUX devices and it too is ugly.

So let's deal with the Asus first. First mission, remove the back plate and take it all apart.



Then cover any viewable part of the orange with gloss blue. You won't see this when the sound card goes in but I don't care. It will also stop the orange disc glowing orange and lighting up the case in a pee colour.



I decided to use two 5mm blue LEDs, so got to work cutting off the yellow ones and soldering on the blue ones.



I then got out the braid and made my little LED cluster as tidy as I could.



Fit the modded parts.



Measure the disc size.



And then cut a double thick vinyl circle from matt black. This is solely to stop any bleed through the orange.



Then to address the nasty AUX connectors. I took out a sheet of flexible plastic. This is the stuff that goes "wooka wooka" when you flex it lol.



Mark.



Cut it out, cover in matt black vinyl and glue in place.



Noting now that the circular accent is no longer orange but blue.



And the spine looks a whole hell of a lot better than it did before.



OK. Now the Soundblaster XFI Titanium HD also had a huge hole along the spine. The only thing located in there was a front panel connector which would kinda look like poo if I used it and poo if I don't. Now sadly it wasn't recessed like the sockets on the Asus card so I had to get out the snippers and cut the connectors back so that a spine cover could fit in place. Here it is finished, using the same materials and process as the D2X.



And here they both are fitted back in the rig. The only thing bothering me now are the edges of the PCBs as they're clearly not black. I will address this at some point soon with some model paint and some ear buds. Shouldn't take too long. I'm holding back the rig pics because I have a couple of other mods going on that I don't want to show yet



But yup, I modded two sound cards lol. Next up - modding the Asus RAIDR to get rid of that nasty red lettering.

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

Hey guys what's up. I have now completed the hose dressing and I have to say not only does it look super nice but it has also pulled the GPU hoses back into the rig so I can now get the side on. Hurrah !

However, as I pointed out before I am now concentrating my efforts on even the most minute of detail. So of course, after I had tap cut the thread for the blue bolts and it stuck through by about 2mm I was not happy. However, the thread cut kind of loose so for safety (so it doesn't just all fall apart into the GPU) I have ordered one of these in blue.



It's just a simple M3 locking nut. It cost me three quid.. For one nut.... Worth it though

In other news I have realised that due to the channel around the outer edges of the rig blue LED lighting will not be possible so I have ordered two 6" cathodes.



I know, white LEDs for show... I like coloured lighting though I think it looks far better in person than white does.

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

Today I decided to tackle a few jobs. There are certain parts of the PC that I don't like that I can change. Again, all minor details but I want them to be right. There is a side panel connector that fires up the LEDs and the cable looks like ass.



It's been bothering me for an entire year. So I figure what the heck I will just unplug the cable from the connector and braid it. Nice and simple... Wrong ! the cable is fixed to the connector and it's all one part. This meant about an hour of stripping down the case before I could get to this, the whole ruddy thing.



But man, so much better.



And hose clamp win. This has completely sorted out the hoses and they now sit inside the case where they belong without fouling the side panel when I fit it..



I've also decided that come next week I am going to replace all of the fans. The rubber gaskets on these fans are just dust magnets and very hard to clean as all that happens is the dust gets dragged across the rubber making it even worse. I still need the nut to cap off the bolt so it doesn't look nasty like it does now but there seems to be a long waiting time for them.

I am now in the process of beginning to sort out the PSU 'Box in' but I want to approach it differently to how I did it before and it will be in several pieces due to the shape etc.

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

Hey all. I am still working some stuff out in my head. That as well as having a mound of marked out plastic sitting on my desk and tools etc.

Any way, the shroud I am thinking about building is all well and good but I need a way to get the GPU cables out of it. All of the others can stay where they are but the GPU cables are kinda floating in space right now so they would need to be routed. And the problem is they need to come out of the shroud in some shape or form. Right now the cables look pretty tidy but if you look at the rig you can see how the GPU cables are.

So, I decided they will come out of the shroud at a set point and hopefully run in a nice straight line up to the GPU where they can be plugged in. Problem is how to make them look stock. It's about the detail again.....

After lots of searching high and low I finally found out that Corsair sell grommet sets for their cases. At a measly 3.99. Problem is they're out in the EU somewhere so the shipping is 8 :eek:

Ah well. 12 for a stock look is fair enough I guess (cue muted grumbles). It's kinda like when I bought the EVGA back plate for $1 on sale and the shipping was 17



So that's them there. I had a bit of a splurge this month on headphone gear (addict, me) so funds were tight. Then I realised I have an enormous sheet of 5mm acrylic in the boot of the car that I was going to dump (the old windowed panel from the 2009). So yeah, that should provide me with more than enough material to make all of the pieces.

Also, talking of detail again. If you look closely you will see that the fets and VRMs are cooled by a large spiky heatsink with an odd plain alu cover on it. The reason I think it's a cover is because I *think* I can see two screws holding it down. Strange ! any way, if they are indeed screws then I will be taking that off and painting it black. If they are not screws I will fashion my own cover from alu sheet (got) and then paint that black and put it on with some double sided foam.

First job up though will be changing the fans out for these, which I've also ordered



In an effort to reduce the noise of the PC I have ordered three of those. The fourth is on a fan controller (it's 2300 RPM) and the others I ordered are 1200 RPM.

I am removing the push/pull from the CPU rad as I hardly ever overclock the CPU any way.

I now need to do some tests with 5mm acrylic to see if I can tap M3 threads into the edges of it without it splitting. If not I will have to glue it all up but I would rather use nice pretty blue bolts to hold it all together.
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Old 13th Jul 2016, 17:44   #3
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Today was the day I have been dreading since I bought the rig. It's the one thing I have continually put off because I really had no ideas as to how to map out the area I want to cover without expensive tools.

I was going to do the "Edd China" method and use this.



Edd China Method explained. OK, so you basically use masking tape to shape the area and then draw around it with a black pen giving you the shape you require. Sadly that just wasn't working as the surface is 3D and not flat and so the masking tape was just flopping around all over the place. So I had to come up with plan B, and sadly I never took any pics of this being done because it was an idea that I wasn't sure would work.

In the end though it did work, and now I have this*



*note. The cable cut out square is too big and will be changed for the final piece.

It's that "wooka wooka" plastic ! basically I just made a part for each turn and then at the end stapled and glued it all together. I'm super stoked with it because for the best part of a year I have had no ideas as to how I was going to do this so that it fitted really well.

OK so the next idea. This is one I have had going around in my head for a while now and I'm not quite decided on it yet. It will take testing to see in reality what it looks like but around the rig I want to basically label all of the areas using Alienware gyphs. However, I don't want them to be "RAWR IN YOUR FACE" I want it to be subtle enough so that if the light doesn't catch it it will be almost invisible.

Now I had a couple of options open to me here. The box itself will be either painted with matt black or covered in matt black vinyl and then the lettering can either be mirror black.



Or satin black vinyl which will obviously be far less apparent. I have ordered both, so will do some testing and see how it looks.

I've also ordered ten of these to hold the box together.



And for now I am just literally designing and making templates for all of the many cover panels the rig will
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Old 13th Jul 2016, 17:44   #4
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OK so the work continues

Firstly I have fitted the locking nut to the hose clamp assembly. This offers security



The 6" cathodes also arrived. I set to work






A little while later



Took the horrid light blue ballast apart and modded it.



Have to fix the scratch..

Any way, I have ordered two of these from HK. You'll see why later.



Random box of bits that have slowly been arriving



Started fitting the fans.



And making the cover panels. There will be around ten in total, here is the back PSU cover (the white one) and the side of the floor box.



There will also be a top PSU cover, SATA connector cover as well as any others. I believe Aston Martin refer to them as "beautification panels".

They are all being painted, though, so I ordered this as I am using both acrylic and plexi glass.



Ear infection confirmed. And it's bad too. So off I went to the docs yesterday arvo and was given the ear penis that squirts horrid vinegar (at least that's what it smells like) and have been told no work for a week and no headphones for a fortnight. That's like Chinese water torture to an aspie

Any way I have been having "side ideas". They're kinda like side quests in a RPG where you are concentrating on what you are doing but then you have an idea you want to use and so you basically stop what you are doing and spend ridiculous amounts of time on these "side mods".

I won't go into what the side mods are because some will not make it to the end (they're the ones that end up in the bin after about eight hours of cutting sanding and god knows what else) but a couple of them will definitely make it. I'm not going to talk about those either just yet as they may change

So yeah, apologies for boring post but I'm still waiting on deliveries. Side mods also cause you to order things at random times of the day over the course of about three days. The way my brain works is first to have an idea, then to fine tune how that idea will make it to fruition. You know? like the best way to do it, the easiest way to do it, what tools would make it easier and so on

Edit. More items ordered now.

One 8mm slab of acrylic.



Which of course I can't cut with my existing blades as they're not big enough so these.



I've also got one of these now too, not sure how I did without it tbh.



It's like writing with a chisel, then realising you can do it with a pen.

I've been a pretty good boy so far. I've reused all of the off cuts and panels removed from other projects mostly. That's why it looks like ass ATM because I am using clear plexi (not acrylic) yellow 3mm, white and black 5mm and so on, there's even a bit of purple in there. Obviously working with this stuff is easiest when it's transparent so I have ordered an A3 sheet of 5mm smoked.



I also needed a decent sanding block, given these parts all need sanding and so on.



And plenty of wet and dry for prep.



I also had not read this properly.



And it seems it is not exactly primer. I know what it is, it's KO seal. Basically anything nasty that escapes from a surface is sealed down so it does not bleed through. I would say this is pretty important given I've used Frankenstein pieces of acrylic lol. I will need primer though as I mentioned before..

In a little bit I will grab my phone and take a few pics of the parts I've fabricated so far.
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Old 13th Jul 2016, 17:46   #5
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OK so here is where I am at. First of all there is the side of the box. This will hide all of the wires sitting in the bottom of the rig and the top for it will have Corsair grommets fitted (tbc out of that smoked 5mm).



OK things to note. It looks like a dog's dinner atm. It would do. It has tiny little dots silk screened all over it and the plastic weld has melted them a bit. This will need serious sanding and prep, so ignore the fact it looks rough. You'll notice I have glued on three tabs. Well, not glued, welded. These will get 8mm block supports welded under them when I can cut the 8mm.



OK, so as you would have noted from an earlier post I have ordered two blue LED buttons. These are not momentary they are latched, which will allow me to control the internal lighting. However, the side piece where I want to mount them is 3mm plexi glass and this stuff is super brittle and usually cracks when you drill it. So, to counter that from happening I have marked out a 3mm acrylic support panel which will double the thickness.



As I say, it's going to look a lot worse before it looks better

Also cut now is the PSU top cover panel.



And parts have been welded on to make sure it stays where it should.



Again I have not even taken a piece of sandpaper to it yet because I do not have any. I would say there will be at least a whole day of prep once I am done making panels.

Two secret panels. One 5mm one 8mm. Just think UFO.



I have 50 3mm LEDs at my disposal for that

The last time I did a mod of this magnitude I used this stuff, which I will be using again.



And a sample of the finish.



I still have four or five cover panels to cut. Shame about this ear infection I was really enjoying myself
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Old 13th Jul 2016, 17:47   #6
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More work on the SSD-UFO.



Yesterday I welded two pieces of acrylic together (8mm clear and 5mm black). I then sanded the edges flush which took about an hour. Then today I marked it up and drilled 28 3mm holes into it (5 on each small edge and 9 on each large edge, 8mm apart).

Then I've just spent the last hour going from 400-600-800-1000=1200-1500-2000-2500-3000 grit to get it almost transparent. I don't want it glass clear because it will show too much of the inner workings (28 3mm LEDs for a start).

The piece of thin material you see it resting on will be cut to size and will cover up the internals when it is all built and finished. Annoyingly I only added 25 LEDs to my original order so I have just ordered 25 more.

Once they arrive I can start fitting them and soldering

In the meantime later today I will start sanding the pieces ready for priming and so on.

Quick update. Not much been happening because I found out I had ordered 3v LEDs that pop if you give them 5v. I'd also ordered 25 more too. Turns out this was cheaper than replacing all of the LEDs.



Basically you feed it with 5v then adjust it to give you the desired voltage.

So I'm kinda stuck atm waiting on parts. I can't finish the panels because I need those two buttons and everything else is just sitting waiting to be worked on.

OK so pretty much everything is here now. I am still waiting on some blue tint but that may not even end up getting used.

Today the vandal switches arrived from HK (3.80 the pair, they're four times that EACH from UK vendors) and they're pretty snazzy. So I could finally cut the holes into the side panel to hold the switches. However, I had been very nervous about this because the outer skin is made from plexi glass and not acrylic. It tends to crack and split extremely easily. Thankfully though it was one of those jobs that just worked first time - phew, I'd put hours into that panel !



As you can see the final struts have also been cut and welded on. It should now be able to carry the quite heavy top panel without anything breaking off.

Here are the switches in situ.



They light up too, very happy with those ! and of course the finished SSD-UFO.



Today I finally did some rewiring inside the PC and straightened up the cables. They're all on cable ties ATM until they stop fighting or, end up being shoved into a channel that will hold them straight regardless.. Here is the top panel WIP so far, I've mapped out the areas that need to come out and drawn the cut hole for one of the cable management thingers.



And here you can see what I have done. Trim off one side by around 4mm then I will trim it to fit and glue it in once it's all painted.



Still lots to do because I had an idea that I want to basically sink the cathodes into the lid so they are flush and don't stick out. Shouldn't be too hard, just cut holes big enough for them to fall into then weld in some supports.

Last update of the day ! So I have now finished marking up the top panel. I made a couple of mistakes so I waited until everything was final then coloured in the areas to be cut with a sharpie (hence why I have stuck labels on it's easier to mark).



(complicated part).

OK, so as you can see I am going to cut rectangular holes in which the cathodes will be sunk so that they are flush. Problem is the blade I use to cut acrylic (diamond coated) is wider than the 13mm hole. So I am going to have to over cut the ends meaning I will need this.



And some spreaders.



And finally some double sided tape. I decided I am going to take the SSD UFO apart and make some changes to it.



I will probably start cutting tomorrow.
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Old 13th Jul 2016, 22:07   #7
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Got the bug

Earlier I cut out the floor pan.



Now you can see where the grommet for the GPU cables goes. OK, so there are about 12 parts to this floor pan and I've progressed on from the pic above but sadly it's too dark to get any pics now.

I had a really cool idea though, it should look super awesome

Mod on !
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Old 14th Jul 2016, 12:06   #8
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OK so here is where I am now after going to bed at 1am and then getting back out of bed at 2:30 to complete the structural work on the box.



Now you can see why the rectangular holes do not matter. They are only there to allow the 6" cathode lights to sink through completely. You will also notice there are two pieces welded to the top. That now looks like this.



I originally planned to do this in one piece and to wrap around the cable grommet hole too but after spending a couple of hours designing things in Photoshop I decided on separate parts. Now you will note that the two strips are masked? that's because everything else you see will be painted apart from the very tops leaving those clear. I wanted it to be very *very* subtle as cathodes are like RAWR IN YOUR FACE so this was how I designed it.



There will only be a 3mm strip letting the light through. And going on top of them when it's painted will be these.



Basically I printed 2 off. One in black (to use as a cutting stencil) and one in the black chrome I mentioned earlier in the thread.

Later today I will be starting the 2-3 days of prep. Then I will fill, prep some more and keep working on cranking out these cover panels (two more to go at last count).

One I start getting paint on it will actually start to look like something

Oh yeah, and I buzzed the vandal switches last night and mapped all of the pins. No documentation pfft.

Oh yeah forgot to explain how the lights fit. At each end of the rectangle underneath I have welded on a post. This sinks them down flush so later today I will be doing all of the drilling/tapping (that's why it's taped together like that).
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Old 14th Jul 2016, 14:03   #9
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More work done. I was kinda hoping that the M3 tap I bought would be good enough to tap the holes for the bolts but sadly it didn't want to play ball. The hole ended up so large the bolts just fell through. After a lot of thinking I decided to use a trick that Dan posted about a while back where he was using heat to force in motherboard mounts. You drill a small hole, then heat a bolt up and basically push it in. Then you leave it to set. The only method I had of doing this was a soldering iron and a small bolt but it worked a treat ! first up those lovely bolts I bought.



And with them fitted.



Sadly I forgot that I had to do four more holes underneath to hold in the cathodes. Talking of which here is how that works. You can see there are four standoffs that lower them down inside.



There's also a strip in there to reinforce the weak parts
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Old 15th Jul 2016, 15:15   #10
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OK so today I have been making support brackets and melting screws into holes. Doesn't look like much but took a couple of hours.



And then "tap" the bolts in.



And a quick test to make sure everything lines up and everything bolts in as it should.



All fits as it should, sweet ! so I've broken it down ready for prep
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Old 15th Jul 2016, 20:12   #11
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Finishing the LED-UFO. It took a while.. First I had to solder resistors to each LED then fit the little voltage controller.



It was a little complicated but I got there in the end



Quick test.



And then I left it running for a couple of hours to make sure it was safe. I was worried it might get hot as the voltage reducer is resisting but it seems fine. I mean a little warm but thankfully there are lots of ventilation holes in it any way.



And I'm very happy with it
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Old 15th Jul 2016, 23:36   #12
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Haha another 13 hour day :S I just have so many things to do. Nuts !

Any way I decided to partake in some graphics this evening. Firstly cut a cover for the freshly peeled SSD (note, photos are manky 'cause the light is gone)



Nice and simple. This is the first test of the black chrome and I gotta say, I love it ! it's virtually invisible without light. Like a really dark gray. As soon as the light hits it though it comes alive. Couple of pics, but as I said they're not all that clever due to the light.



And with some light and reflection.



Very happy with that
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Old 16th Jul 2016, 13:29   #13
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BTW just a quick note. You will notice that I am using what Alienware call "Alien Caret". It's hieroglyphics but does have a symbol per letter of the alphabet.



It will help to translate the messages and labels. First one is easy, the SSD. Yes, I do have a sense of humour
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Old 16th Jul 2016, 15:55   #14
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I love it, but I seriously cannot unsee the fact that one AIO has sleeved cables and one AIO does not. Corsair does one that would match and the block looks far better than that stock round thing.

I want one of those so badly. That thing is just beast.
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Old 16th Jul 2016, 16:29   #15
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The problem is the CPU AIO is custom designed to fit the case. I could probably replace it with something else (a Corsair like you mention) but the hoses as it sits are pretty short. If I replaced it with something designed to fit on any CPU in any case the hoses would no doubt be about twice as long. They really are super short :S

Well spotted though. I hadn't even thought of that haha. I will start thinking about what I can do about it
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Old 16th Jul 2016, 17:22   #16
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More cable clamps.

Is that board ATX compatible? One would think that you could do some wicked mods if you wanted to drop some serious coin there... A bare case and some modern modding lovin' like your excellent example... So far yours is one of my favorite mods ever just because I love Alienware cases, just not their Dell innards, save for those beautiful Delta PSUs.

Mod on, I want to see this one finished!
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Old 16th Jul 2016, 18:13   #17
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Yeah the board is a stock Alienware affair made by MSI. It's basically the X99 plus or whatever they call it, but it's blue. When Tom at OC3D gave me the PSU he offered me white or blue cable sets for it. I chose blue and that's where the colour scheme began, by chance white would have looked weird really.

Sadly the PSU wasn't Delta it was a poxy silver thing that whined really badly..

OK so today's main log. I was quite fortuitous to discover that anything you design in millimeters in Photoshop are spat out at the exact size of design when taken into the plotter software. This was a huge discovery, because it meant I could have things on the PC in realtime knowing exactly what they would look like and best of all, I would be able to design whole pieces and then cut the graphics separately.

So here was the procedure I followed today. First of all I scanned in the panel I wanted to do some design on.



And lifted it as a layer making a new background in green. You'll find green is the best colour to use for this (they use it making movies and games also).



I then cut away everything leaving the shape in place.



So now I had my shape. I then added a colour overlay.



OK so now it's black.



Only problem is because it's a scan it's been flipped. So I flipped it both horizontally and vertically.






I then needed the exact dimensions. To get the width I did this.



For the height I simply measured from the bottom to the highest part. Now to turn it around.



And it looks as it should. I then began the design process.



And where I am up to.



And because it's in scale I can design it nice and big (to get the small details in nice and sharp) then at the end resize every layer and throw them at the plotter.
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Old 18th Jul 2016, 13:36   #18
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OK so prep has begun. I spent a couple of hours last night sanding. Still got another couple of hours to do but I am getting there slowly.



Nothing terribly exciting really. Just lots of work. Any way, I placed a ton of orders recently for modding parts I needed for the project. This was one of them.



It arrived this morning. Then I dug into my wire bin (yes I actually have a huge plastic container filled with wires lol) and found these.. The Area 51 needs a single Molex to power up the internal light controller and so on and I chopped it off so it was nice and tidy



Which among the pile was these.



So I had the parts I needed all along and could have done this days ago /facepalm. Any way I did need to harvest some male pins.



I then set about making some wire lengths.



And set about soldering the loom.



It's nothing terribly exciting. Just two 5v + lines and two 5v - lines for the switch LEDs (they light up) and then a switched 5v line for the SSD UFO and a switched 12v line for the floor pan cathodes. I want to be able to switch off all of the internal LEDs and lights as there's no point in running them with the case closed.
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Old 19th Jul 2016, 12:14   #19
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Ugh. Very.Warm.

I did manage to finish the prep on the top panel though. It's all sanded, filled, sanded again and then smoothed down for pre primer.



Unfortunately this is where it ended. I was simply too sweaty to continue. I think I've done all of the jobs that don't require anything physical too. Maybe I will just continue on with the decal work and then eventually get fed up and just get up and walk to the sea and go in for a bit.
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Old 22nd Jul 2016, 12:21   #20
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Not much to update on ATM. I ordered a boat load of modding supplies today, enough to get the project finished. My soldering iron also decided to fall apart so I had to buy a new one of those too. Here is what I ordered.

Plotter blades.



I'd already bought the custom holder set up last year as the blades from Silhouette were a joke in price. I got some primer.



Top coat.



Wipe down alcohol.



Lint free cloths.



Tack cloths.



Heat shrink



And a new iron.



And sponges.



So I should have everything I need now

Sadly since starting the project my hands have flared up in eczema and have gotten so bad that all I can do is smother them in cream that means I shouldn't be prepping as I would leave oils all over the place

However I can do other things for now. I needed a couple of SATA cables but really wanted these.



They're Bitfenix Alchemy blue SATA cables. Sadly they seem to be out of stock everywhere in the UK and Cable Mod do not make them in blue (yet?). So I was looking at 20 each and I need two for the project Whilst I was humming and harring about whether I should really spend 40 on two SATA cables Tom at OC3D said he would check his garage and see what he had lying about. A week later and -



I am super super happy, Tom, you're a leg'
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