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Case Mod - In Progress »»» POLARity «««

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by oliverw92, 8 Mar 2010.

  1. oliverw92

    oliverw92 New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Introduction

    So here we are again, starting another modding project! I built my first computer case in June 2009. At that point my only computer experience was an old Dell 2400 and my trusty aluminium iMac (which is still going strong today!) and I had absolutely no idea about how a computer really worked. This is now my 3rd project. Quite a lot considering I didn't even know what 'motherboard' meant this time last year! The first was The Bloo Box:

    LINK

    The second was (and still is - I havn't finished it yet!) Project MiniMe - The World's Smallest Watercooled PC:

    [​IMG]
    LINK

    Those two projects were both acrylic scratch builds. I made them from the ground up, using a fair amount of CNC work alongside practical techniques.

    The two scratch builds were all fun and games, but I kept on feeling after finishing each one that something wasn't quite right. I have finally that realised that they both lack functionality. This is going to be a key element to this new project. My main issue with Bloo Box is how difficult it is to add a hard drive/5.25" drive. With MiniMe, it is actually getting to any components inside! This is to be expected since it is only 20x20x20cm, but it that doesn't validate the issue.

    My solution (or experimental solution) for this project is to go effectively go backwards and do a case mod, instead of a scratch build. I came to modding in a different direction to most people - I started with a scratch build, most people start by simple case modding. By going back to the beginning, I plan to teach myself the methods and tricks that make consumer computer cases so functional and easy to use, and then apply them to future scratch builds.



    The Plan

    I have chosen the Silverstone TJ07 as the case to be modded. Originally I was going to go for a Corsair Obsidian 800D, but I felt that it was not a blank-enough canvas. The cable management is already done, hard drive issues sorted, radiator mounting accounted for. I need to go further back than that. The TJ07 is perfect in that it can adapt to anything I need. It is also one of the slickest looking cases out there!

    I found with Project MiniMe that modelling the case accurately in Google SketchUp beforehand really works wonders and solves hundreds of issues that I would have come across when making, saving me money in the long run! I have done the same for this project. I owe credit for a few models such as the TJ07 shell, 5870, Enermax Revolution, RAM and hard drives.

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    The renders were done in Kerkythea.

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    Everything is 100% to scale.

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    Here you can see my pump configuration. The system is running on a single loop with dual Laing DDC 10W pumps connected in series by a white acetal EK Dual DDC Top.

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    The loop order is:

    Dual DDC 10W -> Quad Rad -> GPU 1 -> (GPU 2) -> Southbridge/NF200 -> Triple Rad -> CPU -> MOSFETS -> Northbridge -> RAM -> IandH StealthRes 175

    You can also see in this picture the solid floor. This is actually an illuminated floor. I am still deciding on the lighting to be used for this - it is either going to be an EL panel or a CCFL.

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    The case will be powdercoated gloss white. I am not sure what rad grill I will have on top yet. Most likely it will be a nice solid MNPCTech one.

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    I want to keep the front really clean. All the drive bay covers are replaced by a single sheet of aluminium. At the top there is a Lamptron FC-5 fan controller. Below that is a stealthed DVD drive. I have taken inspiration from Murdermod here, in that there is a cut out going up the front that operates the open/close button of the drive.

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    The color scheme for the build is White, Black and Blue. The blue comes from the motherboard and coolant. I'm hoping to use Bitspower Black fittings for the whole build if the budget will allow. It will help emphasise the colour scheme.

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    Here you can see one of the functional modifications. The front panel is easily removable to allow access to the hard drive bay. This takes 3 3.5" hard drives and 1 2.5" drive. I chose this number so i can have a RAID5 storage setup and an SSD for the operating system. The drive bay is made from acrylic. Each drive mounts on an acrylic tray that friction-fits into slots in the side supports. At the inside-end of the bay are two 80mm fans, one blowing in across two of the drives, one pulling out across the other two. There is a gap allowing the air to pass between the two.

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    I am still debating whether to have the two rear intakes. They may interfere with the top rad and they also make the back look more cluttered. The rear panel is being replaced with a clean plate (no annoying ugly squares!)



    Inspirations

    There are loads of things that have inspired be over my short time of modding, too many to mention here. However here are some that have directly influenced this project:

    Project PURE - subset7 - LINK
    Hulk V2 - dingdong555 - LINK
    Dual Loop Phase Cooled Lian Li - RetroGamer1990 - LINK
    Purple Rain - mrdbristol - LINK
    PC Beto - p0pe - LINK
    .:Filtration:. - Skorchio - LINK
    Acronym - Achron - LINK
    refleXion - Xion X2 - LINK
    Silentium - Syrillian - LINK



    Components

    i7 920
    6GB DDR3 Corsair Dominator 1600MHz
    MSI Big Bang XPower
    2x 5850
    4x Samsung F3 1TB RAID10
    1x Corsair Extreme 64GB SSD
    Enermax Revolution 850W



    Watercooling

    HWLabs Black Ice Stealth 360
    EK Coolstream 480 Rad
    2x Laing DDC 10W
    EK Dual DDC Top v2 - White
    EK Supreme HF with white top
    2x EK 5850 Nickel with white top
    MIPS Corsair RAM Block
    MIPS Motherboard Blocks
    IandH StealthRes 175
    White 3/4" OD Tubing
    Matt Black Compressions

    Order will be:

    Pumps -> 480 -> GPU 1 -> GPU2 -> NB/Fets -> CPU -> RAM -> 360 -> Res



    Partners

    [​IMG]

    Updates

    Here are links to all the updates:

    • Update #1 - 07/03/2010 - First Cuts - LINK
    • Update #2 - 08/03/2010 - Motherboard Photos - LINK
    • Update #3 - 11/03/2010 - Hard drive bay manufacturing - LINK
    • Update #4 - 20/03/2010 - Nickel Party! - LINK
    • Update #5 - 27/03/2010 - Bottom Compartment Work - LINK
    • Update #6 - 29/03/2010 - Motherboard Blocks - LINK
    • Update #7 - 02/04/2010 - Illuminated floor creation - LINK
    • Update #8 - 13/04/2010 - Mounted rad stand and new feet - LINK
    • Update #9 - 15/04/2010 - Arrival of some watercooling stuff - LINK
    • Update #10 - 16/04/2010 - Mounted MNPCTech rad grill and top rad - LINK
    • Update #11 - 19/04/2010 - New RAM cooler tops - LINK
    • Update #12 - 21/04/2010 - Flush smoked acrylic window - LINK
    • Update #13 - 06/05/2010 - This project is interrupted by the attack of the BP Dragon! - LINK
    • Update #14 - 24/05/2010 - New hard drive trays, custom faceplate - LINK
    • Update #15 - 06/06/2010 - Motherboard tray finished - LINK
     
    Last edited: 15 Jun 2010
  2. oliverw92

    oliverw92 New Member

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    Update #1 - 07/03/2010

    [​IMG]

    Here is the case! The mighty TJ07! Weighing in at 17KG and packed in a box twice width and 1.5x its height/depth, it is a monster! I had to carry it back about a mile from where it was dropped off on my own!

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    Some of you may be wondering why parts are black already. I got the case second hand from Bisley_Bob (along with an awesome hose cutter :p) and he had painted it black inside already. The paint job is a bit scratched now though.

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    I dislike the front bezels alot.

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    Power button is awesome though!

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    I plan to change the window a bit. I have a few ideas i want to try, these will be shown in due course :)

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    You can't get enough TJ07.

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    After i got it home i stripped it down to what i would be using (removed hard drive bays, fans etc).

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    Bought a new tool for the project - a Dremel 300 with flexible shaft extension. Most people will be surprised to know this is my first rotary tool!

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    Top notch build quality.

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    The first issue I sorted out was cable management. There is a distinct lack of it in the TJ07.

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    This cut allows cables to be taken up behind the motherboard tray from the PSU area.

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    At this point, I plan to only do a few cuts in the actual motherboard tray. I am still working on a few ideas this.

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    To accommodate the illuminated floor, the midplate needs to be opened up completely. Unfortunately i managed to break my favourite cutting disk :(

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    Ended up using the ones that run out really quickly until I could get some new ones.

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    First part cut out.

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    Before finishing the edges.

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    After finishing!

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    I just need to get some emery paper and some wet and dry to make the edges perfect.

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    This is how the case stands at the moment.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2010
  3. sixfootsideburns

    sixfootsideburns modeteer

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    looks awesome so far mate. Renders look fantastic. What did you do your models with and where did you get all the parts to make your assembly? Or did you make them yourself?
     
  4. WolfandAngel

    WolfandAngel Got fins?

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    cant wait to see it finished man .


    wolfie
     
  5. oliverw92

    oliverw92 New Member

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    Modelled in SketchUp, rendered in Kerkythea. I made most of the models, but i used premades for things like the graphics cards, PSU, RAM etc.

    Thanks :)
     
  6. oliverw92

    oliverw92 New Member

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    Update #2 - 08/03/2010

    I already have the motherboard for the project, it is an MSI Eclipse Plus x58 board. It is basically MSI's version of the EVGA Classified (the one with an NF200 chip on), and in my opinion the MSI one looks way better (not a huge fan of the red/black thing).

    Loads of people have heard of the MSI Eclipse, but barely anyone knows about the Eclipse Plus. It is a bit of a strange situation. If you google it, it is on MSI's website, there are loads of reviews of it, but there is NOWHERE to buy one. Not a single etailer has one, none appear on ebay. I managed to get one from a guy on overclock.net who was selling it off (was a bargain - £200!).

    The board will be watercooled, as seen in the renders. The board came from the guy i bought it from with custom made waterblocks by Duniek. At the moment they are acrylic and copper. The copper has dulled and looks a bit horrible now, so it will be nickel plated. I am also working on getting some white acetal replacement tops machined for it to better fit the build. If i can't, it isn't a tragedy, and may add some aesthetic appeal as you will see the blue coolant!

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    The board fits the standard ATX spec.

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    I really like the heatsink design on the board, shame they will be coming off! Under this heatsink lies the NF200 chip and the ICH10R

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    The board sports 4 PCI-E x16 slots, 1x PCI-E x1 and 1x PCI. It can run x16 x16 x16 x4 on the 4 slots (x8 isn't possible on the last unless you don't use a sound card - msi supply an X-Fi soundcard).

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    More of the lovely heatsink design.

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    The onboard controls are a really nice touch. They have gone all out on this - there is a button for everything!

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    Random shot :p

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    A nice addition is the POST code display on the back. Not sure whether it warrants the removal of onboard sound, however.

    [​IMG]

    MSI really have done a great job on the colour scheme!



    My i7 920 also arrived today from the US.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2010
  7. KrunchR

    KrunchR New Member

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    Nice pics. Thats a very nice Mobo.
     
  8. oliverw92

    oliverw92 New Member

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    Thanks :)

    Yeh i agree, i'm in love with it!

    Good news! I just won an IandH StealthRes in a freebie competition over at overclock.net :D

    Also just ordered a tungsten carbine cutting bit, straight line/circle guide and a new mandrel for my dremel.
     
  9. maRiio

    maRiio New Member

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    Can't wait to see how this case will turn out. I'm really impressed by your sketches and renders :thumb:
     
  10. Bullitdodger

    Bullitdodger If it ain't broke....Tweak it.

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    Ooooh...Could we see the custom blocks. Even if they are in a miserable state it would be great. :)
     
  11. oliverw92

    oliverw92 New Member

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    Thanks!

    Tomorrow i will do an update, so i will take a couple of pics for you :)
     
  12. oliverw92

    oliverw92 New Member

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  13. Asulc

    Asulc Member

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    Wow this is truly looking amazing! keep up the good work!
     
  14. aka_gk

    aka_gk New Member

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    look promising! subscribed
     
  15. oliverw92

    oliverw92 New Member

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    Update #3 - 11/03/2010

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    Introducing Mr L. Aser Cutter!

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    Today I started making the HDD bay that goes in the 5.25" bays.

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    I decided to use black 8mm acrylic for the rails.

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    Here are the pieces for one of the sides after laser cutting.

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    And then glued together with dichloromethane. The one pictured above actually went wrong and i glued on the rails the wrong way round, so i remade it. Costly mistake! (8mm acrylic is not cheap!)

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    Here you can see one of the trays. I used a belt sander to take 1mm off the sides to make it slide in to the rails nicely.

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    I then glued the back on.

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    And the other side glued on!

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    The gap at the back is designed for 2 80mm fans. The bottom one blows cold air onto the bottom 3 drives, the air then goes to the front of the case, goes up the gap inbetween the drives and the front bezel (due to convection currents), and is then exhausted into the main case area to be blown out of the case by the top rad. I'm hoping that having the hot air exhausting out of the top of the drive bay will stop air circulating (convection currents should make the hot air rise up out of the case instead of cycling back into the bottom fan).

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    The trays pictured here are meant for 3.5" hard drives.

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    I need to make a couple for 2.5" drives.

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    Two fan grills on the front.

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    I then took it home and put it in the TJ07!

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    The holes lined up perfectly with the 5.25" mounting holes. Was very lucky on that one!

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    I managed to squeeze 5 drive lots into the space, meaning i can have a triple-HDD RAID5 setup, an SSD boot disk and then a spare slot to stick in a hard drive if i need to get data off for someone.

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    The drive bay is pretty much finished now.


    I would also like to announce another partner, EK Waterblocks!

    [​IMG]

    They will be sending me a few of their awesome waterblocks and watercooling accessories! Thanks Eddy!
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2010
  16. Neji

    Neji New Member

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    This already looks beautiful. That motherboard looks fantastic.
     
  17. ednismod

    ednismod Member

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    Damn! That's one of a kind. That laser cutter is sweetness!
     
  18. oliverw92

    oliverw92 New Member

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    Thanks :)

    Yeah I love this board :)

    Thankyou very much! Yeah i don't know what i would do without that laser cutter :p
     
  19. DRC™

    DRC™ New Member

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    Truly amazing, really hope you can pull this off!
     
  20. oliverw92

    oliverw92 New Member

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    Thanks DRC, so do i!
     

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