Case Mod - In Progress ⭐ ALUMIA by JR23

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by JR23, 18 Jul 2017.

  1. JR23

    JR23 Member

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    The good news since the last update is that I made it to LAN with ALUMIA, the bad news is I had to take my studio area apart to build PC's for a few weeks. Builds which I can't take photographs of, not only because I have no backdrop and lighting but also as I have no time whatsoever, because i'm building them.

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    Slight catch 22 but hopefully at the end of it all I can improve my photography setup and have some extra funds to frivolously squander on the outstanding parts for this project. So far i've completed 8 of the builds and there are 10 more to go, so probably another 3-4 weeks before my space can return to relative normality.

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    Oh and PARVUM APIS dropped by again, sadly in need of a new PSU as the original 1200P2 wouldn't turn on, so I let TJ borrow ALUMIA. I think it must've been pretty good as he ordered a replacement PSU on the slowest possible delivery service, still APIS is back running with no dramatic failures.

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    LAN (insomnia61) already seems like a distant memory although it was an awesome weekend filled with almost no game time at all, lots of chicken was eaten, films watched and probably more time was spent battling in 3dmark than any other virtual universe.

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    www.3dmark.com/fs/13478193

    Even in air cooled spec ALUMIA decimated, hitting 5.0ghz on a retail 7700k without delid under a Noctua NH-L12. Cards peaked at 2063/3002mhz with the FE blowers. Still a couple thousand points to get with the right CPU and water but sufficient for a weekends 'gaming' nevertheless.

    So I really can't say when the next update will be, some more Fluid Gaming parts are landing from EK any day now. When they do i'll start to draft case changes but it will probably be a little while before serious photos resume.

    JR​
     
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  2. JR23

    JR23 Member

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    IX - NF-F12 iPPC

    Well the build is still together on air going out to LAN's and ripping some serious frames, it will stay like that until i've finished R1.0 INDUSTRIAL, a couple weeks hopefully. But I do have a little cache of parts that i've yet to post in the thread, namely these Noctua NF-F12 industrialPPC-24V-3000 Q100 IP67 PWM. Catchy name, take note it's all important!

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    Now if you've scrolled through 3 fan pics and are starting to get a little bored, itching to find another thread or open facebook again in your 27th chrome tab. Please do, because you don't deserve the next part...

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    ...what's dis...

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    ...ahhh yee!

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    See I wasn't just ignoring ALUMIA! I'd been busy creating the artwork for these acid etched aluminum plates, not stickers, nor are the original Noctua plates incidentally.

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    Google translate as well as my German and Dutch friend tell me they make some grammatical sense, but most importantly to me they are visually just right! I went with Rascom (Noctua's parent company) because Rascom Computerdistribution was much longer!

    Anyway, mounted in their Doppel configuration to the EK-AluStream 240.

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    I'm loving ALUMIA, can't wait to tear down the air config and play with all the Fluid Gaming kit. See you all soon on one thread or anther :D

    JR​
     
    Last edited: 8 Feb 2018
  3. JR23

    JR23 Member

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    X - MDPC-X XTC

    Very fitting that update 10 marks the introduction of XTC, 10 years after MDPC-X introduced the original blackest black sleeving.

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    It came as quite a surprise when Nils announced a second sleeve was on the way, I had to try it so rather than just starting with a little sample I figured 100m was required to get to know it.

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    And as i'm sure many know already, sometimes it's quite difficult to just 'stop' adding MDPC-X items to the cart. So 100m of 15AWG which i've yet to properly try out, 1000 15AWG crimps then seemed obvious, 1000 shrinks.. because and then a CTX3 naturally as I seem to be getting 15AWG everything. Then all the new dupont stuff... plus some Carbon-BTI for imersa.

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    So about 3 minutes into try that new sleeve and chill...

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    Four identical wires, two sleeved with classic small black, two sleeved with XTC black.

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    The difference is certainly a subtle one and a mere civilian would be hard pressed to tell the difference on looks alone. Which is definitely a good thing. When stretched to the maximum they both hold onto the 15AWG wire with ease, no discernible difference to melt and as demonstrated both absolutely glorious to train.

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    So which would I recommend you may ask? Well in the hands of an experienced user they are both equally capable, classic is slightly more versatile as it will expand around much larger wires and terminals as needed. XTC however is extremely reluctant to change diameter or length making it effortless to obtain maximum stretch on a single PSU wire. So for new users doing purely 15AWG PSU wires XTC is easier to get tight results that hold shape. If you've got a huge collection of classic MDPC-X and some skills to go with it then I see no reason to run out and replace it all immediately, but do try XTC!

    For ALUMIA I will definitely be using XTC, perhaps after 70 or 80 wires i'll change my opinion but the fractionally denser and rougher texture will certainly fit in. Also, it will be entirely black with the Noctua brown fan corners being the only 'colour' in the build.

    JR​
     
    Last edited: 8 Feb 2018
  4. JR23

    JR23 Member

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    XI - NaOH

    Finally I have ALUMIA back and the air cooled phase is coming to an end. It’s been to insomnia, epicLAN, LSUCS twice… stayed with Tj and Happy while I worked on APIS and K… used by Oli Sykes and an extremely white kid from the Netherlands. Quite a set of accolades for a temporary setup but it did work magnificently well, now it just needs get to quieter and prettier!

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    This was our LAN setup at Oli’s last weekend, Post Malone completed our 4-man PUBG squad. Oli took ALUMIA with the graphical power needed to drive 60fps to the 4k projector, I had Chocolate Box and imersa had i1.0-II both with ROG XG35’s (which are bent).

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    Nothing particularly special inside at this point sadly, just a hard working pair of FE’s and a little Noctua swag, D9 being just about all that fits safely inside the BH-7.

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    Powered by the phenomenal EVGA 1000T2, I don’t think this has made pics so far as it arrived just in time. Considerably more cable work will be needed next time lol.

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    I had planned to take somewhat fuller and better looking pictures of the air cooled build, but, it was dirty and frankly who cares. So instead I took it completely completely apart straight after those 3.

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    Wat is dis?

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    Literally every anodised part of the build just took a nice warm bath in Sodium Hydroxide, removing the black surface and revealing fresh aluminum.

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    That mystery shall return. First it’s time to attac some fittings!

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    These are the Fluid Gaming Multi-GPU fittings, basically an aluminum EK-HD with branding and an internal hex, exclusively black but now stripped.

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    So they complement the compression fittings which I changed to barbs they will also get simplified. First removing all of the knurling and branding.

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    Then facing off the tubing side to remove one of the o-ring seals.

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    So overall they are quite a bit smaller than they were originally.

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    Lastly a small chamfer cut between the two machined sides.

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    All done and assembled. New Quadro HB SLI bridge too.

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    Removing the anodising chemically meant that the stickers originally applied created stencils on the parts, definitely a welcome addition in some places, others will get removed.

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    I intentionally left some black behind in obscured areas to add some depth and variance. Right now I’m not happy with the way everything looks, it’s too bright and ‘new’ so I’ll be trying out different ideas to add patina and wear to the parts.

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    But the bigger picture is going very well, trying new things, making mistakes and moving forwards at astounding speed. Right, lots of screws and fasteners to order tomorrow!

    JR​
     
    Last edited: 8 Feb 2018
  5. JR23

    JR23 Member

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    XII - Backplates

    I definitely should of been figuring out the screws but I couldn't get the pristine silveryness of all the stripped parts off my mind this morning. With the anodising gone it left behind such a flawless finish on all the parts that they appeared to be truly silver. I know aluminum is silver but I was incredibly worried that it was starting to look like a silver themed build (MSI Titanium style) rather than the raw natural finish i'd pictured.

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    Not a great before and after since I carelessly splattered the untouched backplate but a notable difference all the same.

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    On the second I wanted more severe scars as the top corner is most exposed in the build so the logo was partially sanded off.

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    Following that the whole backplate was buffed with scotchbrite and WD40 creating really fine uniform scratches and hiding the sanding marks.

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    Then these and another handful of various sharp precarious items were thrown in a bag with the backplate to rapidly add an array of scratches and dents.

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    At this point the texture was perfect, just like you would expect from unfinished well handled sheet metal. So time for a little detailing.

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    Nothing so vulgar as 1080Ti, just the serial numbers from each card.

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    Already feeling much better about transforming the remaining aluminum to a suitable character! The much heavier motherboard parts i'll be trying something a little more extreme and the blocks a little less so. I did also find time to browse screws but yet to actually order any, i'll check out what my local supplier has befitting my ideas and go from there.

    JR
     
    Last edited: 8 Feb 2018
  6. arduum

    arduum Member

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  7. mnpctech

    mnpctech bit-tech sponsor

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    Ok, I need to start shooting in B&W, great build!
     
  8. JR23

    JR23 Member

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    Super speedy update of some more detailing coming to life.

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    Holes added to the motherboard heatsinks. I didn't re-anodise it, this is another heatsink after my first attempt at this didn't quite cut it, but was proof enough that I liked it. Being such a bizarre shape it was tricky to set up. Also i'm swapping the Z170/270 style IO cover for the simpler earlier X99 cover, I think it works better, all text will be removed anyway as it's just not period.

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    Another simple bit of lathe work, the knurling removed from the 90° rotaries, so they are now ultra clean like the other fittings.

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    Lastly i've started the vast mission to get all fasteners looking correct. The GPU block will go back together with double M4 nuts and washers locked together onto little studs. This was by far the most time consuming tweak as the top hole on the GPU block had to be drilled out big enough to fit a modified 7mm socket in to tighten the nuts. But it works neat, many more screws to go until all philips/hex socket are banished.

    JR
     
  9. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Yes. Don't forget to rub some thinned black paint into the cracks. :thumb:
     
  10. JR23

    JR23 Member

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    XIII - GPU blocks

    A huge chunk of the project is now complete, the graphics cards, a pair of 1080Ti FE equipped with heavily modified EK Fluid Gaming blocks.

    Every surface has been stripped of it's black anodizing and worn to a suitable finish, the backplates stamped with serial numbers and fittings turned for ultimate simplicity. The main effort however has gone into changing every single screw from philips and allen key head to slotted and plain hexagon nuts. Rather than bolts I wanted the majority of the fasteners to appear like studs and nuts however they had to fit inside the extrusion so that was a challenge in itself. First the top holes were drilled out to 9mm just enough to fit a modified 7mm socket for the M4 nuts without breaking out of the edges. Then the head was trimmed off several screws to make little studs, two nuts locked together on the end and a washer added. Just the same surrounding the GPU core too with the addition of the original springs. The smaller M2.5 screws of the backplate were replaced with slotted pan head and again but much larger for the terminal blocks. Finding all of those fittings in the appropriate style was difficult enough but finding plain steel was impossible so nearly all of them were zinc plated which I stripped in citric acid. While they were lightly oiled i've no doubt that they will one day oxidise just like all of the exposed aluminum, I don't intend to fight that and am very much looking forward to a gradual change over time.

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    Very excited to get the motherboard assembly on this level! Catch you over the weekend.

    JR​
     
  11. imersa

    imersa Parvum Princess

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    Still too clean bro. Not enough STeAMpunK! Nobody interested :(
     
  12. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    We're just hibernating.
     
  13. kim

    kim Member

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    What more could be said than wahoo:jawdrop:...this bunch of hardware is sexy as hell, and each of your pictures are absolutely magnificant, top level thread :clap:
     
  14. JR23

    JR23 Member

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    XIV - CPU Block

    After the little glimpses shown earlier in the log the other big lump of componentry is now complete and ready to go back together.

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    I was waiting on one little part from EK to put it back, an acetal top from the Supremacy-MX. Which are also normally plexi like the AX part however with the brightly finished bracket and face plate plexi looked really strange.

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    Adorned with the 7700k's serial number and fitted to the Classified.

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    As seen already there were several modifications to the motherboard heatsink: black anodising stripped and two rows of holes added. After that it was imersed in acid again, this time much longer to remove the brush marks and slightly roughen the surface. The shape was little too complex to try and scotchbrite it, especially not without damaging the dark nickel plating of the heatpipe. The branding was also removed (chipset band aside) and the M4 studs added to the center piece.

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    I gave lots of thought to the M.2 heatsinks, with the choice of the stripped Aquacomputer's or Nickel, Black and stripped EK's. After much deliberation I decided against using any at all. Things were looking a bit too silver on the whole, being sat right under the graphics cards I wanted them to just disappear into the board and the simple Predator stickers certainly do.

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    The boards original IO cover is also absent in favor of an X99 style EVGA part, branding and anodizing removed.

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    So time to bring the two big pieces together! Such excite.

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    I forgot to mention also, exactly the same pedantic attitude towards nuts and screws occured, the motherboard holes were drill... erm 'cleaned' out to 4.2mm for M4 standoffs and studs all round. Now all the parts are thoroughly dealt with it's time to start attacking the case!

    JR​
     
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