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another CompUSA box of CompUSA parts? Think again

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by HAXOR, 14 Oct 2003.

  1. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    Just another CompUSA box of CompUSA parts? Think again....

    Well here's a link to my latest project:

    http://forum.oc-forums.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&postid=2146798#post2146798

    I wasn't getting enough replies on that board, so I figured I'd finally join this forum and share my modding with the rest of the world :). Let me know what you think of it all.

    And as always, all mod ideas are welcomed :D

    ~HAX
     
  2. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    Also, if you would rather have me repost everything to this forum, I have no problem with that.
     
  3. DETN8R

    DETN8R What's a Dremel?

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    I think thats a good Idea.

    I dont think we all wanna goto another forum just to follow your worklog.
     
  4. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    Hehehe. Okay, I'll start on it this week when I've got some time off.
     
  5. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    So here's my new case:

    [​IMG]

    When I bought it, it had two back fans, the top, and the side fans installed, and grills and mounting holes for four front ones. I later moved the top and the side fans to the front for better airflow. I didn't have anything in the top before I did this mod (just the grill), and the side fan doesn't run, it just holds my bright blue case lighting LED, the two in the back and two on the bottom front are the only ones I have.

    I cut out the fan grills for the front fans, stealthed my drives, made the front case intake hole wider, installed those handels on the top, and installed a switch for the two front bubble tube LEDs.

    The LED that I use for case lighting on the side was actually the power LED. It was so bright that I couldn't sleep with it, so I just moved it for some cheap case lighting :). And yes, it illuminate the whole inside of the case ;).

    It cost me $100 at CompUSA, and it is (supposedly) a CompUSA case, but I found teh EXACT same case online last night, only in black, made by V-Tech, so I'm guessing they make cases and sell them to other companies to put their name on. Anyway, this is the first case I've ever paid for (unless you count my old $20 case a case ;)), and I was only able to afford it because I started working this year.
     
  6. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    Since I didn't use the side panel fan at all, I was considering just replacing the whole window with a solid sheet of lexen, and thought, why not just make a custom fan grill to slap on instead?! I still had a leftover sheet of 12x12 lexen, so I could of made it out of that, and still sealed the hole up pretty well. At first, I wanted do either a Quake or Halo theme, but you'll see what I decided to do later on in this thread :).

    Also, I came up with a new idea of rounding cables. Maybe using some clear watercooling like pipes (I recieved some for free in the mail, but my dad took them), like 1/4" and 1/2", and pretty it up that way.

    I was reading Fushyuguru's picture journal in the overclockers.com forum all morning (and part of the afternoon) one day, and that's what gave me a lot of my inspiration for my case mods, just ot let you know ;) :)
     
  7. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    A new fad for PSU mods???? - Part 1

    Modding my PSU in this way came to mind while reading Fushyuguru's journal. All the water cooling tubes got me wishing that I could have water cooling, but for one, I can't afford it, never. Second, I wouldn't trust water in my computer since I wouldn't have the $$$ to replace it if it were to fry my whole setup (doubt it would, but don't wanna take the chance). So, here's what I came up with, I wanted to see more tubing besides what I had for the drives!

    I suppose you want to know something about me as well ;). I'm 16, homeschool (I am a sophmore), and I work at McDonalds part time. Working at such a place means I have a very small paycheck, thus meaning I am limited to what I can really afford. Three months of work there, though, got me my GeForce4 MX440 8X my $100 case, a 5.1 surround sound card, 400WATT PSU, and a 1.1GHz AMD, my dream machine since my first comp when I was 12.

    Let's get on with the mods!


    [​IMG]
    Here's what my PSU looked like before I even bothered to do anything else to it. I have a buttload of those molex connectors, so I just removed the original ones and put some painted black ones on, just so I didn't void the warrenty :).

    After removing the loom, I had to deal with taking about 20 feet of black electrical tape off the ends of the wires, which made everything just look pretty.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I bought ten feet of 3/8" (1/4" inside) and 3/4" (5/8" inside) vinyl tubing at Home Depot for $1.99 and $2.97, the 1/4" clear shrink tubing from a place called Current Source here for $2.75 of about six feet of it, and 3/8" clear shrink for $3.10 of the same length.

    for the tubing, I measured three times, cut once. The shrink tubing was cut at one inch sections, for both sizes. I had cut off the old pins before putting anything on, so I just took some cable cutters and cut at the connector closest to the PSU, put a piece of 1/4" shrink, heated it up, put the tubing on, slipped some 3/8" shrink over that, while letting half of the shrink hang over the edge, so it'd shrink over the 1/4" as well, creating a more clean look. Then I went down at cut furthest away from the PSU at the second connector, and did the same. Last, I cut were the floppy drive and large molex connector wires meet, and put it over both. Here are teh cutting points where I cut. The red stripes are where to cut.

    [​IMG]
    The other two connectors are the ATX mobo ones. The cut cables are in the order of - molex ; molex ; floppy
     
  8. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    A new fad for PSU mods???? - Part 2

    [​IMG]
    After putting the tubing on and all the shrink, it looked like this.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Next came crimping new pins for the molex connectors, which was done easilly with this crimper my dad brought home after working for HP, even came with the pins! :D
     
  9. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    A new fad for PSU mods???? - Part 3

    [​IMG]
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    And here's the finished product. Pretty slick huh? I take too much pride into my projects :) ;)

    For the mobo ATX connector and the 12v ATX mobo connector, I had to unsolder every one of their wires, and remember where every one of them went (with an exceptiong for the ground, 12v, and 5v wires, since they're grouped), and mark the PCB with a certain colored marker for the -5v, -12v, switch, and all the other strange pins. A little nerve wracking, but worth the time. The wires were fairly easy for me to unsolder, considering we have a pump solder sucking tool.

    Power Supply mod done....for now. Now I just need some money for one of those PSU covers :).
     
  10. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    A new fad for PSU mods???? - Part 3

    Can't believe I forgot to show the y splitter I also did this too.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    Fans....How do you mod a fan? - Part 1

    [​IMG]
    Here's one of the fan's after removing it's pigtail. Yes, they're the stock fans that came with the case, but personally, I think they do an amazing job at keeping it cool and quiet with four of them running alongside my two PSU fans on the CPU fan :)

    [​IMG]
    ...And the pigtail with the tube on it. Looks nice, doesn't it? ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    Fans...How do you mod a fan? - Part 2

    [​IMG]
    As you can see, the tubing actually helps to keep the wires tucked away where they won't slip out or be seen :).


    While I was sitting around thinking of other mods I could do, I was waiting for replies on another forum about fan grill designs. I was soo excited about being able to do a custom fan grill, that made a few drawings of my own. At first I didn't know which to choose from, but I personally liked the two last ones myself.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    As I'm sure you noticed, the last one is the same as the middle one, except that the four "fins" are all connected. This I couldn't have choosen from which I liked best, and at this point, I decided to use one design for the top and side, and the other for the back.
     
  13. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    Here's some pix of how the vinyl tubed cables/wires look in the case. Ahh yes, and a teaser pic of the the paint job :).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    [​IMG]
    And a pic of how I've got my power LED setup to illuminate my case :).

    Whew, I never thought that posting pictural updates could be soo...well...boring :p :rolleyes: :D

    Then I went shopping for some better type of material to use for a fan grill besides lexen, how about aluminum? Well I got a single 6x18 sheet of aluminum at Home Depot for around $9. (WAY too much for such a small piece). Also, pix of that later on :waah:

    And I couldn't, of coarse, forget about sandpaper for the paint job! Since this was the first "actual" paintjob I had ever done, I had no idea what grit of sandpaper to use, or even where to buy it at. Well I went shopping at some auto body store here and I bought six half printer sized sheets of 1000 grit sanpaper, three 400 and three 600 grit full size sheets today at 40 cents and under per sheet. Before this, I had just scruffed the surface a bit, did a single coat of paint (no primer), and a singel coat of clear coat and I figured I was finished....I had no idea that a paint job as good as I did on this case was even in my abilities.
     
  15. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    A new look

    Okay, here's some pix of my walking through the painjob...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    first I masked the case off by opening a garden trashbag and putting it over the case, then tucking it into the bottom back fan hole to keep it in place. I also masked off the inside by draping a trashbag over it.
     
  16. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Then, of coarse, I had to let the paint dry, so I set it out in the sun on a few platforms for 30-45 mins. Just thought you might want to see what it looked like before I applied the clear coat.


    [​IMG]
    I forgot to take pix of painting the top, so here's a pic of it after I did the first coat of clear coat on it.
     
  17. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    After applying two coats of clear coat to the top, I got a very nice mirror finish to it for as little work as I did to it. Three pix says enough :).

    Note: I followed Baller's instructions (also in the overclockers.com forum) of painting my case and I love the results. I'm especially impressed with the ending result of the front panel, consideing it's plastic, it matches the painted metal PERFECTLY! Yes, I used Rust Olem - Painter's Touch - Gloss clear coat on it as well.

    I used Quick Color - Flat Black, which was $0.99 a can, and Rust Olem - America's Finest - Silver which I believe was $1.86 a can, and I love the results. The Quick Color paints are VERY cheap, but I've got awsome results with them. My next repainting will be a gloss blue on some other ATX case I plan to sell, and I will be using Quick Color paint on that as well.
     
  18. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    The fruit of my labor - Part 1

    [​IMG]
    I started out by redrawing, from the begining, the design I choose, onto the sheet of aluminum.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    When it comes to using the dremel, I don't have a lot of money to spend on grinding wheels...So, I drilled holes in the metal to give me less cutting (this also speeds up the cutting process, slightly ;)).

    I used some sheet metal sheers to cut some of the thicker stuff away, and used a file to round the edges out and get the little nitches in. Then I took the Dremel grinding stones that looks like sanding drums (but solid stone), and got the sides of the metal all flat, and then took some 100 grit paper to remove any hairs of rough metal off the edges. Last but not least, I took some laquer thinner and wipped the finished product down to remove any left over Sharpie "Permenant" Marker marks.

    The ending result???
    [​IMG]
    Just what I was looking for :).
     
  19. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    The fruit of my labor - Part 2

    Now I know that all of you who have painted your cases hate it when you put the back panel screws in, and it tears the paint away. Well I thought of this little idea to protect that paint job, but you have to be sure your paint is at least three or four days hardened, or it's still going to tear away. Anyhow, here's what I came up.

    [​IMG]
    You know those little cardboard like washers that you get with motherboard mounting hardware with a new case or mobo? Take four (or six, however many your case has) of those and get your panel screws.


    [​IMG]
    Put the washer on the screw like so....


    [​IMG]
    And even after tightening, AND removing the screw with the new washer on it, it should still looks nice and pretty.

    You may notice that the paint sort of makes a crator where the screw goes, that's normal. But hey, it's better than having no paint there at all, right? :) ;) :D
     
  20. HAXOR

    HAXOR Minimodder

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    The fruit of my labor - Part 3

    And the ending results of all this hard work???

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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