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Scratch Build – In Progress Blu & Red Aluminium - Sponsored by Gelid - Updated 18/06

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Sam__, 15 Apr 2020.

  1. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    Thought I'd use my newly found free time to get back to a hobby of mine. Building PCs. Although this time I'll be realising a dream of building a case from scratch.

    Edit :
    Most recent picture.
    [​IMG]


    Edit: Here's the latest CAD
    [​IMG]

    Sponsored by:
    [​IMG]

    =============================================
    Edit: Specs:
    Specs are as follows:
    7800X - hopefully with an overclock once this gets done.
    Gigabyte X299 AORUS Ultra Gaming Pro
    32gb Corsair Vengeance LPX 2666Mhz
    GPU: TBD
    Samsung 960 250GB NVME
    Samsung SM951 250GB NVME
    Antec AX1200
    Asus Xonar DX Sound Card (maybe, I've got it in a box somewhere so may as well use it).

    The watercooling plan is as follows...
    CPU Loop:
    Block: EK Supreme HF
    Rad: 420mm EK Coolstream XTC 55mm
    Fans: 6 x Gelid Silent 14
    Pump: EK DCP 2.2
    Res: 150mm Tube (This may change depending on where they end up being mounted)

    GPU Loop:
    Block: EK Supreme HF with custom mounting bracket.
    Rad: 360mm Generic approx 25mm thick. I've had it for years and it's a trooper.
    Fans: 6 x Gelid Silent 12
    Pump: D4 with custom speed controller (because it's so damn loud!)
    Res: 150mm Tube (This may change depending on where they end up being mounted)
    =============================================

    The issue I had was not being able to find a case that could fit both the 420mm and 360mm rads I have. Well, there are cases out there that will do it, but just not perfect, and fairly pricey. So I figured if I'm going to spend a load of money on a case I may as well build it myself.

    I've put together some provisional CAD for the layout. Will make adjustments as I go.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Overall dimensions will be around 500mm x 400mm x 400mm. I've already ordered the wrong lengths of extrusion as I was originally planning 600 x 400 x 500 but it just seemed a little too large.

    The plan is to use 2020 ali extrusion for the majority of the frame. Having a lower and upper section. Lower section will house the PSU, rads, HDDs and pump. The upper section will house the mobo and GPU. Might do something interesting with reservoirs in the empty space.

    Also considering RGB options as the plan is to have the upper section visible from at least two sides with either tempered glass or acrylic. The lower section will have some obstruction, either total blackout or a mesh with back lighting.

    The pace of this build will be dictated by delivery timescales! Watch this space.

    Hardware specs are from my current PC (see signature) so nothing crazy. This is more about the case than the performance.
     
    Last edited: 26 May 2020
  2. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    While I wait for deliveries I decided to work on some RGB experiments.

    I managed to ... acquire ... some RGB wrist bands a very popular girl band concert I attended last summer in the hopes they would be able to re-purposed for something. This is that time! So I did a little reverse engineering and managed to drive them from an arduino using some pre-written RGB libraries.

    Quite conveniently they come with diffusers, which is a big plus.

    The soldering is abysmal but I'd been taking parts on and off for a while and couldn't be bothered to clean up considering I'm going to be reworking it anyway for the final cabling.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There are eight units in total so I think they could be quite useful for lighting the lower section if I decide to. Could put all the circuitry on a nice little controller PCB and write some code for the arduino to interface over USB and have it all software controlled.
     
  3. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    Got some more work done on the RGB side of things today.

    Snipped some of the larger components off the PIXMOB boards.
    [​IMG]

    Removed all the smaller components.
    [​IMG]

    All cleaned up
    [​IMG]

    Wired in the supply voltage, red, green and blue traces.
    [​IMG]

    It works!
    [​IMG]

    Did this a couple more times.
    [​IMG]

    Then decided it would be nice to have some manual control of the colours on the front panel. So wired in some potentiometers.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the proof of concept wiring on breadboard.
    [​IMG]

    It's all coming together fairly nicely. Just need to buy some more ribbon cable to get the other five boards wired up and there will be 8 in total.

    Next step will be to fit all those parts on a PCB (protoboard first probably) with headers for the RGB units and pots. Headers will be those 4-pin fan connectors you see everywhere. It should be able to run easily off the PSUs 5V rail, pulling a max of about 1A with all LEDs at full brighness.
     
  4. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    Another update.

    Got the connectors and headers in for the RGB controller today. Love that RS are still delivering very swiftly. Unfortunately still waiting on the Ali extrusion to arrive :(.

    When the headers arrived I immediately realised I'd ordered the wrong ones. They are not matching sets. What a fool I am, but nothing a pair of snips can't fix.
    [​IMG]

    Slightly modified, just don't look too close.
    [​IMG]

    From there I crimped up the wires for the RGB units and started planning the layout of the board.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mocked it up a bit to get a feel for the space being used.
    [​IMG]

    Found a really handy program for planning out the wiring of the perf board called DIY Layout Creator. Would definitely recommend as I was up and running in about 5 minutes. Very intuitive and easy to use.

    Went through a couple of iterations. This is number 1:
    [​IMG]

    Wasn't 100% happy with it so tried again. This looked a little neater. It's missing a couple of the wires for the manual RGB pots but I will remember them when it comes to it. I hope!
    [​IMG]

    This is where I ended it this evening. headers soldered on, resistors in place. I decided to leave two sets of current limiting resistors empty as I've only got 8 of these RGB units and I may want to add some RGB strips in later on. Not knowing the current usage of them at the moment I'll leave it to later to decide what's required for them. Allows for some flexibility down the road. Also started cutting a placing the jumper wires.

    The worst part of this. To make it easier to wire I decided to use red, blue and green for the different colour channels but I could not for the life of me find any green wire in my draws, so white it is. I can only appologise.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    No deliveries today unfortunately. I was expecting the extrusion and a few small components to arrive but alas it was not to be. So I made progress on the RGB controller.

    Partially soldered, just checking the parts fit where planned.
    [​IMG]

    Fully built. Testing power up.
    [​IMG]

    It worked first time! No shorts or issues of any sort. It was quite surprising not to have to debug it at all.
     
    Cheapskate and Dot_Kappa like this.
  6. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    Fine workmanship :thumb:, I'm following your build with interest :dremel:
     
    Sam__ likes this.
  7. TerHorstCustoms

    TerHorstCustoms Member

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    I love the detail that you go in to for the RGB :)
     
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  8. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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  9. TerHorstCustoms

    TerHorstCustoms Member

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    All the cooling :)
     
  10. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    You got it!! ;)

    The plan is:
    - 420mm rad with push/pull for the CPU
    - 360mm rad with push/pull for the GPU
    - 3 X 120mm fans for exhaust top back.

    Might go RGB on the exhaust fans. Undecided on that one.
     
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  11. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    Guess what arrived!!! We have extrusion!

    [​IMG]

    All arranged nicely.
    6 x 400mm for the width.
    4 x 500mm for the height. - These may end up being 450mm.
    4 x 600mm for the length. - I will likely cut these down to 500mm.
    [​IMG]

    Immediately found a problem with the corner pieces I had. They came with no washers, so when tightened fully they did not compress enough to keep things in place. In the below pic I used some spare corner brackets as washers just to make sure everything else fitted. Did I have any M5 washers to hand? nope, hundreds of M3 and M4 but no M5. Another RS order!
    [​IMG]

    So with the washers arrived here it is mocked up with a scrap board showing where the base plate will be mounted.
    [​IMG]

    Then I went to use the corner brackets. Another issue! They stood proud of the extrusion. Floating panels is not the look I'm going for so I had to find a solution to that.
    [​IMG]

    A quick bit of dremmel later the holes are now slots. Excellent. Just need to order some more of these as they will be used for all 7 of the side panel pieces.
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    Just went to buy some more right angle pieces and thought I'd have a look at how much the 'proper' 2020 ones are. At the moment, considering international shipping is not reliable, I'm looking inside the UK only. The proper 2020 right angles would be £16 for 20 off (irritatingly I need about 30) or generics are £11 for 100 off. I will have to modify the generic ones slightly but for the money saving it's an easy decision.
     
  13. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    So a big of a different day today. Modding the VEGA56 card for watercooling. Looking at the price of waterblocks for this card was eye-watering and limited so I thought I'd put a spare CPU block to good use.

    An EK Supreme HF.

    Sadly for me the stock mounts did not support the 64x64mm mounting holes of the Vega56 GPU/Memory cooler. So I had to make one from a piece of scrap steel. Not pretty but effective.

    Firstly, a half naked pic of the GPU.
    [​IMG]

    As you might be able to see the rest of the heatsink is higher than the core and memory die so I had to fashion a copper shim from a 3mm copper sheet.
    [​IMG]

    Copper shim fits perfectly! Even if there is a very slight scratch right in the middle. Careless me.
    [​IMG]

    Checking everything lines up.
    [​IMG]

    Waterblock fitted with it's new mounting hardware.
    [​IMG]

    Not pretty, but fits.
    [​IMG]

    Had some spare springs laying around to even out the mounting pressure. I had envisaged using wing nuts but there wasn't enough clearance to the top of the block.
    [​IMG]

    Mounted.
    [​IMG]

    Next step on this part is to figure out the routing for the tubing and what adjustments have to be made to the stock cooler cover. That needs to be able to go back on in some capacity to increase the effectiveness of the blower. Either that or I remove the blower and use a difference fan arrangement.
     
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  14. Canardwc

    Canardwc @French_fab_factorie

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    Hi, I quite like your way to mod, BUT I'm not an expert, BUT you will loose a lot of thermal efficency with 2 x thermal paste bitween GPU unit/copper plate/waterblock?!

    And are you sure GPU unit/copper plate/waterblock are well in contact?

    Have you alredy test before you go further? Because 246 W in charge is a lot of to dissipate on this card... Be carefull
     
  15. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    You are right, there will be some loss in thermal transfer with the shim. Something I have not yet tested but will be sure to pay very close attention to. If it struggles then I may be tempted to use something like Liquid Metal between the shim and block. I'm really interested to see how this goes myself.
     
  16. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Hold up... Aren't those springs putting pressure in the wrong direction?
     
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  17. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    HAHA YES! Good spot. Must have had a brain fade.
     
  18. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    All fixed.
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Canardwc

    Canardwc @French_fab_factorie

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    Exact, i didn't saw it!! Hopefully, you're here! :clap:
     
  20. Sam__

    Sam__ Active Member

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    Small bit of progress. Cut the 140mm radiator panel.

    Here it is with the fans installed to check the holes positions.
    [​IMG]
     

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