Case Mod - In Progress ⭐ [Build log] Zeuligan build - white leather Be Quiet! Dark Base Pro 900

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Zeuligan, 8 May 2017.

  1. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    It is finally time for me to start my first modding project, feels very exciting. I have spent many months reading forums and reviews trying to decide on what case to base my build on. That case decision outlines all other hardware, specially my custom water loop components as the case defines the dimensions available. To make the project even more exciting and challenging I decided to not only do my first mod, but also to build my very first water cooled computer and go all in with full loop and hard lines. I hope I can inspire someone with this build, but happy as I finally found my passion – building and modding computers.

    Basic concept
    I wanted to create a computer that could pass only for a piece of furniture. First idea was to convert a 300mm wide kitchen cabinet that is part of my location built gaming desk, but abandoned that idea early. Instead the concept of a Scandinavian inspired design theme that would work as a design piece inspired by a furniture was born. Black, white and grey quickly formed the colour theme and strict and clean lines with light surfaces formed around the Scandinavian theme. Light wood was out of the loop from start :p

    This foundation has formed all my choices when picking components as well. Keep true to the theme, colours and concept. This theme also made it easy not to jump on the RGB train. This is an unsponsored project, except from my amazing girlfriend, that is my biggest sponsor.

    Sponsors
    I want to thank my sponsor that joined mid this project - be quiet!
    I'm both humble and proud. Thank you so much for your trust!
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    Hardware
    Case: Be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 black
    Motherboard: ASUS Z270 ROG MAXIMUS IX HERO
    Processor: Intel Core i7 7700K 4,2GHz Socket 1151
    Ram: G.Skill Trident Z Black/White DDR4 PC25600/3200MHz CL16 4x8GB
    PSU: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11
    GPU: ASUS GTX 1080 Ti Founders edition
    3M di-noc carbon fiber, black and white

    Water cooling components
    Radiator: Hardwarelabs Black Ice Nemesis Radiator GTS 420 X-Flow
    CPU waterblock: EKWB EK-FB ASUS M9H Monoblock – Nickel
    GPU waterblock: EKWB EK-FC1080 GTX Ti – Nickel
    Pump: EKWB EK-XTOP Revo D5 PWM plexi
    Reservoir: Aquacomputer aqualis PRO 880 ml with nano coating and LED holder
    Fans for radiator: 3 x be quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM 140mm
    Fans for chassi: 4 x be quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM 140mm
    Fan for PSU cover: 1 x be quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM 140mm
    Fittings: Alphacool Eiszapfen 13mm HardTube compression fitting G1/4 deep black
    Pass through fittings: EKWB 13/10mm G1/4 black
    Tube: Alphacool HardTube 13/10mm PETG clear 80cm


    Product images

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    Oliver the modder dog

    He will be joining me through the project. He is very meticulous about sniffing, drawling and adding fur on all components and surfaces. Very friendly and helpful!
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    Last edited: 20 Oct 2017
  2. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Swinging the banhammer Super Moderator

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    Please can you resize your images as they are far too big. Also can you please make sure that your next post has some pics of work in progress. Thanks.
     
  3. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Is it some one's head? no
    Is it a wig? no !

    It's a doggy :D

    Yeah that pic is pretty large.
     
  4. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    Before building something, start to disassemble

    For me it’s almost scary how satisfying it is to receive new packages and components. With that in mind the feeling was maxed out when DHL called and said my new Be Quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 had arrived.

    I ran home like a moose on fire in a fashion that would probably have made even Goofy jealous, ears flapping and legs rolling. This time was right, let’s modding begin.

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    Aluminium panels separated from their plastic siblings. Fairly easy to separate. Some aluminum brackets and double sided tape. Be carefull no to break the brackets, they will only fold in and out once. The tape is also fairly strong. I used a heatgun and a screwdriver.

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    Door and front panel without front dust filter mounted. Easiest of the aluminum panels to separate.

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    Already when I started to disassemble the case I could feel the quality and the renowned modularity. Most of the panels, brackets are mounted with screws and clips making it feel like a modders dream. No need for a Dremel modding this case. It is easy to unmount, change, add and deduct as you feel. Could even mirror the entire case making either right or left desk placement possible. Very impressive!

    The inner frame almost fully striped. Only the top IO panel and top 5,25” bay are still in place in this picture. But fastened by screws, so they were removed fast after taking this picture. Even the HDD drive ladder visible in the back right of the case is fasted with screws. But it adds a lot of case rigidity so if you plan to remove it, I would recommend adding other structural construction.

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    PS. sorry for the first post with that huge picture and no modding content. I accidentally hit Submit instead of Preview making me unable to edit locked for moderation review :blush: DS.
     
  5. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    I have an idea about how to place the pump in a little different way in a combined PSU cover. I love the look of custom sleeved cables, but dislike the nest that I usually end up with around the PSU. A basic PSU cover will not cut it when including the pump in the equation, so need to create something more of a secondary floor.

    Maybe it's a bit unworthy of such a prominent forum like Bit-Tech, but it's my first mod and I'm a happy amateur. I start light in cardboard. just part 1, part 2 will be in a real material ;)

    Time to bring out the cardboard and start to cut and tape my way into a design will work. Just love the easy of modding from cardboard. Makes it really fast to reach the point of a reproducible design. Also makes it easy to find out where I will need brackets, threads, fittings etc. As this is my first modding projekt, it also feels a lot safer and cheaper to experiment in cardboard than real expensive materials.

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    I needed to ensure that I can attach the new raised floor without interfering with one of the few unmovable brackets in the case . Also need to ensure that I the piece becomes to thick for the tempered glass to fit.


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    Next step was to ensure that a second floor would fit below the removable back part / motherboard tray and the top of the PSU bracket. My cardboard design made it clear that 5mm acrylic will be a tight fit, but it will be doable. Glad I tried with cardboard otherwise I would have gone with 3mm acrylic and a less rigid floor as a result.


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    It became clear the more tape and cardboard I added that I need to hide as much as possible of the inside. My Scandinavian theme more or less demands it. I experimented with many different shapes and sizes of my floor. Had an initial desire to go without the HDD ladder, but I came to the conclusion that I will loose to much of the case rigidness without gaining anything. I will need to hide the ladder later on in the project.


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    Start to look good, even if it's only cardboard and happy that my initial idea holds. Will make it simple when the cardboard mockup is done. Just to unfold it and take real measurements before attacking the acrylic sheets.


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    Had an idea in the back of my head early in the planning process about exposing two SDDs in the front of the case. With custom lighting. The raised floor / PSU cover needs different layers and depths to avoid the look of a big box. At this point I don't have any real components to take measurements from. That made me take the decision to make a 220mm wide starting wall before folding the section for the SSDs. That way I can fit different sizes and mounting placements for my PSU and still fit 2 SSDs.


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    Definatly not the fastest or best looking SSD :D but it's the right dimensions ensuring room for 2 SSDs. Created a temporary reflector in grill foil to test my idea of custom lighting ramp, powered by the LED strips included with the case. It feels like this idea will fly as well, but I will change to a lighting solution coming from the bottom instead. It will create more depth and will also effectively hide the bottom part of the inner case, between the new floor and the outer wall.
     
  6. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    I need to create a custom mounting bracket for my EKWB D5 PWM pump together with the Aqualis XT 880 ml. It will be placed inside the custom PSU cover / secondary floor and is crucial to get the right height on the plexi top. I started with a standard vertical mounting EKWB pump bracket and combined that with the Aqualis reservoir bracket.

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    I need to lower the EKWB D5 PWM pump with 14mm to fit the pump under my secondary floor and getting the plexi top is in the right height. Cut two pieces of aluminum in the right length and drilled holes in both the aluminium pieces and the EKWB pump bracket to include the reservoir bracket.


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    I added two horizontal pieces of aluminum for structural integrity and glued them together with superglue while mounting.


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    Needed to add 5mm distance between the EKWB pump and the Aqualis XT 880 ml Reservoir to have enough room for fittings. Cut a plate of 5mm acrylic in the right size and added to the bracket.


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    Testing mounting holes and the size of the bracket. The acrylic distance plate made all the difference. Now it will fit both the EKWB D5 Plexi pump and the Aqualis XT 880 reservoir with Alphacool hard tube fittings.


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    i can't leave the bracket unpainted even if the bracket isn’t visible in the build due to its placement under the custom PSU cover. Just doesn’t feel right. Created a small spray booth and painted with black satin.


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    Mounting bracket parts with a new coat of satin black. Looks really good if i can say so my self. Happy with the result.


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    Pump mounted on the finished bracket, really happy. Next part will be to finish the top piece of my custom PSU cover / secondary floor and drilling holes for the pump and reservoir.
     
  7. Cown

    Cown Member

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    Where's the leather? I WANT TO SEE LEATHER :D looking forward to seeing more as this build progresses :thumb:
     
  8. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    Thank you very much Cown and leather is coming ;)
     
  9. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    An exciting day indeed. The day of leather. I found some awesome looking faux white leather with the feel of the real deal. After some initial tests, I had decided it was going to be a 12-round match with me, super glue and 2xm2 of white leather.

    As you have seen in previous posts all panels from my Be Quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 were already broken down into their smallest pieces. The aluminium cover panels removed from their plastic siblings. If you are modding with this case I can tell you that the aluminium is held together with the visible clips and some double sticky tape. I used a screw driver and a heat gun to pull them apart.

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    Started with painting all the mesh inserts white


    Then it was time to glue A LOT and finding out the best way to make it tight, wrinkle free and still as little extra bulk as possible as the aluminium panels are folded into the plastic cover. I decided to go with a method of doing one edge first, then move full length and about 100mm at a time. For me this was the perfect method to keep the leather stretched, wrinkle free and properly fastened.

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    The bottom panel as a whole and a close up of the quality of the white leather. The clips that needs to fit inside the plastic frame is also visible. The extra width would turn out to be a problem, took a lot of effort to squeeze the panels without damaging the leather.


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    The bottom panel with feet back on. I wanted to start with the bottom panel so I could learn from my misstakes until finishing the other panels that all are more visible. Not excessive to add leather at the bottom of the case


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    Large side panel without the Be Quiet! fan cover plate. I will paint it in white and accentuate the logo with black filling or maybe even carbon fiber. Was a though piece to do. Took so much glue I should probably have used a face mask, added that to my never ending shopping list of items needed for modding .


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    Front panel with leather on the door and with the new fan mesh painted in white. It took a few passes with the heat gun and pressure to make the door close on its hinges without getting stuck on the plastic frame.


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    Top panel with all cutouts done for for ventilation, power and reset buttons, front panel LEDs and the QI-charger that comes with the Be Quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 case. There were some small imperfections at the edge of the leather / aluminium panel and the plastic frame. Will find a way to fix that. The panel became to wide with the extra leather.

    All in all I’m really proud and happy with the result. Would love to hear what you think about this mod so far.
     
  10. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    From carbon to acrylic - time to create that custom PSU cover for Be Quiet! Dark Base Pro 900. I admit I was nervous, first time working in acrylic, worried it will not bend as sharp as I need or cracking when bending. After a quick experiment on how much I could bend and how much I should heat my 5mm acrylic sheet I got to work on my PSU cover / secondary floor.


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    I’m blessed with having a small workshop in the apartment building where I live, but I don’t own any good power tools. Old fashion handwork it is…


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    Actually surprised how well it went. I put the acrylic into the workbench after slightly overheating it. Reapplied some heat with my newly acquired heat gun. Added some pressure with a piece of MDF at the end, until bend angle was according to my measurement of the indents of the bottom of the case.


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    As I explained in my previous update - planning the custom PSU cover - I wanted custom lighting. This is how it turned out. Size and bend angle was the easy part, but it interfered with part of the case bracket. Had to file it down in the inside corner. Can become a weak spot, but will go with it for now.


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    Some close ups on how the lighting ramp turned out. 5mm acrylic and 3 layers of frosted film. Want it to look white when LEDs are running. That's why I went with a light frost film rather then dark. Will look good when power is on, I hope :)


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    I deliberately over bent the front part of the PSU cover with a few angles. Didn't want at straight 90 angle, so thought that the over bend combined with the lighting ramp would look smoother.


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    Finally I made some mounting holes for the SSD disks and made a "mill" for the SSD cables. My way of milling was 3 drill holes, a hacksaw blade and then a hand file.
     
    Last edited: 17 May 2017
  11. kim

    kim Member

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    very clean work, I agree this white leather looks great on the front side, spotless thread:thumb: I'm following
     
  12. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    The whole concept when I started planning my custom PSU cover or secondary floor was the placement of the pump top. To mount the top of the pump above the floor and hide the pump under. Adding to that effect I wanted the reservoir next to it.

    When I did my initial drawing I didn't have the pump measurements, but was very exciting to realise it was wider than I thought and had the same dimensions as the reservoir. It was time to cut the top floor and put my custom EKWB D5 pump and Aqualis XT 880 ml bracket to good use.


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    My original sketch that I used for planning and discussing the pros and cons of my mounting. It's not an optimal pump / reservoir placement, but it will work and it will stay true to my mod and my design theme.


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    Started to take measurements of the height of the bracket. Had an idea of securing the bracket with the rubber grommets included with the case, but those extra 2mm was enough to push the bracket into the floor. Might need to cut of part of the EKWB pump bracket in final fitting.


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    Measuring center and left most placement I can go without pushing the Aqualis XT 880 ml reservoir into the case front fans. This looks just right. Placement of the custom EKWB D5 and Aqualis bracket pretty much sorted it self, due to the case holes below, but I had some room to push the top floor 8mm.


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    A previous trip to the hardware store had secured a new drill measuring 80mm, same as both the pump and the Aqualis XT 880 reservoir. Well, 78mm for the pump to be precise, but a little room is needed. I sacrificed a piece of 5mm acrylic to do a test drill to ensure it would work and with a few stops to clean the drill and let the acrylic cool was all it took. Fastened the custom floor, now ready, and went to work to cut my two holes.


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    So happy with the result. Looks just as I had envisioned it almost 2 months ago when I started planning this build in my head. The fit was perfect and my previously crafted bracket even more perfect. Just one more thing to ensure, would the Aqualis XT 880 reservoir fit?.


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    Like a glove :) My top floor piece or PSU cover as I originally called it, was finally done. Still some work to do to glue the floor to the previously crafted custom PSU Cover front side that will eventually cover my Corsair RM1000i PSU and EKWB D5 pump.


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    The height of the top floor combined with the bracket is just perfect. Happy when measurements are correct and you get to see the result of an idea. I'm extremely happy at this point. Only one thing left to do and that is to combine this top part with the side part and then final finish.


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    At this point I haven't been able to secure real acrylic cement in Sweden. Superglue had to due and not worried as the piece isn't going to be transparent, but it's on my shopping list. Took what I had to weight it down.
    Spent the next 5min trying to find my coffee :)


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    Glued and done! Now the shape of my floor is more visible. Made sure from start it would be as tight fit as possible. Also added two channels for cables and ventilation matching the case bottom motherboard bracket.


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    Made a cardboard / paper motherboard just to secure size, height and placement of the motherboard. Final finish and last mounting adjustments is next on the todo list...
     
    Last edited: 17 May 2017
  13. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    It was finally time to finish my first real piece. Last step of first piece in the rest of my life... I'm talking about the custom PSU cover that transformed into a secondary floor including an EKWB D5 PWM Plexi pump, Aqualis XT 880 ml reservoir covering the amazing Corsair RM1000i PSU.


    The last step is all about the carbon fibre and finishing touches. I had some problems finding a shop in Sweden selling good quality carbon fibre vinyl, but found a great place in the UK with better prices and lightning fast delivery (took 24 from order to my door).


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    This picture isn't doing the carbon fibre vinyl justice. It's the closest thing to the real deal that I have ever felt. I bought 3M’s di-noc carbon fibre regular and white and it's thick, rigid and structured. My first mistake would turn out to be not ordering their primer, but will explain that more further down in this post.


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    The shape of my PSU cover / secondary floor was a real challenge as I wanted to wrap the entire PSU piece in one fluent vinyl, without any joints. Many negative angles and this is something to worry about. It’s also my first-time wrapping carbon fibre vinyl, so took some scrap acrylics, bent them into a similar shape to test wrap similar angles.


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    After practicing on my small test pieces, I decided to paint the entire floor black. To ensure that if the vinyl cracked at some place it would still look black. This was my second and last mistake on this mod. Afterwards I feel a little stupid. Ensuring it was black was not a bad idea, but should of course painted the inside of the floor or used black acrylic from start. When heating the vinyl with my heat gun the paint melted and I had real trouble fixating the vinyl in the negative angles. Learning by doing! Will never make that mistake again, i hope


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    It was such a stressful job to heating and stretching the carbon vinyl I forgot to take pictures of the process, but it went very well. No joints, no bubbles and very tight. Super proud. I put the negative most visible angle under pressure to make it stick.


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    To ensure a tight fit and bubble free application, I put the entire upside under pressure. Finally, I got proper use for my exercise equipment: D


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    I ended up squeezing in super glue with a syringe and applying pressure for a third time, while loudly cursing myself for not buying that primer. Remember my first mistake? If you plan on wrapping with real vinyl and you have negative angles or very sharp edges, buy the primer. BUY the primer, trust me! End result still turned out really good, just made it more difficult than it should be.


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    Detail photo of the front edge. Felt just as sharp as it looks. This is how a carbon vinyl should look. Super super happy!


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    Voila! When planning my floor and modding the case I couldn’t have imagine the outcome better. I super excited for the next step and adding components to this. The shadows from the backside of the case really blends well with the carbon vinyl. This is also a great angle to show why I decided to add a lighting ramp to hide that inside compartment.

    I would love to what you think about the process and my modding so far. My first mod/build so feedback is most welcome :)
     
  14. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    As I explained in an early update I decided early in the process when creating the custom PSU cover, that I wanted to design an inside wall. To hide the HDD ladder that I wont use in this build.


    I also wanted to create a dark foundation for my Aqualis XT 880 ml Reservoir to make the planned white pastel pop. To ensure it doesn't end up being a dark big board, I need to create some layering effect and contrasting colours. I also planned a custom LED lighting ramp to indirectly light on the MB.


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    I started by creating a small 5mm acrylic spacer. This serves two purposes, well three even. Firstly it will create a spacer so the floor cant move upwards. It will be in a different colour ensuring a contrasting effect to prevent a big black wall. Lastly it will box in the custom LED lighting ramp, so the light only will go left and not out into the case.


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    Logical next step was to move on to cut the acrylic piece for the vertical spacer doubling as the lighting ramp. It's inside of this I will mount the LED strips. It took some sanding to ensure a tight fit towards the spacer and the top of the case. Making it air (lighting) tight.


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    A few minutes later with the hand saw and I had a plate with perfect 90 degree angles in the right size. I deliberately cut it shorter than the space to create a layering effect and revealing the horizontal spacer.


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    Here the layering effect is more visible as is the space for the LED strip. I also effectively covered the small gap between my custom floor and the HDD ladder.


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    Looks a lot better with white carbon fiber and with the LED lighting ramp frosted. This is going to be a nice solution. The LED is RGB, but plan to run it white to stay true to my theme. Next step will be to finish the actual wall piece and fix mounting brackets for the wall and spacers.
     
  15. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    Now when I had the frame and brackets done from the previous mod it was time to finish the base plate and the actual. It should of course be carbon fibre and help the white pastel fluid in my floor mounted Aqualis XT 880 ml reservoir pop.


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    After some experimenting I decided to go for a custom design for fastening the wall directly to the HDD bracket with a spacer. That way I can mount the wall from the backside ensuring that the carbon fiber of the wall will be unbroken. I thought about doing big white thumb screws from the inside, but gave that up as if I want white details I can always add that later. This way I leave my self with future options.


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    I cut and filed a piece of aluminum for my spacer. Put in the drillpress and then hand tapped two holes in the right place.


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    I went forward and cut two longer aluminum bars and filed them down to the right thickness to fit inside the tracks in the HDD-ladder. Then I superglued it to the acrylic. Finished off with a black satin paint. If you are thinking, hey didn't he say that when I did his floor he was never going to prime prior to fastening carbon fibre? Well, yes I did, but here the backside will be visible and I have no negative angles, so it will be fine.


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    This piece was very easy to wrap in 3M's amazing di-noc carbon fibre vinyl. Just took my time with the heat gun and made sure I stretched the corners and edges correctly. Looking sharp...


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    Here the backside brackets is more visible. I didn't care about trimming the carbon fibre actually. It will be hidden by the backside HDD-ladder and I wanted as much overlap as possible to make it as strong as possible. Might cut it straight, just for the sake of it l8r, when I do the final assembly.


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    Can't see the edges of the carbon fibre and makes the backside look really nice and tight. Feels extra satisfying to know that the backside looks really good as well. Makes for tight cable management later on. Here I also mounted the white spacer I created in the previous step.


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    Very happy with this mod. The white spacer behind the inside wall really creates a small but effectfull contrast both with the small dash of white, but with the layered effect. Very happy. No fastening screws visible either - was the right decision.


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    Closeup on the white carbon fibre spacer with the custom lighting LED ramp in the back.


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    Picture of the hidden light ramp that will make the LEDs cast an indirect light source on the MB and custom sleeved cables later in the build.


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    Final result. Think that small white carbon fibre made the whole difference and created just that effect I mentioned when starting this mod. I need contrast and layers to make this look good. Very curious on how you think this went?
     
  16. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    I had a vision from start that I wanted to mount my GPU vertically. I think that all water blocks are to beautiful to hide. I didn't want to use a factory solution as most of the shelf products are big and bulky. Time to go to work on my previously bought aluminium sheets and create my own.


    As with all my mods for this project so far, I want to stay true to the amazing modularity of the Be Quiet Dark Base Pro 900.


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    I started by unscrewing the PCI-brackets. Saved the last 3 as I want to maximise the number of available PCI-slots. I also had an idea to use one of the horizontal PCI-brackets to mount the the new vertical brackets.


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    The top will be saved, but all the rest needs to go without damaging the screw holes. Time to bring out my high tech saw...


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    This is how I do most of my mods atm. By hand with very low tech tools. It works, but takes longer and hurts more :)


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    This was a scary moment. One of my first real none reversible mods on this project, but can't turn back now.


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    Need to file down the sharp edges on the part of the brackets I left with the screw holes. I want to hide them and keep them for future proofing.


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    Cut a piece of aluminum in the right size and took measurements. As I want to keep as much of the case intact, I have to make cutouts for the two rivets.




    Put a small drill in the drill press and used that to cut two tracks in the aluminium bracket for the case rivets. Then I drilled and threaded two holes and countersunk the holes for the mounting screws.


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    Very happy with the placement at this point. The cut outs for the case rivets isn't visible, but makes it possible to mount the bracket side really snug.


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    Mounting the PCI bracket back on top of the new side. Perfect fit with just the right amount of overlap to make it look the way I wanted.


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    Drilled and tapped new holes on top of the the vertical screw holes I left when removing the horizontal brackets. Worked perfect to mount the horizontal PCI brackets.


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    Filed down part of the top horizontal bar to ensure enough room when mounting the PCI brackets vertical and making room for the ASUS ROG GTX 1080 Ti that will fit there l8r. I made room for 3 brackets, so I can use both full sized cards or dual water cooled single slot cards.



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    I masked the case before adding some satin color back to fix the small scratches I created when modding the motherboard and backside plate in my Be Quiet Dark Base Pro 900.


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    Really happy. This worked out just as good as I had hoped. Next step is to create a custom plate to fill the hole left of the vertically mounted PCI brackets. Can't leave that open...
     
  17. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    The first part of this mod went very well, but left a big hole to finish. I have planned for an ASUS ROG FE GTX 1080Ti with an EKWB plexi water block.


    This amazing card needs to be mounted vertically which I fixed in a previous mod, Vertical GPU bracket for ASUS ROG 1080Ti part 1 that you can read about. I decided to do a cover plate in aluminum and as previous, it will be done with hand tools as that is what I got.


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    Started with taking measurements and factoring in the extra length and width needed for the angled bracket. Draw the shape on my aluminum sheet and cut the piece with my hand saw.


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    I put the piece in a vice and worked both edged with a regular screw driver and a hammer. Took a lot of very light hitting to mould the shape without braking the aluminum. Actually took me two tries, as I broke the last piece with the last few blows and cracked the sheet.


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    Second sheet and much better and sharper edge and no broken edges :)


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    This is after some finishing touches with hammer and pliers to keep the edges sharp and straight. Still amazes me how much you can create with a few simple hand tools.




    Had to fix the corners and give them a soft roundness, both for aesthetic reasons, but also for not scratching the case when mounting.


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    Next step was to make holes to give the plate a more pro look and to ensure air flow. Can't forget about airflow. The aluminum piece still has the protective plastic on, thats why it looks so dull and grey.


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    Did a small mark of all the holes with a small nail and a hammer. Ready for 27 rounds with the drill press with two different drill sizes. Hope this will work.


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    Not bad, not bad at all. I had some trubbel as the aluminum is so soft and I added that many holes, that the plate bent. That made some of the holes a little oval, so had to go over all the holes a second time with the drill and then a small rounded hand file. That finally made them all round.


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    From the backide. My hand hammered mounting edge still needs some final touches.


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    From the inside of the case. The bracket will be fixed with both the horizontal PCI bracket, a small screw in the lower right corner (notice the small rectangle to ensure it gets counter pressure) and the last vertical PCI bracket.


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    The light makes it look a little wobbly even if its not, but the satin color turned out to shiny. Will have to find a more matt color to match the case. I'm happy with the result.

    I would like to hear your options. Please throw me a comment and tell me what you think so far, worried about the silence and I'm not doing it good enough...
     
  18. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    When you think if a custom hard tube water loop and a gaming PC you think if clean lines, order and well thought loop. I had a dilemma as this was my first loop. My main thoughts was to stay 100% true to my Alphacool fittings plan and sacrifice some cleanness or go with a different brand for pass throughs.

    Pass throughs looks cleaner in my opinion, but I was worried about clearance. With pass throughs I need to add fittings from below in a very tight room without moving the hard tubes out of their fittings. More or less by feel.


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    Started to calculate and check an idea of going full fitting and extension hook up below the floor. I will have to go in a S-shape from the outlet of the radiator into the pass through. To say the least I was worried but a problem to solve is a solution to be found.


    In real time I actually wrote the above part of the update 3 weeks earlier. That was how long my indecisiveness combined with shipping times actually took. I went with two (ordered four just to be safe) black EKWB pass throughs and combined that with an insane amount of different lengths of Alphacool extensions. Hey, better safe then sorry, right?


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    I took measurements for where to place the pass throughs. Needed both center placement, but still ensure that I would have enough room between the EKWB D5 pump, Aqualis XT 880ml reservoir and my new EKWB pass throughs.


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    With the HardWareLabs 420 X-flow radiator in the top, I needed to make a decision about where I wanted the tubing to go. Front or back corner. I decided that I wanted to enter the motherboard and GPU from the front top making the floor pass through inside right. Only time will tell if that was the right call :)


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    Quick job with a small drill to ensure I didn't brake the acrylic floor base or tear my 3M di-noc carbon vinyl. Went like a charm, so moved on to drill with the larger drill in the correct dimension for the pass throughs. Finished of the last millimeter with a rounded file to get a snug fit.


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    This looks good, but will make for some challenging fitting job when I both have to get the floor in place, while the pump and radiator is already mounted to the case floor with my custom pump bracket at the same time as I screw the fittings from below into the pass throughs. I really hope that will work. What do you think?
     
  19. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    After some measurements and thoughts I have decided to go with a little unconventional mounting option for my radiators and fans. The radiator will be mounted outside the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 between the case cover and frame. I decided for this option, to expose only the fans inside the case and give maximum amount of clearance to keep the motherboard and EKWB monoblock as the heros.

    I took measurements with a Corsair ML140 fan, but will go for the amazingly good looking and awesome fans from be quiet! - be quiet! Silent Wings 3.

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    I did a quick test mount with one fan to take measurements of heights and positions. My cardboard motherboard dummy isn't making my case justice :D


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    With HardWareLabs 420 x-flow radiator, the inlet and outlet of the radiator will not work with the case. Used my mounting fan to take measurements.


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    Important not to cut away the entire mounting are in the case. I never know what the future will require, but need the radiator to be centered in the case. Will try to use the upper part of and make a continuous turn for a hole big enough for my water cooling fittings. Nothing I can't handle with a drill and a hand file. Just not need to ensure I cut in the right place.


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    Centered and alined. Would be a shame if I cant fit 3 fans after my mod. This looks like the right placement. Time to cut.


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    This looks just right. The inlet / outlet of my HardWareLabs 420 x-flow radiator will not let me mount it on the outside of the case frame. One side done, time to fix next.


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    Managed to keep the entire mounting area intact and still make the inlet / outlet hole in the case large enough.


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    Looks like this will work. I only covered the radiator in plastic to keep it unscratched while modding. It will not be there for the finished product, I promise :)


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    One last thing to test. That the water cooling fitting will fit when the fans are mounted and they will. Mod done. Think I will create a case fan bracket to cover the side of the fans for a cleaner look, maybe do that in carbon fiber...
     
  20. Zeuligan

    Zeuligan Member

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    And sorry for the lack of activity the past few weeks. Broke my hand so had some problems modding, but back on track now :) Would love some feedback on the build so far. Have had some very exciting news from a personal aspect that I think you will like that will influence this build. Will post more about that in my next update
     

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