1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Case Mod - In Progress HP Blackbird 002

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by MrBean, 28 Sep 2008.

  1. MrBean

    MrBean Member

    Joined:
    21 Apr 2004
    Posts:
    546
    Likes Received:
    8
    :dremel:

    For a while now I've been eyeing the recently released HP Blackbird 002. No, not the system, just the case.

    But, as you all know, they're notoriously difficult to come by, at least as an empty case - and, in the Land Down Under, you cannot even buy a complete Blackbird system.

    With the help of a fellow modder, Alex at Computer Choppers, who recently did the Dream Machine mod on one of these, I managed to secure a Blackbird case.

    All the cabling, SATA backplane, internal plastics were there, but it is short the unique outer sidepanels, and a decent front panel assembly for the buttons.

    I have very good hardware particularly suited to this mod - for now I am putting on hold Dark Apple, and using the Asus Z7s motherboard, 2x Xeon 5430 cpus, 8gigs of ram, and the SAS harddrive cage.

    Please see next post for some pics.
     
    Last edited: 28 Sep 2008
  2. MrBean

    MrBean Member

    Joined:
    21 Apr 2004
    Posts:
    546
    Likes Received:
    8
    Well, I basically put the base system together to test all the hardware, and make sure everything works as it should. Loaded Win Vista Ultimate 64bit as the preferred OS.

    Here's a shot of the case, note the missing outer side-covers:

    [​IMG]

    And here's a shot of the front-panel electronics, minus the rather nice HP frontpanel assembly:

    [​IMG]

    The original assembly was modified, but it did not come out well, and will not fit this mod particularly well - I need a new bit here, and would prefer the original plastic - otherwise I need to have one CNC'ed, same as the sidepanels.

    [​IMG]

    and the backside:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 28 Sep 2008
  3. bigsharn

    bigsharn Officially demotivated

    Joined:
    9 May 2008
    Posts:
    2,603
    Likes Received:
    83
    You actually got hold of a Blackbird shell? :eeek:


    SUBSCRIBED!!!
     
  4. MrBean

    MrBean Member

    Joined:
    21 Apr 2004
    Posts:
    546
    Likes Received:
    8
    Here's a couple of internal shots, please don't mind the cabling/wiring for now, it will all be fixed proper when I'm done - in the following shots, the internal windage trays are not in place, I will mount them once the watercooling is complete.

    Showing the Asus Z7S mobo, with 8-gigs FB-Dimms, and Xeon 5430's mounted - just 2 test coolers on for now - the system will be watercooled, replacing air for the 2x Fuzion v2's out of the Apple mod.

    [​IMG]

    and another one:

    [​IMG]

    In the next shot you can see the Dell Perc 5i mounted, with it's dual 4-channel SAS cables connected:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. MrBean

    MrBean Member

    Joined:
    21 Apr 2004
    Posts:
    546
    Likes Received:
    8
    I guess I was very lucky, right time and place, and a crapload of money - the case, with shipping to Australia was around USD $1,200 - ouch, but worth it :)

    Ok, back to the setup - the only real gripe I had with a very well designed case was a few minor things:

    1) The harddrive slide in trays are hiddeous, cheap plastic things - they could have done a better job here.
    2) Mounting any decent aftermarket radiator is going to be a pain (but I have it covered)
    3) the clips keeping PCI cards in place is also crap quality, and prone to cracking/breaking - Voodoo/HP need to focus on the aspect.

    Other than that, a very well-designed and engineered case.

    Well, fixing the problem in point 1, I decided to remove the stock SATA backplane that came with the Blackbird:

    [​IMG]

    With that done, I fitted the SAS (8x) 2.5" harddrive cage from a HP ML370 T05 server, similar to the one I am using in the Apple CaseMod. the advantage is, well, SAS drives, fast, enterprise reliability, battery-backed wb-cache, etc....plus, I can fit 8, where the original HP design allowed for 5 drives in the Blackbird.

    And, I think it looks much neater than the original design - this is something Voodoo/HP should have done too - the cost of designing a new backplane from scratch vs using the SAS one would not have made a difference to the final pricing.

    Well, here's some pics, please tell me what you think:

    Angled shot:

    [​IMG]

    another one....

    [​IMG]

    and a close-up of the caddy and mounting - the aluminium plate will get the same color as the interior plastics, some or other glossy black....

    [​IMG]
     
  6. MrBean

    MrBean Member

    Joined:
    21 Apr 2004
    Posts:
    546
    Likes Received:
    8
    What's on the agenda next:

    1) Mounting the Feser 240mm X-changer Radiator - busy with a very finicky custom mount for this unit, originally the watercooled Blackbirds makes use of an Asetek unit, custom manufactured for HP by them, and not available for sale to the general public.

    I don't want the crappy stock cooling anyway.

    Have the rad, Tygon 3/8" tubing, pumps, waterblocks, etc....

    2) finalize cabling.

    3) Buy 2x HD 4750 X2's for this rig.

    I am currently using my old, trustworthy 8800Ultra.

    Looking for a sponsor for the gfx cards :)

    Comments welcome.

    @ Cyprio and Angel OD: You guys thought I dropped everything...hehe

    MrBean.
     
  7. modsquad

    modsquad Grease Monkey Undergraduate..

    Joined:
    27 Feb 2004
    Posts:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    6
    Blackbird singing in the dead of night.. Take these broken wings and learn to fly
    All your life
    You were only waiting for this moment to arise
     
    Last edited: 28 Sep 2008
  8. MrBean

    MrBean Member

    Joined:
    21 Apr 2004
    Posts:
    546
    Likes Received:
    8
    :) Ah, wise words there....

    For those that may want to know, this is a pic of the HP SAS cage I used....in case original Blackbird owners want to do something similar...cough-cough Voodoo/HP....

    [​IMG]

    Here's the motherboard I used:

    [​IMG]

    and then, the memory:

    [​IMG]

    and populating the board - 8-gigs of FB-Dimm goodness.....

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 28 Sep 2008
  9. HaoKi

    HaoKi Lleno de anguilas!

    Joined:
    10 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    168
    Likes Received:
    3
    As I loved the G5 Mod, I'm really looking forward to seeing this one...:)
     
  10. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2005
    Posts:
    8,614
    Likes Received:
    197
    i miss the G5 mod..
     
  11. wgy

    wgy New Member

    Joined:
    28 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    305
    Likes Received:
    15
    wise 'lyrics' to be correct, blackbird by the beatles.

    looking forward to this. the HD rack looks good.
     
  12. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

    Joined:
    10 Apr 2008
    Posts:
    5,297
    Likes Received:
    54
    Now let me see. this would have to be the SECOND Blackbird to ever be modded, do that case proud my friend.

    What are you gonna do with your G5 mod?
     
  13. wbdog206

    wbdog206 not me

    Joined:
    15 Jan 2007
    Posts:
    442
    Likes Received:
    1
    i like that h\d rack very efficient.
     
  14. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    Joined:
    13 May 2007
    Posts:
    10,998
    Likes Received:
    1,029
    Cool! something to look forward to.:D
     
  15. modgodtanvir

    modgodtanvir Prepare - for Mortal Bumbat!

    Joined:
    28 May 2007
    Posts:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    2
    A Blackbird!?! This is going to be awesome! Keeping my eyes peeled ;)
     
  16. _-..zKiLLA..-_

    _-..zKiLLA..-_ Member

    Joined:
    8 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    nvm :D
     
    Last edited: 29 Sep 2008
  17. x06jsp

    x06jsp da ginger monkey!!!!

    Joined:
    2 Apr 2007
    Posts:
    1,651
    Likes Received:
    1
    sorry to say but ridiculously over priced case (i.e roughly £500!) but i look forward to seeing what you get done...

    Josh
     
  18. tominated

    tominated New Member

    Joined:
    28 May 2008
    Posts:
    504
    Likes Received:
    6
    i was wanting to get my hands on a blackbird case for soooo long. looks like it's going to be another top notch project though MrBean
     
  19. MrBean

    MrBean Member

    Joined:
    21 Apr 2004
    Posts:
    546
    Likes Received:
    8
    Heya Guys,
    Thanx for the feedback, appreciated.

    I agree on the comment that these cases are ridiculously expensive, if you can find one, but, us modders are a crazy bunch :)

    Nice to have something that will only get mainstream a couple of years from now - something similar to the Apple G5/Pro series cases - when someone tackles one, everyone takes notice.

    I guess it will be the same with the Blackbirds 2-3 years from now.
     
  20. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2005
    Posts:
    8,614
    Likes Received:
    197
    You might be right there chap, i loved the G5 logs so much but couldn't find a G5 case for love or money so ended up with a Lian li V1000b. I think the reason G5 projects are so loved is because you cant just slap hardware in them, they need modding well!
     
Tags:

Share This Page