Case Mod - In Progress ⭐ (In Win 901) Asteria II: Rearmoured

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by LePhuronn, 3 Feb 2017.

  1. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    Bent as a nine bob note!

    [​IMG]

    Between awkward bends, multiple re-bending of bits, cutting, trimming and generally handling the piece, there literally wasn't a right angle anywhere on the main body panel.

    With guide jigs made (I won't rant about how my brand new circular saw was off by 3 degrees and my MDF stock had warped), bolted to the main radiator and everything clamped and screwed together, hopefully this bloody thing will remember what shape it's supposed to be before I start drilling NEW holes rather than just matching existing ones. Need to break out the JB Weld too to fill in a couple of incorrect holes and re-drill :wallbash:

    But, once I can get this main bit finalised and back into the exterior skin I can then test fit the full case and components, and then the floodgates will open with lots of more interesting stuff :thumb:
     
  2. FatalSyntaxError

    FatalSyntaxError Member

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    Coming along nicely! Unlucky with the saw and wrapped wood issues. Hopefully it wasn't a major issue to fix after the fact.
     
  3. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    Thanks dude, appreciated.

    The only issues really are that my jig intended to straighten things up wasn't straight so ended up bodging things together after all. It's annoying because I'm quite a clinical, precise guy who is a bit cack-handed when doing anything manual, so things start going wrong if I have to do everything myself.

    Still, it's all OK now. Shape kinda held when I stripped things down to fill some holes, and now I know where everything goes it should be easy to get back in shape again.

    Of course, I have drilled the wrong hole sizes in a vital area :wallbash:
     
  4. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    The moment of truth...

    [​IMG]

    I have a BIG update for you. Not so much in volume, but in significance. After 2 years of planning, design, redesign, stress and very scary moments I think I might actually have the case.
    [​IMG]


    And for all those who asked the question directly, here is the big reveal: the Alphacool UT60 360 radiator mounted inside.
    [​IMG]

    Close-up of the rad in situ
    [​IMG]

    And after all the trouble with bending the lower L incorrectly, trashing all backup pieces, bend radii throwing measurements off and ultimately taking a hacksaw to lovely laser cut work...
    [​IMG]

    It's turned out pretty much bang on. Hell, I might have even taken a tiny bit too much out!

    Things still need a bit of adjustment to straighten bits up, but here's a cheeky shot of the back with a vanity plate I put in to cover the PSU opening. Should look nice once cleaned up and brushed to replicate the case exterior.
    [​IMG]


    And to wrap up, I simply had to throw the hardware into the case. Consider this a teaser and a spoiler for when everything comes together :p
    [​IMG]

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    Forgive the grotty photos because I'm over-excited and over-tired! Still lots to do to get the case cleaned up and finalised, but I think finally I've now broken the back of it. The grunt work is done, so everything now is a million little things so I can potter about and do bits here and there, rather than have to schedule in large blocks of time.

    Plenty more to do, plenty more to see, and plenty of things I've not even talked about yet :D

    Stay tuned :thumb:
     
  5. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Wicked !
     
  6. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    I thought so :D couple of bits to tidy up, straighten and more mounting holes to mark for other components, but the grunt work is almost complete.

    Cheers dude!
     
  7. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    Just a quick note to say that life has taken a busy turn right now so things have slowed up. Hopefully there will be progress soon.

    But amazingly this project has been nominated for the bit-tech monthly update poll! If you thik this is worthy of a vote then I'd be honoured by your support

    :)
     
  8. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Got my vote dude :)

    Good luck !
     
  9. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    You're too kind, sir. Many thanks!
     
  10. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    Greetings!

    Not much to say at the minute as I'm trying to get some money together for the next phase of the project. Rather than let this log vanish into the ether, I thought I'd share a little preview of something upcoming. Very rough photos as this update has been thrown together rather hastily :p

    With the radiator occupying the entire lower chamber of the case, and the PSU residing where the hard drives would usually sit, I need to relocate the storage. Since I'm sticking with 2.5" drives right now, I thought I'd make the new drive position a bit of a feature. So, one drive mounting plate drawn up and cut:
    [​IMG]

    and will be placed on the back of the case over the motherboard cutout, something like this
    [​IMG]

    Space for 2 drives; I'll be repurposing my existing Samsung 840 500GB as it's still in excellent health and pairing it with one of those slim 7mm tall laptop drives for file storage, more than likely the Western Digital WD10SPCX 1TB. Allow this battered Seagate to illustrate.
    [​IMG]

    I'm going for a wireless look for this storage plate, so each drive has a cutout for running cables out of the way. I'll be using those ultra slim Silverstone CP11 SATA cables to tuck under the GPU, route under the motherboard and out the big case cutout into the storage plate. For power I'm going to try and make up a veroboard for sharing the power a few ways as I have something fancy planned ;) (and is what's costing the money)

    Given the visual mismatch of a mechanical dive paired with SSD, I'm not leaving the drives exposed. Pair of aluminium covers will be used, and I've cut the Asteria II and In Win branding into them for some visual flourish with something to come later.
    [​IMG]

    It'll be along these lines when they're in position.
    [​IMG]


    That's the general gist of it anyway :)

    Hopefully I can scrounge some money together soon and get the acrylic and LED strips in and get this bit put together properly.

    Catch you soon!
     
    Last edited: 21 May 2017
  11. Andreas | Brodholm

    Andreas | Brodholm Member

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    Interesting project! I am looking to go small in my next project as well!

    Did not know caustic soda worked that good on aluminium. I have used a torch in the past with varying results. Some really good information to have in your repertoire, thanks for that.

    I would just have started sanding and sweating and swearing after a while doing it the hard way, what you did is much better :D

    Are you putting some lacquer on there to prevent oxidation or leave it as be?
     
  12. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    Good to have you on my humble log, Brodholm! I see X99 Wing is coming along nicely, and those finishing touches you've made are as stunning as the CNC work. Nice job.

    Yeah, if you're careful then caustic soda mix will strip the anodising away from aluminium very well, but you have to make sure it's not under too long otherwise you can damage the bare metal. I think 40 grams per litre is the best mix, and have the water lukewarm just to give the mix some energy. Then you leave it to work slowly and the mix gently dissolves the anodising. As I said in that part of the log I got my mix very wrong and very hot and risked destroying the backplate. All good in the end though :thumb:

    After brushing the aluminium I put a couple of light coats of matte clear coat, something cheap for cars I got from eBay. I think it's acrylic-based so it's proven to be quite tough given how much I've been handling the card recently with more measuring and test placements. Also useful to know that it's easy to strip off with acetone; I had to redo the clear coat twice and the first time I actually sanded it off. Second time I remembered I had plenty of nail varnish remover around so gave the backplate a wipe over and the clear coat came right off. Much easier!

    I did have to be quick after brushing because first time I found the raw metal would dull quite rapidly, and had to redo my first effort to buff the metal back up again. Truth be told most of that shine is coming from the clear coat, not the metal. Surprising given it's supposed to be a matte clear coat!
     
  13. Andreas | Brodholm

    Andreas | Brodholm Member

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    Thanks, yeah... I have basically have had no time to look at other work logs for a long time now. Decided to take some time of today and just browse through :) I always find nice ideas that I can "steal" or incorporate in a different way into my own builds. Inspiration is very important!

    I have had the same experience with bare aluminium as well. It gets quite dull quite fast. Some lacquer definitely helps. I have used "zapon" lacquer with great success. Creates a very hard and thin layer. Much harder than a regular spray can lacquer. But the amount of ware is quite limited inside a computer though :D
     
  14. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    I didn't feel the need to go too crazy with protecting the backplate since it's only inside a case. I need to do something with the GPU block though as the black paint is very fragile and has chipped in a few places already.

    And if there's anything you want to "steal" from my project then you are more than welcome :thumb:
     
  15. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    OK, I have a few things in the works now and hopefully I'll get a few little bits up over the weekend after I've done my acrylic cutting.

    In light of my pump placement issues and discussion on another thread I've decided to have a crack at making my own DDC top doing exactly what I need it to do. This is the pump top I came up with:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's based around what I can theoretically do with a drill press and some careful measurements, so no spiral volute this time. I'm milling the volute out with a forstner bit so I could, in theory, offset the center a bit a couple of times to fake a spiral, but it won't be smooth and would probably just end up causing turbulence before the water even exits the top, doing an even worse job than just a circular volute.

    I grabbed some offcut white acetal for a test and have drawn out quite a few drilling guides that I'll be making up in acrylic. All I need to do is build my pillar drill and I can give it a whirl!

    If this works then loop routing is much easier and I'll have no conflicts with the graphics card so can raise and lower the entire pump as required. I'll then address the heatsink at a later date.
     
  16. davido_labido

    davido_labido Your Alphacool Contact.

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    if this works, I will visit you and see how you did it, I am very interested!
     
  17. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    It's a date :thumb:
     
  18. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    I'm not dead, just very poorly, and even more annoyed at the mistakes I've been making as of late.

    I doubt anybody will be interested in steel spacers to replaced stripped threads in aluminium :p but hopefully I'll have something fun to report on soon.
     
  19. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    Greetings. I fancied posting some recent work up, even though I'm not really happy with how it's been turning out. But as I've not posted in a while I thought it best to check in and let you know I'm not dead :p
     
  20. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    Blanking Plates
    What is some good news is that I've finally finished the core construction of the case. Still lots of new holes and whatnot to put in for tube runs, mounting points, etc, but it's nice that the procrastination is done with and I can stop faffing about.

    To keep the stock look going I wanted to blank off the front half of the radiator area underneath the glass panels, but I also need easy access to that area for working with tubing, running cables and the DDC cooling fan. So the idea is to have 2 plates attached with thumb screws that are folded around the upright and horizontal parts of the case body. Unfortunately previous bending attempts on tiny flaps of alu met with the same issues I had on the larger case parts; try to bend too wide a piece and the bend radius shoots up.

    Let's try perforating the fold lines then and see if we can lessen the resistance.

    Fold lines marked and center punched
    [​IMG]

    Drilled (forgot to switch to a 1mm bit before starting :p)
    [​IMG]

    Lined up in the folder
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    And folded up, with no real improvement in bend radius down the length.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    I guess ultimately I'm not reducing the amount of material to be folded with such small holes. Ah well, no big. Looks fine once the holes are filled and put in place.
    [​IMG]

    Annoyingly though it looks like something got into my bag of smaller metal bits and scratched them during a recent tidy up. Should buff out no problem before powder coating, but it's an extra job.


    I have a choice of panel for the front side:
    [​IMG]

    Both replicate the stock 901's power button in that it's a springy tongue of material resting against a tactile switch. I'm going initially for the version with a power icon cut into it so I can try and light it up.

    For this to work as intended, I need to slice off a bit of the new bodywork to give an inset for the plate to press into.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's about 3mm deep and angled up to the "hinge" on the blanking plate.

    So when the plate is in position...quick balancing act!
    [​IMG]

    The upper half of the plate is flush against the bodywork, and the folded tab on the far side is pushed over 90 degrees to give a tight grip. The lower half then can be pressed in and trigger a tactile switch set up behind it.

    In place
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Minor disappointment in that with all the bending issues I've had all dimensions are just a tiny bit off what was originally planned, so the power button strip is now about 3mm lower than it should be and no longer lines up with the In Win logo on the front of the case. I really hope I can buff those scratches out without resorting to filler :( they're not actually deep so fingers-crossed smoothing them off and then powder coating will hide it.

    I might have spares though, assuming they're not scratched up too. Worst-case scenario I just remake them, but I'm inclined to just use alu angle so I don't have to worry about folding it. The thumbscrew tab bends nicely, and I can just round off the sharp angle edge. An option...

    Either which way, with this bit done and the lower portions finally supported, threaded (again) and all screwed together, the actual reconstruction is done. Finally. Hurrah.
     

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