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Case Mod - In Progress Jam Packed - InWin A1 Mod

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Mosquito, 5 Feb 2020.

  1. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    Hi,

    I'm Mosquito, also known as Chris, and I have a problem. I haven't posted a case mod in like 2 years

    I'm going to be working on an In-Win A1 case, and this is sort of two worklogs in one. First part is a simple mod, to watercool CPU + GPU in a custom loop with only a simple mod (and some GPU size restrictions).

    After that, I am continuing to mod the case, to see how much I can fit in this little case :)

    This video is the first step in that multi-step approach.

    I put together this video on a simple mod for installing a custom watercooling loop with minimal modifications




    First thing I did was some disassembly to get to the bottom of the case, and then used an old radiator template thing I had to mark some hole locations
    [​IMG]


    And then drilled out those holes. Note, I forgot to tape the case first, so I ended up taping around the locations I marked for the most part, instead of taping and re-marking. Oops
    [​IMG]


    All I had to do was drill 8 holes and it allowed me to mount the fans through the bottom of the case to the radiator

    [​IMG]


    This no longer uses the holes in the bottom plastic frame for mounting the fans. You also wouldn't want to anymore, since there is about a 3/16" (just under 5mm) gap between the fan and the plastic frame. No complaints here, as it helps get the fans a little further away

    [​IMG]


    Next up, a little test install. I'm using a fan/radiator mounting bracket for the pump/res combo

    [​IMG]


    It is worth noting, that fwith my setup I had to go with an SFX power supply. If you had a shorter/smaller/different reservoir arrangement, then you may be able to use the ATX power supply that comes with the case

    [​IMG]


    Next up I did some fiddling with the loop order and tubing runs, and installed my PSU

    [​IMG]


    I threw the PSU cover over it after installing everything (taped in place for now, which is why it's partially crooked in this picture)

    [​IMG]


    Overall, this was a pretty nice compact little build. I'm sure there are people crying out "WITH THAT SMALL OF A GPU YOU COULD HAVE USED A SMALLER CASE", which is true, however, I've also got a 240mm+120mm full custom loop in it :)

    [​IMG]


    I ran this system for a while, actually used it at an Age of Empires II LAN (An old college group still gets together once or twice a year to play the original version, not the HD or Definitive Editions released on Steam), and as my shop computer for a while.

    Temps were pretty good, and the passively cooled PSU never gave me any trouble. Under typical browsing/music/video streaming duties the CPU would generally sit around 33-35c and the GPU around 31-32c. Doing some bench marks or stress-tests would obviously push things a little further. While running Furmark and CPUZ's stress tests simultaneously, I was seeing the CPU around 68-72c and GPU at around 56-60c.

    Overall I was quite pleased with this setup, but... it's a little too pedestrian for me, so in the updates to come, I will be taking things a little further, possibly into the realm of pointless ridiculousness, if I can :)


    Thanks for checking this one out
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2020
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  2. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    :oldconfused:...video works fine, but I canot see any of the pictures yet
     
  3. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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  4. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    You's gotta pay the protection money, Mos.
    Sweet little toaster you have there. :D For real torture you could've fit a longer res sideways.
    The PSUs run HOT. I set mine up to push the rigs exhaust through it... which made it hotter.
     
  5. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    That's the annoying part, I did lol
    And the PSU in this particular setup is actually a passively cooled PSU. I was surprised that it actually worked out with no issues for me. I will be going with a different PSU for the rest of the project though, as I need a little more oomph :) I'll have to look in to other res options, I'm toying with the idea of creating my own
     
  6. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Oops. You said it. Even worse, you said it to me. Now you have to. :D Or I will bug the sheeeeeeeeeiiiit out of you.
     
  7. MLyons

    MLyons Half dev, Half doge. Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I'd recommend switching to lets encrypt. It's free and automatic if you have a fairly normal server setup
     
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  8. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    Haha, yes indeed... I have to do a little bit of tuning on the CNC first, but I'm definitely planning to at least give it a run this time, but I need to figure out a design first...


    More or less what I did. I changed hosts, because my old one has gone downhill quite a bit. They didn't and wouldn't support Let's Encrypt, so I switched to a different host that does. Hopefully everything is working now...
     
  9. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Yep, Fixed. Looking forward to that pointless ridiculousness.
     
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  10. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    Now that we got "the easy" out of the way, let's start to have some more fun upload_2020-2-20_8-36-9.gif

    Time to start tearing some stuff back down


    [​IMG]


    This I/O cover is pretty nice. One mod I was looking at was standing it up and making the top the new front of the case. But I would have had to flip the power button, as the logo would have been upside down and annoying. Luckily, if you were to do that, it's easy to do

    [​IMG]


    Since I'll be cutting stuff up at this point, I'm taking everything off that I can. Always remember to photograph power connections, if you need to remove anything like this :)

    [​IMG]


    Next up, was the stressful part... I took the top glass panel off. I don't have any pictures of the process, so you'll have to wait until the video is up for that part. Essentially, it was patience, a heat gun, and a couple of screwdrivers, patience, and anxiety upload_2020-2-20_8-36-9.gif But eventually SUCCESS!

    [​IMG]


    Essentially, there's just a narrow (~1/2" wide) strip of double sided foam tape around the perimeter. I focused on heating up a decent area with the heat gun, and then gently pried up with the screwdriver (often using a gentle twisting of a flat blade with eased edges, to avoid excessive fore). Try not to heat up any particular area too much. I think it took me around 7-8 minutes to get this removed. Of course, if you try this, do so at your own discretion. There's always the possibility you shatter this thing into a kazillion little pieces

    [​IMG]


    Next up, there was this plastic film on the back under the paint, so I removed that just by pulling it off.

    [​IMG]


    I used mineral spirits and denatured alcohol to clean up any residue (I use mineral spirits and rags first to dissolve and clean up the adhesive and then denatured alcohol to clean up the oily residue from the mineral spirits)

    [​IMG]


    And that's how you de-lid an InWin A1 :)

    [​IMG]


    However, my reason for doing this, was to get a window in the top of the chassis. So the opaque white top wasn't quite going to cut it.
    So I covered the thing with Citristrip and let it sit an hour. Didn't do anything, so I covered it again, and let it sit for a couple more hours.


    [​IMG]


    And... nothing. Alright, (no pictures here), take it outside, coat it with Aircraft Remover, paint stripper. This stuff is nasty, but some of the best stuff I could find for stripping hard to dissolve paints. Directions say 10-15 minutes. Tried 15, nothing. Tried again for an hour, nothing. Well alright then.
    These were my desperate attempts with a sanding block, and a steel wire wheel. Now we're getting somewhere...


    [​IMG]


    Yeah, no. That was like an hour of sanding and wire wheel work, that's obviously not going to happen lol I'm Assuming this stuff is baked on during manufacture, so it's a little more tough than I am...

    So... there will have to a Plan B on that one, I think.... but that's alright, I'll manage :)



    Thanks for checking it out

    -Mosquito
     
  11. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Yep. It's a baked on ceramic label-thing. I'm not sure you can acid-etch it off either. Wet sanding with a diamond file? (Would take forever too.)
    F- It. Just add 1/2" beveled plexi like a good boy. :D
     
  12. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    That is, in fact, Plan B lol
    3/16" is the factory thickness on the glass panel, and I'll stick with that, to keep it flush with the I/O bezel thing
     
  13. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    So after getting the glass top off, despite the setback of the paint not being easily removed, it's time to press on anyway...



    For those of you more video inclined, I have "Part 1" of the series posted:







    Using the original top panel some carpet tape, and a specialized router, I made a couple top panel windows

    [​IMG]



    After routing the pattern, the replacement top panel looks to fit quite well.

    [​IMG]



    This was another one of the "practice" pieces, in tinted acrylic to get an idea for how it would look

    [​IMG]



    The plan at this point, was to mask off the shape for the window, and then paint this top panel to hide the metal underneath, so I'm testing some paint samples here

    [​IMG]



    Planning out the hole I'm going to cut for the top window

    [​IMG]



    Then I cut out that window with the rotary tool and cleaned it up with a hand file

    [​IMG]



    And with the tape removed, this is about what the top window will give us a view to. Reason I only did the window in the back, is because I don't care about seeing the PSU. Plus, I'll need somewhere to hide the rats nest of wires :D

    [​IMG]



    Fast forward a couple months, and I ended up getting a CNC... so I tried out a new idea with the windows
    [​IMG]



    This allowed me to make the panel and the window separately, which will make it easier to paint the panel, and not screw up the window

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Next will be working on getting all the hardware I want to cram into this thing to fit effectively...
     
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  14. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Mos gets a CNC. :D What did ya get? I'm still shopping since building with parts from China is kinda...yeah.
     
  15. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    haha, yeah, I had thought about trying to DIY my own, but at the end of the day figured for my first CNC I should probably just get a kit. Maybe if I ever upgrade I'll DIY? Idk, we'll see.

    I got a Shapeoko 3 XL, and then added some T-track and MDF sacrificial waste board on top of their bed. I might upgrade the Z-Axis at some point down the line, but for now it does what I need pretty well (after a bunch of fiddling, but that's to be expected from a sub $20k machine I would think lol).

    I was happy with it, but then added a recently released bit-setter, and I'm quite pleased with it now. The bit-setter I think was key, as it allows you to change bits with out having to re-zero the Z height on the stock, which is fantastic.

    I also took some PTO I had at the end of the year to build a nice insulated enclosure for it (the wall panels have 1" between them and I used denim insulation to help dampen sound). Still have to get glass for the doors though, so it's sort of only half useful lol
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 5 Apr 2020
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  16. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Not a fan of the roller setups. I don't particularly think I can re-invent the wheel, but I've seen some features on other rigs I like.
    Currently looking to:
    use ballscrews and bearings
    be able to use my current 3 motor controller setup.
    Have the floor removable to work on any size part.
    make the x axis wider than the base so it can cut to the very edge of the frame.
    possibly make it store vertically?
     
  17. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    Hi All,



    I don't have much of a written/picture update for this one, mainly just working on getting the radiator installed where I want it, and some modifications to accommodate that.


    upload_2020-4-10_18-2-4.gif


    So leaving off on the end of that video, I dove in to some testing to see if a regular 30mm thick radiator would be enough for what I'm trying to do

    [​IMG]



    Event did a bunch of testing using the bottom portion of the A1, to make sure that even with the fans in pull configuration with the base it would be ok.

    [​IMG]



    The good news is, even with that configuration, I was able to run some benchmarks and F@H to get some good heat going for a couple of hours, and everything handled it fine. So this at least means that if I go with a slim radiator, it's at least a somewhat viable option for this hardware setup.



    Been having a heck of a time with those 760's though, and if I switch to the Vega Nano's I'm not sure if this would be enough radiator for that...
     
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  18. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Are you implying you will use 2 gpu's?
     
  19. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    Yes sir indeed I am :)
     
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  20. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    Part 3 of the video series is up, and I get the radiator situated in the bottom of the case




    So the slim GTS raadiator, I knew would fit for sure, since I had already done this install with the old not-really-modded setup

    [​IMG]



    But when I switched to the Vega 56 Nano's instead of the GTX 760's, although my testing indicated it would be fine, it just didn't feel right. I felt like if I just went with the slim radiator, I'd be feeling like I short changed myself, and we can't have that now can we.

    [​IMG]



    So as per the video, I cut a giant hole in the bottom of the chassis so I could fit the GTR radiator, with the fans attached to it through the original the base, and this made BARELY enough room, but should be enough. Though I might have to zip off the bottom half of the PCIE card retainer mechanism there, so that it will actually latch.

    [​IMG]



    I guess that's pretty much it for this one, until I post the part 4 video update later on.
     
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