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Case Mod - Complete Killer Panda - Z370 X Code

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by AT0MAC, 27 Jan 2018.

  1. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    Ended up not having as much time as I initially wanted today, but anyway, got some things done after all.

    Firstly, disassembled my graphics card.

    [​IMG]

    After removing the cooler and backplate I discovered a few things.

    First, the plate that connects to the heatpipes is rather large and pure cobber!
    But it was dirty and needed a good clean.
    After the cleaning I noticed the cobber have some small scratches, I guess it's from the manufacturing, because it's not visible they don't care.
    That means I will not use liquid metal and will rather go for a high quality paste, to fill out the little air pockets in the scratches.

    [​IMG]

    Then it was time to measure the thermal pads, so I can order some better ones and improve cooling a little.

    [​IMG]

    About 1.5mm.
    God I love this digital caliper!

    After that I took a look at the backplate...

    [​IMG]

    I really don't like the design, the whole space look with writing all over and the yellow lines, looks like a prop for the movie The Fifth Element...

    So I thought, hey, I wrapped the legs in vinyl, so still have a black un-used plastidip!

    [​IMG]

    So shot the backplate 4 layers of flat black, currently drying but looks much much better!
    Sorry for the bad pictures, only had my phone on me that time and paint drying is very very reflective so it screws up autofocus.

    By the way, before I painted the backplate, I test fitted the "new" graphic card, aka same card, without coolers on.

    Everything only fits in one way in this case, no room for anything. Specially the graphics cards size was an issue, but now it will just fit! A really really tight fit. Almost touches the rad.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So the idea is in front of the heatsink there will be 2x Corsair ML120s on a bracket, controlled by the Zotac cards PWM controller, with some rubber dampers and digital LED frames from Phanteks, bassically I just designed my own card :p
    And also on the other side, I will mount 2x Corsair ML120s on a bracket, both to cool the GPU but also to help cool the VRM on the motherboard, controlled by the motherboard fan header. There is a PCI space before the 16x PCI on my motherboard, so with a little mod to the case it should just about fit.

    When I wait for paint to dry I tried out a few other things, I have some bamboo I want to incorporate somewhere in the build, because - pandas eat bamboo.
    Not sure where to put it yet, but wanted to see how good the glue is when glued to painted metal.

    Had a piece of my scrap Aerocool case laying around and damn, it's now stuck there!
    That glue is good!

    [​IMG]

    Let's see what will get the bamboo treatment later on...

    Lastly, unpacked my CableMod cables, and I'm so happy I went for it, they are soo nice!
    Ended up costing me about the same for cables as I originally payed for the PSU, but even if I had switched PSU it would not come with cables this nice.

    [​IMG]

    For some strange reason they are un-named when they come and you have to figure out what is what. I know that as soon as I have all parts I will assemble this thing quickly, so I sorted them and labeled them...


    I can see now this is not only a casemod, this is a full PC mod, not much I don't modify in some way...

    Stay tuned for more exciting stuff!
     
    _Prometheus_ likes this.
  2. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    I have fans!

    [​IMG]

    (that joke never gets old, even though that my tower of ML120s is getting shorter the more I use)

    I received the last fitting i'm supposed to need for finishing the build, so the path from the pump to the top side of my motherboard tray will be assembled something like this, were the 3 pieces in the left corner is the ones going from the radiator and back down trough the motherboard plate:

    [​IMG]

    The black valve is my high end ceramic drain valve, the big bulky valve is my loop close off ball valve and the smaller way more restrictive valve above is for blowing air trough a tube, to easier push the liquid out of the loop, im confident this design is going to work a charm when finished for a really easy to maintain system.

    So this is also why I ended up needing to use proper fittings instead of soft tubing under, because all these bits and bobs would be impossible to attach to each other and hold its own weight up, if it could sag down on a soft tube somewhere.
    This ended up costing like 4x as much as intended just this little area, but that's the price for less maintenance hassle I'm ok with paying for.
    Really wish I was sponsored, these parts are from both Barrow, Thermaltake, Alphacool and one from Watercool, but no, only "sponsor" is me.


    Was toying around with the radiator and found out it needs to be mounted when the reservoir is not yet mounted behind it.
    For now I had only mounted 4 of the total 8 fan mount posts, and the rest of them is impossible to get in unless I mount them on the rad first and insert the whole thing into the bracket, but can only do that when the res is away, else there is too little clearance and res and rad will hit each other.

    So one of the coming days I will clean the radiator and get it mounted properly, just not today, its a little too much work.

    So instead, cleaned up the home office and sorted parts so its basically ready for assembly

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also, need the last few mods to the case, like fixing where to mount the pump, rivet in the motherboard tray, do something to fit the ekstra fan pci bracket behind the gpu (else its little too wide), make a special extra foot under the pump else the case is sagging down due to being made from rather thin aluminum because my pump is pretty heavy and other small mods.
    Gosh this is way more work than I original intended. Going to take a while before I will mod again.

    It's soon over, stay tuned for the grand finally coming very close.
     
  3. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    I estimate there will be something new to show the next week or so every single day, so stay tuned and get inspired or leave a comment on how you think I do.

    Todays update, I did different small things and now im quite tired, its already past midnight, pictures say more than words.

    Packages arrived (again)

    [​IMG]

    Yay, my high quality thermal pads for upgrading the graphics card and fixing my wifes laptop heating issue
    Also, some rubber o rings for the black stop fittings that were unusable (because they lacked o rings and was supposed to be chrome) - actually the seller agreed to refund their value.
    The last one is a 80mm pci fan bracket i ordered way way back, actually the seller have told me she could not longer supply it and it was also refunded long ago, so was pretty surprised to see that it actually arrived.

    [​IMG]

    I have also been assembling some of the parts I teased yesterday, but ended up actually breaking one of them!
    The alphacool high flow ball valve is terrible quality, the handle is pure plastic and rather soft (or i'm stronger than most?) - it snapped when I tried using it. Completely snapped into multiple pieces.
    Yes there is probably warranty, its under a week old or so, but who cares, it's in the system now and I can use a mini wrench to adjust when I need to, the plastic looked rather cheap anyway so now its little more unintended steam punk.

    [​IMG]

    About unintended steam punk, see my hand tightening stop fitting for the other valve, I want a stop fitting in case it don't hold the pressure 100%, but that valve end is in a really awkward spot, so best if its a hand tightening one.
    Could basically choose between this one from barrow or the fancy very expensive bitspower ones.

    [​IMG]

    The whole assembly ended up looking rather sweet - a few hardware porn pictures, but I assure you, it looks even better in real.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Closeup from above

    [​IMG]

    Further away

    [​IMG]

    Even further away, actually if you spot a Q tip then thats what I have assembled it with so far, not riveted the two halves together yet.
    Also, if anyone notice a difference at the far left cutout for cables, I was trying to mask off the round ends with Sugru mold able glue and it kind of worked, also used the same to fix a few very sharp edges on the cut out for the PSU extension on the back (not shown here)

    [​IMG]

    And then it was time to do something about this

    [​IMG]

    and this

    [​IMG]

    "I have a plan, we need: Rubber gloves, acid, syringes, googles, measuring cup, measuring jar, glass bottle, microfiber cloths - one yellow, one blue, a BLUE marker, funnel and stop fittings, 2 pieces G1/4 black"
    (reference to a Danish trio of thieves in some rather old movies about heists that always include the most obscure combinations of things, Olsen Banden)

    [​IMG]

    Im blitzing my radiator with part 1 solution from Mayhems for 9-10 hours or so, before I go to work tomorrow (technically thats today as its past midnight)

    [​IMG]

    also running a proof test with the remainder of solution I mixed (65ml solution 1 to 185ml of distilled water), no clue how it will work on old coins, but my guess is i can see a difference in the morning before I open the rad.

    [​IMG]



    I expect the last package to arrive tomorrow, also soon starting a 2 day build for a friend (so for 2 days I can not work on my own stuff but will make a separate thread for that machine) and can also at any time I find free time now fix my wifes laptop (the sooner the better, she is soo nice to me).



    Hope to catch you later.... /out
     
  4. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    It's morning, about 9 hours later since I started blitzing the rad and I have some little time to update you guys before I rush to work.

    The coin control test have done something over night

    [​IMG]

    They turned more shinny, but not the grey coin, it started dissolving - proof that it at least works (not sure what metals the coins are but it at least did something)

    [​IMG]

    Its freaking difficult to show in the rad, but I can see that the bottom of it is way smoother than before, also some of the threading looks nicer

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tested the Ph of the rad, and at the bottom its about 6, little higher on my gloves were the top of the paper touched

    [​IMG]

    Better get to my actually day job to afford more of such things.
    Catch you later!
     
  5. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    Sorry for the few days of total silence, I have been building a friends computer and will make a separate post about that, it turned out pretty sweet!


    Lets get going with my own project.
    Have now finalized mounting the pump:

    [​IMG]

    Mounted the radiator, fans and fan frames

    [​IMG]

    Mounted the res, and mounted both light and temp sensor in it, temp sensor is just about the right size to not interfere with flow
    The banged up res will not be seen, as that's below it and sits totally flush with the motherboard tray

    [​IMG]

    Mounted some other parts, like the harddrives/ssd, PSU and a few cables that will be almost impossible to do later on (dont look forward till when I have to swap anything out)

    [​IMG]

    So right now the machine looks like this.
    I know these pictures are not top quality grade, but its progress pictures, just wait for the finished product.

    [​IMG]


    Stay tuned for more!
     
  6. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    As I said, been working on a friends PC the past few days and it's now online so you can see what I been tinkering with on the sideline.

    So no update on this one today, as it really takes a while writing up a new thread and make the pictures the best I can do.

    Stay tuned for more Panda Power!
     
  7. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    I make small progress all the time and try my best not to screw up too much, im so close now to be done so better go easy.

    Did some little more cable routing, and put grommets on the holes I have made, to avoid either cutting fingers and cutting cables, the aluminum is rather sharp when drilled trough

    [​IMG]

    I have riveted the last bits and pieces in and put feet under again, plus I made a extra support foot in the middle of the case, else its sagging down due to weight of pump and hdds
    Actually the bottom is one of the best places to see that things have changed, almost none of the cutouts match their original purpose anymore

    [​IMG]

    Speaking of cables and modding, I am currently waiting for my black/white front panel connectors to be done drying (i have glued them to the original special connector cable)
    Even a small thing like that is getting a small mod...

    [​IMG]

    So for now the build is looking like this, can very soon mount the motherboard!

    [​IMG]

    oh yes I also test fitted a tube and have installed my flow meter. Found out I need some little ekstra adapter fittings to make all happen as intended, so yet again I'm waiting for a package.


    Catch you soon when I have more things to show
     
  8. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    I had not intended to work on this friday, but instead of going to bed I decided to work.
    And when I finished the time was 3am... So just woke up now (saturday at 10).

    Test fitted many of the wires and components, its way more difficult than it looks.

    [​IMG]

    The front looks the same

    [​IMG]

    But from the side a few things are changed

    [​IMG]

    There is less space in the case than I remembered, so will have to limit the amount of fans I originally wanted to use.
    Im little excited to see how my graphics card will turn out with a total makeover. But thats a project for a different day.

    Here you also see my m.2 cooler, with this and a fan directly behind it, then I can't imagine it would ever throttle.

    [​IMG]

    In case you did not know, my case is extremely compact for this amount of tech.
    This shot kind of show what I mean, a picture say more than a 1.000 words.

    [​IMG]


    I know the pictures are pretty bad and little confusing, but then imagine working on this after a 9 hour long work day, working at midnight and almost sleeping, only willpower pushing it trough.
    It's getting closer by the day.


    Stay tuned for more, hopefully I will have time to do some work today.
     
  9. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    Don't worry, I'm still here.
    Things I do now takes soo long time and can barely be seen what I have done.

    Last night I ended up working 3 hours doing the pipe connecting my rad outlet to my res inlet, that small piece was super difficult!
    I wish I had used soft tubing but damn these chromed pipes look soo good!

    [​IMG]

    It kind of remind me of the engine room on a big ship or something similar, there is pipes, valves, wires everywhere.
    Very industrial.... If I did not know it, my first guess would definitely not be that its parts for a computer.

    Speaking of wires, I did some wire management in the basement, don't care so much about looks down here, mainly function, the looks is more for up top.
    The wires alone almost looks like i'm building a b*mb - cut the blue or the yellow wire???

    [​IMG]

    I ended up reusing a 8Pin EPS connectors sleeves, from a old BitFenix extender I have laying around.
    The yellow and blue wires were very noticeable there behind the pump, so for the first long part of the wire its now sleeved in black, so the yellow/blue is only visible if you look trough the hole right below the CPU (invisible when motherboard is installed)


    So you see, that's what I meen, 2 pictures and that's already 3 hours work, we are now down the the nitty gritty details.


    Stay tuned for more!
     
  10. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    I have a really long work day tomorrow so I don't expect to get anything done on this until earliest friday.
    So I did a little more just now, and now its midnight so I better get to bed.

    Undressed my motherboard

    [​IMG]

    Replaced all thermal pads with very high end ones, 14 W/mk 1.5mm

    [​IMG]

    Mounted my CPU blocks backplate

    [​IMG]

    Fired her up with a passive heatsink I have laying around.
    Everything just works so far!

    [​IMG]

    Stay tuned for more progress during the weekend.
    Goodnight...
     
  11. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    Just a small notification. Not an actual update.
    There is now more than 12.000 views on the 4 threads I have this build log running on!

    That's kind of crazy...

    Linus Tech Tips: 2.868 views
    Tweak.dk: 3.000 views
    Bit-tech.net: 2.767 views
    Overclock.net: 3.556 views
    ------------------------------------------
    12.191 views

    I know that one of the sites recently asked for permission to post on the sites official Facebook page, but have not done it yet, so all this is definitely getting some attention.

    Hopefully the attention don't die out as I soon am done, a week more or so.

    Stay peaked for a grand finally soon!
     
  12. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    Now I know how it must be to work in a R&D department of a graphics card manufacturer.
    I have heavily modded my Zotac Amp Extreme GTX 1070 today, there is not a card like this by any stretch anywhere else until now.

    There will be many pictures today, else it will be difficult for me to show you all the blood, sweat and tears I have been going trough today, been almost working 4 hours on this update.

    ----------> lets get to it

    Started off by drilling holes in my black painted backplate, was pretty scary if it would mess up and rip off the paint but I succeeded.

    [​IMG]

    Mounted the Zotac slogan plate back in its place, it kind of fits the build I'm making, I will push the GTX 1070 and 8600K to the limit

    [​IMG]

    New high quality thermal pads, 14 W/mk, mounted

    [​IMG]

    Put a thermal probe on the backside of the GPU, because it's always nice to have some data to see how things are going.
    The yellow tape is kapton tape, made specifically for an application like this

    [​IMG]

    Cooler Master MasterGel Maker 11 W/mk thermal paste for the GPU
    Im using this because it should have very good spread, there are some micro scratches in my gpu heatsink, and should therefor be ideal for improving the cooling directly on die of my gpu

    [​IMG]

    Had to figure out how much to use, so did a test mount and clearly used too much, but would not have known if I did not test it out.

    [​IMG]

    Mounted a fan to the top of the backplate, in the holes I started making and threaded, threaded them to have maximum grip for the only 2 screws holding the whole weight of the fan.
    It actually works perfectly! Mounted it with some rubber dampers between backplate and fan so everything should be in check, even vibrations.

    [​IMG]

    So now the backplate looks like this

    [​IMG]

    And the front side looks like this

    [​IMG]

    Let me just say it mildly, it took forever to install the graphics card!!!
    I had to even unscrew the bracket plate where the connections are, because I could else not angle it into place!
    Then screw on the backplate after the gpu was back inside the case.
    Dont have any pictures of this process because it was frustrating!!!!

    But the result payed off, GPU is now installed and looks way better than before with improved cooling and improved monitoring (the probe)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is where all my SketchUp work clearly pays off, there is like 1,5mm space between the rad and the back of the graphics card!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now the machine looks like this and everything is still so far working!!
    Don't mind the cabling, am nowhere done with that yet.

    [​IMG]



    Ohh yes by the way, AFTER installing the GPU I noticed I had forgot something... The front USB cables!

    THAT was a serious pain in the b-hind to fix, but I am confident it will work next time I get the chance to test it, didnt feel to turn it on right now so actually dont know.

    [​IMG]

    Maybe the cable is not complettely in the right angle, and maybe I pinched the internal wires, but whatever if thats the case...
    Lets see if I am lucky yet again and it actually works ;)


    Stay tuned for more "manufacturing", see you later :)
     
  13. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    Im dying to know if that barrow flow meter works good or not. We both have nice asus mobo, and i would love to take advantage of that flow meter pin on the mobo for the first time, i have never bought a flow meter before.
     
  14. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    Hey man, good to see you here too. Yea me too, its the only acrylic piece in my loop and build quality is not the best I have seen, but lets wait and see if it surprises by function. I really don't know if water was a good idea, I have never build with hard tubes before and it's about 10 years ago I last did a custom loop. I hope to one of the days this weekend finish the tube installation and test run the loop for leaks.
     
  15. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    Today I did not get as much done as I wanted to, spend a lot of time with my kids instead and enjoyed the weekend.
    But there is some progress, getting closer by the day. My best estimate is that I will be able to finish it off by next weekend at this rate.
    One of my setbacks is that I installed the GPU fans and discovered that because I there opted for the normal plastic version of Phanteks Halos, that means I missed out on the Asus motherboard adapter to control the digital RGBs...
    Did not have that problem on the front fan frames, because I there bought the Lux version that comes including the adapters in the package.
    So yet again I have something on the way from Amazon.

    Let me show you what I did today, sorry some of the pictures are super soft, was charging my battery for the camera and in some places used the phone instead.

    Test fitted the top part, it still fits in its original spot.

    [​IMG]

    As you might notice, I had taped a piece of paper on the underside, so I knew exactly where my new top gpu fan is located.
    So had to make a little vent hole in the top.

    [​IMG]

    I wanted to use my biggest rivets, so had to even widen the holes in the vent cover, but it all seems like it turned out like intended in the end.
    The build is more and more getting that sleeper vibe, where you would not expect it to be like this on the inside, if you only seen it from the outside.
    Similar to old cars there have a ton of changes to the engine and drives like a race car, but looks like a trashcan on wheels.

    [​IMG]

    Next up I thought it was about time to install my heatkiller iv cpu block.
    But what was this, there is clearly something wrong with the batch of Hydronaut paste I bought, its extremely hard and can not be spread out at all, not even after I tried heating it with a lighter (before applying it), it actually turned even harder.
    Never used this paste before and damn this might be the last time I try it. Is that normal for Hydronaut?

    [​IMG]

    So instead I opted to use my last drop of Kryonaut paste.
    I ended up having just enough for 1 application, one very thin spread all over the IHS.

    [​IMG]

    And then it was time to install the block, it looks soo good... No wonder its considered one of the best blocks for Intel CPUs, the build quality is second to none!
    -don't mind the light scratches on the top part, mine is a B-ware and was quite a lot cheaper, but its only visible with light directly on it.
    The business end is perfectly smooth, very mirror like and could see right into the innards of my camera.

    [​IMG]

    So now it looks like this

    [​IMG]

    There is not one screw in the build I have not touched, not one surface I have not modified, nothing is let up to chance, it's all over the top calculated and measured but it looks like my plan is actually going to work.

    I just tried lifting the machine and OMG it's extraordinary heavy!!!
    If anything, that's probably the only thing I have not thought of.... Let's see if it has to stay on the table or it will end up in the closed as originally planned, if I can carry it.


    Lets finish off for today with one of the sexier shots, see you next time:



    [​IMG]
     
  16. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    You know the feeling, when a tiny little detail of something keeps you awake at night and is really annoying you.
    Thats what just happened to me now, the rubber dampers on my GPU fan frames were all over the place, not straight and good looking.

    Will never really be seen in the finished build, but I know it's there and its a real eye sore if you catch it.
    Had to do something!

    I have some foam damper I bought many years ago, surprised to see I still remembered where it was. It has a very adhesive backside, so it will stay in place forever!
    Left side is before, right side is after.

    [​IMG]

    So now it looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Notice the 80mm fan on the m.2 SSD cooler?
    I just figured, why not, there seems to be space and I have an unused fan header right there + a crap ton of fans so a little gorilla glue double sided tape, a few zip ties and bam, active cooled m.2!
    This PC will be a really cool machine, literally.....

    Speaking of cool, just took a rather cool looking shot of how it looks right now:

    [​IMG]

    As seen from above, its almost 50/50 white/black.


    Now its past 1am at night here in Denmark, better get back to bed, problems solved. Stay tuned for more another time. Goodnight
     
  17. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    You only get 1 picture today:

    [​IMG]

    I know it's a bad picture, take with my phone and it totally had troubles with the shinny reflective surfaces and lack of color.

    I have installed tubes!!

    It looks stunning in real life, seriously these chromed brass tubes are so beautiful (never thought I should say that about a computer part).
    Wait and see when I make much better pictures for the reveal...

    Did not have time to play with water today, so that has to wait.


    Stay tuned for more!
     
  18. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Your lack of faith in plexiglas disturbs me. ;)
     
  19. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    Lol,im getting used to the lack of comments here, but to someone like you to come in here and dig out a small comment a few posts back, it looks like at least some people read the things i write.
    So far its actually not a bad piece of kit, only little minus right now is there seems to always get some little air trapped in the flow meter, pretty sure its because of its strange shape and not sure what to do about it.
    Lets see how it is when I turn it on and start really using it.
     
  20. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    Today's update is again one of the small ones, not much to say and don't want to reveal too much until its truly done.

    I have played with water!

    [​IMG]

    First off, I don't think I told you about my quest to find blue paper towels, that's rather difficult! At least here in Denmark...
    I wanted blue, as it will show up drops of water much more noticeable than a white piece of paper does.
    Ended up getting a 1.000 pieces huge roll off Amazon! I think I have enough for a while now....

    Flushed some distilled water trough the system, just to see if it leaked, and so far no leaks :D
    To my surprise it actually only holds a little above 200ml, like maybe 220ml when totally empty. That's really small!

    Lastly, I don't want to take any chances shorting anything out, so have hooked the power trough a very rare power filter - the P. Lyngdorf 6A-CAL-6F, hand build by Peter Lyngdorf (look him up, he is a rather famous Danish guy in the audio industry, I used to work for him).


    So right now and the coming 24hours my system will run trough Mayhems Blitz Kit Part 2 cleaner, looking like this:

    [​IMG]

    The power supply is my old trusty SeaSonic X400FL fanless, just added a fan to see when the power supply have power if the pump is disconnected.


    The rig is humming along at full power, bit annoying but whatever, as long as its for a good cause.
    See you next time for a small update!
     

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