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Scratch Build - In Progress ⭐ LANpak - Scratch Build(Oct 7, 2019)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by InsolentGnome, 27 Nov 2018.

  1. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    It's starting to look like a jet pack. :worried:
     
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  2. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    While the window was curing up, I decided to get the back panel and door ready. The clear coat came out nice, but you can always make it nicer. So I knocked the finish down with 500, 800,1000, and 3000 grit sandpaper and then attacked it with some finishing compound.

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    With the door shined up, I decided to put my latch hardware on it. Just some simple cam latches, but that's all it really needs.

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    So I drilled some holes and slapped them in. Fine tuning them will come later.

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    The door is covering a nice little spot that I'm gonna toss my keyboard, mouse, headset and cables, so all I have to carry into the LAN is a monitor. Since those items can be a bit pricey to replace, I wanted to finish the cubby with something softer than carbon fiber since I don't feel like buying new peripherals. I had some fleece backed suede-like material and I thought that would be perfect, soft, fluffy, just what it needs.

    I cut a piece to fit and using Super 77 adhesive, slapped it in. The edges are a bit rough, but I'll get back to those later, cause at this point I was in a bit of a rush to finish for QuakeCon and from the outside you can't even tell.

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    I think it's kind of a fancy look. Makes me think of a hypercar with a nice tan interior, crazy performance on the outside, luxury on the inside. I decided the door could use the same treatment because things would be rubbing on it, plus the suede was a good material to keep the door from scratching up the lip it sat on.

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    It looks horrible but it gets better. I trimmed off some of the fleece around the edges.

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    And then some more Super 77 to stick it down. I did go back after this pic to straighten up the edges, they just bugged me.

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    So now we're getting somewhere, let's see about making this contraption carryable. When I put all the parts together I slipped some tie downs in at the bolt locations. They're pretty beefy, rated at 700 lbs. but this isn't the place to skimp.

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    And then some replacement backpack straps.

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    Just a little spoiler about the straps. 1st off, they totally worked, I carried the LANpak into QuakeCon strapped to my back, no problems whatsoever. But $12 backpack straps gonna be $12 backpack straps. After judging for the mod contest and getting into the top 3, I had to take the case to the ballroom for the place announcements on stage. I was just starting to pick up the case and one of the ends of the straps gave out. Luckily I hadn't even gotten the case off the table so no harm done, but dang it! Thankfully it happened then and not when I was carrying the case around on my back. New straps have been ordered with a little more capacity and no cheap metal connectors, but this is part of the process so I had to throw it in.

    So with the straps it does work like a normal backpack. A little bigger and in need of some strap adjustment, but it works.

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    And the case, with straps...under 10 lbs. Awesome!

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    Thanks for following along and thanks to my sponsors:

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  3. craigbru

    craigbru Cramming big things in small boxes since 2006

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    I don't think I'm spoiling anything if I say that I've seen this in person today... and it's dead sexy!
     
  4. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    You missed a chance to do this...
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  5. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Thanks! It was good catching up!
     
  6. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    I mean, that would have been way simpler to do than my route.
     
  7. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    With the outside kinda wrapping up, let's put the inside together.

    With the PSU mounted, I can set the height of my GPU and attach the bracket to keep it from flopping around. I epoxied the piece of aluminum because I didn't want to drill holes in the backplate to mount the bracket.

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    And I got everything put on the board except for the cooling.

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    I also wrangled some switches from another build. I don't think they're permanent, but I do need a way to turn it off and on.

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    Starting to run the cables. The switches will go on the CF frame above the GPU if your looking at this pic. The panel they're on uses the same mounts the frame does.

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    At this point I was waiting on seeing what I was going to be using for cooling so I checked to see if what I had so far fit.

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    I also knocked out some decals to break up the solid black. How about a nice NVIDIA green .

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    At this point, I couldn't wait. QuakeCon was a few days away and my cooling stuff hadn't come in, so I went with Plan B/sorta Plan A.5. I wanted to get this into the CM World Series, but couldn't for the life of me figure out how, none of their PSU's even come close to fitting and I'm not gonna put a few fans in it and call it good. But, I needed a cooler, and I happened to know where a Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 240 was. Off to my parents house!

    Yes, I stole the cooler off my parents computer. I'm a horrible person. But I did put a Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 back on, which is not only cool looking but dead quiet. Not that they even care, the only question I got was could they still use it.

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    And cooler installed on the board. Installing this thing in the shell is going to be....interesting.

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    Actually just mounting the MB to the frame was interesting. Yes, I had to pull a stick of RAM to plug in the PSU. I mean, we've all run into that before, right? Right?!?

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    But I would guess most people haven't had to ream out the mounting holes of the PSU to gain that 1/16th of an inch so they could get the RAM stick back in and working. Just guessing.

    I think doing a little testing with this spaghetti monster might be a good idea before shoving it into the shell.

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    It all works and next time I'll start cleaning it all up so I can shoehorn it into it's home. Thanks for following along and thanks to my sponsors:

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  8. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Time to start on finishing touches.

    I cleaned up the wiring with some leather cord. This isn't the last bit of wiring clean up for the case, but I needed to get it wrapped up for QuakeCon.

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    And then I shoehorned all of it into the shell. It was a little precarious balancing everything while getting the radiator mounted.

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    And hit the power switch...it works!

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    The green is too much but my board didn't have an LED header so I hooked the green line of the RGB to a fan header. It's not sophisticated and I'll get a better solution, but it works for QC.

    And an obligatory "junk in the trunk" shot. There are some things that I'll tackle later but at least now I can throw it in the truck and we can head to QuakeCon.

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    With my peripherals of course. Headset, mouse, TKL keyboard, 50' of cat-5, and a display cable. It's snug, but it fits.

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    Thanks for following along and thanks to my sponsors:

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    Last edited: 8 Oct 2019
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  9. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    So back from QuakeCon. 2nd place in the scratch builds.

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    I was hoping for more, but even while I was there I was noticing things that I wanted to fix.

    First on the list was my cheap straps. I ordered a nicer set of straps that were meant as replacement straps for backpack sprayers. They didn't have any cheap metal swivels and had strapping that I could make work. To make them work I needed some tension locks though, so I sacrificed an old hiking pack that I haven't used in a long time for the cause.

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    Those aren't exactly what I'm looking for because they hook on to a loop, but they'll work. I also have the problem that these locks are 1" and my straps are 1" on the bottom, but 3/4" on the top. I'll keep my eye out for the right ones, but these will get me by for the next LAN in Omaha.

    As you can see, the straps are a little bit and have an extra bar, but they do work and won't give out like the metal swivels on the last set.

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    Next fix was something that I notice at QC that had never caught my eye, but stood out when the inside of the case was lit by the fans in the dark. The lining I used in the basement was perfect, except that you could easily see the edge of it through the window and it looked pretty messy. So pull everything apart...

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    I bought some 1" gloss black automotive trim to cover the edge of the material.

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    So much cleaner.

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    And since this is in the Cooler Master World Series I picked up some CM MasterFan Pro 120 LED fans and Cooler Master's RGB controller so I could get the green I wanted in the fans.

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    My god, the wiring is a mess. But everything is installed and works and I have a LAN to get to, so cleaning up the wiring can wait....again. At least it all looks good from the front through the window.

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    One part of the wiring that I did clean up were the switches. I had had them mounted in a box by the GPU, but that really stood out through the window. Plus, the reset button got too hot when I was re-soldering it and didn't work, and they were just a pain to reach. So time for some new buttons.

    I soldered up some micro switches and attached them to the frame closer to the back of the case and then ran the wires along the frame to keep them out of the way. They're invisible unless you know they're there and make turning on the rig so much easier. Plus, they both work, bonus!

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    Now to throw it all back together and head to NETWAR in Omaha to play some games and run a case modding contest!

    Along the way, my truck hit 100K miles. I'm not sure if I'm happy or depressed about this.

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    Thanks for following along and thanks to my sponsors:

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  10. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    So one last thing I wanted to do before submitting this build for the CM World Series was to clean up the wire. When the case is closed up you can't tell what's going on behind the scenes, but that just isn't good enough. I wanted the wire handled so it didn't look like a rat's nest. So I started to clean up the fan wiring, which was no small task. 4 fans with power and RGB, and and RGB controler that had it's own mini-connectors with around 18" of cable for the RGB hook up. To make things more difficult, the fans had super thin wiring, not really great for re-pinning or soldering. So what to to, fight these cables to make something decent looking, maybe or swap fans?

    I swapped fans. Will I get dinged on it because the rest of the Cooler Master products I have are hard to see in the case? Maybe, but I'm really wanting nicer, uncluttered wire in the back. I went back to the Polaris fans that I was running before since they daisy-chain and now I have one set of cables instead of 8.

    Also in a weird twist, they're quieter in this case. Both sets are silent running outside of the case, but once everything is together, it turns into a resonating chamber. The small mechanical noises get magnified A LOT! The Polaris fans seem to be either a bit quieter or at a frequency that doesn't stand out as much, so you don't wind up with as much of an annoying hum while it's running. Granted, at a LAN, you'll never hear it, but I do run it at home too, and it's just enough to be noticable.

    But back to the case, the cleaned up wiring. Now down to one line from the RGB controller and no need for a fan splitter.

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    Also while in Omaha, we did a little looking around and found a camping store between the hotel and the event and they had 3/4" tension locks. No 1" locks, but these are definitely better for the top straps since they're the right size.

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    Now all that's left are pictures for the contest.

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    Thanks for following along and thanks to my sponsors:

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  11. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Gets CM fans for their contest... Disses the fans on the log and doesn't use them. I like your style. :D
    Since I'm around 150k on a mechanical odometer, I'd say you're hitting the mileage a little fast. My old rig had +300k and ran like a top, but It rained inside and was full of bees.
     
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  12. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Well, I'm not doing it to kiss ass for a sponsorship, so might as well be honest. I don't think they're bad fans, I just had fans better suited for that build.

    It's a '16 Ram that's gone from Missouri to Portland, San Jose, Tennessee, Dallas 2 or 3 times, and Omaha 3 or 4 times. Plus a few days a week I usually travel 2-300 miles round trip for work. If I think about all that, I'm a little surprised that it's only just hitting 100k
     
  13. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Active Member

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    The case looks fantasitic. Just be careful someone doesn't get jealous and take a bit out of your LANpak. :grin:
     
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  14. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Thanks!
     
  15. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Oh god. I just got this. Nice!
     
  16. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Active Member

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    If I'd read your threads in reverse order I'd have missed it too.
     
  17. Yury

    Yury Member

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    What a crazy, very good thing, congratulations, what's the name of this background paper you used to make the photos?
     
  18. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Thanks! I don't remember a brand, something I got off Amazon. 59" roll of thundercloud grey or something like that.
     

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