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Case Mod - In Progress LilyPC V.2 by E.E.L. Ambiense - Final Photos

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by E.E.L. Ambiense, 2 Aug 2014.

  1. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    [​IMG]
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    Well, hello! *waves* Hm, what's that? ...Ah, yes. LilyPC. Yeah... See, here's the thing. It was time to move on. The project was simply too big in size. That's it. That's the reason. The thing is she's a kid. Giving her a watercooled setup probably isn't the smartest thing to do, nevermind the simplicity of the loop, etc. She's a kid. So I decided to go a different direction. And I've considered the original project abandoned.

    So, very much like Hollywood's current film-making process, I've decided to reboot things. I just hope it'll be a different outcome in that it will be a little better than the original. ;)

    Once upon a time (going on 5 years ago), I had a project I was literally on the doorstep of using a Zotac ION ITX board (brand-new just streeted at the time; circa 2010). It was going to be my next Noire build, as well as being my next HTPC. It was going to be using Lian Li's brand new (at the time) Q-07 chassis. I had the custom powder ready to go. Acrylic done. That project was going to be called "Noire HD". Here's a mockup I did for the project log that never happened:

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    The kicker is, I spent so much pre-design and planning on the project that I designed a custom full-cover waterblock conversion/re-purposing that would replace the stock cooling on the mobo, effectively simultaneously cooling the CPU and the GPU. Nothing new. At least now. 5 years ago it wasn't very common. Fast-forward to today -- it seems like a lot of the waterblock companies have their own version of an ITX block that cools everything on the mobo.

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    Final block, tested working perfectly:

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    Ironically, when asked if I had any new ideas for products, I presented the idea to one of PPC's EK contacts at the time a couple years back who was involved in R&D; he shot the idea down saying it wouldn't work because there wasn't a large call for that kind of thing. He moved on to other things shortly after that. ...EK now make tons of full-cover ITX blocks. :lol:

    It's a shame I didn't get around to the project, because just before I threw the switch is when I got laid off. And signed a lease the same day (before getting laid off). And found out we had a kid on the way. Etc., etc. Same story that I've already gone into in other (completed) logs.

    Anyway, Clean-slate. Fast-forward to now, I decided after building a floating desk in Lily's bedroom that the original LilyPC was going to be way too big for it. So I decided to also abandon (abort?) the Noire HD project (which I no longer have a need for a HTPC) and re-design everything for a new ITX LilyPC.

    I decided I was going to stay with aircooling too, so no waterblocks now. It's for the best. And for ease-of-use and maintenance. Now I'll be able to just give the rig a blast of compressed air with the compressor in the shop and clean out dust, bugs, etc. once in a while instead of draining and rebuilding occasionally. Besides, the ION chip isn't really supposed to get all that hot considering TDP. Although it seems (seemed) to get hot when everyone was buying them. Stock cooling sucks. It's as simple as that. So I have an easy plan to fix that using stuff I had laying about that just happened to work out with it.

    And with the wonderful help and support from great companies like MNPCTech and ADATA (who have both shown an extraordinary amount of patience with this project), I can make it happen!

    Now, on to the log proper.

    Here's the case I will be working on. Lian Li Q-07, ITX form-factor.

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    I had already removed the front pair of USB ports; not necessary. Besides... I don't think Lily knows what USB ports are. :)
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    ...And removed.

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    Now, moving on to the motherboard. Zotac ION-ITX-K board. Stock cooling left much to be desired. :/ So I ripped it off and cleaned all the chewing gum crap they usually slather all over board's chips. I also began installing standoffs for a old Thermalright cooler I had that looked like it might fit. It did. :)

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    Shot of both the CPU and the GPU chips....

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    ....and new cooler installed on the GPU chip. :)

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    Closeup of the almost non-existent clearance for the bracket holding the cooler on...

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    I also installed a passive cooler on the CPU using thermal adhesive.
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    The board seems to run flawlessly with a fan somewhat pointed in the coolers' general direction, which is great because I don't plan on putting a fan directly on the cooler. I'm going to have a pair of 120mm fans in the case; one intake and one side exhaust. The air should simply run through the case, through the coolers, and out the side. Temps should be more than acceptable, and certainly lower than the stock cooling offers by far.

    Alright, back to the case now.

    Some of the mods I'm going to do to this case involves removing the PCI bracket area, since I won't be needing it at all.
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    I'll also need to drill out the rivets that hold the ATX PSU frame on. Not needed as I'm using a Pico-ITX PSU and power brick to power this lil' thing.

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    I'm going to be removing the stock feet on the case, since they kinda...well...suck. Replacing them with MNPCTech's mini feet of course!

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    Let's do some drilling!

    If you're a modder, you most likely relate with this... :lol:

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    Let's drill out those rivets now.

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    I'm also going to remove the 3.5" HDD bracket since I won't be using that either...
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    ...And removed.

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    No matter how much experience you have with rotary tools, etc. you should always mask off your work-area.
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    Just need to remove this little tab. It doesn't even need to be perfect as it's getting covered over anyway.
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    ...And done.

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    Masking off the front of the case so I can start marking out the holes I'll need to drill on the case. A good trick for fans is to mark out the four mounting holes and using a ruler, you draw lines criss-cross and the intersecting middle will give you the center of the fan's opening.
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    ...and done.

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    I went ahead and clamped down the entire chassis on my table-vise, since it's small enough.

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    Drilling out the smaller holes and getting ready for the large one...
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    Holesaws are very dangerous; use with caution and proper protection. I like to use eyewear, hearing protection, and condoms.
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    Drilling.... Go slow; let the saw do it's job.

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    ...And done. Just need to clean up the edge with a file or rotary tool sanding drum.
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    Drilled out the 16mm hole for the new power switch and dropped in a dead test switch for checking. Looks fine!

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    Alright, that's it for this log update. I'll be back with more in due time. Toodles!
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    Last edited: 23 Sep 2014
  2. AlderonnX

    AlderonnX Minimodder

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    Ah, A low powered web machine with some EEL zip... I gotta see this.
     
  3. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Hey! I just had a deja-vu.:lol:

    Fun little OT fact: If you ever break the finger that tungsten wedding ring is on, get it off before the swelling or start dremeling. Hospitals don't have a way to cut them. It's easier for them to cut the finger.
    -Macabre safety-boy, signing off!
     
  4. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Thanks, Jeremy!

    Thanks man for the info. Low-powered is the idea. Lily will literally just use it for web stuff; dumb little browser games, things like that. Perhaps even write papers on it, etc.

    I literally got this board and tossed it in a box in the closet and it's moved to a couple houses and stayed in a couple garages as well. Frankly I was worried it was dead from mishandling, but all checks out fine.

    OTT is what I do. ;)

    *cringes* Man, I can get it off faster than--- wait, that came out wrong. Nevermind. :hehe:

    *cringes again*
     
  5. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Yeah, My ION is now my photoshop machine, (since none of my graphics software loads on 64 bit.:worried:) Works great for that. It's terrible with 3d cad, though.
     
  6. mnpctech

    mnpctech bit-tech sponsor

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    Favorite Modder!.... and such kick ass photos :rock:
     
  7. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    That's awesome. I guess it'll be overkill for her desktop use. I really appreciate all the info -- I really haven't looked around much at all about it. I almost ditched it and went with something new, haha. I'm glad I didn't.

    I'm right there with you. I just can't afford new software right now! Hahah, probably about as bad as using a Celery CPU with CAD. ;)

    Thanks, bro! :rock: I'm gonna get this project licked really quick so I can clear out more of these long-gestating projects.
     
  8. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Update 8/10

    Small update! Been preoccupied with other stuff.

    Let's get to it.

    I was planning on replacing the crappy little rubber stick-on feet on the chassis because they, well, kinda suck. lol.

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    Easy removal using a pair of pliers. I'm guessing fire would work too, but I don't a pocket-lighter handy, or gasoline. :)

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    Why replace them when the stock ones are fine you ask? Well, see, I have to remove them so I can paint/spray things so they have to come off for that. Plus they're held on with adhesive paper. And they're tiny. Tiny, as in too tiny for the chassis.

    Besides, why would you choose whitewalls when you can have badass street-slicks? ;) MNPCTech's sexy 'lil Mini Case Feet! Available in silver aluminum (shown), black anodized aluminum, and in white delrin too.

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    To show scale a bit, here's one next to a quarter... Awwww, aren't they cute? --Nope. They're solid as a rock like a couple sets of billet testes!

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    Alright, moving on to other stuff... (sorry -- my project logs jump around worse than a Tarantino flick!)

    I was going to use a simple, overused, non-lit 16mm 'bulgin-style' momentary switch. But, frankly, I'm kind of tired of looking at them. They're everywhere. The worst part is 90% of them out there are knockoffs of the real Bulgin anti-vandal switch, which are amazingly high-quality and solid switches. The cheapies are just that -- cheap.

    Sure, it would be easy to use one, but nah. Why go the easy route? Let's re-purpose and make a new power switch for the case!

    I have a few of these old Lian Li power-PCBs laying about along with some machined aluminum plunger-style switches so I figured I'll make it work. This way I can coat the switch to match the rest of the chassis and it'll stand up to repeated switch actuation (and little Lily fingers) pushing on it.

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    Plunger! Just not the type you see the trainee holding as he/she is coming out of the bathroom at your local sandwich shop in order to make your sandwich next. You know; we've all been there... the kind of situation where they ask you what you'd like and you reply with, "Start with you boiling your hands and following it up with a peroxide bath, please". :lol:

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    It looks like it will snuggle up right below the 5.25" bay and line up perfectly with my cuts already on the case.

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    Shot from front -- will work fine. :)

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    Alright, I'll be back with more soon! Toodles!

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  9. mnpctech

    mnpctech bit-tech sponsor

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    I hear ya, and it feels real good to finally be caught up on projects

    This one is Lookin good duuuude!


    Can't wait to see the Mini Billet PC Case Feet installed

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    Last edited: 29 Aug 2014
  10. AlderonnX

    AlderonnX Minimodder

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    If your like me you feel good when you finally find a use for a little modding goodie you have been saving for awile.. Cool little switches
     
  11. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Update 8/14

    Update time!

    Trying to plug away at this lil thing so I can move on to other things. Let's get to it.

    I decided I was going to use Bitfenix Spectre Pro all-white 120mm fan(s) in this. It has FDB bearing tech, etc. so it's a decent, reliable fan. Plus it looks cool and fits the theme perfectly. :)

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    Only downside was it's not available with pink LEDs. :( Not that I'd really expect them to; it is a rather niche color. In fact, there are no pink LED fans at all short of complete trash fans. So I decided I'd fix that. Using a blue LED fan as a basis (I don't know if they're using differing resistors in the different colors, so figured I'd play it safe) since they have the same forward-voltage, etc. as the pink LEDs I'm using.

    The guess worked out fine. :)

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    With lights down a bit...

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    It's pink. Not my favorite color, but it doesn't have to please me. ;)

    Alright, moving on. I needed to remove the little permanent-standoffs Lian Li puts on these cases for switches, USB ports, etc. I don't need any of them, plus I'm putting up new 'wallpaper' inside so I need flat surfaces. ;)

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    There are a few in here, but easily remedied with some rotary tool work.

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    Different methods work different ways, but it also depends on whether or not you know where your cutoff wheels and sanding barrels are... :worried:

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    Quick work on this aluminum (aluminium for Kyle). It's very similar to shaving, actually. :lol:

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    All finished up and I still have all this to go! ;)

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    That's about it for this update. I'll be back with more soon enough! Thanks for looking! Toodles!

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  12. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Oh hell yeah. Unfortunately it's perpetual with me. :hehe:

    Thanks, bro!

    Oh yeah man. I do, but at the same time it's admitting that you have a horrible 'disease' -- PC packratting. iHoarding. Digital amassing? I'm running out of synonyms here... :hehe:
     
  13. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Update 8/21

    Update time!

    Let's get to it, shall we?

    To make things a lot easier for installation of the fan in the case, I'm going to pre-tap the mounting holes for 10-24 threads so I can just slip the screws right through the acrylic and get the fan installed with relative ease. The screws will be hidden behind another layer of acrylic so I'm countersinking them.

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    I like to use these drill-taps, which work well with soft and hard materials alike (as long as you're careful).

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    One step and you're basically done.

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    ...And a quick install of one of the screws. Will work just fine. :)

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    ...And finished up the other three. Ready for sleeving!

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    Back to the case itself, I needed to drill out the stock teeny tiny little guide-holes on the case to install the real billet awesome mini-feet from MNPCTech.

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    I'm not going to be using the stock hardware that comes with the mini-feet though. I want to use something a bit more delicate and small.

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    Just bored out enough to work with M3 screws.

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    Quick threading in of the screw/nut...

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    ...And installed. :) I wanted to use acorn nuts instead of the lock-nuts. *shrugs*

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    Completed the other three and it's already feeling a lot more stable. :)

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    Alright, that's all for now. I'll be back with more soon enough. Thanks, and toodles!

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  14. OrangeClockwerk

    OrangeClockwerk Clockwerk Industries

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    Nice work EEL!
     
  15. mnpctech

    mnpctech bit-tech sponsor

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    classy work dude, Keep it up EEL!!! :rock:
     
  16. mitch311

    mitch311 What's a Dremel?

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    Nice work! Subbed, looking forward to seeing how this case turns out.
     
  17. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Thanks Jim! It's appreciated, man!

    Thanks, bro! I'm runnin' out of time on the shot-clock!

    Thanks, m8! Appreciated. Won't be long at all. Of course, I said that last time too, lol.
     
  18. AlderonnX

    AlderonnX Minimodder

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    Where did you get the 10-32 Drill/Tap? I found a Greenlee on Amazon for 10 bucks, But that seems pricey
     
  19. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    It's actually from a Greenlee drip-tap kit. It has a ton of sizes. :)
     
  20. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Update 9/5

    Annoying but necessary single-pic update!

    I have been hard at work on stuff, but I'll get to that soon enough.

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    Thanks for looking! See you soon! Toodles!

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