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Project│Red Nineteen :: Custom PC, Readers' Drives - 23/10/06

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Lazlow, 9 May 2006.

  1. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    [​IMG]

    Previously known as Blue PC, but due to a colour change, the project has been renamed Red Nineteen. Thanks to GuardianStorm for the suggestion.

    Project Log 00 (09/05/06): - introduction
    Project Log 01 (09/05/06): - case dismantling
    Project Log 02 (17/05/06): - beading test
    Project Log 03 (25/05/06): - jigsaw testing
    Project Log 04 (04/06/06): - window
    Project Log 05 (04/06/06): - fascia
    Project Log 06 (04/06/06): - cutouts
    Project Log 07 (04/06/06): - wheels
    Project Log 08 (04/06/06): - fans
    Project Log 09 (06/06/06): - order 1
    Project Log 10 (07/06/06): - order 2
    Project Log 11 (12/06/06): - window
    Project Log 12 (12/06/06): - hard drive
    Project Log 13 (12/06/06): - case feet
    Project Log 14 (19/06/06): - acer f-19
    Project Log 15 (19/06/06): - 102mm fan holes
    Project Log 16 Part A Part B (21/06/06): - filler
    Project Log 17 (22/06/06): - sanding (lots of)
    Project Log 18 Part A Part B (23/06/06): - fascia
    Project Log 19 (24/06/06): - progress shots
    Project Log 20 (24/06/06): - electrics
    Project Log 21 (25/06/06): - filler on the fascia
    Project Log 22 (25/06/06): - priming the fascia
    Project Log 23 (30/06/06): - more acrylic
    Project Log 24 (05/07/06): - hardware test
    Project Log 25 (07/07/06): - painting 1
    Project Log 26 (08/07/06): - painting 2
    Project Log 27 (08/07/06): - sleeving
    Project Log 28 (09/07/06): - painting 3
    Project Log 29 (09/07/06): - inverter
    Project Log 30 (09/07/06): - painting 4
    Project Log 31 Part A Part B (12/07/06): - assembling the rig
    Project Log 32 Part A Part B (12/07/06): - finished!
    Project Log 33 (12/07/06): - final specs
    Project Log 34 (19/07/06): - mounting the badge
    Project Log 35 Part A Part B (19/07/06): - final shots (higher quality)
    Project Log 36 (16/08/06): - overclocking and benchmarking
    Project Log 37 (23/10/06): - custom pc readers' drives


    Some logs are split into multiple parts, due to forum restrictions.

    Suppliers:
    B&Q (paint, grommets, terminal blocks, jigsaw/blades)
    Kustom PCs (heatshrink, pvc beading, case badge, acrylic, vandal-proof switches etc.)
    Aria (enermax case, components)
    Maplin (extra fans, wiring, switches etc.)
    Scan (components)
    Overclock (acer f-19)
    Halfords (P38 + P40 filler)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 24 Oct 2006
  2. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    Blue PC Project Log 00 - 9th May 2006

    My second logged project here on bit-tech, though this time I'm hoping to modify the PC a fair bit more. You may have seen my Pink PC Project that I undertook last summer. Whereas it was a small form factor PC for my partner, this one is going to hopefully be a decent gaming rig for myself!

    First off, some specs (these may change during the course of this project)

    AMD Athlon 64 3800 X2
    2gb (2 x 1gb) 3200 Elixir
    7800gt
    Asus A8N-SLi (most likely the SE version)
    Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro
    Tagan 480w

    As for the case, I was originally planning on modding my Yeong Yang that my media server is housed in. Though I've decided to keep the media server running, in the YY. Last night I added a 5th/6th drive to it via a removable backup caddy, and altered the fan configuration so it's running a lot quieter now.

    My old Enermax Twilight case has been sitting in the roof for the past 6 months, so I decided to use it for this rig. Here's a product shot, showing you how it originally looked:

    [​IMG]

    A pre-mod, which for the money was very good. It came complete with a side-window and fan, along with a blue cathode.

    Here's a pic I took this time last year, of mine:

    [​IMG]

    I gave it a slight modification a while back - drive-bay windows, carbon effect USB cover, cut-out rear fans etc. Here it is at night, all lit up and blue:

    [​IMG]

    And finally an internal shot:

    [​IMG]

    Showing the hardware which is now housed in the YY media server.

    So that's what I'm starting with. Over the past few weeks I've made several lists and diagrams whilst I tried to work out what I'd do. Here's a teaser:

    * 2 x 120mm fans at the front
    * As quiet as possible
    * Blue/Gold theme
    * Modified fan controller with on/off
    * Neat cabling
     
    Last edited: 9 May 2006
  3. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    Blue PC Project Log 01 - 9th May 2006

    First up, what I've sourced already for the project:

    [​IMG]

    2 x 120mm Ultra Quiet Akasa fans, in clear/amber. Initially I was put off by the colour, but realised it will fit quite well with a blue (outside) and gold (inside) theme. They'll be on the front fascia of the case.

    Some heatshrink, PVC edging, grommits and terminal blocks (for testing the electrics before I heat up the soldering iron). For the suppliers, see the first post in this project thread.

    The observant ones amongst you will also notice the Bit-tech case badge!

    I stripped the case down to leave just the bare case structure. Then did a rough layout fit with the front:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, 2 x 120mm fans will easily fit, along with a DVD burner and the modified fan controller (that's a nexus in the pic, with my unsuccessfully modded pink CD-RW drive).

    Then we've got my 7800gt, purchased for the huge sum of £90 from a mate. Not bad considering it's only be used for a few minutes:

    [​IMG]

    A few spare parts that I have lying around, some wheels that I didn't end up using on the Yeong Yang (they came supplied with it), a few fan guards, along with the old fans and various parts of the (now) dismantled case:

    [​IMG]

    The front fascia and side-panel with the window, along with the blue cathode:

    [​IMG]

    The Vantec Nexus fan controller - it's a 5 1/4" version, so to save myself some money, and rack up some more mod points, I'll modify it to fit in the 3 1/2" bay:

    [​IMG]

    A shot showing the insides of the stripped out case:

    [​IMG]

    There's the usual 6 x 3 1/2" bays, and 4 x 5 1/4" bays. Along with room for a 120mm fan at the front, 2 x 80mm at the rear, and an exhaust 80mm at the top.

    A shot showing the previously cut-out rear 80mm fan holes. Originally it had a horrible fine mesh preventing air flow:

    [​IMG]

    Again, the same from a different angle. I'm unsure what to do about the cheese-grater style vent there. Perhaps leave it be:

    [​IMG]

    Right, enough posing shots. Here's one of my dremel-wannabe, a Power Devil rotary tool. I've had it for a good 5 years, but never used it. I have lost the original tools for it, so went out and purchase a new Dremel cutting disc set, for £18. Quite steep in terms of price, but when I actually got to work with the discs I realised where the money went. (In the words of Tony the Tiger) They're greaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! It includes about 50 various discs:

    [​IMG]

    The first bit of modding - removing that large front grill:

    [​IMG]

    There, nice and easy:

    [​IMG]

    Actually, it took me a while to begin with as I got used to the different discs. I eventually found one that cut through the sheet aluminium quicker than sonic through greenhill.

    Here's a shot back in the house, showing the Akasa behind the new hole. It needs tidying up, which I'll do soon with a grinding bit on the rotary tool.

    Remember the pre-mod side panel? It limits your view of the internals slightly, with its flower-style pattern:

    [​IMG]

    Off it comes:

    [​IMG]

    Marked up ready for cutting another day:

    [​IMG]

    I could keep the original acrylic window, but it has a huge 120mm hole in the centre. So I'll replace it with a new sheet from Kustom PCs soon.

    This case definately needs a clean, lots of dust has built up:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a shot of the blu-tack that I had to use to keep the HDD screws in place! I've removed the drives countless times to re-configure them, which has caused the threading to go. Blu-tack is useful stuff:

    [​IMG]

    A mock-up of the case feet:

    [​IMG]

    They should sit there nicely, though the awkward circular ridge on the bottom of the case could prove to be annoying for the drill.

    A shot of the blowhole at the top of the case - again with a huge build-up of dust:

    [​IMG]

    I'm unsure what to do with the front panel. The original fascia is a bit bulky and would have to be modified a lot. So I'm thinking another sheet of acrylic, this time either frosted or painted to match the rest of the outside:

    [​IMG]

    I'll use the same material I end up getting for the side-window.

    One last picture for this log:

    [​IMG]

    I check to make sure the Nexus would fit in a 3 1/2" bay - the answer is yes, but the LEDs that cause the perspex to light up may need re-positioning. I'll attack it another time.

    ---

    Not much in the way of doing, more planning for this log. I dismantled the whole case, but it still needs a good clean.

    I need input - would a sheet of acrylic be OK for the front fascia, or should I use an alternative?
     
    Last edited: 9 May 2006
  4. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    Looks like my server is down. Hopefully the pics will re-appear very soon!

    EDIT: Should be working fine now...
     
    Last edited: 10 May 2006
  5. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    Blue PC Project Log 02 - 17th May 2006

    First off, I apologise about the lack of updates, I am alive, and the project is too...

    [​IMG]
    ^ First things first, I removed the 3 1/2" drive bays by cutting off the rivet heads with my Power Devil and then tapping them out with a hammer. I'm not 100% sure how I will mount the Hard-drive, but considering there will only be the one, it seems a waste of metal to have the drive bays sitting there. So they went.

    [​IMG]
    ^ A couple of years ago, I hacked out the rear fan mesh, as it was obstructing the airflow. I covered up this mess with insulating tape. Not good. So I took a cutting disc to it and cleaned it up. I didn't take a picture of it, so look out for the cleaner holes in future updates.


    [​IMG]
    ^ I wanted to remove the top of the case for painting later on. So I cut off and tapped out 6 rivets (3 at the front, 3 at the rear) to remove it. Unforunately it was then that I realised there are about 30 holding it together down the sides too. So the lid will remain on - afterall, the chassis is getting a bit flimsy now, especially as it's thin aluminium.


    [​IMG]
    ^ As the case has been sitting in the roof for a good few months, it needed a clean. So I popped it in the bath and gave it a soak to remove the dust and metal shavings.


    [​IMG]
    ^ Here's a close-up of the front, minus the lower drive cages. I have test fitted the front beading, mainly to give an idea of what it will look like. I'm thinking it wont be needed once I have a fascia on the front...


    [​IMG]
    ^ The rear beading test fitted too.


    [​IMG]
    ^ Here's a close-up of the next area to be worked on. As this rig will be purely for gaming and CPU intensive stuff, I wont be needing any extra PCI slots. Probably a sound card in the near future, but not much else. So that's a lot of wasted space at the rear of the case. So I chopped and bent off the dividers, ready for cutting next time. It will receive the beading treatment too.


    [​IMG]
    ^ Lastly, here's the main reason the drive cages were removed. I don't want to purchase a 3 1/2" controller, so am re-using the 5 1/4" that I have lying around. Without a drive cage, mounting should be easier. Though as I'm typing this, I've just realised there's absolutely no reason why I can't enlarge the 3 1/2" hole now...

    ---

    Next in line, is to neaten the PCI slot area. It will provide extra air for the GPU and could fit another 80mm fan if needed. Though I want to keep it nice and quiet.

    I'll also be de-soldering the fan controller's molex, replacing it with some long wires.

    If anyone can suggest some specs for this rig I'll greatly appreciate it...

    I already have the 2gb PC3200 Elixir RAM lying around, along with the 7800gt. Athlon 64 X2 3800 939? AM2? Or the Pentium 805 Dual Core?
     
  6. koola

    koola Active Member

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    Nice progress, it's shaping up nice ;)

    For the H/W specs, I would be in favor of the P4 805 D, but because you've got PC3200 ram, get a cheap 3200+ and you're gtt.

    I'm impressed with the case your using, might pick one up myself.
     
  7. kempez

    kempez modding again!

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    OC the AMD chip mate :)
     
  8. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    like those 80mm fan holes in the rear being smoothed into one hole.... that looks pretty sharp m8!

    Keep up the good work!
     
  9. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    It wasn't planned! But when I thought about beading each hole, I realised there wasn't enough decent metal left to take both sets of bead. So I drew on a nice figure of 8 shape and decided to cut it.

    ---

    I've got the side-window to cut too, though I'm finding that cutting aluminium is a very loud process - thinking ear defenders should be used? I don't know how loud it gets, but I don't want no burst ear-drums...

    ---

    @ koola - I originally purchased my Enermax case from aria, it was known as a Twilight midi, in silver. Though since I bought it (2003) it has been discontinued from them. Ebay may have a few lying around. They're good cases, especially for the money, though I'm finding it to be a bit weak compared to my steel Yeong Yang. Though it's not surprising considering I've removed a lot of re-inforcing aluminium.
     
  10. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    I'm not AWOL, just been a bit busy with work.

    I'll be posting another update on the project next week sometime, but to fill you in and keep you entertained...

    I'm off to B&Q tomorrow after work to pick up a new jigsaw. Then sometime over the weekend I should be able to attack this:

    [​IMG]

    I've also got a rough sketch of how my fan layout will look:

    [​IMG]

    On the subject of fans, I've posted here asking for some help with switches and amp ratings. If you know a bit about electronics and have a spare minute, please post - as I may need to order some replacement switches.

    ---

    After reading bit-tech's latest article on AM2, I'm thinking of going Dual Core with it. Will need to get some DDR2, but at least it should future-proof the rig a bit more.
     
  11. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    Blue PC Project Log 03 - 25th May 2006

    Apologies (again) for the lack of updates - I've been busy with work. Just a short update for today, to keep you informed of where the project is going...

    [​IMG]
    ^ I went to B&Q last night to get a cheap and cheerful jigsaw. I came back with this, which was just under £19. The extra blades are suitable for up to 10mm thick aluminium or 25mm PVC. Ideal for cutting out this case and the Acrylic I'll be purchasing later. You'll notice the ear-plugs I purchased too. I don't want to be deaf in my early 20's and according to the instructions, this jigsaw can reach 118 decibels. My dremel-wannabee alone made my ears ring for a good few days. Safety first - well in my case, 3rd.

    [​IMG]
    ^ A quick test on a piece of the aluminium showed that the additional blades were a good choice.

    [​IMG]
    ^ Believe it or not, that took 30 minutes to cut. I spent most of the time trying to get the best setting, as in the past I've borrowed other people's jigsaws which were setup fine. This cheap one has 6 speed settings, along with 3 settings for the pendulum motion. The third of which worked very well - making the cut extremely quick and neat (top of pic).

    [​IMG]
    ^ A random pic thrown in for good measure. I had a dead 40gb HDD lying around, so decided to open it up... Nice and shiney inside, though the disc picks up fingerprints very quickly. Now that I've opened it I don't know what to do with it though - too big for a keychain. Over the weekend and early next week I hope to find time to finish the side-panel cut-out. Then I'll sand it down when I can find the wet/dry paper I've got lying around somewhere. Expect pics by this time next week of the beaded side-panel, ready for painting.

    ---

    On a side note, I think I've finally decided on the specs of this machine:

    * Athlon 64 AM2 4000 X2 Windsor Core (2 x 1mb Cache sounds great and I grew up in Windsor)
    * Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro (apparently it fits the AM2s, so this should keep it cool 'n quiet)
    * 2 x 1gb Corsair XMS-DDR2 TwinX PC6400 (800mhz should give a good overclock - should I spend an extra £20 for the LEDs on top???)
    * ASUS M2N32 SLi Deluxe NF590 (again, wanting to overclock this, so don't want a cheap m/b to hold me back)

    along with the parts already mentioned - 7800gt, 480w Tagan, 250gb Samsung Spinpoint...
     
  12. sk8ter646

    sk8ter646 Member

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    can i say that AM2 is really not worth the upgrade atm read the reviews
     
  13. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    I've read plenty of reviews. Yet none have stated that if you're going to purchase a new system, then you shouldn't go AM2. Most state that it isn't worth upgrading to it, but I wont be upgrading as I'm purchasing a brand new rig. Hopefully AM2 will have sorted itself out by the time I go to purchase the CPU/MB/RAM?

    ---

    I apologise (again) for the lack of any real updates. I'm hoping to get a LOT done on this project over the next two weeks. For a start, I thought the Enermax case was Aluminium - it's been a few years since I studied metalwork. So I had purchased aluminium blades for my jigsaw. After my Dad pointed out that mistake when he came to visit for the weekend, I purchased two more sets of jigsaw blades - one set of fine/medium blades suitable for the steel, another set of fine blades suitable for plastic. So, I'll be re-cutting the window and I think I'll make it a lot bigger than the current marked-out size.

    I've also got a new monitor on order, which should be arriving this week. I'll post pics of it once it gets here. It will really enhance this mod - and has already influenced me to change the colouring.

    Expect more updates soon - I promise!
     
  14. rowin4kicks

    rowin4kicks a man walked into a bar ...

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    :rock: :rock: :rock: WINDSOR !!!! :rock: :rock: :rock:

    nice case u got coming along here
    good to see u got rid of that weird pre mod window
     
  15. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    I was pleased when I read the core's name. I lived in Windsor until I was 18 and left for Uni. I now reside in Lincoln, but regularly visit my hometown. Though I've not been back since Elton John married there...
     
  16. olly_lewis

    olly_lewis New Member

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    You could always put it on a neck chain, like a Beasty Boy's Merc badge back in the early ninties you know? Drill a hole, and stick a beefy chain on it, go crusing to a local lan, you'll look street...
     
  17. axscpu

    axscpu New Member

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    nice .......... sweet modd you got going...... :rock:
     
  18. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    Blue PC Project Log 04 - 4th June 2006 (Window)

    The first of 5 updates for today - I could have posted them all as one, but I've done quite a bit today.

    [​IMG]
    ^ I've got several projects on the go at the moment - here's the re-wiring of my creative 4.1 surround sitting on the dining room table.

    [​IMG]
    ^ Lots of kit has accumulated in the lounge waiting to be used on this project...

    [​IMG]
    ^ As I mentioned previously, I originally purchase Aluminium blades (top), but was informed that the case is steel. So I purchased some fine steel blades (in jigsaw)

    [​IMG]
    ^ I decided that the original square holes used for mounting the window wouldn't be suitable. So I masked up the side-panel and re-drew a larger window cutout.

    [​IMG]
    ^ The new blades worked a treat - the cuts were a lot finer and easier to control.

    [​IMG]
    ^ Halfway through removing the pre-mod window cut-out...

    [​IMG]
    ^ Nearly there, most of the 'flower' removed...

    [​IMG]
    ^ Done!

    [​IMG]
    ^ Masking tape removed, prior to being filed with some needle files.

    [​IMG]
    ^ Needle files! Only cost me a £1 for a set of 6, from the local market.

    [​IMG]
    ^ The left-overs.

    [​IMG]
    ^ Beading installed.

    [​IMG]
    ^ Close-up of the beading - it's great stuff, stays put once fitted. Though I may glue the corners later.

    [​IMG]
    ^ Side-panel on the case. Looking good so far...

    [​IMG]
    ^ A shot from the back - the black/silver look from the beading is kinda cool, though the silver will be gone later!

    [​IMG]
    ^ Another view...

    [​IMG]
    ^ A close-up of the drive cage. This is pretty much all that will obstruct the view.

    [​IMG]
    ^ My hand, showing where the graphics card will be...

    So, the side-panel has been cut. The acrylic is on order and will be cut/fitted when it arrives.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2006
  19. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    Blue PC Project Log 05 - 4th June 2006 (Fascia)

    [​IMG]
    ^ Here's the original fascia being dismantled.

    [​IMG]
    ^ Naked fascia.

    [​IMG]
    ^ From behind...

    [​IMG]
    ^ Finally found the wet/dry paper left-over from my Pink PC project. Will need that when it comes to preparing the paint surfaces.

    [​IMG]
    ^ I also found an orbital sander.

    [​IMG]
    ^ I used it to try and smooth down the grooves, but it didn't do much.

    [​IMG]
    ^ One problem with jigsaws and plastic, is that the plastic soon sticks back together once cut - from the heat of the blade.

    [​IMG]
    ^ I ripped out the cut-out, but the jigsaw left a nasty mess of melted plastic.

    [​IMG]
    ^ The cutting wheel on the left has been used, the right one is new. Quite a difference!

    [​IMG]
    ^ The fascia back in place.

    [​IMG]
    ^ Trying out the old acrylic window...

    [​IMG]
    ^ I forgot to rotate this picture, actually I forgot to rotate all the pictures today, but hey.

    So, the fascia has been attacked (literally). It's still a bit of a mess, but I'm waiting for new acrylic along with some body filler. The idea is to mount a strip of acrylic down the middle of the fascia and smooth over the grooves with the filler. Stay tuned!
     
  20. Lazlow

    Lazlow I have a dremel.

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    Blue PC Project Log 06 - 4th June 2006 (Cutouts)

    [​IMG]
    ^ My handy instructions that I wrote previously, tell me what to do!

    [​IMG]
    ^ So I removed the top blowhole...

    [​IMG]
    ^ I decided to enlarge it - well actually, I slipped with the jigsaw and took a chunk out of a bit that wasn't supposed to be cut. On-the-fly modification to the design I call it.

    [​IMG]
    ^ Once the top had been cut-out, I concentrated on the spare PCI slots. Unfortunately the case isn't the best quality/strength and the jigsaw pulled part of the edging with it.

    [​IMG]
    ^ So I switched to the rotary tool, to neaten it all up.

    [​IMG]
    ^ Not a great picture, but it is a lot neater now. The shiny bits are from the cutting disc polishing the metal.

    [​IMG]
    ^ Another progress shot...

    [​IMG]
    ^ The top blowhole. I think I'll use some mesh on it, as I don't want to have overkill fans...

    [​IMG]
    ^ Another shot of the PCI slots. I put some beading on it, but it isn't needed, so will be removed.

    To add to the shopping list - Modder's mesh!
     

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