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Case Mod - In Progress Project: Atomic by H2O: More Pics 8/13/09

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by H2O, 9 Aug 2009.

  1. H2O

    H2O Burnt Acrylic - Mmmmmm

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    [​IMG]

    This will be my first “true mod.” I’ve built and watercooled computers before, but I am really looking forward to this mod. I’ve decided to do a Atomic/Radioactive theme for this mod.

    Before I started, I wanted to set some goals for myself:
    1) Complete the mod (Do’h!)
    2) Do this mod well enough that I have a chance at attracting sponsorship for future mods (or maybe "fingers crossed" later in this mod).

    I really wanted to concentrate on #2, as I have some very good ideas for future mods, but somewhat limited funds (Don’t we all :waah:).

    For this mod, I will be using a CoolerMaster Stacker 830 SE
    These are some things that I would like to do for this mod:

    Paint the case interior black
    Re-work my exsiting watercooling setup by:
    - Changing the coolant to Acid green
    - Moving the rad to the bottom of the case
    - Possibly adding blocks to the NB and Voltage Reg
    - Possibly adding extra radiators
    Making a rocker switch panel to control several LED strips and CCFLs
    Changing the way the computer starts (I have a few surprises up my sleeve here ;))
    Adding LED fans
    Working on wire management (I hope to have it nearly as good as the MurderBoxes)
    Sleeve every wire with Murdermod sleeve.
    Create an acrylic divider to block the 5 ½ bays from view
    Add a black acrylic side panel to the right (non-windowed) side
    Modify the exsisting window on the left side
    Create a acrylic backplate for the HD4870 (red card in a black/green case = ugly)
    Possibly adding an internal USB hub to minimize the number of leads going to the mobo.
    Install an Orbital Matrix LCD display

    To begin, I stripped my case of all of my hardware and dismanteled the case. Then I began to prep the case for painting. Here is how the computer looked before I took it apart:

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    Messy...

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    May you rest in pieces!

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    Nah, just kidding, you will be back in one piece soon.
    Once apart, I encountered a small problem. In my previous build, I had used sound dampening foam to try and reduce the noice from the pump and radiator fans. But now, I needed to take it off to paint the case. However, when I went to pull if off, the top two layers of foam came off, leaving the bottom layer still adhered to the case. I resorted to using hot water, Goo Gone, a chisel, and a sponge. After about an hour of vigerous rubbing… no no, that isn't right. After an hour of vigorous cleaning (That’s better) and making a huge mess in my kitchen, most of the remaining foam and adhesive were gone. However, it was a very messy breakup.

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    Ouch!:eeek: Not to worry, the paint will cover it up (I hope...)

    I took the case skeleton outside and gave it a nice bath. Now it’s ready for some paint!

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    While I was waiting to paint it this weekend, I set my computer up on my desk.

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    I knew I'd find a use for that August Wilson book! :hehe:

    The weekend finally arrived, so it was time to slap some case on this baby!

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    I made a makeshift platform out of an old box where I could paint the smaller pieces.

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    Roughing up the case with some steel wool...

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    And another bath...

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    And finally hanging on a saw horse contraption hangy thingy that will allow my to paint more easily.

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    While I was waiting for the larger pieces to dry, I hit the smaller parts with a coat of primer.

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    I managed to get both sides painted, but then guess what? It started to rain! :wallbash: So much for the local weather stations. :grr:

    Anyways, It's supposed to be beautiful tomorrow (like it was today...) so I hope to wrap up the painting before I lose a finger to one of the 1200RPM fans currently sitting on my desk. I've come close too many times already. :hehe:

    I will leave you with the mandatory cat picture.

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    Happy modding!:dremel:
     
    Last edited: 14 Aug 2009
  2. wbdog206

    wbdog206 not me

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    Nice start, can't wait to see more.
    That Valspar is great paint I use it at work a lot
    and at home.
     
  3. stuartpb

    stuartpb Modder

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    Great start to your project, well done!

    Also, I would suggest blacking out the license key on the rear case view shot, someone could nick the key.:thumb:
     
  4. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    You wear gloves? I thought half the fun of using steel wool was getting it under your skin.:D
     
  5. H2O

    H2O Burnt Acrylic - Mmmmmm

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    Thanks everyone!

    wbdog - Yes I was really impressid with the paint. Even with only one layer of primer and one layer of black I got an even, dark coat.

    Stuart- Done. Thanks. I don't think it would be good if I got a call from the MS legal department. :)

    Cheaps- Getting steel wool under my skin is not exactly my idea of fun, but maybe in your crazed, cross dressed troll loving world, it is. :hehe:

    Standby for update!:rock:
     
  6. H2O

    H2O Burnt Acrylic - Mmmmmm

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    Update - 8/9/09

    Well, the weather cooperated (for the most part) so I was able to finish up painting today.:clap:

    I started out by priming the remaining pieces:

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    While I was waiting for the primer to dry, I decided to paint a PCI slot cover to make sure that the paint matched, so I didn't paint the whole case only to find out that the color looked terrible.

    Painted slot cover:

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    It looks pretty good!

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    I then proceeded to paint the remaining pieces:

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    I ran into a problem at this point. It started to get a little breezy outside, and to compensate for it I had to hold the nozzle closer to the case. Then, the breeze would die down and the paint would run. :duh: I had maybe 6 cases of the paint running, but luckily they were not very noticeable or in an area where no one would look.

    Another problem I ran into yesterday was that it was almost impossible to evenly paint the screws. One would be completely covered, while another would only be half-covered. However, I had a stroke of genius and decided to stock the screws in an old piece of foam, and then only paint the heads. No one see the threads anyways... (This will come back to bite me in the a** later. :wallbash:)

    My brainchild:

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    And painted with matte black:

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    Here are most of the parts (mobo tray and a front cover were still drying)

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    And here are two teasers: :D

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    I think it looks pretty bad-a**. Fill her up with some acid green coolant, and we could have a pretty sick looking nuclear theme here. :lol: I might do a touch up sometime in the future, but otherwise I am mostly pleased with it. Remember those screws though? Well, I forgot to take into account that some bolt up from the bottom of the case, so the threads are visible. And of course I had already run out of paint, so I will have to revisit this later. :duh:

    Sadly, I won't be ably to finish it tomorrow, but I will probably get to it on Tuesday. Until then, happy modding. :dremel:
     
  7. maRiio

    maRiio What's a Dremel?

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    In blacj the case really looks a lot better.
    Will keep an eye on this here ;)
     
  8. DonT-FeaR

    DonT-FeaR I know what a fk'n Dremel is ok.:D

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    lookin fresh!
     
  9. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Nice start, I love a Stacker mod.
     
  10. H2O

    H2O Burnt Acrylic - Mmmmmm

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    Thanks for the comments, guys!

    I've decided to hold off on re-assembling my computer until I order some new parts for it (still deciding what I what to do first). Tomorrow I'll have a smallish update with some new case pics, plus a small mod (if you could even call it that) that I did.
     
  11. wbdog206

    wbdog206 not me

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    +1 :thumb:
     
  12. H2O

    H2O Burnt Acrylic - Mmmmmm

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    More Pics + Small Mod - 8/13/09

    Ok, I'm back with some more pics plus a small mod.

    One thing that always bothered me was the excessive amounts of front panel cables that had to be run to the motherboard. In the Stacker 830, this included 2 USB cables, a Firewire 400 cable, a front panel audio cable with 3 different sets of connectors, and the usual ATX switches. I use a USB headset, so I have no need for the audio connectors, and I do not need the firewire connector for anything, so I decided to find a way to remove them.

    Here is the front I/O piece:

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    I started by removing four screws (two on both sides)

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    This released the front facade:

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    I then removed two additional screws on the bottom:

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    Then, the bottom portion of the I/O box separated from the top part/top facade:

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    The box on the left contains 2 USB ports, a firewire port, and the front panel audio connectors. The small board on the right contains another 2 USB ports, plus the ATX power/reset switches, and the ATX power/HDD activity LEDs.

    I was in for a pleasant surprise. The cables were connected to the board with connectors, as opposed to being soldered on. This will make it much easier in the future if I wish to route the USB ports through an internal hub in the future. The cables in order (top to bottom) are USB, audio, firewire.

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    Audio and firewire cables removed:

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    And here is the re-assembled I/O piece, minus the audio and firewire cables:

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    If you made it through that, here are some more pics of the case:

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    Don't look to hard, or you'll see that my paintjob is not all that good.:duh: In the future, if I decide to enter the mod in any contests, I'll probably send the case off to have the paint stripped and have it professionally powdercoated. Does anyone know any good powdercoaters in the northeast?

    I'll hopefully have an update in the next few days, when I order some new parts.

    Until then, happy modding!:dremel:
     
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2009
  13. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    even tho the paint made seem dry, its still very soft, you should have waited a week minimum to let it harden before re-assembly, so go careful not to scratch it at all for a few weeks!
     
  14. H2O

    H2O Burnt Acrylic - Mmmmmm

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    Thanks for the tip. I wish that I had know that earlier, though. :sigh: :duh:

    It did scratch in a few places, so I'll probably touch it up sometime towards the end of the build. However, I am seriously considering having it painted professionally, as I can't paint very well and it would look so much better.
     
  15. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    I hate tons of front panel connectors, makes everything messy, nice job of cleaning them up.
     

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