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Case Mod - In Progress Project: "Building Better Worlds" by E.E.L. Ambiense - Completed

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by E.E.L. Ambiense, 2 Feb 2008.

  1. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Hello B-T! It's that time again. And this time, it's time for a proper project log from ole' E.E.L. Ambiense. Alright, sarcasm aside (*eyes Cheapskate*...:eyebrow:...:D), this will be a pretty straight-forward mod, opposed to the usual stuff I do. It'll mostly be dress-up/paint/etc. This case will be used for my tote-around LAN system. The hardware is from my old Drone I mod, since I decided to retire the old gal (the hardware's getting long in the tooth too...).

    The mod theme will be based around the film series of Aliens & stuff (again...), this time the favorite ominous "Company" that is repeatedly sited throughout the good (and bad) films in the series. Weyland-Yutani Corp.; "Building Better Worlds"! I plan on making the case look like some kind of company terminal/workstation kind of thing. I dunno. :confused: Like I said, dress-up. Like I used to do with my mom's lingerie. :eyebrow: What can I say? Good support, you know? :naughty:

    Final Hardware Specs:
    DFI Lan Part UT SLI-DR Expert mobo
    AMD 939 X2 4200+ CPU (2.2 stock)
    2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR500 RAM w/ modded Evercool 60mm x 10mm aluminum fans cooling them
    WD Raptor 74GB SATA HDD
    BFG Tech 7800GT's in SLi, stealthing plated with debadged/modded Arctic Cooling Accelero X1's
    Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Platinum soundcard, stealthing plated
    Ultra XVS 700W PSU modded with Xinruilian 80mm green led fans, sleeved and re-molexed
    EVGA 680i MCP fan, modded, for chipset cooling
    Cooler Master Aerogate I rheobus, modded
    Stealthed and modded NEC DVD-RW Drive
    Thermalright XP-90 CPU cooler w/ modded Evercool 92mm aluminum fan
    80mm green LED aluminum-frame fans, modded

    EASY-LINKED LOG UPDATES FOR THE INFINITELY LAZY:

    UPDATE 2 - Feb. 2nd
    UPDATE 3 - Feb. 3rd
    UPDATE 4 - Feb. 4th
    UPDATE 5 - Feb. 5th
    UPDATE 6 - Feb. 9th
    UPDATE 7 - Feb. 10th
    UPDATE 8 - Feb. 20th
    UPDATE 9 - Feb. 24th
    UPDATE 10 - Feb. 29th
    UPDATE 11 - Mar. 9th
    UPDATE 12 - Mar. 11th
    UPDATE 13 - Apr. 4th
    UPDATE 14 - Apr. 4th again
    UPDATE 15 - Jun. 1st
    UPDATE 16 - Jun. 6th - Finished!

    The victim for the new mod is this:

    [​IMG]

    An aging classic; Cooler Master's Praetorian PAC-T01-E1. The moment I saw this case years back, I fell in love with it. And this is coming from a LiLi whore too! But like many things in the computer realm, it got tossed aside for bigger better newer (like my lovelife...). Stock, she has 2 80mm's up front; 1 80mm blowhole; 1 80mm exhaust. Augh. I plan on adding a window, complete with a 120mm fan blowing in on the two 7800GT's in SLi. She needs more air, but I really don't want to cut on her! To paraphrase Dracula, "I just...love her too much...to condemn her...." :D

    Here's a quick dirty mockup of what I plan on doing to her...

    [​IMG]

    Anyways, structurely, she's gorgeous. Thick aluminum everywhere. Reinforced removeable mobo tray. Awesomeness. The plan is to strip her down to bare parts, remove all annodization, and cleanse and powder coat different parts in different colors. I've already jumped the gun, as they say, because I was shooting something in gloss black last week, so I removed the top and front mesh from the case to shoot it as well. I mean, why change out the powder twice, right? :)

    I have some designing done already for the misc. acrylic accouterments I plan on adding to the build, because like usual....acrylic's my canvas of choice for modding. I decided I'm going to add acrylic 'plates' on the video cards like I've done with my (not yet revealed) main rig I built last year already. Hard to explain, I suppose. I needed to measure the card's PCB to get accurate sizing for a digital mockup of it so I can make the covers for it. I'll let the pics do the talking...

    Measured the card...

    [​IMG]

    Illustrating it right down to 1/16th of an inch, complete with theme-related 'stuff'. It's pretty close, but it has to be for what I need it for. Yes, right down to the SLi bridge for clearance! :thumb:

    [​IMG]

    *Warp to another thing....*

    Installed the Accelero X1 to the card...

    [​IMG]

    I don't like that big-a*s sticker on there, so I debadged it. Still filthy, but better than before. I think I'm going to add something here....hmmmm...... :D

    [​IMG]

    I'll come back to video cards later. I want to get started on another part (Sorry...I tend to jump around a LOT when modding!)

    I plan on adding a custom RAM cooler as well that I'll make out of acrylic (of course). After measuring everything, the biggest fans I can get in there comfortably would be 60mm's, and that's cutting it close to the CPU cooler.

    [​IMG]

    I plan on using two Aluminum-framed Evercool 60mm x 10mm fans in which I'll, of course, powder coat the frames themselves to match with the theme. I have some other things in mind as well, but I'll wait until I get to them. Here's the digital illustration of the RAM cooler:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, I plan on mounting this thing to the rear 80mm fan, with a 90-degree bend so it sits right over the two RAM modules. These aren't called Ballistix for nothing :lol:!

    -------------
    Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 4 Sep 2011
  2. jhanlon303

    jhanlon303 The Keeper of History

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    Won't give us any more pictures of the Micro Fly, so you move on to a case a small family could live in. If the acrylic is as good as the Micro Fly you're in my book for next MOTM! I'm watching this one.:clap:
    John
     
  3. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    LOL. Thanks, man. MOTM?! Nah, I'd be surprised if that happened!

    I'm actually using SuperMicroFly right now @ home. I promise I'll dust her off and shoot more pics. I just don't know when!
     
  4. jhanlon303

    jhanlon303 The Keeper of History

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    You have no idea how surprised I was this morning(in US) to find my MOTM nomination and front page picture. There are no words.
    John on his Micro Fly(back down to 2.8GHZ for running too hot.)
     
  5. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

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    Woah, that is a explosion of color!
    It looks nice though. I cant wait to see the acrylic work.
     
  6. DreamTheEndless

    DreamTheEndless Gravity hates Bacon

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    Cool - another Weyland-Yutani casemod. Look forward to it.
     
  7. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    There's hope for you yet.:D You can get the sticky cr*p from that label off with zippo lighter fluid on toilet paper.
    I'm going to assume that color scheme is for part identification only? -Otherwise it will look like a Japanese dump truck.:hehe:
     
  8. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Hey, Cheapskate! Yeah, I used some of this stuff I use in the screen print industry; it's chemically similar to the Orange Clean stuff or even Goo-Gone. Only stronger. Then I swabbed it with alcohol afterwards for cleanup. It's great! But I'll keep the lighter fluid trick in mind. How fast is it?

    HAHAHAH!! That's good stuff. And so true! Yeah, in all honesty, I'm prone to going dark and forbidding for color-schemes. I wanted to go against my usual M-O and go for something really catchy (read: ugly) and bright. And judging by the powder I just got in the mail, it's going to be just that. :thumb:

    Thanks for the kind words, man!

    Forgot to reply to this. Sorry bout that! I appreciate your kind words. It's gonna be bright, that's for sure.

    Thank you! There's another WY case mod? I know I've seen one a few years back, that had a model facehugger on top of the case. Personally, I didn't care for it. But I had nothing against it. It was well-done.
     
    Last edited: 2 Feb 2008
  9. Angel OD

    Angel OD Pump Killer

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    I'm looking forward to this one E.E.L! Especially to see if it works with those... special? .. colors! ;)

    Btw, I'm glad you got the package I sent you! ;) :lol:
     
  10. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    :hehe: Thanks, Angel! I hope it comes out good too. If it doesn't--eh, only loss is my time and--oh GOD! My CM Praetorian! Scratch that-- it MUST work. :D

    Package was well-boxed! I appreciate it! But...where's the hash? :worried: (I'm only kidding, everyone...sheesh)

    :thumb:
     
  11. Angel OD

    Angel OD Pump Killer

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    You're welcome E.E.L. ... I guess they must have opened the package at customs... And you know, finders keepers! :lol:
    But seriously, I'm eager to see this mod, since I just love the other ones you've done, hence - this cannot go wrong! :thumb:
     
  12. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Feb 2nd Update!

    Update time! Yes, that's right; already! I know...I know... what the hell, right? Well, I don't work on the weekends, so...when I'm not shooting H in-between my toes or cruising the red light district for my next victim, it's time to mod! :D (I'm only kidding, guys! PSA: drugs and attacking prostitutes are bad)

    Anyways, here's what I have. I started to disassemble the case down to individual parts. Removing rivets, screws, residents, etc. You know, the usual. The front panel is held on by socket screws. Some of my favorites, those screws. Of course, they'll be replaced with black ones. :D

    [​IMG]

    And, it's off. Easy, huh?

    [​IMG]

    Rest of the case is all straightforward as well. No evil surprises in store for me....of course, I may be speaking too soon. But I'll get to that in a bit.

    [​IMG]

    Removal of the front USB/firewire ports. Cooler Master, I love you. So easy to take apart, and so easy to get at the damn screws too.

    The stock power/reset switch assembly housing is easy as well. I like things easy. Like some women I've-- OOH! No, stop right there with that stuff, mister! Anyways, :hehe:...Nice, and simple.

    [​IMG]

    Proceeded to drill out the rivets holding the rest of the case together. Man, this is some nice aluminum, CM. Seriously. Good job.

    [​IMG]

    Removal of the top panel...

    [​IMG]

    Uh, oh! A pile of parts!! Run before the mods get a hold of the thread! Oh...wait. I have pics showing modding already, so it's within the rules. Nevermind. :D

    [​IMG]

    After disassembling the entire case down to, well, parts, I wanted to remove all, or most, of the anodizing off the panels to make it easier to sand down before I powder coat the parts. I just figured it'd be easier than going at it directly with a mouse-sander. But eh, I tend to be lazy.

    All joking aside, I'll go ahead and take this opportunity and perform a PSA about safety while using nasty chemicals. Chemicals, especially ones that would be in the nasty category...are bad. They are bad for your eyes. They are bad for your skin. They are bad for your life. BAD. Okay? So don't be a jacka*s and not use proper safety equipment/procedures whilst using the aforementioned nasty chemicals. 'Nuff said.

    [​IMG]

    The stuff I'm going to use is oven cleaner. Why, you ask? Am I cleaning an oven? Am I friggin' baker!? Is ole' E.E.L. going to bake all of us some sweet warm delicious cupcakes or perhaps some cookies shaped like pentium wafers so we can have a wonderful snack while we watch E.E.L.'s project log go down in flames and crash and burn and we all get to laugh rudely at his pain and misery? NO! I'm using it because the active ingredient in many of these oven cleaners, is sodium hydroxide. Or simply put, lye!

    [​IMG]

    Lye likes to eat anodizing off metal. In fact, it likes to eat metal and ANYTHING ELSE as well, but that's a given. So, with that said, let's spray it all over the panels, yes?

    [​IMG]

    And let that sit for half-hour or so. Nice stuff. *coughs* Don't get this crap in your eyes, or you'll look like the walking dead, because you'll have milky filmed-over cataract-looking dead eyes. Unless that's your goal in life. Don't get this crap on your skin, or you'll be taking a lesson from Tyler Durden about it being the biggest moment of your life! And also...don't eat it. That's probably not good either.

    *Warp to an hour later*

    Okay... all anodizing is gone and stuff. Now, let's sand it to a fine texture. I need it really clean or the powder tends to reject it like most of my high-school dating. I'll sand it evenly as possible, making sure the rest of the anodizing is gone from the corners/etc., then I'll clean it again with water and let it air-dry.

    [​IMG]

    Then I'll hit it many times with some lacquer thinner. Then I'll pre-bake the part in the oven to 'open its pores' a bit and get the nasty oils and other debris out to the surface, then I'll clean it with thinner again and again until the rag comes away pretty clean. Then it'll be ready and worthy of the powder. Then, I'll exfoliate. Oh, wait...wrong log. Nevermind.

    *warps to another thing*

    Here's an example of the fans I'm using in this mod. They're decent-air-moving little suckers for the noise level. Considering they're 80's. Here's a night-shot of it running. I love green.

    [​IMG]

    And here's the fan disassembled. I plan on powder coating the frames in...well, I'm not sure yet. I was thinking orange. But ya never know.

    [​IMG]

    *warps back to front panel*

    Okay, all dry now. You know that thing I mentioned earlier about something may go wrong? Here it is. It's not bad, but it does suck. I laid one of my sample bulgin switches over the hole; yeah...the switch is too small for CM's stock mount hole. Argh.

    [​IMG]

    It's okay though. I have an idea. I think I'll make a small ring to go around the switch on both sides out of acrylic so they sandwich against the panel on both sides as the switch is torqued down. It should work. I hope it does.

    -------------
    Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 3 Feb 2008
  13. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Oven cleaner IS bad for you! I should know, I've been up to my armpits in it on several ocasions. The taste isn't too bad, though.
    The lighter fluid works fast, but you have to get the glue off before it evaporates. I use the toilet paper to 'sweep' everything to one corner. No washup afterwards is needed either.
     
  14. jhanlon303

    jhanlon303 The Keeper of History

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    The company I use for anodizing and powder coating here in Colorado has this nasty big tank, big enough for a fridge or complete oven that they soak stuff in first. It comes out ready to go. Bring it crud, take home beauty. They actually suggest that I don't try to "do it myself". When I was building show cars I had some crud!!!!
    This is one to follow.
    John
     
  15. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

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    well, with the problem with your bulgin switch.
    Mount a piece of frosted plexi behind the switch on top and behind, and light the top part with the same color the switch is.
    Want a diagram?

    anyways, nice to see a great case become greater!
     
  16. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    LOL. Yeah, nasty stuff. Taste? lol.

    Thanks, man!

    I thought of the same thing, with the plexi lighting, lol! I'm actually just going to use a lighted bulgin switch instead for any LED status lights/etc. I'll take you up on the offer for the diagram though; much obliged. I could use it for future endeavors. And there will be some, lol.

    Appreciate the kind words!
     
  17. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

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    Well, it will be a paint diagram. Photoshop and Sketchup hate it when I have less than a gig of ram.
     
  18. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    February 3rd Update!

    Update time! Yup, another one. I told ya, I'm on a roll on the weekends! Even though I kinda tied one on last night with Coronas and lime :blah: while watching Zombie's reimagining of 'Halloween'. :rock:

    Alrighty then, let's get right to it.

    I started out by lacquer thinner cleansing the top panel, after removing anodizing and sanding it thoroughly. It's pretty clean. Remember kids: use a mask and gloves while using this harmful chemical. It ain't good fer ya! Unless you eventually want kids that will come out with a head shaped like a piece of brain coral.

    [​IMG]

    Then I proceeded to outgas the top panel; baking the metal to get all the filthy stuff below the surface to come out, to allow you to easily clean it. ...I have nothing witty to say here, so I'm moving right along. Wait-- "...awww man, I'm so baked!" There. There's something witty. :D

    [​IMG]

    After the part has cooled, I cleansed it again and again with thinner until I felt comfortable it would be clean. Then I hit it with a product called "Pre", that is a final cleaner/adhesion promoter. It's not necessary, but I'm a healthy X-Files fan, so I'm paranoid.

    I don't have any action shots while I was coating the top, as I need at least two hands for that alone, so you'll have to take my word for it. It's coated. And it came out grand. But while that's baking, I'm going to warp to another thing. I'll be back to this in a few, don't worry.

    *Warps to another thing*

    This is an HDD cooler from Scythe that I picked up for like half off. What's wrong with it? Nuthin'. Aside from the blue LED fan. So I'm tossing that. I had an unused 80mm x 15mm Evercool fan to replace it with, so I sleeved that fan and I added a 80mm mesh screen from an old Ultra PSU that I had laying around. It looks nice, I think!

    [​IMG]

    I put it together quickly to see what it'd look like. I like it. But it's black. Not for long though.... So I proceeded to remove the anodizing off of it too, as well as sanded it down, etc. Then I coated it in yellow as well! Beautiful, I think. Here's the results...

    [​IMG]

    Here's one of the 80mm fans coated and reassembled. It looks so much better than it did stock, I think.

    [​IMG]

    I also sanded/cleansed/etc. the 3.5" covers, because they too are going to be yellow. Here they are, as well as some of the chassis frame, that's all getting shot yellow. Yes, those are, in fact, pop rivets hanging off the side of that one piece. Why? I had no more silicone thread plugs, so I improvised. :lol:

    [​IMG]

    While the top panel is cooling down, I went ahead and drilled out the reset switch for the replacement lighted vandal switch I'm using. Kind of boring, I know. But necessary. I clamped the panel down to a plank of wood I tend to use while drilling holes in stuff.

    Here it is before drilling....

    [​IMG]

    ...And after. Wasn't that special?

    [​IMG]

    Alrighty, back to something interesting, yes?

    *Warps back to top panel curing*

    Alright, stop your whining! Here's some shots of the top panel after flowout and final curing!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And the top, or outside, of the part.

    [​IMG]

    I have some other stuff brewin' too, I just haven't let it gestate long enough for it to be a viable piece of an update. I'll get to it tomorrow, probably, when I update this log again. Because I have no life. And I'm always modding. :dremel: :rock:

    -------------
    Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:
     
  19. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

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    Here is that simple diagram.
    [​IMG]
    Looking at it, you should be able to figure out what stuff is.
    Black=Switch, Orange=Plexi, LightGre/ay=Panel, Dark Gra/ey=Metal Backing for nut to tighten against.
    And, if you wanted to add a LED, you would just make the Backing and plexi slightly larger, and drill corresponding holes.
     
  20. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Thanks, man. Yeah that's pretty close to what I've come up with myself. I appreciate it. A simple, yet effective solution to my minor problem. lol. Thanks again!
     
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