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Case Mod - In Progress [project] Cheap as chips.

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by unknowngamer, 15 Apr 2009.

  1. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

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    It's a copy of the topic over on Custom PC mag forum and overclock.net.
    On the othersites I'm mega_bite, but that user name is not available here.
    So. Hi there :)


    Here we go


    Projects a go.

    I've been saving bits and cutting corners, mostly because it's a second rig and I cant justify spending £100's on a new modded rig.

    So.

    The kit:

    E5200 Lapped
    MSI P7N SLI (750i)
    Westerndigital 250 GB (OLD) ide hard rive
    Sony silver DVD rw (might change if I spray it)
    OCZ Platinum DDR2 800MHz 2x 2GB
    2x 8800GT in SLI
    FSP 700wat PSU (captive cables :-( )
    Creative Audigy (I think, due to better signal/noise thingy)
    Coolermaster cooldrive + flash reader
    Vista ultimate (cost me £40 for a copy from microsoft)

    Cooling
    Custom water loop.
    3.120 rad + 1.120 rad (might get a 2.120 if there are still brown box on scan)
    500 L/H pump with attached Res
    Alpha cool nexos CPU block (Lapped)
    2x astec GPU block (plus coolermaster RAM sinks).

    Case.
    It's a dirty old server is going to get a chop and mod.
    I'll use acrylic to build a custom shape.
    Think temjin tj07 for the shape, kinda flowing curves for the top/front/sides.

    the motherboard side will be acrylic cut to shape, thinking of doing a cheap airbrush (£7 cheap, I'll let you know how it works nearer the time, if it works)

    the left side will lift off (the right might, or might not, dunno yet)
    It will be acrylic and also be windowed.



    I'm thinking about cutting custom shapes into if to fan grills and windows, again, I'll get a feel for it nearer the time.


    The whole porjacts a kind of, what can I do within budget.
    I've got £100 to get the acrylic and any extra stuff if I wana do it by the end of this month.

    otherwise it will have to wait till the middle of May and next payday.



    I dont know if other people can see the images, they're not showing on mine.

    I've done them again with a new host, I've also added some images.

    Click to see bigger image


    A collection of assorted spare bits.
    [​IMG]

    This is the case I'm going to hack to bits
    [​IMG]

    I've got the system up and running in another case.
    [​IMG]

    With these 3 devices at the front
    [​IMG]

    I've decided to go for a front rad
    [​IMG]

    After 3 hours (and 10 bits) with a dremel, I'm happy
    [​IMG]

    I've used some lenticular adheasive foil to skin the PSU (no idea where it came from, it's been in my mums shed for 6 years)
    [​IMG]

    This is the P7N sli with the lapped e5200 and 2x2GB OCZ platinum ram
    [​IMG]

    These are the graphics cards before I wreak them
    [​IMG]

    Mmmm, 8800GT with no clothes......
    [​IMG]

    Now with added va va voom astek blocks (£8 from scan) and coolermaster ram sinks (£2 scan)
    [​IMG]

    First few coats of paint
    [​IMG]

    A couple of pics of painting done
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And throw it all together and.....
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2009
  2. Spoooon

    Spoooon New Member

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    Half the pictures are broken mate :(
     
  3. modsquad

    modsquad Grease Monkey Undergraduate..

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    all the pictures are broken..
     
  4. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

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    New image host.

    Click to get them bigger.


    A collection of assorted spare bits.
    [​IMG]

    This is the case I'm going to hack to bits
    [​IMG]

    I've got the system up and running in another case.
    [​IMG]

    With these 3 devices at the front
    [​IMG]

    I've decided to go for a front rad
    [​IMG]

    After 3 hours (and 10 bits) with a dremel, I'm happy
    [​IMG]

    I've used some lenticular adheasive foil to skin the PSU (no idea where it came from, it's been in my mums shed for 6 years)
    [​IMG]

    This is the P7N sli with the lapped e5200 and 2x2GB OCZ platinum ram
    [​IMG]

    These are the graphics cards before I wreak them
    [​IMG]

    Mmmm, 8800GT with no clothes......
    [​IMG]

    Now with added va va voom astek blocks (£8 from scan) and coolermaster ram sinks (£2 scan)
    [​IMG]

    First few coats of paint
    [​IMG]

    A couple of pics of painting done
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And throw it all together and.....
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

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    I've fitted the new Rad.
    And plummed the system in.
    Most of the kit is plugged in.

    I've had to make a few changes.

    1st, the rad is a alot thicker than I expected (and weighs a ton) which was blocked by the pump, so the pump had to move to bottom of case.

    2nd, the PCIe cables wont reach down the back of the motherboard tray, I could buy some extenders, but at the mo the budget means it's a low priority.

    3rd Ditto USB, headers from Cooldrive&card reader wont reach the motherboard, again exenders can be bought at a later date.

    4th, now the pumps gone form the high position I've added a delta fan to the rear, it's a real screamer, but shifts air. I've hooked it up to the coolermaster so I can spin it down .


    To be honest there have been alot of compromises in this project.
    I'd want a modular PSU and bigger tubing for a start. But a budgets a budget.


    It's ready for a fill and flush, then leak test, I'll do this Saturday.



    It's then just waiting till the acrylic arrives.


    Anyway, more pics.

    Rads, pumps and all tubing is in.
    [​IMG]


    Full side view.
    [​IMG]

    Front.
    [​IMG]


    The thick black line is an approximation for the shape, kinda Temjin TJ07.
    I'll use a spacer between chasis and acrylic, and got some ideas for some feet.
    Also got some more improvments to the look of the inside planned, but that cant be done till I get the acrylic
    [​IMG]



    Wish me luck with the leak test.
     
  6. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

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    Systems has been flushed (the pump, 360rad and cpu blocks are from an old system)

    Filled with fesser.

    And is now on a leak test.



    this is the bit where I am either gona win or fail.

    the project is "cheap as chips"

    BUT

    the theme is Starwars (I like it, plus markatable if I do a good job, as stated I don't want this system, I'm just despreate to do this mod, it's been in my head for about a year)



    I plan to cut out fangrills out of the chasis, I may have bitten of more than I can chew, but I wana do it.
    So here is one of the fan grills I wana make.

    [​IMG]

    Maybe this another one.
    [​IMG]

    If the simple ones work, there are some really special ones to try out.
    I've got mesh so big holes aren't a problem.
    It's really is a case of see how it goes, if I can do better I will.

    I'm thinking about giving adhesive backed photopaper a go on the motherbaord side panel, I've got an image in mind, again, we'll se how it goes.

    I'm also thinking of using some of cuts of acrylic and using them to build a blank for inside the case, to hide some of the holes, this would use more of the foil paper, but there's loads left. I'll give it a go, if it looks pants I'll stick with the painted blue. if it works then that would lead to other ideas I've got.

    If the budget allows I'll add a pair of uv tubes and blue tubes for lighting up the inside. optional, not essential, so it'll have to wait.


    My budget is the restriction, I'm spent up for the month.

    There have been alot of compromises already, I've got 6 pushfit connectors, 2 barb connectors and 4 screw connectors, it's a case of using what I've got, rather than buying new kit. It's a double edged sword, I cant get the kit I'd want, but I can be more flexable because the kit is to all intense and purpose disposable, if it goes wrong, I don't care, it's not my main rig.

    BTW, any feedback would be great, I'm on my 4th water cooled system and retail "modded case" but this is all a but new to me, hence the "we'll see how it goes".

    Any advice or comments would be great.

    BTW.
    Does anybody else find their head just filling up with ideas while doing this?
    I just keep coming up with more things to do.

    One Idea was a follow on form the side panel adheasive photo paper thing.
    Cut a groove into the side panel following the main shape of the image to be tiled, then put the EL wire inside the groove, epoxy it flat. then place the adheasive photo paper over the top. Flick a switch and the main item on the image wile have a EL glow around the edges.
    Again, my mantra, "we'll see how it goes"......
     
  7. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

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    Passed the leaktest.

    just running a few benchmarks to get a feel for the cooling.

    It's a bit pick and mix with the cooling, the pump and 360 rad are thermaltake, not the best, but it's what I've got spare. So the cooling may be a real mixed bag.


    Then on to the overclock.



    Over 700 views and no comments except to tell me the image links were broken.

    Anybody want to give me any feedback, either good or bad.
    Sugestions, possible problems, solutions.
     
  8. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

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    I've got some pictures coming soon, I'm just at the point where the project will work or fail.

    I'm just making this post to explain some of my choices, in retrospect, I've not explaind why my mod is going in such a haphazard way.

    I would love to get to grips with sketch-up, but it is beyond me, so I've done the job "on the hoof". I knew what I wanted to do and how I would do it. I just dont know IF I can do it.

    I wanted to do an acylic case, but didnt want it transparent. I had a transparent case ages ago and cable managment was a git, I was never happy about it. I also didn't want to have to spend ages fabbing a motherboard tray, pci slots, hd/dvd drive bays.

    I decided to cut corners and effectivley mod an existing case, and build an acylic shell for it.



    I'm using acrylic, but I didnt want lots of botls on show, so I decided to bend it.
    That created other problems for me.

    If I was going for a clean un bolted look, then I should try and make it as clean as possible, I decided that there would be no switches on the front. I'd use the "keyboard 95" system and power on with keyboard. So the main part of the system would be a single sheet of acrylic with custom made starwars fan grills cut in and a 3x 5 1/4 drive bay., but other than that the front/top/bottom was a single sheet.


    That created a problem of not knowing how it would all fit together as a system, so I put the system together and worked from the details I got.


    In the 5th post I showed the shape f the system, but If i wanted no joins on the top/front/bottom bit how was I going to fix it to the chasis.

    I didnt want lots of bolts, so I decided to use acrylic fixing plates.
    I've mounted the acrylic contacts onto the case, and I'll use and acrylic bonding agent to attach the shell to the chasis.

    I'm just finnishing the last mounting plate.
    It's all cut to size and ready to go.

    I start the cutting the 3x 5 1/4 drive access tommorow night with any luck.
    If I get a good run at it I'll do the top bend and start cutting the 1st grill.

    Wish me luck.

    if things go to plan, by this time Sunday I will know if I have the technical skills to complete the Mod in the way I see it in my mind.
     
  9. jhanlon303

    jhanlon303 The Keeper of History

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    My first post here is a thank you for the larger pictures. My avatar is bigger than the thumbnails. BIT-TECH WILL RESIZE bigger pictures magically.
     
  10. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

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    Made some progress now.

    Heres the updates.


    First off I decided that the best way to "stealth" mount the pc case was to use an acrylic bonding agent. To do that I needed to fix some acrylic for the case to bond to. And I needed a mount system. I used wood. I like working with wood, it's easy.

    So , this is going to be the wood "blank" (ikea shelf unit....)
    [​IMG]

    Pop a hole in for 2x 120mm fans
    [​IMG]


    Woot, my acrylic arrives.
    1x 1500mmx500mm
    2x 1000x500mm
    and transparent light blue 500x500mm for the window
    [​IMG]


    Now to cut, the donor chasis is 185mm wide so I cut the acrylic to 200mm to stop it being too skinny.
    Dem cutz is straight.
    [​IMG]


    Next step is to cut the acrylic bonding plate (with a 2x120mm fan hole), at first I used a vibrosaw, but kept snapping blades, my bad?
    [​IMG]

    and it worked like just fine
    [​IMG]


    So I mounted it onto the case be using 20mm self tapping scres through the roof of the case. the Idea is that the final outer sheet will be bonded to this with acylic adheasive.
    [​IMG]



    Next step was to do the same with the front and the base, I also had to swap the card reader, the other one was to deep for the rad. I'll get a better one at a later date, funds gone for now.
    [​IMG]


    Next part is to bend the main part.
    It's 1500mm long, My measure ments say I need 1490mm, Cutting it close, but a 2000mm would cost way to much.
    [​IMG]


    I've got access to a strip heater, yay, so here goes.....
    [​IMG]


    Bend it, shape it. I used some marks on the acrylic that I drew with a set square tom make sure the bend was straight.
    [​IMG]

    1st bend worked well.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So went ahead and did the second bend (say hello, I'm the reflection waving in the patio door "hello")
    [​IMG]

    Am I good or what, My measurement were spot on. got a 15mm lip at the end which I bent over.
    VERY HAPPY.
    [​IMG]




    NOw on to the next bit.
    I'm going to cut out this template for the fan grill, I hope to god I dont screw this bit up.

    please wish me luck.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. jhanlon303

    jhanlon303 The Keeper of History

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    Nice acrylic work. I wish I had a hot wire! You don't want to see some of the bends my lady/wife Marilyn and I made with the heat gun. Not for public eyes.

    john
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2009
  12. wbdog206

    wbdog206 not me

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    looks good.
     
  13. jhanlon303

    jhanlon303 The Keeper of History

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    If you use a hot wire you don't get to use the heat gun and Mr. Trout - the oven mitt.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    john
     
  14. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    Very blue!

    I would go with the rebel insignia, or even the imperial one, if you like the design. Looks great so far, good luck.
     
  15. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

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    Thanks for the comments folks, nice to get some feedback.

    I was thinking about using a heatgun and a break, but didn't know if I could do a shallow bend with a break. so decided to use the strip bender (sorry to let you down Mr trout)


    I might change the storm trooper grill to bobafett (with some tweaks), think the storm trooper looks a bit to spindly and prone to breaks.
    [​IMG]

    I think I'll still use the rebel insignia + chewie + Yoda (or x wing) for the fans grills on the front tripple rad.
    therare 2 chewie stencils.
    [​IMG]
    Cant find the other at the moment.

    If anyone want to know where I found these ( I dont have the artistic abilty myself) they are pumpkin (jack-o-lantern) stencils.




    And as docodine said it's a bit blue.

    Maybe too blue even for me.

    It's down to what I started with,I had: blue foil, blue LED fans, blue uv coolant, blue anti-kink.
    SO blue was theme due to budget restrictions.

    I've got 2 bottles green thermaltake cooling fluid, so I might change that to a second colour along with some green fans, make the front grills show off their shape more.
    If the project last until the middle of May (next payday) I might change the side window to light green.

    We'll see how it goes.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2009
  16. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Nice acrylic work! I love working with wood myself so nice to see it added in :)
     
  17. Oclocker

    Oclocker New Member

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    Looks nice (blue fan here) - blue laser etched stuff spoils it a bit ?
     
  18. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

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    The whole case is going to be made out of the same blue acrylic.
    I just need some holes in for the 2 Radiators.
    Rather than mount a rad grill on the front, I decided to cut some holes in it, so decided rater than a plain round hole, make something a bit different.

    And they're not laser cut, they're drill/dremel/file/sandpaper cut :)
     
  19. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

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    that was a disaster. need a rethink.

    I used a dremel 194 high speed cutter hoping to use it thinking it would work like the bit in a CNC miller.

    [​IMG]

    It bounced around like a wild bronco.

    good job it was a test piece (120mm x 100mm)

    [​IMG]


    it would be ok for tweaking the cut shapes, but no good for cutting the shape.

    The standard rotary cutter is no good on sweeping curves, and is too big for some of the smaller cuts.


    A metal jigsaw blade is to big and also wont make the corners.

    A scrolling wood jigsaw blade might make the corners but would hack the acrylic and may fracture it.
    I think most wood blades will wreak acrylic, it really has to be a metal blade IMO

    I may have to use coping saw with a carbide rod blade.


    I dont have one :-(
    available budget is thin at the mo.

    Eek.

    I'll see what I can beg/borrow.
     
  20. Digitalize-

    Digitalize- New Member

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    Why not have it Laser Cut?
     

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