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Case Mod - In Progress Project: City of Light

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by headala, 21 Jan 2009.

  1. headala

    headala What's a Dremel?

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    Hi, everyone, I have a new mod here.

    It will be called City of Light (more explanation on that later).

    This mod's "canvas" will be a Lian Li V2100 (old school style) which I acquired new for around USD 200.:hip: Thankfully it doesn't have the "Plus" package which I probably would've thrown out anyway. Also it only has the sound insulation on one panel, which is a 'plus' to me since I'll be cutting on it and won't have to tear it all off!
    Here's some links if you want to see what it looks like...though I imagine most of you are familiar with it:
    http://www.gideontech.com/content/articles/286/1
    http://www.firingsquad.com/hw/4317/Lian-Li_V_PC-V2100_/_PC-V2100B_Full_Tower_Case/


    City of Light will feature dual WC loops, silent operation, and a killer motherboard cover. I might throw in some home-built or modified waterblocks, too.

    This is a long term mod. I'll work on it most weekends but rarely during the week. I've already done some work, so my first several updates should be pretty regular. Please don't ever hesitate to ask questions or to make comments or give criticism. The interactive aspect is the whole reason I'm doing this log! :rock:

    It will focus equally on aesthetics, performance, and silence.

    I'm not a gamer, and this is not a gaming rig. It will primarily be used for playing with crypto, doing a lot of photo processing, and general office stuff.

    Being 'green' is kindof important to me, so where possible I want to use recycleable, ROHS compliant parts, avoid toxic coolants and paints (and have a toddler so it's safer that way). I will not cut a bunch of holes in the case b/c I will use it again; I learned from my previous Project Headrush...I mutilated that case and it's pretty much worthless for other configurations now.:wallbash:

    Components:
    Core i7 920
    3GB Corsair DDR3
    undecided Mobo
    undecided GPU(s)
    undecided SSD

    Cooling:
    Loop1:
    Thermochill PA120.2
    D5
    undecided CPU block
    Swissflow meter
    Loop2:
    undecided pump
    full mobo cooling
    gpu block(s)
    koolance flow meter
    BI Stealth 120.1
    BI 80.2
    possibly another Stealth 120.1

    Planning on putting the PA 120.2 on the floor, a 120.1 in the front, the 80.2 in the back, and the optional other 120.1 up on the mobo tray:
    [​IMG]

    Previous mods:
    Project Headrush - still ongoing. Honestly, I never really finished it and plan to 'refurbish' and finish it after City of Light. Here's an older pic (still in progress):
    [​IMG]

    And a shot of my top shroud:
    [​IMG]

    Macbook Carbon - I finished this last winter. It's a homemade carbon fiber shell I made for my Apple Macbook (yes, real carbon fiber! :rock:).
    [​IMG]

    I hope you all enjoy it!
     
  2. headala

    headala What's a Dremel?

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    Stripping (not that kind)
    I mainly used a run of the mill cordless drill for drilling out the rivets to free the case from most if its internal 'stuff'. I got some spiffy drill bits for Father's day 2007 (thanks Cam!):
    [​IMG]

    For the times when the drill can't cut it, I got a great attachment combo for my dremel: the Dremel chuck and right-angle adapter. That made drilling out the rest of the rivets a breeze!
    [​IMG]

    Here's the fruits of my labor:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also took out the center divider, leaving only the drive supports, but forgot to take a picture:wallbash:.

    I'll have another update for you soon!
     
  3. headala

    headala What's a Dremel?

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    Next update ETA is Tuesday, Jan 27th.
     
  4. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    Cool CF shell you have there, headala! any posts up on that?

    I like that top shroud you have there on your old mod... kinda art deco & futuristic!

    Looking forward to future updates!
     
  5. headala

    headala What's a Dremel?

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    Modminded, thank you for the compliments! :blush: You know, maybe I'll do a mini-log, just for you...

    The shroud on the old project really grew out of the fact that the fans were outside the case and the rad was inside, and I needed a way to hide the sides of the ugly fans (and the cutting mistakes :duh:). But I ended up liking it. Thanks!
     
  6. headala

    headala What's a Dremel?

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    Front light
    How many times have you had to turn on the light in your room/office, just to figure out which DVD to put in a drive or which way a memory card goes in? I wanted to fix that. So here we go.

    IMHO this case is perfect for what I want to do, which is add a little light that lights the front of the case from above, so I can see what I'm doing but it doesn't shine in my eyes and stuff. The V2100 has the 'bars' at the top and bottom of the front that hold and support the big, heavy front door.

    So, I removed the top bar and inspected it. It was ideal for my plan since it was hollow and the bottom was not too thick.
    [​IMG]

    I then got a piece of clear scrap acrylic, cut three strips, and glued them together. I wanted to 'frost' the part where the light would be coming out, and tried a bunch of grits of sandpaper, finally deciding on 800.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After measuring and marking the center and where I wanted the 'window' for the light to pass through the top bar, I drilled two holes (can't remember what size), and two mounting holes, one on either side, and countersunk for M3 tapered head screws. Then I just dremeled out the middle.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I took two LED's and flattened off the rounded bottoms with my dremel.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With this bit - I don't know what it is called:
    [​IMG]

    I then soldered one cathode to one anode, and then wires to each side. Drilled holes in the top of the 'lens', and wired it up with a resistor.
    [​IMG]

    Wired up and ready to be screwed back on:
    [​IMG]

    And then for the test:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I REALLY like the effect:rock:; this is something I've been wanting to have for a while! What do you guys think? Feel free to leave comments!
     
  7. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    Thanks Headala! You don't have to go through all that trouble just for me (though I'm sure others here would appreciate it, too!) I just think it's cool. Real CF or just the film/vinyl (whatever you call that stuff!)


    Sanding Drum bit is what I call it.

    It is a nice effect. What's great is that you like it so much! ;) I think you should wire a switch to it (illuminated switch when off so you could find it, dark when on?)

    I really like the way you set up your resistors and wires on the table with that sticky stuff (I'd call it BluTac, but it's white!) That's a great and easy way to test circuits/resistance. I'd never seen that done. The scalloped edges of your work table look nice too! :D I may have to make something like that. :dremel:
     
  8. Mino

    Mino Ganzerli Mino

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    The light effects is't really interesting, in future I'll use your idea, tnx a lot to share with us!
    Modminded, I suppose it's REAL Carbon Fiber, and he said "yes, real carbon fiber" , the cost is incredible, but the effect is stunning!
    The BluTac here in Italy it's near to impossible to find, I've discovered it about 15 years ago iduring a trip to England, but now in near every shop you can find a similar product called PataFix, it's white BluTac :)

    Anyway, headala, your tecnique to quick set up a small circuit it's a touch of genius!
    Go on man, show me something amazing!
     
  9. headala

    headala What's a Dremel?

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    Thank you all for the encouragement. Yep, as you're about to find out, the CF is real.

    I don't think that I was the original inventor of the "blue-tac prototype board", but I can't remember where I got the idea from or I would give the credit.
     
  10. headala

    headala What's a Dremel?

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    Modminded, this is for you:
     
  11. headala

    headala What's a Dremel?

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    Hi, what a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in NC! I hope you all are having a great day.

    I have had several request for a worklog on my Macbook Carbon alluded to in the introduction. Unfortunately I don't have enough progress pictures to do a full log so this Mini-log will have to do. :wallbash:

    I first came upon this idea when I was sitting in May 2007 in a Systematic Theology class (divine illumination!) and noticing how my little white Macbook looked...um...what's the politically correct word for it? :idea:Froo-froo? Effeminate? Anyway, it's not a sleek sexy black notebook (only if you give Apple an extra $200).

    It's also prone to scratches, which I hate anything I have being scratched up (The Seeker from Xtremesystems called me anal...I guess I am).

    Other things I was thinking about that are relevant: it's more or less geometrically the same top and bottom, it has very limited ports, I never use the DVD drive, and all the cooling vents are in one place on the back.

    All of these things, taken together, convinced me that it was an ideal candidate for a hard shell. And it can only be Carbon Fiber.

    In researching, I learned how much of a pain (and danger) CF can be to work with. The shards/splinters/dust can easily get in your skin/eyes/lungs/nose/ears, and sometimes have to be surgically removed. Someone even told me that they cause cancer! I thought...wow, sounds like something fun to work with! :dremel:

    So, I have NO experience (except helping a friend re-fiberglass the inside of his boat in college) in composites. I did a bit of research. And I decided to try.

    My original ideas and my final procedure turned out to be quite different, so bear with me.

    My plan was to basically cover the computer in wrinkle-free plastic wrap (like for your leftovers Christmas dinner), and fiberglass it (with the CF), twice. Then trim the two halves and voila! Wasn't that easy though.

    I did get several layers of wrinkle free plastic wrap around it, and then fiberglassed it with some medium fiberglass batting, in two layers, as a test. All that stuff came from home depot. After it cured, I discovered that my MB had a weird smell and some of the plastic had deteriorated.:duh::duh: Doh! can't do that again.

    So, I thought about how I could do it without using the computer as a mold. I thought about using MDF and building a replica, and then fiberglassing that with the CF, but it would take too much work. I didn't have a ton of time to work on it, and had limited tools.

    Then I noticed my 'test' fiberglass shell that I made. An idea was born. :naughty:

    I orderd some big bottles of urethane rubber used for making molds, some carbon fiber cloth, some wax spray, and some sheeting used like plastic wrap to make the finish smooth.

    I took that urethane rubber, and dumped it into my fiberglass mold (after spraying it with copious amounts of wax). Then I put a cardboard box into the rubber to take up some space. After it cured, I had a pretty good mold made from rubber.

    [​IMG]

    Once the mold was finished, I could resume my original plan: I sprayed the mold with the wax, then stretched carbon cloth over the mold and taped it down to the sides of the box. Mixing my two part epoxy resin well, I tried to avoid bubbles as much as possible and the poured it on to the cloth. I found some spatulas at the dollar store and used them to work the epoxy into the carbon. Then I covered it with the release film. And now for the secret weapon: I used a block and tackle to carefully lower a garbage bag full of water onto the release film. This squeezed out most of the bubbles.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    I made two layers, and after it cured it seemed plenty strong. So, I did it again (another one of two layers) so I had two halves. I then had to dremel down the edges a little to test fit them onto the notebook, and then once on the notebook (and some spacers inserted inside to allow for the attachment material) I needed to mark off from the inside exactly how far down I needed to trim. I mainly used a dremel on a drill press for this.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I realized after the trimming that in a couple of places the two layers of carbon (especially in the taller bottom half) weren't joined well. So, superglue and clothespins to the rescue! :dremel:

    [​IMG]

    Overall I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. CF looks unbelievable, even when done by a n00b like me:jawdrop::

    [​IMG]

    I ended up attaching the top with double-sided tape, and the bottom with velcro.

    I then needed to make holes for the ports I use the most. I cut out notches on the back for the cooling vents, and holes for the power plug, front LED, and IR receiver. I mainly transfer files over my home network, and backup over that too, so I don't often need the USB/FW ports. I never use the DVD drive. So, just a couple of holes. :hip:

    Marking off:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Drilling and filing:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One thing that I hate is advertising for companies. Therefore, I'm not a big fan of the lit-up apple in the middle of the lid. So, I decided to make a window and show something else through it :hip:
    Measuring:
    [​IMG]

    Finding a coin for a stencil:
    [​IMG]

    Transferring to paper:
    [​IMG]

    Drilled and cut (didn't want to dremel because of the dangerous dust/shards around my toddler):
    [​IMG]

    Sanded (a little wet):
    [​IMG]

    Finished:
    [​IMG]

    I put metal foil tape along the front edge to keep from sticking CF into my wrists:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And we're done. Again, i apologize that the pictures are kind of hit and miss. I was on a tight schedule and have probably lost some of them. I hope you enjoyed it! I'll resume City of Light in the next update. Thanks for reading! :dremel:
     
  12. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    That CF notebook mod is so awesome lol, I'm posting this from my acer ferrari 1000 which has a (Fake i believe) CF lid on it, and I agree that its an amazing looking material when finished. I may have to use some in a project soon having seen this... I'm having visions of a 360mm radiator shroud covered in carbon fiber :p
     
  13. headala

    headala What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks...a rad shroud in CF would look awesome indeed! If you don't care about the weight, you could do several layers of normal fiberglass with just one or two layers of CF on top...saving yourself some money.
     
  14. headala

    headala What's a Dremel?

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    we've got PARTS!!!!

    Okay, I'm so sorry I haven't updated this in a while. Here are some brief teasers for you all. :idea:I thought it would be fun to see if you can guess the parts...some are easy and some are probably pretty hard:

    A:
    [​IMG]

    B:
    Okay, the first one was a little hard, so here's another:
    [​IMG]

    C:
    [​IMG]

    D:
    [​IMG]

    E:
    [​IMG]

    F:
    [​IMG]

    G:
    [​IMG]

    H:
    [​IMG]

    I:
    [​IMG]

    Ha, now isn't this fun?? I'll post the full pics tomorrow.
     
  15. Montspy

    Montspy What's a Dremel?

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    I love those games ;)
    So...
    A: PCI-Express slots ?
    B: Memory
    C: Radiator
    D: Certainly a mobo
    E: ?? Watercooling parts ?
    F: Err.. ?
    G: Maybe some optical fiber
    H: Don't know
    I: Intel processor Inside maybe i7

    Bye !
    Montspy
     
  16. DeltaFX

    DeltaFX What's a Dremel?

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    A : 6 DDR3 triple channel memory slots
     
  17. Pashtet

    Pashtet MonstaMods

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    A - ddr3 on x58 mobo
    B - ocz triple channel memory kit
    C - pci slots vent covers
    D - some cheap video card like hd3400 or smth else
    E - WD RAPTOR
    F - angle SATA port
    G - lots of heatshrink :)
    H - *don't know*
    I - core i7 965 extreme
     
  18. IanJackson

    IanJackson Photographer & Modder

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    H: EK Water Blocks


    I win!:D
     
  19. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I'm really bad at these...
    A: Bunny rabbit
    B: Bunny rabbit
    C: Again -a bunny
    D: The Pope
    E: A dinosaur
    F: Navel fuzz
    G: Three people eating cheese
    H: NSFW:nono:
    I: Cardboard
     
  20. Attila

    Attila still thinking....

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    Hahahaha, man, I just spilled my drink! "Three people eating cheese" :hehe::hehe:
     

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