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Case Mod - In Progress Project, Cooler Master Stacker 830 Evo - 7/1 Finale!!

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by ChurchofVirus, 10 Mar 2008.

  1. ChurchofVirus

    ChurchofVirus New Member

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    Hello and welcome to my project log for my still unnamed case modification. I went into this project with all my design ideas in my head. Some things I hadn't planned and others I added. My initial idea for this mod was a gore-themed, something personalized to my dark taste, shock value is always entertaining. The plan was mostly to be a 'bloody' paint splatter on a not yet cut acrylic window, and with some other splatters here and there. I'd add some lighting and the case would have a pretty cool look to it.

    I had already done the acrylic window modification a few months back and posted a project log on Bit-tech.net forums http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=1582623#post1582623 For the sake of a complete log I will include the window mod log here as well. One thing I should point out is I have little experience with metal work and metal painting. My tools were limited to what I could find access to and the Dremel that I have. Another thing you'll notice it after each part of the mod I do I rebuild the computer. Since this is my own machine that I'm modding, I have and will work on it a bit at a time, meaning usually on the weekend when I have the extra time to disassemble and reassemble my computer for minimal down time.

    Here is the guide I made for making a acrylic window for my specific case.

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    This is my first official mod and the first run at creating a project log. This is a pretty simple guide for adding a clear window on a Cooler Master Stacker 830.

    Materials:
    Acrylic plastic sheet
    - These can usually be found at chain retail hardware stores, 18''x24'' is more than enough and runs from $5 to $10.
    Ruler
    - For straight lines :p
    Cutter
    - If your lucky you might have access to a band saw, otherwise a scoring knife or other cutting tool could be used.
    Drill
    - Self-explanatory.

    The Modding Process:

    1. This is the Cooler Master Stacker 830 Evolution, a nice case, but no way to show off the pimp hardware inside..

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    2. This is the standard left side door for the case.

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    3. Cooler Master was ingenious enough to consider the possibility of window modding, on the inside of the side door, are metal tabs which can be pulled back and the mesh window is easily removed. Another nice addition is the fact that there are premade(and tapped) holes for standard pc hardware screws.

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    4. Now, as lame as it may sound, I laid the piece of acrylic plastic on top of the side-door(with mesh removed) and used the ruler to trace the outline for the cutout I wanted to create.

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    5. My friend has a small band saw for me to use to cut out the window. It was a bit tricky when it came to doing the corners, but as long as I followed the lines I traced they should have turned out pretty round and close to the final form. As it goes though the corners looked pretty nasty.

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    6. Using the band saw as a sander I cleaned up the edges the best I could, then used some medium grit sand paper to clean up the edges.

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    7. After getting the window shape down, I lined the window up with the side-door and marked off where the holes needed to be for the screws. Lesson #1, don't push hard with a drill.. I chipped a chunk out of the window from too much pressure near the edge.

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    8. After cutting another plastic and going through all the edge work again I finally came up with a finished product.

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    =========================================================================================================================
    This is a pretty simple mod, yet it goes a long way. My case looks awesome and I can see all that hardware I spent so much money on.

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    I hope this is helpful to all of you out there with a Stacker 830 who just cannot get past the mesh window.

    ====================================================================================================================================================

    After the window mod I didn't have the time or money put to pick up any other supplies up until a few weeks ago. By the time I got my tools and supplies together my idea of what I wanted to do for the case mode had changed, the basics were still there but there was much more to the plan. I decided since I would like to do modding and building that I'd go all out with this one. I figured I'd be satisfied if I modified every side of the case and gave the interior a really sick clean look. I decided that the gore theme would remain, I would add a watercooling setup with red coolant lit up by red LED fans and lighting. I thought it would also be a wise choice to add some paint to the case, more so than just some blood splatter.

    First thing is first what I was going to be working with, also a full pre modification gallery.

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    I was definatly becoming very excited to do my first full case mod, so I made some arrangements at my place of work and picked up my paint supplies, spray paint, black primer and matte black, along with a couple tack cloths. I work at a automotive dealership, and by luck this one has a small paint booth so I had a perfect place to prep and paint my case with racks to hang and dry them on.

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    The Cooler Master Stacker naked..

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    Oh take it off baby!

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    Explicit nudity ahead..

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    I prepared the metal parts of the case by using a scotch-brite scouring pad, using pressured air to remove the dust then running the tack cloth over the metal to clean up any other clinging particles..

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    The little pieces prep'd..

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    Setting up for primer..

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    I was sweating bullets at this point. I had never painted metal before and I had never used spray paint to paint before. I must admit it turned out a lot better than I had thought it would. I only had one noticable run in the paint and the rest of it looked pretty good for how it was being applied.

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    After the primer had dried I went over each piece with the tack cloth to clean up loose particles and help keep it smooth and clean. I applied a second primer coat, then gave it a couple coats of matte black.

    Second Primer coat..

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    Color Coat..

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    I was amazed on the fact that a spray paint job had turned out so well. This project was going pretty well in my opinion and to top off the day, when I go home the first half of my watercooling setup had been delivered. This is the first time I had seen watercooling parts in person and I have never used water cooling before, so I'm sure you can imagine the excitment.

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    And the water cooling parts..

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    My cat Corgan was excited too I think..

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    ==============================================================================================================================================================


    I started with a simple idea and it has become a project with many different pieces to it. I am having a lot of fun doing this work, the stress makes the reward that much better! I have now cut an acrylic window, painted the interior of the chasis and had my plan for adding a water cooling system to the internals of my computer.

    I am further on this mod than this point but I will leave you with this for now. I will post more of the log within the next day or two. I will share my plan for what I did for the water cooling setup on my next update, as well as where the project is going next.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jul 2008
  2. ChurchofVirus

    ChurchofVirus New Member

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    Project, Cooler Master Stacker 830 Evo Update!

    A few weeks ago while I began browsing for watercooling parts and other accessories so I could figure out exactly what I was going to do with my system I came across the multi-option cylinder resiviours. First thing that came to mind was mounting it to the back of the motherboard tray and making a cutout for the tubes to run through.. with that idea in mind I decided to keep as much as the watercooling system internal as I could.

    The Cooler Master Stacker 830 Evolution is a pretty nice case, all the bells and whistles, and as I found a very interesting case to modify. The bottom of the case had a cutout with a mesh covering that came stock, which seemed like a very good place to mount the radiator. From the bottom of the inside of the case to the bottom of the case itself is about an inch, with wheels on the case I had a couple inches of clearance and a sweet idea for a mod to the bottom of the case. The pump I would mount beneath the hard drive rack.

    Before I made any cutouts from the case or drilled any holes I wanted to wait until I had the entire watercooling setup so I could have all the parts for better planning of the mod. A few days after my first shipment my second half arrived and I was set to go.. well, would have been but the res I order was 400mm long, which was too long for my plan, so I ordered another resiviour and had to wait a couple more days before continuing the work.

    Another mistake I made is I confused the names of two coolants, one being FluidXP+ and the other Feser One, I wanted Feser One, but accidently mixed up the names and ordered FluidXP+..

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    I also ordered a could of red LED fans, which I found to be another issue but I'll get into that later..

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    The 400mm Res, I ordered a 250mm Res but forgot to get a picture of that one..

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    The case broken down again..

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    I first decided to make the cutouts for the fittings for the radiator. How I would do this would I'd use 2 120mm fans on the inside of the bottom of the case with long enough screws to mount the radiator to the bottom of the case. The cutout that came stock with the case was wide enough but would not allow the fittings to stick upwards into the case, so I'd have to make 2 half-dollar sized cutouts for the radiator to fit.

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    I used a couple pieces of paper to trace the already cut hole and measured out the width of the fittings, then grabbed my half-dollar and traced around that.

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    My Dremel kit, freshly opened.. : /

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    I don't know why but I thought it would be a good idea to tape off the area I'd be cutting out..

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    I started out making a few relief cuts into the corners..

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    I then used a drum sander( LOL I KNOW!) to create the cutouts the size I needed. I later found out they were not quite the right size so I made them a little larger..

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    Mounting the pump was pretty straight forward, I decided where I wanted the pump to sit, lined up the holes and drilled through them..

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    The after result cleaned up..

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    Corgan looks pretty happy about the outcome..

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    To test out how it was all going to fit I put it together..

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    There were gaps visable at the either side of where the radiator and fans sat that was covered by a mesh, I cut the mesh so that the gaps would be covered.. I forgot to get a picture.

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    Now I had to determine how I would fit the res. I had recieved the 250mm version and did it the old school way.. hold it up and trace it!

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    I centered it, not according to the motherboard, but centered in the mesh of the side panel it would come through. I would make a rectangular cutout from the mesh so the res would pop through, giving a nice effect.

    I attached the fittings to the resiviour and planned the cutout to be a little wider than the fittings, so I had play with the res if i needed it.

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    I loaded up all my pieces and made my way to my place of work again so I could do the metal work without worrying about noise or the mess. I started with the motherboard tray and made a few relief drill holes to make the task a little easier..

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    I then used a air powered cutoff disk( again lol) and made the cuts with a little bit of room so I could sand it down for a clean finish.

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    Then after sanding the edges with the Dremel..

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    I then used the drum sander to widen the holes I made in the bottom of the case for extra fit..

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    After all these cutouts miff'd up my nice paint job, I decided to give it all another coat of paint, which actually gave the overall color a much better look.

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    As I mentioned before, even though my work is only about half done, I needed to put the case back together so I could do my thing. At the same time I'd go ahead and put the watercooling system together. I tried to fix the mounting nuts for the resiviour holders but it was a waste of time..

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    Amazingly this cutout and resiviour fit like a glove, it looked pretty sharp too!

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    For some reason I decided to try and mount the cpu waterblock with the motherboard upright so I ended up having higher tempatures than I should have so I had to reseat the block the next day..

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    It took me a good two hours to figure out exactly how to run the tubing and the proper lengths. I didn't order any anti-kink coils yet and found that where I had placed the pump I would could possibly get 2 immediate kinks, so I went out and got some 'L' fittings until I get some coils. I then began hooking up the loop..

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    I'll now show you this picture.. and no that is not blood..

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    What you see there is a bag of paper towels I used to clean up coolant with. I guess I had not made the fittings on the radiator tight enough so, to my dismay but also luckily, the leak was out the bottom of the case. I then noticed a slight drip from the tubing at the resiviour so I just needed to tighten the clamps. I couldn't take the time to tear down the system that night, so I set a bowl under the case and called it a night.

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    With the system running, though leaking.. : / Like I said, these fans I ordered for the radiator did not move enough air to give efficient cooling, so I am waiting on my new set. I went away from the LED fans for some super high cfm, and I'll use lights to replace the lack of.

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    The next day when I returned to see how much fluid had drained I was surprised to see it wasn't all that much..

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    I tore down the system, tightend everything and put it all back together..

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    Success! No leaks! I picked up another red LED fan to replace the blue I had as the rear exhaust.

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    ========================================================================================================================

    From here I still have quite a bit of work. I am going to be painting the mesh panels of the case as well as making the cutout on the side panel for the res to fit through. I have ordered some new fans for the bottom of the case as well as a red LED plug for the resiviour to light it up for a nice effect as well as some other lighting. I still need to get some anti-kink coils and re-route the tubing as well as replace the coolant. I have also decided to add another 120mm radiator for the rear exhaust of the case.

    So far I have made my share of mistakes, but next time I do a mod there will be that many less. I am still a little further on the modification than this point, so again I will be updating within the next day or so. What do you think so far? Wisdom?

    I'm excited to show you what I've done next.
     
    Last edited: 3 Apr 2008
  3. sethnmalice

    sethnmalice New Member

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    Quite a decent amount of progression, and love the red dye .....well hell , just love the red fullstop.

    What brand of red dye fluidy stuff is that?
     
  4. ChurchofVirus

    ChurchofVirus New Member

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    The fluid you see in the pictures is FluidXP+, looks nice, and sounds nice, but this is one of the worst rated coolants available. As I mentioned in the log, I mixed up the names and got this stuff instead of Feser One. I've also heard that FluidXP+ 'sheers', the fluid and additives/dyes seperate and coat the entire system. Does look wicked though.
     
  5. craigbru

    craigbru Now... with more CNC!

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    I really like the gunmetal gray color!

    Speaking of the fluid, I'm going to give the Feser One a shot in my own rig. Are you going to replace the FluidXP+?
     
  6. OdDBaLL_MoD

    OdDBaLL_MoD Always planning something...

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    Nice work, i love that coolant!
     
  7. ChurchofVirus

    ChurchofVirus New Member

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    I order some UV Red Feser One and the rest of the accessories I need for my mod. I also am going to see how UV Red Feser One and the red Primochill tubing looks. From my understanding FluidXP+ runs about 10c warmer than Feser One does. I was getting 55c load and 38c idle with the FluidXP+. To help lower the temps because I wasn't satisfied I poured out the reservoir which was about 1/3 of the total amount and filled it up with distilled water, making the final solution 2/3 FluidXP+ and 1/3 distilled water. The idle now is 30c and the load is 45, which is much better, but I'm assuming with Feser One I could probably expect 5c or more lower temps.

    Also I will add the only major tasks left is the blood splatter paint and I would like to make some mesh fan covers similar to the ones that come with the case, it's something like a 1mm thick perforated aluminum that I'd cut out a large circle from the middle to allow better airflow and showing off the fan blades. There is a retail store near my home that sells industrial metals and they carry perforated aluminum but not sure if they have what I need. I'm hoping by next weekend I'll have the case mod near finished, if not all the way.

    One big drag right now is I was hoping to have the new Intel q9450 and EVGA 780i ft.. cheesecake or 790i to show off with the mod but the keep delaying them!? :waah:

    Next log update will be tonight or tomorrow.
     
  8. Hardpetas

    Hardpetas Spain Modder

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    If you can remove the blue fan behind the contrast of blue-red, it is good for my liking, the best thing would be all red, in that black does not come without a couple of layers?, Is the same as I like going the worklog !

    More so, and I hope more advances



    Greetings from Spain
     
  9. Hardpetas

    Hardpetas Spain Modder

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    Oh! Sorry, I did not see the other photos in which the fan leaves red, is well!

    Greetings from Spain
     
  10. sethnmalice

    sethnmalice New Member

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    I have been waiting 8 months for Feser One coolant and bits n pieces, and I have given up, I'm ordering DTEK dye and parts now, for my next project, I just hope I can get the blood red consistancy you have in ur tubes, man that color looks wicked.
     
  11. ChurchofVirus

    ChurchofVirus New Member

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    Performance PC has it in stock again and I ordered some.. if all else fails the blood red tubing I got should give about the same effect, and with uv lighting it would glow, but I'm not going uv at this moment.

    As for the fan color and layout, the front and top fans will be blue led, going with this scheme because of two reasons. One, the activity light and bezel lights are blue, and two, it will give a nice contrast. Looking at the case will seem all fine dark case with blue led then you get up close and bam it's red sickness everywhere. :D
     
  12. ChurchofVirus

    ChurchofVirus New Member

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    Another update, now we are up to speed.

    I couldn't really think of any good ideas for modifying the top and front of the case. I was really stuck on altering every side of the case and nothing came to mind that would work good with this mod, other than perhaps a little 'blood' splatter. I then had the idea to paint all the mesh, excluding the stock fan covers, a blood red color, to really set the case off.

    I made my way over to the auto parts store where I had gotten my primer and black color coat to get some red. I ended up with red that was a little brighter than I had thought, but the final look was pretty sick. I also was ready to make the cutout in the right side panel mesh so I could have the side panel on and have the reservoir popping out.

    One side note here, after a few days the two fans I had installed over the radiator at the bottom of the case began to make contact with the actual chasis. It had started when there were floor vibrations and then began to click constantly. I tried using some insulating foam tape to give them a little bit more height to stop clicking..

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    Sadly this didn't work, in fact I had to remove one of the fans because it seems to droop lower as time passed creating the need for more distance between it and the bottom of the case which I couldn't provide. I tried using washers but that didn't work either. I put in the single stock Cooler Master case fan that came with the case and wedged a bit of the foam underneath the other fan to stop it's clicking. The Cooler Master fan had no issues at all. These Logisys fans have to be one of the worst purchases I've made, but I am going to get new fans.

    Only way to remove the top mesh from the case would be to drill out the rivets which I didn't want to do so I just taped it off really well..

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    Front mesh removed..

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    The looks a bit odd missing the top and mesh..

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    To determine exactly where I would be making the cutout for the reservior I started out by measuring the distance from the top edge of the case to the top of the res, than the bottom, and plotted it out on the mesh side panel. I made the size of the cutout larger than just the res because I wanted to be able to remove the side panel without issue of the reservoir getting in the way..

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    The cut out..

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    For the sake of insuring the red paint would not flake off the mesh I once again used a scotch-brite pad to scuff the mesh then an air hose and tack cloth to clean it off. Then I gave the pieces a coat of primer..

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    When I came back to check to see if the primer had dried I had noticed, to my horror, that I had cut mesh upside down! I guess I measured upside down.. but luckly, due to the acrylic window I had added to the case earlier, I had a duplicate mesh panel. I don't know how I screwed this up but I really lucked out this time. Lesson learned! Whew..

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    First color coat applied..

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    Then after the second coat had dried I pulled all the pieces down.. the pictures they look a little orange-ish but it's a solid red.

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    The mesh back into the side panel..

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    And Aha! Like a glove! This cutout couldn't have fit more perfectly, lined up on all sides and I can still remove the side panel without the reservoir getting disturbed! :D

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    And some shots of the case back together again..

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    ===================================================================================================

    It's starting to look like a mod finally. My black Stacker has become a monster, but there is still work to be done! I have order new tubing, coolant, anti-kink coils, fans and lights to bring me ever nearer to the completion of the mod. I still havn't gotten any perphorated mesh panels to make my fan covers, but I'm trying to make the time by the end of the week. I've now gotten the log caught up to my current place. Now I just have to wait for more parts to come and the modding can begin once again.
     
  13. ChurchofVirus

    ChurchofVirus New Member

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    3/12 Update

    From the very beginning of my initial thoughts about the whole 'gore' themed case mod, I've stuck with the plan of doing a bloody mess with paint as the final piece to the project. I have been trying to determine the best way to do the paint but nothing had really come to mind.

    Randomly out of nowhere I thought back to when I had considered adding a second inner window the to the left side panel( window-panel-window) but nothing much came of the idea. It has now came back and I have decided to use a uv acrylic window as my blood effect. The end look would be a bit cheesy, being that it will be blood 'oozing downward' from the top of the window(on the inside) till about close to the bottom. I will then, if I am correct in what I think I read, that I'll add a plant a couple LED's(uv LEDs?) at the top of the uv window(the blood drip) and it will illuminate the window and make the red panel stand out with a very nice effect that will wrap up the total theme of the build.

    Might there be anyone who could correct me on this procedure? The lighting the window part. I don't plan to use a open light as I want the light for the window to be directly on the window and nothing else..

    :rock:
     
  14. ChurchofVirus

    ChurchofVirus New Member

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    z0mg!!!

    Another update..

    After a long day at work I came home and on my usual routine of hopping on the computer for a few to check my sites I approached my pc to find my reservoir laying on it's top barely touching my desk dangling by the tubes! The stupid holders that came with the EK reservoir had busted! I can only guess why, these clips were pretty lame to begin with.. :jawdrop:

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    So I ordered another set up clips, the aftermarket EK clamps are like 10x better than the ones that came with the reservoir. Instead of being 'clip' like clamps' they are U shaped and have a clamp over the top the reservoir, which puts no stress on any part. I then used paper towels to hold up the reservoir until the new holders came.

    Later I then noticed, astonished in fact, in horror!

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    What I'm guessing is the holders broke, and then the reservoir hit the desk and the tubes didn't have slack the created a stress fracture in the bottom of the reservoir as you can see.. I suppose I will try to contact the site I purchased this from and see if they will replace it or not.. :waah:

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    For preventative purposes..
     
  15. mansueto

    mansueto Too broke to mod

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    Very nice job on the case, the red mesh looks amazing :D Just a suggestion, your power button LED is blue... Besides that, contact the group that makes the reservoir and give a complaint about how the stock mounting clamps are garbage, and because they broke you are now forced to go purchase a new reservoir because of faulty equipment. If you argue long enough, they may stop being !#@#$ (you know whats) and give you something, a gift certificate, a new reservoir, something. Can't wait to see this machine completed.
     
  16. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

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    Sad to hear about the reservoir. Let them know about the faulty product, and they should be able to reimburse you.
    The black and red combination looks great, and besides the power-button being blue, you should paint the side window, where it overlaps the metal, black.
     
  17. ChurchofVirus

    ChurchofVirus New Member

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    Thanks, I have been planning on keeping the blue lights, as well as the few blue led fans I have in the front and the top. You won't notice the blue in the light, but in the dark it will create and interesting contrast of colors. When I get towards the end of the project I may rethink that. Another thing is I cannot find any of the uvred acrylic panels in stock anywhere at the moment..

    Well I had had my email rounds with www.jab-tech.com and they said since the reservoir didn't come in that condition that there was nothing they could do for my.. I could definatly give my two cents about that but they suggested in me contacting EKWaterblocks and said they should be able to help me out.. so I sent an email their way and have yet to hear back.. :waah:

    On the bright side of things today was like my birthday, my shipments came today and I finally got the mesh I needed for covers.

    There is a local wholesale industrial metal store nearby that I hear about so I stopped in to see what they had for perforated aluminum. They didn't have exactly the same as what the case has, but I think it will work just as well. The thickness of the material is about the same but the holes on this mesh are a bit larger, for a five and a half foot by one and a half foot piece of mesh for five bucks, is a compromise I was willing to make..

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    My new 110cfm Scyth fans, Feser One coolant, 120mm radiator, new hosing I will experiment with and a few other things..

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    These are the aftermarket reservoir holders EKwaterblocks carries as a replacement for the plastic cheap ones it came with, I don't understand why these didn't come with it, they look a look better and are much higher quality and durable to boot!

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    Next update will be the tear down of the watercooling system(temporarily) until I get a replacement reservoir and a few additions. Until the next! :rock:
     
  18. ChurchofVirus

    ChurchofVirus New Member

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    Another update..

    Since the reservoir was busted and leaking coolant, the obvious thing was the take apart the liquid cooling system and put my Zalman heatsink back on, until a new reservoir is obtained. I built this system with the idea that if I need to take down the system, that the entire loop would come out as one piece. As I hadn't actually tested to see if I could do it, there was no time better to try..

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    And vuala, it came out as one piece. All the coolant I could pour out..

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    The reservoir clips/holders that should have come with the tube installed..

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    Messy?

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    Scyth Slip-stream 110 cfm..

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    I installed a second 120mm radiator to the loop at the rear exhaust..

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    I liked it better with the fittings on the bottom..

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    The case just looks so lonely..

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    So now I wait, tomorrow I plan on making some measurements for the fan covers I will be making. I am also waiting for a g1/4 fitting for a reservoir to come, I ordered a plug with a LED in it, I got the led but not the plug.. and EKwaterblocks had contacted me stating to not fret, they had a new tube and holders on the way!

    Ekwaterblocks = :thumb::rock:
     
  19. ChurchofVirus

    ChurchofVirus New Member

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    Mini-update

    I havn't heard any additional info other than I'd be sent a new reservoir from EKwaterblocks and Frozencpu has yet to respond about the missing reservoir LED plug.. I havn't started my measurements for the mesh fan covers but that will definitely be finished by saturday. I have also been scouring the internet far and wide for any site of a uv red acrylic panel but to no avail they do not exist anymore. I found a company that sells red transparent acrylic panels so that might have to do if I cannot figure out an alternative. I must also find gasket/trim for the mesh cutout for the reservoir, to protect the mesh edge and ensure the mesh doesn't hack my hand if I need to adjust the reservoir. On top of that I need to find a gasket/trim for the side window to finish of the look.

    Still waiting for my new cpu and motherboard to be released.. :wallbash:

    More updates to come! :dremel:
     
  20. ChurchofVirus

    ChurchofVirus New Member

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    Mini-update

    The last week or so has been pretty uneventful. I haven't had a lot of time to work on the mod and the time I did have was wasted. I cut the mesh for fan covers, and everything looked pretty good. The 120mm fan cover was lop-sided so I tried to even it out and ruined it. The 220mm cover was mint but I had made one side too long, so I just needed to trim it down, and in turn I cut through the mesh where it wasn't supposed to be cut through and ruined that one. So the covers will have to be remade, but that won't be much of an issue, just need to make the time.

    I did finally receive the led g1/4'' plug finally but I'm still waiting on the reservoir. I have also order some quick-release compression fittings and some normal compression fittings. Finally I have found a source for red colored acrylic sheets and have made an order for my transparent red acrylic for the blood cutout I will be doing. I'll have some pictures of the fan cover failure here in a day or so.

    Feel free to comment. Until the next. :rock:
     
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