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Case Mod - In Progress Project Dell: Another Dimension - 15th August 2010

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by RichardShah, 15 Aug 2010.

  1. RichardShah

    RichardShah New Member

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    Hey there every one,

    I'm new to these forums (you can probs tell lol), new to modding, new to even computer building. My name's Richard Shah as in my username, I'm 15. The world of modding and computers in general really fascinates me :) This is my project log ported from Ebuyer's forums.


    Back story:
    The Dell Dimension 2400 was a budget home/office system when first released, so you can imagine how crap it is now. Lower end models were based on Intel’s crappy Celeron CPU, upgradeable to Pentium 4. I survived (barely) 6+ years with a faulty HD, 256 MB RAM (I later added 1GB myself in the last year I used it) and a 2.4 GHz Celeron though :/ Then I got my (mum’s awesome new) laptop :D
    Any way the Dell was left to collect dust whilst I figured out how to buy and build my own PC. Finally now I got all the parts ordered and that’ll be happening soon !! With the other money I made, I thought I might as well spend a little expanding my knowledge of building/modding, and that gets me to Project Dell: Another Dimension.


    Mod:

    Back to the Dell! I decided a “new” hard drive (spare I had lying around), upgraded 3GHz Pentium 4 CPU and 2GB RAM were in order. Stripping the floppy and broken crap that never worked too is also important... but that’s for last anyway!

    First, the modding. The case is equally bad, but check this out :) :

    [​IMG]

    Kind of ugly, unappealing, nasty grey/charcoal black colour scheme. Already had all parts removed inside. The front is held on by masking tape like that because I think I was rough and frustrated so I yanked off the front cover, breaking the tabs that held it in place.

    I want that whole front side rebuilt and replaced - but I'm not sure right now the best way to do this. Started reading an interesting post on "Machining Plastics", but not yet sure if that's right for me. Any other suggestions as how I should do this please or is this the right way forward? :D Was thinking about buying black opaque perspex and with an adhesive of some sort putting it together, carve new tabs where the old ones went and so the locking mechanism to the chassis would remain the same..

    Whatever the front ends up looking like, with the floppy drive and lower usb ports gone I'll have space to put a nice intake turbine fan :p Hopefully I can get a white LED fan for that too, with the bigger fan for this mod being sprayed white.

    In that side there I'm going to install a window, and not to show the ugliness inside that once was. Dremel ordered and already received my reinforced discs, no jigsaw so it'll probs take some time cutting but all worth it for the end result :p

    [​IMG]

    Pretty much remain the same here, except painted black!

    [​IMG]

    And separated apart :)

    [​IMG]

    Marked out holes to be cut for cable routing. When in the case, behind the motherboard is a gap jut bigger than 5mm; big enough for cables but not big enough most adaptors, so at the bottom right there is a hole for both the hard drive cables and a "cable shoot", where all the white braided cables' heads can just be routed to exit there and rest on the case floor rather than hanging everywhere loosely.

    The marked hole with the big question mark could be cut to make installing a CPU cooler a lot easier, but it cuts into the motherboard tray rest (that big indention the line goes over). What would you do here?

    [​IMG]

    On the other side of the case, behind the motherboard I want to cut out a big hole and replace with a removable mesh to access cables easier and manage them behind the motherboard tray, and possibly in case of CPU upgrades as mentioned above. Thought about just making the whole side removable, but it have to be cut from the top and when taking apart I noticed that one piece was quite important for putting the case back together. Really this makes it easier and the perforation would look nice.

    On top, I want to install two white 80 mm exhaust fans, with the external wire fan grills MNPCTech sell.

    [​IMG]

    The white strip marks roughly where a HD would go, installed with grommets to lesson vibration. Also, I'd add options for an SSD install for future; I know there's not so much point with this IDE system, but I want a case as the final result that someone else will look at after and say "I'd happily install my mATX system in that!" :)

    The circles mark out where new black rubber feet would go on the other side, giving this case both a nice elevation and room for HD/SSD screws under the case floor.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'd love to install a Lamptron Vandal Resistant Switch with a white LED ring in this case, but I'm not sure how I'd do it. I've read guides but I believe Dell's non-standard all-in-one LED and switch socket on the motherboard won't allow me to... more advice needed please !!!!

    After all the mechanics is done, I want to paint (I'm sure you may have gathered) the exterior black wholly and the interior white, including disc drives and possibly the PSU case. With white braiding and the new features, a cleaner, brighter and much more attractive case is in the midst. To top this off I want to put 1-2 white cold cathodes in to illuminate the case and if I run out of molex connections I can just pick up a hub. All the ribbon IDE cables are gonna be replaced too with rounded ones.

    Possible difficulties summed up:

    Cutting a CPU motherboard hole goes into that big support indentation for the motherboard to rest on. Bare in mind it won't have any thing to rest on any way after I cut the hole for the mesh, so actually it serves no purpose :/ I think I've solved this one myself but I'll let you tell me what you think any way lol! Since posting originally I've been advised that absolutely fine, but I may want to strengthen the gap with a pole and rivets so it doesn't warp under the weight of a heavy cooler.

    Installing the Lamptron switch. All advice welcome :)

    Biggie: Making a whole new front side, where do I start and what material would be best? Again, all advice welcome !!


    Any criticism is also welcome, and please come back for updates :p Thanks for checking this out :)
     
    Last edited: 17 Aug 2010
  2. seanhawkins

    seanhawkins Aluminium Soldier

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    This mod looks like its got potential, subscribed :)
     
  3. llamafur

    llamafur WaterCooled fool

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    If you want to fill in the stamped dell logo on each side your best bet would be bondo or some other automotive dent/body repair putty. Have fun modding and welcome to bit-tech.
     
  4. bulldogjeff

    bulldogjeff The modding head is firmly back on.

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    I had 1 of these laying around last year that I thought about modding just for a laugh. I stripped it all down and then binned it...lol

    It'll be good to see what you can do with it, I'll be keeping an eye on this log.
     
  5. disturbed13

    disturbed13 New Member

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    i have one also
    and its just a file server right now
    its not worth anything else
     
  6. llamafur

    llamafur WaterCooled fool

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    I think it would be pretty epic to make a sleeper computer.
    Old pos dell case, open it up:
    $300 mobo
    I7
    8gb ram
    2 5970
    bunch of ssd drives and other rich stuff

    Then go to a lan party and play crysis on ur dell :lol:


    Ok back on topic. I wouldn't worry about structural damage from cutting the cpu back plate hole. I have an old dell too. I noticed the air flow is horrible, do you think you could cut a fan hole in the bottom of the case?
     
  7. Throbbi

    Throbbi New Member

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    This is going to be interesting :)

    I've got a truly hideous Acer Aspire T180 case which is the base for my first major mod (i.e. log) ready for when i finish working 50-60 hour weeks lol

    Subbed and good luck on it!
     
  8. disturbed13

    disturbed13 New Member

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    okay now that would be cool
     
  9. RichardShah

    RichardShah New Member

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    Thank you, that gives me high hopes :)

    Wow tbh I didn't think about that! I thought it'd be nice having the Dell logo there as a reminder that that's what it is, but tbh if anyone did use that case for their own system, it would be easier gone now than then. Thank you. The other side is being cut into a window so its all guud.

    With the new front panel, I want to add clip holes to attach that silver Dell badge though (I'll probably repaint it black with white text). How to build it is a whole other thing though! :/ No real idea yet lol.

    BTW, I heard Bondo cracks if the case panel for instance is flexed a bit, is this true? Thank you again for your helpful response :)

    Don't remind me of how many times I said "Once I'm done with this, I'm burning it". I think I'm just to cheap to do that though :p I mean, individually you can actually get a decent amount for the components on ebay lol.

    Thanks, and do cuz for my sake I like all the help I can get, and hopefully this will be very interesting :)

    Painful comments, but deep down we all know it's true. Maybe through this project maybe I can change that.

    Lol, that WOULD be cool :) Unfortunately I'm a broke teenager who can't afford most of that stuff, but teenagers grow up so sounds like something for the future :) Mind you, my new system bought myself is pretty sweeet (not that sweet though :p )

    Yeah but worth reinforcing just in cse any way :) Damn right, it's awful. But I want to install a turbine intake 120mm in the front, and two 80 mm white exhaust fans on top (with options to add a W.C. radiator)

    Massive thanks, hope that goes well for you! I see a bit of potential there with that case still ;)

    I noticed there's a lot of Americans on here lol! =]

    I had to fork out for something on cash (idiot teenager breaking things :/), so might not be until mid-september the window and the mesh is installed and the case sprayed, due to potential money shortages. That said, I'll 100% have no issues chopping, hacking, sanding and all other prepping of the case for the final, and most important touches :p
     
    Last edited: 17 Aug 2010
  10. howlingmonkey

    howlingmonkey New Member

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    That shouldn't be a problem. There are different layouts for front panel headers, but they're all composed of more or less the same connections so you should be able to either use individual connectors or wire up the one you have to the new components.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 3 Jan 2011
  11. Throbbi

    Throbbi New Member

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    :jawdrop:
    Off topic-There's a guy in my town who's done something similar with a car. Crappy old Ford Anglia with a 350 Shortblock Chevy V8 in it :jawdrop: 300+ horses in a car thats about 7 foot long and weighs roughly the same as a mini. It goes like stink!

    On topic-Dude!!! Thats the best bit!!! hacky grindy smashy smashy!!:dremel::rock: Plus it means you have plenty of time to get it all perfect before painting. Its easy to unconciously rush things if everything is to hand and ready to use. Well it is for me anyway... :lol:
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2010
  12. Mr_Wongy

    Mr_Wongy New Member

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    No joke I've got one of these cases on the floor next to my desk just waiting for the dremel
    I'll be intreseted to see where you go with this one. Hoping to start on mine soon when i've got the time. Got a LAN to plan.
     
  13. Nomad2k3

    Nomad2k3 New Member

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    Subscribed, cant wait to see how it turns out.
     
  14. llamafur

    llamafur WaterCooled fool

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    Don't bother with the 80mm fans. I used to have a dual 80mm rad in the front of my shoebox PC. Yeah you get water cooling bragging rights, but in reality any 80mm fan and radiator is on par with an OK air cooler. 80mm fans don't offer a good airflow to noise ratio. I have 3 120mm fans in my PC. The two pushing air through radiator at the top of my case are almost strong enough to make a pong ball hover.

    Did the dell case have one of those green CPU fan shrouds?
    When I was 15 I modded our families 533 mhz celeron HP. I cut a square window and duct taped a piece of glass from a picture frame to the inside. IMO you are doing a fine job with what you have at hand.
     

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