Okay, where to start? This is the project log for my custom case, which is currently under construction. Since I don’t have too much spare time, I cheated a bit: the case is about 50% done at the time I post this. So the first few posts will be showing work that is actually finished. However, I’ll catch up quite quickly I guess. I just didn’t want to start a log and then post something only every two weeks or so. I can’t post everything at once since I’ve got a bunch of pics and I want to add some text. This also takes time, thanks for your understanding. I also want to say beforehand that my camera is a Canon Powershot S50. It is by no means a top of the line model. I don’t have a tripod. I did a lot of work in the winter, in the evening. So: there are some pics that are not really sharp, where the Photoshopping added some noise, etc. My apologies for this, I’m not perfect. I include these pics to tell my story. Without them there would be gaps in it. I think even a not-so-perfect pic says more than a lot of words. Some info about the idea for the case and its prerequisites During the past years, I’ve grown increasingly averse to the noise my computer makes. I’ve tried different approaches and different cases. My current solution is not too loud but still louder than I would like. Since I also use my computer for watching movies and as music station, the background noise is sometimes really irritating. Moreover, I like a big case for my computer, but not as high as a big tower. I’ve got enough components to fill a decent size case, and I’ve put my HDD’s in 5,25” silencers, so I need quite a few 5,25” spots. But I face a bit of a space-problem on my desk, so that needs to be taken into account. Finally, I like modded pc’s, but I also need my computer to be not-too-flashy. It’s not really appropriate for some of my professional contacts. So I need a case that is ‘low-profile’ but can be switched to ‘lights-on’ mode. These observations led me to wanting a case that fits all my needs. After a thorough market search, where the LianLi’s came to mind, as well as the Stacker, and finally the Mountainmods cube cases, I decided I could just as ‘easily’ build my own custom rig. It was quickly decided that it would be made of aluminium (normal and anodized black), with accents of plexi and some mesh. I originally designed a case that looked a lot like a big tower, but that was just too high. Then I designed a cube. That one was too wide for the space I’ve got left on my desk. I really regret this because the design was just perfect for me, I expect to build this cube when I have the space to put it…someday somewhen sometime. Finally I settled for a go-between: a case that’s wider than a normal case, with height and depth in between a mid and big tower. Oh one last thing: the name. I’m a Rammstein fan. For the musically ignorant amongst you: they’re a German band. I wanted to make the case themed around that. There’s not to much influence in shape or anything, just incorporating their logo here and there, and using some of their song titles and so on in certain places. This will become clear during the mod. ‘Der Meister’ (The Master) is the title of my favorite Rammstein song. Forgive me for all the blabbering, I tend to do that Enough blabla, on to the sketches Without further ado, here’s a global view of the case: The overall dimensions are: 54cm (21”) H x 54cm (21”) D x 31cm (12”) W. Don’t mind the look of the window too much, the sketch is nothing like the real world thing. I'm using M5 bolts to attach everything, but they're not shown in the sketches. A closer look of the front: As you can see, there’s an Aquatube there…yes, I’m going to try to solve the noisyness with help of some watercooling! Since Rammstein is a band from Germany and I live in Belgium which is next to Germany, I’m going ‘made in Germany’ all the way: Aqua Computer and some Innovatek stuff… All the panels containing a watercooling component will have a plexi panel between the black alu and the case. To the left of the Aquatube you see three slots, these are two DVD-drives and one hatch that will cover the floppy. Yes, I’m still using a floppy. I need it sometimes for documents from work, for RAID-drivers, whatever. It’s going in there. The black thing in the middle left of the front is a PSOne LCD. Underneath it, I will make a slightly recessed panel that incorporates the Aquaero and all the buttons and switches, usb-ports and some LEDs. The lay-out of this isn’t finalised yet. Finally, the thing on the right is some sort of logo-panel. This is not finalised yet, need a few hours of inspiration for that. The top of the case looks like this: At the back, you see a 2x120mm radiator. Why not more? Since I’m not a die-hard gamer and never will be, I’m not looking for extreme performance in cooling or anything. I just want a nice and silent solution. I’m not going to overclock to the limit. Anyway, the cuts are already made so it’s too late to go back The round thing in the lower right of the pic is a DangerDen fillport. I'll use it to fill the waterloop because the Aquatube is mounted horizontally. This is the only non-German watercooling component. A label will be added, hence the leftover black alu next to the fillport. Finally, the black panel is an easy access hatch for mounting/unmounting the ‘optical bay’ that holds the drives. A last sketch to show now is the inside right section: Here I’ll mount the HDDs. They’re encased in Silentmaxx silencers (which are 5,25”). This is the reason why the case is wider than a normal case. The silencers need some active airflow, but if you put them in the front of a normal case, they tend to be noticable (noise). I’m going to use some silencing material in this section and I’m going to add one 80mm that sucks air in the case. The rad in the top panel will blow the air out. In this sketch, you also see a little how I’m going to make the frame of the case. The frame are the parts that are beige/blue in the sketch. I’m using FULL aluminium bars, 15x15mm (0.6”x0.6”). Why? Because I don’t have fancy tools I need to improvise on certain things. I thought a lot on how to construct the frame, and finally came up with this solution. You’ll see in the next post. Okay, of course there’s more to the case, but I’ll keep that for later. I intend to introduce each project of the case with some relevant sketches, so I’m not going to keep you guys waiting any longer. Last but not least, here’s some pics of the starting material: I ordered these at a local metal shop, they also cut the bars and panels to the right size (or not, as we’ll see in the next post).