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Scratch Build – In Progress Project: Der_Meister - custom alu case *Epilogue Nov 8th, 2007*

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by jokkos, 20 Mar 2006.

  1. modsquad

    modsquad Grease Monkey Undergraduate..

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    My wiring is all modular (stock), just well-hidden.. :naughty:
    This is a step beyond that.. :thumb: you would be better-served to stay tuned here..
    Super-Clean work...fella..
     
    Last edited: 11 Sep 2006
  2. jokkos

    jokkos too busy to mod *sigh*

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    thanks all.

    I'll try to answer some of your comments/questions here.

    First: the panel is indeed recessed to keep from hitting the switches accidentally. In my first designs for this case (which would result in a much smaller, cube-like case) this was already implemented, and I just kinda sticked to it. Imo it looks right compared to the other stuff that's on the front and top panel. You'll agree with me later on I think.

    Second: it's really, really, hard not to rip all the tape off the panels!! But, I know what it'll look like since I've got scrap pieces to check the color balance, most panels are only covered on one side with tape so if I flip them over I also get the 'final' look. I leave the tape on them for two reasons: 1) I still need to use machinery on most of them (for example drill led-holes) and with the tape on I avoid scratches and 2) it's just so darn practical because I can make marks, leave notes to myself, stuff like that

    Third: the bottom panel, well a pretty long time ago I did a poll and a lot of people voted on this design. I'm really glad this one was selected as the best. To be honest, when looking at the last pic of the update I go :jawdrop: as well :thumb:

    Fourth: the wiring was actually pretty easy to do. Just remember to triple-check all connections, to make sure there's no bare wiring when you're done (I do have some small bits to cover). It's always nice if you have an old psu to test it on, so you don't blow up your new precious modular beast...
    It also helps alot if you make some schematic drawings on paper. Not just one, but try different stuff. That's how I came up with the 'mutated cable'...it's so much easier than what I originally planned.

    Fifth: my original plan was to end this mod in June-July. Well that didn't happen obviously. And I can't rush it now because everything I still have to do will be visible and will affect the look and outcome of the case.
    But the end is getting nearer. The wiring will take some more time. After that I just have to tackle the last loose ends, and then it'll be time for a lot of sanding, polishing, clear-coating. I don't want to put a deadline I probably won't be able to make but I'm silently hoping for November. Let's say it'll be completely done before the end of the year :naughty:

    Edit: forget one. On the comment about the L-brackets behind the Aquaero (by Mr_SCSI). Yeah well that was a design flaw, I somehow miscalculated by 4mms. All the panels were done and the brackets glued on before I realised it. I didn't want to start all that stuff all over, this method actually makes the top piece sit straighter (it is almost perfectly straight, the wall-tile in the background makes it look crooked) and an easier fit. Most importantly, it'll be really hard to notice with the side panel on. So...I just left it as it is.

    Oh, you can expect an update later today.
     
    Last edited: 11 Sep 2006
  3. Mr_SCSI

    Mr_SCSI What's a Dremel?

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    ah, right. measure twice cut once... if it was me building it that small error wouldn't be the only one! :thumb:

    Really looking forward to the update! :clap:
     
  4. jokkos

    jokkos too busy to mod *sigh*

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    Cable Management & Wiring – optical bay

    With everything installed on the bottom panel and rca sockets leading to the optical bay, the next logical step is to complete the wiring of that optical bay. This is a separate section of the case and it’ll be nice to have it all finished.

    First of all a pic of the optical bay in its current state. I soldered small wires to the switches and leds of my optical drives some months ago. They’re still there! They’re wired to 2-pin connectors. Underneath the optical bay you see the 6 rca sockets that ‘connect’ the optical bay to the bottom panel.
    [​IMG]

    Now, what is so non-standard about this? Well, besides the obvious cabling to connect those 2-pin headers to four of the rca sockets, I’m going to customize the whole powercabling so that it will 1) not be visible from the normal viewing angle, and 2) is attached to the side panel of the bay. The rest of the post will clarify this!

    The first order of business was soldering + hot glueing 12 pieces of wire to the 6 rca sockets. Since there is only a few mms of space between the pins of the rca sockets and the underside of the lower optical drive, I attached the 6 power wires at a 90° angle. This made it very difficult to install the sockets back on the plexi plate! I don’t think I can get them off again. But normally they won’t have to so for now I’m okay with that.

    The result was a new cable spaghetti. I then proceeded soldering 8 of the wires to 2-pin connectors. That made it a bit less messy:
    [​IMG]

    Of course the length of the freshly built wiring needs to be tested out asap:
    [​IMG]

    Everything okay, no errors. The two longer cables leading to the upper optical drive are a bit longish, but the Aquatube (watercooling reservoir) will be very close to the upper half of that side of the optical bay, so I’m leaving the cables as they are at the moment. Maybe a bit of rerouting will be necessary.

    A close-up of the area where the 4 cables come from underneath the optical bay. I don’t think sleeving is an option because there are small length differences between the wires, and they’re a bit far apart on the sockets. I will make them a bit more grouped with some zip ties and then they shouldn’t be visible.
    [​IMG]

    So far so good. I was eager to test the remote switches and leds, but obviously I needed to be able to power the optical drives first. So, on to the backside of the optical bay!

    For that part, I used my black blocks again…from this pic you can already see where I’m going:
    [​IMG]

    Almost there…the pliers were needed to keep the blocks on the sidepanel. I used some tape for this test-fitting but it wouldn’t hold by itself. For the final mounting, I’m going to use some sort of velcro that I bought at Innovatek. It’s strong stuff so I guess it will hold.
    [​IMG]

    With everything attached, the thing held itself down. Fine by me. Now the only thing to figure out is how to get the wires underneath the optical drive (coming from the rca sockets) out of sight.
    [​IMG]

    *getting all worked up now*

    So with that done, the whole optical bay was ready to be tested. I put in in the case, attached all the cables, fired up the psu and…nothing! Just a few noises from the optical drives, but not nearly enough to be normal!
    I started checking everything, and well, to make a long story short, I messed up the connections between the rca sockets and the wires on the optical bay. Of the power lines, the 5V worked fine but the 12V was not steady at all. One of the remote switches was fine, the other didn’t give any signal. Same with the leds.

    I started reverse engineering to find the problem, although I suspected what it was from the start. The soldering and glueing of the wires in the tight space between the lower optical drive and the sockets. I suspect that because I did all that in 90° bends, that I used too little soldering to make good connections. Because they all work, but only when holding the wires in certain angles stretching them, something like that.

    So…I did the only possible thing: got all the glue off, undid all the soldering, put the wires back where I wanted them and resoldered all 12 of them. Making sure I used big enough amounts of soldering, quadruple checking everything with the multimeter, I ended with 12 good and steady connections. After this I was so fed up with it, that I didn’t finish everything up. So pics of the testing of the optical bay will follow later on.

    *calming down now*

    I did do some other stuff, mostly changing connector to black, sleeving and heatshrinking on 3-pin wires. Like the one on the psu that goes to the mainboard. And a few that will be connected to the Aquaero. Since they are mostly standard stuff, I’m not going to bother you with pics of it.

    I do however have a couple of pics about the maybe-slightly-less-standard stuff I sleeved. First, the only non Aqua-Computer component in my water loop (except the tubing and fittings, heh) will be an Innovatek flowmeter. It works with the Aquaero and it is way less restrictive than the Aqua-Computer one. Here it is all sleeved, I will have to do something about the white color:
    [​IMG]

    And here are the 120mms I’m using on the radiator.
    [​IMG]

    For those amongst you that like to know this kind of thing:
    [​IMG]

    That’s it for now. I don’t think I will get to do a lot this week. Tomorrow’s my birthday, I’ve been doing some drinking already the past week-end and there are more hang-overs coming up. :hip:

    Wednesday I need to go to a big event for one of my best friends (defense of doctoral paper) and then watch the Champions League. Thursday there’s more drinking scheduled. I’ll try to finish the optical bay and some more 3-pin wires of the Aquaero though. See you soon!
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2011
  5. Mr_SCSI

    Mr_SCSI What's a Dremel?

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    Looks great!

    With regard to securing the 'terminal block'

    Not sure about the ones you have there, but I've used small nuts and bolts previously to secure them as they have small holes inbetween the terminal screws?

    Just a thought? :)
     
  6. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    Happy birthday to you! :) Wiring looks extremely well done.. I don't think I've seen anyone really cutting the wires for a long time!
     
  7. ReFredzRate

    ReFredzRate Relix Headshot!!

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    Seriously man, I hadn't expected this project to be this interesting. I love the way you are working with the cabling man!
     
  8. jokkos

    jokkos too busy to mod *sigh*

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    yeps that will of course work as well...but it's a backup plan since that would ruin the look of the side panel a bit...
     
  9. Mr_SCSI

    Mr_SCSI What's a Dremel?

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    Sorry... didn't realise it was part of the side panel! :duh:
     
  10. Anzu

    Anzu What's a Dremel?

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    Thats one sweet looking custom case, and the cable management is unbelievable, nice going, keep it coming!
     
  11. KlavKalashj

    KlavKalashj What's a Dremel?

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    Really good job, I like!^^
     
  12. greensabbath

    greensabbath Got Wood?

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    Those terminal blocks are great, very good idea, i'm going to have to borrow that from you.
     
  13. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Minimodder

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    gah, just noticed your power connectors...looks like you got there before me:
    [​IMG]
    ah well :) great minds think alike and all that :)

    an excellent mod & band too!
     
  14. jokkos

    jokkos too busy to mod *sigh*

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    Cable Management & Wiring – optical bay & more

    Update! Wednesday’s timing was completely different than I thought it would be, so I got to have a lot of spare time…to do some cable work of course!

    Here goes…
    First thing I did was test the wiring to the optical bay. Here it is testfitted, you can see that there’s not much of the wiring visible. When I’m finished with it (some sleeving/shrinking) it will be even better. The wiring in the front of the bay will be in a pretty dark part of the case so with all the panels on, will not attract attention.
    [​IMG]

    Power on and…success!! Both drives now get the power they need, both remote switches work!
    [​IMG]

    The Leds are another matter. You see, it is the first time I did this rewiring thing. And I thought that the remote led would just take its power of the led in the optical drive. But this isn’t true, the voltage of the led circuit inside the optical drive is less than the 3.3V that the remote led needs. So, I’ve been looking this up and it seems I need to wire a +5V signal to the positive lead of the remote led (and attach a 100ohm resistor) and wire the negative lead of the led to the negative solder point of the led circuit in the optical drive. IS THIS TRUE? PLEASE REPLY IF YOU KNOW THIS!!!! That’s no big deal since I’ve got +5V in the bottom area. Only need to get two of those resistors and all will be good….nevertheless again an unexpected setback. Oh well if I had done my homework a bit better…

    While I still had some time, I decided to take care of a few of the ‘special’ cables I needed to make for the case. First of all, the wiring to the rca sockets in the fake bottom plate. These sockets lead to the video card. Therefore it is really important that that wiring is as good as can be, since it needs to supply a very stable +12V and +5V.

    There is one problem though: space underneath the fake bottom plate is limited. While this is not so bad in itself, it limited my options because I need to be able to detach all the wiring coming to the rca sockets in this plate.
    So here’s my solution: crimp connectors, the fully insulated type of course!
    [​IMG]

    These things are just what I needed! I made six pieces of wire, crimped a connector to one end of each and soldered + hot glued the other end to the rca sockets.
    [​IMG]

    You can see how I swapped male and female connectors for the 4-pin line (red and yellow rca) so I can’t make any mistakes in attaching the other ends. The black rca has thinner wires so I can see the difference there…

    Here all the wires are connected to their other ends. Beforehand I was afraid that the fit of those connectors would be pretty loose, but actually they’re tight as can be.
    [​IMG]

    A pic after I attached it to the fake bottom plate.
    [​IMG]

    After the problems I had with 90° wiring on the rca sockets of the optical bay, I was of course very anxious to see how this wiring turned out. Well, I was happy to find out that it’s all good, very stable. I guess my rca skills have definitely improved!
    [​IMG]


    Because I still had some time left, I could make another special cable. This is a very long cable (+12V only) that needs to exit the case. I’m not telling yet what’s it for…since I need to test it first and I don’t have any pics yet. You might remember I made an opening in the lower case panel for a few cables to pass through (this cable + s-video cable for psone lcd). Outside, a cable coming from a device needs to be plugged into it. I already knew this back when I ordered my RCA plugs and sockets so I included a few full sockets in my order.

    Here’s the part that will mostly be inside the case (about 15cm will be outside). It is almost one meter in length. You can see I soldered an RCA plug to its end.
    [​IMG]

    The other part. Here I attached one of the full RCA sockets.
    [​IMG]

    A shot of the completed cable. I needed to put it on the floor because it’s so long…about 2,5 meters!
    [​IMG]

    That’s it for now, more wiring-stories coming soon! See you…
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2011
  15. ssR

    ssR Carbon God

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    great work man :) how much do you estimate it will take you to finish the project?
     
  16. jokkos

    jokkos too busy to mod *sigh*

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    sure, go ahead!
     
  17. jokkos

    jokkos too busy to mod *sigh*

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    I'm hoping to finish it in november...
     
  18. Bullitdodger

    Bullitdodger If it ain't broke....Tweak it.

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    I'm there dude..... :D
     
  19. J0d3r

    J0d3r What's a Dremel?

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    You are doing an excellent job mate, been following since it started.
     
  20. Anzu

    Anzu What's a Dremel?

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    Damn if your computer is like that, i would love to see your house!
     

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