Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by jokkos, 20 Mar 2006.
I like this.
the wire will be attached properly after I finish the panel. It will be 100% invisible from the outside.
the panel is still strong, but it does flex a little. Nothing much though.
Thanks to everyone for the nice comments.
Ahh should look good then with your usual attention to detail.
Those leds really add something special...
lookit, the purty lites
Really good work there, looking pimp!
Back to the basics!
I did a lot in the past days. Lots of small thingies, up to the point where finally –six months later then originally planned- the case is stripped again!
I did the following:
- completed the four strips for the corners of the case
- made a piece for the fake bottom to do something with the hole of the rca cables that will be gone
- finished all the case feet
- relocated a hole on the fake bottom to bolt it in the case, it was in an poor location (underneath where my pci soundcard will come)
- sawed off a bit of one of the bars of the case frame
- cleaned and finished all the plexi pieces
- worked on the case stickers and labels
- took the stickers off the psu so it’s nice and bare
- attached a bit of tape for vibration dampening on the support for the psu
-…and, took the whole thing apart.
But before pics of that last one…there was quite some interest in my 8” tft touch screen, so I took some pics for you.
It came in this box. Has ‘obscure-Chinese-producer’ written all over it, no brand, no specs, no nothing…
However, it’s ultra-complete when opened up. Here are the contents.
On the top row in the pic above (from left to right) we have the stand for the screen, the VGA-cable, cables to connect to other devices (standard white/red/yellow cinch), car adapter and even a remote control. On the bottom row we have the screen with usb-cable for touch screen and the plug (black cable) to which the VGA-cable or the other cable is attached, a driver CD for the touch screen functionality and the wall plug (that I chopped up for my wiring).
The touch screen can be operated by pressing with fingers (large icons, not very precise but will do unless there’s lots of small items, menu-bars etc) or with the stylus:
Here’s the screen on the stand. It works pretty well but feels cheap. It’s made of plastic and a bit too light imo. I’m going to have to do something to remedy that, but I’m first going to try it for a couple of weeks to see how it reacts to usage.
It’s a pity that the usb-cable is grey, don’t you think? All the other wires are black. Problem is that the cable is fixed, cannot be disconnected. I’m going to have to something to remedy that as well!
Then to the main item of this update. I could get all excited that ‘it’s finally happened’, ‘a milestone has been reached’, but actually I’m quite the opposite: pretty sentimental, even sad…
Der_Meister is no more…for the time being. It has turned into this *big* pile of components that need to get a final treatment:
Let’s take a closer look:
First we have the case frame. To the right of the bars are the hooks for the hard discs. To the left are three items for the watercooling that deserve a bath and some polish: rad and reservoir plate and fillport.
There’s of course also the case panels:
And all the other parts. From left to right: pile of black alu pieces, pile of mesh pieces, pile of 0,5mm alu pieces and a few 2mm alu pieces…
Finally there are a few pieces that are put separately: I still need these to test my new hardware on, they also need to be reworked a bit. So they are put on the side until I have all the new components and can do the tests and measurements.
Bottom line of all of this: OH MY GOD WHAT A PILE OF METAL!
I never realized how much it is until it was all piled up like this. Oh well, there’s only one thing to do: roll up my sleeves and start sanding!
First step: the edges of the case panels, also the ones of the inner cuts on them, all need to be finished properly. (Luckily the ones on the black alu pieces, the 0,5mm pieces and the mesh are already done)
Send it all for chrome plating
that'd cost quite a bit
there's no way I'd be able to put it all back together... still not convinced that you can hope you do...
*anxious to see the final result
What a big pile of metal! I never realized that this project is taking this large amount of metal! It's huge!
But is really amazing to see your work, keep on sanding all the metal mess and show us finally this beatiful baby without the protective film!
All this time I thought that this Der Meister log was the one with a guy who was building a car computer in his dads Mercedes...stupid me!
I just read the whole thing from start to finish and all I can say is that it's looking really good. I mean, really good
Keep up the quality work here.
Well, sanding all the edges of the cuts and the outside edges on the case panels is really really *ù8$¨ me off. I decided to do it all before I start on the proper sanding of the panels.
I'm really mad at myself for this. The outside edges of the panels were the first thing I did over a year ago. I thought at that time 'I'll finish them later, everytime I'm ready with a panel I'll do all the edges'.
But then, when I was doing all the cutting, I thought 'I'll do them when I'm further with the mod'.
And so...right now, I need to do all of them. Stupid, boring work.
just to say it'll be a few more days before the tape will be coming off. Believe me, I'm as anxious as you guys
By all means, sand the edges before you take the tape off it, I'd be really miffed about it if I'd f**k up a piece just because taking the protective tape off too soon
Be ready to rip a few more hairs off your head once you start taking the tape off, now that it's been sitting there for this long, there's going to be some work to get it off. I'd prepare myself with acetone or thinner and a lot of patience
Edit: Post 200 for me, yay!
Actually the tape comes off pretty easily, I removed some bits here and there and well, I expected it to be almost 'melted in' the alu, but that's not really the case
I guess you used better quality tape, the kind I used when I was masking the side panels gave me a really hard time to get off. Firstly it came off only in small pieces and secondly it left the pieces all covered in clue and other gunk
Try to hang on with the sanding, it'll pay off in the end.
small text update.
I have about half of the new hardware in. I'm still waiting for the vid card and the vid card waterblock, so I can't do any work on testing it, relocating vid card support and so on.
I've been sanding the edges of most of the panels, there's only one remaining and I'll do that tonight. I've also done some tests on some scrap pieces of alu to see what looks better (given the differences between the normal and anodized alu), polish or clear coat.
Tonight I'm posting some versions of the sticker for the front panel of the case and I'll need your comments on that. So till then...
Bottom switch panel sticker ideas
Here is the promised post. It contains a few ideas I have for my sticker on the switch panel on the case. More specifically, the background. First some ‘background’ info (no pun intended):
The switch panel contains four vandals (in the middle) and six toggle switches (two columns left and right), along with two leds (left and right below) and an usb-plate (below middle part). All these are indicated in black in the pics below so you can see how they fall over the backgrounds. Most of the actual switches etc. are bigger than the black circles that are shown, so a bit more of the background will be lost.
Why is the background important? Well, you might recall that I wanted to print out the stickers myself on transparant adhesive sheets. In that case, there wouldn’t be a problem since the alu of the panel would be a nice background. But, printing the stickers on the sheets doesn’t give an acceptable result, the print comes off very easily and the color is not very solid.
So I found a company that can print out the stickers on adhesive vinyl. I did so already for the logo panel. The result is pretty much perfect, it’s thick, looks good and I think it’ll hold clear coat so I’d spray it to make a nice protective layer.
There’s only one downside: the vinyl is white. So I cannot have transparant parts, unless I cut away parts of the sticker. For the logo panel, this was a good solution. But the bottom panel sticker is very visible and since the vinyl is 0.8mm thick…it would look bad to cut some parts out and some not. Conclusion: I needed a solid background for this sticker.
When I first designed it, I just did a gray tone that resembles a solid metal. Like this:
The problem with this is that it’ll not look nice compared to the finished, brushed, casepanel. I know there are lots of photoshop tutorials to make a brushed metal texture, but it’ll never be exactly like my panels. So I’m not in favor of this one anymore.
I tried a lot of different things and I finally kept two of my ideas. I want to show them to you, and need your help chosing between them.
The first is a random marble-like texture that would look good on the case since it has the same basic tints that are used on the case:
The second is something completely different. Let me show it before explaining it:
The picture in the background is the front cover of the ‘Ohne dich’ single of Rammstein. I’ve always loved it and I’ve been trying to include it somewhere in my case from the start. When I ran out of ideas for this sticker, I thought ‘let’s do something crazy and slam the cover in it’, and well, at the same time I love it and I don’t know what to think. The background is quite powerful, but on this sticker?
Please share your thoughts on this…which of these two designs do you prefer? Or would you rather take the first one, the plain grey? Any other suggestions of course also welcome.
Well jokkos... hem ...
Ohne dich RULEZ!
Even for me is one of the best Rammstein song, and this background for the front panel really looks cool!
Go on with this!
see that's exactly how I feel about it...but it still is a bit weird to see an old shed on a front panel sticker...
Brushing & Polishing – Part one: sanding a brushed effect
Time for a new update. As I am finally done with sanding all the edges of the pieces, I could start –at long last- with the sanding and polishing of the actual panels!!!
I was at home yesterday, had a whole chunk of time, so I started sanding the case panels. I started with the floor panel, but also finished the top and the front panel. All in all, it went pretty much as expected. With these parts done, I can start polishing them. Next Monday I’m at home again, and I want to finish the two sidepanels and –but I don’t think so- the back panels.
The main reason why I want to do the sanding on these days is simple: daylight. It’s quite impossible to get this brushed effect right when the outside light is bad or when it’s dark.
In this post I’ll show how I got the effect I desired. I took pics of the front side of the front panel. This will be the most visible side of the case, so I needed to do it right. Therefore it was also the best panel to take pics of…lol. Just kidding, I wanted to get some experience with the brushed effect first, so I started with the floor panel inside, outside and then the inside of the top panel. I ended with the front panel.
There’s one disadvantage: the outside light started to get less than ideal when I was working on the panel, so the last pics are also less than ideal. Sorry for that. There are a couple of pics that show the effect best, I’ll mention it.
Okay, first a final look at the front panel with the tape on. It’s been there for about a year.
Off it goes! The tape comes off well considering what it’s been through. That’s a relief!
And another. I’m glad I taped the panels, they’re all still relatively unharmed…
Then came the sanding. I use three different grits, all temporarily taped to scrap pieces of wood. This is very handy, it’s flat, easy to hold, and allows for pretty even pressure.
Since I’m going to polish the plates later on, I tested the whole process beforehand on a few scrap pieces of alu. I found that I need a rough grit to get a pretty obvious brushed effect, since the wetsanding and polishing take away part of the effect.
So, the first sanding paper is an 80 grit sanding paper for metals. Pretty rough huh. In this step, the base for the brushed texture is laid out. With this paper, every scratch or other error in the panel needs to be corrected. This step takes about 15-20 minutes for the ‘good’ (= visible) side of the panel. Here’s the result.
And another, that comes close to the real life look (especially on the left right next to / above the clamp):
The hardest part of this is to get the brushed lines straight. When sanding with your hands, they have a tendency to make slightly curved movements, which are very obvious in the brushed lines. The solution is simple: clamp the panels to the working surface, stand right behind where the sanding will happen, and hold the sanding block with two hands. Don’t use too much pressure, move both arms with the same force. Let the sanding paper do the work, don’t press it down to hard. Result: nice, straight lines.
Next: 180 grit sanding paper for metals. Same procedure, only sand harder. About 10-15 minutes. This paper evens out the rough lines of the previous paper. It also adds finer lines, it makes the texture more complex and more realistic. After the sanding, it feels a lot smoother and looks better.
Another angle, note my home-made sanding block…heh.
And yet another, right next to the clamp is the most accurate look of what it’s like in real.
To finish it off, I used a 600 grit sanding paper. I did just one pass with it, so it’s very little sanding (about 3 minutes). This one evens out the texture so it feels very smooth, but it doesn’t do much to the look anymore. It softens everything up a bit, removes some of the bigger differences, so it all ties up nicely together. I think it’s overkill though, will see when I wetsand whether I need to do this for the side panels and the back.
And finally, this one. The texture is finer in real than in the pic, the area around the left edge comes closest to the real life look.
Looks good, right? At this point, the panels are ready for the last bit of sanding: wetsanding with 800 grit. I didn’t get to that yet though.
After the wetsanding, the next thing to do is polishing the panels. I’m starting with the floor panel so if I screw up, it wouldn’t be very noticable…will post pics soon.
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