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Case Mod - In Progress Project : Deuce

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Tech-Daddy, 24 Feb 2008.

  1. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    Deuce , 2 of a kind, 2 of what you want.... having a deuce is a good thing. This new rig is going to be an exercise in 2.

    Dual Core CPU (Opty 185)
    2GB of RAM
    2 Hard drives
    2 video cards (SLI) (2x 7900GTX 512MB cards)
    2 water loops
    2 reservoirs (dual EK MultiOption reservoirs)
    2 pumps (Swiftech MCP350 and 355)
    2 water colors (TBD)
    2 Radiators
    2 120mm fans on the top rad

    You get the idea!
    ;)

    It will reside in a Thermaltake Armor chassis. Mind you, this thing is HUGE!!! Plenty of space for all this magic to happen! I brought the side window panel on vacation with me, and went to town on it this week; It will be another hot rod themed build, except this onw will be a hot rod paint scheme from a Hot WHeel part. Stylistically, it will be very influenced by the build out of a Deuce coup.... but it will have modern flourishes....

    The paint job will be based off of this:
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    Deep blue/purple on the base, and gloss black across the top of the cabin area. seperated by a flaming green stripe. Looks bad ass!!!

    So I startes planning out my window. And after several days with a pencil, I hace the draft.
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    Keeping a mental note on the location of the cross beam. as well as the drive bays in the front. I shaped the main window to show off the motherboard, and to keep the integrity of the side panel locks. I added in a smaller window to the bottom area to break up the look of the "single large window":
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    note the stock that still remains around the flames and the corners. I learned something from blingGreen, and that is to make sure you leave the tips of the flames until the last This will keep you from applying a lot of pressure to the tips, and causing it to bend. So, you will see the flames work through in a few pictures....

    Here is some more material removed from the flames... see them starting to form up? :)
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    Workng through the flame centers....
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    Now.... here I go.... the side panel sitting at around 85% completion!!
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    Last edited: 28 Aug 2008
  2. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    Using a 5/8 inch bit, I drillled out the ends of the top of the vents on the side panel, I then used my dremmel to cut a clean line down to the other circle. This made my lines nice and straight (for the most part) and the ends nice and round (again.... for the most part!)
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    And how will it look on the side of the case?
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    I then also started popping rivets like a mad man on the case, parted the whole thing out and started marking up my next cut lines, and putting everything in the utility sink for a good rinsing. Dust and crap all inside this thing.
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    I am hoping to get a new type of color process on the frame, we'll see though if I can make it work with the vendor. (fingers crossed)
     
  3. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    This will likely be the *only* time you will ever see what I am about to show you. I worked with Arctic Mods and DangerDen to have a part made that did not previously exist! ;) Originally I had ordered the acrylic tops, but in a different model, and was chagrinned by my stoopidity! Funny thing... Koosah acrylics did not fit my NV-78 blocks (hence why they are for sale in my For Sale forum!) So, after much gnashing of teeth, I contacted the two companies, and worked it out with them to create them out for the NV-78 SLI kit.... and voila'! You will notice that the only thing tipping you off that these acrylics are something different, are the blue edges. Normal acrylics are crystal clear. But in normal light, the edges give off a baby blue hue.

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    But put them under a black light, and the fun REALLY begins!
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    Mind you... the black light is actually about 1.5 feet away, to give you and idea on perspective on how sensitive the acrylics are to UV light! :eeek:
     
  4. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    I have been trying to work with another painter here in the Dallas area that could perform a specific type of painting. I will place one more call to them tomorrow, and I hope we can work something out... but I grow weary of the non returned phone calls. As such, the frame has just been a sticking point. I'm afraid to paint until I knew how the frame was going to turn out.

    SO.... in response to the joker taking so long to work with me.... I took the time to ready my airbrushing system!
    This was my old workhorse, heheheh!
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    I put the splitting manifold in place for a 2nd air line that I plan on running to a reel that will be suspended from the middle of the garage ceiling. I will attach another hose on the manifold, route the tube neatly, then terminate it to a 50 foot hose on the reel. I'll run my air tools off of there (when I get them... and can locate the damned hose reel buried somewhere in my frikken garage!!! ;) )
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    That all adds up to a 21 gal compressor with 2 moisture traps terminating to a 3 way manifold .:hip:
     
  5. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vijgkWRlWSI


    This might kinda sum up my last few weeks...

    between weather screwing up my painting environment, and some unexpected delays....

    well... I'm trucking again this weekend, trying to make as much headway as I can!
    ;)

    This is my first video so go easy on me... :D
     
  6. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    Well... moving from the video, I'll post up pics of the forward movement, as well as a little bitch-fest I am going to go off on for a bit...

    Panels are progressing nicely! Not the glossy mirror smooth finish I want, but that will be after I clear it a few times... WOO HOO!!

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    the ripples will go away after I clear and sand it.

    Now... I Have been trying for the last 2 MONTHS to get my frame parts to a specialized painter in the Dallas area. I am not going to even do them justice by posting up their lame ass site, or their lame ass business name. Just suffice it to say that if you are in the Dallas area, and you start talking to Phil from the Colony, hang up and walk away. You will save yourself a buttload of misery. This job is not hard. Ive already done a ton of work to make it easy. But, I guess there just was not enough $$$ at the end of this rainbow. Bunghole stopped returning my calls. Kept trying to reach him to setup a meeting where he would just *look* at my frame pieces.... never even got that far. emails unanswered, phone calls unanswered.... very unprofessional. Phil, I hope I catch your paint equipment on liquidation, because there is *NO* way you can run a business and stay in business operating like that. VERY un-professional. I could have sent a ton of advertisement your way. Possible new avenues of income... but you had to screw it up, and throw off my build. Fine.....

    So, I started looking for other options, but everywhere I went, the costs were more than I was wanting to bear, and the finish was "a special order" or something like that. Essentially, I came to the realization that "it's up to me"... so, I took a few days off earlier this week (Mon/Tues) and drove to talk to a my last few possibilities. That drive it home for me, and I went to work on the frame on Tuesday afternoon/night. Popped the remaining rivets, and decided on how I wanted to do my frame.

    I shot a test piece just to see how the colors would lay after multiple color coats and a couple of clear coats.

    Please pay no mind to the specs of dust on the top, this was a POC piece to see how the colors would work... I liked... it is a metalflake/sparkle base, with a tranparent top color coat. Duplicolor Metalcast. I shot this stuff on blingGreen, but the frame was not disassmbled, and it was one coat of green. I've learned a bit since then, so I'm trying to make this one a bit more durable and glossy...

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    That lat pic kinda captures the sparkle below the paint... looks mighty fine... :mrgreen:

    So I finish popping the rivets out of my frame:


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    String them up like they are in a meat market... hehehe... "Now serving number 2!" LOL!

    Hit them with self etching primer:
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    Then the Metalcast flake basecoat:
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    You can see a bit of the shimmer of hte silver in that last shot...

    And started mowing through the frame pieces with my cans of blue Duplicolor Metalcast (love this stuff!):

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    I ran out of paint... :evil: but I can buy more, and recoat in a few days after this has cured. After I get a few more color coats on these parts, they will get clear coats. Prolly 3-4 coats. I really like how the little drive cage came out, and hopefully I can produce a whole case like that. I am also contemplating putting some designs on the frame to make the paint job a bit more than just a color job. ;) Stay tuned on that.

    Also, I worked out a problem that was with my beautiful NV78's. The water block acrylics were accidentally cut to duplicate. When you are running a SLI setup, and passing the water between the two cards, you need to have alternating inlets to accomidate the pass-between barbs. I worked with Danger Den (class act that company, they made a fan out of me!) to get another acrylic top cut out. It is now installed, and leak tested. All good.

    That said, I have a space NV78 UV blue acrylic top if anyone has an NV78 water block and are looking for a way to spruce it up! ;)

    More as I craft. Sorry for the pause in updates. I had hoped to come in with a screaming "bang" if I could have had the frame painted how I wanted... but now... well, it's time for plan B, no... Plan C... nope.... D! Yep! Plan D!

    Chin up! Let the jouney begin, cuz it is about to get hectic!
     
  7. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    Any of you seen the movie, "Twister"? Yeah, this next set of pics reminded me of the Aunt's house that had all of the metal sculpture in her yard... hehehehe

    We had some beautiful weather and I used that time to put the Metalcast parts outside to cure. Yummy...

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    You can make out the metal flake effect in these shots. No, that is not dust! ;)
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    After they cured, I took them down, into the garage, and used a hydraulic rivet gun. If you have a good compressor, and you pull things apart all the time... find one of these tools. It will save you immense headaches from when you scratch your paint using a manual squeeze rivet gun... never again. This was SO, SO much easier...
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    The frame is now assembled and looking good!
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    This will be one of my secrets. Here is my acrylic for the mod. I'm thinking that the way I am going to mount the upper rad is going to be very unique, assuming that I get it right. :)

    But, I dont wanna say too much and jinx it, but I will say that the acrylic is going to be BEAUTIFUL if I get this right...
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    :)
     
  8. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    So... lots of work done today...

    Did a lot of cleaning up on my top cut. It was while I was working on that piece, that the realization hit me... I'm still missing my power button frame!!! A bit of quick engineering, and the blessings from my dearly departed father in law, and the inspiration hit me... I was given a lot of his tools from his shop, (to which I am forever grateful, Herman. May my work be inspired by your spirit, I miss you bud.) and I remembered that the power switch in question had a 3/4" hole requirement. Herman had given me several chassis punches, and I looked through them, and lo and behold... I had a 3/4" one! So, figured out where I wanted the switch to reside, popped it with a center punch a few times, and drilled the center hole. Then, placing the punch pieces on the hole, I wrenched them through. How on EARTH did I do this before... wow!
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    The results speak for themselves. no edges to file either!
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    Start priming it and getting it ready for color:
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    First of several color coats:
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    I also painted the inside of the bottom panel of hte computer. I have been debating back and forth these last few weeks on how I was going to paint it. I then decided that it would make a nice contrast to the blue frame, I'm hoping I am right. ;)
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    This is a flexible color lighting system that I will be integrating adjustable pots to control the flow to Reg, Green, and Blue. There are 4 LED cannons, and each cannon has the RGB leds inside them. A twist of the dials will allow me to create any color ambient light I want out of the guns! I have my primary lighting color scheme already worked out, but these, I think, will ad some nice accenting
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    The front bay adaptor had to be changed to black to fit the color scheme of the computer"
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    This is just me being happy. The side panel... has not been clear coated, and has not been buffed with polishing compound. No wax... polish... nothing. It just looks that good... :)
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    Now, tonight, I used my striping tape and my auto mask, and created a paint mask for me to paint my panels with. Remember, they will be black on top, green flame stripe separating, and blue in the base. I plan on burying some graphics in the flame job, as well as in the blue... so be on the lookout! ;)
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  9. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    Work today was on the bottom "blue" section of the panels...

    Metalcast base coat in the appropriate sections.
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    I then started applying a background pattern of what I hoped would be a random background pattern of flames...
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    Over the top of it with Metalcast blue
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    After 4 coats, starting to come together
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    I had layered the designs, starting with a pearl blue flame, then a white flame, then a set of black flames. The blue I wanted to come out as a set of Ghost flames, as the Metalcast blue would disguise the base blue flames... or at least I had hoped.

    As it turns out, it came out better than I planned, as the blue flames appear/disappear depending on where you are in relation to the panel... it is a really sweet effect.
     
  10. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    Pulled the masking this morning (should have pulled it last night... live and learn)

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    Have some wet sanding to do to knock the edge down a bit, and prep for the next "stripe". I'll likely put these outside to cure a bit.

    On a separate note... we all start somewhere...
    And I want to learn how to do True Fire.

    I have never done this folks, never. I have a DVD and a set of templates to help guide me... but my airbrush's paint valve kept staying open, so I was having lots of difficulty tapering my ends. Would release the paint and carry through my air and my motion, but the paint spring just kept pushing paint... then it would click shut... very frustrating.

    After about the 4th or 5th mistake, I kinda ran with it... then I started nesting other template designs into it, so see how they would look when sprayed. So, this is like a proof of concept... pre-ALPHA! LOL!!

    ANYWAY... not expecting to set the world on fire (*giggle*) but I figured you would like to see what an uber noob does with a finiky airbrush in his free time!

    Started out with just a panel from a dead case. Did not sand it smooth, just laid a coat of black over it to give a good, dark back canvas.
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    Early stage:
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    Then I cleared it after a few more color swaps here. Now I know why pros have multiple airbrushes! Color shanges are very time consuming when you only have one airbrush!
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    Be gentile.... ;)
     
  11. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    I pulled out the the trusty rivet gun, and put the base back on this beast! This will allow me to better work on the tubing and routing... I also got tired of seeing it hanging in the garage! ;) Using some of the bitchen case feet from mnpctech, I think that says, "dont mess with me", even with NUTHIN in the chassis! Dontcha think? ;)
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    I also had a brainstorm of an idea with the front bezel. Let's tear them down and have some fun... shall we?
    Front of the undoctered unit:
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    Back of it, showing the tabs that must released to get the metal grill out:
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    Strip out the steel mesh and get to work! ;)
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    base coat + blue and white flames:
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    Wonder what I've been doing this all with? ;)
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    Metalcast blue:
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    Final result! I'd say that sets off the front nicely.
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    I need to get some lighting that will illuminate the front bezels, otherwise the flames are lost in the dark...

    Also, during this moment, I found a way to do some flame work in a similar fashion, but that will give a really sweet effect! Going to need an extra set of hands though to make it happen. Wifey has already volunteered. *yay!*

    Also, my fans and my replacement rad should be here tomorrow!

    *double yay!*
     
  12. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    I started working on the back end of the mod, and was thinking that the fan situation that I have in mind was going to be a bit cluttered. I did not like that thought at all. I planned on having a white LED fan on the inside of the case acting as exhaust, that would then be screwed to an external radbox, that would then have another fan and the external 120mm radiator. The radbox and fan buy me a little space to display some tubing and such, but having 2 fans back in the rear... how would I power 2 of them without having a mess of cabling?

    If you remember, *waaayyyy* back in the build on BOSS, there was a power supply mod that I did not incorporate, it used the twist on "CB Radio" type connectors now being seen on some power supplies. Well... I still had those connectors, so my plan was to run a 2 wire (12v and ground) independent to that section of the case. soldering the 12v and ground into the legs of the connector receptacle, I then soldered another set of short legs off of the solder point, and heat shrinked the joint. I then took those 12v and ground legs and soldered them onto the fan power and ground lines, and covered those joints with black heat shrink.

    This effectively minimized the 8 inches of fan cord to less than an inch. If I Have to replace this fan... it will be a bear! ;)

    The external fan will have a cable treatment performed to it that will mate it to the male end of the joint/plug, being sure to keep 12v and ground properly designated, and will plug into the other side of what you see in the below picture.

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    Going to Home Depot tomorrow, then maybe a bike shop or an auto shop... looking for some small diameter steel tubing
     
  13. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    My goal is to have the power cabling for the rear fans stealthed except for the area where the wires feed into the fans. now. Knowing that I was going to have a 120mm rad on the back, and I wanted to have an exhaust fan inside the case (components will still need airflow!), I opted to put a Swiftech rad box up between the exhaust area and the fan for the rad. This will help to break up the airflow coming out from the case, and the radbox gives the rad fan about an inch of intake space to grab it's cool air from. Powering 2 fans from an internal/external location was going to be a bit of a challenge, and I came up with the idea of just having both fans share the same 12v run. As such I put in a passthrough port, attached the + and - onto the supply side of the passthrough, and then built a cable to the external most fan on the rad using the female of the connector. Initially, I was using 1 inch aluminum spacers, but thought they looked a bit too tall, so I dropped them to 1/2 inch ones, and thought that they looked much batter. I have to grind out a litle on the Radbox in the space in front of the case holes for the hoses, else I have a bit of a creasing of the hose as they pass by the sharp edge of the radbox. Enough talking... Here are the results:

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    Backside of the connector with the split for the fan on this side, as well as the feed for the other side.

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    Alum standoffs @ 1 inch... a bit to tall for my liking, so I bought some shorter ones.

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    This shows the power line coming off the fan going past the external connector...

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    Shorter assembly height, and a shorter fan power cable, looks much better!

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    Closeup of the rear cable assembly.

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    How it looks from the top. You can see the barb location as well as the holes where the tubing will come through.
     
  14. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    I was able to grab some time this last weekend and make more progress. I call this update:
    "WTF are you building??!?"

    So grab some popcorn and have some fun! Here we go!
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    2 screws, a threaded standoff and a double coax staple... huh?
    ...

    stick with me folks, I'm kinda proud this!

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    The staple come with a nail in the plastic housing... that gets yanked

    Then I put the plastic piece in a vice and using a manual hand drill I bore the hole out that the nail was passed through:
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    Then, to get one of the longer screws through the plastic, I very carefully hit the hole with a 1/4" bit in a power drill and dig out a recession of the screw head to sit in, and that also gives a bit more thread exposed on the bottom end:
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    Then I screw on the threaded standoff:
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    And we have a finished... something! ;)
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    But wait...wait... "Tech-Daddy, there were 2 screws in the picture? Where does the other one go?"
    Glad you asked! I take those and screw them through the frame of the back panel of the computer chassis:
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    Then I screw in the other end of the threaded standoff to the exposed threads of the screw I just put in place:
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    Kinda neat... but looks lonely:
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    That's better... but what are they for? Well... remember that fan junction that I built that ties the internal and external fans together? Well... I still need to get 12v and ground to that location... and anyone who knows me knows that the cables will not simply "fly" across the case. So, I take the cables, and where they will be seen, I make them appealing. I'm actually running a single cable inside each tube:
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    I like how that looks! I run the lines up to the structural cross bar that spans the entire side of the case, and I run my 12v and ground lines inside that piece of steel. Once it gets to the front of the case, they drop out and begin their trek down the 5.25 bay area. So I clad those lines in tubing again and built 2 more standoffs and attached them to 2 holes in bays that I will not be using:
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    There you go! Tastefully done power, front to back, and you will only see what I want you to see of it!

    As for the 3 hard drive bays that are inserted in the bottom of the case in that cage adaptor thingy, it has a spot for a 120mm fan on the front of it, and I am going to use it. But, unlike the fans elsewhere in the case, I dont want to put a lit LED fan there, as the back light will screw up the front mesh panel flame effect, so I instead went for a nice and quiet black fan. I knew that the cabling was never going to be seen, so I did not sleeve it... but I did blast it several times with vinyl dye then attach it to an electric screw driver and twist it, then touch it up with the vinyl dye. I like that look a lot better... :)
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    I also put on foam, noise isolating, neoprene insulators to each screw contact point:
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    Mounted it up:
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    The res's may be relocated. This was just an idea I was bantering around.

    I've also started experimenting with different types of lighting, these are what some vendors call pirahanna lights:
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    Neat thing about these lights is that they run off of 12v DC, and can be cut into blocks of 3. No resistors needed. Put a bit of double stick tape on these and put them where you want! these are stiff PCB material so they are not really flexible... but I'm going to be trying some other possible items later on...

    And... OMG! I need to clean up my make shift router table... what on earth could I be working on that would create a mess like this?!!?
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    Well... you are going to have to wait! I have more tools on order to hopefully bail me out of the jam that I have created. More on the results of this mess later! ;)

    So, there you have it... more later on as I get to it!
    -=TD
     
  15. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    I have *finally* come to the decision that I made that mess of blue acrylic... and I will have nothing to show for it. :(

    So, I sat down for a few hours and taught myself some stuff in photoshop, and Corel Draw...

    And came up with a file that I can use to cut what I was trying like hell to create manually (without much success mind you!)

    I'm going to show you guys here what I'm up to... and *hopefully* in a week or two, I'll have the acrylic cut, shaped and looking like I hope it will. My main concern is going to be strength, and will the thin spots hold up.... I dunno. I've never done this before! ;) Matter of fact, I don't think anyone has done this before... so, there may be a reason this has "not been done before"... :)

    So... keeping in mind that this is going to be cut through 1/4" transparent blue acrylic...

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    The rad will be supported by 4 legs, one for each corner. My plan is to have the rad further back on the top of the case, and the front legs actually at an angle progressing from the leading edge of the top, up and back to the rad.

    Most all of the flames will be heated and bent.

    The long side between the front and back legs will be bent down to the side and bottom edge of the long side of the 240 rad these will adorn. Those flames will actually wrap under the rad and lick around the fans on the underside, providing a set of supports for the rad to rest in. The ends will be heated to fold down and encapsulate the rad.

    There will be no screws holding this together, the rad will be completely wrapped in acrylic flames and held in by the heating and bending of the flames to make them hold the rad in place.... that is my plan at least!

    The legs will wrap through the hole I cut in the top, and then bend into a bracket that I am in the process of designing. I am hoping to keep this whole attachment mechanism screwless and clean.

    There are plans to light this thing with LED's, but due to the density of the material, I've been having a bit of an issue getting good results illuminating the material... but if I can get the edges polished properly, then the light will hopefully flow from the edges....

    but this is what I have been working on, and I think I am really, close to having 1 or 2 to prototype with and see if it will work!

    Wish me luck! I've also got my sons pinewood derby happening tomorrow, and I need to wrap up on the weights in that car tomorrow... WHEEEEE!!! Lots of garage time over the past few weeks! And I've almost got something to show for it!
     
  16. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    Son took 2nd at the derby! WOOT!

    First time in a long time that a weekend has rolled around that was not :
    1) Too cold to paint
    2) Too humid to paint
    3) Too busy with family
    4) Too busy with work

    Well... those things were not in the works on Sunday! Yay!

    Got some time to go clean my neglected airbrush and try to fix it... and got it working much better! I still have a minor hanging issue with it... but it will get better and I continue to work on it.

    So, after cleaning, I sprayed black over the 1st set of flames that I experimented with, and tried v2.

    Came up with this:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not bad, for my second time *ever* working on laying out flames freehand. I learned a lot. And will apply it to the next panel I experiment with. Hopefully I'll get back out there in the garage this week, and spray some more while the knowledge is fresh in my head.

    I know it aint pro... it was more a concept for color and application. Was not intended to be smooth, as the layer I painted over on the bottom was not smooth, and I got some stuff on my french curcves that attached itself to the surface of the panel... no biggie.

    But these pics have 2 layers of clear to allow me to see what paint would show after the CC process....
     
  17. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    Well.... beautiful weather... combined with some time in the garage... equals....

    3rd attempt.

    I'm starting to plan out how the flames will be on the panel, so I was simulating the curve of the blue graphic...

    here is what I plopped down tonight.

    I think I figured out what I was doing wrong from the previous 2, and made this one better, but I just thought of something that I did that caused a lot of my overspray, and I'm going to go out and rectify that tonight. Might be a v4 if I can get my equipment cleaned up and re-racked for the 4th attempt.
    :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Getting closer!
    ;)

    More later!
     
  18. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    Took a couple of days off at the beginning of the week for my daughter's birthday, and had some spare time.... so I whipped out another panel.

    Different colors, this one was more teal than green.

    I like the design, not a big fan of the color. My wife likes both the color and the design.
    ;)
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Brett89

    Brett89 Active Member

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    Wow another great project, love the car theme continuing into this one with the hot rod paintjob and the flames. those are some nice flames,the design of those flames is very well done.
     
  20. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

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    Well.... how is that for not paying attention!
    I put this entry in the wrong damn forum!!! :D

    Would a mod *please* pitch me over to the "Projects" forum....
    sheesh.... what a rookie mistake!
     
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