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Case Mod - In Progress Project Dianoga Redux

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Vault-Tec, 8 Sep 2016.

  1. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Let's Marvin Gaye and get it on.

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    Pop round the back

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    Tape.

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    Mark

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    OK now what I also did whilst I was there was take a ball point pen and mark out the stand off holes. Obviously if it can't go over those it won't fit. So I marked them out and then drilled them firstly with a 2mm HSS bit and then a 6mm Bradpoint.

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    So it now fits and theoretically I can fit a mobo over it.

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    I then took it back out and marked out where I wanted my grommets to go. I need to lop a piece out (the squirly bit) and I also want the PSU to pass straight out into the back panel. Then I need a fat one for the 24 pin and given the rig is only using a 6 pin GPU I decided to fit a smaller one under it.

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    OK, so the next step is to cut out the straight parts of the holes using a diamond tipped cutter. Here you can see I have my holes started and the sanding part I use to finish the holes with.

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    And here you can see them finished.

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    Now remember I am working from the back side, so I need to keep flipping it to make sure it looks good on the "show" side.

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    Quick note. The protective layer on it is white, so it kinda makes it look like pastel green. I assure you it really isn't. OK, so basically I am not fitting the light board and so on back into the build. It's not electronic and you have to set the light colours with a DIP switch. I have only ever had the lights in green and purple (as none of the other colours matched the build in there) and I prefer green and obs purple would look stupid now. So that means i can just fit 5mm green LEDs and remove the entire "brain" giving me more space. So I need a cable management hole for the USB, Firewire, case headers ETC. Here you can see it marked. and a bit I will be using to cut it.

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    Just remember whenever you are drilling acrylic always put it on a thick sheet of wood. Otherwise you will blow out the back side and probably crack/split it.

    Next part doesn't take much explaining. Drill the two holes, then bridge the straight gaps with the dremel.

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    And done.

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    Fit the grommets.

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    Cut out anything that stops it going in completely flat against the case panel.

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    And then fit again.

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    And.

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    NB. As it is 3mm acrylic the light shines through all of the openings in the case. This won't be a problem once the side panel goes back on, 'cause obs that will stop the light shining through but I have used the spare acrylic for now.

    Any one for lime sherbet?

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    And on the menu for tomorrow (I was up til midnight last night doing these !)

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  2. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    OK so tonight's work.. I can't get actual photos because it's pitch black in here and even with light it's still dark. Plus the parts are setting so look stupid..

    OK, so two nights ago I had a good dig through the bag for the CPU block and checked everything was there (such is the mind of a modder, cutting it up and taking it apart before even checking the contents :D ) and had a look at how it mounts. It comes with these.

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    OK so I guess it's fair. Cheap block cheap looking fittings. I wanted something green to contrast with the black and silver in the rig. However, after many hours of searching I could not find any anodized green thumb nuts *anywhere*. I even ran it through that search engine and still came up empty handed :(

    So all of a sudden I had a brain wave. Dust caps. Like car dust caps. They're cheap and you can pretty much get them in any colour look and finish you like. Plus because they are unrelated to PCs they are as cheap as chips. After some measuring I realised that the thumb nuts that came with the CPU block were about 8mm, give or take a few tenths of a mm. I got the size for dust caps and realised they were too small inside, but I figured I could use a grinder in the rotary tool and mill them out somehow.

    So this is them here. £2.99 delivered.

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    I figured it would not take long to shave out the inside a bit so that I could glue them to the thumb nuts. And you'd never guess what? I was wrong as usual. I started to grind them out but all that was happening was me creating pink dust. It was just as bad as trying to make the power button hole bigger in the stereo project. I lost my cool and decided that as soon as they passed the lip of the dust cap I would smack them in with a hammer. Of course that didn't work and they went in urine style and were completely lop sided. And now, worse still, they were stuck fast :(

    So in the end I had a brain wave (thank god) and found a long M3 bolt. I gripped the dust cap with pliers (in a rag of course) and managed to press them out. Phew !

    Thing is I still had no way to mill them out. Then as I was starting to lose hope (and thinking of throwing them in the bin, I found this.

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    I'd never used it before. God knows what tool it came with (I've killed two so far and I'm on my third) but hey, it mills aluminium really bloody well :D

    So now they are glued and setting. I will get a pic tomorrow. Couple of tiny chips but I have ordered a green Sharpie for a pound and will touch them up with that :)

    Modding is like an RPG. You start out with the best intentions sticking to the main quest and then you start to find side quests. And before you know it you are totally side tracked doing nothing but side quests - ALXAndy 2016 :D
     
  3. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    The Cheaps was strong on this one :D

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  4. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    OK so here's what I got up to today. First after lots of measuring and a bit of cutting I lopped this off of the remaining sheet. Quick note - the sheet is a little warped. I didn't notice it until this morning. So if it looks like it isn't straight? it isn't. I need to fit a couple of solid blocks to keep it straight once it is final fitted.

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    I then had to bolt in the res bay. What a nightmare. After trying all sorts of hand gymnastics it then dawned on me that when I drilled the holes it was firmly taped to the roof. After about ten minutes and lots of swearing I realised that I needed three hands to do it. Or, you can just tape the bolts down, turn the case upside down and then slot the res bay over the bolts.

    So I put on some double sided tape.

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    And then stuck the panel to it. I then removed all of the res bay bolts and went to take it out and it fell apart. Turns out there was a rivet stopping it pushing down all the way so I cut out a notch. Then I had to perform the same and annoying ritual again before getting this.

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    Which then allowed me to turn it over like this.

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    Remember I am cutting back to front on any dress up panels. The reason is that the rotary tool has a screw that holds the cutting disc on. This often burns along the edges of the piece. I have tried double masking and even duct tape but it still goes through. Obviously the other side is fine, so I have had to mirror mark everything which is pretty tricky.

    I then marked it out (using the res bay as a template, hence why I needed them stuck together) and cut it out.

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    Then covered in masking and marked out some drill holes, then drilled 2mm pilots.

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    And, well, you know the drill on this bit (well actually soldering iron).

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    And in.

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  5. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    DIY SSD.

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    Not sure what to do with this yet.

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  6. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    There's a killer on the loose..

    OK brief background. I bought this card second hand just after my lady and I moved in together, oo around 2012? I really liked the way it looked and liked the red LEDs even more. Sure, it was no better than a standard network card but the software was good. Any way, about three years ago I removed it from the rig I had and packed it away.

    Before I started Elvis (name change coming soon, for good reason) I dug through every dark cupboard and corner looking for junk I could use for the build. I found the Killer 2100 but sadly after doing some research I realised it would not work in Linux, which I will be using for this rig after temp testing under water (specifically Elementary OS).

    So I did research into which network cards work under EOS and found out that Realteks were good. I went onto fleabay and bought a network card for £3.50 and then removed the shroud on the 2100 before giving it away. Here is what I had.

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    And.

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    Here are the bolts I wanted to use. Bigfoot used nasty non coated self tapping posi screws but they looked jank. NB - these bolts turned out too short so were replaced later.. You will see that.

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    Melt them in. NB - the plastic is not acrylic and I melted the holes very slightly too big for M3.

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    Time to tape up the shroud.

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    And mark it up for cutting.

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    OK so remember those nasty orange dinoc shapes? one is for the NIC. I designed and cut these with scrap vinyl. It saves loads of marking out.

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    OK so I cut it out. I then traced it down onto some junk clear plastic (not acrylic) and sanded off the spots before placing it over the shroud's back. This way I can get the holes right, as I forgot to trace the card before giving it away.

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    OK after drilling etc I test fitted the back plate to the shroud.

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    Cool, so it all lines up OK. I then put the card onto the shroud like this.

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    OK so no clearance issues that side. I then marked out the inside of the back.

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    OK so this is where all of the stuff on the back of the card is that would make the plate go wonky. I ground it out (this takes a good set of hands)

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    And whilst I was there I made a 5mm LED holder out of 8mm left over acrylic.

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    I then coated the inside with scrap silver vinyl. I did this because I do not want the light to bleed through the back plate as it will show the shape of the tiny card in there lol. I need to do this again in black, but it would need two coats any way (of vinyl) unless you used really thick 3M.

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    No messing about now, glue it in with power glue lol.

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    I used what I had left over of 3M to make a light block for the LED holder. Glued that in too. Later I will go over all of the silver again.

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    OK so now it is time to finally give away the colour scheme. You will note I have been hiding the colour of the acrylic so far.

    Basically it is similar in ways to Rise Of The Triad, because it is a play on shades and textures of the same colour. In ROTT I used black chrome on matt black. For Elvis (soon to be renamed) I am using gloss lime green on candy apple metallic green.

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    NB - those are just scraps I made a swatch with.

    Bring out the plotter !

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    Glue has now dried.

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    Clean all of the parts ready for decals.

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    Mask decal.

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    Enter the Killer....

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    All that is left to do now is more light masking (30 second job) and ten minutes of soldering and braiding for the LEDs.
     
  7. Hukkel

    Hukkel James' minion

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    You are really going at it man :)
    Enjoy!
     
  8. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Yes enjoying it a lot Tim :)

    There's really not anything more fun that polishing turds :D
     
  9. MooZ91

    MooZ91 Member

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    love this kind of projects... Looks really good.
     
  10. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Thanks man :)

    So the doorbell just went. It was Hermes.

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    A power supply perhaps? felt a bit light.

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    Oh wait no, it's the ram cooler lol.

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    The only thing I did not know about this thing was how to get it apart. I studied photos of it for ages but could not see how the inner fins were held in. I was worried they were like pressed in or something, but....

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    Seems the fan holds them down. I've had a good look at it appears to use 3mm LEDs. I will connect it up later and buzz the LEDs to see how much voltage they are getting.

    Not sure if I will change the LEDs yet (it will be really fiddly) or cut them out or just leave them red.
     
  11. GeneralFun

    GeneralFun Lurker with tools

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    I've been away from the project logs for too long.
    You're my first read since coming back.
    Great ingenuity and resourcefulness.
    Keep on keeping on!
     
  12. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Cheers fella :)
     
  13. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Not a bad day from the postman. One of them was from Hong Kong, these are the exciting ones. Sadly my GPU block did not arrive :(

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    A4 black 3mm acrylic (for the feet) Sharpie (for touch ups possibly, only on the CPU bolts) some lime green vinyl and 8 LED strips. If it all goes to plan these will be inbuilt and you won't see a single one of them.

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    Duly tested of course. Hate the uneven nasty green shrink on there but that will come on any way and be replaced with black shrink and green paracord.

    Had a bit of a result too. I got an email from the guy in China who I bought those two pumps from basically telling me they were going to be delayed because of customs for up to 30 days. In other words, he doesn't have them in stock and has wasted a week of my time.

    It's not all bad though, because I actually don't even need them any more and it's £5.88 back into the pot for smalls :)
     
  14. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    So probably the last log of the day is this.

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    It doesn't look like much I know but it's had three coatings of silver dinoc. You won't see this unless you literally stick your head in the rig (and I doubt a head will fit at the end) but it's there to hopefully eliminate any light bleed.

    If it still acts up I will order some cheap black stuff, then coat it with black and then silver again. I will not be using Dinoc on this project. It was fun back in the day but there are vinyls now which literally look like custom paint jobs (the candy apple metallic for example) so there's no need to stick carbon fibre everywhere.

    I have now mapped the panel into Photoshop with the exact dimensions etc.

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    That took me about an hour. Hence why something as small as a network card can take an entire day. It's not just cutting and sticking things on it has to be mapped out and put through Photoshop first.

    I will probably begin the design on that tomorrow and hopefully have it all cut and masked so it can be done :)
     
  15. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    So earlier tonight (much earlier, seven hours ago !) I designed the graphics for the face panel. I decided to ramp up the difficulty a little.

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    It's about 90% done. By the time I was done picking vinyl I had about an inch thick of hexagons lol.

    Will get some pics tomorrow, when hopefully it will be complete.
     
  16. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    The keen eyed among you will notice that ATM there are two visible joins. One goes up into the case so you can't see it and the other will be covered by an engraved plaque.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    OK so today's job was making the back plate for the GPU. However, again I wanted to up the difficulty a little. In the past I would simply draw around the GPU and cut out a piece of plastic before sticking it on with double sided foam. However, it's gappy and uneven. I mean don't get me wrong it looks 100% better than no back plate but yeah, not exactly what I had in mind for Elvis. This will be made worse by the completely standard and ugly M3 bolts the GPU block comes with. I don't want to see them at all.

    I wanted a two phase design that would go from black to green. So the first thing I did was put the back of the GTX 950 under the scanner, as this card is unique to MSI.

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    I decided that today I was going to take you guys through about 90% of the process so you can see what goes into this. So here is the GPU with the unimportant parts and scrap area cut off.

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    I then created a 5mm frame.

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    Then with Photoshop I reduced the opacity so I could see what it would hit.

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    OK, so now everywhere it fouls a resistor or solder pin ETC I had to cut. Here it is with all of the problematic areas removed.

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    Some of that ends up around 1mm thick lol. Still, nothing ventured nothing gained and failure is always an option :D

    So I changed the colour to black for the plotter.

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    Now I needed some vinyl. I am using leftover scrap that I nearly threw out to cut templates.

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    Cut a 10" strip so I can fit it in the plotter width wise.

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    Cut down to A4 height (around 300mm)

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    Note, when you take it off of a roll like that you need to squeegee it to get the creases etc out. I have already done that in the pic. OK into the plotter.

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    I have marked two for cutting however I will not be using them both. I always cut two of everything in case something gets screwed up or I mess up peeling. The issue is this part may change shape slightly due to heat and stress. Remember, I am really pushing it here with 1mm tolerances with a Dremel. No machines, no CNC, just my hands and a 25mm spinning blade.

    Here they are cut but you can't see it too well due to the yellow.

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    First peel. This is the easy one.

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    Second peel is considerably more difficult as that very thin frame gets snagged and wants to lift and go out of shape.

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    Talking of out of shape. Make sure you measure it to make sure it is the correct dimensions. It's easier to pull it around a bit on a slippery piece of backing than it is once you have stuck it down.

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    OK so we are within .5mm which is good enough.

    Note, I do not photograph the actual work stage. The reason is that my best camera is a part of my phone and I don't want to wreck it. There's not much to see any way, just me wearing a gas mask with a Tshirt over my head pulled down to below my eyes and concentrating.

    I will leave Morgan Freeman to explain how the next bit works. This is from The Shawshank Redemption..

    Geology is the study of pressure and time. Thats all it takes really... pressure... and time...

    It fits.

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    Bogey time.

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    I deliberately over cut this by .5mm so I could sand back. Obviously if I hit the black too hard I will blow through the thin edges, so I made the green slightly larger so that I can sand it into the black rather than the other way around.

    OK so what I have done here is completely tape off the edges and seal them. This is so that the Plastic Weld will not pee out of the edges and wreck the piece.

    Talking of which.

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    About fifteen minutes later after I was sure the reaction had completed and.

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    Not bad. I will sand it later, once I am absolutely certain that the process has completely finished. Once it does? you wouldn't get that off with a hammer and chisel.

    I bet you are now thinking "hey, he has missed that cut off bit at the end"

    I didn't :D

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    Like a glove.

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    Once I have done sanding and edge polishing I will design some graphics for it.
     
  18. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Edge polish and decal and it's ready :)

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    Really can't wait to get the white cooler off and fit the block !
     
  19. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Time to start sorting out the PSU. I cut the Cougar parts yesterday before having a nap. So this morning I got out the lime green gloss vinyl and finished cutting them.

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    And finished.

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    It's not a bad match with the acrylic either. Tiny bit darker, but you won't see it any way given it will be behind the shroud I made.

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    The PSU.

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    Pah !

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    And it's open. Wasn't terribly happy that they had glued the fan plug to the socket though FFS.

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    And

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    The badge fought me at first but was no match for the heat gun (from behind) and the Isoprop.

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    Some of you may remember one of my side mods when I was building the Triad rig. It was a paint booth, handy that !

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    It will turn to flat when it dries.

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  20. jamsand

    jamsand Well-Known Member

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    I've no idea where this is going but this is one of my favourite mods at the moment
     

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