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Case Mod - In Progress Project: Isis Ascendant - October 27th, Crystal indicator lights

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by longwing, 4 Jun 2009.

  1. YearZero

    YearZero New Member

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    Hi, new guy here, getting ready to post my own completed mod. Just wanted to say that this thing is crazy! Looks like something out of Silent Hill, like Pyramid Head's own machine!

    In fact...
    [​IMG]

    keep up the good work.
     
  2. Dragonphreak

    Dragonphreak Member

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    I was looking at ordering one of these cases, I also saw that walmart has them for $10 cheaper. So I figured I would pick one up sometime to play around with. I'll be keeping an eye on your log as its chauk full of usefull information on these submerged systems.
     
  3. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    Haha, that template cracked me up :hehe:
     
  4. Bad_cancer

    Bad_cancer Mauritius? 2nd speck east of africa

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    Congrats on your nomination! certainly deserved that! :D
     
  5. longwing

    longwing New Member

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    I've been beaten before the fight's even started. :p Mission's a shoe-in for the title, though It's an honor to be considered a contender.

    I feel like a painter with a gallery opening, only my painting's half finished. I have the parts for my next update though, and now I have an even better reason to turn out something impressive.
     
  6. longwing

    longwing New Member

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    I certainly hope it dosen't wind up as Piramid Head's machine, as that'd indicate some rather unpleasent things about my continued breathing. :eyebrow:

    Besides, he's much more of a rust and steel-wire kind of guy. Less Victorian, more industrial.

    Which case whatsit? The tank? Moulded plastic tanks can be found at a number of retailers. The trick is to use one with no seams, to avoid leaks. As for sourcing them, ya, you can get them just about anywhere. Of course, they're not built to work with Puget System's excellent motherboard tray. Then again, the prototype version of this design was built using a stock Lian-Li motherboard tray, so a resourceful modder could convert just about any tank.

    and thanks for the compliment, re: Useful information. I try to put good info up here, thinking about every time I went looking for similar information.

    It took quite a while to make, but that doesn't mean it has to be serious. :D
     
    stonedsurd likes this.
  7. Dragonphreak

    Dragonphreak Member

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    What I meant by the comment is that the exact tank you have can be purchased from the Wal-Mart website. I will give you that it does not com prepared like the one from Puget Sound Systems, but since you have all the parts that are customized, it seemed foolish to order another tank from them and save yourself the $10.

    On my build I am looking to go father than other recent build have with the cooling system, so I may end-up being forced to build my own tank. My other concern with just using any tank is the amount of liquid, the larger the tank, the more you have to fill it and the more liquid to cool.

    Edit: I do have to say, I am really enjoying the steam-punk feel of this build, and I like the light switch, it fits in a lot better than I would have thought.
     
    Last edited: 7 Sep 2009
  8. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    Can't believe I forgot to add rep and stars... AGAIN! :duh:
     
  9. longwing

    longwing New Member

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    September 8th, Electrolytic Etching - Post 0

    So I'm a little behind schedule, and I'm basically liveblogging this part as I go along. You may recall my switchplate from last week? And my promise that it's meant for something grand?

    Yeah.
    [​IMG]

    This is a printed negative of the switchplate.
    [​IMG]

    Printed on Press-N-Peel Blue. PNP is meant for making printed circuit boards. Not my planned use. I'm stealing it for my project.
    [​IMG]

    What on earth for? After all, it's a switchplate, not a circuit. Right? Right, but I'm not trying to etch a PCB. I'm trying to etch a sheet of copper.
    [​IMG]

    So I have my negative transfer, and my sheet of metal. How do I actually transfer it? You're supposed to use an iron. I'm going to (literally) dust off my heat press instead:
    [​IMG]

    I picked this thing up off of ebay a year ago at a rather steep bargain. It's meant for T-shirt transfers, but when have our kind of folk ever cared about what something is meant for? :D I always knew it'd be used for this, I've just never had a good enough reason to line up all the bits I needed. It's a fantastically horrible machine, complete with Mandarin instructions and mechanical timers:
    [​IMG]

    I dial in the right temperature and time (according to the PNP instruction sheet) and let it work. The plate comes out looking like it's been properly transferred:
    [​IMG]

    But looks can be deceiving:
    [​IMG]

    Very deceiving:
    [​IMG]

    Very very deceiving :wallbash::
    [​IMG]

    Okay. This isn't working as well as I'd planned. Time to back off. At the suggestion of a brilliant friend of mine, I do a series of test prints, each one off by 30 seconds from the previous one, to find a sweet spot. I set it up on scrap brass with his help. Lorne, if you're reading, thanks dude. :thumb:
    [​IMG]

    Following the test results, I manage to pull off a successful transfer. It's not flawless, but it'll work just fine for my needs. This one I did on actual brass. The brass plates I have are a lot flatter than the copper, so the transfer takes a lot easier:
    [​IMG]

    Then I touch it up with some house paint. It'll still be flawed, but the general look of this case has always been a bit industrial and worn:
    [​IMG]

    But why am I doing all of this? Surely I'm not putting that brass-black-gray monstrosity on my case? Right? Well, not quite. It's not going on the case yet. Now that the paint is dry, I'm getting set to etch the brass. All that exposed brass is getting electrolytically etched in a copper sulfate solution. I'm doing that right now, while I'm typing. I'll be posting more either tonight or tomorrow. Succeed or fail, it's certainly a grand experiment.
     
  10. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    :thumb:Ahhh! That was a nice post.:lol:

    Acid etching, super-overkill irons, pretty steampunk graphics... It had everything. :D
     
  11. Mach

    Mach New Member

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    How are you cleaning the plates before applying the PNP? With laser printer paper, I've used acetone and a scotch brite pad with good results.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Deets here

    I'd love to know how long and at what voltage you're etching. I've been using muriatic acid & peroxide but plan to use electrolytic etching next.

    Watching....:thumb:
     
    Last edited: 9 Sep 2009
  12. Bad_cancer

    Bad_cancer Mauritius? 2nd speck east of africa

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    Hmm like cheaps said, this one had it all!!! That is definitely worth waiting to see what happens. Ive never even thought of doing this, so ill watch :D
     
  13. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    I really like that etching.
     
  14. longwing

    longwing New Member

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    September 8th, Electrolytic Etching - Post 1

    As promised, I'm taking a second day to talk about the etch. I'd wanted to pile this all into one post, but it's hardly surprising that I needed to split it up. There's quite a bit of ground to cover.

    Before I get started, I'd like to give credit where credit is entirely due. I didn't come up with this, I didn't refine it, and I didn't apply it to this purpose before anyone else. I'm copping my methods off of the inestimable Jake Von Slatt. The man is smarter than me. Go read his stuff. I'll wait.

    Back? Shiny. Let's get started.

    Electrolytic etching is basically the inverse of metal plating. Instead of pulling a metal onto your object, you pull it off of your plate. By blocking bits of the plate from exposure to your electrolytic fluid, you cause the process to selectively "bite" the metal, while leaving the covered bits untouched.

    Electrolytic etching has one advantage over traditional etching, the fluids used in electrolytic etching are fairly cheap, non-toxic and reusable. Normal etching relies on powerful acids that are difficult to obtain, maintain, and dispose safely.

    To etch something in this manner, you need a few parts. Starting with a source of DC current:
    [​IMG]

    Then you need the thing you're etching. Unlike a normal etch, electrolytic etching needs two plates. One anode, for etching, and one cathode, for pulling the metal off the anode:
    [​IMG]

    Then you need a way to cut off the current, in case you've screwed something up. Well. Granted, you don't need it, it's just a good idea. :D:
    [​IMG]

    Finally, you wire it all together, and drop your anode-cathode rig into a bath of blue vitriol (a.k.a. diluted copper sulfate, commonly sold as Root-Kill). You can find it in many hardware stores... apparently. I had no luck. Instead, I bought raw copper sulfate off ebay on the cheap:
    [​IMG]

    I let the rig churn away for quite a while, but it didn't really seem to be doing much. After an hour, I took it out and rinsed off the brass. There was definitely some movement. The cathode had developed a copper patina, and the anode was showing the slightest signs of stress.

    But not enough. After an hour, there should've been a more dramatic shift. Clearly, there wasn't enough current in my dinky radio-shack power supply. I needed to -ahem- amp things up. :D

    I pulled an oooold AT power supply from a spare case, and wired it into the rig:
    [​IMG]

    Now we're getting somewhere! After 15 minutes in the bath, I'm noticing flaking brass:
    [​IMG]

    But I'm also noticing something else... A distinct burning smell that I can't qite place... Oh, the wire's just smoking.

    :eeek: The wire is smoking!:
    [​IMG]

    Okay. There goes my emergency cutoff, which turned out to be the weakest point in the rig. Oh irony, how I hate you. :rolleyes:.

    I need another way to run the etch. One less prone to... well... fire. So I grab some of my spare copper and heat up my soldering iron. A few minutes later, I have a rig that looks a bit more like this:
    [​IMG]

    Now we're getting somewhere! Erm... Now we're getting somewhere again! I love this picture, because you can actually see the electrolytic process at work. The wires are getting noticeably hot, but not hot enough to overload the power supply or melt any of the connections:
    [​IMG]

    For a few hours, I take the plate out every 15 minutes to check on it. I'm making progress, but not quite enough. I decide to move the anode closer, thus reducing resistance and speeding the etch.
    [​IMG]

    Things were going pretty well for a while. I set a timer and went about other tasks. I was halfway though clearing out my inbox when I heard a loud SNAP from the power supply. Oops. Looks like I'd overloaded it after all. I can still smell the magic capacitor smoke* :waah:

    I need a dumber supply, one that cares a bit less about being overloaded. Others have used chargers for car batteries. For now though, I'm flat out of working equipment. I've rinsed the plate again, and it looks like I got a decent etch before my rig died, but I'm hesitant to wipe off the toner and find out.

    So I suppose this post ends on an uncertain note. We'll see. I'm not done yet, and I'll be sure to post the results as soon as I've made a decision about my next course of action.

    * - It's a little known fact that capacitors are actually pressurized chambers filled with magic smoke. You can tell, because when they overload and break, the smoke escapes and the capacitor becomes useless. It's true. The internet said so. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: 10 Sep 2009
  15. Mach

    Mach New Member

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    A cllif hanger then? Nice work so far. Too bad about the power supplies. Greenart has some tutorials on etching that suggests a fuse inline as well as a 12V halogen bulb works to limit the voltage and amperage.

    http://www.greenart.info/galvetch/beginner.htm
     
    Last edited: 10 Sep 2009
  16. Bad_cancer

    Bad_cancer Mauritius? 2nd speck east of africa

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    Thats a pity that it didnt work, i used a 6A battery charger to electrolyze the inside of my bike tank that had gotten a little rust in it.

    Electrolytic cleaning is the term i think.

    I had a nice shift of material after an hour (with a teeny electrode). Maybe you should try a charger like that?
     
    Last edited: 10 Sep 2009
  17. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Love your ghetto modding ;) :thumb:.
     
  18. Cleveland216

    Cleveland216 Carbon Fiber King

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    All I gotta say is "Damn" everytime you think you maybe have seen it all, something "new" comes along or something new to me that I havent read about. What is really awesome is 2 see people doing these fabrication process with little to no money, wow. I feel like such a noob at times
     
  19. Cleveland216

    Cleveland216 Carbon Fiber King

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    All I gotta say is "Damn"! Jus when I thought I saw it all, some people come along and do something "new!" I know etching has been around, to see it done a cheap way is real awesome. Great Work and dedication.
     
  20. GuyInTulsa

    GuyInTulsa Dremel Molester

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    Very cool for the etching process!

    Didn't know anyone in DC was this smart. :)
     

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