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Scratch Build – In Progress Project: Kai

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by prosser13, 29 Mar 2008.

  1. prosser13

    prosser13 Hasn't got a Dremel!

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    Hey everyone :)

    This is a worklog of my first case mod - it was started in around July of last year, and built for a modding competition on a small modding forum. Since that competition ended, it has had a few changes and is now finally approaching completion; I would call it 99% complete :D

    I won't give any more away, apart from a warning that it may be death by pictures; there are a lot of "mini updates" rolled into one!

    The plans were as follows (pen and paper over CAD any day please!)

    Case Front:

    [​IMG]

    Case Side:

    [​IMG]

    Case back:

    [​IMG]

    Dimensions are 25cm wide, 30cm high and 30cm deep, so not too big but enough room to work in. These were also the competition size limits! :eek: There was also a recommended budget of £50, so my tight student budget wouldn't be too stretched...

    The problem I find with myself is that I wander off and quickly form new ideas and then begin doubting my first image. I really had no idea what the end product would look like!

    My other idea from the start was that the case HAD to be useable, as it would have a fully functioning and moderately powerful PC inside it...because of this, airflow was very important, made even more important by the fact the graphics card I decided on and bought was a passively cooled one...

    A trip to B&Q got me two of these for £13:

    [​IMG]

    2cm by 2cm by 1.5mm thick, and 1.5 metres each meaning a total of 3m. Just what I had in mind :)

    [​IMG]

    It also has quite a nice finish, which gave me an idea for the final finish - rather than painting, I decided brushed aluminium was definitely the way to go :)

    After a lot of cutting with a hacksaw I end up with this: 8 x 30cm and 4 x 25cm.

    [​IMG]

    I then mocked up the top and the bottom - here's the bottom (or is it the top....)

    [​IMG]

    The trusty pillar drill:

    [​IMG]

    And a riveter, made sometime in the early 1900s supposedly...(possibly)

    [​IMG]

    Getting on a bit now (needs to be squeezed and opened 3 or 4 times per rivet!)

    After some more hard work and a nice long tea break both the top and the bottom were drilled and riveted together:

    [​IMG]

    Next it was onto the base, which I cut from a scrap piece of acrylic I had lying around and sprayed with some grey primer (the only paint I had at the time in the workshop):

    [​IMG]

    I then moved onto the motherboard tray, which I made from another piece of scratched acrylic which was lying around. First I cut it to size:

    [​IMG]

    I sanded it down to a reasonable finish, primed it as well as cutting two holes - one large, one small - near the front edge for cables to pass through:

    [​IMG]

    I added an extra coat later on, but didn't get a picture. Here's a picture of the legendary grey primer - must be about 10 years old!:

    [​IMG]

    Moving back to the chassis, I drilled the neccessary holes for the upright struts, and also added the two support brackets for the motherboard tray which I cut from the remaining angle. These were secured with countersunk screws, which I countersunk slightly into the metal:

    [​IMG]

    The base was installed with four bolts which I then cut to size, one in the centre of each piece of angle making up the bottom:

    [​IMG]

    The motherboard fit was MUCH tighter than I realised, so I added some strips of electrical tape down each side:

    [​IMG]

    Next stage was motherboard washers - to help with vibrations and to save me having to hunt for all my misplaced motherboard standoffs I had an idea to use tap washers, which my grandad has millions of from his old job. I realised the washers wouldn't fit on the screws closest to the edges, so I cut some of them down:

    [​IMG]

    Next thing to do was install the motherboard - I know its bad practice to mod with components inside the case, especially (hopefully) working ones, and I don't really have any excuses! Just please don't copy!

    The fit of the holes is pretty much perfect, which makes a change :)

    [​IMG]

    And the back of the case. In the bottom half will be the PSU and I was planning on putting the hard drive there too:

    [​IMG]

    Onto the power supply mounting. First up was an appearance by some funky blue metal stuff:

    [​IMG]

    I hunted around and found the power supply backing from an old case, and after a bit of cutting and bending I ended up with this:

    [​IMG]

    I measured up and installed three bolts to hold it in place - two botlts go through the edge of the PSU backing, while another smaller one goes through the bottom corner:

    [​IMG]

    A shot from another angle:

    [​IMG]

    There are two strips of the "blue metal stuff" - the first is held in place by the back bolt, and is also held in place by the smaller bolt with a nut on the other side. The other strip is held in place by the two middle bolts for the base, one on each side, and the PSU rests on that.

    I decided that there wasn't enough space or airflow in the bottom chamber for the hard drive to be installed there, so I had another idea. I covered up the motherboard with a bag and then drilled two bolts - the alignment is awful, but luckily its not really obvious as in the end I used pretty small screws:

    [​IMG]

    I cut a piece of scrap off a sheet of metal which was originally from the back of an ancient radio, but my first set of screw holes didn't allow for enough room for the bolts - there is a small flange at the end, and the nuts were bumping into that:

    [​IMG]

    I filled the holes - as well as drilling some more holes for the actual hard drive mounting - sanded the bracket down, and primed and then sprayed the bracket black. Here it is installed:

    [IMGhttp://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/prosser13/DSC00151-800-1.jpg[/img]

    Next up was the laptop DVD drive, which I was given by a mate. I had to buy a convertor off eBay (from Hong Kong), but that was only a few quid :) Yay for things going well!

    [​IMG]

    And the convertor all connected up:

    [​IMG]

    My plans for mounting:

    [​IMG]

    This would require a small section to be filed out of the angle, but I had already filed a small bit out for the parrallel port and found it was surprisingly easy.

    I didn't get access to a workshop for a while, so I spent a bit of time designing the front grill, and ended up with this:

    [​IMG]

    It's pretty simple - just an AcRyan GlowFX with AcRyan HEXX mesh backing, and longish bolts going through the fan, which is an AcRyan Blackfire 4 :)

    With 79% airflow and a nice contrast between both the green and silver of the frame, and the green and black of the mesh, I was happy :)

    I also cut out some more mesh for the case, which will go at the bottom of the front:

    [​IMG]

    There was something missing from the project as of now...a large sheet of clear plastic!

    [​IMG]

    I was lucky to pick this up for a reasonable price from a local store, as it was twice the price at all the larger retailers and this was the Friday before the competition ended on the Sunday, so no time to order off the net! That was a 3 foot by 2 foot sheet, 4mm thick :) I also picked up some black spray paint. The black spray paint was quickly put into practice, with a coat or two on the base sheet of acrylic:

    [​IMG]

    For the top, I decided on using the window acrylic which I had lying around as its better quality stuff and it was likely to be the most knocked around if the case was placed on the floor. The two sides were reasonably easy to mark out, cut with a saw and then drill mounting holes:

    [​IMG]

    I put the nuts on the outside of the panel at the bottom, and on the inside at the top - otherwise I would have had no access to the nuts at the bottom of the panel to remove the side panel:

    [​IMG]

    I cut the top panel to size, then drilled the back for the hinge...

    [​IMG]

    The hinge got painted black too:

    [​IMG]

    There were other things for me still to work on though...first up being the back. I decided on plywood as its easy to mod for extra expansions cards. All marked up:

    [​IMG]

    In place and bolted - its held in place at the top by bolts, washers and nuts going through the (as of yet unpainted) hinge. The masking tape was because the plywood started flaking when it was cut, but when painted that held the piece in place:

    [​IMG]

    And finally ready for painting, along with the PSU bracket (ignore the fan controller front):

    [​IMG]

    Something you might note is that the plywood back has been shortened...I decided that was the best and easiest idea.

    Next up was the front panel - here it is with the switch and LED holes cut (I used a hole saw for the switch) and I then scored a circle for the 120mm fan as I don't have a large enough hole saw (yet):

    [​IMG]

    I then cut out the hole with a jigsaw and made it a nice circle after a lot of personal time with a long fine file...

    [​IMG]

    The power switch is a vandal resistant momentary switch from MNPCTech and I love it, while the power LED is a blue LED I had lying around ;) I've heatshrinked all of the power switch and LED, etc, as well as soldering them all but no pictures as they aren't that easy to install into the case!

    Onto the finishing touches - I used a 64mm hole saw to cut a hole for the 80mm HSF fan to exhaust out of. The mesh for the front, which I cut to size and secured with double sided tape:

    [​IMG]

    The front panel was secured with see through silicone sealant, and I don't know if its because it was old stuff I had lying around but not only is it transparent but it reminds me of Bluetak - if I pull reasonably hard, the panel comes off, and I can stick it back on, while it still stays transparent. Allows me to remove it easily without comprimising on anything like vibrations ;)


    This takes the log up to the point where the case was finished for the competition...it looked a bit like this:

    [​IMG]

    *takes a breath*

    I'll get the next lot of updates sorted now :clap:
     
  2. bentleya

    bentleya Lian Li Snail :)

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    nice to see you joined us over at bit-tech m8 :p i cound't see why you did'nt post it up here before

    i'm loving all the new modifoctions keep it up :thumb:
     
  3. prosser13

    prosser13 Hasn't got a Dremel!

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    Thanks bentleya, good to see you here too :)

    Anyway, let's get this up to date...

    Not much happened after the last update - I quickly found the sealent I had used wasn't strong enough for day to day usage, so the case was used by my parents day to day with no front panel. :(

    The first thing I changed were the screws. I bought a pack of 20 of M3 x 1cm black, allen key headed screws, which I used on all of the corners :)

    [​IMG]

    I drilled some holes in the front panel, originally planning to use M2.5 bolts. However, I found with a little bit of force the M3 bolts were a perfect fit with no bolts, which meant at least something had gone right with no planning! :clap:

    [​IMG]

    My next problem came when the generic PSU I had been using died on me...puff of smoke and bang, it was dead :( We've got a load of old generic PSUs lying around at work from various cases so I took one of them, but neither the 20-pin or the 4-pin ATX wires were long enough :( I bought a couple of extenders, and sleeved the 4-pin ATX extender in green AcRyan cable sleeving :)

    [​IMG]

    A view through the top:

    [​IMG]

    I sleeved the 80mm fan on the heatsink, although it's very noisy...

    [​IMG]

    I popped up to the workshop on Friday to get some final things done and finally mark this case as done - nearly there! :) This was the front edge of the top panel:

    [​IMG]

    After some filing:

    [​IMG]

    The airflow passing through the case is pretty intense and probably unneeded...

    [​IMG]

    :lol:

    One of the final things to do was to make a back panel out of black acrylic

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'll get some better pictures tomorrow :)

    Only thing left to do is reduce the noise levels...two options - fan controller, or seeing if I can get rid of the 80mm fan on the heatsink...the gap is pretty small so it might be doable:

    [​IMG]

    And finally some of my favourite shots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    MNPCTech bulgin momentary switch with AcRyan HEXX mesh

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And a random picture which I found amusing to finish!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Leviathan

    Leviathan Previously know as 'tanky_walrus'

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    That's awesome dude, I love the front fan grill the Glow Fx and the Radgrillz, looks insane!
     
  5. NZ_mod_man

    NZ_mod_man What's a Dremel?

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    Nice to see you come to share you tallent with us welcome! :)

    Keep us posted! :thumb:
     

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