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Case Mod - In Progress Project: Lumière Noire by E.E.L. Ambiense - Completed

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by E.E.L. Ambiense, 8 Apr 2008.

  1. Aterius Gmork

    Aterius Gmork smell the ashes

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    Hmm, if you are already done, can't you give us an update every day? Something like a bedtime story so we might sleep peacefully?:D
     
  2. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    LOL. No, I'm not completely done; I'm remodding things. But the updates will come regularly, I'm hoping. I've been planning them out...dosing them out...like a rehab clinic. :D
     
  3. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Currently Rebuilding

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    All you people and your little cases...

    (by little, I mean I fitted my 4th rad yesterday...)

    No, dead serious this is a very interesting project. I'm probably only a few hours away from you, we should get together and mod sometime...
     
  4. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Hahahaha! 'Little' is right, lol. My measily dual loops. Man, I'm lazy! ;)

    I appreciate the kind words, man. Yeah, I'd like to mod with ya. I just have a really tight schedule. I work full-time, as well as run a business after-hours and on weekends. I sleep maybe 3-4 hrs a night, and the rest is spent trying to catch up on Lost and other decent TV shows on disc. I barely have time to mod regularly like I used to. And I miss it. But I guess ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?
     
  5. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    April 9th Update!

    Alright, folks! I got a little more juicy stuff for ya. I'll get right to it; I don't have anything witty or sarcastic to say right now; I'm working on virtually no sleep. :(

    Oh, before it slips my mind when I ramble on, I greatly and sincerely appreciate the kind person(s) who gave me stars! And I'm even more appreciative of any and everyone who looks in on the log here! I'll try not to let you all down.

    To keep with my theme for the case, I wanted to make fan grills for the fans in the system. But only one fan in the system would be directly seen anyways, so that's the only one getting these grills. But that won't stop me from making extras though. ;) The front already has it's own grill, and the rad fans will get their own grills, so this one is getting this fan grill. Did any of that crap I just said make any sense to any of you? Yeah, me neither. :confused: Anyways, here we go.

    Designing the fan grill... The stealthing plate for the optical drive's tray is there too, but in an earlier revision, if you're wondering what the hell that is. I'll get to that soon.

    [​IMG]

    ...And cut. Nice!

    [​IMG]

    I just need to polish the edges with some trusty Novus® polish and it'll be all done. I'll be mounting this to the fan inside the case along with the typical AC Ryan's MeshxPanel™ modder's mesh behind it. I know it cuts airflow a bit on the fan, but it's more or less for aethetics. And this is all about aesthetics, along with performance as well. The fan will actually be pointed in the case instead of an exhaust on the back due to balancing the pressure a bit because of the top triple rad, so it'll also have one of my favorite FilterRight™ 120mm Black Aluminum Fan Filters installed on the outside of the case. They work great and cut out all the dust crap that normally gets sucked into your rig.

    Here's the fan all done and installed. Nice! I removed the badging from the fans like I normally do. I'm weird like that.

    [​IMG]

    My system also has an aftermarket soundcard. I HATE onboard sound. I don't care what anyone says; nothing takes place of a decent high-quality soundcard in terms of audio reproduction. Onboard just doesn't offer that to me. There IS a difference!

    Anyways, enough of my elitist audiophile spewing!

    The card I'm using is an X-Fi Extreme Gamer. To keep with the theme, I'm making my typical stealthing plate for it to match the video card. Here's the design for the card all measured out and within tolerance.

    [​IMG]

    ...And cut and installed. Sorry I don't have a pic of it fresh off the bed. :( It's weird; it looks scratched but it isn't. It's the angle of the pic. It picked something up in it I guess. Oh well.

    By the way....this acrylic is smoke gray. I was going to leave it transparent, but changed my mind. I spray painted both the video card's and this card's stealthing plates in epoxy black on the reverse side to make it more 'opaque'. I did this mostly because the video card is a friggin' green PCB...again, and you can see the color really bad. Yes, that bothers me. :D I was hoping at the time I got the hardware (back a ways...) that I'd get one of the earlier G80's that came on a black PCB, but I didn't. Argh.

    [​IMG]

    To continue on with the stealthing panels for the front of the case, I'm making the other two now. The middle one houses the controls for the case. Two red bulgin switches for power and reset; three rheostats for control of the top rad's fans; and three red LED rocker switches for the LED lighting in the case. I also decided to design and engrave two little symbols next to each bulgin switch stating what they are for. I.E. my version of 'power' and 'reset' symbols.

    Here's the other two panels in the design phase... Different from my conceptual drawing, but that's fine. It's better this way anyways. All acrylic reverse-mounted on the panels, and matching size socket cap screws.

    [​IMG]

    ..And cut. Again, sorry if it seems like I'm jumping. No pics at the time of cutting. :(

    [​IMG]

    Here's a close-up of the optical drive's bay. I'm stealthing the burner entirely, except for the tray which will have a matching acrylic panel that will close flush over the surrounding acrylic. Initially the idea was to have the tray close flush so you can't see the tray at all, but this works better for me. In the event of needing to remove either the burner or the front panel from the case, I'm installing the tray's cover with velcro for easy removal. ;)

    [​IMG]

    And speaking of the burner, here's the burner prepared for stealthing. I made a button extension out of layers of acrylic scrap bonded together with JB Weld and attached to the stock button. It sticks through the acrylic plate so it acts as a new easy-to-push button.

    [​IMG]

    I'm disassembling the burner for coating as well as changing the stock status LED in it to red to keep in the theme. The metal is being coated in this bad-ass gun-metal color. I friggin' LOVE this color. :rock:

    Here are some handles for the top of the case that is also getting coated in gun-metal.

    [​IMG]

    ...And all coated. Nice.

    [​IMG]

    -------------
    Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:
     
  6. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I'd still like to know roughly how much you are charged for laser cutting. If it's free I'm driving to Florida to kill you.:D
    -Or maybe I'll just e-mail you some .eps files to cut.
     
  7. craigbru

    craigbru Cramming big things in small boxes since 2006

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    I'll meet you in Texas, and we can ride down together... :)
     
  8. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Charged? :hehe: no, wait-- :worried:
     
  9. MrWizard

    MrWizard New Member

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    Hehe...seriously though, the laser cutting machine is the greatest modding tool ever devised. The results of that thing are SO clean!!

    Yet again E.E.L., you never fail to impress. /applause
     
  10. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Currently Rebuilding

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    You could make a killing just cutting stuff for us... I know I'd make a whole case if I could get it cut at a decent price. I want a new acrylic case anyway...
     
  11. x06jsp

    x06jsp da ginger monkey!!!!

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    looks awesome as allways :thumb:
     
  12. phinix

    phinix RIP Waynio...

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    ok.. YOU have got to tell me where do you cut your stuff!!!
    Name the price and I will send you some stuff to cut for meeeee PLEEEEEAASSEEEEE:D

    Those grills are sweeeet - do you have access to laser cutter for free? I'm sure lot of guys here would pay you for cutting some stuff, you could make a fortune!:D
     
  13. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    It is, definitely. You just can't beat decently cut stuff. Thanks, man! I appreciate the kind words.

    :hehe: See below...

    Thanks, man!

    Thanks, bro!

    Let's just say I have...occasional...access to some Trotecs. All the difficult stuff is done by me beforehand; i.e. designing and setting up the stuff digitally. Cast acrylic is purchased from Delvie's.

    I wish I could offer a service or something like that, but I'm just not seeing it as possible at this time. The amount of time on it would counteract the main use and reason for the lasers themselves; i.e. awards, plaques, etc. not to mention jeopardizing my job! The Trotecs cost like $75,000 each too.

    I'm going to talk to the decision-makers about it though. I'll let you guys know.

    I'm feeling terrible today. I went home yesterday with a migraine so strong, I was nauseous. Last night I felt achy all over, and today is no different. I hope I'm not getting the Flu or something, because it feels like that. But no congestion or anything. I know what it is... Voodoo! Someone's hexxing me, dammit! I know it!
     
  14. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    This is looking great. Keep up the excellent work.
     
  15. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Thanks, man! I will.
     
  16. Rocket733

    Rocket733 Austerity - It's the only way

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    Oh no :worried: I hope you feel better (so you can keep working on this project!)
     
  17. MrWizard

    MrWizard New Member

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    :duh: I was going buy one, too... I wonder if there's anything 'cheap' out there that can actually handle case mods...:confused:
     
  18. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    Thanks, man. I know...I want to get to work on it too! I also need to finish up Building Better Worlds.... :(

    :lol: I know. I'm going to talk to the superiors though. Just need some time.
     
  19. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    OOPS. Look what I started. Sorry, I should have PMed you.
    @MrWizard - I havent seen any home-built lasers yet. Craftsman has the cheapest CNC machine out, but the design sucks and it requires expensive proprietary bits.
     
  20. E.E.L. Ambiense

    E.E.L. Ambiense Acrylic Heretic

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    April 15th Update!

    Update time!

    Alrighty. Back from the virtual dead. I got the Flu, or some other culmination of evil tropical diseased infliction. But I'm feeling much much better than I did, that's for sure. I actually took Friday off work because I couldn't actually, you know, uhh...move. So it kind of makes it difficult to print shirts and stuff when I'm laid out. The good thing is, I caught up on a lot of "Lost" episodes on DVD! :thumb:

    Right to it, then. I need to pump in some more updates. Jeez, did I have to use the term 'pump'? Sounds....disgusting! :naughty:

    First up on the chopping block is the top panel's rad grill. Those that are in 'the know', know that there really aren't very many options for Thermochill rads as far as grills are concerned, and the handful that are available really aren't my style. As usual, I tend to make custom grills instead of buying off-the-shelf stuff because I just like doing things my way and to keep the use of stock stuff to a minimum. I know, I'm a hard-ass about that stuff. ;) I had to make a Thermochill PA template (and had to remake by measuring the rad proper because the specs pdf from the manufacturer isn't entirely...accurate as far as modeling line art goes. :grr:....:D). No troubles though. I like doing stuff like this. It's part of my job!

    After I had all the proper measurements, I went to actual styling phase for a grill. Here's what I came up with.

    [​IMG]

    I love it, and it suits my needs perfectly. It, of course, will be cut out of transparent gray acrylic. I actually painted the back side of it black though, due to the red LED fans were a bit overbearing when it's assembled. I'll supply a finished pic in a bit as I have some other things I need to shed light on too.

    Here's a similar grill I cut along with the one I'm using that essentially the same except a vertical line. I peeled back some of the paper to show the grill.

    [​IMG]

    As I stated at the beginning of the log, there will be two loops going in this thing. And I'm using fill ports for both, which were located on the top front of the previous build. I'm keeping them in the same spot here. I removed the USB/breakout panel inserts off the stock case and hole sawed matching holes for the fillports. The fill ports being used are DangerDen delrin units. Love these things.

    To keep things matching in the aesthetics department, I made a 'mount' for the fillports instead of just slapping them on the case naked. The shape of it is consistent with the rest of the build's acrylic accoutrements. It will be mounted with four matching black oxide socket cap screws, like the rest of the case. Here's the design.

    [​IMG]

    I measured and painstakingly designed a template for cutting out the top panel. I'm a freak about that stuff. I wanted everything exactly where I pictured it while mocking up. It took me over an hour alone just to make sure all measurements were within tolerance. Here's my template I made. LOL @ all the damn registration marks.

    I then went to town with a drill, two different sized hole saws, and a lot of patience. Then I mounted the fill ports.

    [​IMG]

    After the fillports were mounted, I decided to add small matching "rings" to raise them up a hair bit more. Not much of a difference, but it looks cool! :hehe: Here's the top panel all cleaned up and assembled with the radgrill, fillports and handles installed. I'll have better pics when the build's done...again.

    [​IMG]

    The second rad going in the case is a PA 120.1, which will be mounted at the bottom front of the case. The fan will be pushing in. Obviously, with such a thick rad going in there, I'd have to lose the stock HDD rack, right? Right. So I did! I wanted to use HDD silencers anyways, so this works out fine. Besides, you know me and stock stuff! The Scythe Quiet Drive HDD Silencers are wonderful little things. Well, big things. They fit a 3.5" HDD inside them and are 5.25" bay size themselves. But these aren't going to fit in the 5.25" drive bays because there is no room there for them. I'll shed light on that in a bit. Anyways, the silencers. Here's a stock pic of them...

    [​IMG]

    I have a twin set of these. but where am I going to put them? Hm... :idea: I got it. I'll make one out of acrylic! So I went about measuring these HDD silencers and making a raw template for them. I needed something that would securely hold the HDDs without damage and without noise. And look good. And fit in front of the rad down in front of the case. Here's what I came up with for a measure-accurate mockup.

    [​IMG]

    And the design for cutting. It'll be heat-bent on a simple jig (i.e. a table edge). :hehe:

    [​IMG]

    After assembly, it will be secured to the case with four socket cap screws. And let me tell you, coupled with the HDD eclosures, I can't hear the drives. All I can hear is an occasional muffled seek from the Raptor. That's it. Problem solved!

    In case you're wondering if the HDDs would heat up too much because of the enclosures plus being right smack in front of the rad's heat exhaust blowing on them, it's not a problem. Under full load, both HDDs ran around 35-36 degrees. And that's with the previous board's chipset OCed and a southbridge and two mosfet blocks (that rad's old loop) and the side panels on. Here, with the new board running cooler and only one block in the loop it won't be a problem at all.

    Here's everything all cut, bent and assembled. Again, sorry for action pics or anything. I used matching socket cap screws to mount the drive holders as well, to keep in with the theme.

    [​IMG]

    -------------
    Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:
     
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