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Scratch Build – In Progress Project Mini Impossible (itx based)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by rchiileea, 11 Jan 2010.

  1. rchiileea

    rchiileea Minimodder

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    Welcome to the Mod log of a project I had an idea for going way back a couple of years, I wanted to create a one off PC that featured around a mini ITX mobo. Now while I wanted it to remain small, I wanted to ensure I had a high or high spec machine, also I wanted to ensure it was water-cooled on the graphics and CPU and used a twin 120.2 radiator (not asking for much am I).

    The main problem with this was that despite the fact the hardware was available now, there still was not an enclosure that would suit my needs... then I found Protocase and asked if they would be interested in letting me test their service for this project and luckily for me they agreed.

    Now I had that sorted it was time to grab hardware for the mod, thanks to kind donations from the various manufactures bellow for making this mod possible.

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    Special thanks goes to the guys over at immacula for helping source the majority of parts, cheers guys! – You know who you are. Now before we move on and get on to the specifics we will talk about the hardware.

    Next Instalment – Let’s see the Hardware chosen
     
  2. rchiileea

    rchiileea Minimodder

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    First Port of call on the hardware side was Zotac who had exactly what I needed in the shape of the Zotac GeForce 9300-itx wifi Mini ITX motherboard .

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    This board was ideally suited to this mod, due to the fact not only did it support Intel 755 quad core CPU’s, it also boasts a PCI-Express x16 Graphics slot. This made it ideal for the project as it meant I could use any graphics card. My contact for Zotac suggested the Zotac 285 GTX infinity model that would suit the project as it comes pre fitted with a waterblock and is already Overclocked.

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    I really had to think about this as the card would add length to the design I wanted to create, but after some thinking decided to make the mod great this will be ideal.

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    Second Port of call was Memory and Power supply, Naturally I went to the guys I have worked on previous projects with OCZ and decided on a OCZ Z series 850 modular PSU and a 4 Gig set of 1200mhz DDR2 Flex XLC modules.

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    At the last Minute the Surprise edition was a OCZ Vertex Turbo SSD and what a nice addition it will be.

    Protocase (as seen here) Offered their skills to let me have the freedom to design my own enclosure to house all these products, for those of you that don’t know who Protocase are take a look at the building service they offer for custom enclosures. You can literally have almost any design built, but I have to warn you it is not cheap. And no I have not got a picture as the case was is design stage at time of writing this.

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    Razor also kindly offered to supply me with a Mamba Wireless/ Wired mouse, and a Lycosa keyboard, both of which will be sent off to be airbrushed to match the theme.

    On the cooling front, Cool IT stepped in and supplied a custom dual radiator kit for the mod, yes that is right we are going to squeeze a 120.2 radiator and CPU block into the mix, to help cool it all, it Even came with a pump fitted, it will be interesting to see how this performs as it comes from their OEM side.

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    Of course none of this would work without a CPU and they guys over at Intel supplied us with a Q8200 to suit the Zotac 9300 itx mobo.

    Lamptron, we managed to grab some 4” UV tubes, orange strip lights and of course a orange ring switch, all of which was needed for the mod.

    pioneer who I have worked with in the past, to provide me with a slim DVD drive, they sent over one of the new slot loading types which suited the mod perfectly.

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    Finally I had to order some parts and spares of my own, this included some UV orange acrylic, some black tinted acrylic, a few extra water cooling parts and a swiftech mini reservoir from watercoolinguk. Oops I think you can see in the group shot the mamba has already been airbrushed oops again, more on this later.

    Next Update we will be looking at my Design and Concept of the Case
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2010
  3. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    That Zotac motherboard has given me nothing but trouble. Good luck with yours :thumb:
     
  4. rchiileea

    rchiileea Minimodder

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    How, ? is it the windows 7 (read your thread and am watching it now)
     
  5. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    First that, then I got it working with XP and now it won't give me display. No amount of CMOS reset (jumper or battery method) will help. I think the total uptime of this board has been less than the total downtime. It's so ridiculous that it's almost funny.

    Add to that the fact that I bought it while I was at Univ in the USA so the Zotac India service folks are refusing to touch it.
     
  6. Bufo802

    Bufo802 Minimodder

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    Will be interested to see how this goes, hopefully will be making a similar (m-itx possibly with watercooling) in the future. The custom case definitely sounds interesting.
     
  7. rchiileea

    rchiileea Minimodder

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    Back yet for another post, here is how the design stage went.

    Well to put it in a nut shell I was very excited about the prospect of designing my own case, but that is where the excitement stopped.... yes that is right it stopped, you don’t actually realise until you actually start designing on google sketchup how hard designing a whole enclosure from the ground up is.

    Here take a look at one of my early designs....

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    Well erm yeh as you can see it is a bit pants don’t you think, I did lol.... planning a mod, to fit a mini ITX based system was.. well quite a task, I have to tell you I went through about 10 designs before I realised I best go about this simple and design the section for the mobo and Graphics card first, then move onto the rest. Here is how I got started.

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    Now I Had the basic design that would hold the motherboard and Graphics in place it was time to work around it,

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    This was the first section of the case I came up with, There were 2 problems though, first was the curve and of course second was the fact I needed HDD space, DVD drive space and radiator space to name a few, also I don’t think that the curve will be able to get a laser cut done in it. So I added some changes and a lower section.

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    After a few months tweaking and pulling, deleting and repositioning this was the final design I came up with, take a look at the pictures bellow to see how this looks from different angles.

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    Well I never claimed to be a Designer you know but working with Protocase has its advantages. Now I have done the design it was sent off to Protocase for some tweaks before final product will be made, It took a month or so and a few emails to and throw to get a final design done. Here is the final mock up before the case was made.

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    Just a little bit of re coloring here and there and we have our final mock up of the finished item for me to approve, here are some shots of how I was hoping to get it to look after powder coating it.

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    As you can see the Case plan was done positioning of the main components are exactly in the places I wanted, there are other things I had to take into account for this design and that was having enough room for res, pump, lights and of course power cables of course coming out of a full size PSU.

    I am personally happy with it, why it is slightly bigger than I had intended (for some idea of size those are 120mm fans in the case) there would be plenty of room for all the parts. So I agreed to the design and off it went to be made.

    While that was going on it was the right time to send the keyboard and mouse off to be airbrushed.

    Next Instalment – Getting the keyboard and mouse done
     
  8. yakyb

    yakyb i hate the person above me

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    I Like It


    keep up the good work ,

    - on a side note just discovered a plastics factory by me, makes me want to start modding again
     
  9. MarkW7

    MarkW7 Total Noob

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    Looks like a good plan, subbed.
     
  10. Sheiken

    Sheiken Wat?

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    I'm sorry to be a d*ck, but why all the hassle for the itx board, when your final design EASILY could fit atleast an m-atx board?
     
  11. rchiileea

    rchiileea Minimodder

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    It is not being a d**k it is being curious dont worry

    Case would need to be a lot wider and a lot taller to house all the components with good airflow.. Yes I could of probaly got away with it by making the case wider by 4 or 5 inches, or I could of made it 2 inches higher and squashed everything in.. with mobo up the traditional way.

    But that way were would the airflow come from, also there would be the the issue of no rear fan (apart from the CPU one, I also would of not been able to fit the memory with the barbs in..( according to google sketchup tape measure)..

    I like the small micro ATX cases on the market (as well as mini ITX) but for me they all had the same issue when small... (squashed components) and not enough room for watercooling)

    Plus the case is so small i wanted to ensure I got 3 windows in there, the Graphics card side is going to be the main etch, the window on roof is well getting etched the same as pictures above. and the other side (were you will be able to peak inside) will have a Mini Impossible logo Etched in...

    (lol the above was only meant to be a few lines to explain)....:p

    Any way i am going to try to get home early today to get photos of keyboard and mouse done properly to post up tonight or tomorrow.. stay tuned:thumb:
     
  12. Sheiken

    Sheiken Wat?

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    I was thinking loud ;)
    But I am looking forward to seeing the work, and especially the finished product!
    Although I am not yet totally convinced :D
     
  13. Bufo802

    Bufo802 Minimodder

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    Roughly what size is the case for the final design?
     
  14. rchiileea

    rchiileea Minimodder

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    Damn, just Got back in so ill have to photos of keyboard tomorrow...


    Google sketch up with Micro ATX added instead of ITX

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  15. imersa

    imersa Parvum Princess

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    should be impressive! nice designs !
     
  16. n0va

    n0va Burnin'!

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    Duuuuude! Seriously! How did you get Razer as a sponsor O___O

    I love sff builds, will follow this for sure :p
     
  17. rchiileea

    rchiileea Minimodder

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    A lot of pestering over a few months (and a special thanks to DAZ - you know who you are)
     
  18. rchiileea

    rchiileea Minimodder

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    Back again with the keyboard and mouse pics hope you enjoy.

    To think of a design to match the mod was a daunting task as well... as the mod was called Mini Impossible I thought I would help tie the keyboard and mouse in by having Mini Impossible airbrushed in the same orange (as close as we could get) as the side powder coated panels with the Mini Impossible logo.

    For the keyboard I went for this design (done in photoshop)

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    I actually had a change of mind on this one and done something similar that looked a bit better in my opinion, plus i wanted the rest to match the black gloss finish on the keyboard itself.

    So off the keyboard and mouse went to Rick over at RB customs to do the work, I had decided on a fuse wire theme for the keyboard to give that mission impossible feel, So it would tie in with the mini impossible theme.

    Finally the keyboard and mouse turned back up and I personally think they came out great and will match the case really well, take a look for yourselves.

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    I was pleased with the finish Rick managed to get, after sanding the armrest down, spraying on the logo and wording he managed to match the arm rest to the black gloss on the keyboard and gave it a very nice finish, as you can see in the top picture the design is now more symmetrical and looks better (in my opinion) than the original one I had done.

    Onto the mouse shall we, after chatting with Rick via various emails I asked him could he do a take on the Razor logo on the mouse and to add to it to finish it off in the same reflective gloss black as the keyboard. I was hoping this would come out well and I was not disappointed.

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    Overall I am very pleased with the outcome of the keyboard and mouse and they should tie in with this project nicely, the black gloss finish matches the keyboard so all in all a gold star for Rick over at RBcustoms.

    Next Instalment – The case arriving back from Protocase
     
  19. DeadP1xels

    DeadP1xels Social distancing since 92

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    Very nice start on the peripherals liking the way this is going! :rock:

    Sub'd :thumb:
     
  20. rchiileea

    rchiileea Minimodder

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    Ah bloody Etches, I got the top window etch sorted (intel cooled by Coolit) the Right side planned (mini impossible logo) will be same as keyboard, but only one lit fuse end.

    The thing is I am now stuck on the Graphics card side, I have been looking for weeks for something to fit in with the mission impossible theme, I have searched high and low for a high quality picture from Mission impossible 1 when his hanging in front of the PC.. Even bought the blue ray to get it but still the face is a bit blured.. I might have to go for something else (hint for ideas anyone).

    So another day spent searching...
     

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