1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Project: Modu-Li

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by shplade, 15 Feb 2006.

  1. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Project Modu-Li:

    Discussion Thread: http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=1179415#post1179415

    This project started with a Lian Li PC60 which I've had for a long time but never had much time to mod. I'm aiming for a clean and quiet case, with a focus on making the setup as modular (hence the name) as possible for the sake of easy maintenance and expandability.

    Specs of the system:

    AMD AthlonXP 1700+ TBredB (DLT3C JIUHB) @ 2310MHz (210x11 1.7V)
    ASUS AV7600
    Leadtek A400 TDH @ 435/870MHz (16x1,6vp 1.4V)
    1GB Corsair TwinX-3200C2
    Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
    Leadtek TV2000XP Expert
    Seagate 80 GB IDE & 200GB SATA
    Antec Truepower 2.0 480W
    LiteON DVD ROM + CDRW

    At the moment its air cooled, but I plan to upgrade to a watercooling setup at some stage. Seeing as I want the system to be modular, I'd want to have the watercooling components mounted on the removable motherboard tray, so that it can all slide out in one piece.



    *NOTE* I've already started this log over at http://www.atomicmpc.com.au so for the moment these posts are just copy and paste jobs.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    So I got myself a camera. I was pretty busy last year with school and social life (zomg?!?!?) so I didn't get much modding done. Now that I'm finished school I've had alot of spare time, but only recently have I actually made any progress.

    Tonight I cut out the pressed alu grill from my PC60's removable mobo tray. I didn't take pics of the case stock, but here's what it usually looks like:

    [​IMG]

    Here's what I've done:

    [​IMG]

    It still needs a bit of cleaning up. I've also moved the fan from inside the case to the outside, which will make my lighting a tad more effective (I will show you guys this tomorrow).

    [​IMG]

    Don't mind the scratches, that was just from sanding to rub off the very hard to remove dust + grime, I'm going to sand + polish the chassis at some stage.

    Tomorrow I hope to cut a hole for a second 80mm exhaust, which will be under the existing one, like so:

    [​IMG]

    I'm going to run the wires in through a hole complete with grommet to get a clean finish.

    [​IMG]

    All visible wires in the case will be sleeved black (my theme is alu + black detail + blue lighting). To show off my wire hiding skills, I've cut a window in the right side panel. I cut it out ages ago but only recently cleaned up the edges (still needs a little work):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It shows off the space behind the drive bays where most people hide their wiring mess :p

    This is the state of the chassis at the moment:

    [​IMG]

    Not too pretty, but not to worry, its going to be cleaned. Dual top blowholes is the plan:

    [​IMG]

    I still need to trim the chassis to make them fit, that should be done tomorrow. I went with the perspex mount + countersunk holes so that I can retain the screwless look of the case. This is the hole cut in the top panel for the fans:

    [​IMG]

    Moving along to something small. For lans and such, I wanted to have a headphone jack on the front of my case, but didn't want to ruin the look of the front bezel. I've mounted a headphone socket in the front panel USB area, which as a flip up cover.

    [​IMG]

    The wires run behind the front panel past the removable hdd cage and along the right side of the case floor, terminating at a 4 pin IDC connector.

    [​IMG]

    I'm going to solder another set of wires directly to my soundcard with a 4 pin IDC socket on the end which will connect up. I did this with my previous sound card and it worked fine.

    Upward! We have a half finished job at mounting my MO 4x20 LCD (backlit blue inverse white =D ). As a bonus my mobo has an IDC connector onboard which allows the use of an additional serial port, so I don't have to run cables outside the case. Also you can see the Sunbeam Rheobus, which I modded into a proper Lian Li bay cover.

    [​IMG]

    I'll post again tomorrow with updates.
     
    Last edited: 21 May 2006
  2. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Project: ModuLi

    Project: ModuLi:

    Project Log: http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=1179411#post1179411

    This project started with a Lian Li PC60 which I've had for a long time but never had much time to mod. I'm aiming for a clean and quite case, with a focus on making the setup as modular (hence the name) as possible for the sake of easy maintenance and expandability.

    Specs of the system:

    AMD AthlonXP 1700+ TBredB (DLT3C JIUHB) @ 2310MHz (210x11 1.7V)
    ASUS AV7600
    Leadtek A400 TDH @ 435/870MHz (16x1,6vp 1.4V)
    1GB Corsair TwinX-3200C2
    Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
    Leadtek TV2000XP Expert
    Seagate 80 GB IDE & 200GB SATA
    Antec Truepower 2.0 480W
    LiteON DVD ROM + CDRW

    At the moment its air cooled, but I plan to upgrade to a watercooling setup at some stage. Seeing as I want the system to be modular, I'd want to have the watercooling components mounted on the removable motherboard tray, so that it can all slide out in one piece.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Current state:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2006
  3. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, did some work today.

    I started out by clamping an old 80mm fan to the back panel to get the fan mounting holes.

    [​IMG]

    At this point I decided that it would be easier to work if I removed the back panel from motherboard tray. The broken fan was pretty useless, or so I thought. I needed to accurately find the centre point of the fan hole as there was not a huge margin for error here. I removed the blades & axle assembly from its frame. This left me with a small hole which worked perfectly as a drilling guide.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I set the drill press up with the holesaw, clamped the back panel down and set to work.

    [​IMG]

    After much noise and slow progress, I was left with this:

    [​IMG]

    I was really happy with how it turned out. The holesaw leaves a really clean edge, but it still needs a bit of sanding to get the edges clean. I cleaned up the second fan & its grill, then mounted them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I got out my dad's box o' rivets and put the mobo tray back together. Here it is back in the case:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I said in my first post that I would show you how the fans were impairing my lighting, well this shot might help explain that. When the fans are mounted inside the case, they block the CCFL from lighting the top half of my case. This was because the CCFL was mounted right next to the fans, and light can't travel through fans.

    [​IMG]

    To the left of the fans is a CCFL, mounted in a piece of U strip aluminium. Without the U strip in place, and when viewed through the window you'd get a big shiny light in your face (ie, not cool). There's also pretty much nowhere to mount a light back there so I had the U strip also serves as a great mounting bracket. Here's a shot of the bracket:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2006
  4. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been running an Audigy 2 ZS for the past few months, and have noticed that it gets quite hot. Sometimes the heat is so bad that it causes instabilty. I've had a fan setup blowing cool air over the main chip on the card (the source of the heat) and its been running fine. It's inconvenient to have the fan there so I've gone about installing a heatsink on the chip.

    I ripped it off an old Pentium 4 mobo (dead). Here it is:

    [​IMG]

    There were two raised 'strips' running along the base of the HS which were sanded off. I then gave the card a light lapping, but didn't take pics because they weren't worth the bother. The mounting arms hit a few capacitors on the card so they were cut off. This is what the HS looks like now:

    [​IMG]

    Naked Audigy 2 ZS:

    [​IMG]

    HS mounted on the card:

    [​IMG]

    I'm waiting for the AS thermal adhesive to dry before I test it out. It takes up 2 PCI slots now, but hopefully it'll cool it down sufficiently.
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2006
  5. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wordy update.

    I've cut one side of the case chassis to allow the top dual 80mm fans to be mounted. Didn't take too long really, I'll do the other side tomorrow and trim the perspex so they can be mounted for good. None of that top section is going to be visible unless the panels are removed but I will do my best to make them look a bit nicer.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    This is my (concept) powerpole:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The idea was blatantly stolen from The Heavy Water Project which was in atomic issues 17-21 IIRC (correct me if I'm wrong). The concept is pretty simple; a hollow tube is mounted vertically inside the case and power cables are run down through it. Anywhere down the pole that you require power, you simply make a hole in the tube and run the required wires out. It makes the case look tidier IMO, and it suits the look of Lian Li cases.

    The pics are of a test piece I made to make sure the pole fit along with the rest of the case & components. Luckily the pole is just the right width that it fits perfectly between the front edge of the motherboard and the removable HDD cage. It's only a rough piece so don't worry about how it looks at this stage.

    I only plan to route three sets of power out of the pole; one to the top-most HDD bay which houses the LCD (and probably something else in the future), one to the videocard, and finally one to the HDDs in the removable HDD cage.

    The two ends of the powerpole are going to be concealed. At the bottom of the case the false floor will conceal ~10mm of the pole which will allow me to route power to the bottom of the case without the wires being visible. The top of the pole will be concealed by a 'false roof'.

    [​IMG]

    Looking at that picture you should see the curved profile of the top drive bays and PSU area. I plan to cut & bend a sheet of aluminium to enclose that area, essentially isolating the 5 1/4 inch bays and PSU from the rest of the case.



    There's a nice space underneath the removable HDD cage at the bottom of the case.

    [​IMG]

    Under there will be a terminal block which will serve as an oulet for power at the bottom of the case. The block will get power from the power pole which just so happens to sit right next to the HDD cage. How convenient. A bare CCFL inverter fits nicely under there, so I'll get a piece of non-conductive material (plastic?) and mount the inverter(s) down there too.

    Until next time (tomorrow). I promise I'll have more pics ;)
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2006
  6. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Progress pictures for today.

    I started off the day by cleaning up the perspex fan mount I'd fabricated for the top 2x80mm blowholes. I trimmed it to a more sensible size, rounded the corners and because it was already slightly scratched gave it the 'defyant style' frosted finish. It turned out how I wanted, so I'm happy with it.

    How it started:

    [​IMG]

    Now much nicer:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Fans screwed on:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mock-install in the case:

    [​IMG]

    Top panel on:

    [​IMG]

    It worked out exactly how I planned, all I need now is some mesh, and to clean up the cuts.



    A while ago I painted the Lian Li thumbscrews as well as the PCI slot covers in gloss black, they still need a sand and a second coat. Today was the first time I'd actually installed them on the motherboard tray. I was worried that I'd gone overboard on the black and that it wouldn't look good but they turned out pretty nice IMO.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow I'm going to properly mount the top blowholes, which means a bit of filing/sanding and then fabricating a small support bracket for the top of the case. I want to put a support up there because when I cut the chassis it left the case with little rigidity. The support will also act as a point which the perspex fan mount can be screwed to.
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2006
  7. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Minor update for tonight:

    Cleaned up the hole in the top panel and removed the masking tape. I've done a quick setup of the case to show how things are coming together.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    I'll start the left side panel window tonight and hopefully have it all done by tomorrow (minus perspex). Its going to be a rectangle with edges that are offset 40mm in from the edge of the side panel.

    I'm hoping to get to Dick Smith this weekend to get some wire, heatshrink & terminal blocks so that I can start wiring the powerpole.



    As always, comments are greatly appreciated ;)

    Discussion Thread: http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=1179415#post1179415
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2006
  8. tacticus

    tacticus What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    14 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    360
    Likes Received:
    0
    nicely done shplade your name looks familiar for some reason ¬.¬
     
    Last edited: 15 Feb 2006
  9. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    :p~~

    thx

    I didn't realise how big some of the pics were so I'm resizing atm.
     
  10. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

    Joined:
    5 Feb 2004
    Posts:
    6,363
    Likes Received:
    125
    Nice clean look so far. I think I'll steal the powerbaridea also :D
     
  11. Dj Ovin

    Dj Ovin What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    7 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looking good so far ; )

    But the frosted plexi, how did you get it so nice? have frosted a bit before, but didn't got som good result, can you share the secret with us? :p
     
  12. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Jipa & Dj Ovin

    Frosted plexi?

    Too easy ;)

    Using a piece of coarse sand paper I went nuts on the plexi, saning the surface evenly until it was all done. Then I use a small piece of wet and dry (600 grit IIRC) which had already been used previously to smooth out any scratches left over by the initial sanding.

    I was surprised how easy it was.
     
  13. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    that really nice so far.

    I like seeing simple well done mods, and thats one of them- looking forwards for more updates on your log-


    Mankz
     
  14. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alright, the support bracket is done and the top fans are mounted. It took me a few hours to do, not because it was a big job, but because it was complicated and I had to ensure that the case remained square.

    I cut two short lengths of L bracket aluminium and a length of square tube aluminium for the bracket. Its a simple design, but it works perfectly for what it is.

    [​IMG]

    One L bracket was mounted to each end of the square tube, like so:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then the bracket was attached to the fan mount:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Inside the case, you can see where the L brackets touch the case chassis:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All that was left to do was clean up the cuts I had made in the chassis and drill the mounting holes in the L brackets and chassis. All done:

    [​IMG]

    Now the bracket & fan assembly mounted in place:

    [​IMG]

    To give you an idea of how strong the bracket is, I can pick up the case using only the support bracket as in the above picture. The case is really sturdy now, it basically doesn't flex at all.



    I was going to do more work on the window today but I didn't feel like it, I'll try and do some more tonight though.
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2006
  15. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

    Joined:
    25 Nov 2001
    Posts:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    7
    [​IMG]
    ^That is a circle cutter, not a hole saw. But yes it is the perfect tool for cutting perfectly round holes
     
  16. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've really been wanting to mount my LCD for a long time, but never got around to it. I've cut the hole in the floppy bays for it, but the mounting still needs work. Here're the bays as I write this:

    [​IMG]

    The LCD in action:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ok, just now I started the mounting system. I've used the same square tube aluminium as I used on the case support bracket, this time as a base for mounting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see where I've mounted them, one on either side of the drive bay, but offset from the front of the case to allow for the PCB of the LCD. I've used the existing screw holes on the side of the drive bay to mount the two tubes with standard HDD mounting screws. All I need now is some long enough bolts to run through the new mounting points to the LCD.

    Expect to see it mounted by the end of the weekend sometime :)
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2006
  17. Dj Ovin

    Dj Ovin What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    7 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanx ; )

    Ive gonna frost a bit today, using 600grit wet sanding, and some dry sanding with some 240 or something, dont know shat we have @ home;S

    Keep Up The Good Work! ;)
     
  18. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    I made some progress today in regards to the floppy drive bays.
    The day started with a sheet of aluminium which was marked and cut with tin snips. I was left with this piece for the new false floor:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As well as this piece:

    [​IMG]

    Not the perspex and fan... hrmmm... I wonder what that's going to be? The alu & perspex were clamped together and cut to size so they would fit in the back section of the removable floppy bay:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The perspex was fabricated into a fan mount much like the one I made for the top fans. Here it is:

    [​IMG]

    You'd be surprised how easy these are to make; I can knock one up like that in 10-15 minutes. The alu was also cut to allow for the fan:

    [​IMG]

    Put them together and you get this:

    [​IMG]

    This is the type of grill I'm going to use throughout the case:

    [​IMG]

    The grills will be hammered into the holes I've cut so that they stick out a little bit.



    Ok thats the rear of the bays taken care of, now to the front. I found some suitable bolts for mounting the LCD, but they were slightly too wide. I had to drill the bolt holes in the LCD PCB so the new bolts could fit. The bolts were only just long enough to get through the mounts in the drive bay and through the daughterboard of the LCD. I only mounted it using two corners, and left the stock screws in the remaining corners to help hold the PCBs together. Pics will help explain what I've done:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    LCD mounted and running LCDC:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2006
  19. shplade

    shplade What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've just got a program to batch resize all my pics so I will be uploading the resized ones in a few minutes, so each pic will go down momentarily.
     
  20. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

    Joined:
    5 Feb 2004
    Posts:
    6,363
    Likes Received:
    125
    I think you should fabricate a custom alu-plate for that LCD instead of using two floppycovers? I don't like that hole between the covers.
     

Share This Page