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Project :: Moondust - Complete

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Leeum, 22 Sep 2005.

  1. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    If you have any comments, please post them in the discussion thread :)

    Link to project log on old system (locked).

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    I’ve been floating round the forums for a while now, commenting on people's work and ideas, time to receive some feedback on my own. After many months of planning and saving for bits it's finally coming together; welcome to my project :) With so many influential modders such as Nexxo, coolmiester, G-gnome, Pug and many others, inspiration hasn't been hard to find.

    My plan is to customise a Chieftec case to hold a big bore water cooling system, incorporating many people's ideas aswell as my own. After many hours of searching the web and forums I decided a Chieftec mid-tower would be perfect for holding all the gear. With the existing mods done to the Dragon series, I decided to go for the Matrix series to produce something a little more individual. I managed to get one of the last mid-tower models from Germany, it turned out to be quite a bit more expensive than the full tower but I was prepared to pay the difference for the non-blowholed side panel and overall smaller size.

    Anyway enough banter, first of all I need to get the case ready to host my water cooling gear.

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    My Christmas present that arrived from Tekheads, let’s open it up :D

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    Here’s the stock case, it’s a Chieftec Matrix MX-01WD in beige.

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    A shot with the front bezel open.

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    The side panel. I ended up paying more for it being non-blowholed but it’ll pay off when it gets cut.

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    The side panel removed, nice and spacious case for a mid-tower.

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    The HDD cages, pity these will have to be removed, means I’ll have to get an adaptor for my HDD to mount it in the large cage.

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    The HDD cage holders, these are held in by 3 pop rivets each, 5 minute job with a drill and small drill bit.

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    HDD cage holders removed, lots of space there now :)

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    Here’s a test fit with the XSPC R-120D, now you begin to see how the Chieftec mid-towers are made for water cooling.

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    Next task was to drill the holes for the radiator, I used a template and the shroud to accurately mark them out. Once that was done, I decided to cut out a basic outline of the shroud for the radiator fans to freely pull air in from outside the case; this turned out to be a total pain as the panel already had holes drilled in for the 80mm intake fans.

    After triple checking my marking I was happy it would work. Next day I took the naked case to the school workshops and made the cuts with a jigsaw.

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    Considering it was my first time with a jigsaw, I think I did ok :D The cut needed tidying up with a hacksaw and a file before it was ready for some blowhole trim.

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    I also gave the rear blowholes a little treatment of my own to allow for better airflow, I cut the pre-drilled grills with metal tin-snips, they also needed a file down to tidy them up.

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    Here’s a test fit of the radiator installed from the front.

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    From the inside.

    I’m pleased at how things have turned out; the cuts should provide the radiator fans with enough airflow to do their stuff.
     
    Last edited: 15 Dec 2005
  2. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    Here are some pictures of the water cooling equipment that will be used in the project. Each of them will be modification of some degree to make it fit the theme and colour of the case.

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    All the water cooling gear :D

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    Here's the reservoir I’ll be using, it's an Aqua Computer Aquatube in silver.

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    Two of the threads have been tapped to ¼” BSP and fitted with ¼” BSP to ½” barbs for use in a big bore loop.

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    It also has a lighting module fitted, it fits a 5mm LED to light up the inside :)

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    Here's the radiator, it's an XSPC R120-D. These radiators are fairly new to the market but from the reviews I’ve seen, it should perform well.

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    One thing I really like is the chrome shroud, the reflection is demonstrated by an orange (nearest thing I could find lol)

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    Here's the GPU block, it’s a Danger Den Maze4.

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    Here's the CPU block, also a Maze4.

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    The pump, a Hydor L30.

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    The front section is only used when the pump runs in submerged mode.

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    I decided to go for some aluminium fans to match the radiator shroud. These are Titan 120mm fans, they push 79 CFM each but air fairly noisy, I’ll be using a fan controller with them.
     
  3. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    After seeing coolmiester’s LED mods to the Maze3 series blocks, I decided to give the same process a go with the Maze4. I took the block into school and did a 5mm hole rougly 5mm into the top with the drill press.

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    Here you can see a small cloud in the lucite at the top where it's been drilled in.

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    A close up of the hole.

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    Here's a test fit with a 5mm LED, there's no need to glue the LED inside, the hole tightly holds it in :)

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    Just to show the pleasing effect with the block I tried it with a lit blue LED, for a few minutes work with the drill it certainly paid off :D

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    I’ve decided to use a white LED for the block to match my silver/ white theme.
     
  4. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    Remember the Hydor L30 pump? It was black and not in a good way, let’s see if we can fix that ;)

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    Here’s the pump all masked up and ready to paint. The stuff I’m going to be using is PlastiKote vinyl dye.

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    After 4 coats I left it outside to dry for a good few hours. I took it into the house to check there were no spots I’d missed or where the paint had ran.

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    Here are the nickel plated hose tail barbs I ordered from Airlines, unfortunately I was unable to them to ½” hose, I had to settle for 12mm fittings which are near enough. I applied two passes of PTFE tape onto the threads.

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    Here are the barbs fitted into the pump, I think they go really well with the newly painted silver.

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    I also hacked off the mains plug; this won’t be needed as the pump will draw its power from a relay inside the PSU.

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    Here’s the finished pump, had to shoot the photos in a different room this time as the kitchen is getting decorated.

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    A shot from the front with the
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    A side shot with the front removed.

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    From the front.

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    Here’s the male molex for the pump’s power.

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    While I was at it I wired and sleeved two white LED’s for the CPU block and the Aquatube and also sleeved the PCI plate for the motherboard’s extra USB connectors.

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    The sleeved radiator fans.

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    The nickel plated barbs for the radiator.
     
  5. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    Here’s the PSU I got roughly Novemver 2004, It’s an Antec SmartBlue 350W, solid rails and more power than I’ll ever need :D It wasn’t long before I had the thing pulled to bits in preparation for some modding.

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    After seeing G-gnome’s Orac I decided I wanted to chrome the casing as I was astounded how well his TrueControl came out. As my grandad has so many connections from his days in the industry I decided to give him a call to see if he knew any local platers. A few days later he was over to pick up the casing; I dismantled the PSU and annotated all the components so I knew how they went back together. Trust me, when it comes to 240V you don’t want to take any chances :p Next day my grandad returned with the casing wrapped in brown paper, he explained the casing couldn’t be chromed because it had a layer of lacquer over it, instead it was nickel plated. I un-wrapped it and found the finish to be almost identical to chrome and for £10, I wasn’t complaining at all.

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    Next task was getting everything back into the casing in working order, it was quite a daunting task because at the time I had very little electronic experience, I’ve only started a systems & control course at school this year.

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    I gave the casing a quick polish up with Mer non-abrasive polish just to see how it was going to look. Shiny :D

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    I then screwed the top on and proceeded outside with the extension lead to test it using the paper clip trick. The reason for testing it outside was because I had little faith in my soldering and expected the thing to go off with a nasty bang. Much too my surprise, it worked, I was completely amazed I had pulled it off.

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    As I was on a bit of roll I decided to add some goodies to the cabling, no harm in that seeing as the PSU worked? How wrong I was.

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    After hours of blood, sweat and tears from dismantling and pulling cables from their connectors I finished up for the night. I then proceeded to plug it into the house mains and power it up to test it was ok again for piece of mind. After all the hard work, it went off with an almighty bang, by this time I was tearing my hair out from the fact it had worked fine outside a few hours ago. Upon opening up the casing to see what was up I found the remains of green powder all over the inside, turns out a small green thermisistor had blown its top and fused the kettle lead. Perhaps the extension lead I used stopped the fuse from popping which would explain how it worked outside. By that time stuff like thermisistors were far from my knowledge.

    The one and only ShinyMod from Moddin’.net kindly offered to have a shot of fixing up the old Antec. After weeks and weeks of ordering components, soldering and tripping the circuit breakers in Shiny’s house we decided to call it a day. I then ordered a new PSU which he kindly offered to transfer into the nickel plated casing, I also sent up a 240V relay for the pump’s power; I decided it would be best for Shiny to fit the relay seeing the bad luck I had from messing with the PSU. Seeing as I’d sleeved the cables, he also cut them and soldered them into onto the PCB of the new PSU to save me having to re-order a kit and do them again :D

    After all this time you’ll never guess what was delivered to me this morning? Yup, the PSU Shiny has worked so hard on for the past couple of months. I finished sleeving the mains supply molex and polished up the casing ready for a photo shoot.

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    Here it is in all it’s glory.

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    A close up of the casing.

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    From the back. If you look you can also see the internal fans, they also got some silver vinyl dye treatment ;)

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    A shot to demonstrate the reflection of the nickel plated casing. These pics don’t do this baby any justice, I’m sure Shiny can agree ;)

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    The top removed, I decided to open it up to show you guys all the work Shiny has put into this.

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    This is where the relay draws the main power to switch from.

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    Here you can see the relay all nicely heatshrinked. Also note the MOSFET sinks, they had to be cut down with an angle grinder to accommodate the 92mm Antec fan.

    I don’t know about you guys but I’m over the moon with the result. Just to remind you, the result is a completely custom PSU with nickel plated casing, pump relay and full UV sleeving and molexs. A massive shout to ShinyMod for all of his hard work he’s put in, I couldn’t have done it without him :D
     
    Last edited: 25 Sep 2005
  6. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    Next we move onto the Maze4 GPU block. We can’t let a nice lump of anodised aluminium go into the case un-modded can we? :D The finish I was aiming for was similar to that Nexxo and Coolmiester achieved in their projects. If I’m honest I think it’s their inspired that’s got me into all this water cooling and shiny business, thanks guys :D We’ll have to get round to writing a guide together sometime.

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    I believe this is Coolmiester’s first polished Maze4, looking very bling indeed :D Image credits to him.

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    Just for the record, this is the stock Maze4 GPU block. I realise now how lucky I was to get the older revision without hi-flow barbs; this would’ve proved a pain later on if I hadn’t.

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    I started by removing the bottom section of the block.

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    I then removed the barbs with an adjustable wrench. I removed the remaining thread tape after this picture and blocked up the holes with masking tape. The only set-back when sandblasting the block is the anodising must stay on the bottom so no bear aluminium comes into contact with the water. In order to get a clean line around the block I bolted a plate of Perspex using the 4 holes on the underside, if I used masking tape it might’ve given a nasty finish around the edges. I then called my grandad again to source a local sandblaster.

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    Here’s the block back from the sandblasters, note the small imperfections around the barb holes, these were caused by the masking tape. Not to worry these will easily be cleared up later, better than sand inside the block.

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    Here’s a picture from the side.

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    Bolting on that plate of Perspex really paid off, look at the clean line on around the bottom :D

    Now we move onto stage 2, wet and dry sanding using 800, 1000, 1200 and 1600 grit. It took me god knows how many hours and sheets of sand paper but as you’ll see it all payed off. The sanding also took care of all those little imperfections where the sandblaster had missed.
    Now for stage 3, some elbow grease in the form of heavy polishing with an abrasive such as Brasso, in this case I used Autosol and damn the stuff is good!

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    Here it is fresh from the garage, lovin’ that shine baby! :D

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    I then applied some fresh PTFE tape to the barbs and screwed them back in. The masking tape is to stop the wrench taking any of the plating off the barbs.

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    I then screwed the bottom back on. As I gnarled the threads of the old bolts when I fitted the Perspex to the bottom, Coolmiester kindly sent me some new ones and the right size allen key, thanks mate ;)

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    Here’s the block ready for a photo shoot, sorry for the bad quality pictures.

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    From the back, notice all the imperfections are long gone. The sanding took care of those ;)

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    While I was at it, I lapped the bottom to 1200 grit, nice and shiny.

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    Can you say eye candy? The money shot…literally :D
     
  7. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    You’ll be gald to know that work now commences on the case :D

    Shortly after my first PC build I stumbled across ShinyMod’s Solaris and Jordanis3r Tribal I and II projects. I was amazed at the tribal designs they incorporated into their cases, so much so I contacted the one and only Jordanis3r. After hour long conversations on MSN, he had a rough idea of what I wanted on the panels; he then began work sketching his ideas to scale in order for me to transfer over once he sent them through the post. The guy truly is an inspiration, his ideas are amazing! They arrived the other day and I started work, enough banter, the panels are ready to cut. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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    We decided to take a different approach to mounting the Aquatube, instead of a square it has been rotated into a diamond shape.

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    The template was used as a guide to draw it onto the top panel.

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    His tasteful tribal products were then transfered either side to balance it out.

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    Here’s the side panel, I just love the way it branches into two designs.
     
  8. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    While work on the top and side panels of the case continues I thought I’d keep myself busy with a few updates over these holidays, so here’s a small update :D The next task on the list was to mount the pump in the case. The Hydor L30 is supplied with suction cups but I wanted a more permanent solution to allow the case to be moved without having to question the pump going anywhere. The first step was to run a 5mm drill bit through the pump holder to allow M5 bolts to go through.

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    Before I did, I masked up the newly painted stand and marked on where the drill bit needed to primarily be. The only problem was to be revealed later on, the masking tape decided to take off most of the vinyl dye; this prompted the re-painting and clear coating of it and the pump.

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    These are the bolts I will be using to mount it, a set of M5 countersunk stainless steel bolts with locking nuts, these are so nice I’ve decided to use them to mount the Perspex to the top and side panels aswell ;) I used countersunk bolts as there is little clearance between the holder and the pump to allow for button head bolts.

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    Here’s a test fit of the stand, I lined it up with the two small marks the case came with so it was dead centre. Also notice the scratches the bottom of the case has acquired throught steel shavings in the project, once the components are in those won’t be seen :)

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    Here are the holes marked and drilled.

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    I slung in the newly painted pump holder and test fit the bolts, to my surprise they went in without any persuasion at all :D I haven't cut the bolts to size yet as I need to put a few layers of neoprane under there to absorb any vibrations.

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    A shot from the back with the pump installed.

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    From the other side.
     
  9. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    Here’s the fan controller I’ve picked up recently, it’s a Vantec Nexus NXP-201.

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    The bezel itself is aluminium and the backlighting is blue, matches my colour theme pretty well, but as always I’m not putting it in un-modded :D

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    Here it is when it arrived from the front.

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    From the back.

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    Here’s the part of the unit I’m interested in at the minute, the electronics. As you can see the lighting is provided by 5 3mm LED’s drilled into some Perspex.

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    Here is the unit powered up, as much as I like the blue backlight I feel in modding projects it can be easily overused. I decided to swap the LED’s out for white ones to contrast with several other white and blue items that will be on the front bezel.

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    It was then off to the garage for some soldering, I changed the right LED first and powered the unit up again to make sure I had the polarity right.

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    I then got the other 4 changed, it seems such a simple process but it’s such a damn fiddle.

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    Here’s the fan controller re-assembled, much better :D
     
  10. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    Here’s my attempt of an update.

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    I put the pump and radiator into the case for a test setup, I only put one fan on the radiator to make sure the tubing cleared it without any problems. The placement of the pump has worked out quite well; any heat generated will be cooled by the two fans behind it. Also see the small strip of neoprene under the pump; this should take care of any vibrations.

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    I then cut a length of Tygon between the pump outlet and radiator.

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    Since then my sponsorship goods arrived from Paul @ WaterCoolingShop.com, a big shout to him! :D The items he sponsored me are 2x 120mm fan grills, an LCD display, some tubing (I seem to be accumulating a lot of the stuff :)) and a dual UV CCFL kit.

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    Here’s a closer look at the LCD screen. It’s the 20x4 Blue backlight and white text model :)

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    It’s been happily sitting on my desk while I’ve reviewing it. Here it is running LCDSmartie.

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    As far as mounting it goes, while planning the project I always had it planned that I’d mount it in the two floppy bays; as I love them due to the radiator it seems the best option. Here’s a picture of the unit placed above for a size comparison.

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    Better picture, should fit nicely in there :D

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    Here it is behind the floppy bays when they’re removed. The plan is to cut the floppy bay covers to accommodate the screen, I will then cut a polished aluminium bezel to be placed over the top which will hide the cut in the bays and will hold the LCD in place using 4 bolts. The same applies to the fan controller; I hope to start this over the weekend.

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    I also attached the 120mm fan grills to the radiator fans; personally I think they look much better.

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    From another angle :)
     
  11. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    Finally, a small update to show I’m still here :) Apologies with the slow progress, I’ve been busy with my band and other stuff lately.

    The next task on my list was to sort out some the rear fans. When I cut the front of the case I mentioned that I also cut out the pre-stamped grills out and filed them down. Due to the shape of the blowholes they looked quite strange as the metal gaps were showing.

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    This is the only picture I have of my first workings with the rear grills. I since decided to improve on them as I was unhappy with the result. It was off to the garage again for some filing and drilling of holes so the fans can be mounted without the Chieftec fan cradles.

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    Here’s the case from the garage. As you might be able to see, drilling the holes proved a pain as an 80mm fan lines up with the fan cradle holders punched into the metal. Despite centre punching many times I was unable to stop the drill skipping completely, I eventually got them done. There are a few scratches where the drill slipped and one hole had to be widened but I’m not too fussed as it won’t be seen :)
    The fans I decided to use were Panaflo 4H L1A’s kindly sponsored by Dorothy Bradbury, a big shout to her for her support.

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    The fans as they arrived.

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    The fans after some sleeving treatment.

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    The bolts that will be used to mount the fans, M3 x 30 bolts ordered from Inox Fasteners.
    It was then a case of putting it all together.

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    Result :D Notice the bolts don’t go all the way through the fans, this was the longest size Inox Fasteners did in M3.

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    A shot from inside the case.

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    A shot from the back.

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    Close up.
     
  12. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    Sorry for the lack of updates, progress has been much slower than expected due to a head injury and loss of hosting. However, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing anything ;)

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    A Maze4 Chipset block, the newest addition to the loop in Silver Shadow. You may notice I drilled a 5mm hole for an LED ;)

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    Here’s a lighting test with white LED's in both blocks.

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    The block was a present from an old friend, unfortunately the base wasn’t in good shape when it arrived from him.

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    After some lapping treatment It was as good as new. The other blocks were also lapped as they got slightly scratched and dirty from lying around the house.

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    Couldn’t resist this picture :p

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    It was then time for some major overdue progress on the panels. I marked the centre of the Aquatube hole in order to line up a 76mm holesaw. Next task was to work on the bolt structure that will hold in the Perspex, I marked up some 5mm holes 2cm from the side of the panels. Once I was happy it was then off to the school workshops to use the drill press.

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    Here are the holes drilled on the side panel. What I’m using to secure the Perspex is a combination of countersunk panel washers in anodised blue and M5 countersunk bolts. My application is as follows:

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    Washer..

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    and bolt :D

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    Here’s a close up, sorry for the poor focus.

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    All the bolts installed.

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    Here’s the Aquatube and the countersunk bolts installed on the top panel. The designs I drew have started to fade off due to on-going work, I’ll have to go over these before I begin cutting.

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    A (crap) close up of the Aquatube bolts, the 4 corners are fitted with countersunk M4 bolts. I began trying to countersink them by tapping the holes to 5mm, but as the mounting plate is stainless steel I went through quite a few of the schools drill bits :D I got the holes done eventually but found they still weren’t big enough; I’ll finish off with a proper countersinking tool.
     
  13. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    I’m sure most of you have seen these pictures, here they are again anyway.

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    Here’s the cut side panel, the cuts were made with a jigsaw. I asked at the school workshops to borrow one but they didn’t want to for safety reasons, I ended up biting the bullet and buying one :)

    All the cutting went well; the area around the handle needs a little filing to round it off.

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    Here’s the cut top panel. Sorry for no progress pictures, I got slightly carried away and got them finished in the one night ;)

    In the last update I began to countersink the 4 outer holes of the Aquatube mounting plate, a 5mm hole still wasn’t big enough for the bolts to sit flush. I went down to the local DIY store and got a countersinking drill bit and got the holes properly done. Only problem was the vice made quite a mess of the surface as I never thought to mask it up, my only option was to sand down a layer.

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    My weapon of choice, I didn’t fancy using a sanding block as stainless steel is so damn hard. I began sanding with 400 grit and worked my way up to 1200. I took my photos outside for a change as it was a nice day :)

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    You can see after 400 grit the surface begins to look much better :D

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    Up next was some polishing with Autosol.

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    Check out the shine :D

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    Here’s some finishing pictures with the bolts, I’m fairly glad the Aqua Computer writing is still there as I like it.

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    From another angle.
     
  14. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    I seem to be on a bit of a roll, may aswell keep on going ;)

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    I de-riveted the bottom panel; this will need to be painted as it can be seen on the case.

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    The cuts I made to the top and side panels were filed. I used needle files on the corners and then sanded all the cuts with 600 grit sandpaper.

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    My next task was to get the panels sanded down in preparation for painting. I used 80 then 220 grit on the electric sander.

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    A picture my dad took of me sanding :p

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    Managed to catch the sun going down on these shots. The panels (mostly) down to the bare metal, I couldn’t apply pressure with the sander on some of the cut areas so they had to be done by hand. What matters is that the bumps of the textured paint are now smooth :)

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    From another angle.

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    A shot to show how smooth the cuts are after extensive sanding :D
    The panels are off to a local painters to be painted silver properly, should have them back this week and I can begin setting up the water cooling.
     
  15. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    I arrived home from school on the last day to find these beauties waiting for me in my room :D I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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    :brrr:

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    The two side panels in detail.

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    A shot from the other side.

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    Reflection of the rest of my room :D

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    I took the panels outside to see if I could get any better pictures but due to the light, I managed to snap up this one though :hip:

    I’m off to a local stocker of Perspex on Monday to hopefully pick up some smoked grey/ silver stuff for the panels and then I can get the cooling setup.
     
  16. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    My hunt for Perspex took me to an industrial estate next to the Tyne Tunnel, Bay Plastics to be accurate ;)

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    This is what I came back with. I couldn’t find any smoked stuff in grey/ silver, what I did find was some 3mm thick nice subtle blue stuff.

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    I then drilled the holes for the bolts and cut a square in the centre to allow the Aquatube to into case. The cut was made with a coping saw and the edges were sanded and polished.

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    The protective layer was then peeled off.

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    I then fitted the Perspex and Aquatube mounting plate to the top of the case.

    After trying to fit the top panel back in place I realised that the top of the 5 ¼” bays was stopping it, this was because the Perspex added 3mm more thickness to the panel.

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    My only option was to trim just enough off the drive bays, too much would mean I could no longer fit a drive into the top bay. The cuts were made with a hacksaw and then lined with blowhole trim.

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    The top panel and Aquatube were then fitted to the case, here’s a (poor) shot from the top.

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    A shot from the side.
     
  17. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    I had now progressed far enough in the project to finally get the water cooling set up.

    First task was to remove everything from the temporary case along with the air cooling ready for some water block action. All the blocks were installed using AS5.

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    Here’s the hardware mounted into the case.

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    I then installed the rest of the water cooling before blowing all the dust off it (I’ve had the stuff for over a year)

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    I then got the tubes all cut to size and clamped to the barbs. The setup goes: Pump > Radiator > CPU > GPU > NB > Reservoir > Pump.

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    It was then time to fill it up with de-ionised water and hope everything was watertight, everything looked ok…apart from the water.

    Shortly after the picture I had some problems with pump, every time I switched the pump off and then back on the impeller would jam, it seems this is a common problem with some L30’s. Hydor's quality control isn't up to scratch so the shafts are manufactured slightly too thick, as the pump gets hotter the tolerance gets tighter to the point where the magnet seizes.

    I attempted to fix it myself by rubbing the shaft down with wet and dry sandpaper but I snapped the plastic part of the impeller in the process. Hydor UK kindly had a look in their warehouse for a replacement impeller to no avail, they instead kindly sent me a replacement L30! It was then a case of swapping the impellers over and getting the loop filled again.

    However, I still had the frothing water problem. It seems the reservoir was not functioning as an air-trap and was pulling the bubbles back into the loop. Out of desperation, I stuck a sponge that came with pump in the reservoir and to my surprise, it did the trick!

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    I took this picture shortly after putting the sponge in the reservoir. It was then just a case of bleeding the bubbles out the loop.

    Now the loop was leak tested and ready to go, I then fitted the rest of the hardware. As the case no longer has HDD cages, my next task was to find a different method of mounting it.

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    I then took a pair of HDD mounts, gave them a sand with wet and dry and a polish up to remove the rust.

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    Screw a hard drive and a pair of Chieftec mounting rails and we’re getting somewhere.

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    Once installed, nobody is none the wiser ;)

    Now that everything was installed and ready to go, I plugged everything in to make sure it was going to run. Another case of press the power button and hope…

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    It’s alive :D
     
  18. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    Here’s an update with the side panel. Just like the top panel, the Perspex needed a few bits here and there cut out to accommodate various parts of the case chassis. The main part that needed cutting was a section for the case handle and lock.

    As you can probably see, when I was drilling the top bolt hole I went too fast and cracked the Perspex :duh: Let's hope I get away with it.

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    It was then a case of getting it screwed to the panel with the and hoping the crack didn’t interfere with any of the cuts. The case handle is abscent from the following pictures as it's going to be taken to the painters with the front bezel.

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    Lucky? That’s more than lucky :D

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    A shot from the front.

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    A shot with the panel against the wall.

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    What happened next was more of pleasant surprise than anything else, it seems the Perspex is UV reactive which creates a funky hazy blue effect. Here’s a shot next to the running rig :D

    That’s all for now, I’m hoping to get the front bezel to the painters this week.
     
  19. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    My next was to get the front bezel ready for painting. It was outside to my usual sanding spot to get this done ;)

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    This time I used a sanding block and 220 grit paper as the bezel is ABS plastic.

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    I also sanded the fan controller, the bay covers and the case handle.

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    Here you can see the compassion between the sanded front door and splatter finish bezel.

    As I ran out of sandpaper to finish the rest of the bezel and case feet, I got a few bits and bobs done that I’d normally leave to the end :)

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    Take the standard Chieftec front panel LEDs…

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    With a little bit of swapping we now have a blue power LED and white HDD LED :D

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    Here’s the Bulgin blue ring LED switch I picked up a while ago. The only problem was the LED’s inside had been fried by using the wrong resistor. I could either use the switch as it was or attempt to fix it… I’m sure you can guess the route I took ;)

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    By sawing the blue plastic section off the back and removing the internals, this is what I was left with. The centre section moves up when the button is pressed, this means I can glue another switch inside which it will press.

    I then decided to experiment with a few LED’s. The choice is between…

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    Blue

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    White

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    Or both? This picture didn’t come out very good, it is actually half blue and white which personally looks pretty funky.

    Let me know what you think. I’ll have an update very soon as the painter is back off his holidays this week ;)
     
  20. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    I’ve finally had that well needed day off (to talk to my teacher about grades for 10 minutes) to get some work done on the mod.

    You might remember my plans a few updates ago to cut away the floppy bay covers to fit the LCD inside, I since scrapped the idea and decided to take a different approach.

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    I started by cutting a piece Perspex the same size as the dual floppy bays, the edges were then sanded and polished.

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    I had a go fitting some mirror window tint but didn’t have much luck as the stuff is really hard to work with. Coolmiester offered to help out and fitted the stuff himself, he made an awesome job :D

    My task for today was to finish the sanding of the front bezel.

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    Here it is after the sanding work.

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    A close up of the floppy bay area.

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    I sanded the ridges of the power and reset buttons right down and enlarged the power button hole for the Bulgin switch :)

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    Here’s how it looks with the bits installed. The reset button sticks out a lot more now it’s been sanded down, it makes it a lot easier to press though ;)

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    Then with the mirrored plexi fitted ;)

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    This is how the LCD will be mounted, (obviously a bit tidier for the finishing stage ;) ) the insulation tape stops it going anywhere and once the front bezel is snapped back into place it will be held in place.

    Time for some eye candy :D

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    This is how it looks in daylight.

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    A closer shot.

    …and now some shots in the dark.

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    :D

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    Different angle.

    All the sanded bits n’ bobs will be taken to the painters on Monday, then it’s just a case of doing the bits I’ve forgotten about and fitting everything back together :)
     

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