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Case Mod - In Progress Project Perspiration - all done! (March 29th)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by pistol_pete, 1 Mar 2009.

  1. Omen

    Omen New Member

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    Looking good m8.... looking forward to see how this turns out.
     
  2. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Thanks - so am I! I'll be quiet relieved when it's done, there's still a lot of unknowns at the moment. Eg, At the moment I'm cutting holes for the cable routing from the PSU in the bottom up to the motherboard, I wasn't sure there would be enough room behind the mobo tray, but I got it cut today and the fat 24pin atx cable just squeezes in. Still plenty of things to go wrong though!
     
  3. NightrainSrt4

    NightrainSrt4 New Member

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    I love the way this is coming. Keep up the great work. Man I can't wait to see when this is done.
     
  4. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Well-Known Member

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    Great work mate, I have the same case (newer one). But I think you chose the wrong name, im sure that in honour of the fantastic Golf GTI (choice of the local joy riders in the late 80's / early 90's round here) and the way you are building this case the name should have been something like Cut and Shut :naughty:
     
  5. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    I think the hardest bit of the project so far was thinking of a name. And the one I came up with was crap. Something GTI related is probably a good way to go!
     
  6. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Well-Known Member

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    lol, tell me about it, I made a thread just to help me name my network and pc's. But my poor idea would be some thing like Lian GTLI
     
  7. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Cable Routing and Testing

    So, cable routing... There's no holes in the bottom of the upper for the power cables from the PSU to come up to the mobo. So I, uh, made some.

    [​IMG]

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    Job done.

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    Ofcourse, any hole needs to be the size of the connector, because that's the biggest bit, right? No, for the 24 pin it appears the largest bit is the cable sheathing thingy... A round hole solved that.

    [​IMG]

    On wednesday, a couple of things arrived. First, a 30cm 8pin extender cable.

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    And, finally, a black grill. This time from watercooling.co.uk, I've had enough of thecoolingshop.com.

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    It's painted black, rather than being anodized aluminium like the AC ryan ones. Doens't look as good, but it should go fine with the perspex.

    [​IMG]

    At this point, the case was ready to accept some hardware, so I thought I'd give it a test.

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    The hard-drive is just suspeneded by some clear plastic. I had planned to double them over to make an M pattern, with the drive in the middle. |\ ===/| Like that. But that was too tricky. Just suspended it in the end. It actually worked very well, kills pretty much all vibration from the hard drive. Very cheap too. Top tip?

    [​IMG]

    Some assembly required.

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    Those fans are going to take some serious cable routing.

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    Currently it doesn't have a top panel, so you have to give it the reach-around to hit the temporary start switch:lol:


    So how did it go?

    [​IMG]

    Uh, not super. Maybe by the Fallout 3 case taped to the front you'll be getting the inclination that the cooling setup is a little bit... unconventional. The GPU reached 95 degrees loaded by F@H. The CPU was towards 70 with the intel burn test. In my antec Nine hundred, i wouldn't expect the GPU to get much over 75, and the CPU much over 50.

    The issue?

    I put my aerodynamic brain to work and reckon this is what the airlfow is doing.

    [​IMG]

    Hmm. That's not good. The Fallout 3 case helped block up the gaping hole in the front where air was pouring in, and then straight out the top. The issue is, with the intake fans filtered and running at 800rpm, they don't push much air. Not enough to kick up the air inside and circulate heat away from the 8800GT's useless 1 slot cooler, and not enough to feed the TRUE, as awesome as it is.

    I removed the filters (and avoided stress testing) for the past couple of days and things improved. Actually, with the fans at their full 1900 rpm were pretty devastating to heat, but that's not the point.

    I've moved things back to my Nine Hundred now, and think that'll pretty much be the way things are untill I get watercooling. All of the heat from the GPU (which I plan to upgrade) and CPU will be taken to the radiator where it's blasted straight out the top. The air in the rest of the case should be fairly cool to keep the NB, VRMs etc happy.

    So not entirely a cooling disaster.

    Next up is the perspex. I'll need to get my ruler out and get a quote for the materials. I'm also swinging towards having the perspex professionally cut, as I'll just wreck it and the cuts I'll be making will be very visible indeed. Have to see how much that's going to cost... :(





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  8. Spyrious

    Spyrious Modding all the Time

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    Nice job so far.What is that saw you are using?
     
  9. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    It's a padsaw with a fine tooth blade. Very handy bit of kit, cuts metal and acrylic very well, but unlike a hacksaw you can cut "inside" things, because it doesn't have a handle.

    You need a dremel to make a hole get a cut started, but after that the hacksaw blade cuts about 5 times faster than the dremel cutting discs.
     
  10. mrb_no1

    mrb_no1 Pie Eater

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    after you replied to my watercooling question i thought check out your log, nice work work, i'm well impressed, and thanks for the help!

    peace

    fatman
     
  11. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    No bother, thanks!


    As a quick update, I'm putting together the plans to send to the plastic manufacturer. I'll have the holes for the grills cut for me, but the task of bolting it all together is still going to be on my watch.

    Yesterday I cut out the remainder of the front of the case. With the black perspex frame supporting the fans and a dual rad if I add it later, the metalwork is kinda pointless. The dust filters are taking enough of the power out of the intakes, I want to open up the exhaust area for the fans as much as I can.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Digitalize-

    Digitalize- New Member

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    Looking Good, definitely needs more or that Orange Copper Colour :D

    Bet Watercooling is higher up on your list now you need it to run the PC well.
     
  13. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    For while I was thinking about doing the watercooling before spending the money on the pespex I need. From a practical point it doesn't make much sense, I'd be better ensure my curtains don't get sucked into intakes first. I also reckon if I flip the rear fan back to the traditional exhuast, then I can remove the dust filter and it will perform ok.

    But I don't really want to put the hardware back untill I've got the perspex on, it's convenient to be able to saw and drill holes in the case without having to worry about steel dust getting on things it shouldn't.


    I'm definitely feeling the copper. While this isn't a 'copper mod' like Prometheus CU, plenty of copper and black PCBs is going to look great inside, lit with bright white ccfls. I'm thinking along these lines for the watercooling gear:

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    Obviously the GTX285 costs a bomb (a 450lb bomb;) ) but a nice GTX300 series card with a black pcb and a stylish block might be on my Xmas list... to buy myself.
     
  14. Digitalize-

    Digitalize- New Member

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    GPU Block looks nice, shame you will barely see it!
     
  15. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Yeah, cause it'll be upside down! I can understand why a lot of people buy cases with the reverse ATX layout. For me it just doesn't feel right to have the CPU at the bottom. Dunno why. For ballance?

    Maybe I can polish the bottom of the main chamber enough to reflect the card? That might be a little pornographic.
     
  16. Digitalize-

    Digitalize- New Member

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    I Always liked the idea of a floor mounted Mobo, but this of course means a much wider case. Dont always like the idea of a Heavy CPU Cooler like the Titan hanging off the Mobo :p
     
  17. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    At the moment I'm drawing up the plans for the perspex and I'll get them sent off to plastic manufacturer soon for a quote.

    Otherwise I've ordered a few bits and bobs.

    The ubiquitous case feet. I thought about steeling these off my media pc, but managed to find them in stock and they're only a fiver.

    [​IMG]

    And the ubiquitous vandal switch. Also fancied a red on but I guess that'll have to wait.
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    The plan for the top panel is to use the blue one for on/off, and a red for controlling the fan speed. Press the red, fans switch between 5V and 12V. That's not as straight forward as it sounds, as the vandal switches are momentery, not latching, and I can't find latching in the style I want. So basically that means I need a DPDT latching circuit, and I'm not convinced I can be bothered building one at the moment. I'll keep thinking.

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    Anyway, I have this front panel connector from the PC-7 case I can use for a bit of extra conectivity. I'll have to cut a few extra holes, but should look good.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Top Panel

    Further to the hardware promised above, some actual work!

    [​IMG]

    Very high tech. I'd planned it all out in 3D but transfered to paper to test.

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    I cut this out whilst watching the F1 qualifying so there's no photos of that, just involved a hacksaw. This is 3mm perspex, usually I use 5mm but as this is just decorative 3mm is preferred. Its also easier to cut, less chance for your cuts to go squint though the depth of the material.

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    Just the usual heavy duty cutting discs for the USB hole.

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    For the vandal switches at each end, I needed a 19mm hole. I've got a 19mm drill bit I've used in the past, but it's poorly shaped for cutting perspex. To avoid cracking, I drilled with a normal 7mm bit, then nibbled the hole out to about 16mm at which point I could fit in the sanding head to smooth it out nicely. This involved a lot of hot plastic debris going everywhere, on my desk, arms, neck, wall, screen... Not sure why but this perspex seemed more 'melty' than the stuff I'd used before.

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    Bosh. Sadly only have one vandal switch at the moment, as I couldn't find a red on in stock. When I get the rest of the perspex, it'll extend out about 4cm from the front of the metalwork giving me enough room to fit both this top panel and a fill-port on the top.

    [​IMG]
    For now I've bodged it onto a spare 5.25" bay cover.

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    Also added case feet, as I don't like the thing sliding along the floor and getting scratched.

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    Inside there's not much room in the floor because of the PSU, though I used the shorter of the two sets of bolts supplied and it should work out fine.


    Next, I've ordered a slot loading DVD drive to mount in the bottom. Stay tuned!
     
  19. Spyrious

    Spyrious Modding all the Time

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    Nice to see some updates.Good work.
     
  20. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    It's been 4 weeks since I did an update now. Things have been slow, I'd hoped to dive in and order the perspex but money is a bit tight, trying to pay off my student overdraft, as the limit will drop from £2000 to £1000 some time soon - should really find out.

    With some thought, I realised that before I order the perspex, I should work out what I'm going to do about a Doovde drive. While I find I Steam a lot these days, many of my old games are on CD, and I still like to rip albums, so I bought a slim-line slot loading DVD-RW. For the A3PC I cut holes then put blanking plates on the end of the CD drawer, but that's a terrible way of doing things. With a slot loader, I can cut a slot and just slid CDs in and out, nice and neat. Before I knew where to cut the slot though, or as seems more likely have it cut by the perspex manufacturer, I had to mount the DVD drive.

    I decided to put it in the bottom section to leave maximum room for the watercooling up top. Most of the time I'll just eject the CD in Windows, but if I need to I can just lift up the front of the case and press the eject button with a coin.

    So, I cut out a slot and fixed it with one screw and a bit of plastic bracket. Simple enough, I may need to slide it forward at some point, depending how far I extend the front of the case from the metalwork.

    [​IMG]

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    I got a slim-line -> sata adapter, as the interface is some sort of weird IDE thing, and I don't want fat IDE cables messing up my case. Curiously the connector is a floppy? Suppose a normal molex would be too big.

    I plugged things into Baby and fired it up for a test. All good!

    [​IMG]



    One other thing I was thinking about this weekend was lighting. I've been looking at white CCFLs, has anyone got any recommendations? I want ones that are really bright. Kustom PC has Lamptron ones, but I read a review of them and they don't seem very good. I've used the Sharkoon ones Scan have before and they were fine, but Scan charge a min of £6 for shipping. hat's more than the f***ing lights! Sorry, that pisses me off, for cheap orders I'm happy to get it shipped Royal Mail, rather than Citylink or any of the other courier companies who couldn't get a turd in a toilet, let alone a package to my front door.

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    Those insides are worth lighting!

    The alternative is to use LEDs... I'd put a ring of them around the side-window, lighting the inside but not shining outwards, which is important to me. Using my mini-led-torch....

    [​IMG]

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    Pretty funky, the are exceedingly bright white LEDs I found on ebay, those two alone dazzled me. I've also thought about drilling LEDs into the red shrouds that'll be on the fan grills, that'll be tough through as they'll be 3mm and there appears to be a lot of light bleeding outwards which I don't really want, just want it to diffuse nicely out the edges.

    [​IMG]

    So...


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    The beast, as she stands. I also re-cut a new mounting (the, uh, black perspex bit) for the two upper fans. The old one was typical of my level of workmanship and the fans were squint, basically I can't drill a hole where it needs to be. This time I took the grill off the top and used it as a guide for the hole, 7 of the 8 were actually in the right place after I'd drilled them, amazing.

    I think I'll need to leave the perspex untill after my holiday in July. For now I'm thinking about polishing the insides... not idea how to do that so I'll get researching. Anyone any links to a good tutorial for polishing aluminium?
     

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