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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. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    Don't worry about the holes being off. Stuff like this always happens. I made 3 front panels for my mod because I borked different parts on the first two. Chin up, and mod on!

    And the red accents look great below the white, especially on the rad picture :D
     
    Last edited: 3 May 2010
  2. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Yep I agree, the red accent turned out very well.
     
  3. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    May Modding Marathon - Friday

    Hello all,

    With the bank holiday in the uk and the girlfriend away I've got the house to myself for a few days - this project has been dragging on far too long (I started in Feb 09) and I'm going to use the next few days to try and get as much done as I can! I'll try to give an update every day untill monday on my progress and hopefully by then I'll be able to transfer the guts out of my Antec 900 into the new case.

    The remaining list of stuff to do is roughly:
    - cut a new front panel having ****ed up the last one
    - adapt the mounts for the front fans and filters to fit around the front standoffs
    - sleeve cables
    - install all the hardware
    - Watercooling. I have all the main bits and know the rough layout of the loop, I just need to order most of the fittings, the pipe, and the fluid. However, I'm planning to upgrade my 8800GT to probably a 5870 later in the year and I don't see much point in buying a waterblock to tide me over untill then. I'm also not sure it's worth even setting up the loop with just the CPU, as I'll have to drain it all and cut the pipes again to fit the new GPU.
    For now, the loop plan looks like this...

    [​IMG]

    Since I first designed the loop I've re-arranged the loop layout and fillport location (it's now at the back and runs alnog the top of the case to the top of the res at the front). I've also decided to use compression fittings instead of barbs for peace of mind.


    Recently I've been making little bits of progress here and there. I'll pop up some photos this evening to fill you in!

    For now I'm planning out the cuts to make the new fan mounts. I'm using some 5mm black acrylic from a previous project (actually consuming part of the case!) - I've ordered new dust filters and hopefully I can do a neater job than I did with the last ones, which no longer fit.
     
    Waynio likes this.
  4. mars-bar-man

    mars-bar-man Side bewb.

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    It's looking good so far man!!

    One thing, well possibly two, the inlet of the CPU block is in the middle..isn't it? Also the T-Block, could that put a lot of restriction on the loop? With the water trying to go in two directions?

    I'm not too hot with all this watercooling (pun not intended) stuff. Some other people may be able to correct what I said.
     
  5. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    The t-block is used to connect the drain port (the case is too big and heavy to turn upside down for draining) and I'm unsure too about the 90 degrees bend. Before I had had it at the inlet to the pump, with the fluid running straight and the drain port connected to the bottom. However I thought this was a bit neater, but I think I'll have to leave it and see.

    How much difference does a 90 degree bend make anyone?
     
  6. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Here's a summary of recent little bits I've done. With the majority of the acrylic outer panels cut, I've been tackling lots of little problems in how to re-assemble it all.

    Polishing

    Before putting it back together, I decided to polish the insides of the case.

    [​IMG]

    The top compartment, broken down as much as I could.

    [​IMG]

    Brasso was easy enough to get hold of, so I thought I would give it a go.

    First I applied it with a cloth and rubbed untill it went dirty.

    Once it was starting to clean up, I finished it off with a buffing wheel.

    [​IMG]

    After a few applications, I had as good a shine as I was going to get.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Obviously I only did the bits you can see!
     
  7. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Here's the case as it stands tonight:

    [​IMG]

    I did try adapting the front fan mount to fit around the standoffs as I was cutting it, but it cracked. Hence I need to make a new one.

    [​IMG]

    I also made some new perspex blocks to fit in the corners at the back - these hold on the side panel, as I can't thread the thin metal in the case and you can't reach in to put a nut on the bolts.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I had a lot of trouble fitting the top panel. It was about 1mm above where it should be, and bowed upwards in the middle as the front panel tried to pull it down. To solve this, I cut around the aluminium top panel of the original Lian Li case so that the fan grill would fit though, dropping everything down. However, this was the only thing solidly locating the top panel, as there isn't enough room in the perspex blocks at the back to screw into due to where the side panels fit. I had to bolt it down hard to the metal of the case with some bracket.

    [​IMG]

    I also used part of the old Lian Li front panel to hold the perspex block at the top front corner from slipping down under load.

    [​IMG]


    At the start of the project I'd planned for one of the buttons on the top panel to switch the fans between 5 and 12V for overclocking. However this was too complicated as the vandal switches are only momentary, and really i needed a DPDT latching design. In the end I decided to rip the Zalman MFC1 Plus out of the A3 PC and fit it round the back above the PSU. I removed the front plate of the fan controller and bolted it onto some spare aluminium bracket.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also wired up all the fans, creating some extended splitter cables so the 7 fans are wired into 4 of the ports for full control from 5-12V. I've also plugged the banks of white LEDs in, so they are now dimmable!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Finally is the fill port. The was supposed to be on the top between the fan grill and the I/O panel, but there wasn't really enough room. A 10mm tube now runs slightly downhill along the side of the rad to the reservoir at the front. I can plug in a bit of tube at the back and fill with a funnel, and hopefully it will flow in nicely and fill up the loop.

    [​IMG]

    I made quite a mess of the case trying to fit it in!
     
  8. JWR

    JWR New Member

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    Nice renders! :thumb:

    But the T-part in the watercooling, I don't like it.
    Is it an option to place the drain on the left?
    The bottom part of the VGA outlet?
     
  9. shadow19935

    shadow19935 Whats overclocking? :D

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    looking good :)
     
  10. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    I could try something like this? Maybe with a 45 degrees connector coming off the graphics card.

    [​IMG]

    I want the drain port to be on the bottom of the case - this way I can sit it over the bath and unscrew. It should all come out as it's the lowest point in the loop.
     
  11. JWR

    JWR New Member

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    That seams a better option, but what I mean is this:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Good idea, I never thought of doing that. Suppose it depends on the type of gpu block and what it fits. That does mean the pump won't empty by itself. I've already drilled a hole in the bottom of the case, but I still need to do the one from the main compartment to the bottom. I won't do that untill I've decided where to put the drain line!
     
  13. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Arrgh!

    I've rebuilt all the hardware from the old case into the new one and it wont work - lights and fans all spin up when you press the on switch,but the board won'tpost. No beebs. Tried unplugging everything and reassembling but still no action. Nothing on screen, though the GPU fan runs.

    Apparetnly this is a problem with p5k boards and the solution is to replace the ram with something lower voltage (my ballistix run at 2.2v). THis allows the board to recover untill you can up the voltage again. I think it was in standby, not off when I unplugged it and I think this has caused the problem.
    Atleast I have a second computer to try and find the answer online.
     
  14. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    In preperation for a weekend of modding, I'd ordered the bits I needed on wednesday;
    - heatshrink and cable wrap from Watercooling Uk
    - fan filters, hard drive mount, and extenders for the internal cables (usb, firewire and ac97, as these are a real pain to extend myself) from Overclockers
    - a new sheet of acrylic for a new front panel from Plastic Online

    Sitting here on sunday morning it's not all gone to plan. Here's why

    Watercooling UK bits - I chose 1st class royal mail, always my prefered option as it's much cheaper and easier to pick up if I miss the delivery than any courier company. However, suprise suprise it's not here yet. Hopefully it will arrive on tuesday, but this is something I can do sitting in front of the TV rather than making a lot of mess and leaving tools all over the dining room.

    Overclockers - didn't have a royal mail option like they used to, I think. I had to choose DPD, who as is the norm missed me on friday as I was at work all day. I drove to the depot 30 miles away in Leicester yesterday and picked up the bits no problem, but for the hassle I might as well have driven to the OCUK shop in Stoke and picked up the bits without having to pay postage. :wallbash:

    Plastic Online - I've always used this retailer for my acrylic, and generally they've been good. However, after I messed up the front panel I need a new sheet, and a few weeks ago I ordered another cut to size. However, the peice that arrived was a different colour (more transparent, looks crap). I phoned up and apparently they have three colours or 'opal' and they've obviously sent me a different kind - fair enough, I didn't specify. So as agreed on the phone I sent them a sample of the colour I already have and want to match. They posted out another bit and it arrived on Friday, but it's a different colour again! :wallbash: :wallbash: :wallbash:

    It seems I want the most opaque of the three, and I've been sent the other two. While the sheet they sent this week and what I want are quite close, laid next to each other and held up to the light there's a clear difference. I'm pissed of now, the sheets are only about £6 each but the postage is £8. I'm going to phone them up on tuesday and ask them to send me another peice, they've not delivered what I asked for and I shouldn't have to pay for it. The whole mod would look **** if the panels don't match.



    Meanwhile...


    In terms of actual progress, I'm nearly complete! Once I get a new front panel cut, sleeve the cables, glue on the window and front intake mesh I'll be all finished par the watercooling!

    Yesterday I cut the new mount for the two front fans, having cracked the old one. This was also different to accept the new filters, which should give me a bit more airflow as well as looking a bit more pro.

    [​IMG]
    Bvrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!


    [​IMG]
    Verp.... Veerpp!

    [​IMG]

    Mounted

    [​IMG]

    The filters attach by magnets, pretty handy. They included a magnetic strip for non-ferrous cases, which mine is entirely - alu and plastic. I also got a third for the rear intake, though the bottom fan for the PSU and HDD remains with the old slide-out foam fliters I did a year ago, as you couldnt access the filter behind the fan.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I hooked up the fans and lights to my existing system to test. At 5V you can't hear it!

    [​IMG]

    Keepin' cool. :cooldude:

    [​IMG]

    What a beast! Though I understand it's about the size of a TJ07 or similar.

    [​IMG]

    Before I rebuilt the hardware in the new case, I had a quick look at what the watercooling gear will be like inside.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the new Akasa hard-drive mounts. They're convenient, but installed not as quiet as I'd hoped.

    [​IMG]

    My Eurovision party. Banging.

    [​IMG]

    Dissasembling the top and bottom halves makes for much easier installation. Once the outside panels are off it's just 4 M4 bolts that hold it together.


    [​IMG]

    I did get last nights panic sorted out - after 2 hours of troubleshooting. :grr:
    The trick seemed to be to leave it on for about 10 minutes, although during this time it was just pre-post: all the power on, but no beeps, no display nothing.
    The next restart went as normal, it appeared leaving it on in that state for a while cleared the CMOS. I think the whole issue was that I unplugged the system whilst in sleep mode. Somehow when I switched it back on it had lost it's overclock settings, and apparently P5K's don't provide enough power for high-end ram like my Ballistix (gulps down 2.2V!).
    On the succesful restart it ran as normal, with the onboard clock reset as I'd removed the battery and cleared the CMOS in the troubleshooting (which on it's own didn't help). It had also reset my overclock and switched everthing to Auto, including the RAM settings.

    A frightning experience, for a long time I thought i'd killed it with static. Atleast I know what to do next time.

    [​IMG]

    This morning I reassembled everything and jammed the side panel back on over the fat cables. All good! Whilst the green PCB of the 8800GT and the TRUE120 don't look at home, overall it's looking pretty good and I'm looking forward to ripping off the protective layer from the outer panels.

    Next up, cable sleeving...

    Thanks for reading!
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2010
  15. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Nice to see you back working on this build, it's looking great so far. I can't wait for more :D.
     
  16. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    It's been three months since I last did any work on this - I needed to cut a new front panel having messed up the first, and had some ideas for the side panel to make it a bit more interesting. I finally got some free time last weekend to have dive back into things.

    Actually I've done a fair bit with the hardware of the system. I'd bought an extra 2gb of ram on ebay, having decided to upgrade to 4gb. However, the first time I fired up the pc with the new ram in, I ran a stress test and got a blue screen - hmmm, my 3.0ghz overclock has never been an issue before? When I tried to fire up windows again, it wouldn't load, system file corrupt. I tried a to repair from my Xp install, but no luck. I tried reinstalling but didn't get very far. In the process I formated my hdd and lost everything I'd had since 2003. Saved games, music, 3 models, photos. :sigh: At this point, I thought my hard drive was ****ed.

    I was away in egypt on holiday for the week after than happened, and whilst sat in the melting sun by the pool I mulled over my option. I'd been thinking about windows 7 and lusting after an SSD recently, and thought this might be a good time to upgrade, since I'd be starting from fresh.
    Handily, I was also selling my old flat having bought a house with my girlfriend and liberated a good chunk of cash the week back from holidays, so I thought hell, let's make the dive in to the world of SSDs.

    Bit-tech, as my tech lighthouse since I first started reading in 2007, had a recent review of the various SSDs out there in their SDD buyers guide (http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2010/07/08/ssd-buyers-guide/1). Very handy. I was impressed by the performance of the Sandforce drives, who's consitent data speeds along with TRIM support in W7 which seem to indicate SSDs are maturing enough to be worth the cash. I splashed £280 on an OCZ Vertex 2E (120GB), along with windows 7 and a 500GB Samsung F3 Eco Green (I don't trust my hard drive anymore). I settled on an eco green over a faster F3 as it's a 5400rpm drive, and near silent. With an SSD, I don't need a second fast storage disk, just cheap and as quiet as possible.

    I installed W7 64 bit, the first time it failed blaming a corrupted disk (still having gremlins...) but the second install went ok. Windows 7 didn't go smoothly, had a couple of blue screens and I cottoned on that it my be the new ram that was the issue. Sure enought, it seemed to work fine with my two old sticks installed.
    I managed to creep onto the internet (my onboard wireless wasn't supported without getting drivers loaded in on USB from another pc) and check ebay, having written an angry message to the seller. He reccomeneded running memtest on them (yeah, I should have thought of that) and sure enough the 2 new sticks were ****ed. I sent them back for a refund, but it's still sad to loose all my old stuff. Atleast all my games and music are either on cd or steam.

    But from the ashes christ I'm loving the SSD action. From pressing the on-switch to being able to look at my google homepage is about 45 seconds. But to be fair 25 of those are while the system POSTs. Everything feels slick and instant, i'm glad I bought it, expensive but I'm getting to the point where I don't want to wait for things to load, computer time is precious! Windows 7 is also pretty slick to use, I'm still a bit unfamiliar but mainly it's just a desktop to put my starcraft 2 icon on, which I am also loving!

    So, back to the modding:

    New bits! I also bought a new slot load dvd, the old one had barely been used but was, conventiently for ebuyer, a couple of weeks over the 1 year warranty, so they wouldn't replace it. Won't shop there again, I swear a cd had been in it 10 times tops and it sat in a box for most of it's life. Scan's free delivery for forum members has won me over now.

    [​IMG]

    I set up my workshop...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And boom, done! Didn't bother taking any photos of the work itself, just the usual draw a pattern, clamp to bench and cut with jigsaw. I extneded the side window a bit and cut the hexagon patern in which echos the top vents. It also shows off the SSD and pump a bit more.

    [​IMG]

    I made simple mount for the SSD with some spare perspex. Does the job. Yet to hide the cables properly.

    [​IMG]
    Where the radiator goes - the only WC bits I still need to get is tubing and 45 degree connectors, the rest is sat in a drawer waiting for the right time to install it. I don't want to get a waterblock for my 8800GT, but with ATI's 6000 series rumoured for october now would be a stupid time to upgrade. I thought about just getting a 5870 but don't think they're good value, and I'm not sure a GTX460 or 5850 would be enough of a jump to justify spending £200 + a waterblock.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Top panel still unchanged.

    [​IMG]

    The front is new however. This time I also decided to add the red accent line that the top panel has with a second layer of red acryllic, it was no more difficult than just doing one layer. I bolted togehter first to make sure things stayed lined up.

    [​IMG]

    New slot. Sure it could be straighter, but atleast cds go through.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That's it for now! Next, cablesleeving.
     
  17. AnG3L

    AnG3L Ultimate Modder

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    Really nice and interesting result mate! Now... sleeving!!
     
  18. Blooddrunken

    Blooddrunken In Flames we Trust

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    Very nice Build. :thumb:
     
  19. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Coming together nicely.
    That's one thing I've always hated about perspex -The coloring system. The serial numbers for the colors are all messed up.
    ...and yes, The optical slot could be straighter.;)
     
  20. Razarach

    Razarach Member

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    nice work :)
     

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