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Case Mod - In Progress Project: Phoenix (PC-101B Orange Case Mod) (Jan 2010 update)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by gvblake22, 27 Nov 2007.

  1. gvblake22

    gvblake22 mmm, yep

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    I almost got an A05 instead of the 101, but in the end it was the price that swayed me.

    And I lied about getting some more work done today.... It didn't end up happening so it will be a while until the next update :yawn:
     
  2. mrplow

    mrplow obey the fist!!

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    I'll be interested to see how you form that mesh, I'm trying to replace the front panel on my PC60 and was interested in doing something similar.

    Looks good so far dude :D
     
  3. gvblake22

    gvblake22 mmm, yep

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    mmmmm, the sweet smell of progress; gotta love it!
    Didn't get a ton done today, but definitely made some progress by finishing the mesh inserts on each side of the front panel. Started out by cutting down the piece of aluminum angle at the bottom so there was room for the mesh to fold inside:
    [​IMG]

    Then I used these unique vise grips to bend the mesh to its desired shape:
    [​IMG]

    Once the mesh was bent along the edges, I used the original jig I made for bending the front panel and modified it slightly to be used as a jig to bend the mesh around the same radius. First step was to plane it down a little thinner so it was the correct width:
    [​IMG]
    Then I just clamped the mesh to it and bashed it down around the curve with a small rubber mallet:
    [​IMG]

    After a lot of swearing, pounding, and bleeding (that steel mesh is sharp!), I got the two pieces done...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ...and they fit (for the most part)!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. gvblake22

    gvblake22 mmm, yep

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    Got a little work done today, this time I got a good start on the hard drive cage. Here is the piece of clear acrylic I started with:
    [​IMG]

    Then it was time to bust out the heat gun and see how badly I could mangle this innocent piece of plastic...
    [​IMG]

    Here we are with a (partially) finished product:
    [​IMG]

    The cage will hold two HDD's on their sides (vertically) on the outside of the cage...
    [​IMG]

    ...as well as two more inside the cage horizontally, giving me space for a total of four hard drives.
    [​IMG]

    As you've probably noticed, the sides aren't completely straight, so my next task will be to heat up the sides and try to flatten/straighten them out and make things a little neater. I will also be putting in some rubber bumpers and pieces of felt to reduce vibration and noise. Finally, I'm going to attempt to open up the sides a bit to allow for better air movement on both sides of the drives.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2008
  5. Stuey

    Stuey You will be defenestrated!

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    Looks great so far! Just a quick question - did you order that mesh from McMaster Carr? Would you mind telling me how much $ they charged for shipping?
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2008
  6. gvblake22

    gvblake22 mmm, yep

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    Yes, part number 9255T731. I bought it with that 1'x2' piece of aluminum and the total shipping charge was $12 to zip code 49615 (they shipped it as two separate packages.
     
  7. Stuey

    Stuey You will be defenestrated!

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    Thanks!

    I've been meaning to buy some hex mesh for a while, but was concerned as to how much it would cost to ship 10 sq foot piece of metal. I was worried that it would come rolled or something like that.

    Did you clear coat the steel, or leaving it just as it is?
     
  8. gvblake22

    gvblake22 mmm, yep

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    First off, the mesh is not hex, it's a staggered round hole pattern. Second, it came as one large, flat sheet (not rolled or folded). Lastly I haven't done anything to treat or finish the mesh yet. It comes with a slightly oily finish, but I will be sanding it and painting it with rustoleum in a glossy black finish when all the pieces are cut and shaped the way I want.
     
  9. Stuey

    Stuey You will be defenestrated!

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    Well, of course it's staggered round hole. But I have been meaning to buy some hex mesh, which is sold in the same dimensions - 40" by 36."

    I know about the oily "finish" but didn't know you were going to paint it. Given that it's winter, I personally don't have any means of spraying anything right now, and was hoping that you'd use some indoor-safe technique that I could copy. =)

    Is it even possible to get mesh to look glossy? I'd imagine that maybe a flat color with a clear coat may look better.

    Thanks again for answering my questions. I'll sit back and enjoy the eye candy for now. =)
     
  10. Cigano

    Cigano \O/

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    I like the front of it will have enough ventilation !!!
    Good luck with your project !!!
     
  11. gvblake22

    gvblake22 mmm, yep

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    HAHA, I wish I had such a method! It's winter here too, so I'll probably just wait until the sun comes out and the temperature outside warms up. Either that, or have it professionally painted with the rest of the case.
    I don't see why not, it's still a metal surface (there just isn't very much of it). You obviously won't be able to see a reflection in it, but it will reflect the light just like a flat glossy surface would, so I think the final effect will be just fine (or so I hope)...
     
  12. Stuey

    Stuey You will be defenestrated!

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    A random question about those vise-grips. Are the jaws perfectly parallel at the tip? I know that they are somewhat angled from top towards the handle, but I recently ordered a pair and they were severely curved inwards horizontally in such a way that they could not securely or evenly grasp a piece of sheet metal. I was sent a replacement tool, and although the curve was less severe, it was still prominent.

    Edit: Nevermind, I bugged people on a diff. forum for assistance. =)
    http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14502
     
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2008
  13. gvblake22

    gvblake22 mmm, yep

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    After visiting your thread at Garage Journal and seeing those pics, I don't recall my vise grips looking like that. I didn't make any special notice of how the ends lined up, but I don't remember there being a gap or curve like that. I also don't remember the brand name, but I can check this weekend when I get back to the shop.
     
  14. gvblake22

    gvblake22 mmm, yep

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    First off, I am sad to announce that I am a complete idiot and broke that HDD cage I spent so much time meticulously bending. I don't want to get into the nasty details of its destruction, so I will announce my revision 2 HDD mounting system:
    [​IMG]
    Yes, it is as simple as it looks...
    [​IMG]
    Prettymuch the same sortof thing I did with the Secret of the Ooze case. There are two motherboard standoffs screwed into the edge of the drive and then it is screwed directly to the bottom of the case. This method is very sturdy, straight-forward, easy, and allows for maximum air circulation around the drive. Why didn't I just do this before?! :wallbash:
    There will eventually be holes drilled enough to fit three drives side by side like this on the bottom of the case.

    So after I knocked that out, I set back to work on creating the rest of my black acrylic "frames" that will essentially frame the black mesh and orange acrylic accents on the panels of the case. Here is the last piece I cut out today, it took A LONG TIME!
    [​IMG]
    ...and here is the whole family:
    [​IMG]
    As you can see, the edges are not finished...
    [​IMG]
    ...but they will be before the project is finished, don't worry!

    Here is where they will be placed on the case (imagine the side panels are on).
    Top (silver fan filter marks approxiate spot where top 120mm exhaust fan will be):
    [​IMG]

    Right side:
    [​IMG]

    Front-right angle:
    [​IMG]

    And the left side:
    [​IMG]

    Hopefully you can kindof get the idea of the effect I'm going for here. If not, then you'll just have to be patient and wait for more progress! :p
     
    Last edited: 27 Jan 2008
  15. Macros_the_Black

    Macros_the_Black Yup.. I'm a f-ing reptile

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    Ingenious! Hmm, doesn't really make for easy drive installation/removal though, having to lay the case on its side to screw/unscrew it.... but I like never the less. I'm getting ideas on how one might modify the idea to make installation easy and (nearly) tool-free. =)
    Does not look like the drive is attached on the top side, will you make something to keep the drives from breaking from side to side if/when you move the case? I'm thinking aluminum C- or L-profiles attached (glued) to the ceiling of the bottom compartment.
     
    Last edited: 27 Jan 2008
  16. gvblake22

    gvblake22 mmm, yep

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    No, there's nothing on there right now, but it's actually surprisingly sturdy the way it is with just those two screws. I will have at least one other hard drive in there too (for a total of two), so I may just cut a flat piece and screw it across the top so it spans the distance between the two drives and holds them firmly in place.
     
  17. cheezeit

    cheezeit What's a Dremel?

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    Glad to see an update, your decals with the acrylic look nice. Too bad you broke the original hdd holder though, that was pretty neat and may have been easier to use.
     
  18. gvblake22

    gvblake22 mmm, yep

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    Indeed, I was pretty pissed.......... :sigh:
     
  19. bumfluff

    bumfluff What's a Dremel?

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    Its lookin pretty good blake, I'm definately going to follow this.
     
  20. gvblake22

    gvblake22 mmm, yep

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    Spent a lot of time trying to clean up the edges of the swirly black design pieces, but I did also decide to hack out a big piece of material inside the case:
    [​IMG]

    I cut out a large square from the internal divider to give the PSU fan some extra breathing room.

    [​IMG]
    ...and no that is not the PSU that will be used in the final build in this case...

    You're probably scratching your heads about now, so let me start from the beginning. The place the hard drive is mounted now was interfering with the cables that come out of the PSU. With the PSU oriented how it was meant to be (120mm fan facing down), the cables from the PSU came out right on the hard drive. Flipping the PSU on its back with the fan facing up allowed me to have the cables coming out of the PSU on the other side of the case (behind the hard drives) which is much easier to manage. But the problem here is that the fan was pressed right up against the aluminum piece separating the motherboard chamber from the hard drive and PSU chamber. That is why I've cut this big gaping hole, to allow the PSU to be oriented so the cables don't interfere with the hard drives and the PSU does not starve for airflow. This also opens up the inside of the case a bit for better air circulation, and for a better view of what lies below. Sorry I don't have much in the way of pictures for you, carefully filing and sanding those decorative pieces of black acrylic is very slow going and tedious (not to mention the risk of breaking it). Patience please! :top:

    And Macros_the_Black, I know you're jaw is probably on the floor right now :jawdrop:, so let me try and explain myself a little more in depth for you....
    After much debate, I decided that the PSU absolutely needed to be flipped like I had done, which made cutting the divider out a necessity as well. Obviously this scraps any idea of a more elaborate hard drive moutning system as we were discussing, so I have decided (once again) to take the easy way out. Per our discussion of vibration dampening materials, I have decided to use my extra mouse pads (which are surprisingly thick) to lay between the bottom edge of the drive and the floor of the case. I will still screw in the drive through the bottom of the case, but I will probably ditch the standoffs (maybe use just a nylon washer instead) and let the mouse pad material take up the space. I will have two hard drives side by side, each on their own "bed" of mouse pad material. I expect the screws to hold the drives securely enough, but in case I am wrong I will just cut a simple piece of acrylic with four holes in it and screw it across the top of the two drives, locking them together to help hold them in place (with the other side of the drive firmly screwed to the bottom of the case through the mouse pad bed). This system is very easy and straightforward yet still accomplishes the task of hopefully reducing vibration and noise. That is all for now, thanks agian for all your help Petrus!:clap:
     
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