Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Pete_Venkman, 20 Jul 2005.
its looking good, keep it up i want to see this thing completed
Two for Tuesday
wOOt! Got alot done last night and the Cubbies won too!
With the first backplane cut, I set out to cut the second to match. Since it took me unreasonably long to measure out the first on on the Birch panel, I wanted to just trace the first one onto the board and cut that out. Two problems. 1 - I got a little cut-happy with the jog saw on the first one and cut too far into the board to allow me to put the second backplane on the other end of the board. 2 - For the life of me and can't find a damned mechanical pencil, I didn't want to use a ballpoint pen since the width of the ball point would throw off my trace. So I went out and found some damned pencils and then tried to figure out how to place the backplane on the board. IT HAD TO FIT! And it did! I turned the board about 30 degrees and it fit almost perfectly! Only a little tiny triangle piece on the top of the backplane wouldn't fit. Oh well, I'll fill it in later. I traced it out real nice...czech it out.
It was about 8:30 when I got around to this part, so I didn't want to saw outside and wake the dead...so since the wife was at work, I used the Kitchen! Perfect for my needs...with plenty of countertop space and a tile floor. This cut down took about 1/2 the time of the first. This is the learning process of modding I guess...
While I was out I also picked up these little beauties at Lowe's. 4-Pack of ratcheting clamps with quick-release. Only $10! Awesome!
I found out why they were so cheap though. In applications featuring heavy vibrations (see: palm sander), they tend to slip and fall off. Oh well, they are still good when I'm not sanding.
After busting out the Mouse hand sander, clamping the backplanes together and working them over pretty good, I ended up with two (nearly) identical backplanes! Double w00t!
With the backplanes done, I broke out some old gear and started placing parts. Think I have a config that will work out!
BTW - Sanding the backplanes together put Office Space in my mind:
"What would you do if you had a million sanders?"
"I'll tell you what I'd do, man, two backplanes at the same time, man."
"That's it? If you had a million sanders, you'd do two backplanes at the same time?"
"Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man."
Well, I think it's funny.
Didn't get much done last night...except some more thought and planning work. I'm trying to figure out the best way to bolt the outer backplane and the inner backplane together for strength and ease of access.
Also designing a cage to hold the hard drives, optical drive and power supply. I will have an update tomorrow with some bits and bobs. I'm having a little trouble focusing on the structural components...I find that I keep wanting to work on the flashing lights and shiny things.
Good Job so far I have a fully equipped shop bandsaws, table saw, vertical mill, lathe, sanding station the works and I live in the Chicago area so if you ever need help or need to use any of my equipment drop me a PM.
Alright I know I said I'd update today...but after what seemed like a marathon parts shopping session and not finding what I wanted. I went home and drew out the next parts to be cut from the plywood. By the time I had it all planned and layed out, it was too late to run the saw without pissing off the neighbors.
So I'll be cutting and building tonight. Mostly on the 'sync. generator' that sits under the cycloton, and most of the 'cyclotron' itself. This should give me a better idea of how to shape the drive rack and psu bracket.
BTW - I never realized how expensive aluminum sheet is...jesus maroombah!
"And with a million sanders, I think I could hook that up. Cause backplanes dig guys with sanders."
"Well, not all backplanes."
"The kind that would double up on a guy like me would."
Remember, you are required to wear this on your back when you take it to LANs.
LOL!! Thank you, Master Ninja!! I was hearing crickets in here!
I'm definitely going to wear it INTO lans...but I don't see it being feasible to wear it WHILE lan'ing. I'm toying with the idea of having an auxiliary power source of somekind to run the lights while it's not plugged in. The problem I can see with that is the power cell 'HDD meter' won't have any input to light up when the computer is off. It would probably require a separate circuit. It would also add some weight for the battery system and extra circuitry.
Finally got back to some serious work last night. I cut down the wood plate for the top of the sync. generator, and the 3 circles for the cyclotron. Then sanded them all pretty and even. Didn't take any pics of this since I'm sure you all have seen it already. Here's a picture of the 10" cyclotron base ring cut, with a 10" embroidery ring glued to it for height.
This is the top of a 9" round paper mache craft box, the perfect height for the main cyclotron cylinder.
I cut two circles 8 9/16" in diameter to sit on top of the paper mache box top. The height of the two circles together is exactly the inset distance of the rings to the box top, so I can fill the shelf around them in with clay or hot glue, then top it off with bondo and smooth it out into a nice even fillet all the way around the circle (in theory).
In the meantime I put to use my new toy, the infamous hand nibbler! I bought 4 rubber washers that had the right outside diameter of the light frame rings on the top of the cyclotron, and had to figure a way to evenly cut the inside hole bigger. My first lightbulb was to nibble away at the rubber until I got to the desired diameter. This took forever and gave me a buncha little rubber pieces to spray all over the apartment.
This method sucked to perform and yielded a sawtoothed inner surface. After sanding with my Craftsman Dremel-clone (lifetime warranty!), I traced the shape to the other rings and used my trusty razor knife to cut out the other centers. This was a much better method. I taped them all together,
and drum sanded the interiors to match and at least look like circles, and I ended up with these beauties!
Measuring out the placement on the front cyclotron disc yielded this look,
Which at first had be alarmed about the proximity of the top two rings to the outside of the disc...but I reread the diagram and pause-frame-pause'd the movie to make sure...it will look better after I add the fillet to the cyclotron top edge.
I compass'd out the holes for the lenses on the cyclotron disc, and punched them out using a combination of a drill and my knife. I didn't feel like cleaning up sawdust at that time, and had laundry to fold...so I left them unfinished for the night.
Tonight I'm hanging out with the guys and then driving to Michigan with the wife, brother-in-law and nephew for a weekend away. Thanks for tuning in this week, and I'll be getting back to work Monday.
Question for the 133t
Since the inception of this mod, I've used foamcore, balsa, birch plywood, basswood and aluminum as raw materials. My original plans included using wood for all of the exterior detail of the proton pack. After working with all of these materials, I feel that I'll get the best product from the foamcore as far as shape and construction. The mockups that I did from foam core are remarkably solid, using only wood glue to secure them. I'm finding that the tools that I have easy access to aren't the best for manipulating the harder materials. In and effort to keep the weight down and to speed up the build process (I may be getting a 'forced' deadline soon), I'm playing with the idea of building all of the prop details from foamcore, coating them with bondo and then shaping the smaller detail thus. I figure that no matter what I build this pack out of, it will be somewhat fragile on the outer side.
So I pose the question to you...the modding elite. I know that some of you have experience with foamcore. Do you think this is a good idea? My other option would be to use basswood and plywood, but the cost there is much higher than with foam core, and the cutting and finishing of that material is a bit more complicated.
As I write this, I'm thinking I might use a hybrid of foamcore and wood. Wood for the items that need more stability (ion arm) and foam core for the sturdier, boxier items (power cell box, gearbox)
I need opinions!
Man, this mod is kicking my asshole in!
looking good man keep up the good work
Sorry for the lack of photo-updates. I PROMISE I'll put up some picage tomorrow. Before the weekend, I put all the pieces of the cyclotron (round section on bottom with red lights) together and began Bondo'ing. We had to go to fantastic (not) Nebraska for a wedding over the weekend. I'll be hammering into this ************** hard over the next three nights, so bear with me.
BTW - I don't hate Nebraska...it's kinda pretty. There's just NOTHING to do there.
MEGA Update I
Thanks for being patient with me, I've had NO time to work on this mod...and hours and hours of time to think about it. So I've been chewing on my hands to get to work...
I've been focusing on the cyclotron and the synchronous generator (the round part with the lights and the oblong base of it). I obviously am going to use LEDs to light the four red chasing lights on the cyclotron, but wanted to replicate the diffused red bulb effect of the original packs. I searched high and low and finally found these little beauties at Meijer...2 packs @ $5.99 each.
Unfortunately, the **************s that built these beauties denied my quick entrance by using some kind of weird flat head screw with a notch in the middle. Why they wouldn't allow the user access to the bulb I'll never know. No matter...10 seconds and few good hammer whacks later I had all the access I need! Which after some plastic removal via pliers netted me four of these:
I trimmed them up a little, and then dremel'd some nice countersink into the back of the outer cyclotron plate and slapped them in. Perfecto!
Wanted to see what they'd look like with the black rubber frames:
The inner diameter of the frames are a little smaller than the diameter of the lenses, should cover up any imperfections nicely.
I quickly found that the lenses weren't all the same shape, and that the countersink wells that I cut weren't either, so I labelled all the lenses and the plate so I wouldn't forget what the hell was going on:
After studying the movie packs some more, I realized that the cyclotron lenses are tinted red, not clear. I went to the local autozone and picked up some brakelight lens 'repair tape' (which would surely make you look like a hillbilly if you used it as intended). Unfortunately upon inspection at home, I found that the tape is more of a redish-maroon than a tomatoey-red like I require. I'll deal with that later.
I removed the lenses again, cut matching holes in the second cyclotron plate (larger to accomodate the installation of the lenses), slathered them with wood glue and slapped them onto the paper mache hat box top (also cut to match). Realizing that my handy clamps were too small to hold this sandwich, I grabbed just about anything in the kitchen I could to put the pressure to the cyclotron.
Once this had dried, I inspected the 'shelf' around the circomference of the two plates. The fillet around the top of the cyclotron is 7/16 tall and 7/16 deep (from plate to outside of box top). This would have been alot of volume to cover with bondo, so I rooted through the toolbox until I found the tool that I'd been neglecting to that point...the GLUE GUN! I have the cheapest glue gun known to mankind, but it still rocks. I fired it up and pumped about four glue sticks into the fillet shelf, ending up with this result:
After this had set in about 10 minutes (why I love glue guns...nearly instant
bondagE!), I slapped it up with bondo and put it on the deck to fume.
MEGA Update II
I don't have as many pictures of the following few processes, so I'll describe as best as possible. Another trip to the hardware store yielded a 3"-4" air duct diameter change ring (black plastic), which I wasted no time in cutting to bits. Preliminary planning shows that my cpu heatsink will stick through the outer backplane halfway to the left of the upper part of the sync gen. I wanted to have some kind of air intake in this area to assist the heatsink in its ever-important cooling duties. What better place than the large circular spot just above the cyclotron? The plans I have show it to be just a hair larger than an 80mm fan (they must have planned this way back when...right?) The 3" end of the duct piece was the perfect size, so I chopped it off and cut a hole to fit it perfectly in the top sync gen plate. Then I slid the ring in and glued it into place. Perfect! I shaved one of the corners off an 80mm fan from a previously failed mod (PFM) and cut the inside of a 92mm fan grill out to fit the top of the duct.
On the 'real' proton packs, this particular circle is closed at the top, and is the
mounting plate for an R-701 Clippard 'Minimatic' fluid valve. I had a devil of a time finding someone that sold the Clippard valves...and then an even harder time finding them cheap enough to justify buying. I got two off of a nice bloke on eBay for $3.50 each. They are R-302 valves, the only difference I can see is that the sticker is a wee different and the top of the valve has a little clear hemisphere instead of a grey knob. I'm going to add the knob later...I'm not worried since this feature is purely aesthetic. Nevertheless I was happy to have found actual Clippard valves for dirt cheap.
I removed the silver screws, since I wouldn't be able to use them to mount this anyways, chopped the threaded bit off of them and glued them back in place for looks. Then I had to grind out the center of the altered fan grill to accomodate a little nipple (tee hee) on the bottom of the valve. What do they make these grills out of, adamantium? Anyways...I centered the valve, flipped the two over and packed it full of more of the hot glue. After the glue set I laid it on the top of the black duct and marked where the four 'legs' of the grill touched the duct. I cut little divvies in the duct to seat the legs and then test fit the grill assembly...nice! I'm going to have to put some little struts inside the duct to give the grill more area to attach too, but the look is nice. The chrome fan grill will be painted black along with the rest of the body, hopefully giving the illusion that that area is more closed off than it really is.
Then I found the 10" cyclotron base and glued it to the sync gen plate.
For the two tubes above the fan duct, I glued two 1.25" pieces of PVC together, sanded them real nice and glued it to the sync gen. The tube that site 'below' this will be a simple plastic ring set around the thin one, then filled with glue and bondo and sanded flat on the top. This should give it some real nice rigidity. The thin tube is hollow and will accept the black corrugated wire loom that runs from the gear box, so I wanted it to be a little stiff.
I finish off the night, I set the bondo'd cyclotron on the 10" ring to see how it
would look, along with the clippard grill.
Today I'm gonna go to Menards (hardware) and try to get all the little valves and barbs I need for the project, or at least the one that goes on the side of the cyclotron. Tonight I'm gonna finally get the measurements off of my motherboard so that I can measure and cut the outer backplane. Once this is complete I'll be able to start building and mounting the upper parts of the pack. Thanks for tuning in!
Side note: this little ************** has proved indespensible in nightly cleanup. I highly recommend picking one up:
Isn't that phillips ? Anywho, this is looking like a cool project thus far! I really like the mods where a lot of raw materials are used to build from the ground up, rather than slapping some hardware into a Lian-li or something. Keep up the good work.
If you'll permit me a terrible and quick representation, the slot was like this:
where the equals signs are the depressed area. The center wasn't depressed, so i couldn't use a flathead. Nothing a sudden bludgeoning couldn't fix.
Thanks for the kind words!
This Project is looking great... i dont know why or how you got this idea all of a sudden but omg that is awesome! Everyone can mod a reg case and make it look good but the real question is can you make your own! So far it is looking GRRREAT! You have inspired me to look for some sort of off the wall idea but all i can think of is a proton pack, time to break out some old movies!!!
This idea is definatley out of the box keep up the good work!
Yay! I'm able to post an update sooner than I thought. I've been busy over the last three days...and it will probably be Saturday evening before I get to do some more work, so here's the update!
As I said before (i think), I overlooked the fact that the cyclotron light lenses are tinted red, so I've been looking for some transparent red paint or red gel film. I thought about printing the desired color onto a tranparency, but I'm saving that as a last resort. I found something at a craft store that may do the trick...and I love it because it's the right color red...red vellum paper!
My only fear with this is that it won't be transparent enough to let the 'grain' of the lenses be effective. Only testing will tell. It's also got a flat texture. I
sprayed a piece with high-gloss clearcoat and the result turned out pretty sweet (sprayed piece on left, original sheet underneath):
It should work so long as the lighted-up version looks the part. I've had to make an executive decision over the last few days. I was going to have the blue power cell lights driven by the hard drive activity, and the red cyclotrons simply chase. Well I've decided to swap, and have the hard drive activity drive the four red lights. The reason? I've spent TOO MUCH time sweating over the electronics...especially in contrast to how well I feel the rest of the project is going. Also, having the HD drive the cyclotron lights allows me to use this 'off-the-shelf' part that I salvaged from a PFM:
What the hell is that you ask? It's an UltraStylez LED kit, provided by one of my best friends. He runs Efextek Audio and Light (www.efextek.com), a storefront for his handmade sound and light devices. It's made to run off of PSU power, it takes the HD activity pulses and uses them to feed five (in my case four) LEDs in sequence. The more activity there is, the faster the sequence. Should workout perfectly and saves me a buttload of time making something up myself. I will still, of course, have to figure out the power cell light circuit. But I'm getting close on that one.
Most of this week I've been bondo'ing and smoothing the cyclotron and synchronous generator assembly. I've also realized the difference between normal bondo and spot putty! It's definitely been a learning process, but I'm getting happier about the results I'm getting.
After I let it dry real good, I sanded all that bloody red spot putty down to a nice smooth surface all the way around the sides of the cyclotron. My main foe is going to be that fillet around the top plate...I really want to to be nice and even all the way around. I'm hoping it will come with time and patience. I also hope that I can find the patience!
I finally measured where *exactly* the cpu and cards stick up on my motherboard, and transferred it to the outer backplane where these parts will stick out. I allowed 1/4" around the spaces for airflow, and a little more behind the cards for cable clearance and support for the card brackets. This picture also shows the hole where the psu will stick through (and allow access to the cyclotron lights)
I debated whether or not to just bolt the PSU to this backplane, but in the end I want to be able to pull the outer shell completely off to service the PC (I'll still have to remove the power leads to the light circuits). I'm going to mount the PSU to a slab of the wood and mount it directly over the hard drive cage.
This is where it got real exciting. I figured out the distance between the outer backplane and the sync gen plate and cut nine square dowels to length, then glued and screwed them to the backplane.
Then I laid the sync gen and cyclotron assembly on top and snapped this pic!
w00t! It's finally taking some substantial shape! After taking a moment to wipe my tears away, I pulled out a sheet of 1/8" thick balsa wood and began trimming the slats to close in the bottom of the synchronous generator. It's hard to see from the films, but the bottom of this part actually has this texture, with the breaks in the curve around the bottom making it more 'geometric' I guess you could say. The only bondo'ing I'll be doing here will be to fill in the gaps between slats and at the bottom where the slats meet the backplane.
I masked them into place and wood glued them from the inside. Once they've completely set I'm going to apply a layer of bondo on the inside surface to make the balsa more rigid and putty the bottom lines out. Look at that beauty!!!
That's where I'm at right now on the pack. More in the next post!
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