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Case Mod - In Progress Project: Sound+Vision

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by coolmiester, 13 Dec 2005.

  1. coolmiester

    coolmiester Coolermaster Legend

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    Secret Project Codename: Sound+Vision

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    Obviously i've had to keep this one under cover as it’s the final stage entry into the Coolermaster competition along with four others but now the comp has closed its time to reveal all.

    I'll start with a little about the competition and the influence behind the mod.

    I understood that Coolermaster planed to unveil the winning case on their stand at the CES show in Vegas in January 2006 so the main criteria was to build a free standing system that would first and foremost look fantastic but also be unique and stand out amongst the crowd but not to off the wall that it would be unrecognisable as not being all Coolermaster products.

    I decided to build a free standing media PC that incorporates a TFT screen to the front and powered stereo speakers to either side panel hence the project name "Sound + Vision" which also features wireless internet so can be used for web surfing on the move (if your eyesight is up to it) and TV card with large storage capacity for watching and recording all your favourite movies, sport etc.

    Basically the PC can be hooked up anywhere there is a mains power supply and with the addition of the colour co-ordinated mouse and keyboard can run movies, games, DVD's, TV in fact anything without the need for a traditional monitor or speakers.

    The theme of the case is loosely based on a favourite car, the WRC Subaru Impreza STI so a genuine bonnet scoop was cut down and modded to the top of the case adding extra ventilation that also inadvertently work out well as a sub bass port for the side speakers which are incorporated into genuine Mini GTI vents that hold the three speaker pods on each side.

    All the hardware including CPU, Chipset, Graphics Card and Hard Drive are all watercooled by the Coolermaster Aquagate that does a great job in keeping everything running very cool, stable and quiet and the addition of Pink UV Dye adds a unique contrast to the Blue, Black and White chassis.

    Hardware Used:
    DFI Crossfire Motherboard
    A64 3700+ San Diego CPU
    Gainward 7800 GT Golden Sample
    120GB Western Digital Hard Drive
    2x 512MB OCZ 3200
    Pioneer DVD/RW

    Coolermaster Products:
    Coolermaster Centurion CAC Case
    Coolermaster Alu Bezel
    Aquagate ALC-U01
    Va-Aqua GPU Block
    NB-Aqua Northbridge Block
    HDD AquaTurtle Hard Drive Block
    Coolermaster 550watt PSU
    IDE + Sata Leads
    120mm + 80mm Fans

    Anyway......on with the mod!

    The pictures are pretty self-explanatory and be warned there are absolutely loads but I’ll try my best throughout to make sense of how the mod all came together!

    The patient I chose to go under the knife this time is the CM Centurion (CAC 505) which was one of the prizes from round 2 of the CM mod comp and this is how the case looked when it turned up so there was loads of potential there and turned out to be a great case to mod!
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    First of all i took an Impreza bonnet vent and as you can see, marked it out with masking tape to cut the centre 10” section out.
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    After cutting between the two marked lines i finished up with two end bits that needed re-joining together.
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    So using a bit of the cut out centre section i made a piece to re-enforce the two bits and would make for a much stronger join.
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    Mixed up some quick drying Araldite and clamped it all together with a couple of G clamps
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    and after it had dried, ended up with a rather cut down bonnet scoop
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    There is still a bit of a gap in the very front bit as it was a hard job to make an precise cut on such an unusual shaped object but that could be filled later with car body filler once its mounted to the case so I finished off with taking the lip off the bottom as I felt it was sitting a little too proud and not in proportion with the case and then finished off rubbing it down a little with wet n dry….…the main thing was that it was very strong after the two part glue had dried.
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    Next step was to mask and mark the top of the case which was done by just laying the scoop on top of the case once it had been masked up and drew round with a felt tip pen.
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    then drilled a pilot hole to start and cut out with a jigsaw then draw filed the ruff edge down.
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  2. coolmiester

    coolmiester Coolermaster Legend

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    The scoop came with some kind of Tekaloid adhesive to stick it in place so after roughing up the contact area with a Dremmel, applied the rubber type fixing stuff and squashed the scoop into place.
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    After cutting and sanding off all the surplus Tekaloid, i filled all the gaps with Isopon 40 car body filler and did a bit of wet sanding to get everything ultra smooth and couldn’t help but give it a coat of paint to see how things were looking but this was purely to see how it would look and a lot more wet sanding was required and then it was again filled with Isopon 38 which is a lot smother than the 40 and gives a much cleaner smother finish.
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    In the mean time i managed to win a couple of Mini Metro GTI bonnet vents off e-bay for £3 which were a bargain and would become the side vents and speaker pods on both side panels.

    First of all though i had to do a bit of re-modelling so set about them with a Dremmel and cut out all the fins and smoothed down with various grade wet n dry so they looked like this...and would end up holding the side speaker pods
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    Right, time to move on to something completely different!

    I got a new toy to have a bit play with - its a 4" TFT monitor which is going to fit into two front 5.25 bays of the case once I’ve made a bracket and will run independently from the s-video out of the graphics card.

    Was quite surprised when i fired it up for the first time and it worked straight away! Been having a bit play with the dual view settings in the nVidia control panel to get to run full screen as soon as a movie is played.

    Picture quality is amazing for the size and photos don't do it justice but i'll post a few anyway.

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    Next step is to get a bezel made which will take up two 5.25 drive bays.......

    As its going to fit into 2 empty drive bays i decided to make a blanking plate from scratch rather than trying to use 2 of the original ones.

    So started off with 1.5mm sheet aluminium and scribed it out to the size needed which was 270mm x 86mm and cut it out with a jigsaw and fine cutting blade.
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    Then from either end measured in 60mm which would form the angled fixing bits once bent at 90-degree angles.

    Its a top quality little TFT and i really wanted to do it justice with a professional looking bracket so invested in a sheet metal folder which i've been after for a while and will come in handy in other projects.
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    As you can see it makes light work of 1.5mm aluminium on the first bend
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    And again on the other end...
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    So that's the basic shape of the bracket
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  3. coolmiester

    coolmiester Coolermaster Legend

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    Next it was time to measure the actual viewing area of the screen which was 86mm x 66mm and transferred and scribed that onto what would become the face of the bracket.
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    Decided to cut that out with a fret saw as my Dremel skills aren't the best and finished it off with various files and then wet n dry.
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    Rather than square the corners off i thought i'd go for the rounded look that is a bit more work but would look more professional and pleasing on the eye when finished
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    That was basically it for now and the mounting holes will be drilled at a later date once i've got the case ready so it was straight onto polishing:)

    I cut a chock of wood which would protect the bracket from becoming bent once i set away with my trusty Hitachi polisher which can be a bit fierce at times so set away with Peek polish and 10 minute later it was pretty much done.
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    It will still need a final polish by hand with liquid Peek and a soft cloth but this is how it looks after machine polishing.
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    I won't be actually mounting the screen in just yet but this is how it looks just resting on top
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    And i couldn't resist just fixing it in temporarily with some double-sided foam tape.

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    So there you go, all ready to mount into the case……well nearly!

    To the left hand side of the screen the volume control for the speakers would be mounted which would also replicate the circular temp and fan controller of the Aquagate mounted above……….you will see what I mean in a minute!

    To mount the volume control I had to use a new tool called a Trepanning bit which fits into a normal drill but is quite a tricky thing to get the hang of so after several beers and quite a few practice goes on a spare piece of aluminium as I didn’t really want to mess up on the good one it was time to give it a go!

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    ….and finally with the volume control mounted……..the outer clear bit illuminates blue with two LED’s
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  4. coolmiester

    coolmiester Coolermaster Legend

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    Well, onward and sideways in this case - Time to cut out the side panels and mark out for the vents and speaker assembly.

    On the side panel, the Coolermaster pre-cut vent, 80mm fan opening and door handle would depict the shape of the window especially as the side speaker vents were also quite large so I sat and flicked through various pictures of STI’s and decided the driver and passenger side window would be the perfect shape for each side panel if it was rotated 90 degrees…..hence the strange shapeJ

    As you can see on the following pic that it took a bit of playing around with to get them in the “right” place
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    ….but once I was happy, I cut the window opening and also the speaker holes with a jigsaw and then by hand filing as it would have been nigh on impossible to of used the new Trepanning tool to get all three holes lined up correctly so old school elbow grease it wasL
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    which would look like this with the speaker vent…
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    and with the masking tape off and the speakers in place
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    OK, now time to get the chassis painted which just had to be white just like in any WRC car, so on with a few coats of primer
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    I did get a bit ahead of myself with the chassis painting though as I totally forgot there was a hole needed cut to take the PSU wires behind the motherboard.

    So with a 50mm hole saw i cut the said hole!
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    And added rubber edging to the hole which would protect the PSU wiring as well as finishing things off a bit neater
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    So this is how it looked with the PSU in place
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    Right, back to the side panels………so after a light wet n dry the vents were stuck on with the same Tekaloid that was used on the top scoop
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    and after a couple of hours drying I followed up with Isopon 38 car filler
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    When you have been using body filler its always a good idea to give it a light coat of primer and you will instantly see any high spots which can then be rubbed down further with more wet n dry 1600 - 2000 grit and always wet sand with a little squirt of washing liquid in the water for better lubrication!
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    And when all the rubbing down of the filler was done, numerous coats of primer were applied with a very light wet sanding in between then masked the speaker area off as that would be getting painted black.
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    So…..left that side to dry overnight and applied five top coats of WRC Subaru Blue which were also wet sanded in between coats to end up with this ready for lacquer when the same process was finished on the other side and top.
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    And this is how the whole case was starting to take shape at this point
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  5. coolmiester

    coolmiester Coolermaster Legend

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    The paintwork turned out totally blemish free and better than expected so I decided to let a friend at a local body shop take care of the lacquer which could be baked in their oven and this how it arrived back. The finish is just like that of a showroom new car and the lacquer has given the colour so much depth and the black speaker inserts a great contrast to the blue and silver of the speaker mounts……..very happy!
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    To finish the top scoop off i got my hands on some aluminium mesh that was very easy to cut and bend into shape then glue on from behind.
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    So this is how it looked with the silver grill in place but would be painted black to match with the other mesh on the front of the case.
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    ….and as it looks now finished with a black grill

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    The window was made from clear plexi with black out secrecy film applied that would show the Pink UV water once the PC was switched on.

    To keep things clean looking on the outside I used double-sided foam tape to fix the window in place
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    Now that things were all taken care of for the exterior of the case it was time to move onto fitting some hardware and watercooling.

    First thing was to remove the standard heat sinks and fan from the Gainward 7800GT Golden Sample and lay out the new Coolermaster water block and heat sink.
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    and following the instructions, fitted the block which couldn’t have been easier
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    ….and finally the all in one memory cooler.
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    Looks nice and tidy from both sides!
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    The motherboard of choice is the all new DFI Crossfire that i wasn’t 100% sure the Chipset block would fit but decided to give it a go anyway and given that it was a new board with new technology I was a bit apprehensive of taking the stock cooling off but my it turned out there was absolutely nothing to worry about and everything fitted perfectly even though there wasn’t a great deal of room to spare!

    Here is a series of pictures of the stock chipset being removed replaced with the Coolermaster block and also the CPU Block fitted…
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    Ohh and not forgetting the hard drive
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    And all linked together being leak tested
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  6. coolmiester

    coolmiester Coolermaster Legend

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    Finally before going on to show pictures of the complete mod I just wanted to show the Samurize monitoring program.

    I wanted to show basic stats in full screen while the PC was idling and decided that the following would be implemented into the screen….

    CPU Usage in %
    Memory Usage in %
    Computer Up Time [days-hours-minutes-seconds]
    Running Total in MHz
    GFX Temperature
    CPU Temperature

    I came up with the idea to have the read out replicate Subaru STI clocks so set about designing them in Photoshop.

    This is how the PS finally turned out
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    I had to get Leeum to wave his magic wand on the config file to line up all the pointer and get them working correctly so a big thanks to Leeum for doing that because i did change my mind quite a few times in the process ;)

    I’d say a good job well done though Leeum :cool:
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  7. coolmiester

    coolmiester Coolermaster Legend

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    All that’s left to say is a big thanks to everyone who got involved and also to those that suffered when the long hours had to be put in.

    Its all down to Coolermasters decision now so fingers crossed!

    So finally onto some pictures of the finished PC that has to be said runs flawlessly at a very respectable 30 – 32 on the CPU and 33 – 34 on the GFX card

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  8. JAxen

    JAxen New Member

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    :jawdrop: OH MY GOD!
    Thats awesome! Cant find any other words :hehe:
    And yes, my first post on bit-tech ever :)
     
  9. Sam0r

    Sam0r It's been a while

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    How did you get the speakers in? What speakers did you use?
     
  10. <A88>

    <A88> Trust the Computer

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    Welcome to the forums!
    Another great mod, good to see you've come round to noticing that Coolermaster make more than one case Paul ;)

    <A88>
     
    Last edited: 13 Dec 2005
  11. Hiren

    Hiren mind control Moderator

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    Nice work as usual Paul.
     
  12. Thomas3D

    Thomas3D New Member

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    Simply awesome, didnt think it was possible but i like this even better than your other awesome mods. wow
     
  13. Guido

    Guido New Member

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    Same question as post #3. How did you power them, etc...
     
  14. coolmiester

    coolmiester Coolermaster Legend

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    Cheers all :thumb:

    The speakers are Philips which are powered direct to a 240v spur taken off the PSU

    Obviously they were taken out of the standard cases and mounted direct to the side panels.

    The top scoop really works well as the base port (not that it was originally intended to but it works a treat :)
     
  15. GigantoR

    GigantoR New Member

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    :D
     
  16. Blackcrown

    Blackcrown New Member

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    Looks great.

    Lots of succes with the contest!
     
  17. _ferry_

    _ferry_ New Member

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    Well done job! Good luck in the contest :)
     
  18. coolmiester

    coolmiester Coolermaster Legend

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    Yeah same back at ya dude ;)

    Real pitty about Mr_Knoll though - that was bad luck, just wonder how long they will let it go on!
     
  19. s29feb

    s29feb New Member

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    WOW

    :jawdrop: gorgeous

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  20. Shadowed_fury

    Shadowed_fury Active Member

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    Great mod. Has given me a few ideas :)
     
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