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Scratch Build – Complete Project: Star Wars Sandcrawler

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by artoodeeto, 30 May 2010.

  1. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Active Member

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    March-April 2010 –
    Remember how I said way back at the beginning that this is sponsored by Danger Den and Outoftheboxmods.com? Well, now it’s time for that water cooling to come in to play. While excited at the prospect of being sponsored a rather pricey WC setup, I was a bit hesitant at first. After all, I hadn’t designed the case with this in mind, and I knew it would take some modification to get everything to work. What I wasn’t prepared for was the size of the radiator. I was thinking Outofthebox would send maybe a single or double 120mm sized radiator. Instead I got a Blackice GTX 360! Along with the pump, CPU waterblock, and a reservoir, fans and tubing that I ended up not using.
    Danger Den was kind enough to sponsor me with an Nvidia GTX285 waterblock, clear tubing, Feser 1 coolant, TWO Rad-Reservoirs, metal fittings, and a Danger Den logo fan grille.
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    The items from outoftheboxmods that I didn’t use in this build but am saving for a future one:
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    Now. Problems with fitting all this in the case. That radiator is HUGE, easily half the length of my case. I had to cut away some parts of the internal fan chamber to get it to fit. Also, vertical space was a major problem. I couldn’t use the blue fans pictured above because they were too thick. I wanted to use the dual Danger Den rad-reservoirs in place of those gray PVC pipes, which meant mounting them horizontally in that same space.

    Another problem. Remember how the top of the case is removable? Well, the only place I had space to mount the radiator was above the motherboard. Due to other space constraints it wasn’t an option to raise the motherboard higher and put the rad under it, and that would have meant bad airflow anyway. But, I couldn’t simply mount the radiator in the upper part of the case, because that had to remain detachable. I also needed to mount the dual reservoirs on top of the radiator. Another issue was the video card waterblock…it stuck up higher than I expected, and limited space under the rad. So…here’s the beginnings of what I came up with. ¾” aluminum flat bar, bent to create legs to hold the radiator:
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    I ordered 3 1.2cm thick scythe slipstream 120mm fans. They went under the radiator, and there’s literally about 2mm clearance between them and the top of the video card waterblock:
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    And I began fabricating a mount for the dual reservoirs since I couldn’t use the standard mounts they came with:
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    I also began cutting away the inside of the case to make room for all this:
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    This red LED was a leftover from the second sandcrawler model. It was in the wall of the large rear room, but to make room for the radiator I had to move it to this spot. I broke the dumb thing in the process, and replaced it with a couple more similarly located LEDs.
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  2. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Active Member

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    April 7-8, 2010 –
    Here’s the almost-final setup. This was prior to realizing I needed 3 more of those slipstream fans (I’d originally only gotten 3). They went on top of the radiator, and due to lack of vertical space above it, I ended up having to scrap the mount/hinging mechanism I’d come up with for lifting the res’s vertically to fill the system.
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    Got it installed with the tubing. I used about 5’ of Tygon 3/8ID tubing.
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    April 9, 2010 –
    I started filling the system, and soon discovered that the pump Danger Den sent me was non-functional for some reason. The one from Outoftheboxmods worked, but I needed to drain the system before switching pumps…not an easy task given how everything was oriented! I hit upon the idea of running a drain tube from one reservoir to the coolant bottle, and running my air compressor hose into another tube to the other reservoir, and essentially blew all the coolant out. It worked!
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    This is how the reservoirs are attached to each other. A corner brace, cut so it’s just a flat brace, attached to the front and back ends. And painted black. It’s barely visible, and negated the need for the wooden stock-style mounting bracket I’d made, which was too tall once the extra 3 fans were added.
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    No room between the video card block and that fan…it just BARELY fits!
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    CPU and video card wateblock installation:
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  3. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Active Member

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    April 10-11, 2010 –
    After a lot of work, the water cooling loop is set up and running!
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    My temps might seem a bit high, but keep in mind the airflow from those Scythe fans is a lot lower than the airflow provided by standard thickness fans. Even with 6 Scythes in there, it’s still not as good. But, there’s just not enough room for normal fans. And, while these temps are idle, under load (ie, gaming) they only increase 8C for the CPU and 10C for the GPU.
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    April 18, 2010 –
    I added some paper/foam barriers along the sides of the rad to minimize hot air from above getting back under the radiator. In the last pic of this set you can see the hole they block between the rad and the inside of the case.
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    This wood dowel with screws to hold it down is what the res’s now sit on top of. They can’t really move at all, but they still lift up.
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    And they’re visible through that side flap, just like the gray pvc pipes were.
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  4. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Active Member

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    April 18, 2010 –
    I soon added one of the fans from Outoftheboxmods, hanging under the radiator and blowing air from the open loading door under the rad. This way the air under the rad doesn’t heat up as much from the warm motherboard, and thus cooling capacity is a little better.
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    Lastly, I added UV LEDs to the pump and the reservoirs, as the Feser Black coolant glows bluish under their light. The pics didn’t come out super well, and it took me awhile to realize that’s probably partly because of the polarizing filter I have on my camera lens…
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  5. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Active Member

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    June 2010 –
    So what’s next? Well, all those opening flaps are supposed to reveal the interior of the crawler, but there’s nothing in there. Yet. Enter a box of junk from Electronics Goldmine, leftover model parts (tons of those still), and some legos and a motor. There will be a running conveyor system, and all sorts of machinery and other junk in there. I will also build a crane inside the loading door, and will add whatever else I can think of. I want to do droids and jawas as well, and I want to build a scenery base for it (already have a 10 pound sack of powdered walnut shells to simulate sand). Stay tuned for more soon, and thanks for reading!
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    Chairboy likes this.
  6. DarkFear

    DarkFear New Member

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    I'm try to find the words to express how awesome I think this is. :jawdrop: :rock:

    Also, I'm glad that I'm not the only one with countless boxes full of crap things that might be usefull for something someday :D
     
  7. 6481

    6481 New Member

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    Im just speechless... impressive is just a minimun word to describe your work here...

    This case has to be in a museum of Star Wars... its amazing... unveliable...
     
  8. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    Wowzers.
     
  9. Cruelinios

    Cruelinios EvE Addict

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    Amazing attention to detail here, love the intricate manifolds/pipes etc ... it's also reminding me slightly of the ending credits to Red Dwarf ... :thumb:
     
  10. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Active Member

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    Thanks! It's been alternatingly fun and aggravating: It was awesome watching it come together Jan-April of this year, after so many years of being not-finished, but I'm REALLY tired of doing everything 3 times before I get it right LOL. And no, you're not the only one who hangs on to boxes of junk. Although I've gotten a lot better about taking a good hard look at what I'm saving and asking myself, "will I *really* use this?" Often the answer is no, so out it goes. I think that'll be the case when I finish the inside of this thing, I'll likely get rid of some extra stuff. Or maybe I'll save it for the large scale Y-wing I want to build. :worried: who knows? :D
     
  11. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    Winner!

    MOD = Mod of the decade!
     
  12. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Active Member

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    LOL thanks! Hopefully this weekend I'll get started on the interior details. Sadly work is rather shaky at the moment and a lot of my mental energy is being spent on the beginnings of a job hunt.
    In the meantime, someone just informed me I've been nominated for mod of the month (thanks guys!) so if you like this, please put in a vote for me! course...it's a tough choice LOL there's a lot of awesome mods in there.
     
  13. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Active Member

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    ooook....so. It's been awhile since I last updated this. Didn't really mean to leave it hanging, but life got busy the last couple months. First we took a trip to Italy, and while there I availed myself of the opportunity to propose here, just below the Piazzale Michelangelo south of Florence, with a view of the city:
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    Another view from the Piazzale. Did I mention I popped the question at sunset? :D
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    And just to prove we were really there :)
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    Needless to say, it was a fantastic trip and very exciting! However...3 days after we got back I got laid off from the environmental consulting firm I worked for, and since they are going out of business, I didn't get paid for any of my vacation time. On top of that, we've also started wedding planning, which of course is quite the time hog.

    I'm slowly adjusting to being unemployed and job hunting, but it hit me today that I really need to get myself on some kind of schedule, and working on the inside of my crawler for a few hours a week (at least) is going to be part of that schedule. Which brings me to these next pics. I know it's not the best update ever, but I decided (while my fiancee was on the phone with her parents discussing wedding stuff) to at least get the lego technics tank tracks put together. These will become conveyor belts inside the upper section of the crawler. I also took pics of the bags of goodies that will constitute the interior...er..."decoration" of the model. More to come soon....

    All the various track sections laid out on my desk, along with a few wheels. These'll all be combined into 2 or 3 tracks total I think. Depends on how well it all fits in there.
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    The bookcase where I'm storing all the stuff. The A-wing is one of the newer toys, and is only there because I stuck a small fan in the space on my desk where it used to be. I'm in southern CA, and it's been 100 degrees here the last couple weeks. I *am* planning on using the TIE fighter model somehow. It's one of those old Ertl kits.
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    Closeups of the various bits:
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  14. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Active Member

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    Before I tackle new construction, I need to solve the problem of my pump buzzing. it's started doing that the last couple months, and I only recently thought to dismantle a not-really-working extra pump that I have.
    The one I'm using is a Laing DDC-3. The extra one is a 3.25, but it doesn't really work. I can get the central spinner to spin, but as soon as I cut power and then power it back up, it won't spin without help. Usually a "jump-start" spin from my fingers gets it going, but obviously I can't use it since the top needs to be off for the finger-jump-start to work. (perfect sig-quote line LOL).

    However, since that central spinner is the only moving part in the whole thing, it must be that it's wobbling slightly, which tells me that maybe my mounting method is at fault. I'm going to try remounting it in a different spot where I can hopefully get it level. But of course this'll involve draining the system, replacing a couple hoses with longer sections, and refilling it.

    The pump, sans top:
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    With the central spinner removed, and the inner workings removed from the outer shell:
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  15. BLUEHORSESTUDIOS

    BLUEHORSESTUDIOS I haven't lost a finger yet!

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    I love star wars and I love this mod, great job!!!
     
  16. exitus

    exitus New Member

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    Oh wow, this is just awesome! Brilliant work, keep it up! Utini!
     
  17. artoodeeto

    artoodeeto Active Member

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    Thanks guys! Always nice to get feedback, especially of the :jawdrop: and :rock: variety. :D

    So I learned something today. Don't use an air compressor to blow your coolant out of your system without hanging onto the hose through which the coolant exits the system and enters whatever receptacle you've chosen. Otherwise this might result:
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    Yep. Damn stuff sprayed everywhere, it was like something out of a cartoon. got all over the carpet, bedsheets, my clothes, chair, chair mat, scanner, router, computer, etc etc. Luckily it didn't seem to stain too much, came right out of the carpet after spraying with water. Live and learn, eh?

    I got the pump switched out, and the new placement seems to be working. It's making hardly any noise now, which is a big relief. What specifically did I do? I didn't just move it. I dismantled it, replaced the outer shell with my extra one that has two intact screw mounts (the original had a broken one), switched the central spinner with the extra one (I doubt it makes any difference though), and mounted it down below where it used to be. There's a piece of thin foam rubber between the bottom of the pump and the base, for vibration absorbtion.
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    New placement - on the base instead of up high. The only downside is it won't be visible from the upper cutaway opening on that side, but I'd rather that than letting it continue buzzing the way it was.
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    So there you have it. Pump taken care of. I hope. The annoying part is only time will tell, but given that it was buzzing like crazy before and now it's barely whispering, I'd say it worked. :D
     
  18. BLUEHORSESTUDIOS

    BLUEHORSESTUDIOS I haven't lost a finger yet!

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    Im loving this build and all the little detail pieces,especially the pink flex straw that your using to simulate air duck/piping.I like how your using recycled pieces and making whats available to you work in a very genius and creative way.Modding doesnt have to be done with expensive materials , a shop full of tools and a million sponsors to back you.This is a class A scratch build.Thanks for sharing it with us.
     
  19. sixfootsideburns

    sixfootsideburns modeteer

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    I peed myself with joy several times while reading through this
     
  20. Throbbi

    Throbbi New Member

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    Really good modelling skills here, its the little details that make all the difference. :thumb:

    One thing though, you absolutely MUST change windows a bit for this build so that when it boots up you hear "OO JAY DEEEE!" instead of the usual boring welcome to windows noise. It'll confuse the hell out of people :clap: And possibly have the noise the sandpeople make for when it shuts down............
     

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