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Scratch Build – In Progress Project: Strobe - Update 25th Sep: GPU I/O plate.

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Evenge, 17 Aug 2012.

  1. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    Why hello there. And welcome to my second case project. Planning thread for this case can be found here. It should explain some things and most likely will repeat everything I have to say here... :p

    Project name comes from the song made by Deadmau5

    So the idea for this case came when I was discusing case building in general with my friend over our TeamSpeak server. One of the things that we discussed were things I'm unhappy with my first case "Discovery". One thing was the compromises I was forced to do just because I didn't consider everything while planning it. Other thing was noise: Hard drives resonate with the case a lot and Corsair PSU was nowhere near silent or even low noise product. I also had small itch to try watercooling but Discovery was not designed with that in mind. The final thing was the size of Discovery case; it's not big, but I felt I could have been able to squeeze the whole system even in smaller case. Then my friend proposed why I wouldn't build another case?

    Since I like to have my computers on my desk, one goal for this build is to have small footprint. Cases like Fortress FT03 would offer this but then I remembered Case n project. It's small, has relatively small footprint and in my opinion it just looks awesome. When I saw it for the first time I wanted to have something like it on my desk. So I fired up SketchUp and examined if it was possible to build something like Case n.

    Here's what I draw up (the pink box is a 120mm slim Scythe fan :D)

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    After this I started building:

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    Aluminum pieces were cut to size by local blacksmith firm. Sadly pieces were not square, so some filling work was requied.

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    Some drilling and fixing.

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    I'll post update later today, now I have to leave for work. I'll also update project goals here bit better.
    Until then, Bye :)
     
    Last edited: 25 Sep 2013
  2. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    As promised I'll show how far I've advanced with this build. But first some addition to the wall of text.

    Goals

    Before I even knew what to build I just had the need to mod something. Like they say, when modding bug has bitten there's only one cure... ;) :hehe:

    So before I even started planing anything I asked "what I want it to be" and settled on these goals:
    - It must have small footprint and take less space on my desk than my previous project.
    - Also the overall physical size should be as small as possible.
    - It should be relatively quiet.
    - Black and red color theme.
    - It should have proper wire management.
    - Case should be both sturdy and lightweight. Thus building material is aluminum.
    - Modded PSU. I've already replaced fan from my Corsair TX850v2 psu and atleast all the wires should be shortened.
    - Atleast all visible wires should be sleeved or some other way tided up.

    Hardware and cooling

    CPU: Intel 2500K
    MB: Asus Maximus IV GENE-Z
    RAM: Corsair Dominator
    GPU: EVGA Geforce GTX570 Superclocked
    PSU: Corsair TX850v2
    Storage: One or two SSD drives + One or Two Laptop HDD drives.
    And no optical drives.

    Cooling
    Radiator: XSPC RS240
    Pump: Laing DDC-1T + Watercool DDC-Case LT
    CPU block and fans will be decided later.


    And now for the actual modding! :dremel:

    Work has been quite straightforward this far so there's not much to say. Let the pictures do the talking :D

    Front and back plates and base and roof plates are attached with aluminum L-profile. Base and roof plates are fixed by threads and front and back plates are fixed with nuts. This is cause nuts give me some room to adjust the case so it would be as straight as possible.

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    After this I started work on the motherboard plate. As I imagined there was some excessive aluminum in one corner so some filling work was needed.


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    After that it fitted perfectly :thumb:


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    And this is what it looks like right now. Radiator is there to give some size comparison. Next job is to fix motherboard plate to rest of the case.


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    Oh, and dont hesitate to comment! :)

    Until next time, Bye!
     
    Last edited: 17 Aug 2012
  3. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    Double post
     
  4. Del.irious

    Del.irious New Member

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    Very nice. I too am designing a "small footprint" water cooling case, so I applaud anybody that manages to fit it all in a small area. Everything looks awesome for the most part. I just have one question, so I looked at your planning thread to see if it was already discussed, but couldn't find it. Have you considered fittings and hose sizes and how much room they take up? It looks like it is going to be a tight fit with the fittings coming off the CPU block. Case n looks to have a custom CPU water block.
     
  5. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    Thanks for feedback Del.irious. :) Case n is actually air cooled using custom made heatpipe cooler.

    About the fittings. There should be bit over 5cm space between PSU and motheboard. I'm going to use these angle fittings with these EK fittings. I just measured the combined height of those, and it is around 2cm. This would allow me to use CPU block that is under 3cm thick. I have red alphacool 3/8"ID hose which I'm planing to use.
     
  6. Gentleman_Dingo

    Gentleman_Dingo New Member

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    Subscribed. I love small form factor scratch builds as well. I'm almost finished with mine but look forward to how you handle some of your bumps with implementation over planning.

    Good Luck, we're watching! ;)
     
  7. Del.irious

    Del.irious New Member

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    Ok cool. Sounds like you are good to go! Good luck on your build!
     
  8. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    Thanks :). Well there is still some things I haven't thought much, like SSD and HDD placement. Good thing laptop hard drives are quite small so they are easy to hide somewhere ;)

    And to be honest, I like to improvise some things like where to route cables, where to place HDDs and so on.

    Thanks. :thumb:
     
  9. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    Quick update before I go to bed.

    Firstly, my parents gave me a birthday present: A new Bosch power drill and good quality metal file. And to complete the set I bought some drill bits meant for metal working. So modding this week has been a joy! :dremel:

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    For fixing the motherboard plate I used same aluminum L-profile as before.


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    And my first action shot ever! :D


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    And the plate attached. I'm not entirely happy fith those countersinks but they suffice.


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    I did some work with radiator mount today but I ran out of time so lets see what tomorrow brings. :dremel:


    Until next time, bye!
     
  10. Attila

    Attila still thinking....

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    Nice start, getting those countersinks centered can be difficult, particularly when doing them by hand. You need to go slowly and make corrections as you go.

    And just a bit of advice, never wear gloves when using a drill. You are in much more danger from the gloves getting caught than the drill doing anything to your fingers.;)
     
  11. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    Thanks for the advice Attila! I actually realized my mistake for wearing gloves when I browsed through the pictures last august. :duh:

    So let's get this log moving again :) . I halted this project last autumn when I moved back on the other side of the country to continue my university studies and have not been able to continue modding until some weeks ago when I got back at my parents place and at my workshop. I have managed to progress with the case quite well but much of the work is still unfinished so hopefully I’m better prepared to show something after the weekend.

    I have to mention that some of my previous plans got altered but this should not affect too much on the end result. One of these alterations is new PSU. Main reason for this is my current psu, which is a non-modular version. I could mod all the cables to match with the new case but this would also mean I would not be able to use this PSU any more in other cases, at least not without some able extenders. Also it just feels much easier to shorten and sleeve modular and cables instead of fixed ones. And lastly it will make detaching the PSU from the case a lot easier when you can just unplug all power cables from the PSU unit itself. Making PSU detachment as easy as possible will make system maintenance easier too, since PSU will be covering major part of the motherboard and other components.

    But now for the update itself: The radiator placement. I started this by printing some ready templates. I believe I found this from mnpctech website so huge thanks to them for providing helpful things like this for free! :thumb:

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    After some filing radiator mount looked good....

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    ... And worked great. Still some finishing work to be done. :)

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    So this was it. Hopefully I can post another update soon. Have a great weekend! :)
     
  12. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    Time for next update. I apologize the lack of photos since I was so concentrated on the work itself. :D

    I have spent last weeks cutting and filling openings for IO connectors and PSU.

    I started by tracing some guidelines. I used and old IO plate from my old computer as a template.

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    It would have been awesome to have some kind of template for the motherboard IO and PCI-slot holes but since I was unsuccessful at finding one, my method was: Cut first the opening for motherboard connectors and verify you got it right, and after this measure carefully PCI positons. Since the only expansion card I will have in this build will be the double slot GPU card I cut a hole just for it.

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    PSU opening was easier to do since I found some great templates for it. Oh, and I mounted the motherboard standoffs too. I used three different motherboards to trace all standoff places. It would have been easier to take my current motherboard and use it here but now it's done and standoffs seem to be right. :)

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    As I said I was too concentrated on what I was doing so I forgot to take the action shots. :duh:

    Anyway, here's the result:

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    And dummy parts mounted. Though I made some mistakes I'm still happy with the result.

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    Thanks for watching and please do not hesitate to comment! :)

    Until next time, bye!
     
  13. Knighthammer

    Knighthammer New Member

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    Looking good!
     
  14. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    Hello again. Sorry for taking so long with this project, it's been hard to find time for modding work. Anyway, here is the latest update:

    Since the plan is to have radiator at the bottom of the case so all the warm air could then be exhausted through the top, I had to make ventilation opening there. So I started by measuring and cutting.

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    I would have wanted to have some different mesh here, but this was actually the only aluminium mesh I was able to find from local stores. Oh well, it ended up looking good anyway. :)

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    My first plan was to glue the mesh to it's place, but that did not sound good so I ended up putting the mesh in between the L- aluminium profiles that hold the top plate in place.

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    I'm actually very happy about those edges.

    Hopefully I can find some time to work with this soon. :)
     
  15. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    Thanks! :)
     
  16. Concept73

    Concept73 Wannabe modder.

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    was looking at doing something similar myself with the psu infront of the motherboard to save space!
    cant wait tos ee how it pans out :)
     
  17. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    Thanks! :)


    Time for another update!

    After tinkering with different solutions to mount two 2,5" drives, I decided to make a separate HDD/SSD tray and place it on the front of the case. There where two reasons for this: First, hard drives mounted to the front would be visible enough through the side window. And second, place where drives are located would not interfere air flow at all. Also separate HDD tray is easier to remove if I have to have access them for some reason.

    Anyway, here's the pictures :)

    I started by cutting a piece of 1mm aluminum plate

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    Since I don't have a bench drill, I have to find some other ways to drill holes accurately. :D Good thing a fellow case builder Waynio showed a nice trick in his project log. Waynio, if you are reading this, you sir are awesome! :thumb:

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    Jig worked great! Too bad I made a mistake with one of the holes... :duh:

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    And attached to the case. I'm happy with the result. :)

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    That's it. Have a great weekend everyone! :thumb:
     
  18. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Good stuff:D -but are you sure you left room for CABLEMONSTER?
     
  19. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    Thanks for the kind words Cheapskate. :) To be honest I don't think my current non modular Corsair psu could fit in there, at least not without some serious work on its wires. That's why I'm going to buy new PSU for this project. I actually just posted a new thread to the hardware section about my psu problem. My goal is to find a full modular power supply that would allow me to make my own wires for this case. Too bad so many psu manufactures use non standard connectors in their PSUs so finding the replacement connectors is really hard. :duh: Only silversone seems to use normal ATX connectors in their products.

    Here's the link to my PSU thread: http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=3417443#post3417443
     
  20. Evenge

    Evenge Member

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    Update time!

    Since I didn't borrow/make separate PCI-holder for this case, I had to make new I/O plate for the GPU so that I can attach it some way to the case. Easiest way would have been just to bend the original I/O plate, but then again I wanted to try to make one by my self. :)

    So I started by taking the original plate as a mock-up.

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    After drilling all the screw holes I bolted original plate to piece of 1mm thick aluminum and draw outlines for two DVI connectors and one Mini-HDMI connector.

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    Since holes for connectors are quite small, needle files are really important tools here.

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    After this it was quite much just file and check if it fits.

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    Eventually I managed to get the DVI holes done. Mini HDMI hole was quite tricky but it turned out great also. :)

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    This plate was my second attempt, first one was good too, but the DVI holes ended up being bit too big and it just didn't look that great. Second try was a lot better I think. :thumb:

    Thanks for watching, comments are really appreciated! :)
     

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