1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Project: The Chrome Goat... total system mod (May 19th, 04 update)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by vonkaar, 9 Jan 2004.

  1. vonkaar

    vonkaar What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    6 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi everyone! I've been wanting to post this for at least 2 months, but I had to wait on my camera's USB cable to return from Mongolia. It's back and I can finally start posting pictures and my little stories.

    The Chrome Goat! (AKA The Goat of Paradise)

    Goals: Fully encased plexi full-tower with chrome skeleton interior.
    ---1---> Lots of folded acrylic for rounded corners.
    -------------> I'm going for an I-Pod look. Glossy white paint underneath soft edged plexi. Clear line-breaks for chic lighting.
    -------------> Enough visibility underneath the plexi to see the beautiful chrome work.
    ---2---> Thermo-Electric water-chiller.
    -------------> Separate, selectable water-loop with Iwaki MD10 pump.
    -------------> Powered by a pair of Lambda LRS-55-12 15vdc power supplies.
    -------------> Chromed valves for integration into standard CPU loop.
    ---3---> Completely integrated water-cooling setup.
    -------------> Iwaki MD20RZT, D-Tek NB cooler, 3-prong Cascade-SS, Innovatek GPU block converted to 1/2", Tygon tubing.
    -------------> Hopefully I'll be able to come up with some sort of shroud for the pump and have it chromed. Iwaki Green SO doesn't match my Martha Stewart meets Mad Max blue on chrome motif.
    ---4---> Painted and chromed blower over dual heater-core assembly with plexi shroud.
    -------------> EBM model D1G133. Powered by a chromed Power-One 48vdc PSU.
    ---5---> Lots of lights, but tastefully arranged.
    -------------> No visible CCFLs or LEDs. The goal is to provide ample lighting but keep the sources hidden.
    -------------> All of the lighting should be controlled by the famous Macroman CCFL throbber circuit©. I'm not going for any of the fancy lightsabre effects. A simple fade on, fade off 'breathing' effect will look great.
    ---6---> LCD Winamp display.
    ---7---> Nixie tube CPU / Case thermometer.
    ---8---> Fun HDD activity meter.
    -------------> Same effect I used in my red EL-wire HDD mod, this time with blue EL-wire and more accurate HDD activity.
    ---9---> This spot reserved for whatever else my kooky brain comes up with ^_^.


    Part 1: Planning.
    I made my shopping list, and acquired the following parts:
    2x 88 Chevy Caprice heatercores.
    Iwaki MD20RZT pump (I had a 30rzt but it actually raised my water temperatures by about 1.7° in a closed loop, no-heatsource system)
    [​IMG]
    Iwaki MD10RT pump
    Bender Chiller (Overclockers.com TEC-Chiller guru)
    [​IMG]
    EBM D1G133 blower. ($10 on Ebay) 700CFM 48vdc blower from hell. 700cfm is a lot... enough that you would think that it would be noisy as can be... it's not. If I run it at 40vdc, it's almost silent. It's rated down to 30v... I may 'pot' it to control noise. However, even at 48v it's quieter than most of the 120mm axial fans I've used.
    [​IMG]
    Dtek northbridge block
    Innovatek GPU block
    Little River Waterblocks - Cascade SS (special silver edition) with 2 outlets instead of the normal one.
    [​IMG]
    A bunch of Burroughs 8422(B-5991) nixies. (Pictures will be up tonight)
    A bunch of misc electronics parts like the nixie controller chip, a couple basic stamps and a programmer.
    Oh... and all the components in the 'CCFL Throbber' shopping list.

    Part 2: What have I been up to since I started this project?

    The first thing I did was experiment with a few ideas. I knew I wanted 'bended' acrylic instead of a 'joined' pair for my corners. I had to figure out if I had the knowledge and tools to accomplish this. There were enough online resources on bending acrylic that this wasn't hard to test out. I simply broke off a small piece of plexi, clamped it down against a straight-edge table and started heating the 'bend' portion. Eventually it started to 'fall' on its own, so I grabbed a flat block and bent it over. It got fairly warped because of the clamp and the uneven surface of the 'flat block', but the experiment was a success. After it dried, it retained the optical clarity and was just as strong as before. This was a 1/4" chunk of acrylic... I couldn't break the bend with my hands; that was good enough for me.

    The next 'idea' to test was the chroming process. How well would a chromed piece look? I am lucky enough to work with the president of a local low-rider club. They are one of the premier Impala low-rider clubs in the country and his car is basically 'perfect'. -link- He hooked me up with the chrome shop and I had my first test piece plated. You can see the original anodized-aluminum shroud above... after the plating, it looked like this:
    [​IMG]

    Happy day!

    I then spent the next few months ordering all of the remaining pieces of the 'plan' in preparation for... this day ^_^. I can finally begin the modding. I'm sitting here at work typing this up and I'll finish the remaining posts with better pictures as soon as I get home. The reason I couldn't wait is... well...

    Part 3: The present.

    So, to start off, I needed to have a skeleton frame for the case. Like I said in my goals, I wanted a fully chromed skeleton surrounded by plexi. Since I'm integrating a fairly large water-cooling system AND a large 10-peltier TEC chiller, I needed a pretty hulkish case. I've seen a few of these in the past, but I'm not positive to who makes(made?) it... I believe Epox. Anyway, off with the sides! Off with the riveted joints!

    Before:
    [​IMG]
    Actually, that isn't exactly the same case I removed... I just forgot to take pictures of it before I started gutting it. However, it is basically the same thing... same panels and such... only the front is different.

    Removing all the junk:
    [​IMG]

    Removing the drive cage (not needed):
    [​IMG]

    Removing all the blasted rivets and gutting the entire case:
    [​IMG]

    What's next? Polishing and Chrome! That was finished at 8:00am this morning. Result?

    [​IMG]
    The lighting in this closet is way nasty... I'll try and post better pictures tonight when I get home.

    Details of the immaculate chrome job:
    [​IMG]

    Hi there...

    More to come!
     
    Last edited: 20 May 2004
    Nexxo likes this.
  2. r3men4nt

    r3men4nt What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    12 Nov 2003
    Posts:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    wow, sounds like a realy cool project, looks great so far and I can't wait to see the finished product
     
  3. piloux

    piloux What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    12 Nov 2003
    Posts:
    711
    Likes Received:
    5
    cant wait to see more :rock:
     
  4. kiljoi

    kiljoi I *am* a computer king.

    Joined:
    13 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    2,301
    Likes Received:
    0
    looks damned good so far man, keep up the modding!!!
     
  5. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

    Joined:
    31 Jan 2002
    Posts:
    5,547
    Likes Received:
    65
    Wow, like it so far, welcome to the boards d00d.

    curious how you plan to power that blower... that's a cool idea.
     
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,645
    Likes Received:
    2,088
    Chrome... hmmmmm... :brrr:

    Looking good already. The Mod is strong with this one...
     
  7. Gnemelf

    Gnemelf Minimodder

    Joined:
    9 Aug 2003
    Posts:
    419
    Likes Received:
    0
    damn that is a big rad i think.. it looks like it anyways.
    :worried:
     
  8. The_Sub

    The_Sub What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2003
    Posts:
    281
    Likes Received:
    1
    oooooo shinny.. me likes alot... Looks real good. big fan ya got there too. I'll be watching with interest...
     
  9. RR5

    RR5 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    7 Dec 2003
    Posts:
    710
    Likes Received:
    0
    We all will agree, anything chrome looks good. :rock: :rock: :rock:

    I cannot wait to see this case develop and take form.

    :thumb:
     
  10. Fluba

    Fluba What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    20 Jun 2003
    Posts:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    mmm... so shiny... must not steal...


    :idea:

    /me steals
     
  11. legoman666

    legoman666 Beat to fit, paint to match.

    Joined:
    24 Aug 2003
    Posts:
    927
    Likes Received:
    19
    looking good!

    /me likes shinyness
     
  12. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

    Joined:
    16 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    3,161
    Likes Received:
    7
    Looks really :thumb: :rock: so far dude - as to the drive bays - i'm asuming you don't need em because you want to put hte rad up there, or are you haing a lack of cd drives. As to the blower system, 700 cfm + chiller = need for antifreeze!
     
  13. th3ory

    th3ory What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    13 Dec 2003
    Posts:
    52
    Likes Received:
    1
    :waah: :waah: u stole my idea u bitch

    lol

    i was planning on a new case with a plexi exterior and a metal skeleton

    oh well

    good luck with it

    nice work so far

    like the chrome effect
     
  14. A13n0rma1

    A13n0rma1 Wannabe

    Joined:
    17 Jul 2003
    Posts:
    830
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am so subscribed. I mean..

    So much shiney!

    And I wanna see how you do the "plastic over" iPod-esque final thing.
     
  15. vonkaar

    vonkaar What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    6 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    eddie_dane:
    The power supply is... let's see... Power-One HD48. It puts out a very nice regulated 48v at 3amps.

    Gnemelf:
    The rad is about 12" high.

    Tulatin:
    The drive bay area is pretty well monopolized by my TEC-chiller. Ya'll will see, soon enough ^_^.

    th3ory:
    I'm hardly the first person to do a metal-frame under plexi cover mod. I'm *trying* to be the first with the nixie tubes and edgeless plexi, but I could be wrong in that assumption :duh: .
     
  16. MarcelloRupelli

    MarcelloRupelli What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    30 Jul 2003
    Posts:
    291
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looking awesome! That's gotta be the best looking chrome I've seen on a case project yet. I almost missed the bit about nixie tubes. I LOVE nixie tubes! I've got one of Cosmodog's sweet clocks. The only computer-based nixies I know of is a drive-bay-mounted clock. I've been thinking of using nixies in a computer project too, so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this. Keep it up! :D
     
  17. r3men4nt

    r3men4nt What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    12 Nov 2003
    Posts:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
  18. vonkaar

    vonkaar What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    6 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    The first is simply a nixie clock mounted in a PC drive bay. The second is another clock. I don't really care if I'm first at anything, I'm just trying to be original at something ^_^. Making the 'first' nixie clock would be sort of hard since they were making nixie clocks before my DAD was born =p.
     
  19. fonts

    fonts What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    29 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    looks good :)
    :clap:
     
  20. vonkaar

    vonkaar What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    6 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Alright... so, we go with a minor update.

    The thermo-electric chiller.

    I've seen lots of modified Vapochills and Prometias. I've seen hundreds of water-cooled computers. The thing that I seem to see the least of is TEC water-chilling. Evidently this is because it's considered an ineffecient use of energy and ultimately money. While that is possibly true, you can't argue the 'pretty' factor. Bulky compressors look too 1997 Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic nightmare prop and the standard water-cooling setup too often looks like a hobby-kit. Thermoelectrics would be the queer-eye for the straight-modder answer to attractive cooling (if such a show ever came to light).

    In short, I don't see too many TEC water-baths... it's compact and offers a lot of modding potential so I figured out justification as I went. Cong me!

    Anyway...

    Modifying the chiller.

    The original chiller was designed to cool lasers or something else that's both above my head and gets really hot. The first problem I encountered was that it was designed to work with 120vdc . Oh, and it pulls 550watts. Providing enough power would be expensive, so I decided to convert it down to 12v. There are 10 peltiers in the system, wired in series. Easy enough conversion ^_^>

    The unit works like...
    [​IMG]

    10 Peltier's. 5 on each side. Big heatsinks cool the 'hot' side, open chamber chills the coolant on the 'cold' side. Metal shroud covers the whole shebang so the 120mm fans can cool the heatsinks. The TECs are only 55w so this big heatsink works quite well.

    Unfortunately, all of this is buried underneath a few inches of hardened insulation.
    Observe:
    [​IMG]

    So... I chip it away with my trusty bat-insulation-chipper (You Brits call it a flat-head screwdriver).

    Slowly but surely the core and TECs started to appear. I was mindful not to break any of the TECs and I definitely didn't need to call up Marlowe to order 2 'new' units. Definitely didn't happen.

    [​IMG]

    After all the chippage was done, I was able to remove the heatsinks and view the TECs in all their glory.
    [​IMG]

    In case you are wondering... the gray cable goes to a thermometer controller and the red/green/black set go to the PSU.

    More chipping finally reveals the seperated TECs and the liberated water-block. The block was surrounded by some supposedly high-end thermal interface fabric, which I of course scrubbed free. (I picked up some replacement pads from Marlowe when I... visited their factory).
    [​IMG]

    The block appeared to be a fairly low-flow maze / fin assembly. Lots of surface area.
    [​IMG]

    Anyway... I soldered longer leads on the TECs, remounted the block, TECs and heatsinks and then reinsulated everything up with a can of the stickiest, hardest-to-get-out-of-forearm-hair insulation in the world: Great Stuff©. The downside to this obviously long step was that I didn't save the pictures I took, so you only get the final result =/.
    [​IMG]

    Next, I will sleeve up the wires (chrome, of course), run them through the proper holes and come up with a nice outlet to couple the PSUs to. The Lambda LRS series weigh about 20lbs each. Even though I'll likely never really move the case around (unless I become a Bedouin, in which case I'm screwed =/), I'm not going to stick a pair of 20lb power supplies in my case. It's going to be heavy as hell as it is. I'll just have to have a second conduit, make it all fancy-like and power the TEC chiller from the outside. No problem!

    Another fun touch: I picked up a pair of some car-audio fuse blocks with LED voltage display. I like the idea of some protection, since I'm pulling 600watts out of the wall... plus, chicks dig LED voltage displays. I win on both! More on that soonish.

    Sleeving is in the mail, chiller-mod will continue when they arrive. More mods to do!
     

Share This Page