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Scratch Build – In Progress Project - Wallflower - 22.12.2014 - pretty much completed

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Journeyer, 18 Dec 2014.

  1. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    The missus has lived without a proper gaming PC for a couple of years now, but this year she started lamenting her inability to immerse herself in vast adventures set in fantastical lands. I started hatching a plan to sate her various desires and decided that I would build a computer for her, that she would get it for x-mas, that it would need a custom case and that we could then spend the holidays gaming in the evenings. So she would get a new computer, and I started dropping obvious hints that I would really appreciate a new GTX780 for x-mas this year to go with my new 1440p monitor.
    Planning is over, and it is time for action. All the hardware has been bought.

    • MSI 990FXA-GD65
    • AMD FX-6300 BE
    • 8GB HyperX Fury DDR3 1866MHz
    • Corsair CS 750M
    • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
    • BlackIce Stealth 420 radiator

    Since I will be getting a new GTX780 she will inherit my two GTX285s which should suffice to run her games at 1920*1200 for the time being.

    Next I had to design a case for her. It should be simple enough that I could build it in time for x-mas, and, as it will be going into her drawing room, it cannot use up too much space nor leave a nest of cables all over the floor. I decided I would design a wall mounted PC for her that would be painted in her favourite colour; purple (yeah).

    So this is the design I ended up with. A small wall-mounted cabinet housing a liquid cooled computer and featuring small shelves on the side where she can put various nick-nacks – she will find it “cute”.

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    I will build the case entirely out of 18mm pine panels. It’s easy to work with, looks (and smells) good and is sturdy enough for this purpose. So, planning and design phases over it was time to start working.

    I quickly measured, marked and cut all the various pieces. As I always cut a few mm larger than required I also had to size them up more precisely after cutting. This is done using a set of hand-held rasps, and as I’m working with pine this was done in no time at all. Two hours later and I had a pile of parts ready to be assembled.

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    Having assembled the case and fitted the various parts together I started making mounts for the hardware.

    The first to og in would be the radiator; a Nice Black Ice Stealth 420:

    [​IMG]

    Quickly followed by PSU (held in place by friction) and the motherboard plate/backplate:

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    Then the tank went in:

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    Next I started working on the door. This would, as evident by the sketchup model, feature a glass window that is roughly routed out at this point:

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    The roughness doesn't really matter, but I would clean it up a bit. A few quick licks of paint later, and here we go:

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    The real problems didn't start rearing their ugly heads until yesterday when I started installing the electronics. More on this in the next update, and yes; I am still on track to have it finished by x-mas.

    Oh, and this project needs a name but I am out of ideas. Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: 22 Dec 2014
  2. BLAMM0

    BLAMM0 What's a Dremel?

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    Nice. I'm more and more itching to build something from scratch myself. About the name "Pink nesting-box" would sound funny :)
     
  3. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    Thanks. It's been good fun so far. :)

    It's not pink - it really is more purple than the pictures show - I don't really know why they come out this way. Must be the fluorescent tubes in my workshop.

    "Purple nesting-Box" could work though.
     
  4. Mockingbird

    Mockingbird What's a Dremel?

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    There does not appear to be a hole under that radiator - is this by design or just not pictured/not cut yet?

    P.s. this is a great present.
     
  5. storm-83

    storm-83 Minimodder

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    ^ there is - look at the second to last picture, there clearly is a hole cut in the bottom
     
  6. Nexxo

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

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    Wall Flower.
     
  7. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Lilaction (Lilac + action) ?
     
  8. Mockingbird

    Mockingbird What's a Dremel?

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    I appear to be a blind fool, you're quite right.

    Another vote for 'Wallflower' here.
     
  9. Bartacus

    Bartacus Minimodder

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    Nice job, and quick too! Wall Flower gets my vote too.
     
  10. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    There is a hole ... trust me on this.
    Thank you, I think/hope it will be appreciated.

    :thumb:

    :hehe: (I have to wear glasses to correct for such impairments ... just a thought. ;) )

    Thank you. It will be tight, but I will have it finished and running in time for x-mas (fingers crossed).

    Personally I quite like "Lilaction", but I think the missus would prefer...

    So we have a winner, although I think I will turn it into a single word as suggested by Mockingbird.
    Thank you for your suggestions and your interest; Wallflower it is.

    I'll be posting an update concerning electronics and watercooling gir later today. I encountered some challenges.
     
  11. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    I didn't get any work done yesterday as my mother came to visit, but tonight I hope to be able to sneak away downstairs to proceed installing hardware and do some wiring.

    Anyhow, here's the story of how hardware installation proceeded the first night.

    The case has been painted, I have installed a power button and a couple of switches for lights (got to have them). The window has been Sealed, although the silicone did not quite behave as I wanted it to but I suppose the edges are straight enough. Knowing that my missus likes it a bit "rough" I do not think this will be a problem. And I have installed a knob for the door.

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    Next I reinstalled the PSU which, after paint, is a really tight fit.

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    Then I placed a power cable roughly where it should go, screwed in a bunch of motherboard standoffs and then installed the motherboard itself. The backplate I'm using comes from an ancient (we're talking early nineties here) full-tower case and I could not use the I/O-port cover because of some weird protrusions in that area of the backplate. I do not have time to make a backplate from scratch, so I hope this will not be a problem (it should not).

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    Then I removed the CPU-cooler bracket and instead screwed in the threaded rods to hold the CPU-block. Then I seated the CPU itself.

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    Next, after reworking the barbs on the cooling Block, I installed the first of my GTX285s. No problems this far.

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    The second GTX285 however, is a Matrix, and I had conveniently forgotten about the troubles I had when originally watercooling it.

    So, I will again have to modify some G1/4 plugs in order to get the cooling loop I have planned. Should be doable.

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    So until next time, this is where I am at currently With one exception; I have also installed the coolant tube from the radiator to the CPU block. Expect another update monday-ish.

    Thank you for reading.
     
  12. storm-83

    storm-83 Minimodder

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    wow, that's a bummer with the fitting
    not sure how safe modifying a monsoon fitting like that would be - seal wise

    but great work and progress
    have shown this to the waifu in the hopes that i might be allowed to start a mod-project again
     
  13. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    I won't be modifying the monsoon fittings, but I have placed an order for some EK G1/4 plugs and a G1/4 90-degree bend. HoweverI am not entirely confident they wilk arrive in time for x-mas, so I might just go with the old setup and work with the already modified fittings and then come back to rework it at a later date (unlikely to happen). We'll see, but whatever I decide I will have it ready, system installed and up and running with a couple of her favourite games in time for x-mas
     
  14. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    As promised (as I'm typing this it's still monday .. ish) here's another update.

    When I left you last time I had started installing hardware and was busying myself with wiring the system. Unfortunately I simply do not have the time to individually sleeve every single cable within this system, but I will do a few of them using this lovely Shade-19 MDPC -X sleeve.

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    Also, Corsair's decision to use those stiff, ribbon cables for everything makes wiring more of a challenge than it should be. Still, I snipped some unneeded Molex-terminated wires and used the left-overs for wiring power lines to the lights and the WC-pump. This will also run the radiator fans. It doesn't really have to look pretty as the missus will not poke around inside much.

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    Further along I have installed the second GTX285 and, as you can see, I have elected to simply run the original loop these cards where used in. Saves me the hassle of modifying new barbs, and also saves me from worrying about failed seals.

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    I hooked the power circuit to a small testing PSU I've got on hand for such occassions, and I am leak testing the loop at this point. I'm also playing around with the lights. The coolant is, at this point, very aerated and is milky white - something that startled me a bit at first before I got used to the idea that it would clean up on its own. This is my first time running an internal closed loop like this, so it is something of a new territory.

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    The coolant I'm using is Mayhem's Clear UV blue as you can see from this picture, and that I had a good bit left over from my PS3 build last year.

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    A bit of mandatory night-time testing of the lighting.
    UV is a bit on the weak side, but that might be because the coolant is so aerated or it could be due to the age of the cold-cathode I'm using. Time will tell.

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    Doors open, cooling system running in. I might have to snip the power to those red LEDs in the fans if the missus don't want them. In fact ... I might do that anyway as I don't really like them here.

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    And another night-time shot with the door closed, cooling system running and purple cold-cathode on.

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    And today I finally have the system running and installing. Still using the external PSU to power the cooling system, but that will change soon. I had trouble getting the system to post at first, but when I swapped the RAM for a stick I knew worked it did. I will test the new RAM once more before concluding, but it seems that I may have gotten a pair of faulty sticks (bummer).

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    So there you have it; it's pretty much completed and now all that remains is wiring everything internally, installing some games and figuring out if the RAM is faulty. Then cardboard and wrapping paper.

    Thank you for reading, and happy holidays. :D
     

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