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Case Mod - In Progress Scout-A Robopocalypse inspired ID Cooling T-60 SFX[Completed Feb 21, 2016]

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by InsolentGnome, 3 Dec 2015.

  1. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    A new build in the works, this one featuring the ID Cooling T-60 SFX, a very compact mITX case that I got in a MNPCTECH give-a-way. I like free things. I really like free things that inspire cool ideas.

    The Patient.
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    In order to win the case, I had to describe how I'd mod it. This was my idea:

    "I'd stick with air cooling, with a top down cooler on the CPU and stock on the GPU. Put in a side window, staying inside the factory vents, to show off the hardware. Ditch the drive brackets, both for the 2.5" and 3.5". Cut an access in the mobo tray for the CPU cooler bracket and also mount a couple of SSD's on the back of the tray. Cut a window for the SSD's in the side panel to give them a little more room to breath. Windows, both sides, would be exterior mounted on spacers. Do like you all suggested and flip the PSU to pull air from the front and cut in a nice design in the front panel to pull air in through. Wiring would have to be sleeved and perfect lengths to keep it clean. Cut a spot for 2 120's in the top panel if they'll fit. If not a couple of 92's. If they manage to fit in the case, then top them with a window on spacers similar to the side panels except with venting to match the vent on the front of the case. If it's too tight inside the case, mount them to a grilled panel raised up on spacers Top it off with some LED strips to throw light on the board and put a little light on the ground through all the vents and add a handle or two since this would probably be a LAN rig."

    I'm going to stick with this plan for the most part. But along with being inspired by Robopocalypse, which just hit me after I received the case, there are also a few issues with space...there isn't any. :lol: My plan to mount the SSD's on the back of the MB tray, it's just not gonna work. There's maybe a millimeter of space there and SSD's aren't that thin yet.

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    So that idea will change to meet the overall concept of the case, while still staying as true as I can to my original idea. More on that later.

    As far as the concept, Robopocalypse is a novel about, you guessed it, the robot apocalypse. Written by Daniel H. Wilson and set in the near future, it chronicles humanities fight against an A.I. that has escaped and decided that to preserve life on Earth, the human race must be exterminated. A little scary, because a lot of the ideas aren't that far fetched. If you like that sort of thing, I definitely recommend it. A bit of trivia, there was a movie in the works as well, to come out in 2014, though I guess it's been postponed indefinitely.

    While this case won't be something from the book, it's definitely influence by it. I also want to have a little fun with the log as well, bringing a bit of story to it. It might wind up being a bit disjointed going back and forth between story and build, but hopefully it will at least be entertaining. :D

    Gnome
     
    Last edited: 22 Feb 2016
  2. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    -Research Log-
    Dec, 2, 2015

    So there it is. Parts of what we are calling the "Scout". It's not very big. Tiny even. And from the parts we've been able to recover over the past 6 months, seemingly fragile. This is really a collection of the best preserved pieces from multiple Scouts, since they tend to explode and shatter after being shot. But I'm getting ahead of myself, maybe I should back up a little.

    "Scout" is our name for, well, a scouting robot. It seems to do mainly reconnaissance and mapping for Archos 14, the escaped A.I. that's been nicknamed "Big Rob". Small and lightweight, Scouts don't seem to be good for much else. But they can move along the ground at a pretty good clip and are small enough to fit through a lot of tight spots. Scouts are some of the first robots that Big Rob actually purpose built, not like the pre-existing robots that he took control of the first day of the war. Scouts are mix of existing hardware and Big Rob design, as is evidenced by the parts I'm staring at.

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    The heart of the Scout is a good ol' Intel processor. Apparently Big Rob wanted the Scout that this processor is from to be quick and smart, because he gave it a Core i7 4790k. I wonder if Big Rob overclocked these little guys? Since that processor was riding on a Gigabyte GA-Z97N-WIFI board, I'd say there was a chance. And the 8GB of Crucial Ballistics RAM was probably plenty for what these little Scouts did.

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    And then there's the Asus Strix GTX960. I'd say that little GPU was put to use when this thing was mapping out areas. And those 0db fans probably came in handy when it was sneaking around. And it looks like Big Rob even splurged on a backplate for a bit more resiliency. Probably why it's one of the few parts that's usually found after Scouts get blown up. Tough and capable little piece of hardware.

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    A couple of Crucial BX-100 SSD's. The 500GB variety. These Scouts must of had plenty of storage space for whatever they were doing. Between these and the Crucial RAM, one would have to wonder if Big Rob didn't do some Black Friday shopping at some point. I remember a deal on these once.

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    A collection of five Evercool 92mm, aluminum housing fans in this tiny case, or at least that's what it looks like from all the parts we've scrounged up. Dang that's a lot of air movement. These make me think that maybe Big Rob did add a little juice to that processor for some more speed. If we ever find a CPU cooler, maybe we'll be able to tell for sure.

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    The ID Cooling T-60 SFX case. What all of these goodies come wrapped in. These were a pretty new design before the war. You didn't really see them in the wild much. Not like now, when you can see dozens of them at a time, crawling around in the literal wild, mapping out everything from forests to deserts. Big Rob did a heck of a packaging job with these things, because there isn't much room in them at all.

    --End Research Log--
     
  3. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    -Build Log-
    Dec 2, 2015

    Where to start with this tiny little thing. Let's start by tossing in some hardware to see just what we have to work with.

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    The GPU is maybe 3/4 of an inch from the case floor. Good thing they put some vents down there, but I'll be helping it breath even more from the bottom soon enough. The rest of the case is snug. I went with 92mm fans because, well anything bigger looked wrong, basically. You can fit a 120 in a few spots, but only one, not pairs, and a single 120 just didn't do it for my look. I actually wanted to do triple 60's or 70's in the top because the scale would look good and be totally different, but I couldn't find them in a style I liked. So I wound up with 92's in some cool aluminum housings. Now to make them fit.

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    Figuring out the spacing so I can mark it out on the top.

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    This is the plan, or rather part of it.

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    Crap! I cut the wrong line!

    Nah, just kidding.

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    Tap some holes and we wind up with...

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    The fans will mount to the top piece of aluminum. Gets them further out of the way in the interior of the case(and all the way out with a longer spacer) and stylish. Just need to cut my grills and pop a few holes in to have this bit done.

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    And speaking of grills to cut out. I went ahead and laid out the front panel. The areas with dark lines in them will be what's taken out. The top fan grill will match, and I'm totally dreading it cause that's a lot of drilling and cutting. I'm definitely going to look for a bit guide before I take this on. I got down to measuring 32nd's of an inch figuring out my drill holes and I'm pretty sure I can't freehand drill that.

    --End Build Log--
     
  4. mal

    mal Member

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    The Insolence of the Gnome is always a sight to behold. :dremel:

    Mal
     
  5. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    Thanks!
     
  6. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    -Research Log-
    Dec 5, 2015

    So today a little mystery was solved for us. Every time one of these Scouts has been found, the SSD's are always covered is some sort of black, plastic goo. We've never been able to figure out the reason for this, though some have speculated it's either for camouflage or drive protection. Well, we got the answer to our questions when a recon squad sent back some pieces from a destroyed unit.

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    It appears that the goo is a melted plastic cover that Big Rob has put over the drives to give them some protection. It's not much, but probably enough to keep branches and random metal pieces from skewering the drives since they're mounted on the outside of the Scout's body.

    They aren't much to look at. They actually look like something some guy made in his basement. But we have gotten reports that newer Scouts seen towards the front lines have a different design along with an extra protective cover.

    --End Research Log--
     
  7. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    -Build Log-
    Dec 6, 2015

    Alright, drives, drives, drives...what to do with them?

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    From the factory, the T-60 has mounting points for 2 SSD's on this neat little plate and another mount for a 3.5" drive on the roof of the case. These aren't gonna work cause 1) the roof holds 2 fans there now, and 2) the side mount SSD's are good for space savings, but they're gonna block the view through the window. Oh yeah! There's gonna be a window!

    Fortunately, the case does come with another spot with a huge amount of space to mount the SSD's. This spot is the outside.

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    The very general idea. While sticking SSD's on the outside of the case all willy nilly would work, this is a supposed to be a robot that runs through the woods and rubble and it needs to be a little tough, so these drives are going to need some protection. Enter a little side project I've got going on...

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    A slip on SSD cover. These are blanks that I've made to test different designs and looks before I make a final mold. I'm also figuring out how much material I need which is why they're not all full pieces. But even though they're rough, they will give me a good idea of where I'm headed.

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    It's a good spot for them, but I still need to get the wires into the case.

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    The MB tray and this side panel pretty much mount to each other, so the gap between the PSU mount and the panel is our spot. But how to hide the wires...

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    It would be perfect, but I totally missed the angle. Let's try that again.

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    Now to braze it onto the side panel.

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    We're high tech around here! :lol:

    Unfortunately, ID's side panels are not good for brazing. I had to get it so hot, it started melting my thinner sheet of aluminum and the side panel turned super soft, so...Let's make a panel!

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    This actually works better even though it's more work. My sheet is about 1.5 times the thickness and much stiffer, and it allows me to do whatever I want for the grills. I decided to ditch the bottom grill and switch the direction of the PSU intake. Once I get the grill work cut in, I'll braze my scoop on!

    --End Build Log--
     
  8. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    -Build Log-
    Dec 7, 2015

    So I got a little bit more done this weekend.

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    Grill cut out.

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    Scoop brazed on with some body filler to cover the ugliness that was my brazing. It was a bit rough and the panel did some bendy things too. :eeek: In hindsight, I should have just epoxied the thing on, it would been easier to finish, but a torch is so much more fun!

    On a final note for this update, why did I think this was a good idea???
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    --End Build Log--
     
  9. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    -Research Log-
    Dec 27, 2015

    We got another care package from the front lines concerning the Scout class of robot. I'm starting to worry about those guys...Not that I didn't worry about their safety before, but they sent back some parts they swear came from a Scout, but I just don't see how. I think battle may be driving them crazy.

    The first piece we got in was a power supply. Pretty standard fare for something of this size.

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    A 450 watt SFX power supply, this model was from Silverstone. Good power in a little package, and with the modular cables, I'm sure it was easy to swap out units that went bad. One thing Big Rob knows is how to be efficient.

    The next part is what has me scratching my head. The units up front swear that this is out of a Scout that they dropped, but I just don't see how.

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    It looks like a Scythe Grand Kama Cross. 3rd gen I think from the covers on the radiators. These things were kind of hard to find, I wonder how Big Rob got his hands, err, claws on them. But the thing is huge, it has to be from some other unit. I told them as much but then they started swearing on people's graves so I gave up. I guess we can do some tests to see if it fits, but I doubt it will.

    --End Research Log--
     
    Last edited: 28 Dec 2015
  10. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    -Build Log-
    Dec 27, 2015

    Back at it with Scout now that that other little build is over. I was looking through this log and started thinking to myself that something was missing. And that something is MORE SCROLL SAW!

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    I don't even want to look at a scroll saw for at least a couple of days. Maybe a week.

    Now that the panels are mostly done, it's time to put it together because I'm having some doubts about a certain item fitting. The current state of things.

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    Don't pay attention to the extra stand offs on the top fan mount. I don't have any 8-32 screws that fit so I'm using them to hold things for now.

    And the new parts that have arrived!

    Silverstone 450w SFX power supply.

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    And the beast. The Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3.

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    When I was looking for a cooler, I knew I wanted something cool and different. Not a tower and some little thing that sat and inch above the board. I was looking at some rackmount coolers, a Be Quiet downdraft cooler, even some ID Cooling coolers, seeing as how it would go with the case. I kept coming back to the Cross 2. It was way cool, but I didn't like the color scheme. Then I saw this one and just ordered it. From Japan. Hey, it happens!

    The problem is that I didn't realize how ginormous it was...

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    It's as big as the motherboard. You can just see the PCI-E slot peeking out on the left side of that last pic. You know you might have a problem if you're wondering if the PSU will even fit in the case with your cooler. So, let's find out.

    In goes the PSU, cause it's sort of important and we kind of need it. Flipped of course since we now have plenty of intake at the front the case.

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    The lower bracket is going to need a little love to get the power cable extension through.

    This is going to be a tight fit if it goes in.

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    And...

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    It's like it was made for this, sort of. This is definitely going to add some modification work, but it's totally worth it. I was giggling like a schoolgirl at this point. Heck I'm still laughing at it. It's crazy, awesome, and insane all wrapped into one.

    The top fans are gonna work, but the power cable extension might not go back where it's supposed to, seeing how there is a cooler right in the way. I think this is going to get some sort of plate covering it, maybe a grill when I can bring myself to look at my scroll saw again.

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    And my planned side panel will probably require a grill or cutout now, as this thing sticks out a 1/4" or so.

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    And the mb tray will definitely get a CPU cutout. I'm not sure if I'm going to have to mount the motherboard, hook everything up, and then put the cooler on, or if I'm going to have to build the case about the motherboard cooler combo. Either way will work, but I haven't looked at the mounting brackets for the cooler, so it's still in the air. I was just happy that the cooler went in, LOL!

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    And this is how I left it, laughing as I walked off. :lol:

    --End Build Log--
     
  11. mal

    mal Member

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    What about Silverstone's 180mm 18mm thick slim fan? You should not have compatibility issues from your Allies' parts bin. Check your ORI again in the suitable sub index.

    How high above the board does that cooler sit?

    Mal
     
  12. Bartacus

    Bartacus Member

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    This little thing reminds me of the small cleaning robot in WALL-E. I have no idea why, but alcohol could be a factor. Cool stuff InsolentGnome!
     
  13. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    It needs a 15mm thick 140 to get it inside the panel by a mm, but I'd still have to feed it air. And I'm thinking the fan sticking out the side is going to look pretty cool on this mod. Totally not planned, but I think it fits it well, just like that pun!:lol:

    The cooler is 147mm tall, and I almost wish it were a bit taller since the side panel is going to be a little thick to do some extra stuff I'm planning. I might have to put the fan on some spacers to get the look just right.

    First off, thanks! And second, perfect, now picture it in flat black with glowing red "eyes" and coming to kill you. And that is what I'm going for.

    Kind of like this but more menacing:D
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  14. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I dunno, a shark-cat-roomba is pretty terrifying...
     
  15. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    Especially if you're a duckling!
     
  16. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    -Build Log-
    Dec 31, 2015

    A little teaser of what the weekend has in store for Scout.

    Aluminum.
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    Aluminum cut into to a torture device. Or a hotdog holder. Your call.
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    And for the heck of it. Fire!
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    --End Build Log--
     
  17. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    -Or a hotdog torture device. Yikes!
    No clue what you are up to, but, d*mn, that's a nice cut.
     
  18. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    Bandsaws for the win!
     
  19. Bartacus

    Bartacus Member

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    That would make an awesome home defense weapon. You could impale any intruders on it and stake them to the ground outside your house, as a warning to other intruders.
     
  20. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    Instead of the little lights next to the sidewalk, I could just have poles with skulls and such!:lol::lol:

    Now that I'm done with it, it might be good for vampire robots. An aluminum stake through the CPU!
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