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Sprocket's New Home

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by clocker, 6 Aug 2004.

  1. clocker

    clocker Shovel Ready

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    Greetings.

    My name is Clocker and I'm a caseaholic.
    My poor computer ( her name is Sprocket) has been in five different cases since I first put her together.
    Her one year anniversary is coming up ( August 18th) and I decided that the only appropriate gift would be ( what else?) yet another case!
    Among a few other things, of course.

    Sprocket's first two cases were cheapo generic Tiawanese boxes, followed by a XaserII (what the hell was I thinking?).
    Following the Xaser fiasco she lived in a CoolerMaster Praetorian.

    One day, at my local comp shop I found an old Gateway G6 case and realized what I had been missing.
    Not only did I love the classic, old school look of the case, but it was GIANT!
    Built like the proverbial brick sh*thouse, too.
    Sprocket happily slid right in and we've been just the happiest couple since.

    Recently I finished assembling two new servers for my brother's business.
    When I took them up to Boulder for the install, I casually inquired about the machines he was replacing.
    "Oh," said he, "they're down in the junk room...go take a look if you want."

    Well, not being one to pass up a freebie, (he is my brother after all...he couldn't charge me for it, could he?), down I went and yup, you guessed it...it was kismet.
    Sitting on the top of a pile of maybe 30 old PCs was an even bigger case than the Gateway.
    Oh oh.

    Long story short, it's going to be Sprocket's birthday present.

    Here's what it looked like when I brought it home...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Ok, I can tell you're not terribly impressed.
    Not to worry...I HAVE A PLAN!
    In fact, I HAVE LOTS OF PLANS!

    The interior dimensions are:H24", W7" and L15".
    Here's what it looked like after it was stripped down...
    [​IMG]
    Even with the old mobo tray removed it's still rock solid, no flexing or twisting at all...a real testament to good ole American engineering ( and very thick sheetmetal).
    But, wait...
    [​IMG]
    Ooopsie, bit of a problem here.
    Not ATX compliant in the least.
    Not even close.
    What to do, what to do?

    Well, after pondering the dilemma for a few days, I decided that the best thing would be to just have a whole new back panel fabricated.
    I can deal with the openings that need to be cut, but I don't have a sheetmetal brake, so folding the flanges was going to be tough.
    A few phone calls found a cooperative shop and the chassis went down to be measured.
    The sheetmetal guy was willing to do the job cheap ($15) if he could squeeze it in between his bigger ( and undoubtably, more lucrative) jobs...so I won't have the new panel till next Monday.

    That's OK, thought I, the motherboard tray doesn't work either, so I have a project to keep busy with.
    Hmmm, how to do this?

    Well, turns out that trying to duplicate a factory made mobo wall would be A LOT OF WORK.
    Not only would I need another piece of sheetmetal folded, but then the holes would have to be ( accurately) located, drilled and tapped.
    Sheesh...must be an easier way to do this.

    Don't let 'em kid 'ya....SLOTH is the mother of invention.
    Harking back to a HDD cradle I had made a few months ago, I realized that the basic principles could easily be translated to my motherboard mount.

    Off to Home Depot and $9 later we have this...
    [​IMG]
    3/8" diameter steel rod, 9- 3/8" nylon cable clamps, assorted screws and washers and some mystery tubing.

    A few hours on the lathe and we have this...
    [​IMG]
    The rod has been cut to length and each end has been drilled and tapped for a 6-32 screw.
    Can you see where this is headed?

    Yes, you were right.
    Here's the first test fit to check proof of concept...
    [​IMG]
    And a closeup of how it is mounted...
    [​IMG]
    Looks like I may be on to something here.
    Let's see if it'll fit in the case.
    [​IMG]
    Sumbitch! It works!
    Mirabile dictu!
    And from the back...
    [​IMG]
    Viola!
    Obviously, since I haven't got the new back panel yet, this is not the final location height nor depth wise, but that's the beauty of this mounting method...it is completely adjustable.
    Also, the back of the board is open to the breeze, hopefully aiding in cooling a bit.
    Yes, there prolly WILL be a fan blowing on the back of the mobo, but that's a ways down the road yet.
    I TOLD YOU...I have lots of plans.

    Have you forgotten about the mystery tubing?
    Well don't, it comes into play soon.
    But not yet.

    So this is my progress so far.
    I've amassed some cool parts that will be used and I'm still waiting on a few more, so that about wraps up this first installment.
    I have lots of drilling/tapping/measuring to do before the new rear panel comes, but that is visually boring...I shan't subject you to my lazy work ethic.

    But I will leave you with a teaser....
    [​IMG]
    A new heatsink (Aerocool DeepImpact DP-102).
    And I'll even leak a bit more...there is a Torin blower involved.

    Could be interesting.

    Laters.
     
    Last edited: 21 Aug 2004
  2. z\\\\ffs

    z\\\\ffs New Member

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    nice work so far,keep on :dremel:
     
  3. Xoddoza

    Xoddoza New Member

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    I love the mobo mounting. Looks awesome and should be really useful.
     
  4. toyomatt84

    toyomatt84 New Member

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    Saw this on OCForums. It should prove to be a great mod, if all goes well. Best of luck!
     
  5. clocker

    clocker Shovel Ready

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    Here are some pics of the HDD cradle I made a while ago that inspired the mobo mounting arrangement.
    I was trying to isolate the drive from the main case structure and also allow some air to flow around it.
    It actually worked.
    I had to juggle the configuration around a bit when it came time to install it, but the basic concept stayed the same.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Xoddoza

    Xoddoza New Member

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    Cool thats neat. I feel a theme coming on :)
     
  7. Prometheus

    Prometheus New Member

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    I really like the mounting method (might be useful for my carputer :D )

    Looks good so far and can't wait to find out what you've got planned :thumb: :dremel:
     
  8. clocker

    clocker Shovel Ready

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    Progress!
    Finally.

    It's been kinda frustrating having to wait for the new rear panel to be fabricated. but I've kept busy doing little odds and ends in preparation for the big day.
    The heatsink has been lapped (boring).
    A template of the PSU was made ( also boring).
    The rivets were drilled out and the original back panel removed...ah!.
    At least that felt like I was doing something concrete.
    Poor chassis isn't quite so sturdy now...
    [​IMG]
    After all the fabrication is done I'll remove ALL of the rivets and the case will be in pieces for paint, but for now I'm leaving it as intact as possible just to make life a bit simpler.

    I also made the cradle for the two HDDs that will be installed...my new baby Raptor and it's clunky cousin, the 160GB WD Caviar.
    Here is the cradle...no surprise here...it's mounted just like the motherboard.
    [​IMG]
    I'm proud of this one...very easy to install in the case and both drives are isolated from the main chassis structure.
    [​IMG]
    In their final position each drive has a 92mm blowhole fan to remove heat. A cool Raptor is a happy Raptor as my Grandpa used to say.
    In this pic you'll note that the new back panel is in place also.
    It fit perfectly and I'm very pleased with the nice corner finishing that he did.
    If you're in Denver and need some sheetmetal work done, I know just the guy for you.
    Next up was the fitting of the motherboard support rods and test fitting the I/O/PCI slot panel.
    I cribbed this piece off an old case and, although time consuming, it wasn't all that hard to position.
    Some drilling and preliminary jigsaw work brought me to here...
    [​IMG]
    The PSU is the last major component to be mounted on the back panel, then I can assess where I stand and start on the fun stuff.

    Looking over this post I realize that it doesn't look like I've gotten much done.
    Sad really... the countless test fits, disassembly, drill, reassemble, ponder, mark, cut, etc. take a seemingly endless amount of time and just can't be hurried.
    Soon I hope to have more interesting things to show.

    Now...as you were.
     
    Last edited: 21 Aug 2004
  9. Kingston

    Kingston New Member

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    I must say the way you mounted that motherboard is very creative. I am impressed.
     
  10. tmod

    tmod New Member

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    Me too...I think this is going to be a good one. :thumb:
     
  11. ¿þŘΩĐĮĢΫ?

    ¿þŘΩĐĮĢΫ? New Member

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    dude i must say that it looks so cool like the HDD rack idea, and the way that you are mounting the mobo, looks so good
     
  12. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    Wow, I really like that! Great way to mount things! I don't trust that CPU cooler in the slightest since it'll probably rip the socket off the board if it moves.

    Is it sad if I knew which mobo that was from seeing the back of it?
     
  13. -EVRE-

    -EVRE- New Member

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    Looks Cool, what are your plans for the front of the case?

    your HD and mobo mounting system gives me a few ideas for my own case project.

    Good luck
    EVRE
     
  14. clocker

    clocker Shovel Ready

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    I have two plans for the cooling configuration, both of them include a brace for the outer end of the heatsink, so I'm not terribly worried about the safety of my socket.

    I'm at somewhat of a disadvantage with this HS, having never used it before I really don't know what it requires in the way of fannage.
    Mounting the motherboard upsidedown has some major advantages ( I hope), but cooling the heatsink isn't one of them.
    If I could move the RAM I'd be in clover....

    After the PSU is mounted ( hopefully, today) I'm going to boot this baby up ( oh boy! another Windows install!) and get some baseline data to work with...then we shall see.
    I'd REALLY like to avoid having a bunch of extraneous holes to deal with...

    I have several concepts in mind, but the final design will be dependent on how the cooling goes.
    There are a couple of components I'd like to incorporate into the front bezel, but they require space that may not be available.
    This chassis, while nicely tall and acceptably wide, is not particulary deep, so things could get rather crowded in a hurry.
    Oddly, the placement of the floppy drive is a major factor.
    One of it's proposed locations could eat up some valuable real estate on the case front.

    Right now, my motto is "Form follows function", so we'll see what shakes out after the function part is handled....
     
  15. Acid Burn

    Acid Burn ..look but don't touch..

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    very cool idea on how to mount the mobo :D

    Is the last pic mirrored? or are you going to have the window in the right side panel?
     
  16. clocker

    clocker Shovel Ready

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    No, the picture is correct.
    The motherboard is flipped and reversed, much like the new Lian-Li V-series cases.
    I'm thinking ( not wishfully, I hope) that this will make cable management easier and also open up some options for supplying air to the HS not available with the normal motherboard arrangement.

    A side benfit is that the video card is now sitting with the hot side up also.
    Never could understand why the manufacturers put the heat producing components under the card....
     
  17. Toumai

    Toumai New Member

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    Nice. I'm liking this so far.

    One question though, what's up with the fanless Radeon?
     
  18. timbudtwo

    timbudtwo New Member

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    You also forgot to mention the fanless and heatsinkless amd chip as well ;)
     
  19. clocker

    clocker Shovel Ready

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    The Radeon is a dead soldier...I'm using to align the PCI slots for installation.
    The CPU doesn't need the HS mounted quite yet, in fact it would just get in the way.
    I've already had the mobo in and out of the case like five times today.
    There is alot of test fitting and marking to do for each step.
    I'm just trying to make life a bit simpler by only installing what absolutely has to be there to find what I need.
     
  20. ReFredzRate

    ReFredzRate Relix Headshot!!

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    Hadn't noticed this before, but hey, you're building a BTX case :D
    COOL!!
     

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