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Case Mod - In Progress TESTMOD-19 - Dremel vs. Mobo, Thermomechanical Connector Removal

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by ][ypermouse, 6 Apr 2020.

  1. ][ypermouse

    ][ypermouse What's a Dremel?

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    Hi all. Loooooong-time lurker, first-time poster (heck, I started following bit-tech back when Orac3 was a build log...) As you may guess, this mod is inspired (yeah, we'll go with that) by the additional free time I seem to have thanks to the current pandemic. This is also intended to be a build that allows me to learn and test modern modding practices, as I haven't gone beyond an AIO water cooler so far. This means that the mod won't be the fanciest out there, and parts are mostly being selected based on low prices, but I think I've got a few neat things for you. Anyway, off we go.

    Cheers,
    ][ypermouse
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    TESTMOD-19

    So I've got a case. It's a Corsair, I know that much. I think I got it for $20 from the back room of the local computer shop when I needed a case for spare parts.
    [​IMG]

    It's got a few issues:
    1. It's not watercooled. It's not even really designed for watercooling, despite the top-mount fans.
    2. You can see the wiring. This bothers me.
    3. But you have to have the side panel off to see the wiring, as obviously there's no window.
    The hardware I have for it is equally spare-parts...
    1. I5-2500k
    2. Asus P8Z68-V Pro
    3. Asus GTX560TI x 2 in SLI
    4. A bunch of Corsair XF fittings and acrylic tubing I got off Facebook Marketplace.
    Really, not bad parts. If this was 2011. Eh, it's what I've got, and since I don't play much of anything newer than CS:GO, it works pretty well. Except the sag on those 560's is unreal.
    [​IMG]

    Like damn. They're curved. Gonna do something about that. Details later. On to the actual modding.

    Here's the case empty:
    [​IMG]

    Here's the case empty without the annoying stuff at the front that leaves me without any room to put reservoirs and such:
    [​IMG]

    Again, this is a test. This is only a test. So I chopped it up with a drill and a dremel. Oh, speaking of reservoirs:
    [​IMG]

    Hey look! It's got one! Being as I'm in Canada, I ordered a basic res and copper rad from http://dazmode.com/. Great service, and showed up when it was supposed to.

    Okay, it's rather late for me. Further posts tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

    Cheers,
    ][ypermouse
     
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  2. Dot_Kappa

    Dot_Kappa 100% Puppet

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    Orac3, simply one of the milestones in the modding history.

    The case is nice, you have enough space for watercooling and the opportunity to hide wiring :winking:
     
    Monkeyboy and ][ypermouse like this.
  3. ][ypermouse

    ][ypermouse What's a Dremel?

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    Hi guys, thanks for the comments! I had to go look, Orac3 was back in 2003. Crazy. Anyway, more work done. Few hiccups...

    I started trying to bend the acrylic tubing. Did a number of practice bends, some better than others... (clearly helped by my daughter's stickers..)
    [​IMG]

    Bunch of kinks, turns out I was rushing things rather a bit. Slowed down a bit, and things started working. Figured I'd need a fill port, so started with that.
    [​IMG]

    This is very much a temporary installation, but I figure I'll be filling and emptying this loop more than once or twice. Didn't want to punch any more holes in the case until I'm a little more confident about what's going where. Same story with a drain plug.

    Then things started going a bit pear-shaped. About a year back I had purchased a Fractal Celsius S24 AIO cooler. One of the selling points of the Fractal is that it's expandable, and uses G1/4" fittings. Yay, says me, I'll use it for an economical pump and waterblock for this practice system!
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, it turns out that what looks like fittings on the waterblock are really just covers for the sleeving and wiring and such. Argh. It only comes apart at the rad. So now the system looks like this:
    [​IMG]

    Things I Have Learned About Watercooling:
    1. Even cheap watercooling isn't cheap. Now I have to buy a water block and a pump.
    2. Free-hanging stuff like my 'drain port' doesn't work. Lot more flex in those fittings than I expected.
    3. The tiny o-rings on the Fractal fittings are evil, and will leak everywhere. I had a beggar of a time getting them off the old radiator, couldn't figure out why they were torqued down so hard. Turns out it was because otherwise the system lets the magic water out. I had to drain the loop five times to get the damn thing to seal. It doesn't actually look like the picture above, because I had to add another couple fittings because the darn thing wouldn't actually seal on the EK T-block.
    4. It's really, really exciting when you actually get it full of water and not leaking. It is also rather boring, because distilled water is clear, and barely looks like it's doing anything... At least the bubbles seem to be gone?
    Oh well, here it is filled and leak free!
    [​IMG]

    Trying to figure out where to go with the block and pump, so the cooling is on hold for now.

    The wiring is indeed next, and this is where things are going to go a bit off the rails. Step one: the vacuum desoldering didn't work, so it's time to take the dremel to the motherboard... Hopefully further updates tomorrow...

    Cheers,
    ][ypermouse
     
  4. ][ypermouse

    ][ypermouse What's a Dremel?

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    I'm going to be waiting for a bit to get a new block and pump in, so time to look at the motherboard for a bit. I love the sleeving that folks have been doing, but I wanted to see how minimal I could get the wiring on this build. Ideally, we won't see any wires from the component side of the case, and very few on the back side. This is a bit tough when the connectors are on the front of the board. So time to start fixing that. Step 1: Take a dremel to the motherboard. Yes, seriously.
    [​IMG]

    Ugly as crap, but it's a start. I actually got a local shop to try a vacuum desoldering unit, but the lead-free solder on this board is a serious pain in the backside to remove. Instead, I ended up removing each pin individually, which was a giant, screaming pain in the backside. I estimate I at best have a 50/50 chance of this motherboard ever working again, but this build is for testing and experimenting. Science! Here's about halfway through:
    [​IMG]

    The pins on the ground plane were especially entertaining to get out of there. Repeated the process on the 8-pin connector and the front-panel pins. Here's the final result:
    [​IMG]

    Not too bad actually. Closeup:
    [​IMG]

    Bit of damage to the solder-mask, but nothing that a bit of paint won't fix. The actual traces are fine. Got a little impatient an hour and a half in I guess. It's interesting that these PCBs are wave-soldered for the through-hole stuff, so there's not actually much solder on the top pads. One of the things that made this removal possible without doing more damage. Now it's time to wait for the connectors to come in. Next project is permanently mounting the fill and drain ports I think...

    Cheers,
    ][ypermouse
     
  5. Dot_Kappa

    Dot_Kappa 100% Puppet

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    "Step1 : Take a dremel" :eeek: ... brave modder :lol:
     
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  6. ][ypermouse

    ][ypermouse What's a Dremel?

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    Hah, thanks. Brave, or just dumb, we'll see when the parts come in and I can power it back up :p Was a beggar of a job, but I think it'll be okay...
     
  7. censored_Prometheus_

    censored_Prometheus_ Minimodder

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    Good luck, we 'll watch with interest. :dremel::hip:
     
  8. ][ypermouse

    ][ypermouse What's a Dremel?

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    Yay, another update!

    So I got the connectors in today, and now I've got the board reconnectorized... Yes, it's a word?

    First, I had to touch up the scratches that I inflicted on the solder mask. Bad me.
    [​IMG]

    Scratches vaguely touched up, here we go!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So there we go. Connectors on the back. Wonder if it'll boot. Beep test worked anyway...

    Next steps:
    1. Re-wire power supply to test mobo
    2. Install new pump/block combo unit
    3. Chop case to fit reversed connectors
    On we go, thanks for looking!
    ][ypermouse
     
    censored_Prometheus_ likes this.

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