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Old 24th Jul 2013, 19:57   #1
jbcon
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Silverstone FT02: Revisited (EVO XI)

Almost a year ago this week, I diverted my attention from a scratch-build project that was offering me more than a few challenges and moved to another build which saw me taking a familiar project from my past and basically starting it all over again from Scratch.


As a longtime fan of the Silverstone FT02 Fortress cases, I lucked across a brand new case for pennies on the dollar and decided it was time to revisit this lovely case. Due to its design, I have been a fan of its inverted motherboard for a long time and wanted to rework a system I had built in one of these cases a couple years earlier.










Due to the layout of the case and a more mature approach to modding on my part, I decided I could improve on the layout of my previous built as well as clean up some areas that has become eye sores as hardware game and went since the original build.

I felt it was time to do my ultimate mod, versus reinvesting myself in my previous project. With the basic shape of the case already determined by Silverstone, my challenge would be to fit all my components into a single enclosure and have it appear as I saw it in my mind’s eye.
That being said I started out on a journey that would take me from this….


To what I have today, here.


While this remains a work in progress, I figured I would go back and highlight some of my build over the past year and share what has changed as well as what new additions I am about to undertake today that will more or less change the look of where I go with the project.

I am far from a professional and every bit an amateur at modding, but due to many incomplete projects I feel I have developed a few skills that will allow me to try my hand at yet one more of my Evolutionary modes.

I call this one, Evolution XI “Dark Tower”.

In my next installment, we will start our story with the disassembly of the case and some basic mods that will make room for our first components.

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Old 25th Jul 2013, 18:15   #2
jbcon
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Update: Silverstone FT02 (EVO XI)

Update: Thursday - 07/25/13

The first thing that was needed was to strip down the case and remove the fans, brackets and wiring. The first design element that needs to be tackled is to modify the HDD cage and the 5 ¼ inch bay area in order to make things more suited for an orientation change. Instead of this case being installed with the front 5 ¼ bay area facing out and being accessible, the end case will be installed with its side facing out into the room it is installed in, thus facilitating access to the drives, etc from the side.


Since this will require more than some simple unscrewing of a few panels we first my drill out severl rivets to remove the entire HDD cage below the bugger 5 ¼ inch bay area. We will eventually also replace all these rivets that are silver with black faced ones to get our all black-out out look (murdered out as they call it in the car community).


Here is what we end up with after all is removed.


Below you can see my first mockup for one idea, but I decided to go in a different direction and instead of having two removable HDD bays, to instead have a thin form-factor Blu-ray burner instead. You can also see the massive triple 180mm radiator installed for test purposes. This system will be water-cooled and feature this massive rad, with the three 180mm fans for cooling. I hope their slower speed with maintain a low volume level and do the duty of keeping my GPU and CPU nice and cool.


As part of my mockup, I used picture framing mat paper to create my panels that will but cut and fabricated out of aluminum. Here is my first design, with the double HDD cage still playing into the picture. As you can also see, the design will have a separate cover on the right side of the case which will conceal the power supply and related wires. I am hoping for a nice clean look in the end.




In the above picture you can also see my test motherboard has been fitted, along with my CPU block for reference. I had a bad Sabertooth P67 lying around and used it so the final board wouldn’t get damaged or dirty during the build process. Ultimately we will be using a slightly newer Z77 Sabertooth board.

Every good build has to have a logo and a glamour shot. Below is a quick logo I created as well as a shot of the blu-ray drive setting atop one of the Silverstone AP180 fans.




In my next installment, we will start the metal work and I will show the newly design drive bay cover, or stack as I am calling it. In the below pic you can get an idea of how it changes from the previous dual bay concept. My thoughts here was to have this drive as a backup one, that I can easily insert a drive and move files onto and then remove. The Blu-ray is self explanatory I hope, since one will not be able to access the front of the case when installed.

While I am updating this project on a fairly regular basis, keep in mind that this was all done over about a years time, so some progress may seem a little overly ambitious.



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Old 29th Jul 2013, 15:47   #3
jbcon
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EVO XI update

Update: Monday, July 29, 2013

Ok, today is a short update. Basically before I move into making my bay shroud, I need to make a bracket to hold the backup HDD and slim Bluray burner. Since I do not have a routing table, I have be creative with my work space, but this works pretty well.


Far from perfect, I am able to cut my aluminum panels using a hand router and a ¼ round cutting bit.


The bracket is fairly simple and will mount below my 5 ¼ bay area and fit around a sigle 3.5” HDD and a slim mount bluray burner.




Here you have the bracket mounted and installed


Next I move on to mockup my bay shroud as I am calling it and can start figuring out what other panels I will need. The cover will need to be cut for ventilation as well, but will cover things up and make the case look purpose built.

[CENTER][IMG]http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc269/jbcon2/PC%20Build-%20EVO%20XI/P1000814.jpg[/IMG

[CENTER]

Hopefully later this week or so I can do a more detailed update and writeup, but figure pictures in this case are worth far more than words.

In the next up day, we will see the shroud take shape and then get into my PSU cover or shroud for the right side of the case as well.

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Old 29th Jul 2013, 16:01   #4
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Hey man nice progress, looking good.
Enjoying your log actually nice information to compliment the images.

looking forward to see your progress
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 14:58   #5
jbcon
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FT02 (EVO XI) Update: August 2013

It’s been a few days since I posted an update so I figured I would toss a few more words and some photos out. We last shared the part of the build where I was cutting my “bay shroud/ tower” which will serve as a cover for the 5 ¼ -inch bay area of the case. Today you can see it completed and nearly ready for paint. I will need to do some bondo work to get a smooth finish, but you can get the idea of how it will be in the final project.



In the next picture you can see it after paint and with the mesh grills installed. You can also get a hint of things to come with the tubing and a shroud over my radiator; both elements of which may or may not make it to the final product.



Another element to the build will be another shroud that covers the right-hand side of the case and the PSU. Below you can see it coming together in mockup as well as an initial test of the water block and a test motherboard that I had laying around.



Below I leave you with a couple more shots of the build, the first is the completed shrouds fitted and painted. Along with my first fitting of other components.


Although as I write this a number of elements have changed, here is a shot of my Waterblock with fittings that will change before the end of the project, but looking back I sort of regret changing. But more on that later….



At this point in the project I am also putting together my other water loop components, here is a shot of the flow-meter which is for my own peace of mind, rather than anything else. I wanted a visual cue as to whether or not everything was working, in addition to any electronic monitoring.



I leave you with this shot of the whole shooting match, prior to a big change that I will address next time I get a chance to post.



Like I have indicated before this project has gone on in one form or another for over a year now, and as I am writing this thread is only now nearing completing. These photos are not in real time and do not reflect the actual stage I am at right now.

While I tried to capture photos throughout the project there may be some holes in my story as I post, so please ask questions if it is unclear what I have done or where a particular component that you might see in one photo goes in later updates. As I update this thread I will try to clear up and missing info, but am more or less posting these shots as I have time. Speaking of I am out of today, so until next time….
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Old 17th Aug 2013, 01:38   #6
Primum Agmen
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Always loved the FT-02, be interesting to see where you're going with it.
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