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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 14:50   #1
LePhuronn
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(In Win 901) Asteria II: Rearmoured



Welcome one and all to my very first build log. Hopefully this will be a great experience to share with you all as this is a project of many firsts: first extensive case mod, first foray into custom water cooling, first hardline loop too, and first time putting everything out there for public display! Exciting and terrifying in equal measure The build has been going on for a few months now, so these first posts here will cover progress thematically to get up to speed.

Asteria II: Rearmoured is based around the stunning In Win 901 Mini ITX case, and was inspired by Laine's "Clarity". It was great to see a custom loop put into this case, but I felt more could've been done with his radiator placement. A year of planning and exploring later I've bitten the bullet and giving it a shot of my own.

The name
Asteria was a Greek goddess associated with falling stars and prophetic dreams. She was also a Titan and, frankly, that's why the original Asteria was named as such - all of my computers are female and she had a GTX Titan inside The Titan and a few other parts of being reused in this new project, and hence Asteria II: Rearmoured was born.

Hardware
  • i7 6700K
  • Maximus VIII Impact
  • 16GB Dominator Platinum
  • GTX Titan
  • Silverstone ST45SF-G V2 PSU

Water cooling
  • EK Supremacy EVO Acetal
  • Watercool Heatkiller GPU-X3 Titan LT with EK FC Titan backplate
  • Alphacool UT60 360 primary radiator
  • Alphacool ST30 120 secondary radiator
  • Alphacool DDC310 pump with Aquacomputer DDC top
  • Aquacomputer Aqualis ECO100 res
  • EK 12mm hardline compression fittings

Fans still TBC, possibly Corsair ML120 Pro with white LED


Since this has been in the planning stages for over a year, there's no starting pics of the case I'm afraid since it's all in bits for measuring and comparisons.

Right now I only have my phone camera available, some cheap lights and a cheap black background that refuses to have the creases ironed out of it, so don't expect miracles in the photography department

Last edited by LePhuronn; 3rd Feb 2017 at 17:16. Reason: Trying to resize images
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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 14:52   #2
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Maximus VIII Impact motherboard

To get the ball rolling here's a quick tour around the motherboard.




It's a great looking board, but I think the Z97 Impact VII actually looks a little better. I really don't like the different textures involved on this board, even with the ROG red has been dialed back a lot form previous ROG designs.

For instance, the chipset heatsink has a matte grey sticker with subtle ROG embossing, however the shroud for the SupremeFX sound card is a very reflective shiny silver, and fingerprint magnet to boot.



And the same grey matte is applied to the Impact Power daughterboard heatsink:


Yes, the ROG logo is embossed with that crosshatch style.


And, frankly, a 200 motherboard should have a more elegant way of connecting a BIOS battery!



Also, since Asus decided to put a U.2 port on the board (why?) rather than M.2, the I/O cluster for me looks a bit haphazard now with varying heights of ports and big gaps and whatnot.


A silly thing to fixate on? Of course


All of this is going to be corrected; the red is going and all the textures are being unified.
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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 14:52   #3
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Hey Ross, good to see you man (ALXAndy).

There are rules here that you need to post actual pics of modding for your thread to remain. Just one of the rules here fella, so get some pics up of the WIP itself man
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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 14:56   #4
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Motherboard work, part 1


All laid out ready for some love. You can really see the difference between the heatsinks and the sound card shroud, and already in its naked form the board is looking a bit more unified.

So let's break out the black matte vinyl wrap...


The wrap is a reasonably chunky 0.2mm thick with a nice texture not too dissimilar to the stock heatsinks so it's covered well without too much effort. Need to tidy up a few edges here and there.


SupremeFX III soundcard. It turns out the lettering and red design lines are slightly embossed, so I may well give it another blast with the heatgun to bring the details out a little more.

And yes, I'm too much of a coward to invalidate warranties on my very first proper project, so I just wrapped over the serial number label it'll be face down towards the GPU though so you won't see it.


Impact Power heatsink. The embossed ROG Eye logo came out really well, but unfortunately the Republic Of Gamers text just wouldn't take - looked lovely and crisp when the vinyl was warm and being rubbed down, but it just relaxed a bit too much as it cooled, losing definition.

Not overly fussed right now because, again, this will be facing down and obscured by the CPU block. Plus this took me 4 attempts and is still a little scruffy, so I'm walking away for a bit


Chipset heatsink. The ROG branding came out really nicely, lovely and crisp embossing. Excuse the dodgy edge, I was a bit excited by how well the ROG turned out and had to take a pic!

All together then...

Maximus VIII Impact Black Edition, anybody?


Much, much tidier now I think. I did think about covering the capacitors on the power daughterboard similar to B Negative's "Celestial", but I think in my case the little flashes of silver here and there serves as nice accenting.

No additional primer or adhesive was used with the vinyl, but I shouldn't think at this point I'll have issues with the vinyl warping or peeling away; the heatsinks don't really get warm even at full load and if the air in the case is hot enough to reactivate the vinyl then I have a significant cooling problem!

Last edited by LePhuronn; 5th Feb 2017 at 13:55.
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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 14:57   #5
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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 15:00   #6
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Motherboard work, part 2
The red and the textures have been tidied up now, but the I/O cluster bothers me as well. It's not the colour this time, it's the haphazard spacing and heights - I just don't want to see it at all.


Bit of measuring, bit of Illustrator, wee drop of ink on some paper and...


Test fit an I/O shroud. It also covers up the serial label on the sound card cover too


I think I can extend that wall a few more mm just to get a bit more coverage.


Now, this was always just playing with material rather than actually making something, but 2mm acrylic was (for me anyway) too thick to get intricate cuts and rounded corners, and also to fold evenly. Bit of a pig's ear really.

So I switched to 1.5mm PETG sheet and cut the full shape by hand.


Took a while to get that I will admit. My wrist was weak at the time after coming off my bike, so I couldn't get going with a coping saw and went with never-ending score, cut and snap with a sharp knife. Got there in the end though.


After a bit of cleanup, I did a quick frosting job on a portion of what will be the top face for an experiment later on.


It's not perfect, but will only have tiny amount of it showing so should be fine. Circular motions with 100 grit paper for a few minutes on both sides of the piece, then another couple of minutes with 400 grit to smooth it up. Didn't bother to wet sand this as it's only small.

Then got the heat gun out and folded it all up. The front face was put into my sheet bender for a nice, tight edge, and the curved ends were done over the handle of an Xacto knife for a 5mm radius, or thereabouts.

Took a few attempts to get it all correct and relatively straight, but I got so excited at finishing it I didn't take a picture of the untreated item and went straight into a quick test wrap.


Brushed black aluminium effect. I'm looking to replicate the brushed aluminium on the 901's outer skin, but wasn't sure if it'd be too much against the matte black I've used on the motherboard...


Now THAT is a Black Edition motherboard. The shroud is a bit wonky, but the wrap covers a multitude of sins, plus it'll be painted to cover any exposed PETG when made up properly. There is an enhancement I'll be trying later on when I've properly cut new shapes: a backlit logo.

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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 15:03   #7
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GPU block
With the motherboard well on its way, I jumped onto the graphics card.

Originally I'd planned to use an EK block for the Titan since I like full PCB coverage and no fuss, even if it'll be facing down in the build. Unfortunately, the FC Terminal block pushed the total height about 3mm too much to fit inside the case and put the sides back on. Bit of reading around I found Watercool's Heatkiller GPU-X3 blocks would fit nicely and scored this B-Grade from AquaTuning.





Great condition, and that stainless steel plate is so very shiny. Double win is that this LT variant doesn't have any unnecessary cruft on it like the other X3 Titan editions, just a sleek, smooth appearance.

Shame about the copper though...oh wait

Let's strip it down then...


I'll be honest, I know this is B-Grade, but I wouldn't expect B-Grade to be quite this filthy, and I have no idea how the INSIDE is quite that mucky. Looks like the previous owner used cherry aid for coolant too.


After lots of soaking in vinegar solution, rubbing, scrubbing and pickling of skin, we get one nice and shiny copper block.


Won't last long

Masked up and hit with primer


And now the black


Reassembled and cleaned up!


One Heatkiller GPU-X3 Titan LT Black Edition ready to rumble (I'm saying Black Edition a lot, aren't I)
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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 15:10   #8
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GPU backplate

And on the other side (literally) we have our GPU backplate. I'm sticking with EK for this one, which opened up a fun little exercise in working out how to mate Watercool's block with EK's backplate, common screws holes, screw lengths, etc.

Everybody knows what an EK backplate looks like, so I shan't bore you. Plus my phone camera has problems occassionally taking decent shots of shiny black things against black things.

However,


I did manage to score an "FC Titan" backplate from eBay, rather than the generic "Geforce GTX", so I'm quite happy about that.

Unfortunately, this left me with a bit of a quandary. The plan was always to have some visual symmetry between the external skin of the case and the internals, so I planned to strip to black anodised layer off the backplate, buff up and then replicate the brushed aluminium effect found on the 901's outer skin.

The backplate though was utterly pristine - as in it looked like it'd never been used - and I didn't have the heart to touch it; I couldn't find another FC Titan model if I messed this one up or changed my mind. But then there's a lot of black on the motherboard now and I was also concerned having a massive slab of black GPU would be too much, even with the eventual lighting.

So, fortune favours the bold and decided to bite the bullet. Maybe I shouldn't have been quite so bold however...


Caustic soda mix is NOT supposed to bubble and fizz quite that vigourously. Excuse the thumb in the shot because I hurriedly took a snap whilst ****ing myself. And yes, that black liquid on the bowl's rim is liquid anodised death.

Note for future reference, kids: don't have the water too hot! Given that was a bit nippy outside I didn't want the caustic soda to run out of puff and get cold too quickly, so I compensated with slightly warmer water. Not a problem, however the bowl was too small for the backplate to fit in at the bottom, so I had to fill the bowl up some more.

I got distracted and pretty much near-boiling water went in with a little too much extra caustic soda. B Negative said when stripping his H Frame down for Lumo that it takes about 10-15 minutes to do its thing. Mine could be rubbed off by hand in 30 seconds. Fortunately I didn't damage the aluminium, but I got a surprise lungful of fumes and a bit of poo came out.

Stripped


Sanded up a bit




That grain is beautiful on the raw aluminium, and does a good chunk of my final effect for me. Backplate was wet sanded with 400, 600 then 800 grit over about 2 hours. Usually you're supposed to switch 90 degrees with every grit to buff out your previous marks, but I didn't bother this time given the effect I planning.

Once the sanding is finished and the backplate washed up, you go ahead and grab some red scotchbrite pads and totally undo all of your hard work!




Long, even strokes down the length of the backplate to get those scratches back in, replicating the brushed effect. It's very useful to have some kind of guide jig to help you stay straight when brushing - I clamped some lengths of scrap MDF to act as a brace to push against when drawing the scotchbrite. Switch up the part of the scotchbrite you use so you don't just repeat the same scratches.

Now for the comparison shot:


There's 2 different grades of aluminium used so I was never going to get the backplate to match, but it's close enough side-by-side and you'll never tell the difference once the hardware is installed and lit up, so I think it looks great. It took a couple of attempts because I'd messed up the clear coat and over-scratched a small portion, but it was sorted eventually.

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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 15:16   #9
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The generousity of the modding community
Although I'd achieved the look I wanted for the backplate, I was unsure what to do with the EK badge: do I leave it stock silver, wrap it in the same brushed black as the I/O shroud, or something else?

The question was answered for me when bit-tech member Vault-Tec (under his ALXAndy guise on another forum) offered me a pair of EK premium silver badges.


Almost like glass, which is perfect for the aluminium and glass on the 901.

Added to the Supremacy EVO block too for consistency.




Very generous of him, and I'm flattered that he wanted to contribute to a newbie's project.

Many thanks (again ), my man, they look excellent!

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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 15:29   #10
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Case work (covered later) was ongoing through much of this, and I'd gotten to the point where I needed some measurements with the Titan in place. So I thought I'd best get on with it and block up my very first GPU

She has to come out of her existing home first, so allow me to introduce you to the original Asteria.




My trusty Silverstone SG05 with a minor mod to fit a 10.5 inch GPU inside a 9.5 inch case, Corsair H60 cooler and 2 SSDs hidden underneath the PSU. She's old and battered but still has plenty of grunt to her, and hopefully I'll be repurposing what's left in another project.


Here's the old girl, still going strong.







Big deep breath, here we go...


The Nvidia TIM masters were rather sensible when they built Asteria, it seems. Nothing flooding everything, and still quite fluid too surprisingly.

Easy to clean up then


My very first obligatory naked board pr0n shots






(between little space and a dodgy phone, I couldn't do anything arty with the super-shiny die, so that's just me giving the thumbs up )


Time to block up then!


I was expecting mating a Watercool GPU block to an EK backplate to be a nightmare, and my planning and cosmetic work to be all for naught. After looking at both manufacturers' installation instructions and supplied materials, I figured I'd need 7 M3x8mm dome head screws unique to the block around the GPU, plus were shallow enough in head size not to interfere with the spacing on the backplate. Then there's 4 M3x12mm countersunk screws in common to mate the backplate with the remaining 4 holes in the block. Add 2 M3x5mm screws at the very edge of the PCB to secure the backplate and we're all done.

I'm happy to say it worked perfectly first time. Perhaps it's not that big a deal to just work out screw lengths, but for my very first GPU block AND using mismatched components I was rather anxious if it'd work or not.

And here we are!




Now that I know the mating works and is secure I'm going to polish up those backplate screws a little to try and match the brushed aluminium, but for now it looks magic I think.

Especially with those deluxe EK badges
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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 15:30   #11
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Of course, I couldn't leave it there. I had to get a feel of what the completed motherboard would look like:





It's turned out exactly what's been stuck in my head for 6 months

Some little touch-ups here and there to come later (polished backplate screws, removing the green PCB on the titan, slightly redesigned I/O shroud, etc.) but right now I'm really pleased with how it's turned out.

And still haven't actually measured the case bits for drilling
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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 15:37   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vault-Tec View Post
Hey Ross, good to see you man (ALXAndy)...
Cheers Andy

I wanted to get a log going here too, but since my progress has been erratic so far between bikes, wrists and rats, I thought I'd get a chunk of progress together first and smash it up in one hit.

Now watch me not post for aaaaaages

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Old 3rd Feb 2017, 15:55   #13
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A little teaser of the meat of this project.







Great work by Congleton Engineering.


I'll go into more detail about the actual case modding once I've finished the constituent parts, but for now this should give a little peek at what's coming.




Hopefully I'll be back with an update soon - lots of cleaning, folding, drilling, swearing, refolding, filling and swearing again to do!
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 22:44   #14
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Greetings to you all, it's been a while!

I have a bit of time off work so I can crack on with the guts of this project. Now that I have tangible progress and photographic evidence of my sheer perfect execution and all the mistakes I never made, I am happy to say it's time for me to walk you through the actual case work

Quick shots of the 3 core structural pieces:



Laser cut 1.5mm aluminium and (eventually) folding into shape.

I've said before that a core design choice for this project was to retain as much of the stock look of the In Win 901 as possible, despite the extensive modifications made to the interior. Part of the way to achieve that is using the same thickness of aluminium and to form the structure through folding larger cut pieces just as in Win do. That's meant replicating fiddly tabs for using existing rivet holes, creating seemingly superfluous bits to accommodate mount points and support for the glass panels. Rough sketches to finished laser cut pieces was about 8 months in the end, with a lot of chopping, changing and procrastinating!


A Little Bit Of History...
As I said at the very start of this log, Laine's "Clarity" project was an impressive piece of work fitting a full loop into the 901, but I wasn't enamoured with some aspects of how he achieved it, specifically the use of a pair of 120mm radiators in the bottom. Since he chopped up good chunks of the existing case, I couldn't understand why he just didn't punch through the bottom body and slide a 240mm rad in, and avoid the complications of lining them up to be level, tubing runs between the two and whatnot. After delusions of grandeur and a couple months staring at pictures and Photoshop measurements, I had a special offer land in my email for the 901 in silver at a good discount. It was my birthday too so I pulled the trigger to see what I could do with it.

Sure enough, there was plenty of space to fit a 240mm rad in the bottom and switch over to a SFX PSU down there too - having run a GTX Titan in a Sugo SG05 for a few years I really didn't see the point of full ATX PSUs in Mini ITX cases. All that was needed was to make a large cutout area above the optical drive and lose the 120mm fan intake area.


(Credit to bit-tech for the original photo)

I had a bit of a revelation though which changed the scope of this project; rather than refining what Laine had done I was going to try to take it up another level. Conceptually of course there's no way I can touch that man's craftsmanship.


Main Body
When I realised the existing 901 floor couldn't be re-purposed for decent radiator holes I had the idea of designing an entirely bespoke body. Still wanting to keep the same layout I measured up all the folds for the hard drive area and it struck me that the space In Win had created was pretty close to the size of a SFX PSU. I hadn't used 3.5" drives for a while, and moving the PSU up to the top-right would free up 100mm of space in the lower chamber.

BAM! There it was: let's raise the stakes and go 360mm radiator at the bottom. Took a while to find a rad that would work, but ultimately went for the Alphacool UT60 360 as it's the perfect width to not foul on the PSU cutout in the outer skin and has a plug on the back I could use as a drain port. Messing around with sealing the front ports with Fernox LSX is a story for another time but with position confirmed I designed a new body to fit the UT60 and SFX PSU up top.

Old vs New



Replicated the tab on the upper section for extra support, and that damn fiddly tab on the bottom-right because the glass side panel has a mount there.

As you can see, there was no way I could re-purpose the existing fan and PSU holes for a radiator, especially as some of the actual screw positions wouldn't have any material above them.


In Win do have a nice square grid design in parts of the case, so I kept that style going for the rad and PSU holes. Also copied the cutouts to get to mounting screws in other parts of the case. Trying to keep things looking stock, remember?

Old HDD vs New PSU



Dropped down and pulled in but not a million miles away from the original.


Lower "L" portion
So named because it's L-shaped, I might as well design a bespoke piece for the lower compartment too, rather than chopping up the stock case!



Again, square hole pattern for some intakes. To be honest you couldn't chop enough out of the original piece and still look tidy, certainly not with a 60mm thick rad (could that be the reason Laine didn't bother himself? )

Although there was a time it wasn't going to be square holes...


The stock case has some wonderful construction going on down here with hiding a slimline optical drive underneath the PSU, all folded from a single piece. I don't need all of that, but it's a shame to dump something so impressive.


I do need something for the glass side panels to attach to, and lo and behold there's 2 tabs needed!



Fan assembly
Well, I call it a fan assembly purely because that's where the front 120mm intake would go. For me it's just a couple of strips! Pointless comparison time...



It's a purely functional piece to be fair. Power switch and activity LEDs will be strapped to it, but unfortunately there's not enough space between the edge of the case and the radiator to fit any sockets and cables to keep the I/O, so a pair of blanking plates will get bolted on to cover the space.

The stock power button is actually a nice tongue of springy aluminium that just rests on a tactile switch. I have a blanking plate variation cut which will hopefully replicate that look.


So there you go, a first proper post talking about the actual case work and design motivations for the project, and hopefully a slightly clearer picture of how the loop is going in.

Next step is to get everything trued up a bit as a lot of the 90 degree angles have slipped a touch and to map out and drill all the holes I need to rivet and screw this thing together. There's still some chopping required on the case parts I'm keeping to ensure all this goes together correctly (which has already started), so hopefully I can sort that soon and give you another update.

Hope you enjoyed the read, back soon!
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 22:49   #15
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Actually, here's one last thing. Next update will be to document cutting the case parts I'm keeping to accommodate these changes, but I'll just skip ahead quickly and show you this:



Very quick test fit - or should I say placing and balancing - of the new main body with the existing shell. That SFX PSU area works like a charm and once everything is trued up and bolted together I think that's going to be mint!
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 00:03   #16
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Great work man, coming together nicely
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 00:14   #17
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Cheers dude, it's been seriously trying getting to this point. Many things going wrong, potentially ruining the project, and the learning curve hasn't helped.

Still got a long way to go before I can breathe easy since I have no spare pieces and there's still some niggles with what I have left, but we soldier on!

But I'm still very pleased with how it's turning out, and so far I've been able to correct every issue. There will be one or two bits that will disappoint and bug me, but you can't expect perfection on your debut!
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Old 8th Mar 2017, 18:57   #18
LePhuronn
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Hello hello!

Given the positive response this project has received so far across the interwebs, I thought it was about time to share the first actual failure, and it's kinda big, kinda not.

The main body part of the case I'm keeping needs a few cuts to remove unneeded tabs, awkward flanges and space making for my pump. Funny really, part of the reason for designing entirely new sections of the case was to avoid chopping up irreplaceable parts, but hey ho, the needs must!

(I wonder if B Negative has thrown his 901 innards out for Celestial...)


The original hard drive area has guide runnings stamped into the roof of the case. Originally I was going to repurpose these for the PSU but they're a bit too big and will be off-centre.


DDC is getting squeezed in here behind the Titan, so we need a cutout.


Masked off...


...let surgery commence! (the next day)


The 1.5mm thick aluminium cut like butter with the hacksaw, skipped like hell with my rubbish rotary tool and took forever and a day to file cleanly. Didn't turn out too badly actually though.




So far so good...and now the fun begins. And by fun I mean annoyance and rethinking. Let me tell you another story...
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Old 8th Mar 2017, 20:36   #19
LePhuronn
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Sometimes you should just following your gut and then take the hints presented to you.

The plan from the outset was to use a DDC pump. I got very early measurements quite wrong and had largely committed to it for placement and loop order. After realising my folly things were still workable but going to be really tight, given the only space really I could mount the thing neatly was behind the Titan in that far corner. Overhang was the concern: I had about 50-55mm to play with, and any overhang should be no more than 2mm at worst. I could add spacers to the side panel mount to give some extra room and then edge the glass panel with some neoprene to seal the gap. Sounded like a plan.

At the time I was using a full-cover EK block for the Titan, which meant that all top-facing ports on the DDC top would be blocked off. XSPC to the rescue it seemed as their multi-port DDC top had an an inlet on the side opposite the outlet. Perfect, I could run the loop essentially around the perimeter of the case. Trouble was, by the time I was set to go that version of the top was discontinued, and the new V2 is something crazy like 28mm tall which pushed the entire DDC assembly about 5mm too far, and that's an overhang I couldn't compensate for.

...Follow your gut, this isn't feeling viable now...

Almost packed the entire project in at that point (nothing really had been purchased) until I saw a DDC top on AliExpress that was 24mm in height and had in and out ports on the side. Winner winner, bought it to see how things would go. It was delivered in 3 days, except somebody somewhere messed up and nobody would admit to it: I live in Stoke, the item was delivered to somewhere in Surrey! The AliExpress seller said nothing and couldn't confirm the address he put on the parcel, I tracked the UK courier down and it was Hermes (shock horror) and, after a little social engineering, I got the customer service rep to break their operating rules and tell me what the address was. But I had no reply from the Surrey address when I wrote them a letter asking if they'd had a weird delivery in my name.

AliExpress refund never showed up either

...Take the hint the universe is presenting to you...

Anyway, all ready to rage quit I see the Aquacomputer DDC top with ports on the side too, only this time they're both on the same side as well as a pair of ports on the top. The loop order would be a bit fiddly but I could make it work so pulled the trigger. About this time too is when I found out an EK block for the Titan would be too tall to fit, so switching over to the Watercool block actually freed up some space along the PCB for top-facing ports on the DDC. Winner.

And here she is: Alphacool DDC310 in Nickel with the Aquacomputer top.


And the back with my custom mount attached (temporary screws)


Mating the pump and top wasn't easy. The mounting set supplied with the pump unit were 5mm too long to attach the top and 3mm too long at the mounting side causing more dreaded overhang. Plus, the screws supplied with the top left no means to then mount the assembled pump. Quandary.

...Again, TAKE THE HINT...

Ultimately I decided to just include the pump mount as part of the assembly. Yeah, to remove the mount I'd have to dismantle the entire thing, but when it's in, it's in so no big deal.

Test fit time!



Titan is sagging a bit, I'll address that later, but all is looking good. Nicely placed, the outlet fitting doesn't interfere with any capacitors and I can even go back to a non-rotary fitting I had used originally as I have clearance.

Even my custom cover did the job!


Putting a stop plug on the center inlet fouled so I made a copy without it.


And then I looked at the back


The fins and about 1mm of the heatsink body hangs outside the case. That's about 6mm, and there's no way I can extend the side panel mounts safely to support the weight of tempered glass. The kicker is I kinda knew this would happen but still went for it. So yeah, not at all happy right now.


So now it's a case of working out where to go. My immediate thought is to finally take the hint and sack off the DDC and run with the Alphacool DC-LT instead. At 35mm thick I won't have any placement issues, plus the acrylic top has side-facing ports so my original loop is back in play. I don't have a mental loop and I've had discussions with a few using them in very restrictive loops with no issue.

The trouble now though is I have this massive space cut into the case for a pump I'm not using. The DDC is 65x65mm, the DC-LT is 50x50mm and I cut the space a bit big as well, so I have this scruffy-looking gap that looks unplanned (because it kinda is). I may be able to cover it over, we'll see.

Alternatively, do I cut off the fins on the DDC heatsink? That almost removes the overhang, and I can safely shim the side panel mounts 2mm max. I did have an active cooling idea in mind for the pump anyway so losing the fins shouldn't be an issue. Of course then really I'd need to strip the nickel off the pump housing and clean the brass up to make things presentable. In the long run it might be worth it, and some mod cred too


So yeah, a bit of a long post just to say "my pump doesn't fit and I kinda knew it wouldn't", but I do like to spin a yarn, and part of doing a public build log is to document the journey and how you arrived at your choices.

Comments and input welcome regarding this pump issue!
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 20:28   #20
LePhuronn
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OK, it might not be as bad as it looks.

Case is a bit wobbly because it's in pieces, and the pump mount is a touch too big because I changed the folding line. So basically everything is off-kilter.

Pump mount will be trimmed for a tighter fit and I'll be shaving the heatsink fins down too, so the DDC is (once more) back in play.

Building a jig for now to true everything up and get all the right angles back in the folds, then I can match up all the holes for screwing and riveting for a test assemble and fine-tuning.

Back to work next week though so now MDF cutting until the weekend. Hopefully I'll be back soon!
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