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Hardware and Case Mod's You Paint it, Cut it, Solder it, bend it, light it up, make it glow or anything like that, here is your forum.

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Unread 09-16-2005, 11:53 AM   #1
Angry_Steel
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Default PROJECT: Nightmare³ Re-Organized

Well this all started about 6 months ago when I decided it was time to start thinking about upgrading the old box.
First I decided I was going to make the leap into watercooling, and after much time and effort paging through forum after forum and thread after thread, I decided pretty much what parts I was going to buy. Problem was after looking around for a new case, the choices were decidedly lacking for what I was planning. The Mt Mods UFO was the closest I would have thought about buying but even that was not exactly what I was looking for. I was about to break down and just buy it but decided hey, why not build my own case exactly how I want it.

And so began the nightmare......

I dont draw out plans....I get most of my ideas when Im ready to fall asleep, and I forget half of that by the time I wake up, so this whole process has been fun to say the least as I get to a certain point and realize that my great idea has run into a brick wall due to some problem that I failed to forsee. Well anyway on to some pics.


I liked the Mt Mods case alot so I decided to:

1. Make the case out of wood in a cube
2. Make my life easier and order some Mt Mods parts to supplement the wood
3. Make the case as silent as possible using MDF and other means that I hadnt figured out yet.

First I bought some Pine 2x2's and ripped them down to 1 3/8 square, glued and screwed them into a cube. After I looked at it, I had my first wonderful idea that started me down my road of never ending nightmares. Lets silence the thing by making 3 layer sides and doors So, I experimented on the bottom and put 1 sheet MDF-----2 sheets of Cork-----1 sheet MDF, glued it all together and screwed and glued to the base.



The other parts in that pic are the motherboard tray, drive racks that I ordered from Mt Mods.

Ok, well that was easy I thought, lets move on to more substantial construction.

The next step was...well....I hadnt thought that far ahead to tell you the truth, all I had up to that point in time was a series of brain seizures with conflicting ideas. Finally I decided that I wanted a completely self enclosed, rad-box that contained everything minus the actual waterblocks, with all the hoses running internally into the computer case. Well in order to do that, I would have to put the box either on top or on the bottom. Realizing this is my first delve into the watercooling world, I decided on the bottom, that way if it leaks, its not going to fry anything.

Well I thought....Lets just make another cube the same size as the first one, and put wheels on it and set the actual case on top of that. So the second cube was born.


Last edited by Angry_Steel; 10-06-2005 at 05:15 AM. Reason: Re-Organized after Image Hosting aquired.
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Unread 09-16-2005, 01:57 PM   #2
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I like the way you think. Adding some cross-bracing might help strengthen the structure, unless you already reinforced it where we can't see.
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Unread 09-16-2005, 03:09 PM   #3
Angry_Steel
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Default Anatomy of a Panel

I wanted to show you all how I constructed the panels on these things without showing you every single panel, as there are 12 of them total, I figured that could get a little tedious

So here goes...

Each panel is constructed so that the outer piece is attached to the pine frame with large screws, so it is the actual dimensions of the frame itself. The next layers of cork and MDF are the dimensions of the interior of the frame. They are fastened by the same screws and then the whole thing is screwed and glued onto the frame. Its real fun trying to get all the holes and everything through 3 different layers and having them line up.

This is a side view of the rear panel for the computer case showing the different layers.



And from the rear



And a view from the inside



Also any place that there needs to be a screw, say to hold in the motherboard tray, drive racks, fans etc, I have used steel inserts that screw into the MDF which then have Hex Screws to attach the offending item. That way nothing will strip out over time and give me more nightmares. Whats nice about those little things is that trying to get one of them in straight is just about impossible, and takes about 5-10 min a piece.

Here are a couple more of the Front panel, with the fan grills in place. The fan grills are the speaker type and are recessed (routed) flush to the backside of the 1st layer and then hot-glued in.

Front Case Panel



Grill Front



Grill Rear


Last edited by Angry_Steel; 10-06-2005 at 05:25 AM.
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Unread 10-06-2005, 05:30 AM   #4
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Default Fan Modules

Throughout both the Case and Radbox I needed fans, this was obvious, and with fans comes dust, lots of dust if you happen to live under a granite quarry on the side of a mountain. With my current box or any other box Ive had, cleaning the filters (if you could call them that) was a complete pain in the behind. So one night, during that short period of time where my brain seizures make some sort of sense before the nightmares begin, I thought hey...why not make a door for the filter? What evolved from that was my fan modules. Fan, Filter, Fan Standoff in one hinged door.

They are made from 2 pieces of MDF glued together, routed on the backside to fit in the filter, with 4 steel inserts to attach the fan with hex screws, and hinged. There are a total of 6 between the case and radbox. 3 of them are completed.

Raw



With Filter



Painted and Volla! Fan Module



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Unread 10-06-2005, 05:32 AM   #5
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Default Rad Modules

have 2 Thermochill PA160 Radiators and I needed to mount them in such a way as to be able to remove them easily. In the construction of the radbox, and actually throughout the whole case/radbox, my idea was to isolate the component to its own fan/fans. Also since I wanted everything to be modular, for ease of removal and maintainance, I had to figure out a way to mount the radiators. My idea was to make a radiator module. Basically its just a box made out of MDF, with holes cut for the Barbs/Flanges and the Surface area of the radiator. Then a removable back with hex screws and I have my module that can be slid in and out of the radbox side doors.

Raw



Completed Front



Completed Rear

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Unread 10-06-2005, 05:34 AM   #6
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Default Radbox Update

Well I did some more work on the Radbox today. Mostly I was laying out components inside and seeing what would work and what wouldnt. I guess now would be a good time to explain my madness on what I expect from it before I go to far. Its a dual system, 1 for the CPU and one for the Graphics. First a component list, all the parts I have to cram into it.

_____________________________________
2 x Swiftech 655 Pumps
2 x Thermochill PA160 Radiators
2 x Danger Den HDPE Res's
4 x Danger Den Fillports
1 x Tagan 300 Watt PSU
2 x San Ace 38mm x 120mm Fans
3 x Papst 4412 120mm Fans
_____________________________________

The idea here is dividing the box into 3 parts. The lower half is divided into 2 seperate "Tunnels" that are for the 2 Radiators. The upper half is for the rest of the components, with 1 120mm intake fan, 2 passive exhausts directly behind where the pumps will be, and of course the PSU will exhaust actively. Here is a pic of the case in my "Trial fit, dont attach anything permanently" stage.



This is a rear view



And a front view which deserves some description. I was drilling the holes for the Fillports, but decided to rush in where angels fear to tread and didnt do my computations right, so they ended up in the wrong place. 3 circular blanks, some glue and some woodfiller later, we have it in all its glory. The smaller screwholes needed to be filled sooner or later so I gave them a swipe while I was at it.



Trial fit on the fillports



Now the fillports will run directly to the Res which I have modified from its original form. I drilled out the fillport on the res and re-threaded it to fit the 1/2 to 3/8 adapter and siliconed it in. Then on top of that the 3/8 to 3/8 and the 1/2 barb. Hose to fillport and thats that. Was it the best way to do it? Who knows, but it makes my life easy as far as filling and leaving. Here is a pic of the modified res, with a coat of plastic primer and a first coat of finish paint.



More updates as they evolve.
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Unread 10-06-2005, 05:36 AM   #7
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Default WC Parts

Well Im sick of hunting around for all the parts I need when I am working on this project, so yesterday and today I have been gathering them all together. I spent an hour yesterday looking for some T-fittings that I had buried somewhere about 2 months ago and figured enough was enough.

Figured I would snap a pic before they all go into one box.

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Unread 11-08-2005, 04:58 AM   #8
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Default Distribution

There has been a problem ongoing since the original thought for this case, that is how to not only keep the watercooling tubing inside the case, but also allow quick disconnects between the Upper and Lower boxes. Originally I had a few ideas, but as the boxes got heavier and heavier theres just no way that I can make use of those ideas.

So amazingly enough in my Spanish Class today, the simple answer came and hit me in the forehead. Horizontal mount with the tubes coming from the upper box just entering the lower box through shafts. So after I got home I immediately put my idea to work and here is the first shot.



Other work that has been done over the past couple of days has mostly been sleeving fans and working out wire routing for the PSU and fans inside the radbox. Now that I have this problem figured out, I think that was the last hurdle and I might actually have this part finished by the middle part of next week (Famous last words) Anyway, more tommorow as I am planning on making a day out of working on this thing.

Finished the panel



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Unread 11-08-2005, 05:00 AM   #9
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Default Doors

Well after a whole lot of rain, a sander that was giving me grief and a wife who wanted some attention too, I was able to get back to work on this thing.

I started on getting the doors done, so after the first day of cutting, routing, and chiseling we have this.



With a test fit on the hardware.



Then came the fun part in making the interior panel. Fun because first of all I had to start saving some money, so instead of using cork on this box, I ended up using foam. Second, they were out of the thickness of foam that I needed, so I had to buy the double size and cut it in half......trust me its not easy, in fact it is extremely aggrevating.





Now glue the insulated panel to the exterior panel and thats the door. With the second one waiting for assembly.



Im just a day or 2 from having the construction part of this lower part done. Then its all painting and finish work, and finally component assembly.



Thought I would add a picture of the finished product, also I was curious to see how much the thing weighed so I put it on the scale and with the hardware it weighs in at 5.5 Kilos or about 12.1 Pounds....now imagine how much this monstrosity weighs complete, Im gonna need a winch just to move it across the room hehehehe.
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Unread 11-08-2005, 05:02 AM   #10
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Default Radbox

Well finally I have some time to get back to updating this thread. Ive been working on and off on the radbox, painting and trying to finish it up so I can start installing components into it. Here is the pics on what I have done so far. The pics are not the best for the following reasons:

1. I hate cameras...
2. I cant move the box outside anymore without an engine lift
3. The paint is semi-metallic and is a pain to photograph with this POS I have
4. My house is not well lit
5. Not enough coffee...or too much coffee
6. Too lazy to polish the fingerprints and dust off the box for the 50th time


Front


Side


Rear



Close up on the spraypaint design



I have to finish up painting edges and such, paint the top, and finish puting the Aluminum on, but I want to get some of the components in before I finish that up.
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Unread 11-08-2005, 05:04 AM   #11
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Default Components

Finally started putting everything inside and hooking it all up. All the hardware is mounted and all I have left is to finish the tubing. Then the top goes on and I can finish with the outside. Then on to the actual case....





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Unread 11-08-2005, 08:19 AM   #12
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Is there a US evivalent to mt mods?
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Unread 11-08-2005, 10:15 AM   #13
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Mt. Mods is a United States company, I buy most of my stuff from the US as I'm American and old habits die hard. Here is a link.

http://mountainmods.com/index.php
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Unread 11-08-2005, 11:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angry_Steel
Mt. Mods is a United States company, I buy most of my stuff from the US as I'm American and old habits die hard. Here is a link.

http://mountainmods.com/index.php
Oh wow thanks ...I've been looking for a removable tray w/ 120mm cutout. I hope to build a box similar to yours except perhaps a bit lighter!
Did you use the atx or eatx?
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Unread 11-08-2005, 11:38 AM   #15
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No problem. ATX, I was thinking about EATX but I really dont have the need for that extra space at the moment, I can always buy another one if I need it though.
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Unread 11-08-2005, 12:30 PM   #16
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Holy backache, Batman! That is one overbuilt case; I like it. So, now, we have to wait to see how well it works in practice. Next week for the actual running of computer parts in there?
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Unread 11-08-2005, 01:06 PM   #17
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Not really sure, just finishing up the radbox now lol. Probably gonna be another month to be able to actually fire up the actual computer. Then I can finally see if everything works or if I have to start sending parts back. lol

I am going to fire up the pumps and such soon though to make sure they work and to see what kind of flow Im getting before I decide on using the Swissflows/Storm Swissflow/6002 or just selling the Swissflows.
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Unread 11-10-2005, 02:12 PM   #18
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Here is a couple of pics of the top in place with the distribution module attached. In the process of running the final tubing right now, sort of a pain and it might get modified in the future depending on whether or not I have a satisfactory flow. 2 panels are also cut and painted that sit in the top to close it up, I will add hinges on them later probably.


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Unread 11-10-2005, 02:18 PM   #19
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Those quick disconnects... how much did they cost?
I was thinking of getting a few (and I probably have to get them in Spain).
thanks.
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Unread 11-10-2005, 04:29 PM   #20
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sweet work man, i bet that'll be pretty quiet - got to love mdf
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Unread 11-10-2005, 10:11 PM   #21
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Quote:
Those quick disconnects... how much did they cost?
The total price ended up like 110 Euros or something like that with shipping, and I ordered them from Omega in UK. Here is the page from Omega US, just get the part numbers and then go to the UK site and order from there.

http://www.omega.com/ppt/pptsc.asp?r..._38&Nav=grel11

Quote:
sweet work man, i bet that'll be pretty quiet - got to love mdf
Thanks. Actually I hate the stuff, dulls my tools, dust is horrible, but for this application its perfect. Hate the weight too but thats life. I weighed the radbox last night and as it stands right now its 40kg (+-88lbs) which means that when its complete it will weigh in at around 85kg or around 180lbs. Too funny if it wasnt so sick. Good thing the wheels are rated for that weight lol.
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Unread 11-10-2005, 10:14 PM   #22
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Looking good. How about a cost tally?
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Unread 11-10-2005, 10:19 PM   #23
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For the Radbox only....guesstimate here as I havent sat down to figure out exactly what damage Ive done but around anywhere from 800 to 1000 Euros materials/components/waste. The actual case with the computer parts in it probably runs about 3500-4000 Euros.
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Unread 11-11-2005, 01:10 PM   #24
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Modding is (almost) never cheap .
110 € is still a bit high thou, thanks anyway.
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Unread 11-11-2005, 07:19 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraMex
Modding is (almost) never cheap .
110 € is still a bit high thou, thanks anyway.
(offtopic)
I'm thinking of getting more of those quickconnects some for myself, so if you or anyone else want some PM me and we'll get a bulk deal together perhaps?

Inspirational project Angry_Steel, I made something similar (but smaller) using Thermochill radiators, everything in jet black (so many cans of paint just eat into the budget ). I particularly like the panel you've made for the quick-connects, I also made something almost identical with the same quick connects. I'm curious though, what's the thing that looks like a sink overflow for?

You've given me the impetus to get my radbox onto the forum, will do that tomorrow!
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