COMPLETED LOG - AUGUST 2009
Hello again! :D/> Yeah, it's me. E.E.L. And I have another case mod project coming along here. What's that...? Oh, yeah. My other build. *sighs* Yeah, it'll get done. I have a small problem though. I can't sit idle for long or I go insane. Well, more insane than I am currently, that is. But I came across a kick-ass deal on a chassis that I couldn't pass up. And to be honest, I love a good deal. Who doesn't, right? Anyways, I've had this idea floating in my head for quite a while in varying forms, I just never got around to it. Now, I have.
The 'excuse' for the mod even happening is that I've been thinking of retiring the SuperMicroFly. I need something bigger for work. No, I'm not trashing Micro, I'm just retiring it; meaning I'll be transferring all the stuff over to this new mod and possibly selling the old girl. We'll see how this goes and see where I ultimately end up.
Initially, this mod was going to be based around a Lian Li PC-V300, because I had landed one for about 40.00 on FleaBay, but the guy screwed me. Typical, right? Oh well. He's been taken care of. But anyways... Decided to go another route. I decided a while ago to mod something other than a desktop chassis. I figured I'd go for broke and mod a server chassis. No, not a server tower. A 4U server rack unit! So I started my search for a suitable 4U unit I can cut up to my black heart's desire, and found one. First off, I wanted aluminum. I'll let ya in on a little secret: I hate steel. HATE it. I hate cutting on it. I hate looking at it. It's an ugly metal IMHO. Not to mention weight. I love aluminum in contrast. It's just...a little more kind to work with, you know? ;)/> So that narrowed down my search a bit. A 4u unit that's aluminum. Now, that's where the price skyrockets. I found a cheap unit from Ark, specifically the CF439. It states it's aluminum, so I figured okay then. Around $180 shipped to the door. I held off for a little bit, and I happened to come across the same exact unit from someone somewhat locally being sold as a company closeout. I guess they were getting rid of old hardware they never used, because it was still in the box. Great and all, but the price is was killed me; $70 shipped. Great deal. So, I found my case.
And here's where the fun begins.
"Express elevator to hell.....going down!"
Now, the idea around this mod is....yup, you guessed it....yet another ALIENS-related build. Specifically, the Colonial Marines of the film. After my "Building Better Worlds" mod seemed to scare many with my fearfully strange sense of humor, I figured I'd go realistic this time. Besides, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Colonial Marines. And I'm hoping to try to do them justice with this build.
I wanted to build something that looks like it would be apart of their arsenal or equipment that they'd use on a daily basis or perhaps when out in the field. Something that would perhaps dock inside the APC or perhaps with the dropship or something. You know, something general issued or perhaps MOS-specific. So that's where the server idea comes into play.
Here's a quick quick mockup I did, that looks like ass but I don't really care. I spend more time clipping my nails than coming up with a mockup for case mods. And it probably will be completely different from this when it's all done too, but who knows.
I'm going to 'weather' it, or beat it the hell up to make it well-used or well-loved. However that could be taken. There will be a total 'military' paintjob and SFX on top of that. I've been designing ideas for stenciling to go on the beast, as well as other more permanent mods. I've also decided, assuming I can swing it, I'm going water with it. I've dived into my 'spare parts box', and have discovered I have a lot of sh*t! How the hell did I wind up with all this?! Regardless of my mental instability, I'm going to try to get rid of some of this stuff by using it.
Alright, onto the case proper. Let the journey begin!
Here's the stock case removed from the box. The brushed aluminum reminds me of Cooler Master's aluminum.
She's really light, considering the size. I'd say maybe 18 lbs or so?
And the security door down.
The top panel is held on with 4 screws at the four corners and it lifts off. Here's the inside. Wait-- What's this? Steel? Steel!? :duh: So much for 'full aluminum'. Thanks, Ark. :(/> Oh well. I can work with it. It's fine.
Man, there's a lot of room in here, isn't there? I'm sure some of you administrative types are used to seeing this, but this humble modder usually cuts on normal stuff so it's new to me. Nice, regardless. This'll be fun!
Front 120mm intake fan bracket. Looks industrial and sparse. I like it. Dunno if I'm going to keep it, but still.
Let's take a look at these handles... Aw, man! :duh: Plastic. Bloody plastic. Oh well. I'll switch those out too, I suppose.
Under the plastic handle reveals the 8 screws that hold on the front panel! I like this style of manufacturing. It makes sense to me. It's not all convoluted and annoying. Well, mostly anyways. ...Steel.... :grr:
And the front plate comes right off. Nice and easy.
The unit has a lead from the front of the case for a PS2 keyboard or whatever to be plugged in. I won't be needing this, so she's gone.
That hole looks awfully close to 22mm or so. Perfect spot for a bulgin switch! :)/> I enlarged the hole just a smidge, and also drilled out the chassis with a holesaw where the PS2 thing was located.
Everything fits great now using my test bulgin. I'll probably use a standard plain bulgin switch that I previously bought from Bill Owen's case mod store that I have laying around. It'll have that industrial look.
Speaking of Mr. Owen, I'm also using some of his kick-ass billet machined black case feet that was given to me for Lumière Noire being one of the featured blogs, (actually the first one before official launch!) on his awesome new CaseModBlog. Check it out now, or you're worthless!
Again, these case feet aren't hollow junk. They are heavy, solid, and American made quality pieces of kit. You will not be disappointed in these or anything you get from MNPCTech. Get some. NOW!
These feet will go perfect with this build. They fit right in. The case will sit right on top of them like so.
Looking inside the chassis, they made everything so easy to use and modular. Everything basically comes out with minimal effort; 4 thumbscrews remove it. Here's the HDD rack that sits behind the front 120mm fan intake removed.
Even the IDE rack comes out with 4 screws too.
..And the 3.5" bay too!
Oh, I also removed the front security door too. It'll require modding and other stuff. ;)/>
Alright, Marines. Let's start cuttin' on this bitch, shall we?! Hell-Yeah!
I can think of steel being good for one thing when cutting on it. A light-show! Here's me dremeling out the rear fan ports.
After you're done with the initial cuts, it should look like this. Now to sand down those barbs and make it flush.
There. All cleaned up and ready for final sanding for the coating going on the whole chassis. I'll be using simple old school wire fan guards colored the same as the chassis to give it that 'subdued' understated military look but also to make sure there's enough airflow through this thing. I'd have preferred one 120mm fan to two 80's, but eh. Can't complain. It'll rock. Hopefully.
Alright, here's some of the sh*t I found in my 'spare parts box' that everyone has, I'm sure. I'm going to try to use all this stuff, assuming I can get water running in this thing. I'm sure I can.
I have a Black ice Pro II dual 120mm rad laying around, as well as a Swiftech Apogee water block that's seen better days but will be fine after a ketchup scrubbin'! And the previously-unused AM2 plate which will be used this time. I also had 4 unopened Arctic Cooling PWM 80mm fans. These things are quiet and move plenty of air. I'm going to use 'em here. Or try to anyways. Also had some clear hose coils. I'll need that because the hose will be tightly run in here. I also have a spare DDC pump laying around in here somewhere, that I'll probably use with 3/8" barbs on everything. Plenty of capability for this system. Now, the fans going on the rad? I'll get to that in a second.
I also came across something else I didn't know I had.
:hehe: It's a bloody Koolance PC2 control board and display! WTH? LOL. After some quick research on Koolance' site about the fans used originally with these control units state, "they must operate in the full range of 4.5-12VDC @0.2-1A. (NOTE: Many 12V fans do not operate below 5V!)". LOL. And the 80's used with it have a current of .23A. So I did a little more digging. I wanted to use 38mm thick fans for more static pressure. But I'm only cooling a stock AM2 CPU that runs @ 65W, so I'll be fine I think with 25mm units. After some digging, I've found that Scythe S-Flex 1600rpm fans supposedly have a startup voltage around 4v! Perfect! And they even have a current of .20A so they won't toast the headers on this unit. This is gonna rule. If I can get this to work fine. I don't have any of the S-Flex fans though, so a quick order with Hank @ Performance-PC's will fix the problem. I'm betting they'll work fine. It'll give me plenty of airflow when/if I need it, but they undervolt quite well too.
Now, let's plug this piece of shhhhurely fine piece of equipment-- to Winona. Hm? Who's Winona? Is she hot? Well, not really. Winona's my POS 150w PSU I rewired to start when I plug her in the wall. Sorry for the misleading statement.
Yes! :hehe: Works fine. And it even jumps up the speed on the fans with a simple push-button selection or automatically when the thermal probe gets heated up past a certain threshold. And as a bonus, it looks kind of cheapy militaryesque too, right? I'll mod this into a custom plate I'm going to make to go on the front of the chassis behind the door to make everything flush and clean and sparse. I have some other plans for this too, but they'll unfold in due-time.
Whew! What a first post eh? Now, I just need to not post an update for like 2 months and it'll be like Lumière Noire is! Oh, wait...that's not funny! :eyebrow: This build's probably going to be fast. I'm brimming with ideas.
Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb: