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  1. Today
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  3. Log Completed 9-19-17 Welcome, munkys! It's be a grueling few months what with numerous setbacks with projects, and storms, but an EEL abides I guess. Gotta keep on truckin'. I've been tinkering with some things, and decided I'd distract myself temporarily from the big projects I should already be done with but can't seem to quite get there due to temperatures being unbearable, and lack of desire. I guess a good way of describing trying to push yourself against your will to finish a project you don't want to work on: it's kind of like having a bowel-movement -- you can't force it or you'll be in pain. I was able to snag one of the Team Wolf Zhuque "CIY" 87-key decks really cheap, and decided I'd do something with it to make it my own. Out of box, it's a damn fine piece of keyboard for the price, with a few gripes. Let's get to this! These cheaaaaaap decks come in decent packaging... CIY = Change It Yourself! Basically, you can hot-swap new key switches into the deck without having to disassemble and desolder. Perfect as a switch-tester on the go! Inside the box, they even have a layer of vellum paper to further protect the deck inside from dust, critters, or whatever. Nice. Let's get this deck out on the workbench and take a look at things. I've seen uglier! That logo though.... I can't stand excessive badging, to be honest. I like subtlety when it comes to that kind of thing. That logo has gotta go! Not really a fan of Blues, but I guess they could be worse. These are Gaote Blues. Weird round opening on the switch top instead of the usual rectangular box shape of the stem meeting up with the housing. Doesn't matter; they're gone too, haha. Caps are kinda meh too, but I've seen worse. The Cherry-esque stabilizers (stabs) are interesting though. I like how they snap onto the bar instead of having to fiddle with getting the bar inserted prior and pushing the caps on. This makes more sense in an odd way. I was going to replace them with Cherry stabs, but I may just keep them instead. Kinda cool! All caps pulled, and ready to further breakdown... This key in particular is kind of a pain though.... The Windows key. For some reason, the manufactuer decided the backlighting on it will stay on ALL THE TIME, even if you turn off the backlighting (like I do). I don't get it, lol. Easily fixed though. SMD LEDs; surface-mount diodes. If you're careful with your soldering iron, you can get it off with no damage. One of the things I dislike about this deck is the backlighting. I don't understand why a lot of these manufacturers decide that the 'rainbow' backlighting is acceptable. Just....choose a color. One color. That's it! I don't need a couple rows of red, then blue, then yellow, etc. Ugh, ugly! If I really felt like going through the trouble, I'd just desolder all the SMDs and replace with a single color (such as orange or something), but it's not worth it to me. I just rarely ever even look at it with backlighting. Basically, this is a work-station keyboard. In fact, I'm typing this log using it! After removing all the switches using the CIY removal tool, a few screws through the top plate and some in the bottom held the hold thing together. I'm going to make the permanent wire a removable one too. I don't like permanently-attached cables! PCB is held on to the top plate with a few screws... Remove those, and you're ready to screw around with the deck some more. Stabs installed on plate. I contemplated removing these and going Cherry, but I think I'm going to keep them. Have to strip these off though for what I'm doing... There's the offending SMD LED. You gotta GO, dude! ...and bye-bye! Moving on, let's start working on that switch-plate and its offending logo. I just attacked it with my mouse-sander, and was careful not to go too deep. Just enough to get rid of the stamped, raised logo. A few minutes later, it's brand-less! I'm ditching the flip-down plastic feet that a majority of keyboards have in favor of some metal standoffs instead. Just have to drill a couple of holes for them. Hahahaha, yeaaaah..... warranty stickers don't warn people like me off -- it attracts us like flies on munky-poo! After drilling holes for standoffs, sanding down, prepping and spray-painting the bottom of the deck orange (I had it left over and had just enough to finish this piece, so why not?), I decided I'd continue with the theme I decided on.... a weathered, lived-in, fallout-shelter kind of thing. I went back to my method I used on my CMC Field Server project.... ...using a small amount of my favorite india ink mixed with rubbing alcohol, and blotted and rubbed on to give it some 'personality' and grime. I also sprayed the top plate with a mixture of dark-grey etching primer and light misting of some black spray-paint, and already began weathering that up as well. I want it to look and feel like it's seen some action. The less-perfect it is, the more perfect it becomes to me! Starting on the weathering for the base frame... a simple paper-towel works great for this initial step. To give it a more personalized touch, I decided I'd add something on the base since it has such a large area! Heh....I said "large area".... Masking off... ...and ready for spray-job. A couple light passes is all it takes. Doesn't have to be blobbed on! I let that set up for a few mins to give it some 'tack'. ...And peel the mask off carefully. Done! I let it cure for about 15 mins or so before attacking it some more. Always sign your work! Tried-n-true trusty 3M Scotchbrite pads work wonders. And done. Ready for the final weathering pass. Unfortunately, those openings there where the plastic flip-down legs used to be are going to show the white internal plastic frame when it's all put back together. I could technically cover those over and hide it all, but it's really not a big deal. I just don't care that much about it. Just a work keyboard! Airbrushed some additional grime and build-up in some areas to give it some more lived-in feel. ..Same on top plate. Need to finish up with that as well... Not too much needed; just 'enough'. I didn't snap pics of it when I did it as I was preoccupied with other things, but I powder-coated matte-clear sealed/top-coated the top and bottom pieces of the deck. It's now permanently weathered and will be really resilient to any further damage. But the best part of a weathered project is, you can beat on it with a hammer and you won't notice much beyond what you've already done to it, haha. I also snipped the stock USB cable and soldered it to a micro-USB Adafruit port and installed it inside the base of the deck. I had to use the rotary tool and needle-files to create a new recessed area on the back of the deck, and I used some epoxy putty to 'soft-install' it. I let it set for a day and cleaned it up a bit more using files, and finally painted over it with black acrylic paint to 'hide' it a bit more. Ultimately, it doesn't matter much as it's on the back side of the deck. I highly suggest reading this individual's guide. A lot of great info there. I did my own little 'spin' on it but that's a great way of doing it! After re-assembling everything, and doing some other additional touch-ups on screws, etc., I was able to begin popping in new switches. I opted for the new Kailh Speed Coppers since I had a bag of them on launch, and they're SMD-compatible. They're interesting switches for sure. I'm more of a linear dude, but these feel really nice. The shorter actuation takes some getting used to, but they're nice. And that's coming from someone who hates Cherry Browns. That's about it for the log. I installed a keycap set that I snagged from overseas. A cheapy, "Carbon-esque" Cherry-profile set that fit theme to me. Nice caps for the price though. Nice and thick. So without further delay, I present the final pics! FINAL PHOTOS
  4. [Scratch][Build Log] Project Caroline: Aperture Science

    Heh that's what my wife calls it! This last weekend it was time to install the receiver! Ugly cables, I'll get them sorted away after testing. Decided at this point I was going to test the install... What's that smell? Important lesson learned, Test before installing! Must have crossed a wire. I ordered a replacement receiver and it should be here this week sometime. Now to figure out which set of wires I crossed.
  5. Last week
  6. DDCM Desk Project: Unique. Simple. Powerful

    Good morning DDCM fans and followers! Time for another #DDCMdesk update: I apologize for the lack of quicker updates, the project is on a slight hiatus as we get settled into our new house and I have been DIY working all over the house. The wife has kept me busy on the projects so I’ve only managed to get my workshop set up. But I wanted to drop a quick update to introduce our new sponsor! That’s right! InWin has been gracious enough to sponsor DDCM desk project! They are going to be sending two of their awesome products! Their Aurora fan kits(which of course will be red LEDs) And their Classic Series 900W power supply! I can’t thank them enough and I can’t wait to get the unboxing video done! Will be posted to our YT channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCog6RbBUSD_zfNEujIBX2dg Until our next update on the desk, we will be working on a client mod of a NZXT H440 with a Final Fantasy X theme. :o Happy Modding all and thanks for sticking with us. :D
  7. Video now up on YouTube: SPECS: Intel i5 7600K Gigabyte Designare Z270 Asus Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB 16GB Gskill Trident Z RGB DDR4 NZXT H440 Case NZXT Kraken X42 AIO Liquid Cooling 2x Corsair HD140 RGB Fans Western Digital Black 512GB M.2 Drive EVGA Supernova G3 650W Modular PSU Custom Cables by CableMods Crucial MX300 525GB SSD Intel 535 Series 480GB SSD Custom GPU Backplate/Fan Guard/SSD Covers by JMMods Custom Hello Kitty PSU Shroud Plate by ColdZero Custom Case Graphics by SSP Vinyl
  8. Police Interceptor PC Mod - Completed

    Thanks Bill, and understood!
  9. Project JDM | ITX scratch build!

    Cool, now it's movin' a long! Looking forward to watching this one
  10. Overwatch Case Mod - Lucio

    I know, right! This card really accentuates how small this Corsair 460X case really is lol. Another productive weekend! We're inching ever so closely to the finish line on this build, just another few days and I think it will be complete. It's always satisfying to reach the assembly stage because you know the end is near... but assembly time is not without it's bumps and setbacks. Take this graphics card for example... This 1070 STRIX card is friggen massive.. 11 3/4" long! (the reference 1080's from Nvidia are only 10.5") I was hoping to mount the card across the bottom, but it turns out the blaster takes up more space than I had originally thought. So the only place inside the case that it would fit was like this: But that would obscure the view of the blaster, so I didnt want to do that. The only other option was to mount it outside the case. Vertically on the back panel looked good, but the riser cable would have to extend around the chassis, and the one I have isn't long enough. Flipping the card over fits better, now that the PCI is facing the IO panel. This will work! Grabbing some 1.5" aluminum angle bar, I started making a bracket to hold the card, using the card's original IO bracket as a template for all the ports. Driling out the holes.. Sanded and ready for paint.. I'll just use the existing rivet holes on the case to secure the bracket. And this is pretty much when disaster struck lol.. I soon found out that the 1.5" angle bar wasn't wide enough to hold the card next to the case.. Not sure why I didn't measure or pre-fit the card, was in too much of a hurry I guess. Anyway, I had to remake the bracket using a wider piece of C channel. Turned out better in the end, but I lost several hours due to my stupid mistake. So the new bracket holds the card nicely! I cut a wide rectangular hole next to the IO so the riser cable would fit through and connect to the card. And I made an access hole through the case at the bottom for the power cables. The riser cable was a tight fit, but it works! It definitely could use a bit more length, but there's no time to swap it out now. I spent the rest of the weekend painting the last bits of trim, wiring up the case feet and running cables. It's a final sprint to the finish line!
  11. Overwatch Case Mod - Lucio

    lol GPUs have gotten so huge lately it's kind of ridiculous
  12. Luna - FFXV Phanteks P400 Casemod

    Bill's mount really dressed up my standard mounting bracket.
  13. Project Spectrum! ( ITX scratch build ) [SPONSORED]

    Update! So today a little package from Corsair arrived and as you can see it contained a Corsair SF600 ( i still can get over the small size of it ). I have built several computers at work with this psu and can without a doubt attest it's quality and performance so it's going to be an absolute joy installing it into the build. A big thanks to both Corsair and Johan Nyman for sending me this psu.
  14. Project JDM | ITX scratch build!

    Starting on the metalwork. I will be using some 16/14mm metal pipes for the frame. Test fitting.
  15. First 480 Monsta on board. Not without unplanned issues; because of multiport, the rad wouldn't sit flush on top/bottom panel - blanking plug sticks out so the only way to mount the rad is to drill holes for them plugs. If mounted on fans there's no problem but direct case/ panel mount is somehow complicated.
  16. My G5 Project

    It's the only board on the market i felt fit the build. I didn't do the the angle myself, I was planning on doing so but I would have probably spent more money trying to do one right that just buying one, It's from moddiy they are great for connectors and such. Doing the usb cable took 2 failed tries and i would say the better part of 3 hours to get the one good one, it was one of the most tedious things I've ever done. I had my first ops moment while working on this today.. I may have cut the front panel audio cable to short.. :P to fix it I just ordered an internal extender for $4 that ill sleeve and hide the connectors, it is going to give me more room to run the cable behind the board and hide it better so that's a positive!
  17. Overwatch Case Mod - Lucio

    Oh for sure.. and that STRIX card is massively long too.. like 1 1/4" LONGER than a reference 1080. As such, it won't fit anywhere inside the case that will allow the blaster to be seen fully. So it's going to be mounted externally.
  18. Luna - FFXV Phanteks P400 Casemod

    I was like... "man, the GPU mount is seemless..."
  19. Mosquito and I re-visit an iconic case, that seems to be everywhere a decade ago. I'm imagining leaving exterior stock with stainless hardline build inside, to match chassis, but lots of other projects to finish first.
  20. We're beyond 'desk' and approaching 'nuclear plant control station'.
  21. Overwatch Case Mod - Lucio

    THAT'S the way to do it. :D Pre-modded hardware pics! I see a GPU riser in your future...
  22. My G5 Project

    You even managed a silver board. Did you do the usb 3 angle yourself? I've had usb3 cables on the back burner for over a year now because I know it will be a pain to solder. The current market options are: big as a house cables, or individual components. That lone motherboard post could mount a cable hiding panel.
  23. My G5 Project

    Ive been waiting to do one of these for years and I have always envisioned it having a nice silver/copper theme. Also ive Been waiting on more sleeve and cable to finish my psu and all the cable management, there probably wont be much progress for the next month as ive got a lot on.
  24. Conventions for modders

    Awesome stuff! Thank you everyone for the details. Going to see what I can work up...
  25. After long debate and extensive reading i decided to go for NB eLoops B12-2. I didn't want PWM versions as many ppl report unpleasant pwm ticking noise when slowed down to low rpm. I am going to voltage regulate these, possibly 6-8V. Still not sure if Aquaero 6 can handle 8 of these without overheating( ca split them into two channels, 4 fans per channel, but does it change anything?). One thing I'm sure about; these are definitely the best looking fans available! So i got this beauty!!
  26. Project No Name

    Hey Guy's, I am back with a little update, feels like I have been here before. I took the case apart and fully strip it down to bear shell to replace the snapped motherboard tray. It felt like it took me days to de-pin all the cables that ran through the motherboard tray to the motherboard. Once I did this I tape up the perplex and mark all the holes for the motherboard standoff once I did this I tap the holes and added the standoffs. I put the res in the same place as before but I want to change the hole for the pass through for the intake which I think will look a lot cleaner, I don't like to use a lot of fitting if I don't need to. When it came to do all the holes for my pass through hole I could not find my 20mm drill bit, so I pop on amazon and had it next day, it put me back one day, as I don't like to paint until all holes are made. While I was waiting for the drill bit I replace all the logos on the case fans to AML logo. Once I got the drill bit a few minutes later all the holes were done and it was time to paint. The paint came out great, I fitted motherboard tray back in to the case add the res, motherboard and GPU. I still need to pass all the cables back through and add the the pass through fittings. With me taken the full case apart I am going re do the basement and make it look a little bit nicer. The build it self, I would say is nearly done and like I said in my last post that it will never be 100% complete, but I am very happy with the way it looks, just need to make sure the hard tubing is on point.
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