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LePhuronn

(In Win 901) Asteria II: Rearmoured

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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, but it should all be good. Well, I've worked out the different screw sizes, but not actually screwed anything together so far :tongue:

Anyway, the backplate. Everybody knows what an EK backplate looks like, so I shan't bore you. Plus my phone camera is having a few problems taking decent shots of shiny black things on black things.

However,

gpu-backplate_pre.jpg

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...

gpu-backplate_anodise.jpg

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 it's 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

gpu-backplate_bare.jpg

Sanded up a bit

gpu-backplate_sand-1.jpg

gpu-backplate_sand-2.jpg

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!

gpu-backplate_brushed-1.jpg

gpu-backplate_brushed-2.jpg

Long, even strokes down the length of the backplate to get those scratches back in, replicating the brushed effect. Dead useful to have some kind of guide jig to help you stay straight when brushing. Switch up the part of the scotchbrite you use so you don't just repeat the same scratches.

Annoyingly it looks like I got something caught in the middle as there's a more pronounced line half way through, but I'm not too bothered and realistically would have to sand then entire thing back to smooth before going again. There is a similar streak from one of the screw holes which I may have to sort out.

 

Now for the comparison shot:

gpu-backplate_compare.jpg

I think that's pretty damn epic. 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.

Looks like I've gotten some dust on the 2nd layer of clear coat so I may have to 1000 grit that off tomorrow, then the EK badge can go back on.

The question is do I keep the EK badge silver or vinyl wrap it brushed black?


Thanks to all for looking, and have a great New Year if I don't catch you before.

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A quick update: I messed up the clear coat so had to strip it all off. Twice.

To be honest the blemishes were starting to annoy me so I've worked all the way back to smooth aluminium and started again. It's come out a bit more shiny too this time, so maybe I didn't get all the caustic soda tarnish off the first time. Then when things were going well after the 2nd attempt somehow the thing fell off the box whilst drying, but with the clear coat removed again the brushed effect isn't quite as pronounced.

Will be giving it another rub down in the morning.

Annoyed because it looked so good the first time :angry:

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Quick little thing to share. The silver deluxe EK badges arrived yesterday thanks to a wonderfully generous member of another forum.

ek-badge_base.jpg

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

Added to the Supremacy EVO block too for consistency.
ek-badge_block-plate_1.jpg

ek-badge_block-plate_2.jpg

Looks mint, thanks very much to that man!

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A little teaser...

structural-tease.jpg

My bend radii are larger than I expected, so it's thrown some measurements off between 1-2mm (some not an issue, some critical) but it's getting there. These are the 2 essential (and scary) pieces.

I'll present properly soon :S

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asteria2_banner.jpg

Quite a few pictures to share with you in my latest update, unfortunately my phone's on the blink so most of these aren't the greatest. Hopefully they'll still give a nice taste of how things are going.

Although I'm rebuilding most of the 901's internals, there are a few holes and cuts needed on the bits I'm keeping, and some of them can only be done once the Titan is in place. So I thought I'd best get on with it and block up my very first GPU :S

She has to come out of her existing home first, so allow me to introduce you all to Asteria
sugo-side.jpg

sugo-top.jpg

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 dusty and battered, and the rubbish paintjob I did covering the bare steel scratches off every time you remove the lid, but she still no slouch after all these years.


Here's the old girl, still going strong.
titan_pre-top.jpg

titan_pre-side.jpg

titan_pre-angle.jpg


Big deep breath, here we go :ohmy:
titan_tim.jpg

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 :)
titan_clean-angle.jpg

My very first obligatory naked board pr0n shots :tongue:
titan_die-1.jpg

titan_die-2.jpg

titan_die-3.jpg

(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!
titan_components.jpg

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. But it was bang on first time.

I couldn't get any decent pictures, but essentially it's just screws anyway so hardly exciting. The planning stages were working out which screws were unique to the GPU block and which were shared with the backplate, and in turn what the screw lengths would be given Watercool and EK do things differently.

So we ended up with 7 M3x8mm dome head screws to fix the block around the GPU, which were shallow enough in head size not to interfere with the spacing on the backplate. We then had 4 M3x12mm countersunk screws to mate the backplate with the remaining 4 holes in the block. Add 2 M3x5mm at the very edge of the PCB to secure the backplate and we're all done.


And here we are!
titan_block.jpg

titan_backplate.jpg

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.


Apologies again for most of the pics being shoddy, I'll be having a clean up soon so fingers-crossed I can get this DSLR working properly and get that damn backdrop free of creases :tongue:

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Of course, I couldn't leave it there. I had to see what the completed motherboard would look like:

combine-top.jpg

combine-side.jpg


It's 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 :tongue:

 

May not have another update for a while as I'm folding and drilling case internals, hopefully I'll be back soon.

Thanks for looking!

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asteria2_banner.jpg

Hello again to everybody, it's been a while since I last posted. 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 :S

Quick shots of the 3 core structural pieces:
structural_full-2.jpg

structural_full-1.jpg

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.

old-concept.jpg

(Credit to bit-tech for the original photo)

I had a bit of a revelation though which changed the scope of the project; rather than refining what Laine had done I was going to try to take it up another level. Conceptually of course :tongue: 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
structural_body-perspective-1.jpg

structural_body-perspective-2.jpg

Replicated the tab on the upper section for extra support, and that damn fiddly tab on the bottom-right because the glass side panel as 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.
structural_body-length.jpg

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
structural_body-psu-side.jpg

structural_body-psu-depth.jpg

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!
structural_lower-l-pair-1.jpg

structural_lower-l-front.jpg

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? :tongue:)

Although there was a time it wasn't going to be square holes...hole-faces.png

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.
structural_lower-l-pair-2.jpg

I do need something for the glass side panels to attach to, and lo and behold there's 2 tabs needed.
structural_lower-l-tabs.jpg

 

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! Crazy comparison time
structural_fan-front.jpg

structural_fan-side.jpg

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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Actually, I've not gone just yet, just thought I'd throw this one out there since some of the existing case chopping has begun...
structural_psu-test.jpg
Very rough first test fit of the SFX PSU. Once that's trued up and bolted in that's going to be mint!

I do have some leeway horizontally for it to slide in as-is (neoprene runners are the idea to save scratching up the PSU and powder coat), but I'm going to try and file down the bend radius of that bottom-left bend inside and get more of a right-angle so the PSU can fit a bit more snug.

Thanks for looking!

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Thanks Bill!

One thing I actually forgot about in my little story was fitting a slim 360 rad in the bottom on top of the SFX PSU could just about be done and utilising the PSU's fan as one of the 3 rad fans, but when I measured up the HDD area and realised I could fit the PSU up there instead I just went "sod it, let's go crazy thick rad instead!". Couldn't quite fit a 80mm Monsta with fans but I did consider it!

Putting the PSU up in the corner though does present other challenges given it's in a sealed area, and getting proper airflow for it without recycling in the main chamber has been a head-scratcher. I think I'm sorted though, but that's progress for later on :tongue:. My PSU is modular so I have 20mm of plugs to worry about even before I can see how cables will bend, and I can't source a low-profile left-angle C13 plug for the internal power cable, so the PSU is inset 30mm just to allow for the power plug! AND it has to be either a left-angle or up-angle C13 because Silverstone rotated the plug socket 180 degrees AND put it close to the edge of the unit for some truly logical reason.

I don't like messing with power, but I'm looking at modding the power plug to give me more options, or breaking open the PSU itself :blink: and seeing if I can rotate the socket.

Every mm in this build counts!

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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 re-purpose these for the PSU but they're a bit too big and will be off-centre.surgery_hdd-area.jpg

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

Masked off the area, get the lines drawn out ready for some rotary action...surgery_masked-up.jpg

...and let surgery commence! (the next day of course, neighbours won't appreciate 1am cutting)surgery_prepped.jpg

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.surgery_hdd-area-done.jpg

surgery_pump-area-done.jpg

So far so good...and now the fun begins. And by fun I mean annoyed. Let me tell you another story...

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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 :angry:

...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.
ddc_front.jpg

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

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!
ddc-placed_peekaboo.jpg

ddc-placed_front.jpg

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!
ddc_covers.jpg

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


And then I looked at the back :(
ddc-placed_overhang.jpg

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 :laugh:


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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I managed to miss a bunch of updates on this one, nice work!

19 hours ago, LePhuronn said:

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.

And Amen to that.  I read all of it, and I'm not sure I have a useful response to it lol  Do you think you could possibly make the top plate you made into a mounting plate, and forego that on the back side?  I'm wondering if the top plate could be extended down and bent to make a similar foot for mounting, so you could remove all that off the back.  May still have to shave the heatsink, though.  

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Thanks Mosquito, all responses are useful as they help to unclog my brain! It's also nice to know that my crazy-long posts are being read as there's some context to the pictures as I document the parts with a long history to them.

The pump issue was bugging me because after my initial mess up in measurements there was no way I'd return to and commit to the DDC if it wasn't viable, so I went back and had another look. I have 45mm from the back of the GPU to the outside of the case, and the full pump+top assembly WITH the fins is 45mm, so give or take 1mm each way it's workable, just like my 2nd round of measurements indicated.

That part of the case is a bit unstable on its own, plus I'd bent the pump mount in a different place than originally designed to lower the height which caused it to stick out a bit more than it should. Since the mount is designed to have the fins stick through it, it's actually included in the 45mm width so I wouldn't reclaim anything by dropping it or moving it.

So, the plan at the moment is to hold fire until I've put a test fit of the new case parts together. I'm building a jig to set everything to proper right angles and get the rivet holes in the right place, trim the pump mount down so it's tighter into the case and see what happens. I will have to shave the heatsink fins down (which was part of my initial thought process anyway) but it shouldn't be by much. If it's easy enough I might just chop the fins in half which gives me a good chunk of clearance (3mm clearance is a LOT in this project :tongue:) which in turn removes the need to put spacers on the side panel. The pump active cooling stays in too.

Is it easier to just go with the Alphacool DC-LT? Sure, but that's not what this project is about - why go through the hassle of designing 75% new internals to accommodate hardware that doesn't fit just to wimp out on a pump that doesn't fit in its stock form?

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Bent as a nine bob note!

case_jigging-up.jpg

Between awkward bends, multiple re-bending of bits, cutting, trimming and generally handling the piece, there literally wasn't a right angle anywhere on the main body panel.

With guide jigs made (I won't rant about how my brand new circular saw was off by 3 degrees and my MDF stock had warped), bolted to the main radiator and everything clamped and screwed together, hopefully this bloody thing will remember what shape it's supposed to be before I start drilling NEW holes rather than just matching existing ones. Need to break out the JB Weld too to fill in a couple of incorrect holes and re-drill :angry:

But, once I can get this main bit finalised and back into the exterior skin I can then test fit the full case and components, and then the floodgates will open with lots of more interesting stuff!

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asteria2_banner.jpg

 

I have a BIG update for you. Not so much in volume, but in significance. After 2 years of planning, design, redesign, stress and very scary moments I think I might actually have the case.
case_test-fit.jpg


And for all those who asked the question directly, here is the big reveal: the Alphacool UT60 360 radiator mounted inside.
case_rad-fit.jpg

Close-up of the rad in situ
case_rad-fit-under.jpg

And after all the trouble with bending the lower L incorrectly, trashing all backup pieces, bend radii throwing measurements off and ultimately taking a hacksaw to lovely laser cut work...
case_rad-intake.jpg

It's turned out pretty much bang on. Hell, I might have even taken a tiny bit too much out!

 

Things still need a bit of adjustment to straighten bits up, but here's a cheeky shot of the back with a vanity plate I put in to cover the PSU opening. Should look nice once cleaned up and brushed to replicate the case exterior.
case_rad-vanity.jpg

 

And to wrap up, I simply had to throw the hardware into the case. Consider this a teaser and a spoiler for when everything comes together :tongue:
case_test-hardware-1.jpg

case_test-hardware-2.jpg


Forgive the grotty photos because I'm over-excited and over-tired! Still lots to do to get the case cleaned up and finalised, but I think finally I've now broken the back of it. The grunt work is done, so everything now is a million little things so I can potter about and do bits here and there, rather than have to schedule in large blocks of time.

Plenty more to do, plenty more to see, and plenty of things I've not even talked about yet!

Stay tuned.

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sooo i just quickly skimmed over your post and i really love the metal work ( wish i could do that, but you probably got a mill or even cnc right?) anyway since your also altering the insides id love to see what you do with the side panels.

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1 hour ago, cluelessgenius said:

sooo i just quickly skimmed over your post and i really love the metal work ( wish i could do that, but you probably got a mill or even cnc right?) anyway since your also altering the insides id love to see what you do with the side panels.

The metalwork was actually laser cut by a local engineering firm, although the design and folding was done by me. Believe it or not, I'm not touching the side panels. The glass is staying :tongue: the core premise of the project is to cram a proper water loop into the case but to keep things looking as stock as possible, hence the folding to replicate In Win's design, but when you take the side panels off you'll see how much the insides have changed.

Of course, progress is clearly shown in the build log so it won't be a surprise to most people any more lol

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Hi all, just a quick note to say updates will be slow at the minute whilst I get some cash together for the next phase. If I do something interesting with the blanking plates for the lower portion I'll document that, otherwise it's just some flat plates held on with a thumbscrew :tongue: or magnets, possibly magnets :unsure:

However, I would like to thank you all for your interest in this project so far. It's been a genuine surprise, which is why I'm very pleased and humbled to say that Asteria II has been nominated for bit-tech's ongoing monthly modding poll. I won't post a link in case that's breaking a forum rule here, but if anybody here are also members of bit-tech's forum and think this project is worthy of your vote, I'd very much appreciate the support :S

Hopefully back soon with some more progress on a fresh element of the project.

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Greetings!

Not much to say at the minute as I'm trying to get some money together for the next phase of the project. Rather than let this log vanish into the ether, I thought I'd share a little preview of something upcoming. Very rough photos as this update has been thrown together rather hastily :tongue:

With the radiator occupying the entire lower chamber of the case, and the PSU residing where the hard drives would usually sit, I need to relocate the storage. Since I'm sticking with 2.5" drives right now, I thought I'd make the new drive position a bit of a feature. So, one drive mounting plate drawn up and cut:

storage_demo-plate.jpg

and will be placed on the back of the case over the motherboard cutout, something like this

storage_demo-position.jpg

 

Space for 2 drives; I'll be repurposing my existing Samsung 840 500GB as it's still in excellent health and pairing it with one of those slim 7mm tall laptop drives for file storage, more than likely the Western Digital WD10SPCX 1TB. Allow this battered Seagate to illustrate.

storage_demo-withdrive.jpg

 

I'm going for a wireless look for this storage plate, so each drive has a cutout for running cables out of the way. I'll be using those ultra slim Silverstone CP11 SATA cables to tuck under the GPU, route under the motherboard and out the big case cutout into the storage plate. For power I'm going to try and make up a veroboard for sharing the power a few ways as I have something fancy planned ;) (and is what's costing the money)

Given the visual mismatch of a mechanical dive paired with SSD, I'm not leaving the drives exposed. Pair of aluminium covers will be used, and I've cut the Asteria II and In Win branding into them for some visual flourish with something to come later.

storage_demo-covers.jpg

It'll be along these lines when they're in position.

storage_demo-covers-placed.jpg


That's the general gist of it anyway :)

Hopefully I can scrounge some money together soon and get the acrylic and LED strips in and get this bit put together properly.

Catch you soon!

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Looking sharp. I popped in after seeing your pump top query on Bit. I don't think having a non-spiral volute will change your pump performance enough to matter in such a small setup. It'll boost your street cred if you can make your own tops too.:D

 

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And I'm all about the street cred! To be honest the Aquacomputer top I have right now doesn't have a spiral volute, the XSPC and EK ones don't either from what I can see. In a perfect world it'd be a great thing to have, but I honestly don't think it's a necessity. We'll see though, I have a cheap Acetal offcut coming for me to experiment with. If I can make the prototype and it works fine then I can remake a proper one, or maybe just dye the white Acetal black and be done with it :tongue:

Doing a custom top will fix quite a few issues with my pump placement, and will also be a great learning experience. Asteria II will benefit greatly from a custom pump top, Dioxidane (when it happens) is having a custom top purely for the hell of it :laugh:

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On 5/23/2017 at 5:47 PM, LePhuronn said:

And I'm all about the street cred! [...]

Doing a custom top will fix quite a few issues with my pump placement, and will also be a great learning experience. Asteria II will benefit greatly from a custom pump top, Dioxidane (when it happens) is having a custom top purely for the hell of it :laugh:

All good enough reasons to do it :p

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