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Hi,

I'm Mosquito, also known as Chris, and I have a problem.  I haven't posted a case mod in like 2 years ?

I'm going to be working on an In-Win A1 case, and this is sort of two worklogs in one.  First part is a simple mod, to watercool CPU + GPU in a custom loop with only a simple mod (and some GPU size restrictions).

After that, I am continuing to mod the case, to see how much I can fit in this little case :)

This video is the first step in that multi-step approach.

I put together this video on a simple mod for installing a custom watercooling loop with minimal modifications

 

 

First thing I did was some disassembly to get to the bottom of the case, and then used an old radiator template thing I had to mark some hole locations

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_14.jpg

 

And then drilled out those holes.  Note, I forgot to tape the case first, so I ended up taping around the locations I marked for the most part, instead of taping and re-marking.  Oops

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_15.jpg

 

All I had to do was drill 8 holes and it allowed me to mount the fans through the bottom of the case to the radiator

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_16.jpg

 

This no longer uses the holes in the bottom plastic frame for mounting the fans.  You also wouldn't want to anymore, since there is about a 3/16" (just under 5mm) gap between the fan and the plastic frame.  No complaints here, as it helps get the fans a little further away

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_17.jpg

 

Next up, a little test install.  I'm using a fan/radiator mounting bracket for the pump/res combo

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_20.jpg

 

It is worth noting, that fwith my setup I had to go with an SFX power supply.  If you had a shorter/smaller/different reservoir arrangement, then you may be able to use the ATX power supply that comes with the case

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_23.jpg

 

Next up I did some fiddling with the loop order and tubing runs, and installed my PSU

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_32.jpg

 

I threw the PSU cover over it after installing everything (taped in place for now, which is why it's partially crooked in this picture)

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_36.jpg

 

Overall, this was a pretty nice compact little build.  I'm sure there are people crying out "WITH THAT SMALL OF A GPU YOU COULD HAVE USED A SMALLER CASE", which is true, however, I've also got a 240mm+120mm full custom loop in it :)

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_38.jpg

 

I ran this system for a while, actually used it at an Age of Empires II LAN (An old college group still gets together once or twice a year to play the original version, not the HD or Definitive Editions released on Steam), and as my shop computer for a while. 

Temps were pretty good, and the passively cooled PSU never gave me any trouble.  Under typical browsing/music/video streaming duties the CPU would generally sit around 33-35c and the GPU around 31-32c.  Doing some bench marks or stress-tests would obviously push things a little further.  While running Furmark and CPUZ's stress tests simultaneously, I was seeing the CPU around 68-72c and GPU at around 56-60c. 

Overall I was quite pleased with this setup, but... it's a little too pedestrian for me, so in the updates to come, I will be taking things a little further, possibly into the realm of pointless ridiculousness, if I can :)

 

Thanks for checking this one out

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Now that we got "the easy" out of the way, let's start to have some more fun ?

Time to start tearing some stuff back down

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_04.jpg

 

This I/O cover is pretty nice. One mod I was looking at was standing it up and making the top the new front of the case.  But I would have had to flip the power button, as the logo would have been upside down and annoying.  Luckily, if you were to do that, it's easy to do

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_03.jpg

 

Since I'll be cutting stuff up at this point, I'm taking everything off that I can.  Always remember to photograph power connections, if you need to remove anything like this ?

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_05.jpg

 

Next up, was the stressful part... I took the top glass panel off.  I don't have any pictures of the process, so you'll have to wait until the video is up for that part.  Essentially, it was patience, a heat gun, and a couple of screwdrivers, patience, and anxiety ?  But eventually SUCCESS!

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_39.jpg

 

Essentially, there's just a narrow (~1/2" wide) strip of double sided foam tape around the perimeter.  I focused on heating up a decent area with the heat gun, and then gently pried up with the screwdriver (often using a gentle twisting of a flat blade with eased edges, to avoid excessive fore).  Try not to heat up any particular area too much.  I think it took me around 7-8 minutes to get this removed.  Of course, if you try this, do so at your own discretion.  There's always the possibility you shatter this thing into a kazillion little pieces

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_07.jpg

 

Next up, there was this plastic film on the back under the paint, so I removed that just by pulling it off.

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_10.jpg

 

I used mineral spirits and denatured alcohol to clean up any residue (I use mineral spirits and rags first to dissolve and clean up the adhesive and then denatured alcohol to clean up the oily residue from the mineral spirits)

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_11.jpg

 

And that's how you de-lid an InWin A1 ?

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_08.jpg

 

However, my reason for doing this, was to get a window in the top of the chassis.  So the opaque white top wasn't quite going to cut it. 
So I covered the thing with Citristrip and let it sit an hour.  Didn't do anything, so I covered it again, and let it sit for a couple more hours.

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_12.jpg

 

And... nothing.  Alright, (no pictures here), take it outside, coat it with Aircraft Remover, paint stripper.  This stuff is nasty, but some of the best stuff I could find for stripping hard to dissolve paints.  Directions say 10-15 minutes.  Tried 15, nothing.  Tried again for an hour, nothing.  Well alright then. 
These were my desperate attempts with a sanding block, and a steel wire wheel.  Now we're getting somewhere...

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_42.jpg

 

Yeah, no.  That was like an hour of sanding and wire wheel work, that's obviously not going to happen lol  I'm Assuming this stuff is baked on during manufacture, so it's a little more tough than I am...

So... there will have to a Plan B on that one, I think.... but that's alright, I'll manage :)

 

Thanks for checking it out

-Mosquito

 

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So after getting the glass top off, despite the setback of the paint not being easily removed, it's time to press on anyway...

 

For those of you more video inclined, I have "Part 1" of the series posted:

 

 

Using the original top panel some carpet tape, and a specialized router, I made a couple top panel windows

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_26.jpg

 

After routing the pattern, the replacement top panel looks to fit quite well.

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_29.jpg

 

This was another one of the "practice" pieces, in tinted acrylic to get an idea for how it would look

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_53.jpg

 

The plan at this point, was to mask off the shape for the window, and then paint this top panel to hide the metal underneath, so I'm testing some paint samples here

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_55.jpg

 

Planning out the hole I'm going to cut for the top window

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_27.jpg

 

Then I cut out that window with the rotary tool and cleaned it up with a hand file

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_28.jpg

 

And with the tape removed, this is about what the top window will give us a view to.  Reason I only did the window in the back, is because I don't care about seeing the PSU.  Plus, I'll need somewhere to hide the rats nest of wires ?

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_54.jpg

 

Fast forward a couple months, and I ended up getting a CNC... so I tried out a new idea with the windows
The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_64.jpg

 

This allowed me to make the panel and the window separately, which will make it easier to paint the panel, and not screw up the window

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_67.jpg

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_66.jpg

 

Next will be working on getting all the hardware I want to cram into this thing to fit effectively...

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Hi All,

 

I don't have much of a written/picture update for this one, mainly just working on getting the radiator installed where I want it, and some modifications to accommodate that. 

 

So leaving off on the end of that video, I dove in to some testing to see if a regular 30mm thick radiator would be enough for what I'm trying to do

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_70.jpg

 

Event did a bunch of testing using the bottom portion of the A1, to make sure that even with the fans in pull configuration with the base it would be ok.

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_75.jpg

 

The good news is, even with that configuration, I was able to run some benchmarks and F@H to get some good heat going for a couple of hours, and everything handled it fine.  So this at least means that if I go with a slim radiator, it's at least a somewhat viable option for this hardware setup.

 

Been having a heck of a time with those 760's though, and if I switch to the Vega Nano's I'm not sure if this would be enough radiator for that...

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this build alone is making me want to build a SFF rig? 

about your heat concerns for vega nanos i dont think that rad/fan combo would cool them quietly but it should work as the efficiency goes up with the air to water delta.  i remember a guy runing a gtx580 and a 2700k off of two 120 rads sandwiched with a single fan in the middle

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4 hours ago, Fr0Zen//pwe said:

this build alone is making me want to build a SFF rig? 

about your heat concerns for vega nanos i dont think that rad/fan combo would cool them quietly but it should work as the efficiency goes up with the air to water delta.  i remember a guy runing a gtx580 and a 2700k off of two 120 rads sandwiched with a single fan in the middle

Do iiiit They're cheaper, usually, so you can do more ?

Yeah, I went pretty in to that in the video too, talking about the thermal capacity of the radiators and what not.  The regular Black Ice GTS 240 did cool it with not a terrible amount of noise actually.  I was running folding at home and a little Furmark with CPUz stress tests for a combined 3 hours, and temps were manageable with the slim radiator.  The CPU was around 56-58c and the GPUs were around 64-68c in a pull configuration, with the fans not being ramped up too far.  I'll probably take a look at doing some more testing with the various setups, though with a 3700x and the two 56's, the 700w PSU is starting to become the limiting factor lol 

I haven't tried with the Nemesis slim 240 yet, as that one's supposed to be a little more efficient than the Black Ice

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watched the videos after commenting:/  to me those ratings seem very high but im also  running a 480 + a 360 for a 450ish watt heatload to keep quiet 

what pump speed are you running at?

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5 hours ago, Fr0Zen//pwe said:

watched the videos after commenting:/  to me those ratings seem very high but im also  running a 480 + a 360 for a 450ish watt heatload to keep quiet 

what pump speed are you running at?

Yeah, my Ryzen 1800x has a 360mm BlackIce GTS radiator all to itself, and temps would still get up a little bit, but at a certain point it starts to come down to the waterblock's ability to exchange the heat as well.  My current desktop was running a Threadripper 2950x and one of these Vega 56 cards off a BlackIce GTX 280mm radiator just fine (I was testing whether or not a 420mm radiator would work for both 56's and the 2950x, but never got that far).

Pump speed is wide open at the moment.  It's a DDC-1T or 1T Plus though (don't remember which), so it's not as powerful as the MCP35x that I'll likely be using in the actual build out of it

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Part 3 of the video series is up, and I get the radiator situated in the bottom of the case

 

So the slim GTS raadiator, I knew would fit for sure, since I had already done this install with the old not-really-modded setup

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_107.jpg

 

But when I switched to the Vega 56 Nano's instead of the GTX 760's, although my testing indicated it would be fine, it just didn't feel right.  I felt like if I just went with the slim radiator, I'd be feeling like I short changed myself, and we can't have that now can we.

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_108.jpg

 

So as per the video, I cut a giant hole in the bottom of the chassis so I could fit the GTR radiator, with the fans attached to it through the original the base, and this made BARELY enough room, but should be enough.  Though I might have to zip off the bottom half of the PCIE card retainer mechanism there, so that it will actually latch.

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_110.jpg

 

I guess that's pretty much it for this one, until I post the part 4 video update later on.

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Howdy! Part 4 of the video series is up, and tacking how to mount dual GPUs in this thing

 

 

So, the starting point was one of Bill's (MNPCTech) Stage 1 vertical GPU bracket

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_62.jpg

 

Thought about trying to mod my hardware to make them both single slot cards, but instead decided to prototype a dual GPU mount in the same idea. Mounts in a 120mm fan spot, holds 2 GPUs. First prototype out of MDF

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_68.jpg

 

Instead of a slitting saw to make a slot for the bottom of the PCI covers, I just cut a recess and use screws + washers to hold the GPUs against it

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_69.jpg

 

Then back to the CNC to make one out of acrylic, using threaded inserts since I didn't have a tap the right size at the time (later fixed that problem)

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_79.jpg

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_89.jpg

 

Again, this one worked well, so I made one out of aluminum intended as the final

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_81.jpg

 

Drilled and tapped all the holes for this one

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_84.jpg

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_83.jpg

 

And this worked great!

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_90.jpg

 

However, it only worked great for the GTX 760s... My Vega 56 Nano's that I've decided to switch to, are a little taller, and as such they are too tall with this bracket... Dang it!

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_108.jpg

 

So.... slight redesign, to drop the GPUs down a little bit (it was already mounted as low in the 120mm slots as I could get it)

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_115.jpg

 

And this was just enough to drop it down below the top

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_120.jpg

 

Then I cut out the raised mesh from the fan hole in the cases (Video Only, subscribe to my OnlyFans to see that... /kidding) But anyway, then I made a cover plate to go over the ugly, since I had to cut out more mesh than I needed to for the GPU mount, so I could keep it flat

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_128.jpg

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_130.jpg

 

And installed that in the case to get an idea of what it'll look like

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_133.jpg

 

And.... that will pretty much do it for this time around :)

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So it's time to take a look at the reservoir/pump in this thing, and make a first pass at getting that figured out.  Also a quick mock with some other stuff to see just how things are fitting in there

 

 

 

Not too many pictures for this one, basically just drilled and tapped a hole in my Watercool pump top reservoir so I could have a different port location on it for having return to the pump there, or a fill/drain port later.  Will also be thinking about a custom res+pump combo for this thing too...

 

Thanks for checking it out, hopefully back soon with another installment

 

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32 minutes ago, RcRon7 said:

Your closing was fine,

I enjoy watching the work and the thought process.  Thanks

Thanks! What you didn't see is that was the 4th or 5th one ?
I do too, when watching other people's videos, which is why I like to share it in mine as well

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Another update, this time trying to figure out which top window I should go with

 

For the first top panel, I painted it white on the top and the bottom.  This was the one that had the magnets on the bottom, so I didn't want to see that through the clear acrylic

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_135.jpg

 

I put a small bevel around both of these with a router to match up better to the I/O panel

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_134.jpg

 

The second top panel was painted with a metallic silver on just the back side of the panel.  This one didn't have magnets so I could get away with that

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_139.jpg

 

Same bevel on this one, and I really like the way this one looks, but I'm not quite sure it fits with the case that great

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_140.jpg

 

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_141.jpg

 

Sooo yeah. I'm not sure, I think I'm leaning towards the white top panel, but haven't completely decided yet.  Could always paint other parts to make it go  a little better, I suppose.

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Alright, time to get some reservoir action going.  Decided that the "make it work" solution just wasn't going to cut it at this point

 

This is a 1-7/8" thick chunk of acrylic, I cut down to get a couple blanks for this res. 

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_147.jpg

 

Had to take the dust boot off for the o-ring groove, as I couldn't get the router low enough with it on, with out a bunch of fiddling with it

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_149.jpg

 

This was the "first run" aka prototype, fresh off the CNC, before flipping it and milling out the back side

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_152.jpg

 

This is the full setup, with the Watercool pump-top-res middle piece.... thing

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_157.jpg

 

It needed some tweaks to move some things around a little, so a second "improved" version was made

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_161.jpg

 

It sure is a tight squeeze

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_162.jpg

 

All that was left, was to do a leak test with the whole setup

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_170.jpg

 

At 100% speed, it seems to work a little better on its side, due to air recycling from the high flow, but I think that'll calm down once I have it in a system to slow it down a little

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_175.jpg

 

I'm currently adjusting the model to get rid of the Watercool pump top in the middle.  I'll also be adding a fill port, probably, to make life a little easier.  Other than that, I'm pretty happy with this res, first time I've made my own res, and probably the most complex part I've made on the CNC so far

 

Thanks for checking it out

 

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On 1/19/2021 at 9:14 PM, RcRon7 said:

hahahahahaha

using the nail gun to blow the dust off, ROFL

I was originally going to use the blow gun, but forgot to pick up the fitting for it, so instead of waiting, I said "Hell, the nail gun's got one!" :D

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So, where's the update pic's

oh, that's right, you're cleaning and organizing the shop.

 

ok, I guess that's cool.

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39 minutes ago, RcRon7 said:

So, where's the update pic's

oh, that's right, you're cleaning and organizing the shop.

 

ok, I guess that's cool.

hahaha, don't worry, the first project on the "cleaning the shop" schedule was the computer bench 😄

clean_bench.jpg

 

And it has been getting worked on, but I've got some video editing to do ;)

(sneak peak)

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_180.jpg

 

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After finally getting things all cleaned up and ready to be worked on again, I realized I was actually not that far from putting everything together.  So that's precisely what I started doing, in preparation for filling and actually running this thing :)

 

Not many pictures this time around, but here are a few of the loop all installed.  Kind of anti-climactic, given there's only 2 lines to run lol

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_181.jpg

The_Modsquito_In_Win_A1_Mod_179.jpg

 

Thanks for checking it out!

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