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Log Completed Sept. 2012

Final Photos

Computer Power User Magazine spread CPU Mag Dec. 2012 issue (digital edition)

Well, hello there! It's been a little while; not too long though, right? I think? Actually, it's been way too long, indeed. I have some explaining to do and some dirty laundry to air before we get started on this new project log; the 1st of quite a few project logs that have been clogging up E.E.L.'s brain like three runs to Taco Bell in one day does to a lactose-intolerant without any fiber intake, so please afford me this much if I run off-topic before there really IS a topic, okay?

I'm going to answer the main Q that some of you may be thinking right now, assuming you're familiar with me/my work from the past, so here we go.

1). What the bloody-jumpin'-freakin'-hell happened to you!?

Well, see, the short answer is, my life has been turned upside down and back again.

The long answer is, my long-time career-shattering job I was in possession of for close to two decades was ended. Not by choice, but by necessity (because of the piss-poor economy Stateside). I worked for a small business; family-run. I was the only non-family employee, but the odd thing was I was probably the most-valuable considering I was keeping them afloat with over 60% of the income from my department, but I was let go because the company was going to go under if they didn't let SOMEONE go; that person was me because I didn't share the last name with the rest of the employees. The worst part was, I was told on the SAME DAY I SIGNED A LEASE FOR NEW PROPERTY; was given the bad news when I returned to work that early afternoon. Needless to say, I was VERY irate about it. The pseudo-boss I had gave me the news with tears streaming down her face, along with her brother. I'm sure they were crying because the only person who could actually DO any of the work was being swept out the door like a two-day old turd on the brand-new carpet. But I digress.

For those that didn't know, I was (am) a graphic designer and t-shirt printer. I have been tinkering with it since I was 11 years old. To put it into perspective, I worked on Macs when they had a killer reputation for quick and powerful processing, and it was the ONLY graphics platform available. My first "illustration" program I touched was MacDraw. I recall when Photoshop came out--the first one. Illustrator 88+. Etc, etc. Bottom line is, I had been around it for quite a while. And I loved it. I enjoyed every minute of it. I miss it more than I could even begin to iterate here in a stupid project log. It was (still is) a big part of me, and not having my print-room makes me feel naked and incomplete in an odd way. I spent so many hours there; so many records played in there; so many gallons of sweat spilled there because of no A/C on occasion and working in a 100+-degree room. I remember watching the Sept. 11 attacks on an old tube TV from Sears-Roebuck (with wood-grain!) in that room.

I enjoyed that place, and enjoyed my job. And it really wasn't a job to me. It gave me an outlet to push my creativity out and flex that muscle we all seem to have (at least those creative types out there). I put in overtime, but wasn't paid because I was salaried. I loved those 2 hour lunches too. And my own keys to the place. And the 2-am modding escapades in that building! I was modding there when a hurricane dropped right on top of us and my car was flooded out. Bottom line is, I was very sad to see it go.

So now I was unemployed. That fast. I was given what they could afford to me to help me out, but I was screwed, plain and simple. The hell was I going to do? I needed something QUICK, even if it was temporary because of the lease on the new rental being a major increase in rent. But, those $30/hr paychecks will be hard to match.

Then I recalled something. The manager of Performance-PCs had offered me the modding dept about 6 months prior and I kind of laughed softly in his face about it because it was a couple tax-brackets lower. Hell, that could work. Right? So I talk to the owner about it all; explained the situation, etc. I'm hired easily. But things are really bad, financially speaking. I won't go into specifics, but things really sucked in comparison.

A month later, I'm miserable. Work is so different. And irritating. And suffocating.

The lady is feeling a little ill, but nothing really clicked. Then, on a whim we get a pregnancy-test... Yup. Positive. Oh. My. God. So life gets any more interesting.

We scramble to get the wedding plans cemented; making everything from scratch including the clothes and cakes. We get it done. And it was beautiful. Perfect. PERFECT!

And we get the house we were fighting with the bank over and I rely on my impeccable and exorbitant credit to float us into the house. I really believe had I not had such stellar credit, we would be sleeping in a cardboard box right now.

And nine months later, the most-beautiful thing in the world to me was born. And it changed my life. For the better. Made me, along with his mother, a whole person. Complete in every way. Except, for those awesome paychecks I still miss.

There is so much more to the story, like failed business attempts and massive debt, but I'll leave it there. Enough has been said, IMO. You get the picture.

I miss my laser.


Now, time to move on the dirty laundry I mentioned earlier. Heh. Heh.

Now, those that know me personally know I do not take kindly to being snubbed or mistreated in any fashion. I'm a very easy-going kind of dude, and I afford respect to everyone. But sometimes, some just piss me off. And that includes companies. Computer supply companies.

For those with a longer memory can recall I was graciously given an article in Custom PC for my Blu-Bawx I scratchbuild project, thanks to the infinite kindness of Antony Leather and the rest of the staff at Custom PC magazine and Bit-Tech. But--there's a downside to this. There was prize-pack from misc. companies for having your mod or whatever in the mag. Prizes from companies including Corsair, Cooler Master, MSI and QuietPC. Guess what? I only received the gear from Corsair and QuietPC.

***update - As of August 27th, the issue has been resolved with Cooler Master due to the exhaustive help, support and badgering from Bill Owen, Antony L., Richard S., as well as some help from Nic - Cooler Master US and the Cooler Master rep that actually has a brain in his gourd - - Mr. Wu from Cooler Master Taiwan who put his foot down and fixed the whole issue. Infinite thanks, Mr. Wu! Your reputation proceeds you, kind sir.

And it should be pointed out that there was no help at all from the UK team. Shame on you guys! :nono: ***

MSI didn't respond to ONE attempt at contacting them. Nothing. Nothing!

So, here's the bottom line with this issue. I didn't necessarily care that much for the prizes I was supposed to receive because they were mid to low-end gear and I tend to use good stuff myself, but I WAS going to give it to my step-daughter for a system for her.

So, good job, MSI! You made my step-daughter cry, you morons! I had been using MSI boards off-and-on for a while as well. Socket 478 days I loved their red-PCB'd boards, since red-n-black was always my color scheme. But, because of this snubbing, you guys have lost me as a customer and supporter as well. You guys suck.

You have a new name to me.... or three...

I think "MSI" probably stands for this, since they don't seem to want us modders to use their gear, right?


Or, perhaps this in my case:


Nah....I think it just means this:


So here it is, you jackasses. Enjoy it. It's for you. Eat my @$$ Award just for you.



Now, finally, with all that BS out of the way, let's get to some friggin' moddin'! At least, assuming I haven't been banned at this point for my rant. :lol:/>

This project is based around a Lian Li PC-A10 chassis. Back when Lian Li really new what the hell they were doing. What an awesome case. And so much potential!

Being the new, svelt, and affordable E.E.L., I was able to snag a couple of these extinct cases from work on the real-cheap because they were both missing mobo trays and one was pretty beat up. I was basically sponsored these cases, for the low cost I paid for them.

The irony of it all was, I happen to have an A10 mobo tray in my arsenal of computer parts I've pack-ratted over the years. :lol:/> So, that takes care of that.

This build is for my best friend, who has been extraordinarily patient with all of this. He gets the 1st stab on these cases. His theme is always a "biohazard" type of thing. Some recall my previous build for him based around this idea. Well, he loves it. And who am I to mock him for it? ...I do. Yes. :lol:/> But still. To each their own, right?

So, here's what I'm going to do:


That's what he saw a little while back when it was in the preliminary stage of design, but-- I gave him the option of a "weathered" build or a clean build. He chose clean. ....sooooo, he gets weathered. :lol:/> I'm such a rebel.

Let's take a look at the chassis, shall we?


Nothing special. At least, at first glance. Some one had applied a horrid psuedo-carbon fiber vinyl film to the front door. I'll fix that. Oooooh, I will.


It's in bad shape, but I've seen a lot worse. I can turn it around.


Some dents on the panels, etc. I think it'll add to the theme though.


I love the layout inside. Seriously. For the smaller size of the case, you can really fit some serious cooling in here.


I love it.


Let's start stripping her down. A lot of surgery needed.




A lot of wiring I'll no longer need!


Oh yeah...these are gone.


Let's remove the racks, here...






These are definitely gone!


This too...



Let's get rid of the top IO ports too.


I'll need some room to work and maneuver so this will make it easier.


There. Simple.


I'll keep this thing for later. They always come in handy!


There's a little fan controller built in. It's gone too.




This is going to be really fun!


Now, hopefully I can post again within a couple more years! :clap: Forgive me; It's been a little while since I've been in the driver's seat and my log-fu is a bit rusty. Not unlike this case will be.

I'm sorry, guys. Truly. I'll be a better modder. I promise.


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Alrighty then. Right back to it! I'm making an effort to make good on my promise to not take 6 months (or 2 years) to finish a log, so here ya go. :hehe:

I decided to work a little on the switches going on this thing. Nothing special. The typical vandal-resistant poop switch.


But a shiny, new switch isn't going to mesh well with a beat-up case, is it? Let's fix that.

Some 80-grit sandpaper does a quick job of giving it years of use without the actual switch-actuation.


And here we go. Nothing too difficult, right?


There's another switch as well, so I slapped that one around the garage a bit too. Not literally, though. Just figuratively. So don't go calling DCS (Dept of Care of Switches) on me, ok? :grr:


Alright, moving right along. I need to strip the rest of these wires out of the case so I have some room to work in there without something smacking me in the face all the time. ...wow, that just came out...wrong.... :worried:


Here's the stock power/reset assembly. I believe they've used this same unit on a half-dozen cases already or more.


Let's get that thing outta there, shall we?


There we go.


I love how I always end up with a bundle of wires when I mess with LiLi chassis. I have boxes of basically this same pile here. I could probably string them all together and wire up a dozen X-Mas trees with the LEDs alone! :hehe:


:lol:/> Noticed the cheapy stock case feet are literally screwing themselves off the chassis as we speak. Definitely being replaced by real feet; i.e. MNPCTech units.


Hey, let me ask you something... Do all your 1/8" drillbits look like this?


Yeah, me too. I think that's a side-effect of owning LiLi chassis. :hehe:

Alright, so I need to make some room down below so I need to de-rivet some cage plates and some other non-sense out of the bottom of the case.





There we go. Nice and easy!


A little more room now. Let's keep going.


Need to remove the PSU stand thingy and that mid-plate that has a 120mm fan spot, probably to keep the airflow through the HDD racks and onto the PSU and out the case. I dunno. I'm not a thermodynaminiscistician. :hehe:


Much better.

Alright. Now that PSU bracket thing. The hell do I call it? A cheese-grater? No, wait-- it looks like a metal version of Connect-Four!


Oh, I also had some gear handed over to install in this beast... here's a perfect chance to see how things look, shall we?


Heh heh.


It's a decent-sized rad.


My calculations showed I could probably get away with getting it shoehorned into this case; looks like I was right. :lol:/> I probably couldn't fit any other brand rad of this size down there though because of the size of the plenum chambers and the fan-spacing too since EK's spacing on 140mm rads is actually smaller than majority of the other rads on the market. To each their own I suppose.

Until next time, thank you for tuning in! :rock:


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Hello again! :D/>

Last we left off, I was about to ruin another case-- er, modify one. Let's get back to it, shall we?

The stock top exhaust port is a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port, er, fan (sorry, had Star Wars going through my head for a second there! :worried:). The top 120mm spot is cool and all....buttttttt it's not good enough. So let's fix that. :)/>

First, need to remove the fan first or it's going to be a little more difficult to get it going.


But how am I going to make it different? Well....


By magic, of course! *SNAP!*




Man, I just made Penn & Teller look like hacks. :hehe:

One thing that Lian Li implemented into their case design a little while back that I was less-than-thrilled by were these "watercooling pass-thru ports".


..Why? But then again, I guess being a modder you think outside the box a bit more and the typical system builder schmo isn't really going to mind it. Anyways, I want to cover those things up at the very least, as well as increase the cooling a bit. So I opted to increase to a 140mm top fan.


I designed the acrylic so the frame was just large enough to be able to cover those stupid ports and shift the actual fan itself slightly toward the rear of the case. Honestly, I wish I could've gone even larger, but the rails for the removable mobo tray wouldn't let me because it was being a poopie head. :waah:

Any decent modder will know to mask off their work in case something horrid occurs like it spontaneously turning into a typical prime-time network television program or something, so it's always a good idea to make sure your subject is protected. And I don't mean condoms either, guys. We're not talking about chassis-intercourse. ...*shudders* Just got a horrible mental-image. ...Maybe that's what those ports are for! And hey, there's even two for a choice! :hehe:


Yeah, the fan will sit right about there.


Make sure you mark off where you're actually going to conduct the surgery.


I like to check it against an actual fan as well to make sure things are good.

I decided to bevel around where the fan will sit as a "margin of error" sort of thing. Insurance, if you will. :)/>


Nice and easy-peasy.


In a situation like this, I prefer to use step-bits to bevel out the holes in the corners and follow it with jigsaw cuts. It's fast, easy and clean.


The only issue doing it this way is I have to modify the acrylic so it had additional mounting holes to actually hold the fan/acrylic combo onto the chassis, but I was in a hurry and didn't think things through as thoroughly as I usually do. :(/> No big deal though. This is just fine! I prefer the fan to sit clean against the acrylic instead of against bits and pieces of what was left of the stock fan hole on the chassis.


If you didn't drill into your own arm, your hole should look like this...


Great. Now four more like that, and we're good!


And a simple straight cut down each side with a jigsaw...


And we're done. I prefer to use a flat-file on the metal since it's aluminum so it's nice and soft and easy to meld into the shape you want.


Sometimes I'll use a rotary tool and sanding band if I'm in a hurry, but no worries here. I have plenty of time. ...actually, not really. This thing needs to be done and off the bench to make room for... well... another log; another time. :D/>

Not perfect, but works just fine.


Alright, remember this top IO port assembly?


Here's a little teaser....


Spot-on. Great! This should look just fine...


Until next time. Thanks for tuning in!


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Alright, back to it. I didn't get a lot done this evening, but some. I'm just really beat, to be honest. Work is pretty stressful to be plain and simple about it so it can drain my creativity (as well as my soul). :miffed:

Continuing with the case stripdown, I needed to remove that little fan controller PCB that's mounted behind the top front of the chassis. It's not needed and will get in the way, so buh-bye!


To remove the plate it was mounted to, I need to remove the front door frame. Man, Lian Li...you really don't want me messing with this case, do you?


Finally, I'm able to get at the screws behind the door frame. :rolleyes:/>


Remove the ole floppy-to-5.25 converter tray...


That's a Lian Li MF-515B. Save that guy for later!


Removing grommets, etc. from the chassis. Reminded me of the ole V-series cases. I loved those. The originals, anyway.


Pried the front lower mesh screen in front of the fan down there. It was held on with double-sided tape. :hehe: Ironic thing was, it was really difficult to tear it out!


That inner plate there that the fan's frame soft-mounted to (same system as the aforementioned V-series); I'm thinking I'll go ahead and rip that out too. Not sure yet. Probably better safe than sorry and go ahead and remove it.

These annoying little weird plates that Lian Li occasionally uses in their 5.25 bays are....well....annoying. I don't know why they use them, to be honest. I think it's to cut down on vibration or something. Regardless, they're irritating to get them out because you have to drill a hole through the chassis just to get at the forward-facing screws on some cases! The A77F chassis is a perfect example of this annoying feature.

I lucked out on this one because the holes were already there from factory; I just had to squeeze the 5.25 bays closer together a bit to slip the screwdriver into the hole to get at those screws. Heh heh.


These things. I'm also not a fan of this type of mounting hardware.


Give me simple screw holes and some thumbscrews and I'm set. Quick-mounts can kiss my... screwdriver. :hehe:


Another bit of hardware I was handed over was this bay-res unit.


I've used these before, many times for clients. They're cheap and they work reasonably well. Sometimes, someone will get a "lemon" but for the most part they're ok.

This is an old one I had laying about that happens to be the same unit I'll be installing in this case, so perfect chance to check things. Part of the reason I removed those quick-install brackets from the bays; this res isn't that deep so those plastic ears are pointless.

Slipped into the top two bays...


Oops! How did that get in the pic! :naughty:


See? Doesn't even come close to those brackets.


Oh yeah, almost forgot! You recall those old Corsair Dominator Airflow units? I used to love modding those things back in the day. Anyways, I had come across a brand-new in package one I had in a box so I decided one day to mod it for this eventual project.


I slapped in some 40mm x 20mm UV Orange fans in there as well as some neon orange fan-hub stickers like I always liked to do back in the day. Should fit in just fine. I just hope it fits his RAM in his new setup that currently has no home; at least not permanent. Yet.

Thanks for tuning in! See ya's next time!


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Update time!

You'd think I would've had time to at least get one log update in over the weekend, right? Nope. I was busy building raised gardening beds for the wife outside. We're going to have a good crop this year! Farmer EEL!

Anyways, to the update.

The fan controller that I've always traditionally went to for cheap, reliable, no-nonsense kind of fan control was Sunbeam's Rheobus unit.


I still have a few of these laying around unused in the packaging still that I need to use up so this is what's going to go in this mod too.

I popped the knobs off the rheostats so I can test-fit the unit. Simply pop them off!


It's going behind the new custom plate that I traditionally make in some form or another for pretty much everything I do.


Slide the unit into the 5.25 bays where it will reside permanently, soon.


And slap the new plate onto the chassis...


Perfect! I also decided to slap an old dead test-fit optical drive in the bay below the controller for test-fitment reasons as well.


I needed to yank the airport-level brightness LEDs out of the controller too because they're ridiculous. Won't be needing these things, as I'm sure my best friend would prefer to be able to actually see and not have Cessnas trying to auger in for a final approach! :hehe:

I also removed the outer nuts off each rheostat to give myself a little more length to work with. ...Man, that just sounded.... wow... :eyebrow:


These things are just.... augh...


Alright, I slid the unit back in to see how things looked, and installed the knobs back on.


Looks perfect!

Here's a shot from inside the chassis forward to show where the HDD rack is going to reside being actively-cooled by that 120mm fan spot.


And on to other things...

I decided I am going to remove the lower compartment's front fan plate. It's held in by a series of rivets and two of them require me to remove a good dozen or so rivets from the chassis just to allow me to get at them so I decided cheap, quick n' dirty would work. This is a little trick that when done right works pretty well!

First off, I drilled out the two downward-oriented pop rivets inside the 5.25 bays...


Just a couple of them.


And the other...


Now, the other two are down below. Using your favorite rotary tool and sanding band attachment (Black & Decker for me!), carefully "erode" the rivet's mandrel and casing down, but not pushing down hard enough where you "spread it out" over the material. It works pretty well.


And after a couple minutes, it looks like this!


Grr, I hate security loops on the back of cases. Seriously, if someone really wanted to take your stuff, they'll take the whole damn case, right? facepalm.gif


Let's rip that sucka off like a bandage!


There, much better. Thank you.


You know, I've been thinking about what to do about the pass-through holes in the mid-plate inside the chassis and decided I'm going to make a series of little "patch plates" that will be "bolted" down covering those openings up. And if I need to run anything through from one chamber to another (and I do...), I'll do it specifically, right? No more gaping holes unless I make them on purpose!


So , let's consult one of the piles of scrap I have laying about for some piece(s) to use... You see any Antec pieces in there? :D/>


Something like this, but cut up into a lot of pieces.


It's what I'm going to do; just the details that need to be worked out. I'll mull it over and decide later, as I'm concentrating on other things.

When you hear that, what comes to mind? Some kinda crappy Mitron case feet? Man, I hope not. I hope the first and ONLY thing that comes to mind are these or their brethren! If not, you have some problems. Seriously. Consult a professional.


I mentioned before how these and the diamond-knurled ones felt like a pair of hefty ones hangin' down below. I still feel that way.

Freakin' awesome case feet!

Having some fertility issues? These are the answer. Perhaps you're having issues with your neighbors. Well, you could literally put these in a sock and end the argument real quick*. :rock: *disclaimer: EEL does not condone violence with MNPCTech products, although they have been known to be used in that fashion in regards to case modification. User beware.

I'm totally going to doctor these up to fit the theme, but these are the only answer to EEL's case feet needs. Period.

Get some for yourself, foo'!



:hehe: Of course the hardware's too large for the stock case feet holes.


Well, quick work with a step-bit takes care of the stock threaded insert.


Inserts. Not to be sprinkled on cereal.


Arighty, I'm going to leave it off there. I'll be back soon. Thank you for tuning in!


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Alright, another lil' update.

My son's been pushing some molars out in the back, so he's being "dynamic" with his sleeping habits as of late, so it's slowing my log-updating down a bit. Only thing short of ruining his liver before he's 2 with pain-relief drugs is waiting it out. And that's what we're doing.

On to the update now!

Alright, I needed to work out what I was going to do with the HDD rack situation. And being the packrat that I am, I consulted the pile o' scrap to see if I have anything that will work. I knew when I went into this that I was going to use a triple 5.25 bay insert of some sort, and having cut on 30+ Lian Li cases in the past I tend to keep certain parts, because, you never know.... you may need it some time, right? Well, now's a time!

Lian Li's design strategy is pretty straight-forward; design something awesome and sit on it and basically condition it a bit for years forward. :miffed: But that will make it a little easier to work out what I need to do. Some of their older removable HDD bays for certain cases, namely servers, were a nice place to grab such things.

I found one I had that used to have a built-in 120mm bracket installed on it with some pop-rivets but it's long since been removed. And good thing too, as I didn't feel like futzing with that right now. :hehe:


Holds three 3.5" HDDs so that will work perfect. I believe his system has a spinning data drive or two, plus his 2.5" SSD for his OS, etc. I'll just use an adapter for the SSD.

Dug out a dead test-HDD for fitment and installed it in the rack. Works perfect.


One thing about Lian Li's HDD mounting systems; they're awesome. And simple!


Here's a 3.5 to 2x 2.5 adapter, which will hold his SSD and be allowed to be installed in the HDD rack. ...I hope. :worried: Let's find out.


I dug out a test 2.5" HDD as well just for completions' sake.


A couple screws to hold it in place in the tray...


And slip into the main rack. Like a glove!


The best part about this kind of rack is even though I'm bolting a new plate over the front of the case, he can still access the tray from inside the chassis to remove/replace/recycle HDDs easily. Hot-swap? Nope. I'd think it'd be cold-swap, since the drives won't be running when he does it. :D/>

Alright, next I need to slip the rack into the chassis where it will reside permanently to check for fitment issues or anything nefarious.


Perfect! I think this is going to work.


I needed to test-fit a cheap Yate onto the new plate to see if the fan is going to clear the rack installed, etc. when bolted on the case.


Yup, this is going to work just fine. It's good to know I can still somewhat measure. :hehe:


You guys remember Winona? My old hotwired test AT PSU?


Yeah, she's still kickin'. I'm surprised with all the abuse I've put her through, but she keeps coming back. :hehe: Let's fire her up, shall we?


The fan works and everything's looking just fine.

A shot from the back of the case into the 5.25" bays...


Just a few mm's there. Perfect enough for this. Couldn't make me more happy!


That wraps up this update now. I'll be back soon, though. Thank you kindly for tuning in and keeping watch! See you soon.


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Update time! It's another short one, what with being short on sleep and patience. Like I usually am toward the close of the week. And Friday always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside....with anger and irritation... :sigh: Perhaps tomorrow will actually be different and it will be clean-sailing until we close at work. ......:hehe: Sorry, made myself laugh!

And now for the little update proper.

I needed to start masking off the drive bays so I can drill holes for the plate to be mounted to. Let's do that.

Always mask off your work area. I admit I tend to skip it sometimes when I'm in the heat of things, but it's a bad habit to get into. It's also lazy. It's a sign of a little too much hubris as well, so please, do it. It doesn't matter how many cases you've modded, you're still human. Take the few seconds to mask your work area so you don't end up with skittering drill-bits or hole-saws across your new panel!


I then laid the plate back over the bays to mark out where I'm drilling.


I tend to use a small drill-bit to create a pilot hole when I want to make sure the holes aren't going to deviate too much.


And after all the holes are drilled, I follow up with the larger bit. Then I dropped the plate back on the case and slipped in some 6-32 socket caps I had as that was the closest thing I could grab at the time to hold it on. I'm probably going to use that size too, but may just be button heads. I dunno. I'll figure it out.


A quick little shot close to the res window...


Should look nice once it's full of nasty-looking fluid! And this time I may actually forgo urinating in the res*! :hehe:

(*Disclaimer: EEL does not recommend using urine in your watercooling loops, although he has been known to mumble about so-called 'watercooling fluids' on the market being remarkably similar to urine with an exorbitant pricetag attached that could easily be remedied with a $.69 gallon of distilled water and a couple cap-fulls of auto antifreeze instead. Your experience, of course, may differ.)

Alright, let's go back to the rad, shall we? I need to do a test-install of the fans on the rad and see where things are going to sit.


Laying some "cheap" cheap low-speed Yates on the rad and installed with a couple screws in each to hold it on there well enough to check it out.


Stock hardware with the rad works great for this.


And dropped back into the case roughly where it will permanently reside.


I also installed some rad brackets on the other side (XSPC) that works really well for a quick solution. I may end up putting some "risers" on them though to raise the rad so it's centered a bit more in the bottom cavity of the case. I need as much room as possible for the side panel's work.

Like this. :)/>


I'll be back soon with some more. Thank you for tuning in and see you soon!


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Update time again!

Let's get right to it so I can get this aluminum (aluminium to some) dust off of me.

One of the issues with grabbing these forgotten and forsaken chassis was that neither had a mobo tray. It wasn't that big of an issue because I happened to have grabbed an A10 mobo tray 3-4 years back, so I was fine. Only issue is, I only have one.


So let's make two!

I also have one of these.


A PC-6x mobo tray, that was also forgotten and ignored in my pile o' useless stuff. So let's use it. I'm going to make a duplicate backplate for the tray.

I love these Evercool aluminum fans. Bill does too. But they suck in some fashions. They don't like being dialed down on a fan controller, so they whine about it. :hehe:


Let's start stripping this down.


I need to drill out all the pop-rivets holding the backplate to the tray itself. Simple enough.


And I'm left with the backplate free and clear. Now, I take it to a Kinko's to have it copied and collated--- I'm kidding. :hehe:


Next, I start stripping down the 6x tray too. Drill out rivets; rinse and repeat, like our IQs were normal.


More evidence that Lian Li really doesn't change much. Same tray, except for a couple holes in different locations. ...sounds like a personal problem. :D/>


After looking for exactly 18 secs in the pile of scrap for a good candidate, I lay out the piece along with the real backplate on top of it.


Mark everything out that I need to cut, drill or chew off...


There! Like grade-school art class again. Next, we'll use a spirograph and perhaps I won't eat all the paste this time! :hehe:


Drill out the rivet holes, screw holes, etc. on the plate...


A simple and effective method for marking out a new fan hole is to use a simple wire grill and mark the four corners.

(Pardon my disgusting adhesive bandaged finger BTW; had an "issue" with a fan at work earlier... always use grills on running fans, ok? I know that sounds obvious, but still.)


Then, take a ruler and criss-cross to the opposite mounting hole; where the lines intersect in the middle is where the fan hole itself is for you to drill for a hole-saw. Elementary, right?


Drilling those holes out...


And finally pull out one of the hole-saws for the 120mm hole.


A minute later, we're good. Normally, it's a good idea to jig this or something so you don't screw it up, but I've punched so many fan holes at this point that I can do it in my sleep. And often do. Usually around 10am on a Tuesday! :hehe:


Next, I use my handy rotary tool to make a pilot-slot for the jigsaw with the only Dremel® part I use aside from the snake attachment; the EZ-Lock system. Freakin' awesome. Only one I use, and worth the extra money. Those blasted fiberglass-reinforced wafers are worthless. And they don't taste very good either. :eyebrow:


All done...


A few more beveled holes for the corners, etc...


Never forget or neglect to put on your "eyes" and "ears" when working with loud equipment. As my grandpa says, "too piercing, man!".

Not many people outside of Minnesota know this. If you use 3M products for your eye and ear protection choice, it works far better than the other brands. Seriously, it's true! Ask Bill!


And some jigsaw work...


A few minutes later, I'm left with this rough thing.


I really should've went for slightly thicker aluminum, but it's no big deal. Once this thing is doctored up and finalized on the build, he's not going to notice much of anything. It will fit right in with the theme, I think. I may actually rough it up a bit with "wear n' tear" before I go to paint things too.

After another 30 mins. or so of flat-file work and sanding band work in the corners, I'm left with something a little more palatable. I still need to clean up some areas a bit more, but I'm pretty happy with it.


After an impromptu bending brake consisting of two pieces of scrap aluminum and two heavy C-clamps later, I get a decent bend on the little flap that fills the gap next to the mobo IO port area right above the PCI slots.


The good thing is all the holes line up fine so it's functionally-sound. I love how after I removed the tape that had been on that scrap piece for probably years now (and left its gooey tape-residue mess behind too), I find that there was some damage across the anodizing right there in the corner. :hehe: Oh well. It works.


I'll clean things up a lot more before I commit it to the tray permanently, but for now, I'm done. Time for a shower, some popcorn and ginger ale, and a stupid flick to giggle at.

Thank you kindly for looking in! I'll be back soon.


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A little update! I had a little time to blitzkrieg some stuff while my son was having his nap, and of course it's right when the sun is beating down on my garage door so it's about 200-degrees in there with no airflow. :(/>

I also didn't have time to get the camera set up to take some progress pics of what I was working on either as I needed to really get all this done with the small amount of borrowed time I had available to me. I apologize.

What I did was I needed to make a "riser" plate for the rad's brackets to mount on to so it will give a little more lift, allowing the side panel's exhaust grill to line up with it. I was going to make something out of aluminum, but then I came across some acrylic scrap that I had. 3/8" acrylic too. Perfect. :)/>

So I measured out what I needed to cut and ripped it with the jigsaw. Then I drilled and countersunk holes to mount it to the rad's brackets. Then I drilled four holes in the acrylic itself in the middle between the rad brackets and tapped them for 6-32 threads. Then I measured out and drilled holes on the bottom side of the case to line up with those tapped holes. Slip in four 6-32 thumbscrews, and rad mounted with some lift. Like a bra! :naughty:

Now it's more convenient to get the rad/fans out of the case without having to tear the whole thing apart in the interests of maintenance, upgrades, etc.

Here's a pic of the underside of the case...


The rad and fans are mounted right where I need them to allow enough clearance with the side panel's locking system, as well as the PSU on the other side.


I just have some thumbscrews holding the rad to the brackets right now to get everything set up correctly. When I finally get things all done and painted right, it will look a lot cleaner...er, grungier. Yeah, grungier.

If you look below the rad brackets, you can see the acrylic bracket I made. Works like a charm. I even slapped some sound-deadening material on it between the case to minimize vibration, etc.


And here's the amount of space between the rad/fans and the PSU right next to it. Plenty of room! Always triple-check your measurements before you commit a cut or drill to your project. Sounds like obvious info, right? But it happens.


Grr, I hate these damn pass-through molex connectors on Yates!


Let's cut these damn things off so I can get them out of my freakin' way. :hehe:

Snip the red and black wires going out of the 3-pin connector. That's all that's really needed, unless you want to re-crimp them to make it even cleaner before sleeving. But not really needed.


Here's a shot of the rad/fans installed where they're going to sit...


Now, I need to mask and mark out where I'm going to cut on the side panel for the exhaust grill to be installed.


Simple, low-tech solution of penciling out where it's going to go. Well, a little less low-tech; it is a mechanical pencil! :hehe:


There we go. Easy to follow.


But now I need to draw a bevel around the spots to make sure no bare metal is showing once it's all finished up. An easy way to do this is to draw a flowing, curving line around the holes so you can get it in one shot with the jigsaw instead of having to deal with cutting multiple holes, etc.


And after a simple starter-slot made with the rotary tool and some quick jigsaw work and some sanding with a file, I end up with this...


I just have it held on with some 6-32 socket caps to see if it looks right. Again, I'll probably go to buttonheads, but who knows.


As far as measurements go, it's pretty much perfect. I'm leaving it where it is! Let's kick the Yates on and see some glow action, shall we?


Ah, I love it. But more importantly, the best friend will love it.


I'll be back soon with some more good stuff! Thanks for tuning in!


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Update time! Let's get to it.

I need to mark out the opposite mobo panel's cuts. Let's do that.

First one in the lower intake grill which will allow some fresh air to get directly to the rad since there will no longer be a fan in the stock fan location at the bottom front of the case. Passively supplied air is fine too, since the bottom is basically an open cavern with nothing obstructing the airflow into the case.

The grill placed and measured where I want it located...


Marking it out and beveling the marks to where the jigsaw's going to chew it out...


Same thing with the window panel as well. Personally, I'm not that partial to window panels now-a-days. I've grown a bit tired of them to be honest since I cut probably a dozen on average a week and it gets a little old, ya know? Not saying I won't use one in the future for one of my own builds, sure, but I don't let that interfere with those that do enjoy them. My best friend does, so we're including one here. And I made it a little different from the typical square opening that tends to get put on a case.


Again, marking out where the cuts need to go...




Beveled for easy guides...


Drilling out the corners and screw holes...


Done with that one. Now the next...


It's a good idea to clear off any aluminum shavings left on your work surface or the jigsaw will vibrate them through your tape masking and rub it on and finally in to your work surface which will probably make you cry if you're trying to protect it from damage. :waah:


And some jigsaw work, filing, yadda yadda, etc...


And we're done! Held on with some 6-32 screws again for testing. Fitment looks perfect. I'm happy with it!


Now, let's roll over to the top control/fillport area.

I need to get that done since I keep forgetting about it. Let's un-forget about it, shall we?

After some masking and measuring to get it where I want it, I need to mark out where the cuts are going to go. This kind of thing is my style and forte, so you may see some stuff that reminds you of my other work. It's like a signature on a painting, at risk of accidentally sounding a little pretentious! :hip:


Marking it out for the cuts, drilling, etc...


Now, the fillport I'm using is the classic bulky kick-ass model from Danger Den that I've used a hundred times before. I have two left so I need to use them up. Plus, they really are a top-notch fillport to use. I love how they're beefy. Generally, I like to use the delrin (acetal) model. This one's the anodized aluminum model.


One of my favorite arguments is when someone gets all freaked out about using an aluminum item in a copper-filled loop, "OMG! You're going to kill you system! Don't you know about galvanic corrosion!?" My response is, after LOLing for a little bit and sarcastically mocking the person for thinking I've never heard of galvanic corrosion being the watercooling fruitcake that I am, is to state simply, "Yo. It's anodized. No aluminum comes in contact with the fluid. Plus, it's not part of the loop, jack-ass. It's a fillport. You fill the system up with it. That's it. ...That's right...enjoy your pushup-pop." :hehe:

Anyways, let's beat this one up a bit, shall we?


There! All better. Or worse!

Back to the case, all marked out and ready for surgery.


Pilot hole drilled, and holesaw work commencing.


As always, go slow and easy letting the hole-saw do all the work of sawing. That's what it does, apparently.


Tape removed and cuts cleaned up a bit with a file. Drop on the acrylic with some screws for test fitment, and it looks great. Fillport dropped in and installed as well as IO ports...


...And the power and lighting switches too for completions' sake. Looks great!


Thank you for watching. I'll be back soon enough!


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Update time! Not a big one, but it did take some time, so I guess it counts. ;)/> Let's get to it.

The mid-plate needed some kind of work. I didn't really know what, exactly. But it needed something. So I figured I'd just let my hands do the work while my brain took a backseat. Status quo. :hehe:


I measured out what kind of material I'd need to work with and how much of it...


So, I consulted the pile o' scrap aluminum (aluminium to Kyle), and found a candidate that would work.


I really don't know what it came from, but I'm guessing it was an Eagle case judging by the aluminum and the 80mm fan spots. :)/> Poor man's LiLi at the time. Thanks, Eagle! :hehe: Wait--you guys still around? :confused:

Jigsawed off a piece I could use and proceeded to flat-file the heck out of it until I had a reasonably-plumb piece.


Then, I began to "beat it up" a bit with the rotary tool. The process will mature more once we reach the paint stage momentarily.


I roughly marked out on the case what I needed to remove and began to jigsaw some of the metal out, so when the new piece is bolted in you see through the holes in the new plate through to the lower chamber.


And laying the piece roughly where it will sit so I can figure out how I'm going to do that...


Pop-rivets! Oh, my favorite. If you're a LiLi modder, you probably have a slew of pop-rivets handy. Actually, if you a modder in general, you probably have them but I digress.

So, I marked out where I wanted the rivets to sit based on the material left on the chassis I can rivet through as well as "visual appeal".


After drilling through the plate, I marked out where those holes would be on the chassis plate so I could drill those out too.


And after a quick n' dirty bit of drilling work, we're ready to rock n' roll. It looks sloppy, but it won't matter much at all once the plate's been bolted on. Well, riveted, anyway.


Piece re-aligned and ready for riveting...


Ratchet-ratchet-ratchet, pop! Ratchet-ratchet-ratchet, POP! I love that sound, ya know? ;)/>


And a few minutes later, we're all done. I think it will fit in just fine.


I'll be back soon with some more goodies. I need to get some sleep, but first I'm going to have a ginger beer and relax. I haven't had much sleep lately!

Thanks for watching, and be sure to stay tuned! Toodles!


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Update time! After an unplanned delay due to some unforeseen issues.... AHHH!!!!


....We're back to the regular work. :miffed: Doesn't it just give you the heebie-jeebies? That's a liLi grommet edging too that I was poking her with. A rattlecan cap is also behind her for scale.

Alright, enough messing around. Last we left off I needed to begin paint-prep work. Let's do that.

Starting with the side panel, I need to rough up the anodized finish to give the paint something to stick to...


I like to use the mouse sander when I don't have a lot of time to spend on that.


Then I needed to get some paint going. After a few light layers of the primer of choice, we're starting to get somewhere.


I experimented a bit and came up with a good formula/process which net some good results consisting of layering some browns and black purposely uneven to give it a neat effect, then I sanded it in certain spots to give it a "lived in" feel. Kind of like buying a car, ya know? :eyebrow: I have no clue what the hell I meant by that. :hehe:

Now, let's start on the 80+ steps I'll probably go through to get the weathering going even further. Antiquing rust solution. We've seen it all before, right? I love this stuff. I went over the whole panel hitting certain areas where it would logically 'weather'.


After allowing the iron layer to sufficiently dry (generally 24 hours is a good rule to follow), I begin the copper sulfate solution application. Here's where the fun begins!


It's a good idea to not follow any kind of pattern, as rust generally doesn't. It just kind of happens without really following any kind of plan, so try to mimic that feel. Kind of like Hollywood over the past couple of decades or so. :hehe:


I tried to hit some areas more than others, adding to the uneven feel of things.


I'll go over it a few more times to really layer it on.


Now, allowing things to run its course, I allowed the solution to cure over another evening, and came back to find it like I expected it to look. So I start the process over again and continue the method. I touched up a few spots within the already-existing spots of rust to make it more uneven.


Another trick that Bill and I discovered while I visited MNPCTech headquarters a couple years back to drink heavily and get into trouble do a little impromptu moddin' and product creation with the NOTalis project (movie located

), was using a heatgun on the still-wet copper sulfate. It really gets it cookin'!


I'll continue work on the weathering technique later. To quote Monty Python, "And now for something completely different!"

I had a copper block top for the EK Supreme HF that's going in the build here, so I figured I'd mess around with it. I knew what I wanted to do with the thing while cooking up the project almost a year ago, but didn't work out all the logistics. Which is really what modding is about; solving problems, right? Well, that, and voiding warranties. :hehe:


I love these blocks, but it's not really going to fit in with the theme that much so let's ruin that nice copper, shall we? :rock:

Not that I dislike EK; quite the contrary. I probably helped finance the company with the probably 30+ blocks I've purchased from Eddy over the years! :hehe: But I don't want the logo and name on the block this time. Sorry, guys! No offense!

A good secret in powder-coating is using a product called Lab-Metal. Which is basically a liquid metal solution that will fill in damage, cracks, cavities or whatever on a piece of material you're going to coat. Kind of like a putty that will hold a charge.

I had a batch of the stuff, but unfortunately it does have a shelf-life of 1 year. The last time I touched my equipment (easy...not that equipment you buncha 3rd-graders!) was over 2 years ago, and it was opened too. Needless to say, it was just about dried up...but--I was able to get enough out of it to fill in the holes, though! Heh heh.

After 24 hours cure-time, I was left with this...


Now, let's sand it down a bit and get it ready for some 'biohazard' action.


Perfect. After the weathering applied to the block, it will be basically seamless.

Moving on to the chassis proper again, I need to start prepping it for paint application as well. Let's do that.


I felt like hand-sanding for a bit as it can be therapeutic sometimes. But then again, there are a few things you can do with your hands that can be therapeutic too! --Ey! Easy! I meant badminton, of course! :hehe:


To continue with the prep-work, I needed to remove the nylon anti-rattle boobies off the case.


Simple drill-out of a rivet, and you're done...after like 16 of them. :hehe:


And back to the other side panel, I began prep-work for the weathering paint on it as well. Hit it with primer, etc. and I'll be ready to start the process all over again. Forever, it seems. :hehe:


Alright, that's all I have for now but I'll be back with more. You can bet on that. I need to get this thing done and soon, as I have some more things cooking and just about ready to boil over! See ya soon and thanks for tuning in!


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Update time! Lucky 13 too! And it's also time to welcome some new supporters.

Welcome, Seasonic, Mayhems, and Performance-PCs!

Your help is graciously welcomed, and sincerely appreciated!

Alright, now on to the update. I was able to get a little bit of work done, but not a lot.

Continuing the next layer of "weathering" on the panels, I hit it with another dose of iron solution, followed up by the copper sulfate.


To continue with the randomness, I would douse it on or carefully brush it on depending on where I was at on the panel.


I would think if there were some kind of horrid...something....leaking inside something this dingy, I'd think it would coalesce in the corners, so I put it on a bit more there.


Moving on to something different, let's mess around briefly with the front door, shall we? It's been ignored up to this point too so it's feeling a little socially cast-aside. :hehe:


Here's the panel with the vinyl application of pseudo-carbon fiber stuff. Personally, I hate it. The application was expertly-done looking at it in a critiquing sense, but personal taste is the deciding factor. ...Bye-bye!


Time to peel that mamma-jamma off there.


Ah, nice clean metal to violate. Like a robot sex-fiend at a vending machine factory! :hehe:


I think I'll cut through a little area where these LED extensions are, as if the front panel started being eaten away by oxidization or something. I dunno. Flyin' blind, ya know? The way I like to do it.


Right about here...


Maybe something like this?


Heh heh heh...


Moving on to something else! I spent some time in front of the ole design program of choice and whipped up some decals or whatever for me to work off of for the chassis and cut them on the plotter real quick.


I'll start with the mobo side panel, as it's more like a test to feel out the technique. I haven't done this in a while so I may be a little rusty. ...Get it? Rusty? You know, because of the rust on the case? Bahhhh, forget it. :hehe:

Right about here looks good!


Now, another favorite of mine is, yet again, a 3M product, Mr. Blue. I love this stuff. Use it for low-tack situations so you don't ruin that delicate or destroyed-on-purpose paint-job.


Applied to case where I want it...


And start to mask off the rest of the panel to protect it from over-spray. Rattle-cans suck!


Applied the next decal that will be on this panel as well where I want it...


And all masked off! There. Done. What do you think? :hehe:


I started to hit it with some lacquer rattle-can paint that I had left over from god-knows-what. I like to hit it unevenly on purpose, so it has some more faded areas than the others.


And all done.


I like to wait just a few minutes.....yes, just a few minutes, and remove the stencil as quickly as possible. If you time it right, you can get some wonderful tears and stuff in the paint. I used this same technique on my C.M.C Field Server build that Bill still occasionally references when on the subject of weathered cases (thanks, bro!). I didn't want that much "damage" so I waited a little longer on the time. The kind of damage I want is abrasive damage. Like from wire brushes, for instance. ;)/>

Here we go...


And attacking it with a wire-brush and sanding sponge and my own teeth for a few mins, being careful NOT to breath in any of the dust released from the paint (seriously kids, use a facemask!), I'm left with this.


I'm happy with it for the most part, but I'll continue with the "weathering" some more. :)/>


That's it for now, folks! I'll be back with more soon. Thanks for tuning in and see ya soon!


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Update time! I was able to spend a little more time in the shop working on the rig. I needed to continue with the decal application/removal/weathering, so let's get to that.

Moving to the window panel, I laid the decals roughly where I wanted them to go so I could get a feel for where they'll end up permanently.


Let's start with the bottom one. Right there looks about good!


Slowly and carefully peel off the transfer paper while watching the stencil to see if there is any lift...


And after application of the other two, we're ready to mask off the rest.


Back to the 3M Blue tape for the masking...


Some quick and purposefully-uneven spraying of rattle-can poop...


We're left with this. Let it sit for a few and remove everything and hit it with some wire-brush and sanding foam action...


Done! Looks great. I'll build on top of this as well.


Looks like it's been through hell n' back, which is obviously the idea.


Moving to something else, I spent a few minutes progressing another step on the waterblock... She's now coated in a layer of black powder. I'll use this to build on top of.


I like to use these crappy $1.49 900-pack of crap paint-brushes for quick and blobby application of the iron solution. Being the fact that the wife and I are both artists, we always have a plethora of brushes in the house, but I'm not using $20 real brushes on something like this! :hehe: I do have a better brush that I switch to for some more refined control/application though.


And finishing up on the first application of the iron, she'll be ready to attack tomorrow some time.


Just need to give it some cure-time, and I don't mean listening to "Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me" either! :hehe: I preferred "Disintegration" anyways... :worried: I'm not a goth, but I used to play one in my teenage years.


Alrighty, that's all I have for now. I'll be back with more. Thanks for tuning in and see you soon!


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Update time! I was able to spend a little more time in the shop. Let's get to it, shall we?

I hit the waterblock top with a little more love.


Now, just wait for it to do its magic.


The delightfully-cheesy compression fittings he handed over were these...


Awesome. Fits right in! We sell these at work as well, but never really got to look at them. They're nice. Never been that familiar with Enzotech's products, but they're solidly put together.

It's a tight fit, but they work.


I'll be back to the block later; it's not anywhere near done.

The front door. Now, here's a problem I've been trying to avoid messing with. Only now, I can't ignore it anymore. The front layered metal is most-likely held on by double-sided tape, knowing LiLi. This is a problem, because I can't hit it as one piece or it'll out-gas like crazy. Let's take care of it. I decided I was going to drill a series of holes to hold the front metal onto the door itself, since the double-sided tape will be removed. I figured button-heads will fit in nicely. And it'll look cool, ya know?

Marked out and ready to drill.


I made sure that I placed the screws so they'll cleanly sit just underneath the door's hinge/frame assemblies that run along the edge of the door itself. Measurements showed I could just fit a 6-32 x 1/4" screw along with the nut and it'll allow installation of the hinges, so I went for it.

I went ahead and drilled all the holes, trusting my measurements would be fine. They rarely let me down, but it's possible!

Here's a quick test. Fitting a 6-32 x 1/4" button-head through the hole...


...With just enough threads on the other side to allow installation of the nut...


...Like so.


It'll hide right under here. I can't do a whole lot about the other screws, but it's not an issue to begin with. I merely wanted to make sure the screws along the edges were going to be possible with the hinge assemblies installed, and it looks like it will work.


And the hinge assembly dropped in...


Perfect. It'll work just fine.

After marking/drilling the rest of the modifications to the front door like the front intake grill, I can finally separate these things and remove the bloody double-sided tape!

Yup, double-sided tape. Ahhh, LiLi. And from the feel of it, it's industrial-strength. Must be a 3M product!


A quick trick to take these things apart for those LiLi people; bake it in the oven for a few minutes, or hit it with a heat-gun if the mom/wife/dad/parole officer won't let you at the oven or you don't have an industrial shop at your disposal! Trust me, you don't want to sit there for an hour or more trying to pry them apart and not getting anywhere.

The remnants of the tape is going to be a pain in the arse, but I have some things that will remove it that doesn't involve fire. Oven cleaner! :thumb: I use it to destroy/break down the anodizing on aluminum. Works perfect when you don't have access to or feel like media-blasting (and wasting the supplies on) the medium.


This stuff is nasty. I was sticking it to my hand and trying to throw it off; doesn't work. It will remove skin if possible. :hehe:


Moving on to something else while the oven cleaner does its job, I decided to add some more decals to the panels. Let's get to that.

This one will be two colors, but no major difference in procedure for adding it, just being a little more careful is all.


After applying the first pass...


It's ready for some paint.


A few quick sprays and let it set for a few minutes...


Now we can apply the second pass. This takes a little more finesse, as you need to "trap" the first color so there's no panel showing if you're off registration a bit. Man, almost felt like I was back in front of my print-wheel and some t-shirts again! ...I miss it. :(/>

Carefully applied...


Carefully peel off the transfer paper...


And it's ready to accept some more paint.


After spraying and letting it set up for a few minutes, time to peel!


And some wire-brush and sanding foam lovin', and it's ready for some more weathering later on when the time comes. Came out good though.


Back to the front panel...

After hitting the front door's parts a couple times, and some putty-knife and mouse-sanding later, I finally have some metal to work with.


I continued working on the little "damage/rusted area" where the LED extensions used to reside. ...No, contrary to what you may be thinking, that's not an aluminum vagina! :hehe:


I'll have some more later on. Although I'm ready to proceed with the secret plans for the front door, I'm, frankly, pooped. I need to relax and have a cold ginger beer. I'll be back soon though, and with more to share. Thanks for looking in!


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Update time! But don't expect any major surgery going on; either on the case or on my person. :D/> This should be considered a "soft" update. But not flaccid, so get your mind out of the gutter, you sick puppy! :hehe:

The UPS man dropped off a package while I was at work, and I come home to find this waiting for me...


:clap: Thank you dearly, Seasonic®! Let's check out this new gal, shall we?

Mind you, I'm not a review site nor do I have access to PSU test equipment so I can't run her to the edge of death and try to pop all the caps, etc., but what I am armed with is experience and the knowledge gained from said experience and knowing what I'm looking at. And what I'm looking at is probably one of the best PSUs on the market, if not THE best IMHO.

I've been a fan of Seasonic® for years. I've purchased their PSUs for years. I've recommended their PSUs to friends not "in-the know" for years. I've recommended them to siblings and acquaintances for years. I recommend them to customers through work looking for an honest assessment on the state of PSUs in the marketplace.

The bottom line is, I believe in their products. And not because they agreed to sponsor this build, but because they're the PSU experts. I have never had any of their PSUs blow on me. And I've built a lot of machines for either myself or clients with them. Sure, I've used other brands, but I always come back to Seasonic®. I'll even use PSUs from other manufacturers that Seasonic® OEMed. :hehe: Example would be Corsair's first-gen HX series 520 & 620 models; both Seasonic® units underneath all that Corsair branding.

There are other wonderful PSUs out there in the wild. But Seasonic® has never let me down. I still have an old S12 running to this day. Not one hickup. Can you say that about just any PSU? Depends on the person, I suppose. Luck of the draw? Sure. But I think it's a little more than that.

One of the first pieces of advice I give out whenever anyone cares to ask my take on building a computer is, "Sorry I will not be your tech-support! Don't text me at 3am 'cause you borked your rig OCing!" Oops. Well, that too, but.... sorry. :D/>

No, it's always choose a solid PSU because it's the heart of your system. It keeps it running. It keeps it alive. It keeps the voltage running steadily to your gear. Seriously... you really want to skimp on that top-of-the-line PSU for something cheaper so you can get that set of RAM that has exactly the same bloody ICs on it from the other, more vanilla-looking kit you were eying too but decided you wanted the stupid machine-gun shaped heatsinks instead?! You deserve having your system keel on you. Alright, that's a little harsh, but still. Don't be a moron, dude.

If you think you have the chops to build your own computer system, at least buy stuff that's a step up from that piece-of- turd.gif DHELL you have sitting on your desk. And for all that is holy, stay away from the bloody gamer-focused crap! Flashy lights and crap all over the PSU? It's probably a turd in a box. You don't want a turd in a box in your box, do you? Please, buy a decent PSU! My favorite analogy when I start getting sarcastic and perhaps a little scathing is, "Oh, you're looking at buying that Powmax instead of the PC Power & Cooling to save a few bucks? You'd be better off pulling the pin on a frag grenade and tossing it inside your case and hoping it doesn't explode! Come on, it's even in the name!"

Alright, enough soap-boxing, eh?

I've used a 1000w unit of these for a commissioned build in a Fractal Design case a few months back for a client, and he was nothing but completely stoked about his system. Quiet and reliable. And beautiful!

Seasonic® really cares how their flagship PSUs are presented. A lot of care went into the packaging and design of things. I appreciate that. Simple, yet elegant. It lets the customer know, "Yeah, we know this thing's dipped in gold platinum" without being rude about it!


I love the cable packs. That is so thoughtful!


A bundle or two of a few cables I'll need to have a play at when the time comes. Of course, Seasonic®'s job on the sleeving at factory does the job just fine.


Some cable ties, velcro-straps, a screwdriver (as if someone who would be installing one of their PSUs wouldn't have their own but I digress).


And the gal herself...


Man, she's even bagged in velour like she's a nickel-plated 1911 collectable handgun! :hehe:


She's a beaut. Seriously. I think this is the perfect PSU. I'm almost sad to even mod anything on her!


Modular hookups are all laid out perfect. You can't really screw that up, but it's still appreciated that you know where everything plugs in at, etc. so stupid mistakes can't happen.


This thing up here is really intriguing.


I love that you can run the fan normal (always on) or hybrid. It's awesome that you get a choice! Speaking of choice-- when Seasonic® asked which model Platinum I'd like, I requested the lower wattage of the two. 1000w is total overkill for a single-card setup that is going in this build. Hell, 860w is, but I didn't think it really needed the big one.

Look at the rails, here... Come on, all the power you'd ever need! 71A on 12... LOL. All he'll ever need. To paraphrase Solo, "She actually does look like it, kid, and she's got it where it counts!"


Oh, now that's just a bloody invite!


Inside the gal, I see a familiar fan hub...San Ace 120mm fan. Sanyo Denki unit with ball bearings. That fan will probably outlast me. :hehe:


This PSU is just an absolute dream. I really think this is the perfect PSU; and if not, damn close to it. Thank you dearly, Seasonic® for the support and belief in what I'm doing here. On behalf of the person this build will be going to as well as the man who will be messing around with it (me!) -- Thank you. :clap:



Now, time to get to work on those cables...

I'll be back and with some more to show. Thanks for tuning in and see you soon!


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Let's get to it.

Progress on the front door. I had to apply the 30+ layers of paint or whatever the hell I put on there and sand and 'weather' in between. :hehe:

I decided completely apart is the way to go and then reassemble when the time comes.


And the left front outer shell...


For the PSU, I made a few more stencils.


Let's get rid of that, there. Low-tech tool; a thumbnail.


Because I wasn't going to disassemble the PSU completely since all you'll see is the one side with the fan on it once it's installed, I decided to just mask off what I needed to in order to keep the bad stuff out of the inside of the PSU.


And then I needed to rough up the paint on the PSU to give the new stuff something to stick to.


I started on weathering a bit of the paint by chipping at it. Another way of doing this is (if the medium isn't already painted) hitting it with a little water and sprinkling salt and letting it dry completely and painting over the top of the salt and simply brush it off after it's cured. Salting really works well in modeling.


There we go.


Let's mask the gal off a bit here to keep from any overspray hitting the other sides...


And ready to go!


Quick spray of some hideous color, lol, we're ready to go.


I sprayed the grill on the PSU yellow, and now I'm masking for a voltage symbol in the middle. You really probably won't be able to tell what it is when it's all done, but that's fine. It adds to the mystery, ya know?


And ready to spray.


I applied some more stencils to the PSU's body...


Carefully peeling off...


And the other side...


Again, carefully peeling...


I applied some more stencils to the center grill...


PSU all sprayed! Now I need to begin building up the weathering some more.


And the center grill mostly done. I'm adding some sprinkling of rust on it here and there as well as the PSU itself.


And the right front shell ready for some more weathering!


I'm sorry I'm not my usual jovial self; just irritated about some things (people) is all. You ever noticed that some people just rub you wrong for really no reason? Like they have something against you with absolute non-quantifiable justification? Like you don't even know this person and for some reason they dislike you and act like an ass because of it? *shrugs* I don't know if it's jealousy, stupidity, or run-of-the-mill malice. Who knows? :hehe:

Anyways, that's all I have for now but I'll be back. I have some more things cooking that I need to allow to boil over soon... I'll be back. Thanks for tuning in and see ya soon!


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Update time! Not a big one, but some progress. I spent a majority of the day enjoying the outside air at a park with the family. I love watching my son feeding a duck by hand for the 1st time. :thumb:

Alright. Here we go.

Continuing the weathering/painting for the front door's plates. Let's add a little something here, shall we? Something...mischievous. Something that doesn't quite belong. Something...deviant? :D/>


Some more stencils...


Carefully peeled off and ready for masking. Just like before and it will happen again. Like Rome! Right?


And all masked off and ready for some paint.


There we go. Let it set up for a few minutes...


There! Ready for the second step...




Peeling carefully.... muhahaha...


There! :hehe:


And some quick sprays later and some weathering/sanding manipulation. Why, you ask? Why not, I ask. Perhaps the tech that was using this station was a bit of a loon and felt like slapping a smiley sticker on his rig. Perhaps he wanted his mates to think he was a little off-center. Perhaps he just wanted to give himself a quick, cheap laugh while on-the-clock so he wasn't so bored. Who knows?


Let's make it a little more odd, though.


Brush, brush, brush….brush, brush, brush. HA HA!! -Pee Wee Herman


There. That's a little deviant, yes? :hehe:


Let's start some rusting effects on here as well. I need to get this thing done!


On to other things for sec, I finished up on the work on the (previously) beautiful PSU. That's the only side you'll see, so that's the only side I'm messing with!


And I started messing with the block top again. Now it looks like some 'fluid of an unknown origin' was leaking around the seals or something. Apparently, it's UV-reactive too.


Alright, I'll be back. Thank you for tuning in and I'll have more to show soon!


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Update! I haven't had a lot of time due to other things going on, but I did get a few things done that needed to be done. Done be done, done. Redundant, redundant.

Let's get to it.

I continued working on the weathering for the front door's plates. :lol:/> Smiley face!


Nothing worse than a rusty... well, you can see for yourself. :D/> Looks like a tetanus shot waiting to happen! :hehe:


Speeding up the rusting effect. I love the really orange stuff myself.


Alright, I needed to sand down the main chassis to get it ready for some weathering love too.


Remove (temporarily) the best case feet in the world...


I need to remove everything from the chassis that isn't actually part of the chassis. That includes QC stickers too. Wow, 2007 huh? So that's when they lost their minds! :hehe:


...And gone.


Those blasted top IO port cable holders that they slap on with the foam double-sided tape that seems to be from another universe. :lol:/>


A quick compressed air blowout to get rid of the crap...


I love to wipe everything down with some mineral spirits or lacquer thinner of some sort. You'd be amazed what kind of stuff is hiding on the very surface of your metal!


Ahhh....those feet. Enjoy them while they're still bare!


A half-hour later... nothing like a beautiful matte black on a chassis, ya know?


It's nice and all, but I'm not nearly done!


...and some case feet half-naked! Oh no!


I'll be back with some more. Thanks for tuning in and see ya really soon!


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Update time! I need to get this bloody thing finished. Too many other projects cropping up.

Let's get to it, shall we?

Last we left off, I had coated the main part of the chassis in matte black. Now I need to rough up the finish to get the rattlecan crap to stick to it well enough.

I like to use sanding foams, but anything will work. Except genitals. Don't use those; trust me it doesn't work! :hehe:


It's always a good idea to remove the loose debris after sanding. Sure, compressed air works for a lot of things, but not everything.


Tack-cloth fills in that little void rather well. Should be in every painter's arsenal. You'd be amazed what kinda crap you get off the seemingly clean surface!


Back to the case feet! Last I had half-coated them in black. Now they're sprayed with rattlecan yellow. Never mind the hasty uneven sprayjob; it's purposeful as it won't matter.


Some steel wool action...


And the next step is done. I'll set those aside until the time comes.


After a couple coats of rattlecan-brown I had been using on the main part of the chassis, I can start the weathering process on it now. I start by sanding in all directions and shapes on every available surface. It gives the case that "I've been around a while and it shows" kind of look. :hehe:


Looks pretty good. I may go for another pass, but I'm not sure.


I started applying the iron solution to the inside of the chassis proper. I get really liberal with it too.


A nice trick is to scoop it out with whatever you're using and apply with a painter's sponge. Any artist should have those in their kit as well.


I love this part too. I'm going to go a few passes here as well. Really make it gnarly!


I also started applying the first pass on the 'surface rust' weathering on the outside of the chassis.


Moving to the front door, I need to begin assembly of it to see how things are roughly going to look. Bottom structural piece...


And dropping in the left side of it...


And dropping in the hilarious piece...



Alrighty, I need to get to sleep. Fridays are total chaos on the work front, so I need to prepare for it. I decided to be responsible and not go to the midnight opening of Prometheus. :(/> I really wanted to. I should. I've really been looking forward to this movie for close to a quarter of a century. I've been an ALIEN fan for a loooooooooong time... I even have one permanently on my person (not to be mistaken for in my person)! Needless to say it's difficult not to go to the 1st showing. But I'll catch it early saturday and pay less for it too. :hehe: And probably see it a 2nd time right after that!

Alright, I'll be back. As always. Thanks for tuning in and see you soon!


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Update time! Right. Let's get to it, shall we?

Last we left off, I needed to finish assembling the front door's panels, etc. as one piece. Let's put another dent in that.


It's no big mystery that I'm a fan of socket-cap screws. I used them practically everywhere for everything. Well, not quite. But close, ya know? :)/>


Remember the inner-bulkhead that I was working on? Let's go back to that.


I began to apply the copper-sulfate solution to get things rolling.


..and rolling...


Bah, let's move to a sponge! :hehe:


Speed things along a bit with some heat... That should be good. I'll get back to that soon enough.


Back to the outside of the chassis proper. I decided things were still a bit "plain", so... heh...


...Let's add another decal! :hehe:


Carefully peeled...


:hehe: How à propos!


Masking the surrounding area off a bit. I didn't take major precautions, because, really, if there was some over-spray would anyone really notice? :hehe:


And a quick spray and steel-wool lovin' later, we have this!


Why, you ask again? You really going to ask that question after the smiley-face? Alright. Let's go through the background of it. :sigh: The things I have to do for you people.

Perhaps the system was labeled to be 'scrapped' or something and the user decided not to. Or perhaps it's a 'hand-me-down' like those jeans you got from your cousin when you were 5 y/o and they never quite looked good on you because you were tall for your age and it looked ridiculous with penny-loafers and white socks and you were forced to wear them to the skating rink on a Friday with your feathered hair and satin royal blue Corvette jacket with the sleeves pushed up on the arms like a cheap Miami-Vice mimicry and you couples-skated to Kool and the Gang's "Cherish" and tripped over your own feet because of a combination of the crystal ball throwing light around too quickly/you being distracted because you psyched yourself out thinking about how ridiculous those pants looked on you when you should've been thinking how pretty the chick with the headgear and freckles was that was holding your sweaty and stinky hand at that moment and she fell over with you as you took a spill and split your lip open on the hand-railing while trying to drag both of you off the rink so your fingers don't get run over by other couples rolling past you causing a 25-couples-skate-couples pileup?

:eyebrow:....Maybe that's just me.

Let's add some rust in the area though too. I'm sure I'll weather on top of it even more.


I finally finished up and assembled the mobo tray/back-plate.


It installs in the case and side panels drop on just fine with it so it works.


But it needs to be...


Ah, that did it! :hehe: Now I can start weathering it to match the rest of the case.

I went ahead and took care of some of the other items that were still bare metal.


I also discovered earlier that there was an oversight on my part. That's what happens when you're....rusty. :hehe:

I forgot to cut a cable pass-through for the PSU's cables to get to their destinations. :miffed: The stock slot won't be enough. I really prefer to take care of such things before the final paintjob, but no biggie. I'll do a little surgery here and you won't even notice.

Stock cable pass-through...


Masking off for the augmentation...






And done.


Flat-filed it and it's ready for service!


Extra credit if you can guess the chassis this came from...


5...4...3...2...1... Time's up. If you said TJ09 you'd be correct! :hehe:

Because of the stock dual-PSU bracket on the A10 is set up as if you'll be installing the PSU so it's facing "inside" instead of the other way around, I need to use it "backwards" so the PSU will be facing outward instead. Unfortunately, I do not have any PSU cover plates that will fit there so I'll just make one out of mesh. :)/>


Ready for some really-quick and sloppy snipping. A phrase you do not want to hear a mohel say! :hehe:


Alrighty, that's all I have for now but I'll be back. Must prepare for the evil Mondays at work, which usually involves putting my hand on a hotplate while wearing a wet blanket over my head and moaning softly/crying and babbling incoherently. You know, the usual. :hehe:

Thanks for tuning in and see you soon!


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Update time!

Last we left off, I was going to insert some mesh into the second (unused) PSU spot. Emphasis on was; I decided to use the panel that actually goes there. I just don't want to suck in the residual exhaust air from the PSU back into the rad's area right next to it, not that it'll really make much difference but still. I think this will look better anyways. Nothing like residual suckage, right? :hehe:


I hit it with the spray method I've been using...


Now, let's do something interesting. I don't have any stencils or anything made, but I don't really need one for this. You can use regular masking tape!


Quick spray and removal; ready to go! Fits in with the theme.


I sprayed down the mobo tray that I had previously blacked out with the color I've been using, earth brown.


Let's beat it up a little...


And let's add some "shmegma" to it. :hehe: Make it a little grimy and dirty.


I played around with the front door's framing a bit, and ultimately decided I'd rather just leave them alone aside from really abrading them and beating them up, so it gets that "I've been opened and closed a lot" kind of look.; similar to Lindsay Lohan's career! :hehe: ZZZap-bam!


Textured scraping effect...


Let's take care of the PSU bracket now.


Scraped up...


And all finalized and done! That will stop a bullet now; no scratching that finish.


Mobo tray's all finished up as well...


Let's finish up on those feet now. I decided to add a little "shmegma" to them as well. I think that should be an official Bit-Tech modding term: shmegma. What say you? :hehe:


All four ready for final coat on them.


And, done!


Finished up on final assembly for the front door. Again, bullet-proof!


I got the front door installed back on the chassis proper, and realized yet another thing I overlooked; I meant to drill out the holes on the front of the chassis for the larger LEDs I've had in a baggy I found in one of my junk-trunks I was supposed to slip in on there to replace the chintsy ones that used to live there. I mean, I went through all the trouble making the "rusty vagina" too! :hehe:

Alright, let's do some post-paintjob surgery. :sigh: I hate that. Usually my brain has every little one of the 8,000-odd steps or whatever that goes into a mod already worked out beforehand, but ultimately I'm just really rusty. It's like working out, ya know?


And, dropped in the LEDs for test-fitment...


Looks good! For a second there I was worried about fitment issues, since I didn't even look into it beforehand. :hehe: I just shot from the hip!

Let's close the door so I can show you what I was intending... And before you say it; I know. It looks like a rusty vagina. :hehe:


Just need to continue assembly, and perhaps I can get this wrapped up soon!


Thanks for looking in, and I'll be back soon with some more matériel!


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Alrighty, update time!

I'd like to formally thank another supporter who helped make this update happen; my supplier over the years, friend, and now employer, Performance-PCs!


Let's get to it, shall we?

I needed to start prep on the reservoir/pump combo. Let's do that.

Here's the res.


A single-DDC model XSPC bay-res.


I've used these a hundred times for clients in the past as well as some current through work as well. They're cheap and reasonably reliable. When my best friend asked which cheap res I'd go with I chose this one, so I was supplied with this one.

I just hope I got the luck of the draw and got one with the threads tapped perpendicular to the surface; i.e. fitting will go on flat and o-ring engaged. These have a tendency of having that issue from time-to-time. Your experience may vary!


They're nice and clean looking for the price!

And the pump going on there...


Oddly enough, a DDC pump. Hence the name. :hehe: It's an 18w model for some extra oompf, ya know? We all need some extra oompf on occasion, right? :lol:/>

Let's take it apart now. :)/>


The blue impeller is a dead giveaway for the model you have. Vanilla 10w models have a black one.


It's also an awesome magnet! :hehe:


Alright, enough screwing around. Let's install the pump on the res now.

You need to make sure your o-ring is still present on the pump after removal of the top; otherwise this watercooling venture will be rather short-lived. :hehe: Hey-- I've seen worse. Trust me. There are some dips out there! :lol:/>


Four screws through the holes and into the res... Don't over-tighten them. A good trick is to look at an angle on the top to see if you see a clear "ring" against the acrylic, hence the o-ring being sealed against it.


Let's start slapping on the business end of the comp fittings on the res to save hand-cramping doing it inside the case. Tapped fine, by the way! What luck! :hehe:


Installed an adapter for a fitting on top... I have a few of these laying around; in the past I've had to drill/tap the reservoirs for my own fill-ports before they made these available. :miffed:


Oh, by the way... I finally had some time to wire up and sleeve the two activity LEDs for behind the front door (and the "rusty vagina"). Weathered up and ready to rock! Yellow and green for color. It's all I had, but it kinda fits the theme fine.


Alright, let's install the res now in the case. I had already installed the fan controller in there too.


And the optical drive... I had a cheapie brand-new DVD-R drive to spare, so it works fine for this project. They're like $20 bucks or something now or less, so no biggie.


And let's slide in that HDD rack too. Man, you can really see the dust collecting on everything already! It's not normal dust though... Powder is really fine.


Supplied by Performance-PCs, some really thick steel modder's mesh. Some of you know that I hate steel. Hate it. But it will work for what I have in mind... heh heh...

I marked out on it everything I needed to cut; not much to spare after that!


Piece #1 cut for the front bottom of the case behind the door. I sprayed it with orange and weathered it a bit. I think it looks perfect!


Alright, piece #2 for the left side panel (intake) for the rad/PSU down below...


Marked out for holes drilled for mounting purposes...


...and drilled. Jeez, I hate steel. :hehe:


It lines up perfectly.


Now, cutting some stuff I actually enjoy cutting; some aluminum (aluminium to Kyle) hex-mesh.


First piece sprayed with orange and weathered...


There. Looks great. I just... don't think it will work for actually supplying air to the rad/PSU like it should, ya know? I don't think water would go through those holes! :hehe:


So, I attacked it with the jigsaw and rotary tool a bit! :dremel:


The hex-mesh piece has been sprayed with some yellow paint for some contrast and weathered...


...and done.


A quick fitment...


See what I'm going for? *background story for the piece* Perhaps the original (orange piece) rusted away and for a quick fix the engineer simply slapped in some of the yellow mesh in there as a 'bandage' and never fixed it right.

Let's rust the edge now. Make it really nasty.


I'll be back to that later.

I cut another piece for the top exhaust 140mm fan as well from the hex-mesh...


...Which brings us to some more supplies from Performance-PCs. Xigmatek's beautiful orange-bladed fans. These will be the fans I'm going to run in here instead of the poopie Yates I was originally supplied with. They're ok.... but they're not really what I want to use, you know? Xigs will work just fine... heh heh...


Stock, they're nice. White LEDs to accentuate the orange blades.... but.... I don't want white LEDs. I also happen to know the blades are in fact UV-reactive. :)/>


Soooooo, let's snip those bad-boys outta there! :hehe:


Relax, the fan's fine...


Looking at how the LEDs are wired on the fans, I can safely remove them and the fan itself will still work. Which is what I want. The fans will still work with independent lighting control.

A quick test connected to Winona, and she still works.


Now, let's wire in and install some LEDs that will really look cool in there...


Yes! Just like that! :rock:


Perfect. Now, with the mesh on top, please?


This is gonna rock.

Alright, thanks for tuning in and I'll be back soon with some more shtuff. Toodles!


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Update time! Let's get to it.

Continuing on with the modder's mesh from hell. :hehe: I needed to make the exhaust side of the case where the rad/fan assembly will reside. I had cut the mesh and now needed to mark it out for drilling.


Some quick holes drilled into the mesh...


...and it's ready for paint and weathering.


Quick couple coats sprayed onto the mesh and sanding block and steel wool love!


All done. --Actually, not quite. Let's continue the idea from the intake side of the case... The mesh has rusted away to nothing and replaced with some other kind of mesh.

Some quick impromptu jigsawing...


And here's roughly how it'll look.


Changing the subject, back to the fans. I made some fan-hub stickers like I've done for practically every mod project I've ever done; I just hate seeing gaudy stickers on the hubs, ya know? Unless, of course, I put them there myself! :hehe:


I finished up on one of the 120mm-version Xigs supplied by Performance-PCs so I can finish up on the front plate. I decided I didn't really want to install LEDs on this one so I'll leave it alone. With the lighting inside the case, you'll be able to see the blades while it's on regardless of LEDs...


There we go! Ready for final install. Hopefully I have everything I need inside the bays already. :hehe:


Oh yes, also attached the lower mesh where the former-120mm fan-spot on the front of the case was. Matches the rest of the weathered stuff.

I used "Tape of the Gods" to attach it because that stuff sticks so well that if it were criminal charges it would probably have stuck to Capone! :hehe: Only screw is through the lower-middle just in case. And it is in a case, so isn't that convenient! :lol:/>


If you don't have a roll of the stuff, you should. Seriously. Don't screw around with imitations!

Shot of the inside out...


Alright, back to installing the front plate...


Now, I almost forgot about the rheobus knobs. Let's weather those, yes?

I like to use all kinds of rotary tool attachments. It's fun. And it really gives me an excuse to use all those other weird attachments that no one really bothers with unless you're a stickler for details! :hehe:

Here's a nice one. Wire brushes work wonders when you want a nice, subtle kind of rubbed effect.


I stuck the knobs on a ratcheting screwdriver tip to hold it in place while I carefully weathered them.


It really gives the knob the "I've been turned a million times already by greasy, stinky, shady men in some clandestine underground bunker/installation/manufacturing plant, and I have no signs of failing just yet" kind of effect, ya know? :hehe:


Of course, that statement has a whole other meaning when you change the wording slightly so it's phrased "I've been turning tricks" :eeek:

A quick install to see how it's going to look... I'm happy!


I'll be back soon and with more stuff. Thanks for tuning in and see you soon!


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Update time! I'm trying really hard to censor out some things on purpose, and it's getting more and more difficult the closer we come to the end of this project. :(/>

On to the update.

I didn't get a whole lot done, but some.

I began final assembly of the top I/O port/system power control/lighting control area.


I needed to beat up the acrylic a bit to make it a little "aged" so shiny new acrylic isn't shiny new acrylic. Although it's new. ...Such a conundrum.


Nothing new; just the typical steel wool and sanding foam method I've been following.


I also got around to de-pinning and sleeving the cables from the stock top I/O; USB, Firewire and Audio leads. I came across some really horrid heat-shrink I had in a supplies box that I obviously never used because it has all this technical writing in bright white all over it, lol. Fits in perfect! ;)/>


I also got around to finally soldering/wiring/sleeving the blasted latching switch for the lighting controls. I hate wiring those things! But it's been a little while so it actually felt kind of cathartic to do it, you know?


A quick test with the lights dimmed...


Works perfect! That pic looks horrible though; camera didn't like the light levels apparently. You get the idea of the look though. Orange! :thumb:

I also finished up the power switch too. A little easier to wire since it's a momentary. Thanks for that. Whew! :hehe:


I'm still working out the logistics for the fillport, so let's move on to something else now.

I finished up assembling the rest of the non-rad system fans. A rear 120mm intake and a top 140mm exhaust; both have been de-LED'd (is that a word? It is now!) and I wasn't planning on adding LEDs to them afterward; as I stated before the internal lighting will be enough. :)/>


I used the same, matching buttonheads for installation. A little more of a pain, but it works fine.


A shot from the back so you can see the weathered mesh over the fan...


And finished! Looks nice.


Finished up on installing the top 140mm... Same mounting method, but with different mesh for a little more airflow. Personally, I like the look of the hex more myself.


I need to start working out the plumbing in this pig, so let's start with a passthrough bulkhead fitting, shall we? Holesaw does the hard work; nice that the scrap I used for the midplate is thin!


Installing the bulkhead fitting...


Installing compression fitting...


All done! Easy-peasy. I need to do one more of those for both lines to/from the rad below, or else the watercooling won't be as effective. ;)/>


I'll be back soon and with some more poop to fling! Thank you for tuning in!


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