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E.E.L. Ambiense

Completed Log Project "Building Better Worlds" by E.E.L. Ambiense

building_title1.jpg

Completed Log June 2008

Final Photos

It's that time again. And this time, it's time for a new log from ole' E.E.L. Ambiense. It'll mostly be dress-up/paint/etc. This case will be used for my tote-around LAN system. The hardware is from my old Drone I mod, since I decided to retire the old gal (the hardware's getting long in the tooth too...).

The mod theme will be based around the film series of Aliens & stuff (again...), this time the favorite ominous "Company" that is repeatedly sited throughout the good (and bad) films in the series. Weyland-Yutani Corp.; "Building Better Worlds"! I plan on making the case look like some kind of company terminal/workstation kind of thing. I dunno. :confused: Like I said, dress-up. Like I used to do with my mom's lingerie. :eyebrow: What can I say? Good support, you know? :naughty:

Final Hardware Specs:
DFI Lan Part UT SLI-DR Expert mobo
AMD 939 X2 4200+ CPU (2.2 stock)
2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR500 RAM w/ modded Evercool 60mm x 10mm aluminum fans cooling them
WD Raptor 74GB SATA HDD
BFG Tech 7800GT's in SLi, stealthing plated with debadged/modded Arctic Cooling Accelero X1's
Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Platinum soundcard, stealthing plated
Ultra XVS 700W PSU modded with Xinruilian 80mm green led fans, sleeved and re-molexed
EVGA 680i MCP fan, modded, for chipset cooling
Cooler Master Aerogate I rheobus, modded
Stealthed and modded NEC DVD-RW Drive
Thermalright XP-90 CPU cooler w/ modded Evercool 92mm aluminum fan
80mm green LED aluminum-frame fans, modded

The victim for the new mod is this:

praetorian1.jpg

An aging classic; Cooler Master's Praetorian PAC-T01-E1. The moment I saw this case years back, I fell in love with it. And this is coming from a LiLi whore too! But like many things in the computer realm, it got tossed aside for bigger better newer (like my lovelife...). Stock, she has 2 80mm's up front; 1 80mm blowhole; 1 80mm exhaust. Augh. I plan on adding a window, complete with a 120mm fan blowing in on the two 7800GT's in SLi. She needs more air, but I really don't want to cut on her! To paraphrase Dracula, "I just...love her too much...to condemn her...." :D/>

Here's a quick dirty mockup of what I plan on doing to her...

colormockup1.jpg

Anyways, structurely, she's gorgeous. Thick aluminum everywhere. Reinforced removeable mobo tray. Awesomeness. The plan is to strip her down to bare parts, remove all annodization, and cleanse and powder coat different parts in different colors. I've already jumped the gun, as they say, because I was shooting something in gloss black last week, so I removed the top and front mesh from the case to shoot it as well. I mean, why change out the powder twice, right? :)/>

I have some designing done already for the misc. acrylic accouterments I plan on adding to the build, because like usual....acrylic's my canvas of choice for modding. I decided I'm going to add acrylic 'plates' on the video cards like I've done with my (not yet revealed) main rig I built last year already. Hard to explain, I suppose. I needed to measure the card's PCB to get accurate sizing for a digital mockup of it so I can make the covers for it. I'll let the pics do the talking...

Measured the card...

measure_vidcard1.jpg

Illustrating it right down to 1/16th of an inch, complete with theme-related 'stuff'. It's pretty close, but it has to be for what I need it for. Yes, right down to the SLi bridge for clearance! :thumb:

vid_card_cover1.jpg

*Warp to another thing....*

Installed the Accelero X1 to the card...

vidcard_accelero1a.jpg

I don't like that big-a*s sticker on there, so I debadged it. Still filthy, but better than before. I think I'm going to add something here....hmmmm...... :D/>

vidcard_accelero1.jpg

I'll come back to video cards later. I want to get started on another part (Sorry...I tend to jump around a LOT when modding!)

I plan on adding a custom RAM cooler as well that I'll make out of acrylic (of course). After measuring everything, the biggest fans I can get in there comfortably would be 60mm's, and that's cutting it close to the CPU cooler.

measure_ram1.jpg

I plan on using two Aluminum-framed Evercool 60mm x 10mm fans in which I'll, of course, powder coat the frames themselves to match with the theme. I have some other things in mind as well, but I'll wait until I get to them. Here's the digital illustration of the RAM cooler:

ram_cooler1.jpg

As you can see, I plan on mounting this thing to the rear 80mm fan, with a 90-degree bend so it sits right over the two RAM modules. These aren't called Ballistix for nothing :lol:/>!

-------------
Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Update time! Yes, that's right; already! I know...I know... what the hell, right? Well, I don't work on the weekends, so...when I'm not shooting H in-between my toes or cruising the red light district for my next victim, it's time to mod! :D/> (I'm only kidding, guys! PSA: drugs and attacking prostitutes are bad)

Anyways, here's what I have. I started to disassemble the case down to individual parts. Removing rivets, screws, residents, etc. You know, the usual. The front panel is held on by socket screws. Some of my favorites, those screws. Of course, they'll be replaced with black ones. :D/>

case_disassemble1.jpg

And, it's off. Easy, huh?

case_disassemble2.jpg

Rest of the case is all straightforward as well. No evil surprises in store for me....of course, I may be speaking too soon. But I'll get to that in a bit.

case_disassemble3.jpg

Removal of the front USB/firewire ports. Cooler Master, I love you. So easy to take apart, and so easy to get at the damn screws too.

The stock power/reset switch assembly housing is easy as well. I like things easy. Like some women I've-- OOH! No, stop right there with that stuff, mister! Anyways, :hehe:...Nice, and simple.

case_disassemble4.jpg

Proceeded to drill out the rivets holding the rest of the case together. Man, this is some nice aluminum, CM. Seriously. Good job.

derivet1.jpg

Removal of the top panel...

derivet2.jpg

Uh, oh! A pile of parts!! Run before the mods get a hold of the thread! Oh...wait. I have pics showing modding already, so it's within the rules. Nevermind. :D/>

derivet3.jpg

After disassembling the entire case down to, well, parts, I wanted to remove all, or most, of the anodizing off the panels to make it easier to sand down before I powder coat the parts. I just figured it'd be easier than going at it directly with a mouse-sander. But eh, I tend to be lazy.

All joking aside, I'll go ahead and take this opportunity and perform a PSA about safety while using nasty chemicals. Chemicals, especially ones that would be in the nasty category...are bad. They are bad for your eyes. They are bad for your skin. They are bad for your life. BAD. Okay? So don't be a jacka*s and not use proper safety equipment/procedures whilst using the aforementioned nasty chemicals. 'Nuff said.

safety_first.jpg

The stuff I'm going to use is oven cleaner. Why, you ask? Am I cleaning an oven? Am I friggin' baker!? Is ole' E.E.L. going to bake all of us some sweet warm delicious cupcakes or perhaps some cookies shaped like pentium wafers so we can have a wonderful snack while we watch E.E.L.'s project log go down in flames and crash and burn and we all get to laugh rudely at his pain and misery? NO! I'm using it because the active ingredient in many of these oven cleaners, is sodium hydroxide. Or simply put, lye!

sodium_h.jpg

Lye likes to eat anodizing off metal. In fact, it likes to eat metal and ANYTHING ELSE as well, but that's a given. So, with that said, let's spray it all over the panels, yes?

deannodizing1.jpg

And let that sit for half-hour or so. Nice stuff. *coughs* Don't get this crap in your eyes, or you'll look like the walking dead, because you'll have milky filmed-over cataract-looking dead eyes. Unless that's your goal in life. Don't get this crap on your skin, or you'll be taking a lesson from Tyler Durden about it being the biggest moment of your life! And also...don't eat it. That's probably not good either.

*Warp to an hour later*

Okay... all anodizing is gone and stuff. Now, let's sand it to a fine texture. I need it really clean or the powder tends to reject it like most of my high-school dating. I'll sand it evenly as possible, making sure the rest of the anodizing is gone from the corners/etc., then I'll clean it again with water and let it air-dry.

sanding1.jpg

Then I'll hit it many times with some lacquer thinner. Then I'll pre-bake the part in the oven to 'open its pores' a bit and get the nasty oils and other debris out to the surface, then I'll clean it with thinner again and again until the rag comes away pretty clean. Then it'll be ready and worthy of the powder. Then, I'll exfoliate. Oh, wait...wrong log. Nevermind.

*warps to another thing*

Here's an example of the fans I'm using in this mod. They're decent-air-moving little suckers for the noise level. Considering they're 80's. Here's a night-shot of it running. I love green.

fan_running1.jpg

And here's the fan disassembled. I plan on powder coating the frames in...well, I'm not sure yet. I was thinking orange. But ya never know.

fan_disassemble1.jpg

*warps back to front panel*

Okay, all dry now. You know that thing I mentioned earlier about something may go wrong? Here it is. It's not bad, but it does suck. I laid one of my sample bulgin switches over the hole; yeah...the switch is too small for CM's stock mount hole. Argh.

bulgin1.jpg

It's okay though. I have an idea. I think I'll make a small ring to go around the switch on both sides out of acrylic so they sandwich against the panel on both sides as the switch is torqued down. It should work. I hope it does.

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Update time! Yup, another one. I told ya, I'm on a roll on the weekends! Even though I kinda tied one on last night with Coronas and lime :blah: while watching Zombie's reimagining of 'Halloween'. :rock:

Alrighty then, let's get right to it.

I started out by lacquer thinner cleansing the top panel, after removing anodizing and sanding it thoroughly. It's pretty clean. Remember kids: use a mask and gloves while using this harmful chemical. It ain't good fer ya! Unless you eventually want kids that will come out with a head shaped like a piece of brain coral.

lacquer_top1.jpg

Then I proceeded to outgas the top panel; baking the metal to get all the filthy stuff below the surface to come out, to allow you to easily clean it. ...I have nothing witty to say here, so I'm moving right along. Wait-- "...awww man, I'm so baked!" There. There's something witty. :D/>

top_gasout.jpg

After the part has cooled, I cleansed it again and again with thinner until I felt comfortable it would be clean. Then I hit it with a product called "Pre", that is a final cleaner/adhesion promoter. It's not necessary, but I'm a healthy X-Files fan, so I'm paranoid.

I don't have any action shots while I was coating the top, as I need at least two hands for that alone, so you'll have to take my word for it. It's coated. And it came out grand. But while that's baking, I'm going to warp to another thing. I'll be back to this in a few, don't worry.

*Warps to another thing*

This is an HDD cooler from Scythe that I picked up for like half off. What's wrong with it? Nuthin'. Aside from the blue LED fan. So I'm tossing that. I had an unused 80mm x 15mm Evercool fan to replace it with, so I sleeved that fan and I added a 80mm mesh screen from an old Ultra PSU that I had laying around. It looks nice, I think!

HDD_cooler1.jpg

I put it together quickly to see what it'd look like. I like it. But it's black. Not for long though.... So I proceeded to remove the anodizing off of it too, as well as sanded it down, etc. Then I coated it in yellow as well! Beautiful, I think. Here's the results...

HDD_cooler2.jpg

Here's one of the 80mm fans coated and reassembled. It looks so much better than it did stock, I think.

fan_done1.jpg

I also sanded/cleansed/etc. the 3.5" covers, because they too are going to be yellow. Here they are, as well as some of the chassis frame, that's all getting shot yellow. Yes, those are, in fact, pop rivets hanging off the side of that one piece. Why? I had no more silicone thread plugs, so I improvised. :lol:/>

pieces_shoot1.jpg

While the top panel is cooling down, I went ahead and drilled out the reset switch for the replacement lighted vandal switch I'm using. Kind of boring, I know. But necessary. I clamped the panel down to a plank of wood I tend to use while drilling holes in stuff.

Here it is before drilling....

front_drill1.jpg

...And after. Wasn't that special?

front_drill2.jpg

Alrighty, back to something interesting, yes?

*Warps back to top panel curing*

Alright, stop your whining! Here's some shots of the top panel after flowout and final curing!

top_done1.jpg

top_done2.jpg

And the top, or outside, of the part.

top_done3.jpg

I have some other stuff brewin' too, I just haven't let it gestate long enough for it to be a viable piece of an update. I'll get to it tomorrow, probably, when I update this log again. Because I have no life. And I'm always modding. :dremel: :rock:

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Well, I don't have a whole lot of stuff in regards to updates. I did do some things tonight, but nothing extraordinary. I'm working on 3.5 hours of sleep, so the day has SUCKED to say the least.

Let's get started, shall we?

Here's the bottom part of the chassis proper, coated in yellow as well. Nice. I needed to post that from last night. Sorry.

bottom_panel1.jpg

*Warps to something else*

The fan controller rheobus thing I'm using in this particular build is the classic Cooler Master Aerogate I, to keep in with the Cooler Master-classic-hardware-raped-beyond-all-recognition-Weyland-Yutani-theme. Also, it's a pretty good controller. 15 watts a channel, if my memory serves me correctly. The only thing I don't like about it is the fact that it changes backlighting colors, but you have to reset it every time you start up the system! Oh well. It's still cool. Let's have a look...

aerogate1.jpg

Cool eh? Cooler eh? Cooler Master-- alright, I'll stop. Anyways, yeah it's cool. ...But let's tear it apart!

aerogate2.jpg

There...much better. Now I'll toss the acrylic plate and coat the aluminum bracket. It came out looking like this, as well as the rest of the bay covers/etc...

baycovers1.jpg

...And assembled again.

aerogate_coated1.jpg

Here's another classic CM product that seems to have become rather scarce these days. I don't know why either. Hm. I use these quite a lot, as I like to stealth ROM drives every time I build something. I just hate seeing a bare drive, is all. I dunno. I'm a dork.

cooler_stealth1.jpg

And removed from package...

cooler_stealth2.jpg

I have sanded all of these items down and have started coating them as well. Pics of these coated are right above!

The original LED holes on the front panel of the case needed to be covered over before powder coating. So I spackled some Hi-Temp lab Metal on the holes. I will allow this to set for a day or so, then I'll bake it for an hour to really set it in before coating. This way I'll have a nice flush front panel with (hopefully) no trace of there ever being any LED holes on it. :thumb:

front_panel_labmetal1.jpg

I also disassembled and coated the front USB/Firewire port assembly/cover in green. I think it came out grand. Here's before...

front_ports1.jpg

And after. It looks great!

front_ports2.jpg

I have some other stuff going on, I just haven't gotten to it yet to really warrant an update. I'll get to it tomorrow, probably. Or not. I have no idea. :hehe:

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Small update today, guys. I don't have a whole lot going on; been busy with real-life business stuff. :(/>

Anyways, here's what I bring to the table today. And it's not much. I'll get right to it. I want to get home!

OCZ 700w GameXtream PSU. I switched out the fan for a UV Green LED fan a little while back. I'm keeping the fan, but...I'm going to remove some of the cables from the PSU. It's too much for cable management! :hehe: I don't need any of the SATA cables, and since there are two dedicated cables hanging from this thing with nothing but SATA conectors, they're gone!

PSU_1.jpg

Anyways, disassembly of the unit. I'm coating the housing as well, so it needs prep/sanding/etc. :D/>

PSU_2.jpg

Here's half of the PSU's housing sanded and ready for coating. I know; half-a*s job on the sanding. It only really needs most of it off, as the powder will stick to it fine. Plus, it's mostly hidden anyways in the case, so I don't really care. :P/>

PSU_3.jpg

...And here's part of the PSU housing done. As well as the two sides of the 5.25 and 3.5 bays.

bits_coated1.jpg

Also, I finished the opposite side panel. All sanded, coated and done. Looks purty. Oddly, the pics came out kind of lime green. It's more of a 'medium' green than lime. Eh. You'll all see soon enough when it's all done!

side_panel_coated.jpg

*Warps to something else*

By the way, here's the front panel complete with the two LED holes spackled over with Lab Metal and cured in the oven. I also sanded it down smooth, so it's ready for orange coating!

front_labmetal1.jpg

Also, here's the side panel with the window done. Those corners are hard to get even relative to each other!

side_panel_window1.jpg

Now I just need to sand the hell out of it and get the rest of the anodizing off of it! Augh! I hate that! Sorry for the blurry pics on everything; I've become a regular Michael J. Fox when I hold the camera lately... ;)/> That was bad, I know. Sorry. :hehe:

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Well, it's 12:06 Eastern here right now, and I'm still friggin' moddin'. :rock: I am a machine sometimes. But, I also had a good night's sleep last evening also. So I suppose that helps. Somewhat. And the crack too.

Alright, right to it. I got some stuff done tonight, but I mostly skipped doing any coating this time. It's very time-consuming. Anyways, I got a bunch of other crap out of the way instead, as it needed to be done.

First of, I went down to see Hank and the gang @ Performance-PC's right around the corner here. I love those guys. At risk of sounding like I'm shamelessly plugging them, they are truly great people. I placed the saved shopping cart order I had been tweakin' on and off for a couple months now on friday the 8th in the morning around 10 am, and I got a call from them about 4 pm saying it was all ready to come pick up. Now that's service! I can always count on that phone call with a simple phrase of "Jeremy...the Eagle has landed." :hehe: Good stuff. Hell, these guys invented the modular PSU!

Anyways, on to the updates. After I got my loot from PPC's, I went ahead and started tearing apart some new stuff I got. I decided I'm ditching the CM Vortex 752 CPU cooler for a better unit; the Thermalright XP-90. I wanted a better-performing unit that also staggered off the socket area and would allow me to install it facing either way. That's the one! I wanted a little more 'insurance' of space around the RAM slots so I can have enough clearance for my custom RAM cooler bracket I'm making. This gave me the room I needed, as well as cooling the mosfet area of the board in the process. Not to mention looking better. LOL.

I'm installing the bracket for the XP-90 here. I'm going to wait to install the unit proper until I have the 92mm aluminum fan coated and reassembled. Man, it's so lightweight considering what you're getting!

install_cpucooler1.jpg

*Warps to something else*

I wanted to replace the stock feet that were on the case from CM, as they...kinda sucked. They're too short in stature. And I wanted something with a bit more cushion to it (since this will be a LAN box), as well as more lift off the ground. I looked around and found these awesome stereo feet made out of rubber with reinforced metal washers inside them.

feet_install1.jpg

They work like a friggin' charm and fit the theme well, IMO. Here they are all installed on the bottom of the chassis. Very cushiony and soft, just like case feet and toilet paper should be.

feet_install2.jpg

*Warps to something else*

I also got my 60mm x 10mm aluminum fans as well from PPC's.

60mm_1.jpg

Good quality craftsmanship I'd expect.

60mm_2.jpg

..And I proceeded to take them apart. :hehe: For two reasons. One is to sand the frames down for coating. The other is so I can check my measurements for my RAM cooler I digitally illustrated.

60mm_3.jpg

...Spot friggin' on. :rock:

60mm_4.jpg

*Warps to something else*

Started reassembly of the chassis as well. It looks perfect to me. Pop-riveted the thing back together. You gotta make sure you use the right rivets for the right areas (i.e. countersunk where it calls for it, etc.), or you'll hate yourself and those around you.

reassemble_1.jpg

The more I look at it, it does look like a John Deere tractor, like KayinBlack said! :hehe: But this is only temporary, since there will be orange as well. Here's a little taste, before I hide it all until final assembly.

reassemble_2.jpg

*Warps to something else*

I made a quick template for where the case handles are going to go on the chassis. I took measurements of the chassis, compensating for the PSU rack and the PSU itself, as well as the blow hole 80mm bracket when installed. You can drill holes anywhere you want, but you need the room for a large washer to go under the head of the screws to distribute the weight a bit or you'll regret it once you pick up the case with a full system installed. The top of the case will buckle up, and it'll make it look more pregnant than a 17 y/o high school student. That's not good for a case, guys. Nor a high school student. Nor is it even funny. Well, maybe a little. :D/>

handles_stencil1.jpg

I have no action pics of drilling, because I have to use two hands to drill holes. If it's off, it sucks. So I don't take the chance!

After drilling and test install of the handles. Perfect.

handles_install1.jpg

Well, it's now 12:45 in the morning, and I need to shower. Like, really bad. Not fall-into-a-dumped-over-port-o-let kind of necessity, but still. You get the picture.

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Hey again. Small update time. If anyone's still reading this, that is. :eyebrow: :lol:/> ...Is it the colors? Is that it?! Bah!! You're all a buncha closed-minded elitist freaks!! :hehe: Just kidding. Relax.

In all seriousness, I got some small stuff done today, and I'm still going. I may continue to work on it, but I'm not sure if I should stop and clean a bit. I have crap EVERYWHERE.

Here's basically what I did today.

I decided the burner for the system was bland and uninviting, so I decided to take it apart and spray it too to match the theme.

I popped the little round thingy off the top of this NEC drive, which holds the plastic spinning mount to hold the discs down on the spindle when inserted. Plastic can't withstand 450-degree temps, so of course it's gotta come out.

burner_top1.jpg

The insides of these things are cool looking.

burner_inside1.jpg

burner_casing1.jpg

...And after spraying and reassembly. Looks 10+ better than before.

burner_orange1.jpg

But-- That front. Blah. So let's add the already-sprayed stealthing assembly, shall we? Sorry for the blurry pic. Man, that's a terrible pic. Oh well.

burner_pieces1.jpg

...And done. Nothing like having a burner that matches a bag of M&M's®! :hehe:

burner_done.jpg

*Warps to something else*

I was shooting something entirely unrelated to this project using a textured black. Here's a teaser pic.

monitor_casing_sprayed.jpg

I prepared and sprayed the handles black to match the theme, as planned. I chose to use the textured black instead of the gloss to give the handles a bit of grip for when I'm lugging this ugly beast around with me. Here they are freshly sprayed, cured and cooling down.

handles_sprayed1.jpg

After cooldown, I went ahead and reinstalled them. I got a close-up pic to show the detail and the handle itself; i.e. the grip on it. Nice. Kinda has the texture of really used and worn down 80-grit sandpaper. No slipping of the hands on these things.

handles_installed.jpg

*Warps to something else*

I got some more acrylic designing done too. I honed the sound card cover to spot-on measurements. It'll look cool. I also decided I'm doing all the covers for the cards in green instead of orange.

soundcard_cover1.jpg

After shooting the front panel for the case in orange, I decided the LED holes I covered over with Lab Metal just wasn't perfect to me. I decided I'm giving the switches a 'mount' or something where they look like they belong there, and at the same time it'll be covering up the LED holes that you can still barely see. I needed to compensate for the stock switch hole being 7/8", and the bulgins being only 22mm, so obviously I needed something to mount the switches to securely as it's fastened to the front panel. Here's the switch plate after designing. It'll be two-layered, with orange behind it and green over that.

switch_covers1.jpg

*Warps to something else*

I also sprayed the rest of the fans, aside from the RAM coolers in orange. I also sprayed the mobo tray. Here's the CPU fan reassembled and ready for sleeving. I shortened the fan cable drastically, because I wanted cable-management as tidy as possible.

cpu_fan1.jpg

...And the 80mm's.

fans_orange1.jpg

Alright, that's all I have for now. I may have some more stuff done later, but can't promise it. I'm getting beat. After 14 hours here yesterday, this sucks. LOL. But hey...all part of the game, right?

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Update time!

Yup, again. And a bit overdue in fact. I've been slipping. Actually, I've been friggin' busy with work and stuff. But is that really an excuse? I mean, come on. What-- a LOOOOSSSEEERRR!! :P/>

Okay, right to it then.

First off, I got the front fans sleeved and installed in the case.

fans_frontinstalled1.jpg

I used M5 socketcap screws that threaded perfectly into these aluminum frame fans. I isolated them a bit with rubber washers on both sides of the bolts. They are in solid, and they're not going anywhere. I think it looks hot to me!

I installed the coated grill for these fans, you know, to stop small, nasty, stinky, peanut-butter dipped, filthy, disgusting toddler fingers from touching them. Or other odd appendages. ...ahem. :eyebrow: Moving on.

fans_frontinstalled2.jpg

Let's give these a test, shall we?

fans_frontinstalled3.jpg

Ahhh...sexy. Not as sexy as, oohhhh....Mia Kirschner-level sexy, but sexy none-the-less.

:sigh: .....Mia. ............

:eyebrow:

Ahem. Okay, moving on.

Got the top exhaust fan sleeved and installed as well. The coated grill looks sooo good.

fans_topinstalled1.jpg

Attention to detail, here. Coated black button socketcap screws to mount the front facia onto the case.

front_socketcap1.jpg

I made some cutout stickers for various parts in the case. I didn't get too far on it, but I got started none-the-less. Here's the coated and finished CPU fan installed on the Thermalright cooler, as well as the chipset fan. Both fans received 'WY' branding.

mobo_installedfans1.jpg

Cutout sticker for the VGA cards....

videocard_sticker1.jpg

Oh, by the way... change of plans on the PSU used. I decided to use a modular Ultra VXS 700w unit. I decided I didn't want a mess of crappy cables marring the inside, so I chose this one. But I didn't want to leave it stock, black, and boring. So I took it apart and dropped some new fans into it.

psu_fan1.jpg

Sheesh, these fans are pretty high voltage-wise. And noisy to boot. So they're gone. And with the help of another small order to Performance-PC's, I got some cheapo green LED fans that run roughly the same voltage as the stock ones do. Wat do ya know? They turn out to be Xinruilians. Nice! And quiet too for the air they move.

psu_fan2.jpg

I made a cutout sticker for the side of the PSU housing to make it look, I dunno... dangerous or something. LOL. Looks neat to me.

psu_side2.jpg

psu_side1.jpg

...And testing to make sure the fans are fine.

psu_fan3.jpg

Yup! All good. Moving on.

The black modular 'Flexforce' cables didn't fit the build either to me. So I sleeved them in as many ugly colors as I could get. :hehe: Changed out the black molex/etc. connectors for UV green ones as well.

psu_sleeve1.jpg

Made some custom cables too, since the stock ones all had multiple connectors on them, so I cut them down to single connector cables, to clean up the install. I don't have many things going in the case, aside from the 2 video cards, DVD-RW drive, HDD, and the fan controller. I'll run single cables for each of all those.

psu_sleeve2.jpg

...and the PSU's ATX and 8-pin connectors. Sleeved and changed out the connectors with UV green as well.

psu_sleeve3.jpg

...and another little afterthought I dropped in. :hehe:

property1.jpg

Oh, and uh...change of plans on the DVD drive....I uhh...*cough*dropped it*cough*....ahem....:wallbash:

It's cool. I got another one, and it's quieter than the last. I'll get it coated soon.

Alright, that's all I have for now. I have a lot going on for the acrylic work, but nothing I can really show just yet. It's gonna be cool though. Really cool. :D/>

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Just a tiny TINY T I N Y update here. I apologize. Just wanted to up this. I've been cleaning. It's filthy here @ the shop, so I wanted to get a lot of that done. I have a couple of items done, and that completes all the coating I'll be doing for this build. Next, I'll concentrate on all the acrylic work.

Anyways, here's what I have.

RAM cooler fans. All coated, reassembled, shiny and nice. Looks like candy!! Just don't attempt to lick it; especially when they're on. Trust me. :(/>

ram_fansdone1.jpg

And the mobo tray/backplate all done. The PCI slots all got shot too, but I don't have a pic of those yet; sorry.

backplate_done1.jpg

This teeny update has been brought to you by:

E.E.L. Ambiense

Tease Division

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Figured I'd jump in and say thanks to all and to Bit-Tech for nominating me for MOTM. It's an honor, truly.

If you haven't voted yet, or you don't know if you should vote, please do so. In my favor? Sure, please! Pretty please, with powdercoat on top! But if not for me, for someone else. Like John and his G5 mod! :thumb: Or even one of the others. Just vote. Click here and go do it, dang it!

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Okay, small tiny teeny update again!

Just got a package in the mail from Delvie's Plastic finally... Some acrylic goodness. A whole 30 lbs-worth of acrylic, lol. No, it's not just for Building Better Worlds. It's also for a secret monitor mod I've been working on and off for a bit now. Bit-Tech'll see it eventually. Just not now! ;)/>

acrylic_raw1.jpg

And here's what the acrylic on BBW (man, does that look wrong when abbreviated! :D/>) will look like! It'll glow like crazy. It's the same acrylic used on my best friend's Biohazard case.

acrylic_raw2.jpg

I also got the side panel's acrylic work pretty much designed and tweaked. Initally, the plan was to engrave the WY logo in the green UV acrylic, but I decided otherwise. I also made it more layered and '3D' like, instead of just a single layer with a frame like I tend to usually do.

side_panel_acrylicdesign1.jpg

"Why is the logo in full color?" Well, thanks for paying attention there!! "Will it be painted or something?" Good guess, but no! Actually, I'm going to do a small black square in acrylic as well, and I'm going to laser out the logo proper in acrylic and actually make a real sign to be attached to the side panel's acrylic!

Let's get to lasering, but not now... I'll drop in again when I'm in the right frame of mind. *grabs a magazine and heads for the WC*

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Hey guys/gals. Just another small update. I've been doing odd-n-ends things here and there on the case. Sleeving; dremeling; you know...the usual. ;)/> I had a small problem with the new PSU, in the fact that the cords hang and run right into the PSU frame that these CM cases have. I got a little peeved, so I drilled out the rivets on the frame and removed it. And proceeded to mark out and dremel out the area where the wires run into it coming off the PSU. It solved the problem, to say the least. After dremeling it off and sanding/smoothing the cuts out, I decided to powder coat it again. So that meant removing my little cutout sticker on the side of it. No biggie. After coating it, I made a better more suitable sticker for it.

sticker_revised1.jpg

Looks better, IMHO.

The problem with the bracket is below... The cuts were made where the red circled stuff is. You'll be able to make out the problem I was having.

psu_rack_cut1.jpg

And just to show the build in the current form a bit, even though I'm spoiling it IMO.

case_front_progress1.jpg

Like I had said before, I was away last weekend and I had some problems/issues with the CPA and getting tax crap for the business taken care of. Ugh pretty much sums it up, :lol:/>.

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Alright... Back to the grind! Just a small update with actual pics and stuff from this evening's festivities.

I got the board installed, RAM, etc. I also got the two video cards (after an SLI enable fiasco; :grr:; forgotten how much I hate the hoops you have to jump through to get the crap running!), it seems to be fine.

running_04.jpg

The video card, well, one of the FOUR of them I have anyways, :hehe:....had a different cooler I had put on it. It's a cooler from Zerotherm, which it is not a full-cover unit like these Arctic Cooling Accelero X1 units are. The Zerotherm looks kind of similiar to a Zalman 'flower' cooler with individual sinks you attach to the RAM modules on the card. It's...okay. Temps were a full 10° higher with the Zerotherm than with the AC unit, which puts it at around the same temps with the stock solution (45-50°). Both are quiet as hell though, but then again, anything is compared to the stock cooling. ;)/>

I wanted to experiment with different coolers because I noticed previously that with the AC units installed, I cannot slide the mobo tray back into the chassis. :hehe: They're too wide. Here... Check it out. And no, before you ask...cable management has not started so it's a rats-nest ATM, obviously! Just all haphazardly hooked up to check the system out.

running_01.jpg

And lights-off and UV's on!

running_03.jpg

running_02.jpg

I noticed something earlier which I should have caught anyways in the design phase... I mean, jeez...am I a n00b or what!? Because of the width of the AC units installed and the location of them relative to the chassis and the side panel, there is NO room for the side 120mm fan I was going to install on the side panel acrylic. :wallbash: And that sucks. I wanted some more breathing room by using that damn fan. And it's UV orange too! :waah: I would've made the case even uglier! So, now I'm torn. I'm OCing this rig as well, of course, and the chipset temps will climb rather quickly. I know from experience with this particular board and chipset. I really want that fan, dammit. Good thing I wanted to reverse-mount the acrylic on the outside of the panel also! I wouldn't have been able to fit it inside the panel because of the VGA fans. Argh!

Here... see what I mean...

running_side.jpg

My choices:

1). Keeping the AC units installed, and removing the side panel fan from the acrylic's design.

2). Keeping the AC units installed, and moving the side panel fan up and towards the CPU area on the acrylic's design (I think).

3). Keeping the AC units installed, and removing the side panel fan and keeping some vents on the acrylic.

4). Install the two Zerotherm units, but lose my 'stealthing plates' for the VGA cards due to the retention mechanism (that sucks!).

5). Reinstall the crap stock solution and deal with the horrid blasphemy in the form of noise emanating from the system.

Decisions. :sigh:

I'm going to mull it over while I work on my secret main rig--er, I mean, go home. ;)/>

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Hey guys. Sorry sorry sorry! I know I haven't updated in a while, and there is a valid reason. Work has been really....let's say...odd lately. I won't go into details, but let's just say we're now 4 people lighter than before. :duh: Due mostly to the crumbling piss-poor economy in this here U.S. of A. And it is A. As in ass. Let's have a round of applause for lies all the way from the 'top of the chain'! :clap: Yay! :rolleyes:/>

Okay, now that my political statement has been made, let's get on to what we're all here for: an update!

First off, I got all the acrylic finally cut for this mod. And I am sooo stoked how it came out. Not perfect, but I friggin' love it. Here's the pile of loot.

acrylic_cut1.jpg

Now, let's peel back the protective film and see what we can see, shall we? Here's the etching for the logo on the side panel. Came out perfect! But, I wasn't expecting anything less, lol.

etching_1.jpg

And the side panel layout on the panel itself. This is gonna rock.

panel_acrylic_layout1.jpg

Due to all the issues I was having with the side panel intake fan and the video cards, I'm just going to ditch the fan for the time being. If I upgrade the cards to something newer, I'll probably stick it in there, but for now it's fine. Cards run about 45 degrees right now, so I'm fine with it as just a passive intake vent. I'm also only installing one card right now. I ran out of spacers I was using to lift the card "trim" off the card. I'll rectify that problem soon enough, as I need to place another order with McMaster-Carr soon anyways for other stuff.

Anyways, here's the power control area for the front of the case laid out.

power_reset_acrylic1.jpg

Perfect. Close to running out of threads for the switches, but I'm fine.

...And installed.

power_reset_acrylic_installed.jpg

Now, on to the RAM cooler. I made two of them, because I knew I'd screw one up in bending. And I did. So it's cool. I also don't have a pic of the bending itself, due to using a butane torch and all the safety issues in regards to that. I apologize.

But here's the unit all bent and everything installed on it. Perfect!

ram_cooler_cut1.jpg

And here's a bunch of pics of everything running or not with it all installed. I also put together the sound card and video card "trim", but I didn't snap pics of it in progress. It's all here though. I have a chore of wire management to handle next as well before I call the mod totally done. I'd also like to get some good pics snapped of it to call it quits.

System all put together.

all_installed_acrylic1.jpg

...And side panel with system running.

side_panel_running1.jpg

RAM cooler running...

side_panel_running2.jpg

Detailing on rear fan bracing...

side_panel_running3.jpg

Vid card acrylic installed...

vidcard_acrylic_insalled1.jpg

Etching logo close-up while running...

etching_closeup_running1.jpg

And let's turn the lights out totally and see what we can see!

side_panel_running_dark1.jpg

side_panel_running_dark2.jpg

And there we have it. I still have a lot of stuff to do in regards to lighting situation, to really make it jump out. I wouldn't say it's totally successful mod, as many didn't get my sarcastic tongue-in-cheek sense of humor in regards to this mod and it's...ahem...colorfulness. But hey, that's cool. I like it. And that's what matters most. I just hope others can appreciate the time and attention to detail put into this. You either like it or hate it. I never grow tired of laughing at all the posts that basically say "wow...what's up with the colors?". LOL. Either way, I appreciate you all looking in, and even more thanks to those who post. I truly appreciate the feedback, good or bad.

I'll update one more time to finally end this beast of a case mod build log.

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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The fires of resurrection burn....

And so I've begun to update the hardware on "BBW". I had always planned on adding a couple of newer GPUs and wanted some with black PCBs. And I got them. A couple of XFX XXX Alpha Dog OCed 9600GTs. I'm also switching out the PSU for something, well...better. Read on...

First off, the Corsair 620HX is a wonderful PSU. But it doesn't really fit "BBW"'s ugly-ass color-scheme, does it? No it doesn't. Not yet, anyways. ;)/> I'm going to re-sleeve the PSU as well as switch out the fan for something of the green persuasion.

Taking the cover off the beast. Don't worry; warranties are for pansies! :hehe:

psumod1.jpg

psumod2.jpg

Now, let's take off those black connectors, shall we?

psumod3.jpg

And the backside of the ATX connector too...

psumod4.jpg

Not much of in-progress pics of it. I tend to drop into a trance sometimes, and forget to snap pics. Besides, I must concentrate. It would suck to put the pins back in the wrong slots. ;)/>

psumod5.jpg

psumod6.jpg

And let's test her to make sure she won't blow up, yes?

psumod7.jpg

Ah, perfectly fine. That's an AC Ryan UV fan running in there. It was the closest in specs to the stock ADDA fan that was in the PSU, so I figured it'd be fine.

Alright, that's all I have for now. I promise to have some juicier stuff next time!

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Alrighty, update time. Sorta. I had been assembling things on and off over the past few days and weeks, actually. I'll get right to it.

I had originally planned to switch to a set of newer black-PCBed vid cards, and I finally got them. A couple of XFX XXX Alpha Dog OCed 9600GTs. But-- the stock coolers on them were a joke to say the least. Too much noise! So I decided I was going to switch them out. I acquired a couple of Zalman VF-900s for these cards, because the mount-points on the G94 is the same as the G92. But-- these coolers stock have some thumbnuts that go on the back side of the card. This wasn't going to work for me because I wanted to add my stealth plates to the cards, like I always do. So I decided I'd just carefully thread a couple of M2 nuts onto the posts directly on the back side, which should give enough clearance for the plates. It did. ;)/> I needed to make new plates for these cards, because the PCB is completely different, and I wasn't entirely happy with the originals' cuts. I re-did the lettering a bit and re-cut them. I also re-did the audio card's plate too. These all came out grand.

Unfortunately, I did not have my camera during a lot of this. I didn't have my car either, but I've said enough on that too. lol.

First off, the PSU. I wanted to make a stencil for the side of it. I did. It looks great! Check it out. Tongue planted firmly in cheek still. ;)/>

psu_lettering_done1.jpg

And mounted in the chassis....

psu_sticker_done1.jpg

Also, the SLi bridge needed work too. Unfortunately, I ran out of yellow vinyl. lol. So I just made it in single color. I may go back and re-do it later, but who knows.

sli_bridgedone1.jpg

I also have been meaning to add a wireless card to the case too. I finally got around to it. It's an older Hawking card, but seems to work fine.

wireless_card1.jpg

It needs the green touch though.

wireless_card2.jpg

Ah, that's more like it! :lol:/>

Now, the original build had a back rocker switch on one of the PCI slot covers to control the CCFL. I wanted to change that. So I came up with something.

The front ports I rarely use. So I decided to ditch them in favor of a stealthed rocker switch.

front_port_premod1.jpg

After 2 mins of quick dremel work and some needle-file cleanup, here we go!

front_port_switchdone1.jpg

And remounted in the chassis.

switch_done1.jpg

Perfectly fine for what I need, plus it cleans up the rat's nest of wires from that front port unit.

Like I said earlier, I didn't have my camera on me. :(/> I apologize. But I do have some assembled pics. I'm almost done too. I'm finishing up on mounting the side panel's fan (finally), which was the real reason I wanted low-pro coolers on the video cards, and then I can close her up. I have some additional wire-management to take care of as well.

SLi has been enabled and tested to be working great. I almost got sucked back into Mass Effect too, when I was testing the cards. :D/> They seem to run around 38-degrees or so idle, and in the low 50's under load. I'm happy. And they're a bit quieter than before, that's for sure.

I also had to re-sleeve and rebuild the PCI-E cables to use on the cards. I also re-molexed and sleeved a 2-unit sata cable with UV green connectors and sleeving for the HDDs. And I added my other Raptor 74gb drive to the current one in the case. I used to run a RAID array off these on this very board, but those days are over. I don't need it. I just need a clean setup with minimal hassle for toting around. And I have it finally. Almost, lol.

Here's some pics for your viewing pleasure at it's current state.

dayshot_revised1.jpg

Lights out.

nightshot_revised4.jpg

nightshot_revised3.jpg

nightshot_revised2.jpg

nightshot_revised1.jpg

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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Small update!

I had a little more time to work on her, and I'm probably fine with how she is now. I still don't know if I should do some more cable-management or not. The thing is, I almost like seeing the wad of cables running in there, due to the loud sleeving job. It's weird. It's almost like it needs to be there. I dunno.

I also decided to add yet another couple of cathodes to fill in the lighting a bit more. I added another switch below the previous rocker switch after drilling a couple of small holes (it's a different kind of switch, but it works fine).

done_revised8.jpg

Anyways, I was finally able to get the side panel fan installed and she's purring away now. A seem to be getting more consistent temps on the GPUs in particular. Delta seems to be smaller than before, so that's good. Idle they run around 40; load they seem to jump to 58 at the most. Well within tolerance for these cards. And that's OCed too.

Here's a few pics I snapped of her. I have a friend who is a pro photographer, so I may get her in the studio for real photos.

Enjoy!

done_revised1.jpg

done_revised2.jpg

done_revised4.jpg

done_revised5.jpg

done_revised7.jpg

done_revised6.jpg

done_revised3.jpg

-------------

Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumb:

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If anyone's still looking, I've finally gotten around to shooting the old girl one more time before I say goodbye to her forever. She was a good one to me, regardless of the reception she received. :)/>

Now for some digital legacy...

"Building Better Worlds"

Final Photos

Thumbs are clickable for large photos

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20_thumb.jpg10_thumb.jpg 11_thumb.jpg

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16_thumb.jpg 17_thumb.jpg 18_thumb.jpg

19_thumb.jpg 21_thumb.jpg

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No more updates, so I got nuthin' else. :thumb:

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