Welcome to The Mod Zoo

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

32 posts in this topic

project_lumiere_noire_title.jpg

Completed Log Sept. 2009

Final Photos

CPU Magazine July 2010 issue spread (digital edition)

Well, here we are again.

Every couple of years or so, I build a new 'main' rig, and I tend to refer to it as "Lumière Noire" each time. So if this is confusing, it's understandable. I had attempted to log the last version of "Lumière Noire" over at B-T, but right in the middle of it, I had decided to build a new rig. So, of course, the old one was scooted away like a bowl of cold mushy oatmeal. Hey, upgrading does it, right?

Regardless, this is my main rig. This is my big beast. This is my pinnacle of evolution. This is my baby.

Man, I'm a dork.

Let's see what unfolds, shall we?

I'll be building the current version of Lumière Noire around a Lian Li PC-A70B. Personally, I tend to go to LiLi most of the time because they're just a joy to cut on. Also, I'll state right now that I'm a W/Cer through-and-through. Basically every rig I build tends to be on water, and if not, they were originally meant to be. :lol:/>

The system I am installing in this sucker is made up of a DFI DK X38-T2R board running a C2D e6850, 8GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 RAM, a single Raptor 150GB, and another WD Caviar Black 640GB for storage. Both of those will be housed in twin Scythe Quiet Drive HDD silencers. Graphics handled by an XFX GTX280. The PSU I chose was the awesomely quiet Ultra X3 1Kw. The CPU, GPU, and probably chipset will get pushed. The CPU, northbridge, and the GPU are all water-cooled using (some version of) EK's awesome blocks, in one form or another...but we'll get to that in due time.

The fans. This theme was intended to be black and red from the get-go, because that's always the color-scheme I go with on Lumière Noire. So I wanted LED fans. Like I said, I'm a dork. I snagged five red LED Zalman ZM-F3 fans. I was using SilenX fans on the last version of the rig, but they aren't much for static pressure, or anything else for that matter, so I hopped on to Performance-PCs' site (PPC's is a mile away from me :)/>) saw that those just came out, so I ordered them and and picked them up the next day.

All the acrylic work is simply a series of mathematical equations. Or vector, for short. Being a graphic designer, I tend to work in my native environment. I don't use Sketchup or anything like that, nor have the time to mess around with it. I draw 2-D illustrations (i.e. side, front, top, etc.) of the stock case and 'digitally mod' on top of it. It saves on paper. Also, I tend to generally tear apart the cases by removing the rivets while modding. I also measure everything and get it within a 1/16" tolerance or closer when designing my mockups. Accuracy is a necessity for such small spaces, or something like that.

I tend to look at a case and 'see' what I want to do to it. Other mods jump out in the middle of it, or as I refer to as 'dynamic variables', lol. I know, sounds transcendent doesn't it? I hope not, as I'm not an expert or a mod-god or anything like that, nor would I pretentiously and narcissistically boast that as so. I just do what I do, just like the lot of you. I hope you like what I have to show, and I hope you don't feel like you wasted 10 mins of your life looking @ these things.

Here's some stats...

Current System Specs:
Motherboard: DFI DK X38-T2R
CPU: Intel C2D E6850
RAM: Corsair Dominator DD2-1066 4GB kit x 2 (8GB total)
HDD1: System drive - Western Digital Raptor 150GB
HDD2: Dump drive - Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB
PSU: Ultra X3 1000w modular unit
VGA: XFX GTX280
OPTICAL: Laptop slotload DVD burner with IDE-SATA conversion board

Loop 1: CPU - Thermochill PA 120.2
Loop 2: Video card / Motherboard Chipset - Thermochill PA 120.3

Here's the case, all brand-new n' stuff. I'm unboxing it to make sure UPS Man's 'handywork' didn't, uhh...rupture anything.

new_case_box1.jpg

new_case_unbox1.jpg

Taking the side panel off, you can see why I decided to go with this case. And if not, then just continue to read!

new_case_inside1.jpg

Nice case! I love Lian Li. I can admit it.

new_case_behindfront1.jpg

Here's the front panel. Nice.

new_case_frontpanel1.jpg

And as it breathes it first few breaths of life, I begin to strip parts of it off rudely and without remorse. :lol:/> Just excuse those things installed in the bays. I was measuring things. :D/>

new_case_stripped1.jpg

Overall, it's a gorgeous case for anyone to use just stock. But for me, that's not good enough. :lol:/> I've got to make it look like I want it to look.

The mockup I came up with is as follows:

mockup1.jpg

Things may change; things may not. Who knows. I've got some more stripping to do before I cut on the case, coat the chassis, etc.

But, let's mod, shall we?

I'm going to install a window panel on the case. I just chose the Lian Li W-75B panel, for ease and it's just about what I was wanting. Besides, I need the stock panel for something else. ;)/>

I'm modding this window panel though. The acrylic, frankly, sucks on these panels, and the screws have to match. Silver rivets FTL!

window_panel_rivets.jpg

window_panel_rivets2.jpg

window_panel_rivets3.jpg

...and all drilled out. Holes enlarged for the larger socket cap screws to be used.

window_panel_rivets_drilled2.jpg

window_panel_rivets_drilled.jpg

Let's measure it for a custom window.

window_panel_measure.jpg

And design it. I'm cutting this out of smoke gray acrylic, like the rest of the acrylic.

window_design1-1.jpg

I'm following the panel opening's curves so it looks flush and nice.

...Cut and installed. I always use large black oxide socket-cap screws on Lumière Noire. I love the look!

window_panel_done.jpg

Now, on to other things. The board. Okay, yeah.

The board stock is nice. But again, I don't want it like that. So....I stripped all the stock cooling off. :lol:/>

dfi_prepare1.jpg

I decided I'm replacing the stock southbridge with an aftermarket Enzotech sink a bit larger and a bit more efficient. I didn't think the southbridge justified being in the loop, and I hate running massive amounts of hosing.

...and installed. Looks nice. And believe me guys, to those that are considering using anything from Enzotech, go for it. Quality is quite good. :thumleft:

dfi_prepare2.jpg

The mosfet sinks needed to go too. I decided on Thermalright sinks for these.

dfi_prepare3.jpg

There. All done. Nice! Now, for the northbridge. Okay, I want to add this to one of the loops. The problem is, at the time I got this board, there weren't much of any blocks that fit this chipset, and the ones that did I didn't care for. I sent an email to Eddy over at EK Water Blocks to see if he had anything in the works for the DFI boards. He didn't. So, I got an idea. :D/>

I had a couple of these EK chipset blocks laying around.

ek_chipset_blocks.jpg

Since DFI decided to be a bit different and only use two mountpoints for their chipsets on the boards, I decided I'm just going to make a new top for one of these blocks. I measured it out and it looks like it'll be plenty of room for error. Plus, it'll be fun!

So I started designing and came up with this.

block_design1.jpg

Measurements are pretty damn close. I'll tweak things a bit before I cut it, but it should work. I was thinking of cutting it out of 3/8" black acrylic, which should give it plenty of strength for mounting and it'll be nondescript and stealthy. :lol:/>

Now, the CPU's block. I decided to ditch my old EK-Wave I was using for a higher-flow unit. I was going to go with Eddy's Supreme block, but decided to go for the proven D-Tek Fuzion. :thumleft:

dtek_1.jpg

Nice! But-- :D/> It's not good enough for me stock.

dtek_modded.jpg

Gunmetal looks soooo cool. :headbang:

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, guys. I got a little bit of stuff done this evening, but I gotta bolt soon. Got some...uhh....stuff...to do! Yeah.... :o/> --Don't look at me like that! :lol:/>

Let's see where we're at, shall we?

First off, I received my brand-new PA120.2 in the mail today. Proceeded to take it out of the box and double-check my mockup measurements for where I'm slapping this beast into.

pa1202_new.jpg

Yeah! This is great! Measurements are pretty damn close! Now, let's lay it in the case to check the fan-hole line-up and-- D'OH!

pa_nogo.jpg

Actually, in all honesty, I knew that going into it. I wouldn't expect a case manufacturer to adjust designs to fit a rad's footprint. I wish they would, but that's a whole different issue. Besides, Thermochill's rad footprint is weird compared to everyone elses'. No biggie. I'll just have to make a new plate to mount the thing onto, that's all. Oh, and for the record, the fan hole spacing do not line up to Hardware Labs-style (Black Ice) either. :thumleft:

front_setup_to_cut1.jpg

So I measured and measured and measured again. I set up a stencil for where I need to cut, holes I need to drill, etc. Here's what I came up with. Pretty straightforward.

front_setup_to_cut2.jpg

You know, I really want to check the measurements again. Just to be safe, right? :roll:

front_setup_to_cut3.jpg

And it looks great to me! I have like a millimeter or so to spare, so it's plenty! :lol:/> Let's hack this sucker up!

*snaps fingers and magically it's cut*

front_cut1.jpg

Presto! I don't really need to clean it up totally, as it's getting covered with another plate anyways. Which I don't have time to make right now. And I have to run. Because I'm a meanie. And I suck. Toodles! :D/>

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SMall Update! (Why the hell is the M in the word "small" capitalized as well? And why couldn't I just fix it grammatically instead of typing this out and confusing you even more? Is this joke getting old? Okay, I'll stop. Sorry.)

Now, on to the update proper. Sorry I don't have much today. Been a long week at work.

I had cut out the entire lower front of the case for the PA120.2 fit. I'm now making the aluminum plate for the rad mounting. Using the template I made for the cuts on the case, I'm making a secondary template to compliment the cuts to allow riveting of the new plate onto the case.

plate_stencil.jpg

Since the whole case chassis will be coated as one, how the plate looks really isn't an issue. It'll be covered by the front of the case anyways when it's installed so you won't be able to see it. It's merely functionality. But I'll still clean up the plate anyways. For completions' sake. ;)/> I'll cut the plate soon. I don't have it started yet, lol. My 120mm hole saw needs a replacement 'cause the teeth are rather worn. I need to make a trip to Lowes or something.

Know what this is?

side_panel_design.jpg

Confused? No, I am not abandoning the mod to make a Neo-Kamitian God worshiping alter....although that's an idea...hmm.... :idea:

Yup, It's a mobo side-panel dressup. I'm carrying the acrylic over from the previous build because there's nothing wrong with it. I figured the rest of the case is getting attention so I wouldn't want the other side-panel to feel entirely left out and ignored like a virgin at an orgy. ;)/>

Removed from old panel...

eye_sidepanel_old1.jpg

New panel marked out for drilling...

Mind you, any of the novices out there should cover over anything they're drilling or sawing with some Scotchtape or equivalent to give some protection in case the bit skips across the panel ruining the anodizing.

eye_sidepanel_marked1.jpg

...And drilling....

eye_sidepanel_drill1.jpg

And done.

eye_sidepanel_drill2.jpg

Let's install the piece in its new place, shall we?

Ah. Perfect fit. I decided not to cut out the inside of the eye this time around because it doesn't do much for case temps anyways. Just something else to let dust inside. :x

eye_sidepanel_new1.jpg

eye_sidepanel_new2.jpg

Wish I had more to show, but it's friday y'all! I'm beat. Besides, I've got a date with some freezer-cold Grey Goose and some Battlestar Galactica episodes. Yeah, I really know how to kick it smooth, don't I?

...I'm such a dork. :D/>

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey again, all. Another update has swollen up enough to upload, although not a large one. But you know what they say....it's not the size of it, it's how you use it! :shock:

Okay, now that the provocative, semi-erotic strange vague comments are out of the way, I can get to the update proper.

I started out today by printing out and sticking my stencil onto a piece of scrap aluminum I have. I've used up all my thinner aluminum, so all I had left scrap-wise was the thicker V-Series aluminum. It's...thick. But that's not really a problem per se. It'll just be a little more stable, is all. And dremel discs tend to cringe and shiver in terror at the thought of having to cut on it. :lol:/>

cut_plate1.jpg

I cut it out with the jigsaw, and cut out the top notch with a dremel. Using the new metal-reinforced discs, it actually made short work of it. That's good, because I tend to get impatient with dremeling.

After I had that all finished up roughly, I clamped the piece down onto the drillpress and went to town on it.

cutting_fanhole1.jpg

cutting_fanhole2.jpg

After I got everything cut & drilled, I filed the edges down a bit to clean it up. Rough edges suck, especially when you drag you hand down it while working inside the case. :(/> Then I proceeded to spray the thing down with some oven cleaner to break down the anodizing a bit on it, as well as attempt to take off the noise-absorption material on the backside of the aluminum (the scrap was covered in it...). After a half-hour of sanding, I finally got everything somewhat cleaned up enough for it to be coated.

I then proceeded to line the thing up and make sure all the corresponding holes line up and fix ones that were slightly off. Then I started to install the rivets for it's finally resting place on the case. The nice thing about pop-rivets are that you just stuff them into the holes, crank them once to set them, and you still have some play to make micro-adjustments for where you want it before finally cranking down and 'popping' the mandrel on the rivets.

rivet_frontplate.jpg

I then took out my new PA120.2 and tapped all the fanholes with a 6-32 tap. I'll be using 6-32 x 3/8" socket cap screws for fans mounting to the rad. I don't have a picture of this, but it's boring and you have to be careful when tapping a new hole or you'll crank it in crooked, sideways, upside down or whatever the hell mistakes you could make and render an expensive rad damaged.

I then test-installed fan brackets onto the rad and installed it in the case, along with the Matrix Orbital unit above it. Everything looks perfectly fine. This is gonna be kewl when I get it done! Here's a quick shot of the front of the case.

rad_testfit1.jpg

And inside the case. Check out the minuscule clearance with the Matrix unit. :lol:/> It's probably plenty anyways, but it's cool; I'm using a shroud for the rad too, so it'll give me a little more real-estate inside.

rad_testfit2.jpg

Then I popped the stock front of the case on real quick to see how it'll look. Nice! Once I get that modded, it'll look like it's supposed to be that way!

frontcover_testfit1.jpg

Okay, that's all I've got to offer today. I'm tired. I haven't slept much, so I'm ditching to go relax a bit at home to prepare for another week of hell; or work as many call it. But I need to finish cleaning up the place. I have metal shavings everywhere. And I mean everywhere! :shock:

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, guys. Got some small stuff that needed to get done out of the way. I took care of a lot of design refinement and other things. I don't have a lot of pictures, but I have some. I figured I'd throw another update up anyways to get it out of my lap.

On to the update.

First off, I'm using the XSPC DDC-res tops for dual reservoirs in this build. I wanted to use these is the 5.25 bays like I've done on the last two Noires and run lines from top fill ports to them. The problem is, the "fill ports" they have on these things is a strange large size. Turns out it's M20 x 1.5. That's pretty big. Not to mention there aren't any good barbs that would fit such an odd size, at least none easily obtained in the "colonies" here. Besides, it'd be too big for such a small area considering there's a rheobus and rad barbs in the area too. I even tried the M20 x 1.5 to NPT conversion fitting, with an NPT fitting on top of that. Too damn big! So, the only solution left is....you guessed it...drill new holes. So, let's do this. I didn't snap any photos of me actually drilling them, because I really needed to be careful while drilling these. They're $50 a piece. :shock: Anyways, the gist of it is I modified an 11.8mm drill bit (for G1/4) to behave with acrylic, i.e. not crack it. Then I installed it on the drill press and carefully shaved into the tops of the res's.

Here's the result.

res_drilled1.jpg

Note: It's the small hole on the very left of the res!

res_drilled2.jpg

Just eyeballing it, I should have just enough clearance for where it's going. Hopefully.

Now, the holes are drilled. Now we need to tap the holes to be able to fit a barb in it. Here's my massive tap wrench with the tap already cutting some threads. You have to go slow and be careful. Half a turn in, quarter turn back to clear the cut acrylic shavings out. Be patient.

res_tapping1.jpg

If you were careful and didn't try to slam the tap into the hole like a moron, you should have something like this.

res_tapping2.jpg

...And installed the barb finger-tight to check it. Perfect! Instant fill-port lead.

res_barb1.jpg

Now, I'm going to lay these out in the case roughly where they need to go.

res_layoutincase1.jpg

:(/> Because I'm using Koolance angle-barbs with the PA 120.3 up top, I needed to use a G3/8 to G1/4 thread converter and didn't compensate for the thickness this will add to the barb. So now I'm off a ways from where I was measurement-wise for the res and the barbs from the PA 120.3. :(/> I may need to resort to using a Swiftech MCR320 instead. Which is plenty for the video card and chipset. We'll have to see when I get there. But it's not looking too good right now with the PA... Luckily I haven't cut the top panel yet for the rad and fill ports and handles.

In other news, I also made a stealth plate for my X3 PSU.

psu_stealthcover1.jpg

As well as a PSU bay cover for the top of the case with an 80mm fan intake on it to get a little fresh air to the passively-cooled mosfets. Probably not necessary, but it won't hurt and the fan's really quite silent.

psu_baycover1.jpg

Alright, time to get to the grocery store and home to prepare for another week of evil.

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, guys. Sorry I haven't been updating a lot lately. But there is a valid reason. I lost a toe in a freak nailclipper accident and--- I'm kidding!

In all seriousness I've been really busy with work I and with work II, as well as two other builds that are basically mirror images of each other. One of them happens to be for my pop of all people. :lol:/> It's weird too, because after getting my pop into computers about 10 years ago, he's been a die-hard Dell® user. :(/> is basically my response to that. Not that Dell's bad or anything. But I finally got him to take the plunge and make a real system; C2Q; aftermarket aircooling (he refused to go water, lol), etc. I've thought of logging those cases too, as I've been snapping a decent amount of photos during modding, but I don't know if it'd be worth it or not. It's more or less "middle-of-the-road" type of mods, although I enjoy a nice subtle mod myself sometimes.

Anyways, on the small update. And I do mean small.

I decided to get some coating done on some things; namely the case feet. Now, let me take this opportunity to state the obvious that Bill Owen's MNPCTech.com modding supplies is some of the most innovative and original top-notch materials available. This is a given. But he stepped it up a few more notches with these things... His Billet Machined Aluminum Case Feet w/ Diamond Cut Edges, which he used on his bad-a*s "Spider FX" (Project Phenom) build. If you haven't checked it out yet, you're living under a rock. Please do so. It's good for your health and it'll put hair on your chest. And if you're a woman, I apologize for that. Time for electrolysis.

phenom_feet_stock.jpg

Damn, are these things friggin' bad mammajammin' a*s! They ain't no sissy Lamptron knockoff crap-job mass-produced hollow soulless junk either, believe you me. These things are TRUE case feet. Hand-made in the U.S. of A. And well-worth the money. They are solid and heavy in your hands. It's like holding two sets of large heavy 'brass ones', only they ain't brass; they're aluminum. Solid aluminum. And they ain't testicles either. But if I had these things hangin' down there I'd be proud of 'em. :D/>

Modern Art! :D/>

modern_art.jpg

Anyways, these look sexy just the way they came, but they needed to match the build. Sorry, Bill for doing this. :(/>

I had to sand them down a bit and clean and bake them to get all the grime and dirt out of the porous metal.

phenom_feet_stock_sanded.jpg

....And coated. Looks freakin' awesome. I love gunmetal! :headbang:

phenom_feet_gunmetal.jpg

Anyways, that's all I have for this evening. :(/> I've been doing a lot of boring measuring on stuff, and need to find the time to coat the chassis down for this build. Once I get all this stuff out of the way, along with the other builds, I can concentrate fully on this again.

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, here we are again. Guess it ain't your lucky day, eh?

In all seriousness, I got a few small things done this evening. I got some more measuring done that I needed to do regarding the top radiator. I figured out another way of plumbing things, so it looks like I'll be keeping the Thermochill in there after all! :D/> I'm quite happy about that too especially considering the friggin' power requirements for the new vid cards.. I'm going to need some headroom with those heatsticks! So it's all good.

Speaking of the rad up top, I decided I wanted to design the radgrill to match the other radgrill for this case, without giving too much away yet. ;)/>

radgrill_revised_redesign1.jpg

Those that are in 'the know', know that there really aren't very many options for Thermochill rads as far as grills are concerned, and the handful that are available really aren't my style. As usual, I tend to make custom grills instead of buying off-the-shelf stuff because I just like doing things my way and to keep the use of stock stuff to a minimum. I know, I'm a hard-ass about that. ;)/> I had to make a Thermochill PA template (and had to remake by measuring the rad proper because the specs pdf from the manufacturer isn't entirely...accurate as far as modeling line art goes. :roll: :D/>). No troubles though. I like doing stuff like this. It's part of my job!

The radgrill, of course, will be cut out of transparent gray acrylic. I actually painted the back side of it black though, due to the red LED fans were a bit overbearing when it's assembled. I'll supply a finished pic in a bit as I have some other things I need to shed light on too.

I'm going to 'stealth' the side of the IDE bays, which tends to be my Modus Operandi. This case has a smaller, simpler IDE bay, so this will be easy. Measured it out.

ide_stealth_measuring.jpg

I needed to compensate for the stabilizer bar, since I'm going to keep it to add strength to the chassis. She's going to weigh a lot after all the hardware and fluids are in it. Trust me, she gets HEAVY.

ide_stealth_design.jpg

I designed it so the bar can be removed and the bay cover removed easily to change anything out if need be.

ide_stealth_test.jpg

And a test fitting to see where I'm at.

ide_stealth_test_install.jpg

Perfect! Nice, easy and simple.

With the second rad going in the case, which will be mounted at the bottom front of the case, so obviously with such a thick rad going in there, I'd have to lose the stock HDD rack, right? Right. So I did! I wanted to use HDD silencers anyways, so this works out fine. Besides, you know me and stock stuff!

Scythe Quiet Drive HDD Silencers are wonderful little things. Well, big things. They fit a 3.5" HDD inside them and are 5.25" bay size themselves. But these aren't going to fit in the 5.25" drive bays because there is no room there for them. I'll shed light on that in a bit. Anyways, to the silencers. Here's a stock pic of them...

SCYTHE_QuietDrive_2_big.jpg

I have a twin set of these. but where am I going to put them? Hm... :idea: I got it. I'll make one out of acrylic! So I went about measuring these HDD silencers and making a raw template for them. I needed something that would securely hold the HDDs without damage and without noise. And look good. And fit in front of the rad down in front of the case. Here's what I came up with for a measure-accurate mockup.

scythe_drive_holder_design_mock.jpg

And the design for cutting. It'll be heat-bent on a simple jig (i.e. a table edge). :lol:/>

HDD_holder_design.jpg

After assembly, it will be secured to the case with four socket cap screws. And let me tell you, coupled with the HDD eclosures, I can't hear the drives. All I can hear is an occasional muffled seek from the Raptor. That's it. Problem solved!

In case you're wondering if the HDDs would heat up too much because of the enclosures plus being right smack in front of the rad's heat exhaust blowing on them, it's not a problem. Under full load, both HDDs ran around 37-38 degrees. And that's with the CPU OC'ed and the side panels on.

Here's everything all cut, bent and assembled. This pic is actually from the previous build, also. Again, sorry for no action pics or anything. I used matching socket cap screws to mount the drive holders as well, to keep in with the theme.

HDD_holder_done_installed.jpg

I also needed to have some time to test out a new formula 'mirror' powder I've been thinking of using for the chassis on this thing. I didn't want to do the usual flat black that everyone seems to do. I can see the reasons for doing things flat, i.e. absorbing light, etc., but in this case (heh heh, get it? Case? :duh:) you can't see the mobo tray or inside the case well anyways if the last revision of this build was any indication. It's going to be dark, evil and gorgeous. And it's going to glow with an evil hellish light. At least I hope so. :)/>

The stock mobo tray.

mobotray_stock.jpg

I went ahead and sanded down and prepped the removable mobo tray and shot it to check out the powder.

mobotray_coated.jpg

What do ya think? ;)/> I'd say it's a success, at least for what I need it for. It's not a 'mirror' in the true sense of the word, at least not without some buffing, but it works perfect for what I need it for. This is gonna :headbang:

That's all I have for now. I'll update again soon, when the chassis gets done. I'm going to run along now and take a shower. I feel like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins! *sings* "A Spoonful of Powder makes aluminum kick ass!"

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey all. Well, it's been a strange vacation I've been on. At least, not normal in the sense of being able to relax much on it, but eh. It's good for ya. It builds character, and in this case it builds modded cases. Or tries to. But anyways, here goes the update.

First off, I was able to get a few things finally cut acrylic-wise for the mod. Haven't had time or the ability to lately, but I finally got to it. I also finished up on the two other builds I was working on. I'm still contemplating whether I should just drop some pics into 'modding' or something. I'll think about.

First up is the bay stealth cover. It came out awesome. And it looks like my measurements are eerily close to the mark. Which is good, I suppose.

bay_cover_cut1.jpg

Second is the side IDE bay cover stealth plate thingy. Drops in perfect too.

ide_bay_stealth_cut1.jpg

ide_bay_stealth_cut2.jpg

Third is the new radgrill for the top PA 120.3, which matches the front radgrill.

radgrill_cut1.jpg

Which brings us to the fourth, which is the front radgrill for the dual rad. Came out awesome, I think.

front_grill_cut1.jpg

front_grill_cut2.jpg

And a quick drop-in to see how it looks. Perfect!

front_grill_install1.jpg

I needed to cut away the stock grill from the front piece to make way for the new grill.

front_grill_mod1.jpg

front_grill_mod2.jpg

Unfortunately, I made a slight mistake when designing the pieces in the computer. I didn't compensate for the fact that I also needed to run the four switches through the front plate all the way, and the front grill is right in the way. :roll: That's what I get for not thinking three-dimensionally. I can be such a bonehead sometimes, but it's not a major problem. I just whipped out the 'ole trusty scroll saw and did a little minor surgery on things. I needed a way to get to the screws that hold the metal piece onto the front frame, so I drilled some huge holes through the acrylic so I have an easy way of getting the whole piece off with minimal effort. This works great!

front_grill_mod3.jpg

And a test fit on the case frame to see where things are. Right smack where it's supposed to be. :headbang:

front_grill_install2.jpg

Remember how I was making a new top for a waterblock for the x38 chipset? Well, I got it done. :P/> It's awesome too.

block_top_done.jpg

I needed to tap the holes for G1/4 threads, so I pulled out my trusty G1/4 tap/handle, which is huge. It's the size of my forearm. Seriously. It's big though because it also doubles as a zombie-basher for the upcoming zombie apocalypse when the dead come back to life to feed on the living. ;)/>

tap_g_1.jpg

I don't have a pic of me tapping the threads because I have to concentrate on it so I don't wind up with threads that angle the barb sideways. :lol:/> But here it is all finished up. It's awesome. I needed to lap the bottom of the block also, so i took care of that too.

block_done.jpg

And installed on the mobo. Right smack on with the measurements. I just needed to modify some springs for the mount posts with it, because the new top is a bit thicker than the original. Everything worked perfectly and it's solid.

block_done_installed.jpg

Well, I wish I could chat some more, but I need to run off. Besides, I'm all tapped-out. :lol:/> Hahah, get it? Tapped-out? You know, 'cause I was just tapping threads? Augh, forget it. Puns blow! :lol:/> I have some ice-cold beer calling my name, and I can't deny the desire. Hey, I'm only a dude, you know? :D/>

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's that time again. Another update. I have some more stuff to take care of, and I'm not in the best of moods because this is my last night of freedom before having to go back to the slaving daily grind of my dead-end job. But enough funny stuff. On to the update!

Some of the metal on this rig is being coated in the bad-ass gun-metal color. I friggin' LOVE this color. Here are some handles for the top of the case that is also getting coated in gun-metal.

handles_stock.jpg

...And all coated. Nice. **this burner NOT being used on the new rig!**

burner_handles_coated-1.jpg

I also did some more marking out and drilling. I marked out and drilled the top rad holes for eventual placement of the rad, fillports and handles.

markout_toprad1.jpg

I needed to concentrate on making sure I get even cuts, so I have no pics. Sorry.

But here it is...

toprad_cut1.jpg

And some minor cleanup and final touches on the cuts.

toprad_cut2.jpg

I needed to tweak the holes a bit for the fillports, because it kept snagging on one side so I went insane with a sanding disc. But it's fine now. :D/> Contrary to what others who know me may say, I'm actually not that white. Exposure is odd; sorry I look almost ethereal or something, lol.

fillport_cleanup1.jpg

Great. Doesn't have to look perfect, because it gets covered up anyways.

fillport_cleanup2.jpg

And placement of the radgrill and fillport trim to see where everything is. Nice!

toprad_preview1.jpg

I also marked out and drilled for the front stealth bay cover.

front_stealth_markout1.jpg

front_stealth_drill1.jpg

I also disassembled the front lower grill to clean up a piece of metal that is sticking out slightly below the top acrylic. it looked fine, but I'm a perfectionist so it bothered me. It's gone now after I c-clamped it to the bloody table and hit it with a cutoff disc and flat file. ;)/> I knew I could talk some sense into it!

First I drilled out the mounting holes for the bay cover, then I marked out for the switches to go through the front piece proper. Needed to get it right, because there's not much tolerance there for mistakes.

front_install_preview1.jpg

And drilled out switch holes. I cleaned them up with a sanding disc afterward because the test switches had small issues getting in the hole straight, but now they're fine.

front_install_preview2.jpg

Alright, that's all I have for the evening. Time to grocery shopping so I can grow up big and strong like a good little modder!

Aluminum shavings: It does a body good!

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update time! Yeah, weird huh? I've updated, like, a lot, and stuff. It's a small one though. Just wanted to get this stuff off the digital cam and get the mess cleaned up before the evidence is found-- er, I mean, yeah. :shock:

In all serious, a while back I had sanded down and put a few coats of paint on my PA 120.2 rad. Let's face it; Thermochill's paint dept. is probably run by blind monkeys if you were to judge the work on it. Granted, those of us 'in the know' understand that paint is merely an aesthetic thing and it would drive the cost up more for the rads. I personally don't care about it, because I'll gladly shoot a few layers of paint onto it and be done with it. After a month and a half of sitting in my darkroom on a top shelf, the rad's paintjob is pretty much cured. :lol:/> So, I'm going to assemble it now to get it ready for mount in the system soon--er....or later.... ;)/>

Here's the fresh rad. Need to remove my 'custom' masking job, lol.

pa1202_painted1.jpg

It's probably not needed nor will probably result in much of a difference in temps, but I decided I'd add a shroud to the rad up front. Why not, right? Generally, I don't use shrouds at all because I'm usually not loading rads up with a massive heat load. Everyone has their own method or methods for rads, and it's probably a personal and spiritual thing too, so I don't think there's actually a fully right and fully wrong way of doing things. My view on it is, do what works for you. 'Nuff said. I use certain screws for mounting fans to rads depending on if they're open or closed-corner fans, and certain sizes too. Being a dumb American, I tap my rads for 6-32 threads. Mostly because the screws are so common and easy to find around town in case I'm in a bind. But that's usually not the case because McMaster Carr's fast on shipping and I'm a packrat!

Shrouds. Shrouds. Yeah. No, to answer the burning q, I'm not using the normal shroud with the PA simply because I don't have it, but mostly because it's too deep for use where it's going in the case. So, the answer is simple. Gut some fans. :D/>

So, I had 5 extra 120mm cheapy fans that weren't being used at all, nor have ever been used, so I decided I'd clean up the inventory a bit and hack on them. Again, they're probably not needed, but what the hell, right? Actually, the top rad will need it for clearance issues and the barbs I'm using on it, but I'll get to that when I get to it.

Simple easy work with a cutoff wheel and sanding disc on the dremel.

fan_shrouds1.jpg

These were open-corner fans, so I use 6-32 x 3/8" screws to make sure I don't drill right into the fins on the rad and kill it.

fan_shrouds_mounted1.jpg

fan_shrouds_mounted2.jpg

I didn't have any more black ones, but it doesn't matter. You won't see them anyways unless you're looking for them.

The fans themselves are mounted with a rubber silencer in between the frames to seal them off a bit more and silence any possible rattling. I used 6-32 x 1/2" socket cap screws and nuts to secure them to the fan shrouds.

The fans are Zalman ZM-F3 red led fans, which are used on all rads. I had removed the branding on them quite a while back.

pa1202_fans_mounted1.jpg

pa1202_fans_mounted2.jpg

And to finish it off I threaded in some of my favs; EK G3/8 barbs onto the rad.

pa1202_barbs1.jpg

Alright, I'm outta here. Catch ya on the flip-side!

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, here we are again. I have a handful of small stuff I wanted to up before a huge update that's on the horizon for the system. I would've modded a lot more yesterday, but we had a terrible storm ravage the area last night and lost power, so I was a mod-junkie without a fix! I just went home early and watched a couple films on Blu-Ray before calling it a night.

Anyways, here's what I have to offer. I know....light and weak, right? :lol:/>

First off, I marked out and cut some AC Ryan metal mesh I had laying around that I'm using behind the acrylic front grill. I used my previous cut template to make a new easy-cut stencil for the mesh to drop right in. I'll be sanding this down and coating it; probably either gloss black or gunmetal. I haven't decided yet.

moddersmesh_stencil1.jpg

I also started cutting out some areas on the chassis to accommodate the now lower-sitting PA 120.3 rad. This is in the midst of cutting.

psu_upper_bay_cut1.jpg

I also cut a little notch out of the stock IDE frame to allow wiring to duck in and out of almost unseen, for wire-management reasons.

ide_holeforwiring1.jpg

And I did some final hole drilling before the coating of the chassis proper. I needed to mark out and drill for the HDD caddy I had made a while back, and to allow room for the front PA 120.2 rad as well as the PSU in the back.

Marked out...

markout_hdd_drill1.jpg

And drilled. Fitted in place to see where I'm at. Installed perfect!

markout_hdd_test1.jpg

I also went ahead and installed my (now aging) e6850 on the mobo along with the D-Tek Fuzion block and new barbs, and assembled the mobo on the tray. Should I be alarmed that something made a loud crunch sound when I cranked the posts on the block? I'm kidding. :lol:/> It's almost an optical illusion, being the board's a full ATX board on that tray. It looks almost like it's a small board on a huge tray or something.

I have work 2's workload tonight, and I'll be on it until around 2am or so. Ugh. Not looking forward to that. At all. :cry: I'd rather be moddin' than workin'. Just like those bumper stickers about fishing: "I Say We Mod 5 days and Work Two!"

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alrighty, another update. I'll get right to it. I wants ta get on home!

I went ahead and got off my lazy ass and got the chassis coated. I hate sanding. :(/> I really need a nice media-blasting booth... hmm.... :)/>

All done.

chassis_coated1.jpg

And I jumped right into assembling/reassembling the case. First, I installed Bill's kick-ass case feet on the chassis. Beaut!

feet_installed1.jpg

Then I started installing stuff to make sure everything's in the right spot. I'll crank down the screws finally when I'm all done.

reinstalling_devices1.jpg

I don't have another PA 120.2 gasket, nor do I want to pay $2 for it along with $8 to ship it, so I made one. I just used my rad template I have saved, and made a similar one for it by cutting it out with an exacto knife. Not perfect, but certainly does the trick. Besides, you won't see it when the case is finally buttoned up.

gasket_front_installed1.jpg

Next up, I installed my Matrix Orbital unit in it's final home. I ran out of black M3 nuts, so I had to use silver. Doesn't matter, as it gets covered up anyways. Dropped in perfect, along with rubber washers on the inside...just in case. Actually, it is in a case! :D/>

matrix_orbital_installed1.jpg

And a shot of it from the inside...

matrix_orbital_installed2.jpg

After that I installed the front dual rad. I'm not really diggin' the Filterights on it this time around though. :shock: I think the mesh going in front of them behind the front acrylic will be plenty and allow more flow anyways. If dust becomes an issue, I'll think of something else. :lol:/> Check out the cracked frame on one of the filters. LOL.

front_rad_installed1.jpg

Shot from the inside...

front_rad_installed2.jpg

Up next was the HDD caddie. An easy method to mount this heavy thing is to push the bolts through the bottom side and install a rubber washer holding the bolt on. Works great. Then I simply drop it through the chassis and thread on an M5 nut. All done, and it's isolated from the chassis. The HDD's are basically silent anyways, but this may help as well.

hdd_installed1.jpg

Installed the custom PSU blanking plate with fan on it...

psu_bayplate_installed1.jpg

Yeah, I'm not diggin' the Filterights at all. I'm going for a very stealthy feel, so I'm going to ditch these and drop in some simple mesh guards on it. Of course, I'm going to gunmetal them. :D/>

psu_bayplate_installed2.jpg

To keep with my theme for the case, I wanted to make fan grills for the fans in the system.

Designing the fan grill... The stealthing plate for the optical drive's tray is there too, but it's from the past version of Noire if you're wondering what the hell that is.

fan_grill_design.jpg

...And cut. Nice!

fan_grill_cut.jpg

I just need to polish the edges with some trusty Novus® polish and it'll be all done. The fan will actually be pointed in the case instead of an exhaust on the back due to balancing the pressure a bit because of the top triple and front dual rad.

Here's the fan all done and installed. Nice! I removed the badging from the fans like I normally do, and replace it with a vinyl cut plain black sticker. I'm weird like that.

fan_grill_mounted.jpg

Well, off to home. I got some gamin' to do, as well as watch some flicks. Not to mention some ice-cold Coronas in the fridge. *sigh* What an end to a 'lovely' work-week.

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey again, all. I've been busy over the weekend, but unfortunately not really much on the modding front. Had some problems at home, but I'm not going to get into that. I did however work a little bit today on the project. Which you're about to see. But it's not exciting or anything.

First up, not on topic, but if you don't have a copy of this mag yet....

cpu_mag.jpg

What are you waiting for?! Bill's awesome kick-ass Phenom rig is on the cover, obviously, and a kewl write-up inside. And there's even a nod to some of us Bit-Tech people too for an endearing nickname that stuck. ;)/>

Alright, back on-topic, the update. As I stated in the previous post, the Filterights on the fans weren't working for me. So I've ditched them. Here's the fans reinstalled.

front_fans_remounted1.jpg

And running, just for oohs and ahhs. ;)/>

front_fans_remounted2.jpg

Now, the next thing is something I've been ignoring a bit, but always had it in the back of my mind. The IDE bays from the inside of the case. I've been meaning to come up with something to cover it up, as well as provide support and possibly cooling to the pump and burner area.

bay_inside_stealthplate_idea.jpg

As we all know, these little DDC pumps put out some heat, especially the fact that I have a 355 in there too, so I've come up with something that I believe will work. I've designed a stealth plate that will have thru-holes for the plumbing as well as mounted fans on it. Here's the design.

bay_inside_stealthplate_design.jpg

At first I designed things to drop in two 60mm's, but I figured that would be pointless. And after some measuring and re-measuring, I've decided to go with 40mm's. Why? Well, for one thing, it's the only thing that'll fit with some room for all the stuff behind the plate! Granted, 40mm fans are pretty much worthless. They really don't push much air at all, but for this little area of the case and in such a closed-in space, I think they'll do just nicely. I had originally set up the design with two 40mm's below pointed in at the two pumps, but I decided to add a third. Here's why. I looked in my parts box that we all have, and found 40mm x 20mm fans ditched from some of the modded Corsair Airflow fan units that I've done in the past. This will be perfect. They're quiet, they're already wired together, and they're sleeved too. Problem solved. I don't want them to be flashy or even really seen, so these will work great. I removed the little stickers on the fans, so the badging is gone. and the third fan in the middle will be pointed as an exhaust to kind of direct the 'hot' air towards the top rad and out of the case.

bay_inside_stealthplate_fans1.jpg

Next thing was, to tap the odd screwhole size on these fans to a larger normal size, along with threads for easy mounting. I decided 8-32 was the closest, and I have some 8-32 black socket caps laying around here somewhere, so it'll keep in the theme. :rock:

bay_inside_stealthplate_fanstapping.jpg

And tapped. Screw threaded in with fingers to check. Yup, works great.

bay_inside_stealthplate_fanstapped1.jpg

I'm coming up with a method for mounting this plate in easy, and I'll share the details when they've baked enough. :)/>

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay. Been a bit busy today working on misc. stuff here in the Cave, and don't have a whole lot of photos of it because it was all boring stuff anyways. But I do have a couple of teaser pics here. So I'll just let them speak as I silently tip-toe out the back door...

Top radiator grill installed with fans running...

toprad_preview1-1.jpg

Front fillports, engraved & installed...

fillport_preview1.jpg

:D/>

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyways, been quite a while since I updated this log. There are legitimate reasons, and many of them involve a certain mode of transportation exploding on me. :x Don't ask. I've said my piece about it, so I'm good. Needless to say, I am now in possession of my repaired-and-new-engined car. And $500 lighter in the wallet. So, :P/> to any future storms/hurricanes/tropical depressions that decide to attack any of us along the coast of this country. I wave my private parts in your general direction!

Oh, update. Okay. Back to that. I'm feeling a bit better now because of the aforementioned issues resolved (hopefully), and this is my favorite month containing my favorite holiday. So let's get to that update. I've made a bit of progress on a quite a few things since we last checked in here. I'll get right to it.

First off, I needed some modders mesh. And I needed it quickly. And who came to my rescue? Bill Owen! Thanks, Bro!

modders_mesh1.jpg

And I gotta say, frankly, this is some really good mesh here. It actually allows air through for once compared to the other higher-priced garbage that's floating around! :lol:/> Seriously, if you ever need any modders mesh, hop on over to Bill's Case Mod Store at MNPCTech.com. Good quality awesome stuff.

The main reason I needed the mesh is because I'm modding the PSU. I made a stealthing plate previously, that I've already posted, but here it is again.

psu_shroud1.jpg

I already removed the stock wire grill on this PSU, because it just won't work with this idea. I figured I'd stick some mesh in there to fill it up, but I didn't want to use any more of the AC Ryan mesh that's rather choking on the airflow. This stuff works much better, and it'll keep any screws I (inevitably) drop from going into the PSU. Which could blow. Literally. :lol:/>

But-- the stock mesh isn't going to work either. I need it black! So, I cut out the rough shape I needed for the PSU and shot it black.

modders_mesh2.jpg

Looks nice! And here it is mounted on the PSU...

psu_mod_done1.jpg

Looks even better! I'm happy with it. And now I'm ignoring it. :lol:/>

Moving right along.

I needed something to mount the two pumps onto instead of them just floating around on top of the optical drive in the case, so I came up with this...

pump_mount1.jpg

pump_mount2.jpg

This way it'll give them some stability, as well as give a channel to get the cool air coming at them from.... well, this thing....

bay_plate_tap1.jpg

Yes, that's the inside bay cover with the opening for the fans and tubing to run through. I'm tapping holes in it to give myself a way to secure it to the case. The stock A70 has a series of holes drilled towards the edge of the back of the IDE bays where the stock HDD rack mounted to. They're perfect to exploit. :D/>

I drilled and tapped two 6-32 holes in the bottom edge of the bay cover, which will be held in place by two simple thumbscrews. I also covered the screws with rubber washers to give it some cushion as well. Check it out.

bay_plate_install2.jpg

Works perfect!

Next, I attached with double-sided tape a couple of rubber strips/stoppers on the inside edge of the bays to give the plate something to rest against so it doesn't go flopping around either. It's perfectly secured in there now.

rubber_stoppers1.jpg

And the previously 8-32-tapped 40mm fans mounted on the unit. Perfect.

bay_plate_fans1.jpg

bay_plate_fans2.jpg

Let's put it back in the case to see where everything's at.

bay_plate_install1.jpg

Nice! And it'll blend in quite well when it's all assembled.

I made a cooler out of 3 40mm fans; inspired by the Dominator Airflow unit.

fan_cooler1.jpg

fan_cooler2.jpg

Oh, I also have another plan for this system... heh heh... and for this little something, I made some long standoffs out of misc. sized smaller standoffs to get them to a specific length. I also coated them too, so they'll blend into the background as well.

standoffs1.jpg

....and I close this update with a teaser pic of what that little something is.... :twisted:

mobo_shroud_tease1.jpg

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very small update. I'll get right to it. It's been a long weird week and weekend too, so I don't really have anything comical this time around, lol.

I worked on wiring inside the case, as well as testing some of the peripherals inside it.

I am also adding some...minor...stuff to the rig. ;)/>

new_vidcard1.jpg

Man, what a fiasco getting the stock cooling off! Oh well. Guess that's a compliment to the manufacturer. Man, I hope I didn't bork the card either... :shock:

card_bare1.jpg

Time to clean off those ram modules!

new_vidcard2.jpg

There we go. I'm such a sucker for nickel-plated goodness. Thanks to Hank @ Performance-PCs for helping me out with a slightly-customized package of a nickel-plated GTX280 block with an acetal top. Note to Eddy: Offer this stock! :D/>

I'll probably have more during the week, but who knows. I have a feeling it's going to be rather brutal to ole' E.E.L. :(/>

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I can admit I've been rather busy. I usually am quite busy in the month of October, but not for what you'd think. It's my favorite month and contains my favorite holiday. And I've been in All Hallow's Eve mode lately. I've been to a couple parties (and one I can actually remember) and to Halloween Horror Nights over at Universal Studios Orlando. Yeah...what an experience. I hadn't been in 7 years so it was a treat for me. Anyways, I guess this is a roundabout way of saying I've done literally squat on this build. :lol:/> Oh, and I also started playing Crysis this past friday evening (yeah, just now! I'm a little behind on games) and beat it on sunday. :D/> Lovely stuff.

Anyways, on to a small update for today. I want to get to the grocery store, and also home so I can doctor some minor wounds. I'll explain.

After a bit of wiring, I started to plumb the system.

system_plumbing1.jpg

It's weird. My camera doesn't like the red tubing. It thinks it has Spaghettio's® or V8® plumbed in it or something. :lol:/>

system_plumbing2.jpg

Here's a top-down shot of the IDE bays with the two pumps in there.

system_plumbing3.jpg

This is why I have wounds. I hate having to push tubing onto barbs (7/16" tubing onto 1/2" barbs for those that are curious), because after a while my nails start to tear from my fingertips from constantly pushing. It's slightly painful and annoying as all-hell. Plus bleeding on expensive gear sucks!

A rough progress...

system_plumbing4.jpg

I also got the LED's wired up on the pumps for some red evilness :twisted: to show when the system's running.

system_plumbing5.jpg

Not much, I know. Well I'm going to go home and play Crysis Warthead now. :D/> Yes, I typed 'Warthead'.

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, yet another small update. A bit smaller than yesterday, but it's cool. I'm moving along. I'll get right to it.

I continued to work on the plumbing for the system. I think I'm okay with it as is, but I may tear it out and re-do it later. I don't know. I'm sure it's fine the way it is, but things can always be improved upon.

Here's a quick shot of how the loops look right now. I still need to run some hose coils around it, but I'll get to that after the rig's all up and running.

tubing_plumbdone1.jpg

I finally was able to get around to running the final hoses from the fillports to the pumps, which is a ------, if you know what I mean. Having longer hands and trying to fit them into a small space with barely any way to see anything can be a bit frustrating. But I managed. I had the same problem last incarnation of this build too. It's cool.

Here's a quick shot of the pumps all sitting and ready to be fired up.

pumps_done1.jpg

This is funny. The inside bayplate's measurements were so close, they were almost too close. The PA rad is literally kissing the plate's top edge. You probably can't see it well in this pic, but it's pretty much right against it. :lol:/>

stealthplate1_done.jpg

I probably should have given things a bit more breathing room, but it's fine. I just wanted to close off the bays as much as possible to counter light leakage, etc. The top case panel went on fine and I got the screws into it, so it's all good. Worse case scenario, I'll just sand it down a bit.

Here's another angle shot of the inside of the rig so far. I still have a bit of some work to do. I also have some other stealthplates going on too, but I'll get to that later.

rig_current2.jpg

I have some more games I need to slam through, so this is why this update is light in calories. I started playing Crysis Warthead last night, and I beat it too. :lol:/> Short, but sweet. I can understand others' frustrations with the game and/or storyline, but I personally enjoyed it because I'm just a shooter-kinda guy. I really hope Crytek makes even more of them. I'm sure others picked up on hints of 'other teams on the island', etc., so it seems natural.

And as requested earlier, here's a shot of the rig from the front. Enjoy!

rig_current1.jpg

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, there!

Just checking in with a small update. I've been hard at work finalizing the old girl. Wiring is basically all done now. Cable management is basically all done as well. I've upgraded my secondary hard-drive to a new Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB drive. Nice drive too. It's a bit more quiet than the older 300gb unit it's replacing. Seems fast too, so I'm happy.

System's all plumbed and all the annoying 'new loop foam' has settled down to nothing. :lol:/> Build is bloody quiet. Just what I wanted. All temps look perfect. Looks like my north bridge block is working perfect as well.

I installed Vista x64 perfectly fine. Patched up all the way and installed the other set of RAM, so I'm now running 8gb of RAM. I barely bumped the north bridge up a bit, but I don't even think it needs it. You know how a system feels...I dunno...solid when you first turn it on? That's how this system feels. I feel confident in it's health. I've already bumped the CPU up 200mhz, but I'm sure I'll push it a bit more. I've already installed Steam and most of my account's games for testing out the GPU. Works great. :)/> Frame rates are perfectly fine for what I need.

Anyways, enough boring stuff. Here's a handful of pics until I get to the finish line really soon. I have one more final piece I'm cutting for this rig...

I finally got around to adding the hosecoils to the rig....

shotinsidedone1.jpg

I made an acrylic PSU bracket...

psu_bracketdone1.jpg

And I drilled out a hole for the GPU's status LED on a PCI slot cover and finally coated all of them in gunmetal. I don't know if I mentioned it, but I ditched the stock 2-slot bracket on the GPU for a single-slot one. I always do that. I don't like the 2-slot ones for some reason.

pci_coversdone1.jpg

Also shot the I/O plate in gunmetal as well...

backiodone1.jpg

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, small update. I've been troubleshooting the issue with the burner from every angle, and I've come to the conclusion that it's just a POS. :lol:/> I've already gotten a replacement on its way to me, so when I get that I can swap them out and hopefully I'll be fine after that. Since I had been waiting on that, I've decided to go ahead and get some more wiring finished, as well as finishing the final stealth pieces for inside the chassis. So, I did so.

Here it is with a test-fit to make sure it's right. It's, in fact, right. ;)/>

mainplate_final1.jpg

mainplate_final2.jpg

So, let's peel up the protective paper and get everything situated where it needs to be. After installing velcro on the backside of the first stealthplate, I put it in place. Even though I'll have to remove it to get at the IDE bays to remove the dead burner, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

mainplate_fitting1.jpg

...And the final piece over that and screwed into place with thumbscrews. Perfect.

mainplate_fitting2.jpg

mainplate_fitting3.jpg

And to make things a bit more interesting, let's have a lighting test really quick, shall we? :D/>

Starting the beast up....

system_lighting_test1.jpg

...And lights-out!

system_lighting_test2.jpg

...Let's flip the rocker for the lighting on the bottom of the rig...

system_lighting_test3.jpg

...there we go....

system_lighting_test4.jpg

...And let's flip the rocker for the lighting on the top of the rig...

system_lighting_test5.jpg

...detecting a pattern? :lol:/>

system_lighting_test6.jpg

If you haven't noticed yet, the right switch's (reset switch) light is on or off in some of the pics. This is because it's the status LED for the HDD activity.

...Close-up of the res's and front of the rig...

system_lighting_test7.jpg

...And a side shot of the rig.

system_lighting_test8.jpg

Hopefully I'll be able to get the replacement optical drive installed and everything will work fine. I'll have another update when it's grown into one.

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

Until the next update, I got nuthin'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know that point of frustration where you're at your wits-end and you're no longer thinking logically and you're just looking for anything to fix the dilemma? That point where you feel like Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation where his character can't figure out why the x-mas lights are out and he flips out and holds both ends of the power conduit and yells as he smashes them together and they finally cascade and explode into wonderful light because it's finally working? Yeah, that run-on sentence is basically what has been plaguing me since the last update. Let me go into a bit more detail here. *sighs* :evil:

Okay, I had an issue with the original DVD-R lappy drive stopped working. I then get it work. Then it stops working again. I try a different cord. Same problem. I try in a different system. Same problem. I get a replacement drive of a completely different make. I try the original connected to another system again, and it works. Then the new one. It works fine....for a while, then it does the same thing. So I got through all this crap again, and finally came to the conclusion that it must be the lappy IDE-to-SATA board being finicky or something. Only other choice...you guessed it, IDE. So, I then embark on a journey to find a long black rounded IDE cable that's only for a single-device. I figured it'd be a cakewalk to locate something, right? Wow, was I ever wrong. Anyways, finally tracked down a 36" 1-device black rounded IDE cable. I get that today, by the way. So this evening I proceeded to tear out everything and re-install it all, with the IDE cable and the original lappy-IDE-to-desktop IDE converter board. I start the system up to test when it's all hanging out....--and the system doesn't see the drive. Argh! I proceeded to flip out and vibrate with utter sputtering anger, until I realize that getting angry only makes me more stupid. It's a scientific fact that the brain secretes an enzyme that temporarily lowers one's IQ when angry. Or in my case, permanently. :lol:/> So I find the other converter board just like the one installed on the new lappy burner....and I get to looking at it.... they're supposed to be the same bloody unit, but I notice that one pinout is missing on the lower-row of pins on one, and it's reversed on the other (that I'm not using yet). I was like, "wtf?" So I proceed to swap the two out...and what do you know...the damn system reads the drive perfect. So I start to put stuff back together after feeling a bit better and calming down, and I'm totally paranoid at this point. I keep re-checking after restarting the rig to make sure it's still there. Not some vaporous thing that likes to mock and maim like the system seems to like to do to it's creator already! :lol:/>

Anyways, everything seems to be okay for now. I hope. So I started to really button up the rig after cleaning up some stuff in it, and dusting. I finally wrapped hose-coils around the last bit of hosing in the back, even though you can't really see it. I knew it was there, so it bothered me. :hehe: Also installed both panels. It's funny; I hadn't looked at the window panel since I put it together all that time ago. The acrylic's been through two incarnations of these rigs already and it still looks great. Just needs a polishing with some Novus cleanser, but it's fine. I really love the look too; the stealthed 'nothing here' look, until you start the system up. ;)/>

I really need to polish the outside of the rig though, because it's been sitting here collecting dust and fingerprints for what seems like forever with this build, so I'll hopefully get that done soon. Anyways, I snapped a handful of pics really quick just to give you a taste, before I can feel confident enough to begin to call the mod finished. I'm going to run it and shut it off for the next week or so constantly checking to make sure everything's okay with it. How about this... It's in 'pre-finish' mode right now. There. Does that work? :lol:/>

And the pics....

buttoned_up1.jpg

buttoned_up2b.jpg

buttoned_up2.jpg

buttoned_up3.jpg

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright. Final update to this log, since everything's officially done. Actually, she's been done since April, but there's been a lot of 'red-tape' to get through. Now that the front-page article is up over at B-T, I'm released to upload the final photos of her in all her glory. Enjoy.

Lumière Noire

Final Photos

Thumbs are clickable for large photos

26_thumb.jpg8_thumb.jpg 7_thumb.jpg

9_thumb.jpg 10_thumb.jpg2_thumb.jpg

1_thumb.jpg 3_thumb.jpg 4_thumb.jpg

5_thumb.jpg 6_thumb.jpg 11_thumb.jpg

12_thumb.jpg 13_thumb.jpg 14_thumb.jpg

15_thumb.jpg 16_thumb.jpg 17_thumb.jpg

18_thumb.jpg 19_thumb.jpg 20_thumb.jpg

21_thumb.jpg 22_thumb.jpg 23_thumb.jpg

25_thumb.jpg 24_thumb.jpg 27_thumb.jpg 28_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dude you have out done your self this time love it

Thanks, man!

Holy mother of... :wub:/>

That is so beautiful, words cannot describe :o/>

Haha, thanks man. Just trying to add some content here; old rig that's long-gone. There will be another, like always!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now