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Project: DiGiDice

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by Kebob, Jun 12, 2006.

?

What should I name this project?

Poll closed Aug 11, 2006.
  1. AquaDice

    20 vote(s)
    35.1%
  2. h2oDiCe

    6 vote(s)
    10.5%
  3. d20 (reference to D&D dice) critical hit!

    21 vote(s)
    36.8%
  4. DiGiCool

    3 vote(s)
    5.3%
  5. DiGiPiPe

    5 vote(s)
    8.8%
  6. Other: suggestions welcome

    2 vote(s)
    3.5%
  1. Kebob

    Kebob Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    Sydney
    Here begins my first full case mod and foray into water cooling.
    It is inspired by the excellent SFF worklogs by Beavy and BenJ, and I hope I end up with a neat job in the same realm.

    My last pc's mobo died and I rebuilt. After that pc was settled in I got restless, and decided to build a HTPC/home server. I got a free IBM desktop from work, and it will donate a few working parts to the project.

    I started looking at better s478 motherboards (865 or 875 chipset) and I found a little ripper of a SFF barebones pc on eBay, the Abit DiGiDice

    [​IMG]


    REVIEWS:
    http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/abit-digidice/index.html
    http://www.rojakpot.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=97&pgno=0
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mobile/display/abit-digidice.html
    http://www.tbreak.com/reviews/article.php?id=288
    http://www.ocworkbench.com/2003/abit/digidice-ab2003/ab2003-1.htm
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=665&redirect=yes

    And yes, it came with the remote, backpack and oil burner... LOL.

    I thought I'd go with this case instead of following the Shuttle crowd. The case is 3 years old but in great nick, and not many people have held onto them. I've found 3 published mods so far:
    "DiGiBlack" and "WaterDice", and this little gem which best matches my project:

    Which leads me to the purpose of the poll: what should I call my mod?

    Here's the plan:
    Reduce the weight and size of the components. (Use laptop optical drive with IDE adapter is one method so far)
    Remove 5.25 bay caddy and mod front panel with 80mm or 120mm fan.
    Cut windows into sides and top of the case, to be covered with perspex or modder's mesh.
    Remove the OTES heatsink, mod the rear panel, and put in a water cooling kit. So far, planned kit is the Cool Trek Vostok kit or the similar Radiical Evo 2 kit .

    THE INTERNALS:
    I have all these lying around:
    P4 2.8GHz Northwood
    WD 40GB IDE from "donor" IBM or Seagate 80GB IDE (currently in main pc doing backup/torrent duties)
    Soundblaster Live 5.1 (currently in my main pc, but it has onboard 8.1)
    1GB G.Skill Winbond Dual channel overclocking ram.
    X800XT PE 256MB AGP card with Artic Cooling Silencer.

    And if I get one cheap, a USB HDTV tuner with aerial. I want USB because if I put a HDTV card in, I'll have to sacrifice the soundcard as it only has one PCI slot. Same goes for a wireless lan card.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2006
  2. OP
    OP
    Kebob

    Kebob Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    Sydney
    The DiGiDice arrived, and I got stuck straight in:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Dusty shots....

    [​IMG]
    I hope I won't be needing these bits :?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    If you don't already have ArctiClean, GET IT! I cleaned the gunk off these heatsinks in less than a minute.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I have a Zalman NorthBridge passive cooler spare, but I'd have to glue it on, because the mounting clips are a wierd sort of 'clip downn loop', not the push-pin type.

    [​IMG]
    I spotted this one in the IBM, but the clips were different.

    [​IMG]
    And I can't use the clips on the Zalman because the base is thicker.

    [​IMG]
    BUT, Zalman have just brought out a new Northbridge Cooler, which uses the right clips. That's the one for me :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
  3. OP
    OP
    Kebob

    Kebob Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    Sydney
    So enough stuffing around with heatsinks, I popped the ABIT one on with AS5 and decided to see if my X800XTPE would fit.
    [​IMG]
    Nope, no matter which way I tried to get it into the case, it wouldn't go. That Arctic Cooling Silencer makes it just that bit too big. The aluminium back plate would come damn close to the hdd tray, too.
    So I'll either have to cut out a section of the chassis:
    [​IMG]
    Or buy another card.. the bitch is I need to test that card before I sell it (the last buyer said it was dead) to raise funds for the Water Cooling and mod parts. But I put the original hsf on and fired it up and it turned out the card is dead or broken :(
    I've got an XFX FX5200 Media Centre Edition enroute, that'll suit the project's HTPC function.

    Anyway, enough mucking around, time to find out if it works.
    [​IMG]
    Ready to roll the Dice.... must get rid of those ribbon cables ASAP.

    [​IMG]
    Jackpot!

    This little case is great! The current setup is bloody loud (the dice has 2x60mm fans and a 40mm fan) and the old hdd & cdrom I'm using aren't exactly silent. So the water cooling and mods will be so much more satisfying.

    I just did a test of it's lcd and system monitoring capabilities, I lowered the cpu fan to 20% speed with Speedfan, the LCD flashed a warning message and shut the pc down!
    I can set it to automatically shut down if a fan or pump fails, or if the temp gets too high, and it can email me to let me know! That's pretty nifty for a home server 8)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2006
  4. OP
    OP
    Kebob

    Kebob Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    Sydney
    Helpful component for a sff build: IDE adapter for a laptop optical drive.

    [​IMG]
    Adpater + thinkpad drive.

    [​IMG]
    Removed the thinkpad adapter off the back of the drive.

    [​IMG]
    The adapter screws straight in. Power is provided by psu floppy connecter.

    [​IMG]
    The drive running and placed beside where I want to mount it: there is a rail alongside the PSU where the front door slides. I'm considering a slot-load drive to make the mod neater.
     
  5. Beavy

    Beavy Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,100
    Location:
    Melbourne 3056
    Subscribed :thumbup:

    Any more info on where you will be mounting the water cooling? What does the back of the case look like?
     
  6. dohzer

    dohzer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Messages:
    5,494
    DiGiDice? Sounds like something you make when you first learn to solder. :)
    Looks nice though.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Kebob

    Kebob Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    Sydney
    I've got a few ideas where to mount the parts. I'll put the pump/res either in the hdd tray and mount the hdd either to the front chassis like this:
    [​IMG]

    Or perhaps in the 5.25 bay area (better cooling and more room to work) Although I want to keep this area as clear as possible to add to the appeal when a top window is installed.

    Or I'll put the pump where the psu is currently (and raise the psu to the top of the case) I've already noticed a problem with the water cooling kit, in that the cpu mounting bracket will overhang the mobo (right where the psu is) so moving the psu is probably the best idea.

    [​IMG]
    The radiator will most likely be mounted externally, I'll probably just cut a 120mm hole in the rear, as I'm not concerned about using hot exhaust air from the case. If I use mesh on the sides, the gfx/sound cards will get a good airing too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2006
  8. OCMunkee

    OCMunkee Member

    Joined:
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    2,085
    Location:
    Melbourne, VIC
    When you're mounting that harddrive to the front there, you may want to look into putting something soft between (rubber spacers etc.) to dampen the vibrations, 'cuz otherwise your chassis may amplify the hdd vibrations & noise. :thumbup:
    My 2c,
    --Nathan
     
  9. fusion2001

    fusion2001 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
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    Thats an awesome case dude, cant wait to see the finshed product
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Kebob

    Kebob Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    ROFL I still have one of those around somehwere, you push a button and one of 6 leds light up? I also made a Knight Rider Kit-style led board :lol:

    Cheers, I'll take that on board, no use making a half-arsed mod, aye?
    This pc may be running 24/7 in my living room or bedroom, so needs to be as quiet as possible and low on lighting effects (any lighting will have a switch)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2006
  11. blancmange

    blancmange Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Messages:
    359
    suscribed :)

    looks like another good case mod coming up
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Kebob

    Kebob Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Changed my mind on the northbridge cooler (again) I found Zalman's NB water block has "loop mounting clips" :thumbup:
    http://www.zalman.co.kr/usa/product/view.asp?idx=171&code=021

    Seeing as those barbs look fixed, I now I have to decide whether I will upgrade the water kit to 3/8" instead of 8mm/10mm.
    I'm sure Radiical will cater to a custom order, price is the only governing factor.

    I'm waiting on a dodgy eBayer that sold me an SLI set of low profile Maze4 waterblocks until I decide what vga block to use, perhaps the Zalman to match.
     
  13. Beavy

    Beavy Member

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    Get some 3/8" tubing and test it inside your case for flexibility before you buy anything else. It will kink alot more easily than smaller tubing, and take up more space than you might imagine. I'm sure there is a thread somewhere around about best tubing size, I remember reading one when I was building my shuttle.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Kebob

    Kebob Member

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    Location:
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    Gotcha, so smaller tubing kinks less? Or more to the point smaller tubing kinks less when bent in minimum radius in minimal room case?
    Then I'll stick with smaller, as the Zalman NB page claims it's compatible with the 8mm/10mm tubing. I'll use the spiral 3/8" coolsleeves to be safe, too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2006
  15. fusion2001

    fusion2001 Member

    Joined:
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    Beavy! Your into Gatecrasher to! I was so looking at using their lion logo and you already have! Go Beavy Go!
     
  16. Taceo Corpus

    Taceo Corpus Member

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    /thread-derail :Paranoid:

    On topic: Great looking mod, seems like a great case for a HTPC, have fun, I'll keep my eye on it. Something to consider with the HDD mounting though, it looks like the plugs for power and the IDE cable will be a tad too close to the board when you go to plug them in, it might be a good idea to turn the drive 90 degrees and mount it like that if there is room.
     
  17. Beavy

    Beavy Member

    Joined:
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    There's a thread covering the shuttle mods If you want to comment there (link in my sig). Welcome to the forums :thumbup:

    Kebob, what about putting the psu above the pci slots? That way it wouldnt foul the motherboard mounting, and you'd be able to put the pump and possible hdd's on the opposite side of the case.

    Sorry if that doesn't make sense, i don't have the case in front of me. Not sure how keen you are to start ripping the whole thing apart with a dremel either ;)
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Kebob

    Kebob Member

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    Yeah it's an idea I stole off another DigiDice mod. I've no idea if it will be too close to the IDE ports or interfere with the agp card. I'm now looking for a sata hdd because the cables will be neater, and I know there's right angled ones available.

    Well the plan so far will only leave the base of the chassis untouched. I better hone my dremel skills on an old case first :Paranoid:
    If I raise the psu I will need to cut the rear chassis, and I will need extension cables for the psu. Likewise for putting it where you suggested.
     
  19. fusion2001

    fusion2001 Member

    Joined:
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    Yeah sorry for getting of topic, but its rare to find anothr Gatecrasher listener.

    And this case mod is looking sweet, allways been thinking of doing a shuttle job, yours only gives me good ideas.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Kebob

    Kebob Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Not much happening on the mod side yet, parts are still enroute.
    I got my XFX fx5200 Media Centre today, but due to the extra aerial port bumping on the chassis and time constraints I can't install and test it :(
    [​IMG]

    But overnight at work I was pondering the possibilty of installing an lcd in the front panel.
    I was tinkering around with some thinkpad laptop parts today, trying to make another functioning one out of the parts I have, and a simple idea struck me:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    It's a perfect fit!
    If this pans out I'll ditch the tv in the bedroom, the lcd can be folded away when not in use, and the media centre has a/v inputs so I can still run a PS2 off it. And I can digitally record tv and av sources.
    Oh, and I forgot the fact that it would make a really nifty lan box! (the video card will hold me back though)

    How do I run/power this lcd off a regular pc? I would prefer it to have an on/off switch too, and possibly be removable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2006

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