Project: Mission - Completed Sept 14th

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by slipperyskip, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    Skip to final photos...

    And now for something completely different....

    I got an ATX mid-tower case and a bunch of "normal" computer parts so I'm going to do some case modding.

    Because of my loyalty to my good friends at Silverstone I am calling this case "Not a Silverstone" because...it's not a Silverstone case. :D

    Does anyone care to guess what brand and model it is?

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    Nameplates and logos are taped up to protect the innocent.




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    The idea for this project began after Ingraham won this NVIDIA GTX 280 in a case mod contest back in February.




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    I needed a proper PSU to power the 280 so Silverstone sent me this ST60F Strider 600W unit.

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    I had been doing some testing using the "Not a Silverstone" case and it was a little dusty. I used this paint brush to clean things up a bit. Make things purdy for the camera.




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    Ripped the faceplate off and tossed it.




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    Stripped off the front panel ports, the tacky blue LED front fan and the even tackier feet.




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    I just got the motherboard from Gigabyte and the processor I bought from Newegg. Not high end parts here. The processor is an Intel E7400 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo.

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    The first thing to go was this 3.5" hard drive cage bracket. The insanely long video card would fit in the space but because of this bracket I was having to wedge it in at an angle and twist it around to fit. Besides, I don't need six 3.5" drive bays. Two will do nicely.

    I drilled out the rivets using my trusty 75th Anniversary Sears cordless drill.

    Here's my first noob question....What is the going "thing" for re-assembly of once riveted parts? Surely you don't re-rivet everything back.

    Thank for looking.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  2. schnappy

    schnappy Member

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    A rivet gun and re-rivet everything ;)
     
  3. Skobb

    Skobb Member

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    Riveting is pretty easy..
    Or you could just use nuts and bolts..
    Riveting looks more professional probably.
     
  4. AgentRex

    AgentRex Member

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    Sorry to hijack, kinda interested and motivated since everyone seems to be modding :wired: just wondering what size rivets do i need? more specifically for a CM690? Never modded a case before :tongue:
     
  5. Captain Kermit

    Captain Kermit Member

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    Take whatevers left of the old rivets into Bunnings and search for the Fasteners area. Find someone that works there who is located near the fasteners and ask him if he could help you find the appropriate sized rivet to replace it.

    You will also need a rivet gun if you don't have one. Many rivet guns have 4 different sized heads for 4 different sized rivets and will come with small amounts of each sized rivet, so if you don't currently own a rivet gun just head down to bunnings, grab the gun+4 different sized rivets and pick the size best suited for the hole you've left behind.
     
  6. AgentRex

    AgentRex Member

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    :D Great, will do, bunnings it is! thanks mate!! :thumbup::thumbup:
     
  7. CHemical.

    CHemical. New Member

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    Coolermaster Mystique 631 case??
     
  8. OP
    OP
    slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    Yes. You win a free pop rivet tutorial whether you like it or not.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    Unboxing ceremony....

    I generally won't do this unless it's stuff given to me. I think it is important that sponsors get some attention now and then. They won't argue. LOL

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    Two packages arrived from Silverstone and Crucial. Crucial always overnights my stuff. :thumb: In the background I'm sizing up the placement of 120mm fans in the case bottom. The case will be elevated...obviously. :D




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    First up are these Aero Slots PCI slot covers. A friend recommended them. The ones that came with the "Not a Silverstone" case are those spring loaded pieces of crap I hate so much.




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    Next up is the Silverstone PP05 short modular cable kit made specifically for the Strider series of PSU. I'm sure there is something tasty in here I can use.




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    A Nitrogon NT06 Evolution heatsink. They tossed in a variable speed 120mm fan to go with it but I don't like using manually adjustable fans on CPU heatsinks. I'm sure I can use it somewhere else. :thumb:




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    From Crucial comes 4 x 1GB DDR2 1066 Ballistix Tracer memory modules. I wanted to fill all the slots with the 32-bit memory limit. Love Crucial. Not the fastest or the cheapest but it ALWAYS works. I have been using Crucial for nearly fourteen years and have never gotten anything bad or wrong.

    This post brought to you by:

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  10. JuzIE

    JuzIE Member

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    Ooo very nice mate. It must be awesome to have sponsors send you stuff out :thumbup:
     
  11. OP
    OP
    slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    Materials are coming in slowly but I've still been able to get some work done. This is the largest mod I have done yet so I've had to go shopping for some big boy tools. Mostly large clamps...lots of them. No new power tools. I'm still sticking to my cordless drill and Dremel.


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    Removed the side cover handle and fan duct to get a perfectly smooth panel surface. Taped up the raw aluminum backside with painters tape to protect it from damage during the build.




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    Fit up some 1" wide 3/16" thick basswood strips that I call waster pieces. Their whole purpose in life is to take up space (kinda like some people I know :D). The actual framework will be built up against these pieces. The wasters will later be removed leaving a convenient space to put something else in later.




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    The side pieces are attached using double-sided tape while the front wasters are secured using small sheet metal screws. The wasters don't have to be pretty or even provide complete coverage.

    Stay tuned.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    Got the proper width cut out for the top 1/4" Birch plywood panel. Here it is being marked up for the length cut.




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    Trimmed up the panel length with my make shift panel cutting rig.




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    Seriously low tech. My new fine-toothed laminate/veneer saw made short work of it while still keeping a clean edge.




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    The boss showed up to inspect the test fitting.




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    The glue blocks were cut out of some scrap 3/8" stock and test fit to each corner. This whole setup will be duplicated for the bottom panel.

    Thanks for looking.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    [​IMG]

    This is the part that drives real woodworkers crazy. I suggest you look away if you are one. Instead of taking a large piece of stock and cutting it down, I form a board by gluing multiple pieces together. Here I need a 3/8" x 7/8 board so I match up these three pieces.

    Photo tip: I often conveniently leave my straightedge in photos because it allows me to judge a photo's focus by reading the quality of the numbers.




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    The pieces are glued together and set to dry while "pinched" between my straightedge and a laser-cut piece of stock. All of my basswood stock is laser cut. Sometimes I even get to use scraps while "building" lumber. The result is very strong and still laser cut.




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    Two subsections are glued together at right angles. I use small temporary square blocks to keep the angle honest during clamping.




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    Test fitting...always fun. The case is laid out on its back.




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    The partially-built leg sections are placed where they will eventually be permanent. The plywood showing is the case's bottom. It will have to have some inlet ventilation work done on it soon.




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    The cross members are all still temporary spacers.

    Hmmm. It's starting to look like something. Unfortuneatly I have to end this part of the fun while I wait for materials. I also can't continue without permanently affixing pieces to the upper and lower plywood panels. I need to have these panels free while I figure out the ventilation scheme.

    I'll probably make my own vent grills but I have been liking a couple of radiator grills on the market.

    FrozenCPU_Mesh_Radgard_240_Dual_120mm_Radiator_Filter_Grill_-

    and this one...

    AC Ryan Radgrillz Stripes 2 x 120


    Anyone own these or have an opinion? No, I'm not going to use space aliens riding dragons in UV orange. Maybe next time. :p
     
  14. Madchimp

    Madchimp Member

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    I've just got to ask, how exactly did you get 'sponsored' for this mod??
     
  15. OP
    OP
    slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    The fact that I hold four out of the top ten positions in your PCDB might be a clue. LOL

    Five out of ten if you sort by Looks.

    But seriously. I have a long term relationship with these companies and we work well together.

    Cheers!
     
  16. Madchimp

    Madchimp Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I do not doubt your abilities. I just was wondering how you first started your relationship with these companies? Did you email them and ask to be sponsored, or did they 'head hunt' you? Do you get paid, or get to keep the finished systems?
     
  17. OP
    OP
    slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    No worries. :thumbup:

    After a couple of my projects made the news (back in "03) I was able to use those links in an e-mail to request equipment. I don't get paid and yes...I keep my systems. I still have all of them. :p

    Sponsorship is not a formal relationship. My contact is usually the person who sends out test samples to magazines and tech sites for review They are usually fans of my work who realize they can get as much (or more) media coverage by giving me some stuff.

    I have lost sponsors over the years just because my contact gets promoted or moves on. Their replacement might not be smart enough to understand the effectiveness of this kind of promotion. This happened to me at Seagate.

    My biggest asset has been the friendships in the media I have nurtured over the years. I'm lucky to get to go to the Consumer Electronics Show every year (paid for by VIA) where I meet up with some pretty big name journalists who are fans of my work.

    So the formula works like this....I build something interesting for the journalists to write about. They mention my sponsors name in their story. I link the story in an e-mail to the sponsor while asking for more stuff. I use the stuff to build something interesting....

    The journalist get a story. Ths sponsor gets media attention and I get free gear. Win, win, and win.
     
  18. Madchimp

    Madchimp Member

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    Bloody nice work then mate. I'm totally jealous.... :lol:
     
  19. ford ftw

    ford ftw Member

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    Good start, I love your work I'll keep an eye on this.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    Thanks mates :thumbup: Here comes...

    I thought it might be wise to actually install the computer equipment into the case. LOL. I was pondering a ventilation scheme and wanted to see what obstacles might be an issue. Other problems might show up like....

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    The heatsink fit on the motherboard in only one direction. In this position it took up some of the space for the rear exhaust fan.




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    Not a problem because I wasn't going to use either the front or the rear fan anyway. I like the idea of an open vent close to the CPU fan. The case's primary ventilation flow will be from the bottom to the top not the front to the back.




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    Lots of space in the bottom for just about anything. I actually considered using the case upside down so I could utilize all this potential fan real estate. Issues with the placement of the optical drive put an end to that.




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    The case is upside down so I can envision placement of fans. The big issue at the top of the case is interference from the PSU's modular cables. These two shots show two 120mm fans scouting out new homes. The fans fit perfectly but I will need some friendlier cable routing.

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    Finally, back to some woodworking. Vent openings for the top and bottom panels are measured and drawn out. The left panel cutout has been "power scored" with a Dremel cutout wheel. The back of the panel is also penciled in and scored. I do this because plywood is notorious for surface chipping caused by saw blades and drills. I'm very anal about having sharp edges and clean cuts and this method usually gets me there as you will see.

    Those are excess pencil marks not over-cuts. The scoring is a perfect rectangle.




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    The drill bit used for the pilot holes caused the predicted damage but notice it didn't travel beyond the score marks.




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    A power tool! Yikes! I broke down and bought the cheapest jigsaw available just in case I decide to float test it later. I hate using them but they do save time for larger projects like this one.




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    Of course I can't use a power tool like a normal person does. I don't make any attempt to cut along the line. Instead I leave a small amount of material that I will later hand rasp and rough sand down to the measurement line. Old habits....




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    Ta-da!




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    The jigsaw ripped up the plywood surface but the damage remained within the scored boundary.




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    Two identical panels with rough-cut openings. The top panel will hide two 120mm exhaust fans but look like it might be a 3 x 120. I have decided that the bottom panel will be an open vent with filters instead of fans. Both openings will have identical mesh covers with thin wooden frames.




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    After a couple of hours of relaxing rasping, filing and sanding I get these.

    Thanks for looking.
     

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