The Ultimate AIO Case? Worklog.

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by Ratzz, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. OP
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    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    There have been numerous pix, but the design keeps changing :lol:
     
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  2. OP
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    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Most of my bits have arrived for the front IO setup. I have the USB 3.1 <> cable, a pair of USB 3.0 type A <> USB 3.0 type C cables, and the PCIE card with 2x USB3.0 external ports and a 19 pin USB 3.0 internal port.

    I had a message from the supplier for the pair of 19 pin USB 3.0 <> to USB 3.0 type A females, they are unable to supply the product, so that purchase has been refunded. I'm now waiting on a different supplier for the identical product, the adapters will arrive on July 4th apparently.

    I'm getting there :thumbup:

    Also in the image are my pair of USB 3.0 hubs, with 3 type A ports and 1 type C port each.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. OP
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    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Although both of our phones do not have wireless charging, I've found some adapters to make them so. Eva's phone has a type C connection, mine is Micro A, there are adapters to suit both phones and since we both keep our phones in wallets, the chargers will be invisible on the phones. I'm considering integrating a Qi charger into the shelf of the PC. The charger is wood, it might be a nice addition to the rig. I'm considering adding these as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  4. OP
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    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    The 19 pin <> 2x USB 3.0 Type adapters arrived today :thumbup:

    The jigsaw puzzle is starting to come together :D


    [​IMG]
     
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  5. OP
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    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Just worked out, due to the wonderfully confusing way they name USB ports these days, that all of my USB 3.0 ports are really USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports :D
    The ones I have been calling USB 3.1 are actually 3.1 Gen 2...
    So in total, I will now have, including the factory ports:

    6x USB A 3.1 Gen 1 ports at the front
    2x USB C 3.1 Gen 1 ports at the front
    6x USB A 3.1 Gen 1 ports at the rear

    2x USB A 3.1 Gen 1 ports on the motherboard.

    1x USB C 3.1 Gen 2 port at the front
    2x USB A 3.1 Gen 2 ports at the rear
    1x USB C 3.1 Gen 2 port at the rear

    I'm thinking.. probably enough to get me by? :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  6. OP
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    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Obviously still more to do before I can apply the veneer, but the bulk of the woodwork is done now. Apart from the front panel, which has been redesigned once more and will be going back to 3x140mm fans.

    This pic hopefully gives some idea of where I'm going with this. At the moment I have the USB hubs sitting with one USB C port high and one low, I'm not sure if that's the way it will finish up though. They may both be high, or low, for more symmetry. Nothing is actually installed, they are just sitting in their holes (quite a snug fit, which I am pleased with).

    The clock is running on the 10000 mAh battery for this pic, the battery supports passthrough so is normally running on mains power, but stays on when disconnected or the power is off. The LED is lit permanently, I wanted it to display 24/7 as a room clock.. which is also the reason it is mounted high of course.

    I haven't cut the mount for the Gen 2 USB C port yet either, I'm still mulling over where to put it. I've made the holes for the amp switch and power switch, and the 3 smaller holes will be power on, amp on, and OS activity LED's. Red, Green, and Blue. The LED's will actually be completely covered by the veneer, they are bright enough to be seen through the veneer, but invisible when not lit.

    I'll be installing the monitor mount/backboard tomorrow, its already been cut, I just need to stick the monitor in there so I can work out where the Vesa mount holes will be, and hence exactly where to attach the backboard, both height and depth wise.

    Once I've done that I will be able to decide on the best position for the volume knob, which has a significant bulk behind it, so I need to see where I can get decent clearance.

    You can also see the step up I've added under the monitor cavity, so that leaving the keyboard on the deck will not obscure the bottom of the monitor. As you can also see, I've moved the side piece from the right side of the monitor to the left, to enable shared use of the USB ports for charging etc for Eva (USB ports are not terrible accessible on her machine since I changed her rig to a vesa mounted ISK-110) and to place the clock more centrally in the room.

    It looks pretty crappy at this point, but its actually getting pretty close to looking good.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
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  7. DSTM (Dougie)

    DSTM (Dougie) Member

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    What veneer are you using? Wondering how the front will look veneered, with the side and top edges showing.
    Bit confused at the moment.:)
     
  8. OP
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    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Its an iron on Tasmanian Oak veneer. Thinly sliced real wood with a heat activated adhesive pre-applied to the back. Every external part of the case will be veneered, no joints will be visible. Single large pieces of veneer over each face, with holes cut where required. The surfaces you see in the pic will all be one piece of veneer, then the excess cut out of the monitor cavity will be used for one of the sides.

    Inner surfaces will simply be painted black.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  9. DSTM (Dougie)

    DSTM (Dougie) Member

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    Sounds good.:thumbup:
     
  10. OP
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    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Got a little more done today. More than it actually looks like in fact, but its definitely starting to look like a computer case !! Ignore the shit underneath where the actual PC will sit... :lol: The monitor is properly mounted at last, all is nice and square. A little extra height means the keyboard no longer obscures the bottom of the screen. Getting there :thumbup:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. DSTM (Dougie)

    DSTM (Dougie) Member

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    Why isn't the Keyboard sitting down where your Mouse is? Reaching up all the time could be a pain.
    Starting to look good, mate.:thumbup:
    Just a thought. :)
     
  12. OP
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    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    The keyboard does sit down where the mouse is :D The upper deck is simply somewhere to store it, out of the way. I eat my meals at the desk while I watch videos or youtube :lol: The upper deck is just a way of clearing the desk...
     
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  13. DSTM (Dougie)

    DSTM (Dougie) Member

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  14. Deano_20802

    Deano_20802 Member

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    Coming along nicely mate. I'm keen to see how it laminates, I've made a fair bit of furniture out of Tas Oak (it is a local timber after all), it's beautiful and strong, but heavy.
     
  15. OP
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    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Lamination is actually not going well.

    I've tried using wood laminate before, by using PVA wood glue (like Aquadhere) contact adhesive (like Kwik Grip), and the iron on stuff I had planned to use here.
    For the life of me, I can't get a decent job happening. I get bubbles, regardless of method. Not immediately, but days later, usually along the grain lines. Fucked if I know what I am doing wrong. Last attempts were on marine ply, I theorised that perhaps there were chemicals in the ply which were interfering in some way. But I can't get the shit to work even on MDF.

    I'm at the point where I am considering other options.
    Glueing vinyl over the whole thing.
    Glueing cloth over the whole thing.
    Paint.
    Or, and this is winning at the moment.. the MDF has allowed me to mess around cheaply and easily with design. Now I've arrived at a precise design. Buy some real wood and rebuild it. No Laminate required. Winning because I like real wood, but bulk and weight are starting to get out of control this way.

    The downside of real wood is that common sources are all a minimum of 18mm thick. I have the MDF design down to 9mm thick, reducing weight considerably both in the weight of the actual material (vs real wood) and the thickness of it. I suspect 9mm thick real wood would be prone to bowing too, so that's probably why most real wood panel is minimum 18mm thick?

    Its holding the project back at the moment, I may simply assemble and paint it black for now, whilst deciding how to proceed with a final product.




    Next problem. I have some left angled sata data cables which I want to use. They are long enough to reach from the front of the case, where the SATA ports are, to where the 2.5" drives will be mounted, on the back of the monitor brace. They are angled to fit more easily into the available space at the front of the mobo tray.

    They are left angled rather than right angled, so I can route the cables from the sata ports on my specific mobo, which are located at the front edge of the mobo, UNDER the mobo tray to the rear and then up at the back, for the sake of neatness. BUT they are angled on both ends, which is a bit awkward at the drive end for various reasons.

    I'd prefer to have the left angled connector at the mobo end, but a straight connector on the drive end. Because I'm a tightarse, I don't want to pay like 15+ bucks per cable, which is what I would have to pay for such an animal in OZ (and kind of adds up a lot were I to use all 8 ports, although I only currently plan on using 4 - $120 just for SATA cables is a bit crazy IMHO), and even then, they are hard to find in an appropriate length (600mm minimum).

    I have a question for the electrical gurus.

    Given that these are DATA cables, not power cables.. would it make a difference if I were to cut an angled connector from the drive end and replace it with a straight connector from the millions of other cables I have lying around?
    I think the easy way to do this would be to actually cut the cables, and join them together, rather than trying to mess around with the actual connectors... but will a soldered joint in each of the wires in a SATA DATA cable negatively impact the performance of the cable at all?
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  16. mad_mic3

    mad_mic3 Member

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    good to see your getting back into it kev:)
    have you tried clamping the piece down on a hard flat surface while it drys
    does mod diy or other mod shops sell the sata connections so you can just make your own custom data cables
     
  17. Deano_20802

    Deano_20802 Member

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    No good mate, hopefully there's an easy solution or the laminate.
     
  18. OP
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    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    I haven't been able to source any sata data connections to make my own cables. If anyone can find some for me, please throw me a link :)

    I haven't tried clamping as such, but I did try adding significant weight after ironing. I've had the jack of laminate, I think I am just gonna paint this case for now until I can remake it, with a couple of design changes (specifically, a deeper monitor section so I can mount the little Lepy amp horixontally, which will simplify the audio components significantly and leave me more space for power outlets) from real wood, to save me having to laminate it at all.

    I'm thinking of some of THESE BEECH PANELS from Bunnings, which I can assemble with glue and dowels and have a better longer lasting cabinet. The 405mm width will suit the depth of the case and save me a fair bit of cutting. The only issue is the 18mm thickness, which will make it a bloody heavy case.
     
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  19. OCMunkee

    OCMunkee Member

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    I definitely would avoid modifying SATA cables yourself, they're relatively high frequency and sensitive to impedance variations and other issues. Same reason you shouldn't try to forcefully bend them to a tight radius.
    I suggest looking at https://lime-technology.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Analysis_of_Drive_Issues and noting the highlighted portion.

    If it were up to me, I'd be looking to find a decent supplier to buy new cables from, not jury-rigging from bits and pieces.
     
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  20. OP
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    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Thankyou, that's the answer I was looking for. I might have to bite the bullet and buy a hundred bucks worth of SATA DATA cables :thumbdn:
     

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