WCPC mini Project Log

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by Trucrymz, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    Having seen the awesome projects here on OCAU I've been inspired to do my own mod project, only one problem... I lack any kind of skill, creativity and budget/resources... well atleast not enough to create the level of quality that I've se want. So this will largely be a learning experience for me...

    so after much deliberation, I've finally found the courage to start my own project log. This is my first real project and I have a limited budget so I will be reusing alot of stuff I already have. Please feel free to offer suggestions, ideas, advice (actually I'll probably need them...desparately... and as many as I can get) or even criticism.

    So this is how I started;

    After following Craigbru's awesome Rogue Project, Id been looking for a mini tower to butcher.. I mean "mod" for a while. I considered the NZXT Panzerbox, Lian Li A05N/A06F and silverstone SG03 mini towers but unfortunately here in Australia the only option available was the SG03. But after seeing the SG03 I decided it was physically too small to house the WC setup I wanted. Then one day... I stumbled upon this little box below. It belonged to a customer (I repair PCs for a living) but the system had died a early death so he gave it to me after I explained to him what I intended to do with it

    After following Craigbru's awesome Rogue Project, Id been looking for a mini tower to butcher.. I mean "mod" for a while. I had my eyes on the NZXT Panzerbox, the Lian Li A06F and the Silverstone SG03 but unfortunately here in Australia the only available option was the SG03. But after seeing the SG03 I realised it was just physically too small to house the WC setup I wanted :(

    Then one day... I stumbled upon this little box below. It belonged to a customer (I repair PCs for a living) but the system had died a early death so after I explained to him what I intended to do with it he thought I was crazy but he gave it to me anyway.

    [​IMG]
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    So here's a quick list of the tortures I'll be putting this poor little case through. Im playing by ear, so more likely than not quite a few of these things might be dropped and others added, you'll just have to stay tuned to find out for sure;

    Cut hole to add a rad grill to the top panel
    Cut some holes to mount a triple rad on floor
    Cut away all the stamped fan grills
    Cut some holes in the mobo tray for cable management
    Put Power /reset buttons and fan controller on top panel
    replace stock LCD with a Matrix Orbital
    cut slot for slot loading DVD drive (this might change cos cant find any slot loaders ATM)
    bog up stock buttons
    Cut side window & Logo
    Paint the internals satin black(?)
    Paint external Metalic black with red(?) accents (not 100% yet on colour scheme)
    and many more


    OK first I stripped the poor guy totally naked

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    I started with some demel work and beganbutchering the top panel and stock fan grills;
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    did some filing to clean up some of the cuts. both the cuts in the top panel and bottom panel will be covered and wont be seen, so I did not spend too much time on them. However the cut outs for the 2 8cm fans on the back panel will be visible so I cleaned them up as much as possible.

    I taped it up to give me a straight edge to use as a guide.
    [​IMG]

    Looking pretty clean after about 20mins of filing
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  2. OP
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    Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    OK so some more dremel work. This time the bottom of the case. Did not want to cut away too much as the sheet metal is not all that thick.

    [​IMG]
    used a homemade radiator shroud as a template and after one (very) rough cut

    [​IMG]
    Man I knew I should of got the dremel kit with the circle cutting kit! but I was too tmpted by this 75th Anniversary Special Edition dremel kit
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    which icluded this very cool ultility tool
    [​IMG]

    Oh well more work for the file...
     
  3. OP
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    Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    so after wasting the afternoon chasing that circle cutting kit fruitlessly, I ended up doing it the hard way. The cuts still need alot of filing but I at least managed to get the shape pretty round. Even though this looks like a cheap generic case, the panels are actually thicker and harder to cut thru than my HAF932, which I also butchered pretty bad. Furthermore the floor panel is stamped making it even harder to get a perfect circle.
    [​IMG]
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  4. atmo

    atmo Member

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    Looks good so far.

    Are the top fans/radiator going to be external?

    The case has a slightly different internal layout than normal, but that may work to your advantage. You may need to trim the PSU support panel if you're using a PSU with a 120mm fan that feeds from the bottom. The only other issue I could possibly see with it would be if you wanted to run a longer than normal PSU (650w+), but I'm sure there'd be a way to make it fit.
     
  5. OP
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    Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    Thanks for the comment. Im using a Thermaltake TruePower Qfan 750w, which has a 14cm fan. Im going to turn it upside down so the fan faces up and change the fan orientation so it will be blowing air up instead of sucking. The rad is triple rad is going on the floor of the case. I've left enough room to mount a 240 rad up top but it will have to be a thin one no thicker than about 2 or 2.5cm otherwise it may block the mobo. ATM im just going to use the rad grill for some exhaust fans.
     
  6. OP
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    Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    Here's what the stock front panel looks like.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here's a quick mock up of what I want it to look like. I want to cut an opening to put a Matrix Orbital LCD display where the stock LCD is and then use bondo to fill in the gaps and stock buttons to make it look OEM. Then make a slot opening for a slot loading DVD drive.

    The opening in the center will hold a dual bay reservior like the Primochill Typhoon (& D5 pump) or XSPC dual bay res with DDC pump top. Im also considering the XSPC 750 bay res/pump combo, which cost significantly less (~$230/$170/$75 respectively for the 3 res/pump options) but Im not sure what the performance difference would be, and whether the 750 is powerful enough to give some headroom in the future. Basically, I want it to be powerful enough to handle a Heatkiller LC + 2 GPU blocks, 1 chipset, 1 mosfet block and 2 rads. Anyone have experience with the XSPC 750 pump/res combo?

    The bottom 12cm intake Im still not sure about, but ideally I would like to do a intake similar to the many turbine fan mods around. Or should I just remove and bog up the stock buttons? what do you guys think?

    [​IMG]
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  7. OP
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    Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    Havent had time to do much during the week, plus Im waiting for some gear before I can go any further. But a quick post to show off some new gear that arrived today.

    First up, an XSPC full cover block made for a 3870. Im going to mod it a little, tap some new holes and make it fit my 4870. Picked it up it the clearance section for $25AU Cheap as chips!
    [​IMG]

    The Thermaltake ModX fan. Still not sure if I'll use this or not, but if I do, It will get a coat of paint and possibly a nose cone for that turbine look. This one costed just as much as the full cover block!:( oh well you win some you lose some...
    [​IMG]

    Last but not least an Alphacool mini heat trap mosfet block. Another bargain at just $6! I ordered 3 of these (2 small and one large one) and another VGA block (not full cover) but for some reason, the other order got rejected by customs, and was sent via surface mail from the UK. apparantly it takes 12 weeks! Im really not happy about that...
    [​IMG]

    some more gear to be crammed in...

    my PSU, a brand new (not for long)Thermaltake QFan w/ 60Amps of juice on a single rail and...LIFETIME WARRANTY!>>> Damn makes me feel so bad about voiding it :(
    [​IMG]

    and a new (ripped it out of the misses new laptop... hope she doesnt notice:Paranoid:) slot loading blu-ray drive for my new project which you can find here

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    found these handles at the hardware store. Thought they look pretty cool and they match the style of the case (after I butcher them a bit). what do you guys reckon?

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    Found these as well, not sure which to use now, the first set is going to have its "teeth" pulled out so it will be a strip to match the grills, whereas these ones below already match and is nice & wider.
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    here's the 1st set after I butchered it. Still needs some filing but you should be able to see what Im trying to do. Opinions anyone?
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    here they are together, handles everywhere!

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    Originally, I was going to mount a 4 channel 3.5" fan controller vertically on the top panel where the grid openings are ATM (they will be filled in with auto filler) but with the addition of the handles Im thinking it may make the top panel too busy, so I think Im

    either drop the 12cm intake and put them in the 3.5" bay

    or leave them out all together (unless I make my own front panel)

    ah decisions decisions... ooh... head... hurting... :(

    Anyway Im leaving that for now... Heres a look at the rather uniquely positioned PSU mount, at the top of the drive bays, where an optical drive should be right?
    [​IMG]

    from the front
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    and where my slot loader will be going, obviously I will have to cut thru the 2 panels and make a slot opening in the front panel
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    Its going to be a little tricky getting the dremel into those little corners to make the cuts. so the PSU mount (and likely the drive bay) will have to be removed. about a dozen or so rivets to be drilled out...

    STAY TUNED! For more upcoming action! Right here on Bit-Tech LIVE! **OK so I lied, its not live, and there's not even much if any action at all, but stay tuned anyway, what else better is there to do?? living is so overrated...:geek:
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  8. OP
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    Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    OK as promised, more (non) action... rivets drilled out, and drive cage & PSU mount removed, leaving abre chasis. I originally wanted to de-rivet the whole case for painting, but considering unavailability of the required countersunk rivets, I think I will be painting the case like this. The grill on the front will be cut out once I decide what I will be doing with the front panel

    [​IMG]
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    Here's the freshly butchered PSU mount,
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    measure twice,
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    Cut once.
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    Yay! it fits
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    Spoke too soon. Drive bay in the way... now where' my butcher knife... I mean where's my dremel?
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    aha! found it, poor drive bay :(
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    Finally (you must be sick of my ranting by now eh?) it really does fit!
    [​IMG]

    Stay tuned, more ranting.. I mean more pics coming soon to a cinema near you *Im lying again*
     
  9. OP
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    Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    Found these at the hardware store, and I thought with some careful butchering 9if there is such a thing) they would make some nice case feet. They look similiar to the case feet on hi-end HTPCs but have a bit more shape and height which should help give the bottom mounted rad/fans a little breathing space. Im going to stick some rubber on them to give better grip and cushoining

    [​IMG]

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  10. Little Man

    Little Man Member

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    Looking good :)
    Subscribed :)

    Also, thanks again for what you are doing in regards to the MDPC-X sleeve buy :D:thumbup:
     
  11. OP
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    Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    Thanks Littleman. Appreciate the support. I think you're the first & only to post on this thread, most likely cos its a pretty generic build, but hopefully I'll learn the skills needed to go on to bigger and better mods in the future from this build.
     
  12. flyingracoon72

    flyingracoon72 Member

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    Looking good! Pics Galore :)
     
  13. OP
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    Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    Thanks Racoon! I know when I read thru worklogs, I often wish there were more pics, so I can clearly see how the mod was done, and what it looked like before and after the mod. So hope you enjoy the pics :)
     
  14. DeejW

    DeejW Member

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    top is looking very clean nice work il keep my eye on this
     
  15. OP
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    Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    Thanks DeeJ. I havent spent much time filing yet, mainly because I need to get a better file, but also the cuts on top and bottom will be covered by rads/rad grills so they dont need to llok perfect. I'll clean it up before painting though
     
  16. VistaideNN

    VistaideNN (Banned or Deleted)

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    yeah man, I like it, looks good, will keep an eye out. :)
     
  17. OP
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    Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    Thanks VistaideNN, more updates coming soon. My mobo is finally in stock and should arrive before the weekend, so I'll be able to do some work on the mobo tray
     
  18. VistaideNN

    VistaideNN (Banned or Deleted)

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    Looking forward to it. :)
     
  19. OP
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    Trucrymz

    Trucrymz (Banned or Deleted)

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    Originally this build was suppose to be as cheap as possible, but somehow, I totally blown my budget many times over. Having spent so much money on the hardware and watercooling gear, Im now having 2nd thoughts about putting all that expensive gear into, this rather generic case.

    So Im contemplating getting a new case, most likely a Lian Li PC-A03 minitower and using that instead. Even if I do, I will still finish the current build, but it will house a lesser Core Duo & Asetek WaterChill system instead of the i7, & hi-end WC kit I had planned.

    Im really not sure what to do ATM so any suggestions would really really be appreciated.

    Here are some pics of the Lian Li PC-A03 and what I would do with it. What do you guys think??

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. flyingracoon72

    flyingracoon72 Member

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    Your call man, but wouldn't it be much more rewarding to put a high end system in a case that you made and awesome-fied your self?
     

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