View Full Version : Bärsärkar-gång

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08-03-2009, 12:12 AM
From Wiki-pedia, "This fury, which was called berserkergang, occurred not only in the heat of battle, but also during laborious work. Men who were thus seized performed things which otherwise seemed impossible for human power. With this was connected a great hot-headedness, which at last gave over into a great rage...." (Fabing, p. 234)

Still in the planning/trying out parts phase but I figured I start up a worklog to get some feedback on the LC. I’m calling this one berserker-gang (berserker path) after the berserkers mentioned in Icelandic and Norse legend. Hopefully this mod will be as enigmatic as the berserkers were.

The design themes are a balance between size, power, and performance. Here’s the current parts list:

Zotac 9300 ITX Wifi (http://amzn.com/B001S2PL3A)
Intel E8400 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037)
Crucial Ballistix 2x2GB PC 6400 4-4-4-12 (http://amzn.com/B001CLMY50)
Corsair M64 SSD (http://amzn.com/B0028LL33C)
Galaxy 9600GT LP LP
PW-200-V 200 Watt DC DC PSU (http://www.mini-box.com/s.nl/it.A/id.301/.f?sc=8&category=981)
XBOX 360 203 Watt AC DC brick
Panasonic Slimline DVD Writer SATA slot loading (http://www.slidirect.com/Panasonic-Slim-DVD-Writer-SATA-Slot-Load?sc=2&category=830)
Swiftech Apogee GTZ block (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835108110)
Swiftech MCP350 12V Pump (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835108063&Tpk=MCP350)
HWlabs Black Ice GT Stealth 140 Unfinished (http://www.hwlabs.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20&Itemid=20) (Thanks Willie!)

Plus a whole series of other bits and pieces along the way

And just because that no worklog update is complete without pics. Here’s the testing that I’ve been doing on the power supply. Findings below. How do you like my cutting board bench tester? :) Power is via the Xbox 360 power brick through the PW-200-V DC DC.

IGP - 35/80w
9600GT (idle/load) - 50/145w

IGP - 1866
9600GT - 10071

3DMark Vantage
IGP - E3966
9600GT E19085/P5006

And here's the plethora of elbows. The MB is mounted vertically and the radiator behind the MB. The video card is mounted in upside down reversed direction using a flexible PCI-E extender.

Updates are going to be slow until I get more of the water cooling planning worked out.

And on that note, I’m using numerous elbows (up to 12). Not ideal but necessary. I’m figuring that I am going to lose 10-15% of the flow rate, which negates any gains from the XPSC top. Assumption based on here. (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/217198-29-elbows-hurt-watercooling)

Reasonable estimate? For each 120mm of radiator, the rule of thumb is 150 watts dissipated (varies with fan speed). Given the expected 200 watt, the 140mm rad paired with a Yate Loon 140mm medium (1400 RPM) should be ok?

Suggestions and advice welcome!

08-03-2009, 12:45 AM
I know nothing about water cooling so I'm afraid I can't help there.

I have to say that I love the SFF concept, especially with the water-cooling, but for me the name conjures up images of huge hulking warriors with notched battle axes and pieces of their slain enemies sewn into their clothing, screaming at their next enemy (victim). SFF just doesn't seem to fit there. :)

Having said that, you've produced some absolutely outstanding work here in the past and I'll be watching this to see how you pull it off.

+rep for the history knowledge...

edit: subscribed

08-03-2009, 01:39 AM
as long as you have the fan blowing at the motherboard and not the other way around you should get decent temps stock, i wouldn't expect a lot of overclocking here.

08-03-2009, 08:56 PM
Wers ze kase?

08-06-2009, 11:59 PM
Yes that does sound like the berserkers from the sagas but this will be about the path or how they got that way. It'll be a challenge to be sure but it will be interesting. Thank you for the kind words. :)

Thanks Spawn, I'm planning to push cool air in the case from the behind the motherboard. I can reverse it but wanted to get cooler air through the rad first.

Air flow enters the fan, goes through the rad, and hits the back of the motherboard. Should it be reversed?

@Acey: I'm still designing some details so I ask your indulgence if I keep the case a mystery for now. I can tell you this will be a found case mod circa 1940. The case dimensions are 12"x10"x6" (30x26x15).

08-30-2009, 07:56 PM
Update 1 {in which the initial players as well as other parts are introduced}

In the 10th century, Christians characterized the Vikings as unclean, uneducated savages. Speculatively, as a way to justify their forced conversion to Christianity.

But the Icelandic and Norse histories reveal a people of intellect; who were industrious and fearless warriors with an eye towards expansion. Expansion that stretched from North America, across Europe, and even into the Middle East.

You could almost dismiss the Christian version as spin doctoring...if not for the Berserkers.

His men rushed forward without armour, were as mad as dogs or wolves, bit their shields, and were as strong as bears or wild bulls, and killed people at a blow, but neither fire nor iron told upon themselves. -Snorre Sturlasson, Ynglinga saga (c6)

While progress is slow and planning continues, I owe you an update. In my intro post, I showed you a little of how the internals would be arranged but I didn't show you the reservoir that will be mounted externally.
Take one brass blowtorch
A brass faucet from a cast iron bathtub particularly the knob
Shake the parts and strip the chrome

Only problem is I need an inlet and an outlet

Only one here

Next update, madness banished(?) and one becomes more

08-31-2009, 01:49 AM
looking great man. i like the way this is going!

09-01-2009, 02:34 AM
Thanks DonT-FeaR, slow but sure.

09-01-2009, 08:34 AM
Thanks DonT-FeaR, slow but sure.

Story of my life. I am very interested in this. Plus it's a history lesson too!

09-13-2009, 10:23 PM
The berserkers time was short lived. Within 300 years, they went from the most feared warriors of their time to legend. Part of their demise was a 1123 Christian law that made berserking punishable by banishment; that included anyone nearby who didn't restrain him until his berserk state wore off. It was an interesting law because it got rid of anyone who was a berserker plus anyone who may have been helping him to go berserk.

Which raises the questions, how do you help someone go berserk? And what if berserking was NOT caused by who or what they were but instead, something the berserker did?

....but I'm getting ahead of myself, that's the next update...back to the mod.
Picking up where we left off, you'll recall the dilemma regarding the inlet and outlet ports. Here's how one becomes more…
Cut out the original with a dremel high speed bit
Take a 2" 22 gauge brass circle
Light tap it into shape in the end of a 2 inch pipe
Drill starter holes for the saw blade
Jeweler's saw and file to complete the first hole
Second hole with relief cuts
Sleestak? Hmm…
Last night, a comedian died in New York? Maybe not…:)
Brass bushings or bushes. I've found that lamp suppliers are a wonderful place to get 1/4" BSPP hardware. No plumbing fittings but they do have nuts and bushings.
Bushings in place
Clamped for soldering. The middle tube is aluminum
I'm using Solder-it solder bearing paste.
Not too bad on the front
Helluvah mess on the back tho.
Expanded the hole in the bottom
Cleaned up the pieces for second round of soldering
Test fit. It'll work…
After clean-up, I'm not happy with the vugs around the neck of the bushings
So much for the new approach. I pulled out the silver solder and went medieval on it, tinning the entire backside. I got carried away with soldering and forgot to take pics but,
here's the end result after initial clean-up. Still needs to be leak tested and acid dipped. Not as clean as the first round but shouldn't leak (fingers crossed)
I lost all the patina in the pickle after solder. Don't worry I plan to put it back.
Need your opinion on fittings. Barbs?
Compression fittings?
Again with Feser Acid Green tubing
Barbs with brass clamps and copper sleeving. I'll likely use the copper sleeving throughout but haven't devised a way to put it on with the compression fittings yet. I'm thinking about soldering on copper ferrules or using heatshrink.

What do you think?

Next time, "Wait til your berserker gets home"

09-13-2009, 10:30 PM
Excellent work as always!

On the fitting, I'll have to vote for compression fittings. I'm sure you'll solve the riddle of the sleeving. You always do.

09-14-2009, 12:05 AM
Thanks blueonblack! Yeah its a toss up right now. I love the brass clamps but its not as clean as the compression fittings.

09-14-2009, 12:09 AM
Very nice, I'm eagerly awaiting this one's finish...

09-14-2009, 03:15 AM
Man do I love a "Mod by Mach" and this one has definitely got me anxious!

Great job!

09-14-2009, 04:23 AM
looks insane great work

09-14-2009, 12:32 PM
Compression fittings get my vote also...

09-15-2009, 09:06 AM
Thanks guys! Fair warning, completion is going to take awhile. Still trying to get everything to cooperate by fitting into the case.

Compression fitting it is! Thanks Luke and Blue.

09-16-2009, 02:37 AM
Man do I love a "Mod by Mach" and this one has definitely got me anxious!

Great job!

+1 on that! looking sweet so far. good solder work :)

09-16-2009, 11:50 PM
Thanks billygoat333. No leaks on the reservoir. I've got one other solder job on it and then I'll call it done.

So more of a teaser but I'm trying to work a temperature probe into the reservoir. Here's the first attempt at a mounting flange:


I got a little carried away trying to work an led into it. It was fun to make but its too long. I'll just go with the top ball fitting and the bottom hex nut when I solder it to the tank.

Thanks for looking. :)

10-07-2009, 02:35 AM
Who were the berserkers? Nothing in the historical record shows that they were any different than other Vikings. They were men (interestingly, no mention of berserker women) who lived among other Vikings, raised families, and led what could be considered normal lives unless they went berserk unexpectedly. Then friend, foe, or family were at risk. The sagas cite several times where a berserker was overcome by their blood lust when working or playing a game. As did Skallagrim, who went berserk while playing a ball game with his son.

Skallagrim then became so strong and he caught up Thord and dashed him down so violently that he was all bruised and at once got his bane [died]. Then he seized Egil. Now there was a handmaid of Skallagrim's named Thorgerdr Brak, who had nursed Egil when a child; she was a big woman, strong as a man, and of magic cunning. Said Brak:

'Dost thou turn thy shape-strength, Skallagrim, against thy son?' Egil's Saga Chapter 40

Turns out, he didn't kill his son, Egil. He was too busy flinging Brak off a cliff before he snapped out of it. So, it seems that once a berserker was wired to the Bärsärkar-gång, he couldn't control it, and he couldn't "unwire" himself even if his family was at risk. What the hell did these guys do to themselves??


Back to the mod, the fitting that I was making in the last update is for the reservoir temperature probe. Rubidium over at RealRedRaider did an absolutely awesome tutorial (http://www.realredraider.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=169) on how to seal a Dallas One Wire sensor. Here's the hole for the flange (yes, I was wincing drilling that one.)
Flange, fitting and tube
Flange soldered in place. That's wet paper towels around the flange to keep from desoldering anything vital.
One wire sensor and tube
Same sensor from the side
Syringe loaded up with 3M potting resin
In place, waiting for resin
Sealed up with resin goodness
Get the idea? The tubing is flared to keep the sensor from falling in.
Mounting bracket drilled out for the fitting and wire in the copper tubing leading to the case.
On the subject of how the berserkers were wired, here's how this project is going to be wired. Lazy man's sleeving! Cloth covered wire. :) 16 gauge spark plug wire
20 gauge lamp cord in basic colors
Even more colors
18 gauge black. I'm leaning toward using green and black only.
Amphenol power plug and receptacle rated at 6 amps per pin IIRC
Sufficiently industrial looking no?
Bridged the connections with a short run to the DC-DC converter.
Finally broke down and bought a desoldering gun after getting jerked around on ebay.
The victim.
Works a treat. Had to massage the connector a little to get it to relent but very easy.
Back side shot. I'm going to solder the wires directly to the board and then to a 24 pin plug. Have you ever seen anyone successfully desolder an ATX receptacle and solder on the back of the motherboard? Advice and opinions would be appreciated on how silly an idea it is.
One of the things that I love about modding is the ridiculously talented people that you meet. Here's a couple of CPU waterblock tops that Duniek (http://www.overclock.net/water-cooling/507060-dunieks-watercooling-stuff.html) made. Check out his work if you get a chance. (http://www.overclock.net/water-cooling/507060-dunieks-watercooling-stuff.html)
Not only is he talented but he's an extremely nice guy when it comes to silly ass requests. :) I'm planning on using the copper with the brass hold down if I can get it all to fit. Thanks Duniek, amazing work!
Lastly, on the subject of truly great stand-up guys, take a look at this. Its an unfinished Hardware Labs Black Ice GT Stealth 140. It was loving pulled from the assembly line, wrapped with care, and shipped from the Philippines by Willie at HWLabs. For a CEO and President, he's an extremely patient man when it comes to silly ass requests. It's solid quality and will make a perfect addition to this project as its one of the thinner radiators going in the 140 size. If you need a new rad, check out their new SR-1 line-up (http://www.hwlabs.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6&Itemid=3).


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_UdQdiSb7gT4/SswnZW1k27I/AAAAAAAAHLM/ft8eSONNwBM/s800/HWLABS.jpg (http://www.hwlabs.com/)
(Thanks Willie! really, really appreciate it!)

On a more serious note, you may of heard of the double whammy typhoons that hit the Philippines recently. If you can spare a few bones, please think about throwing a tenner the Red Cross' way earmarked for the SE Asia disaster relief. It'll help some folks who are hurting and it'll make you feel good too...promise!

That's about it for this update. If you're digging the brass/copper direction this is going, then stay tuned. I have discovered a dusty bottle of awesome sauce. The next update will be soaking in it. ;)

10-07-2009, 02:44 AM
Remember that your pin layout is going to be all messed up when you mount to the other side of the board. You could fry your board if you screw up so double check everything.

That wire looks great. I need to get some for my computer.

10-07-2009, 02:02 PM
Will do, measure 10 times and solder once.

Wire suppliers


10-07-2009, 03:15 PM
Looks Awesome! I like the brass blow torch conversion!

10-08-2009, 01:55 AM
Thanks Locum51, glad you like it!

10-11-2009, 10:32 PM
Advice and opinions would be appreciated on how silly an idea it is.

As it turns out pretty dang silly. Read on..

Emboldened by my success with the DC/DC converter, I attempted desoldering the motherboard this evening.

I tackled the 4 pin power connector first. Practically fell off the board with minor finessing.


All good!:up:

Decided to take on the ATX connector next.


And I thought I had it too. Then things went sideways...


:facepalm: Scratch one motherboard.

Turns out the desoldering gun plugged off midway through but I didn't know it until after the damage was done. Finally pulled a trace off and called it quits. I'll see what I can do to fix it but it'll mean another motherboard for this mod. As an upside, version 2 of the 9300 Itx is out in November.

Although I didn't have Langer's problem of the solder not melting, I'll leave this type of mod to my betters and revert to soldering to the pads on the back. Ouch expensive lesson...:facepalm:

10-11-2009, 10:58 PM
"There is a direct correlation between the cost of a lesson and how well it is learned." -- Unknown

"The more it costs you, the better you'll remember it." -- my grandfather

Sorry for the trouble, Mach. Other than this little snag it seems to be going very well. Keep on.

10-12-2009, 12:10 AM
I'm definitely going to be following this one.

+rep for the skilled work so far.


10-12-2009, 12:20 AM
Thanks Indybird (I'll try to give you something a little more impressive next time) & blueonblack!

Definitely a valuable lesson and a little humbling. Need to go back to practicing on dead motherboards. :) I had 2 things on my modding hit list that are modding milestones for me. Windowed HDs that don't fail within 6 months, gear train and servos, and now a 3rd, desoldering an ATX connector. Someday... ;)

10-12-2009, 12:27 AM
Thanks Indybird (I'll try to give you something a little more impressive next time) & blueonblack!

Definitely a valuable lesson and a little humbling. Need to go back to practicing on dead motherboards. :) I had 2 things on my modding hit list that are modding milestones for me. Windowed HDs that don't fail within 6 months, gear train and servos, and now a 3rd, desoldering an ATX connector. Someday... ;)

I just realized I didn't even read your very last post. Well...that changes me WHOLE opinion on this worklog. -rep...jk:D

That is kinda unfortunate about the mobo though; that's why I personally avoid soldering on expensive parts.


10-12-2009, 09:23 PM
Great cuts, awesome look and superb color.. Wish I can get my hands on the materials you have :D

10-13-2009, 01:51 AM
Beautiful work. +rep I love the copper/brass theme; can't wait to see the case :D

Bad luck about the ATX connector, but other than that mishap, very impressive.

10-13-2009, 10:58 AM
This kind of work takes big brass balls. Good damn stuff.

10-13-2009, 11:30 AM
This kind of work takes big brass balls.

Also brass knobs and brass tubing, and brass fixtures :P

10-14-2009, 01:11 AM
Thanks guys, :) funny you guys should mention the brass....

So what did the berserkers do to themselves? Some references point to the Cult of Odin and cite references to magic rites, mind altering rituals, and even shape shifting. A particularly intriguing story describes how Christianity and the power of the crucifix overcame a berserker who among other things was immune to damage and fire.

Baresark was looked for to come thither, whose name was Otrygg, and all were afraid of him...that he feared neither fire nor sword, and the heathen men were sore afraid at his coming...Thangbrand smote the arm of the Baresark with his crucifix, and so mighty a token followed that the sword fell from the Baresark's hand. - The Story of Burnt Njal, Chapter 99
Back to the mod, I've got some etching "magic" to drop on you guys but that'll have to wait until later. If you'll allow me a little more story, I promise you'll like where this is going.

Ahem, if its not already obvious, I like brass and copper and in many ways, its central to this mod's theme. So I was a little disappointed when the copper fittings didn't work. I could have used chrome fittings but was looking for the lowest profile available. Gary at Sidewinder.com swooped in to help suss out what might work.

(If you haven't checked out Sidewinder before, go now! Gary's one of the most knowledgeable guys in the LC arena. More importantly, he's an extremely good guy and helpful to boot.) (http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/)

A few emails later, I was talking with the Bitspower head magician, Vincent.


Flash forward a couple of weeks later, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw these. Brass magic...:D:D:D


And this adjustable 90, the pictures don't do this justice. The fit is incredible.


Q fitting

45 degree fitting


Fixed 90 degree fitting

Threaded stops
Threaded extenders
boom chicka wow-wow













Ah yes that'll work just fine…..
With 45s


And if that's not enough awesome sauce, I now have a sponsor.


Thanks Bitspower and a big thumbs up to Vincent! :up: As you might imagine, I'm one happy modder right now. :)

Stay tuned...

10-14-2009, 01:59 AM
Mmmm, now that is pretty. There's just something about bare brass; it just feels...idk, happier, somehow.

10-14-2009, 02:14 AM
Holy CRAP.


That is nothing short of awesome, my friend.

And congratulations on the sponsorship!

10-14-2009, 07:27 AM
wow those are sweet! and yes congrats!

10-14-2009, 08:10 AM
Dude, I am such a fan of your work. That looks incredible!

10-14-2009, 09:30 AM
Nice. Those fittings reminds me of the 18 golden men of shaolin.. or something like that.

10-14-2009, 03:23 PM
Fantastic, this going to be epic :up::D:up:.

10-14-2009, 09:40 PM
Nice hardware. Should really work well with the look you've got going so far.:up:

10-14-2009, 09:47 PM
Thanks guys! Its definitely going to add an element of epic to the mod. I'm:banana::banana:ing all over the place about right now.

10-25-2009, 05:47 PM
In 2007, the Harrogate Hoard (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1209649/Viking-silver-treasure-hoard-worth-1m-unearthed-1-000-years.html) was discovered in North Yorkshire England. Dated to the 10th century Vikings, the find included over 617 silver coins inscribed with Islamic, Christian, and pre-Christian Norse pagan symbols. Silver played a day to day role in Viking life where it was used as currency, jewelry, and utensils. Many of these items were inscribed with symbols of religious or magical note. Interestingly, they also used silver as a bactericide. What did they think when they lined the hulls of their ships with strings of silver (http://ceae.colorado.edu/mc-edc/pdf/Silver%20Paper.pdf)? They knew it stopped algae and barnacles growing but did they consider it magic? If so, did they consider berserking magic or was there a more practical explanation?


Time add a little silver magic to this mod. A couple of G1/4" plugs…

A little dremel and drill work.
Berserker rune magic...
22 gauge fine silver sheet
Where this is heading…
8 copies (gonna need more than this unfortunately)
Printed on Press and Peel blue
Cut to size
Steel wooled and cleaned with acetone. Note the dimples on the silver. Those are bad for getting PNP to stick.
Hangar 9 model plane heat sealing iron
Turned to high and used to iron the PNP
And so began, a frustrating series of failed attempts, 15 to be exact
After awhile, I started to figure it out
Nice thing about the PNP, is that you can see where the toner doesn't stick.
See what I mean?
Not too bad. This can be touched up with a Sharpie.
Touched up and ready to etch. In the end, the secret was using a piece of bunched up flannel to first rub all the air bubbles out. Then, I put the iron on one edge of the silver, holding it flat, while I rubbed hard with the flannel on the edge of the silver right next to the iron. Then I moved the iron over a half an inch and repeated. I ironed across the sheet this way and then repeated on any bubbles that I could see. This link was an immense help. (http://web.mac.com/mckinney3/iWeb/Etching%20Journey/Etching%20Journal/9D783481-3D54-4BD6-A768-2870A6E56553.html)
Back covered with tape
Gorilla tape, resists acid very well
Ebay bench power supply, costs more to ship this thing. 40 volts at 5 amps, way more power than I need but I can dial-in both with precision. Had it hooked up wrong at first, quickly solved.
Ospho rust neutralizer, 15% phosphoric acid (info from here (http://www.kahiko.com/Electro%20Etch%20Silver.htm))
Backyard etching setup. My etcher is a kit from http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/4231
Etch underway. The cathode is a piece of stainless steel sheet. The anode is a brass tray that holds the silver between its rail. A brilliant piece of engineering that works very well to etch the brass tray but not much else. :rolleyes:
Looks good but its not etching. With daylight fading, I pulled out the brass tray and went with wires gorilla taped to the back side of the silver
It worked! This was from 1 volt at 1.5 amps for 45 minutes with the plates about an inch apart.
Could have done less time and about half the amperage. You can see the resist was starting to let go and pitting was beginning.
I cut the sheet using a jewelers saw and hammered them around a 9mm drill bit. A little solder and a lot of polishing later. Magic ;)
Runes show up very well.
Ready for installation
And this is where they go.
They'll screw into the reservoir to provide the necessary bactericide for the cooling loop.

Thanks for looking. A big thanks to my sponsors, Bitspower and HW Labs. :up:


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_UdQdiSb7gT4/SswnZW1k27I/AAAAAAAAHLM/ft8eSONNwBM/s800/HWLABS.jpg (http://www.hwlabs.com/)


Next time: Berserker in a bottle...

10-25-2009, 06:02 PM
O_O That...looks awesome. It's a shame they won't be visible though.

10-25-2009, 06:42 PM
It's a shame they won't be visible though.

Not really...I think hidden things like this are awesome. I love the story about the hidden message in Abraham Lincoln's watch (http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/10/lincoln.watch/index.html). When I take apart on old radio, you always find hidden notes and symbols. Its the hidden details that makes me grin and feeds my OCD. :)

10-25-2009, 06:50 PM
as i once stated before, its not the fact that you can see it, but rather the fact that you know its there that gives the little "yay" when you think of it:) most mods of today is about showing all the little details in windows and stuff, but things like this that you are only gonna see in the build log is just amazing!
love the build bro. +rep

10-27-2009, 01:06 AM
Thanks pOPe! Exactly right on the hidden details. :)

10-27-2009, 04:36 AM
I am absolutely at a loss for words here.

I read this last sequence slowly, enjoying every line, knowing your work as I do, and frankly being more and more impressed as the work progressed.

Then came the last picture where these tubes you went to all this *incredible* amount of trouble to make are slid into the reservoir, never to be seen again, but by the bacteria they are there to kill.

Mach, I really don't know what to say here... First off, wow. Incredible work, as expected. But this degree of... whatever this is, really makes me feel like a child. I thought I was driven along these lines myself, but I can see now that I am merely wandering somewhere near the same path.

I literally held my head in my hands in amazement here, and uttered the word "wow" at least five times. Both for the workmanship and for the whatever it is that makes you go to this much trouble for something that won't been seen by another human unless and until some archaeologist cracks it open someday and is very confused.

I truly cannot +rep you enough for this.

10-27-2009, 12:13 PM
Thanks blue! Yours is one of the nicest compliments that I've ever received, in a worklog or otherwise. :redface: Practically, the silver is for the bacteria. The etching though is for you and other folks watching this one; sharing the secret of this mod.

I'm grinning from ear to ear hearing about your reaction. It's the same one that I had watching your gear train in action. So tag, you're it. :)

Forewarned though, I'm not done. There is more madness in store and rest assured, there is a reason and a method to it all. ;)

10-29-2009, 12:49 PM
I've sat here and read through this whole log with a big ol' dumb grin of disbelief on my face, shaking my head occasionally...amazing work Mach, incredible attention to detail. I love the silver tubes, in a way it's too bad you won't really see them when it's done, but I too like to tuck things away where only I know they're there. And the reservoir looks great - brass is so very pretty.
Can't wait to see more pics, it's looking awesome!

10-31-2009, 12:23 AM
Thanks artoodeeto, I'm having fun with it. :)

I'm busy working on another update but I need some help from folks in Canada or Europe (maybe even the US). I need brass metric socket head button M4 screws like in the picture below. 25 & 40mm length would be ideal. Mcmaster's doesn't have them and I'm striking out at local shops.

I've found M4 hex bolts locally and had some partial success with soldering button screws to threaded rod but neither is ideal. Anyone know where to buy the button head ones?


10-31-2009, 12:51 AM
I can't seem to find anyone who does brass...which is rather odd, you wouldn't think that would be such a strange thing.. I found steel and chrome at Bolt Depot (http://www.boltdepot.com/material.aspx?cc=25&cs=82) (love them, btw), and steel and aluminum at fastener-express (http://www.fastener-express.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=214). I'm assuming you already checked the other suppliers in the wiki?

10-31-2009, 01:03 AM
Yep, checked the wiki suppliers and sent fastener-express an email but no response yet. Thanks for looking.

10-31-2009, 01:09 AM
New motherboard. So innocent, so trusting....


Mwahahahahaha! Where's my soldering iron??

Happy Halloween guys!

10-31-2009, 01:53 AM
Looks like these guys have what you want...idk how small an order you can get though..

10-31-2009, 09:11 AM
I'll send em a note but it'll likely be a production run which in brass with setup will likely be a few grand. I may have found the limit to my "crazy". Where's Langer when you need him? :)

BTW, fastener-express says look to Europe.

11-01-2009, 01:39 AM
We should just have you start your worklogs in the featured section, you never disappoint.

11-01-2009, 03:26 PM
:) Thanks Jon! I'm humbled by the sentiment...especially since I've got another 3 months of work still left and more dubious things planned. ;)

11-01-2009, 04:09 PM
:) Thanks Jon! I'm humbled by the sentiment...especially since I've got another 3 months of work still left and more dubious things planned. ;)

Oh my.... even more over the top :eek: Can hardly wait to see whats next. I truly love your style + rep

11-16-2009, 10:48 AM
Got to this late as usual:rolleyes:

Some great work there Mach :up::up:
Just loving the brass work.8)

yours wecrookie:eek:

11-16-2009, 01:18 PM
Wow mach, incredible & exceptional detail, if thats 1 of the hidden details this mod is gonna have monster wow factor hehe :D, the scrolls look fantastic, I'd be scared stiff of dealing with acid thou and how to dispose it properly lol.

Bah, thought I found the bolts you were after, but checked your discription and I missed the essential brass detail, could only find stainless steel in your specification :(, I'll try a deeper search later but hopefully someone else might see this thread and be able to help. It's the fiddly hard to get bits that can hold a mod up.

I've been semi keeping away from here as I see some of the awesome mods progressing and wishing I could afford to start another myself lol, got a fair bit of spare sheet aluminium thou so I could at least practice and if I pull anything decent off I'll post it in the appropriate section :).

11-21-2009, 01:48 PM
Thanks Wecrookie and msmrx57!

@Waynio: Thanks! The acid isn't bad to work with; the electricity is a little exciting for me. As a rule, my hands go in my pockets and stay there while everything is running. Everything has to be switched off for me to touch it again. Folks etch aluminum the same way as the silver with good results.

11-21-2009, 06:48 PM
Sorry, I've gone quiet for awhile. I've been trading worklog time for modding time. I've got a fair bit to update so I'll split this into 2 posts. Back to the story and update


Some experts dismiss berserking as nothing more than a drunken rage. While alcohol has caused a variety of troubles for centuries, only one spirit has become synonymous with a murderous rage.

Oscar Wilde said, “After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”

The alcohol he described was Absinthe, the Green Fairy:
At the turn of the last century, it reportedly drove men and woman to an uncontrollable fury:

If he continues to take the deadly liquor, his body becomes a mere automaton and he obeys without hesitation the auto-suggestions of his mind, often killing, maiming, and destroying with savage glee, those nearest and dearest to him. - NY Times, September 21st 1905

While the Vikings were no strangers to drink, nothing indicates that the Vikings knew of Thujone (the active chemical in Absinthe) or of an alcohol that would have caused their bersekerking battle rage. Perhaps then a less common substance?

The green fairy for this mod comes in the form of Mayhem's UV Green.
This is a custom dye from Mayhem@Bit-tech. A couple of drops and instant glow.
Although conventional wisdom says distilled water and silver should be the only thing in a loop, you got to admit this looks pretty good. More importantly, I need the UV to set off the pump window in the case but why tell you, when I can show you? ;)
Because of the size of the case several things will be mounted or visible externally. I'm slowly working my way around the case fitting the externals like the reservoir, pump, flow indicator, proximity sensor, and hd activity gauge.
The wiring for the temperature sensor will pass through the case via the copper tube. To hide the hole going into the case, I need a mounting flange.
Using a brass grommet and a piece of hex stock…
with a little solder…
results in a mounting flange
I also test mounted the reservoir on the side of the case. Still not sure if the steel handle gets refinished. I really like the flaking paint but I haven't made the final decision on the color palette.
From the inside
Took a piece of brass, drilled and tapped it for 6/32" screws.
Working on the pump and flow meter mounting. They'll be mounted to the right side of the motherboard. It's tight but should work.
Looking inside of the case, with the mounting holes cut out. The failed cut that you see was from trying to fit the pump top...upside down. :facepalm: Luckily, it dawned on me before I cut completely through and it won't be visible once the case is back together.
DCC 3.1 and Ek pump top. If Eddy sees this, sorry but it needs some changes for this mod. :)
First the pump, the ears need to go.
Cut off and sanded down.
Pump apart
Painted with Sophisticated Finishes Blackened Bronze paint
Sanded off the logos and tapped three mounting holes in the front of the pump
Still need to make some brass hex screws for the back. All the ones I have too short.

Test fitting the pump with a styrene. The styrene will be replaced with brass. The pump is mounted with 3 screws through the front of the pump top.

11-21-2009, 06:48 PM
The flow indicator. It’s a Gems 142541 Paddle Wheel Flow Indicator 1/4" NPT. A little tap action and it's a G1/4 flow indicator.
Sanded about an 1/8" off the back side to make more room in the case. Love the brass. :)
Test fit. Still needs some clean up but that will wait for the final rings.
The rest of the screws don't actually hold anything.
Broken brass volt meter that I got from ebay.
Disasembly has got to be the best part of modding :)
I was hoping I could fix it. The needle and the internals are awesome. Unfortunately, no go.
First I need to work on the mounting. Parts: Tube, knurled lamp nut, finish washer, and a spindle gear from an antique radio.
Solder paste and a mini torch.
Test fit
Soldered and polished
The solder paste is handy but not the neatest stuff.
The soldered side will be inside the case and the gear side will stick into the meter.
The water loop exits from the case front on the right and the inlet is through the pump on the side. The brass nut on the left side is a PIR sensor to detect motion and the wiring behind is an Arduino and a VMusic2. The temperature and the PIR sensor are interfaced with the Arduino. The UV and ThinkM leds also interface with the Arduino...but that...is another update. :)

A big brassy thanks to my sponsors:



Next time: Pick your poison...

11-21-2009, 07:19 PM
Better and better, as usual. :) Are you still planning to use the voltmeter, for aesthetics somehow, even though it doesn't work? Think you could tie it in to a thermistor somehow? Maybe just use the housing and the needle, mounted on an existing analog temp gauge, hidden inside?

Just a thought, excellent work.

11-21-2009, 07:47 PM
Thanks! I'm planning on the voltmeter working. I just need to swap in another meter and I'll drive it with the arduino and LCD smartie. I've already got the meter and will hopefully have it working for the next update.

11-21-2009, 08:42 PM
Great project Mach... you stun me in every one of your posts!!

I didn´t get where are you going to use the simulated absinthe? it´s going as the WC coolant?

11-21-2009, 10:57 PM
Thanks Loki! Yes, you got it. Distilled water and the dye will be the liquid in the water cooling loop. It'll make more sense in future updates.

11-23-2009, 02:41 AM
Preeeettyyy... I love the pump and flow meter showing through the front; it would be awesome to have UV ilumination just in those two parts, from hidden, internal LEDs, so it looks like the liquid is just glowing for no apparent reason :D

11-23-2009, 10:16 AM
Thanks x88x!. You're way ahead of me. There will be UV leds in the pump but not the flow indicator. The flow indicator is sealed without a good way to insert the leds.

11-26-2009, 09:46 PM
Not a full update but a little something to pass the time while I recover from turkey overdose. Remember the painted pump? I was looking for hex screws to replace the silver ones…
These are 8/32" but they're too short and the threads are wrong.
Poor man's lathe: Cordless drill and rotary tool :)
Most of the threads removed
Clean up with a small hand file
3.3 mm shaft to work with
M4 threaded rod stud
3.3 mm shaft on the end of this also
Add a section of 4mm brass tubing
Pressed the tubing onto the screw with a c clamp
Clamped up, ready for solder
Add in liquid flux
A little….
…goes a long way
Heat until glowing
Add solder
Drop in stud
Hold down until cool
Needs a little clean-up
Final product
Repeat 7 more times. The long screws are for the radiator mounts and short ones are for the pump
Much better…Thanks for looking. :) Bigger update next time around!

And today, I'm thankful for my sponsors :)


11-27-2009, 12:40 AM
Nice job on the screws; I like.

11-27-2009, 12:52 PM
Looks amazing so far!!!!

11-28-2009, 01:20 AM
Thanks gentlemen! I'm having fun with it. :)

11-28-2009, 01:56 AM
Yes sir, the screws turned out very nicely.

11-29-2009, 07:36 AM
that just amazing... I would have searched and finaly droped to a conclusion it was not possibel to have those brass bolts.. but you made them yourself its amazing.

11-29-2009, 04:42 PM
WUUH! congratz on the featured dude:D totally disserve it!

cant wait for more updates!

12-23-2009, 06:18 AM
i must say im very impressed that you made your own screws deffinatly plus rep for you good sir please keep up the great work

12-23-2009, 07:49 AM
:) Fantastic work Mach, can't buy em so I'll make em hehe brilliant, got over that hurdle very nicely :):up:.

01-09-2010, 12:16 AM
Huzza, it is alive! Thank you for the patience and comments. This time a real update to the berserkers and the mod.

In 1938, Albert Hoffman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Hofmann) synthesized a new drug called LSD from a grain fungus that grows on rye. The fungus was called Ergot, and it has carried an ominous reputation for centuries.


Pont-Saint-Esprit, 1951 - That night the first man died in convulsions. Later, two men who had seemed to be recovering dashed through the narrow streets shouting that enemies were after them. A small boy tried to throttle his mother; patients...screaming that red flowers were blossoming from their bodies, that their heads had turned to molten lead. (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,815355-1,00.html)-Time, September 19th, 1951

In the end, over 200 people died from eating contaminated rye bread. In the 1800s, the illness was called St. Anthony's fire also known as Ergotism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergotism). Before that, historical accounts of werewolves are now suspected to be related to Ergot poisonings.

The vikings too knew of Ergot and used it in burial rituals. It is a compelling idea to suggest Ergot as the source for berserking. It certainly could drive someone insane but given its lethal nature, its unlikely that it was used for berserking. Was there another drug that they could have used?


Back to the modding. Time to take a look at the base that sits on a piece of wood and is covered in leather. It will hold the SSD and the DVD drive. To give you an idea of where the pieces fit...
On the back is the exposed electrical jack that the Xbox power supply will plug into.
Base marked for dremeling. I'm using an easy lock metal cutoff wheel on a 220 volt dremel. It melts through the soft steel.
Cut out but still rough.

Nothing a little filing won't fix.
Back before dremeling
After with a little clean up.
Tracing out the wooden base
Using a piece of cedar siding and a jig saw to cut it out.
Sanded down
A little chisel work later and a pile of wood chips...
a roughed in place for the DVD and the SSD.
and the base mounts on top. Unfortunately the cedar base was too soft and a little too small.
So take #2 with 2 pieces of birch plywood glued up and cut to size. Chiseling was much easier as the individual layers just peeled up with a sharp chisel.
DVD and SSD in place.
Top in place
Added brass cross supports to allow mounting
Also added the brass frame that re-inforces the case.
Bent and soldered but still needs clean up and polishing.
I also back tracked on the PIR sensor. I wasn't happy with the plastic cover.
I found copper mesh at the local art supply
which worked out much better

Hopefully next time, I'll have more pics of this for your perusal. Thanks for looking!

Many thanks to my sponsors!



01-09-2010, 01:28 AM
Absolutely outstanding work, as I have come to expect. (That's the problem with perfection, isn't it? You do it a couple of times and people start to expect it.)

The copper mesh is an excellent touch.

01-09-2010, 02:29 AM
:) Thanks blue! It's all about moving the bar ;)

01-09-2010, 02:53 PM
Beautiful work. What's that metal base from? The copper mesh really fits the theme a lot better than the plastic did. Nice fan hole as well, what are you using to cut that out?

01-09-2010, 03:03 PM
Thanks! The metal base is from a heater from the 1940s. I love old consumer appliances (radios, heaters, toasters, etc). I trip through a flea market is deadly for me. :)

The fan grill is being cut with a laser (pew, pew). The company is Vintage Laser (http://www.vintagelaser.com/) who were the ones who cut the fan grill for Cobra-matic. They're working their way through the brass parts now.

01-09-2010, 05:27 PM
I didn't have it in me *not* to sigquote that.

01-09-2010, 07:18 PM
Me goes to turn sigs on...BRB.

Edit: lolz, yeah, one of the guys on bit-tech used that in their worklog. Now I can't say laser without "hearing" that sound.

Drum Thumper
01-09-2010, 11:55 PM
Mach, I love your approach to making your own bolts. And damnit, now you have me thinking...

01-12-2010, 04:18 AM
Thanks DT! It was fairly easy once I got going. I'd be interested in seeing what you're up to.

Drum Thumper
01-12-2010, 10:28 PM
Thanks DT! It was fairly easy once I got going. I'd be interested in seeing what you're up to.

I'm thinking a similar approach using spent .22 caliber shells but I have no idea whatsoever as to what to use them on.

Or...maybe go a bit larger, say .223 or .22-250. We'll just have to wait and see if I can even think of anything to use such an item on.

01-17-2010, 12:21 PM
After a trip to the local range, I've toyed with the idea of stacking them length wise and making the sides of a case from them. That's the problem with modding. After awhile everything looks like a part for a mod. ;)

01-19-2010, 04:08 AM
/\ yea i know what ya mean!

01-30-2010, 07:01 PM
When examining berserking, the drug theory is compelling. Drugs could be taken before a battle, could cloud judgment, and might result in the unintentional flashbacks or lingering after effects. Considering the physical effects of berserking, it resembled a drug binge more so than anything else suggested.

Berserking began with shivering, teeth chattering chills. Their faces swelled and changed color followed by a great rage, howling, and indiscriminate brawling. When the rage abated, the berserker was exhausted and feeble for several days.

Behaviorally, berserking presents as a combination of steroid induced hypo-mania ('roid rage) with an adrenaline rush or possibly PCP. None of which the Vikings were able to artificially produce. So if a drug, then what drug?


With the Cobra-matic mod, I dabbled with laser cutting. At the time, I was fortunate enough to find a laser cutting company in Texas called Vintage Laser (http://www.vintagelaser.com/index.html). They almost made it too easy to get a special fan grill cut.

Tony Le, the owner at Vintage, walked me through the file formats needed and we went back and forth several times to get everything right. I think the results speak for themselves, no? (that's the fan grill on the front covering an Antec Big boy 200mm fan)

Well no good deed goes unpunished. With Barsarkar-gang, I wanted to experiment more so I sent Tony what I thought was some complex cutting with a brass requirement (of course :)). He didn't even flinch. For your viewing pleasure

In case you're wondering, that is 2.3 mm brass...goes through it like bud-ahh. ;)

The basic process initially was to draw everything in Sketchup in 3d.

Then export to Corel Draw X4 in 2D.

Because the size of the case is so small, I printed out the Corel draw file, pasted it to styrene, and checked tolerances. Lather, rinse, repeat.


After numerous iterations (including new batteries for my digital micrometer) and many weeks, I was sure as I could be on all the dimensions, I exported the 2D drawing to DXF files and shipped em off to Vintage Laser.

They hit a couple snags along the way. Lasering brass is not as easy as other metals. Tony joked that he was going to make his body armor out of brass if he was ever in a laser battle. :)

But he persevered and again, I think the results speak for themselves. Awesome, awesome work!

Fan grill option 1 - I'm leaning toward this one

Fan grill option 2 - What do you think?

Remember the polystyrene bezels?

Now they're brass :)

Pump bezel, not crazy about the blue in the pump.

Full side shot

Half the screws are for looks only

They don't actually hold anything.

Radiator/fan mount

Motherboard tray

In case you were wondering how they go together. I've got to solder the mount on the back of the motherboard tray yet; more on that later.

I love modding because it gives me a chance to try new tools and techniques. The whole laser experience has given me a new appreciation for the CNC mod gods who make an entire case from scratch. Its not a gumball machine for modding. Its an iterative design and test method that would have been impossible without the help of Tony and the guys at Vintage laser. Tony if you're reading this, thank you very much.

Wherever you land on the hand tools vs power tools modding debate, I highly recommend working some sort of CNC (laser cutting, water cutting, milling, etc) into your next mod. It was a fantastic experience and opening the box of parts from Vintage had me grinning from ear to ear. That's all I got this time around.

Next time, I'll show you how to sand the skin off your thumbs the natural way. :)

Many thanks to my sponsors!

01-30-2010, 08:58 PM
yeah, laser cutting isnt always as simple as it sounds:D you have to adjust power etc, otherwise the beam, either wont go trough, or will go though, melting the surrounding material lol! it looks wicked awesome m8! i love the design, and how you are going to fit it all together! :D

01-31-2010, 01:06 AM
Awesome parts! I love brass for some reason.

As for the fan grills, I vote option 2. They're both beautiful but I like #2 better and it would be less restrictive (and theoretically quieter) also.

01-31-2010, 02:39 AM
Thanks pOPe and Blue! The dimensions are very tight and still some unanswered questions on sizing as well as performance. Now that I have the parts it should go a little faster tho.

Good point on the restriction. I've tried several 140 mm fans to get the quietest one. Be a shame to screw it up with the fan grill. I'm going to experiment with some copper/brass mesh too. Thanks for the feedback!

01-31-2010, 08:55 AM
i dont think you will notice any difference in noise with either of the grills. i vote option 1:D

02-01-2010, 03:22 AM
Nearly missed this update :eek:, thought it was just more compliments then took a closer look at the email, glad I didn't miss it :).
Wow dude, this is getting more and more epic, I swear I'm consistently being blown away by the quality of mods, the level of quality is just going up & up & up, my head is spinning from it lol :D.
I like option 1 of the fan grills best, but they are both really good, must have been exciting opening the box of uber cool parts hehe :).

And I didn't know google sketchup could do exports to a format that could be used at a cad fed laser cutters, that is a big part of what put me off going to a laser cutters, needing cad friendly file formats, so now I'm going to see how much of an awesome complex set of panels I can make now, sky's the limit, fantastic :D.

Mod of the year for 2010 is going to be an absolute nightmare to pick a number 1 :D.

02-01-2010, 05:14 AM
I can't choose!!! They both look Fantastic!!

Great work, I can't WAIT to see this thing come together!

02-02-2010, 03:38 AM
Thanks guys! More updates on the way.

Hey Waynio, yes SU can do dxf or dwg export but it requires some cleanup. That's what I use Corel draw for. See here

02-06-2010, 07:01 AM

In 1956,Fabing (http://www.kenaz.ca/Documents/Ebooks/EBooks/Fabing-GoingBerserk.pdf) describes the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms, specifically Amanita Muscariaor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_muscaria) or flugswamp mushrooms as the single source of berserking. It was an interesting theory as flugswamp mushrooms were known by the Siberian and Scandinavian peoples but the effects, while mind altering, do not cause a berserking rage, quite the opposite in fact.

A possible alternative may be found in the location where the Vikings spent much of their time; on open water.

Consider this, in 2006, 2 men ate a fish in the south of France. Little did they know that they would be hospitalized the next day because of hallucinations and nightmares. The fish was the Sarpa Salpa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthyoallyeinotoxism). The very same fish was recently found in the English Channel (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/may/13/hallucination-fish-cornwall). Could the Vikings have used a similar fish to induce a hallucinogenic rage? Have the experts overlooked the most obvious source of berserking drugs? Did the Vikings find something in the sea?


I am a little ahead of myself on the updates. I forgot to show you guys the final on the fan grills from the last update. Just so you understand where the fan grill is located. It's on the back of the case pulling air into the case which hits the back of the motherboard tray.
To minimize vibration and fan noise, enter a Bitspower silicon fan pad 140mm size.
It's appears to be well made. I'm a little worried that it may be too thick for my needs but more on that later.
Photographing it is interesting; everything sticks to the silicon - lint, sawdust, dust, gah. Here it is from the back.
The HWlabs Black Ice GT Stealth 140 unfinished radiator polished up.
Gasket goes on
Fan goes on. That's a Thermalright X-Silent series 140 mm fan. With a 140mm rad, I've been looking for the right fan that was low power as well as quiet. I picked this one in a very unscientific comparison. So those of you who care about accuracy should look away now.
The 4 fans that looked interesting were (clockwise from the orange fan):
Xigmatek XLF F1453, 1000 RPM, 63.5 CFM, 16 dBA, 0.3A
Yate Loon D14SM-12 , 1400 RPM, 62 CFM, 29 dBA, 0.7A
Yate Loon D14SL-12, 1000 RPM, 46.9 CFM, 25 dBA, 0.5A
Thermalright X-Silent Fan, 900 RPM, 60.42 CFM, 20.9 dBA, 0.14A
In the looks department, the Xigmatek was first choice with the orange / brass combo but the white LEDS are too bright. The Thermalright was my second choice because of 11 translucent blades. The Yate Loons are ok but not notable when compared to the other two.

On the subject of noise, I setup my video camera to capture the relative noise that each fan puts out. Check it out

I was surprised by sound of the Xigmatek fan. Maybe I've got a bad one but wow, that would drive me nuts. The Thermalright sounded best to me. At the time, I didn't have the D14SL-12 when first comparing but the D14SM -12 sounded very smooth at the higher RPM so I grabbed the 1000 rpm model just to check

Unfortunately, I screwed up the camera position so it sounded comparatively louder than it actually was. The sound on it was very good though; comparable to the Thermalright.


I wanted to also get some relative measurement on performance so out comes a retro piece of kit. Its an anemometer used in mining I am told. While the dial indicates some degree of precision, my interest are simpler. http://lh6.ggpht.com/_UdQdiSb7gT4/S20l3g66D0I/AAAAAAAAJb0/Xi7ffvf8ijs/s640/IMG_6537.JPG

Fan drag race :) The two Yate Loons are in the middle with the SL on top. The anemometer was sat 10 inches from the outlet of the fan to gauge relative output speed.

Again I was surprised by the relative performance of the Xigmatek. I was impressed by the Yate Loons. The SL was on par with the Thermalright and the SM just cranked. I'm curious to find out what the SH is like. So as I mentioned, I picked the Thermalright for the reasons above but also because of its lower power consumption.

Anyway back to the grill, remember these screws.


Here's why I modded them when I couldn't buy them anywhere. Had to be brass on brass.
And trust me, I looked. :)
Most folks seemed to like this fan grill the best so I'm going to run with it for now.
Maybe replace the fan sticker with an etched copper piece later?
I thought about putting some copper or brass screen in to act as a fan filter but I think I like the exposed fan. I may change my mind when I see the dust buildup.
With the brass in hand, I can test fit the components and see if the design is going to work.
Here's where things started to get interesting
See the foot on the motherboard tray. It's sticking out about 3/8" too far and I need that space for the waterblocks and tubing. Did I mention this is going to very tight?
From the front, it lines up ok.
The flow indicator and pump fit ok. Tight but nothing unexpected.
The video card looks like it'll be ok too. Still a little worried about the tubing routing but that's next to check out.
On the back of the case, the fan grill is hitting the frame. It looks like the silicon pad is adding about an 1/8" to the thickness also. A little file action should set the frame right but that'll have to wait.
Next update, I'll get to the natural sandpaper story that I promised.

Many thanks to my sponsors!

02-06-2010, 01:56 PM
WOW!! Tight is an understatement. Looks stunning though. :up:

02-07-2010, 09:51 AM
Looking so damn cool Mach :D:up:, good choice on the thermalright, I didn't even know they did fans, just wish akasa did a 140mm apache the 120mm version is fantastic.

02-07-2010, 10:15 AM
Hi msmrx57, thanks I'm digging how its coming together too. Still tense about the fit but liking it so far.

Hey Waynio, I didn't know/remember that Akasa made fans. How quiet is the Apache? Looking at their website looks like they make a camo version too as well as a 139mm fan with a 140 adapter. So maybe they'll jump into the 140mm market with an Apache. Thanks for the tip. :up:

02-07-2010, 10:24 AM
whered you get the copper and brass mesh? ive never seen that stuff anywhere

02-07-2010, 10:32 AM
Hi raisntnox, tower hobbies has it online. I bought mine at a local art supply and hardware store. Some of it I showed is made by K&S Metals; the other is made by Amaco.



02-07-2010, 01:57 PM
Hi msmrx57, thanks I'm digging how its coming together too. Still tense about the fit but liking it so far.

Hey Waynio, I didn't know/remember that Akasa made fans. How quiet is the Apache? Looking at their website looks like they make a camo version too as well as a 139mm fan with a 140 adapter. So maybe they'll jump into the 140mm market with an Apache. Thanks for the tip. :up:

I know, the akasa I knew made budget fans and then they released the apache so I ordered 1 to sample it, I liked it and used them entirely in my latest case, is the best 120mm fan I ever used and have tried many many fans, gives great air flow and is really nice & quiet and can easily be dismantled if you want to change the colour. Yeah I think they should make a 140mm, would be silly not to.

02-07-2010, 04:02 PM
Before launching in to the next installment, I ask your indulgence for a brief aside. Most of the research for this mod's back story comes from the internet links that you see posted. Some of it though comes from good old fashioned movable press which pleases me to no end. I love books, everything about them, the smell, the feel, the creak they make when they're new, and the stained and tattered covers when they're old.

So to say I was excited to find this volume, well...I was. :) It's a copy of the Icelandic Manuscripts, the first part at least, that I've been quoting. "Sigilla Islandica I" was published in 1965 by the Manuscript Institute of Iceland in Reykjavik. Its awesome and no, I can't read a word of it except the copyright. :)
Some of the other books that I've been using, particularly for this update. And now back to the mod….

In 1947,a category 5 hurricane struck the USA mainland (http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=EsQKAAAAIBAJ&sjid=7E4DAAAAIBAJ&dq=west%20africa%20sotroms&pg=6307%2C5464424) causing US$1,000,000,000 in damages ($110,000,000 in 1947 dollars). It was a 100 year hurricane, massive in size, and strength.

It was first spotted off the coast of Dakar, Senegal where it quickly escalated to a category 3 hurricane. Before churning across the Atlantic towards the USA, it pummeled the west coast of Africa sinking ships and washing ashore debris. In the hurricane's wake, strange sea creatures washed ashore too including an unidentified sea slug. The slug caused those who touched it to go mad, attacking their neighbors with preternatural strength until they collapsed.


Seemingly overlooked for years, the sea slug is only now becoming a focus of marine research. With good reason;Toxic sea slugs (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10602175) have recently killed a series of dogs on the beaches of New Zealand.

In the uncharted space of the ocean depths (http://lh4.ggpht.com/_UdQdiSb7gT4/S25bL-IyqdI/AAAAAAAAJhY/T2MIxkLZWeA/s800/map.jpg), could the Vikings have found an animal that caused their berserking rage? If so, how did it make them invincible super soldiers?

Next time: Get your foil hats on, did the CIA know?

Picking up where we left off in the last update. The laser cut motherboard tray already has the holes for the standoffs (why drill when you can laser?). While I tested it 3 or 4 times with the polystyrene prototypes, I'm anxious to see how it fits.
That's a 6/32 tap. From the prototypes, I knew that I was going to have a problem keeping the tap straight. I saw someone using a hand tapper (http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2539&category=) in another worklog but $100+ was little more than I was willing to pay.
Instead I picked up a tapping block from the littlemachineshop.com (http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2571). It holds the tap at 90 degrees to the work surface.
Works great too!
All four tapped and filled with brass (of course) standoffs.
The new motherboard, let us not discuss the last motherboard ;). Everything lines up for mounting, whew!
From the back, the pattern on the tray wasn't just for the deco looks. It gives easy access to the ATX and 4 pin contacts.
4 pin connector
ATX connector. Instead of de-soldering these, I'm going to try to solder to the contacts…after a lot more practice. Expect this worklog to become polluted with trial run photos. :) It would be nice if motherboard manufacturers would offer an enthusiast option for reverse connectors.
The slot on the side of the motherboard tray is for the PCI-E extension cable. Unless I can get one that reverses the connector, I can see some cable origami in my future.
Changing gears to another part of the mod, you'll recall the base that was carved out of birch plywood. The plan is to cover it in Stingray leather
Stingray leather or Shagreen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shagreen) was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries with a brief resurgence in the 1920s and 1930s. Jean Paul Cooper (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1026/is_n3_v148/ai_17474083/), a London artist, is credited with its introduction to the Art Deco movement. The Victoria & Albert museum in London has a phenomenal exhibit of objet d'art made from Shagreen. Most of the pieces in the exhibit are made of shagreen that is dyed green. I haven't been able to find out why this was popular at the time.
The color that I'm using here isn't green but brown. Most of the hides come from SE Asia which is where I got this one a few years ago.
I hung out on boot and shoe making forums for awhile asking questions on how to work stingray. Their advice helped as did Tim Skyrme's youtube videos.

These are shoemaker pliers or lasting pliers.
Barge cement recommended by thistothat.com (http://www.thistothat.com/cgi-bin/glue.cgi?lang=en&this=Leather&that=Wood) for leather to wood. It’s also the glue that was used in Mythbuster's Escape from Alcatraz episode for fashioning their life raft (http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/2569841.html?page=3). In other words, it sticks very, very well and sticks more the more that you beat on it.
The first part of gluing the bottom down was easy. The corners? Not so much.
By taking the shoe making videos advice, I worked the corners into smaller and smaller folds.
The first corner I did without cutting the Stingray and then my fingers told me to get stuffed. The other historical use for stingray skins, as well as shark skins, was sandpaper. While this was tanned leather, it still did a number on my fingers. Ouch. So the other 3 corners, I wimped out and cut them.
Here it is from the bottom. My friend questioned the design because I put the "eye" on the bottom. Technical details aside, I told them it wasn't the first thing that was going to be hidden in this mod. :)
Test fit, not too bad for a first attempt.
You can see where I made the cuts on the corners but I have a plan for that.
From the back.
These are brass clamps used for welding hoses.
With a little modding they're corner covers...

...but that's for another update. Thanks for looking!

Many thanks to my sponsors!

02-07-2010, 08:14 PM
Wowie wow wow wow! That's fantastic work!

02-08-2010, 08:41 PM
As you may have noticed, I've started weaving in videos. Mod videos are useful to reveal what pictures simply cannot.

When I think about CrimsonSky's Doom 3 mod (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6919), I see the video of the smoke curling out of the smoke stack, the roll up security door disappearing in a blur, and the pneumatic air lock snapping open. (If you haven't seen them, go now. I'll wait. :))

Those videos in many ways helped to etch Doom 3 in my noob modding mind and underscore the fact that video can be a powerful part of a mod.

With the video experience of TBCS behind us, JDBNSN and I put together a little film that we think proves that point. But enough talk, would you kindly view this film and let us know what you think? And oh yes, remember you saw it here first! ;)


02-08-2010, 09:09 PM
:D, Ohhh yeah looking through most of this worklog lately, bioshock was on my mind hehe, well once you started with the laser cutouts that looked bioshocky style, good timing dude but what does Bärsärkar-gång have to do with bioshock??? maybe it's in some relation to the story of the game, that would be cool, I'm looking forward to playing bioshock 2 as soon as its out on steam :), preordered it the other day, couldn't resist :D.

The project is looking awesome Mach and nice leather work :) :up:.

02-09-2010, 01:34 AM
Looking awesome Mach!!!! http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/frontpage/?q=node/465

02-09-2010, 01:43 AM
That video is something else Mach, this is looking incredible.

02-09-2010, 02:47 AM
Man.. you and Jon make a GREAT team! Captivating video!

Just sitting here in awe.. I'll have to get back to you later....

02-09-2010, 04:55 AM
Very impressive job, mate.

02-09-2010, 07:02 AM
Stingray leather?? You continue to bring a level of authenticity and detail to your builds that is second to none.

I'm at work so I can't watch the video but I'll check it out when I get home. I can't wait. :)

02-09-2010, 01:11 PM
The video is superb. I really liked it.
Also I found it great to hear that you mentioned The Victoria & Albert museum in London. I went there for inspiration last summer.

02-09-2010, 02:27 PM
Thanks guys, its been a bit of a sprint to get here! Glad you're along for it! Jon and I thought it was appropriate to mark the launch of the game with something special. I'm pleased that you like video and the mod progress thus far.

On the story and the mod, it'll all come together in the end, trust me. :) With the video, we let slip that there is a rabbit in the hat but that doesn't mean we said how it gets pulled out of that hat. I've still got 3 or 4 hat tricks left, ;)

Many thanks to the TBCS team! Thanks to Daniel for the awesome front page feature and of course, Jon for pushing me up the video hill! If you want to amp up your worklogs, talk to the staff here; they've got the ideas as well as the talent.

Drum Thumper
02-09-2010, 10:26 PM
Outstanding work as usual Mach! Cannot wait to see what is in store for us next!

02-10-2010, 08:07 AM
Great work! Congrats on the FP!

02-10-2010, 12:33 PM
You have completely surpassed me for authenticity now. I bow to your amazing skillz.

02-10-2010, 01:35 PM
Im not normally a big fan of the antique brass style rigs, but this is just too beautiful. i love the look so far!

02-19-2010, 09:00 PM
This mod is outstanding...each page brings something new and suprising! Keep up the fantastic work bro! +rep!

02-21-2010, 01:16 AM
Wow, I finally took the time to get caught up on this (~4 pages), and I continue to be amazed by your amazing work, Mach. It is truly a work of art, and I cannot wait to see the rest. :D

02-21-2010, 05:01 PM
I was following this on the Hardforums but couldn't comment since you need an offline based email.

Anyway, I think the detail you put even into parts you cant see is astounding, keep it up man!

02-24-2010, 06:23 AM
Thanks for the kind remarks and thanks fractalzero for taking the time to register. Also, Kayin, while I am flattered by the compliments, I'd prefer another chapter in Fatal Optimization but I understand that the Muses can be fickle mistresses.

Sorry for my absence of late. While this is not an update, I did want to let you know that work is underway albeit slowly. I've received a custom PCI-E extender this week that I hope to get some time to test this weekend. Fingers crossed for me that all goes well please. :)

02-24-2010, 11:14 PM
I'll see what I can hammer out for you. I'm sure there is something in this box...

02-25-2010, 10:17 PM
And updated. Go get your word crack.

02-26-2010, 04:07 AM
@Kayin, Heh, heh...better and better still.

In case anyone is wondering what that exchange was about, Kayin is a man of many talents including word smithing: http://fataloptimization.wordpress.com

02-26-2010, 12:51 PM
Appreciate the kind words.

Now back to the modding!

03-07-2010, 12:10 AM

Berserking on demand has staggering potential from a military perspective...at least the American CIA thought so. Between 1945 and 1964, titled with the innocuous names of Operation Paperclip (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip), Artichoke, and MK-Ultra, the CIA contracted 149 projects to investigate chemical, biological and radiological means to alter and control human development. Over 80 institutions participated including 44 universities, 15 private companies, 12 hospitals, and 3 prisons including Eli Lilly & Co., Harvard University, Fontaine Pharmaceuticals, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Authorized by American President Truman, under the code name of Operation Paperclip in 1945, the US began the quiet recruitment of Nazi scientists after WWII. Initially their focus was on aeronautics with the successful recruitment of key scientists like, Dr. Herbert A. Wagner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_A._Wagner), an expert in the field of control and guidance systems, and Wernher von Braun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun), the central figure in Germany's pre-war rocket development program.

But then in 1946, Operations Paperclip's remit fractured into multiple "dark" projects, many specifically targeted at human experimentation.


Let's do this thing... You're going to get your money's worth on this update. First and most notably, I have a new sponsor. :) :) Galaxy (http://www.galaxytech.com/en/) has graciously agreed to sponsor this project with a new 9600 GT LP LP. This card is essential to this build so many thanks to Galaxy and Shane!


Second, I've been fairly cagey about the case but since you got a glimpse of it in the video, let me give you the full run down.

Its a 1940s Arvin space heater manufactured by Noblitt-Sparks. Sizewise its small; not the smallest SFF case but enough to give me headaches. :)

In 1941, Noblitt-Sparks began producing its first private-brand merchandise. Such production was brought to a quick halt after the United States entered World War II late that year, and by 1942 all production efforts were geared toward the war effort. During the war Noblitt-Sparks produced a wide range of military products, including chemical and incendiary bombs, rocket-launching tubes, steel containers, fire extinguishers, anti-tank mine parts, radio communications equipment, and parts for military vehicles. In 1944 the company purchased a former furniture plant in North Vernon, Indiana, and began producing boxes for the bombs being made at its Columbus plant.

The heater's art deco lines as well as it's manufacturer's history made it destined to be a Bioshock mod.

Here's what the final should look like. I'm still debating colors including plating vs powder coating and I'll need your opinion but that's a later update.

This mod and it’s back story came together through a series of surreal connections and coincidences, if I can take the time to share one. One of the inspirations for the story was spawned from the 2K Games Bioshock 2 viral marketing campaign at www.somethinginthesea.com. In fact, the secret message in the runes was coded from there. In the campaign, if you sent a letter to a fictional detective then 2K sent you swag. I received the old record that you see in the video and a membership card.

The card came with typos on my first and last name (likely due to my poor penmanship). While Arvin isn't my name, it is the name of the heater. And that's just one coincidental connection to this mod that makes me love this build. There is still a ways to go and a few surprises yet but I am going to be sad to see this one end.

Back to the build and the welding hose clamps where we left off, the nice thing about brass and copper is you can anneal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annealing_%28metallurgy%29[) it and shape it however you want.

Hose clamp meet stingray


From the bottom side, the clamps are secured to the wood base with brass nails :)

I trimmed off one side of the hose clamps to clean up the look.

A few wing nuts, threaded rod, and solder = hold down thumbscrews.

The base isn't just there for looks. Most of the wiring will be hidden in the base as well as the DVD drive. One of the challenges of found case modding is figuring out how to mount the hardware. For the DVD, I needed some way to make mounting and adjusting the DVD position easy.

I found brass bolts like these in the plumbing section at my local DIY. They're bolts for a toilet.

Soldered to brass cross braces to support the DVD. You get the idea.

The HD and platform for the circuit board

Attached with 3M VHB tape to the DVD. So by turning the nuts on the screws, the drive can be lowered and raised.

Testing with wing nuts and knurled nuts

Knurled nuts are apparently used for lamps, again from the local DIY.


The brass hold downs were a bit of a change in plan with a rethink in the base mounting. So experimentation with different coverings and coatings ensued.

After several iterations and days trying brass/copper foil and mesh...

I came back to using a heavy canvas lining (which feels right for the mod). Now I just need to learn how to sew it together.:) Once the lining is complete, I've got the front switch, HDMI port, and wiring holes remaining to finish off the base before I can send it out for final finish.

On the wiring, I started looking at the graphics card setup. While the mini-itx MB does have integrated graphics, part of the design challenge was to include a graphics card for better performance. Given the size constraints, a few unique things were needed. To minimize the visible wiring and the tubing routing, the graphics card is mounted off board and upside down.

Casey at http://www.adexelec.com/ helped find the right PCI-E extender. Thanks Casey!

Cable-gami anyone? It took a pad of paper to figure this out.

The folding flips the card side connector upside down.

The other necessary thing is a performant graphics card with low power requirements and a small footprint. The best one that I could find was the Galaxy 9600 GT LP LP. The LPs stand for Low Profile Low Power. It’s the ideal card for what I have in mind.

Thanks Galaxy and Shane!

This card is a tiny half height card at 8 x 2.25 inches. Also check out the lack of power connector on the right side of the PCB. I've got a max of 200W to play with on this build so every little bit helps. One less set of wires to worry about doesn't hurt either. [H] did a great review of the card last year that gives all stats if you're interested. (http://www.hardocp.com/article/2009/06/08/galaxy_geforce_9600_gt_lowpower_lowprofile) For this build or for a lower power home theater PC, the card is a great balance of power and size.

Testing the card with the motherboard everything was aces running at a cool 60W with DVD playback.

The only thing that glitched was the modded xbox 360 power supply. When I swapped over to an unmodded one then everything worked. I'll need to cross check my soldering.

From the back side, the mounting doesn't look too complex. Huh, mounting for what?

Something naked this way comes.

Not sure if you noticed these in the video and pictures from Vintage Laser.

Laser block :) or layer cake block that are stacked pieces of sheet brass soldered together.

Because the laser can't cut copper, I had to go old school on the 1/8" copper. :)

I plan to solder them together and no, I have no idea what I am doing. Should be fun. :) Any bets on whether it'll work? Opinions vary from it'll leak or that performance will be too poor. On the last point, I don't think it'll matter much given the cooling requirements of the card. On the first, stay tuned to find out…

Thanks for looking and many thanks to my sponsors!




03-07-2010, 01:51 AM
Outstanding! Interesting how this has gone from Norse mythology all the way around the bend to Bioshock. Love the choice of case and your hardware-fu is still unmatched. :)

03-07-2010, 06:33 AM
Beautiful craftsmanship, as always. I can't wait to see what the full thing looks like when it's actually together. :D

Are you going to be adding feet of some sort, or will it be sitting on those brass brackets?

OOC, how many pins are there in that main connector? It would be awesome if you could incorporate not just the power but HDMI and USB as well, so you could have just a single cable running to it.

03-07-2010, 06:35 AM
Hey Blue, thanks! The mythologies of Bioshock and the Berserkers are intertwined. :) Hopefully the remaining updates will make it slightly clearer.

Hey x88x, Thanks man! Not sure yet. I'll probably add some small rubber dots to keep it from scratching the desk either on the brass or the leather. On the power connector, there is nine but I'm using 8 for the xbox 360 power. A single cable would be nice. The usb will go out the front behind the logo when needed and the HDMI will exit the back or the side although the back right of the power connector seems likely right now.

03-07-2010, 04:33 PM
Hmmm, oh well. Yeah, I don't know of any round 35+ pin connectors... I do remember seeing one once that was part of a sound system, but it was probably ~3" in diameter...a little to large for this (of course, it was probably more like 100 connectors...).

03-08-2010, 12:58 PM
Whoooooo.....! Mach, I am becoming a real fan of you. I really love your Art deco/Steampunk style your the Retrosmith.

03-08-2010, 09:18 PM
:) Thanks Cheron!

03-11-2010, 03:19 PM
Don't thank me. you are great! and you do really inspire me with this and your other mods. I was wondering if you ever continue with Retromod. I really loved the way those tubes looked. but first finish this one I will be here to the end.:up:

03-11-2010, 09:25 PM
I need some help. Which deco design, do you think work best for the graphics card waterblock.


@Cheron: Heh, heh, yes the ghosts of our unfinished mods haunts us all. :) I'll finish it eventually. I really tore off more than I could handle with the sliding door. After this project, I'll have enough "know how" to tackle it (I think). I've got a few other mod ideas in the backlog that may have to be done first but we'll see.

For your perusal,

1950s Rauland Amplicall

The bigger brother was seen on Perry Mason and Star Trek.

Vermorel Copper Tank Sprayer - This was supposed to have been the case for Bärsärkar-gång but the SFF heater took control.

These soldiers are hamming it up with one in the trenches during WWI.


Here a case that I am currently chasing. I bought one from ebay and it was perfect but the seller said it was lost in shipping. There's a 3 slot on ebay now but I'm looking for a 4 slot. Anyone runs across one, let me know. ;)


03-11-2010, 09:29 PM
I'm going to vote deco design #2, simply for the symmetry. The wave action at the bottom of the others throws me off. Although I'm sure any of them will look excellent once you touch them, Midas.

03-11-2010, 10:50 PM
I vote for #1. It feels...less busy than the others.

03-11-2010, 10:52 PM
I'm going to vote deco design #2, simply for the symmetry. The wave action at the bottom of the others throws me off. Although I'm sure any of them will look excellent once you touch them, Midas.

this and +rep

Starlite KNight
03-12-2010, 03:31 AM
I like how the second one incorporates the top of the piece into the design.

03-12-2010, 07:55 AM
Thanks for the feedback! :) Modder consensus seems to be 3 is too busy. The split is landing between 1 & 2 probably closer to 2.

A few folks suggested a mix of the two patterns. How about this? Are the waves too much on this one also? Keep in mind the brass piece is 2.5 x 5 inches.


03-12-2010, 11:58 AM
I was going to vote for #1 but the new pattern is spot on.

03-12-2010, 12:18 PM
Oooh, I like it, especially how it draws the physical shape into the design (which I assume was rather the point). Also, personally, I like the waves, especially if you're trying to relate it with Bioshock. It gives it a nice feeling of context. I think the multiple layers of waves in #3 was a bit much, but just one is perfect.

03-12-2010, 12:33 PM
I vote for the new one also. :)

03-12-2010, 03:45 PM
Ill second the new one... If its a bioshock theme it looks perfect. Requiem!!

03-12-2010, 07:14 PM
It's still a little busy for me, but much better. If you want waves, definitely go with the new one. :)

03-12-2010, 10:27 PM
Wow thanks a bunch everyone...this really helped! Still liking #4 but here's some others that folks suggested.



03-12-2010, 10:51 PM
AAAACCCKKKK!!!!! So many choices........
I realy liked #4 the nyou put more up, now it's a toss up #4 or #5.

03-13-2010, 01:25 AM
Agreed; tossup b/n 4&5. 4 if you want to go for the feel of Bioshock during the game (s, I assume; haven't played 2 yet). 5 if you want to go for the feel of Rapture as a thriving metropolis.

03-13-2010, 02:13 AM
Ooo! Ooo!! #5 FTW!!!

03-13-2010, 03:45 AM
Take the buildings from 5 and replace the triangles in 4 with it. Then remove the swoops from the top part so its just the straight bit.

Also the greyed portion at the top will be one layer lower correct?

Basically 4 and 5, mostly 4

03-13-2010, 04:08 AM
Thanks! I'm going to run with these two:


They seem to have the best mix of all the attributes folks liked.

03-13-2010, 01:34 PM
:eek:the new 1st one (with the city) is so awsome! +rep for haveing suck an awsome mod

03-13-2010, 03:24 PM
Yes! It felt like something was missing from the city one, I think that semicircle was it.

03-14-2010, 06:31 PM
city with semi-circle gets my vote

03-15-2010, 05:42 PM
#5!! and +rep... I love your work mate!!

03-27-2010, 05:32 PM
Thanks guys! Next update on deck....


From well intentioned beginnings, Operation Paperclip quickly devolved into unethical and morally questionable sub-projects. Conspiracy theorists suggest that the turning point was the recruitment of Kurt Blome (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Blome), an expert in bacteriological warfare. Likely, the USA's recruitment saved Blome from the gallows as he had freely admitted to conducting human experiments prior to the Doctor's Trials in Nuremburg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctors%27_Trial). His recruitment also signaled the end of any limits imposed by Truman on Operation Paperclip. Additional scientists engaged in human experimentation were actively recruited including Hermann Becker-Freysing (later convicted and sentenced to 20 years for, among other things, force feeding prisoners seawater), Brigid Tenenbaum (camp prisoner turned "das wunderkind" scientist), and Siegfriend Ruff (acquitted of killing 80 prisoners in experiments in an isobaric chamber set to simulate high altitude flight).

Emboldened by their success recruiting these new researchers, the CIA broadened their recruiting to other countries including Japan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_1644), the former USSR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_laboratory_of_the_Soviet_secret_services), and China.


I've been busy with a little research regarding block graphics. Let's start from here and work backwards.
Part of the reason that I wanted to build a set of layered block for this project was so I could etch the blocks or rather, sandblast them. I haven't seen too many people use this technique but have seen glass carvers do amazing things. Here's the top piece of brass polished for blasting.
By the way if you are trying to tap a waterblock and have a drill press, a 1/2" hole in a 2x4 makes a good guide. I tapped the holes now instead of later so the thread is to bottom.
It took asking 4 sign shops to find one that could cut vinyl as small as the design. They did an awesome job. Some of these lines are tiny.
Let's talk sandblasting equipment. This is the gun that I bought from a discount hardware store called Harbor Freight. Its pretty bad but serviceable if you're optimizing on costs vs time.
Here's my $20 blasting cabinet. One clear storage container and a couple of rubber downspout couplers.
A pair of old rubber gloves glued in place with a hole for a vacuum line and compressor line. Its not completely sealed but is at negative pressure with the vacuum so no worries.
5 lbs of aluminum oxide. With the cabinet, I was able to recycle most of this to shoot it multiple times.
Great compressor for airbrushing not so much for sand blasting. Too small.
Shop vac to keep the dust down and negative pressure in the cabinet.
Blasting a couple of test pieces.
Shooting until the compressor kicked on and then waiting till it stopped, I was able to etch some relief but it took a long time and multiple goes.
The vinyl sticker worked very well as a resist. After about the 4 or 5th pass, it did cut out the holes but it patched ok with some painters tape.
The detail is impressive; both with the vinyl and the etching. You could etch PCBs using this technique.
All in all a successful experiment. It worked reasonably well but I'm going to find someone with a serious setup before I try the big block. My compressor and the gun hopper setup is too small. Off to see if I can rent a pressure pot and a real compressor. :)
Oh yeah it works very well on acrylic too.
Next time, how do you braze a layer block? More experimentation underway.

Thanks for looking and many thanks to my sponsors!




03-27-2010, 06:14 PM
Beautiful work, I'll be looking for the brazing update. :)

03-28-2010, 04:53 PM
Thanks blue, working the next update!

04-05-2010, 01:23 AM
I'm going to try to hard silver solder the blocks together. Two problems with that. I need about 1400F to hard solder which is near the melting temp of brass and well beyond annealing temperature. To test if it's even possible to do this, a little trial run is in order.
Here's the brass and copper pieces with cutouts of solver solder. Note the breaks in two of the solder pieces.
Here's the "sandwich" test block assembled. The pins are there to keep the pieces from sliding around under pressure.
I said that there were two problems. The second is how to keep the layers in place and under consistent pressure.
These are clamping plates made from 1/4" steel plate.
The bow in the plates is real and caused by the the screws.
30 PSI propane burner for seafood boils.
Clamped block in places and soldering underway
The solder melts at 1280 F and flows at 1370 F.
Steel glows dull red at about 1250 F and orange at 1400F+. It took about 15 mintues to get to this point.
After the plates were pulled apart, the pattern is from flux boiling out of the block.
The top piece coppery color is due to the zinc and copper beginning to separate in the brass.
Very ugly looking
You still can see and feel the edges of the silver. Interesting as they should have melted and flowed if temperature peaked above 1400F.
A quick trip to the disc sander.
The annealing that I was worried about doesn't seem to be a problem.
The threads held up ok too. Interestingly the copper at the bottom is coated in what looks to be brass but nothing appears melted.
You can see the solder layers. Note the two dark spots in the middle of solder layer 1 and 2. I believe these are the splits in the solder.
Not sure what the dark line in left corner of solder layer 3 is.
My fear was that I was going to melt the brass or anneal it to the point of softening the threads. This did not happen. The block appears to be solid; although I don't believe the solder flowed. This week, I'll test it under water to see if it holds pressure.

Pressure test success or no, I learned enough to try this for real on the sand blasted block from the last update...with a few tweaks that is. A few more heat bricks would help to hold in the heat. Longer time at higher temperatures would likely help too. More on the pressure test later.

Thanks for looking and many thanks to my sponsors!




04-05-2010, 01:37 AM
Thats sweet! I love this worklog. I learn new things every time you post! you are a mod god! :D

04-05-2010, 01:55 AM
Dear God, Mach. There you go again. Over the top, just where you seem to like it. :D

The men in the white coats should be arriving at your door any time, but don't worry too much. They tell me they have classes in glassblowing at the... hospital.

04-05-2010, 02:00 PM
Awesome! One thing I would worry about though would be any solder or flux leakage into the inner chamber when you do the actual waterblock. Though, I guess if it didn't leak into the hole in this one, that might not be an issue...

In any case, awesome work! It's always fun to see what crazy new stuff you'll try. :D

04-05-2010, 04:04 PM
this is getting ridiculous... will you adopt me and teach me the ways of the jedi?

04-05-2010, 11:37 PM
Thats sweet! I love this worklog. I learn new things every time you post! you are a mod god! :D

Thanks! I am saving this post for my girlfriend as proof that my OCD is educational. Next time I can answer the question "What are you doing now?" with the answer "Teaching, teaching." as I drag the compressor across the yard. She would definitely disagree with you on my deity status tho. :)

Dear God, Mach. There you go again. Over the top, just where you seem to like it. :D

The men in the white coats should be arriving at your door any time, but don't worry too much. They tell me they have classes in glassblowing at the... hospital.

:) I'm a firm believer in the idea that you don't know where the lines are until your cross them. ;) Glass blowing? Hmmm, have I ever shown you my radioactive glass collection? http://lh5.ggpht.com/_UdQdiSb7gT4/SHSzmLXcJYI/AAAAAAAABzA/iTFKkpqwci0/s640/regencycutbl1.jpg8)

Awesome! One thing I would worry about though would be any solder or flux leakage into the inner chamber when you do the actual waterblock. Though, I guess if it didn't leak into the hole in this one, that might not be an issue...

In any case, awesome work! It's always fun to see what crazy new stuff you'll try.

Thanks! Flux is a concern as are oxides. A "pickle" of peroxide and sulfuric acid should solve that tho. The solder will be ok as its primarily silver. Its been fun for me too.

this is getting ridiculous... will you adopt me and teach me the ways of the jedi?
[jedi hand wave]This is not the hobby you are looking for.[/jedi hand wave] Sorry, the force is not so strong in this one. :) Glad you like it!

I was rigging up something to pressure test but I went low tech with an aquarium pump up just to see what would happen.
Check this out:


That's a bubble out of the split in the silver pieces. Pretty cool huh? Lesson learned solid silver pieces and heat it hotter until the silver flows, not just fuses.

One of the nice things about hard soldering or brazing these things. Soft solder works very well.


Cleaned up

We'll see how it holds up to more pressure later.

Split sheets shouldn't be problem with this block but will be with the GPU block.


04-06-2010, 05:15 AM
Nice work on fabricating your own blocks!

I think it will end up nice after some testing and experimenting. But sandblasting would might be better after sthe oldering? To prevent it from scratching and damaging.

I did some sandblasting too, my dad had a gun for it, and i made serveral engravings with it on acrylic and aluminum. Results are nicer than engraving on average, because lines are just as straight as you cut them (or get them cut by an machine) Also the surface is better, no engraving lines.

Obviously, soft-tape (isolation tape) is more resistant to the blasting procces than harder tapes (the transparents) were.

04-06-2010, 07:48 AM
man mach, this is absolutely amazing work! great method to solder the blocks together! only thing i would worry about is cleaning them:P

+ rep for the godlike work!

04-06-2010, 08:17 AM
But sandblasting would might be better after sthe oldering?

I did some sandblasting too...

Thanks ferry! After would be better. The existing etching will be sanded down and redone with some bigger equipment after soldering.

Do you have a worklog for your sand blasting? Feel free to put up some pics here if not. Its a cool technique that I don't see used a lot.

man mach, this is absolutely amazing work! great method to solder the blocks together! only thing i would worry about is cleaning them

+ rep for the godlike work!

Thanks pOPe! It shouldn't be too bad but finding out is half the fun. Thanks for the rep:up:

04-06-2010, 09:03 AM
Sorry, but i dont have in-progress pics of it. My setup is also a little bit different. The gun has a rubber cap, which should be placed agains the surface. Creating his own "sand-blast environment" +/- 1 square inch. Its made for spot repair on cars AFAIK. We have a large 150liter compressor, a easy job for him :)

But i do have final result pics online:

04-06-2010, 09:26 PM
:up: Awesome work _ferry_ ! Nice to see some other examples.

Good goobley goo! 2K Games has apparently started another installment of their viral campaign for Something in the Sea. A group of folks over at the BioShock 2 forums received these letters in the mail. Their last installment was insane with puzzles, live meet-ups, and hand made swag delivered by bicycle couriers in 1940s costumes. What's this have to do with this mod other than the game? A good deal of the inspiration for the back story came from the viral campaign as well as the game.


04-07-2010, 01:06 AM
Heheheh, awesome. I love when companies do cool stuff like this. :D

04-07-2010, 10:38 PM
Me too. The last one was completely over the top. I cannot see how they're going to top that but it'll be fun to watch.

Oh yeah, almost forgot...


That'll do. No bubbles underwater either.


As someone once said, if first you don't succeed then get a bigger hammer.


After the 30th strike, I inspected the damage.


Amazingly the brass didn't crack but the copper started to crack right along that black line from earlier.

I wanted to break it apart but the metal, which was soft to start, is starting to harden and become brittle. So I'll leave it at that. This concludes our testing, onto the real thing.

Special thanks to my sponsors!




04-07-2010, 10:48 PM
Congratulations on the successful testing. :up:

Strangely, your block seems have held up much better than the last thumb drive I used that test on. More testing is obviously required.

04-07-2010, 10:52 PM
:) Obviously! I expect to hear about that thumb drive test.

04-08-2010, 06:02 PM

I've been extremely busy in the last few months and haven't had many chances to drop in to check on progress. Today I did, and whoa man, you never disappoint! I remember when I first saw your work as CobraMatic was coming along and thought to myself "who is this guy?", you continue to impress me my friend.
I was digging through my hard drive looking for a graphic for a work presentation and saw the old "mach" folder of video files and couldn't resist delving through some of the footage we worked on. I was most impressed with your final draft and you gave me way too much credit, that was all you bro and you know it! ;) I thought it might be cool to post up the version we used to tinker with "psycho" effects also.

Keep up the very impressive and inspiring work Mach!!!

This was a teaser Mach and I were working on prior to the release of Bioshock 2 to drive a little "build-up" of energy in his worklog. I never finished it which is why there is a long gap toward the end with no content. In the end, he completed a far better video to display his masterpiece of modding skills but this version displays some rather extreme visual effects we were tampering with when coming up with the mood of a doped up psychotic splicer. Enjoy!


04-09-2010, 11:29 PM
Hey! Did you finally get some sleep? :) Nice to see you back.

Ahh the video prototype. Man, its such a cool rabbit hole to fall down. So many ideas! I may need to recycle the psycho effect. The intro is amazing. Thanks for posting this up! Thanks for the compliments and credit where credit is due, you pushing me was the only reason the video got made. :)

04-11-2010, 11:12 PM

At the height of its human experimentation, the CIA operated with impunity. Particularly disturbing were the experiments of a Dr Yi Suchong. Suchong defected from China through a bizarre series of events in which a CIA agent, GH White (http://history.howstuffworks.com/american-history/cia-lsd2.htm), staged Suchong's death during an interrogation. Even more bizarre or brazen, Suchong (apparently suffering no ill effects from his untimely death) was employed by the CIA only months later.


Someone, x88x I believe, pointed out that a UV led would look good in the flow indicator.
A Bitspower G1/4 acrylic plug would do the trick…
but where I need to mount it is not wide enough.
Indicator dismantled
Brass adapter plate
Soldered in place

Drilled, tapped and filled

I took the opportunity to replace the orange rotor with a black one.
Lit up
Now for part II of the layer block, the real thing :)
Fluxed and clamped up.
Picked up some fire bricks to maintain the heat
At temperature looks good (probe temp)
Thermocouple through one of the bricks
Look at the paint burn. The gas burner did not like the fire bricks. Note how the steel is off center.
Cleaned up well. Unfortunately, it leaks like a sieve.

What happened? Several things. I don't think that 1/4" plate is thick enough. Look at the bow in the image above. It wasn't clamped flat. I'm guessing that only half got to adequate temperature due to it being off center on the burner. I also didn't allow it to get hot enough.

The small block was a good test but the larger blocks may be a different beast, requiring rivets to work instead of clamping alone.

Lastly, I rushed it and got sloppy. Back to the drawing board.

Many thanks to my sponsors!

04-12-2010, 11:09 AM
As I see this one step ahead. but 3 steps back but an huge learning step, and I love what you have done with your flow indicator.
The weather is Improving fast now so I should be back in my workshop. instead of stalking you.

04-12-2010, 09:13 PM
As I see this one step ahead. but 3 steps back but an huge learning step, and I love what you have done with your flow indicator.

Thanks Cheron! It is a huge learning but that's what keeps me going. Someone at Bit-tech linked to Mokume-Gane. Amazing stuff that says it can be done if I'm persistent.

Edit: Going to try it again stay tuned. I've got a date with an oxy-acetylene torch.

No flex here. Those are 1" steel blocks.

04-30-2010, 04:28 AM
While Barsarkar-gang is still very much on, things have been moving slowly. Although I don't have much to show, you might enjoy seeing this.

I'm taking a community college course in jewelery making in part to understand how mokume-gane is made. Its so similar to the fired water blocks that it kinda warrants some investigation.

I'm also trying to learn how to turn these into something.

Those are laser cut brass pieces for the on off switch. Take a look at the base of the case in this render

It's the Bioshock 2 logo done in brass.



I've just started soldering the cityscape pieces together when I can steal the time. Most of the pieces are just set in place but it should give you an idea of just how fine a job that Vintage Laser did. My soldering job? Not so much. :) I've got some serious cleanup to do.

Unfortunately, I need a better magnifying glass as my eyes aren't what they used to be. Yup, that's small. Now you can see why I needed the jewelery training. ;)

That's about all I've got for now. I'm going to swamped at work for the next month so there won't be much progress but I'll be back soon with more. Thanks for watching!

Many thanks to my sponsors!


04-30-2010, 04:44 AM
I love the brass logo! I suppose the quality of your soldering depends on the look you're going for here. Is this to be before the fall of Rapture (shiny and new, possibly burnished) or after (old-looking in various ways)? If the latter your soldering could actually add to the effect.

Edit: Your "shoddy" soldering put my best work to shame, by the way.

04-30-2010, 10:45 AM
I love your soldering and I know what you talk about with those small pieces. I myself make Transformers (the electric part not the toys) and our customs can be very small.

I like the logo and good luck on the cleaning up.

Also good luck on your work. I am in about the same situation our national train company decided that all train transformers need replacing this year and that is a hell of an extra load on our daily job.

Thumbs up.

04-30-2010, 07:09 PM
Is this to be before the fall of Rapture

Thanks blue! After the fall but I've got some plans for patina so I need it as clean as I can get it.

I myself make Transformers (the electric part not the toys) and our customs can be very small.

Also good luck on your work. I am in about the same situation our national train company decided that all train transformers need replacing this year and that is a hell of an extra load on our daily job.

Thumbs up.

Thanks Cheron! Got pics of the transformers? I love the little fiddly bits that go in meters and electronics. They're like little magic boxes waiting to be taken apart.

Good luck with your work too. Its slightly inconvenient when work interrupts the fun no. :)

05-01-2010, 04:17 AM
I would love to show some pictures.. but I only have pictures of the bigger ones (and those are mistakes I made, so it wont happen again)

05-01-2010, 10:12 AM
Excellent work, Mach! I do so love mokune-game...

You have a bit more to read, and I have some pretties for you to look at-I think I just retook the craziest material ever from you. And if that doesn't, well, I may have the most expensive material ever as well...

Enough about me, though. This is amazing work (had to catch up, just got satellite installed) and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

05-01-2010, 11:40 AM
;) Cheron

Excellent work... I may have the most expensive material ever as well...

Thanks Kayin and regarding your unobtanium


:) pics or it didn't happen :)

05-16-2010, 10:38 PM
I've got some plans for patina so I need it as clean as I can get it.

Of course you do. Undoubtedly some arcane formula centered around unicorn urine.

05-17-2010, 12:25 AM
Lol...you don't know how close you are;)

05-17-2010, 01:51 AM

05-26-2010, 12:21 AM
Mach, brilliant work mate.
I step out for a bit, and you step up the bar.


05-26-2010, 05:37 AM
Thanks Langer....here's your bar back ---------------- , feel free to move it up. :)

06-19-2010, 12:00 AM
Hey all! I've been on a plane for the last month so only minor progress. Here's what I've got so far.

Remember the logo that I showed you last time?

Well its used to conceal a usb jack, the power switch, and a headphone jack.

I was most impressed with myself on drilling the hole for the hinge.

Still haven't mastered the art of hard soldering yet but getting there.

Here it is opened. Headphone jack on the left, power in the middle, usb on the right and a whole lot of sanding and filing left to do. Next up the letters and the cityscape. I'm back in town for the next few weeks so I hope to get back after it. Thanks for looking!

Many thanks to my sponsors!

06-19-2010, 12:31 AM
:eek: Picks jaw up off floor.......

WOW!!!! Ummmmmmm....... ya, don't know what else to say.

06-19-2010, 12:35 AM
Nice! That'll really look great once you get it sanded/etc (not that it looks bad now ;) ). Also, you hand-drilled the hinge hole? Wow. That's quite a feat getting that small and deep a hole that straight.

06-19-2010, 01:52 AM
Dude, this mod gives me a boner.

06-19-2010, 02:43 AM
/\ Thanks, Jon.

06-19-2010, 12:16 PM
Nice! That'll really look great once you get it sanded/etc (not that it looks bad now ;) ). Also, you hand-drilled the hinge hole? Wow. That's quite a feat getting that small and deep a hole that straight.

Thanks x88x, yeah it'll look much better when I'm done. The hole was drilled with a mini drill press but the bit was tiny.

Dude, this mod gives me a boner.
And what you really needed was some sleep :)

:eek: Picks jaw up off floor.......

WOW!!!! Ummmmmmm....... ya, don't know what else to say.

Thank you!

06-19-2010, 05:56 PM
I have some soldering tips, I'll post a how-to when I put my trumpet's braces together.

06-20-2010, 03:11 AM
Thanks Kayin, I'll take whatever help I can get. So I dug out the old crepe pan, essentially an electric skillet, pounded down some solder, and placed the remaining pieces.


15 minutes later and a little tweaking with a needle. After a little clean up, not too bad.

Now on to the inner piece. Here's the components in place. Made a brass cover for the on off button.

06-20-2010, 03:45 AM
Looks great!

Drum Thumper
06-20-2010, 04:35 AM
Fun Fact: I just picked up the Collector's Edition of this game @ Target on clearance for $20. YMMV.

And great work Mach!

06-20-2010, 01:23 PM
:eek: Picks jaw up off floor.......

WOW!!!! Ummmmmmm....... ya, don't know what else to say.

And again...... :bowdown:

06-21-2010, 03:47 PM
Thanks guys!

Fun Fact: I just picked up the Collector's Edition of this game @ Target on clearance for $20. YMMV.

And great work Mach!

Hey DT, if there are anymore, grab one for me. I can't find any here.

06-23-2010, 01:48 AM
Gotta love brass...




06-23-2010, 02:11 AM
that is awesome! These worklogs just blow my mind sometimes...

06-23-2010, 10:51 AM

My congratulations again on this incredible project!!

06-23-2010, 12:27 PM
That is just flippin AWESOME BABY!!!!!!! :bunny::bunny: It looks absolutely killer, then you see the audio jack and realize how small it really is... :bowdown:

06-23-2010, 01:14 PM
That is some preeetty brass. :D Very impressive detail work.

06-23-2010, 01:52 PM
Top notch stuff!

Hope the info I sent you helped... I have more on brass finishing coming as well. I also have some really interesting solder tricks...

06-23-2010, 03:30 PM
Thanks gents, glad that you like it!

Top notch stuff!

Hope the info I sent you helped... I have more on brass finishing coming as well. I also have some really interesting solder tricks...

Yes it did. It caused me to dig out a book that I bought awhile back called The Colouring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals. I found a recipe I want to experiment with but not sure where to source the chemicals. eBay? I need copper nitrate and acetic acid. I've got a block of sal ammoniac on the way. Everything else I can source or sub locally. I can sub vinegar for the acetic acid but the recipe calls for 6% solution concentration but vinegar is 5%.

Def interested in your solder tricks

06-23-2010, 03:45 PM
Depending on how much you need, here's a source for the copper nitrate:
(Awesome site. Take a while to look around while you're there.)

They don't carry acetic acid, but you could always improve the concentration in the vinegar through distillation. The only hard part would be making sure you have exactly a 6% concentration.

06-23-2010, 04:16 PM
Thanks for the link! Looks like what I need. After reading some more, looks like they make vinegar in 6% concentrations. I'll chase one of those brands.

Drum Thumper
06-23-2010, 06:03 PM
They don't carry acetic acid, but you could always improve the concentration in the vinegar through distillation. The only hard part would be making sure you have exactly a 6% concentration.

Makes me wonder, would hydrometer readings be able to get you to the 6% after distilling it? You'd have to cut it with distilled water to essentially weaken the ABV.

Now I've got something to research.

Edit: I see you're looking to source out 6% vinegar of the shelf. Regardless, you've piqued my interest.

06-24-2010, 02:00 PM
I ordered some 10% vinegar that's used as weed killer. DT keep me posted on your research. Its been way too long since my chemistry courses. I'd be curious to know what you find.

06-24-2010, 03:38 PM
What patina are you using? I might have a simpler alternative.

BTW, posting my black patina results soon.

06-24-2010, 09:05 PM
From page 295 of The Colouring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals
Blue-green patina on pink ground (semi-matt) produces variegated coloring with some yellow / yellow green coloration

Copper nitrate
Acetic Acid
Ammonium Chloride

Repeat application for 5 days

06-25-2010, 02:55 PM
Sea salt, tap water and methylene chloride.

That may not give the exact color you want, though. BTW, methylene chloride hurts like an *Elder Swear* if you get it on your bare skin, and plain water won't get it off. Soap and water will, though.

If I can get the satellite to cooperate, I'll post more pics and formulas.

06-26-2010, 02:01 AM
if you give me the volumes i can do the reduction for you to get the molarity correct... anything i can do to lend a hand to this BA mod

Drum Thumper
06-26-2010, 11:31 PM
10/x = 6/1 tells me that for every 1 part of the 10% solution, you would need to dilute it with 1 and 2/3rd's part distilled H2O in order to get it down to 6%.

Of course, tests are in order.

06-27-2010, 03:23 AM
if you give me the volumes i can do the reduction for you to get the molarity correct... anything i can do to lend a hand to this BA mod

Wow! Thanks for the offer!

10/x = 6/1 tells me that for every 1 part of the 10% solution, you would need to dilute it with 1 and 2/3rd's part distilled H2O in order to get it down to 6%.

Of course, tests are in order.

You are a scholar (of the chemistry variety) and a gentleman. Thank you!:up:

06-27-2010, 11:52 AM

Another formula in there, and I can give you the formula for the blackening if you like...

06-27-2010, 04:29 PM
Thanks Kayin! Any recipes you have would be helpful. I'm going to try a few once a get the chemicals in.

Drum Thumper
06-27-2010, 05:11 PM

Long story short, get thee to a homebrew shop ASAP and pick up a tritation kit. Pick the owner's brain while you are at it, he/she may be able to point you in the right direction.

06-27-2010, 06:40 PM
Yowza, is there anything that you guys don't know? Thanks DT!

06-27-2010, 07:16 PM
Yowza, is there anything that you guys don't know?

You make a good point actually. I've noticed that the compiled knowledge of members here is incredibly varied and comprehensive. Just about every topic I've seen brought up has had at least one expert and/or enthusiastic amateur on the topic pop up. It really is amazing to me the variety of people who are drawn here. :D

Drum Thumper
07-16-2010, 12:07 AM
You make a good point actually. I've noticed that the compiled knowledge of members here is incredibly varied and comprehensive. Just about every topic I've seen brought up has had at least one expert and/or enthusiastic amateur on the topic pop up. It really is amazing to me the variety of people who are drawn here. :D

+1 to this.

07-23-2010, 11:57 PM
Let's inch the story and mod forward this time.


Via Operation Paperclip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bh37r3alzzs) funding, Dr. Yi Suchong drugged unwitting subjects with hallucinogens derived from the puffer fish (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetraodontidae) and sea cucumbers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_cucumber) (among others). Subjects frequently experienced manic and aggressive episodes. They were often placed in a public setting with the apparent intent to cause a berserker attack on bystanders. Subjects wound up in jail or the hospital with no memories of preceding events. Suchong's research may have influenced the further experimentation with LSD and other psychotropics under the auspices of Project MKULTRA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKULTRA). In the 1973 CIA purge(pdf) (http://www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/13inmate_ProjectMKULTRA.pdf), a majority of Suchong's research notes were destroyed fueling speculation on his research progress and goals.

Did the CIA and Suchong attempt to re-create berserking in the 1950s?


Some small progress, both in scope and size. I need some buttons for input on the Arduino board to change the different lighting and sound modes. Something a little stealthy though. The front of the case offers several spare possibilities from the original mounting screws.

The targets are the holes left by the two silver screws.

The idea is to fill those holes with push buttons that look like the brass hex head screws used for case screws

The dregs of the friendly neighborhood shooting range. They see reloading rejects, I see brass. :) I just could never figure out what to do with them.

Until now that is. The cast of characters from left to right. A piece of scrap brass tubing, a micro switch, a hex head brass screw, a standoff, and the 22 casing.

22 shell casing drilled out.

Everything whittled to size. The tubing was slot cut to hold the switch. The standoff rounded to act as a plunger and the 22 shell cut down to act as a cap.

The push button head on, glued in place with some hot glue.

The plunger assembled. There's about 1-2 mm of play in the plunger. Just enough to depress the button on the switch

It all fits together very tight. The ID/OD of the tubing and 22 shell is perfect.

The button in place and working. Rinse and repeat for the other side.

Still on the topic of buttons, last time around, you were left looking at a large gaping hole in the front of the Bioshock logo hidden compartment. Let's talk about filling it.

First, a brief aside to introduce a fascinating material called uranium or vaseline glass. As the name suggests, its made with trace amounts of uranium (although some pieces were found to contain as much as 25% uranium). Yes, its radioactive. It'll register above the normal background radiation of a sensitive geiger counter but is consider harmless (unless you vaporize the glass through grinding or sanding).

It was popular during the late 1800s until the 1920s. Collectors sometimes call it Depression Glass as it was very popular during the American Great Depression. Take a look on eBay, there is still a lot of this stuff around. I find it amazing that a little Grandma somewhere has an entire china cabinet full of cut radioactive glass.

And once you start looking for it, its everywhere in vintage knick knacks, utensils, dishware, and costume jewelery.

Oh yeah, one other thing. The way you tell if you have a piece is with UV light. Seems that all that radioactive material causes it to glow….alot. :o

I mean really glows. :)

Back to the mod, one of the cut uranium glass gems.

A micro switch from the local electronics salvage store.

A brass grommet from the modding closet.

I actually went through a 7mm shell casing and a 30/06 casing before inspiration struck.

A couple pieces of scrap square stock

Some careful dremeling and copious amounts of silver solder.

The patina was too cool to sand off so it stays

The stone fit just about perfect in the grommet. Hot glue to the rescue again to set it.

Test fit and we have a power button. :)

But what about the glow? The micro switches that are illuminated with tiny leds, of the yellow variety. Not exactly the color that we're looking for though.

Off to eBay for some UV SMD leds.

A little grinding and soldering makes a UV microswitch. Unfortunately they're more in the upper end of the violet spectrum. Hmm.

What about a combo shot? Soldering a UV led on top of the yellow led.

Not exactly it either. The glass glows green at an oblique angle but straight on, it looks purple.

Back to the drawing board, I added a few resistors to the orginal LED circuit and the light became distinctly green. A few more times to work in the UV led but couldn't get away from the purple.

So in the end it was the resistor throttled, green led.

This I can live with. ;) I'm working on the Arduino circuitry again in hopes of finishing the base off. Still experimenting with the waterblocks but more on that in the next update. More as time permits. Thanks for looking!

Many thanks to my sponsors!



07-24-2010, 12:16 AM
Is there anything you not going to hand make for this thing? :eek: Seriously though AWESOME work as usual. :up:

07-24-2010, 02:52 AM
I may as well write up a macro script of some kind that just automatically inserts "wow", "damn", or "you're a lunatic" after each of your posts that include the word "update".

Geez. Awesome as always my man. Awesome as always. :up:

07-24-2010, 03:49 AM
Wow, awesome work on those buttons. This is really one for the scrapbook. :D Once it's done you should submit it to MDPCs...unless they come asking you first.. ;)

07-24-2010, 04:14 AM
looking great! ive been away for a bit and its good to see youre still making progress on this! cant wait

07-24-2010, 04:54 AM
hmm a radioactive computer, heres hopin you dont wind up sterile...seriously though awesome work man

Drum Thumper
07-24-2010, 03:41 PM
Nice work with the spent shell casings. Like I said a few pages back, you're giving me some ideas...

07-25-2010, 10:48 AM
indeed. those screw buttons are awesome! great idea! love that gem power button too! +rep

07-26-2010, 12:27 AM
I may as well write up a macro script of some kind that just automatically inserts "wow", "damn", or "you're a lunatic" after each of your posts that include the word "update".

Geez. Awesome as always my man. Awesome as always. :up:

:D Thanks blue! Glad to see you're still following in the summer slowdown.

:D Once it's done you should submit it to MDPCs...unless they come asking you first.. ;)

Thanks for the compliment x88x but I'm expecting the folks at MDPC to be more puzzled by this mod than anything else. ;)

looking great! ive been away for a bit and its good to see youre still making progress on this! cant wait
Welcome back b4i7, progress continues in my own special meandering way.

hmm a radioactive computer, heres hopin you dont wind up sterile...seriously though awesome work man
Thanks raistnox, it is a fervent hope that nothing in my ill spent youth makes me sterile too.

Nice work with the spent shell casings. Like I said a few pages back, you're giving me some ideas...
I must admit, the collective brain power of the folks replying has impressed me. The best idea so far was key caps for a steampunk keyboard.

indeed. those screw buttons are awesome! great idea! love that gem power button too! +rep
Thanks SXR! On the screws, they're my favorite kind of modding. Just start trying different things and see what comes out.

08-12-2010, 11:51 PM
Coming back to the this mod, I'm chipping away at the wiring but not very much interesting to show for my efforts. I will show you this though. The external tubing, that's routed on the exterior was originally planned to be acid green.

And I was planning to use this copper wire sleeving but the Bitspower fittings are 3/8-5/8 so this sleeving is too small.

So the search for replacement sleeving has been underway. This stuff is decent but is fairly light weight and doesn't offer any tubing protection.

This stuff is braided copper sleeving, its heavy weight and offers significant protection. Tubing really can't collapse with this on it. Its made for phase change overclockers to keep their tubing from rupturing.

So which do you think looks better? The lightweight stuff or

The heavyweight sleeving?

Sketchup really doesn't picture it well but you get the idea where it's going.

And while I'm asking, this is the back of subject Delta from Bioshock 2. He's the main protagonist in the game. On the back of his suit are 2 reservoirs of fluid with red and blue colored liquid which set me to thinking.

What about blue and red instead of green?

Lightweight Blue
Heavyweight Blue

Lightweight Red

Heavyweight Red

Let me know what you think. I'm leaning towards the heavyweight (more functional) but could go either way on the colors. I plan to spend Saturday modding so I'll have some more for you soon. Especially if my kiln arrives ;).

Many thanks to my sponsors!



08-13-2010, 12:12 AM
I vote heavyweight. looks awesome!

08-13-2010, 12:55 AM
Ooooh, definitely the heavyweight! :twisted:

I think the blue/red could work really well.

08-13-2010, 02:12 AM
personally i like the lightweight on the blue and the heavy on the red just my 2 cents, maybe post a pic of the 2 together to see how they would contrast one another?

08-13-2010, 06:34 AM
Definitely the heavyweight, and I vote for the green.

08-13-2010, 07:39 PM
I'm with BoB on this. The heavyweight looks better, but the red and blue don't show through as well.

08-15-2010, 07:52 AM
yes BoB got the right awnser for me aswell Heavy + green

08-21-2010, 08:31 PM
Heavyweight +1 here!!

09-03-2010, 08:57 AM
I think the verdict here is Heavy.

lol. It just plain ol looks better. Shows more of that copper this project craves for.

09-03-2010, 11:54 AM
My vote's for heavy as well!

09-09-2010, 09:38 PM

heavyweight red has a polished?? look, heavyweight blue is more of a aged weathered look, sooo depends what you want form it in mho.

10-23-2010, 06:15 AM
I am so looking forward for some news. I have been visiting daily always with good hoop you are back on this project. Its absolutly great.

Mach your my good example, You do things as I want to do things. and I'm learning a lot from you you cant imagine.

Do what you need to do. but please come back on this when you are ready to continue.

yours Cheron.

10-23-2010, 08:11 AM
Mach is the inspiration for many of us. Carry on.