View Full Version : The TIP-3000

03-18-2006, 04:49 PM
Here's some photos of my finished computer. If you want to see how i made it, then the whole worklog is here, from start to finish. Enjoy!

http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/S/P1040010.JPG (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/P1040010.JPG)

http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/S/P1040049.JPG (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/P1040049.JPG)


Right! Itís time for me to get down to posting some of my work. Iím sure forum regulars have noticed me hovering around, offering advice, giving my opinion, but never actually seeming to do any real work.

Well, here we go. Because of uni and my job I rarely have time to get down to doing anything creative, and spend a lot of my time on trains and so forth talking about doing it more than actually making something. When I joined these forums, I didnít really know much about the world of modding, or about the world of electronics. Since then Iíve been inspired by a million amazing mods, and now itís my turn, hopefully, to inspire someone else.

My mod project is no small undertaking. It involves modding 2 cases and then a lot of hardware hacking and so forth in order to make a gaming computer and a mini-server, both of which can control a variety of different things around my home. Theyíll be attached to a wireless network running 3 other computers, and the theory is that at the end of the day Iíll have power over pretty much everything from a single chair.

Sounds ambitious for a first time mod? Well, it is bit, but i have a plan. First, Iíve set up a dingy workbench in my cellar. Iíve borrowed and bought a cheap set of tools, and Iíve studied electronics. Having not done anything practical, this is my first 'real' foray into the world of computer modding, and I plan to document it well for all to see.

My Dingy Cellar.
My Shelves and laptop.

So how do I plan to do this? Iíll to keep it simple:

Stage 1 : Gaming Box
A Modded box for my hardware.
Stage 2: Fallout Mini-server
A miniserver with a Fallout themed mod.
Stage 3: Integration
The final goal. Wiring, signal amplifiers, constructing KMV switches-the nasty shizeny.

Youíre looking at Stage 1, the gaming box. As itís my spring break, I want to get as much done as I possibly can, because the next big chance I get is going to be 2 months away after my exams.

My case naked...microwaves, look away now! Televisions, cover your IR ports! Shocking 010101 Rated stuff here!

My aims here, are hopefully to make a decent mod with the basic tools available to me, and to learn techniques with an easy mod that I can carry on to stage 2. Iím also making a website based on this mod, which is part of my assessed coursework. Itís due in 3 weeks time, so Iíll be making the website along with the case (I doubt Iíll get the whole case finished in 3 weeks, but if you donít aim high, youíll never hit it!) for which Iíll need 3 suckersÖerm I mean helpful forum peeps :D to look at and help fill in a questionnaire. (Bleh)

Iíve started off stage 1 with a PSU mod, the PSU being the only piece that Iím certain about at the moment. Iím still drawing up the plans for the rest, but Iím not sure how much each part will cost and therefore how much I can get done.

The PSU mod consists of putting some Orange LEDs inside, feeding off the 5volt always on wire. First, I took apart the PSU, and removed the chipboard and the switch. Then I de-soldered the switches, and removed them. Using a permanent marker, I drew up my plans for the box, and using my cheap knock off dremmel I set to work hacking it to pieces. Remember Kids, old man says always wear eye protection! Iím a sucker for safety, they say. But theyíre blind now, so haha.

The first cut

The pattern on the side of the PSU. This will be visible through the window.

Back on track! (Gee, I can really talk!) I was well into the first part, and hacking away through my second part, when my cheap dremmel knock off decided it didn't like me enough to keep working. This is probably the first time ever a cutting disk has lasted longer than the drill. Grr!!! So i tried fixing it with some foil but the foil got destroyed by either temp. or vibrations and came out as poweder. So don't try and use foil to make a dremel bit fit into a dremel knock off. Does anyone have any ideas about how to get those stickers off the damn metal? It leaves behind a damn mess that not even sanding seems to get rid off. Anyway, i filed down the edges of what i had done, and those came out allright.


Now that I have this part sorted out, I want to get into my plans for the rest of the case. The inards of my case are getting painted orange with gloss, and all outer bodywork with matt black. Thereís a theme of orange LEDís throughout, with Orange Perspex and black mesh helping to add tone. At the front, Iím trying to veer away from the standard lights and dials type of feedback, and instead go for something less practical and moreÖorganic you could say? Iíll post my plans later (Iím still in the cellar. Itís cold down here, but we Scotsmen are hardy folks :D). I need to contact someone who gave a quote for the panels for both of the cases, the Fallout and the Gaming case. Iím just trying to work out if I can save money and work by just using what Iíve got here. Iíve acquired some flat side panels, and if I can get my hands on some Bondo, I reccon I could simply use that and then not have to worry too much about anything else. Iíll have to go to B&Q and have a look.

Right, thatís enough for now. Iíve not said everything that I wanted to say but it looks like Iíll be here all night as it is. So Iím posting this and then getting to work on my website, and Iíll next get some modding done on Monday. By that point, Iím hoping to have my drawn plans finished, and Iíll be posting them. I also hope to have removed any remaining stickery stuff.


03-22-2006, 12:52 PM
Sorry it's taken a while to update this page. I've been busy prepping the work are for some photographs, which i'll post later on today. I went out and bought a new dremel, thus finally answering the age old question of dremel vs. knock off; dremel every time.

I think there's some nail polish remover kicking about. I'll try that: thanks tybrenis for the pointers.

Was looking into Bondo today! Apparently, Bondo ships to over 100 countries. But, it would appear, not to us. It's no biggie, i'll get a susbstitute; auto body filler aught to do the job i think but not having used this stuff before, i'll need to do extra research. I think i need to buy hardener and filler, and then i can saw it, sand it, whatever without a worry.

I just e-mailed the guy my plans. I suspect that i'm going to end up paying through the nose for the parts that i want. I'm posting the plans for some of the stuff just now so you can see what i'm thinking at the moment. I can probably get some of the cuts done myself with a hole saw or the dremel; but the vents are probably going to be on maybe 10mm metal, so doing that with a dremel is out of the question. (if you think otherwise, let me know!)

First up is the vents. Sorry these images are large in size, it's probably going to muck up the whole thread.
So there will be 4 of these, 2 of each size. This is where the money is going to go i guess. I havn't got the quotes back yet, but im expecting them tommorow. These will be painted orange in the final cut. I have akasa amber case fans to go behind them; it should cast a nice effect. They're not exactly airflow efficient, but when you're talking about 6+ case fans, at the end of the day a poor airflow efficiency won't make a big difference and i won't need to compromise on aesthetics.

This is the plans for the front of the fallout case. I'l be buying it like this and fabricating it myself.

The same applies for the top.

This is a pretty piss-poor image, but it gives you a general idea of what it is that i'm going to be doing. The drives will be built into the facade. The whole front section will be able to open up like a door. The massive fan at the front will suck air out of the case, and a side fan will suck air in over the graphics card. The air passes over the HD on it's way out, which is cooled with 2 fans. A massive 120mm fan sucks air onto the zalman cooler, and this air is then sucked out through a rear exhaust and a blowhole in the top. All the fans i've bought are of the so-called 'silent' variety, and my PSU has a 120mm silent fan in there as well. It works out at:
2*120mm case fans.
4*80mm case fans.
1*double fan akasa HDD cooler
1*120mm PSU cooler
1*Zalman 'big flower' 120mm CPU cooler.

All the fans are supposed to be quiet, but i doubt that all of them together will be anything close. So i've been working on an affordable way to silence the fans...and it is kiddie foam! Foam paper, bright orange, and only 75p a sheet. Should keep vibrations to a minimum. My chief concern is that it will melt, but i think i'm safe from that.

Anyway! That's enough for now. I've got to get back to work. Got a lot to do. I'm going for a week break on Sunday, so don't panic when i disapear for a while. I havn't hacked my arms off in a freak dremel accident.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback, i'll keep you posted ;)


03-24-2006, 07:19 PM
Well, i said to the guy that i didn't want to spend too much on the parts, and he didn't even bother giving me a quote for the vents-he said they'd cost too much. So i was up all night trying to find a way around this problem, when i decided that what might work is if i made the vents from metal, sprayed them orange, and then cut out some 'stands' out of perspex to add the thickeness. This would have the added bonus of looking pretty sweet i think. I'd need to find a nice nut and bolt assembly to put the whole thing together now, and it would need to work with everything else...plus i need to find the mesh...

Anyway, the guy quoted me £46 for the 3 parts, and i think most of the money's away on the the front panel. The original quote was about £25 without fabrication-just folds-so i'll get them to make the parts without the fabrication, and maybe ask for an easier metal to work with (aluminium). They quoted me on 1.2mm zintek, which is zinc coated steel apparently. It sounds like a bitch to have to cut, any feedback on this would be appreciated. I know that it's zinc coated to prevent rust-but if i cut it, then it qould pretty much destroy this property, so merhaps the 1.3mm mild steel i was offered at the start would be easier. If i can afford it, i'll just get aluminium, it would be easiest to work with i think. Anyway, i'll keep you posted. I'll be away for a week from sunday, so if it goes all quiet on the eastern front (compared to America at least) you know why...i deserve the break anyway!


04-06-2006, 08:10 PM
Answer time!

I was wondering why these parts have to be made of metal?
The case is made of a variety of materials, and in the end, the mixture of materials is going to be pretty important. There's a sort of 'pecking order' where it's metal, going into mesh, going into plexi. Then Matt Black is my major colour, and Gloss Orange is my minor.

I'll try and answer any questions at the top off each worklog, so feel free to ask away whatever you want-but i'll batch process them so don't expect instant answers. If you have a small question or request, PM me.

Worklog time!

Ok, so first off, a nice pic of my new dremel and associated parts.


Quite nice, no? Right! Now onto business. I had a new front panel, a top panel, and the front panel for Stage 2's Fallout box all cut and folded out of that zintec stuff at 1.2mm. I really, really owe it to the nice guys at Howarth Swichgear (http://www.howarthswitchgear.talktalkbusiness.net/) for all they've done for me. First off, they made my parts perfectly. Absolutely perfectly-in one day. Not only that, but when i went to visit them, they gave me some mesh and aluminium scraps for free, and then they showed me around the factory where they make everything, and do powder coating, etc. On top off all this they gave me a 'student rate', so the whole thing came to £25.20, so the very least i can do in return is wing a little promotion their way. They ship all over the UK, so if you want something cut, these guys are absolutely great.

Anyway, I haven’t got a photo of my parts, and that's boring anyway, so straight onto work! I drew out the cuttings for my side panel here.


I just drew this in pencil, then i went over it with a CD marker pen. Some sugar soap removed most of the pencil, so the lines won't confuse me when i cut this bitch. Then, to get a look and feel, i placed the fans on to see how it looks.


I did another similar thing on the top. To draw out my plans, i use set squares, compasses, different pencils, etc. If you want to know the techniques for drawing something, like curved corner, just ask and i'll cover it next time.


Now to make my vents! Like I said, the nice guys at Howarth Switchgear already cut the aluminium to the right size for me, so all I had to do was mark it. It drew the pattern on in pencil, and covered it with CD marker. Then, as I wanted to make sure that the fan holes were perfect, I took a drill bit and used it to mark the soft aluminium beneath. (see the picture) When this was done, i marked the dots in with the marker. Hopefully this will produce a nice set of holes for the screws.



Please ignore my mother's terrible taste in tableware. I was hoping to 'accidentally' destroy those hideous placemats, but no such luck.

Anyway, that's all for now; these photos are actually out of date, but i can't get the rest of my photos yet because i left my USB lead in Edinburgh last week. I had to do all sorts of tricks to get these ones!

I had an accident today as well; i was cutting perspex when my goggles steamed up. I put them on my head when i stopped drilling to inspect my work; then i immediately forgot i had done so, and continued drilling. Pretty much instantly i got an eyeful of melted perspex. So let this be a major lesson to all of you!

I’ve got enough material for a couple more posts, but I’ll spread them out for a while; I mean, you don't really want to see a photo off every cut, right? That's why they skip all the actually work in Pimp my Ride, though in this case, it's Pimp my Rig. Calling it that makes my mates laugh, I don't really see why...

Oh, and I’m trying to come up with a logo to go with this. I was thinking something related to danger, something that screams out "This computer can and will kick your ass if you mess with it". As there's a pseudo-industrial theme to the case, i was thinking of something along the lines of warning signs, if anyone can think of a particularly interesting one; i'd love for anyone with too much free time to sketch some ideas to try and inspire me. Technical drawing i can do, but appart from that, i'm crap with the art.
I'll probably start a worklog for Stage 3 at some point soon, allthough as very little of that is actually related to computers i don't know how well it will be received. It's about making the desk, lighting, external comms, audio, etc. from this lovely chair of mine :) Sounds good, yes, but does it really belong on a side for case modding? (Crimson, would love for you to give me the go ahead here...if you don't i'm probably going to assume you're not too happy, in which case i'll start a Stage 3 worklog with another host and leave a link to it here when 1&2 are complete. Won't be in any way offended if you think it's too far off topic for these boards.)

Well dudes, i'm off for the night. As usual, it's 1:10, and here i am. I really need to get a life, eh? I'm laying into getting this done as hard as i can: my exams are only a month away, and i'd like stage 1 complete within the next week, and i'll be hopefully a 1/3 of the way through stage 3 at that point. That's where i start to work on Stage 2. Catch you later!


04-07-2006, 06:28 AM
Tat is going to be awesome, especially the top. Sorry that it's a bit off topic, but in your first post you said you lacked time because of your unicycle? If so, are you on unicyclist.com?

Umm...I meant Uni as in University. I do cycle, but i'm not a unicyclist. I didn't ven know there was a unicuclist community, but hey, i guess most people don't know there's a case mod community.

Thanks for those images Rankenphile, those are the sort of things i was thinking about; the biohazard one probably wouldn't fit in with the whole theme of the mod, but the other images have set me thinking...i'll have to get some practice in at etching as well...well, i'll let you know. Looks like today's free after all, so i'm off to the cellar! I'm nearly finished cutting out the side panel, so i'll hopefully post some pics tonight. Going to break out the bondo as well and give that stuff a try.

EDIT: Found this...this would be pretty damn funny...



04-07-2006, 06:48 PM
Worklog Time!

I spent most of the day working away at Stage 3 of this project, which I haven’t yet posted because I’m not sure if it belongs here. Still waiting on the go ahead for that-but for now, I’ll update Stage 1 with the little bit that got done over the last couple of days.

First up, is that PSU mod. The holes are all cut, as is the Perspex and Mesh, and all I need to do now is ‘Bondo’ the mesh (I’m using a UK auto filler called Chemical Metal, but I’ll just call it bondo for ease), sand it, and prep it for painting.


I’m going to be sanding that piece of Perspex to give it a sort of frosted look, and some orange LED’s are going to be glued in behind it to give it a nice orange glow. The whole box will be painted black. I don’t expect to spend too long working on this part, so this will be finished soon enough. These photos are mock-ups, nothing is attached yet. But my edges came out pretty well, all things considering-dremeled them with diamond reinforced cutting discs, then used a square file and a wire brush (with the dremel) to clean up my edges. They look not too bad; I’m hoping the rest come out like that too.

I also started on the side panel, but it got too late to finish it off. New neighbours moved in today and I don’t want to give them the wrong impression. As you can see, all that measuring crap paid off, and everything fits without a hitch. The yellow tub to the left is that chemical metal I mentioned earlier; I’ll let you know if it’s any good when I actually use it. I want to group everything, so I’m trying to get all my dremeling done at the same time, and then all the bondo-ing, painting, and finally electronics. Although in the case of the PSU the electronics will be brought forward a little.


Also, here’s a photo of how the mesh looks from the outside. Looks pretty sweet; much better than I thought it was going to look.


On another note, I started working with the Zintec crap-avoid it if you can. It’s heavy as hell and a standard cutting blade can only cut 5cm of metal before needing replaced. It’s even managed to blacken one of my diamond blades, and I’ve only cut about 12cm of the stuff. I’m going to get a metal blade for the jigsaw in order to cut this I think. I have a metal blade kicking around but I suspect it to be off inferior quality, so I’ll make a trip to the DIY store first chance I get.

That’s all for now folks, thanks for the inspiration guys-might go for a ‘high-voltage’ lightning symbol on one side of the case, and I’m damn temped to steal that domino sign and put it on the other side…


04-14-2006, 07:46 PM
Worklog Time!

This may be my last worklog entry for a couple of weeks; I’m going to be very busy with University and exams. So an update on progress for now!

First, Crimson’s all for the Integration project being held on the site, so I’m going to start a stage 3 worklog if you want to check that out too; to find out just what the hell this is all about. (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2568)

Ok, last time, I’d cut out one hole to see how things were going. Well, today, my last cutting disk Holder broke, I can’t remember what they’re called. Anyway, not to be beaten, I pulled out the jigsaw, and shoved in a metal bit. Then, I oiled the blade, and got to work.

I have to say, the jigsaw is the way to go for cutting this steel. It made sort work of everything; it made the cuts accurately and with a minimum of mess. Although the cross-hatch pattern needs to be finished off with a huge amount of filling, I’m damn pleased with the results. Then, I took out the 4mm drill bit I just bought and got to work drilling holes for all the screws. I was very pleased with the results, especially on the top of the case.

Then I pushed my luck. I figured I’d try the 400watt jigsaw on the pathetic pressed steel of the side panel. At first, things went well, but as soon as I tried to get a curve in, the whole thing went nipples-up. The jigsaw severely buckled the metal in a lot of places, and because of this, I had to cut miles way from my guidelines. Not only that, but the metal got distorted and moved my fan holes by about 1mm each-so I had to ‘widen’ each hole in order to get the screws in. Which sucked. I tried the fan in, then measured up my plastic. I drilled the holes for the fan and then bolted the whole thing together with some nuts and bolts that I bought on the cheap; they’re not much to look at but they’ll do for now until I can find something that’s nicer to look at.



Anyway, this is a very preliminary ‘Work In Progress’ shot, so you can see where this is going to go. I haven’t figured out how to cut the aluminium yet, at the minute I’m thinking a mixture of cutting discs and coping saw action. Suggestions welcome.


I also went out the other day and bought some analogue meters; as I haven’t even finished planning the front end yet I’ll leave that for the next update. Needless to say, they look sweet, and really fit in with everything else that I want to put into this case.

Well, that’s all for now; comments are welcome, as are suggestions about how to beat the side panel back into shape.


04-22-2006, 09:26 PM
Worklog Time!

Ok, so although I wasnít planning to do any more work for a while, I ended up working too hard and getting some stuff done early. As it was a particularly nice day I decided to go out and do some crazy ass work!

First, I tackled the problem of the damnable buckled metal. My Dad lent me a cobblerís hammer and a rubber mallet. These tools proved invaluable. After 15 minutes of beating that panel, (only 5 minutes of which were really necessary ;) ) I had the thing flat as a pancake. But, the metal being as thin as it is, itís probably just going to buckle later anyway; weíll see if Iíll need to scrap it or not later.

Not only that, but I bought a teeny tiny file and using it, I managed to tidy up that god awful mess that was on the top of the computer. Itís not too bad a job, although itís not entirely finished yet-Iíll get a medium sized file next time Iím out near Billís tool store. Oh, if youíre a Glasgow modder (unlikely, but possibleÖ) then you WILL want to go to Bills. Theyíre more than cheap; they make their own tools. Also, theyíre the only official Dremel stockist for about 40 miles.


Anyway, whatís next? It was getting dark, and I didnít want to use the power tools in poor light; so I figured that hey, that Ďliquid metalí bondo-wannabe takes 10 mins to dry. It wonít be dark for another hour at least, so why not? Unfortunately, I got the mixture wrong; I used about 1/3 as much hardener as I should have used because of a stupid miss-measurement. Well, needless to say, it took all damn night for the stuff to dry, and I had very low hopes for it in the morning, because most of it was simple dripping out of the holes I was trying to fillÖand this is what I woke up to.



All I can say is that I was extremely surprised: I was expecting to have to do all this crap again. But it seemed fine, so I whipped out the dremel and took away most of the excess before switching to rough wet and dry paper in order to smooth it out. Iím leaving the medium and light paper for the painting prep work, and just using the heavy to smooth the metal filler.

As a product, this stuff isnít too bad. Itís difficult to use but it doesnít smell all that bad. Also, I can easily say that Itís tough as nails; on the tin itís got a picture of a broken propeller, as if saying it can be used to fix that. I donít case whether thatís true or not; my case wonít be rotating at 3000RPM, unless you take into account the spinning of the planet and all that crap. Anyway, this is the rather nice result here.



Itís been a custom on these boards for a while now that each mod will have a mascot. This is usually the form of the fabled Mod-kitty. Well, Iím going to go one better. 6 eggs. Yup, thatís right. 6 eggs! Iím incubating 6 eggs. At least 2 are a type of chicken, and 3 are a type of duck. Which type of chicken and duck, who knows? Whatís in the mystery 6th egg? I built this incubator out of scrap the other day, and Iím pretty proud of it. It keeps the eggs at a fairly constant temperature and humidity, and allows plenty of oxygen to get to them. As I built the incubator, and will probably look after any hatchlings for the first week of their life, Iím taking the privilege of naming a few. Any NICE ideas are welcome, but donít get too worked up. Thereís a small chance these are even fertile, never mind the chance that an idiot like me can hatch them.


Well anyway, thatís all for now guys, Iím off to work soon so Iíll catch you later.


04-24-2006, 05:56 AM
Thanks for the compliments and suggestions guys!

Kimberley (My girl, she's a farmer) Candlelighted the eggs last night. Which is where you put them next to a light and look through the eggs. It's really too early to be able to tell what's going on, but she thinks there's something in the duck egg D3. We can't tell with the chicken eggs yet. The REALLY BIG duck egg has something inside of it, but Kim thinks it's just a double-yolk or something.

Apparrently the reason chickens lay so many eggs is because they're so crap at reproducing. They attempt it on a nearly daily basis because if they didn't they would all die out. So we're not holding out for much from the chickens: it would just be luck at the end of the day. Ducks, are apprently a whole different kettle of fish. They have a pretty high success rate and lay far fewer eggs.

And it's about 18 days till hatching time; i just realised i'm not exactly sure on that to be frank. I think incubation lasts 3 weeks, and you can only properly candle after 18 days. But i can't remember when i started incubation. I think it was about 6 days ago actually. Not too long i guess.

On another note, i passed my driving Theory test this morning, which is pretty sweet. And i just noticed that this thread topped 1000 views. Crikey, eh? Well, i'll post another update later when i get the chance.

Thanks guys!


04-30-2006, 08:34 AM
Brief update:

A great discussion has broken out over here (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2664) about some ideas for the case. I figured i should post a link here in order for this worklog to be more complete-some of the ideas getting chucked around are pretty incredible, from a pad that needs to be stroked a certain way to thumbscanners and such forth-honestly, take a look.

The eggs were candled again the other day; it doesn't look like we're getting a duck, but we seem to have 2 chickens. I'll let you know on friday, and they should hatch next week if they're going to.


06-29-2006, 11:05 AM
Worklog time!

I’ve finally found the time to get some work done on the Integration Project. It’s been a while since I’ve been into the cellar, almost 2 months, and I was a little annoyed to find out that someone had carelessly put something on my side panel, bending it out of shape. After a short period of hammering I had it back in shape, and cracked open the Bondo, although it’s a cheap knock-off called ‘Chemical Metal’, whatever the heck that is.

First off, here’s a plan I’ve been working on in Sketchup. It’s not finished yet but it helps me visualise where I’m going to be taking the mod.


So one of the first things than needs done is the rails for the side panels. After cutting them off the old lid, I attemped to attach them to the new one. I used a chopstick to apply the bondo in small amounts into the crack, in the theory that it’ll hold it all together nicely. The first time I tried it, it didn’t exactly work, and I had to go back and re-apply more bondo. But after a few tries, I think I’ve got it sussed. Here’s some pics of how I eventually got it on.




I’m aware that it’s a complete mess, but this stuff is much harder to use than bondo brand I suspect. I’ll use the dremel to shave it down. finally, I put the mesh in the side window. I’m going wait for it to dry, then I’ll be looking at the putting the mesh into the lid, and from then on, I’ll be done till I’m sure about what I’m doing. I suspect it will be back to measuring and trying to find a suitable hinge for the front of the computer.


Unfortunately, all the eggs I was incubating were infertile bar one, which died when we had a sudden heatwave in the last day. Needless to say I was a little upset, but such things happen. My girlfriend, Kimberley, will buy chickens from the next farm market she comes across, so we’ll get a mascot for this project at some point.

That’s all for now, I’ll update again tonight, hopefully!


07-02-2006, 08:27 PM
Worklog Time!

Maybe that should read "Damage Control". Here's a photo of the original mess...


...then I cleaned it up with the dremel...


...before assembling the lid and re-applying the bondo substitute. Not sure if i used enough hardener this time, but i think it'll come out ok. I used the sanding part of a dremel to clean it up, and then a tack cloth to ensure that the whole thing was clean for the liquid metal crap to stick to. As you can also see, I’ve started putting the mesh into the lid too, although the mesh at the front is going to be tight fitting to say the least.


Here's a close up of the 'bondo' job. I know it looks a mess but I’m working with crappy tin-like metal and the bondo substitute's pretty heavy, so it tends to sink.


I used a small pair of clamps to hold the damaged rail that the Jigsaw wrecked earlier on into shape. Hopefully, when this crap has dried, it'll all be held in place.


I also used some of the left over stuff to fill in some holes in the back of the computer. I'm going to give this plenty of time to dry before I worry about it, so expect a work log update sometime next week. I'll be working in a job (shudder) just after I expect this stuff to dry, so it will take a while.


As always, feedback is welcome.


07-17-2006, 08:29 AM
Worklog Time!

Sorry about larger filesizes in this particular update.

Well, the clamps did their job poorly. Well, in truth, I messed up the bondo again-I never mixed the hardener all the way through and a part came out soft. But, I managed to fix that with some epoxy putty, which you can see here.


Because the Mixtureís heavy, I also had an issue with the stuff on the back if the computer not holding itís shape, so it sanded into a complete mess. But I cleaned it up, applied another layer to fill in the gaps, and it went on nice and smooth.


It sanded down quite evenly as well, to give me this.


from the back....


Which means that the top part is pretty much finished! It looks a little bit like this.


Now onto the front. I cut the pieces out of some card, so I can play around with a layout that I like. Then, I get to work with the pencil and mark out the places that I want to cut, making sure to leave plenty of space for the mesh and such. When I finally get a layout planned, Iíll add it to my render, before I do any messing around to make sure that Iím going to like the way it comes out. Iíll post that soon enough, but Iíll leave you with this pic just now.


I also wanted to say thanks to the 2,955 people who have hit this Worklog: I know work is slow, but Iíll make it in the end. Comments are always welcome, hope you check back later too!


07-28-2006, 07:44 PM
Worklog Time!

Well, you allready knew i had trouble getting inspiration for this case. These are some of the things i destroyed in an attempt to get the inspiration for this case.


I think i'll work this in too...


Now here's the damage that happened to the top bar. Ouch. Again...


I made another trip to Howarth Switchgear, and these are some of the materials that i got...finally got some Diamond plate! I think I know what i'm going to do with it, but all will be revealed later. I taped up the Aluminium before cutting at this point.


Although i won't reveal how that's going for a wee while. I have some of these metal bars that are from a broken IKEA bed. I'm going to use one of them to help support the egdes. I'll get there in the end.


So i cut one of them down a little bit...


...and hammered in the ends to make it nice and square. Then i took the CD stabliser off the top of the case, and used it to further strengthen the side rails. Some epoxy stuck the stuff together, and it looks like it's going to work pretty well.




I was quite impressed with this new Xclio PSU when i took it out of the box...although this label, perhaps, should have warned me about the product...


Although i have to say, the PSU has a nicematt finish, and a good selection of cables, and in the ooh...hour that it was working, it was quiet as a mouse. Although mine blew up, i suspect that this was a one off, so maybe you shouldn't write off the company quite yet-here's a pic of the PSU.


I've also got a picture of the damaged graphics card! I'm pretty dissapointed, but i expect those nice guys at scan computers will have it all sorted out in no time. They've allready got me a nice new PSU.


As i hinted at earlier, i've made a lot of progress since i took these photos, so when i've finished the next stage, i'll let you know. See you later guys!


08-13-2006, 01:24 PM
Worklog Time!

Ok, i've finally found the time to update this! I actually updated this the other night but for some reason the post didn't appear. Which made me scream for a while, to say the least.

Anyway: What's new? I got the replacement graphics card, and to say the least, it is noisy as hell and sweet as hell. Now, i knew those graphics coolers were said to be noisy. But this thing is NOISY. I'll take a video when i get the chance of the noise that this thing makes...it's not natural.

Anyway, here's me plans for the computer. They're half finished, but i'm probab;y not going to finish them: I'm farly happy with how it looks, and that's as far as I can bothered going with these.


Ok, so for this, let me explain. Behind the mesh there's going to be an LED light display, that will slowly flicker between different LED's. As the computer gets busier, the lights will flash faster. The LED from the Drives will be removed and hooked up to a PIC which will calculate how busy the drive is and perform a similar function. When i move onto the PIC's, i'll set up a tutorial on them, because they're damn useful for guys like us but most folks have never even heard of them. The panel is my custom control panel, which is actually finished, but i'm trying to work out a few niggles before i bother posting pics of it.


This shows the side panel more. Underneath the Plexi i'm going to have waste electronics with a few peices of mechanical mumbo-jumbo thrown in there to boot, along with a cold cathode tube for mood lighting. I'm not sure if i should get a white tube, as the plexi's orange, or get an orange tube, as it would make everything even more orange. Feedback on this point would be appreciated. I'm also thinking about putting a little flashing hazard light in the top right hand corner, which is what you see there. I'm going to go and cut this stuff pretty much now, so these plans are finalized, but it's the little details that count. Feedback is appreciated, and please don't shy away from telling what you don't like about it- If i didn't want feedback, good or bad, then I wouldn't keep a worklog.

That's all for now, I should update again later.


08-15-2006, 07:33 AM
Worklog Time!

Thanks for the Feedback guys! I'll put an interior switch behind the front door, which will enable me to turn it on and off at will without so much as a worry. Now i'll get on with that worklog that i've been promising you for about a month.

So first up: i've got the front end ready to cut, and i've been trying to get the time to cut the damn thing for ages. Hopefully today, but you never can tell. Pretty boring at this end, not much to show at the minute.


But there's a decent amount of progress with my dashboard (and that is what I shall call it henceforth). It's going to have 2 fan speed controllers built in, a vandal proof switch for the main power, and two smaller switches to control the doors of the drives. The one to the left will control the case fans and the one to the right will control the speed of the Zalman fans that i'm using in this case. To design it, I masked of an area from a piece of Aluminium. I then cut out the shapes in cardboard, so I could choose exactly where to put everything. When that was done, I drew my plans in the masking tape, and got to work. (I had a bit of help from my friend Cheryl here-thanks for helping me to enlarge the holes!)


After a few hours of work, it had all the necessary holes. I also had a small problem-somehow i had managed to put a massive scratch into the metalwork. But, after a round of some heave wet and dry paper, I managed to remove the worst of the damage. By putting it together with selotape and screws, i ended up with this-although the knobs for the fan speed controller are not installed at this point.


Inside, instead of using the circuit that I'd planned to use, i'm using some modified Zalman Fanmates. This pic shows the progress: I'll do a small diagram about how to modify the zalman fanmates when they're finished. It's a simple circuit that anyone can make. Hell, I did it.


I know this was possibly the worst update ever, but i've got a lot of things half finished, and i'm just waiting till i have more done so i show you something more substantial. Watch this space.


08-16-2006, 08:18 AM
Worklog Time!

It's finally time to show you some of this stuff. So Yesterday I had a little help from my friend Cheryl again-thanks for all the help! We got a decent amount of stuff done. First up: I’ve gotten around to getting the dashboard finished. Here’s a nice pic of the dials in place.


I’m thinking about illuminating the dials something like this. It looks sweet. I was going to get new back plates for the dials, but they’ve really grown on me-if you think I should replace the back plates on the needle gauges, the please let me know, maybe suggest something? You might have noticed that there’s no temperature gauge on this anywhere. The reason for that is that I think it would ruin the appearance. This mod has come through a lot of revisions to get to where it is today, and although I had included a Digital Temperature monitor in the Dashboard in every revision bar the last, I decided to put this inside of the door. The whole front of the case will be removable, with a temperature/electronics light board underneath. The one that will be visible through the mesh at any rate. Anyway, here’s the illumination pic.


Next up is the left side panel. I’ve dropped the hazard light for a number of reasons.

1) It would eventually annoy me.
2) It would be very difficult to implement, and time consuming-the time/result ratio was close, but not close enough.
3) I already have an idea for what to replace it with that will be equally as effective-at least I hope so.

At least if I ever missed it, I could get one on a pole, and have it ‘sticking up’, if you know what I mean. So with this in mind, I cut my materials, and worked out what to do with the left hand panel.


I found some shelving brackets that I had left over from making my keyboard bench in Stage 3. So I used them at this point as they were perfect fits for my corner brackets. This was blind luck, as I had planned to make these. This is better thought.


After waiting a while, I managed to assemble the square for the side of the case. This is what it currently looks like.


Then I got on with tying up some loose ends; I tidied up the floor of my case, and filled in and flattened out the holes that were in it. There’s no point in doing a half ass job, is there?


Finally, I made these little hinge/bracket thingies to attach the front door to the case with. They might not look like much now, but I’m hoping they’ll look a lot better when they’re all in and finished.


Allrighty, I think that’s all for today! I’ve got a day to myself here, so I’m going to get some work done on this and hopefully you guys will be in for another proper Worklog tomorrow. I’d love some feedback and criticism on how you think the mod’s coming along-and on my Worklog technique too, that would be interesting and helpful. Thanks guys!


08-16-2006, 06:11 PM
Worklog Time!

Hi Silverdemon, I was thinking about that-but Iím going to have a lot of different LEDís at the front so I donít think itís worth it. I recon that the contrast between the orange lights and the 2 greens at the front would be pretty cool. Anyway, on with the Worklog!

I stuck on the frame for the left side panel. It looks GOOOOD. Iím really pleased with how well this part is turning out. I need to fill the edges, as itís not 100% perfect. Does anyone know how well paint will stick to hot glue? Iím thinking not well at all. If It comes down to it, I might try and use a syringe filled with epoxy to get that edge perfect, but the hot glue gun would be easiest, assuming of course, that it would actually work. Anyone who knows this; it would be useful for me to find out.


I also finished off half of the hinges for the doors: you can probably see where these are going by now. The parts on the right are perfect: I couldnít have asked for a better finish. The parts on the left will need to be done again.


My friend Euan came over today and helped out with preparing the case for painting. He did a pretty good job fixing up the case.


Then I finally got the front cover cut! This took nearly 5 hours of constant cutting. At least Iím getting very good at using the Jigsaw. It needs a lot of tidying up, and I thought I might have to throw out the whole piece: This was how it looked with the paper on itÖ


But when I removed the paper, I realised the damage wasnít as bad as I first thought, and most of it can probably be fixed up with a bit of time with the file, which is what Iíll do tomorrow.


I really want to get this case finished to the point where Iím installing hardware and using it. I need to get a lot of practice with the soldering iron at any rate, cos the electronics part is calling up soon.

Also, I managed to kill the Zalman fanmate. I had a wire soldered to the potentiometer, but something went wrong and I burned it out. Still not sure how, but Iíll figure it out.

Thatís all for tonight, would love to know about that glue thing please. Thanks for sticking with me guys!


08-17-2006, 10:35 AM
Thanks very much Maleficus, much appreciated-its just in a very, very hard to sand area, and if the hot glue works, then it won't need sanded. Thanks for the feedback with the front panel.

As for cutting Aluminium with a jigsaw...it's much, much easier than cutting through steel!

Top tips? I'd say always keep the part you want cut on a flat surface. If you put pressure on it, it will always bend and possibly snap or warp. With steel, you can hammer it back into shape, but probably not with Aluminium. When using the jigsaw, always wear eye protection. Also, use oil on the blade every few inches. It makes the blades last longer and gives a cleaner cut.

As a final tip: If you have long hair, be careful when washing afterwards-I didn't realise I had a sharp peice of metal in my hair and it went into my eye in the shower last night.

Hope that helps. Anyway, i'm off for another day of modding-i'm flying through things this week, i've been too ill to go to work, so this is my escape from reality. Thanks for the feedback.


08-17-2006, 04:04 PM
Worklog Time!

Thanks for the advice dgrmkr, but thatís pretty much what I ended up doing anyway. Iím thinking it doesnít look too bad, and I can probably get away with doing this. So I applied hot glue to the inside of the frame, which has held it on really well, and I used some to finish off the hinges for the front door.



Iím aware the hinges look like crap. Itís beauty in the flaws, ok? ;)

I also cut out the space for the front 120mm fan to go in the case. Itís not clean but I donít care so much. This is going to be hidden anyway.


And hereís the front panel. I would have it finished by now apart from the fact that I canít find any of my god-damn tools. I needed Tin-Snips, all I can find is secatours. Which donít do me any good at all. Anyway, my dad came around today and helped me out with filing it down (read: did it all for me ;) ) and it looks a lot better than it did.


The truth is Iím getting really fed up with this case-Iíve not got a decent workspace, (I canít stand up in the cellar) people keep moving things around, and I can never find my tools. Not only that but the materials Iím working with are getting really annoying. Iím at the point where I just want the damn thing finished and out my way so that I donít have to worry about it any moreÖbut then I feel like itís taunting me, saying ďHa ha, you canít finish me.Ē I just want it finished so I can move on, use the damn thing, maybe get on with the rest of the Integration Project.

I want it done soon. Iím going to e-mail those guys with the water cutter and see about getting my fan grills cut-theyíll look nicer and it saves me a lot of effort. Iíll let you know how that works out. Maybe the tin snips will turn up and Iíll get to finish that front panel after all anyway.


08-18-2006, 01:36 PM
Worklog Time!

It rained on my parade today-literally. So I cut out these. It took hours, and I donít even know if it was worth it or not. Hopefully it was. Theyíve not been tidied up yet: I was hoping for a sort of before and after shot here, but that didnít work out for me, mostly because I couldnít find my small file.


I finally found my tin snips, and cut the mesh for the front panel. Iíd hammer it into shape but the closest thing to an anvil is the concrete slabs in my back stairs. No good to me in the rain. So, thatís me for the night. Overall, a poor day. As soon as the rain stops Iíll paint the case and start assembling this puppy.


Iíve not been doing too well health wise recently, so Iím taking the night off to play some World of Warcraft with my brother; if youíre interested, search for Daedalus and Salizar (Iím Salizar) tonight on the Moonglade Realm. More updates to comeÖwatch this space.


08-19-2006, 05:54 PM
Worklog Time!

Boy, did I have a messed up day today. First offÖthe sun came out for the first time in a week. So I thought Iíd take the chance and paint the case. WhichÖturned out not to be such an easy thing to do after all. First off, I didnít want to dismantle the case so IÖ


Öput it through the dishwasher. Didnít think it would work? To be honest, I wasnít so sure myself. It came out looking likeÖthis!


Yeah, I know. It looks exactly the same. But, it cleaned up those really hard to reach areas. So now, I take it out into the garden and prime the case. This photo was taken before Iíd finished priming it, It seems I neglected to take all the necessary photos today.


So after the first coat of primer, I discover a variety of beasties attached to the primer. Which sucked. So I cleaned up that mess, and then got on with the next coat. I walked inside, and 10 minutes later, I look out the windowÖMagpies are attacking my damn case! 3 of the b*stards! I actually grabbed my camera to try and take a photo, but I scared them away. So I kept a close eye on it after the 3rd coatÖand then it decided to rain.

So at this point I gave up, took some old curtains, set up in the back room, and started the orange.


Obviously itís not finished, but this is as far as Iím getting tonight. Watch this space tomorrow, the coat should be finished by then. Iíll be on WOW tomorrow, I didnít even get a chance to play last night, what with the 500mb patch that seems to be hosted on the worldís slowest serversÖso if you fancy a bit or RP with Salizar, the grumpy old gnome, give me a search randomly between 9am and 5pm tomorrow.


08-20-2006, 12:48 PM
Worklog Time!

Ok, Iíve almost finished the paintjob. I found the clear coat really difficult to apply-it came out so fast, compared to the tins of paint-so much so that I ended up with over spray all over the place. Iím sure it will tidy up ok, but I need to be careful with the final coat when iím doing the external paintjob. Iíll probably think about re-formatting my computer soon and installing all the hardware into my new case soon. Iím going to order in some cold cathode tubes so that I can finish off all the features and things. Anyway, hereís the pics-enjoy.



dude, do you not have a garage or something? :P

thats where im gonna paint mine. i got some "bin bag suits" me and my friend made a while back.

I haven't got a garage, i work out of the cellar normally. But i'm hoping to get a kick ass workshop much like Paul Capello has sometime before Christmas.

Thanks for keeping me going guys, keep the feedback coming! ;)


08-23-2006, 01:03 PM
Worklog time!

Hey Silverdemon, liked your colour scheme! I had already planned to use those colours but seeing your mod just re-enforced that in my mind. Thanks for dropping by. ;)

Unfortunately, I have lot to write, and as my computer is in pieces at the moment, I want to get this done fast. So itís going to be mostly pictures. Like you care, you lazy gets. ;)

First up! Prepped up the case. It looks a hell of a lot better now, that no-one can deny. Look earlier in the log to see what a mess these panels were.


So I cut out the mesh, and started to stick it in with that horrible chemical metal. It was a mess. I even broke one of my clamps trying to get it all together before the crap dries. You can see how little of the mesh is actually attached at this point.


So Iím trying to get the side panel seamlessly joined to the case too. That didnít work out in my favour much either. Look at the state of the mess.


ThenÖwoman to the rescue! My girlfriend Kimberley suggests that instead of trying to apply it with chopsticks, I apply it with her little device. Some sort of cooking squeegee. All I need to do is mix the crap, get it into the corner of a plastic bag, cut a hole, and squeeze. So simple, so elegant, so cheapÖso mod-tastic (now an official word)!


Using that, I cleaned up the front panel a bit.


And finished off the side panel.


Hereís a close up of the quality of the finish that something so simple can give.


And finally, one side done without, and one side done with:



Some parts of the computer Iíve started to spray paint. I must admit that the clear coats keep making a mess of my paintjob! Iím not sure about them anymore. Iím probably going to have to sand it down and re-finish it if I want a good finishing coat of paint. It looks great in the photos, but thereís a lot of imperfections up closeÖyouíll see them when I can be bothered taking better pictures.


Anyway, thatís all for this Ďlittleí update. Watch this space, I hope to get the hardware installed, up and running by Friday, and maybe get this mod finished (apart from the electronics) by sometime next Monday-ish.

Iíve ordered in a small 80GB Seagate Barracuda SATA300 drive to put my OS and programs on, and that way, I can keep my other drive for files. Iíve also ordered in another 1GB pair of Corsair RAM, giving me a total of 4*512sticks of DDR3200 memory. I canít wait to over clock the processor and get some serious gaming done!

Iíve also heard that you can play WOW in dual screen, which Iíll give a try soon too.

Well, thatís all for now. Catch you later, and wish me luck.


08-25-2006, 05:54 AM
Worklog Time!

i have this brand around.. stay away..

There's nothing actually wrong with the brand, it's just that this product sucks when it comes to case modding. Wish i could get my hands on some proper bondo, but i can't find it in the UK anywhere.

Ok, this is a long one. You might want to take this chance to get a cup of tea and a biscuit or something, cos this is going to stretch the limits of what i'm allowed in a single post...and the limits of what you guys will actually look at!

I'll try and keep it straightforward: I always attempt to keep it to the smallest possible text & pictures with the maximum of information. This time, some stuff might get skipped. If there's anything you want to see, or anything you need to know about, just ask me and i'll include it in the next worklog update-which might be tonight.

Ok, first up! I took the clamps off my front door frame and finished off one (just one for now) of my fan grills. It doesn't look too bad at all, so my fears were somewhat unfounded it would seem.


I'm glad the front's going so well, the only major flaw is in the top right hand corner-you wouldn't notice it unless i pointed it out to you anyway, i don't think.

I have this little latch to hold the door closed.


And i found this unwanted IKEA door handle lying around as well. I should get IKEA to sponsor this to be honest, i seem to use a lot of their stuff...


So with the help of my Dad (who reads this, and comes over to help me out from time to time) we installed the handle onto the side of the door. Which went a lot easier than i expected and looked better than i could hope. First up, a close up of the perfect fit...


...and a photo of the door with the handle.


So now onto the hinges. I sanded and cleaned up the side panel, but i don't seem to have a photo of it. So you'll just have to accept that i did it. The door and panel were held in place by my brother while i used a hot glue gun to attach the hinges. Unfortunately, they fell off the door almost instantly, and i had to do them twice: the metal is too smooth i think. Anyway, that's the moot point because i'm putting the chemical metal arround the hinges.


Finally, i installed the chemical metal and left it to dry. Here's some pics of it. It looks a mess now, but i'm hoping for great results when i've sanded it down.



Then I got buzy with the soldering iron. I removed The buttom from one DVD drive, and installed in it's place 2 brightly coloured wires. (Red and orange). This is it desoldered...


...and after i attached the wires again....


...and re-assembled.


I did the same to the other more expensive DVD rewritter, but there was a problem: by this point, the iron had become dirty and the solder wouldn't flow. The traces may be damaged and i haven't got a clue about how to fix it. It's a problem i'll get around to fixing. Either way, here the drives are!


I've also finished modifying my Zalman Fanmate-although i've run into a problem. I was certain that i had 2 zalman fanmates, but i only have one, so i'll need to make my own circuit for the other dial, which is going to be a little messy most likely.

First off, i removed the pot that i burned out earlier.


The fanmate from above.


Then, i attached some wires. Red and Black seemed to suit the mood.


And i finally re-attached the housing. It looks allright, if i do say so myself.


Finally, at the end of the night, i started putting my cards backtogether, but only got as far as setting up the Zalman GPU cooler. It's not as tricky as it's made out to be, and if i can ever get a freaking minute, i'll do a review on the front page for it. Also, i was too busy messing around with the camera to take a proper photo so you're stuck with this 'interesting' piccy.


If you've made it this far, then well done! That's all for today. I'll see if i can get more done on this mod today and will update either tonight or tommorow morning. My package arrived from Scan computers today, and i can't wait to get it all opened up and installed. Watch this space...it's mod-tastic ;)


08-25-2006, 10:12 AM
Worklog Time!

LOL lovin the solder sucker. did you get that in a Real Robots kit? Cos i got one just like it.

Heh...yes. It's my brothers but i've stolen it.

one thing a can ad is that it would be nice if you could stealth the hinge

I wanted to stealth it, but it would have been so difficult-i eventually decided, why not make a feature out of it? I'm hoping it will look sweet when it's all finished up.

So it's a disaster again. I mever checked that the Zalman Power Flower would sit nice with the rest of my hardware. It doesn't. Damn.


And I re-attached the backplates to my cards: as you can see here. It's not a great photo, they'll look better when installed.


That's all for now. I'm off to get some real modding done.


08-27-2006, 08:01 AM
Worklog Time!

I don't want to let the photos build up and build up, so i'll post these and be done with it.

I installed the little bit of plexi into the top of the case, and then attached it to the frame. Some hot glue did the trick very nicely. I picked up 24 sticks of hot glue for £2 (about $3.50) the other day (Thanks Dad) and i'll probably be using that to install all of the windows and stuff.



Then, i installed the hardware just to be certain that everything will fit. Let me assure you that these photos don't do this case justice. I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would look this cool when i put it together. I can't wait to finish this off-if the rest comes out looking like this, it's going to be amazing.




That's all for now. I'll be working on a one-off project so watch the project worklogs for that appearing maybe tonight or tommorow.


08-31-2006, 08:08 PM
Talk Time!

I'm behind Schedule. So sue me.

I've been working on another mod altogether-and i've completed it in 2 days time. It's the replacement for the pink computer that i posted earlier, and i'm making a beginner's worklog for it so you can see how i did it-it's already run into 4 and a half pages of text and 165 photographs (including a movie) so i'm going to need to chop bits off.

Still not sure what to do with it, I'll probably host a copy here, maybe send a copy to CustomPC magazine and see if they want to print it. The more exposure i get for my mods, the more likely I'll be able to get companies interested in what I do.

I know that may seem over-ambitious, but i've been communicating with a certain company and let's just say that my next mod might be a lot more interesting than even i had anticipated...watch this space! I've not let you down yet, have i?

Anyway, on to the mod!

Worklog Time!

So. Where did i leave you off? I've now painted all of the panels. The paint job isn't great: I'm having trouble with clearcoat. If anyone wants to give me pointers on how to improve my technique in this department, they will be more than welcome.



I also managed to finish (mostly) the fan grilles, which actually don't look so bad.


The new Zalman Fan arrived. If anyone's interested in the old one, i'm willing to let it go for about £25, a huge price drop on a brand new Zalman Fata1ty.


I started working on the left side panel. It's a sort of diorama of sorts-it's supposed to be sort of what people would expect to see in a computer, which is usually quite far away from what's actually inside. I'm trying to go back to my childhood, before i knew what a resistor and a capacitor was-when i tried to steal peeks inside the VCR through the air grill to see what sort of cool stuff was inside. I want the side panel of the computer to be a little glimpse of that crazy dream.

I don't even know if that makes sense, so on with the pictures. Here's me testing the lights. I can run 2 lights of the same transformer, so I've got a red and a white light to make it look more interesting.


My dad also spied this in a bargain bin, and decided to get it for me. I stared at it for a short while, before i realised exactly what i wanted to do with it.


Here's a pic of the things that I'm putting in the frame.


First up, the ports at the side? They had to go. They blocked the light and were too tall. I tried de-soldering them, but that didn't work. So i dremelled them off. Which was fun. I then re-tried the stuff out.


So here's the current layout. I'm removing the top from that HD, but I've left it on to keep the dust out. I removed the transformer from it's casing and sat it inside-it takes up less room and adds to the appeal.

Then i tested it out with my other cut parts-shock horror! I miss-measured the plastic. I thought i had more left. I'm going to go out and get a new sheet tomorrow, i just hope there's some left. Plexi is hard enough to find, but Orange plexi...


So for a feature, i decided to turn the processor upside down, and then install the flashing LED's in the middle. But this would mean...drilling a hole in Processor! Dum-dum-dum! Man, is this fun!



I wasn't done with creating features yet. I wanted it more interesting. So I've cannibalized an old PSU and used the wires to make an interesting sort of switchboard thing out of the PCI array.


And i installed the LEDs. I used Humbrol Poly Cement for this: It should do the trick nicely, although the stuff doesn't half stink. Much easier than epoxy or hot glue though. You can see i also found a bit of mesh and shoved it in the RAM slot: but I'm not happy with that at all. I'll be trying to find another interesting feature for in there, although i don't want another light feature. I was thinking something along the lines of a copper coil.


Any suggestions about what to put on this old mobo to make it look more interesting will be appreciated. I've got a heap of old optical drives here and I'm probably going to use the eyes for something interesting, but the RAM slots are begging to be made into some kind of feature. I only have 35mm of clearance in total, so it would have to be small.

Well, i kept my end of the bargain, a worklog by Thursday. I want to get this done soon though, so expect more worklogs from me soon.

Over and out for now.


09-03-2006, 07:48 PM
Worklog Time!

I've not got much done recently-but i have finished the etching on the side panel. I wanted to come up with something computery-sounding but not computery to put on the side. Lack of imagination produced TIP-3000. So i guess that's this computers name, when it's done-the TIP. Great...

Anyway. After some experimentation with plexi, i discovered 3 interesting things.

1) Prior to my previous beliefs, Plexi can take the force of a rivet without cracking, warping, or otherwise deforming.
2) I'm not much good at etching.
3) writing backwards is really hard!

Here's my practice piece.


I printed out the GIMP-modified logo and stuck it on with some spray-tack. Then, i used a scalpel to outline the lines i wanted to etch. Then, i went into the cellar and used the dremel with a flexishaft to etch in the logo.


Finally, i peeled off the backing, and viola. Overall, i'm happy enough with the outcome. It's my first realy etch, after all, so it came out pretty well considering.


Anyway, i'm hoping now to simply assemble things and that's me. As you can see above, i've mostly finished the feature on the side panel: Everything's glued intp place. For the RAM slots i eventually stripped some copper wires and put them through some hollow perspex tubing, which I glued into place.

Vacuum tubes with lights would be sweet, but i doubt there's room for them in there, and anyway, that's going to come later with any luck ;).

On a side note, i'm worried about the weight of the case-everything is over to the right hand side, and there's nothing on the left hand side to counteract it. I realised it was right-heavy when the case fell over when I was trying to position it. (Here's a hint. When you wax your desk, wait a while before you put your computer up there. It's slippier than it looks.) I just hope that with everything installed it's not an issue, because if it is, there's not really all that much I can so about it apart from putting weights on the left hand side.

Any suggestions about countering the weight would be appreciated, and i'll get some better photos up when i can find the missing latch for my tripod. Can't take photos of plexi etchings without long exposures, and i'm not touching that without some support from a tripod.

Over and out.


09-05-2006, 08:14 PM
Worklog Time!

It's always good to polish off your metal parts before you use them. I used Silvo, a product that's fairly common in Britain but I'm not certain about America. I rubbed it on and then buffed it away with a polishing cloth.

This photo shows the difference between a polished and an unpolished piece of diamond plate. As you can see, the difference it makes is well worth the effort.


I got the electrics working as well, and tested it with a tester PSU that i modified. I'll need to actually do a proper mod so i can test these things properly, without twisting bits of wire around each other. My dad came up with this idea to raise the lighting, so i suppose I'd better give him credit. This only proves that Lego is, in fact, the greatest achievement of mankind.


So i finished the diorama...


...and stuck on the glass with hot glue. It's pretty rigid and strong, so i hope it holds. It should.


Then i loaded up the side panel. The good news is that the weight doesn't appear to be an issue. The bad news is that there's a tiny gap between the top of the panel and my own panel that I don't particularly like. Well, it's something to remember for next time at least.



Then i got to work on the right hand panel. I made an etching, and glued that on with the 'put books on it' method of glueing, tried and tested by housewives the world over. The other part of the plastic was slightly too large-so it will need cut down in the morning. I've used a knife to score the area that needs to be removed.



And finally, I leave you with a preview of the front end.


Not long to go now. Only a couple of days, with any luck-When i get this running, i'll post some of the other worklogs that i've written too.

Thanks for the feedback, watch this space! ;)


09-15-2006, 01:42 PM
Worklog Time!

Well...it's done. I don't think there's much else i can say. hopefully these Pics will speak for themselves. You can leave feedback in the worklog if you like. I'd appreciate knowing what you think of the case, the design, the worklog, etc.

Just on a side note, currently, the two needle dials are still not hooked up to anything. I have everything prepared to install the final piece, but i can't find a shop that sells the correct parts. When i've found it, i'll install them and maybe post a movie of the whole thing working. As far as future updates are concerned, they're possible, but who knows? I quite like it the way it is now.

Changing from my normal method, click these pics will let you see a high-res version of the image. As most of you can't be bothered with that, i've shrunk them down to 640*480 so you can see them without that hastle.

http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/S/P1040010.JPG (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/P1040010.JPG)

http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/S/P1040011.JPG (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/P1040011.JPG)

http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/S/P1040015.JPG (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/P1040015.JPG)

http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/S/P1040030.JPG (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/P1040030.JPG)

http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/S/P1040031.JPG (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/P1040031.JPG)

http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/S/P1040039.JPG (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/P1040039.JPG)

http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/S/P1040041.JPG (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/P1040041.JPG)

http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/S/P1040049.JPG (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/davew/Stage_1/P1040049.JPG)

I'd like to thank some folks at the end here:

Kimberley, for having the patience to give me the space I needed to do this. My Dad, for lending me most of his tools, and for his constant support. Euan and Cheryl, for keeping me company during the boring parts (like filing) and for their help. I'd like to thank Jon, although he isn't around anymore, his support at the start of this project kept me going. Chris from Maplin, thanks for your help with the electronics. Finally, Howarth Switchgear, for helping me to find the right materials, and offering me good prices.

Finally, thanks to everyone who left me feedback, gave me ideas, and supported me during the creation of this mod. TBCS Rules!

-Dave out!

09-16-2006, 09:36 AM
Feedback Time!

First off, thanks to whoever moved my worklog into the featured galleries. I'm pretty surprised to be honest, i didn't think my work was at that level, but i was hoping to get something in there someday-thanks very much! (I suspect Rankenphile might be behind this, thanks buddy!)

And on to some feedback:

seems like that liquid metal is crap to work with.

Hell yes. I really, really, need to get some bondo. I'm guessing i'm a Bondo master as i actually managed to get some results out of this crapolla. To be fair, it's not designed for this use, but it's murder to work with. Avoid at all costs.

wow, you finished something?

Yeah, i feel the same way :D

Can you hide the blue wires behind the dials?

Well, that's one of the ideas that didn't work out so well. I wanted to continue the diorama onto the front panel, and have the wires on the front look interesting. For this purpose, i intentionally used a wide variety of randomly coloured wires. The effect looks ok when you're sitting next to it, but looks weird in the pics (even amatuerish). the problem is that there isn't enough wires, to be honest-but if i ever stick my LED plate in there, then it would probably looks suitably interesting that this would no longer be an issue.

wow very nice. Gotta like the industrial mesh. I would like to make a techies suggestion to add an air filter behind the mesh to keep that nasty nasty dust off the very expensive electronics.

But dang Very nice patient work........Especially for a first modd.

The air filter was something i considered, but I think it would really ruin the look of the whole thing. But i know what you mean about ruining the electronics...after all, there's 11 fans in this beast (which, by the way, can run so close to silent...those Akasa Amber fans are great, and the Zalmans are nice too) and they move a lot of air. Thanks for the compliments too man.

one tiny little sidenote... maybe you should try to get the needle-gauge-thingies in orange also... they look just a little bit off to me

I had thought about this, but decided to stick with the green-i like the contrast, and they go with CPU cooler, which has a green LED fan in it. I think they kind of jump out and say, "I'm a different part of this computer. I'm the control Panel. Look at my different colours." If anything, i'd change the backgrounds so they didn't say "Signal", and maybe something more interesting, but i'd probably still keep the green.

the details are great, the light the control panel(maybe a less powerfull LED wuth work better), the right window....

The LED's aren't as powerful as the photos make them look. That was a longer exposure time with a tripod. I'll be writing up a small tutorial on taking photos of your mods later, using these photos and 'bad versions' of these photos. The problem is, i write them in OpenOffice and then i never convert them to the forums. I've got them all lying on my drive uselessly.

I'll post them soon as i can. Honestly guys, thanks for the feedback. It's good to hear what you think of my work and ideas, so be as harsh as you like too. (Note: that doesn't mean you can say "Oh, it's crap." Ya gotta be constructive! ;) )


09-18-2006, 06:00 AM
Thanks again guys! Good to see you back Jon, it's a shame i never used any of your ideas too! Thought you might like to see something I found the other day.

My original concept Sketch...


... and the finished Computer.