View Full Version : Nightrain

09-10-2007, 01:33 AM
Welcome to my first real case mod guys! Woot Woot! Lol.

For those of you wondering about the name of the project, and my forum name... I didn't choose Nightrain for the wine, or that it has been used in reference to the alcohol in multiple gangster rapper songs lmao. Your probably going to laugh but its been my "handle" of choice ever since I saw "Courage Under Fire" as a kid. Lou Diamond Phillips (who was my favorite actor at that time) used the name "Night Train" for his boxing career. The handle for me started off as nighttrain, but eventually I just decided to drop the extra t. I thought it gave it a better flow lmao.

I started this project about 3 months ago. And It has gone through several revisions... ... ... and its about to go through another.

Originally this case was going to be a completely clear plexiglass case with aluminum trim, that I was going to build from scratch.

Then as time went on, and my condition got worse and worse, I couldn't work for more than ten minutes without huge pains in my chest and complete lack of breath. That put the whole project on hold...almost permanently.

Then I had my surgery...now I'm all better :banana:

A few weeks ago I found an old p2 or p3 case when I saw an ad on craigslist for a bunch of free motherboards and processors. I drove the 25minutes there and two old cases were all that were left. So i took them. I couldn't just make a trip for nothing.

My mind was going crazy with ideas again. I decided I wanted the case to be black and trimmed in red.

I figured for a new case, I needed something new. So I just recently bought an EVGA 8800GTS superclocked 320Mb and a Swiftech H2O Apex ultra kit, MCW30 chipset block, and Blood Red Coolant.


The case wasn't high enough for my needs. So I built a wooden frame to go underneath the case and bolted the two sections together. The PSU fits into the lower section, and I made holes throught the bottom of the metal case to feed the wires up into the upper section.

Then I bored out holes for the water cooling tubing to pass to the radiator. This was a biatch with only a basic drill (whose bits didn't come anywhere close enough diameter). So I decided to pickup a 5$ metal file. That worked much better once I got the holes drilled...but was noisy as hell for my apartment complex. :think:

So with the frame and everything mostly complete, I decided to try and fit everything in the case and set up the water cooling system... ... ... and test out that 8800 i had sitting in a box for more than two days. Urges finally got the best of me.

So here I am now:

Everything fits...but way too tight for my liking. I just don't like how cramped it is. Even with the whole new bottom section. So right now I am pretty disappointed.

Sometimes things just don't work out the way you think they should i suppose.

But alas...

I do have an idea!

One thing i did realize was that the mobo tray of this case was very easily removable. And I have a whole bunch of wooden stakes that I got to build the base frame of the case (they were real cheap and about the sizes that i needed).

So...I am going to take that mobo tray, and build a case made from the wooden spikes with the other pressed board stuff I have for the outside. I am going to keep the same design -Black and Red-. Wood will be nice because I am much more familiar with working with it than metals.

Tomorrow I have a huge day of classes so I probably won't have an update until tuesday. But the good thing is that I only have one class on tuesday so plenty of time to get "re" started.

I have pictures that I will post of this last attempt, I just dont have access to the girlfriend's camera at 2am in the morning so those will get put up soon.

Ohhh, and for those who may have wondered (probably no one lol). My first impression of the 8800gts wasn't all that high. I don't know I guess I just expected more. My 3dmark 06 score did go from 5000 (2 7600gs in sli) to 8000 which is a nice increase...but I ran through oblivion for a couple seconds and wasn't all that impressed. I can see alot more grass I suppose which is nice...but i dont know I guess I expected more. Then again i only gave it a few minutes.

But my impression could be influenced by my pretty frustrated self when looking at my temps after going from my ACFreezer7Pro to this watercooling. Ya it looks real nice, but...my cpu temp is exactly the same right now. But ambient temps in the apartment are pretty high. The cpu is at 39C which the last two days on the ACF7P i was at 38C.... BUt the board is smoking hot. i was at 39C on air and now am at 48C-49C. But I also had to remove the little heatsink to the left of the cpu because the damn apogee gt blocks retaining plate hits it. I tried to use some zalman ram sinks on the little chips but the just keep falling off. So looks like tomorrow i will be filing down that little heatsink so it can fit back in there, and hopefully lower those temps some. Other wise I am pretty disappointed with this water cooling setup...but its just everything else i think. I won't judge it completely too fast.

Lol, no one is going to read this and that's ok. Once I get pretty little pictures up that should help.

09-10-2007, 11:23 PM
Well, Here are some of the pictures from what I had done...but that is all to change. Just adding some pics for those who were trapped by my Great Wall of Text. Lmao

The basic case that I found, that as you can see I built a frame for the bottom section and secured it. Then I did a quick coat of black paint so it wasn't wood and crappy gray/tan metal. This really didnt matter because 95% of that wouldn't be seen anyway. I was in the process of making new panels for it.

Starting to get the placement for the watercooling parts. The space in the bottom frame was to be used for the PSU...but I decided there wasn't enough space. I'm redesigning the case as we speak and will build the frame entirely out of wooden garden spikes.;) ...and the removable mobo tray from this case, and screws and other hardware. And there will be plexi involved, and metal mesh...

and thats all i can give away for now.

The mess of parts as I try fit everything together to make sure everything works...:twisted:. It was actually just getting setup to prime and test overnight the other night to make sure there were no leaks. The system wasn't full with coolant as you can see. I was in the process of adding it.

Good thing I did test fit (really to check out the GTS) because I realized the case simply wasn't going to work the way I wanted it to.

The Apogee GT waterblock. As you can see, I had to replace the stock silver heatsink that was over the little chips to the left of the socket with zalman ramsinks. But those aren't working too well, so I am going to file down the silver heatsink so it can fit there alongside the waterblock.

And a pic of my girlfriend's and my baby...my inspiration


Sorry about the blurry image...best one of little Alb that I could find! And you thought I had a baby... pffffttt! Lol. But I do love the little guy just as much as if he were.

Ohh and even though I still have those ram sinks on and haven't gotten to filing the other heatsink...I did take a small fan and blow it at the mobo.

Now I realize how much you really do need airflow in the case, even with a simple watercooling setup.

My CPU temp went down 1C from 38C to 37C. So upgrading from the ACFreezer7Pro to this waterblock got me 1-3C! Not amazing, but not bad I suppose. The AS5 still hasn't "broken in" yet...so maybe they will get a little better.

But once I put that fan on my mobo temps flew downward!!! I want from 49-50C down to 33C!!! I was at 39-41C with the ACF7P and case fans. So I am happy. And have yet to get that heatsink back on and filed. They really do mean it when they say you still need airflow even if you watercool.

Ohh and the ambient temp in this room is 28C, so not too cool. The mobo is only 5C over ambient. That I am pretty impressed, and think they will drop some more. Yay!!! Puts a little more faith in the 300 bucks I dropped on this watercooling.

It does add a nice red though to the case with the tubes hehe.

09-10-2007, 11:54 PM
I also am going to try to integrate some etching into the case somehow. This was my first attempt at etching while I was sick waiting for my surgery. I did it in a couple hours and with a full size "dremel".

Ohh, and no Flex shaft for me. That killed my hand but I was very happy at how it came out for my first time trying it.

Tell me what you think about it and if you have any ideas of how i can integrate etching into the case without any big windows or anything. I don't want a big window etching.

I might try to etch a cover for say my GPU or something, then sand the back and paint it. That might look cool.

09-11-2007, 12:19 AM

I can't take credit for the design itself. I found it with a simple google for tribal dragons or something. It was I believe from a tattoo website. But I used that as simply a reference. You can very clearly see that it is completely based off that picture, if you had the reference, but I did hand draw it onto the piece of plexi as I looked at the screen.

I don't have any pictures of the build up of it but I can write up a simple how to, or how I did it.

1. Cut out the piece of plexi/acrylic/etc. that you want to use.

2. You can finish the edges now or later. I choose to do it after the etch simply because I didn't trust my skills in something I had never tried and didn't want to waste my time finishing the edges if I was just going to screw up.

3. This is what I did next, but by no means do you have to do this.

I completely taped up the piece of plexi with masking tape. Just one layer, and put each piece directly beside the other, so none were overlapping, but there weren't any gaps.

4. Then I hand drew the design onto the tape. I didn't want the color of the pen or pencil I was using to get into the plexi as I worked and make the etch have a hue or anything so I did it this way. I also thought the tape would give me some room for error incase my hand went flying across the piece with the dremel.

5. Then I fired up the "dremel" (mines a black and decker rotary tool) and etched out the border GENTLY!

6. Removed the tape

7. Then Cleaned up the edges of the etched part with deeper crisper etching and filled in the center when I was done. Just be careful not to put to much pressure in one place or stay there for too long, you don't want to melt the plexi, you simple want to graze it.

You don't have to have a uniformed depth/texture as I do in mine. You can highlight certain areas by using different amounts of pressure and such. I went with a uniform texture for my first attempt.

Thats pretty much what I did. Hope that helps anyone. Those are the things I learned on my first attempt, so by no means professional...but just what I learned and how I did it.

ohh, and for the bit i used. I used one of the little metal pointed ones. They are kinda the shape of a wooden pencil's lead attached to a little pole, but all metal. It looks kinda roughed up as well. Sorry, dont have the name of the bit just know what it looks like. But you can use any of the pointy metal ones really.

09-11-2007, 04:37 PM
Well, as promised I got around to making the frame for this mods case. Not to shabby. Its all going to be covered up anyways so you won't notice any of the wood. Ohh and the only tools I had were a drill and a mini hacksaw lmao...I really need to get some power tools. But nonetheless, its all in the spirit of modding!!!

Starting on the base for the bottom of the case. As I said before, the wood is from crappy wooden spikes that I got at lowes for a couple bucks.

Getting the other side cut to the right dimensions. As you can see, my trusty mini hacksaw woot!

The base for the bottom all cut out and screwed together.

Attaching the vertical rails.

And the top rails.

And two pieces to trim up the top sides.

And we are done for today because I ran out of wood and screws. :mad: I will run to lowes tomorrow and grab some more to make the frame for the encasement for the PSU.

I don't have to because its not going to be seen, but I am going to sand down the entire thing so it is smooth. Looks like I will have to pick up a cheap 20$ hand sander because sanding all that by hand would be a biatch.

I can't decide if I want to make it a standard atx case just with the psu on bottom, or if I want to make it a pseudo-BTX where the right side panel opens. I don't have any heat pipes or anything to worry about being upside down. And I will be able to see the 8800gts' beautiful cooler instead of the green pcb.

Also, if the res is the highest point in the system, do I have to worry about putting the rad on its side? It has that self purging thing when it is vertical, but I was thinking about putting it on its side on one side of the case and making a windtunnel or such to flow air from the otherside.

09-11-2007, 07:30 PM
Well an update on the actual system. So far I've surpassed the overclock I had before.
Before I was stuck at high 2.1ghz/low 2.2ghz which wasn't very stable. So far Im at 2.33Ghz but im not sure its entirely stable.

Im going to try to up the voltage on the Northbridge from 1.4v to 1.5 and see if that helps anything. the max fsb this board will allow is 400mhz (1600mhz quadpumped).

I just want to get past 2.5ghz stable. That might not happen. Ill try though and keep you updated. Figure the hardware is important as well as the case.

I did make it through 3dmark06 and It did pretty damn well so heres a pic...Im happy, but still want to push the cpu a lil higher. (gpu isnt overclocked at all here).


09-12-2007, 08:41 PM
Update, but unfortunately the battery on the camera died so I will explain and then just edit the pics in here. Not too much because I had a long day of classes but it is going along and is starting to come together.

I built a frame at the bottom of the case to encase the PSU in. I made it a little big so I can hide a fan in there to draw in some fresh air so the powersupply doesn't freak out or get claustrophobic. :?

The rail that is on the backside of the psu encasement I extended the length of the case so I can tuck the radiator sideways along the bottom.

The PSU encasement will be covered with plexi painted on the bottom side. The side will most likely have black mesh so as to not take up too much space. I know, kinda hard to picture. Once I get pics up you will see what I mean.

Darn battery...

09-13-2007, 05:35 PM
Well I forgot to take preliminary pics before I started working today, of what I did yesterday. But all is good.

First I went to Wallyworld and picked up a 13$ power hand sander WOOT! lmao. I go all out, no expense, on tools lmao. This is my first powertool used on this project.

So I sanded the frame, and then went to work on cutting out the first piece of plexi for the power supply enclosure.

Here are some pics of the frame painted. I wasn't going to paint it but I decided to do it anyway incase some parts of the wood do stick through and get seen. That way I don't have bare wood sticking out like a sore thumb :up:.


And here you can see the frame for the enclosure for the psu. It is going to be isolated all by itself. With airflow of course.


Here is the position for the first piece of plexi.


And here it is with the plexi fitted onto the slot. I have yet to drill and cut out the holes for the 80mm intake fan for the PSU. I also have to drill and cut the slots for the fan so air can pass though.


The protective plastic wrapper covering stuff is still on the front side mind you, so it doesn't look as "pretty" as it will.

And in case you guys were wondering how its red and black. I had a whole lot of plexi lying around from when this case was going to be an all plexi and aluminum build. So, I cut the plexi to the right shape. Then sanded down the side that is going to be on the backside. Then painted it the colors I wanted to. For this, I sprayed black and red in unison. I chose this mix so it wasn't too dark with just black and wasn't to bright with the red. Hopefully I like it in the end.

Well enough fooling around for me...back to work :banana:

Oh, and on another note. Last night I played PREY. Pretty cool game. Now that I've seen the increased performance from the 8800, im not going to want to rip apart the case its all in to get the mobo tray and everything for the new case. :think:

I suppose I will have to sacrifice a day or two of super awesome graphics lol for the greater good of the encasement in which it resides.

This would all go much faster if only didn't have to cut every piece of wood or plexi by hand...but I will probably appreciate it more when it is done. Hopefully it looks nice.

09-13-2007, 06:29 PM
Last update for today, starting to not feel very well. And extremely tired. Well here it is. Hopefully you can start to see the PSU enclosure more for what it will be now, instead of just a couple pieces of wood. The mesh most likely will be painted black, as the fans I am using will have red led's.



This also isn't going to be on the outside of the case. This is inside. Just wanted to make sure it was going to look nice, even with the side panel off.

Edit: Just went outside and sprayed the mesh black. Will hit it with a coat or two of clear later. Will post pics tomorrow of it fitted with the black. Just wanted the paint to be dry for everything tomorrow. I get out of classes at 11:30am so hopefully I can get alot done tomorrow. I have lots of plexi to cut, But I still have to get the motherboard tray fitted into the case.

09-13-2007, 06:56 PM

Ya the more I work with it and see it in its more raw forms, the more it is starting to grow on me. I think I am going to leave some of the places the wood so it does have that "unique" feel to it, to show its roots so to speak. After all, I hand cut every piece of wood that is in that case, so maybe it should "have a say" on the overall look of the case. It is all sanded smooth so its not going to give you a splinter or anything.

Thanks for the input chaksq, that is really reassuring! I thought people were going to hate it because it looked to rustic or amateurish...but I do like it, and Im glad you do too.

Feel free to comment on anything guys. Any criticism is welcome. Good or bad. (I know theres not too much to criticize yet anywho, but there will be...oh there will be...:twisted:muahahahahahahah::twisted: lmao

On another note:

I Have A Question!:

I bought a bunch of led's months ago, and am wondering how to actually hook them up to a molex source or something.

They are NTE30034 Super Bright-Clear Deep Red LED's

Viewing Angle-19Degrees Typ

Vf-2.5V Max
Vr-5V Max
Pd-110mW Max
If-25mA Max
Iv-2000mcd Typ

Ohh and if it matters any, they are 3mm.

I assume I am going to need some resistors or something. Just not sure what to do with them, and I probably have like 9 or 10. I remember trying to put them in the 5v molex end, but they started to lose brightness really fast, so thats probably not the answer. Im going to look around the site for some answers, just figured Id throw it up here as it directly pertains to the mod.

Any ideas on what i can do with them...and/or how would be awesome. Just hate to see them go to waste.

Thanks in advance guys!

09-13-2007, 10:52 PM
I will get some pics up right after class because the lighting sucks because its almost 11pm here, but even though I felt like crap I couldn't just sit around and do nothing soooo....

I applied two coats of clear to the backside of the painted plexi so the paint would get scraped or chipped or anything (well thats the plan hopefully it works). Like I said I still have to drill the holes to attach the fans, and cut out the slots for the grill. This was my test piece of plexi. For the other pieces I will get "ALL" the cutting and drilling done first just as precaution to preserve the paint once its done.

That silver mesh you saw earlier, well now it is black. I applied to coats of black, and then proceeded to clearcoat it 3 times. It looks really nice imo and should help bring the color scheme together.

And I also went and put the first coat of clear onto the case frame itself. Atfirst I only put it on a spot that you really couldn't see, to see if I liked it. It really seemed to make the red pop out and the black blacker, so I went and cleared the whole thing. Again hoping it will prevent scratches through the paint or whatever.

Sooo ya, I painted those parts and will get pics up asap after classes tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get the motherboard tray attached to the frame and maybe the drive bays built. Those are important to get done soon. As long as my best friend doesn't come down from his college for the weekend to hang out...I really want to get lots done this weekend.

And sorry for those of you who may not like the lots up updates thing. I need to stay motivated on this case, This is the 3rd time starting over on it. Granted its gone through a huge evolution...I just need to be motivated, and I figured you guys would like to be updated with what I'm doing. Better than waiting a week or so to get an update. Its like :santa: is coming 3 times a day instead of once every blue moon!!! WOOT!

09-14-2007, 03:18 PM
Here is the pics I promised of the mesh painted black and cleared and attached to the frame.


Now one so you can see more of the case.


And here is a quick design I came up with for either the fan grills or to do an etching.


I was looking for something to resemble Nightrain, but didn't literally want to draw a moon and rain or something so I went with a more geometric approach. I thought the case needed something to identify itself.

What do you guys think of the design?

So, should I cut that design out of the plexi for the fan grills? I honesly dont know if I can do it, but more than willing to try. Or should I cut a hole out of the plexi big enough for the fan hole, and then just make an actual grill out of another material, like aluminum sheeting or something. I didn't know if I wanted to make all the grills integrated or to have bolt on grills.

Edit: oh oh oh oh!!! Something else I can do is cut each portion that is black out of plexi and smooth and shape it and attach it to part of the frame. So it would be like reversed embossed type of thing. That I can try nonetheless and see if I like it.

09-14-2007, 07:40 PM
Here I cut the front face of the case. This stuff is really a pain in the butt to cut by hand. Not quite as annoyingly tedious as plexi but almost. I may put a sheet of plexi behind it to give it more depth/strength.


And here are some pictures with the radiator sitting where it is going to be fitted, and also with the mobo tray fitted in. It just so happens to fit pretty snuggly right where I wanted it. There is nothing holding it up right now, just its own pressure on the wood.



And I understand that it really isnt perfectly parallel with the ground/top and bottom of the case. You must remember that this case is being built with a drill, hand power sander (only to expedite the process), and a mini hacksaw. All the measurements have been done by eyeball. Not because I can't measure and make perfect cuts, but because I want whatever I vision to come out...I want it to have character. And so far I am loving it.

And the orange measuring tape is lying on the ground from when I was working on the other case. Actually part of the reason I went by eyeball was because I couldnt find that thing. Now I just have to annalyze those pics and deduce where the damn thing is. Might be useful for some other project lmao.

I am only worried about when dust gets in the case, its going to be a pain to dust it out...The dust is going to catch all over the wood. Eventually I will figure that part out. :rolleyes:


Here is one of the back left corner. As you can see I decided on going psuedo btx. But if something went wrong it wouldn't be hard to just unscrew some things and swap sides with everything to go standard Atx.


And here you can see the two support rails to bolt the mobo tray to. Will head out to Lowes in the morning to pick up some bolts and nuts and such.

Hopefully tomorrow I can get the drive cage going. Not sure if I am going to try to salvage it from the old case or just make it out of plexi/wood. We will see when tomorrow comes I suppose.

09-14-2007, 11:59 PM
Thanks chaksq! And I do like the inverted atx as well. Its the first case Ive tried it on so it should be different. You are doing the inverted atx in highrise as well right? I can't wait to see how that turns out. Should be soooo cool.

I am so frustrated right now though. I've procrastinated purchasing the fans I wanted for this case because I didn't want to buy the fans and not follow through with building the case.

Now that it is coming together I went on Newegg.com to order the 120mm red led fans that I wanted, and added a couple 80mm incase I didn't have clearance in some of the tighter spaces. I grabbed a couple extra 120's incase I wanted more airflow.

So in total I had 8 120mm fans and 4 80mm's. I then look at shipping and it is like 14$, so I figured I would look and see if there was anything else I needed. I was looking at dedicated sound cards for maybe an hour. Didn't want to spend too much so I was looking at the ones under $30.

Anyways... ... ... When I was done i added the one i wanted into the cart. Checked shipping. Only raised shipping a few cents. Ok cool.

Then procede to checkout and see that my quantity had been lowered to 2 120mm fans. Try to update it back and it says insufficient quantity. But the shipping is still the same.

Darn it, darn it, darn it. Now I have to wait to get fans...Because I am not going to pay 15$ for shipping for 2 fans and have to pay another 10-15 for more fans when they come in. ARGHHHH so frustrating. Why do people have to purchase the fans I wanted lol.

So the red led fans will be a while before I can get those. Hopefully they will come in soon. (watch them be discontinued or something :evil:)

09-15-2007, 11:06 AM
Oh, that sucks that you can't work on it at school, but understandable. Took me a month before I got up the courage to mod in my apartment. I just go out on the balcony for the most part, but as you can see in the pics, the livingroom and kitchen also get used. If only my girlfriend and I got the two bedroom instead of the one bedroom...ehhh.

Ya well I am only like 20 min. away from a Microcenter, which is cool. I got my 8800gts 320mb superclocked for less than newegg, which is usually my main "retailer". Also the Swiftech h20 apex as well. Its just the fans there, well one, they dont have red leds. And two, there cheapest fan starts at like $10 for an 80mm. Huge markup. Ohhh well. I guess I will either have to pay a little more and go for a different brand, orrrrr wait.

I chose the matching 80's and 120's because the reviews said they were red but had an orangy hue to them...which just so happens to match my cold cathodes perfect.

I guess we will just have to see on those fans. I have enough other fans to get it going and marked up and stuff...just not the ones I want to go anywhere near this case. :neutral:

09-15-2007, 05:03 PM
Ughhh I am soooooooooooo pissed. First I cut my finger trying to trim down a nylon spacer. Turns out it isn't one of the ones that is easy to cut like the ones that came in the swiftech h20 kit.

And then....

I will just let the stupid pictures speak for them selves.





Was trying to cut out a hole for the fan after I drilled out all the little holes for mounting and such. I don't have a huge hole saw, so i drilled out a crapload of little holes and went to pop out the center portion. I got careless and the whole thing snapped in half a millisecond after the center popped out. I put just a little too much force on it for a little to long.

Then I said screw it and decided to just put it together and see if it magically was healed but as you can see, you can see that it has a crack. I can make a fan grill and that will cover most of it, but i still know it is there.

Should I still use it???? I spent fricken 6 hours on that one piece. I am just soooooo frustrated.

Have any of you used a piece that you knew was broken, but used it anyway?

Ugghhh this sucks sooooooo much. Totally sucks the morale outa me.

09-15-2007, 06:17 PM
Ya, I know. I wish I had some nice tools. If I was at home, I could have any tool I need. But when I visit its usually pretty quick. Arghhh. Xmas i am sooo asking for some tools. I should have just used the dremel after drilling the holes and then sanded. Crap.

But I cant just sit and mope I suppose...arghhhh

Not sure if I am going to like it. The bends arent perfect yet and its not painted, but who knows, maybe I will like it better.

Here are some pics...



This does mean that any heat generated by the psu can potentially rise up. But this psu seems pretty nice and doesn't seem to generate too much heat. Who knows maybe I will hate it, maybe I wont. Not sure yet.

09-15-2007, 11:35 PM
I would glue it and sand it, but the crack would still show. It is only painted on one side. The back side is the more dull side as seen in the first pic in the last post. The other side was still the clear plexi. I left it that way because it had a real nice hi-gloss finish. I might redo it though, just sucks, 6 hours of work down the drain.

Ya if i do decide to redo it, if I dont like the all black mesh, I probably will pick up a coping saw and try that. Patience is something Ive lived with on this mod. All the cutting has been done by hand so it cant take much longer than a crappy minihacksaw.

That silver mesh...Ive worked it more, so that it fits better. Then I applied 3 coats of black paint, and three coats of clear. I am letting it set overnight and tomorrow I will screw it on and decide if I like it. Its going to be a pain to get in there to get it screwed in once the PSU wires are threaded through, but im sure I will find a way. I predrilled the holes so i dont have to do that part, just screw it in. will post pics tomorrow for that.

09-15-2007, 11:57 PM
Damn it, Damn it, Damn it... ... ...

As I was just about to settle for the mesh you have to go and say that...

Lol, you just struck a cord. Now I know I have to redo it.

I will use the mesh as a temp fix so I keep motivated and keep moving along with the project, But I really did like it with the acrylic and the mesh as an accent. I didn't want the mesh to be the focus of everything, just some here and there tying everything in.

Thanks for the support Jim. I am very grateful.

09-16-2007, 10:15 PM
Well today I finished off painting the mesh for a temporary fix of the psu enclosure.


A close up


I also salvaged one half of the drive bay. This side has the 5.25 to 3.5 transition so that takes some of the work off me. The otherside will most likely be made out of plexi and I will fab up some more wood brackets to secure the plexi to.


An angle showing the half of the drive bays and the rest of the case.


A pic of me, tired after modding, doing college homework, and watching some football. To tired lately to worry about shaving or anything, not that anyone in my family is very hairy. Just a stupid tired pic i suppose.


Decided to finish fixing the mosfet heatsink (or whatever the hell it is). Tried to sand it down, but it was just easier to remove the top, snap off a couple fins and bend the other few that got in the way.


Getting the hardware test fitted so I can check for clearances and start to visualize the plexi panels that I am planning to put in.


And one from an angle


I also got around to painting the transformer box for the CCFL's. No pics of that as of yet though.

I seriously felt like a damn noobass earlier. I didn't realize that the 4pin cpu connector's from the psu were different. I spent 30min trying to figure out if inverse atx really made that connector not fit right. Then I realized that ... the two damn ones are different. ARGGGHHHH lmao.

I have a question for you guys, is there a good site (US) that has really decent prices on red led case fans, sleeving, and that spiral stuff for the watercooling tubes. I want black instead of that white plastic color (Hence Red liquid black coil...red and black theme). Preferably all from one site, its easier. Thanks in advance.

There may not be much for an update tomorrow, its my long ass day of classes. Who knows though, maybe I will have energy tomorrow night and nothing to do.

09-18-2007, 01:52 PM
Sorry for no update yesterday, I was beat after a whole day of classes I passed out and slept for 11 hours last night. That was a first.

I Have to write a program for Java class for tomorrow and then take the girlfriend to get her eye exam. Then she wants to look at a kitten she wants to adopt. Shes been working for free at a stray cat shelter and found one she wants us to adopt, so i have to go look at it and see if i like it too. But once I get home I am going straight to work.

But I did:

Clear coat the transformer box for the CCFL's again

Get dimensions for the other half of the drive bay


Got a HUGE stack of LUCITE sheets....FOR FREE!!! Yippeee. lol. So hopefully I can get some of the side panels cut.

And I was doodling in Statistics and came up with a power button design. It will have the Nightrain logo etched into it and be lit up by a red led. Hopefully, if i actually have the skill to do that.

So stay tuned because I am planning to get a lot done these next two days. WOOT. Be back soon.

Off to code.

09-18-2007, 08:45 PM
No pics, seriously not feeling well right now.

But Ive got the rough cut of the lucite for the left side of the case. I have yet to sand it down so it fits perfect though.

One thing I will go out on a limb and say is that I seriously dislike Lucite. I don't remember the name of whatever I was using before, but lucite seems to be really brittle compared to the other acrylic product I was using.

But chaksq and a few others will be glad to know that I decided to allow the wood to show through. Some of the lucite panels will be cut to fit in the frame. Tommorrow I will show you what I mean with pictures of the side panel.

I may still cover the whole front, top and back though. We will just have to see when I get around to cutting those pieces.

Sorry for no pics, just feel like a$$ for some reason.

09-19-2007, 08:20 PM
Ya it was. The left side panel was almost sanded to fit and the rubber pad on the bottom of the sander just shredded into pieces for some reason. So I have to go and return the sander tomorrow. Ive used it less than 3 times so far...so annoying. But I guess its my fault for picking up a 13$ hand sander.

Just extremely frustrating...

Guess we will see what tomorrow brings. :neutral:

09-20-2007, 05:52 PM
Well, Didn't have the energy to go back out and bring the sander back after my long day of classes. But dont worry! I have gotten some work done. It was just inhibited a little because I had to hand sand the plexi panel.

Left side panel finally sanded enough to fit in. Still needs a little work to fit a little better, and I have to cut out some small wood strips to place behind the plexi. For fasteners I think I am going to get some of those swivel ones so I can just turn the fastener and pop off the panel. If I cant find any at the store I can always make some.


Dont worry about the hole in the top left. A piece of painted wood is going into that slot so it wont be a gap.Was thinking ahead for something else.

Drilled holes for the res, test fitted as well. Have to grind down the bolts some more, and get those painted black once everything is set and not coming out.


Close up of the res fitted.


And here the holes for the tubing to get inside to go to the radiator and the pump. The only bit I had was too small anywho, so i just drilled them as I could. The rest I will grind out with a sanding bit on the dremel. So dont worry, those scrateches will be gone. I just let it scratch about the size I needed so I could visualize the size of the whole.


Right now I am working on getting the design I showed earlier drawn up on the computer so I can print it out and get it lined up on the panel the way I want it to. It is going to be in the top left corner because the tubing is going to loop around near the middle of the panel.

The panel is also going to be sanded on the inside and I will paint it. Im not sure if I am going to do the red and black mix, or go with just black and try to make it so it lets a little light through. Then I might highlight behind the etch with a little red or something. Haven't decided just yet. What are your opinions?

I am going to get this side finished so I have a visual for the other sides and hopefully they will go fast and flow well.

The right side will have a much bigger etch of the Nightrain design.

I also have to cut out some plexi for the radiator.

09-20-2007, 10:22 PM
Got the preliminary portion of the etch for the side window done. I followed the how to that I posted earlier in this thread. This is just a light quick etching to make sure everything is the way I like it.

It is only one quick layer taken off. I do it in steps to help get as even an etch as possible.

Whole side panel pic


And a pic of just the preliminary etch


Again, remember it still needs to have the edges perfected, etch deepened and evened.

Tommorrow I will spend a couple hours perfecting it. Then I will sand down the whole back of the panel.

I will lightly spray some red around the etch, and the rest of the panel will be painted black. This will highlight the red of the coolant.

I have to go to microcenter and pick up some 1/2" ID tubing because this case is bigger than the other case and the tubes aren't quite long enough to get from the radiator to the res. Then I will drill a couple holes so I can tie down the tubing to the panel so it doesn't flap way out from the sides. I want it to stay close to the plexi to be a little more organized.

So ya, back to being motivated. Was slowed down a little bit due to the time it takes to get a panel of plexi cut with all the notches and such to fit correctly. This is done without lots of fancy tools mind you :rolleyes:

09-21-2007, 10:20 PM
Well things went ohhh justtt soooo perfecttt todayyyy!!! lmao ya really

Here is a pic showing one side just once over etching, and the other with another pass. Looking good!


And here the etch is getting taped off for the red highlights


And here I painted. It went on much heavier than I wanted out of the can so I got frustrated and just went at it.


Well needless to say, while I was taping, I forgot to tape the actual etch. Something felt like it was missing but i went and painted anyway...arghhhhhhhh. So the nice etch i did was crapped by the damn painting that took away from the sharp lines of the etch and the nice edges. Ohhhh and I was going for a airbrushed look for the red accents...aparently i dont have that kind of skill with a spray can...damn

Here you can see the panel in place and I tried to re-etch the paint out of it.


And here is a closer view. You can see that I tried quickly to etch some of the paint out. It was quick because it was in between commercials during "New Guy". If I dont like it etched out like that I am going to paint the inside black. So it will be black with red accent on a back background. Thats if I dont like it when I take the time to etch it out nice again.


Sucks when you make strings of mistakes that could have easily been avoided had I not been preoccupied and my head in the clouds.

09-21-2007, 10:53 PM
Well thats it for tonight. I ran out of paint, and my watercooling tubes aren't long enough. So tomorrow its off to get some more paint, hardware to affix the panel instead of just setting it there, and to get some more tubing so I can actually get this pc back up and running. I need it to be in a functional state because i do alot of work on it and its been down for a week now.

Tommorrow I plan on getting the plexi cut for the outside portion of the radiator. Then it will be painted and affixed with the same hardware as the plexi panel.

Does anyone know where to get vinyl dye? Not online, preferably a store. And anyone know for certain if it will work on cable sleeving because i can get a good deal on white sleeving and then dye it to what i want for this project. Thanks in advance!

09-22-2007, 06:45 PM
Well earlier this afternoon the girlfriend went home to spend a couple days with her grandmother so off I went to Microcenter. I needed some more tubing for the water cooling.

So off I went to microcenter. Grabbed the tubing that I needed. Then went off looking at mobos and everything else they had there.

OMG, I saw an Abit Fatal1ty 650i mobo that would have gone perfect for this mod. The colors went perfect. And it was pretty cheap, but in general I don't like the Fatal1ty series. For the most part i find them overpriced and have way too much Fatal1ty name scribed all over the product. But ooohhh would it have looked nice. I didn't get it pretty much because it was the 650 chipset, I wanted something that I could overclock a little more than that. I didn't want to be stuck with a chipsets limitations again like I am with the P5NSLI.

I picked up a Gigabyte P35 DS3R Ultra Durable Mobo, and 2 x 1GB Corsair ddr2 800 ram. They had the Q6600 that I wanted (G0 stepping and all), but I figured I would see how far I can push this e6300 first. Go one step at a time with the hardware.

I am going to throw the P5NSLI with the 2 7600gs I have and take the 2.8GHz celeron from the game server that hasn't been on in a month and thow that together for the girlfriend so when she gets home she has a computer she can play her SIMS2 on. And if I do decide to get the q6600 down the road i can throw the 6300 in that puter and put the celly back in the server pc.

And I picked up some more paint to I can finish up on that side panel.

So that was my day, will get some pics up later.

10-01-2007, 08:25 PM
Long time no update... Sorry, been sick and ordering parts. Also got a little distracted with the "new" overclocked pc and Prey, and Carbon, and Far Cry. Beat the first two in my ill state and am working on Far Cry now, awesome game.


I bought some UV red cable sleeve kits, a couple white sleeve kits, 92mm Foxxcon fans (10 of them). They are just plain old black ones. I decided the lighting on this case would come from CCFL's because the red fans I were looking at I decided they were tooo pinkish for the case. Red or orangy red were what I was going for. And the 92mm foxxcons were only $1.49 each at xoxide.com.

I also modded an xbox controller I had lying around for use on the pc. Have a few pics as well, just don't have the camera handy at the moment. Works awesome. Sooo much better than any other pc gamepad ive ever used! I ripped off the xbox logo in the center and am hoping to cut a piece of plexi and etch or paint the Nightrain logo into it and glue it in place. Give it a little personality.

Tomorrow hopefully I can get some actual work done on the case.

Plans for tomorrow...

1.) Attempt to use the hacksaw to salvage the other side of the drive bay from the old case.
If that is possible, then cut the wooden brackets to affix it to the case and get it some coats of paint and clear.

2.) Pick up some rocker switches to wire up the CCFL's that have to come in...Ohhhh ya, forgot to tell you guys, the other CCFL's that I had...I stepped on, on accident sooooo yay!!! lmao.

3.) Get the small side panel for the radiator cut and painted, and attached.

So hopefully if all goes as planned I will see you all tomorrow night! Just wanted to tell you all the plans and that I didn't die or something and neither did the project.

Also been working on another mod for the girlfriend. Its going to be green and black, with a side window in the shape of a gecko, or etched, whichever she prefers, with green CCFL's.

10-02-2007, 11:25 PM
Ya, thats def something I am learning. Although I had everything planned out on exactly what I wanted with that panel but I just let myself get distracted with tv and other things and just kept on working instead of stopping. Next time I will learn and not work while I am distracted.

I passed out in my bed after classes so I didnt get a chance to grab the camera, but I will update you on the progress.

I decided the bottom left panel will be made out of the mesh for now.

I cut and bent the mesh to the right dimensions, applied 3 coats of black, and 3 coats of clear. Its all "curing" overnight and tomorrow after classes I will affix it to the case. I promise pics will be there! Dont worry!!!

I also started to cut out the part of the drive bay section that I need but with the hacksaw it was simply to loud to do this late at night on my apartment balcony. But on the plus side, it seemed to cut pretty well through the steel so tomorrow I will cut that and get to attaching it as well.

10-05-2007, 09:02 PM
Ya, I have been making decent progress. Lately life has been hitting pretty hard and distracting me from finishing, but I have everything I need basically, just not the time with classes and exams and everything. But this weekend is a three day weekend so I am hoping to get some done.

Tommorrow the mom and dad are coming to visit and they are bringing my box from Xoxide.com.

1) 10 x 92mm Black fans
2) 2 x White cable sleeving kits
3) 2 x UV red cable sleeving kits
-went with these because I can use the white on the girlfriends case and another case I have in mind when I finish mine and hers. Also the white was 3.99 and the red like 4.99 or something. Half the price of the black.

4)1 x green, 1 x red, 1 x uv CCFL. Green for girlfriends, red and uv to see which I like better.

5) atx molex pin tool.

I also found plastic wire spiral wrap at Home Depot the other day for $2.25!!! They had black and clear, I went with black for this one if i use it. It is like 5 or 6 feet of 1/2" and like 4ft 1/4". All for $2.25. Thought that was a great price, especially for the convenience factor of it.

So tomorrow the goodies come, so hopefully I can get some real progress made this weekend.

And the girlfriends case mostly has been measuring and designing. I am not going to start the real work on it till I get mostly done with this one. Don't worry, I will throw a log up as well!! and mention that its up here. Thanks for the support!

10-05-2007, 09:29 PM
You know what, I am starting to get a little motivated actually. These parts coming in are getting me a little excited, so im getting off my tired lazy butt and getting you all some pictures of the (minimal, yet still an improvement) work I have done in my no time state.

Starting work on the xbox->usb conversion. Usb wire starting to be spliced to the Xbox controller wire.


Had to make sure I had the finishing portion of heatshrink on there before I started working, or I wouldn't have been able to get it on.


The rest of the wires spliced together. Not sure if you can see it in any of these pics but the yellow wire just has some heatshrink shrunk on it so it doesn't have any chance of hitting another wire and shorting it somehow or another.


And with the full covering heat shrink over the spliced wires. I know, its red...red is all I have, and I sure as heck have a bunch of it.


And here is with the black painted metal mesh covering up the radiator. I decided on the mesh because the other portion of the bottom is mesh, and I didn't want to restrict that rad getting air through it.


And here is a pic of the whole side of the case. The water cooling tubes have yet to have a couple holes drilled through the plexi so I can tie them down neat to the side. Also, the design didn't come out exactly as I wanted because of that mishap. But the fact that it isn't perfect, like the way the rest of the case isn't, is really starting to grow on me, and I like it.


This case and the girlfriends case are really, as you know my first cases, and also are really just practice cases for what my third case, which is still in planning and idea development.

And here is a pic of the $2.25 package of wire spiral wrap from Home Depot, incase anyone is interested.


Just felt I owed you all some pics, even if it isn't much!

10-07-2007, 06:10 PM
Thanks guys! I appreciate all the support! It can be just so damn hard sawing some of this stuff by hand with a stainless steel bar in my fricken chest...the sawing motion puts one hella strain on my damn chest. But it is moving along. Perhaps I will look at getting some sort of saw or something. I have a "dremel" but that makes for a heck of a lot of filing afterwards, but who knows, perhaps I will try that for the next piece I have to cut because This is seriously painful sometimes.

Here is a pile of some of the stuff that came in the mail along with the spiral wrap. Didn't expect the uv red to be so pink...guess that shows my modding noobishness. But in contrast to all the red in the case it looks a little bit darker in the case compared to on the ground.

I started tearing things apart before I remembered to take a pic so sorry for the messiness.


Here is the piece of acrylic I cut for the top of the case. I still have to drill and cut out the space for an exhaust fan there, but just in too much pain and am contemplating how to do it with what i have without making the mistake I made earlier. Have yet to file and sand it down to make it a perfect fit.


Another angle. This will be painted the same as the side panel I think.


And here I wanted to practice sleeving a psu before I went gung-ho on my psu, so I practiced on the current psu for the upcoming Project: Alb (Girlfriends computer and case I am building). The universal tool I had bought turns out it doesn't remove the pins from 20/24 pin connectors or 4pins so I used the spiral wrap as you can see.


So not alot, but on the plus side, making progress, so yay! edit: Just a note. That one panel took an hour and a half to cut out with the mini-hacksaw...so ya, im really contemplating another method.

Also not pictured:

Last night I bought...

1). Some red and black wires to extend the power wires for the fans so I can run them neatly.

2). Two red pushbutton/toggle switches to wire up to the red and uv CCFL's so I can turn them on and off when I please. They are red led illuminated, but they are designed to run on AC, so the lights probably wont work, but thats ok because 1) I didn't know they lit up until I got home and read the package and 2) Didnt really care if they did or not anyways, just liked the rich red color.

3). Some other goodies for the upcoming Project: Alb for the girlfriends pc... You will all have to wait for me to finish this case before that one, so stay tuned!

10-08-2007, 08:17 PM
Today I probably had the most emotionally challenging day throughout this entire mod. I was at the point of completely destroying it, taking all the components out and chucking the case out the window, going to Microcenter and buying the Lian-li ive been wanting for years.

But, i sat down for a while. The girlfriend made me an amazing apple pie from some of the apples we went and handpicked on Saturday and told me that everything would work out, just takes time.

So I relaxed and went back at it again. And Again.

Finally I got it to work.

Got what to work you might ask....???...???...???

The other side of the drive bay! You have all seen the left side of the drive bay already attached to the case, the piece that I could salvage from the other case. Today I took it upon myself to make the other side. Ohhhhh boy was this trying.

Last night I cut the piece of plexi I needed and the wooden frame/holder for it, and painted it all up the way I wanted. Today I go to fit it and secure it, and low and behold, what had fit yesterday, did not fit today. AT ALL.

It was wet last night and the wood was a little damp, so I think when I put it in front of the air conditioners exhaust on the balcony for the paint to dry, it dried out the wood and warped it some.

Anyways. Many pieces of plexi cracked and broke trying to get this right. Holes wouldn't line up for the drives to screw into. And more pieces of plexi broke.

Finally, here it is. An actually working piece!


A little farther back. If you can't tell, the drives aren't suspended by magic or anything, theres clear plexi panel attached to that wood frame.


An angles showing the front with the drives and fan controller in place.



The drives are going to be in for a good painting and clear soon.

I also sleeved a couple cables, the pump power line, and the rad fan lines. I also spliced the rad fan lines to a tx3 splitter so they only take up one slot on the fan controller.

Tomorrow I only have one class so hopefully I can get the front panel going or atleast a bunch of painting done.

10-10-2007, 04:29 PM
Starting to go for it and just dive into some of these more difficult parts to make.

Here I used that panel I had before and made an analog for what will be made out of plexi. Its off because it was all done by eye, but that isn't the point. I think it gave me enough idea and practice to be able to make it out of the plexi.


And an angle view.


The fan holes aren't going to be flowered like that, they will have some sort of handmade grill. Its just like that because I used the drill bit and drilled out like 8 holes and just popped out the center. On the real plexi panel I will probably just drill one hole and use a coping saw or something and take my time. Then file it down when its close to the right dimensions.

Im going to have to come up with some more detail or something. Maybe try my hand at the powerbutton idea i had. Its going to be hard work, but once i get the rough shape of everything I hope it will come together in the end.

11-05-2007, 11:42 PM
Wow, a ton of progress has been made since that last update. Don't worry just because I haven't posted doesn't mean I haven't been working. I really want you guys to see progression on this so I am going to make you wait a little longer. Tomorrow I pick up more paint, more spiral wrap. And have some more painting, sanding, and filing ahead.

I will tell you that I learned the greatness of patience and a good set of files. Before I got sick these past 5 days I was working 6 hours a day for 5 days on a couple pieces for this case. Mostly filing.

I will also tell you that the side panel with the Nightrain symbol will be refinished. I decided I didn't like the backside of the plexi painted on any of the pieces ive done. The plexi gets scratched too easily and dirty. But I love the painted backside. Soooooo....

Ahhh you guys will just have to see when I post all the pics ive taken, and of the progress tomorrow. Soon this case will be done.

Things left to do:

1.) Repaint and finish the side and top panels.
2.) Make the fan grills. I think these will be out of mesh as the sides of the case are.
3.) Finish wiring up everything and sleeving. Then organizing the wiring.
4.) Making the last side panel (easy have everything planned) and the back panel.

I think thats pretty much it. Most of my time will be waiting for the paint to dry. Im excited. Once this is done, more time can be spent for project Alb (which ive been working on a lot as well so expect pic updates for that soon after these coming for Nightrain).

Just telling you guys whats left to be done, so don't worry this hasn't died and Ive still been working by arse off.

11-30-2007, 06:25 PM
With the desk I just built finished, not only am I motivated to bang out this project, I have space to do so.

I spent an hour and a half today cutting and filing a prototype for the clips to hold the side panels on.

----Left side freshly cut out of aluminum L stock. Right side with some filing. ---
Two done. Many more to go.

---Attached onto the case. The side panel will be held in by these clips.---
These were used because I couldn't find anything adequate at Home Depot, Lowes, or Walmart. A lot of work for something so simple but in the end I think it will be worth it. These will probably be painted, as they don't match the rest of the case.

And the problem that disheartened this modder into almost 2 months of completely avoiding this mod at all costs. This has made me miss 1st: Crysis demo 2nd: Crysis. I've was planning on buying right on launch but I said I wouldn't put this pc back together until it was finished. So no playing for me till its done. I am going crazy.

---In the dark it isn't noticable---
Just made the mesh for the fans so those still need to be painted. Haven't decided on Black or a red/black mix for this one yet. The Red CCFL's will shine through the mesh so...I may have to try both.

---The disease that spread ohhh soo long ago---
I don't know what happened. It was the same can of clear that I had just used less than a week before this on several other pieces that worked fine. It may have been the temperature or something, I do not know. I tried to replicate it across the whole panel for a uniform appearance but that did not work. It only wanted to do it in certain places it seems.

This panel will probably be redone. But that will be put off till the very end as I am not about to get put so far down on this project again. The texture is growing on me alot though. Its so different. If only I could replicate it on the other panels.

I also changed the emblem. No diamonds. I like it much better this way. The side panel has been sanded and painted so that horrid mistake from before will be fixed.

Got to work on the case. Time to wire some power switches and CCFL switches.

11-30-2007, 11:27 PM
Got the power switch all wired up and sleeved. I used the lighter to make a matching red and black heatshrink :p.


Also got the switches for the CCFL's all set to sleeve and wire up as well. Just haven't decided if I need to lengthen them or not. I need the mounts for the panels done before I can be completely sure.

The mesh for the front fans is painted and drying for the night. Im done for the night though, so goodnight everyone.

06-24-2008, 06:52 PM
Time to stop procrastinating and letting life and illness take over. Pictures of Project: Nightrain as finished as this iteration of Nightrain will ever see.









I made the mistake of having my first real mod/scratch build take place using my main PC. After not having it for months, the act of plugging it in to "test" it while ironing out the final details ended up with the details never being completed. The overwhelming letdown of the clear on the front panel was the final blow in what was Project: Nightrain.

06-24-2008, 07:03 PM
But, the end is never really the end, is it? Is a mod ever really completed? Alas, Nightrain has begun its inevitable evolution, but not under a different name. This will be a slow and arduous process. My health demands this be so. But, I demand to be allowed the ability to attempt to do something I take so much enjoyment in, even if it does cause me pain.

Nightrain has begun once again. It's revival has begun.



After reviewing my original thoughts for the Rocketfish (Lian-Li) case, I realize many things I wanted to do, I simply didn't have the capabilities to accomplish. But unlike last time, I don't plan to allow that to stop me. And so it begins.










06-24-2008, 08:44 PM
What I did today before becoming completely exhausted.


The Sunbeam fan controller that was seen painted in the original Nightrain has gotten a facelift by modding the black anodized bezel from the Rocketfish case. This looks much better and of higher quality then the painted Sunbeam.


Now I just need to find some aluminum knobs. Although if I can't find any, I like them bare far better then the plastic knobs that were originally attached.

06-25-2008, 05:30 PM
Thank you for the support!

Today I continued by working on stealthing the dvd/cd drives.

First started by trimming down the faceplate.

Both faceplates trimmed down to size via rotary tool with cutting disks.

Starting to dismantle the CD-ROM drive.

Begin by ejecting the tray by pushing an extended paper clip into the hole on the front.

Using a small flathead screwdriver, or something similar, press in the tabs on bottom and sides of the drive and pop off the front plate.

Looking at the underside of the drive, press out and up to pop off the tray cover. Both pieces should now be easily removeable.

Then using sticky velcro, or some other form of adhesive, attach the faceplate to the drive. I used double sided tape layered for the eject button, only to realize that the tool-less drive bays makes the cd drive stick too far out with the velcro attached.

So time to rethink how to stealth these drives. I think what I am going to do, is use the double sided tape, or epoxy or something to get the faceplate on without sticking out too far. I didn't like the feel of the eject button, and the proximity of the faceplates to one another doesn't allow a lot of movement.

I may have to pick up a soldering iron and learn how to solder and reroute the switches to the portion of the case right beside the faceplates. I want to get bulgin switches for the power and reset, and I think the small ones would look great for eject buttons as well, but that would be $65 just on switches.

Any suggestions?

06-25-2008, 10:07 PM
Well after relaxing a bit, getting my energy back up, I started working a bit on the front panel.

Etching the front panel. For those of you who are going to try freehand etching, use something like masking tape instead of paper. The paper comes up off the surface and your left to freehand it without seeing where you are etching. In my dragon etch I used masking tape, I didn't have any so I used paper just to get the basic outline.

After removing the paper and going over the etch once.

Filled in the letters a bit. Still have a lot of work to do cleaning up.


Still needs a lot of work. The 'G' needs to be widened, and in general the etch just needs to be cleaned up. I am just out of energy, so it will have to wait till another day.

06-26-2008, 02:13 PM
Working a bit on the side panel. Needs to be filed down and evened out.




Don't mind the dirt and dust and such, that will all be dealt with down the line. Have to get something to eat, then will get to filing. Then I have some smoked acrylic for the panel along with socket cap bolts.

06-26-2008, 05:34 PM
Made some more progress on the side window. Apologize in advance for the pictures, its really dark and muggy out, so I don't have the extra light coming into the apartment to help out.





As I've pretty much decided this will be a black/silver mod I have a couple choices to make with this side panel. I can sand/etch out a border around the window so that way it is silver, with the black bolts. Or I can attempt to find some really really thin U-channel and go with some silver washers to make the bolts pop. I don't want to use that thick big U-channel, as I find it to look pretty ugly, although on some cases it matches perfectly.


Still could use a bit more filing/sanding to get the hole a little more even. And for some reason I must have gotten some funky camera angles as some of the bolts look way off in the pics, but are lined up fine. Again this could be because of slight differences in the cut on the hole.

06-27-2008, 06:35 PM
Thank you very much!

Got some work done. Off to cook dinner then will finish up the day with filling in and get another update to you all tonight.





Hopefully I am not butchering the characters too much. The last time I have done chinese caligraphy was the summer before I was supposed to go study in the Northern Shaolin temples for a year. I'll let you guys ponder the characters while I cook/make supper. :D

06-27-2008, 09:08 PM
Well supper went well, and I got some more work done.





For those interested, they are simply the characters for "night" and "rain". Caligraphy was something I used to be interested in, and I wanted this case to reflect things about me a little more then the last one, so ya. I might integrate some lyrics from some songs etched in various little seen places to add to that theme.

Edit: And yes, the big bulky orange/black rotary tool/'dremel' seen in some of the above pictures is what I use for my etchings. No little 'pen-like' addon tool, or special ergonomic engraving tool. Just that big huge rotary tool. And yes, it does put a killing on your wrist =).