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Thread: Custom case made from old elevator parts.

  1. #1

    Default Custom case made from old elevator parts.

    Hello all, i have been doing some research into case modding communities to join and TBCS looks like the best to me. I have been into gaming pc's for almost a decade but i have never done much in the way of case mods (other than adding fans ect.). I was at work a couple weeks ago and i got some inspiration from a 30 year old elevator that we are tearing out.

    The elevator controller (the brains) is a cabinet that stands about 7 feet tall, and is full of old pcbs and relays. This controller has these big drawers that hold racks of circuit boards. These drawers ride on these really heavy duty slides that allow the entire drawer to tilt into 5 different locked positions. As i was troubleshooting one of these elevators i could not help but think of how cool it would be to have a computer case that held the MoBo in one of these drawers so it could just be slid open and tilted for easy access.

    The drawers have a grill on the face, as well as several 7-segment lcd displays and a bunch of other led's and toggle switches. I may try and repaint and use the faces, or i may have some pieces made that are similar but cleaned up with some of the unnecessary holes removed.

    My plan is to take 2 of the drawers (once we begin the tear-out of the next elevator) and build a shell for them to be mounted to. I want the top drawer to be for the MoBo and hdds, and the bottom drawer for psu's, water pump, radiator and other misc stuff.

    Obviously it is a unorthodox design with several inherent issues that are going to have to be engineered around. Mainly i am going to have to come up with a way to make all the wires and hoses running from one drawer to the other long enough and routed well enough so that the drawers can be freely moved without stressing them. I would also like to make a stationary I/O panel that was mounted on the back of the case and had loops of wire running to the mobo so it could be pulled out while all my cables coming into the I/O panel would remain stationary.

    My ideal end outcome will have a retro and almost military look to it, with lights and simple lcd displays showing temperature info and big toggle switches to control case lights ect.

    I would love to hear some ideas and suggestions on this build, i will get some pictures up of the drawers in the next couple of weeks (i am temporarily removed from that building) so you can see what i am talking about. I am going to need some help from the more experienced members on a number of things, namely the I/o panel, exact component selection and placement, wiring and plumbing (i have zero experience with liquid cooling).

    Thanks for reading this wall of text, Please help me make this happen!

  2. #2
    Its not cool till its watercooled. Fuganater's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custom case made from old elevator parts.

    I don't really have any suggestions yet but his will be an epic build if you pull it off.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Custom case made from old elevator parts.

    this sounds cool. i'll be keeping an eye out for a work log.

    oh yeah, welcome to tbcs too.

  4. #4
    Mentally Underclocked mDust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custom case made from old elevator parts.

    Welcome to TBCS,

    This will be epic indeed. I'm having trouble picturing what the tilting slides look like and their configuration, but pics will clear that up when you're able to get them.
    For your rear I/O, I think the easiest way to do it would just be to run some M/F cables from the mobo to wherever you want the panel. The collection of female ends would be the panel.
    This build hasn't even started and I already like where it's going!
    I'll procrastinate tomorrow.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Custom case made from old elevator parts.

    Thanks for the encouragement, i can already tell i joined the right community.

    It's funny that the term "epic" came up because the particular vintage of elevator controls that i am getting the parts from is called "EPOCH-1" and most of the guys pronounce it as "epic 1". So i think from now on i will refer to the project as "EPOCH-1", i just hope i can make the case mod a bit more epic than the terrible elevator controls that it's named after.

    As for using the M/F cables, i had that idea as well, but i can't picture how i am going to secure them to the case, i wish i could find female ends that were designed to be flush mounted on cases.

    I will try to swing by the job and pic up one of the drawers tomorrow, the one that has already been torn out is missing some of the pieces, but it serve as a mock up so i can start making some drawings. Hopefully i'll have the complete doner units in less than a month.

    EDIT: has anyone seen a case mod that used drawer(s) before?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Custom case made from old elevator parts.

    Just found these: http://www.datapro.net/catalog/panel-mount-cables.html should work nicely.

  7. #7
    Mentally Underclocked mDust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custom case made from old elevator parts.

    Two hurdles down: the project has a name, and the rear panel is sorted out.

    I've seen drawer slides used for various things, but not actual drawers.
    I'll procrastinate tomorrow.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Custom case made from old elevator parts.

    let me know if you need help finding any cables. i'm pretty good at locating electronic componentry.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Custom case made from old elevator parts.

    Ok, so i was able to swing by the building and grab some pics (sorry for the quality, they were taken with my scratched up phone camera):









    Just image the 2 drawers from the second picture, cut down to be a little shorter, painted a VERY low gloss black with a orange glow coming out of the vent holes.

    As you can see in the 3rd picture, you pull the "y" handle and then you can rotate the drawer to a new position.
    I would be moving this from the ideas section to the work logs tomorrow if i could steal thiese parts. But alas, i have to wait a few weeks.

    The top picture is a removable panel that covers some of the relays on the lower end of the controler. Just like the drawers, if you push the buttons on the tops of the black handles it releases and can be removed. I am thinking of making the side panels come off in a similar fashion.

    I am thinking of replacing the big bank of square LEDs on the front of the drawer with a fan controller, or i might make a plate that fits inside of the hole and mount some toggle switches. I need to really plan this all out, i REALLY wish i had the drawers now.

  10. #10
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custom case made from old elevator parts.

    Sounds like some awesome ideas! Just don't let it go the way of Top Gear's projects ("Ambitious...but Rubbish").

    What I think would be really awesome for the front panel is to work with the existing LEDs and have them display the various data you want. Have the front nearly indistinguishable from the original.

    Either way, I think this is going to turn out pretty sweet. Good luck and welcome to TBCS!
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
    --Benjamin Franklin
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