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Greetings everyone!  It's such an honor to be selected to represent the US in Thermaltake's CaseMod Invitational, Season 2!  This is going to be a really exciting competition, with so many talented modders battling it out.  I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with, using the X9 chassis.  :)

 

Here are my requisite photos of all the great hardware that will be going into this build.  Special thanks go to not only Thermaltake for hosting this amazing competition and providing for most of the hardware, but also to Avexir for the sweet DDR4 memory kit, and to Newegg!

 

Here is an overall shot of the booty, case and all..

Booty_sm.jpg

 

Thermaltake ToughPower 1200w power supply

PSU_sm.jpg

 

ASUS Sabertooth X99 motherboard

Mobo_sm.jpg

ASUS Strix GTX 970 video cards X2

GfxCards_sm.jpg

 

Intel i7 5820K processor

CPU_sm.jpg

 

Avexir DDR4 16Gb Memory Kits X2

RAM_sm.jpg

 

 

Samsung 850 EVO 240Gb SSDs X3

SSDs_sm.jpg

 

Thermaltake hot swap dual drive bays X2

DriveBays_sm.jpg

 

360mm Rads X3

Rads_sm.jpg

 

200mm Res/Pump combos X2

Res_sm.jpg

 

 

Soft tubing

Tubing1_sm.jpg

 

Rigid tubing

Tubing2_sm.jpg

 

Miscellaneous fittings (too many to itemize lol)

Fittings_sm.jpg

 

STRIX 970 waterblocks X2

Blocks1_sm.jpg

 

120mm Riing Fans Green X9

Fans1_sm.jpg

 

200mm Luna Fan white

Fans2_sm.jpg

 

Commander FT Fan Controller

FanController_sm.jpg

 

Commander FX 10 port Fan Hub

FanHub_sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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I really like the X9, not only for it's size, but also for the shear number of options and configurations one can choose to go with when building a system.  It literally takes the boredom out of putting a computer system together because it can be built in so many different ways within this one chassis.  This is evidenced by the myriad of X9 rigs out there right now that people have built for themselves and others, each one vastly different than the next, much like snowflakes in their uniqueness.

That's why when I took delivery of my X9, I felt a sense of anticipation, as if I was stepping into the unknown, my path uncertain.  I was giddy with excitement, eager to tear into the box like a child and his present on Christmas morning. My heart started racing and I quickly scribbled my illegible signature on the delivery man's tablet and waved him off, never once taking my eyes off the box.  My new enemy became the very cardboard that had served to protect that which was concealed inside, and was quickly subdued as I targeted its weakest points with the first thing I could find within reach:  my house key.  Stabbing the packing tape repeatedly along its seams, I eventually succeeded in opening the box, only to find the X9 was yet unseen; obfuscated by Styrofoam and plastic (Dr. Cardboard's obvious cohorts).  But even these final layers of protection were no match, and ultimately yielded to my unrelenting desire to gaze upon my new case.

After a few moments of silent staring and admiration, I took a deep breath as I began to contemplate my seemingly impossible task of deciding what to do for a theme. The choices are virtually unlimited!  How can I settle on one single idea?  Should I go with a video game theme, or movie? What could I do that hasn't already been done a hundred times over?  Then the answer just appeared before me as I watched the delivery truck start up outside and drive off.  This whole thing that I had just experienced, the anticipation, the excitement, the excelerated heartbeat... it was like getting a shot of adrenaline.  Before the X9 arrived, I was bored, tired and lethargic.  And once it got here, I felt awake, motivated, inspired.. I felt alive!  So this theme will exemplify that feeling of heightened alertness. The Core X9 will become the vessel that transports this highly exuberant chemical to its new owners, curing them of the common doldrums.  Of course, there is only one company internationally certified to carry such a fragile, and extremely rare commodity...

And that company is:

AdrenalExpressLogo_sm.jpg

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Since Adrenaline is such a potent chemical, it must be handled very carefully.  If just one drop should escape from its container, the consequences would be devastating.  So first and foremost, construction of the transportation unit is critical, and extreme care in keeping the Adrenaline stable is paramount.  That is why these heavy duty shock absorbers will be employed on every corner to ensure that no vibration makes its way into the container..

 

ShockCU_sm.jpg

 

These heavy duty shock absorbers, normally used on full suspension mountain bikes, will be put to better use here.

Shocks1_sm.jpg

 

Shocks2_sm.jpg

 

Taking 1" square box tubing, I cut eight individual pieces out for mounting the shocks to the inner chamber.

Shockmounts1_sm.jpg

 

The shock fits inside the bracket, utilizing the mounting hardware that came with it.

Shockmounts2_sm.jpg

 

All eight chamber mounts done.

Shocks3_sm.jpg

 

For the other end, a slightly different design was needed to mount the shock to the corners of the outer frame.  More 1" box tubing was sectioned out.

Shockmounts3_sm.jpg

 

Cut and drilled to accept the shock bolt.

Shockmounts4_sm.jpg

 

All mounting brackets done!

Shocks4_sm.jpg

 

These triangle pieces will fit into the corners of the frame.

Shockmounts5_sm.jpg

 

The top brackets are drilled in the center, and the holes squared.

Shockmounts6_sm.jpg

 

This keeps the carriage bolt from spinning when the nut is screwed on.

Shockmounts7_sm.jpg

 

Both pieces fastened together.

Shockmounts8_sm.jpg

 

A 1" flat washer is used to reinforce the bracket and spread out the load.

Shockmounts9_sm.jpg

 

Once the frame is prepped, these brackets will then be riveted into place.  More soon!

 

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The inner chamber of the Adrenaline Transport Container was completed over the weekend, using only the highest grade galvanized steel sheet.  The galvanization process alters the molecular structure of the steel, creating a superior adrenaline-proof barrier, should any leaks occur.  Our courier's safety is of utmost importance here at Adrenaline Express!

Marking out the dimensions of the inner chamber onto raw galvanized stock.
Box1_sm.jpg

A jigsaw outfitted with high tensile strength tungsten carbide blades was used to cut the specially treated steel. 
Box2_sm.jpg

After bending, we have four sides.
Box3_sm.jpg

A separate piece for the back was made, with a 1/2" lip all around..
Box4_sm.jpg

The back fits perfectly inside the four sides.
Box5_sm.jpg

Once riveted together, I could start test-fitting parts inside the chamber.  First was to ensure the two Adrenaline Reservoirs would fit snugly in their places.
Box6_sm.jpg

Next will be placement of the main control board, which will be responsible for regulating the environmental conditions of the chamber, as well as monitoring vibrations.

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Got all the shock absorbers mounted over the weekend!

Working on the top shocks first, I got the corner shock brackets mounted into the corners using the existing pop rivet holes.
Shockmounts10_sm.jpg

 

For the top shock mounts, I had to cut the ends off of the radiator support bracket to make room in the corners.
Shockmounts12_sm.jpg

 

The back two shocks mounted..
Shockmounts11_sm.jpg

 

..and the front two..
Shockmounts14_sm.jpg

 

All four top shocks mounted to the corners.
Shockmounts13_sm.jpg

 

After measuring and centering the inner chamber at the correct height, I drilled holes on all four corners to mount the other shock brackets.
Shockmounts15_sm.jpg

 

Flipping the entire case over, I started working on the bottom shocks.
Shockmounts16_sm.jpg

 

I removed the inner chamber temporarily so I could have room to work, and proceeded to mount the remaining four shocks in the bottom corners.
Shockmounts17_sm.jpg

 

While the chamber was out, I drilled holes in the bottom using the same measurements as the top, and re-installed it into the case.
Shockmounts18_sm.jpg

 

We now have a fully suspended inner chamber!
Shockmounts19_sm.jpg

 

Shockmounts20_sm.jpg

 

Shockmounts21_sm.jpg

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The time has come to create the opening for the motherboard's IO, but I needed the factory cutouts for a template.  I couldn't just put the entire case up next to the inner chamber, so I cut it out.  :P
IO1_sm.jpg

 

Now I'm free to mark the openings with the stock "Ttemplate"..  I included the GPU's IO brackets as well so I could transfer those holes for the displayport, HDMI, and DVI ports.
IO2_sm.jpg

 

Holes marked..
IO3_sm.jpg

 

Motherboard IO cut and the panel in for a test fit..
IO4_sm.jpg

 

With that in place I knew right where to add the standoffs, so now the motherboard is mounted.
IO5_sm.jpg

 

Moving on to the GPU cutouts..
IO6_sm.jpg

 

Graphics cards installed!
IO7_sm.jpg

 

Next up is drilling holes for the pump wires, along with other cables such as USB3 and front IO.

 

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The power supply will be located on the back of the inner chamber, in between the two reservoirs.  But in order to mount it there, I'll need to fabricate a bracket for it to sit on.  So more galvanized steel was cut..
PSUmount1_sm.jpg

 

..and bent into a shelf-like form..
PSUmount2_sm.jpg

..Here's a couple shelfies..
PSUmount3_sm.jpg

PSUmount4_sm.jpg

 

The mounting holes were transferred to the bottom panel from the psu itself.
PSUmount5_sm.jpg

 

Using special diamond-carbide cutting wheels, I was able to remove the center of the panel for adequate PSU ventilation.
PSUmount6_sm.jpg

 

And the PSU mounted to the shelf.
PSUmount7_sm.jpg

 

Using a box, I propped up the PSU and shelf to the desired height so I could mark the holes on the inner chamber.  It will be held in place by some pop rivets once everything is prepped and painted and ready for final assembly.
PSUmount8_sm.jpg

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This vessel will be carrying the potent adrenaline, so it needs to be very strong and impervious to cracking, crazing, scratches, bullets, lasers, sharks, ... and even laser sharks.  And since there is nothing tangible on this earth presently that comes close to this, I had to travel into the future and bring back some transparent unobtanium.  Fortunately, I found that the future Pringles chip containers were made of it and happened to be the exact sized cylinders I needed, and was able to purchase a couple cans from the local Eleventy-Seven (formerly known as 7-11).

 

Here's the stock container, ready to be upgraded.
Res1_sm.jpg

 

The de-agitator was disassembled, and it's feeble exo-coating removed.
Res2_sm.jpg

 

A special protective UltraViolet-activated barrier strip was applied to the outside.
Res3_sm.jpg

 

To further dissipate all those UltraViolets, this semi-permeable alloy was added over top the barrier strips.
Res4_sm.jpg

 

Res5_sm.jpg

 

Once, reassembled, the housing's performance is greatly enhanced by these super cool racing stripes..
Res6_sm.jpg

 

Both vessels have been upgraded, and ready to be filled with the toxic fluid.
Res7_sm.jpg

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More chassis modifications were necessary to ensure the safe and secure delivery of this most unpredictable substance.  After exhaustive stress testing with premenstrual gorillas, extra care and stabilization was duly recommended, and therefore additional anti-vibration spring rails were employed at the base of the container.

 

Fabricated simply from C channel and 1/4" multi-strand cable..
CF1_sm.jpg

 

Pass-through holes were drilled into both sides of the C channel.
CF2_sm.jpg

 

Once painted, the cable was threaded through.
CF3_sm.jpg

 

Both rails complete!
CF4_sm.jpg

 

Inverted and mounted to the case.  It was decided that there was no need for the extra 1/4" bar seen in the first pic..
CF5_sm.jpg

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Looking sick Brian..Always love your work .I hope you win this thing!!

 

Thanks Ron, but I will be hard pressed to beat your steampunk insanity, or any of the other builds!  Everyone is doing such a terrific job it will be difficult to pick a winner I think.  :)

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Since the motherboard is mounted in the inner chamber with the IO facing down, I'll be using some panel mount extensions for HDMI, ethernet, and power connectivity. 

 

First, I pilfered the power plug out of this old psu
Panelmount1_sm.jpg

 

I found the HDMI and ethernet panel mount extensions online.
Panelmount2_sm.jpg

 

Here is the new back panel I made to replace the swiss cheese that was there before.
Backpanel1_sm.jpg

 

Using the panel mount ends, I made myself a template on tape and transferred it onto the new back panel.
Panelmount3_sm.jpg

 

After removing material and some filing, the panel mounts fit nicely at the bottom center of the back panel.
Panelmount4_sm.jpg

 

Getting down to the last couple items I need to fabricate mounts for, then it's time for paint!  Stay tuned..

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The last bit of fabrication I had to do involved placing the 2 Max5 Duet HDD Racks. They will be hidden inside the front bezel, but still easily accessible for hot-swapping the SSDs.

Here's how they will be positioned, one on each side.

SSD1_sm.jpg

 

I'm always looking for ways to re-incorporate parts of the original case into my designs.  These hard drive racks will be perfect for mounting the Duets!
SSD2_sm.jpg

 

They fit like a glove inside the tray..
SSD3_sm.jpg

 

I won't be needing the doors, but will be utilizing one of the hinge points, so the tray will pivot out the side of the front bezel.  I scribed an arc showing the drive's travel from closed..
SSD4_sm.jpg

 

..to the open position.
SSD5_sm.jpg

 

After removing a bunch of material from the underside of the front bezel, the drive racks are now clear and can move freely.  The bezel already has openings on the side, originally meant for the power/reset/audio panel, but the holes still needed to be widened a bit.
SSD6_sm.jpg

 

Now the drive rack can be pulled out fully, and the SSD's accessed easily.
SSD7_sm.jpg

 

Now that all the fab work is pretty much done, I can move on to paint!
 

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Finished the PSU last night, thanks to Shannon for sending me a 140mm green Riing fan.  :)
PSUfan_sm.jpg

 

Installed into the PSU.  The stock fan connector is only 2pin, so I'll have to run the new fan's cable out of the PSU and into the fan controller... which will be mounted directly underneath.
PSUfan2_sm.jpg

 

Speaking of which, here is the Commander FT..
Fancontroller1_sm.jpg

 

Removing the 5 1/4" mounting bracket..
Fancontroller2_sm.jpg

 

..and mounting it directly to the PSU mounting tray.
Fancontroller3_sm.jpg

 

Now that everything is painted, I can finally mount the PSU tray permanently to the back of the inner box.
PSUmount9_sm.jpg

 

Then the fan controller bracket goes on, after cutting a matching hole in the top to clear the psu.
PSUmount10_sm.jpg

 

PSU and fan controller installed.
PSUmount11_sm.jpg

 

Plugged in for a test run..
PSUmount12_sm.jpg

 

It's all starting to take shape now!

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Got a bunch of things accomplished over the weekend.  I got my laser cut acrylic in from Primochill on Friday, so my plans to do wiring got happily postponed lol.  Here's a teaser shot of the radiator grills..
Fangrills1_sm.jpg

 

I remade the PSU's fan cover as well, with the Ad Ex logo in the center..
PSUmount13_sm.jpg

 

I will have a backlit logo badge on the front panel, so I had all these letters cut.  It took a bit of time gluing all of them down.  I used a piece of tape as my alignment to make sure everything was straight and spaced evenly.
Logo1_sm.jpg

 

I spent most of the time prepping the front panel for the logo badge and front IO relocation, as well as a secret special feature that I will reveal later.  ;-)
Frontpanel1_sm.jpg

 

I cut a piece of black ABS sheet to fit behind the mesh, and sprayed a bit of green around the cutout for effect. I'll be doing the same behind the top panel.
Frontpanel2_sm.jpg

 

Before installing the inner chamber for the final time, I laid down some 1/4" foam sheet to cover the bottom of the case.
Foam1_sm.jpg

 

I cut some slots in the center to clear the dust screen hooks.  They actually served to hold foam the down quite nicely.
Foam2_sm.jpg

 

Getting the rads mounted, and all the shocks back in in preparation for the inner chamber.
Foam3_sm.jpg

 

The inner chamber is back in!  Hopefully for the last time.
Box7_sm.jpg

 

A shot of the top, with the WC inlets and outlets that will connect to the radiators.
Box8_sm.jpg

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Got all the fan grills mounted last night.  Both rads' fans and the PSU face the side panel, and sit right against the window.  So holes were cut and the grills were attached right to the window.

 

First I marked all the holes on the window and taped off the area around the touch screen fan controller.
Window1_sm.jpg

 

Then I proceeded to cut out all the holes after taping the surface for protection. This was after I cut everything and was demasking (forgot to take the pic earlier)
Window2_sm.jpg

 

Testing the fitment of the rad grills.
Fangrills2_sm.jpg

 

After a light sanding of the grills to frost them up a bit, I mounted them to the window using spare HDD screws.
Fangrills3_sm.jpg

 

And the window back in the panel and on the case..
Fangrills4_sm.jpg

 

Looking forward to a good modding weekend ahead!  Hoping to wrap up the front panel and get the pump/res's installed with tubing.  Then it's on to wiring (ugh) 

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ahhh I see now! the PSU will sit in the middle of those in the back!! keep the pics coming!

 

I think Brian should win because of the uniqueness of this build.. the PSU Mod alone is brilliant!! (Plus, look at it! this PC will be earthquake proof!! lol)

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