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Everything posted by The_Crapman

  1. I WON!!!!!!! I still can't believe it. I've been in such a daze I even forgot to update you all. Thank you so so much to everyone who voted. Huge thanks to the sponsors for giving me this opportunity Thermaltake UK, Scan Computers UK, AMD, ASUS Republic of Gamers UK and Seagate. And a Massive thanks to everyone who's kept me sane these last few months. I really don't know what else to say. Other than thank you everyone. Hopefully I'll be back soon destroying something else with another mod. Until then Crapfans.....
  2. Last few hours to vote. Pick your favourite, vote and if you're in the UK, there's a View 51 and Toughpower 850W PSU up for grabs. https://www.scan.co.uk/shops/thermaltake-modding-challenge
  3. Gah! Should have remembered they crop the stream later. Only watched about 100 of them I still can't believe it. I just see it as something I made so it can't be that good.
  4. Had some fantastic feedback and responces from both the PC crowd and from the division community in the last few weeks. Today though, today was something else. Should start at 16:04 To not only make the Agent Highlights on the State of the Game stream, but for Hamish to set it apart as something special is just, honestly mind blowing. Thank you to everyone who's voted so far, if you haven't already please go and vote, even if you like one of the other mods and vote for them, just go and vote! UK peoples can win the same case and PSU we used in the mods! Thanks. https://www.scan.co.uk/shops/thermaltake-modding-challenge
  5. This was the start of the build, all the mods complete, it looks pretty messy but it's actually fairly organised, for me anyway. But this was the decent into sleep deprived madness. lol To prevent getting finger prints everywhere I tried wearing gloves, but when previously wearing them my hands get disgustingly sweaty, so I made some sweatbands from old socks First issue, I'd managed to damage one of the terminals in the CPU RGB extension, so I had to splice them into the controller cable. You can just see the squished terminal in the middle of the cables, took an age to figure out what the problem was as hadn't done anything with it since taking the demo rig apart 3 months ago. I thought it was the wrong connector and was trying to find ones that match up to either end before I realised what the problem was. After installing those bottom LED strips, the first and what should have been straight forward simple job was to get all the ancillary cables through the holes in the motherboard tray and get it attached. 4 hours. It took 4 hours to get the dam thing attached properly with all the cables through. The brass g1/8 fittings I was using for the LED cables should have been simply attached with a G1/8 nut that I'd bought. NOPE. The threads on the fittings were tapered and the nut didn't go up high enough to attached it securely to the tray. Joy. Rummage round in my box of crap, find a bag of smaller aviator connectors I'd bought and deemed too small, pinch the nuts which are a little oversized, but act great as washers. problem solved. It's a bit of a struggle getting the tray in position with all the cables on the lower right corner coming through and having them orientated properly, but I manage it. Start putting in the motherboard standoffs to connect it, get to the middle right one and there's a big gap that wont close properly. Very odd. Check everything over and find that my new washer solution for the fittings is too fat, hiting the original motherboard tray and stopping the new one attach properly. Everything off. Attach the fittings to the tray using cable ties, tied round the base to keep them in check. They don't form any part of structural integrity so as long as they stay put, sod it! Get the tray back on, get down to the bottom where I've drilled new holes to keep it steady and I've forgotten to attached the standoffs for them. Back off then. Attach lower stand-offs. Attempt 4. Cables in the bottom left being SUCH a PITA, takes an age to get them to play ball so I can get the lower right corner attached. get down to the bottom left, it won't go on. There's an old screw thread that protrudes from the bottom of the case that it's snagged on and wont get past it without damaging something. I know it's there, I know I've got to slide the tray round it, but with the new lower standoffs the bottom edge of the tray wont go back as far and I haven't made sure it's not past it. back off. Attempt 5. Lower right cables again ****ing me off, big time, sworn into submission after an age. Get to the last mother board standoff in the bottom middle, it's out of alignment. Everything else exerting force on the tray has shifted it enough that I can't get the thread to catch and not end up at and angle. I remove a couple next to it and file it bigger, being careful at first, but gradually lose patience and hammer the er with a bigger file, vac up the dust. 4 hours after I started the motherboard tray is finally on. It should have taken 4 minutes, not 4 hours. But it's on. Can only get better from here, right? Finally The case was ready for some actual components. Best get the motherboard ship shape with new thermal pads on the VRM and M.2 here you can see the additional detailing I did in the back, with some heavier streaks off the cable tie points and a very dirty bottom of the case, making it look like it's flowed to the drain hole. I also got the fans and verticle rad attached with the Thermaltake drainvalve underneath. Nice and simple..... Nice and simple until I realise I've left one of the temporary G1/4 port plug on the rad and it needs swapping for a proper one. I try just loosening the screws and swapping it without tasking it all off, but can't quite get it. I stop and think "you always try and do this, make 'less work' but ends up taking far longer, just take them off and do it properly." so I take the rad and fans off and swap the plug out. Can I get the rad and fans back on? Can I ########## I try the top fan first, I try the bottom fan first, I try the middle fan first! I can manage to get up to and half the screws in then just can't get it lined up for the rest. I JUST had this one, how is it not goin back on!!!??? Notice the rad is getting blocked a little by the drain port on the bottom, really weird seeing as how I attached that to the rad before installing it the first time. So I take that off, put a plug in it, it's still a real struggle to get them all on, but eventually I manage it. 1.5 hours later. ONE AND A HALF HOURS to put a rad and fan back where they had just been, but sans drain port. That is no where near fitting. Just does not compute??? Cursed I tell thee! But it's on, I get the motherboard on, looking good. Got the 3 brass fittings for the fan cables in, looking good. On the up from here. Or not. I take the siding off the rad, screw the valve into the pass-through, go to put the panel back on, won't go on. It just won't, no matter how hard I try and something is getting broken in a minute. So have to take the rad and fans off. Again. Get the rad cover sorted eventually, Rad and fans go back on without putting up too much of a fight, but it's more time lost to complete lunacy. or more likely a total lack of sleep. lol With that sorted I can get to work on the loop. My 2nd ever bent piece of hardline. It's a bit of an odd one, the pipe has to go under the 24pin cable, then up, round and back into the CPU block. I had wanted that to be more of a continual curve, but it was much harder to heat up an area of the PETG evenly than I thought. I kind of botched my way into this piece that worked, so with time not being on my side would do. The heavens opened, bringing a bit a coolness to the air that was desperately needed. Both the weather and this cable tie point reflecting my mood at the time. Tired, battered, dejected. Gotta push on. Got this long run from the bottom corner to the res done in one go, pretty pleased with that. In this pic we can also see all the fan cable down the bottom. I'd taken the stock sleeving off ages ago, as it's massive, stiff and unyielding. The plan was to sleeve it with tinned copper braid. I'd got the braiding, had a test go with a bit of wire off another fan it seemed to go ok. I checked how long I'd need the wire, snipped the connector off and cut the wire to size as I had new terminals to crimp on the wire. But because by this point I'd had about 4 hours sleep in the last 72 and I was running out of motor skills, time and patience. I just could not get the wire through the braiding, It kept on snagging on this one bit and after getting past it, just couldn't feed the wire to move up through the braiding. I had to make a call and cull the braiding. At least I could still get all the cables cut to length and it would still look better than stock. So I took out the terminals and got to crimping, or at least I would have, but a combination of my tired decrepit postman pat hands and a crimping tool not suitable for such a small terminal just could not get it crimped properly. I ended up splicing the cable back into the connector I'd cut off. Quick test with a spare psu and controller confirmed it still worked, at least I hadn't killed it. I just had to forget it, 'cable manage' as best I could and push on. Time was desperately running out. And it did. No idea where the time went. I had a little trouble with the GPU bracket I think. That's another think that's got missed in the rush. I had to cut the back off the bracket having installed a new motherboard tray and removed about 10mm of space it used to occupy. This made it fairly flimsy, so I put a new screw hole on the back left edge and made a support bracket from 1/2" aluminium angle. The support bracket comprised of 1 piece attached to the bottom fan to keep it nice and solid, with 2 vertical struts bolted in tight that the original bracket would then rest on. No GPU sag here. I got a couple more runs done, had some trouble with the small run at the front because I didn't realise they weren't level. The run from CPU out to GPU in round the back was meant to just be a solid extension, but no combination of pieces I had fit properly. I tried so many combinations of 90s, 45s and extensions. I think one fit, just, but looked absolutely ridiculous as it used about a dozen different pieces. It was also too short for a small straight piece. I had decided to tray a 45 into a 90, but offset so the angle would probably be more like 30degrees and was beyond my mental capacity at that point. I was so tired and drained I could barely stand or talk. so I just crawled off to bed and left it. Failing terribly. Needless to say I had a fair old lie in the next morning. Had to take a few to wake up and my hands to loosen up before getting back on it. First thing I notice with refreshed eyes is the the weird CPU loop has got to go. Apart from just plain looking pants, it will interfere with the GPU out loop. An afternoon later and we're done. I think the only line I didn't redo in the front was the one round the back of the GPU. I'd figured a way of using tape to help mark where the bend had to start so that when I took it away there was no doubt where that bend was going. Everything tight, level and with some nice symmetry to the runs. That front run with the little level change was daunting, but I just heated a small spot, held the bend flat to the table and pulled the end up. Fit beautifully. I gave all the fittings, o-rings and tubes a good clean and tidied up the ends, made sure there was no rough or sharp edges and got rid of the tape marks. The tight bend in the back I also ended up doing by hand as it was tighter than any of angles offered on the mandrels. Took a few goes to get it right, but by jove we did it! The keen eyed of you will see the future in this picture It's loop filling time! Non of that fancy air pressure nonsense, just good ol' fashioned tissue. Warning. The following video contains strong language and scenes of a disturbing nature. Yep, I'd left the rear drain valve open Good job it was pointing straight down next to the massive hole in the bottom of the case, so the majority of it flowed out onto the mat below and what remained inside didn't get very far or near anything shocking. After that little mishap it was plain sailing. Get it filled up no further problems, no leaks. :rock: I'd made the PSU a cagoule incase there were any "mishaps" in it's vicinity It was so close to being finished, I could feel it, like it was just over my shoulder. With no leaks overnight All the tissue could be done away with and the power cables installed. I hadn't been too sure about them until I got them in and caressed them into shape with the combs from the extension set we'd been given. Once in though, I installed all the rear cables, the top fans bracket with fans and LEDs and attached external panels, but of course forget to take any pics of that Now we have to travel back in time, way back to the 13th July for the genesis of the next feature. 1000x600mm of 1" hole galvanised steel mesh, 6m of 37mm galvanised steel angle and a bunch of corner braces to make this beast a cage! First up was cutting the mesh to size. I started with the dremel but it was slow going as the wire was so thick. The hacksaw made quick work of it however and gave cleaner tighter cuts. Typically for me, the first piece I cut I cut the wrong size, meaning there wasn't enough to make the other 2 pieces the size I wanted. luckily I could just fit 2 pieces big enough in that would still work. Next up was to cut the steel angle to size, with angled cuts where 2 pieces would meet. This was jigsaw territory, made light work of the steel. Along the bottom edge of the cage I would only need one side of the angle and small lip to cover the mesh. This was done in 3 goes with the jigsaw, moving the clamps as the cut progressed. Soon had the 9 sections needed cut out Then I started to make the sides up, joining them with the corner braces. I marked up the braces with which angle they joined with and where. This would make sure there were no -ups come assembly time when all the holes were out of alignment. Coming together nicely. When there was crossover between 2 sides on the braces, I'd keep the first side built and connected so they would sit as they would in final form. I cut out one section of braces for the lower corners, to let it fit round the case. With all sides complete it was time to start figuring out the mesh attachment, with where the bolts could go through without fouling on the mesh and drilling out the holes. The mesh would be attached using 1.5-2" sections of the angle made from the offcuts. These were then drilled out with holes to match the main pieces (with mesh in place of course). These were all individually marked on both pieces so there was no mistaking what went there. With everything marked up the wazoo, there was nothing left top chance and it was time to construct. Nothing could go wro...... Oh, the bolts I've got aren't long enough. So with 32 pieces cut and 102 holes drilled that was as far as I could go. Fast forward 2 weeks and I had the new longer bolts, it was assembly time. This was done on the shed floor, which was so, so uncomfortable. Quite painful even. I'm not currently formatted for floor work. lol But he got built! And to even my surprise it was pretty darn sturdy Bit of JB Weld used as locktite and you could actually use it to keep things safe That was it. Everything was built. Everything was finished. All I had to do was put the cage on and.... it doesn't fit. I had done all my test fittings without the side window hinges on the case and they interfered with the back edge of the cage. I could probably have cut a couple of notches in it, but by this point I was at the end of my tether, so I lopped the entire back edge off. At least it now fit! ha ha Oh yeh and at some point I'd attached a staple loops to the top and front. another thing I forgot to document. There's probably more, but who knows? lol So that was it. I was finally finished. there had been some absolute nightmarish, soul destroying mishaps and moments in the last few days. I was so, so tired, my body was crying and I was emotionally drained. But at least it was finished and I could get on with the video. I had taken some pics with the case on when I first finished, but then realised the cage had red pen all over it. So had turned it off and given it a good clean before getting those pics above. I took the cage off and then thought "I should probably get some pics of the pc on with the clean cage". So I put the cage went back on, back on go the locks and.... Taking the key out of the last lock and the barrel just comes out with it. It just had to **** with me one last time. I was absolutely distraught. How am I going to get this off? Anything I do to cut it is just going to send shards of steel everywhere, I can't take the cage apart, it dam near killed me making it in the first place. Resigned to taking the cage apart, find I've built it too well and it's not going anywhere. Fall onto floor crying. Like i said at the beginning, it's been a difficult 2 years. lol Luckily a few folk here and elsewhere talked me down and helped me to the realisation that I could cover it up with something and cut carefully and I should be fine. So Here's the after shot. You get a good view of the staple and also the mesh I put in the top panel that i forgot to take any pics of or record in any way. I don't do rushed. lol And the cage and case survived! One last little snippet, the test tube contents. For those who don't know, The Division series is set in a time when a genetically engineered flu has been released. All the test tubes contain samples of things you'd find in the game. Fro Right to left: 1) Green Poison - the virus unleashed in New York on Black Friday using contaminated money, which is why it's also know as the 'Dollar Flu'. This isThermaltake P1000 pastel green coolant 2) E. Shaw's Blood Sample - Emeline Shaw is the head of one of the enemy factions know as The Outcasts. Emeline is an asymptomatic carrier and upon her downfall (at your hand), it is said that they can use a sample of her blood to help develop a cure. This is made from Paprika and water. 3) DC-62 - an anti-viral agent that was released in the worst contaminated areas, however in extreme cold temperatures, the DC-62 changed and became toxic and as deadly as the virus itself. These quarantined contaminated areas form the games 'Dark Zone' PvP areas. You sometimes get dust storms of DC-62 in the games weather patterns. This is made from dry turmeric, as the DC-62 in the game is also a powder 4) Anti-viral sample - in a secret underground lab in DC, scientists had been working on an anti-viral to combat the Green Poison. This was stolen by President Ellis and given to the Black Tusk, a paramilitary group trying to take over America, to whom he defects. You get back the sample of the anti-viral after defeating Milla "Wyvern" Radek at the end of the Black Tusks Styronghold mission 'Tidal Basin'. This is just some distilled water. Now the moment you've all been waiting for, the final glory shots. These were all taken right after I finished, so they may not be as spot on as they could be. There are so many angles I could cover, so many details to pick out, I may well take some more when I've tackled tidying the room. Until then, enjoy the pics and don't forget to vote for me in the competition! Size Warning - All these pics will be posted in original size without hyperlinks you can enlarge them to your hearts content. :thumb: That's all for now folks. All that's left is for you to go and vote! People in the UK could win the same case and PSU used in the mod too. Thanks to everyone who's helped and supported me throughout the process. Hopefully I'll recover from the emotional trauma soon and be back with a new project. Until then crapfans!
  6. On the 15th July, someone on another forum commented "wow great start". I thought that was a bit cheeky given how much work I'd put in so far, little did I know he wasn't wrong and the next 2 weeks would descend into chaotic #### I can only now talk about without being reduced to tears. It's been a difficult couple of years, today (7th Aug at time of writing) should have been my wedding day, but instead I'll make do with cricket commentary and build logs. As a sign of just how right WarBoys was, the following and final log has had to be split into 2 parts! At this stage I was doing about 5 things at once and I could tell the story in actual chronological order, but it would be like a reverse Tarantino and would just be a bit of a mess. Instead I've tried to pluck out threads of parts from the chaos and form some sort of orderly fashion. There are little things that may be missed, but it will make a heck of a lot more sense and at this stage, such was my urgency that I started to forget to take pictures of entire processes. If you have any questions just ask. Lets start with the cables. I shown you I'd started on them previously, having measured the required lengths, cut then crimped. Next up was to start the process of getting them soldered to the female side of the aviator connectors. This would be done in the comfort of the front room. lol First job was to get a good blob of solder on the terminals of the connectors. All 13 done and I was pretty pleased with the job I'd done seeing as how I was a soldering noob. As usual I had my little mod mate Ralph at my heals supervising. Then I stripped the other end of the wires and tinned them. Once tinned, I could hold the wire to the soldered terminal and heat with the iron to melt the 2 together. Had to be careful to get the natural curvature of the wire in the right direction. There were also 3 different length of wire for the 24pin and EPS lines, so had to be careful to solder the right length to the right terminal too. I labelled them all too to make sure they then went to the right motherboard connector. You may have noticed that there are 2 white wires standing out, being used for one of the longer GPU connectors. This is just one of the 'dramas' that befell me in the wiring saga. My original plan, from the design submitted for the competition, was to have the cables bundled inside steel braiding, the type you often see around hoses in an engine bay. I'd already got a sample of it for a proof of concept, but the pandemic dried up all sources of the braiding by itself without paying astronomical prices, postage and then likely import tax to get it from the states. Next I turned to braided shielding 4 core cable, but the thinnest core cable I could get was too thick for the aviator connectors, as was the 18AWG wire I got from pexon. Luckily I had this orange wire I'd bought ages ago when I had orange coolant in my personal rig that was still "18AWG", but just a smidge thinner than the Pexon and had a silicon sheathing that would give a bit more and just fit. However, in the process of figuring out the correct lengths required for all the connectors, some stripper mishaps and just plain bad measuring on my part, I'd ended up just 2 lengths short so had to use the pexon wire. This also meant changes to how the 6pin PCIE connector would be wired, for 2 sets of 3 to 1 set of 4 and 1 set of 2. This would probably work out for the best as I could pull the 2 slightly thicker wires in between the 8pin and the other 6pin wires. Not that you can even tell in the end result. Next up were the rear cables to connect up the PSU to the male aviator connectors. First job was working out which terminals on the PSU went to which terminal of the 24pin. This was not as straight forward as I was hoping, the layout is nowhere near the same and there were 4 terminals on the motherboard side that had 2 cables from the PSU. After a double check and a reverse check, I attempted to remove the cables from the PSU connectors to reuse them, waste not want recycling and all that. Only they would not budge. I couldn't get them out for love nor money so there was only one thing for it, chop of the 24in and use the existing cables! After labelling each cable for where it went in the 24pin, I bundled then into there aviator connector groups and got to work splicing the doubles together. I managed to not take any pictures of the sleeving and soldering of rear cables and I didn't get any pictures of the GPU or EPS process. This is probably due to the difficulty I had in getting into a reasonably comfortable position. I needed the case next to me as I needed to get the lengths right and the orientation and twist on the wires would play a big part. As the rear section would be a horrid dank and dirty affair, the last thing i wanted was pristine sleeving and cable combs, so the cables would need to be able to hold themselves inside the grey SATA sleeving I'd be using. I went from the desk upstairs, to the dining table to the sofa to upstairs to dining table and finally, made a soldering den on the floor of the lounge. In the end they came out alright, despite the trials and tribulations of their production. The poor old soldering iron had taken a beating too. With the main rear section cables complete, It was time to finished the front section with some nifty sleeving in the 'The Division' colours of Black, White and Orange. Heatshrinked at both ends to keep it from going anywhere as I'd had to keep it short and tight to fit it through the covers on the aviator connectors. Was pretty tricky slipping them on, had to put 2 cables through first, then slip the 3rd in in the tiny space between the other 2. The 4th was an ordeal, having to get the other 3 cables exactly where they should be, pull the 4th into position where you could just get the terminal through, then grab hold of all 4 and pull the cover down. Then there was a tricky twist at the end to lock it in. There was really very little room for manoeuvre once on and if they weren't in the right place once on it'd have to come off for another go. Then I only had the motherboard connectors to fit, just push it in... just push it in... push...... in....... nope. They're not going in. I'd given the ends a quick blast with the lighter to prevent fraying whilst being pushed on. That slight bump from the melted sleeve plus heatshrink was just too much to push in for most of them. At this point it was 4 in the morning. I was distraught at the thought of having to take all the sleeving off and start again, with no idea for how to avoid fraying the ends. So I took myself off to bed to try again the next morning. At this point (23rd July) my body was already suffering badly from having to step up my work volume. This was how much I could clench my hand in the morning when I first woke up. After a coffee or 2 it was back to the sleeving. I worked out that I could get the tip of a knife of tweezers under the heatshrink to loosen it and allow me to pull it back to insert the terminal into the connector then release it and it would jut up nicely against the connector. I still had quite a difficulty getting a couple in having to try and grab the very end with needle nose pliers to push it in. I eventually worked out the the crimping wasn't quite as tight as it should have been (likely due to my cheap ebay crimper or using slightly the wrong size). A quick squeeze with the pliers and they were slimmed up and slid in fine, still catching well inside the connector. Finished! With the cables pretty much sorted, lets look at some pretty metalwork. I didn't want to leave the rads as great swathes of black, so got some stainless steel louvres to cover them with. The louvres are only 90-100m wide, but a good 10mm deep so will still give plenty of ventilation. As the thin rad would be being placed under the case as exhaust, it would probably improve the performance, directing airflow out to the back of the case instead of straight down into the desk. I couldn't get any the right size, so some chopping would be in order. Such an awkward shape to get a cutting device in there. being stainless steel it would eat Dremel wheels for breakfast, so it would have to be the Jigsaw. After cutting the panel in 2 and trimming some from what was the outer edge, I had to decide how I'd arrange the louvres. For the thick rad that's going in the vertical slot, I didn't want a louvre right at the bottom edge as it might interfere with the fans for the bottom rad and other things going on in the bottom of the case. This would then be attached by 1" aluminium angle (in the background) As if it was meant to be, the aluminium angle sat perfectly against the louvres, keeping them nice and central. The thinner rad is also not as wide, so used half inch angle instead. You might see the holes for the screws are, well, rubbish Don't ask me what was going on, just went a bit measurement blind. With the protective plastic off, the alu angle cleaned up and some chrome screws with brass washers, you can't even tell and it looks so good. The motherboard tray and rad surround got brushed up and a rub down with WD40 to both protect and bring out the shine. Not that you can tell from the terrible picture. (light, dam it man! ) Thermaltake make a massive variety of fittings and adapters in all sorts of colours. I had wanted some that were a straight 90 and combined fitting for the front, rather than the slightly bulkier adapter plus a fitting. Unfortunately with supplies cut off from COVID, I could only get them in black. But where there's a will (and a Dremel) there's a way. With the black paint removed by way of an abrasive wheel, it revealed the beautiful solid brass body beneath. With a very warn wheel, where there was a solid core, I was able to remove the indented lines to make it a bit more solid looking. The line didn't look right with the brass and really improved the 'OEM' feel to the final result. Just beautiful With a lot of ancillaries done lets turn our intention back to the case. First up was the front IO panel and the corresponding strip across the top of the case. These received a strip of the mild steel used for the internal panels, but with the crap beaten out of it, plus I'd removed most of the plastic ventilation holes in preperation for it's replacement mesh. I also put in a couple of holes for the obligatory anti-vandal switches. But not without drilling them too high and running into clearance issues internally A bit of dremel action solved that. As for the main case, it had had some damage beat into it in brutal fashion, but it still needed a fair bit of work to achieve the look I wanted. The first stage happened entirely by accident. I'd moved the case with some JB Weld on my hands from the parts I'd just glued and it had rubbed off onto the case. At first I was annoyed but after a bit more rubbing, it actually looked pretty good, an added dirt effect. So I went over the case with the leftover glue, just to give it a light smudge of dirt. Next up was some proper paints: AK's rust streaks and dark yellow enamel wash. Their application was far from 'proper' though, using a combination of old paper towels and scotch pads to apply and remove paint till there was a uneven base coat inside. You can see some new holes that have been drilled in the top right, more on those later Externally was more about highlighting the damaged metal with rust spots, as well as general grubbiness. It was tricky to get them on and looking "right" having to apply and remove quite a few times till it looked good. I also attached some aluminium extruded mesh to the vents and aged that up with paint too. After that first pass had dried properly I went back to further accentuate with more rust and some run-off streaks. Internally I layered it up in the corners and creases where dust and debris would collect. Next up for the "dirtification" was the internal components. First the PSU which I also removed some of the paint from the corners and edges using a needle file, followed closely by the vaccum. lol Labels and panel covering would also get roughed up before getting some paint on using a sponge, as well as the pump/res. I still needed to do a bit of cable work in the back. Firstly the SATA power, which was trimmed down and a connector removed in between the 2 I needed. I pulled the cable apart and applied some electrical tape where that connector had been. With those and the pump cables all sleeved they looked far to clean to be living back there. Much better The power and reset switches would also need similar treatment. Seeing as though they would pop out in the front sectionm to connect to the motherboard, I sleeved the end section like the power cables and swapped the 2 seperate 4pin connectors into 1 8pin for neatness and simplicity. The CPU and GPU block RGB cables got re-sleeved to. I may be making them look a mess on purpose, but they'll be a purposeful custom mess! Next on the agenda we have the case feet, and I figured plastic case feet wouldn't have made it, so would be replaced with 1"x!!x1/8" thicccccc aluminium U channel and attached and supported by some heavy M16 threaded action This meant some big holes in the bottom of the case, a couple of which needed some additional "amendments" to allow the bolts to sit on the bottom properly. Finished off with some dome nuts for extra lift and to provide breathing room for the bottom rad. I also stripped the paint from the bottom and rear panels inside the front chamber with an abrasive wheel and wire wheel. This was much more difficult than anticipated. I had wanted to dismantle the case to allow decent access for painting and paint removal, but with a month getting knocked off the build time and not wanting to weaken the case too much. It was so awkward getting into the corners and other nooks and crannies. Next up a nifty little piece I knocked up that's purely for aesthetics and for the theme of the build, but also happens to feature some nice chunks of metal. A test tube holder! The longer piece of angle sits on the bottom preventing the test tubes falling out and also has holes drilled into it so it can be attached to a fan to keep it secure and upright. This is the kind of thing that happens when you're tired, rushing and not paying attention. Dropped my drill on a can of cutting lube, narrowly avoiding taking the resulting explosion to the face and reacted quickly enough to chuck it out of the shed to stop it spraying over everything. It also broke my only 3.3mm bit used for M3 bolt holes. Now while there will be 9 LED fans in the case, their LEDs will be more used for a decorative theming purpose, rather than illumination. There's going to be a lot of features and highlights, so I'll be using 6 high SMD LED strips in the case. 4 bright white in the fron, 2 warm white in the back. They'll be mounted in aluminium LED housing, these 2 for the top of the case have been drilled and bolted in. The ones for the front panel would need to be re-sleeved. The first one I did had got some glue in the sleeving and I ended up pulling out one of the wires Time to put my new found soldering skills to the test. It was attached, but would it work? Like Lazarus! The LED strips to be put in the bottom were sleeved in grey to fit the metallic scheme Bit of heavy duty double sided tape and they were stuck fast to the newly manicured interior. You can also see the brass G1/8 fittings I'd be using as pass-through ports for the cables. The top LEDs I sleeved in white to match the fan mount, which had been left intact to help with the illumination. But what's that PCB at the back of the case? If you remember the new holes in the back, they're for a PCI bracket fan controller which I'll use to adjust the brightness of the LEDs In amongst the chaos and calamity, there were of course moments where things just came together and worked, like the LED control which at one point I had a dreaded feeling was genuine 4pin pwm control, but thankfully cheap chinesium rules applied and it was in fact voltage controlled. Another was the VERY close proximity of motherboard tray to upper fan bracket and the LED strip to the EPS cables. so many measurements coming together to fit perfectly. Something I'd had on the to do list for quite some time but for one reason or another had put off, was getting the custom graphics etched into the glass panels. The guys at 4D Model Shop had done a fantastic job with the vinyls and I was so glad I paid the extra to have them do the weeding. I'd marked 3 lines on the masking tape alignment marker and the back of the vinyl to make sure I got it in the right place, which was off-centered thanks to the asymmetrical frame. I gave it a good squeegeeing to remove any bubbles from the edges, there were a few in the middle but nothing damaging. The etching process was fairly straight forward. I started the timer from when I'd finished applying, giving it a bit of a dab about with the brush at 1.5 min and 3.5 min mark and then began to remove it after 5 mins. When removing it, it seemed to have taken quite well then i wiped with a wet cloth and seemingly just wiped it completely off It turned out it was fine, they is a layer that gets a little attached, but once wiped and rinsed you're left with the etched surface of the glass, which needs to dry a minute to see the full effect. Came out perfect! As did the others They were then glued back into their prospective frames. Please forgive the local and backdrop, it was the only place left large enough to house them all. lol You may also notice a small strip of alu angle on the bottom edge of the front window. The foot section housed the bottom lip for the glass and this was a quick fix to prevent any slippage, not that there probably would have been given all the glue I'd used. lol
  7. Project ISAC is finished! It has been a hectic last couple of weeks to say the least, I've barely had time to eat or sleep, so for now you'll have to make do with the final competition video, but I'll be back with the final update log and plenty of pics in the next few days. I'd really appreciate it if you'd vote for me in the competition, the link to which is below. Thank you to everyone who's stopped by, commented and offered support and guidance of the last few months. I'm off to raid the liquor cabinet VOTE HERE (note that once on the scan website competition page, you'll have to hit the 'vote now' button to take you to a gleam page that's rather large. you'll need to scroll down a fair bit to log in and then the actual voting bit is the 10th gleam entry down)
  8. Ahoy hoy Mod fans! A working week since the last update, quite a lot of that time has been spent on a rather large piece of work that I can't show just yet. 32 pieces measured and cut, 102 holes drilled, come to construct it and one of the 2 types of bolt I'm using was too short Just 2mm longer and would have been fine. But new bolts should be arriving in the next day or 2. That's what I've been working on in the shed during the day, but in the evening I've been working on case internals, especially the wiring. Seems even my tools are Division themed First off are the 36 motherboard cables for the front section, which are all going to be pretty darn short. Then the GPU cables, which have a path even Lewis Hamilton would struggle with. You can also see the loop starting to take shape and 2 nifty little brass ball valves that will be being used. I was very lucky as the 18AWG wire I got from Pexon is too thick to fit into the GX16 connectors, but luckily I had that orange wire got just before the comp when I was planning something with my own rig. Had just enough to get all the front section wires, apart from 1 of the GPU wires, came up just 1 inch short. So the 6 pin connectors will get 2 orange and 1 white and will hopefully be able to hide the thicker wire in between all the others. There's also been lots of other little fabrication and case work been done. Knocked out these brackets, which you may tell from the treacherous proximity of the countersunk holes to the edge and hastily shortened bolts wasn't quite fully thought through. But they work And now you can see the reason for the deep scoring on that 2nd PSU mount cover. There will eventually be something a little more secure than just a thumbscrew to hold the cover in place The pump/res is going to be mounted on top of a shoggy sandwich to kill vibrations and noise, but I can't just plank a fat wedge of foam under it and call it a day, so I made a housing for it and got it glued and clamped, but it's still in the shed curing. I might put some holes in the side as the orange and black of the foam fit the colour scheme and a few round holes will make the alu angle look a bit more structural. As the THICC 360 rad will be going in the front chamber and fan in the rear, I needed to make a 30mm hole for it's drain-port and Thermaltake's brilliant rotating drain valve. As well as that there have been a few minor modifications made to the case here and there. I cut out the last rung of the vertical rad support as it wasn't going to be used and was in the way of the pass-through section. A couple of cable tie points needed to be Dremeled off as they got in the way of things, few other holes for cable routing and such and I modded the GPU support bracket to cope with it's decreased living space, but forgot to take any pics. There will be plenty later don't worry Also needed to put in a few more holes to the new motherboard tray, mostly along the bottom edge. 4 small holes for it to be screwed into the original tray and keep the lower edge steady, 4 larger holes for cable pass-throughs. There's also a couple of holes will sit behind the motherboard itself for a little sneaky sneaky cable management That's all for this update folks. A lot of the work being done now with the cables and everything is just very fiddly and awkward and visually very unimpressive. Hopefully have something very soon for you that is. As it's now so far into crunch time that I've no teeth left, I might just pop in with the odd pic here and there. T-minus 7 days 7hours 7 minutes....... Until then Crap fans, stay tuned! Same Crap time, same Crap channel.
  9. Gooood Moooorning Modding faaaaaaans! These regular updates are becoming a terrible habit After the previous days eye drama I'd had to finish early, so there were bits that needed removing from the original motherboard tray to make room for the power cables. So, first thing was to mark them up and cut them out. I started using my jigsaw, but the spaces were too tight, so I knew it was time to break the newest member of the Makin modding family, the new Dremel! (Whoof whoof!) No not you Dremel, the other Dremel, this one. (Whimper ) Don't be sad boy, I'll take you modding later. With those sections cut out there'd be plenty of room for the aviator connectors. I'll probably need to have a couple more cut outs for front panel connections etc, but I'll wait till I've had a chance to play with the layout before making any decisions on those. Need to cover up the rad section with the steel sheet too as although just stripping the paint off the original probably wouldn't have looked too bad, there were a few too many holes in it. Got the sheet cut to size and then marked out all the hole positions to see what would need removing. I removed the middle section where air would flow through and where the rad would be screwed into the rad, but the rad would still sit on the steel so you wouldn't see any gaps, plus a little window for a fitting to pass through from the rad to the rear chamber. It fit great, but I had trouble with the lip around the large hole round the top stopping it fit flush. I had considered leaving that and trying to remove material from the steel sheet piece, but the easiest thing was to remove the lip. (the action you saw in the short video clip) It all fit together beautifully. I drilled out another 20mm hole for a pass-through, at the bottom right of the rad. I'd had problems with the sheet sitting flush into the lip at the front of the case, so I'd also drilled a few holes through the sheet to line up with existing case holes. I could then screw to 2 together and keep it in place nice and tight. With all the power and watercooling holes cut into it, I can get to work on the wiring and plumbing. That will probably be an evening job while I work on other little projects in the shed during the day :naughty:. That's all for now folks, but I'm sure to be back soon. Same Crap time, same Crap channel. Until then Crapfans.
  10. Ahoy hoy modderinos Back once again for the renegade master, wait, no, for another episode of Project ISAC. You know how I should the tray fit nice and snug? Yeh well a little 2 snug, it needed a few mm trimmed off the edge as well as a couple of notches put in for where to top rad hole has a lip. This took far longer than I thought, even with the rough cut file, it's likely down to me not having very good technique as I'd do a couple of strokes that would take a lot off, then apparently nothing would be removed for the next 5 mins Probably made harder by the difficulty in clamping it to something solidly. Also had to take a smidge out the corner to go over where the rad mount is fixed to then floor. With the tray now sitting properly flat I could get to work on planning, measuring and marking out where the pass-through holes for the water and main power cables. This took quite some time as things didn't quite line up as I'd previously thought, so the loop needed a re-think. What I'd previously been planning for the power cables got scuppered when covid dried up my supply and 'plan b' turned out to not be viable either. Rather than passing the cables through holes I'll be using aviator connectors, this will separate the front and back nicely though and their different styles/themes. Even once the overall layout and design was set, it took quite a while to get everything exactly right, particularly with the aviator connections as I'd have to make sure the thin hex nut that fixes them in place has room to turn, while also trying to get them as close together and lining up with the connections on the motherboard. As they're quite small and light they'd have a tendency to shoot off at the slightest nudge. In the end I had to stick them down with blu tack, but that made adjusting their positions harder. A lot of faff, but it was important to get these positions and measurements spot on. Ever seen a GPU backplate with a 6-pack? Well now you have I had planned on getting into those lines with a wire brush wheel, but when I saw how awesome it looked after the initial pass with the abrasive wheel, I had to keep it. I punched and then drilled out all the holes with a 4mm bit to start off with. Once they were done, I took the tape off so it didn't interfere with the next steps and marked what size hole was needed next to them. I also put a cross through the motherboard mounting holes, just to make sure there wasn't a mix up, as that's exactly the kind of ####-up I'd make Particularly for the 24pin holes, I wouldn't be able to get the drill in from the back of the sheet because it would bump into the bent-up section, so I had to do it from the front. Took an age to get a configuration that worked, trying different combinations of my odd bits of wood propping it up trying to get it to rest on top of the workmate, when all it took was hanging it over the edge and 1 piece on the rails. First I widened them all the just under half an inch with a step bit with lots of increments, which helped keep them all in check and in line. Then It was time for the big boy I'd be taking it up to 5/8", so marked the 11/16 in red so I knew when to put the brakes on. Like a glove I was using cutting lubricant to stop the step bit trying to grab on and dig in too much, kept the swarf fairly neat for the clean-up. Pretty happy with the first set. The last hole has strayed off a little, but you can only really notice up close and once it's got the connectors and wires over them it won’t be noticeable. People probably wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't pointed it out After drilling out the holes for PCI and EPS power, now it was time for the G1/4 pass-throughs, for which I'd bought this 20mm hole cutter specially. Get some interesting patterns of swarf in the saw after cutting. One looked like a christmas tree! After that I deburred and cleaned up and holes and then had to cut some out of the bottom of the case. Now I always where my safety specs, but I hadn't been wearing any other face protection while cutting and sanding most of the time and had seen some horrid sights while blowing my nose, so I'd been careful today and worn a mask. While cutting with my jigsaw something shot out, hit the face mask and ricocheted under the safety glasses and into the corner of my eye Luckily, it was one of those moments where everything seems to slow down (like some sort of danger activated Max Payne-esque bullet time) and I'd seen whatever is was flying towards me and managed to get my eye shut in time. Still stung like a #### though. I rushed off to the house and checked my eye for any damage or debris which there didn't seem to be. I thought my contact lens out and rinsed my eye with the contact lens cleaning drops I have. Seems I had very lucky escape, especially as it was the left one, which is my dominant eye. WARNING - Eyeball closeup With my eye cleansed and calmed, I grabbed the goggles from my mayhems blitz kit and quickly finished off the cut and tidied it a little. My reaction to being struck in the eye had caused the cut to go a deeper than intended, but it shouldn't matter too much. I'd had just about enough and my nerves were still pretty shook as I hastily filed and sanded any rough edges from the case and called it a day. Really please how the holes came out, all bang on bar that one, which is really tricky with a hand drill and an aggressive chunky step bit, especially in such a tough material. Obviously there still some more to come out of the case for the PCI and EPS power cables, but that can wait till my hands stop shaking. That's all for now folks. Be sure to stay tuned for another episode of "What Andy maimed next" Same Crap time, same Crap channel.
  11. Ahoy hoy techerinos! Time for an update already? Yes Ralph, in the first attempt at mini updates (that may or may not be mini in size), yesterday’s work seemed as good a point as any to pop in some progress. The original plan was to measure and drill out all the pass-through holes before bending, but having seen from the GPU shroud how much difficulty a hole added to bending I thought it best to get that done first. So first up was scoring a bend line in, which was really hard work in the "mild" steel. I was almost tempted to get the Dremel out, but the chances of cutting right through would be too high. After a few little sessions I got what I thought would be deep enough, it's only 0.9mm thick after all. Dodgy Bending Break Mark1. I have 1"x1" aluminium angle in the workmate jaws, quick-grip clamps holding 2 galvanised steel angle pieces onto the sheet as well as acting as arms to bend. It got a small bend in but the clamps quickly hit the surface of the workmate and it would go no further. This is why I had originally wanted a Black and Decker one where you could make one of the pieces vertical for clamping on top of the other. Would have made this so much easier. I also hadn't positioned the steel pieces very well and the bend hadn't formed on the score line properly, with the tray bending with it. To correct this, I clamped the 2 steel angles to it, making sure they were right on that line, then used a G clamp to force them together and straighten it out. Actually worked very well Dark clouds drew in and started emptying on the shed, so I had to close the doors to. This left it very dark inside so I had to come up with a lighting solution to get more of the shed lit up. Dodgy Bending Break Mark2. Sheet flat on the workmate, but the workmate bows in the middle so a flatter piece had to be put on top, steel angle over the edge to strengthen it. Then another steel angle over the top of the sheet with a piece of wood across to try and make the pressure more uniform. Then a piece of steel angle either side of the part to be bent up, secured with 2 grip clamps and the G clamp holding it in the middle. But the steel angle just isn't thick or strong enough and the sheet I'm bending start deforming where there's no clamping as soon as I start putting pressure on it. Dodgy Bending Break Mark 2.1. It surprisingly worked ok, but again the score line didn't really assist the bend much. You can see there's a decent amount taken out, so Thankfully the old G clamp squeeze came to the rescue and flattened it out nicely. I got the file back into the groove to take out a little more material, see if we couldn't get the bend to behave and then lay it down to contemplate my next move. And then it hit me Use the jaws of the workmate to put the squeeze on it and get it bent that last bit. Dodgy Bending Break Mark 3. Aluminium angle on the jaws (I know it's softer than the steel but it has a nice sharp clean edge), sheet placed with groove on the edge of the alu, 2 steel angles and a wood beam clamped over the top. I slowly turned the screws and got it evened up and slightly tensioned, then began tightening them up properly. It went ok at first. When it started getting really tough, I’d have to do one handle at a time with both hands, it required the kind of strength I just don't have at the minute so took a while with having to break often. I'd tighten it as much as I could, then slack off a little, then tighten it back up, sometimes offering a little "encouragement" from the hammer on either the beam across the top or the sides of the workmate. Eventually it was pretty dam closed and just wouldn't budge. The piece was really good and squished in the jaws, the top was a little rounded and not properly flush, so with a small piece of wood and the hammer I beat the edge into it as best I could. Ended up pretty decent And fits nice and snug with room for the thick 360. Short(ish) and sweet today, but be sure to catch the next episode. Same Crap time, same Crap channel.
  12. Ahoy hoy Crapfans! Despite telling myself that I'd update more often I just don't like showing stuff before it's finished, but the end result today is worth the wait. So, remember that big package? It contained a sheet of mild steel, 1000mmx600mmx0.9mm. It's a heft beast, you don't appreciate how light aluminium is until you start working with steel. Getting this first piece cut was quite an ordeal, having to try and balance it with one hand and cut with the jigsaw with the other hand. Was much easier when I got the first cut in and it fit on the workbench properly. Now I had thought that the corners of the piece that came would be nice and square, but they were slightly out so my piece ended up a bit off and needed some careful adjustments. Filing the 0.9mm steel was a lot tougher than the 2mm alu too, was really hard going and took 2 days to get it finished, but finally had a nice square piece exactly 360x460 Which will be a new motherboard tray and pass-through plate. This bottom left corner has a bit of a tricky profile to it, which meant the sheet wouldn't sit flush. At least until I gave it the profile to match This sheet isn't replacing the original motherboard tray, as that provides a lot of the rigidity and support for the case. To attach the new one, I'll be drilling the motherboard mounting holes through it, then sitting it on top of the original motherboard mounts and #### the new one's into them. To get the hole positions I clamped the trays together, used a Sharpie to put a mark where the hole was and a centre punch to scribe the centre. With the hole positions marked out it was time for drilling. I started with a 2mm hole so I could check the positioning and adjust the hole for any errors in either the marking or drilling. There were a couple that were a bit off, but I was able to pull them back to the correct position with a round needle file and then my 6" smooth cut round file, also using them to enlarge the rest until they were all 3.5mm and centred. To give me more room for the fittings, tubing and cables I took out the original cable holes out with my Dremel. Sadly, when removing the lip on the motherboard tray it attached to, my Dremel died But at least he died doing what he loved best, destroying cases Now with the motherboard and CPU block having new custom armour, the clear plexi block would look a little vulnerable so... Getting the design sorted was such a faff. it was just small enough to fit onto an A4 sheet of paper. "Brilliant" I thought, "I can make the design in SketchUp and print it out so it's nice and accurate ". Could I get it to print out properly scaled? Could I heck. Spent ages searching for how to guides, none of which worked when I tried. Sod it, I'll just draw it, but at least I can set the Division 2 logo size in paint.net and print that properly...... Nope. That wanted to play silly-beggars too. I ended up putting the picture into word and setting it's size using the margin ruler to get the right size printed. I glued the paper to the sheet of alu I'd be using, drew the pattern onto it by hand, cut out an 80mmx80mm square with my Stanley knife for the logo and glued that in. First up I drilled out the outer circle using a 3.5mm bit. In hindsight I should have used a 3mm bit as the 3.5mm didn't leave much room for error, of which there were a few I had planned on filing that out before doing anything to the '2', but luckily I realised if I did that, there would be very little holding it in placed when drilling and filing, so that got drilled out too and was the first bit to be filed. Came out just perfectly Here you can see where the drill has strayed over, so annoying, but I should be able to work it in ok. The circle was MUCH tougher to do than the '2', with such a small space to work in. I'd increased the size of the 2 from the original design so you'd be able to see more of the block through it. It was easier than trying to get the circle thicker, but I wish I'd spent a bit more time trying to get the circle thicker. Still looks great though and good to finally have something Division related going into the mod. With the logo pretty much done it was time to get the rest of the shape out. In no time I had it filed out and stripped the paper off. I needed to get a better look at the circle and see what needed doing. The 2 looks perfect though, just needs the burrs on the edges taking off. Couldn't resist getting it on the block for sneak peek. It wasn't till I was doing my morning download of pics that I realised I'd forgotten to file out the gap for the power connectors Had to redraw the pattern on the metal and hope I'd filed the rest accurately enough not to put the measurements out. Soon had the gap done though and afterwards I set to work tidying it all up. I did some work on the circle to smooth and even it out and deburred it all. I'd also started work on trying to sand out all the little pock marks where I'd got a little "overenthusiastic" with the needle file I'd also filed a small bevel around the edge of the piece to soften it up. Much MUCH sanding and brushing later... I hadn't been able to remove the pock marks entirely, let’s just call them battle damage Still looks Now it was time to make it a shell. I used my square files to cut a grove in the sheet to make the bends cleaner and easier. No bending brake here. Just some steel grips for my workbench and a bit of brute force. What I hadn't accounted for was that the hole for the power cables making that section very tricky (and unwilling) to bend. There may have been a hammer involved The tab on the side didn't go smoothly either, I hadn't removed enough material for the bend to go 90degrees, so I had to bend it back to file some more out then try bending again. This unfortunately led to stress fractures forming on the edge, might be able to do something about them, will have to research that. If anyone has any tips that'd be much appreciated. You might just be able to make out the be able to make out the errant edge here. Hopefully I can smooth it out, maybe a light hammer tap and a sand? It doesn't look bad though Now I was going to end the update here, but then this morning I thought, why not put everything together for a few shots? I'm going to try and gets updates out more regularly, every couple of days in the morning when I have a bit of time in between my morning physio that gets me moving again, along with a Columbia's worth of coffee So stay tuned Crapfans! Same Crap time, same Crap channel. Until next time..... (*larger expandable pics)
  13. It's Friday, it's deadly hot outside, my shed is now a kiln and I've got a broken tooth throbbing away. That can only mean one thing...... UPDATE TIME!!!!! Seems like forever since last time, so much has happened, so many ups and downs, there's a whole load of pictures so I'll try and keep it brief. Maybe..... So we left off with the cpu block cover cut, bevelled and a little sanding done, but a lot more needed to be done to finish it off. I strapped some 400grit sandpaper to a piece of furniture board and went to town. Came out pretty nice. Then moved down to 600 grit, this time with the piece stuck to the wood and the sandpaper on a block. I had finished off and then managed to scratch it again So annoyed with myself, but it would likely need refinishing after the next step, need to crack on. I wanted to try and get a polished look on the bevel, at least have it smooth and shinier than the face. so I dry sanded it with 600 grit, then 1200 grit, then wet sanded with 1200. Next up came the polishing wheel, I'd do about 1/4 of the edge at a time, then rotate it 1/8 so it overlapped well. Used some smurf #### polishing compound with it. Managed to get it looking pretty nice, some of the polishing had slipped onto the face, but I was expecting that to happen and would be dealt with in a final sanding of the face. Once again I strapped paper to the flat board (600 this time), this way I figured the 2 flat surfaces together would just do the face and not the bevel. Whilst I was able to sand the face without the bevel getting scratched, it wasn't sanding evenly, very odd. I thought it might be the janky way I'd stuck the paper down, so I'd go back down to 400 to even it up but I had ran out, as had the 2 Screwfix, a Toolstation, B&Q and Wickes that were local to me. Whilst waiting for replenishment of sandpaper I had lots to do on the motherboard piece. First off was to take some of the back out where this cap was. Back to the makeshift milling machine! Didn't have too much drama milling it out, had one little wobble, but I gave it regular squirts from the metal cutting lubricant and it smoothed out. Very nice. But does it fit? Sure does! Now I had to tackle the big fan hole, couldn't leave that open and bare. Some nice brass mesh might sit well in there. I clamped the armour down with the hole over the gap in the workmate and pushed the mesh into the hole, first with the hammer head face, then using the screwdrivers bit holder to push it into the edge. Voila! Now it was time to tackle the finishing on the front of the armour, look lovely, but too shiny to go with the motherboard heatsinks. With a large awkward shape I decided it would be best to stick it to the wood. When doing the cpu piece in this manner I noticed the bits that didn't have tape on wouldn't get sanded as much as they'd bow with the pressure, so I wanted to make sure it was well covered to get a nice even finish. Maybe a little too much? First off was the 320 grit Mirka pad. Nice. After this I went onto the 1200 grit grey Mirka pad... Noice. Now time to get it off the board. Just pull it up here, just pluck it, oh, hmm. It seems to be a bit stuck. Thought I'd heat it up with a heatgun to ease it up. Started at 50, think i went up to 100C in the end. It began to pull up a little, a corner here, a corner there, finally got an edge going. I was using a thin metal scrapper to get under where I can, using a chisel to leaver it up. Yeh a chisel. You can see where this is going can't you..... Devastation. Looked quite deep, felt deep too. I swore a lot, managed to get the metal off the wood, swore a bit more, almost cried, I thought it was game over, but managed to bring it back from the brink and sand it out. Think it felt deeper than it was as the edges of the gouge would have protruded from the displaced material. Such I heart stopping moment though. I needed a cigarette after and I haven't smoked in 4 years! It was then very carefully cleaned and quickly sprayed. It was looking good, added a second light coat, still good, one bit looked like it wasn't quite as covered so did a third coat, at which point I got a couple of spitty bits from the spray can :sigh: It would probably be fine once it dries, but I should have left it. Always have to overdo things when they aren't quite perfect and then they get worse. It's so annoying. (this is pre-spray) Luckily it turned out absolutely stunning (Larger expandable pic) Unluckily it was when the heatwave kicked off and it had got so hot in the shed that the clear coat had got soft and a little tacky and I got finger print impressions in it. I had to remove the whole lot. To be honest I'm not entirely convince the clear-coat I got is suitable for bare aluminium. When I first got it I contacted Rustoleum to check and they said it would be fine to use on it's own. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it's just not the right stuff, but I don't really have the time and funds to be experimenting with that kind of thing at the minute, so I'll leave it bare for now and maybe look at it again towards the end if I have time. Now onto the the brass hole cover. It looked good, but something wasn't quite right. Should have had the wire in the mesh align with the angled edges of the armour of course. I even set it like that in the first pic I showed of it. Silly me. I quickly knocked up a new piece with the mesh lining up at the right angle and then taped the bejesus out of it with the fan guard I'd made earlier for a test fit. It did not fit. I'd forgotten that I'd ended up getting mesh with larger holes than originally planned as I didn't want it to be too restrictive. Larger holes meant larger diameter wire and quite the difference in mesh height. I had been waiting an age for the mesh and had made the fan shroud before the mesh came. I thought about attaching it all to the armour anyway and then milling it down (I did think that might have to happen anyway to get the right height), but I wasn't confident in the strength of the bonds in the pieces of the shroud, Since it had broke in 2 already, I did not want odd pieces flying across the shed while milling, so I resided to leaving the shroud out for now. I might try again later with a small strip bent to shape, but I've got to crack on for now. To attach the mesh I returned to our good friend JB Weld. I covered the back of the mesh in masking tape, spread the JB weld onto the mesh leaving a gap around the raised hole section so non would go into that space from any spread. I then placed the mesh on the armour and lined it up with the angled edges before pressing the tape down and clamping a piece of aluminium sheet over it to keep it flat and the pressure even. Worked pretty well. There wasn't any ingress into the main hole, but there was some into one of the screw holes. Soon had that cleared out. Cut the back with a stanly knife then cleared to hole with a file and deburring tool. The holes for the screws that actually attach it to the board would need some washers underneath so the 2 surfaces would meet properly. For this I will use some brass washers; an M4 the screw would actually pass through, then and M3 and M2 for the screw to sit on and put pressure onto and make it up to the right height. This should give a nice little brass edge to them to match the mesh. I decided to glue them together before glueing them to the armour. While they were drying I went back to the CPU block cover. I'd managed to get some more 400 grit sandpaper from Halfords, got it taped to some wood and started sanding it carefully. But it still wasn't sanding evenly, was the wood flat? Yes. Sandpaper ok? Yep. Hmmmm. Oh, is the cover flat? Nope. Definitely bent. :duh: Seems because of the shallow jaws of my clamp and the pressure of the polishing had got it quite out of shape. I did my best to get it flat and for the best part it was, but also not quite. In the end I had to abandon the polished edge and use the Mirka pads to brush it. Disappointing, but not the end of the world. I had been told by someone in the know (a lecturer of art who specialises in metalwork and such) that what I was attempting was very difficult, but I gave it a shot anyway. Still looked good. Shame I forgot to take any pictures of the entire process With that done and the glued washers drying I thought it was time for a sneak peak Maybe less sneaky? Happy with the result I went in to cool off and do some physio. After I was looking back at the pictures I'd taken and I wasn't happy with the cpu block cover. I'd brushed it with the same pads I'd already used on the motherboard armour and it hadn't quite come out as well. So I went back and cut some new pads and did again with fresh 320 and 1200 pads. MUCH better. Shame I can't rid the armour of streaks entirely. Used isopropyl alcohol which I would have thought would leave it streak free, but would still leave some. But it does look so good. At least I think so anyway. Just got to glue those washers on and they're all done and it's time to move back to the case. With that it's all over for this update Crapfans. I'll leave you with a few more pics of the finished motherboard, which I'll post without the URL link and a larger size for you all to ogle at . Stay tuned for the next enthralling roller-coaster ride that is Project ISAC. Same Crap time, same Crap channel. Until then Crapfans....
  14. Ahoy hoy modderinos! What's this? Another updatealready!? And it doesn't involve the motherboard armour!!!??? Yep that's right, mostly due to needing one last part for it, but also because I need to do something else before I go mad So inline with the brightenisation of the motherboard, the CPU block was next up for an enlightening. First I needed a good copy of one, didn't work out too well just sticking it on the copier. By cutting out the first copy to reflect the light in the surrounding area and then shining a bright torch through the plexi block.... I was able to get a much better copy and clearer image. I put the block back together and taped up the coldplate for it's trip to the shed, to make sure it didn't get damaged. First up to the chopping block were the mounting arms. Soon got rid of that paint with a Dremel sand drum. Nice and easy What wasn't so easy was getting rig of the deep score lines from using the roughest grit sanding drum I went over it again with the higher grit drum I have, it was already used, but I thought that would be better for not putting more score lines in. It helped, but the worst bits remained still. I was conscious off taking too much material and the arms no longer fitting the block properly, so I thought it would come out when sanding the finish into it. Much, MUCH sanding later and there's still some deep scores about. I try one of the abrasive wheels I got for the Dremel. That only removed the sanding lines and did nothing for the bad bits. More sanding, still looks crap. I remember I have scotch pads, give them a go, get a nice finish pretty quick but there's still those bad bits. I think about giving in and just having it crap, so I go indoors and clean them up. But I just can't leave it. So I go back to the shed. I tidy up a little while I have a think about how to solve it, put some Dremel bits away. I do have some new drums, let's try again with one of the new higher grit ones..... Yep, that's done it. 10 mins later they're good for a quick final brush with a scotch pad. Another 20 mins. Done. And I'm thoroughly done in. However seeing as they're steel I don't want them rusting, so knock up a quick paint booth and give them light dusting of clear coat to seal them. Onto the next day and the next part, the block. In a similar vein to the motherboard, it'll get a nice new aluminium cover. I stick the photocopy on a small piece and cut out the rough shape. I decide to do the 2 inner holes for the fittings first before doing the outer edge. First I need to find the middle. After finding the diameter of the holes, I dial the compass into half that value and make a small arc in the middle from 3 points on the edge. They didn't intersect exactly as there's a fair degree of inaccuracy from my initial measurement, compass setting and then placement, but there's a tiny triangle there to centre on and punch. I drilled out a 4mm hole then used the step bit to it's largest diameter, before filing from there using a round file. To finish the inner circles I switch to a half round file when it will fit. With those complete I started on the outer edge and neatened it up with a rough hand file. From there I moved to using the flat side of a second cut half round file to get a smoother finish and begin getting it to a better shape. When I got close I moved to a smooth cut half round file. I'd go round the edge once or twice and then check against the block to see how it was going. The cover on the block sat in a little lip and wasn't completely flush to it, which combined with a little bit of light bleed meant the size I was aiming for would probably be before I hit the black edge. I worked slowly at it, brushing the file often to keep the file clean and the cut true. I moved from working at it from a very front-on position to almost from the side, after I found I hadn't quite been getting it perpendicular. From this angle I could better watch the file and how it was working the piece. Slowly i edged in, checking it on the block until, bingo! I gave it one last very light passing just to smooth the finish out, put it back into the vice, tilted it back and filed a bevel into the edge, then finally cleaned the template off. I had intended on brushing the surface to have it match the motherboard, but the smooth sheen of a finish the alu came with is just gorgeous and I was very tempted to keep it that way. The mounting arms ended up looking great with just a couple of light dusting coats and really complimented and evened out the finish. Rather annoyingly I managed to scratch the surface of the cover when trying to twist it into the right place, just above the right hand port, so I'll definitely be refinishing it now. It was the original plan though and I think will look better if it matches the arms and the rest of the motherboard. Might look out of place being shiny with the rest a more matt look. I will however be trying to polish up the bevelled edge to give it a little highlight, which I wanted to start on before brushing the face. Using some sandpaper wrapped around an off cut of aluminium to make sure it's flat, I first sanded the outer perpendicular edge to make sure than was nice and even and smooth, then gave the bevel a quick going over to try and get the worst of the filing marks out. And with that we have to end this episode, for that's all I had the time, energy and mental capacity for. But fear not, for I will return in no time at all for our next enthralling encounter, so stay tuned Crapfans! Same Crap time, same Crap channel.
  15. Morning Crapfans! Well that's another week that's flown by. We've now been given a date of 24th July to have the mods completed and a video submitted so I best get my skates on. Particularly with this motherboard armour which should have been finished already. What's that old saying? Keep it simple stupid! So with all the holes now in the the right place, I had to enlarge the 2 holes for the mounting screws as the threads for them sit a little over 1mm below the bottom side of the alu plate. I'll be mounting some washers to the underside of the armour for the screws to pull on and then they'll sit flusher to the top surface too. So I enlarged the hole from 2mm to 3mm to 3.5 to 4, all with no problems, was nice and centred still, but needed them a little wider still. I thought about using the round file again like I did for the others, but it wouldn't fit in the hole yet. "That's odd" I thought, "I didn't think the other holes were that much bigger. The file must not have had as much taper as I thought." So I pull out the 5m drill bit and As I looked for a file or something suitable for cleaning that up I found my smaller round file, the one I'd used for the other holes, that would have fit in these to enlarge them. Joy. I ended up countersinking the hole to clean it up, which meant doing it on the others as well for some continuity. Was pretty darn annoyed at such a stupid mistake, I hadn't wanted to countersink them but it doesn't look too bad. More importantly, I can continue with this piece and not start again. I think I'd rather cover the motherboard with duct tape than start again. With those all sorted, now we needed to tackle the chipset cooling, as the fan will find it difficult to breath through the alu plate. So open sesame! After marking the centre of the hole by lining up the original cover, I drilled a pilot hole then used a step bit to get it that big. but it wasn't big enough. I'd got some carbine milling bits for the Dremel, so used one of those to get close to where I needed to be. I was apprehensive about using it to go all the way as it could get a bit grabby and I didn't want to mess it up at this stage. After filing most of the rest out I checked where I was in relation to the fan, see if I needed to remove some in a particular direction, which it did. I'd drawn the circle on the back which wasn't great, especially as the pencil rubbed off fairly easily. Should have measured the centre point on the motherboard, then drawn a circle on the front with a compass, but at least I'd checked and could fix it from here. I drew a slightly larger circle that was centred to help gauge the edge which helped a lot. I kept checking it against the original and the motherboard to make sure it was going in the right direction and wasn't getting out of shape. In the end I was pretty pleased how it came out and how round it was. I won't claim it's a perfect circle but it's really close. I decided to leave it at that point as I have a tendency to go too far with trying to get something absolutely perfect and end up making it worse. Next up I needed to fashion a fan shroud to direct the air over the heatsink, for which I'd use some aluminium angle. I decided to try and get the shape fairly close to the original so used several small pieces. These pieces were too tall and I needed to get them down to 8.5mm. I had this little compound table and figured I'd try and use it in conjunction with my Dremel stand. It was not as easy as I'd hoped to get this set up. Just mounting it to the Dremel base took an age. I'd have it set right start tightening the bolts and a washer would slip and get stuck so I'd have to pull it off again, get it lined up, get the bolts back on, tighten, slip...... I ended up having to lie on my back under it to get the bolts tightened and stop the washers slipping. Not made easier by my decision to use nylon lock nuts to stop them coming undone from the vibrations it would make. Then I wanted to mount it direct to the workbench, but the bolts I'd bought to ensure they fit flush underneath the Dremel base were too short to fit through the workbench top. I had to search the house for a piece of conti board to mount it on. Then I tried to get the bolts flush with the bottom of that, but I didn't have the right bit to drill out the nut recess and I ended up wrecking the first set of holes. Luckily the bolts would sit either side of the workbench piece so I just let them poke out and then attached it to the bench with some grip clamps. At least it worked! But it was slow. Really slow. It had at least given me a platform to be able to get at the edge that needed removing, which was nigh on impossible in a vice. So I cracked out the "rough cut" file and used that instead. Now I needed to look at the side that would attach to the armour, make sure it didn't hang over the edge or cover any screw holes. So I transferred the pattern over to the underside where they'd live. I'd also need to check some pieces against the original. As you can see here, the long straight piece would interfere with the fan and would need to be trimmed. It took a little while to get them all done, filing angles onto the corners to get them to fit properly as well. I had to file a bit, check it's alignment, file a bit more, but eventually I had them all done and stuck down with double sided tape for a test fit. It needed some more work doing to it. The fins of the chipset heatsink hit the angle and they were also still too tall. Must have measured that wrong thing as I needed to take at least 2mm off. Back to the shed I went, filing away like a man possessed. Luckily the "rough cut" file can take material off pretty quick when given some welly. As the clamps on the compound table went to about the height I wanted I could use that to gauge where I was and just give a few final strokes with a second cut file to smooth and make sure they were level. I also changed the setup on the corner that sticks out. After filing the original piece out there was barely anything left to stick it down with, so I made a new piece to point outwards and took some of the other piece to give it some room. And it fit! The compound table had taken a fair bit of abuse though. It's only a cheap chineseum ebay one with an aluminium bed, so fairly soft material compared to the nuts and bolts of the clamping mechanism. I wanted to stick the pieces together as a single unit before fitting to the motherboard armour, so I got one of the old card templates and glued it to the original armour plate I made, then stuck the pieces to that with double sided tape. Then give it a test fit just to make sure everything was in the right place. Good to go! Now it's time for our good old friend JB Weld The original plan was just to put some on the joins to stick them together, maybe spread a little to reinforce, but things kind of got out of hand At least I can be #### well sure it'll be stuck together I then turned my attention to the armour piece itself. I gave all the edges a good sanding, try and get rid of the filing marks. It was filthy after so I gave it a wash, which took the paper from the template off. The finish underneath was still decent so wont require too much work to put a nice finish on, so I covered it in masking tape to protect it. This top edge had been bothering me a bit. I'd cut it too tall but I didn't know if I wanted it brought down flat or at an angle to match the M.2 heatsink. After asking around a bit, the general consensus was to angle it and I do think that would look better there. I just wasn't sure if it would look out of place being as all the other edges are flat. Didn't take too long to sort it out and it does look so right. I'm waiting on a final piece to finish off the armour, which has just taken way longer than it should have. Probably didn't need to do all this for the chipset cooler, probably could have left it and it would have been fine, or made it simpler, but sometimes I just have to do things right or it will bug me to oblivion. In the mean time I can finally start working on something else, but that's all for now folks. See you next time for "what crappy overcomplicated next" :winking: Same Crap time, same Crap channel.
  16. Welcome back Crapfans! Has it been 2 weeks already!? Time just has very little meaning or reference any more and it can really get away from you. Let call it a mid season break In the last episode, I got close to finishing a piece of motherboard armour before #### up drilling out a couple of holes, but there were some little tweaks I wanted so not the end of the world. I used the original drawing I'd done on card and cut out a new section to fit around the SATA ports, took a few snips to get it right and then I could transfer the measurements onto a copy from the scan I'd made. So I went to print out a couple of copies of the scanned design but they didn't look quite right. Measuring it against my cut out I could see it was clearly too small. Odd. Tried printing again checking that the print options weren't resizing, now it was too big. What!? No matter what I tried, 4 or 5 different programs, on the JPEG or the PDF versions, countless settings, I could not get it to print the correct size. So frustrating, but I had the cut-out and I could trace round that. It'd likely add a degree of inaccuracy, but what you gonna do? Now I knew I had the holes for this pieces mounting screws correct, so I used them as reference points and took measurement from there to both of the M.2 cover's screw holes. Using a compass I could use those measurements to plot against each other and get the locations. Simples! I'd got myself some proper mounting glue so the paper sat flusher to the metal. But then stupidly used cutting lubrication to drill a hole for the jigsaw which of course dissolved the glue in that corner Didn't take long to have it cut out though and no further mistakes thankfully. I worked my way round the piece filing down the edges, it was going really well at first, nice and straight and flat, but it got harder and harder to get it right and I realised my files were getting clogged. I tried freeing them up with a cat brush (as it has similar thin pins to a file bush) but it didn't work that well and they just got too clogged to carry on. So I went to Screwfix and picked up a set of Magnusson files. I have a set of their pliers and a wire stripper and they're decent so thought they'd do. Plus they came with a file brush. The file brush broke on the second stroke So I went to take them back but they're not accepting returns at the minute with all the pandemic shenanigans. I ordered myself a nice set of Bacho files and while I waited I thought a little more use of the Magnusson ones won't hurt, I'd almost finished when the file brush broke so I'll get the basic outline done, leave a smidge to finish with my new one's once they arrive. The edge next to the SATA ports would need to slope with their profile. It didn't quite fit and would need some little tweeks in quite a few places. I decided to wait till my new files came, in theory they should be better and allow for finer adjustment than the others and I didn't want to take the mick if I was returning them. While waiting for the new files I didn't rest idle. I stripped all the sleeving off the fans... ... did some prototyping with card for parts of the mod coming later... ... had some stencils made by the guys at 4D Model Shop, top quality work and quick turnaround.... ... then I had to do a photoshoot for the album cover of a cat boy band I manage, Mew Kitts on the Block. Then the Files Arrived! After installing the handles on most of them I thought "Hey, I should do a video on how to mount file handles", so I filmed one, wasn't great, shot another and I mumbled a lot. Shot another one, was a great take, went to watch it back aaaaand I'd hit the selfie camera button so had filmed the wrong direction. And that was the last file. Still, They were all in with only 1 minor mishap from when the hole wasn't big enough for the tang. Luckily for you that was on film I started with the edges that sat against the sloped sides of the M.2 heatsinks and added an angle to them for better fitting, top right and bottom left. I trimmed a bit more off the SATA port edge so it could sit in properly and drilled the 2 mounting holes to check it all fit properly. So far so good. Now, despite having done umpteen measurements to get the hole position the the M.2 screws, I was worried about history repeating itself and started doubting myself. To check I had those measurements right I used the cutout I'd done by card and punched holes through into all the threaded mounts. The I lined up the 2 mounting holes and marked where the holes for the M.2 screws were. Now a bit more confident I drilled the holes out, just 2mm to start with and you know what? If I'd drilled them where I'd originally marked they would have been perfect It's not easy to see in the picture but they were just out, but that's why I started with a 2mm hole, I needed to get it to 5.5mm so I had room to adjust and correct, first with this nifty carbide milling bit. Then when it was big enough I switched to using a file, while is a bit more controllable. By twisting the file into it, then rotating back and forth it would gradually increase the hole. I'd file a little out, dust it off and then check it on the board to see how it was going. If I needed to move the hole over in a particular direction I'd file that side with a needle file, before returning to the larger file to round the hole out. Until eventually..... Success! A real snug fit too which is just perfect. I could leave those screws in and have a quick reference to work on any minor adjustments that were needed. With a little trim of the top edge along the PCIE slot, a few other minor tweaks and a bit of finishing all round it was almost done. Now I just needed to drill the other holes out to allow the mounting screws to sit flush. The mounting points sit about 1.1mm below the bottom edge of the alu, so I'll be attaching a couple of washers to the underside for the screw to fit into and the whole thing would actually rest on them then. Almost done! :happy: Oh and spraying clear plastidip on the underside to prevent shorts. Then put a brushed finish to the top and apply a clear coat. And some other bits. So no, not nearly finished. lol Since it had been a while I thought now was as good a time as any to drop in and give you an update. Hopefully I'll have it ACTUALLY finished next time. So stay tuned crap fans. Same Crap time, same Crap channel.
  17. Gooood Moooorning Modding faaaaaaans! So with the motherboard heatsinks nicely brightened I couldn't just stick that black plastic shroud back over them. Luckily I have some 2mm aluminium laying about that I've had forever and this will make an ideal replacement. I started by tracing round the the original cover, but because it has mounting struts and other stuff underneath, this was better done turned upside down to get it flush(er) against the paper, which is why the drawing is backwards. Then I took measurements for the rest of the board so that I could expand it out a bit and cover up more of the motherboard. This is the area I want to cover, colour coding showing the original and then different additional bit that I might want to add. I did the drawing on card so that it would stay relatively flat once cut out and got it lined up with the mounting point and punched them through. Once on the board it didn't look right having a lot of square corners given the boards original angular designs, so I marked out bits I'd want tweaking with rough angles from the heatsinks. Back off the board I used the cover to get the proper angles and see about different levels of cropping. Couple of snips later and I think we have a winner! Now this was a fairly rough drawing so I then traced round this template in pencil and took to the drawing board to get all the lines true. Again I used the original to get the angled lines in, it was an awkward angle and I don't have anything like a sliding bevel. I could still find ones that were out like the one I circled in orange. With a couple of lines done this way I then turned the paper so the the angle was horizontal, checked them against each other to make sure they were correct and then filled in the rest. With the design completed I did a couple of photocopies and also scanned it for safe keeping. From right to left we have the original plan, the final design, the photocopy to be used as a template and the aluminium, with the original cover centre and glue to stick the template on. Only that's completely the wrong glue Looks more like spider spooge. Still, it stuck that template down pretty good, if a little on the lumpy side. I also had to rub dirt around the edges where there was no paper to remove the tackiness of the glue and stop the jigsaw from sticking. That very morning I had been reading up on a cool little scratch build someone was doing as their first mod and advising themon how to cut outside the line and file in, so what do I do on the very first cut? Cut BANG ON the line It was the edge on the far right next to the SATA ports so wasn't a complete catastrophe, but was very careful and took my time with the rest and came out fine, although the small vertical edge under the angular protrusion top right was hard to get at. The Filing went ok, I'd bought a set of steel jaws for the workbench to clamp it in which helped keep it nice and steady. This tight angle was tough though as I didn't have a triangular file that matched or was under that radius. i had to edge in with the half round file, flipping it over every few strokes. A bit of folded sand paper helped get it a bit tighter, but it put up a good fight, Took a good lot of doing, had to go at it in a few goes to save me from injury. But was all this mess worth it? It fits! There were a couple of areas that needed work that I highlighted in green, either to straighten them up, change the angle or stop it overhanging headers I'll need access to. Bang on. To get it to sit flush in the recesses of the M.2 heatsinks I needed to drill holes for the screws holding the heatsinks down. To mark where they were I put masking tape on the back, coloured the screw heads with whiteboard marker and pushed the piece onto them, being careful that it lined up with where it needed to sit. Seemed to work well. I used a punch to mark the centre and make sure the drill bit didn't wander. I thought the screw heads were 4mm so I drill a hole with a 4.2mm bit to give a little wiggle room, but I must have measure the wrong screws (the ones that will mount this to the motherboard i think) as they were a little too small. I needed 5.37mm holes minimum. My step bit had a 7/32" step which is 5.56mm and would do the job nicely. Unfortunately, due to either a wandering bit or inaccuracies in how I got the positioning the top hole was just out. To be honest I wasn't THAT upset. There were a few edges that were a bit naff and there were a couple of tweaks I wanted to make, so I widened those holes a fair bit so I could get it into place, check the fitment elsewhere and make sure the markings for the mounting holes were accurate, which they were. And just for fun I took off the paper and gave it a really quick and dirty "brushing" with a washing up scotch pad, but was mostly just from trying to get all that nasty glue off. Still looks pretty tasty It's a shame it's going to end up in the recycling, but for a first whack it's not gone too badly. I had prepared myself that it might take a couple of goes to get it right and with the design tweaks for Mk II already in my head, I wouldn't have been happy till I'd redone it anyway. So stay tuned crap fans! Plenty more of Makin's metal manipulation to come. Same Crap time, same Crap channel.
  18. Ahoy hoy mod fans! While I was waiting for the rest of the parts to turn up before I could do anything further on the case, I set my sights on some of the internals that could do with some tweaking. I needed to brighten the motherboard up as the main chamber of the case will have a bare metal finish and it would look like a black hole in amongst all the bright shiny metal. I've also never been much of a fan of modern motherboard heatsinks. I loved the fin-stacked heat-piped up solutions of yore and I'd even kept the one's off the Striker II NSE/Extreme boards for the ages after I'd binned the boards, but lost them in a move. What I did have was some Thermalright MOFSET heatsinks and a beefy Supermicro 1U copper cpu heatsink that I could use instead of or in combination with the existing ones Time to get this board stripped down. The CPU heatsink's mounting holes lined up perfectly with the mounting holes for the cover, almost like it was made to live there. Not sure it's supposed to come out like that Was very lucky not to strip any pins out of the CPU. Can just imagine how well that conversation would have gone down with Thermaltake After that heart exploding moment I gave the CPU, block and board a bit of a cleansing. This was the kind of setup I was looking at doing. I plan on milling a flat channel into the boards original heatsinks and using thermal glue to attach the Thermalright MOFSET heatsinks to them, rather than on there own. MOFSET sizes have grown a bit since these were made! There may be a bit of a fitting issue for the one on the left side MOFSET bank as it clashes a little with the IO shield. I'd rather keep that intact if possible. Those original heatsinks would still be too dark as is though, so we'll have to do something about that gun metal grey anodising. First off taking the fan off the chipset cooler, stripping the thermal pads (after measuring the sizes for their replacement) and giving them a good clean with TIM cleaner to remove the grease from the thermal pads, before they go for a little dip..... ... in some of this horrid stuff. Also know as Sodium Hydroxide. I'd picked up these old sweet containers to bathe the parts in and then rinse. Sadly I didn't get to eat the contents first, but given my ever increasing waistline that's probably for the best. I'd given them a good clean several times over and then a thorough rinse as I didn't want any contaminants in there that may react with the Sodium Hydroxide. You'll have to forgive me for the lack of pictures of the process, I was dolled up to the 9's in PPE (including a waterproof coat with a bin bag over it, was quite a sight) and didn't fancy getting my phone out whilst in the middle of it all. I placed the 3 tubs in the bath, seemed like a good place to do it as there's good ventilation in the bathroom and if things go south it can turn the taps on and ditch it down the drain quick. With the drain on my left, I used the left most container to have the solution in. I filled the other 2 with water as a 2 stage rinsing set up. I put 1 litre of water into the other and added 50g of sodium hydroxide crystals in gradually, in about 5 or 6 stages, mixing thoroughly with a toothbrush I had to scrub the pieces as the anodising came off. I used cold water to control/slow the reaction a bit so I could leave the pieces in long enough to get all the anodising off, without it just eating the aluminium away I put the large MOFSET cooler in first as I figured it could probably do with going in when it was fresh. It took a little while to get going and do anything, but sure enough bubbles started to come. I turned it over a few times, giving a little whirl in the fluid and you could see the colour fall off it. I then started giving it a helping hand with the toothbrush, especially in the little gaps. When the anodising had all come off I pulled it out and gave it a gentle shake, dropped it into the next tub with the clean water in, gave it a good whirl in there and and gentle clean with a second tooth brush, then into the third container for more fresh water, before finally putting it on some kitchen towels I'd set to the side to dry off. I then repeated the process with the rest of the pieces. The end result was better than I ever could have imagined The Aluminium on the newly stripped heatsinks is so bright, almost white. Look how it contrasts here to a piece of Aluminium sheet that I've had for a few years. And they look so good on the motherboard too! Super chuffed with the result. At least 3 chufty badges! Sadly the copper cpu block isn't going to fit, although given it's gargantuan size it shouldn't be all that surprising. I could have had a go at cutting off a corner here and there to get it to fit, but I don't think I've got the tools for the job and I'd probably end up ruining it. In all honesty with the amount of silver that's going to be around, the copper would probably look out of place anyway. Best to keep that for another day. I had a little test fit with the MOFSET heatsinks, either just sat on or with the help of an old thermal pad. Still not convinced that one on the left if going to fit without interfering with the IO shield. Thought I could maybe switch that one to the lower M.2 slot cooler. In all honesty I'm not entirely convinced. Now I've got the stock heatsinks stripped, they look pretty dam cool. I have to be 100% sure as if I commit to it and it doesn't look good with the heatsinks on, I'll have wrecked the originals, so there's no going back. That can go on the back burner for now. There's a lot to be done still and I can always come beck to it later. It does look pretty dam sweet as is though. We got some new parts! Huge thanks to the guys at Scan (and DPD) for getting these over to us. Lots of fittings and adapters, a couple of litres of coolant, some 1m tubes for longer runs and backup for the inevitable mistakes, a nice thick rad and 9 of Thermaltake's new Riing Quad fans which I'm looking forward to getting snazzy with the NeonMaker software. I am NOT looking forward to the cable/sleeving job of 9 RGB fans Now putting heatsinks to one side, I'm still not done with the motherboard and whilst I have done some more stuff, it's not finished and I don't want to put it out half baked. I had hoped to finish it today but after 3 days of working on it on and off, this morning my body said no. This seemed like a good place as any for a little update though, I hope you all enjoyed the show. For now I'll leave you with one last shot of those heatsinks in all their glittery glory. Hopefully I'll have another update for you later this week, so stay tuned crap fans! Same Crap Time, same Crap channel.
  19. Thanks mate I'm on a fistful of painkillers you need a degree to spell too. Ended up losing my job because of it, can't sit at a desk or table for half an hour without being in agony, although the physio is helping. That in itself is pretty darn grueling though.
  20. An Open Letter To No Work Hi-diddly-hey modderinos! I just wanted to apologise for the lack of progress and updates, as since the last episode of Project I.S.A.C. I've not been very well. I have nerve damage from a botched hernia operation and subsequent ill-advised treatment, so I have to be a careful with any kind of physical activity. After the last break due to a stomach complaint, I pushed a bit too hard in an effort to try and catch up and ended up aggravating the nerves and have had to take a couple of weeks to let that die down and concentrate on my physio (all 3.5hours a day of it!). Even though I've been feeling a lot better and doing some stuff around the house, just yesterday I was in a lot of pain after 10-15mins of washing up. It's immensely frustrating. I'm not after any sympathy, so put the violins away, just a little understanding that whilst I'll do my best to bring you an update and some meaningful progress each week, there may be times when I have to down Dremel and look after myself. There should be a little update video being pushed out by Thermaltake tomorrow, be sure to keep an eye out for that. For now I'll begetting on with a few little bits and pieces of 'lighter' work, so stay tuned Crapfans! Same Crap time, same Crap Channel.
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