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Hey guys, working on a new build project.  This will be my son's case, and it's something I've wanted to do for him for a while now.   He is into Minecraft quite a bit, but he also likes Star Wars.  So when I discovered that there was a Star Wars mod for Minecraft, I knew I had found the perfect theme for his new case.  So I'll be building a Minecraft droid named R2M1, using a Thermaltake Core X1.  :)


Here is a screenshot of the droid in-game:




As you can see it's very basic, so it shouldn't be too difficult to transform the Core X1 into a droid.  I went into Sketchup and whipped up a quick 3d model..




i'm hoping this will be a fairly quick build, but you know how that goes.  With my luck, my son will be into some other game by the time I finish and I'll have to build him a new case!  ;-)


More to come...


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When I received the Core X1 case, I was very impressed with how well built and flexible the layout was. 





However, it still needed to be modified for this project (sorry Shannon!).  The droid body needs to be square, so the case will have to be shortened by 5" to make it 11" x 11".





I removed 5" out of the center so that I didn't have to mess with removing the factory rivets on the top or bottom corners.




The middle joint will just need to be reinforced with aluminum brackets.  That will be in the next update, as well as the addition of the new motherboard tray.

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This is so awesome!!


I cannot wait to see it finished!


Thanks Shannon!  It's coming along nicely, even with all my other projects I got going.  :)


After cutting the middle of the case out, I had to re-attach the two halves with brackets.  So I cut some aluminum flat bar to size and patched both ends back together..




The bottom had to be a bit more sturdy since the middle foot will be attached in the middle, and will need the extra bracing.



I then added more brackets to support the new motherboard tray.



Top view of the mobo tray..



The original front bezel had to be cut down as well to fit the new 11" square shape.  It worked out well, because cutting 5" out of the ABS ended up centering the power/reset and IO panel perfectly!  



After the ABS was cut, all I had left to do was shorten the metal mesh to fit.  Now I can continue working on the acrylic legs.  Stay tuned!


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Smallish update on the chassis modification..

Now that the two halves are back together I started putting the parts back in.  

With a few more added spacers, I was able to retain the lower structure that surrounds the power supply, which also holds the hard drives.  There is room for three 3.5" drives as well as an SSD .


For power, I'm using the 750w Toughpower PSU that I wrapped in carbon fiber vinyl for my recently retired Sideview case.  I'll be sleeving it in white/blue paracord, and I'll probably change the red stripe to blue to match.

Next up will be the GPU mounting.  I'll be stuffing a Titan Black into this case, and since it won't fit up with the mITX motherboard, I'll be relocating it down in the lower compartment with a PCIe riser cable.

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Thanks Shannon!


Got the Titan mounted last night.  Since I sliced through the stock IO brackets when I removed 5" out of the middle of the back panel, I had to dig into my stockpile of spare chassis parts to find a new IO bracket.

When positioning the video card to see where the new IO bracket will be on the back panel, I realized there just wasn't enough material there to support this huge card, so the decision was made to cut out all the swiss cheese and put a solid piece of sheet metal in.  Then I could attach the new IO to it.

I marked the area where the IO was to be mounted and cut a hole, leaving enough material so I could bend into tabs.

The IO bracket fits perfectly over those tabs, and will be pop-riveted to it.

A shot from the other side..

..and with the video card in place..

Finally, I made another bracket for the top of the card, utilizing the available threaded holes on the end of the heatsink.  I made sure there was ample space between the bracket and the pcb.

With the card so far away from the motherboard, I'll be using a PCIe extension cable to connect it, however, the longest I could get from Newegg was 12" and it wasn't enough.  So I asked Rod Rosenberg from BS Mods what he used for their yellow & white Thermaltake Urban T81 build, and he put me in touch with Li-Heat, a company in China who makes kick-#### PCIe cables.  They sent me two different lengths, and they are laid out next to the Newegg one here.  Obviously there's no comparison!  The Li-Heat cables are sleeved with a very tight high quality woven fabric, and come with angled locking connections.  Great product!

I hooked up the black one and fed it through the motherboard tray to see how it looked.

That's it for now, will have another update next week!

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  • 1 month later...

Figured I'd take a break from the treehouse and get some work done on this case..

I needed to cut some windows in the panels so you will be able to see the motherboard.  Each side will have the same window cutout.

Here is the front panel on the case, showing how it lines up with the mobo platform.

That's all fine and dandy, but I need to do something about the holes at the bottom of the window.  To make it look more like a planned window, I need to fill in some of the holes to complete the solid border the factory panel had.

I brought out the JB Weld, taped the front and filled in all the holes to get the same border width as the rest of the panel.

Once that set up, I removed the tape, and it came out pretty good.  Just a few cavities that can easily be filled in with bondo.

Skipping ahead through all the sanding and priming, I now have a couple white panels.  You can see the front panel on the right with its factory-looking borders.  :)

In addition to the panels, I got a bunch of other parts painted over the weekend, including the top bezel and its mesh cover.  I painted the center a metallic blue.  

And with the mesh cover on.  The drive bay covers will be that same blue.

I also took the Titan Black apart and painted it to match...

And re-assembled.  On a whim, I decided to paint the underside of the clear acrylic window as well.  I wanted to do something a bit different, and I didn't think not seeing the cooing fins was a bad thing.

I love it!

I'll be getting the rest of the case assembled, and then it's on to cabling and sleeving.  yay.

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:o inspiring to say at least, been asked to do a Starwars mod for someone and I am no way doing graphics cards as I planned now you have done the same colour scheme... I actually feel quite honoured to have had the same idea as you on them.. but I wont do that now.

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:o inspiring to say at least, been asked to do a Starwars mod for someone and I am no way doing graphics cards as I planned now you have done the same colour scheme... I actually feel quite honoured to have had the same idea as you on them.. but I wont do that now.


haha thanks Richi, but you can do the same color scheme, it would be fine with me.  :)

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One of the first things I did on this project was make the legs, but I neglected to post any of the pics, other than on FB.  So here they are..

Special thanks to Brian at Primochill/ModSmart for all the acrylic and lasercutting.  :)

Gluing the acrylic pieces together to form the legs.  Using 1" aluminum box tubing for the "bones".

One done, the other is gluing up in the background.


Here's a shot of the front leg, made the same way.

Some pics I took with the legs mounted temporarily onto the chassis, before the video card was mounted, and before painting..


You can see the 1 1/2" flat bar on both sides with the box tube going through them.  These will be fastened to the chassis with pop rivets, providing ample support for the legs.  Or rather, just the opposite.


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A few more odds and ends taken care of over the weekend.

Here is a closer up view of the leg support system.  One 2" flat bar on each side with a square hole in it. Legs5_sm.jpg

A 1" box tube fits through the holes, and the legs fit onto each end.  Wa-la!

Figured I'd throw it all together and see what it looks like so far..

and with the front panel off to show the video card.  Must do something about that unsightly ceiling area tho..

So I made a cardboard template and cut a piece of acrylic to fit up in there.

After making a few adjustments and figuring out how to fasten it into place, I painted the backside metallic blue.  Looks pretty good!  I'm digging the reflection, and it will look even better once the hardware is mounted.

I've got one more set of brackets to make, and the fabrication is done.  Just have to figure out the mounting of the 120mm radiator for the AIO cooler.  Then it's on to sleeving the PSU.

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Made some progress on the PSU over the weekend, getting it ready to sleeve.

First thing on the list was voiding the warranty...

I've never seen a half fan before..

Also first time I've seen Torx fan screws too!

Thankfully, the half fan was a standard 140mm size, so it was a simple change-out for an Enermax Vegas fan.  However, the connecter was just a 2-pin, so I'll have to run the wires out of the PSU up to one of the motherboard fan headers.  Luckily the Vegas fan has ample cord length, and the PSU is not far from the mobo.

Much better!

Here's the sleeving I'm going with.  Kobra Maxcord from Primochill.  Awesome stuff, and the blue-white carbon fits perfectly with the build!

I also got the side panels cut and sent along with the sleeving, but I had forgotten to add some venting in the design, so I will have to manually cut the holes.  Using a reference pic of the real R2, I made up a quick template of an inlet and outlet port for both side panels and cut out the patterns.

With the protective paper peeled away, I began cutting the holes.

One side done.  Am thinking about adding the Tt logo badge in the center of it..

Here's the template for the other side.

And the other side is prepped for cutting..

And that's as far as I got yesterday.  Will continue on this tonight, and hopefully finish the PSU sleeving this week!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm almost done with this project, but I have to get caught up on my pic posting.  I finished sleeving the PSU over a week ago, and have been taking care of various, unexciting little things like the small white trim pieces for the posts, and other 120mm fan mounts.

So here's the finished PSU..

ATX 24pin connector.  I went with a random look when mixing the sleeve colors, only choosing a few here and there for the blue carbon.

I actually managed to squeeze all the cables back through the stock cable grommet, only cutting a small notch to make room for the Enermax fan cables.

One of the PCI-e cables..

I also tried my hand at sleeving the SATA power cables for the two SSDs.

Not bad I suppose.  Could be better tho.

Starting final assembly this week!

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Started assembling the system the other day, which required confiscating my son's rig to get the parts out of it.  Upon fitting the Tt AIO cooler into R2, I realized it was too short to reach the motherboard where I had intended to mount the rad.  So after a few conniption fits and weighing my options, I decided the best route would be to extend the hoses of the AIO.  Since I had never done this, I wasn't sure it would work properly once I opened up the factory-sealed closed loop system.  But after more research and some consultation with Shannon, I went for it.  And it actually ended up being a really simple process!

I went to a local auto store and picked up some rubber hose, 1/4" barb elbows and unions, and a universal T fitting (they didnt have a 1/4" T).  I cut the stock hose about an inch from the rad and inserted the 90º elbows.  Then added two 4" pieces of new hose followed by a union barb on one line and the T fitting on the other.  Once everything was connected and clamped (didn't really need the clamps), I situated the cooler so that the T was the highest point in the loop and refilled the unit.  I cycled the pump a few times and topped off until all the air was out, and done!

Here's a couple shots of the cooler installed in the case.


And a couple of the overall assembly..


Tonight I will get the video card installed, the panels on, and finally the legs. Then I can call this one done!  :)

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I decided to add a third hard drive, a 5/14" platter drive to use as backup/storage.  So I added another connector to the sleeved cable, and flamed the frayed parts a little.  Looks a bit better now.

And because the 5 1/4" drive was bigger, I had to make a couple adapter plates for the SSD's so they would be at the same level.  Now the cable can go straight across all drives.

With the drives done, I moved on to installing the Titan one final time. I couldn't help myself, and had to give it some extra paneling for added detail.

Buttoning up the case, putting all the panels on, and finally the legs.

System up and running on my son's desk!

Of course, it all can't go so smoothly.  Upon starting it up, I got the ol' "Missing operating system" error message.  I'm hoping I can fix the MBR and it will be fine.  Otherwise I'll have to reinstall the OS.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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