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Project Wall Flower: A Picture Frame Case Mod

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Project Wall Flower:
A Picture Frame Case Mod Work Log



Introduction: Hello OCN! I have been working on this case for about 2 weeks as of February 16, 2012 and I didn't know whether to post it or not. I'm always afraid of what if it doesn't get finished or what if it goes terribly wrong. But, I put all that aside just so you have something to look at. Let's hope for the best!

Description: My sister moved into a new house and needed a center piece for her living room. I excitedly suggested an awesome computer! We juggled the idea of either a table or frame, and I saw a video of an IKEA Ribba frame computer case and I thought it would be fun. So that is what we decided on.

Duyqu.jpg

Plan: Currently, the plan is for it to be completed by March 3, 2012 for her house warming. Yes, a bit of a tight schedule but that's what makes it exciting! So far, I am half way through and just waiting on little bits and pieces from various sites. As for the build, it is nothing special. The bare minimum that is needed, in a low profile HTPC form. I originally wanted to drill a hole to route the wires behind the frame, but my sister did not trust my electrical and home development ingenuity. So now we are just using these wire hiders painted to match her wall. I hope they will work. All that above a frankensteined computer desk from IKEA parts.

Table of Contents:
  1. Assembly
  2. Parts arrive and cooler installed
  3. Operating system installation
  4. Extensions and test fitting
  5. Fan & button cutouts
  6. Paint & touch up
  7. Finished product

Specification:
Parts, Tools, & Accessories:


Edited by Blue Marker - 4/10/12 at 11:33pm
post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 
1. Assembly

So let's get started! Grabbed the clamp set at Home Depot. This was probably the hardest part of the project. I couldn't open it to save my life.

D9bHi.jpg

Clamped to a corner.

JgsNU.jpg

More clamping. Then I drilled the hinges to the top. Sorry, no pictures of that.

OBtap.jpg

But I did run into a couple snags here. The hinges I bought would not line the frames up straight. So I had to raise one side of the hinge so the door would line up. Just a little hitch, but I worked through it. I did ruin the top of one, but a little touch up will fix it. Here are some shots of me testing the strength of the hinges.

N2HiF.jpg

slCxV.jpg

Not bad. Now I just hope it will hold with everything installed.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
2. Parts arrive and cooler installed

The components arrived and I also did some shopping. Bought some industrial strength velcro at Wal Mart. Funny thing, it is not located in the do it yourself section or paint department. It was in the arts & craft section. Go figure.

h6pze.jpg

And the parts!

UJ6Po.jpg

Why the choices? Well, my sister didn't have the router downstairs and it would be a paint to route the ethernet cable from upstairs. So I needed a motherboard with built in wifi and a decent on board video card. The Z68ITX comes with a GT430 so it should be fine for the games her husband plays. Also, I thought the lack of color looked nice and didn't take away from the total color scheme of the case.

2fPb1.jpg

Cooler installed. The cooler I chose was the Evercool HPL. For one thing, it was a low profile cooler ranked on Frosty Tech and for second, it had a red fan. So it would look neat.

UqYUK.jpg

Tossing it inside to see how it fits.

2F2fC.jpg

YGACF.jpg

Looks like it will work. That was all for that day!
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
3. Operating system installation

With the cooler installed, I need to make sure all the parts work. To test it, I decided to install the operating system. Now how do I do it without an optical drive? I can either run a bootable USB drive with the intallation iso or connect the drive from my main tower to the ITX. I wanted to see if the latter would work, so I did that!

yZKUT.jpg

H8Dt7.jpg

xwcU6.jpg

Yep, that is the boot screen of the Zotac board. And yep, it is connected to the optical drive in my main rig. Sadly, it did not work so I had to go the bootable USB route.

UyISo.jpg

js6Dm.jpg

tjUNd.jpg

RheSy.jpg

Super messy, I know. At least it is only temporary. The OS installed fine and I finished for the day. A quick heads up, if you are installing using the bootable USB, after the first reboot of the Windows 7 installation, switch the first boot from USB back to the hard drive or it will keep going to the installation USB.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
4. Extensions and test fitting

The BitFenix extensions have arrived! So did my arcade buttons. A couple shots of them.

AsC4S.jpg

The extensions are actually cloth-like. I thought they'd be like other sleeving which is nylon or plastic or something. They do not look bad, it is just that they are a bit more fragile. A couple test fits and little strands started popping out.

FkB1C.jpg

IFlat.jpg

AZY4u.jpg

I tried taking out a couple strands from the white one and put it on the 24 pin extension, but they just were not cooperating. Only got the 4 pin EPS to have a white streak. I'll figure something out for those white accents. But for now, here is the motherboard installed to the backing of the frame.

eslQU.jpg

After cutting out a couple holes, and a sadly misplaced power supply cutout up top, here is the test fit.

ac9pi.jpg

vx5Oa.jpg

77xeN.jpg

I did not realize how big that PSU cutout was. It is actually visible if you stand closer to it. So, I had to change up my layout and now the PSU is on the bottom, whereas it was on the top before. Also, I need to grab a couple more white extensions for the accent pieces. They should arrive tomorrow.
post #6 of 22
what are those? happ buttons?
sanwa fo lyfe.
zomgFX
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zomgFX
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needs moar win
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matte. Canon X Mark I 
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E8400 C0 P5N-E SLI EVGA 8800GT EVGA 8800GT 
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4gigs ddr2800 - G.skill Seagate 2tb 5700RPM Crucial M4 64GB Hyper 212+ 
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post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
5. Fan & button cutouts

So now that I had the buttons, it is time to put that bad boy on the frame. The buttons have a 1 1/8 inch installation mount so I bought a 1 1/8 inch hole saw. Stupid me didn't realize it did not come with an arbor, so I had to use the hole saw lying around the house. I found one and I think it was a 40mm hole saw. It looked like it would so so I used that.

u4ZtW.jpg

iZptb.jpg

Luckily, it fit. Any larger, and the button would slip through. It would've been perfect with the 1 1/8 inch hole saw, but I guess it works out because the 40mm hole saw will be perfect for the fan. Let's cut that hole!

Uyxa5.jpg

I started off by drilling the the holes for the fan screws and lined it up with the fan grill. Then I just marked the center and hole saw'd it up.

QWNgZ.jpg

pFxoD.jpg

I like it. Now I just have to paint the inside of that hole white and the fan grill white, and we are getting somewhere. Here is the aftermath after taking everything out to paint the backing of the frame.

gQMu3.jpg

I can't wait till this is over so my room can be clean again! Now that everything is out, I will soon be painting all the parts needed to be painted. This includes an extra frame border just to see how it looks, the frame backing, the fan grill, and the holes.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zomgiwin View Post

what are those? happ buttons?
sanwa fo lyfe.

It was some buttons I found on ebay. All the other buttons required a minimum order of $25 to $50 and I just needed 1 or 2 buttons.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
6. Paint & touch up

Finishing is so close, I can taste it! With the majority of the build done, and just waiting for parts now, all I have left is paint and the little bits of touch up. Here are the inside of the holes and the fan grill.

gZK5l.jpg

xzT2x.jpg

They just need some clear coat and they should be finished. I did the holes by spraying the paint into a cup and touching up what I needed with a tiny paint brush. Oh, you can see the red? That is actually an extra frame border I painted red. I wanted it accessible to see how it looks with the final product.

29mVH.jpg

etYRI.jpg

The parts are just laying under the frame for now. The backing is being painted. It looks okay with the red I guess. I just need to see the whole thing together to decide what I want. And here is the frame backing where all the parts are installed on.

SSZzq.jpg

Remember that huge PSU hole? Well, I flipped it around and now it is on the bottom. So when the frame is hung, it is not visible. The holes in the middle are for the extensions and the cutout on the top right is for the 40mm fan at the top right corner of the frame. The hole on the bottom left is for the PSU wires to go to the back.

And now you are all caught up! My room is still a mess and I am waiting on parts to finish the build. They include white extensions, random wires, the wire hider, and a red USB extension which just came today. I have less than two weeks to finish this up and some of the parts are not arriving until the middle of next week. Oh, am I getting nervous you ask? Yes. Yes I am. Until next time!
post #10 of 22
drool.gif

Wow great work so far. I love the creativity and uniqueness of this. Subbed.
    
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1 Tb M.2 Drive WD Black 1 Tb Corsair H100i Windows 10 x64 
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