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[Build Log] Libra (Lian Li A05)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Alright.This is going to be my first mod/build and it is going to be quite the challenge.

The core of my build will be the Lian Li A05FN in black. I was originally going to hold out for the rumored (at the time) 900D, but felt that is was just too large for my needs. This made me go in the opposite direction and use one of the smallest cases that can fit a full ATX motherboard.

The hardware that I will be using:
Case: Lian Li A05FN
CPU: Intel i7 3770k
Motherboard: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth
RAM: 16GB Samsung 1600MHz 30nm
Video Card: ASUS DirectCU 5850 (Want to upgrade, but still a beast)
Soundcard: ASUS Xonar Essence STX
PSU: Seasonic 860w Platinum
Disk Drive: ASUS Blu-Ray drive
Hard Drives : - 128GB Crucial M4 SSD
-1.5GB WD Green
-1.0GB WD Black
-2 x 2.0GB WD Green (Yes, there are a lot of drives)
Cooling: Corsair H100i
Fans: Gentle Typhoon AP-15
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post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

Originally I thought that some Gentle Typhoons and an H100i would easily fit on the top of my case with just a bit of cutting. WRONG! Realized that the space that the fan and radiator would be around 55mm but when I measured the distance it measured 40mm. This really sucks.

I have 3 options:

1. Buy a new case. Not going to happen since I just bought this case and I want a small tight case.

2. Mount the fans or the radiator on the outside of the case. Also not going to happen as that to me looks horrible and would admit defeat.

3. Lastly, move all of the motherboard standoffs and the i/o panel down 20mm. This will be my course of action as it will leave the best looking results, but it is the most difficult and time consuming. What a great start to my first project.
Now, to mention the hero of this project, the thing that was the key to everything; my digital caliper.
Without it, the work could not have been close to what it could be
.
This is the current state of my computer:
I know it looks ugly, but there are no other alternatives while the A05 is being modified.

Now for the first mod, installing a 240mm rad grill on the top of the case for the H100i.

I don't have any pictures of it beforehand as this was about the time I decided to write this worklog.


As you can see on the left edge of the grill (inside the case) I had to cut through the frame of the case. During the cutting I didn't actually know I was cutting it, but in the end it turned out fine. The reason why it's so close to the back of the case is that I did not want the H100i to be blocked by the DVD drive.

Here's a close up of the cutout.

That's it for now.
Edited by regles - 1/22/13 at 6:25pm
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post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
As I mentioned in the previous post, I have decided to move all the motherboard standoffs and i/o panel down 20mm. This was not an easy task as the standoff cannot be off the theoretical locations by much or the motherboard holes wont line up.

I broke out my trusty digital caliper and went to town. Doing the vertical line was not too bad as there were holes for the original standoff locations that I used as reference points. The tricky part was making the horizontal lines. If there was 0.5mm to 1mm deviation from being 20mm lower, I'm screwed. As you can see below, everything looks good so far.

Next, on to the drilling of the holes. I only had to drill 7 holes as 2 of the standoff locations already had standoff done by Lian Li. I am so jelous of people that have a drill press. I only have a regular drill so I did my best lining the bit perpendicular with the motherboard tray.

I'll mention this now as it would be the most appropriate, Lian Li motherboard standoffs have a different thread pattern then most other manufactures. I didn't know this until I bought 6-32 nuts to go on the other side of the standoff.

Originally I planned not to tap the holes as the aluminum is only 1mm thick and it would be difficult to get any threads into the tray. Lucky for me, the standoffs I screwed in were able to tap the tray themselves and make enough threads to feel secure. Although, I did add nuts to the back of them just to be safe.

Now, the i/o panel. I simply measured 20 mm down from the previous holes on the motherboard tray and used the existing holes on the i/o panel. As you can see, it worked out perfectly. What I found to be amazingly luck was that the rectangular holes on the motherboard tray that were originally there for the PCI card were in the exact right spot. I guess 20mm was the perfect distance to drop the motherboard, who would have thought it.

Because of the shift down, there is now an overhang of the PCI slots. This was an easy remedy as all I had to do was cut off the excess.

Here is an image of what the top part looks like now.


That's all for now,
Cheers
Edited by regles - 1/22/13 at 6:26pm
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post #4 of 21
Wow, impressive work already! :thumb:Can you tell me more about the calipers? Price/thoughts on it?
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post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the compliment smile.gif The calipers are like a clamp. Say for instance you want to see how thick something is, you would just open the two arms and clamp the object you want to measure. I use it as a really precise ruler.










What is cool is that is you use the other side, you can measure inside an object, say for instance the mouth a my shot glass.

I not to sure on the price of mine because I got them from my dad's company. At Homedepot you can get one for ~30-40 dollars.
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100659809/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=caliper&storeId=10051#.UP9F4ydEGiE

I love them, they allow me to do precise measurements without the problem of slightly guessing say on a regular ruler.
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post #6 of 21
Thanks! While I have honestly never used calipers, I know what they are but I have no idea what makes a good set. I have heard some 'slip' if you move the slide too fast. I dont know if you can get a good set for 30-40 or if I should be spending more. Maybe Ill just go to home depot and check them out myself... Anyway, +rep!
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post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
What do you mean by "slip"? There is a knob on top of the digital display that you can tighten so that you can adjust how fast you can pull it and also to keep it locked in one position.
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post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

Alright, time for the next update in my project.

As you can see, I have put the motherboard back into place to see if everything looks in place. The only problem I have as of now is that I have no way of testing weather the motherboard standoffs are in the proper place. That is to say that I do not have a motherboard that is currently not in use. I guess I will see if it fits at the end of the case modifications.


I decides to use some nuts on the back of the standoffs to make sure that if I strip the threads on the tray, I can still have a functional standoff. Probably not necessary, but I get a little paranoid.kookoo.gif


Due to the shift in location of the i/o panel there is a large gap now. For now this will have to do, but I plan to bolt on a nice brushed aluminum plate in that location to fix the hole.


There is also a gap here. Again, a plate will go there.


The stock hard drive cage. What can I say about this, well I guess goodbye is good enough. It's not that bad and looks decent, but there are so many better cages available to replace it.


Out with the old and in with the new. Decided to stick with Lian Li and get one of there drive bay hard drive cages. I love it as it will fit 4 hard drives instead of the 3 previously available and it is completely hot swappable. I will not be using it like most people would. Instead of putting it in the drive bays, I've decided to strip it down and put it in the exact location the hard drive cage was.


That hot swap will make it look so much cleaner and just look awesome in my opinion. Plus, now I wont have to take the back panel off to move or replace a hard drive.


This is the stripped down version, I will try and incorporate the existing door, but will need to customize it to make it look just right.


Hopefully, this is what it will look like, sans hand.

That's all I got,
Cheers
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post #9 of 21
Love seeing people going out of their way to make cases their own, great job! thumb.gif
    
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post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I felt that if I were to mod a case then I should at least go all out and make it one of a kind.
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