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[Build Log] Define Mini with a custom loop and a little something extra - Page 4

post #31 of 52
Thread Starter 
Dry fitting the new radiator... seems this is as far in as it will go!




The part of the drive cage that extends downwards in the middle has got to go! Other than that, it should fit just fine. Looks like I get to tear the entire system apart again...

It also seems my hacked camera mount helps a bit. Rubber-banded it to a Helping Hands that has had the magnifying glass removed, then turned on the delay and raised the exposure time since it's no longer wiggling.
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post #32 of 52
Thread Starter 
Disassembled the entire system, and decided that now is as good a time as any for some maintenance, repairs, and minor mods that I've been wanting to do.

Top radiator isn't too dusty after a full year of operation! Seems the filters are doing their job. This cleaned up real quick with a trip under some hot water in the sink.



Decided to see how well "stuck" on the RAM heat-spreaders were, as the bit of PCB I could see underneath looked to have promise for good aesthetics. The first side popped off with just a slight nudge from a fingernail... it was barely hanging on! The rest took a bit of gentle persuasion, but came off rather easily. The board I found underneath was beyond my expectation, it looks amazing! Why in the world did G.Skill ever cover up these beautiful boards with those garish heat-spreaders? Metallic red is nice and all... but matte black looks far better.





I also made an attempt to reinforce the inserts in my shroud so they don't look like they are nearly being forced out by the radiator. Hopefully this works, as I'd need to really cut into them to secure them further, and that would risk the exterior finish.

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post #33 of 52
Thread Starter 
Busy day! Did a little shopping at the hardware store, and a bunch of cutting on steel, along with a few other things.


Got the offending bit of casing rough cut, just need to dress the edges and repair the finish.





Also working on finally doing something with this Raystorm...


Test fit after wet-sand and patting dry between coats. I looked hard for a black chrome color paint, and couldn't find any that were convincingly close. At that point it was a toss-up between flat or satin black, and a red that closely matched the red plastic already in the system. I took a gamble that the red would look good and not give "too much red." I think I like it!



Time to see if this 3570k has any more than 4.2GHz in it!


Well gee... this TIM was all hard and basically no different in texture than the glue holding down the heat-spreader... thanks Intel!


This is much better!



My Masterkleer tubing was going very, very cloudy, so I picked up some new tubing too. Here's a comparison shot of the new tube (store had clear or black, I'm giving this a shot for now), the old new tube, and the used old tube. You can clearly see that the old tubing has some problems with plasticizer buildup...
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post #34 of 52
Thread Starter 
Finished cutting things and mounting the front radiator:







This Define Mini now has 600mm x 120mm x 30mm of radiator. thumb.gif

In other news, my delid was a success! I slapped it in and stuffed a ratty old air cooler on it, and it boots into the BIOS just fine. wheee.gif

Spent the rest of the day trying to figure out where and how to mount the pump and res. After much holding, looking, and pondering, I've concluded that there is only one possible place for the pump, so will get started on a proper mount in that location. I'm still sorting out the reservoir, however.
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post #35 of 52
Thread Starter 
Got a few more things completed, but mostly just loafed around for Christmas.

Created a proper mount for the pump, finally.



Until I can get my hands on proper rubber anti-vibration bolts for the pump, I am just using some of the Fractal HDD anti-vibration grommets cut in half. I'd have avoided chopping the grommets in half for better isolation if I'd had longer M3 screws or a drill bit to make holes of the proper diameter to pop the grommets into. doh.gif


I also put in some work on the drive bay cage. Originally, the "HDD Present" indicator was a tacky blue, like this:


Here's the LED side of the circuit, it's just a simple bi-color LED.




I initially tried to desolder and flip the LED around. Unfortunately due to the tools I have available and the extremely thin copper traces used, the board was having none of that, and decided that it would rather lift pads and traces than let go of the LED. My solution was to cut the traces to the LEDs and rewire them with some little bodge wires. Now the "HDD Active" indicator is red, and the activity indicator is blue (and able to be disabled with a switch on the back of the unit!)



I removed the fans from the unit as soon as I first unboxed it, so there is quite a bit of internal space available. I'm considering ways to close up the space so that the indicator light doesn't spill out of the cage and flood my case. Eventually I'll revisit this device and work out a way to dim or blink the red side of the LED when activity occurs, instead of flashing it blue/purple.
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Windows 7 64bit Asus VE228H 21.5" Widescreen LED Monitor Leopold Tenkeyless, Cherry MX Red Corsair CX400 
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post #36 of 52
Thread Starter 
More updates coming soon. Here's a few teaser pics:

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Daily Driver
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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post #37 of 52
Is that the start and reset switch?!
I'm so subbed to see how to get rid of that LED.

Btw, are you gonna do something to hide the post readout LEDs too?
post #38 of 52
Looks like a very interesting build/mod. Definitely subbed.
post #39 of 52
Thread Starter 
For the power and reset buttons, I just carefully snipped off the old switches, desoldered the remaining leads left in the holes, and soldered in new switches. The original power switch was faulty anyway, so not only have I gotten rid of the ugly LEDs from the old switches, but now also have two functioning switches.

As for the POST code readout, I cut out a small thin piece of smoked acrylic and glued it over the display, then painted around the sides so the entire thing is black. When the system is powered on, the LED shines through just fine and it looks much better than the original.
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Windows 7 64bit Asus VE228H 21.5" Widescreen LED Monitor Leopold Tenkeyless, Cherry MX Red Corsair CX400 
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Daily Driver
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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Samsung Spinpoint F3 OCZ Vertex DVD Burner XSPC Raystorm CPU Waterblock 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 64bit Asus VE228H 21.5" Widescreen LED Monitor Leopold Tenkeyless, Cherry MX Red Corsair CX400 
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post #40 of 52
Thread Starter 
I guess it's been a long time since I've updated... but I've been very busy with finishing up my degree, and working on the "little something extra" for this build.

Here's a teaser:

Daily Driver
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Windows 7 64bit Asus VE228H 21.5" Widescreen LED Monitor Leopold Tenkeyless, Cherry MX Red Corsair CX400 
CaseMouseAudioOther
Fractal Design Define Mini Logitech G500 Logitech X-530 XSPC EX360 Radiator 
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Watercool HEATKILLER GPU-X² 6850 LT Swiftech MCP-35X PWM Pump 
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Daily Driver
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-3570K Asus Maximus V Gene XFX Radeon HD 6850 G.Skill Ripjaw X 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung Spinpoint F3 OCZ Vertex DVD Burner XSPC Raystorm CPU Waterblock 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 64bit Asus VE228H 21.5" Widescreen LED Monitor Leopold Tenkeyless, Cherry MX Red Corsair CX400 
CaseMouseAudioOther
Fractal Design Define Mini Logitech G500 Logitech X-530 XSPC EX360 Radiator 
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Watercool HEATKILLER GPU-X² 6850 LT Swiftech MCP-35X PWM Pump 
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