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Mike's First Mod - Window/UV/Vinyl/EL Wire

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all first time posting in the mod section so bare with me, clueless around modding smile.gif

Basically I want to spend as little as possible, I have been reading a lot about painting, creating Windows and to be honest I don't have the time or money for it frown.gif

My stuff

I have a HEC 66RC case (a.k.a HEC Blitz without the mesh or black chassis) so the side panel is a simple vent, I use Xigmatek LED fans and Xigmatek Aegir heatsink. So theme is going to be orange/red.

Alternative Painting Methods?

I know spray painting matte is the best, BUT I don't have the money or time to do that and it's a good chance I will mess up.

I saw on another thread about vinyl film?
I could paint my HDD cage, because I would like it red or orange. That's the main part.

Side Panel

The side panel, I can get 2mm thick acrylic which may just fit my case, so there will be inside gaps which isn't really a problem. I don't mind the drilling part that seems quick and simple rather than literally modding my panel (last time it didn't go well).

Internal Lighting?

Next up is my lighting,I want this to be a seriously cheap mod, so what's best to use, cold cathodes or LED strips? I heard cathodes are power hungry.

I saw on here about using gel UV pens to highlight certain areas, or simple UV paint. Could I use a simple UV back light such as those portable ones, or am I thinking too basic.

I don't know how complex this task is. But iam looking for a simple, quick, easy and cheap solution to just add some umf.
I am not really looking for professional just simple design smile.gif




Last but not least, sorry for the huge thread!

Any suggestions on what to use, what color lights go with what, what to avoid etc just to point me in the right direction so as to not ruin the look and then realise nothing matches.



Thanks for any suggestions!!

Regards,
Mike
Edited by mikeo01 - 2/14/13 at 3:07pm
post #2 of 9
If you're thinking of making a window in your case it would probably be important not to rush, take your time and buy decent materials imo.

For case lighting, you could buy an LED strip off eBay, 1m or 2m,if you want and hook it up to a molex connector,
i bought a 5m role of White LED's and hooked them up to a molex connector and batteries and stuff just for fun.
btw, they come with double sided tape already applied.



Or, you could buy the NZXT Sleeved Lighting Kit, on average in Aus they're about $20 for the 1M kit or around $30 for the 2M, they also come with a controller switch on the back too.
   
Pink Power
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500k @ 4.3ghz 1.34v Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3R Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Kingston HyperX t1 8GB 1866 MHZ 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital Green 2TB Intel 520 SSD Samsung SH-224DB DVD Burner Corsair H105 
CoolingCoolingOSPower
2x Enermax T.B Apollish Twister 140mm 2x NZXT FN 120RB Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Thermaltake ToughPower XT 775W 
CaseOtherOtherOther
NZXT Phantom 410 Leadtek DTV1000s HD TV Tuner/Capture Card ASUS PCE-N15 Wireless Adapter NZXT Sleeved Lighting Kit 100cm 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel G630 Gigabyte GA-H61M-DS2 POV GT 430 2GB Strontium 4GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSPower
WD Caviar Blue 500GB LG External DVD Burner Win7 Ultimate 32bit 680W ATX Power Supply 
CaseOther
K-Mart Fish Tank Blue LED Strip 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i3 4170 AsRock B85M Pro3 ASUS Radeon R7 370 Kingston HyperX Fury 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Toshiba 500GB SATA3 Sandisk SSD Plus Windows 7 Ultimate Antec VPF550 550w 
CaseOther
Bitfenix Shinobi (Pink) 2x 30cm Pink LED Strips 
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Pink Power
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500k @ 4.3ghz 1.34v Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3R Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Kingston HyperX t1 8GB 1866 MHZ 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital Green 2TB Intel 520 SSD Samsung SH-224DB DVD Burner Corsair H105 
CoolingCoolingOSPower
2x Enermax T.B Apollish Twister 140mm 2x NZXT FN 120RB Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Thermaltake ToughPower XT 775W 
CaseOtherOtherOther
NZXT Phantom 410 Leadtek DTV1000s HD TV Tuner/Capture Card ASUS PCE-N15 Wireless Adapter NZXT Sleeved Lighting Kit 100cm 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel G630 Gigabyte GA-H61M-DS2 POV GT 430 2GB Strontium 4GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSPower
WD Caviar Blue 500GB LG External DVD Burner Win7 Ultimate 32bit 680W ATX Power Supply 
CaseOther
K-Mart Fish Tank Blue LED Strip 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i3 4170 AsRock B85M Pro3 ASUS Radeon R7 370 Kingston HyperX Fury 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
Toshiba 500GB SATA3 Sandisk SSD Plus Windows 7 Ultimate Antec VPF550 550w 
CaseOther
Bitfenix Shinobi (Pink) 2x 30cm Pink LED Strips 
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi thanks for the reply, I had a look around and have decided on my side window, that shouldn't be a problem.
I am also going to full the case with vinyl so that's fine too.


My main part now is lighting. I heard cathodes are good but looking on it, they burn up or require a lot of power. That LED strip you posted is perfect for me! biggrin.gif I will look for that, strapping it up looks a treat. There are cheap eBay ones or Phobya or Akasa.


But I am torn on UV coloured components or simple LED lights. I am going to try mask the sides of the acrylic window and use EL wire to light up the outside of it to give it a better look also. UV or LED is preference but I am torn between the two.

Thanks for the reply appreciated thumb.gif
post #4 of 9
When you wrap your case with vinyl, take your time. I found it easier to layout the vinyl flat, then place the panel on top of it. If you get it off sqaure even by a mm it folds up and you'll be peeling it on and off for ages to get it smooth.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip, I will.

But also problem, I will use using vinyl inside the chassis too where the motherboard sits and 5" bay.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyone's help, so I will be getting two 2M rolls of vinyl, one matte black for the inside chassis and one matte red for the HDD bay and maybe something else to stand it out.

I have been looking around for UV LED strips, there aren't really any, just coloured LEDs.

So, I found some Akasa UV cold cathodes, dual 12" tubes that apparently last years, 0.8W, comes with an inverter and on/off switch. Basically should I take the plunge and take a punt at cathodes or will they go boom (I have read too many scare stories!).


I have way too many LED fans so not sure what to do with these, either stick with the orange theme or go full out UV.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
NOTE: Sorry for the grainy images frown.gif bad camera quality
NOTE: Pics are not final, continuation of mod and stuff will be updated tongue.gif much more to change but here's the initial idea
So finally got around to modding my case, it has been on going for a while but I kept it very simple for simples sake biggrin.gif
It isn't completely finished but my first attempt is looking alright but I would say that tongue.gif
Before The Mod Began
Quite untidy, didn't like the metal looking finish too. My goal was to use black matt vinyl as an alternative to paint so I could get the PC up and running instantly.
C2YiHtR.jpg
Vinyl on Side Panel Unfinished
There are cut holds and gaps in my case so I wanted to get a new black sleek finish on the side panel behind the tray so it can be seen when all finished, looks better in person! But you get the idea.
5PBEpaE.jpg
Finished
XBeytrE.jpg
Front Panel Finished
Front panel as in the bracket to allow the panel to mount, I did this too.
Qk3J1js.jpg
Shaping the I/O area
The biggest pain I encountered, getting the vinyl to fit nicely over the metal without bubbles, bit of slits and it worked.
XEEqJNu.jpg
Rear Fan Area
You may be thinking "what on earth", this part I basically covered the rear and popped holes in the rear. Mind you I will be removing the whole rear mesh soon to allow open airflow.
7vowNPB.jpg
K2YzefL.jpg
Whole Case Complete
General idea of the vinyl complete, whole HDD area filled, I just pop holes when I need to screw a device in so its a pure black finish. There are still some areas where there is metal showing, these are going to be painted UV red so it glows.
The actual motherboard area I left, simply because its too much hassle, you won't see it and I don't fancy vinyl heating up under my motherboard. The bottom is also covered so that gives up a unused bottom fan mount to give a smooth black bottom area.
yxSbkKI.jpg
Acrylic Measuring
General idea of the acrylic, it is extruded but was cut fine, I decided against an all expensive piece of acrylic so went for a cheap 3mm A3 pre cut acrylic sheet which will slot in nicely to leave my HDD rack exposed which turned out quite nice.
p2BseYC.jpg
UV Paint - Ahh looks Pink! frown.gif oh joy!
Just a small overview on what I am doing with the UV paint, I won't be covering everything to give Vegas a run for its money, just small UV reactive areas. I will be painting my fan blades with this.
H2gjBSd.jpg
Acrylic Window Installed!
Acrylic window cut and installed, slots in perfectly. This is unfinished I am awaiting EL wire and will be installing a cathode very soon. Painting isn't complete. The fan is for show, I am actually awaiting my new fans which will be painted so they should give off a nice red UV tinge.
71vjXlF.jpg
I will continue to update this, haven't completed everything yet but just to show what I have been up to over last month smile.gif not much description yet, just piccis
Things to do:
Install UV cathode
Paint components, heatsinks, fan blades UV red
Run EL wire around acrylic window
Cut out rear mesh for better airflow
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
UV Update
Cutting out rear Grill

Cut out grill for better airflow.




Painting UV

Everything pretty much painted smile.gif




Adding Nylon Cable Ties for extra look

Added some cable ties which actually are UV reactive, bog standard nylon cable ties.




UV On - How it looks

How it looks so far smile.gif





Fan UV Tester!

Had a bit of fun seeing how UV paint will look on one of my old fans.


post #9 of 9
As for the spray paint, spray light and use automotive tough up paint, its good stuff and sticks well. I usually do three coats and back at 170 degrees in between or hit it with the heat gun! thumb.gif Dont use crappy high gloss its too runny, try differant kinds before spraying your case. And be sure to do a good sand first, not to the metal but a nice smooth texture with some ruff then finish with 800 grit for the best results! thumb.gif







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