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[Build Log] "Consummation" - Dual HTPC, water cooled audiophile 'stereo' build - Page 3

post #21 of 79
Thread Starter 
Ah sweet PvP... ESO launch, and then Archeage. Much blood was spilled at 142fps in beautiful ultra graphics mode(s)! *sighs contentedly* Now that things have calmed down, I'm back on the rig work heh

I'll try to get some pictures this weekend, been a bit busy prepping for the serious freeze season (with no snow up here in the last frontier it's real bad for the water pipes >.<)


Anyway, new rig gear includes the second Asus 290xCUII GPU and an Asus Wireless-AC 2900 Gibabit Router. I've also run all new cat 6 to all our rigs in the house so I'm ready when we finally get 1g up here sometime next year. Oh I think I forgot to mention the Turtle Beach USB sound card I picked up a while back; allows me to have my game sound on the 7.1 speakers and voice chat, etc on the ear buds. That's working very well for me and there's no compatibility issue with the Halo smile.gif

As far as work on the rig goes; well I ended up completely uninstalling and reinstalling the aluminum paneling in the top box. When installing the second GPU I discovered a slight dip/slope that caused a less than perfect seating of the GPU in the PCIe 3 slot. After four lovely lacerations and some blood deco on my rig - I've added metal washers under the paneling to support the motherboard and level it out. While I was at it I installed the new taller MPCTech feet on the top case which will give me clearance to run water tubes for the eventual CPU loop that drops into the second case.


Speaking of loops... A week ago I went ahead and threw together a temp loop thinking to cool one of the two GPU's and ran into a major set-back... The water block I had bought doesn't fit the CUII's doh... I'm getting the EK water block made specifically for these CUII cards for Xmas, but that means waiting to open the darn things unfortunately. (I tried to convince my family that no one would ever know if we wrapped the old water block and let me use the new one, but they wouldn't go for it and are forcing me to wait.)


In any event, the temp loop is running really nice; I used flexible hose scraps for it rather than the rigid tubing so it's not exactly pretty, but it's testing very well. I have the Frozen Q res, the single Swiftech PWM 655 pump, the desk installed 120x240 rad w/push pull corsair 120 fans, the AQ5LT w/block, Aquaero flow meter, the inline temp sensor, and the ill fit GPU water block on this loop. While I wait on the block I've mostly been fiddling with a custom on screen display using AIDA64. Oh and I've got the AQ5LT controlling my CPU air cooling now as well. It took a good five days running the loop to get the bubbles worked out of the res, but it looks sweet in the top case smile.gif

I've got a couple small issues to work out with the loop and lighting, but I'll get into details on that when I have pictures.


Also had the PCI riser cable that runs my Claro Halo (sound card) give out on me. I 'did' manage to get the interference issue under control with some electrically conductive acrylic pads (eCAP they call it) So that was pleasing, however now I'm concerned that I'm going to run into constant problems with the pci riser cables giving out - which is highly annoying. I'm debating if putting the card up top and creating a box around it is even feasible however, with two GPU's in the rig there is not a heck of a lot of room between the 2nd GPU and the PCI slot and I'm not keen to ruin the clean look up top. The internal debate on that rages on...


Anyway, until I have pictures! *waves*
post #22 of 79
Thread Starter 
Has it really been that long since I updated here? Ooops.

Well, I’ve given up on the PCI riser cable for the Claro Halo card, the ribbon cables kept giving out and it was causing a lot of issues so I’ll be making a “cover” of some sort once I have the GPU’s water blocked. (I’m thinking about black acrylic with brushed aluminum edges.) Speaking of the halo, the darn drivers that came with the card were just not working with the Asus drivers and various games, so after much searching I found a third party driver (UNi Xonar) which has cleared up ALL of my issues so my rig is running perfectly.

In other news, I’ve pretty much finished all the pre-loop work on the chassis, stand, and desk now; mostly this consisted of drilling holes for the tubing in the case and desk:




I’ll have two white Monsoon Hardline tubes running from the Monsoon lightport’s in the front corners to the GPU and CPU respectively. Over those tube inlets, I’ve made a mount for my FrozenQ res that doubles as a cover for the front of the case:




Below that panel are the res tubes which curve over the lightport hardline fittings and down through the stand:




These will run along the bottom of the top shelf and through the side of my desk to connect up to the pump and radiator (I took the pictures of the stand before I painted them for contrast visibility; it’s all painted black now):




I wasn’t too happy with that big of a slot in the front of the top shelf since it’s a hanging shelf… I wish I’d just done holes now, but I thought it’d be too much of a pita to line everything up, of course I have to line everything up anyway to fit through the slot so it was apparently a blonde moment; in any event, hindsight is 20/20. Anyway, I’ve installed a couple solid steel bars on the underside of the top shelf and it’s done wonders for the stability; it’s sitting perfectly level now with zero dipping in the front left corner now, so there’s my silver lining.

Did a few other things while I had everything removed from the stand as well; created a little mount/holder for the Claro Halo XT expansion board (which gives me the 7.1 surround connection to the receiver,) and decided to get a little mini itx going in the bottom case:




It’s an MSI AM1 mb with a cute 2.05GHz AMD Athlon 5350 Kabini quad cpu, 8gb of G.Skill Ripjaws 1866 ram, and a 300w Silverstone SFX psu. I gave the mini rig the smaller 120gb ssd since I wasn’t really using it anyway. The cabling is a bit of a mess down there atm since the little psu isn’t modular, but I’ll straighten that out once I get an OS on the mini rig. I’m just waiting for a nifty usb port switcher so I’ll be able to push a button and use my Corsair K95 and Logitech M570 trackball on both systems if I wish (else I’ve ordered a remote control sized mini keyboard w/touchpad for simultaneous use.)



Next “major” update should be setting up the GPU loop; I’m not going to do the hardline quite yet as I’m still waiting on a second DCII block, so I’ll just be running one card and soft tube. Hoping to get that done in the next month or so.

I’m planning to reinstall the AQ 5 LT and get it mounted in its final location later this week, and I may or may not get the lighting done in the next couple weeks. (If ya’ll forgot; I’d been unhappy with the harsh dots and lines my under the mb led strips were causing.) I have finally come up with a potential solution using frosted plastic sheet, but I need to work out a few details for mounting.

I’ve also picked up one of the new Aquaero RGB LED strip modules ( http://www.performance-pcs.com/aquacomputer-farbwerk-usb-aquabus-version.html ) so I’m planning to fiddle with that a bit as well. My original plan was to have the loop temps controlling LED’s which replace the case lights (power/hdd) and light up only if things get too hot, but I might have an even better idea with the RGB LED module. We’ll see what I decide to do.

I’m currently debating the AQ6 now as it cannot run the AQ PWM pumps and the AQ5 can only run 2 pumps (my plan calls for 3). I may just pick up one or two poweradjust modules instead. (http://www.performance-pcs.com/aquacomputer-poweradjust-3-usb-ultra-series.html )

I’m also considering completely redoing my bottom panel. I’m still not entirely happy with the lumps and bumps from the uneven surface below the brushed aluminum panel and I’m not sure I’ll be happy with my original idea of under-folding the side panels below the bottom panel as I don’t have a break and thus far all my attempts at a clean 90 degree fold have failed. I am thinking about doing an epoxy/resin flow to even out the base, as well as doing the bottom and side panels as one piece so there are no side seams showing; I’d also like to do a bit better job around the Monsoon lightport fittings. Was also thinking about doing a resin/epoxy flow to hide the side panel’s fan mounts; which would require painting the entire case.

Ah and it occurs to me that I never posted a picture of the custom sensor panel I created for AIDA64. I think I’m going to add some sensor displays for the mini-rig once I get that going, but this is the gist of it:



(Full desktop)



Anyway, that’s all I’ve got right now, until next time!
Edited by Mystriss - 2/11/15 at 7:40am
post #23 of 79
Thread Starter 
It's been a few months, so I thought I'd pop in and update my progress.

Had some ups and downs on the project the past few months, the most frustrating of which is that pretty much every issue I've been having turns out to be my PSU. Been having trouble with high draw graphics killing my rig for a good while now, but I kept blaming everything else in my rig cause it's a SilverStone PSU and they're great quality, but in the end I have 100% traced the problem to the PSU. Either the PSU is dying on me, the amp draw is too much for one of the rails, or I've got a wiring issue in one of my custom cables (which I'm not so sure about because I've swapped out the cables a number of times and I'm fairly certain I would have found it had they been the problem.) In any event, I'll be sorting that out for good in the next week or so.

I went ahead and picked up an EVGA 1300w G2 which has a healthy 108amps on the 12v rail vs the 28amps my Silverstone has on the 12v rail - the down side is that the new PSU is reportedly a bit longer so I may have to cut the case back out if I'm going to fit the CPU rad in the bottom case as I planned. I also picked up some ModRight Black-Out extension cables to make 100% sure my cables are not the issue. If it turns out that my cables were the problem then I'll likely send the EVGA PSU back and hold out for an EVGA 1600 T2 which has enough amps on the 3.3 and 5v rail for my next planned upgrade to the Asus WS-E X99. (I didn't feel like spending $400 to "see" if the PSU was bad so I'd just got the 1300G2 heh)


In any event, a couple months ago I happened upon the perfect PCI riser for my Halo XT while trolling for other mod parts. This one is way better than the old one, not only in quality of construction, but the ribbon cable can be unplugged from the PCI slot connection PCBs on both ends (the male and female bits with the gold finger connections) which is perfect for routing them under the top case and through the top shelf.

While I had my main rig pulled apart to install that riser, I also threw together a more solid holder for the Halo cards; the plastic "shelf" bits I had been using kept unsticking from the double sided tape and falling, which ultimately unplugged the PCI connection on the card. I ghetto'ed this a bit, using a Corsair fan box, but with black paint it looks great and pretty much disappears in the "stereo" rack. Some pictures of that mini-mod (the XT expansion card is underneath the bigger Halo card, not sure why I didn't get a picture of that):



(Before and After installed)


I apparently also only grabbed one shot of the new PCI riser cable, so I'll get some better pictures of it when I tear everything apart for the new PSU/check my wiring thing:



I had at some point picked up a set of SilverStone short flat PSU cables to clean up the cord chaos in the bottom case (specifically where I'll be installing the CPU rad in front of the PSU.) These have allowed me to route all the main rig cable connections through the back pci slot so I'll be able to put a lid on the bottom case.



Flat cables are absolutely awesome. Even dropped a C off my IPX and HD temps... Okay that's a lie, it was the front drive cage fan I put in that did that, but still it looks 10 times better now.



Since then I've been mostly fiddling with my motherboard lighting plan; I'd pretty much decided a while ago I was going to do some kind of acrylic motherboard tray with a bevel edge to get a nice solid stripe around the perimeter of the motherboard and limit the glow effect that was overpowering the water loop LED's. The problem I keep running into is that I would end up with "black spots" in the light line where my MB cables roll underneath the motherboard. (Lke the PCIe and 24pin cables shown here do):


I was perusing one of my mod parts store and found a solution I hope - ordered some Corsair Style ribbon wire's (basically the same stuff SilverStone used on their flat psu set) so I can remake my braided cables (the EPS 8pin, PCIe 8pin, and PCIe 6pins, and the ModRight black-out 24pin shown in the above picture specifically, I don't think I can do anything about the PCI riser cable :/) I should be able to do a "u" bend with these Corsair styles to limit the impact on my light line, as an added bonus they make an 8 conductor model that should be perfect for my GPU PCIe cable's and cover the annoying green GPU LEDs. I've ordered 18g 4, 6, 8, and 12 wire ribbons, as well as some 22g 2 and 3 wire ribbons for some other projects on this mod.


Another big part of the lighting for my rig was this LED strip light music sound driver:


If you recall I was planning to plug in a 3.5mm audio jack straight from the PC so I could separate out the bass for my MB tray light beat. Unfortunately it turns out that both my Onkyo receiver and the Halo XT are putting out too much power for the sound receiver to properly handle; basically the light goes practically solid from audio input no matter what I do. I even tried an audio line cleaner and soldering on resistors to the 3.5mm to speaker/rca connection cables. Ultimately it was a complete no go which left me with two options; I could put the sound controller under the sub or I could desolder the speaker and run that to the sub.

As the controller has an IR receiver on it, the sound knob, and I'd have to run all the wires for the LED strip /and/ the 12v power connection to the box if I put it by the sub (which is a good 4 feet or so,) I opted to desolder the speaker. This is something I've done on a prior project with CFL sound controllers and it went fairly well, though it appears that whoever made this strip light controller was not as mod friendly; they used some odd/cheap soldering paste stuff that flat out would not wick for me to desolder so I ended up physically pulling the speaker off the board (which of course left the pins in the PCB and destroyed the speaker) On the plus side I have some through pin mini-speakers laying around so I used one of those instead:



After those pic's I sealed the solder points with some electrical grade silicone sealant so the connections are solid and the speaker should be just fine moshing with the dust bunnies under the sub. Both my sound tests, and the acrylic light line tests, were pretty much exactly what I was going for so I'm set to make the acrylic mb tray when I feel like it.



I think that's all... oh wait...



Heh. So I'd been having an ongoing issue with black screens as I mentioned, this was the part that helped me figure out it was 100% the PSU all along. After a few weeks in email and some number of hours on the phone with the lovely folks at ASUS trying to troubleshoot the MB I ended up buying this Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 motherboard, intending to RMA the Sabertooth as per ASUS's request. As it turns out there's absolutely nothing wrong with my Sabertooth, however, I've found that I very much prefer the black color scheme as well a number of the slot locations on this Gigabyte board so I decided to keep it. I'll get some better pictures of the new motherboard when I pull everything apart.


Well that's all I have for now, I've ordered some other bits and pieces the past few months, some more lighting stuff (another sound strip controller, V2 of the one I have so we'll see how that goes,) as well as one of the new Aquacomputer Aquaero Farbwerk LED controllers that I wanted to play with a bit, Bluetooth stuff for the semi-related IPX mini-rig, another inline temp sensor for the GPU loop, some fittings I needed, and some other stuff I don't remember at the moment. We'll see what else is in my mod storage boxes when I resolve the PSU thing and get my MB tray lighting done.

Until next time!
Edited by Mystriss - 7/3/15 at 3:14am
post #24 of 79
Thread Starter 
Quick update, so it wasn't the PSU, I knew I was wrong to second guess my SilverStone... Turns out I wasn't getting any power on the #3pin of my custom braided PCIe 8pin extension. Checked both side's pins and they were fine, didn't see any damage to the wires either. No idea on that, but there must be a break in the wire somewhere under the insulation. In any event, I replaced that wire and ran my rig through a battery of video tests (including running both 290x's) and everything was perfect so I'll be sending back the EVGA SuperNOVA 1300 G2. A beautiful PSU by the way, if I wasn't holding out for a SuperNOVA 1600 T2 that can run the next gen. motherboard/cpu's I would absolutely keep it.


Anyway, spent most of yesterday playing with lighting and related stuff. I got a picture of my test sample for the MB tray for the build log:



The back/far side of that test sample is a fire-polished sharp angle (it's upside down heh), but I didn't like the hard line of it so I did a "etched" round over on the front/near side that gives a much softer line.

I've decided I want to mount the sound activated LED controller for my case lighting on the underside of the top shelf so I can adjust the frequency sensitivity (the speaker I installed on it best picks up right around the 61Hz range and I've setup my Halo XT's Flexbass to output that Hz to the subwoofer. So the knob on the controller, for my modded controller, is mostly fine tuning for different music types; like for classical I need to turn it up a bit, for club/dance I need to turn it down, etc. - Yes my music taste is super eclectic.) In any event, I've decided to extend the length of my speaker wires about 2 feet so I can secure the speaker wires to the desk and avoid troubles of the speaker getting pulled out from under the sub, which means splicing in some more wire since I've already soldered and siliconed the ends. Typical heh


I also messed around with my Aquaero Farbwerk RGB light strip controller a bit, enough to figure out that I don't think it's going to be able to do what I'd like; need to look into the SDK on it before I decide. I may or may not just use it for ambient lighting behind my guitars. I do really like the controllability of the "breathing" effect it puts out.


The other sound controller I messed with is one of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MJYQ4L4?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00 I mostly wanted the black PCB non-waterproofed light strip, but I figured it came with the music controller so it was worth a testing out for my left/right channels (that tiny box would be much easier to mount behind my speakers than unsoldering the speakers and such [read: lazy].) However, the sound controller is tuned to around 120-250Hz, which is far too low (bass) for what I need it to pickup. In addition I can't make it flash only one color to the beat, it just has various ways to fade or flash through all the colors, solid, or a rotating function. This may or may not become the ambient lighting behind my guitars. In any event, the black PCB light strip is what I really wanted out of the purchase so it's no loss if I don't use it at all.


My version 2 sound controller arrived, but the remote isn't paired with it right and there's no way for me to pair it myself so I sent that back and I'll have to wait on a replacement.


The other idea I've been messing with is making my own ribbon cable; I still haven't gotten the Corsair Style ribbon cable in the mail, but at $1-$4 a foot + shipping to Alaska 2nd day air, plus not coming in the right gauges and conductors I want for everything, it's a bit expensive for what it is. I happen to have a bunch of heat shrink left over in my sleeving box so I played around with that regarding how to best minimize the light interference for the cables that wrap under the MB. Obviously wire's will hold a bend fairly well on their own, but by wrapping a section of wires in heat shrink around something (I used a small screwdriver shaft) when I shrink the heatshrink down it holds a really tidy bend that will look more organized and impact my tray lighting the least:



As you can see it hugs the MB edge quite well, I don't think I can get any better than that. The test piece there is all 22guage wire, 2 strands (in the white 1/8" heatshrink) and 4 strands (in the 6mm clear heatshrink) - I shrunk it all with a lighter cause I didn't feel like digging out the heat gun so when I do any actual wires it'll be a lot cleaner looking. I plan to use standard matte black heatshrink for the MB cables that fold under so it won't have as much gloss as the clear heatshrink in the photo does and won't "highlight" or "reflect" the LED light as much.


I plan to fabricate the mb lighting tray this weekend, still debating the best way to set that up. There's a trick with the corners, I've been thinking about using a framers corner, but I don't want the light line to fade off in the corners so a full tray would be best, unfortunately with all the cables being routed through the bottom of the case, I'd have to also drill out holes for the cables, which would interfere with the light line output and make "dark" spots in the light line, so that won't work for me. I'm also debating if I want to put the light tray on 1mm thick spacers and drillling through the light tray for the 6mm high mb standoffs (I think the light can defuse enough around that small of a hole), or if I'm better off securing it straight to my aluminum panel with like 2-3mm standoffs, then I can run all the cables around the backside/hidden edge of the light tray before sending them down (that way there wouldn't be any "shadows" from the cables where they go through the bottom of the case.) Lots of things to ponder and play with.


Hopefully my corsair style cables show up so I can work on all the wiring stuff. Once I get done with that I can re-run my GPU loop and get the res in the case! Exciting stuff.
Edited by Mystriss - 7/3/15 at 5:03am
post #25 of 79
Thread Starter 
My corsair style ribbon wire arrived!




I got started on the GPU cable, though I won't be able to finish it up until I work out the mb tray lighting panel / figure out the exact length I need. I'll be using two ply of the 8 conductor ribbon for this connection - I only need 7 per ply for this, but I'll just tear off the 8th wire when I complete the cable.

First thing I did was put a piece of electrical tape around the ribbon so I didn't accidently separate the ribbon too far while pinning, then I got my wires stripped as evenly as I could:



Since this wire is printed on one side I was careful to make sure that the unprinted side would be facing out; the wings on the pins go toward the latch part of the connector. Because my cable will do a quick U-turn from the connector and lay flat against the side of the GPU I faced all my pin wings the same way as the printing.

I tried a number of different ways to make sure my pins stayed aligned correctly, two ways worked well for me; the first was resting the flat jaw of the crimp pliers on the edge of my desk and lining up the pin and holding it in place while I lined up the wire (kind of like so):



However, the method I found worked best for me was pretty much impossible photograph by myself. Basically I held the pin in position then very carefully started closing the jaws until the first click of the ratchet, this left just enough clearance for me to carefully thread the stripped wire in and get it lined up before doing the crimping. For a single person job I think that method worked out very well for me.

*If you notice above I also bent all the wires I wasn't crimping up to get them out of the way and to prevent "fraying" of the stranded wires so I got a good hold with the crimps.



With the pins all crimped on, I double checked that my securing tabs were sticking out far enough and plugged them into the connectors, then plugged the connectors into my uninstalled 290x:



Then I folded over the cables and weighted down the far end so I could work on the wire spacing on the top side:

(Before & After)


Here you can see how it will lay down the side of the GPU. The down side is that I think the ribbon is just thin enough that it's going to fall between the two onboard LED's instead of covering them up as I had hoped. No worries though, I think I can align the two "ply" ribbons to cover them both once I've got the length determined. Also a picture of the finished half of the cable:




The only down side I see to this is that I'm going to have some difficulty unplugging the cables from the GPU while the GPU is still on the MB, so I plan to leave a slight curl in the cables beneath the dual GPU's so I'll have enough slack to pull the GPU off the MB, then I can disconnect the plugs. If that doesn't work out so well I might sand off a little bit of the latch on the connectors so they let loose a little easier. I'm more concerned about that aspect when it comes to the MB cable, so I most likely will sand a bit off the latch on that one.

As a hind-sight note, I don't think I should have cut the wires even like I did because it doesn't end up even once I put the connectors on; for my GPU cables this actually worked out in my favor because now I can offset the two ribbon ply's and cover both those onboard LEDs, but for the mb connector especially I would have to do some different length cutting (longer toward the two edges) so the wires line up when they come out of the connector. As you can see here, the ribbon cable is far narrower than the connector so I'm going to have to do some testing to get the wire spacing, and alignment of the ribbon cable relative to the connector itself, correct.



As I haven't decided exactly how I want to align the ribbon cable, (offset to one side or the other, or centered, on the connector,) I'll have to hold off a bit on starting that cable.


In other news, I believe I have pretty much decided how I want to do my MB lighting tray. I'm not going to do a full tray because of the through wires, instead I'll be doing acrylic panels that tuck about 3" under the MB. If I do it right I can carve notches into the backside of those to hold the mb cables in alignment on the top side, and tight to the edge of the MB, to least impact the light line. Although I still want to mess with the reflection properties of the aluminum bottom and side panels in the case.

Also, I've decided I'm going to install a two pin molex connection on my sound controller speaker so I can easily disconnect the speaker from the controller for future mobility between my PC stand and the subwoofer - I'll eventually be moving my entire rig into a custom studio in another room so I'm not exactly sure where I'll be putting the sub in relation to my PC stand yet. (At the moment the sub is right next to my feet under the keyboard, but in the studio I'd pondered putting it on the far right side of my desk as that is the best audio placement for subs.)

Along with the Corsair cables I also got the last bits I needed for my GPU loop so I'm ready to start laying that out as soon as I finish the MB lighting. Other than that and ordering the pumps, second Aquaero unit, and a few other minor bits for the separate CPU loop, it is looking very good for finally finishing this build smile.gif
Edited by Mystriss - 7/4/15 at 5:30am
post #26 of 79
Thread Starter 
Had a slight setback and had to get a new soldering iron, the Benzomatic is officially toast, sprang a gas leak. I picked up a battery powered Weller locally, it's not bad for my usage; a bit bulky for my smaller hands, but I like the LED on it quite a bit, and it runs for about an hour on 4 AA's.




Anyway, the motherboard lighting tray is as done as it can get for now. In making my three acrylic panel pieces I cut the corners at a 45 so I get good light coverage in the corners. In order to keep the tray as low profile as possible I used a sanding drum on the dremel to cut a groove for the strip to sit in (rather than just cutting in a triangle groove to direct the light into the center of the acrylic sheet,) I sanded the groove down to 600 wet and fire-polished the outward facing edges (I left the inward facing edges defused as that seemed to help even out the light line.) Here's some WIP pictures:



and how the strip sits in the groove:



I put on the top sheet of reflective aluminum as a guide to keep all three panels round-over edges the same width. There'll be reflective sheet on the bottom of the panels as well so it will be almost invisible on my brushed aluminum bottom panel when it's not lit up. I'll also be putting on the same black, light blocking, cover sheet I did in my test piece to direct all the light to the outward edges.

I sized the panel up with my old Sabertooth MB and did a quick light test, also figured out the exact spacing I want so I have room for the cable wires both above and below the light tray under the MB (the pic was taken before I used the heat gun to flatten out the panel there.)

I've temporarily taped the corners together, I am planning glue the corners after I have everything spaced exactly right with the Gigabyte board and all the cables.




Next was soldering up the LED strips. The spots I could cut the strips at were not exactly the size of the MB so I've had to backset both sides slightly as you can see in this corner:



And because I need to keep the led strip inside the groove of the panel, as well as keeping everything as flat as possible I did some fancy wire routing on my soldering the strips together:



Lighting test! I've got a consistent light line all the way to the corner tips (electrical tape is covering them a bit in the pics heh)



If I have enough clearance, I'll see if I can angle the led strip very slightly to focus the light to the edges a little better, if not, I think it's good to go as it is. My test sample says that the reflective bottom sheet and black cover sheets on the top and bottom should eliminate the heavy "glow factor" it has in the picture and give me an even cleaner line.


Next up will be completely dismantling my case again to do a bunch of stuff so it might be a month before I have another update.

I've got the flat ribbon cable's to finish making, then I've got to cut the edge groves to "hold" my cables in place, as well as drilling the MB standoff holes into the mb light tray, then I can get that installed (either permanently to the bottom of the case or just held in alignment by the MB standoff holes, not entirely decided that yet,) and of course, running the GPU loop hoses so I don't have to take the case apart again.

I've discovered that my MB is sloped by just enough to occasionally throw GPU errors on the PCIe1 slot. I knew I didn't like how lumpy the bottom panel of the case was. I'd moved my GPU to pcie slot 2 when I was testing the PSU issue, and lazily just left my main GPU there, but I haven't had a single error in at least two weeks which led me to figuring out the MB slope - and here I'd been blaming the game for the occasional graphics driver crashes heh

I'd been debating doing a bar top epoxy flow treatment to even the bottom of the case so my aluminum panel sat flat and didn't cast odd light reflections a while back, but I'm not entirely sure it is worth messing with anymore; I'd done another project with a small coin collection for my son and getting the flow itself flat in even that 5x5 inch square was a royal PITA, trying to do it on the bottom of the case is likely not worth the trouble... I'm going to see if I can throw spacers under the offending standoffs and the bottom panel to resolve both the unevenness and the slight PCIE1 slot height issue. We'll see how that goes.

Until next time!
Edited by Mystriss - 7/16/15 at 12:23am
post #27 of 79
Thread Starter 
Quick update. I've completely finished up the MB lighting panel. Covered it in black contact sticky vinyl, drilled holes for the MB stand-offs, then peeled off and re-covered it with black contact sticky vinyl because the drilling had tore it all up heh:



I ended up having to re-solder the LED strips after testing because the 12v line's copper pad on the strip pulled off the strip on me. I decided I didn't like the cable connection being on the left side of the panel anyway so I switched it over to the right side and did some preventive measures to ensure the pad's didn't pull off on me again. I've got silicone and electrical tape over the connection, and I did a full wrap of the vinyl adhesive over the wires ensuring that they don't tug on the led strips pads as you can (sort of, black on black) see here:



I just super glued a bunch of 3mm spacers to the bottom to keep it even:



And how it looks under the MB:



And so it was time for a new sound test, with my detached speaker set up under the sub-woofer and the ability to change what Hz is sent to the sub, it's nearly perfect. Here's a mix of tracks LED test at 60Hz which seems to be the best all around for me:


In other stuff, I finished up half of the custom MB cable. I ended up staggering the wires to get it to lay right (which I hadn't done on the GPU connectors but should have). I found the best way to do that was to stick all the wires in the connector and get them lined up evenly, then fold over at a sharp 90 to mark a "straight" point on the wires, then once they were out of the connector use my "straight" to line them up and cut them off:



And the finished cable, it's got a pretty funky shape because it wraps around the LED panel to exit the bottom of the case:



Though I really like the way it turned out, with both layers of the 12 wire ribbon it sticks out pretty far over my light line so I'm pondering another solution for this cable. We'll see what happens.


While I had my case pulled apart I added a bunch of spacers under the bottom panel and got that evened out a lot, also ran the front USB/1394/Audio cables under the panel as well (the pictures shown don't have a spacer I put next to the center standoffs and the audio cable installed, not sure what I did with those pictures sorry)



Until next time!
Edited by Mystriss - 10/27/15 at 12:14am
post #28 of 79
Thread Starter 
Been a couple months so I figure it's time for another update smile.gif

I've done a lot of thinking and playing with things and I've decided to go completely flat on my 24pin off the front of the MB. Other than that honestly I've just been shopping heh

I decided to pull the trigger and just buy an EVGA SuperNOVA 1600T2 rather than waiting until I need the additional amps on the 12v line. (I've been waiting for that to show up now for 2 weeks so I could reference pinout changes and start on my new cables... idk what Amazon is doing, but I'm wishing I'd ordered it from someone else and paid the extra for shipping >.< Anyway, I'm currently trying to work out the 16awg vs 18awg wiring on the 24pin, so that one's on a bit of a hold.)

I had picked up and installed a Blu-ray player, and I've got a new 480gb SSD, as well as the two additional music drivers I'll need for my right and left LED's, on order. I also resolved some issues with my sata data interconnects between the top and bottom cases with PCIe pass through's that "latch" instead of the easily disconnected extension cables.

I've decided to upgrade my receiver to something newer (read I want Atmos 7.1.4 sound tongue.gif) I decided to cave in and get a Blue Yeti USB mic - so as a result I'm seriously considering ditching the Claro Halo XT which I'd mostly gotten for it's recording and RCA 7.1 to my old Pioneer receiver. I can already run SPDIF directly to my Onkyo receiver off the realtek onboard so its become quite questionable if the Claro Halo XT (with all it's driver and riser issues) is worth my time to accommodate in my build anymore. (There's also some issues with HT OMEGA's drivers and win 10 so...)

In other news, I finally got my Corsair Vengeance K95 RGB, sooo cool. It's the little things that bring out my geek - like finally being able to change the bright white leds that are on all the time heh. I just got it so I'm still working with the programing for the LED's, but as I understand it, I should be able to set up my keyboard LED's to dance to music too!

I'll be pulling apart my rig whenever I get the new PSU so I'll take pictures of the new stuff and what not then. smile.gif
Edited by Mystriss - 10/12/15 at 5:07am
post #29 of 79
Thread Starter 
I've got pictures of some of the new stuff!
Click to Show Pictures (Click to show)
In order; Corsair Vengeance K95 RGB Cherry-Red Keyboard, Scandisk 480g SSD, Startech Sata 7pin (data) PCI pass through, Western Digital 3Tb Black HDD, SilverStone 500mm super low profile right angle sata 7pin cables, and the EVGA SuperNOVA 1600T2:



I also just finished up a mini-project. As I need to keep the top and bottom cases disconnectable (Yea I made up a word, nothing else really fits tongue.gif) I've got 7pin sata cable extensions, however the standard extension cables kept unplugging too easily. I'd also tried these (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PI5XDB0?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_3&smid=ADIYB8DT80T8B) female to female couplers, but they are a bit flakey for my tastes (when they connect they work flawlessly, but sometimes the hard drive isn't picked up by the computer, windows or bios, without shutting down the power to the drives and MB, so I'd decided to go with the PCI pass through's (shown above.) Those work perfectly and I've no problems with them not being recognized plus they "lock in" the connection so they're the best solution for me. However, the problem is that in order to get any airflow in the bottom case I need front panel fans, which means not blocking up all the drive bays, so I've mounted all my SSD's on PCI slot brackets:



Now the PCI slot pass though's (stock the bracket just has one, but could have) two sata connection ports, I have 4 drives that need to cable out the back, and the 3 ssd mount brackets, so I'd need 5 PCI slots for that, I need 2 slots for all my other external cables to run though, 1 for a PCI molex pass through, and I need one for my eventual loop hose pass through; aka I need 9 PCI slots and the case only has 7 heh This is part of my solution to cut down the number of pci slots I need.

Here's the original two parts (SSD bracket and sata pass through):



I found that if I moved the SSD bracket up on the PCI cover I could just fit the sata pass through cable beneath it, so I drilled a few holes and dremeled in a slot for the sata connection:



And here's the one modified SSD bracket installed in my bottom case:


I'll do the second bracket modification after I recover ( I also managed to dremel a "slot" in my thumb cause I got careless and cut corners... Don't do it, it's not worth the pain and it puts the rest of the project on hold so ultimately the "corner cutting" takes even more time than just doing it right/safely heh )


I'm also looking into feeding the cables for my IPX jukebox mini-rig in the bottom case through it's SSD mount bracket which would eliminate the need for another PCI slot; wouldn't be the same modification I did above, but I have a good idea how I can do it - it's a lower priority project.

The more important project is cables for the new PSU, and I'm doing a full pin out chart for the repository here on the forums as there isn't one for the SuperNOVA 1600T2. Because of the capacitor's I'll just be remodeling some of the cables, vs making all new ones like I'd done originally with the SilverStone PSU. So far I've got the stock sleeve off the 24pin and its re-pinned enough to flatten out (it was a total rats nest in the stock sleeve,) so I really just need to heat shrink those wires when I'm done with the pin out chart then I'll have pictures of the "ribbon" cable remake. I was hoping to make my new 16awg GPU extension "ribbon" cables for use in the top case today, but we'll have to see how my thumbs doing, right now it's screaming at me for hitting the space bar so much heh

Until next time! smile.gif
Edited by Mystriss - 10/21/15 at 9:14am
post #30 of 79
Wow looks very cool. thumb.gif Subbing for the rest. Really like the lighting.
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Gaming 1
(17 items)
 
Gaming 2
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4770k @ 4.6 Asus Maximus Hero VI 2 x Gigabyte R9 290 w/ EK block Crossfire 8 GB Corsair Dominator 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB WD Black 2 TB EK Supremacy EVO XSPC RX360/ AlphaCool XT45 240 
CoolingMonitorKeyboardPower
Swiftech MCP655 ASUS MG278Q Ducky Shine 3 TKL White LED Corsair AX850 
Case
NZXT Switch 810 Gun Metal 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-3570k @ 4.5 MSI Z77A-G45 SAPPHIRE NITRO Radeon R9 390 G.SKILL Ares 8GB 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
Samsung EVO 120GB WD Black 750GB Phanteks PH-TC14PE_BK QNIX 27in IPS @ 96Hz 
PowerCase
Corsair HX850 Cooler Master ATCS 840 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II 965 Asrock 890FX Deluxe4  Powercolor TurboDuo AXR9 280X G.SKILL Ares Series 4GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSPower
Samsung 840 EVO 128GB, 4xWD Red 3TB, WD Green 1... Cooler Master Hyper 212+ Ubuntu Cooler Master V1000 
Case
Norco RPC-450B 
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Overclock.net › Forums › Case Mods & Cases › Builds & Case Mods › Case Mods › Case Mod Work Logs › [Build Log] "Consummation" - Dual HTPC, water cooled audiophile 'stereo' build