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[Build Log] Project Orange Hot Rod- WC'ing a CaseLabs BH7 - Page 12

post #111 of 139
Thread Starter 
I'm in the last 2 weeks of classes for this term so am a bit buried right now. I wasn't able to get much done over the weekend because of that. I did tear down the case completely though to make clamping / cutting certain pieces easier. The entire thing is all held together with the same size screws which is a nice simplification over other cases I've worked with. One thing to note, is be sure to put your case feet on IMMEDIATELY. I have some plans for some different feet, but just the little bit of moving it around on my desk has scratched a bit of the powder coat finish on the bottom. Not a huge deal, but something to keep in mind. The orange finish seems to be less durable then that of the black powder coat.

I'm running into a few routing issues with my loop plans, but that was to be expected since all my planning was with pics and measurements instead of hands on. No big deal though, I've got a plan! More to come on that later.

For my next step in the project, I'll be cutting the front panel to install the Aquaero 6 unit. I've already got it taped up and measured. I'll have pics later this week.
post #112 of 139
Thread Starter 
So this is happening tonite! Studying done for the night, and I'm jonesin' hard to get my cuttin' on! More pics to come once it's completed.

post #113 of 139
Thread Starter 
Barely started the first cut tonite, and the dremel motor burned up. Damn thing had been with me for 5 years and many builds and projects. RIP. Picked up a new one and was able to finish the rough cut in. I'll have to complete the install tomorrow night and post a full log. Until then, here's the rough cut.

post #114 of 139
looking forward to seeing more of this build
post #115 of 139
Thread Starter 
I've got the cut out for the AQ 6 that I teased a few days ago done now, and the molding put on. I live in an apartment here. Since it's been raining all weekend, my progress was stalled as I couldn't get outside to setup my work bench and get anything done. The wife wouldn't care too much for aluminum dust / shavings in the dining room . . .

Weather permitting, I'll be trying to get some work done on it tonite so I can get a proper update posted. Once I get the major cuts done, the rest will go pretty quick. my goal is to be up and running by the end of this weekend. I just need a couple hours after work with no rain and I'll be on track. /fingers crossed
post #116 of 139
Thread Starter 
Update 4 - Making a home for the Aquaero 6

I had hoped to be done with all the cuts including the top shell at this point, but the weather is not cooperating with me. One day I'll own a shop / garage, but I digress . . . Tonite's update is shorter then I wanted, but it still feels good to get some work done on the case.

I started things off by completely dismantling the case. The design in how this all fits together is nice and simple. It's also very modular. I have no doubt that CL would sell me any panel I need if the need arose. The goal of this update was to cut a hole in the front case panel to fit the Aquaero 6. I also picked up the black face plate and the heat spreader for the AQ6.

I used the new face plate as a template, and then measured and leveled out where I wanted it placed. You can see my first trace where I eyeballed it was a bit crooked. That's why you always measure along the surface to make sure you're squared up. The scribbling at the bottom corner is the measurement of the CaseLabs badge on the front that I wanted to leave in place. I lined up the left edge with the edge of the grating above. Hopefully the end result will look very uniform when the case is reassembled.

I masked off the front to protect the finish as I was moving it around and clamping it down during the cuts.

At this point if you've been following along all week, as I did the first cut the dremel I had burned out! It was with me for a lot of years and did it's job well. I went out and picked up a new one, and off we go! Here is the first round of cutting - what I call the "roughing it in" stage. I cut right along the measured lines, and as it should be, it came out just big enough to fit.

You'll probably notice in the 2nd pic above that I cut a bit deep on the bottom left. I dropped my focus for a second and let me mind wander while I was working . . . end result I didn't stop when I should have. It's not a big deal though as it didn't cut all the way thru. I also will be enlarging the cutout for the next phase anyway so it won't matter. You can see I've drawn an expansion on the top. I didn't get a pic, but I did the same below and to the side. Now that I know the rough in, or the base hole, is straight, I will be enlarging it to make room for the C-channel molding. I also masked off the brackets and measured them to be cut as well.

Here you can see I've started to make it a bit bigger. I wasn't 100% confident in me measuring it out with the molding figured in at the start so I did it incrementally. I've had issues of over cutting when I figured the molding thickness at the start. I figured better safe then sorry this time. There was probably a better way, but this worked out just fine.

Here I am done. I had to go back one other time to trim a bit more off from the top and right sides to get the hole exactly as large as I needed it to be. It looks out of proportion here because the face plate is about 1/2" below the face of the case.

The "almost" final result of the work. I have a little bit of grinding to do on the bottom to level it out just so it's a bit more uniform. I like the way the molding looks around the AQ6. Next I'll have to pull the AQ apart and install the black face plate and the heat spreader - in another update.

The final pic for the night is just a quick mock up of the bottom compartment. I've turned the drive cage 90 degrees so the drive connections are easier to reach as well as get better airflow from front to back in that compartment. On the accessories tray, I'll be mounting the AC HighFlow flow meter with a temp sensor on the right side connector. Both of these will be plugged into the AQ6. This is the only bit of tubing that will be coming down into the bottom compartment.

That's it for tonite. I'm still shooting for having something running by the weekend, but we'll see how it goes and if the weather cooperates.

post #117 of 139
Thread Starter 
Update 5 - AQ6 & fans installed

Welcome back folks. Tonite's update will show the final installation steps of the AQ6 in the front face plate. I also installed a few of the fans, and have begun putting the case back together. All in all, some pretty simple steps to the build, but it is starting to resemble a PC again. There are quite a few photo's in this update so I put the update in spoiler tags. Click the spoiler link below to see the update.

Any comments or questions are welcomed.

For the next update, the plan is to cut the top, and begin work on the loop and wiring.


Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
With the cut out completed, it's time to install the AQ6. First step was to change the face plate from the silver to the black, and to add the heat spreader across the back.

The four screws in the front had to be removed with a small torx bit. An allen wrench set would work also. Some of the instructions I'd read said you would need to apply a bit of pressure to pull the face plate off, but mine just fell away. Maybe they stopped gluing them on the batch that I got? The mounting brackets fall away as soon as you start removing screws so be careful you don't have the unit resting on the supports when you unscrew it.

Black face plate installed

Next up is installing the heat spreader across the back of the unit. Simply remove the four corner screws, and apply the thermal pads as directed.

There are two small issues the instructions don't warn you about. The first is this orange guy right here. It sits a bit tall for the heat spreader to sit fully. Researching the issue on these boards, it was recommended by the vendor to re-solder the connection to make it shorter or push it out of the way so long as the connection doesn't break. For my device, pushing it towards the outer edge gave it enough clearance.

The second issue was the label glued to the center of the circuit board. There is a small cap underneath it that needs to sit flush with the heat spreader. Off it goes. All the port labeling is on the heat spreader anyway.

The completed install. There is the option to add a water block to this just left of center, but I won't be taxing it that hard in this build so I'll skip it for now.

Ok, next up I needed to finally install the AQ6 in the front face plate. You can see a few little gouges where I bumped the edges as I was dremeling. A little sharpie covered those up later. I wish I had access to some of the big tools and laser cutters some guys on here have, but I'm a simple home modder. smile.gif

Here are the cut brackets installed on the back of the face plate. I wanted a clean look from the front (meaning no screws), so these are mounted using a 3M outdoor mounting tape. The stuff is damn strong! I've used it in a variety of ways in other builds where screws/bolts just aren't feasible. They can be removed with some force, but they'll hold the AQ6 in place forever. Don't think everything has to be screwed down 42 different ways to be secured.

Because there is a bit of a gap between the brackets and the mounting arms of the AQ6, I doubled up on the adhesive. Worked like a charm! It won't be going anywhere unless I pry it off.

And a pic from the front. I need to run a small bead of glue around a few parts of the molding to hold it down still. Once that's done, you won't see those small gaps where the molding is rolling away from the case just a bit like in the top left corner.

Finally for tonite, we move onto the fans. For this build I'm using x2 80mm X 25mm NoiseBlocker BlackSilent Pro fans, and x6 120mm X 25mm Couger Vortex PWM fans.

A close up of the Cougar fan. I typically use Gentle Typhoons in my builds, but the Cougars came highly recommended from a modder friend of mine, and they match the color scheme. Win / Win!

The Cougars shipped with noise dampening / tool-less rubber mounting posts. Simply pop them up through the bracket holes, and then pull them up through the fan. I'm a big dude, so I had to use some pliers here.

Here are a few shots of the installed Cougar fans. In the mounting bracket, in the case, and then from the front of the case. I have them oriented as intake fans. I'll be covering up the label and the exposed wiring in a later update.

The NoiseBlockers also shipped with rubber vibration dampeners. They are still mounted with screws, but the screws are isolated from both the fans and the case to avoid transferring any vibrations and noise.

These are mounted as intakes as well to blow across the drive cage and the AQ6 heat spreader directly across from them. The square gasket is put between the case and the fan.

The smaller rubber grommets are used in to isolate the screw from the other side. They are tightened down with finger nuts on the outside of the case.

These last few pics are of the case being put partly back together now that I'm done with the front and back . . . mostly.

Here you can see the measuring for the AQ6 hole was right on the money. I've got almost a 1/2" clearance to the mobo tray when it's installed. There is also an inch+ of space below it to help with access cabling. I may trim down the mounting brackets from sticking out so far, but we'll see if I have space issues or not.

On the outside, looking in . . . because art?

Thank you for following along! Until next time . . .
post #118 of 139
Not too shabby for a home modder biggrin.gif , keep up the good work ! And judging from the specs, the cougars are very good fans at a very good price.
post #119 of 139
Thread Starter 
Thanks Tuf. The Cougars should do just fine. I doubt I'll ever have to run them full speed in this case, so they should be mostly inaudible as well which is a bonus.

My home modder comment was a bit of my jealousy showing thru I guess lol. I see so many of these builds that get CNC'd, laser cut, CAD drafted, etc. I'm just over here like "Hey I got a dremel and a drill guys!" Some day maybe. In the mean time however, there are plenty of cool things that can be done with simple tools. I'm excite about the next update as everyone will finally be able to start to see what I've envisioned from the start.
post #120 of 139
Very nice. I particularly liked the 'grommet' / molding around the Aquaero ... it looks very good.
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