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.
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.
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 . . .