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2UP BOINC Box - Toolbox Case Build

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Note: Build in progress



The Plan

I have a few PC components gathering dust in the parts drawer and wanted to put them to work crunching BOINC workunits.

I have actually been planning this build for about 2 months now, but have been stuck trying to find a suitable case to house 2 complete systems, including the watercooling components needed to keep everything cool - all without going over my budget.

I was about to give up until my wife pointed out something at a hardware store that she thought might work - and after initially thinking she had gone a little crazy, I took a closer look and a few measurements and it worked out to be the perfect size.

For $130 I walked out with this:


It can fit two fullsize atx mainboards side-by-side, and with a little work will fit everything else needed as well






The Parts

Case:
  • Trojan Toolbox
Model:


System 1:
  • PSU: Unsure atm.
  • Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-M59SLI-S5
  • RAM: 4GB Kingston Value DDR2 800Mhz CL5
  • HDD: 500GB Western Digital
  • DVD: LG DVD+R
  • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ (G2) @ 3.2Ghz
  • GPU 1: AMD/ATi 4870
  • GPU 2: Unsure atm. Most likely a 4870x2
  • GPU 3: Unsure atm. Need to find suitable single slot DP GPU

System 2:
  • PSU: Antec TruePower TP-750
  • PSU: Thermaltake Tough Power 600W (GPU PSU)
  • Mainboard: Asus M4A79T Deluxe
  • RAM: 4GB G.Skill Trident DDR3 1600Mhz CL8
  • HDD: 500GB Western Digital
  • DVD: LG DVD+R
  • CPU: AMD Phenom II 965BE @ 4Ghz
  • GPU 1: AMD/ATi 5850
  • GPU 2: AMD/ATi 5850
  • GPU 3: AMD/ATi 5850
  • GPU 4: N/A can't fit a GPU in 4th slot.

Watercooling:
  • Radiators: 2x Syscooling Copper 360mm.
  • GPU waterblocks: 3x Swiftech MCW80 (for 5850's)
  • CPU waterblocks: 1x Danger Dan MC-TDX2 (for 5200+). 1x XSPC Rasa (for 965BE).
  • Res: XSPC dual bay dual DDC reservoir
  • Pumps: 2x Swiftech MCP355.
  • Fittings: Swiftech 1/2" ID fullsize barbs
  • Tubing: Generic 1/2" ID tubing
  • Clamps: Good ol' zip ties
  • Coolant: Distilled water and coolant mix

Miscellaneous:
  • Case Fans: Prolly 12x 120mm fans (final number depends on layout)
  • Fan Controller: Lamptron FC2 High Wattage 6 Channel Rheobus
  • Windows: 2x windows - 1 for each mainboard
  • Lights: 2x white fluro - 1 for each mainboard
  • Tools: rotary tool (like dremel), screwdrivers, pliers, electric jigsaw
  • Other: 2mm aluminium sheet, 12mm aluminium angle bar
pic to come




The Build

The build is underway, although things are progressing slowly atm as the xmas/new year holidays have held things up (I'm still waiting on a bunch of parts to complete both rigs).

I've begun work on the mainboard trays and the planning of the layout of both rigs and all the watercooling parts.

After looking for a simple mainboard tray that would fit and still allow me to install the radiators, I gave up and decided I'd use the mainboard tray and rear expansion slot and i/o bracket from a couple of generic cases I picked up from a local computer recycling shop.

Cheap $30 SHAW cases:


Pretty cheesy cases, but for $30 they aren't too bad I guess. I'm going to use the round chrome button though, I think it'll go well with the checkplate of the toolbox:


I/O panel and tray:


Side panels removed:


All I had to do was drill out all the pop rivets holding the mainboard tray and rear i/o panel in the old cases:


About 30 minutes later I was left with 2 usable mainboard trays with rear i/o panel:


With the brackets out the way, I started work on the layout of both systems. I've decided to add a shelf halfway down and split the Toolbox into two layers. On the top layer, I'll mount the mainboard trays and both systems and underneath the shelf I'll mount the watercooling components, the PSUs, and the HDD and DVD for each system.

UPDATE - 16/02/2011
I did some more work this weekend. I was hoping to get it all finished today, but boy does it take so much longer then you think it will.

The main parts I was working on were the two removable shelves, one to hold each mobo tray. I only had 13cm of height to work with, which is actually not as much as it sounds like when you have to fit the height of the expansion slots and create the base of the shelf for the mobo tray to sit on.

I started with the rear i/o panel that I had already removed from the cheap cases last weekend (see earlier pic) and marked the line that I needed to cut along to keep it under 13cm:


Then got to work with my rotary tool cutting the part I needed out of the rear i/o tray:


One down, one to go:



Then I marked out 4x 6cm sections of 10mmx3mm alluminium bar and drilled four holes in each for the pop-rivets. Then I bent each of them to make 90deg brackets, so I can use them to hold the front piece of the removable shelf on to each side piece:


Next I cut the base pieces for the removable shelf out of 10mm U channel and then use pop-rivets to mount the i/o panel pieces and mobo tray to it. The mobo trays I got from the cheap cases earlier had 8mm lips on each edge, so I drilled a few holes in the rear and side lips and pop-riveted the rear and side base pieces to them.

Here is what I have so far for the removable shelves - the rear and sides of each shelf is pop-rivetted into place, the front pieces are cut and the four corner brackets are now bent into shape, I only needed to pop-rivet them together and I could have started with the case, but I ran out of pop-rivets lol:


So that's where I am up to with the case, the bases for the removable shelves are almost finished - then it's just a matter of some cutting to make both of the removable shelves fit into the toolbox.

Since I ran out of pop-rivets, I used the time to improve the cooling ability of one of the 5850's that will be used in the rig once complete.

Earlier in the day I went to the local Jaycar Electronics store to see if I could find a small enough heatsink that I could use to cool the memory chips on each gfx card. The smallest they had were TO-220 heatsinks:


Even though they were twice as wide as each memory chip on the gfx cards, I wasn't too bothered because I was just going to cut them in half to fit. But when I got home and did a test fit, three heatsinks fit perfectly across the top 4 memory chips, and I could fit one on each of the four memory chips down the side if I centered the heatsink over the memory chip.

I used some thermal tape cut to size and stuck it on each memory chip, and then and pressed put each heatsink into its position - here is the result:


The goal was to ensure all heatsink fins ran horizontally, so that then fans placed at the front of the gfx cards will force air across all the fins on each heatsink without being blocked. Here is another shot with the Swiftech MCW80 set in position:


It'll be interesting to see how well it all works


UPDATE - 17/02/2011
Just a small update today.

I purchased more pop-rivets and finished of the removable mobo trays - and with the trays out of the way, I have the hard part of working out how to actually make them removable lol. I'm thinking of buying some 12mm U channel and using then as runners on each side of the removable tray. The 10mm sides of the tray should easily slide in 12mm U channel.

Here are a couple of test fit pics to show where both removable mobo trays will go:



Now it's just a matter of cutting the rectangle sections out that are directly behind each removable mobo tray so that I can remove the trays from the back of the toolbox, and then fit the 12mm runners on each side of each removable mobo tray.

That's all I have so far - I won't be able to do any more work until the weekend now



Still to come
  • Mount removable mainboard trays
  • Install acrylic windows in lid of toolbox - one over each mobo
  • Install HDD and 5.25 bay brackets
  • Install switches and lights
  • Install case fans
  • Install radiators
  • Install PSU
  • Install watercooling components
  • Install HDD and DVD drives
  • Install fan controller
  • Install mainboards and system components
  • Wire everything up and organise mainboard and gpu power cables
  • Connect all watercooling components
  • Plug in and test everything works
  • Beer time

Sorry that the pics are not up. It's almost 2am and I'm a little tired now. I'll get them up tomorrow.
Edited by un-nefer - 6/16/11 at 11:50pm
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post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
Reserved. Will use for more build pics.
Edited by un-nefer - 1/2/11 at 7:41am
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Reserved. Will use for extra pics once case and build is complete.
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post #4 of 14
Intriguing. Plus those cases will give you some extra material to use. How will you fit it all into that box?
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post #5 of 14
very interesting. keep me posted.
    
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post #6 of 14
subed
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post #7 of 14
subed nice idear :]
    
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post #8 of 14
Nice so far man, I thought of using a toolbox as a case several months ago, but I couldn't find one big enough that I could carry around (basically like a portable desktop ). So I scrapped the idea. However, I subbed to your thread, it might inspire me again provided I keep searching for a big enough toolbox.
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
cheers for the subs guy. The rest of the components should arrive any day now so expect more updates and pics this weekend


Quote:
Originally Posted by Xye View Post
Intriguing. Plus those cases will give you some extra material to use.
Cheers mate. I'll prolly use some of the bracing for the HDD and ODD rack, as well as the buttons and lights for the hdd on/off and reset etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xye View Post
How will you fit it all into that box?
I'm going to add a shelf about half way down for the two mobo's and components. Then under the shelf I'll mount the watercooling components on one side and the dvd, hdd's and psu's on the other. I did a test fit and they all seem to fit in

I just need to work out how to make the shelf so I can access everything under it without having to pull everything apart lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaZ.Gaming View Post
Nice so far man, I thought of using a toolbox as a case several months ago, but I couldn't find one big enough that I could carry around (basically like a portable desktop ). So I scrapped the idea.
tbh I was too busy looking for the "ultimate" full tower case that I didn't even think of anything else, the toolbox idea was the wife's

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaZ.Gaming View Post
However, I subbed to your thread, it might inspire me again provided I keep searching for a big enough toolbox.
I've posted a pic of the barcode showing the actual model number of the toolbox I got - maybe it'll be cheaper where you are? You could always go halves with a mate, and then mod it into two boxes (cut straight down the middle). Then each half will fit an atx mobo and watercooling, psu, hdd and dvd underneath. Add a couple handles and you're good to go
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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by un-nefer View Post
I've posted a pic of the barcode showing the actual model number of the toolbox I got - maybe it'll be cheaper where you are? You could always go halves with a mate, and then mod it into two boxes (cut straight down the middle). Then each half will fit an atx mobo and watercooling, psu, hdd and dvd underneath. Add a couple handles and you're good to go
Cool, thanks, I'll have to check it out sometimes. I'll save it for a later build, as I'm currently building my own HAF 922 rig at this time - here's my current worklog - http://www.overclock.net/case-mod-wo...922-build.html

Later today I'm thinking of putting my current rig into the case now to check it out and see what I'd like to change.

Keep up the good work on your toolbox case though, I'm looking forwards to more pics =) You've re-inspired me to do the toolbox case mod again! Actually, I'm thinking of getting a new motherboard and all that good stuff so whatever's in my old rig I'll throw into the toolbox rig and create a portable gaming rig haha.

Good luck!
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