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Lvl 10 Lighting/Plastic Mod

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Been thinking about changing all of the Red lighting and plastic on my Lvl 10 to something else, probably White.

As many of you probably know, the lighting on the Lvl 10 is one of its few shortcomings. As this picture (grabbed from teh net) shows:



Ideally I would like to achieve a level of uniformity similar to this rendering (but with white lighting/insert material):



Found this also, which shows the HDD indicator lights outfitted in white:





Here are the changes I see that need to be made:

- Central tower plastic insert and LEDs

- HDD indicator plastic inserts and LEDs

- Front panel backlight LEDs and power button

- MB compartment intake/exhaust LED fans


I have no experience with case mods, and to a n00b some of this seems to be quite involved.

Certain steps will be easy, such as switching out the Red LED fans and possibly adding some cold cathode tubes inside the MB compartment. It appears to me that the front panel is only backlit red, and just changing out all of the internal LED's and the power button can make that area white.



My main concerns are the difficulty of changing the central tower plastic strip and lighting as well as the HDD drive indicators. The HDD lights appear to be located in the central column, but the illumination is transferred through plastic "arms" that extend out to the indicator dot. Therefore I need to find or make a way to carry the white light out to the small round openings here.



Creating uniform illumination across the central column edge (top and bottom) is something that may require more intense modification as far as I know. Looking for that almost neon/fluorescent effect. Perhaps cold cathode tubes could accomplish this if I found the right sizes. Instead of molding a replacement insert, hopefully I can just get a flexible sheet of translucent white plastic to cut and affix over whatever lighting ends up in the track.

Any tips or suggestions on how to tackle this are greatly appreciated. Also please let me know if any of my assumptions are wrong.

Finishing this project myself is something I would like to do, but want it done right, and before I go back to China for business in a couple weeks. Otherwise, if anyone knows someplace/someone that is capable of doing these kinds of mods (NE Ohio region), I would be open to that alternative.

Cheers!
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post #2 of 22
subbed (: can't wait. very interested in level 10 mods!
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post #3 of 22
you say in my build wath i did with the lights, you can make it in white, just make another plexi bar in top and front and put more white led's behind it instead of red ones like me :





    
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post #4 of 22
The level 10 case if definitley one of those unique ones
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post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Probably won't find cold cathode tubes of the proper dimensions to fit in the track and provide the continuous illumination I am going for. Going to try the LED strips I think.

These should work for illuminating the edge:



... they are flexible and can be cut every 3rd LED from the PS. Should allow for consistent lighting once covered with a suitable material. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good flexible acrylic sheet? Needs to be translucent white (not transparent) to diffuse the LEDs underneath into a uniform "glow". Not sure if the diffusion and flexibility will be what I am looking for with this opacity and thickness, but so far this seems like a candidate:



Chiller-Pure, are the power switches you installed 22mm and 16mm, like this (IO) and this (reset)? If so, were any modifications necessary to install them?

Looks perfect in your chassis and just curious if it was an easy swap:



Your pictures gave me a better idea of how the case is assembled (as I haven't torn mine apart yet). Now I am a bit more confident about getting the light strip done properly.

Still worried about the HDD indicator lights though. It seems to me there are two options, and I am not sure which would be most effective and efficient:

1) Have new plastic arms made to transfer the white illumination from the LED to the opening. Wouldn't need more than 12, so not exactly a sweet spot for manufacturing costs (where to source such pieces anyways?).

2) Remove the plastic arms, cut the translucent white acrylic to put inside the "dots" and install LEDs right near the opening. Again, would need to do this 12 times (may illuminate only the front "dots" of the 6 HDD bays if running/attaching the lights is a big project).


What do you all think?


P.S - Anyone know where to find the SATA backplanes to match the two that come with the chassis? Showing "sold-out" at Thermaltakes site.
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post #6 of 22
i cant belive somebody actualy bought this case, not that its ugly or anyhting but so expensive, but lets see you get really creative with this, you should add some plexi glass windows so you can see the components
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post #7 of 22
the reset button fits perfect in the lower hole under the power button, no adjustments nessesary.

but for the power button is some adjustment needed.
the hole is to small and i used the stock ring with hooks that i changed with dremel,
to fit the powerbutton.

if you see good, the powerbutton comes out a little bit more then the reset button.
that's that ring behind it with the hooks.

if you don't use that ring, you wil see 2 small holes next a side of the powerbutton.

@Rushmore1205 : if you look at my case, all side of the case is in PMMA plexi

@ 0112358 : indeed, in my buildlog you can see the case completly a part taken, so you can see how to take it apart.
If you have any question about the case, just ask like you did now.
Edited by Chiller-Pure - 2/6/11 at 10:44pm
    
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post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0112358 View Post
Probably won't find cold cathode tubes of the proper dimensions to fit in the track and provide the continuous illumination I am going for. Going to try the LED strips I think.

These should work for illuminating the edge:



... they are flexible and can be cut every 3rd LED from the PS. Should allow for consistent lighting once covered with a suitable material. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good flexible acrylic sheet? Needs to be translucent white (not transparent) to diffuse the LEDs underneath into a uniform "glow". Not sure if the diffusion and flexibility will be what I am looking for with this opacity and thickness, but so far this seems like a candidate:



Chiller-Pure, are the power switches you installed 22mm and 16mm, like this (IO) and this (reset)? If so, were any modifications necessary to install them?

Looks perfect in your chassis and just curious if it was an easy swap:



Your pictures gave me a better idea of how the case is assembled (as I haven't torn mine apart yet). Now I am a bit more confident about getting the light strip done properly.

Still worried about the HDD indicator lights though. It seems to me there are two options, and I am not sure which would be most effective and efficient:

1) Have new plastic arms made to transfer the white illumination from the LED to the opening. Wouldn't need more than 12, so not exactly a sweet spot for manufacturing costs (where to source such pieces anyways?).

2) Remove the plastic arms, cut the translucent white acrylic to put inside the "dots" and install LEDs right near the opening. Again, would need to do this 12 times (may illuminate only the front "dots" of the 6 HDD bays if running/attaching the lights is a big project).


What do you all think?


P.S - Anyone know where to find the SATA backplanes to match the two that come with the chassis? Showing "sold-out" at Thermaltakes site.
Yeah cathodes would be quite hard to configure in that small rail. Unless you...No, no, dont do that.
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post #9 of 22
the best thing you can do is a neon string
    
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post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
The EL wire products do look promising, maybe even a better option than LEDs if the entire case can be done with it. Hopefully someone who has used them can answer a few questions...

1) How loud is the "high pitch hum" these products are reported as producing? Any driver recommendations based on silence and ease of hookup to the PSU?

2) Will these emit light from the terminal ends as well? (i.e. fiber optic effect; if 6 short segments can be cut and run out to the HDD indicator holes, this could be an option for getting those "dots" illuminated).

3) Which brands are good, and do any make a 5mm-7mm wire in white that doesn't have the pink/lavender hue to the material?
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