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"Fire & Ice" - Case Labs M8 WC'd - Thread revived - final pics to come shortly - Page 18

post #171 of 313
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiremaster;14606150 
How have I not seen this yet? Awesome. Subbed.

Thanks for checking out my work!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrari8608;14605879 
That switch mount looks pretty cool. I didn't even know you could buy something like that. Which switches did you get?

I knew something like this had to exist - I was planning on making my own using a single slot cover from CL, but this will save me time.

These are the switches I got for it.
1 blue, 1 red, 1 green for the led lighting of each section
1 blue for the Reservoir lighting
1 Amber for the 5 windows - each will have a dual cathode kit installed just to light the window etching all wired into this one switch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wermad;14606290 
You've inspired me to try the stealth mod. I got a few extra drivebays thanks to the wonderful folks @ Corsair. So that will be my weekend project smile.gif

Glad to hear it Wermad. Each application of the mod will be slightly unique, but it is such a cool look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoblikat;14606987 
Alright, ive always wanted to do a dual system rig. But that case is overpriced and looks like 2 antec 300's welded together tongue.gif. Though it would be cool to have.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wermad;14607052 
Its probably one of the best cases out there and one of the few that can do dual mb. The only other one I could think of is the Mountain Mods Ascension cases. Both of these can be customized but in turn, the cost will go up.

Forgive the wordy response below, but I found I had a lot to say on the topic! biggrin.gif

Is the case expensive? My answer would be it's all relative! There are few out there of this size, and NONE of this quality. This size case isn't for everyone certainly, but for what you get, the price is right on the money (pun intended).

I've worked on 1000+ pc's over the years and seen easily 50+ case styles. (PC tech by trade for 11 years and longer personal hobbiest). A case like this won't be replaced anytime soon - potentially ever really. Personally my M8 will see several upgrades of PC gear before I'd need a new case, and even then I doubt I would HAVE to get one. In time I may sell this to raise funds for the next project - life of a modder.

So, what's the alternative to a case like this or MM cases? Spend $70-$200 per case every 3 years instead? Fight each new case because it doesn't have the space I need or a layout that works. Have a PC with a dual paint scheme that looks like everyone else? no thanks

Go big or go home!!

In the end, I went back and forth trying to decide if I should jump up to this class of case. I've never done a project with this much involved or this big of a scale. Did I need to? No. But I am 100% glad I did. In this log, I have cut, grinded, drilled, and painted . . . not because I had to, but because I enjoy modding. There is the scared feeling you get in the pit of your stomach wondering if you are going to screw up this $400 case you just convinced yourself - and your wife you had to have. There is the frustration of planning, then replannin, then replanning again how to mount things and how how to run cables, tubes, etc. And then there is the pure excitement when it works, and it looks good, and you overcome that challenge that you didn't see coming . . . and it is all worth it!!

This case has inspired more ideas then any other single build I've done - and I've done quite a few. This project has snowballed from a winter mod project that I was going use to kill some time, into a huge project with as many tricks and mods I could think of to throw into it. It's huge, and some parts unnecessary, and there have been mistakes, and there have been moments of sheer luck, and moments of pure genious . . . all of it has made this a great ride and a great build. Most of that inspired by this fantastic case from CaseLabs.

I am not sponsered. I am not an employee. I am simply a very happy user that has enjoyed an expertly built product that has given many of us the perfect canvas to continue to practice our art of PC modding. I will be a faithful CaseLabs user for as long as they continue to produce products of this quality.

For me, it has been a several month journey, that I have absolutely enjoyed to the fullest. Was it expensive? For me - not really. It is worth every dang penny I've put into it and more.

/soapbox biggrin.gif
post #172 of 313
Thread Starter 
I dropped the 5 window pieces off at the laser etching shop today. Could be 1-2 weeks before they are done, but it will be worth it!

There WILL be an update posted tonite. The case, pedestal, and feet (from FannBlade) are all installed together - this things is VERY tall. The PC gear will be installed tonite when I get home, and possibly getting started on the first wiring mockups
post #173 of 313
Thread Starter 
Update 15 - 2 halves become one

Good evening OCN. Back with a quick update tonite. It is smaller then many of the last, but I couldn't wait to keep going on it and didn't want to wait for the weekend. Plus it's been pouring down rain the past few days, and I had to use the break in the weather to get some stuff done.

Also noted in a post above - I dropped off the window pieces to the etcher today. Those should be done by next week.

I couldn't wait . . . I've waited for months. I HAD to install the motherboard! I wanted to see if the picture in my head matched reality that I have created.

I'm loving it!
p1010422ax.jpg

In a different thread in the CaseLabs section, I asked the question how others that had the pedestal were running wires and tubing into it as there are no holes leading from the case down into the pedestal. A few people including Jim -Mr. CaseLabs himself - said they simply didn't use one of the fan openings for a fan, and routed wiring through it. I have used all my fan holes . . . . that's a problem.

So drilling is the clear choice here. It is a bit of a hassle to drill out large holes in this case simply because it is a thick aluminum. When the metal warms, the drill bit bites deep and often gets stuck. This makes cutting with a step bit of even a large diameter bit tricky. Take your time and be patient - let the metal cool for a few seconds if it starts to get stuck.

Now double that as I have to drill through both the case AND the pedestal.

It's hard to tell from this shot, but these two holes were drilled out on the power supply side of the case in the rear. When the PSU's are installed, the one closest to the center is open 100% allowing a tube. The inner hole will be used for wiring the NAS and is about 50% obsured by the PSU when installed. Not an issue for the flexible wiring though.
p1010412n.jpg

Note the kitchen towels used to keep drill shaving from getting into the fans and rads. Also note that according to my wife I have "wasted the good towels" . . . oops!

Another one dead center in the very front of the power supply side. This one will be another tubing run for the return into the reservoir.
p1010414jn.jpg

I then masked off the front and back of the pedestal.
p1010415v.jpg

I lifted the main case on top, and positioned it into place. I then marked the hole's position on the masking tape - 4 holes total. Here you can see a better idea of where the holes are in relation to the PSU installing above it.
p1010418j.jpg

I covered the NAS board with the "good towels" and drilled out the holes.
p1010419yx.jpg

Put the case and pedetal back together - and everything lines up nicely. A couple of them are slightly off center. This was due to my starter drill hole slipped a bit so the entire hole was off. To correct for this, I overdrilled the holes in the pedestal to compensate . . . not much, but just enough.
p1010428wi.jpg

I then finished grinding off more of the screws for the fans on both the pedestal and the case so everything is flush. Be sure to grind them smooth so you don't cut your hands later.
p1010427ph.jpg

These next two shots show the case and pedestal together at last! I wanted to show off the wire management so far. I'm going to try and carry this clean wiring through the rest of the build.
p1010432v.jpg
p1010433c.jpg

The last few shots I took tonite is of the full stack. It measures in at almost an even 32" tall!!
p1010429pg.jpg
p1010435h.jpg

That's it for this episode. I'll have another update Sunday night - I'm going to do everything I can to have it fully wired sans lighting by then.

Until next time . . .
/Bear
post #174 of 313
Hey, this is looking great!! I can't wait til you have the whole system in there!!
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post #175 of 313
I'm starting to love this sexy beast. Keep up the good work and put the guts in soon so I can drool more.


No wait, don't do that, because the awesome gets capped out when the work is done.
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post #176 of 313
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Phantom;14623720 
Hey, this is looking great!! I can't wait til you have the whole system in there!!

I'm right there with ya. The weekend is upon us, so the wait is almost over!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdofPrey;14627796 
I'm starting to love this sexy beast. Keep up the good work and put the guts in soon so I can drool more.


No wait, don't do that, because the awesome gets capped out when the work is done.

Thanks - The guts are going in tomorrow. The only issue holding me up (first on my weekend to do list) is repainting the GPU bridge. If you look back a few updates, you can see the mess I made of the first try. I've since done a few different versions in photoshop to get a better idea of what I wanted, and I think I've settled on one that will be easy to paint. Once that's done, everything gets installed and then the wiring hell begins.

I also got my FrozenCPU order in last night. The switch bar I ordered will work out nicely, but now that I have the switches installed I'm not liking the one amber color I got. I may have to order another red . . . we'll see if it keeps bugging me.

There will be TWO updates this weekend. One on Sat with all the gear in and the start of wiring, and one on Sun night showing the completion of the wiring and hopefully a boot test. Pending a natural disaster, the wiring WILL be done this weekend . . . sans lights biggrin.gif

Enjoy your weekend all.

/Bear
post #177 of 313
Excited! Bear, you extended your fan wires didn't you? I need to do something similar for my build, what wire do you use?

I have 3 GT's that need extending. Was thinking about cutting those 3 wires to the same length and then soldering a wire onto each, if that makes any sense.

EDIT: Just reread what you did. Is that the best way?
Edited by skaboy607 - 8/19/11 at 11:07am
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post #178 of 313
Looking awesome thumb.gif
post #179 of 313
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wermad;14642741 
Looking awesome thumb.gif

Thanks wermad!
Quote:
Originally Posted by skaboy607;14642096 
Excited! Bear, you extended your fan wires didn't you? I need to do something similar for my build, what wire do you use?

I have 3 GT's that need extending. Was thinking about cutting those 3 wires to the same length and then soldering a wire onto each, if that makes any sense.

EDIT: Just reread what you did. Is that the best way?

Everyone will have their opinion on the BEST way biggrin.gif

Since I was combining 3 fans into 1 connector, they way I did it was best for me. 3 positive wires together and then 3 negative wires together. I removed the yellow RPM wire by the process below.

I you are going to keep each fan with it's own plug there are a couple ways you could do it.

LINK - These come in different sizes, and allow you to plug several fans into the board, with a single set going out to your FC or mobo header. You can easily mount these under the extended cover on the M8 or anywhere out of the way. I would caution you to check the power supplied by your fan header on the motherboard if you are using this product. It may not push enough power for multiple fans like a good FC would.

Alternatively, if you are comfortable soldering, I would do this - instead of soldering 3 new wires to the existing, I would just solder on 3 all new wires period. The GT's motor has the wire solder points exposed (under the label). Tap it with your iron to free the wires, and then resolder on brand new wires cut to the length you need. Doing this will eliminate one possible point of failure (the joint between the two wire halves).

As far as which wire to use for fans - I am using 18 gauge for the PSU wiring, and 24 gauge for the fans. A cheap way to go for fan cabling, is to sacrifice a short cat5 network cable . . . we all have spares right? Say you have a 3ft cat5 cable . . . snip the tips, and carefully cut the sleeve off, and you'll find 4 pairs of 24 gauge wire - or 24 ft of 24 gauge wire. Should be plenty to get you where you are going! biggrin.gif
Edited by Bear907 - 8/19/11 at 11:45am
post #180 of 313
Thread Starter 
Here are a couple pics for today. The first showing the failed painting job using electrical tape as a mask . . . complete fail. The second is a photoshopped mockup of the new paint scheme that I'll be attempting tonite. I like this better then the half and half I did before. I'll be giving it plenty of drying time before masking off the EK logo.

p1010328nj.jpg


bridgez.jpg
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