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"Fire & Ice" - Case Labs M8 WC'd - Thread revived - final pics to come shortly - Page 23

post #221 of 313
Those etched panels look amaaaaazing!
Black Pearl
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II x4 640 Asus M4A87TD EVGA GTX460 4GB G-Skill 1600 7-7-7-24 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
60GB Agility SSD, 1TB Seagate 7200.11 Windows Ultimate 64 bit Corsair AX750 Fractal Design Black Pearl 
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Black Pearl
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II x4 640 Asus M4A87TD EVGA GTX460 4GB G-Skill 1600 7-7-7-24 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
60GB Agility SSD, 1TB Seagate 7200.11 Windows Ultimate 64 bit Corsair AX750 Fractal Design Black Pearl 
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post #222 of 313
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skaboy607 View Post
Those etched panels look amaaaaazing!
Wait until you see the FIRE panel!!


Update incoming - more wiring which is going to be the story of the weekend I'm afraid.
post #223 of 313
Thread Starter 
Update 19 - NAS wiring continues

Thanks for all the positive feedback from the ICE window panels. I agree that they turned out quite well. As per a couple suggestions, I continued to play with the lighting of them, and have found a way to dual color light each panel that I'm happy with. I'll be doing solid green on the NAS window, blue/white on the ICE, and red/amber on the FIRE. Pics in a later update.

For this update, I continued to the wiring in the NAS. Fans have been completed, and the SATA power cables have been done.

To start, here was an easy fan sleeve for the fan just above the mother board. I decided to leave this one to be controlled by a motherboard header because it would have been a giant pain to disconnect if from the fan controller everytime I wanted to remove the motherboard tray.


The stock pedestal comes with the front opening able to mount the 120mm fan housing and hdd cage that CaseLabs sells, and the rear has two holes cut for 140mm fans. Jim at CaseLabs was good enough to build me a custom pedestal with both the front and the back able to accept the same 120mm fan/hdd cage configuration. My goal was to create a sort of "wind tunnel" through the hard drives in the NAS. I didn't need to worry about much direct cooling to the motherboard as the CPU is watercooled and it won't be working that hard anyway.

I have two of these that were done identically. Notice the poker chip theme carried over from the case above, and the mounting screws have all been painted. The RPM sensor wire was removed from these fans as well. Both will be controlled by the NAS motherboard and not a fan controller.


The pins used on a fan connector are a completely different shape. Be sure you have spares of the correct type when doing any fan mods.


Crimped on and ready to go - black is ground, and red is your fan power.


The wires are so small, I opted to keep both in the same sleeve for my convenience. Fan wires on both cages were measured to have just enough length to get to the fan headers they'll plug into.


Next it is time to install the hard drives. I am using x3 2 TB Western Digital Green hard drives, and a 1 TB Western Digital Black that in use in my current rig. I chose the green drives for the smaller power usage. Once operational, the NAS server will be setup using UnRAID.


Here is the empty drive cage. The black rubber grommits were provided by CaseLabs and will dampen the vibration the occurs when the hard drives are in operation.


I'm installing two hard drives per cage to even out the heat load between the two fan cages.


With the fans and hard drives installed, it's time to do the SATA power cables. As with the others, these needed to be a custom length in order to be run where I wanted them.

SATA power connectors can be the traditional pin style as I've demonstrated before. However, the SATA connectors I'm using are a bit different.


These connectors were by pressing the wire into one of the channels - the metal edges inside the channel pierce the wire jacket and make contact with the wires. We start with the first one.


To press it into place, I carefully used a flat blade screw driver to work the cable into the channel. Some amount of force was needed.


Here is all five wires are done, and the tops have been shorn off. If I needed to make addtional connections, the wire could pass on through and I could daisy chain several power connectors together. In my case, this was the top of the chain so I cut them off, and will be connecting another one down the line.


I began to sleeve the space in between the two SATA connectors for the two drives.


1 done - 5 to go


And all 5 are completed - carrying over the green accent color like the other cables


I then pressed the wires into the 2nd connector, and carried the same sleeve pattern on down the line to the power supply


Here is the completed cable


I have to make a similar one for the other cage albeit a bit longer. Once that is completed, the NAS will be pretty much done. Tomorrow morning I'll build that cable and then start on the main case.

Now that I've made my choice on lighting, I'll be placing the order for them and the last couple odds and ends that I ended up needing to complete this. I'm hoping to have the wiring done Saturday or Sunday, and possibly start on the plumbing come Monday . . . we'll see how it goes.

Thank again for continuing to follow along. Questions or comments always welcome. More to come in the next day or two.

Until next time . . .
/Bear
post #224 of 313
Thread Starter 
Just a quick mini-update tonite.

So, after a long weekend of working on the build, I am almost finished with the wiring. The NAS is fully wired and functional, and I've completed a 6 pin, and x2 8 pin cables for the main case. I also finished wiring up the 15 fans in the main case and tested them . . . that's where the trouble started.

Out of 15 fans, 13 of them were ticking!!

I tested them all right out of the packaging and found nothing. I tested a couple at random after paint and reassembly - no issues. It was a real *** moment for me. The fans are all daisy chained and sleeved now, the mounting bolts grinded smooth and painted . . . what a mess.

Let's face it, a fan is a simple machine and there are hardly any moving parts. If there was no issue at the start, then clearly it was something I introduced. I found that the spring that sits underneath the fan blade and rests on the top bearing is cone shaped. I assembled the fans with the bigger end of the cone on the bearing and the smaller end on the fan blades - apparently that was backwards. In that orientation, the spring catches on something and "ticks" each full revolution of the fan - even if turned by hand. I had to redo 13 fans - disassemble and then reassemble them all. Problem solved.

That took up a chunk of time. Then today I ran out of wire. Most the shops are closed for labor day, so I'll have to pick up some more tomorrow after work. For now, here are a couple pics from this weekend. Once the wiring is done, I'll post a full update.

The NAS wiring completed - a shot from each side



This is a shot of the 8 pin CPU power cable. both of these end are from the same cable. I'll show how the transition happens in the update this week.


Thanks all!
/Bear
post #225 of 313
This is amazing, You've inspired me to take my old Li-Li cube case ( while i wait for funds to magicly appear to order one of these lovelies) and start modding again!

I used to be very active in this scene many years ago, but as it became more and more common with modding and you actually being able to buy "modding" components i grew tired because it wasen't special anymore.. You proved me wrong! Thank you
post #226 of 313
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doggson View Post
This is amazing, You've inspired me to take my old Li-Li cube case ( while i wait for funds to magicly appear to order one of these lovelies) and start modding again!

I used to be very active in this scene many years ago, but as it became more and more common with modding and you actually being able to buy "modding" components i grew tired because it wasen't special anymore.. You proved me wrong! Thank you
I'm glad you were inspired, and I understand your feelings on modding. It used to be very unique, but like all things, over time more and more folks get into it and it becomes more mainstream. Still though, I hope I've shown over the course of this build that modding can still be artistic and functional. There is a ton that can be done with cases in general, but many folks get stuck repeating a few tricks or are too nervouse to start cutting! Just do it I say! You can always buy another case.

I will admit though, it had been some time since I'd done a big mod, and this has been the most custom build I've done. The case was a huge inspiration itself and the 3 different color themes just came naturally. That in itself became a huge challenge and been a GIANT time sink in this build. Trying to keep the colors "quarantined" into their own zones and eliminating / limiting bleed over into the other zones has been a big challenge.


I'm in the process of editting photos now, and there is a large update incoming within the hour. The wiring is done!! Well, almost . . .
Edited by Bear907 - 9/11/11 at 7:51pm
post #227 of 313
Keep up the awesome work man. You're giving me some great ideas.
post #228 of 313
Thread Starter 
Update 20 - Wiring complete! Well, almost . . .


Welcome all to another update of my Fire & Ice build. It's almost finished, but there are still a few things to do. In this update, I have completed all the wiring for the NAS and the main PC with a few exceptions. I still have to install and wire in all the lighting and the dual water pumps, but otherwise everything else (wire related) is finished.


Lets get into it!


I started this update by wiring up all the fans. In total, there are 17 fans all GT AP-15's. There are 4 sets of 3 fans each - 1 set under each rad, and 1 set under each side of the main case along with 1 single over the motherboard and two in the FIRE side front. They are all wired into a Sunbeam Rheosmart 6 fan controller. I originally was going to run sets of 6 fans across 3 channels as each channel of the controller pushes 30W. Since they only use about 1W per fan, shouldn't be a problem. However, I forgot to consider that at startup, each fan draws roughly 4.3W each. This is still under the 30W cap, but a little too close for my taste so I broke it up into groups of 3 fans. Now each channel pushes about 13W on startup or half the cap - much more comfortable.

A lot of technical lingo there, but I felt it necessary for those that may follow in my footsteps. Math doesn't lie - always check the numbers on your gear.

Here's a shot of the front lower corner on the FIRE side. In this space below the fan controller, I'll be installing the dual pumps eventually.


The wires will also be tied back to resemble how I'm holding them now


In case you missed it a few posts back, I had some troubles during my fan testing that I had to correct. You can read about it HERE if you like. Short story, I installed a spring upside down causing all the fans to tick - several hours later the issue was resolved.

Here's a few shots of the fans in action - tick free




Next up, I began work on the final wiring of the main case. What needs to be completed:
x1 24 pin motherboard main power
x1 8 pin CPU power
x2 8 pin video card power
x2 6 pin video card power
X2 SATA power cables for the HDD and ODD

One of the tasks I had in this project was to keep the colors segregated to their own area. This is a challenge when you power supply is on the opposite side of the gear and the only thing in between is an 1/8" wall of metal. Here's how I accomplished this task.

I've already measured my wire run for the 8 pin CPU power on the top of the motherboard, and have begun to sleeve it. It's all about the prep!! All wires, sleeving, and heat shrink are precut to the lengths I need, and all pins and tools are laid out. BE ORGANIZED!! You'll save yourself a lot of headaches and time.


Each cable set was a bit different in length, so the sleeving had to be measured for every run. The transition will take place on the ICE side. I ran my sleeve of each set of colors to about the mid point of the run depending on length.


Since this transition will be hidden anyway, I wasn't concerned with it being "pretty" just needed it to be functional. So, I opted for electrical tape instead of heat shrink here.


These two ends are from the same cable set - opposite ends of course. One for the FIRE and one for the ICE sides.


This is the top of the ICE side, and shows the 8 pin cable coming from the FIRE side.


I repeated the process 4 more times for the x2 6 pin and x2 8 pin cable runs for the video cards. Trying to keep the visable wiring as clean and organized as possible. I have secured the wires with a zip tie temporarily to "train" the wires to the shape I want - out of the fan essentially. It will be removed later.



And now a shot of those 4 cable runs from the bottom of the ICE side


Finally, I repeated the entire process yet again for the massive 24 pin motherboard main power. Like it's twin in the NAS underneath, this came in at almost 3.5 feet long - or about 84 ft of wire and sleeve total. Prep is key!


Finished with the FIRE sleeving


I seem to have forgotten to take a photo of the finished cable . . .

Here it is installed as seen from the top of the ICE side


And finally a pulled back shot of the entire ICE side sans power supplies. What a mess!! Now how do we hide the FIRE colors??


If you guessed a sheet of aluminum, then you would be correct!


Bust out the clamp and Dremel tool again - then the clamp broke just after this photo was taken, so my wife assisted in the dangerous job of holding it in place while I work the power tool


A quick test fit to be sure I measured correctly . . . and it fits nicely!


To mount the aluminum plate, I opted to use a strong double sided tape. There really was no way that I could see to mount it with rivets or screws without doing a few bends to get it to a mounting point. The tape I used is NOT the regular indoor crafting double sided tape, but rather an outdoor rated tape that is MUCH MUCH stickier. The reason for this, is that the wires bulge just a bit out of the areas they are in putting pressure on the mounting points. Stronger adhesive was necessary.


I cut a few strips and adhered it to the main case after scuffing the paint up with some sand paper.


Before I could mount the aluminum panels, I had to wrap them in the CF vinyl and paint them both. I placed a small piece of the golden vinyl on each piece where it might be viewable through the hole on the FIRE side. I also cut a hole in the top plate for the tubing pass through.



And here they are both installed.



You can see a bit of the golden vinyl on the ICE side top where the new plate doesn't quite cover it. I'll have to cover that with a small bit of the ICE vinyl treatment later.

For the final photo tonite, here is a shot of the FIRE side fully wired up. You can see the 8 pin CPU on the top left, the 24 pin main power on the right side, and the x2 6 pin and x2 8 pin for the video cards.


Overall, I'm very happy with how it has turned out. The sleeved wiring really adds some pop to the FIRE side, and I'm very happy with how clean it turned out.

Only another couple updates left and this thing will be done!! This week will be the start of the water cooling build, and a few misc wiring projects - a few 4 pin molex, SATA power for the FIRE devices, etc. Lights will be done last.

Thanks for following along with me from week to week. It's been a long time, but this project is finally wrapping up soon. As always, questions and comments are encouraged. I like to know what people are thinking good or bad!!

Until next time . . .
/Bear
post #229 of 313
I have been enjoying these updates. Keep it up it is looking good.
post #230 of 313
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrari8608 View Post
Keep up the awesome work man. You're giving me some great ideas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by animal0307 View Post
I have been enjoying these updates. Keep it up it is looking good.
Thanks for the feedback!


Today I'm placing what I'm hoping will be the final order of "stuff" for this build. Namely all the lights, the EK Bridge piece, and a few misc odds and ends. Tonite, I will be installing the pumps and possibly start on the tube runs, but we'll see how much time I have. I may get a teaser shot of two up this week, but I'll wait until the plumbing is finished to post another full update - probably this weekend.

I'll admit, I'm a bit nervous to push the power button. Excited, but nervous. I've replaced pins often enough, and I've sleeved a handful of PSU's, but I have never fully wired one from scratch. I'm dreading the anti-climatic event of pushing the power button . . . and nothing happens. I'll know this weekend one way or the other heh!

/Bear
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