[build log] Silent Navi - Antec P180 mod - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

Forum Jump: 

[build log] Silent Navi - Antec P180 mod

Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 196 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
New to Overclock.net
 
rathborne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Posts: 789
Rep: 27 (Unique: 18)
Hi!

This is my first PC case mod and well overdue as I'd wanted to mod a case properly for about a decade but never got around to doing it.

I held off starting a build log like this in-case I didn't get to finish it but at this stage I think I'm beyond the point of no return and posting a build log will motivate me further and force me to stick with it to the end smile.gif .

This mod is perhaps mostly a product of hours trawling through forums such as this one seeking information and inspiration for what can be done to this case and then adapting the ideas I liked most.

This mod was started a few months back but progress has been pretty slow up until now.

Past

I've always loved the Antec Performance series cases having built at least eight PCs in them for people over the years and was happy to find a second hand P180 for $28 that I could work with.

The case before I started working on it.

Its a great case although these days I felt working in it was a little cramped and could do with a little more room and fan options. Its also not the best for all-internal water cooling out of the box if I decide to go down that path later. While a custom water cooling loop is something I'd like to consider later I still wanted to make sure this case would last me a long time so I made decisions for the mod with liquid cooling in-mind.

I knew I was going to remove the middle case divider and as I don't use optical drives on my PC I could remove the 5.25" drive bays. Extensive HDD support isn't a feature I need as this is my gaming PC and I have a smaller machine for media storage duties so I didn't need the sliding HDD bays either.

Optical bays and panels I didn't want the keep removed from the case. The motherboard in there is dead and came with the case.

My idea is to have a single sheet of perforated metal cover the front of the case behind the door to allow plenty of airflow in through the fans.

I'm going to buy a sheet of perforated metal to span the entire front of the case so the optical bay cover I'm using here is a visual reference to what I'm trying to achieve.

A hacksaw blade let me carefully cut the bits of plastic that I didn't want so that I could maintain a continuous front (I think the old Mac Pros look great with the front mesh so I wanted some of that aesthetic here).

Took the hacksaw blade to the plastic case front to streamline it and remove some of the clutter.

Now that the unwanted parts were scrapped from the chassis and front panel I could get to cutting some access holes on the motherboard tray to make that easier to work with and build custom fan mounts. This mod is also the first time I've used a rotary tool so that took a little getting used to! I found I had to train myself that it was perfectly fine to have a cutting disc spinning at 30000 RPM less than a metre from my face biggrin.gif .

I'd originally thought that I'd go with 3 x 120mm fans on the front of the case but later on decided that it wasn't enough and that 140mm fans would be appropriately overkill for this mod!

The cardboard template used here is based on the technical drawings from Alphacool's website for the NexXxos UT60 420mm radiator.

To accommodate 420mm worth of fans or radiator space I'd need to create custom mounting brackets. Cutting these took me a while as the rotary tool seemed to have a bit of trouble with the 1mm aluminium depending on what direction I cut the metal.

Seeing as the case doesn't accommodate large radiators by default I had to make some mounting brackets from 1mm aluminium plates using the rotary tool.

With the cutting out of the way (or so I thought at the time) I was ready to sand the metal back ready for priming.

The individual panels cut, sanded back and ready for primer

I hung the pieces of chassis in the garage and applied 2 coats of primer to the panels.

A few weeks after the priming was complete I decided I wanted to remove the stock honeycomb grill from the top exhaust fan mount. My P180 didn't come with a spoiler so I'll make my own cover later using the same metal I use for the front panel.

Decided at the last minute to cut the honeycomb out of the top panel and I'll add my own perforated metal cover later to match the front. My used Antec P180 didn't come with the spoiler so I'll come up with something different.

Despite the hours of watching Youtube videos on how to properly spray PC cases I still managed to bungle the first coat of satin black base coat. The paint came out splotchy despite the warming in hot bucket of water trick, the surface coverage didn't seem consistent and it just didn't seem to go right. I ended up getting a little frustrated and applied the first layer on too thick doh.gif.

This led to greying of the paint in a few places, visible paint droplet trails and other defects in other places that I'd spent hours and hours trying to avoid! I left the case in the garage for a week untouched while I decided how to proceed.

Present

Now that its the long weekend, the weather is much better for spraying and I've got the place to myself and distraction free its the perfect time to fix this up and get cracking on the mod.

I sanded back the mistakes I made on the case and cleaned it back ready for the 2nd (or 1.5th) coat of paint. This time the paint went on much nicer with a consistent coverage and neater finish. Having natural light to work with made a massive difference as did the warmer day.

Panels drying after their second coat of paint.

Later on I removed the stock blue LEDs in the front panel and marked up where I wanted to cut the window out of the side panel.

Drafting the size of the window I want to cut for the side panel.

Today I added another two light coats of black to the chassis and cut the side panel ready for a window.

This took a little longer than I thought. I think I degraded the motor in the rotary tool somewhat as it doesn't seem to run the same after attempting one side. Using the metal disc to cut the panel was most likely the culprit. I thought the plastic disc would be unsuitable to cut the aluminium so tried the metal cutting disc. This led to the motor getting very hot and slowing down to near useless cutting speeds.

I let the tool cool down and then tried the plastic cutting disc with much more success.



The scrappy parts of the cutting process have been filed off now and looks a lot neater.

I've added painters tape over the plastic on the front and side panels to keep spray isolated to the brushed aluminium surfaces. As much as I like the brushed aluminium look I think I'd prefer to paint these panels satin white for a stronger contrast.

Future

Tomorrow's job will be to hopefully clean up the edges on the window cut-out some more, prime the side panels and start painting them white. The inside part of the motherboard side panel will be painted black to not draw attention to bad cable management biggrin.gif .

I'm also going to sleeve the front IO cables black soon and have the tools and supplies sitting on my desk.

I've priced up a 4mm acrylic side panel that I can get locally to cover the window hole. I'll see if they can do it in a smoked black finish to add a little extra style to the window and take the edge off some of the LEDs in the case.

The next big task is to get the perforated metal for the front panel and top exhaust grill. I can only get this in a standard size of 2440x1220mm so I'll have some left overs after this is done biggrin.gif . This will then need sanding, priming and painting black.

There's still some things I need to consider with the case such as best way to mount the perforated steel and a good spot to hide a 2.5" HDD and an SSD. For the perforated metal I'm thinking of using concealed magnets for now. The storage drives can sit behind the PSU. I may have to come up with a mounting plate that can use the screw holes Antec added to the PSU pedestal to attach the anti vibration cover.

I'm still undecided on whether I should add clear coat or not to the chassis and started a thread last night as I didn't expect to start this thread so soon:
https://www.overclock.net/t/1559069/is-clear-coat-needed-when-using-satin-enamel-spray/0_50

That's it for now. Hopefully now that there is a build log on the wired I won't be able to abandon the project and I'll be more driven to see it to its conclusion smile.gif .

[build log] Silent Navi - Antec P180 mod
[build log] The Dominator - Power Mac G5 mod
[build log] Sovereign - Antec SX1030 case mod
OCN Headphones and Earphones Club:
PC: SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > JDS Labs O2 Amp (x1/x3 gain) > Sennheiser HD650
Headphone Station: Apple Airport Express (via optical) > SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > Bottlehead Crack + Speedball (Tung Sol 5998) > Sennheiser HD800 (SDR modded)
rathborne is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 196 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 06:44 AM
New to Overclock.net
 
Bear304's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Denmark
Posts: 539
Rep: 9 (Unique: 7)
You have done alot more to the P180 than i thought you had done biggrin.gif

Now i can't wait to see how your build turns out, as it looks very interesting, i have had some of the same thoughts when i did / during my own Antec P183 casemod, but i went another direction that you, as a i liked the ceterfloor and the HD drivecages, but i fully get why you did what you did, i probably would have done the same myself tongue.gif

It looks good, keep up the good work thumb.gif
__

I'll also do a final build log thread once my own case is 100% complete where i also can show how my Antec P183 looked vs. how it looks now / (will look) over the last four years of ownership, but it needs to be done before i will make a dedicated build log for it so i could be a while smile.gif


My system:
Asus ROG Maximus VII Ranger, Intel I7 4790K delid + lap @ 4,7 GHz, Kingston Fury White 2x 8GB 1866 @ 2133 MHz, Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 Gaming @ 1580 mhz, EVGA SuperNova 750 G2 + CableMod cables, Samsung 850 Evo 500 GB, 840 Evo 250 GB, Dell U2515H 25" 2560x1440p, Fractal Define S
Bear304 is offline  
post #3 of 196 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 04:08 AM - Thread Starter
New to Overclock.net
 
rathborne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Posts: 789
Rep: 27 (Unique: 18)
Thanks! Keen to see your project when it's completed smile.gif .

[build log] Silent Navi - Antec P180 mod
[build log] The Dominator - Power Mac G5 mod
[build log] Sovereign - Antec SX1030 case mod
OCN Headphones and Earphones Club:
PC: SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > JDS Labs O2 Amp (x1/x3 gain) > Sennheiser HD650
Headphone Station: Apple Airport Express (via optical) > SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > Bottlehead Crack + Speedball (Tung Sol 5998) > Sennheiser HD800 (SDR modded)
rathborne is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 196 (permalink) Old 06-08-2015, 04:26 AM - Thread Starter
New to Overclock.net
 
rathborne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Posts: 789
Rep: 27 (Unique: 18)
So I didn't get as much done today as I planned to thanks to distractions smile.gif . Sanded back the window cut out to square it off with 180 grit and a small wooden block. Added some gap-filler to clean the small holes between the aluminium side panels and plastic. Next task is to sand back the gap fill and neaten the edges again. I'm also thinking of buying a cheap USB3 front IO plate and adapting it to fit the P180.

[build log] Silent Navi - Antec P180 mod
[build log] The Dominator - Power Mac G5 mod
[build log] Sovereign - Antec SX1030 case mod
OCN Headphones and Earphones Club:
PC: SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > JDS Labs O2 Amp (x1/x3 gain) > Sennheiser HD650
Headphone Station: Apple Airport Express (via optical) > SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > Bottlehead Crack + Speedball (Tung Sol 5998) > Sennheiser HD800 (SDR modded)
rathborne is offline  
post #5 of 196 (permalink) Old 06-14-2015, 03:56 AM - Thread Starter
New to Overclock.net
 
rathborne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Posts: 789
Rep: 27 (Unique: 18)
I've been slowly cable sleeving the cables on the front panel. I did manage to sleeve one side of the USB header cable but managed to snap one of the pins at some stage. This will need to be fixed soon.

In the meantime I have finished sleeving the power and reset buttons and they're looking a bit better now. The measurements for the cable sleeve lengths is something I still need to practice on as I've had to use heat shrink to hide the mistakes smile.gif .

Power and reset buttons sleeved.

The front and side panels got two coats of primer on them and tomorrow's job will be to sand them back lightly to smooth the finish. Some holes can still be seen along the edges of the window cut out where the plastic didn't completely fill the space between the sheets of aluminium. I'll need to have another go at filling these gaps in using liquid nails and sanding the excess off.

Window side panel primed however I'm still not happy with the scrappy edges where I cut. If you look closely there are some small holes that show.

Should be able to make more progress on the project this week (its Sunday night here).

I have been looking into what 3x140mm PWM fans to use on the front panel and I think the Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500 are looking like the winners for $20AUD per fan for quiet fans that can be controlled from Open Hardware Monitor. My other option I considered was the Bitfenix Spectre Pro 140mm PWM fans but many people on the net seem to prefer the Noctuas in most circumstances.

[build log] Silent Navi - Antec P180 mod
[build log] The Dominator - Power Mac G5 mod
[build log] Sovereign - Antec SX1030 case mod
OCN Headphones and Earphones Club:
PC: SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > JDS Labs O2 Amp (x1/x3 gain) > Sennheiser HD650
Headphone Station: Apple Airport Express (via optical) > SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > Bottlehead Crack + Speedball (Tung Sol 5998) > Sennheiser HD800 (SDR modded)
rathborne is offline  
post #6 of 196 (permalink) Old 06-14-2015, 05:18 AM
New to Overclock.net
 
Bear304's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Denmark
Posts: 539
Rep: 9 (Unique: 7)
I would also say Noctua fans is the best, as their fan bearings is silent and last for very long time smile.gif

I like Noctua fans alot myself, i use F12, P12 and S12 FLX fans in my own system.

The only downside about Noctua fans is the pricetag biggrin.gif


My system:
Asus ROG Maximus VII Ranger, Intel I7 4790K delid + lap @ 4,7 GHz, Kingston Fury White 2x 8GB 1866 @ 2133 MHz, Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 Gaming @ 1580 mhz, EVGA SuperNova 750 G2 + CableMod cables, Samsung 850 Evo 500 GB, 840 Evo 250 GB, Dell U2515H 25" 2560x1440p, Fractal Define S
Bear304 is offline  
post #7 of 196 (permalink) Old 06-14-2015, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
New to Overclock.net
 
rathborne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Posts: 789
Rep: 27 (Unique: 18)
Yeah, the price tag is a killer... $45AUD for the Noctua NF-A14 Industrial PPC 140mm 2000RPM IP67 PWM Fan! I imagine they'd be bloody amazing fans for that cost biggrin.gif .

[build log] Silent Navi - Antec P180 mod
[build log] The Dominator - Power Mac G5 mod
[build log] Sovereign - Antec SX1030 case mod
OCN Headphones and Earphones Club:
PC: SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > JDS Labs O2 Amp (x1/x3 gain) > Sennheiser HD650
Headphone Station: Apple Airport Express (via optical) > SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > Bottlehead Crack + Speedball (Tung Sol 5998) > Sennheiser HD800 (SDR modded)
rathborne is offline  
post #8 of 196 (permalink) Old 06-14-2015, 05:46 AM
New to Overclock.net
 
Bear304's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Denmark
Posts: 539
Rep: 9 (Unique: 7)
Haha yea... biggrin.gif

But there is also the EK Vardar fans which should be very good for radiators wink.gif
http://shop.ekwb.com/radiators-fans/fans/120mm


My system:
Asus ROG Maximus VII Ranger, Intel I7 4790K delid + lap @ 4,7 GHz, Kingston Fury White 2x 8GB 1866 @ 2133 MHz, Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 Gaming @ 1580 mhz, EVGA SuperNova 750 G2 + CableMod cables, Samsung 850 Evo 500 GB, 840 Evo 250 GB, Dell U2515H 25" 2560x1440p, Fractal Define S
Bear304 is offline  
post #9 of 196 (permalink) Old 06-15-2015, 04:09 AM - Thread Starter
New to Overclock.net
 
rathborne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Posts: 789
Rep: 27 (Unique: 18)
Checked EK's site this morning and they don't do a 140mm variant of the Vardar... damn, oh well, Noctua it is then smile.gif .

A tiny bit more progress was made today on the project. The USB connector that I snapped earlier has been repaired, remaining front panel cables sleeved and added more liquid nails on the window cut-out for me to sand off tomorrow to patch up those unsightly holes.

Sleeved the remaining cables and truncated the Firewire cable as I've never nor will never use it.

When I remembered how many times I'd used Firewire over the years (...never) and when I might use it in the future (...never) I decided to truncate that cable to reduce the cable clutter when I put the case back together again.

Also to replace my decade old soldering iron that ceased to work when I tried repairing the USB cable... its been a while since I used the soldering iron so I had no idea it was not working until today.

Though I think its telling that its been a while since using the soldering iron as I have a nasty feeling I've cooked the 3mm LED I tried adding to another power LED cable I had lying around to replace the stock blue cable. I'll need to test the LED again in the morning and will probably need to swap the burnt one out with another spare. Those LEDs are pretty sensitive to heat if I recall correctly.

[build log] Silent Navi - Antec P180 mod
[build log] The Dominator - Power Mac G5 mod
[build log] Sovereign - Antec SX1030 case mod
OCN Headphones and Earphones Club:
PC: SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > JDS Labs O2 Amp (x1/x3 gain) > Sennheiser HD650
Headphone Station: Apple Airport Express (via optical) > SMSL Sanskrit 6th DAC > Bottlehead Crack + Speedball (Tung Sol 5998) > Sennheiser HD800 (SDR modded)
rathborne is offline  
post #10 of 196 (permalink) Old 06-15-2015, 04:36 AM
New to Overclock.net
 
Bear304's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Denmark
Posts: 539
Rep: 9 (Unique: 7)
That front connector looks very good, did you have to take of the end connectors of to get the sleeve on it ?

My P183 had a E-Sata front connector biggrin.gif But i had the option to buy a new front bezel which only have audio and USB3 connections, but i i'll have to see if i can find a way to sleeve it like you use did smile.gif


My system:
Asus ROG Maximus VII Ranger, Intel I7 4790K delid + lap @ 4,7 GHz, Kingston Fury White 2x 8GB 1866 @ 2133 MHz, Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 Gaming @ 1580 mhz, EVGA SuperNova 750 G2 + CableMod cables, Samsung 850 Evo 500 GB, 840 Evo 250 GB, Dell U2515H 25" 2560x1440p, Fractal Define S
Bear304 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off