Modding the SSD Hot Swap Bays
I'm installing an Icy Dock SSD hot swap bay unit for my SSDs. Not that I'm planning to be swapping out drives very often. I like these because it's a very compact way to mount four SSDs. I'll probably only have two in there to start with, then I can easily just slide another SSD or two in if I want to expand the SSD storage later. Here it is stock out of the box.
This model has lockable drive mounts. They make one without the locks, but I've read where people had the drives eject while accidently bumping the front of the computer. So I went with the one with locks. The first thing I did was to remove the eight drive bay front pieces and took them down to my local chrome shop to have them chrome plated. This will give the front of the computer a little bling and tie into the "chrome" part of my theme.
There is one more complaint about this unit that I read in a review, and that was the two fans in the rear of the unit were noisy and that there was no way to adjust or turn down the fans. So I'm going to swap out the fans for some better ones. Take out the two screws on each side on the hot sway bay, and the circuit board unit with fans slides right out the back. I have removed all the stickers from the housing too.
I picked up some Noiseblocker BlackSilent 40mm Ultra Quiet Fans.
You can see these fans come with purple fan blades... well that would clash with my color theme, so I have to paint them red
Take the stickers off and remove the little plastic split washer retaining the fan blade.
Taped up the fans with a wire so I can paint both sides of the fans and then hang them.
That looks better painted and back together.
Unplug the stock two pin fans from the circuit board, remove two screws each and they slide right out.
Now break out the soldering iron.
I soldered the power and ground wires together here.
Heat shrink the solder joints and I just abandon the second fan RPM wire, as I only want the RPM signal from one fan.
I drilled a hole in the side of the housing so I can run the fan wiring outside the unit. The wire harness will come out right behind where the top screw mount is.
Now this will plug into Channel #8 on my Aquaeros! I'll set up a curve controller of some kind, probably based off a software sensor of the SSD temps.
If you look carefully you can see the lower left bay has an SSD mounted. Four screws on the bottom hold the SSD to the sliding tray.
One thing I did not realize when I bought the hot swap bay is that the pattern on the front is the same as the ventilation pattern on the front of the case just slightly smaller. Makes for a great match
From the inside, just plugs right into the Aquaero LT on top.
You may recall from earlier pictures that I originally was going to put the Aquaeros on the right side of the case, mainly because that side will be closer to where I sit. Plus I figured it would be easier to get to the hot swap bays since the computer will sit under my desk. But I never touch the front of my Aquaero on my current daily driver, and I'll rarely need to swap an SSD drive, if I do I can just roll the computer out a little bit. By putting the Aqueros on the left it will keep all of the fan wiring on that side and will look cleaner. So this is the finally lay out for the front.
I actually bought this hot swap bay before I even received the case, in fact it was the first thing I purchased for this build. I have worked on it in several different stages between doing other things over the last few months. Finally got er done