I still haven't finished replacing the final section of bathroom floor but it is stable (it's just sagged a bit) so it can keep for a while. I really need to get this computer finished and up and running before my old rig bites the dust.
I had a freak firing of a synapse connecting to one of my three remaining brain cells a while back and it dawned on me that instead going a convoluted and tedious route to install whole house surge protection on my house and AC unit (I live in a mobile home and the house itself is plugged into one 50A receptacle on a pedestal and the AC is connected to the other 50A receptacle), all I needed to do was get a couple of 50A RV surge arrestors, plug them into the pedestal, then plug the house and AC into the surge arrestors. Easy peasy, cheaper than the way I was going to do it, and another headache is history.
I managed to scootch the left upright frame member for the 5.25" bay over (using some "gentle persuasion") just enough that paint thickness won't be a problem so I tackled the new PSU bump out. Basically, I cobbled it together with aluminum angles and panels that were held together with VHB tape and rivets. It actually turned out to be as solid as a brick outhouse and is mounted just as solidly to the left 5.25" bay panel and the left rear frame upright (when looking from the rear). I was wanting to get this thing done so I failed to take any pictures during construction (sorry) but these shots shows what it looks like in the frame with the PSU screwed in.
The photos are less than stellar (again, sorry; it's late and my tired hurts after a long day of running errands) but you should get the point. Unlike the botched original PSU bump out, this one is far more solidly attached to the frame when the rear panel is installed and the PSU is mounted to the bump out only instead of also being mounted to the rear panel. It will be much easier to remove the bump out and/or the rear panel and the PSU isn't crooked as a dog hind leg.
There is a gap where the white arrow is pointing that could let dirty air in. I haven't decided yet how to deal with that yet. I can either put a trimmed piece of angle on the upright or just stick some foam weather stripping in there. Decisions, decisions.
I still need to make a cover for it, install an angle under the bottom to serve as a mounting flange for the MOBO tray back plate, and trim the rear panel opening for the PSU. I don't which I'll start next...yet (probably the rear case panel).
I had another brain storm recently (it was an 8" rain; one drop every eight inches). It's enough of a nuisance to turn my three monitors on and off every time I go to use the computer but that is nothing compared to the pain in the ah...neck of turning on all six of monitors I will have when I finish the computer. If the power goes out while the monitors are still on, they will still be turned on when power is restored so I found a remote switch that has a key fob remote control unit that has an off and an on button on it. I unplugged the cable that the three existing monitors are connected to from the UPS, plugged the cable into the switch, plugged the switch into the UPS, then set the remote control on my desk (I'll probably stick it down with carpet tape later on so I don't have to chase it down). It works great! now, when I need to turn my monitors on or off, I just punch one button (I'm so lazy). I got a chuckle from the specs of the switch. The literature says it's rated for 1000 watts in one place and 13A at 125v in another place. Their math is...ah...curious. Whatever, the most six monitors will draw is just under 3A so all is good.
I also ordered four more ASUS VG248QE monitors while I was out of town over Thanksgiving. I swapped out my three existing ones with three of the new ones a few days ago and they have been running great with no dead or stuck pixels (one of the original monitors had three stuck pixels when I got it; fortunately, they were near the top edge and I was able to get two of them unstuck with a pixel checking program I have). Tomorrow, I'll swap out one of the new monitors with the remaining one so I can make sure it is ok during the vendor's return window. Even though these are a fairly old model of monitor, I've been really happy with the ones I already have so I'm staying with them (I'm also too cheap to replace three perfectly good monitors). I bought the fourth one so I could have a spare I could "throw" in should one monitor go belly up (especially after ASUS finally discontinues them).
With the Holidays just around the corner, work will slow down a bit but once they are over, I will need to get my rear into gear.12/14/2017
I had a rough night with leg and hand cramps and didn't get up until late morning (old age sucks!). I had to take some time to update the backup SSDs I had retrieved from my safe deposit box at my credit union when I swapped them out with the ones I had at home and make an adapter for mounting a catch to keep my back door from swinging shut with the wind while I'm hauling things in and out of the house (the catch I got was a tad too short).
Once all that was out of the way, I went back to work on the case. I decided to go ahead and use a trimmed down angle to fill that gap I mentioned earlier. Here is how it looks from inside the bump out (sorry for the lousy photo; the filler angle is on the right)...:
...and from the outside with the PSU installed:
I finished cleaning up the cutout in the rear panel and temporarily installed it to check for fit:
I don't know how much I'll get done tomorrow since I need to run errands, such as grocery shopping, and that will probably take the starch out me. I'll probably work on the cover when I'm able to get back to work on the case.12/15/2017
I had trouble getting to sleep again last night so I gave up trying and went back to work on the case. I needed another angle on the bottom of the PSU bump out to serve as a flange to mount the MOBO back plate onto. This was tricky because the PSU bump out isn't perfectly perpendicular to the rear panel (mutter, mutter, mumble, mumble) and there are all kinds of things to get in the way of a square to make sure the angle going onto the PSU bump out was perpendicular to the rear case panel. Adding to the fun was the angle had to have a big notch cut out for the cable access hole which made the angle rather flexible at that point. I also had to install 4-40 rivet nut inserts for fastening the MOBO back plate without distorting the angle. I avoided distorting the angle while installing the rivet nut inserts by clamping it in my drill press vise while cranking away on the installer screw. Then, I found I could tighten the inserts even further by compressing them with the vise. I countersunk the holes for the inserts to get the flanged ends flush with the surface of the angle but still wound up having to file most of them flush.
Once the angle was fabricated (that was a chore!), to keep it from flexing, I had to use carpet tape to temporarily fasten another angle to it to stiffen the flexible area made by the big notch I had to add. Then, so the square would clear all the other angles in the way, I put a piece of 1" square tube against the two angles. After determining where the angle had to go, I cut a shim to make repositioning easier after apply the 6 mil VHB tape to the angle. My technique for achieving proper alignment was totally Michael Mouse red necked but it worked. I didn't take pictures while fabricating the angle since I just wanted to finish drilling all the holes, notching the angle, and inserting the inserts so I could install it and drag my ample asset to bed.
Here are pictures of the installed angle (the white arrows point to it):
I haven't drilled the holes through the angle into the PSU bump out yet, partially because I was finally starting to feel sleepy and also to give the tape more time to set (it grips like crazy when first applied but it gains strength after an hour or few). I'll drill it out, countersink the holes, and rivet it down later.After a few hours sleep...
I switched gears late this morning and decided to finish off a 5.25" bay power strip (except for the PSU cable) I made a while back. The idea behind it was to reduce, if not eliminate, the jungle of cables coming from 5.25" bay devices to the PSU and having to remake cables every time I decided to juggle the order of the bay devices. I made the Power strip from a Wiremold wiring raceway that's designed for hiding wires running over a wall and from inline punch down type SATA power connectors. This is the Wiremold itself:
Those ridges on the bottom were going to be in the way due to tight clearances so I wound up chiseling them out:
This is a mockup showing how the connectors were going to be installed in the wire mold:
I'm going to use SATA power extension cables to plug into the power strip. I can cut off the other end from the male SATA power connector and crimp on the appropriate connector.
I also had to trim down the tops of the inline SATA power connectors to gain some more clearance. The one in the foreground is an example of one that has the top trimmed down (I had also trimmed of a lug on one end in the sample shown but left on for the ones I actually used):
Cutting all 17 of the slots needed was TEDIOUS! I started by drilling a gazillion holes (give or take a few bazillion), then cutting and filing out the webs until I had slots.
Here are how the connectors look when poked into the slots:
I used #12 wire in the connectors. Strictly speaking, #12 is too large for the connectors but I didn't need for all the strands to go into the connectors, just most of them. First, I had to cut the wires and strip the insulation from where they would get punched down into the connectors:
I also had to splice on wires to feed out the back of the strip and go to the PSU:
To prevent the adjacent slots from collapsing while trying to jam in that #12 wire, I got some 12" long .028" feeler gauge stock for shims to slip into the slots so they wouldn't collapse:
I punched down numbers 1, 3, and 5 wires first (that was a frustrating chore!). In retrospect, it would have been easier if I had done 2 and 4 first since I had one heck of a time on number 3 since it was so tight between the shims.
I also should have soldered the splices before punching down the wire. I slipped some pieces of plastic between the soldered wires to make sure they wouldn't short out:
I made "caps" for the ends by filling them with epoxy putty, then trimming the ends down:
Snapping the back onto the front was a chore because everything was so tight. I had to use two pairs of pliers (and some "encouraging" words) to get them to snap together. I then first spot glued the halves with superglue and, once that dried, ran superglue down the entire length of the two side joints. This is how the power strips looked before and after painting with Krylon Fusion (paint designed for plastic):
I also cut two 1/16" x 1" strips of aluminum to length, then drill and tapped them for 4-40 screws to use for mounting the power strip to the left side panel of the 5.25" bay.
Today, I screwed the mounting strips (see arrows) to the bay panel, using teeny, tiny 4-40 x 3/16" undercut flathead screws:
I used 40 mil VHB mounting tape to secure the power strip to the mounting strip instead of the 6 mil tape I usually use since the back of the power strip isn't exactly flat and I needed the "give" of the thicker tape to ensure good contact over the width of the mounting strip. Since couldn't see under the strip when pushing it onto the tape, I temporarily taped a piece of angle to the panel to guide the power strip into place. I use some temporary 1/8" shims to determine how far to place the angle from the mounting strips:
I then put down the tape. This stuff sticks like right then when you apply it:
After removing the release tape, I pressed the power strip into place. To make sure it made full contact with the tape, I taped up the jaws of one my grooved joint pliers and "squozed" the snot out of the strip:
I then removed the power strip/mounting strips and painted the edges of the mounting strips:
That's all for now, folks.