This was the start of the build, all the mods complete, it looks pretty messy but it's actually fairly organised, for me anyway. But this was the decent into sleep deprived madness. lol
To prevent getting finger prints everywhere I tried wearing gloves, but when previously wearing them my hands get disgustingly sweaty, so I made some sweatbands from old socks
First issue, I'd managed to damage one of the terminals in the CPU RGB extension, so I had to splice them into the controller cable. You can just see the squished terminal in the middle of the cables, took an age to figure out what the problem was as hadn't done anything with it since taking the demo rig apart 3 months ago. I thought it was the wrong connector and was trying to find ones that match up to either end before I realised what the problem was.
After installing those bottom LED strips, the first and what should have been straight forward simple job was to get all the ancillary cables through the holes in the motherboard tray and get it attached.
4 hours. It took 4 hours to get the dam thing attached properly with all the cables through.
The brass g1/8 fittings I was using for the LED cables should have been simply attached with a G1/8 nut that I'd bought. NOPE. The threads on the fittings were tapered and the nut didn't go up high enough to attached it securely to the tray. Joy. Rummage round in my box of crap, find a bag of smaller aviator connectors I'd bought and deemed too small, pinch the nuts which are a little oversized, but act great as washers. problem solved.
It's a bit of a struggle getting the tray in position with all the cables on the lower right corner coming through and having them orientated properly, but I manage it. Start putting in the motherboard standoffs to connect it, get to the middle right one and there's a big gap that wont close properly. Very odd. Check everything over and find that my new washer solution for the fittings is too fat, hiting the original motherboard tray and stopping the new one attach properly.
Everything off. Attach the fittings to the tray using cable ties, tied round the base to keep them in check. They don't form any part of structural integrity so as long as they stay put, sod it! Get the tray back on, get down to the bottom where I've drilled new holes to keep it steady and I've forgotten to attached the standoffs for them.
Back off then.
Attach lower stand-offs. Attempt 4. Cables in the bottom left being SUCH a PITA, takes an age to get them to play ball so I can get the lower right corner attached. get down to the bottom left, it won't go on. There's an old screw thread that protrudes from the bottom of the case that it's snagged on and wont get past it without damaging something. I know it's there, I know I've got to slide the tray round it, but with the new lower standoffs the bottom edge of the tray wont go back as far and I haven't made sure it's not past it. back off.
Attempt 5. Lower right cables again ****ing me off, big time, sworn into submission after an age. Get to the last mother board standoff in the bottom middle, it's out of alignment. Everything else exerting force on the tray has shifted it enough that I can't get the thread to catch and not end up at and angle. I remove a couple next to it and file it bigger, being careful at first, but gradually lose patience and hammer the er with a bigger file, vac up the dust.
4 hours after I started the motherboard tray is finally on. It should have taken 4 minutes. Not 4 hours. But it's on.
Can only get better from here, right?
Finally The case was ready for some actual components. Best get the motherboard ship shape with new thermal pads on the VRM and M.2
here you can see the additional detailing I did in the back, with some heavier streaks off the cable tie points and a very dirty bottom of the case, making it look like it's flowed to the drain hole. I also got the fans and verticle rad attached with the Thermaltake drain valve underneath. Nice and simple.....
Nice and simple until I realise I've left one of the temporary G1/4 port plug on the rad and it needs swapping for a proper one. I try just loosening the screws and swapping it without tasking it all off, but can't quite get it. I stop and think "you always try and do this, make 'less work' but ends up taking far longer, just take them off and do it properly." so I take the rad and fans off and swap the plug out. Can I get the rad and fans back on? Can I ##########
I try the top fan first, I try the bottom fan first, I try the middle fan first! I can manage to get up to and half the screws in then just can't get it lined up for the rest. I JUST had this one, how is it not goin back on!!!??? Notice the rad is getting blocked a little by the drain port on the bottom, really weird seeing as how I attached that to the rad before installing it the first time. So I take that off, put a plug in it, it's still a real struggle to get them all on, but eventually I manage it. 1.5 hours later. ONE AND A HALF HOURS to put a rad and fan back where they had just been, but sans drain port. That is no where near fitting. Just does not compute??? Cursed I tell thee!
But it's on, I get the motherboard on, looking good. Got the 3 brass fittings for the fan cables in, looking good. On the up from here.
I take the siding off the rad, screw the valve into the pass-through, go to put the panel back on, won't go on. It just won't, no matter how hard I try and something is getting broken in a minute. So have to take the rad and fans off. Again. Get the rad cover sorted eventually, Rad and fans go back on without putting up too much of a fight, but it's more time lost to complete lunacy. or more likely a total lack of sleep. lol
With that sorted I can get to work on the loop.
My 2nd ever bent piece of hardline. It's a bit of an odd one, the pipe has to go under the 24pin cable, then up, round and back into the CPU block. I had wanted that to be more of a continual curve, but it was much harder to heat up an area of the PETG evenly than I thought. I kind of botched my way into this piece that worked, so with time not being on my side would do.
The heavens opened, bringing a bit a coolness to the air that was desperately needed.
Both the weather and this cable tie point reflecting my mood at the time. Tired, battered, dejected. Gotta push on.
Got this long run from the bottom corner to the res done in one go, pretty pleased with that.
In this pic we can also see all the fan cable down the bottom. I'd taken the stock sleeving off ages ago, as it's massive, stiff and unyielding. The plan was to sleeve it with tinned copper braid. I'd got the braiding, had a test go with a bit of wire off another fan it seemed to go ok. I checked how long I'd need the wire, snipped the connector off and cut the wire to size as I had new terminals to crimp on the wire. But because by this point I'd had about 4 hours sleep in the last 72 and I was running out of motor skills, time and patience. I just could not get the wire through the braiding, It kept on snagging on this one bit and after getting past it, just couldn't feed the wire to move up through the braiding. I had to make a call and cull the braiding. At least I could still get all the cables cut to length and it would still look better than stock.
So I took out the terminals and got to crimping, or at least I would have, but a combination of my tired decrepit postman pat hands and a crimping tool not suitable for such a small terminal just could not get it crimped properly. I ended up splicing the cable back into the connector I'd cut off. Quick test with a spare psu and controller confirmed it still worked, at least I hadn't killed it. I just had to forget it, 'cable manage' as best I could and push on. Time was desperately running out.
And it did. No idea where the time went. I had a little trouble with the GPU bracket I think. That's another think that's got missed in the rush. I had to cut the back off the bracket having installed a new motherboard tray and removed about 10mm of space it used to occupy. This made it fairly flimsy, so I put a new screw hole on the back left edge and made a support bracket from 1/2" aluminium angle. The support bracket comprised of 1 piece attached to the bottom fan to keep it nice and solid, with 2 vertical struts bolted in tight that the original bracket would then rest on. No GPU sag here.
I got a couple more runs done, had some trouble with the small run at the front because I didn't realise they weren't level. The run from CPU out to GPU in round the back was meant to just be a solid extension, but no combination of pieces I had fit properly. I tried so many combinations of 90s, 45s and extensions. I think one fit, just, but looked absolutely ridiculous as it used about a dozen different pieces. It was also too short for a small straight piece. I had decided to tray a 45 into a 90, but offset so the angle would probably be more like 30degrees and was beyond my mental capacity at that point.
I was so tired and drained I could barely stand or talk. so I just crawled off to bed and left it. Failing terribly.
Needless to say I had a fair old lie in the next morning. Had to take a few to wake up and my hands to loosen up before getting back on it. :coffee: First thing I notice with refreshed eyes is the the weird CPU loop has got to go. Apart from just plain looking pants, it will interfere with the GPU out loop.
An afternoon later and we're done. I think the only line I didn't redo in the front was the one round the back of the GPU.
I'd figured a way of using tape to help mark where the bend had to start so that when I took it away there was no doubt where that bend was going. Everything tight, level and with some nice symmetry to the runs.
That front run with the little level change was daunting, but I just heated a small spot, held the bend flat to the table and pulled the end up. Fit beautifully.
I gave all the fittings, o-rings and tubes a good clean and tidied up the ends, made sure there was no rough or sharp edges and got rid of the tape marks.
The tight bend in the back I also ended up doing by hand as it was tighter than any of angles offered on the mandrels. Took a few goes to get it right, but by jove we did it!
The keen eyed of you will see the future in this picture :unsure:
It's loop filling time! Non of that fancy air pressure nonsense, just good ol' fashioned tissue.
Warning. The following video contains strong language and scenes of a disturbing nature.
Yep, I'd left the rear drain valve open
Good job it was pointing straight down next to the massive hole in the bottom of the case, so the majority of it flowed out onto the mat below and what remained inside didn't get very far or near anything shocking.
After that little mishap it was plain sailing. Get it filled up no further problems, no leaks.
I'd made the PSU a cagoule incase there were any "mishaps" in it's vicinity
It was so close to being finished, I could feel it, like it was just over my shoulder.
With no leaks overnight All the tissue could be done away with and the power cables installed. I hadn't been too sure about them until I got them in and caressed them into shape with the combs from the extension set we'd been given. Once in though,
I installed all the rear cables, the top fans bracket with fans and LEDs and attached external panels, but of course forget to take any pics of that
Now we have to travel back in time, way back to the 13th July for the genesis of the next feature. 1000x600mm of 1" hole galvanised steel mesh, 6m of 37mm galvanised steel angle and a bunch of corner braces to make this beast a cage!
First up was cutting the mesh to size. I started with the dremel but it was slow going as the wire was so thick. The hacksaw made quick work of it however and gave cleaner tighter cuts.
Typically for me, the first piece I cut I cut the wrong size, meaning there wasn't enough to make the other 2 pieces the size I wanted. luckily I could just fit 2 pieces big enough in that would still work.
Next up was to cut the steel angle to size, with angled cuts where 2 pieces would meet. This was jigsaw territory, made light work of the steel.
Along the bottom edge of the cage I would only need one side of the angle and small lip to cover the mesh. This was done in 3 goes with the jigsaw, moving the clamps as the cut progressed.
Soon had the 9 sections needed cut out
Then I started to make the sides up, joining them with the corner braces. I marked up the braces with which angle they joined with and where. This would make sure there were no -ups come assembly time when all the holes were out of alignment.
Coming together nicely. When there was crossover between 2 sides on the braces, I'd keep the first side built and connected so they would sit as they would in final form.
I cut out one section of braces for the lower corners, to let it fit round the case.
With all sides complete it was time to start figuring out the mesh attachment, with where the bolts could go through without fouling on the mesh and drilling out the holes.
The mesh would be attached using 1.5-2" sections of the angle made from the offcuts. These were then drilled out with holes to match the main pieces (with mesh in place of course). These were all individually marked on both pieces so there was no mistaking what went there.
With everything marked up the wazoo, there was nothing left top chance and it was time to construct. Nothing could go wro...... Oh, the bolts I've got aren't long enough. So with 32 pieces cut and 102 holes drilled that was as far as I could go.
Fast forward 2 weeks and I had the new longer bolts, it was assembly time. This was done on the shed floor, which was so, so uncomfortable. Quite painful even. I'm not currently formatted for floor work. lol
But he got built! And to even my surprise it was pretty darn sturdy
Bit of JB Weld used as locktite and you could actually use it to keep things safe
That was it. Everything was built. Everything was finished. All I had to do was put the cage on and.... it doesn't fit.
I had done all my test fittings without the side window hinges on the case and they interfered with the back edge of the cage. I could probably have cut a couple of notches in it, but by this point I was at the end of my tether, so I lopped the entire back edge off. At least it now fit! ha ha
Oh yeh and at some point I'd attached a staple loops to the top and front. another thing I forgot to document. There's probably more, but who knows? lol
So that was it. I was finally finished. there had been some absolute nightmarish, soul destroying mishaps and moments in the last few days. I was so, so tired, my body was crying and I was emotionally drained. But at least it was finished and I could get on with the video.
I had taken some pics with the case on when I first finished, but then realised the cage had red pen all over it. So had turned it off and given it a good clean before getting those pics above. I took the cage off and then thought "I should probably get some pics of the pc on with the clean cage". So I put the cage went back on, back on go the locks and....
Taking the key out of the last lock and the barrel just comes out with it. It just had to **** with me one last time. I was absolutely distraught. How am I going to get this off? Anything I do to cut it is just going to send shards of steel everywhere, I can't take the cage apart, it dam near killed me making it in the first place. Resigned to taking the cage apart, find I've built it too well and it's not going anywhere. Fall onto floor crying. Like i said at the beginning, it's been a difficult 2 years. lol
Luckily a few folk here and elsewhere talked me down and helped me to the realisation that I could cover it up with something and cut carefully and I should be fine. So
Here's the after shot. You get a good view of the staple and also the mesh I put in the top panel that i forgot to take any pics of or record in any way. I don't do rushed. lol
And the cage and case survived!
One last little snippet, the test tube contents. For those who don't know, The Division series is set in a time when a genetically engineered flu has been released. All the test tubes contain samples of things you'd find in the game.
Fro Right to left:
1) Green Poison - the virus unleashed in New York on Black Friday using contaminated money, which is why it's also know as the 'Dollar Flu'. This is Thermaltake P1000 pastel green coolant
2) E. Shaw's Blood Sample - Emeline Shaw is the head of one of the enemy factions know as The Outcasts. Emeline is an asymptomatic carrier and upon her downfall (at your hand), it is said that they can use a sample of her blood to help develop a cure. This is made from Paprika and water.
3) DC-62 - an anti-viral agent that was released in the worst contaminated areas, however in extreme cold temperatures, the DC-62 changed and became toxic and as deadly as the virus itself. These quarantined contaminated areas form the games 'Dark Zone' PvP areas. You sometimes get dust storms of DC-62 in the games weather patterns. This is made from dry turmeric, as the DC-62 in the game is also a powder
4) Anti-viral sample - in a secret underground lab in DC, scientists had been working on an anti-viral to combat the Green Poison. This was stolen by President Ellis and given to the Black Tusk, a paramilitary group trying to take over America, to whom he defects. You get back the sample of the anti-viral after defeating Milla "Wyvern" Radek at the end of the Black Tusks Styronghold mission 'Tidal Basin'. This is just some distilled water.
Now the moment you've all been waiting for, the final glory shots. These were all taken right after I finished, so they may not be as spot on as they could be. There are so many angles I could cover, so many details to pick out, I may well take some more when I've tackled tidying the room. :blush: Until then, enjoy the pics and don't forget to vote for me in the competition!
- All these pics will be posted in original size without hyperlinks you can enlarge them to your hearts content.
That's all for now folks. All that's left is for you to go and vote!
People in the UK could win the same case and PSU used in the mod too. Thanks to everyone who's helped and supported me throughout the process. Hopefully I'll recover from the emotional trauma soon and be back with a new project. Until then crapfans!