My First Case Mod!

Hey guys! I’m so exited to be posting my very first case mod on the internet ever! It was an absolute blast and I’m really glad with how it turned out! just to give you guys a little of the specs and projects, these are the parts:

CPU: AMD FX-6200 (Overclocked to 4.3Ghz)
Motherboard: ASRock 990FX Extreme9
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 18GB DDR3 at 1866
Case: Corsair Carbide Air540 (Silver)
Cooler: Corsair H80i
Video Card: XFX R9 280X (Overclocked to 1125 Mhz core and 1650 Mhz VRAM)
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster ZX
PSU: Rosewill HIVE-750
Wifi card: Rosewill RNWD-11005
Fan controller: NZXT Sentry LXE External Touchscreen
HDD: Western Digital Green 1TB
SSD: Samsung 840-EVO 500GB
DVD: Lite-On DVD Burner
Fans: 3 stock Corsair AF140 (2 White LED) (came with the case)

2 COUGAR CF-V12HPB Vortex

I went for an orange, gray and black theme and of course it has a trick up it’s sleeve! Check back soon when I start to release my pictures!

Just some before pictures to perk your interest!
********

Ok guys here is the first step I did. Sprayed the grid in front and on top from the dull black to an amazing orange!

Spraying was difficult because I live in an apartment and it was very windy but I was to anxious! And yes I was spraying in the bed of my truck
Spoiler! (Click to show)

*

I think it turned out really well!
Spoiler! (Click to show)

**

Let me know how you guys feel about the color!
So next thing to do is paint the sound card to a matching orange! I will also be change the LED’s from red to orange. Let me know how you feel!
First up I removed the shroud and taped off the window. I couldn’t find a way to remove it without busting off the tabs or bending the metal on the back.
Spoiler! (Click to show)

***

I made a very nifty stand out of tooth picks and used the painter’s tape to hold them in place. It’s pretty janky but worked extremely well!
Spoiler! (Click to show)

*

I also removed the front bezel of the dvd drive to paint. I didn’t like the labels there so I got rid of them. I did sand down the bezel but the sound card already had a good painting surface.
Spoiler! (Click to show)

**

Some pictures of it installed!
Spoiler! (Click to show)

******

Now time for painting the hard drive!
Had to take it apart. Don’t be alarmed it was a failing hard drive! just wanted to see how it would look and how difficult it would be.
Warning! DO NOT REMOVE THE HARD DRIVE COVER! HARD DRIVES ARE VERY SENSITIVE TO DUST, FINGER PRINTS, AND CLIMATES! Even differences in the torque of the screws can destroy a hard drive. NOT ADVISED
Spoiler! (Click to show)

*****

Time to paint and install!
Spoiler! (Click to show)

****

So I was getting really anxious to do something else and decided hey maybe I should paint my motherboard tray!!! It was a terrible idea that wasted a lot of time but it was well worth it!
Time for dismantling!
**
This is a picture of my bed full of parts and cords… FYI I didn’t sleep for a few days. I put all my time into working, school, and finishing the project. My bed looked like this for a good 2 days.
*
This tape job took so much time! I wanted to be sure it was a perfect spray and I didn’t get any paint where I didn’t want it! I wrapped the entire case in trash bags just to make sure!
Spoiler! (Click to show)

*****

A picture of my amazing cooling system! It was 85 degrees in my house! I put so much money into this build that I can’t afford to run the air!
*
Time to paint! I got too excited and woke up at 6 in the morning so I could paint before I went to work! I’m a die hard (not really)
Spoiler! (Click to show)

***

Time to install everything again!
Spoiler! (Click to show)

***

So it’s time to do the LED’s on the sound blaster. It’s was one thing I have had no experience with. I took a few circuitry classes in high school so I am skilled with a soldering iron and know my way around electronics. I did research to find LED’s that would match to voltage of the stock LED’s but found no stats anywhere and decided to just go for it. The stock LED’s are 3mm. the voltage is around 3.2V. I replaced them with a pair of 5mm 2V LED’s and they work but unfortunately are not as bright as the stock lights. Enjoy the pics! If you are interested in doing this and have questions don’t be shy and ask! I also swapped out the stock white light on the power button. I still have yet to change the HDD usage indicator light to orange.
Spoiler! (Click to show)

*****

And the install pics!
Spoiler! (Click to show)

**

Next up I did some custom cable sleeving! This was my first time cable sleeving and I was extremely nervous about it! I love taking things apart and puting them back together but occasionally they don’t work after that. So far everything has worked but this made me think. when sleeving ALWAYS WRITE DOWN THE PIN OUTS FOR THE CONNECTIONS! If you don’t keep track of them you can seriously destroy your components or the computer won’t boot and finding the correct pinouts is very difficult! I suggest putting masking tape on the wires and writing the pin number. Here is a before picture for you guys!
*
So I used paracord 550. I found a heatshrinkless method for sleeving from this link: Sleeving video!!!! Thanks @Lutro0 for the help! In the video he says how the wire isn’t hot for when you go to squeeze the paracord to the wire… well that’s a lie… I now can rob a bank and not get into trouble for I have no fingerprints! But trust me the pain was well worth it! Eventually you forget about it and just keep going. This sleeving job took me from 6p.m. to 6a.m. and the loss of sleep was amazingly refreshing especially to see the results.
This is a picture of my workbench I made. I got the board from an old desk. It used to be a keyboard tray.
Spoiler! (Click to show)

*

This is my makeshift paracord threader. I used a stirring stray from my coffee and shaped the tip using good old flame and flesh!
*
Some pictures of the finished 8 pin video card power cords.
Spoiler! (Click to show)

**

Here is a pic of the final installs of the sleeved cables! 12 hours and 10 lost fingerprints later!
Spoiler! (Click to show)

****

And now is the time I tell you about my absolute failures. Due to my lack of sleep I completely disregarded my pin outs I wrote down. I ended up sleeving the last 8pin power wrongly and my computer refused to boot. Luckily there was a safety feature that stopped the power supply from destroying my graphics card. I compared the pin outs to one of the spare cords supplied with my power supply and only had to resleeve one cord thankfully but I finally got it finished and it posted and booted into my OS.
I am waiting for some cable combs I ordered from Lutro0 just this morning. Hopefully they will be here in a week or so!
The final thing I did was installed some LED’s around the window. I have used some amazing 5050 LED strips that I put under my command station desk (picture will be supplied later) They work extremely well though the remotes tend to be iffy. I decided to go with some here. I made sure to get non-waterproof. The waterproofing just gets in the way and it’s cheaper as well. Picked up a set without the remote for 9 bucks from amazon (LED strip lighting 5050)
I cut the strips the the longest length that would fit in the space. 5 meters of this stuff was way more then enough! I worked on soldering them together. It was really difficult for me because I started to use some 18 gauge wire with some 1/16″ rosin core solder. It worked really well with the LED’s but this is a very tight space! I had to walk to Radioshack in the pouring down rain and pick up some 4 conductor 22 gauge wire and some much thinner probably 1/32″ and it worked much better! I accidentally cut one of the wires too long so I just looped it around and It actually helped when I was installing it so i could get the right distance. Some pictures for your entertainment!
Spoiler! (Click to show)

**

Next I had to change the remote control module to accept power from my psu instead of a dc connection from outside. To do this I opened up the module, removed the dc input connector and wire a molex connector. This module accepts 5v. FYI in power supplies the wire color shows what voltage is being used.

Yellow + 12V
Red = 5V
Purple = 5V standby
Orange = 3.3V
Black = ground
Green = Power on (to the power button)
Blue = -12V
Grey = power good (I.E. it tells the computer that the voltages for the wires are what they should
Brown = 3.3V sensor to measure voltages

I wired the connector to include the 5V on the positive and it’s paired ground for the negative. It worked like a charm! Please indulge in some pictures for your reading!
Spoiler! (Click to show)

*****

And last but not least! I installed the lights and showed off a bit! Basking in all the glory!!! Don’t mind me while I drool over these pictures for a minute…
Spoiler! (Click to show)

I’m not finished with it yet but I have ran out of ideas. The hard drive ended dying a few weeks after this was finished so I put in it’s replacement. I’m looking to doing something else but don’t know what. Leave a comment with your ideas as to what I should include or what would look awesome and give me something to do!!!!! Please I beg of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

13 thoughts on “My First Case Mod!”

  1. Nice work so far on the case, though I don't know why you went to all the trouble masking off the motherboard tray instead of taking it apart for a neater and quicker paint application.

    The soundblaster card painting gave me an idea to do mine as well, as well as changing the led's because the red doesn't go with my next project. I ordered some LED's from PPC to change them out with and they are 3mm rated at 3.3v normal with 3.5v max. Might want to give them a look next time!!

  2. well I didn't want to delve into undoing all the rivets and then putting them back in but after thinking, I should have just painted the whole inside including the walls since most of the motherboard tray is not visible. and it's not the voltage that is the problem with my LED's it's the luminosity. I ended up replacing them with some 3.3V LED's I had left over from a circuitry project I had and there was no difference. I'm thinking about getting some of these (http://lighthouseleds.com/10mm-5w-4-chip-led-orange-ultra-bright-80-000-mcd.html) and seeing if it will make a difference. They have a very high Luminosity!

  3. Very Nice, may i know what brand of paint you used? I would love to get to work on my 600T and am doing a silver and red mod with acrylic side panels during the summer. Yours looks gorgeous though am very jelly

  4. Looks good! I might actually be encouraged to try painting some parts of my case too now!

    Regarding 5050 strip it's just so damn easy to work with. I'm currently working on putting some in my case too with an arduino to control it and hooked up to an internal USB connection so I can control it via windows (not a fan of saparate hardware to control manually).

    Regarding your harddrive try getting a cheap SSD – not only are they far more resilient when you take them apart for modding, but it will also help your boot times tremendously.

  5. There is actually a 500Gb Samsung SSD in there, check the parts list. I love the 5050s! I have a glass top desk and put them underneath and it looks amazing! I also put them behind my monitor as well. Send me a link of your adruino mod if you make one! Would love to use my raspberry to control them rather than the remote. Painting is super easy! the paint i used I didn't even need to sand anything but did just in case. I did a little bit of stuff with vinyl carbon fiber wrap on the hard drives. It looks good but I wish I got dinoc instead. I'll put some pics up later.

  6. @goodhero here's a link to my first attempt at playing with the arduino. Haven't had time to do more since then though, but it is connected and works. Only need to do the programming now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommended