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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Final pics here and here.

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With that out of the way, welcome to my work log. The purpose here is to finish this nearly 3 year long project. I need the closure of being able to say "I know it's not 'done' per say, but I am finished and happy with it.".

I want this system to be a folder; my mother is a 6 year cancer survivor and I feel that while folding doesn't necessarily hold the cure, using my hardware for such a cause is more than just.

My plan is to take two Thermaltake Soprano cases and connect them side by side, using one for the computer and the other for the cooling.

Of course once I get the cases modified appropriately and get the goodies mounted inside that configuration is very likely to change, but that is a curb to check when the time comes.

Some ideas that I have toyed with are making a double helix design etched and colored in respectively in clear acrylic, lit with white cathodes and mounting it all in that top area where the PSU sits, to cover that mess of cables.

Another idea was the T virus res, which I am still considering.

My color scheme is still undecided. I love matte black, but I also love the simplistically clean look of white. More on this later as I figure out more of the hardware configuration.

Current hardware:

cpu Q6600 1.32 vid
mobo EVGA 780i Sli FTW
gpu 2x XFX 9800 GTX +
ram 2x 2gb OCZ Blade DDR2 1066 1.8v
psu Coarsair HX 1000
sound onboard
hdd 640gb WD Caviar green, 320 WD Caviar


  • Dtek Fuzion V2
  • Micro res
  • MCP655 or D5 Vario
  • XSPC 240mm rad
  • EK 9800gtx blocks
  • T line
  • D5 non vario
  • MCR320 rad

CPU 444.9*8 = 3.5 ghz
GPU 799 core 2026 shader 1209 memory

The rest of this post will be a table of contents so to speak.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For now, here is where the case stands.

I have my second case on the way, and am patiently waiting to do anything until it gets here. I am not looking forward to my system being down while I figure out where to put everything so I will probably break out the air cooling so that I can keep my GPU's folding at least.

As you can see in the rendering, the mobo tray is gone and the rear panel is flipped upside-down. All I did was drill out the rivets and re rivet it on, the mounting holes are in the same locations top and bottom. Lucked out on that one.

I want the PSU on the bottom, I feel like having the rad AND PSU on top made the case a little too top heavy for my taste.

Where to mount the 240 rad is still up in the air. I can squeeze it in I believe if I take one fan off the end of that 360 rad and mount the 240 on the inside of the case using the existing fan hole. I think. This is what Google Sketchup tells me at least
. I have also toyed with the idea of mounting it in the front, but that would require some serious body work. That is not out of the question however, I just need to be sure that it is the best way because I don't want to under-commit and wind up with an even larger, more expensive, and more slowly-progressing build than before. Again, this project should be in it's finishing stages once the two cases become one.

I do plan to just drill some holes and use a brace on the bottom and rear and rivet the cases together. I have no intention whatsoever of seperating them. I will probably use the side panel supports along the facing sides in the middle and rivet along that ceiling line horizontally, not too sure how I am going to connect them in front.

Because of the front panel design of this case, I am going to see about bondo-ing the two front panels together and using the mounting parts on the opposing side of each. I.e. when looking at the two front panels next to each other from the front, the left most hardware and the right most hardware will remain the same, that way I have one big panel that connects using the same "door" mechanisms that are already built in.

Another thought strikes me as I write this. Because I will be relocating the PSU, I may want to cut out the top of the new case and put another 360 rad there and just sell off the 240. Could always use the increase in cooling power..hmm... it would certainly put a stop to the issue of rad mounting.

I kept the HDD racks from the first case, I think they will wind up back in the case and the reason is that I can mount HDD's there. This PC is no longer top of the line prime and if I can make it pretty enough and quiet enough, it may end up being a media server as eventually I see DDR3 and 800+ stream processor GPUs in my future.... hmmm. I just want to have the flexibility that will allow in terms of cleaning up the case. Who knows, I may just chuck the entire idea and buy some lian-li style HDD cages and mount them perpendicularly.

The optical drive and the fan controller will live in the cooling case for simplicity of cable routing.

What to do with the primary case's drive bays is a good question and I think a kama-bay style intake fan adapter (custom?) is in my future as these cases tend to have a problem with intake airflow, and the motherboard will need any airflow it can get.

I may wind up with some exhaust fan holes in the floor of the cases. If I did that I could seal up the stock exhaust hole and use it to mount...stuff. Hmm.

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looks fun, subbed
edit: sorry if i took your reserved spot

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

18 July 09

Parents took the camera out of town with them. Sorry for the lack in quantity and quality of my phone pics

I got the second case in and stripped it down, here it is next to the other one.

Notice how I flipped the back panel on the left case

This shows my planning for the cable routing holes

And this is where the other radiator is going =]

I will post again with the cutting/connecting when it is all actually done.

Some thoughts, I have an idea for the exterior color/aesthetics. After witnessing multiple exterior paint jobs become scratched regardless of who did the paint and who did the scratch, I have decided that since I am underdog and anything that comes into my possession inherently loses its warranty, that I need to invest my time and effort in an exterior that will stand up to the abuse that this beast is sure to encounter.

I also have come to the conclusion that the front panels not only lack any functional purpose that I can see aside from inhibiting the airflow of the intake fan and providing shinies to look at, therefore they will go.

This is leading up to my decision to take a very arbitrary and function > form approach to the exterior appearance of the case.

I have excluded the front panels from the final build and will rivet sheet aluminum over the front instead, allowing the drives to poke out and leaving room for the intake fans.

Proceeding along this same train of thought, I attacked the rear of the left case. There is a lip of metal left from when I removed the mobo tray components and cutting it away would be painstaking as there is very little room between the edge where it bends in at 90° and the existing rivet holes.

One thing I want to stay consistent with is using the existing holes to maximize the efficiency of my mod; to decrease the amount that I have to mod in order to make my mod work in all of it's brutal majesty.

So instead of cutting that off, I riveted sheet alum over the back of it instead of on the inside (is why I would have had to cut that lip off).

Now you may be thinking why rivet this early on? Well....to be honest I wasn't thinking of that at that moment in time, so from there on the rest of the attachments that I made were temporarified with a home-made cut of threaded rod and two nuts per hole (to be riveted in the future).

I have about a third of the brackets made that will be used to hold the cases together.

Where I stand now: the cases are becoming one.

To wrap this post up, the exterior is going to become just aluminum with a few clears on it. This will be done by deriveting everything and sanding the exterior face of each panel to the metal, which can't be that hard considering that the 'trouble parts' like the two front panels with their numerous holes will have sheet alum riveted on permanently.

I thought about taking the panels and sanding them down then subjecting them to all kinds of abuse to really drive in a brutal appearance to the exterior.......when the image of setting off firecrackers and lighting fires on top of the side panels came to mind, followed shortly by a few passes with a blow torch, I decided that would not be a very well-engineered idea.

So instead it will just be brushed alum look with some clears to project the metal. Is that going to work?

Interior will not be bare metal, and will be a dramatic contract to the exterior.

That's my secret for now though

Whew I wrote a novel

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Originally Posted by Icekilla
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Just lo let you know, the correct translation should be "El gigante de Agua"

Nice mod BTW

Thanks for the compliment, I hope people understand where I am coming from in regards to the work that I do to it.

As far as the translation goes, I know that it is incorrect but over the course of this system's life and the subtle name changes I made, I have had such inconsistency with the translations that I have gotten from various latino friends, spanish majors, and translator programs and books that I just gave up and decided to call it what sounded nice lol, but I do appreciate your input


I got some work done!

This is how I cut the radiator hole in the right chamber.

I learned the trick from Repo-man but I surely don't give him the original credit of the idea. He just happened to be the one that I remember telling me about it.

All that I did was cut holes in the 'corners' and then connect the 'dots' with a dremel =]

Here you can see most of the right chamber mobo holes are cut. I was confused and mislead myself when I was cutting the cpu back plate access, so that needs to be extended to the right more. You can actually see the pilot holes that I drilled for the upper and lower right corners, not too sure what happened there to be honest... ran out of mountain dew I guess. More work to be done there.

Here is a rear view. This will kind of give you an idea of what I mean when I talk about riveting on sheet.

You can also see the clamps holding the two cases aligned with the aid of an L bracket.

Like so.

I found that this helped tremendously when measuring out where the supporting braces were going to go and where their mounting holes needed to be made.

Shhh its a surprise!

The next update is the pump location, connecting the cases, power supply mounting, HDD cage options, and more.

A little brainstorming, I think that I am going to pursue the bare-metal look for the exterior. As soon as I am done with this I am going to see about some alternative drive bay mounting.

It seems that my plan is going to be just simply riveting on sheet wherever there are panels facing the exterior that need to be closed up (front and back). The top and bottom panels can be sanded without a problem, however the top panel for my left chamber case may need to be cut up and modded with a new sheet of alum to start over with the rad mounting. More on that later.

Concisely put, I want the outside to be questionable-looking but very rugged, and the inside to be beautiful and simple.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Haha yeah it is def. going to be heavy, as for driving it around I will just drop the back seat. Handles will find their way onto it at some point I promise =]

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I really need to come by and see this in person, the last I was over you had received the second case. Perhaps next weekend

I like where this is going, although I have some concerns/questions to bring up when I see you.
Nice work so far man!

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

I have a neat idea for the reservoirs, and I am finalizing my vision for what the case will look like from the exterior.

I want it to appear that the case fell out of a fallout 3, terminator 3, post apocalyptic-esque war zone.

The case's exterior will be 'armor' made up of sheet alum. cut and riveted on, with appropriate holes etc for mounting screws and fans and bay devices. I will be proceeding with the idea to sand down the painted surfaces that will be exposed to the outside to the metal.

My idea for the res, I will take canisters and cut them up appropriately and mount them to the back left side of the case where the mobo tray once sat, externally. They will also be sanded down to the metal, and secured with strips of alum to a bracket which in turn will be connected to the case.

They will serve as reservoirs and fill/drain points. More on that later.

On to the update itself...

This is how the tubing will breach the two cases.

I was inspired by this, this, and this from the MDPC website.

This drags us into the reasoning of what the interior will look like.

My personal taste is that I want something beautiful but simple and as effective and meaningful as possible. As for the exterior, this still holds true though it may not be 'beautiful' but most regards. However the effectiveness and meaning and purpose are unarguable in my opinion. I want something mounted here for reason X, it is mounted here, and I don't work around the case so much as I make the piece work for my purposes.

So, the inside will most likely be white, with as few cables as visible as possible given the nature of the left compartment. I want it to be clean and simple and beautiful on the inside, almost sterile in appearance.

This underscores the 'fallout' look of a secure and rough looking exterior but a clean and sterile environment inside, one of survival and efficiency.

For the tubing pass-through I am going to use panel mounts.

I LOVE the look this results in. Each of the builds that I linked just now use some sort of fitting pass-through and I think it looks splendidly clean, not to mention that it drastically simplifies the water line routing because instead of trying to measure and slide one long tube through the mobo tray and re measure and what not all that I have to do is connect the barbs.

The concern of flow rate decreasing here is valid but it's not something that I am too worried about given the pumps that I am using.

Here is another pic of the mobo side of the case

Hard drive cage is mounted, complete with dead test drives.

You can also see that I took out the HDD racks from the mobo side and put one in backwards. I was thinking of mounting something here like a raptor hdd if I ever got one or something along those lines. Since this is a folder, I may try to find some kind of double helix DNA strand or something. Not too sure yet. I may very well just box it in and put a hinged door on the reverse side and use it for cable management. Those cathode inverters have to go somewhere


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Instead of the panel mount barbs I found that it would just be more simple to use female couplers (nuts basically) that I found on performancepcs.

I am still trudging along with the fallout-esque armored approach, and the canisters is still a viable idea, as long as I use PVC or copper.. will just have to wait and see. If I can find it for cheap enough I will probably just use copper and solder everything together. Sounds like a good exscuse to get a butane torch.

Picked up at the depot some more sheet alum and a strip to use in making a bracket for the pumps. Going to run by the hardware store down the road from my house to see what they have to offer in terms of copper stock.

Moar pics this afternoon

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12,077 Posts
You never need a reason to purchase a butane torch.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
LOL true, I just need to find a reasonable use for it, like my computer, as opposed to repairing the bathroom sink.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

My apologies for the big space between updates, life is crazy and I am still trying to figure out this idea of maintaining a work log...

So the E gf came to town to visit for the weekend, and the airline companies gave us an extra day for free to boot! Canceled flights suck, I must say =]

That is all good and well, things are settling back to normal for the few days left of break that I have left until fall semester kicks in.

The computer. Oh yeah.

First things first, I originally planned on mounting the pumps vertically to the front wall of the case and use pre-existing holes + fill ports and T lines, like so.

but because I am using an XSPC radiator instead of the MCR320 that was orginally located in that side of the case, my mounting idea was doomed.

The rad had more mass from mount-hole to edge lengthwise than the swifty did, so I sat on the problem for a few days and came up with another, more interesting idea.

I mentioned last post that I wanted some kind of exterior canister-like res, and have made a decision*.

And that is all you get on that topic, because this post is about the pumps!

On to the muscles...

This is the steel plate that I used to connect the cases on top. A similar, thinner piece is on the bottom. I had some extra, and with a few cuts from the dremel, had a place to start.

somehow I have no pictures of the duringprocess of making this, so a small narrative follows..

I cut one of the standard pump brackets in half and found some appropriately sized nuts, bolts and washers to make them all a happy family.

Luck was on my side with the discovery of a perfectly good hard metal (possibly steel, not sure) right angle bracket. I drilled some mounting holes to use for riveting later, and cut up an alum. L bracket to support the end of the plate not attached to the big scary bracket.

That lip on the back of the case that I was so worried about giving me hell earlier? It is gone now.

This is where things stood when I magically remembered that I was able to take pics..

And here is like...the ONLY picture that I have of the due process..

I am not too worried about the one pump's mounting screws facing the interior of the case because I have very ready access to the bolts and nuts holding the pump bracket to the mounting plate.

I knew from the start that it was going to be wobbly, and this is how I intended on solving the problem..

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18
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And here you have the solution...

And this is why I know it will work...

I picked up half the case with it =]

Here are some glory shots, I don't think that I am going to rivet the top mounting plate to it's brackets, it will not lend itself to lots of remounting..

Until next time !!

*this star indicates a realization of irreversalbe and confindent mental action that promotes action; which should be illustrated by a double star [**] to show excitement. (Thanks for the inspiration and literary material buddy)

· Is he still around?!
12,077 Posts
Wow, looking great man! I figured I'd leave ya be while the GF was over
Hope ya'll had fun man!
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