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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bloody Bridget
April 17th to ---

Note
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I'm currently testing out a new way of writing worklogs which I hope will be adopted as a standard. The goal of this new format is to simplify the viewing of worklogs, but also to optimize loadtime and ease of navigation.

The first post is to be a recap of the entire log. Worklog entries are dated then summarized with thumbnails or montage pictures, and a couple of lines of text. At the end, a link points to the permalink of the post containing the totality of the content. This will make browsing easier and faster, and will also create dead space (aka comments) between the picture-filled posts, which will most probably lighten the page weight and make viewing easier on users with slow internet connections.

Let's see how this works out.
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April 17th: The Idea

The log begins. Although this project is still just a plan, I've got plenty of doodles, plenty of ideas, that still I still need to play around a bit with. This is meant as a long term project, entertainment for my entire summer, so there is not ETA, no budgetary restrictions. I'll just be going with the flow...
Read the entry.

May 10th: More Ideas, Case Recieved

The design is pretty much finalized, now I've got to wait to finish my other project. The case is in, I'll probably be testing the lengths, to be sure the design fits in RL.
Read the entry.

May 19th: Disassembly

If I were DJ Screw, this would be the "chopped" part. The rocketfish gets a taste of my drill bits, ends up in pieces. Surprise of the day, the most part (>60%) of the chassis is made out of ONE part of aluminum, bent to fit. The fangrills I sketched out are displayed for the first time in their rough draft state.

Read the entry.

June 7th: Side Window



After a month in a cast, I resume the project and saw out the side panel window. Notes on jigsawing inside.

Read the entry.


September 6th, Priming and painting

Again, sorry for the few and far between updates, I've been so busy working and messing around with other stuff that I never really came around to actually finding an etching primer that works and some decent paint. Exceptionally, this entry will be one shot even though it'll take more than one day, just so that I don't have 6 updates on painting
.


Read the entry.


October 11th, Finishing up the Paint


Finally! The paint is over with, and now the real modding begins. I'm currently partially reassembling the case and waiting for the rad grills and acrylic.

Read the entry.


February 18th, Radgrills part 1

Little update, the radgrills are finally here and I begin cutting up the top panel to install them.
Read the entry here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The log begins. Although this project is still just a plan, I've got plenty of doodles, plenty of ideas, that still I still need to play around a bit with. This is meant as a long term project, entertainment for my entire summer, so there is not ETA, no budgetary restrictions. I'll just be going with the flow...

What is this project all about? This is the blog entry that started it all. People have been talking about the Rocketfish full tower for a while now, and so far I've kind of subconsciously ignored it. But when I saw that DuckieHo was selling one for a ridiculous price, I knew I had to get one. I HAD TO!

So I slept over it, and I realized that it would make an ideal summer project. Kind of like an old man buys an old junker when he retires and works on it 30 minutes a day for 10 years and ends up with a kick ass vintage car. I'm not doing this out of necessity, because I most probably will not be putting any hardware in it, unless I win the lottery or get featured in CPU Magazine or something, which is highly improbable. I'm doing this to kill my spare time, and work on my mad modding skillz, which sadly are in great need of honing.

I don't know much about this project yet, but what I do know is that it's gonna be base off a Rocketfish, nothing else, and it's gonna be black and red. Blue and green are colors I've already worked with, I feel like trying something different.

I drew a couple of doodles out of my spare time (aka science class).



Not very descriptive eh? This is all I have for now, but it'll be easier to think up some stuff once I actually have the case in my hands.



Don't get me wrong, I don't plan on making the worlds most uber leet mod out of the this case. The emphasis on this project is to be put on the details. I want a paint job, a wicked clean paint job, the kind that has 8 coats, 2 clear coats, and that I've put countless hours into. I want EVERYTHING painted.... do you get what I mean? I really want to put the max on attention to details, and making this thing clean.

Here are the mods that I have planned so far for this case.
  • Exterior paint job
  • Interior paint job
  • Custom acrylic window, outside mounted
  • Dual top fans
  • All-LED lighting pretty much everywhere
  • Custom fan controllers
I have nothing right now, although I'm talking to DuckieHo to buy his NIB Rocketfish. If he's not the one I'm buying it from, then it'll be somebody else.

More coming... well not soon, but whenever I get to update.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
New doodle!


Yeah... 3 fans on the side panel means serious fligerbicking business. I've contacted Marcus000, one of the pro watercoolers from the UK, and I think we might have a deal for the radgrills I'm going to be using. The side panel one is gonna be very special if I can get it my way. Notice the custom case badges. I'm assuming that's close to nothing to machine on a CNC, but it's sure to add plenty of bling to the box.

Also, first concrete piece of this project: the case!



Now I won't go on and on posting pictures for nothing, because I've started a pictorial thread right here.

So as of now, I'm just waiting on the other project, Fr0stbyte rebuild, to get started on modding this thing. This will give me some time to work out the fan grills with Marcus, get some supplies, tools (aka dremel and 1000000 attachements, router attachement, table, and all).

Keep tuned in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:


Originally Posted by xHassassin
View Post

Hmm, are you doing this mod, and the fr0stbyte mod at the same time?

They are very closely linked. Since I now have two cases, frostbyte is in the rocketfish for the moment, and when Fr0stbyte is done, all the hardware is going back in. Fr0stbyte is just a practice for this build really. I didn't want to derivet the rocketfish before having some experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Today was cold, humid, and lame. What better in those dull time than pop some rivets?

The case has previously been stripped of all it's shiz. Looks something like this.



I am not kidding, this thing is twice as big, yet weighs half as much as my armor without all the accessories in it. Aluminum FTW.



Rivets on this case were slightly smaller than on my Armor, at least the heads were. I used a 7/64 bit in the beginning, only to realize that the difference between it and the 1/8 was negligible, and that the 1/8 ripped through the rivets a lot faster. My guess is that the rivets that held the structure together were 3 mm grip reach 1/8 inch diameter countersunks, with the head being 5.5 mm large.

As for the front and back panel rivets, those were just regular 1/8 non-countersunks that I used on my Armor.

Good luck finding the exact replica of the countersunk rivets. The steel countersunks I got from Canadian Tire are slightly different, the head being some .5 mm larger. On such small numbers, the difference is quite important, but it shouldn't keep me from putting the case back together.



What the hell is that big black border? Flickr acting wonky again? Saving to RAM on a live CD not recommended? Bleh. Anyways, you can see the red spots, that's the rivets you have to remove first, they let go of the top bars.



After, I removed the front thingies that spaces the door from the front of the chassis. Just remove all rivet on it, and it'll come right off.



And this is where I lolled. See the bottom panel and the front panel? That's one piece of folded aluminum. Which means that this case was crafted from a 6' x 1.5' sheet of aluminum at Lian-Li's. This is the first time I've seen a once piece design like this.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/maximerousseau/2506616127/
(Image needs to be rotated, come back later)

The drives bays are up next for the tackle. Remove every rivet you see on the picture above, and that pops right out too. The drive bay seperators can only be removed once you have deriveted the entire drive bay assembly from the front.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/maximerousseau/2506622977/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/maximerousseau/2507452608/
(Images needs to be rotated, come back later)

Lasty, the motherboard panel. Just remove all the rivets that you see in the first pic above.

Notice how close to the edge of the case the last the left-most rivets are in the second pic. Don't risk scrapping up your case with a drill bit, leave them for later, once the motherboard panel is out. Those rivets hold the I/O shield panel, and will be removed in time.



Like I said, both parts come out as one. Once they are out, feel free to give the previously hidden rivets the same treatment as the other ones. I guess this could also be painted as one, but personally, I'm not going to cut corners on this build.



The one big piece of chassis. Boy this is going to be a challenge to paint and sand properly. I'm borrowing my granny's mouse sander for this
.

Finally, you get the usual pile o' pieces. Read for sanding, priming and painting.

Update on the rad grills also, I'm currently talking with Marcus000 about getting some grills done. If I can have it my way, they'd look something like this:



This one for the top 120x3.


And this one, a bit more detailed, for the side panel 120x3. How am I going to mount 3 120's on the side you're asking? You'll see.
For now, I've gotta change this fugly generic font I used, find something more themed with the build. Be sure to shoot any suggestions you might have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You thought this one was dead didn't ya? Well it's not! Thanks to my parents who threatened to throw out all the "scrap metal", aka my Rocketfish, if I didn't clean up in the briefest delays. Messing around with the parts, I remembered that I had to get this thing done in time for 2008, to participate in the case mod contest.

I took a couple of measurements, sketched out my window accordingly...



...Without further ado, I ran to the hardware store and bought some 24 TPI metal blades, I practiced a little...



...and started cutting the crap out of my side panel.



Noticed how I used a straight angle as a guide. When cutting with a jigsaw, either go very slowly and check your alignement very often or do this, which yeilds super straight cuts. LAZER STRAIGHT I TELLS YA. I had a bit of trouble with the curves, but my pratice cuts helped some. It turned out ok, but if it had been only a slight bit tighter, I wouldn't have made it.



The entire thing looks like this.



Hugeass window... I'll be mounting a dual 120 radgrill and corresponding fans on the right anyways, to fill it up.

Next up, the plexi window, cutting up the top for a rad, and more plexi for cable management, cooling, and zone separation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh boy.... I think I pretty hold the world record for time between project updates. After over two months of nothing going on, here is what I've done in the past weeks.

First of all, the radgrills are being fabricated ATM by marcus000, one of the watercooling/case-modding gods from the other side of the ocean. I'm pretty pumped up on getting some stuff done by subcontractors, specially since this one knows what he's doing, unlike myself. You can get a peak of the radgrills here.

Also, paint. I've realized that now is the perfect time to get my spray on, for the following reasons:
  • It's not over 27C, the point at which most paint losses some of it's stickyness.
  • Humidity isn't through the roof, so that helps a lot too.
  • If I don't get it done now, I'll have to either spray indoors and die from laque intoxication, or wait till next spring. Winter is coming along really, REALLY fast.
So I decided to push my search for a proper self-etching primer, and found out that my local auto parts store carried Plastikote. The stuff costs about the same as Duplicolor, and the guy guaranteed that it would stick properly on aluminum. It looks something like this.



Wonderful stuff. Goes on quick, dries fast, and one coat does the job. At 10$ a can though, I wasn't expecting anything less.

I did the motherboard tray, one of the HDD racks, as well a part of the front panel, and still have some left, probably enough for another HDD rack. For those who own a full tower Lian Li, you probably know that motherboard trays in those things are HUGE, so considering that I wasn't looking for paint economy and I was painting outside, it's pretty good bang for your buck. I'll probably need another can, I'll be taking two for safety.

Check of teh parts.








As of right now, I'm looking for metallic blood red enamel. As soon as I find it, I'm finishing this sucker up.

Do you think it would need a clear coat if it's only the inside structure?
 

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Very nice job so far. I gotta start working on my Rocketfish. All I've done so far is remove the motherboard tray and cut a 3x120mm rad for the top. Got a little side tracked and cut up my P182b.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Finally, finished the last parts of the case, everything that used to be on raw aluminum is now cherry red. I know I mentioned a metallic paint in an update a while ago, but Canadian Tire didn't carry anything fancy, and ordering it would have been a PITA, so I decided that a flat cherry red would get the job done just fine.



As to not scratch the finish, I usually work on my bed.



A little closeup on the case itself. The pale-ish red on the front is not what it looks like in RL... my camera's white balance and the weird lighting made it look that way. The motherboard panel has the accurate color



With the door on, it looks sick. The door was the hardest part to paint, because I had to mask off the elevated black aluminum panels, which are very thin on the sides. Those who own a rocketfish will understand.



With the side window, it's gonna look pretty awesome. I'm stoked on how this project is taking shape.

What I'm not stoked on however is the cost of it so far... for the paint job alone, I'm quickly approaching the 100$: 3 cans of primer at 10$ each, 4 cans of color at 12$ each, 2 rolls of tape at 8$ each, sandpaper, all the accessories... I don't know if it's just me getting ripped off by Canadian Tire, but it's hella expensive, and that doesn't take into account the time I put into this, which is considerable too since the RF is made of about 20+ little parts that all needed to be painted individually.

I really hope this thing is going to be fine enough to resell for at least cost price, or maybe make a magazine cover or get sponsored. I know the chances are slim, but it doesn't hurt to be optimistic.


Next up is the acrylic window, and the rad grills. I'll be getting the acrylic by next week, and I've sent Marcus000 a PM to know how my grills are coming along.

More to come soon!
 
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