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Case Modding


Majestic
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The story:

I've got this case from my Dad, I've got no clue where he got it from - but he brought it over in his car like a year ago. I messed around with it back then, but didnt do much, since had no skills, tools and desire. Fast forward to today - I'm looking for a new case. Now, I couldnt really find anything I liked for the price I liked, so i decided - f*ck it, rather spend a bit of money on power tools/modding things and put this old case in proper shape smile.gif

 

About the case:

Its an old gigantic tower, Compaq Proliant 1500. roughly 65cm tall, or 25", so HUGE. Since its old, it doesnt really fit any modern format (like ATX). So it needs serious cutting before I can actually put something in it.

 

Old pics:

user posted image

user posted image

 

Pics as of today:

user posted image

At this point i've started cutting a bit.

 

user posted image

After todays cutting - would cut some more, but getting a bit late so dont want to wake up the neighbors.

 

user posted image

The case is pretty fragile now. You can see how I bent the rear a bit

 

user posted image

With the cross-bar thingy screwed

 

 

 

What I'm doing right now is cutting out the back, so I can replace it with my own cutout. I'll cut out the back, then cut the shape from a piece of sheet metal and rivet it to the back of the case. That should bring the strength back in it.

 

Then since the back will be simply a sheet of metal, I'll cut it so it matches my "motherboard tray"

 

user posted image

The motherboard tray is actually 2 sides of a mid-tower case tounge.gif

They arent attached properly yet, but that is to come.

 

 

Case fans will be almost all 120x38mm. I have a sh*tload of them arriving soon, so there will be plenty of space for case fans biggrin.gif

 

Case fan:

user posted image

 

 

user posted image
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Mmm, should look great when finished. Doing any case mods, like LEDs and whatnot? tounge.gif

Was never a big fan of that. The case will be plain and simple cool.gif

For now its just lots and lots of cutting

Although I'm thinking of a homegrown fan controller and a built in watt meter

user posted image
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Good luck mate. Was kinda hoping you'd go BTX now you were at it, though.

 

What'd ya do to your thumb?

 

Maybe I should post the project log of my casemod, just to please Cran. tounge.gif~az

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I love it. I love rebuilding new from old stuff like this. Keep us updated, mate. I'd love to do some case modding, if I could find a tutorial and the power tools sad.gif.

 

Is there any way to change buttons on a case? if yes, that case would look even better with some cool new buttons smile.gif.

FIOszpJ.gif

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<!-- hah

my dad has a tower that big too

it's frigging enormous

 

i used to have one too, it's great to have a lot of space to keep your components and wires nicely organised. -->

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Yeah its hella big. For painting, the chassis will be matte black, the exterior I'm not sure about. Maybe matte red or camo. Definately dont want no "automotive finish". Matte it will be.

 

For buttons, not quite sure either. Havent actually thought much about that. But its definately going to be something aftermarket, since right now the case has none.

 

Edit: Because of the "holiday season" there wont be any updates till my family leaves (beginning of january?)

Edited by Majestic
user posted image
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Actually, I recon a square window on the side would look good while not being over the top. It would make sence since you're painting the inside red, right?

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Yeah its hella big. For painting, the chassis will be matte black, the exterior I'm not sure about. Maybe matte red or camo. Definately dont want no "automotive finish". Matte it will be.

 

For buttons, not quite sure either. Havent actually thought much about that. But its definately going to be something aftermarket, since right now the case has none.

 

Edit: Because of the "holiday season" there wont be any updates till my family leaves (beginning of january?)

What about painting the buttons with some sort of chrome finish paint you might have?

 

I dunno, chrome on black looks nice.

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Why can't we know about your thumb? Keeping it quiet, eh?

 

Wankin' accident? ph34r.gif~az

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@azazel: I cant do BTX because the case was made in the stone age. My thumb - i hit it with the jigsaw when the blade got stuck. that thing moves pretty fast, so some tissue on my thumb bursted, and it was bleeding badly.

Also azazel, you have tinted plexy on your case right? How thick is it and how is it mounted? Just screws?

 

@Logic3: There are no buttons yet. I've looked through digi-key's catalog and they have 60 pages or so of buttons/switches, so I'll have fun time picking stuff. I want more practical then blingy, the less maintenance the better.

 

@Cran: The frame will be black. The outside, who knows.

 

@SmellyJelly: plastic wrap, hah.

 

I dont think i'll be doing any windows, since i'd have to cut the side of the case - which gives it a LOT of rigidity. Maybe something small, tho. McMaster-Carr has some tinted acrylic for like $20 for a giant sheet. Might go for that.

user posted image
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@azazel: I cant do BTX because the case was made in the stone age. My thumb - i hit it with the jigsaw when the blade got stuck. that thing moves pretty fast, so some tissue on my thumb bursted, and it was bleeding badly.

Also azazel, you have tinted plexy on your case right? How thick is it and how is it mounted? Just screws?

user posted image

 

Medium tinted plexiglass (3mm) mounted with M4 hex bolts. smile.gif

 

This stuff. They've also got 5mm versions, but the other dimensions are not customizable. It's 480x480x3/5mm.

 

EIDT: Reckon you can outcool this beast? tounge.gif~az

Edited by azazel.
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  • 2 weeks later...

azazel, with the amount of fans i have right now, i can make this baby fly.

(IMG:http://www.gaiazov.com/DSC08107.jpg)

the fans.

actually recieved them last week, but holiday season and all...

 

also started making a CAD model of the case.

this is how far i got, showing where the exhaust fans will be:

(IMG:http://www.gaiazov.com/Case_Rhino_01.png)

(IMG:http://www.gaiazov.com/Case_Rhino_02.png)

(IMG:http://www.gaiazov.com/Case_Rhino_03.png)

 

precision model, yo.

user posted image
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WHOLY sh*t I HAVE THIS SAME CASE!!! AND IM ALSO MODDING IT!!! but i cant tell what im doing to it cause its very cool cool.gifsly.giftounge.gif and my idea might get taken lmao

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Best of luck to you, maj. I swear to god I'll make myself a ghetto case out of duct tape and wood, and call it the Red Green Machine. YOU KNOW IT.

pmsH091.png
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@arillious: Its a sweet case, but I have to warn you - it doesnt fit any components, you have to make mountings for everything sly.gif

 

@Tsuroki: Ductape is overrated, it loses its strength and leaves sh*tty residue. I prefer electrical tape, its stealthier and stretches nicely.

 

Two possible layouts:

user posted image

user posted image

Green thing is a placeholder for the pump

Double fans on the front are for the 2x120mm radiator, so needs good 3 inches of space after it

Blue thing is a heatercore i have, and considering putting it in. Regardless, I will leave a spot for it.

Top part will probably house the power supply and a party trick tounge.gif

 

Also cut out a piece of metal for backplate:

user posted image

user posted image
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Best of luck to you, maj. I swear to god I'll make myself a ghetto case out of duct tape and wood, and call it the Red Green Machine. YOU KNOW IT.

If that's not Canadian, I don't know what is.

 

 

You should do it. Then send it into the show. Hell yeah.

user posted image
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Maj - Electrical tape isn't nearly as sticky and firm holding as duct tape can be. I agree duct tape is sh*t, but electrical tape isn't much better. Try some gaffer's tape, its the best of both worlds.

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Good luck maj, looks like a good project. Reminds me of my A-Level Design and Tech coursework i did, made a case completely out of perspex (A-Levels are like Grade 12-13 in the UK). I designed it with CAD beforehand, you using Rhino?

 

Im thinking a giant plain matte black Lian-Li style case with blue LCD screen in the front displaying tempatures etc.

 

http://www.bit-tech.net/ Is a great site with good tutorials and articles for inspiration on your case. I used it alot on my case.

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I designed it with CAD beforehand, you using Rhino?

Im thinking a giant plain matte black Lian-Li style case with blue LCD screen in the front displaying tempatures etc.

Yes, Rhino all the way.

Thats what I want to do, a nice LCD in the front - but not those ghetto line displays, a real VGA LCD. I'm looking around for a PSone LCD, which is 5". The front opening is slightly larger then 7" diagonally, so there will be a 1" ugly border around it. Thinking about a 7" LCD but those are expensive sad.gif

 

user posted image

quickie render of how I'd sorta want it to look like. The black frame will have a mesh in it, either stamped metal or just fine black mesh. At the render there is only the front bevel and side panel, but gives you an idea.

 

And if it looks a bit pale, its your monitor.

 

I also assembled the mobo tray, pics later. Need to figure out how to mount the mobo tray as well. Thinking of laying it on a rubber sheet wink.gif

user posted image
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made a case completely out of perspex

From the little bit I've just read that sounds like a pretty sweet material. Noise reduction, strength, liquid clear...

I might have to do something with it.

Staff nooooo.

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made a case completely out of perspex

From the little bit I've just read that sounds like a pretty sweet material. Noise reduction, strength, liquid clear...

I might have to do something with it.

It can be a bitch to work with though, when you cut it it burrs up and you have to file it down, the use a metal scraper and then finaly use a special polish on it. I used this metal polish stuff, it desolves the plastic ever-so slightly to make it clear.

 

It also cracks under pressure, i made the corner joins from perspex as well and when i drilled and then tapped (added screwthreads) to the holes and the hole was a fraction of a mm too tight it would crack and i would have to start again.

 

Other than that though its ok.

 

Maj how and what are you going to display on that screen? you thinking like a 2nd monitor?

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If you're working with perspex, you need masking tape, masking tape, masking tape!

 

Any lines you cut, mark the area with a strip of tape and draw any lines on the tape, even curves. Always leave the protective film on till after the very last cut too. Also, the perspex will get very hot and you get melted burrs that stick back to the plastic. Most of the time it's easy to snap these off by hand when cooler.

 

Then you can use a fine grit sandpaper and fine files to work the edge to a smooth edge.

 

When drilling, always use about 4 sizes of bit to build up the hole, and drill on a block of wood, not over the edge of a table. Still will prevent added stress and minimise cracking and stress marks as the weight and energy is trasferred to the wood.

 

As for the renders, looking good! I was looking at modding my case but then saw the Antec P-180 and decided not to bother!

ocuksig.jpg
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If you're working with perspex, you need masking tape, masking tape, masking tape!

 

Any lines you cut, mark the area with a strip of tape and draw any lines on the tape, even curves. Always leave the protective film on till after the very last cut too. Also, the perspex will get very hot and you get melted burrs that stick back to the plastic. Most of the time it's easy to snap these off by hand when cooler.

 

Then you can use a fine grit sandpaper and fine files to work the edge to a smooth edge.

 

When drilling, always use about 4 sizes of bit to build up the hole, and drill on a block of wood, not over the edge of a table. Still will prevent added stress and minimise cracking and stress marks as the weight and energy is trasferred to the wood.

 

As for the renders, looking good! I was looking at modding my case but then saw the Antec P-180 and decided not to bother!

Yep, used masking tape on the corner join pieces when i drilled them. But took it off when i tapped them.

 

Cant remember what i did with the edges when i cut them. I left the pretective film on the perspex and cut it with a circular saw.

 

As for the edges i snapped off all those melted burr bits, filed it down, used a scraper to get rid of those minor inperfections. Then used a polishing machine on the edges to give them a bit of shine. Finaly i used that metal polish stuff to give it a glass see-through effect.

 

I find sandpaper tends to give it an etch effect rather than a clear glass effect, but i imagine if the sandpaper is fine enough grit and you use a solution similar to what i used it comes out with the same effect.

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Sounds like you're using the wrong tool for cutting acrylic. You don't get 'melted burr bits' if you use a jigsaw with a fine, thin blade normally used for cutting steel and aluminium. For straight cuts, anyways.

 

I'll just check if I can find a pic of one of the sheets I cut for my mod, using a jigsaw.

 

EDIT: No luck, but I know from experience that the acryllic only melts if you haven't secured the sheet firmly enough when cutting - if using a jitsaw. Angle grinders or Dremels shouldn't be used for straight cuts.

 

 

I find sandpaper tends to give it an etch effect rather than a clear glass effect, but i imagine if the sandpaper is fine enough grit and you use a solution similar to what i used it comes out with the same effect.

 

I used 120 grit sandpaper for the rough spots, then wet 200 grit, and finished up with wet 400 grit. You can't really get rid of the etched effect that way, but there is a way. You sand it down nicely, then use a blowtorch or other such kinds of tools to melt the edges. Just move it along the edges rather quickly. Never tried it myself, but seen other modders make use of that method. ~az

Edited by azazel.
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Sounds like you're using the wrong tool for cutting acrylic. You don't get 'melted burr bits' if you use a jigsaw with a fine, thin blade normally used for cutting steel and aluminium. For straight cuts, anyways.

 

I'll just check if I can find a pic of one of the sheets I cut for my mod, using a jigsaw.

 

EDIT: No luck, but I know from experience that the acryllic only melts if you haven't secured the sheet firmly enough when cutting - if using a jitsaw. Angle grinders or Dremels shouldn't be used for straight cuts.

 

 

I find sandpaper tends to give it an etch effect rather than a clear glass effect, but i imagine if the sandpaper is fine enough grit and you use a solution similar to what i used it comes out with the same effect.

 

I used 120 grit sandpaper for the rough spots, then wet 200 grit, and finished up with wet 400 grit. You can't really get rid of the etched effect that way, but there is a way. You sand it down nicely, then use a blowtorch or other such kinds of tools to melt the edges. Just move it along the edges rather quickly. Never tried it myself, but seen other modders make use of that method.

~az

I remember it was the corner joins that buured up now not the edges. This was in Design and Technology A2, the teacher was the only person qualified to use the circular saw. I had to mark it out and he cut it.

 

To avoid more confusuion here are the specifics:

 

I used a bandsaw for the corner joins, i cut up a 2cm by 2cm length of square acrylic rod into 12 1cm thick squares and the cut the squares into triangles. I then filed down the outer smoothed faces of the triangles so the triangle had the same effect all over. i then used a scraper to make the faces as flawless as i could and then wrapped each piece in masking tape. I then used a drill press to drill 2 holes in the 2 perpendicular faces (at the end where the drill bit came through the other side the plastic was all melted and buured which is what i remember, i just snapped this stuff off) and then used a tapping device to add screw threads to match the M4 hex headed bolts that would hold the thing together. I then removed the masking tape and then added the polish to the surface so they looked like they were made out of quartz or glass.

 

The sides were cut on a large table circular saw with a suitable blade (not sure which) and then ran through. The protective film was torn a bit but if i remember correctly the sides were rough but not buured up. I used a file to get rid of the worst of the tearing by the blade and then a metal scraper to clean the side up so it was smooth and as flawless as i could get it. I then used a polishing machine with 2 spinning fluffy wheels that smoothed and polished the edges down till they had a slight sheen. And then i got a rag and rubbed down the edges with the polish. The result was edges which were as clear as the sides.

 

Hijacking Maj's topic a bit sigh.gif

 

Maj, are you looking for a monitor like This?

bottom 1/3 - 1/4 of the page.

 

Or were you looking for something like you get with car entertainment systems? like where you push it in and a screen pops out?

 

Have you read this about psone lcd screens.

 

Ebay.

Edited by ViperGTS-R
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