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Old 03-07-2010, 12:26 AM   #16
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(Dec. 15th....)

Hehehehehe.... All I'm gonna say is, "Let's hear it for prototyping!"


Went to Kinkos and and printed out my graphic that I have in mind for the back side of the case on a wide format printer and it is a PERFECT fit!

Will be headed down to some friends this weekend that have some machinery that will greatly assist in the production of my acrylic parts!

Made frame cuts last night to allow for better cable routing. I have a bit of edge clean up to do on those cuts. Pictures taken, and I will process them later on.... but we are in the zone right now!

Everyone stay safe and productive!

-=TD
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:27 AM   #17
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(Dec. 17th)

WOW!!! We are coming down to the wire folks!!!!
ONE
MORE
WEEK!!!!

Heheheh, and Christmas to boot!

1st off.... a BIG thank you to the wife for sucking it up and letting me get this replacement before Christmas! We have a rule, "No new purchases before Christmas!".... well, this one was kinda necessary and we negotiated an exemption on this one transaction... love that woman of mine!


This thing is a combo drill/hammer drill! And has more horsepower than any drill I have ever owned. I bought it to clamp it onto this little gem:




It is a nibbler that goes on the end of a drill. The drill acts as the power source, kinda like a pneumatic nibbler, but no air compressor needed! If you will notice in the background there was it's first target that I needed to use it for cleanup. Was extending one of the long oval holes for running cables through, and used it in conjunction with a 1" Greenlee hole punch.


I needed to extend that oval hole down about an inch and a half. Still wanted the nice rounded ends, so I figured out where I wanted the hole to end (the red line) and then found the center on that area, drilled a hole for the center shank of the punch:


Mounted the hardware:




Made sure the cutting diameter matched the lines I drew (realized later they were just a smidge off... *doh*!)



Finished hole!


Needed to clean those two jutting sharp points off, and so I used the drill nibbler.
and ended up here:


I also needed to make some space for cable routing off of the bottom of the motherboard. Routing cables behind and under the mobo tray was proving to be difficult due to a reinforcing rolled steel lip on the back... so I marked off what I wanted removed and cleared the road!


Cut the rolls:


Then remove the unneeded metal:


Clean up and straitening to happen this weekend, I need it more for concepts and planning.

Also, I did a little math, and with the CPU and the 9800GX2, the single 240mm rad that I had would not be able to keep up, so I had to go with 2x240mm rads in order to inure good heat dissipation. One will be mounted up front behind the front bezel, below the the optical drive bay area. However before I put it there, it needs a special bracket to screw it into the proper place. So, let's fabricate, shall we?

First, the rad in question. Physically identical to this rad, except that it is black:


I lay a piece of paper over the rad and tape it in place, then get a crayon and use the side of it to find the edges of the rad frame:


My sheet is a scrap piece of aluminum that was left over after a window mod on another PC. I cover it in auto mask and draw some reference dots on the it to know where the holes on the front of the case frame are at:


I then trim up my rad template, and place it on the taped metal sheet while the case frame is positioned over the dots, so that I can place the rad in the ideal location:


I then plotted off the location of the screw holes that will be what anchor the bracket to the case frame:


After this pic, I went out in the garage and started milling the bracket down using a combination of the nibbler and the dremmel. I hope to have the rough draft done tomorrow night.

Keep going everyone! 7 more days!!!

Piece out!
-=TD
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:32 AM   #18
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(dec 24th...)

Well folks, sometimes the stars align, and sometimes they scatter like marbles!

Too many things aligned against me to complete this within the time frame. I'm not stopping on this mod, no sirrree bob... simply going to take me longer to complete than what this contest allows for.

Main thing that hampered me was a recent injury to the bottom of my foot. I found out that standing for long periods (which is how my mod garage is set up) does not a happy foot make. So my productive time was reduced substantially. Not completely, but certainly not like the "burn the midnight oil" standard that I used to persevere through. Add into that loosing time (just like everyone else) to Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I was too far behind to make a quality push. For any disappointment in me, I am very sorry.

So... what does this mean for everyone? It means that I will be continuing to work on this mod, through to completion. Patiently making my changes and implementations (I am *not going to make the same "hurry up and rush to complete" mistakes that I made when I built BOSS:FX-57), and will have a much better result upon completion.

I have pictures of updates that I have made to this time, and I will try to get those up and in the log over the next few days.

Also, to the sponsors, to widen the exposure of the log and the parts provided, I will be duplicating this log at other modding forums that I frequent. My sincere apologies for the non completion, however I do promise you a beautiful rig that is modded to the nines with subtle and eye catching modifications. For the sponsors... I firmly intend to give you your money's worth...

When will it be done? I'm certainly not saying, but I hope you all will stick around and find out! This journey has just started, and thanks to this contest and all of it's kick ass sponsors, I intend to make this journey a memorable one!

Merry Christmas all!

-=Craig Tate aka: Tech-Daddy
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:33 AM   #19
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(December 27th...)

Well... good evening/morning everyone!

Thought I would chime in here and show what all is going on with Sleeper currently.

Was focusing on the back Asus logo for the back side panel on the case. Instead of using vinyl like I was originally thinking... I decided to make it much more complicated! LOL!

Effectively, the design goal is to have the acrylic on the back panel, utilizing 2 layers of acrylic. A Clear bottom layer that will have LED's embeded in it, and then a black opaque top layer. The idea is to end up with the logo back lit and glowing... something like this:




I got there by snapping a picture of the chipset heat sink graphic:


Cleaned it up with the help of my dear friend, Damon Law (http://www.damondesign.com/ ) and then manipulated it a bit more and massaged it a lil bit, and ended up with this graphic that was very simple to put into an EPS file:


After getting it to an EPS file, I contacted a friend in Austin that has nothing better to do than answer cries for help and assistance from his chosen group of friends! THANK YOU JOHN!

We took the design ans started lasering the work out on the acrylic:


Little did we know that design issues in conjunction with some minor tech issues with the laser, would have us cutting until the weee hours of the morning!
Here was a pile of scraps that, for one reason or another, did not cut properly:


But after final success, we ended up with the final pile of conclusive success!


I had printed a graphic on a 1:1 scale with the sizes needed on the back of the case:


I used that as a placement template to double check the sizing of the cuts:


John made an awesome suggestion to have the laser cut the holes to embed the LED's into them:


Closeup of some of the holes:


The Asus logo with the masked black acrylic layer over the top of the previously clear:


A couple of different looks of the logo:






The idea is to feed the LED(s) through holes on the underside through the panel, and embed the white LED's into the clear acrylic on the bottom. This acrylic will also need to be sanded nearly to a frost so that the light will bounce and reflect and disperse how I am needing it to.

I will mark the holes on the 1:1 template, and use it as a drill guide.



-=TD
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:36 AM   #20
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(jan 18th)

Couple of quick notes here....

1) I am going to move the mod log out to another forum, since the Asus competition is no longer active, this subsection is a bit misleading. I am going to attempt to move it over to the Modding section, so be on the look out.

2) I did some work today! Foot was feeling good, and I took advantage of the beautiful weather we had remaining after my weekend trip to my Dad's house.

What did I accomplish? Not a ton, but it is progress!

I found a LED supplier here in the middle of the USA (Oklahoma to be precise). I ordered a lot of different types of LED's from them. *If* (after I use the LED's) I like them and find them to be of good quality, I will follow up by posting a link to the supplier. Their stock is varied and looks to be similar to what I have had to resort to purchasing from Hong Kong in the past. However, this company is just north of me! Leads to a much shorter shipping time, and the prices are good to boot!

Again, I'm not going to post a link, as I dont want to inadvertantly send folks to a sub standard LED supplier. I'm hoping to get the LED's later this week, and I'll post up the results! But, with the LED's purchased, I needed to get holes in the back panel to prepare for the little lights!

So... out came the back panel!


I then covered it in wide masking tape (sometimes called transfer tape in the sign industry), then sprayed it down with a spray adhesive to get the surface tacky. I laid the printed Asus graphic down and centered it on the panel, then locked it in place using edge pieces of masking tape.





Then I took the punch and wnt around to all of the 5mm LED locatoins that I had traced out on the graphic, and then placed a punch divot center base of where the LED is to be located.



The I grabbed my drill, loaded a 1/4" drill bit to allow the 5mm LED's through (with a little slack) and went to work!





I have some smaller LED's on order, 3mm and 1.8mm, and I will be experimenting with mounting options to see which works best, but for now, the 5mm are drilled and ready. That or I just screwed up in a big way!

More later after the LED's get here!
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:39 AM   #21
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(Feb. 3rd)


So, I start out with a 5mm LED. Due to the space constraint of the thickness of the clear acrylic material, I am sanding the curve off of the LED.



Using a pair of needle nose vise grips, I clamp down on the leads to the LED, and then very carefully sand off the material of the LED using the side disc of my belt sander.



After a few seconds, I am left with results like this...



LED's need to be tested to make sure I have not damaged the diode during hte process... 15mA and the baby shines bright!



30 frosted LED's later, and I didn't break a single one!



I did 5 more of the water clear, non frosted LED's as a comparison to see whose light reigns supreme!



Test.... test.... test....



I then took two of the acrylic pieces and used acrylic glue (WeldOn). This is the black layer....



Here is the clear, with the LED holes. I sanded the clear prior to cutting it so that the light would have something to bounce off of and hopefully amplify the light...



The matching pair, about to be bonded together...



Clamped and drying....

the clear will be facing down, so you will not see the glue blotches. All you will see is the smooth, black acrylic top... and *hopefully* light spilling out from underneath! 8-)
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:41 AM   #22
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(Feb 21st...)

Wow.... I am tired! I have spent this past weekend making custom 2 and 3 LED "series" circuits for all of my pre-cut acrylics... and I must say, it has been a learning experience!

I still have to glue the LED's into the acrylic, and then cover the soldered LED legs that go from one LED to the next (brush on electrical tape is what I am planning... any other suggestions?), but from the test pieces that I lit, I think it is going to look good!

Very excited about this... as I do not like to solder (*gasp*... a modder that does not like to solder??!?! ), and this is the most intensive part of the soldering on the build!! Get this out of the way, and I can start concerning myself with other parts! Pics will be coming in a few days after I get the test lighting done with the completed pieces.

There are a few pieces that I have not lit yet, as I am still trying to figure out how... but I have some ideas. We'll see how that progresses!
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:42 AM   #23
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(Feb 22nd)

Ok, so this is not all of the pieces (obviously), but it will give you a good look into what I am having to do with each piece!

Continuing with the famous piece from the previous post, I set to lighting it up. I did this by placing the LED's into the 5mm holes that were pre-cut, and then using a pair of needle nose pliers to bend the legs so that they would intersect. Remember, each LED has a positive (longer) and negative (shorter) leg. When runing the LED's in series, you have to keep those polarities in mind. Think like magnets.... positive to negative. So, I would lay out the LEDs in their holes, and bend and cut the legs so that I had positive to negative layout, and a clean path to solder on:




Test lighting




What would it look like on the panel? I mocked it up. I did not do a "long time exposure" on the camera, and the patio door was letting light into the breakfast room, so the photo effect is off, but you get the idea... it's gonna work!!!



This one was a close fit, but I got it to work! I thought it was going to be my most difficult set.. nope!


A couple pictures showing how I start on the LED's and make the initial bends and clip the leg lengths to make it fit the path:



From the above two pics, this is what that LED set looks like out of the acrylic:


One of the bigger pieces:



Ok, this was my "Pièce de résistance" of this escapade!
Problem: I Had a piece of acrylic that was cut. It was a small piece of the logo, looked somewhat similar to the triangle that is in the "Star Trek" logo. Issue was, when we designed it for a hole, we put a 5mm LED facing one way... well, how in the hell am I going to make light shoot out both ends of that piece? I need to have two opposite facing light sources *inside* the space of a 5mm LED hole! Hehehehe... uh, yeah.... right!

Solution: God had my back when I ordered my LED's way back when. The place I bought from (www.unique-leds.com) had some LEDs that I had never seen before! 1.8mm LEDs!!!! So, I bought some at the time to get a look at them and see how they worked! Fast forward to this solder party .... I took two, and designed a series circuit. Issue was that the cathode and anode legs had to be trimmed VERY short in order to allow for the LED's to fit back to back. This makes for dangerous soldering as you dont want too much heat in that proximity to the diode of the LED, as it could damage it...
Also of note, the positive and negative legs that were for the power and ground wires, those had to be bent nearly right at the base iof the LED (dangerous). Lots of things were stacked against making this work... but I'll be damned if I didn't pull it off!!!




Lights up *bright*!!!!

I ended up making the initial leg bends, and then sticking those through styrofoam to get the LED's in the right proximity to each other. I then trimmed the legs to be soldered so that there was not a lot of leg material hanging off all over the place. Took a couple of snips, removing a tiny bit of material each time with the micro-snips... but eventually I had them set right where i wanted them.

Then my precision tip on my soldering iron snapped off!!! ARGH!!! All I had as a replacement was a spade tip... suck it up Craig, and make this work. I did, and it did!! I then took a small diameter piece of heat shrink and I covered one of the legs, ran it all the way up to the base of the LED, to make sure the legs did not ground out against each other.

Test fit in the back of the acrylic:
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:43 AM   #24
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(March 3rd... my last update....)
I got tired of wonderin.... and just got to doin!

Had a pleasant temperature outside, nothing f-f--ff-ridgid.... Mucking around with acrylic, I certainly did not cold acrylic being hit with hot glue.... and potentially messing something up... so I had to wait for the temps to come up a bit. Call me paranoid...


I hot glued in all of my LED's tonight, and test lit the largest piece...



This is showing you how all of the pieces will fit to the panel. The lines feed through the panel to the LED's




Obviously not a final placement, there is no adhesive on the back side, but you get the idea.



What good would it be without a light shot?



I fed all of the other pieces through their respective holes and found out 2 things....
1) I forgot to drill holes for 2 pieces (shown on the panel with their cables)
and
2) I missed 2 of the shaped pieces for LED insertion. So I Have 2 more pieces that I have to get lit. Should not be a problem though....


It is coming along though!
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:39 PM   #25
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First and foremost, kudos on getting around to getting another build going ;-)

I absolutely love the idea for this build, because I'm sure a lot of LAN party goers would love to have water-cooling, but don't, for the exact reasons you mention. The fact that the build is designed around easy removal of water and equally easy re-filling intrigues me a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech-Daddy
The last time I went out purposefully overclocking, we were using Slot1 motherboards and I had a "Cloverleaf" Celeron 300a CPU, so it has been awhile!
Whoa, you ARE behind on things just a bit, aren't you? ;-)

The mod is coming along GREAT man, I love some of the things you're doing here. What really catches my eye is your implementation of the LEDs on the side panel... that's a very creative idea and looks great. Can't wait to see it all in action

VERY interesting choice of chassis as well. Internal water-cooling and mid-tower aren't two names that usually go well together, so I look forward to seeing the progress on that front.

Keep us updated!
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:53 AM   #26
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Thanks Rob!! Yeah, the mid tower makes it a challenge, but as they say in marketing... "Location... location... location!"

So, I pulled out my drilling template from the previous holes, and finished drilling the missing shape holes, and then also got to thinking about the ASUS logo, and "how in the hell" am I going to saturate that logo with light?




Multiple directional LED's is the only way I can come up with right now. I'm going to keep working on this piece of the logo...


Of the 2 pieces I forgot to light previously, this one was cut for a 3mm LED, and I needed a bit more space to make the dual 1.8mm LED's fit properly.... so I bored it out with a grinder bit using my Craftsman rotary tool.


This was the other shape that I forgot to light up....


My 1.8mm LED's soldered back to back in series! (getting good at this now...)



Insert... light... and say "Ahhhhhhh!"







I also bought some liquid electrical tape to insulate the legs of the LED's against the metal panel.


Here is the example piece before application.


And after application.





Some of the pieces I clamped to the bottom of the shelf to make the liquid tape sit on top of the metal LED legs, instead or settling and flattening out.





Here, I took all of the shape pieces (since I finished drilling out the holes), and I placed them. To hold them near their positions, I used clear masking tape. This was more for me to see how everything eas laying out, and if I needed to make some corrective cuts. There are a few pieces that are needing a shift and a tweak to get placed right, but for the most part, they came out very well!






And... the "Go big or go home" moment of the night, I tied all of my 12v legs and grounds together in the most ghetto hack of a wiring job... but it was only to see if I had broken anything and if the concept that I had of power supply was going to work.... and gloriously, it worked just as I had hoped!



Remember my picture of what I wanted?


Awfully damn close!!!
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:34 PM   #27
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MOAR!

Nice work and it's nice to see the old Tempest still getting some love.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:21 AM   #28
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That, Tech Daddy, is some seriously cool modding!! It's all about those little details...

Neat LED tester too, btw!
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:40 AM   #29
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Thanks guys! Kougar.... I am having a BYOTCH of a time coming up with a good graceful solution to tying those LED's together, but I am damn close to a good, elegant and open solution! Almost there!

So.... how do you know when I'm liking the weather and I have time to work on the mod???


When I start hangin stuff from the gutters on my house, that's when!

I spent most of the day wandering around Dallas looking at components for a circuit board. And it hit me on asle 7 of Altex Electronics in Carrollton... "You can work on the frame in parallel with the electrical stuff! *DUH!*

So, tonight, I broke out the Self etching primer, and my flat black enamel and went to town!

The victims, they are defenseless!





First round of self etching primer:


After two rounds of self etching primer:



I followed them up with a 3rd coat of Primer Sealer, as there was a spot on the motherboard tray that I had used a permanent marker, and I knew from experience that those would bleed through if I did not put some sealer on them.... worked like a champ!




Don't see those red marks do you? Say it with me folks... "Primer Sealer" ... that is the answer!



Then it becomes time to pour on the flat black with vengeance Anything that was light gray on the inside of the case, is now Flat black!!











And I owe all of these parts to one can of the good stuff.... I have 2 more parts to paint, and some touch-ups to do on these parts, but this paint is tha' bomb diggty!



I have a clear, satin topcoat that I will be using to make this paint more durable, but that is not on yet.
-=TD
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:31 AM   #30
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One question - did you use the self etching primer over the existing pain? How did you prep the surface? Everything that I have read says that self etching primer should be used only on bare metal.

If it can go right over an already painted surface that will save me a ton of time if I plan on modding my next case.
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