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can a forum god get POTM? Im going to nominate this if you can, you should even put it on the main page. Edited by nesquick

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can a forum god get POTM? Im going to nominate this if you can, you should even put it on the main page.

 

That reminds me...

 

Erhm how do we vote for POTM again?

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can a forum god get POTM? Im going to nominate this if you can, you should even put it on the main page.

 

POTM!! for sure!!

 

now..this is front page worthy...

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That is freaking awesome! If I had a cake I would give to you.

 

/Hands Justin an imaginary cake.

 

POTM +1

Om nom nom ^_^

can a forum god get POTM? Im going to nominate this if you can, you should even put it on the main page.

POTM!! for sure!!

 

now..this is front page worthy...

To the above, I don't think it's really fair for me to win POTM - there are plenty of other Atomicans out there who deserve it more. I will accept a runners-up though :)

 

FRONT PAGE GOODNESS:

http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/News/237426,pc...tred-redux.aspx

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i would still say yours is better in the water cooling, nuke

 

still nice build....justin

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i would still say yours is better in the water cooling, nuke

 

still nice build....justin

Justin isn't finished yet, his watercooling will be fantastic.

 

Cant wait to see it.

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oh the temptation!!!

 

(must not get water cooling,must not get water cooling)......

 

when his build is finished it will make a mad front cover....

Edited by jdog

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Frunj another epic stop motion effort, question is now are you going to stop motion your cable sleeving?

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when his build is finished it will make a mad front cover....

Haha, not everything I do gets on a cover mate! Though the Beast is sneaking onto the subs cover for #119 ;)

Frunj another epic stop motion effort, question is now are you going to stop motion your cable sleeving?

I might time-lapse that, but no way in hell am I doing it to that detail :P Plus it'd be boring without little men doing all the construction work, and it'd be much too much effort to make it interesting.

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Posted Image

 

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Just a suggestion. But wrapping your fan cable around a screw driver, turns it into s lovely looking coiled cable, which makes things look much neater.

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Just a suggestion. But wrapping your fan cable around a screw driver, turns it into s lovely looking coiled cable, which makes things look much neater.

 

Now that is an awesome tip! I might use that myself.

 

:D

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At one of my last workplaces we had a cordless drill set to low speed with a hook attachment that we'd feed onto the connectors of wires for quick cable management.

 

Was awesome for building systems quickly.

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Time for another update! Woo! (pretend to be excited)

 

So the thing is built, mostly, and I thought I'd give it an upgrade in the optical side of things - my old DVD drive is nice enough for watching DVDs on, but it's not gonna cut it for blu-rays (like Moon, or District 9). Rather than hack a laser into the current drive it's much easier just to buy one, so I got this sammy for $63:

 

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It's a really nice drive, actually; though it fingerprints like no-one's business and has a blue power LED that will mess with my eventual colour scheme. But I've got plans in store for that...oh my yes.

 

MOVING ON!

 

Stock benchies are clearly what you've been waiting for, so I threw an OS on it and put it through some tests. Here's it at idle, showing a WEI of 7.4 (apparently even a gulftown ain't good enough for w7!), and some nice CPU temps of roughly 31 (10 delta) degrees, with GPU1 at 39 (18 delta), the room at 21. It scores a nice P30265 in 3DMark vantage, topping at 60 degrees for the CPU (39 delta) and 72 for the GPU (51 delta). And just to test that everything is 100% stable after being through more abuse than most hardware is usually subjected to before being assembled (worth it though!), I ran Furmark with OCCT and Prime95 concurrently for 17 minutes. Temps on CPU were 69 (48 delta) and GPU was 87 (66 delta).

 

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It also nabbed a 8.88 in Cinebench R11.5.

 

So I overclocked, leaving the intel heatsink set to 'Q' because I literally can't not explode with fury at the noise it makes on 'P', and just bumped the multiplier and voltage up like this:

 

4GHz @1.25v - Cine: 10.09

4.138GHz @ 1.30v - Cine: 10.54

4.2GHz @ 1.3625v - Cine: 10.88

 

Clearly I'm limited by the stock cooler, but it's still pretty decent for an initial test. Fingers crossed for a good chip in more ideal conditions! Next was to run Vantage again with the CPU overclocked, netting a score of P32253 that mostly improved in the CPU stakes (though it gained 900-odd points in the GPU performance too). Seems the bottleneck isn't too big with a gulfy :) And of course, I gave the cards a quick overclock to 900/1300, which gave P33007. It also scored H24062 all overclocked, though I didn't bother screengrabbing that. Not a bad result - and I'm nowhere near finished!

 

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I tried running it through the torture test, but it kept BSODing :( To be fair some of the cores were measuring as being 88 degrees D:

 

And another piece has turned up: one of the Swiftech MCW80's! Apparently this was the very last in the country until more show up, but there's no firm ETA on that... It does look very pretty though, especially with two EK compression fittings attached :D I don't really like the chrome barbs (black with black, plz!).

 

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And finally I got bored while waiting for things to run, so I took this shot of the fascia, light pouring through. Stay tuned for next week where I hopefully start modding...one thing or another!

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Great build, District 9 roolz and wont the chrome barbs be inside the hose anyway?

Depending on the tubes he is using its possible he will still see them.

 

Not to mention he would need to use hose clamps to hold the tube on and they can look kind of tacky, compression fittings look awesome.

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nice update!

 

damm i wish i had enough dosh for a gulfy....so much power...but it cost so much....

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what are you going to use for cooling the rest of the graphics cards components? are u using the stock plate or are u going to be getting some other heatsinks? il be starting my wc scratch case build of giganticness asoon as i finish school... 2 more exams...

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nice rig, your gulfy will go higher on lower volts once you get wet.

for reference heres what mine does

33x143= 4.719 1.425volts rock solid could use this as a 24/7 o/c but my room gets hot.

28x143=4.00 1.125 volts this is my 24/7 o/c

25*143=3.5 1.050 just to see how low it would go @stock

 

i always run a 143 bclk because its easier to get my ram@2000mhz.

 

what rad and pump setup are you looking at ?

you will have good temps but your room will get hot real quick!

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Great build, District 9 roolz and wont the chrome barbs be inside the hose anyway?

Yeah, but I've got clear tube, and the clamps will look a little silly. I think I'm going to do as m0zes suggested earlier and buy a pump top so all the fittings can be compression :)

what are you going to use for cooling the rest of the graphics cards components? are u using the stock plate or are u going to be getting some other heatsinks?

I've grabbed some heatsinks from Jaycar that I'm gonna stick on with thermal tape. Nice and simple. I'll post in more detail when I actually do it.

nice rig, your gulfy will go higher on lower volts once you get wet.

 

what rad and pump setup are you looking at ?

Yeah, I love how frickin' fast they are at 4GHz...that plus an SSD and there's almost no waiting for anything!

 

The rad is the XPSC 480mm in the OP, with the Laing D5 Vario pump.

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Blu-Ray Optical Disc Drive, Internal LED Lighting, and Stealthing mod

 

So the time has come for another update, and though it’s taken me far too long to do, I’ve thrown together a guide for how to change the LED colour on your internal optical drive (CD, DVD, HDDVD (do those still exist?) or Blu-Ray), give it some cool lighting, and then stealth it so no-one knows it’s there. Well, unless you’ve got it open, or are watching a movie/accessing a disc. Also a warning: I’m not sure how the forums will handle the formatting of this post, so get your fingers ready and set them to ‘scroll’.

 

And another warning – do all of the stuff below at your own risk. I’m not going to be held responsible for Dremels embedded in chests or if you inhale your circuit :) Here we go!

 

Tools you’ll need for the mod

  • Blu-ray, DVD, CD drive: Your test subject for today. Mine was $67.
  • Philips head screwdriver: If you don’t have one of these, then uh, go fix that before reading any further XD
  • Multimeter: Essential for replacing the front LED by determining its voltage. Not essential if only internal lighting is added, but it's a good idea.
  • Dremel/rotary cutting tool: may be substituted with hacksaw, though for best – and easiest – results, it’s worth investing in a Dremel.
  • Safety Goggles: there’s going to be stuff flying around and I’d prefer if you didn’t blind yourself :)
  • Pliers: Any kind will do, but bonus points are awarded for needle-nose pliers. They’re just easier to work with.
  • Wire strippers: A luxury, but not very expensive from a bargain store. You can get away with pliers in a pinch.
  • Black pen: No, seriously, this will make sense later.
  • Solder stand: Extremely useful to have around, gives you extra hands and a zoom function. Handy!
  • Soldering Iron: You’ll get best results if you spend a decent amount on this as a (theoretically) once-off purchase. Mine was $60 from Jaycar. Cheaper ones will do the job, but they’ll be much slower, cooler, and harder to work with.

Stuff you’ll wind up using

  • Solder: I use a ‘Duratech hobby pack’, 15-20 grams of 60% tin and 40% lead at 1mm thick. Comes with flux and everything you’ll need in one convenient stick.
  • Wire: doesn’t need to be a huge gauge, but you’ll need about 30-odd centimetres of the stuff. Costs $0.75 per metre at Jaycar, code WH3010 (RED) and WH3011 (BLACK).
  • Heatshrink: I had some pack of heatshrink already, but it’s not very expensive. Grab some in the colours you’re after, and don’t cheap out on it - it’s not expensive anyway. A 3:1 shrink ratio is ideal.
  • Internal LEDS x 2: Two 5mm clear red LEDs from Jaycar, part code ZD0152. Rated for 1.9v at 30mA of current for 1200MCD, they cost $0.65 each for a total of $1.30.
  • Front access LED x 1: Another 5mm LED, also red and from Jaycar part code ZD0156, but rated for a higher voltage. 2.3v at 50mA of current and 12000MCD. Much more expensive too – a wallet-emptying $2.95.
  • Carbon film resistor: Unfortunately can’t be bought singly, but fortunately they’re bloody cheap. A pack of RR1518 from Jaycar, rated at 47 ohms and able to dissipate ¼ of a watt of heat, which costs only $0.40. Comes with eight, but only one is needed, so you’ll need to get creative with the other seven :) Colour code is “Gold Purple Yellow”.
  • Foam strip: Just a thin piece to fill in the small gap between the drive later on. Not Styrofoam, more the hobby kind (it’s softer and almost like felt).
  • Super glue: It’s super and gluey. About $2 for eight tubes, and you’ll use barely an eighth of a single tube.
  • Black Silicon Adhesive: Another bargain store purchase that I can’t remember, but it should be inoffensively affordable.
  • Duct tape: Again, bargain store is your friend. Cheapcheapcheap.
  • Toothpicks: See Black pen above.
TOTAL COST ESTIMATE (not counting tools): $81.90

 

If you're willing to wait the 22 days it took for them to arrive, SN-LED has a fantastic range of LEDs that are ridiculously cheap - I'm talking $6 for a hundred diodes! I used Jaycar ones because I was impatient, but these red diodes would've been slightly brighter.

 

LED Circuit Theory

LEDs are pretty simple: Light-Emitting Diodes. I won’t go much indepth on how they work, but I will explain how to choose your LEDs resistors in 4 easy steps:

  • Choose your source voltage. For two or less LEDs the 5V rail is easiest to work with; any more and the 12V is best.
  • Pick a colour of LED, and note down its typical voltage. Red LEDs are usually 1.9V, yellow 2.4V, green 3.5V, blue 3.5V, white 3.5V.
  • Decide how many LEDs you want to have. A single ‘line’ of LEDs can only consume up to the maximum source voltage: so if you want three blue LEDs, you’ll need the 12V line as it totals 10.5V. For six blue LEDs, you can run two lines of LEDs from the 12V source, but you will also need to give each line its own resistor.
  • Calculate, using ohm’s law, the resistance you’ll need to stop your LEDs from burning out. If you’re not fantastic at maths, or are lazy like me, there’s a handy LED calculator to help out. Make sure your resistors are rated for the correct wattage, or they may heat up and become damaged or aflame. And that’s it!

Let’s get modding my drive already!

Ok, ok! The first step is to pull the drive out of your case, as seen working in its not-so-stealthy original design in <[Frame 1]>. It’s easiest to eject the drive before unplugging it. More instructions after the below first step:

 

STEPS 1-4: PULLING APART THE OPTICAL DRIVE

 

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After you’ve pulled the drive out of the case, flip it over and unscrew the four screws holding the bottom of the drive casing on. Move it to one side, but make sure you hang on to the small thermal pad as you’ll need it later. Continue on to the next step below if you plan on changing the front light, or just jump past it.

 

Front LED Change Step: Plug the drive back in while it’s upside-down, then grab your multimeter and locate the two small pins for the front access LED. This can be done merely by sight. Measure the reading – in my case, it was +2.3V in one orientation, and -2.3V in the other. The correct orientation is +2.3V, where the red lead of the multimeter shows the positive lead of the LED (the anode), and the black lead is the negative (the cathode). Make a mark with the black pen on the PCB at the negative pin for the LED, and note down the voltage to get an appropriate LED – the expensive one listed above. If you’re uninterested in internal lighting, skip to frames 17-20 below.

 

As seen in <[Frame 2]>, the drive is now lain bare on the table. It’s best to remove the front fascia of the drive now if you’re planning on stealthing it, which can be done by removing the plastic clips using gentle force. The part we need to play with is the largest PCB, seen to the left of the frame. First remove both ribbon cables seen on this side of the drive by wiggling them side-to-side while pulling, as seen in <[Frame 3]>. Once this is done, flip the drive over and remove the guts from the top half of the drive casing. Remove the ribbon cable that connects to the laser PCB and motor assembly – Be careful with the two lasers, as greasy fingerprints may possibly cause read errors. Once all the ribbon cables have been pulled out (gently!), remove the large PCB and place it to the side.

 

STEPS 5-8: CUTTING A CHANNEL FOR CABLES

 

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As seen in <[Frame 5]>, now is the time to pull out your Dremel or other cutting instrument, and it’s also the time to shove on your safety goggles. “Ze goggles, zey do nuzzing!”, you say. This step is simple common sense, so I’ll leave it up to you to follow. The plan for routing the power for the LED circuit is to shove the wires out the back of the drive, which means that the plastic frame beneath the large PCB needs to be modified. Grab the rotary tool and create a path for both the power and ground cables, seen in their redness/blackness in <[Frame 6]>. Keep test-fitting the PCB to ensure it clips back into place while the cables are routed.

 

Flip the drive upright, and mark two small slits at the left and right edge of the case with the Dremel. It’s easiest to use the LEDs themselves for a visual reference here – cut one slit, then place the LED there to see where to cut the other one. Once the slit has been cut, place the LED in the hole and replace the top drive casing to ensure it fits snugly – mark with the pen where the LED legs are, then pull the casing off again to cut it as seen in <[Frame 7]>. Once both LEDs are fitted, take the top casing off and hunt down the small elastic band connected to the motor as seen in <[Frame 8]>. Not only does this make your life easier down the track, but it also means that you can assemble the LEDs in their places and test to see if the drive tray will interfere with them. They shouldn’t even be touched by it.

 

STEPS 9-12: SOLDERING IN QUICK-DISCONNECT POWER CABLES

 

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The wires and LEDs pre-fitted, re-assemble the bottom PCB with wires touching the SATA power connector. Mark with the pen roughly three centimetres from the lip of the PCB on both wires as seen in <[Frame 9]>, then pull it all apart again. Here’s where we pull out the soldering iron and solder stand – clip the PCB to the stand, and get your patience collected into an easy-to-reach pile. You’ll need it. The pins in the SATA power connector are grouped into threes, and from left-to-right in <[Frame 10]> they supply (3.3V, Ground, 5V, Ground, 12V). We’re after pins 4-6 for ground, and pins 7-9 for 5V power. Strip your red positive wire back by about 8mm, and twist it in your fingers so the copper strands are twisted together for strength. Curl it into a hook, and thread it between pins 7 and 8, pointing toward pin 9, then solder it into place. It’s easiest to heat the wire and apply the solder to the wire, rather than the iron, so the solder runs through the wires and connects them firmly to the pins. Make sure it doesn’t touch any other pins aside from the +5V line! Do the same with the black ground wire, again aiming between pins 4 and 5. Thread a small piece of heatshrink down the black wire to prevent them bumping (because I’m paranoid about short circuits).

 

Cut the wires down to the length you marked on them in <[Frame 9]>, and strip them back. Grab a standard molex extension cable (of the type usually bundled with fans. I used one of the Scythe ones), and remove the female socket from one of the wires. Chop it off, thread some heatshrink down the wire, then solder the female socket to the red wire as seen in <[Frame 11]>. Move the heatshrink back over the cable, and then slowly slide the soldering iron across the cable to shrink it firmly into place as in <[Frame 12]>. Do the same for the black wire.

 

STEPS 13-16: WIRING UP THE INTERNAL LEDS AND RESISTOR

 

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We’re finished playing with the big PCB for now, so put it back into place, then place the first LED into the notch you’ve cut directly above the power cables. Orient it so the positive anode leg is to the left, with the negative cathode leg to the right. As not all LEDs are made the same, and may look different to diagrams online, the most reliable way of determining this is to look for one flat edge next to one of the legs. This will indicate the negative cathode. Cut a piece of wire to size and attach the male molex pin to it to mate with the female socket, solder it on, then heatshrink it. Attach that wire to the anode of the LED, and then attach a separate wire to the cathode that reaches roughly 2/5 of the way between the two slits. Do the same for the other LED, wiring the positive anode to the left, and the negative cathode to the right. Make sure the negative line has enough length to reach the socket, and that you solder on the matching male molex pin. This should result in what you see in <[Frame 13]>.

 

Make sure the LEDs are in place with their wires firmly attached and heatshrinked (I can’t stress that bit enough for a sturdy lighting circuit). Cut some heatshrink long enough to span the gap between the two LED wires without male pins, and slide it on one of the wires. Grab the resistor, and pinch the end between the pliers, rotating the whole resistor. Resistor placement and orientation within a DC circuit like this is unimportant. Think of it as a water turbine in a pipe – no matter where it is, the water can only move as fast as the turbine will spin. So long as one is in there it is doing its job. This creates a small loop in the wire that you can see in <[Frame 14]>, and it makes it much easier to solder the wires to it. Wrap them around the loop, solder them nicely, then slide the heatshrink across and shrink it in place.

 

The circuit is now complete! Yay! Next we connect up all the ribbon cables we pulled out earlier, as seen in <[Frame 15]>, and clip the big PCB back into place. You should have something like <[Frame 16]>. If you’re only adding internal lights and are uninterested in changing the front LED, skip steps 17-20 and move to steps 21-24. Otherwise, move on!

 

STEPS 17-20: CHANGING THE FRONT ACCESS LED

 

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This step is separate to the internal lighting steps, though may be completed just fine if you’ve followed the steps so far. The first piece to play with is the small PCB on the underside of the drive at the front, which is connected to the large main PCB with a small ribbon cable. Make sure it’s disconnected by wiggling side-to-side and pulling gently, then make sure the elastic band has been removed as seen in <[Frame 8]>. Unclip the right edge of the PCB first, then unclip the round grey motor. Gently but firmly pull the PCB out of its socket as in <[Frame 17]>. Once out, flip the small PCB over, and it should look something like <[Frame 18]>. You’ll want to get your solder stand out and get it to hang on to this small PCB, as this part can be quite fiddly.

 

Apply the soldering iron to the back of the small black box with original LED in it, heating up the original solder. Wiggle the black box and pull it slowly as you heat up the solder, and pull it out of the PCB. Make sure you’ve measured the voltage with the multimeter as it is required when replacing this LED! Remove the original LED from the box by bending its legs to a vertical position, and simply tug it out of the box. Align the replacement LED with the holes in the box, making sure your negative cathode lead matches up with the black pen mark you made earlier for negative, and then bend its legs down. You’ll have something like <[Frame 19]>. Cut off most of the excess length, then plug it back into place. Solder it in, being very careful not to solder the two pins together, and we’re done! Stick the small PCB back into place <[Frame 20]>, connect up the ribbon cable, and make sure you re-install that elastic band we removed. Double-check that everything is assembled, then screw the drive casing together.

 

STEPS 21-24: TESTING THE CIRCUIT, STEALTHING THE DRIVE

 

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Once you’ve put the drive back together (the process is similar if you’ve left the front fascia on, except there’ll be much more fascia in the shot :P), plug in the SATA data and power cables, but make sure the LED circuit is disconnected. Grab your multimeter and test the red female disconnect by plugging the red multimeter lead into it, and the black multimeter lead into a power supply’s molex ground cable (pin 2 or 3). It should read 5V. If all is well, connect up the circuit to see if it’s all functional. If it’s not it’s possible that you’ve got a short circuit somewhere, which means you’ll have to double-check that no wire, LED lead or solder join is touching the bare metal drive casing. In <[Frame 21]> it looks pretty cool, but there’s more to do yet before it’s quite perfect!

 

Grab one of the spare blanking plates from your case (the 5.25” bay covers) which look something like is pictured in <[Frame 22]>, and bend its legs until they snap off. You may need to Dremel them off, depending on your case design, but in this case they came off cleanly. Cut a small strip of foam and apply super glue to the end of the optical drive tray. Stick the foam on, being VERY careful not to get glue on yourself (because that stuff is hella annoying), and wait 30 seconds for it to dry. Next grab the black silicon adhesive, and put a thin line of it onto the foam that is stuck to the drive tray, and spread it evenly with a toothpick (be very careful not to get any of the silicon on clothes, because it probably won’t come out). Stick the blanking plate to the drive, and then wrap the drive once over with duct tape. Place it into the case to make sure it’s properly aligned (which is why the tape is handy), then pull it out and wedge toothpicks into the bottom edge of the drive. This prevents the blanking plate from setting on an angle, and will keep it perfectly straight. Leave it as shown in <[Frame 23]> overnight, or up to a day depending on your environment, then plug it in again and fire her up. Success! <[Frame 24]> is what you should see by this stage :)

 

STEPS 25-27: MAKING A STEALTHY EJECT BUTTON

 

You’re probably wondering how to eject the drive by this point. Luckily the Operating System can help out here: it’s got a built-in eject command that (usually) is done by right-clicking on the drive and hitting ‘eject’. That said, the drive isn’t really ejectable before boot if you want to install another OS on the rig, or simply don’t want to eject through software every time. This is where you make yourself a new button.

 

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Grab a rubber of the type usually found in mechanical pencils (erasers and pacers respectively for those who don’t know), and visually measure its size. You’re aiming for it to juuuuust touch the stealthed plate of the drive, without being depressed. Grab the black pen and colour the eraser black to match the front plate. Apply some super glue to one end of the rubber and stick it to the small button on the PCB near the front LED, best seen in <[Frame 18]>. You’ll need to hold it in place for about twenty seconds before it has enough grip to be self-supporting (and it’ll be totally ready for use in under a minute).

 

You’ll have something very similar to <[Frame 25]> by this point. Test-fit the drive to see if it closes ok with the rubber – if not, grab some sharp scissors or a blade and carefully shave some off. Test the drive again, and keep shaving until a simple press of the plate with one finger (like in <[Frame 26]>) makes the drive eject. If all is well, colour in the end of the rubber again, and voila! You should have a drive that ejects smoothly with the tap of a finger. <[Frame 27]> is the finished product.

 

And finally, here’s some pics of the drive because I just like to show off. Looks much better than the standard design, and it’s got a great subtle glow at night :D

 

LOOK AT ALL ITS AWESOMENESS

 

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Hope the guide helps those wanting to get into modding :) Any questions or clarifications, just give me a yell!

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