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What a great mod, that looks fantastic. I didn't think anyone went to such lengths anymore.

 

I'll have to pull my finger out.

Edited by mattstandingup

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crazy man pulling apart that bluray!! l edit: nevermind, found the bluray at pccg

Edited by tunksy

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Thanks guys :)

 

Tunksy, I got the drive from ITestate, but they have them at computer markets and everywhere else for that price, too.

 

I just updated the guide with this:

"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."

And to clarify why I bothered doing the disconnect method, it's to make it easier to re-assemble the drive, as well as (ultimately) connect the lighting array to my case's lighting. Total darkness is a possibility this way, and it makes it much easier to wire it up :)

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Thanks guys :)

 

Tunksy, I got the drive from ITestate, but they have them at computer markets and everywhere else for that price, too.

 

I just updated the guide with this:

"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."

And to clarify why I bothered doing the disconnect method, it's to make it easier to re-assemble the drive, as well as (ultimately) connect the lighting array to my case's lighting. Total darkness is a possibility this way, and it makes it much easier to wire it up :)

 

cheers mate! no way id have the balls to mod the drive light though!

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Another update to the drive mod, because I'm a semi-perfectionist who can't leave well enough alone >.<

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.

 

Posted Image

 

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.

Got another actual new worklog update coming soon, too, assuming all goes well.

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Got another actual new worklog update coming soon, too, assuming all goes well.

Whens the watercooling coming mate? hehe Edited by tunksy

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Whens the watercooling coming mate? hehe

Doing my best to get it all done, hit a rough patch in terms of time available for modding :P That said there's a PCCG order due to show up any day now with a pump top (damn you m0zes!) and a few other goodies, including the second waterblock.

 

But yeah, gotta cut into the case first!

 

Anyone know a reliable place in Sydney to do powdercoating or similar? It's either that or paint it myself, and I'd prefer the former.

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Nice work Frunj, you hate me now but you'll love me later. A quick question on your optical drive mod, since you were already soldering around the activity led is there any reason why you didn't do a full electrical mod on the power switch ie solder on a couple of wires then running them through and connecting them to your reset button?

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Nice work Frunj, you hate me now but you'll love me later.

Nah, I don't hate you mate :P I didn't route the eject button to the reset button because it's ridiculously small - I can't even depress it with my pinky, and it'd basically need a screwdriver/pen just to get discs out. The eraser method means it can be ejected whenever I want, in any case I install it in, or even completely externally to a case :)

VERY nice drive mod. Lighting inside especially.

 

And superbly written as always.

Thanks mark! I was glad to see it come out so nice :) Now to work up the energy to do more to the rest of the build...

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I didn't route the eject button to the reset button because it's ridiculously small - I can't even depress it with my pinky, and it'd basically need a screwdriver/pen just to get discs out.

I think you've missed what I was getting at frunj, you'd no longer be using the eject button that came with the optical drive you'd be using the reset button that came with your case. The button that the optical drives uses is a simple momentary switch, the same basic 'type' that case switches use, so you can wire up an optical drive to a cases reset button or another momentary switch and use it to control the optical drive drawer - if you wanted to be really fancy you could tap one into a keyboard. However the way you've got yours working is a very nice option too.

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I think you've missed what I was getting at frunj, you'd no longer be using the eject button that came with the optical drive you'd be using the reset button that came with your case.

Nah, I knew what you meant. Basically to solder two wires to the momentary eject button on the small front PCB, thread the wires outside of the drive, and join them to the case's reset button. Press the case reset button, eject the drive.

 

But what decided against that was the physical practicality of using the reset button - it's ridiculously tiny (best seen in this pic). Using that to eject the drive every time would drive me absolutely mental; "it'd basically need a screwdriver/pen just to get discs out." :)

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Oh bugger me I see your point, yeah I agree that would have been silly business, you definately went with the smart option there no doubt. Great work again Frunj, looking forward to the next update

Edited by m0zes

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Fan vinyl dye colour-changing painting modding guide

 

Another update to the worklog, this time a smallish but still pretty worthwhile change. Basically I felt that standard black fans were a little boring, so I grabbed some vinyl dye to mod/change their colour – didn’t feel like doing the frame, but it can be done using the same method as below.

 

Tools you’ll need for the mod

  • Needle-nose pliers: Not even something to argue over.
  • Scissors: Useful for cutting stuff :P
  • Small flat-head screwdriver: Handy for prying off the small silicon caps and fan stickers.
  • Safety goggles: To keep your eyes from changing colour.
  • Face mask: This stuff is toxic. Ideally a sealed, filtered mask if you’re planning on doing a lot.
  • Rubber gloves: The standard kind. Keeps your fingers from changing colour.

Stuff you’ll wind up using

  • Fan/s of your choice: They’re all pretty much the same, so it’s up to how willing you are to rip ‘em apart. This is best done to new, clean fans.
  • VHT Vinyl Dye: I grabbed a can of white and red dye from Repco, though annoyingly the red had to be ordered in, which took a few days. Cost is pretty expensive, $23 per can (plus a $10 fetching fee for the one they didn’t have in!). White is essential if you’re changing the colour of a dark plastic like black or blue, as simply applying red makes it lose some lustre.
  • Isopropyl alcohol: To clean stuff like fan blades and the pliers. We’ve had this bottle forever, and I can’t remember how much it was. Not very expensive, though. Rubbing alcohol is a good substitute.
  • Paper towel: To clean stuff with.
  • Resealable sandwich-sized bags: To cram unused bits into so they don’t get lost or dry out.
  • Duct tape: To seal off the inside of the fan blades.
  • Plastic take-away container lids: Not essential, I suppose, but these were pretty good at keeping mess to a minimum. Had a layer of newspaper underneath the plain white paper seen in the guide, and the newspaper wasn’t wet.
  • Excessive amounts of patience while possibly high: You’ll be sitting or being near fumes for a while. Best to do it on a warm day with a decent breeze, but avoid high gales or the monsoon season. Humidity doesn’t do the dye any favours.
TOTAL COST (rough guesstimate not including tools or fans): $70

 

STEPS 1-4: GETTING THE FANS READY FOR VINYL DYE

 

Posted Image

 

Arrange your stuff into a photo-friendly pile as seen in <[Frame 1]>, and make sure you’ve got enough flat, well-lit space to work in. Aim for good weather, too, as it will give your fans a better finish. Start by grabbing the small flat-head screwdriver and gently push it against the sticker on the back of the fan’s frame. Be careful not to rip it or completely ruin it, as you’ll need to put it back in place once you’ve painted the fan. If you’re only doing the blades, keep it stuck to the frame. Underneath the sticker you’ll see a small silicon cap; wedge the flathead in the gap and it should pop out as seen in <[Frame 2]>.

 

Next grab the needle-nose pliers and go for a hunt in that small hole for a tiny plastic ring, which will be a complete bastard to remove. It’s quite hardy and tough, but don’t use excessive force. Rather try to wedge it upwards; the ring will appear to split (this is normal) and then will be removable like in <[Frame 3]>. Once that is done the blades can easily lift from the frame with barely any force at all. Note that there will be two other smaller rings in the frame’s hole, these must be kept and replaced in the same order when the fan is re-assembled. Tuck the frame into the resealable bag as in <[Frame 4]>, or hang on to it if you’re going to paint it. Prepare all the fans you’re going to paint before moving on.

 

Grab the duct tape and scissors, and tape over the hole in the fan blade – where the pole is that plugs into the frame. Also cover up the matching parts of the frame if you’re painting them, doing your best to keep them completely covered.

 

STEPS 5-8: LAYING DOWN A BASE COAT OF WHITE VINYL DYE

 

Posted Image

 

Before doing anything else, throw your safety gear at your face. Glasses, gloves, mask. This stuff is nasty, and it’s not something I’d want to get into any of my various orifices! You should have all the gear on as seen in <[Frame 5]>. Well, maybe not the screwdriver. But the rest of that, go put it on.

 

Painting method: Much like paint, vinyl dye comes in a spray can. It’s best to spray it from roughly 20cm away, like in <[Frame 6]>, but from a lower oblique angle to the blades. Start with the duct tape pointing upwards. A light coat is best at first, which needs about five minutes to dry. Do another light coat, wait another five, then flip it over and do another two coats. This stuff has an absolutely terrible consistency with a paranoid schizophrenic tendency to run all over the place as if it were chased by Satan himself, so take your time and try to keep it even. <[Frame 7]> has had a single coat, where <[Frame 8]> has had two coats on both sides of the blades. The frame needs the same kind of coverage – especially if you want it to have a nice finish.

 

STEPS 9-12: GIVING IT ANOTHER COATING IN RED (OR A COLOUR OF YOUR CHOICE)

 

Posted Image

 

Once the white layers have dried (it takes about ten minutes after the final coating of white), it’s time to add the final colour to the fan. The white dye dried to a nice enough finish, though it seemed a little chalky, as in <[Frame 9]>. Applying a light coat of red as before through <[Frame 10]> results in the very nice finish seen in <[Frame 11]>. Once you’ve painted all the pieces, leave them somewhere safe to dry – where they won’t get coated in bugs, dust, termites, small children etc. The finish almost looks like the final product in <[Frame 12]>.

 

STEPS 13-14: RE-ASSEMBLING THE FANS AND TESTING THAT THEY STILL SPIN

 

Posted Image

 

Leave the fans to dry for about two hours until you’re confident that they’re dry. They shouldn’t be moist at all, and it should feel quite solid. If you move the fans before their time, or bump them while painting, you’ll scrape off the dye all the way to the black fan plastic. This is a bad thing. Don’t bump your fans. Take the painted, dried blades in <[Frame 13]> and plug them into the (possibly painted) frames that you set aside. Re-assemble them with all the discs in the right order, pressing the plastic rings back into place firmly. Give the blades a little spin to make sure they rotate ok, and replace the silicon cap. Plug them into your rig and give them a test – ideally they’ll be spinning just as quietly as before (or loudly, in the case of the Kaze). If you detect a fan wobbling, the best bet is to disassemble it again then put it back together. If it still wobbles, well, then you’ve got a very nice-looking wobbly fan. One of the fans I painted had a wobble, but all are working perfectly now.

 

Finally, I think the difference is visually worth the time and effort spent in painting them. They’re a little more unique, and match the rest of the system perfectly. Plus the red dye has a shine to it that doesn’t come out well in pictures :)

 

Give me a PM if you’ve painted your own fans using this guide – I’m keen on seeing your results!

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Awesome!

 

You're a good lad for putting these guides up as well as the project log.

 

I have painted fans in the past, but it's good to be refreshed on the steps.

 

 

And yes I will be doing this.

Edited by bushi

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I'm possibly revealing how much of simplistic noob I am here. But won't an internal light source in the drive interfere with the laser, and how it reads/writes discs?

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I'm possibly revealing how much of simplistic noob I am here. But won't an internal light source in the drive interfere with the laser, and how it reads/writes discs?

Hm, interesting question. Going by my best guess, the DVD (red) laser points directly down at the disc's surface, where the light bounces directly back at it. Think of it as the red line in this diagram:

 

Posted Image

 

The internal LEDs, however, are the 'Incident' and 'Reflected' rays. They're at an angle that bounces them from the surface of the disc upwards at the same angle they hit it, which (theoretically) means they'll be missing the read head by a large margin. Even if a few photons happened to strike the read head, it generally is looking for a very strong laser light of a specific wavelength - the LEDs would never be able to match the power, and shouldn't interfere :)

You're a good lad for putting these guides up as well as the project log.

Thanks for saying so! I figured it'd be helpful to others, and I like writing them :) I imagine they'll get reposted on the front page eventually, too.

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Frunj, how do you find working with vinyl dye over a standard paint? Would you recommend people stick with vinyl dye for fans or would an acrylic spray pack work well too?

Edited by m0zes

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Would you recommend people stick with vinyl dye for fans or would an acrylic spray pack work well too?

Curious about this too. Why use vinyl dye over other types of paint?

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May all your camels spit dates you clever turkey

I have no idea

Frunj, how do you find working with vinyl dye over a standard paint? Would you recommend people stick with vinyl dye for fans or would an acrylic spray pack work well too?

I found the consistency of the white dye left a lot to be desired - it went on very runny, and dried to leave a very disappointingly cracked finish, like a dishwashing tablet or chalk. The red stuff was fantastic to work with, the consistency was bang-on what I'd hoped, and the finish is smooth. More importantly though, the finish is very hard; I can see it surviving a few hard knocks and being no worse for the wear.

 

I went with the acrylic dye because I don't like the finish of spray painting without all the extra effort needed in sanding and gloss coats. The dye was just a couple coats, leave it to dry, and reassemble. Couldn't have been easier. I haven't used a spray pack, so can't comment on what it's like. I imagine it'd make it easier to apply a more consistent light coverage which would make the finish texture more even.

 

In the slightly more annoying stakes, it seems that the compression fittings I ordered were incorrect :( They're 7/16"ID and 5/8"OD, where the tubing I bought is 1/2"ID and 3/4"OD. Stupidly PCCG listed the fittings as being 1/2", which I just assumed would work ok (I've never used compressions before). So I made yet another order today for more fittings, hopefully correct this time, from the kool room. Hopefully they turn up quickly. I'm sending the useless fittings back to PCCG for a credit. I've taken the roof off the case and am thinking I'll dremel a hole for the radiator tomorrow. It looks like I'll have about 10mm of width and 25mm of length to play with around it, haha.

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As far as I understand, compression fittings need bigger tubing than the same size barb would.

 

Example being, you don't use 7/16" tubing on 1/2" compression fittings, gotta use 1/2" tubing. Wheras 7/16" is perfect for 1/2" barbs for a tight fit.

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