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Haha thanks all :) I might give it a go later, for now I'm happy with lappy. Been doing work for Atomic again, which is keeping me busy.

Good, Atomic neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeds you.

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After all this time, small update! Yayayayayayayayayayay :D

 

Test fit the mobo and res to see where ports and everything sits:

 

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Got out my Dremel from its case, and applied some stencilling to the masking tape that I had put on two years ago. It's still good, right?

 

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Then I drilled holes for the res mounting brackets, which are the most fiddly things ever. The instructions are either not very clear, or I am not very attentive, and fiddled with the different bolts for what felt like too long before working out that I had to cram a tiny nut into this gap before the bracket would tighten. Annoying.

 

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Then it was on to cutting the cabling holes, which I did with a standard cutting disc. Or rather, which I did with six of them. Many, many embarassing breakages with this small cut >.>

 

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I also managed to stab myself in the thumb with the flathead while changing the cutting disc. The screw had caught the last cutting disc fragment, which had absorbed moisture and expanded to fill the gap. Nothing some Selleys WD-40 equivalent couldn't fix, though.

 

Then it was time to grind the rough cut into this smooth, loverly surface seen below:

 

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And onto the u-channel, which is the WORST THING TO EVER DECIDE TO USE. Seriously, it's fiddly annoying shit that will make you rage so hard your eyeballs will pop out. Eventually my goatse-the-fuck-out-of-the-uchannel technique paid off and I got all the various cabling holes done.

 

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That's it for now, and hopefully more updates are on the way!

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It lives! :)

 

Considering any upgrades begore you get too far in?

Yeah, I'm eyeing off a 7970 instead of the two 5870s, and am debating whether or not I need more ram. 6GB should be plenty but you never know....

 

And maybe a sata 3 ssd at some point, too.

 

But for now I'll stick with the tech I have and just upgrade the gpu.

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'nother update, more progress. Modding is tiring!

 

Decided to do something about the pump's huge power cable - about a metre too long - so chopped it down and will make something akin to my earlier Blu-ray drive's power connectors with it when I feel like doing some soldering.

 

Pump in the bay, and the other side of the cable (link due to 10img/post limit):

 

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Then the next task was to screw all the fans to the radiator, which I did with silicon vibration gaskets between the fans and the rad. Being so close to each other, they wouldn't fit, so I trimmed each one with a pair of scissors.

 

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Annoyingly, I had lost one of the four 6mm 6-32 type screws that came with the XSPC RX480 rad, and trips to the hardware store returned nothing (for those curious, a 3-16 is NOT the same thing, as I annoyingly punted at :P). Looking online returned a few eBay sellers, but I wanted screws now. There were modelling stores selling them in Australia, but minimum order of $25 plus $10 post put me way off. Lucky that there's a hobby store - hobbyland - right near me in Hornsby. $2.95 per pack of 1" 6-32 screws, and they're even the right colour ♥ Ideally I'd get shorter ones, but I'm impatient and lazy, so just squished a few cooling fins in the rad to get these suckers in.

 

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Glorious Du-Bro 6-32 1" Socket Head Cap Screws

 

Sticking with my whole dampening thing, I put more of the Lian Li HDD dampening grommets between these 6-32 rad screws and the top grille, just in case.

 

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Then the rad wouldn't fit back into the case, due to this frustrating bar at the front of it. So, naturally, I removed it. I had run out of standard 409 Dremel discs, and bought heavy duty 420 discs, and they're infinitely better to use. Seriously, I wouldn't buy the standard kind again.

 

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And of course, I run into another problem. The rear-most fan sits on the motherboard's VRM heatsink, and stops the top of the case from sitting flush with the frame. I turn to the gigantic bolts I had bought to mount the grille to the top of the case, removing them and dremelling them roughly half as long.

 

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Put it back together, and everything was grand (img link)!

 

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I did this over a couple of days, and was/am pretty wrecked at the end of it. Messed around with some bay devices today, the fan controller and a temperature monitoring panel that I'll write up later on.

 

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Starting to get closer to being done; next I think I'm going to start sleeving the many, many cables a bloody computer needs. Can't we just go wireless? It's 2012 ffs!

 

Then maybe a nice power button. Who doesn't love a good button?

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Love that this is finally getting some love again mate well done glad to see it coming along.

 

a Z77 FTW would be pretty sweet now tho :P

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Looking good so far mate. With the long screws, about 5 seconds with your dremel should get them to the right length if too long, no need to bend fins. It's maybe a bit late now, but might help in future. I can see you did cut down some other screws though.

 

Looks like as tight a fit as my build, but I bet it feels great seeing it all together like that. At least your rear exhaust fan still fits on the inside :) Just remember the magic order you will no doubt have to assemble it in, as if you put the wrong things in first chances are you'll have to take them back out eventually, to fit something else in.

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Justin you have no idea how glad I am to see you getting back into this.

 

Amazing stuff man, can't wait to see the finished product. Your dremel skills are far superior to mine haha.

 

Also, I hope you only hit the fins and not the lines on the rad, although I'm pretty sure the RX rads have the lines away from the screw holes.

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a Z77 FTW would be pretty sweet now tho :P

Yeah, it would be great - except that I have a socket 1366 CPU :P

 

Looking good so far mate. With the long screws, about 5 seconds with your dremel should get them to the right length if too long, no need to bend fins. It's maybe a bit late now, but might help in future. I can see you did cut down some other screws though.

 

Looks like as tight a fit as my build, but I bet it feels great seeing it all together like that. At least your rear exhaust fan still fits on the inside :) Just remember the magic order you will no doubt have to assemble it in, as if you put the wrong things in first chances are you'll have to take them back out eventually, to fit something else in.

I had decided that I was too lazy to bother with the dremel, and didn't want to be bothered dragging it out unless I absolutely had to. I had originally planned to use a 38 mm fan as the rear exhaust, but it wouldn't fit! I even dyed it so that it would fit in with the front fans, but oh well. I bought another scythe fan that is the standard 25 mm wide, that I will use as a rear intake fan to get more cool air to the radiator.

 

Your dremel skills are far superior to mine haha.

 

Also, I hope you only hit the fins and not the lines on the rad, although I'm pretty sure the RX rads have the lines away from the screw holes.

ha ha, thanks for saying so :)

 

I only screwed in and heard a slight crinkling noise, and did not screw in with much force. I'm pretty sure that I didn't hit the lines.

 

 

 

Got another update on the way! :)

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a Z77 FTW would be pretty sweet now tho :P

Yeah, it would be great - except that I have a socket 1366 CPU :P

what cpu are you using again mate?

i mentioned the evga just for the sideways facing 24 pin connector about bloody tome someone did that :p

 

cant wait for another update!!

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Custom XSPC Front Panel LCD Temp Monitoring

 

I decided that since I was going to the effort of having a reservoir, that I may as well have an idea of the temperature inside it. To that end I grabbed some pieces of hardware and assembled them over the course of a few hours.

 

Things You'll Need To Buy:

Tools needed:

  • Drill with various bits up to 6mm in size
  • Pliers
  • Soldering Iron with solder
  • Wet sponge to rest Iron on
  • Scissors
  • Small flathead screwdriver

The first step is to get the XSPC LCD frame and to attach the faceplate of your choosing - I obviously went with black, but silver may be the better choice in your situation. Apply masking tape to the front of the faceplate, then measure the centre point between the two holes intended for the LCD screens. I did this the lazy way by drawing a line from alternating corners and by calling the point at which they intersected the centre.

 

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Grab the drill and slowly drill through the faceplate and Perspex backing of the frame. Start with a small drill bit, slowly working your way up to a 6 mm bit. As I did not have an exactly 6 mm bit, I used a slightly smaller bit and jiggled around the hole until there was enough space for the tiny toggle switch to fit in. I temporarily took the faceplate off to clear out the metal and Perspex shavings that had become lodged between the two layers.

 

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Next, grab the XSPC LCD screen and take it out of its packaging. Using the small flathead screwdriver, press down the small plastic tabs on one side of the screen - they appear more sunken than the other side. Pushing in will cause the back panel to pop off, which allows for much neater sleeving if that is the route you would like to take (I put the panel back on and just sleeved externally for simplicity).

 

Grab a Molex extension cable of the type that you would receive with a fan, and remove two of its cables. Cut each cable in half and, using the pliers, strip roughly 1 cm of plastic casing from the point where you cut. Cut off the temperature monitoring probe that comes with the screen, leaving as much length on the wire as you want.

 

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Best practice when soldering is to always ensure that the two cables you are joining together are physically secure before being soldered together. This generally means that you twist the strands of wire together in such a way that they cannot separate when pulled on with mild force. Using the hot soldering iron (the hotter the better), place the tip of the soldering iron against the underside of the wire join. Apply the solder to the tip and hold against the wire so that it flows into the join. Heat will be transferred much more effectively once the solder has touched the joint, and you should be able to add solder to the top of the join without moving the iron. Use enough solder to coat and fill, but do not use so much that it begins to drip.

 

Attach the female Molex connector to the end of the monitoring wire that is still connected to the LCD screen. Using the same process, cut off the connector on the bitspower temperature probe and solder on two male Molex connectors. Apply heat shrink over the solder joints to prevent short-circuiting.

 

Grab the mini toggle switch and solder on a small length of wire to the centre lug. Do this by stripping the wire a small amount and passing it through the hole in the terminal, then winding around. Apply heat shrink over the solder joint to prevent short circuit. Prepare two other small lengths of wire, roughly 10 cm, and pass each through the desired terminal of the switch, again wrapping them around. Solder in place and pass a length of heat shrink over both cables so that it covers the solder. It is impractical to try to solder while the switch is still attached to the frame, so this step has been done separately. The two screens must be placed in the frame by removing the faceplate, then the Switch can be mounted for the final time and tightened with pliers.

 

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Cut the power cable of the screens, leaving about 5 cm of wire. The blue wire is positive and the white wire is negative. Pass a piece of heatshrink over one piece of wire, then solder the blue wire of each screen to its own length of cable. I wrapped the length of wire between the switch and LCD screens around the back of the frame so that stress was not an issue and I could not bump it and rip a wire out accidentally.

 

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Next I soldered the two negative wires of the screens to a single length of wire. I attached two more female Molex connectors to these main wires, then sleeved them.

 

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To power the screens, I made a quick male to male Molex cable. This was as easy as grabbing two Molex extension cables, cutting them both in half, and attaching both male ends to each other.

 

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The screens look much redder in person, but the right-hand one is certainly brighter than the left. As I had done the Molex connections between the LCD temperature wire and the bitspower temperature probe, I was able to determine that neither orientation mattered; in other words the positivity or negativity of the wire is not important to maintain. All that is required now is to shorten the length of the temperature probe wire, as again, it is about 1 m too long!

 

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And, thanks to the switch, the screens can be easily turned off when I don't want them on :)

\/\/\/end LCD tutorial\/\/\/

There was an aluminium divider in the way of my cable routing, which was an absolute pain in the arse to remove as Lian Li had riveted an aluminium plate over the screw hole that held it in place :( Luckily there was enough room to get in there with a pair of pliers and slowly unscrew them. This took me so long, I was literally there for half an hour removing two bloody screws! It was worth it though, as now I have more room for cable routing, and can possibly add in another intake fan :)

 

I also managed to solder and sleeve the pump power cables, and applied a small amount of white heat shrink to denote the higher voltage it requires.

 

Phew! That was a big update, but I only really got one bay device ready and the res slightly closer to being usable. Hope this excessive detail is helpful/interesting :)

 

Gimme feedback on these updates - more or less detail?

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mate level of detail is fantastic keep it up.

 

its helpful for those of us who don't wana go searching all over the net for something. you're doing a fantastic job.

good job to remember to take lots of pics along the way!

 

seriously keep it up!

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wow, fantastic work!

 

awesome stuff.

 

god to see you getting back into it.

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Did a bit yesterday, but not very much. Exhausted, have spent most of today watching Red Dwarf and random machinima vids of TF2 and Minecraft on YouTube (hint: don't. Your brain will melt).

 

Was digging through my pictures, found that there was a few things I had done two years ago that I never got around to uploading, for various reasons. So let's spin the time-machine dial to then, and check them out :D

 

Make a hole for the radiator

 

Lian Li stock top panel:

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Panel masked up and stencil applied with the 480mm grille as a template, using a standard 120mm fan oriented with the grille's mounting holes to make it look more visual for my brain to deal with:

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Dremelling the design out, pretty roughly because it's going to be underneath the grille and not visible most of the time:

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Drilling mounting holes for the grille, to attach it to the top panel:

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Using a file on the drill holes to make them slightly bigger so my bolts would fit through (the same stupidly long ones that I would later dremel in half). Also sanded down the inside edge of the grille cutout so as to minimise cuts:

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Boom, it's done. Looks pretty nifty, and air cooling peeps can stop here if they want, but it's the base step for my radiator :)

 

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Motherboard Thermal Gunk has to go

I also decided that I'd do some thermal modification to the mobo, which I haven't actually tested to see if it's done anything. She'll be right, right?

 

Anyway, I removed the gunk from the northbridge and southbridge, and also the VRMs, replacing them with thermal paste. Mounted and removed so I could check contact, and it was fine, so yeah, reckon she'll be sweet.

 

SB: Posted Image NB: Posted Image

 

VRM Clean: Posted Image

VRM gooped: Posted Image

 

</end timewarp>

Edited by TheFrunj

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Did a bit yesterday, but not very much. Exhausted, have spent most of today watching Red Dwarf

been there done that but dam after you have watched a few eps in a row does that repetitive song at the start and the end get annoying

nice attention to detail in your build :)

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Did a bit yesterday, but not very much. Exhausted, have spent most of today watching Red Dwarf

been there done that but dam after you have watched a few eps in a row does that repetitive song at the start and the end get annoying

 

 

Not really, haven't watched it for years and can still summon the tune in my head.

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Outstanding work there Mr Frunj, man you have a steadier hand than me when it comes to using a dremel ;)

Please put as much detail as you can as its an aweaome read.

Oh man Red Dwarf thats such a Smegging cool show :)

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been there done that but dam after you have watched a few eps in a row does that repetitive song at the start and the end get annoying

nice attention to detail in your build :)

Yeah, I wind up skipping the intro/credits if I watch many episodes in a row, mostly because I know them by heart :P

 

Thanks, hopefully the effort pays off :)

 

Outstanding work there Mr Frunj, man you have a steadier hand than me when it comes to using a dremel ;)

Please put as much detail as you can as its an aweaome read.

Oh man Red Dwarf thats such a Smegging cool show :)

Haha yeah, just gotta take it slow and let the cutting disc do all the work :)

 

Done a bit more, might update later today if I get around to it!

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Extending and Sleeving the ATX EPS 8-pin 12V Cable

 

Because Seasonic are n00bs, the power cable for the CPU will only reach the 8-pin socket in this case if I run it underneath the expansion cards over the top of the mobo (as pictured in my stop-motion vid, linked in the thread OP).

 

So to fix it I ninja'd a EPS extension cable and huzzah, it reached:

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Unfortunately it does not look very pretty. NOT PRETTY AT ALL. So I took note of the pinout with this photo (Seasonic run all the 12v+ lines at the top side of the connector) and got started lengthening it. I used the ATX depinning tool from MDPC-X to cram in the Seasonic EPS connector and depress the pins... but holy hell it's difficult.

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The problem stems from the custom connector design that Seasonic PSUs seem to have; others online have had the same trouble I have. Ultimately I had to loop the wire around my hand, insert the ATX depinning tool to the connector, then press the whole thing downwards so the tool was forced into the connector as I pulled on the wire. It took a LOT of force to get them out, and though this is great for Seasonic as it means less faulty connectors, it's a gigantic pain for modders. I am definitely not looking forward to the 24-pin ATX cable :(

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Once the pins were out of the connector, I cut them at about ~5cm away from the pin side of the wire, and stripped both sides of the cut. I grabbed the EPS extension cable and cut the connectors off both sides, stripping the wire with a pair of pliers. This is time-consuming, so patience is definitely needed. All ready to go:

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Now that all the wires were prepared, I plugged in the soldering iron and got down to business. As illustrated in the pic below, I bent both bare wires 90°, hooked them around each other, then twisted around to form a ball. I then applied the soldering iron to the bottom of the wire ball, then filled it with solder. Finally, I slid a piece of heatshrink over the top to ensure it never touches any other metal.

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While it's possible to get a neater look than this, it's a damn strong connection that will be hard to break - knowing how clumsy I can be it was worth the extra effort.

 

Once the appropriate wires were joined together (original cable to extension, extension to the connector pin cable) I grabbed a razor blade (well, box cutter) and flipped up the connector pins again so they'd hang onto the connector once replaced. If you don't do this, they'll just fall out, so remember to do them all:

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Before putting the pins back into the connector I measured and cut some sleeve and heatshrink, sliding it over the wires. I applied heat in the form of a BBQ lighter to the bare pin heatshrink, covering half the bare metal connector, which gives a neat look when inserting back into the connector. The other end would've looked better if I removed those pins, but I decided to be lazy and avoid the hassle of that horrific ATX depinning experience.

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And voila, she fits around the back perfectly, and looks pretty cool with the colour scheme I dreamt up many moons ago.

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Also my cat has taken over my power supply box. Which is weird, because it's not really that close to the heater, so go figure :)

 

Posted Image

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Well I was always told buying a seasonic PSU would get you pussy.

*facepalm*

.

.

.

 

:)

 

More like POTM.

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Well I was always told buying a seasonic PSU would get you pussy.

who doesn't like watching pussy on box action.

oh yeah.

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