The Sleeper

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Tech-Daddy, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    Hey all!
    Long time, no work log (from me at least), so.... time to change that!

    This log actually started as part of an Asus competition. Due to timing of the work timeframe, I did not complete the build.... but I am going to try and get it knocked out and done! So.... without further adieu, I bring you... The Sleeper..... ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz..... ;)

    The Sleeper: A self contained, water cooled system with no external rads or hoses....

    LAN parties rock.... we all know this. However, toting your machine back and forth is cumbersome, and in the event of watercooling.... dangerous. externally mounted radiators and tubes can get banged up, hung up, yanked and pulled upon... leading to leaks and failure of the entire system, along with expensive repair and part replacement just to fix the cooling system. This does not even touch on if the actual components of the computer system are actually leaked on!



    So, I propose a rugged and durable PC designed to have the water cooling fully enclosed in the chassis. Make it easy to empty and maintain for transport, and easy to fill upon arrival.The chassis must also look good, because nobody wants to roll up to a LAN party and get laughed out because your machine looks like a$$. So, displaying the internal goodness through a window is a must. All of this hardware is beautiful to look at, but will need to be tied together in a cohesive theme. If the stuff does not match... I gotta make it match or tie together. Lighting the internals with accent LED's or flood LED's will need to be weighed. But the beauty inside needs to be seen outside. And it does no good if it gets busted while being moved, so the accents need to be durable and stylish.


    [​IMG]
    Deciding on my case, I'm going to utilize a NZXT Tempest. I am working on my sketches for the internal layout and cable/tube management and will update the thread after I have a good concept for you all! But this case takes care of some of the size and construction issues, allowing for more of the time to be spent on a quality presentation of the components... as well as some awesome acrylic shaping and fabrication! But the key, is the components... :)



    The Liquid cooling will allow for the best use of the Hybrid processor performance optimizations that are built into the Asus motherboard. The CPU being water cooled will make the system OC friendly and stable with exceptional heat management. Tapping into the Hybrid phase technology, I am anticipating my first true forray into overclocking to be a rewarding and smooth event. (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!) Utilizing the enthusiast performance characteristics of this motherboard, I am looking to enjoy "performance for free". And if I'm at a LAN and need a few more FPS to lay some smack down on my opponent, I can slap the Turbo Key and get a little "somethin extra" to help push some pain! Or, if I'm gaming at my typical level, I'll simply die a WHOLE lot faster! ;)



    Challanges that I am going to have are ruggedizing the case, and the internal components, internalizing a good radiator with tube management will be key, cable management will be mandatory.... all of this while maintaining a stylish balance. The Antec Quattro 800w PSU will be more than up to the task of management due to it's modular approach to cabling.There may still need to be some custom power leads created to keep it sleek and clean inside.



    When you are going for a performance machine, you need I/O, and the Samsung SSD hard drive will play a prominent role in the performance of this machine. with an SSD in the mix, there is no way you would hide a drive like this, so special fabricated mounting would be required to put the drive in a position of promanence.



    The The GTX260 video card is a great performer of a card and would need to be modified to fit the rugged theme. There would be no water cooling on the card to keep the complexity to a minimum as well as weight. Remember, this is needs to be a portable performer.



    The G.Skill memory with the cooling fan is *prime* for modification, but having never seen one, I'm unsure what all I can do to it. It is a good loooking piece of hardware all by itself and may only need minor touchups.



    This is my plan... pictures and sketches will be forthcoming as I flesh out more of the details.

    Should be a fun rig to build though!

    -=Craig "Tech-Daddy" Tate
     
  2. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    Ok, so after working over several different hand sketches, some hilarious SketchUp attempts... (I really need to practice that and get better at it), and some Photoshop experimenting... I stopped. I reminded myself that I work better with something in front of me. Something I can see and touch. I reminded myself that this machine will need to be a "sleeper", which means it needs to look as *close* to stock as it can. Not saying there will not be any custom painting, or anything like that, just that my initial design elements need to follow the current design of the case.

    So... I went out and took the case down, and started tearing it apart looking for the potential design difficulties, as well as some tinder for the ol' creative fire! And guess what... true to form, I found some of each! ;)

    1) The case frame will likely be a matte black
    2) The color scheme for the case will follow a black/blue/silver accents format.
    3) If I do make the case frame a matte black, then component selection will be chosen to best play off of that black base.

    I grabbed the Tempest and started tearing it apart, and immediately start noticing a couple of challenges.
    [​IMG]


    Here is the front, showing off the 2 interior front intake fan grills and filters. The steel grills below the screen mesh filters is going to have to go.
    [​IMG]


    Looking at the cabling mess that this case has engineered. The 2 front 120mm fans and the two top 140mm exhaust fans, are all running separate power molex connections. That is 4 connections where one will suffice, unless you want to run them to a fan controller of some sort... in which case there would still need to be a good amount of cable truncation and consolidation to clean that up so that there is not cable slack hanging everywhere.
    [​IMG]


    Here you see that there are actually 5 fans in need of power, not just the four in the previous picture. We have one in the back, two on top, and two in the front. Certainly not impossible to wrangle and make efficient, but it is something to make a note of, none the less.
    [​IMG]


    On the back of the front bezel, there are 3 5.25 bays that are readily accessible, and can be snapped out. The bay covers below that are screwed in place. They can be removed, but are deemed semi-permanent. Due to the foam backed filters that are in place, I am apt to leave those in place as much as is possible, to aid in the dust control within the case. Other points to note are the two blue/white power LED leads that are pre spliced in a "Y" configuration. The line goes to a molex, and not the "PWR" header on the motherboard, so I will need to determine if it is 5v or 12v that these LEDs are feeding off of. These LED's add accent to the front of the case by illuminating 2 embedded acrylic rods (one on each side) in the front bezel. This existing accenting will be manipulated to provide some form of either "pulsing single color" or "color changing" RGB LED change out, either of which would require a controller that would manipulate the LED on each side to the desired effect.
    [​IMG]


    The top plastics of the case have the same scalloped sides that are ripe for modification.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Anyone who has known me for any length of time will know that I am a freak for LED's and lights, as well as ways to get light piped from the LED's to other locations. The front bezel of the Tempest has a hard drive activity light that fires into a "light pipe", which is nothing more than a properly sized piece of acrylic that fits into that slot. Well, I have several rods of acrylic that look like they *might* fit in these scalloped slots...
    [​IMG]


    That looks pretty danged close in my book! What I intend to do is use an LED micro controller to put these pipes in either a single color chase, strobe, or pulse... or potentially allow for a selectable effect to be shown. But, following the sleeper theme, you wont know about these mods until the machine is turned on...
    [​IMG]


    The top fans are regular, black 140mm fans... that just wont do! and I just happen to have some Aerocool 140mm slim fans with embedded blue LEDs, and they look a lot sharper than the stock NZXT fans.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    Having a bit of trouble shutting off the brain right now... just did a little bit of *rough* Photoshopping to hit on a potential design for the case!

    [​IMG]

    which was based off of this design on the P55 heatsink:
    [​IMG]

    :)

    must....get....sleep..... ;)
     
  4. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    I've also been thinking about the internals on the case.

    And back when I did blingGreen, I had build a cable manager for my power, using acrylic spacers. Well, I'm thinking something similar here, but performing the same thinking with cables and tubes for the liquid cooling! Combination cable and tube management. Should lead to a special, and one of a kind display and some nice visual draw for the case!

    :)

    A little something to remind people of what I am talking about:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Wow... that was a trip down memory lane!
    I'm trying not to give too much away, but if you can see what I did in those pictures, just imagine me incorporating blue acrylic into the mod, custom cut, flame polished and properly heated and bent, to make for a display tray for the SSD drive, but the support that the drive is sitting on is also acting as cable management for water cooling tubing and power lines for the SSD and potentially acting as design influence for the cable management for the fans and pump power.

    ;)

    Yummy!
     
  5. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    Stepping into prep work this evening, I just happen to have an Antec 850 Quatro that I purchased on a CompUSA going out of business sale many moons back. I also have a shipment of goodies coming in tomorrow that will allow me to start placement of the peripheral equipment.

    Obviously, I do not have the prize package yet, but that should not stop the other parts of the build that can happen! (Rad, pump, electrical lines, etc.)

    I am tinkering with multi card configurations, so we will see where this goes.

    I also had a much better idea for the rear graphic. Still engineering how I am going to make it work and look good, while being durable.


    But the ideas are starting to flow. I'll hopefully have some pictures of general placement by tomorrow evening.
     
  6. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    (TD note: This is where it was confirmed that this contest was going to span 2 holidays... Thanksgiving and Christmas.... yeah, the reality of that was not grasped on this post... but I did elude to scheduling problems.... *sigh*)

    -----------------------
    Bring tha noise everyone! (Channels his best Bruce Buffer).... Iiiiiitss TI-I-I-I-I-I-I-IME!

    ;)

    Just got my email from Asus stating the dates for the build are the next 30 days.... 11/24 - 12/23! Holidays are going to pose a big schedule challenge for everyone so it is going to be very interesting!

    I've been mocking up ideas and fiddling around with hardware placement.... and now the gloves are coming off!

    Been chomping at the proverbial "bit" for the last few days, but we have now been officially cut off our leashes!

    I'm going to blow the dust off my building brain and try and shake this place up a bit!

    I've not been this excited to build in a long time, and I hope and pray that the journey is a rewarding one... not only for myself, but for all of you out there reading along. Hopefully I throw some twists out there that have not been seen, and design elements that can help move our hobby along!

    Please, feel free to chime in and play along! I Have a vision for this mod, but others input is always respected and appreciated!

    I may not incorporate it, but I've done several mods where suggestions were influencers in the creation of other aspects of the mod!

    So.... let's dance... shall we?
    *evil grin*

    *DING!*
     
  7. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    Well, first thing I have been doing tonight is setting up one of my video cards for use in this mod.

    "But you already have a video card that is on it's way, TD... WTH are you doing?"
    ;)

    Let's just say.... I'll be running SLI, but not by using another 260! I'm throwing in a 9800GX2 that I am prepping for watercooling using a DangerDen, 9800GX2 waterblock!!! This cooler is a BEAST! DD has put some beautiful engineering into this thing. I'm just cleaning the copper right now, making it nice and shiny! They (the provider) asked for their name not to be dropped, but I know you are reading this, so... THANK YOU OH NAMELESS WONDER!!! ;) Oh, and be sure to check out DD's other water blocks as well! I have a custom set for some 7800GTX lovin that will happen sometime in the future...

    I've torn apart the video card, and cleaned off the cores and the memory, and am cleaning up the waterblock. Pics in a bit!

    GO GO GO!!!!
    -=TD
     
  8. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    [​IMG]
    Stripped more of the components out of the case. The 2 hard drive cages and the two-120mm fan plates from the front and the rear exhaust 120mm.


    [​IMG]
    Took delivery of my first parts order to suppliment my existing equipment... yum!


    [​IMG]
    A blue dual 120mm rad, a Bitspower Multi80 res...


    [​IMG]
    A Swiftech Apogee GT CPU heatsink for the new processor.


    [​IMG]
    Tubing and clamps... I've seen some killer mods with the opaque tubing, and I'm going to give that a shot on this mod! :)

    [​IMG]
    How do you make a 9800GX2? You start with 2 slices of 9800 goodness! :D (Don't look Philip, I'm gutting your boy! LOL!) This is one of 2 cards that NVidia had sent to me a few months ago, and this build seems to be a perfect use for one of them. THANK YOU AGAIN, NVidia!


    [​IMG]
    This is the water block that I was working on tonight. This dark oxidation was all over one side of the copper block.... bleh! That'll never do!

    [​IMG]
    Grab a smidgen of ketchup and a toothbrush, and start working on the copper block. The acid from the tomatoes and the vinegar make for an awesome gentle cleaner of the copper! Hrmmmm.... I wonder which side has been cleaned? Hehehehe!


    [​IMG]
    Put the cleaned cards next to the cleaned block... ooooo, that is SEK-SAY!!!!!

    The next major update will likely be a very energetic one... as it will likely be showing off the new components!
    YAY!!!

    Cheers everyone!
    -=Tech Daddy
     
  9. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    (1st dose of reality start slapping me across the head....)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ok... this is what I feared was going to happen, but I'm just going to have to make the best of it! All of the parts arrived today! YAY!!! B-U-U-U-U-U-U-T.... I leave tomorrow morning for Thanksgiving @ the inlaws! I've opened the box, and just got giddy at the site of all that beautiful stuff!!!! (some of you that have known me longer may laugh at the "giddy" comment!)

    That leaves me no time to post about how excited I am about this product... nor can I take good pictures of the product as I am still finishing up packing the vehicle for the family. So, while me and the fam are going to be away, I will be bringing my prototype board, LEDs, resistors, and the Adruino board... and see if I can make some headway on the LED controls for the light show!
    ;)

    Everyone have a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving, and I wish safe travels for everyone during this time.

    I should be back on Sunday, and I'll hopefully be able to play catch up with the product pics/videos. I look forward to seeing everyone elses posts and progress!

    Talk more soon!
    -=TD
     
  10. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    Well... hello everyone! I got nothing done over the Turkey day holiday (traveling with the family to a destination 2 states away will do that to ya!), and made no headway on the LED controller board, but am thinking that will be the least of my worries to complete, not anticipating huge issues on that front.

    But I need to catch up to my brethren on this competition!

    I arrived home tonight, unpacked the fam, bathed the dogs and put them to bed, the put the kids outside... got lectured by the wife for being a "tad distracted"... ;) (kidding on that whole scenario...) but she did recognize that I had a lot to do, so half way through unpacking, she cut me loose and told me to get to work photographing my equipment! (Love my wife!)

    So, I killed 2 birds with one stone... I photo'd the equipment in my new light tent! Never had one, have never used one, but knew how they worked, and decided to take the plunge and get some better photo prop equipment.
    [​IMG]

    2 lights on 6 ft stands, and a 30" light tent... should be big enough for a lot of my work. I'll need to work out the lighting locations and variations, but this was the ideal chance to just break it in and get some experience with it!

    Before I go any further, I want to take a purposeful moment to thank the sponsors of this great contest:
    [​IMG]


    ASUS - For organizing this contest and supplying a kick ass motherboard!
    NVidia - A stealthy looking Nvidia 260 video card! yummy....
    Intel - For supplying us with a kick ass processor, the i7-860 quad core lover/fighter...
    Samsung - 128GB of *OMG!* SSD hard drive performance lovin!
    Antec - To keep all of of our mad equipment stable, you need a bushel of quality power. Quattro 850's to the rescue!
    RAZER - It would be kind of like driving a <insert favorite="" sports="" cars="" here=""> with a Yugo steering wheel, if you just kept your old busted ass keyboard and used it on these works of art.... THANKFULLY, Razer stepped in to make sure those technical "fashion Faux pas'" don't happen on their watch! Some sleek, sexy, and stylish user interface devices that work twice as well as they look... and that is saying something! ;)
    G.Skill Memory - Nothing says "Try you best overclock on me" like a beefy set of heatsinks on the memory and a dedicated fan for the slots. Thank you G.Skill, I look forward to learning much from your kit!

    We, the modding and computer enthusiast community thank you for your continued support and and unwavering pursuit of technical excellence.... that we almost always somehow find a way to break in pursuing our performance goals! ;) From the bottom of my heart, as well as the 1000's that are reading these logs, and the millions that are lurking, we thank you for running contests like this!


    And now... on to the show!

    [​IMG]
    People with a stutter prolly *hate* saying this board... ;)

    [​IMG]
    Is this thing sweet looking or what??!?!

    [​IMG]
    SSD... *DUH-ROOOOL!*

    [​IMG]
    This will remove one of my excuses and simply allow me to die faster in my games! (or take a decorative shotgun blast from mah fellow Apes! ;) thaJ, REPRESENT!!!!)

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    The above two are a prime example of what happens when a UID "interfaces" with a high fashion model... (I can't believe I worked that in!)

    [​IMG]
    This pic reminds me of that old Duracell commercial with Robert Conrad... "Go ahead... I dare ya..." ;)

    [​IMG]
    What the box looks like on the store shelf...

    [​IMG]
    And what you will get out of the box, look at, and say "Oh daaaaymmm! That sink looks SIIIICK!!!"

    [​IMG]
    Modular, configurable, 80Plus Bronze certified, and up to 85% efficiency... get your old piddly ass power supply outta here and bring in this big dog....

    I'm hoping to put all of this on a bench by tomorrow and get it booted up and tested to insure all of it is functional and working!

    Plans and pics in the next day or two! It's going to be fun! (And I'm going to hold back a surprise until later in the build.... something I Like to do that should add some wow factor and help build up some anticipation on the build!

    Strap in, buckle up and stay tuned in.... cuz..... IT'S TIIIIIMME!!!!!! :D</insert>
     
  11. b1lk1

    b1lk1 Tech Monkey

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    Mar 1, 2006
    Ontario
    UPDATES!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    Coming!
    Sorry about that.... been CRAZY busy the last few days... I'll move some more info over tonight!
    :)
     
  13. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    (this entry happened December 7th.... -=TD)

    Well, these aren't the droids you are looking for...

    I'm telling ya, if it weren't for bad luck right now, I'd have no luck at all!!!
    Tore up the bottom of my foot (makes it difficult to stand), then got sick with a NASTY chest/head cold (makes it difficult to exist... ;) ) and now I just smoked my drill (makes it difficult to mod!!)!! My backup cordless unit's batteries are all toast. So, now I am on the hunt for a loaner drill.... as my $$ is right now tied up in Christmas presents!!
    ARGH!!!!!!!!!

    So... What I can get to with my rotary tool, I have. But now I need to dismantle the case and finish the cuts, and file it to get it ready for powder coating.

    Looks like I'm going to be working on the light show sooner rather than later!
    ;)

    Hope everyone is modding safely and staying on schedule!
    Keep it real everyone!
    -=TD
     
  14. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    (then December 10th... :) )
    WOOT! Wifey surprised me with a 7.8amp 1/2" drill... oh man does this baby solve the build problems!
    I'm also going to break out the test bench and start working on my overclocking... and let you all know how that goes!
     
  15. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    (December 12th....)

    Wow.... that was easy to make $270!!!

    LIke I stated before, I am a relative newb overclocker. No, scratch that, the lkast time I overclocked was when it was a slam dunk on the old Celeron 300a "Clover leafs" where you were able to take a Celery 300a and bump it to 450Mhz with the flip of a switch (or a jumper) ;) and then have a much less expensive processor run at the same or faster equivalent speed as the higher priced P2 450Mhz proc. That was fun, easy, exciting and rewarding!

    Well... last night, I spent an hour or two on my hardware *on air* and mad $270 easy with thge Asus tools!

    My build hardware is everything that everyone else received, except my primary video card is a 9800GX2, and I have set the 260 as the PhysiX card.

    Knowing all that, I started with the CPU and memory. I let the TurboV overclocking utility automagically work on my machine and I ended up with a CPU that is faster than the i7 870 CPU that costs over $270 more! I like that math!

    Here is my test bench that I am working from right now, since the case is not ready yet:
    [​IMG]


    Starting point, with no tweaks, I was here on 3DMark06:

    [​IMG]

    I then let the Asus utilities do their thing, and I ended up here:
    [​IMG]

    With this result:
    [​IMG]

    Can your hardware save you over $270 in a little over an hour? This hardware did!

    Look at the price difference in the 860 and the 870....

    I am currently running faster than the 870 folks.... Asus Xtreme performance at work ... right *there*...

    I have not even begun tweaking this setup. I have not focused on memory (though it does look like the ASUS tool did perform some tweaking on that for me), nor have I worked on the video card overclock. Also keep in mind, this is all on air. I have a water cooled variant of the video card that is ready to go:
    [​IMG]

    as well as a Swiftech block for the CPU!!

    Everything right now is air. I am expecting better results after I bring in the water blocks on the video and the processor!

    Now, with just this bit of tweaking done, I have already increased the value of these parts by $270.
    The CPU heatsink was still cool, the memory was still cool, and the PSU was not blowing any hot air.... very efficient!
    I'm thinking I am also going to use the 260 for double duty by using it for [email protected] using the CUDA drivers to Fold on the NVidia hardware! Should make for a good addition to my work unit output per day! ;) once the 9800GX2 gets water cooled, I may be able to perform 3 pieces of NVidia hardware folding simultaneously!! Not sure, but that would rock if it is a supported config!

    :)
     
  16. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    (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
     
  17. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
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    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    (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! ;)
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]
    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:
    [​IMG]

    Mounted the hardware:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    Finished hole!
    [​IMG]

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

    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! ;)
    [​IMG]

    Cut the rolls:
    [​IMG]

    Then remove the unneeded metal:
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]

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

    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 :D
     
  18. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
    0
    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    (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
     
  19. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
    0
    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    (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:

    [​IMG]


    I got there by snapping a picture of the chipset heat sink graphic:
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]

    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:
    [​IMG]

    But after final success, we ended up with the final pile of conclusive success!
    [​IMG]

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

    I used that as a placement template to double check the sizing of the cuts:
    [​IMG]

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

    Closeup of some of the holes:
    [​IMG]

    The Asus logo with the masked black acrylic layer over the top of the previously clear:
    [​IMG]

    A couple of different looks of the logo:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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
     
  20. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy Tech Monkey

    625
    0
    Apr 7, 2005
    Plano, Texas USA
    (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!
    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    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.
    [​IMG]


    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!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    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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