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Old February 7, 2008, 06:47 PM
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Thats going to be one sick system MpG


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Awesome stuf MpG. Keep em coming Pics pics pics. And if you have it how much you spent. I'd like to see how much this all costs...
triple and double chill rads and the EK blocks
The water alone is a fair chunk


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My knuckles are bleeding from fishing through walls a new CAT6 network cable... I found fresh, untapped electrical outlets...
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Old February 14, 2008, 03:28 PM
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Amazing how many things suddenly crop up, right after you start a build, isn't it? Anyway, progress just got seriously delayed, but I'm still picking at things.

At this point, I've drilled out all the metal parts that were in the way, and unscrewed/unclipped all the plastic parts. The plastic stuff all comes off quite easily, with nothing more than a phillips screwdriver. The metal parts use some sort of very soft rivet. The first few, I used a dremmel cutting tool to carve the head away, which worked in tight spots. The rest, I simply used a regular drill with a bit slightly larger than the shaft of the rivet - done in a matter of seconds, with no damage to nearby real estate. There sure are a lot of little parts that come off this case...
Attachment 1517Attachment 1516
Speaking of "unclipping", let me warn anybody interested that the entire front face of the case actually CLIPS off. I saw a a P180 worklog where the person said they "gently pried" the front off without any trouble... seemed reasonable enough (Certainly no need to checking for alternate methods, right? RIGHT?) So I began to very gently pry the front off-CRACK. I don't know about the P180, but on this case, the front is held on by clips. And they can be released with nothing more than finger pressure in the right spot. So the moral of this paragraph is to look for simple solutions first. Well, good thing I wasn't planning on using that front anyway...

Next step was to arrange for somewhere for my hard drives to go. I'm going with a pair of 500's for now, but I still have ambitions of a couple SSD's in RAID 0 in the future. So four drive slots are necessary. The case has room for six, but four of them are down below, and I need that space... the solution? Toss the upper cage, and put the bottom cage up above. Simple, right?
Attachment 1520Attachment 1522
Dear Antec... would it have KILLED you to make the cages interchangeable? Except for their depth, they're practically identical in size! But no, even their sliding rails are completely different. At any rate, I WILL make that four-drive cage fit up top, even though it'll involve some judicious gluing and cutting (you see that I've already bent back a little flap to make room). More on this little saga in future installments.

Moving to the cooling department. First up is the top rad, for which I've already fashioned a mounting shroud...
Attachment 1521
...This is obviously pretty crude at the moment, but I'll be smoothing it out at a later point. I had to make something to start with, so that I'd know for certain where I'd be making my hole cut in the top. No sense in cutting away more than is absolutely necessary after all.

The bottom compartment is going to be filled with cooling stuff as well (which is why I couldn't put the hard drive cage down there). However, since my last post, there was a slight change of plans... anybody looking for a pair of power supplies?

I decided that since i was going to be cutting off over half a dozen cables, maybe the build was trying to tell me something? So those'll go into my big bin o' parts, and I've got a 1 KW Ultra X3 enroute as I type. I gotta say, seeing those recent reviews of the 750 X2 are making me just a little nervous, though...

Anyway, since there's only going to be one power supply, guess what I have room for now?
Attachment 1525
Yup, I was going to use this second PA 120.3 in another build, but I think that build will do just fine with the 120.2. Similar to the top rad, I've fashioned a crude cradle for it. The end result should support the rad just fine, provide lots of room behind for other stuff, while still allowing for fairly easy removal if necessary.
Attachment 1523Attachment 1524

That's it so far! This is already proving educational in some respects. Most of my wood experience is with softwoods, but most of the visible wood on this case will be maple, which is seriously solid stuff. The drill bits smoke if you press too hard, and the surfaces burn if you don't maintain the proper speed through the router. On top of that, it's got ZERO flexibility, which means my measurements have to be spot-on. On the other hand, it's far stronger than poplar and pine, which means I can get away with skinnier pieces in certain places. I've ruined a few pieces so far, but I'm learning.

Next on the list, I'll be chopping out the necessary holes, and trying my hand at case painting! Let's see if I can learn fast enough to avoid irrecoverable mistakes!
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Old February 14, 2008, 03:39 PM
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When working with maple its not really about how hard you push its about finding the perfect speed for your tools. With a harder wood you need to get your drill moving faster and same with your router if possible. If you can't then its about going slow but not to slow.
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Old February 14, 2008, 03:47 PM
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What... Dual PA120.3s? How many CPUs - GPUs do you wish to cool? Jeez... can't wait to see your loop. Plan well in advance the holes needed on the motherboard backplate. It's now or never the time to drill.
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Old February 14, 2008, 05:37 PM
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When working with maple its not really about how hard you push its about finding the perfect speed for your tools. With a harder wood you need to get your drill moving faster and same with your router if possible. If you can't then its about going slow but not to slow.
It's when I go too slow that the burning starts happening with the router. It's only got one speed, but it's a fairly powerful model. You can see a few spots on the top shroud where I didn't keep the speed up enough. Usually that kind of burning interferes with the staining process, so I might have to redo them. Like I said - this is already proving educational.
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Old February 14, 2008, 05:39 PM
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It's when I go too slow that the burning starts happening with the router. It's only got one speed, but it's a fairly powerful model. You can see a few spots on the top shroud where I didn't keep the speed up enough. Usually that kind of burning interferes with the staining process, so I might have to redo them. Like I said - this is already proving educational.
If you burn it.. just grab some 80 grit sandpaper and remove the burnt spot and then smooth it out with 120 and 220
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Old February 14, 2008, 05:56 PM
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Yeah, I'll try that first. I did that to a piece of pine once, and the burning/glazing actually went so deep that I actually made a valley in the process of fully sanding it out. This isn't quite so severe, so hopefully I'll get lucky.
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Old February 14, 2008, 07:38 PM
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Dull bit maybe? Maple can be pretty nasty sometimes and will eat HSS and cheaper Carbide bits for breakfast. enaberif's advice about finding the correct speed is correct for just about any material and can make a big difference on the quality of a cut.

Keep up the good work! That p190 looks to be a good size, about the same size frame as my cosmos. That about makes it "furniture" size. It's nice to have room to play!
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Old February 25, 2008, 03:57 PM
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Any updates? I'm interested to see how the plumbing shapes up.
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Old February 28, 2008, 02:31 PM
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I guess I should probably close this worklog down.

A tragedy occurred about a week ago. While mere words can't possibly do justice to the situation, let me just put it this way: The P190 is an excellent, solidly-built, exceptionally rigid case. It is not, however, strong enough to survive being backed-over by a pickup truck.

To elaborate slightly, I had originally been planning to use spray enamel to make the inside of my case black. But then I got a line on someone who could powder-coat it for a reasonable price. After putting all necessary holes in the case, I completely stripped it down, and prepared to take to the person. My truck was full of other junk at the time, front and back, so I figured that I would put in the bed for the short trip.

Unfortunately, the lid and gate were both frozen solid, so I put down the case and went to get something from the garage to knock one of them loose. Unfortunately, I had parked my truck too far up the driveway, preventing the garage door from opening far enough. So I did the logical thing - I went back and backed the truck away from the garage - big crunch.

I suppose the upside to this whole thing is that my truck's tire are unharmed. I apologize for not having any post-mortem photos of the case, but I wasn't exactly in a happy state of mind at the time. Suffice to say, it was pretty brutal. My Dakota is a heavy little bastard, and I had another 600 lbs worth of pavement stones in the bed for winter traction. I think the tire actually managed to touch the pavement, even with the case underneath. I would up just tossing the thing so I wouldn't have to look at it any more.

At any rate, I've now got a whole load of good parts with no case to put them into. At this point, I just want the damn system up and running, so I'm reviewing my options, and probably get another case ordered within the next week.

But for now, RIP P190. I hardly knew ye.
Attachment 1586
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