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Old July 25, 2011, 10:04 PM
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My wife and I are moving to Montreal in September, cramming everything into our car and probably a small trailer. My normal computer case in an antec 1200, which is fairly large for my car. I've been looking for something smaller for a while but haven't really found anything suitable. Yesterday I was over at my parents and found an old mid tower case so I decided to have at'er and try and fit all my components in.

Since my PSU is so big I didn't want it top mounted so I drilled out some rivets and flipped the back panel and MB tray. riveted it back together, took out the HDD mounts and test fit all my stuff. miraculously it seems to fit.

next up is to put my water cooling loop in. I'm thinking triple rad on top and my dual rad will just fit under my DVD drive in the front. I'm going to have to make a new front bezel for the case, if I have time I'm thinking something Asterix and Obelix themed, but we'll see.

Starting point:


Back Panel out:


Back flipped and reinserted, hdd brackets out:


Needed a little bracket to held the MB tray straight and to avoid riveting through the top:


everything in!
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Old July 26, 2011, 10:35 AM
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Rent a bigger Truck. ?

Have fun with the mods. Nice that you can use a table in an area with good light.
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Old July 26, 2011, 04:04 PM
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Just rent a UHaul. Pick the size you think you need then get one size up from that and tow the car on a dolley.


Also, nice flip on the mobo. A triple rad looks like it will fit in terms of length but it's thickness might bugger-up your lower PCI-E slots and mobo connectors.
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Old July 29, 2011, 02:00 PM
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good job - I've never been a big fan of top mounted power supplies
... now where is my pop-riveter???
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Old August 1, 2011, 11:08 PM
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did a bit more work on it the other day.

took all my parts out and returned them to their current sad resting place (best case $7 at ikea can get you):


next I tried test fitting some water cooling parts. it looked like the cover on my soundcard front panel was going to interfere with tube routing so I took it off.




front plastic back on and voila!


then I tried to put in my triple rad and see if my tubes could turn without kinking in the space alloted:






unfortunately it looks like it's going to kink:



so I guess the triple rad is going to have to mount externally on the top of the case. should make it easier to connect everything and have all my headers etc. accessible.

tomorrow I hope to do some work on the side panel, it's a little too spiderman for my tastes right now:
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Old August 2, 2011, 12:47 AM
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can always get a 90 degree elbow fitting.... that will solve your problem instantly
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Old August 2, 2011, 12:50 PM
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yeah, 90 degree fittings would work. they're a bit pricey though, and with no local sources for them I don't know if I could do it in the time I have. also either the fans or the rad pretty well have to mount externally. there's just not enough room for them to fit inside and still use my motherboard headers.

I'm debating between mounting the radiator centered on top or more right aligned to give more room for the headers.

the front double rad will be internal with fans external. the 5.25" drives all have to come out the front anyways so I figure might as well put the fans external too and give myself a bit more room.

has anyone ever traveled a long distance with a WC loop? I'm wondering if it would be smarter to just put everything in but my blocks and wait until we get to montreal to mount them and fill the loop. I'm worried about traveling across the country with water in my loop. I'm also not sure if I want to fill it just to drain it like a week later to move.
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Old August 3, 2011, 09:32 AM
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had some time yesterday to work on mounting the front radiator.

first I pulled out the 5.25" drive bay cage and disassembled it. the bottom piece was kinda press fit together.



Since I live in an apartment I can't make too much noise so I decided to cut the cages with aviation snips.



I don't have pictures of the next part but I test fit everything in then riveted the bottom of the drive cage back on. unfortunately when I test fit everything I failed to take into account that the drive cage doesn't sit touching the top of the case but is about 1cm below. So I had to take the bottom off. everything fits now the cage is just a bit less stable than it could be.

next I marked up the front for some more cutting.



then I set at it with my snips. unfortunately I left my right and left aviation snips at my parents place so I was left just using the straight pair which made it into a bit more of a hack job. I'll clean it up more with a dremel later when I can make more noise.



here it is with fans and DVD drive mounted.





I think for cutting the top I'll take the case to my parents and use a jig saw. probably do the same for a motherboard cutout so I can switch CPU heatsinks more easily.
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Old August 14, 2011, 10:44 PM
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did some work at my parents last week but I forgot my camera and used my sisters. then I forgot to grab the pictures off of it before I left so I had to wait to post an update.

started off by going nuts with the jigsaw. layed out my template and traced it with a screw to score a line I could see for the top radiator.








I had a bit of a problem, I forgot the PCI retainers stuck out from the rear so I had to change the hole a bit to make up for it.

next was the cut out for the cpu cooler



then I started work on the front and top bezels. I crosscut a nice 2x10 to a bit longer than the top and front then I ripped it to the same width as the case.





next up was some fun with a thickness planer.



the front was planed to bit thicker than my fans. and the top about the thickness of my radiator.
before:


after:




then was some work with a router to thin up behind where I'd cut with a jigsaw, then some jigsaw and file work to get me to here:



(test fit using some disc drives we had laying around)


I'm still trying to decide what to do about fan grills. I've got a couple of the basic concentric circle ones so I'll probably use those for now. I'm also looking at these:

Silverstone FF121B 120mm Fan Filter, Black at Memory Express Computers

does anyone have any experience with them?

I'm thinking of using some metal to "edge" the cutouts for the fans and drive bays to act like a transition as I think it looks a bit goofy with the fans going straight to the wood. I'm also not sure how I'm going to deal with the top-front connection. if it should be a relatively sharp 90 or more radiused. same with the edges of the bezels.
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Old September 8, 2011, 09:48 PM
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got some more work done.

window cut out on side panel. used a fence and a jigsaw. only problem now is it's not very strong so it's a bit bendy.





the only picture I have of cutting the wood bits. I broke the first front I made so I re did it a bit differently. I only routed out the area where I had to cut with the jigsaw so it would be easier. then I flipped it and drilled some holes to get the blade in, then cut away through 1/4" rather than 1-2".







I got some right angle steel used for protecting drywall corners and cut it to fit in my cutouts.



I didn't like is so shiny so I soaked it in vinegar overnight to get rid of the galvanization and etch it a bit.



after some painting this is how it looks:







still have some more to do, I need to figure out exactly how I'll mount my HDD's as well as my res and pump. then finish up my window, secure my metal edging and install parts!

Last edited by chewbroccoli; September 8, 2011 at 09:56 PM.
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