First MAJOR mod...lots of wiring involved....

nst6563

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I started off with a slot1 PII-400 and was running freesco. I switched to smoothwall so I could fold on that box as well (easier to do with smoothwall). While I was at it, I dug out my old BP6 w/dual 500Mhz celerons and replaced all the bad caps and power coils. (sorry, no pics of that).

Well..that was all fine and good, but my wife was getting onto me about the mess of wires. I had a Speedstream DSL modem, going to a Linksys wireless router, which in turn went to the smoothwall box(for firewall, content filter, ad blocker, dns caching, squid, etc...), which then went to a 10/100 switch. I'm sure you can imagine the wires...both Cat5 and power adapters....

So...I thought...hmmm....there still enough room in that little mid-tower case to fit all that other stuff in...it would just take some doing. So here are the pics (work in progress....not all painted yet, and only about half done at this point)
Sorry...forgot to take pics of the before case...

The back after cutting the holes for the CAT5 jacks. (yes, the bak mb plate is missing...I lost it in the process of all this)
back1.JPG


The back with some jacks installed....
back2.JPG

My DSL modem modded for use in a drive bay (it's held in place by the faceplate until I can make a more sturdy merthod). I bypassed the stupid power connector and modded a molex on there. Works great.
dslmod.JPG

I had an extra 100/TX hub lying aound...had 4 ports, used one internally, which left 3...perfect for a front bay access! Also modded a molex power connector on this too.
hubback.JPG
hubfront.JPG

The hub mounted in the front bay.
hubinpc.JPG

Hub AND DSL modem in front bays...

frontdsl.JPG

Now the fairy part....I disassembled the Wireless router, tossed the carcass in a box. Mounted a protective board underneath to prevent shorts. The best place to locate this large board was on the bottom rear of the case. Which also allowed convenient access to the ports on it :) I ran the CAT5 from the ports on the back, to the jacks mounted in the case. Also drilled out a PCI plate cover and mounted the antennae to it (using remote antennae since the cheap stock ones won't do squat on the floor). Oh, and yes, I put a molex connector on this too.
So heres the inside shot of the result...not much wire management done here either yet...
inside1.JPG


another shot with some wires cleaned up...
inside2.JPG


and here's a shot from the back all plugged up for an initial test run.
back3.JPG


It was an initial success! Powered up, connected to the DSL, router operational, smoothwall loaded without probs, and all the ports are functional :D

one last pic...remember when you were a kid and everyone told you a sharp knife is safer than a dull one? Well, I suppose that's true...as long as you're not on the receiving end of that sharp blade! I had just spent about 45 minutes sharpening this knife. I got it to the point you could shave with it...ultra sharp...so I could cut through some of the plastic on the faceplates with ease. Well, I slipped, and even though it wasn't a slicing motion, the cut was 1/2" long, and went all the way to the bone...including right through my fingernail. And I must say, it went through my skin and fingernail like a hot knife through butter! :p
injury.jpg
 

philodox

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very cool, just missing the last pic with the hub and modem installed ;)

this is giving me ideas... I'd have to by my modem though, I dont think my ISP would like if iI screwed with their property :(
 

nst6563

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philodox said:
very cool, just missing the last pic with the hub and modem installed ;)

this is giving me ideas... I'd have to by my modem though, I dont think my ISP would like if iI screwed with their property :(


thanks. btw, all the pics have been fixed and should show up now. numerous typos from the messed up finger....

Now I'm waiting on the faceplate with the status lights on the wireless router to dry. I re-located the LED's because, well, the more flashing lights you have on the front the better right??? :p

also, what's best to use to fill in "overcuts" (like some that can be seen on the CAT5 jacks on the back? Bondo? I'll be filling those in when it's done...than mask off the jacks and give it a good coat of black paint.
 

nst6563

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here's a new shot. The front cover for the router lights was done.
frontrouter.JPG


now all I need to do is make some labels for them and then clear coat it...

that would work wouldn't it??? Clearcoating to seal the labels on? It won't dull the color of the paint will it?
 

Tos

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Hurray for the Orb fan ! Haven't seen one for like ... 5 years ( 'cept mine of course :) )
 

boardsportsrule

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lol! that finger looks firmiliar, i had mine wrapped up the exact same way about 1 month ago, except mine was my middle finger :p any ways, that's really a good idea, suppriseds its not more commonly done!
 

nst6563

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Tos said:
Hurray for the Orb fan ! Haven't seen one for like ... 5 years ( 'cept mine of course :) )

lol! yeah...that thing's great! been running for 5 years and never a hitch!
 

nst6563

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KoZLop said:
how did you get the cards to hold on the drive bay?

Gives me Ideas ;)

HAHA...I used the cheapass "mod-it-in-a-hurry" (MIIAH for short) method...initial placement was with superglue (yes, I superglued the circuit boards to the faceplates)...and when that dried, I re-enforced it with Epoxy.

When I have a little more time, I'll make rails or something for it...I was thinking something simple like some sheet aluminum that is bent to form sort of a "cradle" to hold the boards in.

The other though I had was gutting a couple old cd-rom drives I have in the basement and just sliding them into the empty case, with one or two screw mounts to hold it in place.

any other suggestions are welcome....but so far, the superglue/epoxy combo seems to be working extremely well :p

btw, thanks to everyone for the positive comments... ;)
 

nst6563

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a bit more progress...I spent most of the evening...about 3 hours worth on the wiring and LED's.
All I have left to do is put a molex connector on the 10/100 switch, make a voltage regulator circuit to drop the voltage from 12v to 7.5v, and put the rest of the CAT5 jacks on the back.
When I get paid again I'll be taking the front, sides and top off and painting it. Probably black. It would go well with the silver faceplates. Then I need to make the labels for the faceplates and put a clearcoat over it.

here's the switch after the re-wiring of the LED's...
switch.JPG


The switch inside the case (sorry for the blurry pic...damn camera wouldn't focus right)
switch1.JPG


The faceplate for the switch.
switchfront.JPG
 

cgrant26

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Sweet project man! I built my wife's computer into that same case. (gotta love the removeable mobo tray)
Now for a criticism, I know you were going on the MIIAH policy, but I would have liked to see the LED holes on the bay covers a bit more evenly spaced but other than that, it looks great. Maybe in the future, you could buy a single piece of sheet metal and make 1 single panel for the front to hold the LEDs. I think that would look really cool. Maybe you could even have said panel laser etched to label the LEDs.
 

nst6563

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Actually, I spaced the LED's on the front panels in the same spacing they were on the routers, hubs, and switch. I do like your idea of a single panel for LED's, especially the laser etching...that would look awsome.

That may come later still though...but I was just getting it all in the case and functional at this point. The wife is an internet junkie and I can't have it down for more than a couple hours at a time.

Friday I'll be heading to lowes to look at some aluminum or steel plates for the front. I was thinking of making the entire front (with exception of the cdrom drive) a single panel, and then I can also re-space the LED's.

thanks for the suggestion!
 

ness1469

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Looks like the front parts would have benefited from a drill press, but this is looking pretty sweet!

Are you just using spare silver panels, or is the whole thing going to turn out silver?

What kinda network badass are you when you need about 15 connections anyhow? wowwwwie.

I'd hope this is in on top of a desk or something so if you have to open it up you don't have to unplug everything! haha.
 

nst6563

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ness1469 said:
Looks like the front parts would have benefited from a drill press, but this is looking pretty sweet!

Are you just using spare silver panels, or is the whole thing going to turn out silver?

What kinda network badass are you when you need about 15 connections anyhow? wowwwwie.

I'd hope this is in on top of a desk or something so if you have to open it up you don't have to unplug everything! haha.

funny you mention the drill press. I actually just got one and it's still in the box. When I re-make the front panels (I think I like the idea of one large aluminum panel), I'll be using it instead.

The silver panels are in fact spares I had lying around.

the 15 connections? lol...well, I actually don't need 15 connections...but they're there if I need 'em in the future :) Actually, on the back, the red port is for the "internet" port on the wireless router. The White Port is for the phone line to the DSL modem. The green ports are the other ports on the wireless router, and the blue ports (will be added tonight) are for the 10/100 switch. And odon't forget the wireless connections I can have on there too :p

and I did move it on top the desk. It was on the floor and that was a pain...not to mention a dust vacuum.
 

nst6563

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KoZLop said:
where did you get the ethernet jacks?

I got them from a friend that is a general manager of a small electronics company. Paid him like $30 for all of them. I got the Cat5e cable from Lowes a long time ago.

They can be found online from mouser or digikey too (or any number of places) for around $3-$5 each.
 

philodox

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still like this mod, but I was just thinking... why a switch AND a hub?

Wouldnt you be fine with just a modem/router/switch configuration? The hub is sort of useless... I mean, how many people are going to be hooking up to this thing? ;)
 

Master [H]

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True, but it's the thought that counts.

This mod brings a whole new meaning to "LAN box"
 

Malice

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Looks great m8, I have been thinking about doing something similar but still leaving everything boxed & using fiber optic cable to but the leds at the front, but still having the panel at the back like you have there.
 

v3rt1g0

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Did you buy that case from CompUSA a while back?

I have a smaller version that looks JUST like it.
 

nst6563

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wow...lots of replies since I checked last.

Actually, the ONLY reason I added the little 4-port 100tx hub in there is because I had it lying around and it became a victim.

Right now I have 4pc's and an HP Jetdirect printserver hooked up to it, and if anyone comes over for some gaming or something, they can use any of the other ports or the wireless. The three ports on the hub in the front are actually kind of a "convenience" so if I'm just plugging something in quick I don't need to turn the case around.

Tonight I'm going to finish adding the switch ports to the back, run the rest of the cat5e inside, and maybe if I have time I'll stealth the cdrom.

:EDIT: and for the question as to where bought the case, I actually got from some cheesy little computer shop here in town. I only paid $30 for it and it came with a power supply and floppy drive. I'm obviously not using the ps that it came with (as you can see the Antec sticker in one of the rear shots)...and the case is really thin...but it works for what I need it too :D
 

penguin

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First of all, nice mod. Second of all, a few questions:

a) Are those standard keystone jacks?
b) If so, did they mount flush to the panel when you mounted them?
 

nst6563

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first, yes, they are standard "keystone" jacks (well, I think so anyway. They snap into a wall plate or patch panel). I'll post a close up for you. They're not flush with the case though, they stick out about 1mm.

Here's some more pics. I finished mounting all the jacks. Ended up cutting an extra hole, so I'll fill that up with some bondo before I mask everything and paint it (I didn't paint it before hand b/c I would've scratched the shit out of it anyway).

here's a shot of the inside.
inside3.JPG


a couple shots of the back.
back4.JPG

back5.JPG


and here's a closeup of the jack.
jack.JPG


anyway, I'll be finishing the rest up this weekend. I may sand down the top and side panels before hand to get a head start though.

any other suggestions???
 

FrostBite

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How is the airflow and heat inside? I only see 1 PSU fan and 1 heatsink. Heat kills a lot of electronics, and especially with all that power being used, it probably is generating quite a bit in an enclosed space. Than again, if you leave it open, that might solve it until it gets filled with dust =/

Might try some fans with some sort of dust vents. Just a suggestion for longer lifetime :p
 

wayne

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wow, a very smart way to organize your network stuff

and about your finger... OUCH!

:)
 

nst6563

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There is an 80mm blowhole in the top of the case w/the fan running on 7v. The power supply is an Antec that has a 92mm fan and an 80mm fan, and there's also an 80mm front intake fan that's running at 7v (which blows air to/over the router/switch in the bottom rear of the case.. There is space in the front for 2 80mm fans, which I think is what I'll do...just cut out the mesh up there and mount 2 80mm fans @7v. But yes...it does get quite warm in there unless I turn the top blowhole fan up. I've put heatsinks on the DSL modem, but the router and switch don't have any single chip that gets that hot.

And to Labman...I had that PII400 runnning at 533...but that's before I swapped the board out with an Abit BP6 w/dual 500Mhz celerons (running at 563 actually...not huge but hey...)


And for my finger....well...I kinda f'd it up again....same finger. I decided to pull the cdrom out and stealth it. well, I stuck my finger up along the backside of it and it got it whacked by the fan...hurt like a B*TCH! too.
 

nst6563

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a couple more pics...damn,...been busy w/work lately...that's eating into my time for fun...which sux.

anyway, here's a couple shots of the stealth cdrom drive. Notice there's no button mounted anywhere. I just mounted the faceplate in a way that you can just tap the front and it will open. I think it's cool...even though stealthing your drives is old news...

closed...
cdrom1.JPG


open...
cdrom2.JPG
 

dwayne001

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It's so nice to see a serious practical mod out there. that you fit all that stuff in one box is awesome. I'll def. be looking abck to this thread when it's time I dewire the networking conclave and server i have in the corner.....

really wonderful job. really.

Any wireless capabilities? And how is everything powered? Did you tap it all into the PSU? Do they all accept psu current?
 

nst6563

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dwayne001 said:
It's so nice to see a serious practical mod out there. that you fit all that stuff in one box is awesome. I'll def. be looking abck to this thread when it's time I dewire the networking conclave and server i have in the corner.....

really wonderful job. really.

Any wireless capabilities? And how is everything powered? Did you tap it all into the PSU? Do they all accept psu current?


thanks! feedback's always welcome!

as far as wireless, yes. It does have a wireless router built in. The antennae connections are on the back near the bottom. I put them there because I don't use the standard antenna anyway, I have some extended that are mounted higher up on the wall.

And everything is powered from the PSU. If you look at some of the pictures on the first page, I've modded standard male molex connectors to the router, switch, hub, and dsl modem. The only thing I had to make a special circuit for was the 10/100 switch since it used 7.5v. I asked in the electronics forums for some help on that and am grateful for the responses I got.

I've also got a cable modem here that I thought about putting in...but haven't yet...that's the next victim I think....
 

nst6563

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Ok,...I went to start painting this thing...the metal parts anyway...and have run into something (no, not a wall...although I do that quite often anyway)...

This case seems to be powdercoated or painted with something like an appliance type epoxy paint...in other words...it's tough as shit to get off....I tried for 30 minutes with 350grit sandpaper and got NOWHERE! So, I got my trusty power drill out and put on the wire brush attachment...I DRAINED THE BATTERY on the damn thing (was using it straight for about 2 hours) and have basically GOTTEN NOWHERE! I can see the paint coating getting "thinner" and there are a couple spots (mostly along the edges) which I can start to see metal...but other than that...it seems all I managed to do was make it dirty. Hell, it doesn't even scratch easy...and paint remover doesn't do crap either...I have some of the "gel" type and I spread it on part of the cover and let it sit for about 30 min. (it was starting to dry along the edges)...and it didn't even lift or bubble the paint.

so...I need some help here....what do I do? Hand sanding is out of the question IMO at this point. I may see if a friend has a belt sander to use...

Or do I just start painting and "hope for the best"?????
 

Skier

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nst6563 said:
Ok,...I went to start painting this thing...the metal parts anyway...and have run into something (no, not a wall...although I do that quite often anyway)...

This case seems to be powdercoated or painted with something like an appliance type epoxy paint...in other words...it's tough as shit to get off....I tried for 30 minutes with 350grit sandpaper and got NOWHERE! So, I got my trusty power drill out and put on the wire brush attachment...I DRAINED THE BATTERY on the damn thing (was using it straight for about 2 hours) and have basically GOTTEN NOWHERE! I can see the paint coating getting "thinner" and there are a couple spots (mostly along the edges) which I can start to see metal...but other than that...it seems all I managed to do was make it dirty. Hell, it doesn't even scratch easy...and paint remover doesn't do crap either...I have some of the "gel" type and I spread it on part of the cover and let it sit for about 30 min. (it was starting to dry along the edges)...and it didn't even lift or bubble the paint.

so...I need some help here....what do I do? Hand sanding is out of the question IMO at this point. I may see if a friend has a belt sander to use...

Or do I just start painting and "hope for the best"?????

350 grit sandpaper is some fairly fine stuff for shaping materials, especially metals. I'd try 80 or so. I'm a woodworker, but I always smooth things out with 80 grit, then up to 120. Anything more than that gets done in the finishing step and takes 220. Things come out looking great.

So, uhh, try something with some balls. An orbital sander would be worth its weight in gold, most likely.
 

wayne

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nst6563 said:
Ok,...I went to start painting this thing...the metal parts anyway...and have run into something (no, not a wall...although I do that quite often anyway)...

This case seems to be powdercoated or painted with something like an appliance type epoxy paint...in other words...it's tough as shit to get off....I tried for 30 minutes with 350grit sandpaper and got NOWHERE! So, I got my trusty power drill out and put on the wire brush attachment...I DRAINED THE BATTERY on the damn thing (was using it straight for about 2 hours) and have basically GOTTEN NOWHERE! I can see the paint coating getting "thinner" and there are a couple spots (mostly along the edges) which I can start to see metal...but other than that...it seems all I managed to do was make it dirty. Hell, it doesn't even scratch easy...and paint remover doesn't do crap either...I have some of the "gel" type and I spread it on part of the cover and let it sit for about 30 min. (it was starting to dry along the edges)...and it didn't even lift or bubble the paint.

so...I need some help here....what do I do? Hand sanding is out of the question IMO at this point. I may see if a friend has a belt sander to use...

Or do I just start painting and "hope for the best"?????
mod some new doors for it :D
 

nst6563

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Skier...I took your advice and dug up some 50-grit...damn...that stuff was about as rough as my 5 o'clock shadow! I checked the back of the paper,...and it said aluminum oxide....hope that's ok. I used it anyway.

After 3 hours of sanding I finally made some headway. I started to see bare metal...and not along the edges. So, I took the sandpaper and wrapped it around the finishing bit I had on my power drill (some fuzzy thing that was supposed to fine-sand stuff) and used it...

now I'm ready to paint the panels, and have done the top and one side already....however, I thought about seeing something somewhere on here about "baking" the parts you've painted??? Is this a good idea? To stick the top and sides in the oven on 375 for a while? This won't harm the paint any? (I used flat paint...no gloss here).

anyway, I'll continue searching the subject and thought I'd ask here first.

Thanks in advance.
 

nst6563

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I couldn't wait and the forums were down...so I went ahead and painted. Here are the final results.

plain ol' black fan...can't have that now can we....
fan1.JPG

after a makeup job...
fan2.JPG

the top cover...(without the fan in it obviously)
Top.JPG

the front after a couple coats of Krylon Fusion (this stuff works really good actually).
frontpainted.JPG

Top and front assembled on frame.
front1.JPG

Front/side shot without flash...
front3.JPG

with flash....
front3f.JPG

The back...(still contemplating painting the power supply Silver.)...also forgot to take off the masking around the mb ports...
backblack.JPG

plugged in and running....
sidepaint.JPG


I also did the painting a little backwards...as after I did the front, top, and sides, I later on took the rest of the case apart and painted the framing black too. Didn't take any shots of that...it's not exciting...just black... :p

comments???? I'll be making a new set of front bay covers when I get the time....I liked the suggestion of a single sheet of aluminum...would make a nice clean face on it...

but it's up and running and besides firwalling...it's running 2 instances of FAH 24x7 :D
 
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