Project Bright Panel: 800D, Liquid Cooled, Illuminated Mid Panel

Mr_Armageddon

Limp Gawd
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Jun 3, 2009
Messages
252
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Project Index

01) Project Into & Build Components
02) My Workspace, Case Cutting, Illuminated Vandal Switches
03) Illuminated Mid-Panel Construction
04) Sleeving Materials have Arrived
05) Sleeving Tools

06) My "Helper"
07) Component P0rn
08) Component P0rn Continued...
09) Illuminated Mid-Panel "Cut Away" View
10) Illuminated Mid-Panel "Exploded" 3D View
11) PSU Cable Sleeving

12) SATA Cable Sleeving
13) SATA Cable Sleeving Continued...
14) New Components Have Arrived

15) Corsair Sleeved Cables Mini-Review, and More Sleeving…
16) Sleeving... COMPLETED!
17) AquaComputer PowerAdjust 2
18) Homeade Oak Longbow (reason for project delays)
19) New Corsiar "Air Series" Fans

20) New Fans are INSTALLED!
21) Corsair Fans Performance Data
22) Switch to Mayhem Pastel liquid and Blue Berry dye
23) New Durelene Tubing
24) New Tubing & Liquid

25) PowerAdjust 2 / Pump Setup
26) Fan Extensions & Leaking Res
27) Fan Controller Review / Walkthrough - Corsair Link
28) Fan Controller Review / Walkthrough - AqauComputer Aquaero 5 LT
29) New Res, FINISHED the Build

30) Final Build Pics

I am starting a new bulid log, because my old one would have been way to difficult to modify / edit with all the new changes and case mods I am working on.

Component wise, not much will change, but I am adding some cool upgrades like enhanced case lighting via an illuminated mid-panel, and an AquaComputer monitoring / control system, custom sleeving, etc. Here is an early design of what I am shooting for, built in Google SketchUp.

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It will be a liquid cooled PC with one giant loop, using 2 pumps in series. I am using the Corsair Obsidian 800D, and this case is a monster. I love the all black look, inside and out. I had to make a few minor modifications for the two loop system to work, but the mod went great, and I am pleased with the results.

Here is the Parts List:

* Case: Corsair Obsidian 800D Full ATX
* Power Supply: Silverstone ST1000-P
* Motherbord: EVGA X58 Classified 3
* CPU: Intel i7 Core 970
* RAM: 12GB Corsair Dominator @ 1600MHz
* GPU: 1 EVGA GTX 580 Hydro Copper 2
* GPU: 2 EVGA GTX 580 Hydro Copper 2
* GPU: 3 EVGA 9800GT (Dedicated PhysX, and to power side LCD monitors when SLI in enabled)
* Sound Card: Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Edition
* Hard Drive 1: Intel X-25m 160GB SSD (Operating System & Programs)
* Hard Drive 2: WD Black 1TB (Game/Steam Installs)
* Hard Drive 3: Seagate 500GB (User Files)
* Hard Drive 4: Seagate 2TB (Storage)
* Optical Drive: Asus Blu-Ray / DVD+R
* Fan Pump Controller: AquaComputer Aquaero5
* Pump Controller: AquaComputer Power Adjust Ultimate x2

Section 01
* Tubing: PrimoFlex Pro LRT UV Blue Tubing -3/8in. ID X 5/8in. OD (10ft)
* Coolant: Distilled Water w/ Kill Coil & PT Nuke
* Reservoir: XSPC Acrylic Dual 5.25in. Reservoir
* Pump: Swiftech MCP350 12 VDC Pump
* Radiator: HardWare Labs X-Flow Extreme III
* CPU Block: Swiftech APOGEE HD
* MoBo Block: EK-EVGA X58 Classified Full Board Waterblock
* Fittings: Bitspower Matte Black... and lots of them
* Fans: Cooler Master R4 120mm Blue LED Fan R4-L2R-20AC-GP (x3)

Section 02
* Tubing: PrimoFlex Pro LRT UV Blue Tubing -3/8in. ID X 5/8in. OD (10ft)
* Coolant: Distilled Water w/ Kill Coil & PT Nuke
* Reservoir: XSPC Acrylic Dual 5.25in. Reservoir
* Pump: Swiftech MCP350 12 VDC Pump
* Radiator: HardWare Labs GTX240
* GPU Block: The EVGA GTX 580 Hydro Coppers come with a custom Swiftech WB pre-installed
* Fittings: Bitspower Matte Black... and lots of them
* Fans: Cooler Master R4 120mm Blue LED Fan R4-L2R-20AC-GP (x4 - Push/Pull)

***Note Regarding EVGA Warranty****
I have been wanting to re-do my build for a while now, and a faulty USB controller on my EVGA X58 finally pushed me to get it done. EVGA's customer support and Warranty programs are amazing! They cross-shipped me the motherboard, and actually upgraded me to the newest version (of the X58 platform). I try to buy all my GPUs and Motherboards from them, and after that experience, I will continue to do so.

I have a bunch more pictures from the work I have started on this week, so stay tuned :D
 
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Colonel_Panic

Limp Gawd
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Oct 5, 2009
Messages
328
I like! The 800D is a great case to do that kind of stuff in.

Question, did you do all of those 3D parts in SketchUp or did you find them online? The PSU and EK block look exact.
 

M0rph3us

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Sep 5, 2002
Messages
3,702
I like! The 800D is a great case to do that kind of stuff in.

Question, did you do all of those 3D parts in SketchUp or did you find them online? The PSU and EK block look exact.

most models are in the Google SketchUp warehouse, that is why a bunch of people use it. They literally have just about anything you could ever possibly want.


Nice looking sketch OP. I am going to stay tuned to this one as I would like to start modding my 800D here in the near future.
 

Mr_Armageddon

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Messages
252
My Workspace

Got the workspace all set up and ready to go. Our storage room was a mess, so we spent the weekend cleaning and organizing everything. Added a pegboard wall for my tools. All my larger "Power Tools" stay out in the garage. I wanted this stuff in the storage room so I could work on my electronics (and clean my guns) in a semi dust free environment.

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*The purple tools on the right are my wife's. That side of the workbench is her sewing area. ;)

Case Cuts / Holes

I decided to remove all of the rubber grommets from the case, and enlarge a few of the cable management holes. Also drilled a few additional holes for cable management clamps. Here is everything before I took the Dremel Tool to it. I also modified the bottom of the case to accept a 2x120 Radiator. I had previously made some cuts down there, but wasn't too happy with the end result, so started over.

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With this big hole on the bottom of the case now, I decided I needed a good solution for dust management. I made using acrylic and Silverston fan filters a custom dust filter to go on the bottom of the case. It secures to the case with magnets, and works great. It only shows 1 filter, but there are now 2 installed.
Also showing a diagram here outlining what types of fasteners I used to secure the fans to the radiators, and radiators to the case. I found it strange that my top 120.3 Radiator uses SAE (6-32), but the bottom 120.2 Radiator uses Metric (M4-.7).

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Here is a shot of my radiators with the fans installed. I did some minor sleeving, but didn't want to go through the hassle of actually disassembling the fans. The parts that are not black are hidden from view, so I am OK with how it turned out.

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Here we have the opening on the bottom of the case for the 120.2 rad. I used a fan grill to help secure everything to the case, since some of the fastening holes were on the honeycomb grid of the case, and didn't tighten down as much as I would have liked. Picture to the left shows the magnetic fan filter installed over the opening. It is really easy to take off and put back on, and hopefully keeps my case dust bunny free.

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Illuminated Vandal Switches

I decided to use some Illuminated Vandal Switches (Latching, 16mm), to toggle on/off both the LED Strip on the interior of the case, and the illuminated mid-panel. Here is a pic during the soldering process. Vandal switch in the death grip of my Octo Helping Hands setup. To the right is the completed switch, along with the resistor so I don't burn out the LED (470 Ohm, .3w, 5% tolerance), and my custom "Quick Disconnect" power connectors. I did end up sleeving it, but forgot to take a picture before I installed them.

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And here they are installed on the top of the case. The one to the left (Blue Ring), is the switch for the LED Strip along the outer edges of the case. The one to the right (Blue Dot), is the switch for the illuminated mid-panel. They turned out really well and work great. Only downside is my 2yr old is a button freak, and now tries to toggle them on/off every chance he gets.

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Next set of pics... Illuminated Mid-Panel construction.
 
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Mr_Armageddon

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Messages
252
I like! The 800D is a great case to do that kind of stuff in.

Question, did you do all of those 3D parts in SketchUp or did you find them online? The PSU and EK block look exact.

Most of the parts were found on the SketchUp Warehouse. I had to heavily modify the Case, as there were numerous incorrect measurements. The Swiftech Apogee HD was one I had to build from from scratch, not finding any good alternatives to use. I enjoyed using SketchUP, and it really helped me think through my ideas.
 
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SirKronan

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4,719
Muy bueno. So far so good. Can't wait for more photos!

Edit: When you use black and sleeved cables, the grommets become much less important, looks wise. I've thought about removing them myself.
 

Mr_Armageddon

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Messages
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Muy bueno. So far so good. Can't wait for more photos!

Edit: When you use black and sleeved cables, the grommets become much less important, looks wise. I've thought about removing them myself.

Its not so much a looks reason, but I find them a real pain to work with. Better off without them in my opinion. I did use some grommet edging around my cuts to keep sharp edges away from my cables, but no restrictions like the previous kind.
 

Mr_Armageddon

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Messages
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Illuminated Mid-Panel

I have always been envious of the lighting methods used on the MurderMods and Million Dollar PC. Most of the guides explaining how to build one used Electroluminescent panels, which I could not find in the right size (or for a reasonable price) here in the US. So I set out to build my own using acrylic panels and a white LED light strip. Just like my initial case layout, I built my "mock-up" in SketchUp.

Here we have my 3 panels I will be using. I used 1x Mirrored Acrylic, 1x Clear Acrylic, and 1x White Acrylic. They will be constructed in that order, with an LED strip on the sides "shooting" light inwards. The housing will be a box made of Black Acrylic. The hole will be where some of my tubing will pass through. Once the whole was drilled, I polished the sides to allow for better light transmission on the clear and white panels.

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On the left is a pic of the completed box, with the bottom mirrored layer installed. To the right is the light strip I used for my build. Purchased it off of Amazon for a really good price. It is very bright, and easy to work with.

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Just an idea of how the light strip will adhere to the box, on top of the mirrored acrylic. Also shown is the end of the light strip, where I cut it, and soldered on the contact points. It can be powered by any 12v source, and requires only 25w to light the entire strip. So I am able to power both the internal case strip and my mid panel with just one 4-pin molex connection.

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Here is the completed mid panel box. The clear layer sits between the mirrored and white acrylic panels. I did a bunch of tests and found that this "sandwich" combo provided the best light transmission. I first tried laing the white layer directly on top of the mirrored, but the light transmission was too weak. By using the clear in the middle, the light passes farther through the top panel, giving a brighter look.
On the right is a circuit I am using that allows me to alter the brightness levels of both the LED Strip around the case perimeter, and the mid panel. It has 3 settings (High, Mid, Low), and works very well. Only downside is that in order to adjust it, I have to remove my case panel, but once I find my preferred brightness level, I probably won't touch it again. I installed it on the back of the CPU plate for easy access to the wiring for the Vandal switches.

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Here we have the lighting install and running, with a comparison of brightness with the different parts turned on. I used my phone camera for these pics, so it looks much brigher and washed out than it does in person. Time to bust out the DSLR for some better quality pics, but I may wait until the final gallery pics once everything else is installed. Here we have both parts lit up, along with the lights in the room turned on.

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And here we have the room lights turned off. One pic shows illumination with just the mid panel, the other combines the light from the LED strip that lines the interior of the case.

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Next up... sleeving and component porn :D
 
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Mr_Armageddon

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All my sleeving materials finally arrived from Nils over at MDPC-X. It arrived in 3 different packages, and it looks like very good quality stuff!

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I am going with primarily Black sleeve with a few Royal Blue highlights. Also making all custom power cables so the lengths with be perfect, and allow for better cable management. Sleeving is going to take a while, so I will post some other pics of components and such during the process.

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magoo

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I buy all my sleeving and just about anything else I can get from MDPC-X. You should have bought his heat-shrink!!

The guy sells a very quality product.

Unfortunately, he cut his store hours down to a real minimum and it has been hard for me to get on-line at the correct times to buy stuff.

I hope the guy isn't sick or something?
 

Mr_Armageddon

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I buy all my sleeving and just about anything else I can get from MDPC-X. You should have bought his heat-shrink!!

The guy sells a very quality product.

Unfortunately, he cut his store hours down to a real minimum and it has been hard for me to get on-line at the correct times to buy stuff.

I hope the guy isn't sick or something?

Oh, I did get his heat shrink, but I forgot to purchase it in my first order. The second order just arrived, with a ton of small pre-cut heatshrink. I used what I had for the vandal switches and fans, just so I could get started, but am saving the good stuff for the actual sleeving of the PSU cables.

The current store hours have made things kind of difficult, but if you shoot them an email, they will try to work with you. It was open for a bit this morning as well.
 

magoo

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Oh, I did get his heat shrink, but I forgot to purchase it in my first order. The second order just arrived, with a ton of small pre-cut heatshrink. I used what I had for the vandal switches and fans, just so I could get started, but am saving the good stuff for the actual sleeving of the PSU cables.

The current store hours have made things kind of difficult, but if you shoot them an email, they will try to work with you. It was open for a bit this morning as well.

Thanks.
I don't like his 15mm limit on the precut stuff, so I made a jig for cuttting my own.:D

How did you make the frame for the bottom fan filters??
 

Mr_Armageddon

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Ya, I purchased a bunch of the longer shrink tube as well for areas that require longer lenghts. But the majority of my sleeving will work fine with the 15mm cuts.

I planned out the fan filter box in SketchUp. It is just pieces of black acrylic bonded together with Weld-On adhesive. The stuff is really runny, but is actually drawn into the gaps between acrylic layers, and bonds / melts them together. 1-2min and its permanently secured. Then just added some magnetic adhesive strips so that it will latch onto the case. It works surprisingly well.

I have a local plastic shop that lets takes my SketchUp designs, and makes the cuts for me. If only they would polish all the cuts as well...
 
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Mr_Armageddon

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Spent a bit of time last night getting my fittings and sleeving materials organized for easier access. I am waiting on one more component to arrive, then I will hammer down on sleeving some custom sized PSU cables.

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Also set up all the tools I will need to complete my cables. I was a bit hesitant on buying the crimping tool from MDPC since it was more expensive than what I can find locally. But after actually crimping a few terminals, it runs circles around my old crimping tool. Very glad I went with this one, as it will probably help the sleeving process go faster.

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I plan on mounting the Motherboad tonight so that I can get exact measurements on cable length, allowing me to finally start the sleeving process. I have never attempted to sleeve anything with the quality of materials provided from MDPC-X, so I'm pretty excited to see how it turns out.
 

magoo

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You will love the MDPC-X crimper.
I bought one and couldn't believe the difference a good tool makes.
I guess it also helps to use MDPC-X pins, as they also seem better than anything I have used in the past.

I hope you don't take this wrong......you have a little OCD there.......I've never seen anybody so damn neat in my life, and that's coming directly from someone who considers himself neat.:D
 

magoo

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Its not so much a looks reason, but I find them a real pain to work with. Better off without them in my opinion. I did use some grommet edging around my cuts to keep sharp edges away from my cables, but no restrictions like the previous kind.

I also took all the grommets out of my 800D.
I found the center cuts to just get in the way of the sleeves.....and look really dopey as well.
If you don't cut the metal, all the edges around the holes are smooth anyway.
 

(sic)

n00b
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Aug 26, 2011
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Looking great Mr. Armageddon!

I have a very similar luminous panel going into a build I'm currently working on. :D
 

Mr_Armageddon

Limp Gawd
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looking very well

Thanks!

You will love the MDPC-X crimper.
I bought one and couldn't believe the difference a good tool makes.
I guess it also helps to use MDPC-X pins, as they also seem better than anything I have used in the past.
I hope you don't take this wrong......you have a little OCD there.......I've never seen anybody so damn neat in my life, and that's coming directly from someone who considers himself neat.:D

In the short time I have used it, I do love that crimper. And regarding OCD... I admit nothing :p, But my Wife would agree with you.

I also took all the grommets out of my 800D.
I found the center cuts to just get in the way of the sleeves.....and look really dopey as well. If you don't cut the metal, all the edges around the holes are smooth anyway.

I did make some extra cuts, so I used some edging "grommet" material to make things nice an smooth. The existing holes didn't line up exactly where I wanted them to along the right side of the motherboard, so I cut it to make it longer.

Looking great Mr. Armageddon!
I have a very similar luminous panel going into a build I'm currently working on. :D

Thanks. I will take a look and see what angle you took to achieve "the glow" :D. Let me know once you start a build log.
 

Mr_Armageddon

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My "Helper"

I mentioned earlier that my 2yr old is a button freak. Well I caught him red handed turning my mid panel on and off over, and over again. Those illuminated vandal switches are just too much temptation for him. I'm glad his older sister doesn't share his love of button pressing.

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Looks like I need to put the case up high until this build is done, at which time I can move it into the office (which has a locked door :D.)
 
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magoo

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Hehehe ^^ lucky he doesn't enjoy hammering things, button pushing is pretty benign.

Question......what is the full brand name of the Weld-on adhesive? Where do you buy it?

Is it any relation to J-B Weld?:D
 

Mr_Armageddon

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Hehehe ^^ lucky he doesn't enjoy hammering things, button pushing is pretty benign.

Question......what is the full brand name of the Weld-on adhesive? Where do you buy it?

Is it any relation to J-B Weld?:D

Ya I guess I'm lucky he is just curious, and not destructive. He doesn't seem to really hammer on stuff much. But if he gets a hold of a pair of pliers... watch your backside.

Here is a close-up of the adhesive, and the needle applicator. It is extremely runny, so you just tip the applicator upside down, and give a very slight squeeze. The liquid sucks right into the seems between two pieces, and within 15-30 seconds it is pretty much set. One or two minuets later, and the pieces have pretty much "melted" together.

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The product is called Weld-On from IPS Corporation. I purchased it from a local plastics shop, but looks like it can be found on Amazon for around $14. If you want a little bit more time to set things up before everything locks into place, go with the #4 adhesive.
 

Mr_Armageddon

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Component P0rn

Still waiting on a few fittings to arrive, and have just started making my custom length PSU cables. Cables and sleeving will take a while, so in the mean time, here are some nice shots of most of the components going into this build.

EVGA GTX580 HydroCopper 2 - 2X for SLI
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Some of the Bitspower Black fittings I will be using, and the Primoflex Blue tubing.
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Here are the AquaComputer USB PowerAdjust 2 Ultras that I will be using to control pump speed. The Ultra version can control speed based off of liquid temps, so it should be a nice addition, and keep pump noise to a minimum until faster speeds are needed.
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Here we have the AquaComputer Aquaero 5 LT. Pretty powerful monitoring and fan control too. I may end up using something different to control all of the fans in my system, but as of right now, this guy is it. The USB PowerAdjusts operate independently from the Aquaero, so you can kind of mix and match to fit your exact needs.
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Mr_Armageddon

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Component P0rn Continued...

More Hardware Shots :)
Here is my Primary OS SSD, and Intel X-25m 160GB. Not the fastest on the block anymore, but still a really good and reliable SSD. I have 3 other HDDs in this build, but didn't deem it necessary to take pics of them. Also have my Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Edition. I use the Optical Output to power my Logitech Z-5500 speaker setup. Sounds great.
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Here are some EK Waterblocks that I will be using. One of the left is for my X58 motherboard Chipset and VREGs. The other is a RAM block for my Corsair Dominator sets.
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Before and After shots of the RAM block. Noting too special, but I like Before / After shots :D
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And here is my motherboard with blocks installed, along with the Swiftech Apogee HD that I will be using. Really nice looking block, and I am glad it comes all black. Saves me from having to paint it like I have done previous blocks.
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magoo

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Really nice collection of stuff.
I like the idea of the pump controller that adjusts by temp.

I had the Classified MB when it was first released. Very nice board, unfortunately began to have issues with memory, I guess a known X58 chipset problem.
EVGA was really good about RMA. I ended up selling the replacement.

Thanks for the info on the glue.;)
 

SirKronan

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Man, it's a good thing you have that RAM waterblock!! Whew!!! I just can't imagine this being any good without that.


:D
 

Mr_Armageddon

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Really nice collection of stuff.
I like the idea of the pump controller that adjusts by temp.
I had the Classified MB when it was first released. Very nice board, unfortunately began to have issues with memory, I guess a known X58 chipset problem.
EVGA was really good about RMA. I ended up selling the replacement.
Thanks for the info on the glue.;)
I have read good things about AquaComputer Stuff, so hopefully it works out. The loudest part of my system before was the pumps, so hopefully if I am not doing anything that is taxing the system, the PowerAdjusts will keep the pumps nice and quiet.
I had to RMA my X58, but for USB controller issues. EVGA took good care of me :)

This is going to be sick.
Thank you.
the GTX580 HydroCopper made me :D
loving the colors, it looks amazing
The HydroCopper 2 does look pretty amazing. I wish EVGA would stick with that color selection from now on out.
Man, it's a good thing you have that RAM waterblock!! Whew!!! I just can't imagine this being any good without that.
:D
Quiet You! :p
 
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Mr_Armageddon

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I am still working on the sleeving and waiting for a few more fittings to arrive, but here is a small update. I spent a bit of time working on my tubing runs. Not complete yet, but this will give somewhat of a preview of the look I am going for.

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Mr_Armageddon

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I have recived a few PMs for more clarification on how I built the illuminated mid panel. So here is a "cut-away" view of the light box I constructed that sits atop the mid panel.

LightBoxConstruction.jpg


There are many other ways to go about doing this, but after some experimenting with different materials, and thickness, this is what turned out the best for my needs. Hopefully this along with the close up pictures I have posted, will clear up any other questions that still may be floating about.
 

Vantec89

Weaksauce
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Aug 4, 2011
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108
very nice build! looking forward to future updates! has me wishing i had the money to get my other hardware needed for my build. lol.
 

Sufu

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Does the side door fit with the tubing being routed like that? With 1/2" tubing, mine won't fit on there because it sticks out too much.
 

Mr_Armageddon

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very nice update
Thanks
very nice build! looking forward to future updates! has me wishing i had the money to get my other hardware needed for my build. lol.
Thank you. Working on getting more pics up soon.
Does the side door fit with the tubing being routed like that? With 1/2" tubing, mine won't fit on there because it sticks out too much.

I had to cut a small notch on the side of the case to make the tubing not stick out so far. If you look really closely, you can see where I cut the case, right above where the T-Line for drainage is installed. The side panel now fits with no problems.
 

Mr_Armageddon

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Messages
252
Because others have been asking for measurements, in addition to the cut away view of the illuminated mid panel above, I have uploaded my SketchUp modle to the 3D Warehouse. It shows an assembled view, along with an exploded view of the panel. Dimensions are inches because that is what my local plastics shop required to make the cuts. It can be downloaded here.

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I have also made available my 3D Modle for the Swiftech Apogee HD CPU block. Get it here. There are other waterblocks on the 3D Warehouse, but I couldn't find any for the newer Apogee HD, so I made it.

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Mr_Armageddon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
252
Sleeving

I knew it would take a while to make my own custom length cables (for better cable management), and then sleeve them... but I had no idea my fingers would get so abused in the process. Stretching out the sleeving material over and over again to get it nice and tight over the wires has taken its toll, especially on the ends of my thumbs. Too bad the large calluses on my hands from weight lifting don't extent to the tips of my fingers and thumb. Going to take a break for a day or two and finish my tubing runs.

But a little discomfort is well worth it to get good looking sleeved cables. Not too shabby for my first attempt using MDPC materials. I also want to say that the MDPC Crimping tool is worth its weight in gold! Such a great crimping tool compared to others I have used. Perfect crimps every time! :D

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Colonel_Panic

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
328
As mentioned, looks like a fantastic build.

You ordered Aqua Computer and EK gear, but also went with the EVGA Hydro. Any particular reason for doing that instead of getting a separate block from either of those manufacturers?
 

drlawyer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
138
Illuminated Mid-Panel

I have always been envious of the lighting methods used on the MurderMods and Million Dollar PC. Most of the guides explaining how to build one used Electroluminescent panels, which I could not find in the right size (or for a reasonable price) here in the US. So I set out to build my own using acrylic panels and a white LED light strip. Just like my initial case layout, I built my "mock-up" in SketchUp.

Here we have my 3 panels I will be using. I used 1x Mirrored Acrylic, 1x Clear Acrylic, and 1x White Acrylic. They will be constructed in that order, with an LED strip on the sides "shooting" light inwards. The housing will be a box made of Black Acrylic. The hole will be where some of my tubing will pass through. Once the whole was drilled, I polished the sides to allow for better light transmission on the clear and white panels.

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On the left is a pic of the completed box, with the bottom mirrored layer installed. To the right is the light strip I used for my build. Purchased it off of Amazon for a really good price. It is very bright, and easy to work with.

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Just an idea of how the light strip will adhere to the box, on top of the mirrored acrylic. Also shown is the end of the light strip, where I cut it, and soldered on the contact points. It can be powered by any 12v source, and requires only 25w to light the entire strip. So I am able to power both the internal case strip and my mid panel with just one 4-pin molex connection.

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Here is the completed mid panel box. The clear layer sits between the mirrored and white acrylic panels. I did a bunch of tests and found that this "sandwich" combo provided the best light transmission. I first tried laing the white layer directly on top of the mirrored, but the light transmission was too weak. By using the clear in the middle, the light passes farther through the top panel, giving a brighter look.
On the right is a circuit I am using that allows me to alter the brightness levels of both the LED Strip around the case perimeter, and the mid panel. It has 3 settings (High, Mid, Low), and works very well. Only downside is that in order to adjust it, I have to remove my case panel, but once I find my preferred brightness level, I probably won't touch it again. I installed it on the back of the CPU plate for easy access to the wiring for the Vandal switches.

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Here we have the lighting install and running, with a comparison of brightness with the different parts turned on. I used my phone camera for these pics, so it looks much brigher and washed out than it does in person. Time to bust out the DSLR for some better quality pics, but I may wait until the final gallery pics once everything else is installed. Here we have both parts lit up, along with the lights in the room turned on.

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And here we have the room lights turned off. One pic shows illumination with just the mid panel, the other combines the light from the LED strip that lines the interior of the case.

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Next up... sleeving and component porn :D

I am TOTALLY stealing this idea (although I may try it with red LEDs to match the color scheme of my rig)! Nice work!
 
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