Project: Feeding Frenzy Interlude

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 4, 2003
Messages
7,269
FF is still being worked on, but since my work computer recently died I have been forced to make some changes. :( So the project here is to take a POS Lian-Li PC70/75 case and turn it into a nice work computer. It won't have all the ultra nice work, but I think you will find it palatable. If you think I skipped over any construction details I would suggest you go over the Feeding Frenzy log.

So on with the mod! If you recall correctly this was my box that had the Koolance EXOS on top of it. Here is what I am starting with:

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I bought this case used and it had a few gotcha's. The big one being an off center blow hole!


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Hmm.... what to do now, eh? Hey that Aqua Computer 360 grill I had laying around might work here. :D


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I don't think the stock fan system is going to really impress me too much so that's out of here as well.


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Well the first thing is to prep the top of the case for some drawing and measuring work. Pencil marks and ink pens are a pain to get off after the fact...



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The AC grills come with their own template printed right on the box they come in. A dial caliper is a handy tool if you want your parts located within a thousandth of an inch or so.


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Time for a little jig saw work in my outdoor machining area. ;)


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Now it's time to put back the grill so we can drill the mounting holes.



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Figured it was a pain to work on the top with that big bulky box so I just drilled out a few rivets and off goes the top. Having the top off makes for a lot easier time of installing the water cooling and associated electronics. :D



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Here's the roughed in hole for the 360 grill. Must have had one too many beers that day!


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Black-Tom

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 26, 2006
Messages
408
Awesome, I'm liking this already.

That off center blow hole kinda made me want to cry though... since its not like that was a cheap case...
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 4, 2003
Messages
7,269
Trial fit of the AC front mounted Aquatube. Looks like a bit of a problem here. :eek:


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Decided to make a trip to Sharka and get a Black Ice Stealth GT 360 Radiator as I want good cooling and low noise. These radiators are imported by Danger Den from HWL specifically for Sharka and have true G 1/4 threads so they easily fit the metric push-fits.


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These are the stock screws DD supplies with the radiators. These radiators have M4 threads and of course DD supplies them with 6-32 american threads. So these bags go in my junk box...



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Now there are two ways to mount a 360 size AC grill. Some people try the 6-32 screws and angle them through the grills and fans which I think is a poor solution. What I did is to first mount the fans to the radiator with the native M4 threads using stainless button head socket cap screws.



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Next I mated the grill to the fans lining up the holes as best I could as seen below.



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By drilling the opposite side of the fan to fit the hole pattern of the grill as seen below you get a much more secure installation and looks a hell of a lot better!



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Now I certainly don't want any of these screws loosening up so I used a thread locker.



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Did you notice in the pic above that I came up with a new use for the AC Multi-Tool? :cool:



Here you can see a little better of the holes I drilled in the fan. The grill makes a perfect drill template for doing this as the stainless grill is not easily damaged by a drill bit.



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Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 4, 2003
Messages
7,269
Here's another view of the radiator/fan combination after drilling the holes. I decided to try something different and use the vinyl to cover the wires instead of painting them as I did in FF. I kind of like the look, but time will tell if the stuff sticks well with the fans blowing against it.



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The next set of pics show the wiring detail for the radiator/fan combo. The idea here is to combine all the fans into a single loom and only use one of the RPM sensors from a single fan for feedback to the Aquaero unit. Thus you get RPM sensing for control purposes and use just one fan header. :D



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The original plan was to use loom hold downs here as you see in the next couple of pics, but it was too difficult to do it so I gave up on the idea.


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Soldering the wires together and providing enough wire to get to the Aquaero fan header.



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Finished loom except for adding on the fan connector.



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Back to work on the case top as the grill has to be bolted onto the top before adding the radiator/fan assembly. The dial calipers really help in getting the grill exactly where you want it. The grill is within 0.001" of being true and centered.



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Here is a detail of the grill bolt up. I decided to use black fasteners on this side just for looks. I also used serrated lock washers so that any problem with fan vibration would be mitigated.



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Here is the finished top assembly.


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Here is a view of the stuff left over from the previous use of stick on wire hold downs. This stuff is a major PITA to remove. On FFI I decided to avoid the use of stick stuff and voted for drill and tapping wherever possible.



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Then I found this stuff that makes quick work of getting the stuff off the aluminum. In addition it gets rid of and fingerprints and generally cleans up the look of the metal.



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Here is a closeup of the LED loom I made that attaches to the Aquaero. The LED's light up the water in the Aquatube and they vary in intensity and color depending on the water temp.



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Here you can see where this mates to the Aquatube/pump assembly.



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The original plan was to use matching black Legris push-fits, but as you can see there was a clearance problem with the lower profile ones and I switched back to the metal ones instead.



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Had to make a trip to Sharka for an Aquaero as I didn't want to strip the FF assembly apart. Unfortunately they were sold out of the VFD or LT versions so I settled for the blue LCD ones they had in stock.



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Of course one of the cool things about the Aquaero is that you can bolt the Aquastream pump electronics directly to the Aquaero as seen below. They interact with each other through a ribbon cable.



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Here you can see what the Aquatube/Aquastream assembly looks like bolted into the case.



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WarMace

Gawd
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
963
Nice, I had to stop and take some extra time to admire your wireloom splicing.
 

TownRanger

n00b
Joined
Jul 9, 2006
Messages
26
Nice and neat.

I got a question. Did you use a resistor of any ohms to connect the leds? The leds' operating voltage is approximately 2 to 3V and if power is drawn directly from the PSU the voltage may be high enough to burn those led thingys.
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 4, 2003
Messages
7,269
Nice and neat.

I got a question. Did you use a resistor of any ohms to connect the leds? The leds' operating voltage is approximately 2 to 3V and if power is drawn directly from the PSU the voltage may be high enough to burn those led thingys.


No need to use any resistors in this setup because the LED's connect directly to the Aquaero header and the voltage coming out is the correct one. However, I also added in a red LED Bulgin switch later on in the mod and there I added a 470 ohm resistor. Here you can see the Aquaero electronics under the Aquastream/Aquatube assembly.



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piako

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
1,613
mayonnaise works good as a adhesive remover if you don't want to $$ on other stuff
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
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Next area of work is the hard drive cage. Not much room here to maneuver. This is with the new Acoustifan Dustproof fans installed. The plan was to have the HD data and power cables attached back here out of the way.



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Hmm... looks like some extra room up front here, heh?



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Dark Prodigy

Jawbreaker
Joined
Mar 10, 2006
Messages
2,803
You're attention to detail is inspiring TN, however, I do have a couple of questions.

I know the Acoustifans are very nice fans, but how come you didn't go with the Aqua Computer Airstream fans to connect to the Aquero? I noticed you are not using a tubemeter or an aquajet either, no room or just decided to not put them in?
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 4, 2003
Messages
7,269
I know the Acoustifans are very nice fans, but how come you didn't go with the Aqua Computer Airstream fans to connect to the Aquero? I noticed you are not using a Tubemeter or an Aquajet either, no room or just decided to not put them in?

Haven't seen the AC fans, but since AC doesn't make fans I would normally not go that way. Got a linky or a pic?

Didn't use a Tubemeter because the only ones I had were already wired into FF. Due to my configuration there also isn't any way to use it anyway. My LED's are mounted near the top so it can have subdued lighting. Didn't want bright lights shining out the Aquatube. Also the return line to the Aquatube is mounted on top as can be seen in the pics.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out as well as I wanted to. I had expected the water falling into the water to create a wave action and all I got was a slight wave and lots of foam. The fix is to put the return line into the back of the Aquatube. If I do that then I might stick a Tubemeter in their for grins.
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
7,269
Here is a little more detail on the pump mount that I forgot to mention earlier.




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Dark Prodigy

Jawbreaker
Joined
Mar 10, 2006
Messages
2,803
Haven't seen the AC fans, but since AC doesn't make fans I would normally not go that way. Got a linky or a pic?

.

Aqua Computer makes a fan, and these are it. They are the perfectly compliment for the Aquero and AC system (I think), they can be used with an RPM value under 500 and can be started @ 5V.

This site says they are sold out simply because I bought them out :D about a week ago. They arrived today and they look great. Presleeved nicely in black sleeving. I assumed you knew about them and was simply wondering what made you not buy them, like they sucked or something..lol.
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
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Messages
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Think I will order some for FF. Gotta call Sharka in the morning and see if they can get some added on to the order they just placed. I can't believe all those 360 Aquaducts went bye-bye so quick! Glad I still got one down there to pick up next week. :D
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
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Anyone know where I can get the pump mounts here in the USA? The ones I am talking about slide into the pump on a dovetail arrangement and are bolted down to the isolation mounts. The plastic is easily damaged from too many bolting and unbolting procedures. :(
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
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Messages
7,269
Next up is the Fillport installation. Looks like a pretty tight fit as I want it as close to the Aquatube as possible.


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This doesn't look like it is going to fit here. :( No problem getting the Fill Port in, but connecting it to the Aquatube appears to be a no go. :mad:



I thought about cutting out the side of the HD cage, but that would have left my cage in some shaky condition structurally wise. But then I would have been able to attach the Fill Port tubing pretty easy. The aesthetics would have been dubious as well so time to move on and find another place. :)



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Here is another gotcha from the previous owner. Now what to do here, heh?



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Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
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I'm thinking of cutting the grill totally out and replacing it with a solid metal plate. Then I can get the dremel tool out and cut some holes for the serial, game, and USB ports so I don't have all those wires going all over the place from the slot plates. I got a couple of old connector plates from some very old boxes and they will do nicely for a template.
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
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7,269
Well it is time to move the HD cage as it isn't in the right place for me. Only problem is those speaker mounts on the bottom of the case.




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Well a little dremel action with a cut-off saw made short work of that problem. Who the hell needs a speaker anyway?



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Now it's time to relocate the box to a more congenial location. Taping it down let's me see what I'm going to get clearance wise and also helps with drilling the new holes in the right place!



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While I was in here playing around with the power tools it looked like a perfect place to drill some more holes for the MB wiring.



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So a couple of holes (from left to right) for the USB cables, MB wiring, and the SATA cables.




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These holes are for the SLI molex and 4 pin power connectors.



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Here is the HD tray bolted into it's new spot. :)



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I also drilled some holes for the wiring going to the Aquaero. The left one is for the temp sensors and fans. The right one is for PSU power.



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This is definitely looking better now. The HD's are the old ones. The newer 74Gb Raptors get added in later.



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And of course now we have some maneuvering room for the SATA cables and PSU cables that will go back here.



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Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
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Nov 4, 2003
Messages
7,269
Okay, here is the new fans and I'm ready to start wiring them into the box.



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Suitably attached with more button heads.



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Again the idea here is to combine both fans in parallel and run through a single loom up to the Aquaero. Only one of the RPM sensing wires will be used for RPM control of both fans.



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Here is the finished loom.




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Here is where the fan loom goes through the chassis to the Aquaero.



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FrEaKy

[H] Movie and TV Show Review Guy
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
13,913
dude, my house looks like that when im modding too, cept the wifey yells at me major, and its cleaned like 10seconds later
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
7,269
Found a place to put the FillPort! As an added bonus it can't be seen when the window side is in place. :D



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shadowlord

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
3,101
great mod so far
i realy like your attention to detail, especially the neatnes of the fan wires.

ps: you can use WD40 spray for removing stickers or adhesives, works like a charm ;)
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 4, 2003
Messages
7,269
great mod so far
i realy like your attention to detail, especially the neatnes of the fan wires.

ps: you can use WD40 spray for removing stickers or adhesives, works like a charm ;)

Thanks for the nice nice! WD-40 smell makes me want to puke for some strange reason. I avoid it like the plague.
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
7,269
Thinking about putting the top back on, but since I drilled the rivets out I need an M4 tap to use up some more of my button head screws. :)



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Water lines being fitted to the top.



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For right now I have secured the water lines with the use of some cable clamps. Eventually a flow meter will be installed here.


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The front pump/tube assembly with the metal T fitting. In the other end is the water temp probe.



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Here you can see the temp probe wire where it will attach to the Aquaero.



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This is the wire coming from the Aquastream pump that I cut to size so it can attach to the pump control board attached to the back of the Aquaero.



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So time to sleeve the temp probe. First thing I need is the pins and a hundred of them was a whopping $3.95 from my favorite electronic store.



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Next I need a two pin housing, but where to get such an animal? My solution is to buy the connector blocks in 5" strips and just cut them to whatever I need. Fantastic for building USB cables as well. :D



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Completed pics here of the temp probe.



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Next on the list is putting on the connector to the pump cable. At first I was a bit puzzled by this on the stock wires thinking they had wired in some kind of resistor. Then I realized that it was just a terminal end so the wires weren't damaged from the screws. Didn't have any of these handy so I just soldered the ends of my cable wires so the screws could bite into something solid.



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As I mentioned earlier this case is quite a few years old and it wasn't even pre-drilled for the CD-ROM bezel plates Lian-Li makes.



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So time to drill some more holes.



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Bbq

King of Charts
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
12,272
I like it. I like it very much.

Long Live the AC Queen.
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
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7,269
Now it's time to trash the warranty on the video card. Sure hope it works as I haven't fired it up yet :D



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The mounting holes are bit undersized to the screws I intend to use. Drilling them open can lead to some unpleasant surprises so I have decided to just tap them for the thread I want. :eek:



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And lo and behold a nice tapped hole in my video card!



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The stock ram sinks were just copper colored aluminum so they definitely had to go. I found these copper heat sinks in my junk box and decided they would be just fine.



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Next up is the prep on the GPU cooler. This is a regular Aqua Computer TwinPlex in copper (waiting for the silver block :( ) that has been lapped to a super flat condition.



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The sides of the block were also given the luxury treatment as well.



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Here we are with it ready to get wet.



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The reason I use flathead screws are that the supplied screws allow the block to move easily. The flat heads taper screws against the slot in the mounting plate creating quite a bit of downward pressure with very little tightening force.



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Everything clears just right. :D



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Bbq

King of Charts
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
12,272
Whatdya mean, i've been here the whole time :p

A multi tool could really be useful for a makeshift shuriken for when ninjas invade your home.
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 4, 2003
Messages
7,269
Time to wire in the SLI power molex. Had to drill a couple of holes and put in a couple of M3 holes aka FF.



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Also time to do a mock up of the water cooling tubing and see where we are going.



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The CPU line comes into the silver TwinPlex and then exits into the GPU cooler.



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From the Aquastream down to the CPU.



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Detail of the return line to the radiator.



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Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 4, 2003
Messages
7,269
i thought that you were going sli with the interlude

Maybe, but I needed a quick solution so I could do some work. Been thinking of a couple of 7800's in SLI once the silver GPU blocks get here. Until then the single ASUS EN6600 GT card will do just fine. I bought a pair of the 6600 GT's, but sold one to a neighbor about a year ago. Been trying to buy it back, but he likes the card too much...
 

Top Nurse

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 4, 2003
Messages
7,269
If you like the 45 degree connectors I have been using you can go here and they are about $3 a piece. They are 45 degree push-fits made by Legris. You get a decent discount if you buy 10 at a time. Been trying to get Sharka to stock them, but they don't seem too interested. :(
 
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