Project: First Mod

swiftstrike

Weaksauce
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Sep 4, 2008
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I posted some Google SketchUp models for a case mod a while ago and I decided to actually do the mod. Like the title says, this is going to be my first. I would appreciate advice and comments.

First, here is the SketchUp:

By swiftstrike925

Before:


After(hopefully it'll look close to this):





I taped up my front bezel and slapped on a template with glue.
img0930zc7.jpg


img0929xv8.jpg


:rolleyes: hmm.... I think I'll dust back there....eventually.

Here's the results for my first cut. After drilling a initial hole, I cut out the semi circle with a jigsaw with help and advice from my dad. It looks bad now, but I plan to file down to the edge.
img0931ub9.jpg




I'll finish the rest of the cutting tomorrow. I have to do calculus homework :p
Oh yea, can someone recommend me a good website to order those vandal resistant switches. I'm thinking of getting this for the white fan, but please recommend me something that's better/cheaper if possible. Thanks :D

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835220022
 

hiodie

Gawd
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Aug 24, 2008
Messages
900
If you want the black/white fan look, the I would recommend the Nexus 120mm...won't push close to the same amount of air, but you shouldn't really even hear it. Not sure how much air flow you're going for though.
 

swiftstrike

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Sep 4, 2008
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Thanks for the recommendations guys. About airflow, I still have the very low end components that came with the computer. I really don't see a high end computer going into my first modded case, it's more of a practice. So a low- medium airflow fan should be fine. Quietness is definitely a plus because I ran out of motherboard fan inputs and can't control fan speed.
 

tuberc

Limp Gawd
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Aug 10, 2008
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131
If you wanted a fan controller to manage the new fan/fans they can be bough for small money
 

swiftstrike

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Sep 4, 2008
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I think a fan controller would be a good solution and that the GELID fan looks awesome. Thanks tuberc.

A small update: I filed the first cut before starting on the second hole. Here are some sneak peeks:

img0946bl6.jpg

img0941xm3.jpg

img0939jf0.jpg


How did I do so far? Advice for improvement?
 

Thanatos.

Gawd
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Jun 24, 2005
Messages
744
Nice cuts, while i like the idea of the fan on the front ive always loved the original power switch design :(
 

Ang

Gawd
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Mar 20, 2008
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597
ALOT better than I can make a circle cut lol.. you just used a dremel? Or what did you use.
 

gregnash

2[H]4U
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Jun 8, 2005
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2,164
Nice looke and good cuts. I am in the process of modding a box right now.. Code Name: 5yr Project... Why "5yr Project" you ask?! Well because I have had the case sitting in my storage for close to 5yrs, always meaning to mod it, always trying but never really getting to it. Now I have a real house with a garage and I am done with school so other than the wife I have very little that takes up my weekends.

Anyways, sorry for the hijack but I agree with Mr.Dude010.... I got my blue vandal from performance-pc and they are great.
 

swiftstrike

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ALOT better than I can make a circle cut lol.. you just used a dremel? Or what did you use.

I just used a drill, a jigsaw, sandpaper, and a hand-file. It was all the filing and sanding that made it smooth, not the cutting.

Updates:

Cut and filed down the second opening
img0948ow0.jpg


img0952hh5.jpg


I cut the plastic inside the middle opening and filed it down.
I decided to wrap a piece of sand paper around a small metal pipe to sand the rounded edges of the middle opening.
img0957ko2.jpg

I swear, it's not what it looks like. ;)

img0961zq0.jpg


img0963pq4.jpg


Finished with the holes for now. Maybe I'll polish the inside with smoother sand paper. Here are the results.
img0964ah7.jpg


Now I have to cut down some of the protruding material in the back to make space for the fan. Any ideas how to do that quickly? Or will it have to be get a block of wood, paste on some sandpaper and start grinding?

img0965hk6.jpg


Thanks for your comments :D
 

nlancaster

Gawd
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Feb 24, 2005
Messages
700
I have used wire cutters to perfrom gross surgery like that on tabs of plastic. awesome job on your other cuts there.
 

BMF

n00b
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Jan 23, 2009
Messages
9
A small grinding wheel on a Dremel would be nice for that. Ya could do it with a angle grinder but thats a lot more horsepower then you need so be careful.
If you use an angle grinder go for a fine wheel and be sure to wrap the front of your case in protective cloth and clamp it down.

Baring those two, a hack saw to get real close and then back to the file?

Nice wok so far too btw....
 

swiftstrike

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Sorry guys for not having posted for so long. I've been pretty busy with school and track. I see some of the posts got deleted so here's some previous updates to fill people in.

I made a jerry-rigged tool out of a wrench and a sharp metal 3.5 bay place holder in order to cut through the plastic at an angle.
img0967yn4.jpg


I sanded down the extra plastic with my "kitchen timer sander"
img0977ez5.jpg


New updates:

I got my order of 1 Vandal Resistant Switch w/ white ring LED and 1 GELID Silent 120mm fan.

img1026r.jpg


Seeing how the fan would fit:
img0999yb2.jpg

It looks good but I'm having trouble figuring how to secure it onto the case. I thought about taping it somehow to the plastic bezel, but that probably will be less secure than if I used screws.

I could screw it onto the case, but I would only be using two screws:

dilema1.jpg


As you can see by this professionally drawn diagram (used GIMP not MS paint), positioning the fan here would only allow two screws at the bottom to secure the fan to the case. At the upper left hand corner is an empty 3.5 bay. Also, the upper right hand corner of the fan frame will be sanded or filed out to allow room for the new power switch to be place at the right hand side of the front bezel. Will two screws do it? Could I attach something behind the 3.5 bay so that I can attach a screw there and have at least a diagonal?

Here's an extra. The original power led lighting up the fan from behind makes a pretty nice effect in the dark.

By swiftstrike925
 

swiftstrike

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Sep 4, 2008
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So... you guys have any suggestions on how I can solve my securing the fan dilemma. Also, if anyone has installed a vandal resistant switch, can you please give me some advice. Yes, my male pride says I can do it without help, but I want to stop and ask for directions to not risk screwing it up like a noobie. Maybe you can give advice on how to cut and strip the original wires and how to connect them to the switch. Thanks in advance.
 

Elledan

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010
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Two screws should be enough to secure a fan, unless it's a really big, heavy one :)

If you could somehow create a mounting point in the 3.5" bay, it wouldn't hurt, of course.
 

prodigee

Gawd
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May 27, 2008
Messages
987
Try using some zip ties to secure the fan in the 3.5" bays I have done that before and it has worked just fine.

PS Check your PM's
 

mrmylanman

[H]ard|Gawd
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Haha is that a Compaq? I had a Compaq model that looked exactly like that for the longest time at work. POS Celeron I think.

A much needed upgrade that I'm sure will turn out good, hope to see more on this soon.
 

FrEaKy

[H] Movie and TV Show Review Guy
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I have a Compaq SR1803WM with the same case and whatnot, im working on mine too, cause I did to much to the inside of the case as is, so I need to do stuff, so im getting ideas from yours! :) Sorry!
 

Nightrainsrt4

Limp Gawd
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Dec 15, 2008
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Can't wait to see where you go with this, as I've got one of those cases sitting right here. If you pull off this front intake well I might have to steal your idea as it looks phenomenal. Great job!
 

guitarslingerchris

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Oct 29, 2004
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Looks awesome so far, wouldn't have thought something that simple would change the look that much. Keep up the updates imo!
 

swiftstrike

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Yay! New updates! Sorry I haven't posted anything in a long time. I had to take my AP tests and go to bunch of senior events. Anyways here it is:

Had to take out hardware before drilling so the vibration and metal shavings won't kill everything. Another reason I couldn't work on it. I needed my computer for schoolwork and what not. Since, I just got a new :) T400 Thinkpad :) that is not a problem now.


By swiftstrike925
=crappy hardware

img1374g.jpg

By swiftstrike925, shot with Canon PowerShot SD1000 at 2009-06-02

Here's what it looks like under the bezel. I used some screws and bolts I got from the hardware store. I also drilled a hole so that the the back switch would fit through and allow the power switch wires and fan power switch to pass through. I put on some poor man's u channel(black electric tape) to protect wires from the sharp metal edges. Part of the fan frame had to be cut out to allow the switch to fit with the bezel attached.

img1382z.jpg

By swiftstrike925, shot with Canon PowerShot SD1000 at 2009-06-02

My plans are to cut the metal part under the fan to allow more airflow. Next I'll probably add a fan filter/ grill like this either behind or in front of the fan.
 

swiftstrike

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Sep 4, 2008
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Hmm. The forums must have been very quiet when I posted my last update. Well anyway with summer vacation here, I got a chance to FINISH my mod.

Sorry I don't have any pictures detailing my progress. I'll just tell you what I did. So I cut through the front of the case with a drill and then slice out a large intake whole with a jigsaw + metal cutting blade. It was scary for a noob like me because I couldn't believe how easily the blade cut through the metal like that.

Filed the edges and spray painted that portion black because I thought it would show. I cut out, spray painted and screwed down some metal mesh and here is the result:

img1565.jpg


O yea, also hooked up the vandal resistant switch which was pretty easy. I just had to strip some wires and wind it around the holes in the prongs and add some electric tape for protection. I'm not sure if this is the correct pro way to do it, but the switch works. Closeup:

img1567s.jpg


Pictures of the finished mod:

img1549s.jpg


img1556v.jpg


img1557a.jpg


img1558y.jpg


img1561k.jpg


img1562n.jpg


img1564.jpg
 

swiftstrike

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Sep 4, 2008
Messages
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Wow. Thank you guys for your compliments. I didn't expect this much success in my first case mod. Nevertheless it was a very fun mod. In this project, I got to be a modder, engineer, electrician, designer, etc. Pretty cool :D.

Why didn't you put the mesh on the other side of the fan to protect fingers and what not? -.^

To answer that question: first off LOL! @
He probably likes living on the edge :p

But seriously: In my original plan I had the mesh in front, but when I put in the rectangular mesh that I made, it did not match the cleaness of front bezel. I might add a good looking black mesh when I order it online.



Door window mod next?
I did wanted make a window mod, but I don't think this is attractive enough for peering eyes:
By swiftstrike925

Plus what about the ventilation that would be taken out on the side panel if I add a window in it's place. Maybe if I can do better cable management and/or get some new shiny hardware I would do it. I would probably go in the direction of a medium dark tinted window.
 

gwarren007

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I think you should look in the "rate my cables"( http://www.hardforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=13) thread to see how to clean up your wires, I really think you should replace that power supply ASAP!!!!! Check the forums for a cheap QUALITY power supply.

Good job on the mod! Clean up the wires and change the PS- Then move to the case window :D
We will be looking for the updates.
 

swiftstrike

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I think you should look in the "rate my cables"( http://www.hardforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=13) thread to see how to clean up your wires, I really think you should replace that power supply ASAP!!!!! Check the forums for a cheap QUALITY power supply.

Good job on the mod! Clean up the wires and change the PS- Then move to the case window :D
We will be looking for the updates.


Thanks for the link to the "rate my cable thread". The thing about my case though is that it has absolutely no space behind the motherboard tray (the whole backside is just one sheet of metal). And those white cables that connect to the front ports are very annoying. Any ideas on how to handle this guys?

Next subject...I know the importance of a quality power supply for a system, but is my PSU that bad considering I have pretty weak hardware?
 

Elledan

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010
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Next subject...I know the importance of a quality power supply for a system, but is my PSU that bad considering I have pretty weak hardware?

Bestec PSUs really aren't what I'd call 'quality' PSUs. There's a review of one such PSU at www.JonnyGuru.com which had such a terrible 5VSB voltage that it'd destroy the connected hardware. It really wouldn't be a bad idea to install a proper Corsair PSU or similar.
 
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