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EnergyFX's Thermaltake Soprano RS build

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by EnergyFX, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    Yep, going to help me! :toast:

    Thanks EFX! MK, lets just have a full condo rented there.. a few bed rooms!?
     
  2. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    So I spent tonight working on the trim for the front panel. I wanted a total thickness of 1 inch for the front panel but I only want 1/2 an inch of overlap on the acrylic. Unfortunately Home Depot doesn't stock 1x1/2 angle aluminum so I had to go with 1x1 and trim half an inch off one side. MK, you'll be proud to know I used snips to accomplish this. Cutting 1/16" thick aluminum along a 4 foot line 'bout killed my forearm! But, with patience, concentration, and focus I was able to cut an impressively straight line with very little distortion of the trim piece. I dare say the cut was tremendously straighter than it would have been had I used my normal method with a dremel.

    After that it was a lot of time spent taking measurements and making marks on the trim piece where I would need to make the cuts. I used a quality adjustable straightedge (that also had a 45 degree surface) to ensure my marks were at precisely 45 degrees. I drilled a 1/8" hole at the apex of the marks and then again used the snips to cut out the notches.
    [​IMG]

    After a little bit of filing to clean up the notches I used a hand held seamer to help control the trim as I made the bends. This took a bit of finesse since I didn't want definite creases at the corners. The Soprano top panel has slightly rounded edges so I want the front panel to follow that design.
    [​IMG]

    I folded the trim over until my notch cuts touched each other. For every corner this occurred slightly shy of a true 90 degree bend. Why I'm not quite sure but I suspect is had something to do with the thickness of the material and the fact that I bent the corners slightly rounded. I just happen to have a set of hobby files with a very thin straight file in it. I used the thin file to open the corner up a little more. Each session open the gap between the notch cuts by about 3/64". This allowed me to tighten the bend a bit more each time until I achieved a perfect 90 degree corner.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Two top bends complete.
    [​IMG]

    And after another round of measuring, marking, cutting notches, bending, filing, bending, filing, bending, filing, etc......... here is the piece with all four corners bent. I haven't quite figured out what to do with the gap at the bottom. I knew from the beginning that this gap would exist since the aluminum was only 4 feet long to start with. The case is 17" tall by 7 7/8" wide so a four foot trim piece comes up a couple of inches short. The obvious solution is to simply cut a 2 inch piece to fill the gap, but I'm kicking around a few ideas to maybe incorporate some sort of a name plate for that area... perhaps a case badge mounting surface or something like that.
    [​IMG]

    Overall I was able to achieve exactly 17" height, but I overshot the width by about 1/16". I haven't quite decided if this is acceptable to me yet. It's a lot of work to do over for a mere 1/16"... and what's to say I won't miss the mark again.

    I haven't quite decided if I want to have the corners welded or just do it myself with JB weld. Either way, the gap at the corners and the joints on whatever I decide to do with the bottom gap will eventually be filled in, filed, and sanded smooth. The plan for now is to have the trim piece texture powder coated to match the rest of the case. Paint would be simple, but considering it is the front panel it will be very exposed to getting bumped. Since it is made of aluminum I just see a lot of chips showing up.

    Here are some more shots of the trim piece with the acrylic in place. I had to do a bit of sanding on the edges of the acrylic. I originally designed the acrylic without yet intending to use a trim piece around it so the thickness of the trim piece had to be sanded off the edge.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here are a couple of shots to show how perfectly the acrylic fits into the trim piece.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And finally, here is the image I have been working on for the past two weeks! I'm just so pleased at how this is turning out. When I started this project I never would have imagined I would end up fabricating a custom front panel like this.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
    johnnyfiive, steelkane, MKmods and 2 others say thanks.
  3. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    That looks REALLY good Energy. Now, is this build still for the wife? Or, have you taken it over?

    :laugh:
     
    EnergyFX says thanks.
  4. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    It is still very much hers. Look at it this way... I'm just developing my skills for MY next case :D:D:D
     
  5. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    ahhh, even sweeter!! Another build!

    :toast:
     
  6. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Alright, well it's off to bed for me.

    I'll probably do some detail filing/sanding on the trim piece tonight. Maybe I'll SketchUp some ideas for what to do with the bottom gap. If anyone has any suggestions or cool ideas please speak up.

    Before I go I wanna say thanks to everyone that is following this build. Sharing my work with the forum is definitely holding me to a higher standard.

    As for my fellow modders... you all have some tremendous talent and each of you has your own very unique style. I can only hope that I am contributing an idea or two to repay the volumes of ideas you all have given me.

    Notable shoutout to:
    Steelkane, ColdStorm, MKmods, and Castiel (edit: oh yeah, ChickenPattie too... I'm hungry lol, that reminded me)
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
    steelkane and Cold Storm say thanks.
  7. ste2425

    ste2425

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    very nice work my friend im very jelous of your skills:p, maybe some sort of light projector at the bottom shining an image or words on the floor just below your case. It will fill the gap, look great and im shore that if you do everything else youve done it wouldnt be to hard for you to make such a device:D
     
    EnergyFX says thanks.
  8. Ryo129 New Member

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    if you turn the trim peice upside down you coul add a logo or embellish it
     
    EnergyFX says thanks.
  9. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Interesting idea... I'll have to consider that... especially since the case will be elevated a couple of inches when I get the casters mounted.

    Hadn't thought of that. There isn't exactly a whole lot of room up top though. On the bottom there is that large gap between the trim and the bottom part of the fan.
     
  10. MKmods Case Mod Guru

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    Thanks a lot for that post EFX :respect:

    Its really cool to see people paying attention when I babble...One other thing, looking at the pict of the tools I had to smile as we seen to be using the same tools...
    [​IMG]

    Excellent job on the angle frame:rockout:
     
    EnergyFX says thanks.
  11. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Heh heh. The seamer is a new addition to my tool family. The snips I have had for a while... just never use them.

    Malco makes a nice handheld nothcer I want to get.
     
  12. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Alright... the mess and clutter is getting out of control. Time to clean shop.

    8/17/2009 -- The day EnergyFX kicks his addiction of saving boxes for every piece of hardware. :(
     
  13. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    Bro, you gotta see behind my couch! It looks like world war 3 box wise! With everything going on like it is!!
     
  14. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    By the way, if anyone has had their eye on one of the new Aerocool Touch series fan controllers... let me just say that they are VERY nice.

    I got a Touch 2000 for this rig and I've been drooling over it ever since I opened the box. Aerocool stepped their game WAY up on these. The front fascia is a 3/64" thick brushed aluminum plate. The screen is gorgeous and the touch sensitivity is perfect, not too sensitive, not too numb... just right.

    If I had any complaint it would be that the controller doesn't back the fan speed off quite enough at min setting... but this is only if you are using high RPM fans. The viewing angle of the screen could be a bit wider as well. Too bad Aerocool didn't incorporate a contrast adjustment.

    On the Touch 2000 the audio, USB, and E-SATA connection ports only add to the sweetness... especially in my case where I modded the front connections out of my case.

    Here's some pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. mav2000

    mav2000 New Member

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    Nice I like that...I like the use of the black flat wires as well..
     
  16. 1Kurgan1

    1Kurgan1 The Knife in your Back

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    Thats a sexy addon for the drive bays, I might have to keep that in mind for my case.
     
  17. kickbass4777 New Member

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    cool fan controller
     
  18. kickbass4777 New Member

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    the whole thing looks great. what did you have in mind for that top panel im going to send you ? out of curiousity
     
  19. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Quick update (sorry, no pics this time).

    So I got the rig all taken apart (again). Hopefully this will be the last time. I started to mount the casters on the bottom but didn't like how flimsy the floor of the case felt. So I am working on reinforcing the floor with a sheet of acrylic. This will not only beef up the floor and provide a much strudier mount for the casters, but will also clean and dress up the floor quite a bit. I will baint the back side of the acrylic with the same red that is seen elsewhere in the build.

    I have also been working on a different reservoir setup that I think will be much nicer and more practical.

    I've had lots of deliveries of little things like allen head bolts of various sizes (made the mistake of ordering 2-56 threaded screws... holy crap they are tiny!), aluminum standoffs for mounting the new front panel, and some led strips for accent lighting.

    Grainger ended up pissing me off and making me happy all at the same time. I placed an online order with them and they sent me an e-mail the next day saying they are a wholesale operation and they would need a copy of my business liscense before they can sell to me. This sucked since they had the standoffs I really wanted. The nuts and bolts I ordered through them weren't an issue since I can find them elsewhere, but the standoffs aren't that easy to find. So anyways, I spent half of the next day (when I should have been asleep) scouring the interwebnet for more 8-32 dual female standoffs at 5/8" length. After being told no by several places (since I am not a business) I finally came across one place that sympathized with me. Initially the sales consultant told me "no" but was nice enough to make the sale after I whined to her for a few seconds about having such a hell of a time getting service as a simple hobbiest. So she sold me the standoffs, but not the size I really wanted since I was limited to what they had in stock. Ok... I know this is getting long, but stay with me cause here comes the best part... THE NEXT FRIGGIN DAY A GRAINGER BOX SHOWS UP ON MY DOORSTEP WITH EVERYTHING I ORDERED FROM THEM!!! Oh well, at least I got the stuff I really wanted, but ended up wasting money and a bunch of time on standoffs I won't use now.

    So, that's where I am now. I'm still getting stuff done, just don't have any pictures to show for it right now.
     
  20. MKmods Case Mod Guru

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    will 8-32 screws work?
     
  21. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    I'm using 8-32 for mounting most everything, but 8-32 is far too big for the 40mm fans. Even 6-32 is too big for the 40mms.
     
  22. MKmods Case Mod Guru

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    I have had good luck (so far) drilling out mobos and video card PCBs to accept larger screws (normal size is 6-32)
    I know one day I will be pushing my luck though...:laugh:

    Congrats on getting ur hardware..
     
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  23. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    I'm kind of considering using socket head shoulder screws on some of the MB mounts and then using the shoulder section as a tie post for cable managment. There is no room to work with behind the MB tray for cable managment so all cabling will have to be visible.
     
  24. MKmods Case Mod Guru

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    sounds like a really nice detail.
     
  25. PsychoD

    PsychoD New Member

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    It all looks great, and I love that fan controller too.
     
    EnergyFX says thanks.

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