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Guide: Cable Management Mobo Tray Mod

Discussion in 'Cases, Modding & Electronics' started by CyberDruid, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    Hey guys:rockout:

    This is a guide that will aid your efforts to manage cabling in cases with a bottom mount PSU.

    The idea can be applied to any case that offers enough clearance between the blind side panel and the back of the motherboard tray for your PSU cabling.

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    Here we have a virgin Antec 900

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    This is pretty essential for layout but if you plan to paint right away you can skip the tape and use a pencil or whatever instead of a Sharpie

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    C-Channel is going to come in handly to prevent chafing and clean up any holes you make. It can also surplant the use of Grommets (which are expensive)

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    To determine the size of the holes you'll make choose the grommets first.

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    A step bit (on left) is one of the cleanest ways to make and enlarge holes in sheet metal. A Hole saw is good for larger holes but you need to use a backing board clamped into place.

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    A drill and some bits will make pilot holes.

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    A Holesaw Kt and serious High torque low speed drill with a large chuck is required for making the optional PSU fan hole mod

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    But you can also use a jigsaw

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    If you don't have the drills or jigsaw a die grinder or dremel type tool with cut off wheels will get the job done as well

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    Scissors and/or a utility or Exacto knife will be handy for cutting any patterns from paper or trimming C Channel to exact length

    More to follow
  2. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    [​IMG]

    First you need to have the PSU in hand because there are a lot of different types and lengths of PSUs some with small fans no fans or large fans

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    You will be surprised at how small a hole the 24 pin plug will fit through if you "roll it"--here it's being poked through a factory hole intended for LC just to demonstrate.

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    Strip the case

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    SInce I have a lot of mods going at once I alwas store the parts in the box..that way later I don't have a WTF moment

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    This blank slate needs to have some guidelines to layout the holes

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    If your PSU has nice long cables you can leave the fan up...but most don't

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    You can see here that this will stretch the cables across the airflow and basically be your typical n00b cabling disaster...

    So here's an optional mod to flip the PSU if it has a fan

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    It's easier to put tape to mark the edges of the PSU wih the cable outlet away from the mobo panel

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    A handly thing for layout is a piece of stiff paperor cardboard with a 90 degree corner...this will let you trace a slightly oversized guide of where the PSu sits in the case.

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    Use that "square" to transfer your marks all around and measure to determine the center of the fan o the PSU and transfer that mark to the case floor.

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    Pilot a hole at that center mark

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    If you have the right size holesaw

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    Flip the case and secure it on a pad and have at it...

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    Or use a compass and draw out the cut and use a cut off wheel...or even a jigsaw

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    A Drum sander on a drill will rapidly deburr the cut

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    Using the guideline for the PSU position drill a hole the right size for your largest grommet or about 1-1/4" diameter if using C-Channel

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    This is where you will poke the majority of the PSU cabling through to hide it behind the mobo tray

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    Edge your PSU fan hole with C-Channel

    Now you are ready to layout for the motherboard cabling holes.

    Lay your mobo in place and use the tape to mark around it or if painting soon just mark around it. Make check marks where the 24 pin, SATA cabling and FP cabling will pop through. You want to make your holes so the enters are 1/4" away from the edge of themobo This ill allow the cabling to ease through and still hide most of the hole. Use drills the right size for your grommets.

    More to Follow
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  3. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    [​IMG]
    If using holesaws back up your work with a piece of scrap wood and clamp the case.

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    If Using step bits use some tape around the bit to ensure you do not go one step too large.

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    The layout here is top grommet for Front Panel stuff coming off the top panel, 24Pin, SATA, Front Panel to Mobo, and finally 24pin etc from the PSU

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    That's how it starts

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    PSU can breathe

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    Sanitary cabling from the start

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    I hope this helps out modders here at TPU :toast:
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
    theJesus, erocker, Thrackan and 4 others say thanks.
  4. KBD New Member

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    very, very cool, i wish i knew about this when i got my TJ-09. it has the bottom mounted PSU and makes cable management rather difficult. When i had my PC P&C 750 what i did was simply flipped it over so the PSU cables wound up right next to the mobo tray as opposed to being on the opposite side of the mobo tray and were being stretched from one side of case to another making it look stupid. Fortunately that case does have a grill in the PSU area and when i got my Ultra PSU with 140mm i just put it facing the grill. The big downside, of course, is that in this configuration the PSU fan sucks up all the dust under the case, thats the only problem i see with this mod.
    CyberDruid says thanks.
  5. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    ...and another task added to my never-ending agenda :D
    CyberDruid says thanks.
  6. theJesus

    theJesus

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    Excellent guide! My friends and I always cut holes in the mobo tray and hide the wires behind it, but this is a really clean way to do it.

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