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beginner modder 1st ever build

Jan 17, 2014
1 (0.00/day)
Processor i7 Sandybridge 2.7ghz
Cooling Noctua
Memory Corsair DDR3 6GB
Storage 1TB Seagate
Case Antec 300
Power Supply Corsair TX860
Software Windows 7
As the title suggests I am a very novice modder who is looking to do his first ever build/mod to an Antec 300 case, ideally I have an idea in mind but i'm not sure how to go about it really. I was initially thinking of putting in 2-3mm acrylic L shaped window starting from the top and dropping down past the fan grill already in place on the side and then etching on 3 symbols that mean alot to me. The assassins Creed logo, Horde logo (world of warcraft) and the Heartless logo from kingdom hearts. By doing this i can finally add my own personal touch to my case as its always something that i've wanted to do. I've sourced most of my materials already without a real start which was kind of stupid:

  • - 4010 mounting tape from mnpctech
  • - a bi-metal 18tpi jigsaw blade set from B&Q
  • - acrylic sheet (just have to figure out which would look better 2 or 3mm)
  • - window trim 2m (ebay just waiting on hearing back if they ship to where I am)

ideally i have seen some amazing work that i'd love to sort of emulate, as seen in the pic link:


Half way down the modder who made the work log cut his own custom logo and made the edges highlighted using LED's with what looks to be blue cold cathodes deeper within the case. My question to experienced modders out there is that:

  • - would i be able to use an LED strip around the acrylic to generate the same effect? if not what LED's etc do people recommend?
  • - would i need a secondary light within the case to highlight the etched planes?
  • - would an L shaped cut out look better with this style in mind than a full window cut out (removing the fan grill and adding a new one on top for air flow?)

Any advice for this current mod or for future mods would be greatly appreciated
Apr 2, 2011
2,442 (1.00/day)
Allow me to start with the basics.

Only discontinuities within the material will light up. This means either a transition from material to air, or discontinuities within the surface, will light up. The cited website goes with the transitions. If you want a bit of an easier go for your first time you can cut the protective sheet covering the acrylic, and remove the cover on the sections you want to light up. Hit the piece with a sandblaster, and the uncovered area will frost. This frosted area will light up, and you don't have to deal with difficulties of getting a clean cut in acrylic.

The largest concern is the sides of the acrylic. You need to get an extremely smooth finish to transfer light effectively. Start with a low value sand paper (80) and move on to a very high value sandpaper (400 or better) to get a smooth surface. You'll loose the feeling in your hands, but the finished product will be worth it.

Now, there are four LEDs lighting the acrylic. This is a shrewd way of doing things, which should be emulated. Each LED is in a corner of the piece, creating a functionally even lighting across the material. The LEDs would have been better focused if they were only allowed to emit light in a single direction (I've seen electrical tape used for this, but you can do it however you are comfortable). The LEDs are all connected to the same power supply, so if they're to be emulated you'll need the appropriate resistors. None of that is too difficult, and shouldn't pose too much of a challenge. If you find the LEDs produce too much of a point light source, you can get an old laptop or monitors, take it apart, and use the diffuser layer on the outside of the acrylic to even out the glow.

Now, the Cold Cathode is odd. It is a different color than the acrylic, which poses some fundamental questions of design. It will create light bleed on the acrylic, so using the blue was likely a way to make the etched logo appear cleaner. I don't personally see the logic in it, but remember that there will be bleed. Choose a coherent lighting theme, and make sure all your components match it.

The reason a cold cathode wasn't used on the acrylic was likely cost. A dozen LEDs will pretty much always be cheaper than a cold cathode. The cold cathode produces generally consistent light intensity over a given area, so it does not require the diffuser points sources do (an LED is functionally a point source of light).

Best luck with your first mod!