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Project; Mark1

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#1

So, I started my idea a long time ago, and now it's finally time to share it.
This is my first mod, and consequently my first worklog. I will try to keep my story congruent and cohesive, as I don't always work in the most organized fashion. I tend to work on several things at once.
The case I'm using is the NZXT Lexa Blackline, with the red lights. It's a very nice looking case even by it's self.

Here's some of the hardware I will be using;
eVGA 790i ftw digital motherboard,
Intel QX9770,
OCZ 4GB DDR3 1800 PC3 14400 RAM,
Tagan BZ 1100w psu,
eVGA GTX285 ftw graphics card,
Koolance Exos 2.5 watercooling system, with a Swiftech Apogee GTZ cpu block,
Hauppage winTV HVR-2250 TV card,
Western Digital Velociraptor 300GB 10K rpm HDD,
(5) WD 2TB HDDs,
(2) LG GGW-H20L bluray drives,
Antec Multi-Station Premier,
Fan controller, and sound card have not been decided yet.

Ok, a few generic before shots;

By hardware_mark1 at 2009-06-15

By hardware_mark1 at 2009-06-15

By hardware_mark1 at 2009-06-15


Sorry, I forgot to take the before shots.
 
Last edited:
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#2
OK so I have to apologize, the first few steps are not that well documented. You see, this mod came about in steps.

When I got the case, I didn't even have any plans to mod it! Then I started getting ideas. First was a way to hide

wires, with some simple sheet metal next to the mobo. Also, I was going to build a rack out of 1/2" square tubing

for the Koolance to sit on. Then I ran into a bit of a problem. You see, the Imon is a dual bay device, plus two disc

drives, plus a fan controller... Well that is more than the supplied 5 drive bays. So, the idea changed a little, to add a

drive bay into the rack. But then I needed a way to cover it. And after days and days of trying to figure something

out, I came accross a material that I knew would work.

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-18
About this time, The design changed a little bit. Grew, you could say. I decided to use these panels to encase a

metal frame, and on top of that would be a smaller case that will house the imon and perhaps a few other things. I

refer to this as the minicase.
OK, a few hardware shots, goodies that the ups man brought :)


By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-15

By Hardware_Mark1 at 2009-06-15

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-15
And the first chops,



I also cut off the metal that was rolled over along the edge of the drive bays.

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-15
First warranty voided .
That'll be all for today, have to go to work. I apologize if things are a bit unclear, I promise it gets better!!!
 
Last edited:
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#3
that is an awfully long koolance unit... i did not think the Lexa was that long, at least not if you;re fitting it to the top? I've seen those units on the Lian Li v1200 cases, since they have an extra 1" between the top of the case and the top drive bay.

Ah i see... separate case. gocha.

subscribed to this, interested to see this mod unfold.
 
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#4
Hey I did get a little bit of a before shot.

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-18


By hardware_mark1 at 2009-06-19
OK, first, the blue lights have to go.


By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-19
Thats better.

Originally, the idea was to use sheet metal, flush with the motherboard, to hide the wires. Well it became evident

fairly quickly that that wasn't going to work. So I decided to make it stand out more, as well as overhang the mobo

to hide the power connector and sata connectors. Also, I decided to make it go over the graphics card, instead of

underneath it. This will hide the power wires to the card. I call this the "wire channel." Sounds confusing, you'll see

what I mean.
Other ideas I had from the beginning was to use sheet metal to make a psu cover, and drive bay cover.
Instead of sheet metal I am going to use these panels.

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-14

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-14


This is why I cut the metal off the side of the drive bays.
This is was the first attempt;

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-14
I don't like it. I recut it, using straighter lines. Also, I wanted to be able to see the lights on the front of the psu,

without seeing the wires. I came up with the idea of of putting holes in that area, effectively creating a grate, sorta.

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-14
Then I took a micro file and filed all the holes square, as you see I started there.
Here is the final result of that.

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-19

I also started cutting a piece for the bottom.
Warranties voided so far; 2.
 
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#5
I really do not have a clear picture what exactly you are gonna make out of this case. But I think because of that I'm more than just intrested in the progress and result.

So, I don't know why the pictures didn't come up, they were there when I previewed the post before I submitted it.... :confused:
I thought there had to be a few pics missing.
 
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#6
I really do not have a clear picture what exactly you are gonna make out of this case. But I think because of that I'm more than just intrested in the progress and result.



I thought there had to be a few pics missing.
Yeah, I'm sorry, it has not been totally clear so far. But, as it starts to come together, you will see and say "ahhh..."
Call it building suspense :p
Sorry too abaout the pics not working in the last post. Idk wth happened there
 

erocker

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#7
To get pictures to appear you need to use image tags.
:)
 
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#8
but here is a little mishaps on what goes on with pictures now that we've went to live threads.. if you view your post while your in "go Advanced" & hit "preview post" your pictures will then become links once you hit "post". It even happens if you first start as a post, then hit "go advanced" and then "post" after wards. It's a pita some times.. I've done so many Ninja works because of this..

BTW, Subscribed! Can't wait to see it all go down.
 
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#9
Ah ok I got it now thanks
EDIT fixed! Thanks erocker
 
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1Kurgan1

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#10
You should tell us what the plans are :p Looks to me like you are trying to fit in the rad, but beyond that, not so sure.
 
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#11
You should tell us what the plans are :p Looks to me like you are trying to fit in the rad, but beyond that, not so sure.
Lol well, I don't keep a concrete plan, so much as I adapt as I go along. I see something and I say, "That's what I'm looking for," or "I have to use that!"
Basically, though, the radiator will sit on top, the case will have extra drive bays added on, and thourough wire management. I don't want to see any wires at all! I of course will be doing some light effects and such, too. :p
 

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#12
Its fun watching this.

Cool idea using different materials.

What about mounting the iMon on the side of the DVD rack (since the panel you are using is so thick the iMon could be mounted flush)
 
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#13
That's actually not a bad idea... But the way the way the computer will sit on my desk, the Imon would be faced away from me, so it wouldn't do me a lot of good.
 

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#14
Put it on the other side, its only about 3/4" thick...
 
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#15
OK, so once again, I started on the side panel. This is the last one of these I am cutting, dangit. Here is the third, and final revision. I am still going to cut something in the panel to let som light through, but I haven't decided what yet. And, until I know for sure, I'm not doing any cutting! I also cut a smaller piece for the 3.5" bays. Here you see those two pieces, plus, you can see where I cut out the material on the backside of the HDD cage.

By hardware_mark1, shot with KODAK Z1285 ZOOM DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-19

Here is a shot of the piece cut to cover the bottom of the case.

The square hole is for the fan on the bottom. The edge on the top that is uneven will be under the motherboard.
Speaking of the bottom.... I am working on building a 'skirt' to go around the bottom.
Here are the bolts I am using. I love these bolts! I believe they are called "elevator bolts."

By hardware_mark1, shot with KODAK Z1285 ZOOM DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-19

I started out using 1/2" square tubing. Eventually, I figured that 1" would be much easier to work with. Yeah, it will add some weight, But oh well, this baby is gonna be hefty by the time I'm done anyway.

By hardware_mark1, shot with KODAK Z1285 ZOOM DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-20

I had been trying to figure out something to use to fill up some space, as well as add a little something extra. I have this skull,

By hardware_mark1 at 2009-06-20
that I want to incorporate into the case. I thought about several different avenues, then I saw this, and I knew that was it.

By Hardware_Mark1 at 2009-06-19
It's a heatsink, from the same place I got the panels. I am going to cut and file away a lot of the material in between the fins. The idea is to see the skull, but only kinda. I want the reaction not to be, "Oh, another skull," instead, "What's that? Oh wow"
 

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#16
I really like how you are using different textures on this (I am a pretty plain kind of builder) Nice job so far..
 
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#17
OK, update!
Here is another picture of the HDD cage.

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-20
I did this so I can flip the hard drives around, so the cables will be on the backside, instead of on the window side.
I will have to mod the HD rails so they line up right, but I will do that later.


Also, I am thinking of building some kind of a box onto the back, to hide the hundred or so wires that go to the

back of the computer. Haven't quite decided exactly how I want that to look. Something like this....

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-18

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-18
Now you can start to see a little bit of a bigger picture. eh?
In that pic, you can see the rivets I had originally used to mount the panels to the case. I pitched that idea with the

newer panel, in favor of a method resulting in a cleaner finish.

OK, so some progess on the skirt. Here you will see why I switched to the 1" tube.

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-20
I can screw the bolts right into the bars! And this makes mounting the skirt to the case a snap.

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-21


Also, here is part of that heatsink I showed you earlier. I am so happy with the way it turned out!


I still haven't decided how I am going to style the front part though. The back, however, is pretty simple. I took the

back leg, which also held on the curved piece of plastic that goes on the back of the case. Well, the leg won't work

with the skirt, but I need to hold on the rear piece.




Easy fix, just cut off the superfluous plastic!

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-18


Here is a couple more pictures showing some progress

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-18

By hardware_mark1, shot with

KODAK Z1285 ZOOM

DIGITAL CAMERA at 2009-06-18

I made a psu cover, as well. Nothing too fancy...

The metal tabs will let me screw it onto the back of the case.
Next update, I start building up! :toast:
 
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#18
Now I cast my eyes upward.
Originally, the idea was to use the 1/2" square tubing to build a frame. Again, I pitched that in favor of 1" tube. So I

made these two simple square frames.

JB weld, plus angle irons. Should be sturdy. I wish they could be welded, but I don't have any means to get that

done. The piece of panelling on the side is just to get it square.


More of the elevator bolts will mount them to the case. These are especially useful where the rear frame is, since

it's right above the psu, and there is limited clearance.
I also cut out the fan grill on the top of the case. I am going to put a piece of 3" pvc pipe here, as a "ventilation

shaft."



This whole area will be enclosed with panelling, with the "vent" on the left side. This will house the skull I showed

you earlier.
The right side, nothing too complicated.


The back will be a simple panel.
Another simple panel will close off the area where the skull sits. I had a picture of those panels, but they didn't turn

out very good.
Speaking of the skull, I gave it some life.
My new hard drive activity lights!
 
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#19
Holy crap, ventilation shaft and a skull for HDD activity lights!!!! Props man!
 
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#20
Yay delivery!


Hmm deja vu....


Now why, oh why would I be showing pictures of a new case now? Because it's Lexa case number 2!!!
I know it doesn't seem to make sense to buy a whole 'nother case, but I have several reasons for doing this. 1, it will save me a lot of work if I use pre-existing drive cage, as opposed to building my own. 2, in an effort to help, my desk was cleaned for me, resulting in most of the screws that came with the case getting lost, or mixed in with all my other similiar hardware, thus becoming hopelessly confused.
So basically what I am going to do is take this case, and shrink it down to about half size. I need the two drive bays for my Imon controller. I also decided to give myself one more extra 5.25" bay, just in case. I also went ahead and put in a cage for one HDD, just for the heck of it.
Sooo, some quality time with ye olde power drill, and it's presto, yet another warranty voided. This one within five minutes of taking delivery!!
And here we go, a nice pile o' parts.


Now I'll keep the top and bottom intact, obviously. Also, I am keeping the mobo tray and back panel intact. I won't be using it in this build.


OK, so my big plan for this part; I am calling this the minicase. The idea here is to make it look like the regular case, just, uh, smaller.

So I chopped the the 5.25" cage down to size. I chopped down the corresponding front panel, as well as thee HDD

cage, for one hard drive. Here are those pieces mocked up together.

Cut the right side panel.


Made a psuedo rear panel.



I actually am planning on putting a couple things in there like regular pci slots. One thing will be the video capture

inputs that came with my Hauppauge TV card.
Of course I will have to lengthen the wires.

And now I leave you with this (teaser?) shot:
 
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Video Card(s) ASUS R9290X-DC2OC-4GD5 + ASUS R9290X-4GD5
Storage Corsair ForceGT 120GB + Samsung 840 EVO 250GB + 3TB Seagate + MediaSonic Raid array (4x 3TB WDRED)
Display(s) Benq XL2730Z (1440P 144Hz, TN, Freesync) & 2x ASUS VE248
Case Corsair Obsidian 750D
Audio Device(s) Aune T1/Fiio E17/Realtek, SE535, TH-X00, ATH-M50 modded w/ V-Moda Boompro
Power Supply Corsair HX1000i
Mouse Sharkoon Fireglider optical
Keyboard Corsair K95 RGB
Software Windows 10 Pro
Benchmark Scores Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog CH Pro Pedals
#22
I really like how you are using different textures on this (I am a pretty plain kind of builder) Nice job so far..
Um... WTH? I might use the words "streamlined" "sleek" "clean" but not plain! That said I agree, the different textures should work nicely.

Is this a Terminatorcase? Kinda looks that way to me so far...
 
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your local vending machine
System Name HTPC||Lenovo IBM ThinkPad
Processor AMD Phenom II x4 965 stock 3.4GHz||Intel C2D T9300 @ 2.5GHz
Motherboard Zotac 890GX-ITX WiFi||Lenovo 8918CTO
Cooling Stock 3x 120's||Stock stuff
Memory 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 6-6-6-15||3GB DDR2
Video Card(s) Asus 3870x2||nVidia Quadro NVS 140M
Storage 1TB Seagate Barracuda, 1x 2TB WD EARX ||Hitachi 160GB 7200RPM
Display(s) Samsung T260HD||
Case SilverStone Grandia GD05||
Audio Device(s) on-board||on-board
Power Supply Cooler Master 450W||6-cell
Software Windows 7 Pro x64||Windows 7 Pro x64/Linux Mint x64
#23
I'm kinda confused as to what is going on as well. But it looks really sweet!
It's like a computer case zombie mod!
 
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System Name Mark1
Processor Intel Core2 Extreme QX9770
Motherboard EVGA 790i FTW PWM
Cooling Koolance Exos 2.5
Memory OCZ SLI PC3 14400 4Gb
Video Card(s) GTX 285 FTW
Storage WD raptor 300 Gb, WD 2tb
Display(s) ASUS 25.5"
Case NZXT Lexa Blackline
Power Supply Tagan BZ 1100w
Software Vista 64bit
#24
Yeah, sorry guys, I didn't form a concrete plan going in to this. Just sorta building as I go. Um, the skull is just a detail though, just for looksies. I'm not tryin for biomech or anything.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
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Location
your local vending machine
System Name HTPC||Lenovo IBM ThinkPad
Processor AMD Phenom II x4 965 stock 3.4GHz||Intel C2D T9300 @ 2.5GHz
Motherboard Zotac 890GX-ITX WiFi||Lenovo 8918CTO
Cooling Stock 3x 120's||Stock stuff
Memory 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 6-6-6-15||3GB DDR2
Video Card(s) Asus 3870x2||nVidia Quadro NVS 140M
Storage 1TB Seagate Barracuda, 1x 2TB WD EARX ||Hitachi 160GB 7200RPM
Display(s) Samsung T260HD||
Case SilverStone Grandia GD05||
Audio Device(s) on-board||on-board
Power Supply Cooler Master 450W||6-cell
Software Windows 7 Pro x64||Windows 7 Pro x64/Linux Mint x64
#25
I like your style mate. Just building what comes to your mind I believe is what you are doing.