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(Case Mod) MKG-Cosmos II


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I was able to get some very sticky 3m speed tape for puttimg the doors back together. the only bummer is thet the smallest I could get is 1" wide and I need some 3/8" strips. either i will cut a bunch of 3/8" pieces or maybe I can cut strips on wax paper or something. It only has backing on one side otherwise it would'nt be a problem.

I also bought a couple cans of clear paint for the doors, and one more cam of Hemi orange. Hopefully I'm done buyimg paint haha

I wetsanded the windowed door and sprayed two coats of clear on it. I'll let that cure until friday, then wetsand it again then a final clear-coat and hopefully it will look nice and deeply glossy. Then i can put that door back together and be done with it! Damn that will be nice smile.gif

I need to get rollin on the other door.

Here's the good stuff- $9 a roll- Its like a super sticky film.

Super thin without the backing.

Just what the doctor ordered-


I also picked up a couple cans of clear coat spray,

one for each door- I sanded the aluminum real good with 400 grit before taking it off the plastic


I put one of the mesh pieces on the bottom of the case.

I used super glue. seems to be holding great. I might re-enforce it with some silicone-


them I carefully separated the same method as I did on the first one.

I have to finish cleaning off the tape residue off, but its getting there,


I think now that I may have screwed up ordering 12" light tubes.

Just occurred to me.. we'll see-

I received a package from newegg containing an 80mm Xigmatek orange fan with white leds, a 3-in-2 hot swap hdd cage, and a couple red cathodes w/ hardware. I think these xiggy fans are a better match to the paint compared to the cougars, plus they have white leds which will look nice in this rig.

Here's a pic of the fan and hot-swap cage.


The fan is going to replace this noisy black one that came with the hdd cage. I'm just going by the reviews of the cage on the fan being loud. The orange will look better anyway. I will be taking apart the hdd trays and painting the red aluminum parts orange.


Hdd tray handles and some nuts and bolts ready to get sprayed-


Primer applied.


These nuts get flat black.


These parts got hemi orange and some clear.


After some dry time, I slipped some rubber washers onto the bolts to protect the door paint.


Peeling the protective paper off the plexi for the door window-


Window installed onto door skin. I used rubber washers on the backside also to protect the Plexiglas.


I taped down some wax paper onto a cardboard box, then proceeded to cut some 3/8" strips from the 1" wide tape using a straight edge and a razor blade. The wax paper worked great! the tape only has backing on one side.


The skinny strips go between the vents- This was done after thoroughly cleaning the plastic with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I also cleaned the backside of the door skin.

More tape applied. I used a lot more than CM. I don't want this to come off haha!


I used the corner of a razor blade to remove the paper backing off the double sided tape, being careful not to touch any of the exposed tape.


Three weeks later the side door is finally assembled! whoot! The tape worked great! instant adhesion :thumb:


backside- It looks like it was made like this :) The bottom screen area is no longer removable though. No biggie though, nothing a little compressed air wont be able to handle.


I bent the metal tabs back, and replaced the cover stickers.


You can see the slight tint in the plexi here-


I've got 2 coats of clear on the right side door. I've got it drying for a day or two before I sand it one more time for a final coat of clear.


I have re-assembled the case with the exception of the right side door and took some pictures. I has turned out as good as I could have hoped for. This has taken me a long time but I think all my effort shows. Here are some pictures of what she's looking like, nearly all put back together with her new colors ;)











I still have to put lighting into the back side door, and the acrylic, and maybe some black mesh, then stick the two pieces back together with the double backed tape. Then the paint and window mod part of this build will be done for the most part. I'm sure I'll run into a few needed cuts and holes when it comes time to install all the water-cooling gear and components.

What do you guys think?

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So anyway, I was thinking that I would pay tribute to OCN on this case since they have taught me so much over the past few years. Whenever I need help with computer issues, or creative ideas regarding building computers and such, OCN members have always been there to help! So I was thinking about putting a backlit flame in this area where I am going to be putting the resevoir and pump. The glowing flame should make checking water level in the res that much easier and cooler!

Here's the planning phase. I know the flame dimentions are skewed a bit, but I had to make it fit in the space that is allowed.


Next I carefully cut out my flame and then traced it onto some masking tape on the plastic (inner part) door. I covered the rest with paper to for a bit of protection.


I cut it out with my jigsaw with a metal blade after drilling a starting hole with a drill. The box-knife and snips are for removing the frame things off the backside.


like so..


I removed quite a bit of the stiffness of the door frame, but I think that the plexiglass (and possibly more mesh) will restore most of its strength.


After some scraping with a single sided razor blade, it looks much cleaner-


after some cutting with razor knife/blades, and some sanding then wet-sanding-


the finished cut (with paper standing in for the plexi) :thumb:


Then I remasked both halves of the door to protect from overspray.



Then I take both pieces down to the paintbooth (basement) and first hit em with primer, then 10 minutes later some white enamel. I am painting these to help reflect the lighting that will be inside the door.


Besides that, I honed the orange plexi for the MadKat logo with some 220 grit. It was crystal clear before. I honed it to help disperse the lighting.


I'm not sure if I will be using the black mesh or not. I will have to decide which looks better.


So Monday at work was pretty painless, so when I got home I still had plenty of energy for modding. As with many good mod sessions, I kick it off with a cold brew- notice the bad@ss pint glass!


First thing I did was to grab the pieces that I painted white last night and removed the masking-


When I flip the two haves together, heres what the outside is looking like. The white should help reflect the lighting.


When I was looking at the other side, I liked how the shadows cast from the light above made it look like the flame was dancing ;)


Well, next was the simple fan swap on the hot-swap cage I got for the case. I wanted to swap the loud stock black fan with a nice orange xigmatec fan with leds. Except that the stock fan is only 20mm thick, and the xiggy is 25mm.... what to do?

You can't fit a square peg in a round hole... or can you?

Here's a picture of my roto-zip rotary tool with flex wand attachment, and the partially 'cut' fan-


This plastic melts more than it cuts, at least with a dremel cutoff disk. What a mess!


After melting my way around the fan it looks like so-


Next I use some small wire cutters to snip off some of the slag-


Then I clean it up further with a razor blade, and put some tape on the blade to protect it from damage.


It was still pretty far from flat, so I compressed the fan blade to the support brackets with some tape pulled tight, and taped some 80 grit sandpaper to my kitchen countertop. I learned this method from a lapping tutorial here on OCN :) I sanded the frame down using 80, 220, 400, 800...


Then I wet-sanded with some 1000 grit.


Next victim-


using the snips, I remove the fan grill.


I clean it up further with a razor blade- that looks good...


...but not good enough! I eye my empty beer glass and :bulb:


action shot!


that's better :thumb:


Next I cut some fan cables, plug in a soldering iron, and round up some needed items. not only is the xigmatek fans cable too long, it has the wrong end on it to plug on to the hot-swap circuit board. Flux, solder and heatshrink all present.


I warm the insulation with a lighter, and pinch/pull the ends off with my thumbs fingernail pressed against the side of my index finger. I have a nice pair of wire strippers, but it's only 6 ends. I then dip the ends of the wires into the flux.


before soldering, I slip on two skinny pieces of heatshrink and one fatter one, then solder the wires to their color-coded counterparts.


I heat the skinny-shrink over the positive and negative wires using my trusty heat-gun (bic), then slide the larger diameter piece and shrink the yellow wire (rpm monitor) to the heatshrunk (is that a word?) wires.


As you can see, the frame of the xiggy fan is still a little bit taller than the stock fan, and if you look closely, the fan blades are taller yet.


I solve this problem by flipping the fan over, so it pushes air from inside the case out the front (thank god for those meshed chevrons haha) instead of the way the unit comes, sucking outside air in over the drives. It should perform quieter, and definitely look better at the trade off of slightly warmer hdds.


So that's how you fit a 25mm thick fan into a 20mm housing lol. I realize that was a pretty long post for not too much impact, heck, you wont really be able to see this fan except for when the door is open, but it's the little details that make special builds, well, special.

Here is the hot-swap cage installed and looking all sexy with its new orange fan :thumb:


Let me know if you guys actually read all that haha.

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I have been working on the back (right side) door for the last couple days. I got off work early yesterday so I was able to get some quality modding time in.

Here's a picture of testing the melting point of some plexi. It gets pliable at about 300 degrees. I tested in the oven because I do not have a heat gun. I ended up borrowing one from my friend Chaka.


Here's the small box that arrived with my led light strips in it. Luckily, the strips inside were undamaged.


These modelers brand led strips really are quite nice. I ordered the ultra-smooth varity-

You can cut them every inch where the positive and negative leads are visible (every 3 leds).


Time for some nectar of the gods...


... and some cow-




After eating and drinking and a long days work (at my job) I ended up falling alseep while watching tv heh.

Thursday after work, I started working on the acrylic for the cutouts. First I draw some cut lines-


Then find a suitable jig-saw blade for the job. Don'y cut plastic with a dremel unless you have to, as it is messy, melty, and inaccurate.


A few minutes later, my pieces are cut. Some of the protective paper ripped off of the flame piece, hence the blue tape.


I bent the biggest blue piece to try to match the contour of the door where the OCN logo is going, then glued the flame pieces to the bigger piece using some acrilic gel adheasive.


I was told that you had some working time with the glue I bought, but it was messy and started drying within a minute. It wasn't nearly enough time for me to get it cleaned up so I had to scrape and sand it to get it looking this clean. That was all I got done for that day, and it was late when I finished, so I didn't post an update.

The next day after work (Friday), I ended up sanding the face of the blue piece with some 400 grit sandpaper to hone the acrylic, as it was too transparent looking. Next, I use some double backed tape and some of the acrylic adheasive to attach the blue acrylic to the door.


With the blue plexi looking pretty good, I start with the orange. I realise that the piece of plexi (and mesh) are too big when I try a test fitting with both door panels. So I draw some lines with a sharpie.


After cutting both the mesh and the orange plexi, I slap down some double back tape to hold the acrylic to the aluminum door skin.


After getting the piece of mesh to sit nice and flat on the plexi, I use the acrylic glue to adhere the mesh to the plexiglass.


Then I start cutting some of the plastic frame where I am going to be placing some red cold cathode lights to light up the madkat logo. While test fitting the tube, I find that the little cube on the end is too tall, so I remove it from the tube, and sand it down as far as I can, which ends up being just enough. I had planned to use the warm-white led light strips that I bought to light up the MadKat logo, but they made the plexiglass look yellowish, so I will use these cathodes which make the plexiglass look blood-orange in color. I will use the white leds for interior case lighting.


I removed the upper box housing of the cathode blu box controller thing, to give the electrical components some breathing room, and test the lights to ensure functionality. For being red cathodes, they are looking red-orange to me which makes them perfect for my needs :)


Then I start soldering up the blue led strips.


I drill some holed on thr frame support pieces of plastic and run the led power wires through the holes. Then I splice the power leads for the cathodes and the leds together, and solder them onto a sleeved fan cable, which is ran through a hole I drilled in the handle portion of the door. I use zip ties on both sides of the door carrying handle to prevent the sleeved wires from getting pulled. Then I heat-shrink the positive wires to prevent shorting, then heatsrink the sleeving and pos and neg connections as a whole.


all wired up-


testing the lights-


Flame on!


With the lights working, I prepare the door for re-assembly using the awsome double-sided tape that I bought for this build.


tape backing removed. This tape is very, very thin with the backing removed, I would describe it as more of a film then tape. It is also very sticky making a strong bond.


Next I put the door halves back together, then bent back the metal tabs, put the latch and hinge pieces of metal back on, and finally replaced the little stickers that cover the metal tabs. Then I salvaged the coolermaster logo that originally was on the bottom part of the 5.25 bay sliding cover and placed it here- got to give Cooler Mastre some love for bringing back the Cosmos line ;)


Then I place a MadKat logo on the top sliding cover-


The blue is a little too brite right now, but I suspect that it will be tamed when the led fans and case lighting are put in, Also I am thinking that I should put a piece of smoked acrylic in the back of what used to be the upped hard drive area, coming off the motherboard toward the front intake fan. It was very hard to get a good picture of the flame lit up. the inner (smaller) flame pieces are more defined when looking at it with the eye.


The door is done and logo's are lit :thumb:


both doors looking good!


Just some pictures of the mod for your enjoyment-






Thats it for now, but there is still more to come!

Thanks for looking and leaving your thoughts :cheers:

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I've got some components delivered from newegg and a package from aquatuning-


newegg box first-


A pair of evga 480's! I got these for myself when I saw them for $200 apiece, figured it was time to upgrade my 295's...


The 480's come with a HDMI cable, a couple power adaptors, and a dvi to vga adaptor. I'm surprised they don't come with an sli bridge-


and in the aquatuning package, a couple boxes and some gummy bears-


As I open the box, I am yelled at in german, and thanked for my purchase-


After opening the box, There's a bag with a backplate, instructions, and some thermal pad-


Here's the backplate-


Top side of waterblock in vacuume-locked bag- :wubsmiley


Business side of the block-


Another newegg box arrived on Thursday, then a box from Sidewinder computers on Friday-


newegg box is full of 'old' style xigmatek fans. 8x120mm and 2x140mm


These were in the box from sidewinder computers, 2x240mm rads, a 360 rad, a couple sets of rad stands, and a few bitspower fittings-


Fittings for drain port-


they will go like so-



The rads come with some hardware for attaching fans.


xspc ex240mm rad


The actual cooling area of these rads is pretty thin. The thickness of the rad is 1.4" and then there is aboue .25" between the fan mounting surface and the cooling fins making the cooling area less than an inch thick. I'm thinking I may return these and get rx240's instead. Opinions? Does anyone know how these ex240's compare to the rx240's with low-speed fans? Any info will be appreiciated! I need a skinny rad up top, but I could go with fatter ones on the bottom.


rad stands. I was going to make my own but these were fairly inexpensive and should do the job well-


Cooling stuff for the case-


All packed away for now.


What do you guys think about the ex240 rads? They are supposed to perform well. They just look kind of wimpy to me, not that you would really be able to tell how thick they are once they are installed, and the thinner size will alow more air to be drawn up from the intake vent on the bottom floor of the case.

I spent all day rounding up some needed items to move this build along.

I'm torn on which fans to use, I may do a mix of cougars and xiggys. I really like how the xigmatek's blades look in action, but I am genuinely surprised at the performance of the Cougar vortexs. I have bought so many fans over the past few years is search of the perfect mix between noise and performance, and I think I have a new favorite in the Cougars. It's too bad that they dont match my color scheme as well as the xiggys.

I ordered a full set of xigmateks (120s and 140s, old style) because I have always liked them and thought they were pretty good and not to loud. But when I plugged in the single 140mm Cougar vortex, I was literally blown away. The air blown out the back seems somehow concentrated/focused and it honestly is about the quietest fan ever unless you compare it to a stock lian li that runs @600 rpm, and it's probably still quieter! The only noise I could make out is the whoosing of air- Needless to say, I also ordered a full set of the cougars also. I'll either rma the ones Idon't use (and pay shipping and a 15% restocking fee) or try to sell them here on OCN.

I whole-heartily recommend the cougars as an alternative to noctuas and gentle typhoons as possibly the new king of fans :thumb:

Anyway, sorry about the rave/wall of text, I think I've been in front of my screen too long lol. I was messing aroung with the rads and fans last night and managed to get a couple pictures of how the xiggys look with their orange blades and white leds-

Top slider down-


slider up-


Those fans look absolutely bad@ss! I love 'em

I did however notice a grumbly soung emitting from both of the 140mm xiggys that I have never noticed before, probably because it isnt very loud and gets drowned out by multiple fans. But compared to the cougars- well, there's no comparison when it comes to the air that you feel getting pushed around and the almost silence.

But those xiggys look so damn good, hence the dilemma. The cougars just are the wrong shade of orange. I though about maybe painting them, but I am worried of throwing off the balance/impeding the performance. The orange is just a shade off, not sure if it would be worth it to paint them, especially since I'm not sure how to get the blade off haha. There is no snap ring under the sticker on the back...

I also thought about modding some leds into the fan, but where would I hide the wires? and I would have to incorporate a resister somewhere too.. seems impractal to have wires wrapping around the frame of the fans..

I also noticed that the built in fan controller on the Cosmos II is absolute crap. Instead of lowering the voltage, it rapidly turn off/on the power to the fan, causing a flickering in the xigmateks leds (and any led fan I assume, besides CM's own led fans that use a sepatate power lead for the leds), making a strobe effect and provoking me into a flashback. This is a pretty crap method of slowing down a fans rpms if you ask me, so I will be getting a fan controller for the top-most 5.25" bay.

By the way, can someone please tell me why my loops always cost so much?? I mean god-damn :devil: I was able to justify the binge spending because of all the overtime I got last week. Daddy needs a new pair of waterblocks haha. Instead of showing you guys shopping carts from newegg, sidewinder and ppcs, I'll wait until stuff starts rolling in and post pics.

I won a bid for a used 1/2" copper tube bender from fleabay for $40 and tried to track down some 12mm od copper tubing. I ordered some 1/2" x 10' strait tubing from lowes online for $11 and change (and a 1/2" tubing cutter), but when I went to go pick it up, it looked too big, so I measured it with a tape measure and it was 5/8" (1/2" id) so I walked back to the plumbing section, the only strait lengths (in 1/2" od) were 2' for $15! I bought a 20' roll for $45 but I dont know if I'll be able to straighten it out enough for my liking so I have a sneaky suspicion that I'll be taking it back to the store. Hopefully I'll have some luck at a plumbing supply store, because home depot was telling the same story.

I did find some 12mm x 2' lengths of pyrex glass tubing though, so I'm thinking that could be a neat option depending on how strong it is. It's much cheaper than the copper and would look pretty damn cool I think. I can get 12 pieces of 12mm x 2' tubes for $25 + shipping which will come to about $1.50 per foot. At that cost, I wouldn't mind messing up a few pieces. I have access to a pretty good size torch at my work, and have a small map gas one here that may be good enough, I'm not sure. It may be worth a shot as I think it could be cool, depending on how strong it is. I wouldn't want to be moving the computer aroung very much with thin walled glass tubing full of water inside... so I'm going to try and find some 12mm strait copper tubing first lol.

I think I would try the pyrex first as I have some experience working with glass. I used to do stained glass in high school and haveme bent glass in a kiln, and have done some glass blowing so I think I could pull it off as long as I can get enough heat from the torch at work.

I did manage to track down some 1/2" OD straight copper tubing from Ferguson Plumbing suppply. They are bring me down a 20' length that cost $1.50 a foot (same as the pyrex) which is less than the coiled copper tubing that I bought from Lowes, so I will be returning that today, if I get off work in time lol.

The 20' length will be in tomorrow so thats cool. I was thinking about either polishing the copper and clear coating it to help preventing it from getting tarnished. OR if it turns out really well, I would consider having it silver electroplated to eliminate the need for a kill coil. That would be the best imo but I have no idea how much that would cost.

I still think the pyrex would be cool, and if I went that route, I would maybe use orange coolant. It would be sick. I don't think I have ever seen a watercooling loop using glass tubing-

I picked up my straight copper pipe from Fergusons today. It was 20 feet long, but no worries, I has my little cutter that I bought from Lowes that says if for 1/2" pipe. so I take the cutter out of the package and give it a try. It is too big, as plumbers are weird when it comes to measurements.

One of the employees at the store was nice enough to cut the pipe in half for me so I could throw it into the back of my pickup. Anyway, back to plumbers being wack- They measure the pipe by the size of the hole in the tube, not the outside diameter. So you could have some 5/8 outside diameter pipe with a wall thickness of 1/16" and they would call it 1/2" tubing.

So needless to say, I returned the pipe cutter and the coiled copper tubing to Lowes and bought the right size cutter (3/8") and also bought a tubing bender (3/8"). Now that means that the tubing bender that I bought used off of eBay is too big and is for 5/8" outer diameter pipe. I'll just put it back up for sale-

I'm just waiting on packages to arrive now.

Newegg coming this Thursday, ppcs and sidewinder coming next Tuesday, so probably not to much in that way of updates for the next week.

Edit: I guess they use outer diameter measurement for the pipe bender, because the pipe I have says 3/8" and measures 1/2 (OD), and the bender I bought from Lowes says it's for 3/8" pipe, but it's not big enough lol. Wacky plumbers- Looks like another trip to the hardware store. That's ok, I think I will get a bit heavier duty pipe cutter while I'm there. The little one I got works, but it's not very easy to use, and 1/2" is its max pipe thickness.

Looks like the bender I bought from eBay is the one I need after all (I hope ha-ha)

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Copper gets tarnished by oxidation, caused by exposure to air, chemicals, and/or dirt & oils. The purpose of the clear coat (clear paint) is to seal out these impurities and should help a great deal. It would be important to wear plastic gloves when handling the copper during/after polishing to eliminate oil/grease from transferring from your fingers to the copper before the clear-coat.

The alternative is to annually clean your copper with a metal polish like Brasso or Barkeepers friend, or even just a vinegar/water solution.

Well I have made a decision regarding the fans. I'm going to keep the Xigmateks in the top (because they look so damn good up there) and use the cougars everywhere else (because they work so well). The cougar orange does not match the build but the blades pop right off easily, so I am going to paint them to match and be done with it. The only thing that still wont match are the anti-vibration pads, and I could always just peel them off, but I don't think they're that big of deal either way.

Little update today, my latest order from newegg arrived today containing 10 cougar fans (6x140mm and 4x120mm) and a NZXT 2 meter orange led light string.


I popped out the fan blades and I am going to tape off the magnets and little spindle, and paint them Hemi orange so they match the color of the case. I may paint a couple of them white, but I doubt it. I have to think about it a bit more.


Oh and a couple photos that I forgot to uplaod earlier when I was installing the 360 rad up top.

There were a couple tabs in the way, preventing the rad from sitting flush with the top of the case. These tabs apparently hold up the front half of the front most fan, so you dont have to use screws up front or something.


I just bent them back and forth with a pair of pliers until they broke off-


Then when I put the radiator up to the top of the case, I noticed that the 120mm pre-made fan mounting holes didn't quite line up, and I had to enlarge them using my rotary tool with a little diamond bit.


Time to tape off the fan blades now.

I got the fan blades painted last night.

After popping the blades out of their housing, I taped off the spindles and magnets on the backside of the blades-


Then I took them down to the basement and sprayed them with my Hemi Orange engine enamel spray-paint. I let them dry for an hour after painting one side with 3 light coats, with about 5 minutes between coats. Then I flipped them over and painted the other side of the blades and let them dry until I got home from work tonight. Here's what they look like painted, there is one unpainted fan for comparison-


Finally, I removed the rubber sound-dampening pads from the corners of the frames, only on the side that faces the inside of the case, so between the case and fan, they are still there. They look great!


I was able to get a bit of work done yesterday. I took all the components out of my sig-rig since I will be moving them into the Cosmos II. Here are a couple shots of the Hal-9000 in the Cosmos 1000 case-





As you can see, it was a black/red build on the inside so some changes have to be made. I find the black connector plate for the EK-Classified X58 chipset block and decide to make it my test piece. First I mask it off with some tape-


Then I spray it with my Hemi orange paint to fill in the engraved lettering. Next I sand it down to get the orange paint off of the face of the piece. I didn't take any pictures of this... I used 220, 400, 800, and 1000 grit paper, all wet. Well the delrin or acetal didn't return to its original black color and was a lighter shade, so I sprayed it with some clear and that did the trick.

Here's how it turned out-


I like how it turned out, so I do the same to the rest of the acetal top-half of the chipset block. Here's a picture of it taped and painted-


Instead of sanding this one, I just used my fingernail to scrape off the paint before it was fully cured, then I clear coated it. I am pretty happy with the result-


These Dominator ram sticks have served me well and are very fast with tight timings, (2000 MHz, 7-8-7-20 stock, 2133 6-7-6-18 was what I was able to get out of them) but the red heatsinks will not do.


Using an allen wrench, I remove the top heat-sinks-


I apply two light coats of orange to the heat-sinks. After letting them dry for an hour, I put them back on and here's what they look like now-


Thankfully, the nickle EK blocks have held up great over the last three years and show no sign of flaking.


There is a little bit of white-ish residue in the blocks as you can see in this picture. Originally, I didn't rinse out the radiators or anything before I put the loop into use. I used only distilled water and bitspower tru-silver (silver plated) fittings. I only changed the water two times in almost three years, so the residue is to be expected I suppose. It's probably flux and other stuff left over in the radiators from the manufacturing process. Anyways, it wiped right off with a rag, and was shiny nickle when I was done.


Here is the top back installed. This is going to look sharp! This board is almost perfect fo my color scheme as the pci-e, ram slots, and the sata socket almost match the Hemi-orange color :thumb:


While I was at it, I took apart my Heat-Killer 3.0 block, cleaned it, and painted the stainless brackets and bolts black, and the springs orange. The black turned out very flat, and clashed with the shiny black waterblock, so I sprayed it with some clear, to add some semi-gloss.


Originally, I had the center strip painted orange (the piece around the fittings) but it didn't look good, so I sprayed it black.


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OK. I got some more painting done.

I painted the i/o shield black on one side- here's before the primer/paint


Here's the pci bracket for my soundcard painted, it was fake gold plated-


more brackets and a few screws primered-


look what the easter bunny brought me :thumb:


orange screws for gpu's


Soundcard with newly painted slot-cover-


Pieces drying in the sun. It was surprisingly nice out today :)


Here's my lapped i7-920 all clean and ready for some...



all dry-


Motherboard and cards installed :)

I may move the soundcard either up or down, not sure which slot to put it in yet-

Does it make any difference?


I sandpaper polished the 480 backplates to make 'em shiney and reflective-


Here's the back as I have it now. notice the black i/o shield and slot covers and the orange gpu screws-


With the door back on, it makes my board look like a m-atx haha. I cant wait until I get the rest of my stuff in the mail this week. Should have some good updates by next weekend instead of these little paint mods-


I received a package from Sidewinder computers. They have great prices on fittings and radiators and their shipping is pretty fast too. I got a bunch of push in SLI fittings, a couple 280 radiators, and some thermal paste-


The 280 rads are a much better fit than the 240's. I just have to figure how to attach them... :thinking:

I got a couple other packages too, one from performance pc's and the other from ebay. No free shirt from Hank at ppcs this time. Maybe I didn't spend enough $$ lol :rolleyes:


Here's the used 1/2" pipe bender that I ordered from ebay. It cost me $37.50 shipped.


I got these from PPc's.

NZXT mix fan controller for the top 5.25" bay-


EK-D5 140 res/pump top


I started the tubing. The 1/2" copper pipe that I bought is indeed too thick to fit into the fittings :x on the small straight pieces, I was able to stick them into a drill, and grind them down while it was spinning in the drill. It is pretty time consuming. It has to fit all the way in the fitting, and be tight. I messed up the L shaped piece like 3 times, I has to grind it down, and it took me a few tries. one ended up too short, one got messed up when I was thinning the ends... Third time was a charm haha! I decided to run the cards in parallel instead of running them in series, mostly for looks, but I have read a article (on Toms I think) that showed that running multiple cards in parallel resulted in better temps and flow rates. I'm liking the looks of the reflective backplates :thumb:


I had to break off these two tabs.. No HDD bays for sure now... I'm going to miss not having an internal optical drive, but will make due with an external. I have other computers in the house that can burn disks, so I'll only have to use when installing games/software.. I think the end look/result will be worth the missing optical drive-


I got another tube bent. This one has the right length/angle on the first attempt! Still, I'm glad I got twenty feet of tubing haha. I still have to grind down the ends so it will fit in the fittings though. It will be lower, but I need a hole cut in the floor above the psu for it to go through.


This is pretty much what the loop will look like-


The tubes will run through the floor and come back up into the res/pump top toward the front of the case. I still have tons of work to do.. but I'm not telling what I still have to come mod-wise although Lane probably knows what I have in mind ;)

I need to finish polishing the tubes and clear coat them, take everything out of the case, do some more cutting and modding. I think I am going to need to order a couple more fittings to keep things tidy, and some more stuff too. I am pretty stoked with how the copper pipes are looking.

What do you guys think?

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I am going to be breaking down the case again to do some more cutting, as soon as I get things finalized.

I've got all the tubing bent and cut except for the ends that go into the pump/res and the fillport tube. I'm not 100% certain to where the res is going to sit. I still have to sand down the thickness for the last 4 or 5 tubes.

I also am going to have to order a few more fittings. I'm a bit disappointed that there is not a nice location to put in my drain fittings that I showed earlier. There's room for it in a couple spots (like either side of the PSU), but the outside trim pieces of the case are in the way...

I should have some pictures up tomorrow along with a progress update. I have been busy today, having breakfast with my girl, doing some household chores, and filing my taxes. I did get some more pipe bending done though, and am about to start doing some more modding!

I ordered a few more items this morning that I need to wrap up this build and am hoping to get them by the end of the week. I was plugging away over the weekend, but I am going to spread it out over the next few days, since I wont have much new until the parts arrive.

Here are some 'keeper' pieces of bent pipe ready for thinning down and polishing. Notice you can see some wrinkles in the bends. These will have to be sanded out too-


I use a sander with some 220 grit sandpaper to thin down the pipe ends.


Ends thinned and wrinkles sanded out :thumb:


I have to break down the case to do some cutting on the false floor and the motherboard tray. Someone PM'd me regarding how to do this (removing the sliding front door in particular), so I will link it here since I didn't really show how to do it the first time.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1244408/disa ... t_16998140

If you want to break it down any further, you need to drill out some rivets :thumb:

Well, my plan for mounting the radiators to the case is somewhat crude but effective. There is about 5/16" of space between the fan mounting frame and the cooling fins. Enough room for me to drill some holes in them!


showing the clearance between the bolt-holes and the cooling fins. Believe me, I was careful not to hit the fins haha!


Then I carefully measured and drilled some matching holes into the bottom of the case. Only 4 holes drilled in the pic, but I drilled all eight.


I also did a little more cutting on the mainboard tray-


I also cut a hole in the top, left, for a fill-tube, located directly behind the 5.25" bays. I installed the bitspower through port fitting. I'll have a matte black plug on the top, and a quick-link sli fitting below to accept a copper tube that will go to the top of the res.


After attaching some fans and fighting with the screws that go through the rad frames, I got the bottom radiators attached.


When I was done and admiring my work, I realized that I didn't put the copper tube between the rads. I had to remove one of the rads, put the pipe in, then reattach the rad haha- Here's a picture with the connecting copper pipe in place. If this loop leaks anywhere below the false floor, I may have to remove EVERYTHING just to get at it. The pipe looks a little bit crooked to me in this picture, I will have to adjust the position of the rads a little bit. I made the holes in the case a bit oversized so I can adjust them if needed.


Looking good!


After trying to figure out where to cut holes in the floor for the tubes to pass through, I came up with this idea-


Motherboard and floor cut, sanded, spot primed and spot painted, and reinstalled :thumb: The floor with the big hole in it will alow for access to the plumbing below.


That's it for now. I did a couple other things, but will save them for later muhahahaha!

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I was planning on doing a glowing white acrylic floor, but while I was sitting on my couch pondering the idea, I was looking at my glowing onyx lamp that I made.

The lamp glows a rich yellow/orange with some white in it too. What the :), it's worth a shot as I have some onyx left over from my lamps.

I took some rough measurements and brought this piece home from work along with some borrowed tools.


I purposely measured the piece big, as I did not want to end up short. Arriving home, I took some careful measurements and drew them out on some masking tape. Here the piece is clamped down to a pony wall cap. Also shown is the variable speed Makita 4" angle grinder with a special marble blade.


One side cut down-


The piece is going to stick up 1/4 of an inch or so above what is left of the false floor shelf, so I draw another line 1/4" back from the cut edge for a 45 degree bevel.


Beveled edge ground-


Polishing granite/marble is a multi-step process, Cut, grind fine diamond wheel, then with an 80 grit stone, then a 5 diamond polishing pad set using water. The pads are 300,500,1000,2000,buff.

They are velcro-backed and use a velcro backer for a 5/8" arbor.


Here's what the business end of the pads look like-


Bevel polished out and looking nice and shiny


Next I turned the piece around and cut some notches to go around the pci-e holder and other little notches.


Then I 'rabbited' out a notchon the bottom side where the led light strip will reside-


When I test fit the piece into the tray, it was about 1mm too big so I draw another line on some more tape, then take it outside, grind it off and polish it again.


Here's the onyx installed on the shelf, in the case. It will be lit up from the sides and possibly from underneath. I already have some white leds, and I ordered some red ones. When lit up, the piece is yellow/orange, and since the case orange is reddish, the red leds might turn the yellowish stone more blood-orange. We will see :rolleyes:



Let me know what you think!

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I got both of the packages I was expecting tomorrow, today!

I got another D5 pump, another res-top (this one smaller), some modelers brand red led strip, and some lovely bitspower fittings. .


I already have a pump but I'm getting ready for the next one i guess muhaha


I had to get a smaller res-top for clearance reasons, and I figured I would just get the whole unit instead of just the tube as it wont go to waste...


These bad boys come in little crack baggies because they're THAT good! :wink:


After I got the floor installed, I placed the motherboard and gpu's in place along with the res to figure how to locate tubing holes in the floor. My mainboard looks rather wimpy in this monster case. Someone donate a SR-2 or something equally large for me please :D

So I'm looking at all the available space and decide to cut up some acrylic. I had already planned on putting some tinted acrylic behind the res and in front of the ocn logo to tome down the blue light. After making that piece, I decided to make another piece to kind of wrap around the motherboard. I used some mb standoffs to space it about 7/8" off the mb tray. I also cut a notch in it for the 24 pin. Polished up the edges with sandpaper and water, test fit it, and used a sharpie to mark the locations of the standoffs. Drilled the holes and screwed it on.



I think it looks pretty neat, and would be a good surface to place a overclock.net sticker.. Does anyone have the link to where I can get one?

What do you guys think?

I take the floor out so I can mock up the tubing and take some measurements. I had to trim the long tubes on the res/pump end.


res/pump hooked up and in approx. location.


I had to get a smaller tube for the EK D5 res-top, as there's no room for the 140mm res tube where I want to put it. Here's the 140mm res tube alongside the 100mm tube. The 140 actually fits, but you cant add any water to it because you can't unscrew the fill plug let alone get a fitting on top of the res lol.


Plenty of room with the 100m tall tube.


Plug for fill port came ;)


I decided to redo this top fitting and tube. I'm using one less fitting, and remaking the pipe, this time with a bend in the pipe.


I also think I am going to cut off 1/2" off the top of the inlet tube and use this extension fitting here so you don't see this little bit of copper here.


The last 3 pieces of pipe are cut! I was able to reuse one thinned down end that was in the scrap copper tube box :) I still need the other 5 ends thinned down...


Got a little stubby 90 fitting and a through-port fitting for the drain line. I still need to cut a hole for it now that I know where it is going...

It fits nicely under the power supply. You will be able to access the drain port on the bottom-back of the case, unscrew the plug, screw on a drain hose, turn the valve and drain the loop! Sweet!


I thinned down the ends on the last three pipes (man glad to be done doing that. too bad I could not locate any 12mm tubes, it would've saved a lot of time let alone be more leak proof. I'm a bit worried about the forthcoming leak test) and hooked all the pipes up!


Here are some different angles and pictures for your viewing pleasure :)


You can see my new and top tube in this shot-


I love it!


From the bottom-


Bottom compartment from back through psu opening


res clearance and fill port tube-


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Here we go with another update!

I started off with this NZXT mix fan controller. I needed a fan controller that didn't have knobs that stick out, and I don't really like the looks of the touchscreen ones. This one fits the bill nicely, and it has orange leds (along with other selectable colors). It supposedly handles 30w each for 6 channels. The sliders go from 40-100%, so if you're looking for one that allows you to turn off your fans completely, look elsewhere, although I'm not sure why anyone would want to shut off fans completely.


Using screw drivers to evenly pry off the sliders-



Primered and painted-


I took everything out of the case, as I need to do some more cutting, and dont like little metal shavings all over my components.

Next off, I wanted to cut a couple more wire management holes in the motherboard tray, below the motherboard for usb cables, front-panel sound cable, and power/reset wires. Here they are drawn on the tray.


I also cut the hole for the drain beneath the power-supply area.


drain coming out the bottom-


The wire-management holes I cut are a bit too small and will need some filing/sanding to make them right. Here's the mostly empty case-


I decided it would look good, and painted the top 360mm rad orange-


I also took off the xigmatek stickers off the top fans-


I looked at the motherboard and I really was not happy with how the clear-coat paint looked on the EK motherboard block and the Heat-killer cpu block. So after a long debate with myself, I took them off for re-finishing.


I wetsanded the EK acetal chipset block-tops using 400-800-1000-1500 grit sandpaper. I did the same with the heatkiller brackets to remove the paint.

Here's what they look like after I dried them off-


The ek acetal tops look grey instead of black, that's why I clear-coated them the first go round.


I'm going to try some armor all this time-


After applying armor all with a cloth-


Bingo! :thumb:


Installed- again haha


I got some mx-4 with my last order from sidewinder, so that's what I using now instead of mx-2.


I 'burned' some paste into the block, and spread some on the cpu using a credit-card as the spreader. I like mx-4. It spreads very nicely and is not too dry like some other pastes.


Then I re-installed the cpu block. I decided against painting the stainless black this time. It goes well with the gpu backplates and the shiny fittings.

I am so much happier with the look of the blocks now. Before refinishing them, there were scratches in the clear-coat on the ek block from putting in the components and the finish on the cpu brackets left something to be desired also. I was debating weather or not it was worth the effort to re-do them, as I knew it would be a pita. It took me about 3 hours to fix them but I am very glad I did it.

My projects always have a way or taking over the living room/kitchen. I've got case parts/components spread all over the house- I don't even want to talk about my basement/work area... What a mess! :o


Now that I had all my copper pipes cut and bent, I sanded them while wearing rubber gloves (to prevent oils from my fingers from making contact with the bare copper) and sprayed them with clear paint, after blasting them with compressed air and wiping them down with alcohol. Hopefully this will keep them from becoming tarnished.

Here are the bigger pieces drying off.


I went down to Tacoma Screw, and bought a new pair of wire cutters and some brass sleeves/grommets to go around the pipes that come off the gpu's and through the false floor.

Here are the brass sleeves sanded and sprayed with clear. Not sure if brass oxidizes, but I figure better safe than sorry.


Here, I am testing out the white led strip that I got from modelers brand.


The onyx is not all the way down over the lights, but this is not what I was hoping for..... The light is not penetrating the stone nearly far enough and looks too yellow :x


Next I try the red, thinking it will tinge the yellow to orange-


This is the effect I was originally going for. But this is using 4 feet of red leds, 2 feet of white leds on the bottom of the case, and two red cold-cathode 12" bars.....


Looks pretty slick though, but the cathodes are putting off too much heat, and I think they would be in the way of the tubing that goes down there. Also I don't have a good way of attaching them. They are right up against the bottom of the slab, if I put them on the floor, they dont do anything :worriedsm


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