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retro PC mods - HYDROPOWER (Peripherals Mod)

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Matching Peripherals for my Scratch Build Mod called HYDROPOWER.

HYDROPOWER Scratch Build located here.




The peripherals project will be broken out into 3 separate items:

  1. The Graphical Display Unit

  2. The Sound Module

  3. The Control Board
    ControlPad, Mouse, Mouse Pad


Cooler Master Peripherals to be included:

  • ControlPad
  • MM830 Mouse
  • MP510 Mouse Pad
  • SGH-4700-KKTA1 MasterPulse Headset
  • GM27-CF Monitor


Huge thanks to Cooler Master for providing the ControlPad used in this project.


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  • retro PC mods changed the title to retro PC mods - HYDROPOWER (Peripherals Mod)
  • 2 weeks later...

The Graphical Display Unit


Cooler Master Item List

  • GM27-CF Monitor







I had always wanted to try a monitor mod, but I didn't want to simply add decorations around the screen or on the stock monitor stand. I wanted to build something that would not only compliment the custom mod it would be next to, I wanted it to be something of equal complexity and caliber. So I decided to build another chassis, just like the one that was built for the HYDROPOWER Mod that holds up the PC Components, but this one would hold up the monitor, a matching set!


HYDROPOWER Scratch Build Mod

This is the HYDROPOWER mod and the inspiration for the Monitor Mod, A.K.A. The Graphical Display Unit.


Front / Back


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Whenever I build a mod I tend to buy several different parts for the theme that inspire me, but I seldom end up using them all. With the monitor mod, I was able to take the parts that did not make it into the primary PC mod, and use them on the matching monitor mod.


I started by making a base out of pine, in the same shape as the PC.

Stained it black (Ebony), and marked where the holes would be for the LEDs and the vacuum tubes.


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I wired single amber color LEDs in each hole that will hold the vacuum tubes, and made a rotary switch that will control the lighting from a water valve.

The water valve was brand new, and I used yellow and black paint to distress it and have it match the valves on the primary PC Mod.


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I purchased a set of vintage Voltage and Amperes gauges from 1947 on eBay.

The gauges were 73 years old, a matching pair, and still functioned perfectly.


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The Volts Gauge and the Valve Rotary Switch were mounted on the front panel of the base.




Underlighting was then added to the bottom of the base.




I routed the wires from the underlighting through the main support pipe, and filed a space on the top to allow for the wires to come out and not get pinched.


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I added an electrical junction box on the side of the monitor stand, where I will run wires for Front USB Ports, and 3.5mm Ports for the Headset.




The junction box was painted with clear-matte acrylic paint to remove the shiny new finish.


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Yellow LEDs were added to the inside of the box for a little extra touch.




The top panel in the front will hold the monitor, but on the rear of the panel I added more retro/industrial goodness.


I started with a sheet of aluminum, and drilled holes for the Amperes Gauge, and some retro electrical fuses.




In order to return a reading/current on the Amperes Gauge,  I added a small circuit board that is intended to be used with battery chargers, as well as LEDs for lighting.


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I created a custom rear I/O plate that matches exactly the one used by the HYDROPOWER Mod, with panel mounted extensions for the HDMI Video, 3.5mm Headphones and Microphone, USB 3.0, and Power. 




The Power is split internally between the Monitor and a 12V Power Brick that powers the LED Lighting.




When the PC is running, you simply connect the HDMI, USB Ports, and 3.5mm Ports from the rear of the PC to the rear of the Monitor Stand.

This is the rear of both the PC and the Monitor Stand (monitor not mounted yet).




Headset Holder was also added to the top panel.


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The Sound Module


Cooler Master Item List

  • SGH-4700-KKTA1 MasterPulse Headset




This headset already matched the look and feel of the mod perfectly, so I decided to add some of the mesh that I used throughout the mod, so that it would come together with the customizations found in all of the other pieces that are a part of the HYDROPOWER Mod.


The one thing that all the pieces have in common is the use of the metal mesh. 




The mesh was used throughout the project in the following areas


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And now on The Headset as well.

Mesh was used on both sides of the headset, cut to the exact shape of the outside of the ear cups, with the Cooler Master Logo cutout for more visibility.

The Mesh was attached utilizing the built-in magnets that hold the outer earcup covers.


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The Control Board


Cooler Master Item List

  • ControlPad
  • MM830 Mouse
  • MP510 Mousepad








This project began with a 12 inch X 22 inch X .25 inch (30 cm X 55 cm X 6 mm) sheet of solid aluminum.




The sheet was then off to the CNC Shop where an area was carved out the exact shape of the mousepad, .125 inch (3 mm) deep, or about half the thickness of the aluminum sheet.


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Both the ControlPad and MM830 Mouse that will reside on the Control Board are wired peripherals, so in order to keep the wire management clean, I added an electrical junction box with a USB 3.0 Hub inside. Both the ControlPad and Mouse will connect to the hub inside the junction box, and a single USB Cable will exit the box through the rear and connect to the PC.


The USB Hub turned out to be a little too large for the box, so I removed the housing of the hub and it fit perfectly.


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I drilled holes in the top of the aluminum sheet to attach wire clips that will hold the mouse wire.




A mouse bungee was also added to keep the cord from getting snagged while gaming.


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