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Thread: Brother's PC

  1. #1
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    Brother's PC

    I built a computer for my older brother, it started last year and it's almost finished. All that is left is a video capture card and a good sound card that will hook up to his home stereo system. He's not into gaming and he doesn't have internet. He's wanting this for photo editing and music editing then also for keeping tabs of his 1000 or more movies and then the music collection is 5 times bigger at least. He's been collecting music since the early 50's. We have been piecing this together as the money comes available. He's wanting the capture card to transfer his movies from VHS to DVD and also his Laser Disc collection to DVD. When he came for a visit last week end he asked me if I could turn his case into a unit that would fit in his stereo rack. I told him no but I had just been given a pc while I was in Minnesota that would do just what he wanted. He told me that he would trade cases with me and I accepted his offer. So the first 2 photos are of his case and then the case I will trade him.


    Now Will has asked that I make this Compaq case to blend in with the rest of his stereo equipment which is black. So now I'm going to show you what this Compaq case is like on the inside and how it looks changed over to rest on its side.



    Now I bet you are wondering what that green piece is. That is a spring loaded lever to release the drives that are in the drive bays.

    Now that I have the case empty I can now turn things around.


    You can see in 4th photo you can see that this case has no fans other than the one in the 200 watt PS. There is 1 place for a fan and that is in the rear for a 92mm fan. The front has nothing for a fan. Will's Dragonfire case has 3 areas for 120mm fans. The way the rear of the Compaq is setup there is no way a 120mm fan is going to fit. So a 92mm fan will be put into the rear and I'll have to mod the front to hold a 120mm fan. Will lives in a mobile home that has no AC to keep him cool on these hot summer days. He likes it this way. When he comes to visit he can be seen wearing a sweater and I'm in a T-shirt and being very comfortable while he is freezing. He tells me that when he gets home after work his house is 98 Degrees F. So this computer has to be able to with stand hot ambient temps of the 90's, so I have to make this computer with a very good air flow. Now I'll show you a photo of the HDD bay and you will see as I have that if I put a HDD into the bay it's not going to last long because it has no air to keep it cool.

    This HDD cage has only the rear open to any air and the front is covered by the cases bezel. So I did a little work on it today while sitting in the garage watching the my dog and just talking with my mother. Here is a photo showing the tools that I used today to remove the HDD cage.

    Now you will see that there is a pair of safety glasses and you can bet your last dollar that they were in use. There was enough sparks flying that a scorch mark was left on the stool seat that I was using to bring the case up to a comfort height to where I was sitting. Here is the next photo showing what the area looks like with the HDD cage gone.

    To remove the HDD cage I had to use a cutting disc to cut the length of the drive bays just below a row of rivets. Then the angle drill was used to drill out all of the rivets. After the rivets where out I was able to remove the HDD cage. I then replaced the cutting disc with a grinding wheel and smoothed out the edge that was cut. I almost forgot to tell you that to make it a little easier to do the job I removed all of the outside skin. I say skin because other than the one panel the rest is a one piece setup. When it was removed the mobo tray was quite open and made it easier to work in. Here are some photos showing you the pieces once everything was removed.




    To give you a idea of what the case may look like, I made a template of the bezel and did a little drawing on it to get a general idea. It will have a 120mm fan in the front and I'm thinking about putting a 120mm fan on the left side to blow over the mobo towards the PS. I'm also thinking about putting a 250mm fan in the top panel to act as a blow hole. Here is the template that I made.

    So there you have it. A simple and easy design to blend in with the rest of the crowd. Any and all ideas and comments are welcomed and Happy Modding to ya.

  2. #2

    Brother's PC

    IC sending him a cardboard box for trade well done lol...

    Template looks good em3bilko...

  3. #3

    Brother's PC

    Perhaps two 250mm fans?? Have you decided on a color yet? I would say probably something to blend in with his rack mount, so probably black. You could put handles on the sides in rack-mount fashion

    Except silver. You could make a totally flat front. Like, *everything* recessed, with an ungrilled fan. You could put it on rollers for easy access. Just some suggestions.

    Honestly, I'm kind of more excited about the case that he gave you.

  4. #4
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    Brother's PC

    Thanks for the comments brightshininglights and -PC-. The color is to be black and I purchased a grill for it from mnpctech.com. This is what it will look like.

    I also purchased these switches for the Power and Reset.

    These should look good on black. Happy Modding to ya.

  5. #5
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    Brother's PC

    Yesterday when I posted this mod I forgot to give the dimensions of this unit. They are 17"Wx16.5"Dx6.5"H. The template that is shown is also the size of the front bezel. I made the template to see if it would fit in my entertainment center, which it does without being a tight fit. It has about 3" on each side for decent air flow. His stereo rack is larger than mine, so he shouldn't have any problems fitting it in. Happy Modding to ya.

  6. #6
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    Brother's PC

    hm....seems like an intresting idea i wana see this move on abit em3

  7. #7
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    Brother's PC

    Todays update is about the preparation for mounting a 120mm fan in the front of the case. First off I measured the area beside the drive bays for cutting the panel that will fit in that area for the mounting. The material that I will be using for the panel is a portion of a old computer top panel. Once I got the panel cut to fit I then used a 120mm fan adapter to mark out where the fan will go. I then used a jig saw to cut out a rough circle and then used the rotary tool with a grinding wheel to grind the opening to the pencil marks. Here is a photo of the panel with the fan opening.

    With the panel finished I then placed the panel into position and marked out the opening by using the panel as a template.

    Once I had it marked I used a cut off wheel in my rotary tool and cut off the necessary material as close to the marking as I could and then used a grinding wheel to clean up the cutting and removed the rest of the material to the line.

    Now that all of the openings are cut, I then marked and drilled holes for pop riveting the panel into places. With the panel in place you can see that it lines up with the bottom of the I/O plate. This fan is 1" off from being centered. If I had centered it then the fan would have touched the drive bay and I didn't want it to touch so that it wouldn't lead to a possible vibration.


    Now Will is wanting blue lighting inside his case and I have the lights inside the case that he traded with me. Now I got to thinking about what color I should paint the inside frame since I know what to paint the outside. So I went to Wally World (Wal-Mart) this morning to check on what was available. I found that they had the same paint available that I used on Red Lantern's side panels, but in the color that I wanted. Here is a photo of the can of paint that I'm going to use.

    So there you have it for the day. It's a fair amount of work and progress has moved on. So remember that all ideas and comments are welcomed and Happy Modding to ya.

  8. #8

    Brother's PC

    Sweet! So you are going to leave the back grill in place. So no water cooling I gather? Is there any reasonable way to give that grill a brushed aluminum look like the switches? Then you could have uniform front accents. Are you using an led fan or regular style? Have you decided on the 250mm fan(s)?

  9. #9
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    Brother's PC

    Thanks for the posting brightshininglights, I won't be going with the 250mm fans and the 120mm fans will have both the LEDs and CCFLs. I had only LEDs in the first case and Will said that it wasn't bright enough for him, so I put in a round CCFL that attached to the rear of a 120mm. He was happy then. So the front will have the CCFL and the rest are LEDs. The rear fan is a 92mm and it doesn't have any light on it. There will be a 120mm on the side with LEDs and it will be cooling the HDD cage. As far as making the front grill brushed aluminum, I hadn't planned on it. Your right about not going with water cooling. At this time Will has trouble getting around XP and don't think he could take care of a water cooling setup. I'm still trying to get him to be able to burn a CD. So until the next time Happy Modding to ya.

  10. #10
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    Brother's PC

    Today is going to be a very short update. The wife and I went to see the Honda Hoot today. There was a bike show and vender's selling parts and the likes for motorcycles. The parking lot was filled with hundreds of bikes of all kinds. The parking lot was a show in its own right. There were 3 wheelers made from Volkswagen Beetles which was basically the rear end of the car with the front forks of a bike. Then there were sidecars of various shapes and sizes and then the paint jobs that some of the bikes were to die for, they were just down right awesome. So now you know what I did today. After we got back home I went to work on making the HDD cage. I did make one that would hold two if he so choose to get another HDD. He has a 160gig SATA already. I went through my junk box to see what I had in the way of a HDD cage and I found on. It had some areas that I cut off so that they would not interfere with the fan that is going to be behind it. I have to make sure that all parts of this computer has air flow on them. Being that he doesn't have air conditioning. Being that he is using a AMD product for processor there is no northbridge chipset but there is the southbridge and so I bought a cooler with fan to make sure that it had air flow. Here are a couple of photos of the HDD cage. You will see one that has the areas on and then one with the area gone. Then that is the end of the update. I didn't do much at all other than the mounting of the HDD cage.


    Tomorrow I will start tear down of his computer and see how the different parts fit into this other case that will be his. So until the next update remember that all ideas and comments are welcomed. Happy Modding to ya.

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