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Thread: Xyvotha's Guides p03: Back Fan Grill Hack!

  1. #1

    Xyvotha's Guides p03: Back Fan Grill Hack!

    (This guide was originally posted in another forum, hope you find it useful)

    Hello all again, i hope you ppl aren't getting bored with my noob/ghetto mod guides

    Disclaimer: Trying this mod could damage your hardware/software/brain cells/pet/school qualification. I won't be responsible if you ruin your precious equipment!

    Please learn from my mistakes: a) take out all the hardware before cutting/filing/sanding , electronic devices don't like metal particles (thx Tazz ). b) ALWAYS wear safety googles and gloves, you won't like a flying piece of hot metal coming into your eyes, serious.

    This time i wanted to reduce noise in my trusty/cheap Athenatech A747 (my home rig). In the first part i showed you how i cut the front grill (one of those ugly punched ones) for my intake fan, next step was to hack the rear (exhaust) grill.

    Looking at it i found it wouldn't be as easy (masked S/N :P ):

    as you can see, the punched (sic?) pattern isn't anything symmetrical, and the holes go outside the fan's screw limits, let me explain it with pictures:

    If I cut something like a bold cross pattern, it wouldn't be symmetrical, and i guess there wouldn't be any good support for the fan screws:

    The only alternative would mean to cut a square shaped window like this:

    ...which means i would need to attach a surface supporting both the replacement grill and fan. I've been looking for a plexi supplier in my town, without luck yet. So no plexi um.....

    ... i was looking at this old broken PSU and thought (while eating the roasted chicken my little daughter cooked for modding daddy)...

    ... could but a piece of sheet metal and use it a supporting structure, but it would look like a very ugly patch isn't it?

    ... then the solution came to mind!!! (see next post)

  2. #2

    Xyvotha's Guides p03: Back Fan Grill Hack!

    I was lucky enough to have a discarded front door of an old case, which nicely enough had a long piece of mesh! If you're like me (either living in a third world country or having very little money) you probably don't have access to plex sheets or nice grill mesh. So use what you have at hand! (If i didn't find that piece of grill i would probably use a piece of acrylic CD case).

    Here's the intruder, already masked for marking cut lines and screw holes:

    Now lets go with the hack itself, and by the way break a myth!

    First of all, i took out ALL the electronics, that is a MUST when you're going to cut/file/sand. Electronics and metal particles don't mix well.
    Since i'm a n00b at modding, i made sure to mark everything before dissasembling:

    Old punched grill masked, marked and ready to get cut!!

    what's best to cut a piece of metal than this 1337 rotary tool with h4x0r reinforced disc??

    well, after like 30 seconds of sparks, i hoped something better than this:

    I'm not saying rotary tools (i.e. dremel and clones) aren't bad, most probably my skillz with rotary tools just suck, who knows...

    ....sooo it came the alternative method, good ol' nibbler courtesy of my friend Orlando (borrowed it months ago, i'll have to buy a new one for him):

    After 15 minutes or so, the grill is out and i have this bunch of metal bits:

    The old punched grill goes to where it belongs:

  3. #3

    Xyvotha's Guides p03: Back Fan Grill Hack!

    Ok, we need to deburr that rough cut. A dremel/rotary tool is good for it right? (it also gives me the excuse to post the obligatory sparky pic):

    It does the job, but i found it wasted too many sanding discs, so i thought:

    hand files: faster, more accurate, cheaper ;P

    now to sand the edges with 60 wet/dry sandpaper:

    draw the fan perimeter on the grill for correct alignment:

    drill holes for fan screws and attachment to the chassis:

    these are the standard fan screws and rubber o-rings to prevent mechanical resonance:

    drilled a few holes in the chassis, then secured the grill with rivets:

    mounted, pic taken just before camera ran out of batteries (don't you hate when that happens?):

    (note: i SWEAR i cleaned up the scratches and stains from the chassis, i also swear i washed my hands after that! it sucks when you can't get the nice and clean pics because of batteries/memory full)


    - You can replace almost any factory punched grill.
    - You don't need exotic materials to make it look nice, just look around and you'll find scrap parts good enough for your project.
    - A Dremel/clone is good for modding, but it's not a MUST (that's the myth i was talking about). You can do good things with simple and cheap hand tools. You only need the WILL to mod!

    Hope some1 finds this useful, cheers

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