Early December Mickey and I were asked by PNY to create a custom system to make their new line of XLR8 video cards pop. The time frame was short considering CES starts today but we told them we were up to the task. They sent us a case and a design concept and we got to work. Unfortunatly I do not have pictures for all of the work we did as this was a time constrained project and we were in a hurry.
The case was an Antec 900b Gaming case. This is a really nice case even unmodded (blasphemy I know).
And we're off! we wasted no time tearing the unit down to pieces and getting started thank you to all of the Austin Modders that came on the initial day of modding your help was greatly appreciated.
After it was in pieces we went to cutting. We had two windows to do. One on the side you would expect and on on the opposite side, not normally where you would see one. Mickey did most of the chopping on the case.
For the side window that was showing the components we decided to remove the existing window and open it up to show off the components just a bit better. This meant removing the metal that was already stamped in needed something larger than the dremel we used for most of the case.
This meant bring in Dremel 2.0!!
And the cutting continued for a few more hours.
After this was done it was time to start the sanding. Thanks qoou for helping us out that day.
While the sanding was going down we had Poman on LED fan duty. If you noticed in the first picture the case came with a 200mm fan in the top. Yes that's no typo 200mm!! One large problem with that is there was no flash to it. So poman helped us to rig up the right places to install our LED's once we received them.
There were also 3 92mm fans with the system that came with blue LED's these were changed later with the help of G to change them over to our orange LEDs.
I spent most of my time with this mod on the paint. This involved a lot of sanding, spraying, sanding, spraying, sanding..... you get the idea. We ended up with a great finish that was almost mirror like.
One of the things PNY asked up to do was to add LED's to the slot loading dvd drive. This was an interesting request as I had never thought about doing it, but kuddos to PNY for the idea. So late one night in a sleep deprived state, I thought "Hey let's bust out the hot soldering iron, I'm tired this should be fun!!"
I wired the LED's into the molex connection from the back to pull a clean 5v for the lights. I ran the wires to the front and put 3 orange LED's just above the slot. This worked really well considering that there isn't really anything in the slot for the light to reflect off of. It isn't as bright as I would have liked but worked still the same.
This point is where I ran out of pictures. Sorry but we were in a hurry so I will try and describe what happened from here.
This was one of our very first lighting tests. You see the components inside but it is not the hardware that would be in the final build. We had not received that at this point. There is a light strip at the top of both sides that is made out of Orange plexi our initial lighting did not make this pop so we tore it out and tried again.
Moving on from there we noticed that the power supplu had a ton of cales and hiding them was a big chore. So we bent a piece of black plexi over the power supply and the cables to hide them. It looked fantastic and you will see it in later pictures.
Next came the large window on the other side. Why in the world would they put one there you might ask. Good question. Thanks to Goober for helping us out with the laser etch. but here is is dead sexy the PNY and XLR8 logo etched into a piece of clear plexi that was painted black on the back side.
Next up was to add a matte black PNY Technologies logo to the components side panel. We had the great guys at Fast Signs make us up a paint pask for the area and I stopped on my way home to get the paint that wouled be needed. Happy and elated that the project was comming to a close I prepped the area, layed down the paint mask, shook the living crap out of the paint can trying to get it to mix just right, layed down a test spray which appeared to be fine, then..... disaster. Now keep in mind that this is the night before we are shipping the case. and we've already had to take a day longer than we wanted to to componenets arriving late. I started to spary the paint and noticed it was about 95% paint thinner and about 5% black paint. Something went horribly wrong in the paint can and the paint and thinner were not mixing. This ruined the paint I had worked so hard to lay down over days and days of sanding and painting. After a lot of cussing and not being very happy because this could screw us on shipping the case in time. So we decided it's time for the all nighter. We removed our plexi and sanded it all down to base metal. The thinner had soaked into the paint to a point where this was our only option. All night long I started the process of sanding and painting trying to reclaim the former glory of the paint. This finally ended about 5 minutes before I had to leave for work in the morning. I snapped some pictures and then dropped the case over at Mickey's house so he could see about getting a new PNY logo for the side and ship it out. Here are the pictures I took before dropping it at Mickey's.
Mickey took the case to the guys at Fast Signs and begged on hands and knees for them to make a vinyl grapghic for it on the spot. Just kidding those guys are great and worked with use right then and there.
Here is how it turned out.
Well that is the case, a lot of people helped and we really apprciate it. If I missed your name I'm sorry just know at 7am when I was taking those pictures I was extremely thankful for the help received. It was shipped and should be at CES right now, we haven't heard from PNY if it arrived ok, but I am going to assume it did as I have not got a call from them. Let us know what you think this was a lot more work in the end than it was planned on but well worth it.