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Thread: Project Sestren Worklog - World's First Back/Outside Mounted

  1. #1

    Project Sestren Worklog - World's First Back/Outside Mounted

    - a PC1X1 project -

    Computing in general has been a hobby ever since I was young. I started back in Dos/Windows95 era at the tender age of 8 years old. Since then I have always been trying to evolve and exceed my previous work. Computing to me is a journey, so I am not worried about the end result. This build has been in the making for a little while now. I figured it was about time to see how far I can currently go. The computer is named after Sestren, the main computer/entity in the Panzer Dragoon Universe.

    Performance and Elegance, and Pioneering the World's First Outside Mounted Triple Radiator Cube!

    Phase 1: Computer Case Modifications, pre-planning, and 70% parts acquisition. [Complete]
    Phase 2: Computer Case painting and assembly, test run on previous hardware [In Progress]
    Phase 3: Rebuild with next generation hardware, ala i7 etc.
    Phase 4: Multi-monitor Display Expansion to Hex Monitors

    Parts List:

    -Sestren’s Core-
    • Optical Removable Media: [1] Pioneer DVD-RW
      • Solid State Removable Media:[1] Koutech Floppy/Media Reader
        • Processor:[1] TBA
          • Motherboard:[1] TBA
            • Solid State Drives:[4] TBA Raid 0
              [4] Icy Dock 2.5 to 3.5
              • Hardrives:[1] 1 TB External Hardrive
                [1] 250 GB External Hardrive
                [2] 300 GB Velociraptor Hardrives Raid 0
                [2] 640 GB Internal Hardrives Raid 0
                [1] 1 TB Internal Hardrive
                [1] 500 GB Internal Hardrive
                • Raid Controller:[1] Areca 1680IX Raid Controller
                  • Hot Swappable 3.5 Drive Bays:
                  [2] Athena Power Backplane
                [2] TBA 12 gigs of DDR3 Ram
              [6] Dell 3007WFP-HC 30in Monitor
              Monitor Stand:
            [1] Custom Hexa Monitor Stand
            Video Cards:
          [2] Multi Card GPU X2 Series
          [1] Single Slot GPU
          Power Supply:
        [2] Enermax Revolution85+ 1050w
        Computer Case:
      [1] Lian Li PC-343B
      .......Removable Motherboard Tray
      .......Side Panel
      .......Top Panel
      .......Top Radiator Mounting
      .......Front Panel
      .......Lian Li Black Universal Bezel
    [3] Swiftech Pumps with Reservoir Tops
    [1] Hardware Labs 360 GTX Radiator
    [1] Swiftech 360 Radiator
    [1] Swiftech 240 Radiator
    [2] Swiftech Rad Boxes
    [1] GTZ CPU Waterblock
    [2] TBA GPU Waterblocks
    [1] TBA Single Slot GPU Waterblock
    [60 Ft] Clear 7/16” ID (5/8” OD) Tubing
    [3] Petra's Gel Stuff
    [4] Smart Coils
    [1] Kama Bay
    [X] Various Fittings, Rotaries, Clamps, Multi Card Water Links
    [X] Heatsinks

    [1] Windows 7 Ultimate x64

    * Must keep HT
    * Target 4.0 ghz on all 4 cores
    * Temperatures under 50'C Idle
    * Ram @ 1600 mhz

    Front Bay Configuration:

    1. Pioneer DVD-RW.................... 10. Koutech Floppy/Media Reader
    2. Zalman Fan Controller........... 11. Zalman Fan Controller
    3. Athena Bay............................ 12. Athena Bay
    4. "" .......................................... 13. ""
    5. "" .......................................... 14. ""
    6. Kama Bay ............................. 15. Antec Premier
    7. "" .......................................... 16. ""
    8. "" .......................................... 17. Lian Li TR-5B
    9. Zalman Fan Controller .......... 18. Zalman Fan Controller

    Slot Array: (Subject to change, due to motherboard availability)
    [1. PCIE 1x
    [2. PCIE 16x - Graphics Card
    [3. Blank
    [4. PCIE 16x Graphics Card
    [5. PCI
    [6. PCIE 16x Graphics Card
    [7. PCIE Areca Raid

    My Nuclear Family, Mom and Dad

    Petra's Tech Shop - Thanks to: Alex Venz, Quoc

    Enermax USA - Thanks to: Wei Yang, Tom

    MNPCTECH - Thanks to: Bill Owen

    Danny Bui [H]
    silent-circuit [H]
    enginurd [H]
    Zero82z [H]
    PradaG [H][XS]

    Special Thanks to!
    My Parents, for believing in me and helping fund this wonderful project.

    My Aunt Marly for driving me around to get the Cube painted.

    Built in the USA

    Copyright Information:
    I am not affiliated nor work with neither this forum, nor any on the sponsors directly in any way. I am an Enthusiast, and thus want to share my passion through this build log. Sponsored, and donated items are courtesy on the sponsors. Logo's and other copyrighted information belongs to each respective owners! My opinion and build is my own. Thanks!

    Please feel free to suggest changes, ideas, etc! Criticism welcomed, also feel free to help shape/change the layout etc.


  2. #2

    Project Sestren Worklog - World's First Back/Outside Mounted

    Update 1:

    This is the first part, basic building conceptualization and mods.

    Shout out to Petra's Water Tech Shop, for great customer service.

    This is a work in progress, and I am on a strict deadline, and thus this is a temporary build. Also due to cost of this build, it will take a while. This is merely phase one. I presume it will be worked on / finished within 3 months. So far theres only one radiator mounted, but more are coming. Work will resume in early May. Please keep in mind theres finger prints, reflections, case wasn't cleaned etc, etc, since I know this is temporary, so it will look much better in the end, I promise .

    Current Temperatures are great, OC'ed CPU at 39'C idle, and mid 40's on Load. Radiator with 5x 120 H CFM Fans.

    Many more parts, including i7 920, 12 gigs of ram, Geforce 280 GTX's, etc coming at a later date.
    This is the front for now. Still pending 2 more Zalman Controllers, an Antec Premier, and a Kama Bay, and another Athena Power Swap Bay. Also note the little mod I made to cover up the gap the Zalman and Athena Power bay, its on the later pictures.

    Here's is the beginning of the actual CPU Water Loop, there will be 3 water loops total eventually. I am thinking of modding a second floor in this space and putting more pumps there or perhaps mounting them vertically. When the pumps arrive I will make my decision. The pump has to be a bit forward from the actual bay so theres space for fan controllers in my drive bays. One of the things I was adamant about was keeping all 18 drive bays relatively free. With some form of function, i.e something installed be it a fan controller a drive, etc. One side is all Hardware, other side is all Water. No mix, I want to be as clean as possible.

    No UV or Water Addictives except Biocide. Theme is clean.

    Above is the first test run to see where possible kinks, if any appeared. Even without Smart Coils flow was really good.

    Above is the modded Backside where the radiators tubes go in. They are measured and spaced to match the radiator.

    Quick view of the inside, its starting to shape up (This is my current and temporary motherboard)

    Radiator is mounted and I am checking for clearance on the wires. One fan has to be removed for wires to fit, otherwise its perfect. They make a shape that I will lock into place eventually.

    Where the pump will live, this is prior to being bolted down. And DAMN!! Is this tough aluminum to drill.

    Pump is drilled in and mounted, notice how clean It looks, you can barely see the screw on the underside.

    Loop is starting to take shape. Of course will be calibrated and will use some form of hooks to hold it, but even on its own its looking pretty good.

    Front side, again theme is elegance and cleanliness, so I only want 2 tubes per loop coming in. No hodgepodge, and even though this is overkill in terms of dissipation, I am not using fancy fittings, etc. No waste on aesthetics, but a bit of waste in the amount of loops, but thats in the name of keeping things seperate and clean. Also for ultimate performance.

    Starting to guide the wires.

    And the plugging begins.

    Sorry for being blurry, this is a LED Bubble light, it simulates ocean currents using light, with the lights off, the back (Where all the water cooling is) shines through the Wire Hole and looks like theres around sloshing around, I dunno I thought it looked pretty cool .

    White Cold Cathodes are go.

    This is my own creation/idea. To dissipate Heat faster, I have this little mod of 80mm white fans shooting air up.

    Two mighty Silverstone 80'smm


    Time to start routing, however I changed my mind, and to forgo having to buy a CCFL extension, I simply reversed it and plugged its converter box near it, you will see it in the upcoming pictures.

    More wire routing, although these are now sleeved, however I think I sleeved to much because now its harder to fit them, so that may have been a mistake, still working on this part of the project. Also I am terrible at sleeving, if your awesome feel free to come over, I shall buy you a beer.

    I made a cool little track of wire organizers so I could tuck and pull the lengths I needed, in a spiral fashion.


    Tada sleeving!

    Was running out and in trying to save the planet and being cheap, I only sleeved most of what is visible hehehe.

    Sleeving that CCFL, its a 15incher btw.

    Final routing for now, made a cage with Modders mesh to protect CCFL cables.

    How its shaping up in its current form, This was just a test run, to make sure all components work, and I need the computer for school etc. So I am stopping here for now.

    Here's a sideway view. Keep in mind, since I still need to get alot of extensions, alot of things will be routed. Also I think I just may route all my Power cables, through the top of the motherboard. The opening port is to small for everything. It should look better as well.
    Anyhow please let me know suggestions, nothing is set in stone, I have no deadline for this build, so feel free to suggest anything . I also made two more holes for all the wires to come through they are on the right of each radiator mount (aka the back 120mm fans), Came out pretty cool. Minor scratches on the back when the drill came off my hand, the damn thing is a pain to drill through, but overall I think its pretty cool.

    I am short on time, and Ill format this thread much better later .

    Thanks for checking out Phase 1. There will be around 5 phases total.

    My only current problems is that its to loud, and I am not sure which fan is causing it, I will look when I have time.

    Also this is super strange, but my Smart Coils, just broke off by themselves. I am not sure if they were stored for to long prior to coming to me, but they cracked in lots of pieces simply by touch. Very strange. Heres a pic of whats left XD.

    RIP Smart Coils.
    Please Feel free to criticize, just keep in mind its a work in progress. I can always use new ideas. Thanks again! This is my first build log, so pardon my newbness at this, Ill work on making it better as I go along.

    Computer powers several monitors including my main 30'. More Monitors one day , but thats for another build log

  3. #3

    Project Sestren Worklog - World's First Back/Outside Mounted

    So what does 290 ft of sleeving look like ?

    See below .

    Had a bit of a hard time making sure it was all correct though as the pictures on MurderMods do not match the description, theres more sleeving in the photos than actually comes with it, or at least looks that way. However it came in as described in text and thanks to Kirk for great customer service for checking with me. Had the poor guy on the phone with me for a while, last time I had him for 37 minutes, this time he ran away at 16 .

    Poor Alex from Petra's is also a victim, I had him for 40 minutes before as well, heh!

    I am working on getting the parts for the other 2 loops, will keep ya posted!

  4. #4

    Project Sestren Worklog - World's First Back/Outside Mounted

    lkiller1231;1034069888 wrote: Nice build! Really looking forward to more progress!
    Thanks! A major update is coming in a few days, right now I am working on the logistics for migrating to Windows , so around the 16ish or possibly sooner, I should start working on the cube again.

    Meanwhile more parts came in

  5. #5

    Project Sestren Worklog - World's First Back/Outside Mounted

    Here's a small teaser update:

    Here's the water cooling stuff, and sleeving tool, inside the green box, is lots of surprisingly expensive crap

    Closer looks at the Kazes and their fan grills, and radiators, ok time to unpack this stuff

    But first, lets sidetrack into fan sleeving, these Yate Loons, have a unnecessary 4 pin molex attached, time to remove it

    Another picture of how I am going to sleeve the wires, I also broke one, which set me back a few bucks to buy replacement tips

    Testing fitting, and its starting to look like a computer now. At least this is what you get when you cross a SERVER + HTPC + GAMING PC

    This is only the beginning of what I have to organize X_X

    Expensive Crap(It really adds up!) The $600 GeForces are cheap, when you factor in cumulative accessories cost!

    More Crap

    It never ends! At this point I am trying to figure out, how the heck can I organize this properly, I am also banned to my room only, hah so no wide open spaces anymore

    Yup more crap

    Say hi to the server, its the silver Lian Li in the back, just running a podcast while working on this long and tedious build

    Heres the cut aluminum top plate of what I call the PSU Garage

    Here you can see how think it is, it also has anti vibration material applied to it, since a pump is going to be on top of it, although I am going to use a Gel on the pump as well, so hopefully little to no vibration

    Heres the mock up, ie unbolted PSU Garage, it stands on 4 alluminium rods, to avoid and chemical reactions, so those took a while to find. Overall looks pretty good I think, its simple but works, thats the idea inside, simple but usefull

    Another view of the front, the hole will have a kama bay in it, I still need to make dividers since these damn accessories have gaps in them sometimes.
    Cables and my Radeon 3870x2, ram

    Organized crap, say hi to server again

    Ok No more organizing the crap, now it just needs to magically get inside the cube

    Heres the garage in all its glory, I am going to go file it now

    More organized crap, so I can actually store it better
    And that's it for now, more stuff coming soon!

  6. #6

    Project Sestren Worklog - World's First Back/Outside Mounted

    Here's a quick update on the sleeving.

    The computer parts for now is actually done. Instead of the Areca 1222, I opted higher and went with the 1680ix + battery back up. So I can hook up to 128 hardrives, which isn't happening, but at least I can plug in all my 10 . And I should have good performance whenever I run 4x SSD's in Raid 0. Plus I can run Raid 6, 5, combos, etc,etc.

    Also my original motherboard the Asus P5WD2-E Premium, unfortunately decided to die, when I sent it in for Asus for RMA, they couldn't fix it, and instead sent me a P5WDH Deluxe, theres some trade offs, and I miss my old board, but this board opened up a cheaper upgrade path for me. So instead of getting an I7 for now, I am going to wait a little longer. I spent a bit to much on this upgrade as it is, and it will be cost beneficial to wait on the following, until prices drop.

    This is what's left to get, which I'll get at a later date.

    CPU: i7 or better, whatever is available.

    Motherboard: EVGA X58 Classified or whatever is best OC'er period at the time.

    Ram: 12 gigs of Corsair Dominator GT or better.

    Graphics Card:
    GeForce 295 GTX x2 Quad SLI or Whatever Quad Fire, or Quad SLI gives the best performance.
    GeForce 260 216 PhysX If I go Nvidia, I'd like to add Physics support.

    Power Supply #2:
    Enermax Rev 85+ *This I want to buy ASAP, whenever I can afford to.

    Water Blocks
    295 GTX x2 or whatever GPU's I end up with.
    260 GTX

    Basically I need CPU, GPU, Motherboard, Waterblocks, and PSU #2

    For now, I'll be running a Q9550, clocked at whatever I can get it to clock, most likely around 2.66-3.0 ghz overclocked (i975x Limitations) and my 3870X2, and 4 gigs of ram, and one 1050w PSU, which honestly for work, runs great, so I am set for now , and if I happen to be lucky and run into disposable income, then Upgrades happen .

    Everything else is A-OK, guess I can't complain, Ill be with a pretty decent system noneless, not top of the line, but should run mainstream (I hope)

    Heres the quick update.

    Here's the back of the computer, looks cool when everything is mounted.

    Radiator #3, 240mm all mounted up and ready to go, note that all my radiators are using high CFM fans, on both sides, ie the 240 has 4 fans, and the 360's have 6 each, 2x swiftech radiators are running all on yate loons, while the HW Rads, are running 6 Ultra Kazes Fat

    The insides before, Now its all sleeved, Ill show pics in the next update

    The tools are ready to go! Let the Sleeving begin!

    The Swiftech Radiator single pass, I double insulated everything, so this is the first step, it has the sleeving applied but I went a step further and added another layer of heat shrink as a finishing touch, you will see it in the next picture, looks nice imo

    Heres an upclose shot, all grills are proportionally aligned.
    1/pc1x1/Sestren%20Build%20Log/CIMG1885.jpg" alt="" />
    Another Angle

    Heres the single Dual PSU Boot cable, looked decent, but I went ahead and tore apart that sleeving and am individually sleeving it now

    Just so you notice, I changed all the fans Internal connectors, they were an uglyish brown before, and are now black and or red. However sometimes the pins would break, so I had to actually remake the cables, ie cut, strip, crimp/sodder etc. I am going to have to do that ALOT, because I changed all connectors to black, etc

    The pumps are sleeved, notice, the molex, and fan connectors are now black as well , its the small details, comon MDPC!

    Upclose shot of the double insulation, this isn't the best one I did, nor the worst, but I think it looks good overall

    The 240 Radiator, sleeved

    How the sleeving magic is done

    Internal connectors, Firewire, USB, and Sound, I put 3 heatshrinks on firewire, to differentiate, and also help hold it, the reason the cables are fat, is because Lian Li, includes headers and extra single strands, I want to keep the headers, since its standard, but in case one day, I get a mobo thats not Standardize, I kept the single pins as well

    Heres the power, Reset, HDD light, etc sleeved

    The Insides of the Power, Reset, etc, etc
    And thats it for now!

  7. #7

    Project Sestren Worklog - World's First Back/Outside Mounted

    Update: Sleeving!

    Let the Sleeving begin.... again..

    Better shot, time to pull

    Doesn't come off, seems stuck, don't want to try my luck, time to improvise

    Messing with the Lian Li Fan Controller, heres the first tips

    Man that was alot of work, starting to look good though

    Upclose look at craftmanship

    Better shot

    Took a detour and decided to mess with the USB plugs, they look better this way imo

    Trying to take a picture of the jacket

    Still trying....

    Good enough -_-

    Back to the Veris thingy

    The Veris's USB plug
    Closer shot, Looks good, time to add finishing touches, I used like 5 heatshrinks to reach that effect

    Back to the fan controller

    looks good

    Comparison before and after

    Little better shot, I even made new stickers for Fan 1, etc

    Resemblance is uncanny

    And heres another one

    Time to work on the Power cable for the Fan Controller
    c1x1/Sestren%20Build%20Log/CIMG1947.jpg" alt="" />
    Remove those Molex Pins

    Heh its naked, err whats the pin out order again

    To get here was a nightmare!

    Looks awesome though, one side is double insulated the other is not, but not for long


    Up close look at the connectors

  8. #8

    Project Sestren Worklog - World's First Back/Outside Mounted


    Sleeved Speaker, looks uniform and sleek, as it has dual insulation

    Up close shot of the speaker

    Speaker Tail

    Water Pump LEDs

    USB Before

    All Sleeving is preplanned and set aside like this, this is all the heatshrink that went in the REVISED Octopus Sata cable, I wanted for it to have a better finish, and I sleeved its Sideband, looks kewl in my opinion

    Heres the Sata Cable finished, in all its glory, as well as the Sleeved USB connectors, its for the Veris, and for the Floppy

    Up Close of the Sata Connector

    Upclose of the legs of the Sata Connector
    And that's it for today.

  9. #9

    Project Sestren Worklog - World's First Back/Outside Mounted

    Update: Basically now finishing the extensions, ie Fan, PSU, the actual PSU + cables, then the Sata Cables, the build it, and they will come.

    Preparing the Cold Cathode Tube, its too bluish, and hence converted!

    Unfortunately the heatshrink does not wrap around it , so I had to be creative and create two jackets for it

    Time to put it inside its condom



    Top view

    Side View

    Working on the fan extensions

    Here's the Bubble Cold Cathode

    The Bubble Cold Cathode power

    Better Pic of the above

    I am not using any brackets, I want my entire 7 Case slots free for gear, so I dismantled and will reroute everything internally, I will be using a Logisys RM01 to remotely turn it on and off

    Time for surgery, because this CCFL uses a Y Cable, and its not to proportion, time to cut

    Cuts in place

    Time to put it back together


    Complete Y Cable

    Just as a finishing touch, I also heatshrunk the contact points, all of them individually for extra protection

    Time to work on the Fan Controller Power Connectors

    Tada! If only it were this fast in real lifeote>

    Time to work on cold cathode extensions, unfortunately because they are both white, I am using a multimeter, to make sure the right ends come out, because when you sleeving they may go sideways etc.

    Tested each individually mutiple times, then tested all of them together, worked great, PASSED

    Each individually

    Heres a fan Extension, the way it comes, its actually very well made, but I can make it better, so I shed tears while tearing it apart

    Tearing it

    Go figure to save money, they only heatshrink the middle contact point, heh! Very Chinese, cheap but works, I will heatshrink all of them : /
    And working on that tomorrow, Take Care!

  10. #10

    Project Sestren Worklog - World's First Back/Outside Mounted

    Update: Well I felt bad for the poor 2 people that are subscribed to this, so I formatted the pictures anyhow, so you can follow my fun. Although I am pretty weary of sleeving hehe... only thing left to arrive is the 165 ft of sleeving.

    This was my red sleeving and more heatshrink I needed, note the drawings Nils is famous for, as per request thats me working on my PC-343 cube

    That's me everyday.... Sleeving....

    That was that order, that's both packages

    Here's one type of fan extension, its like always a before and after shot, since theres like 20+, maybe 30? fans in this computer, I have alot of these to do heh

    This is the CCFL relay, partially sleeved and my coconut, not sleeved

    Another shot, and coconut again, it was pretty good, but over priced not to much water in there : /

    More work on it

    Almost there, and also you can see why I take so long, I sleeve everything individually, then I sleeve as a whole etc, etc, many steps : /

    Ta da!

    Heres a close up of it completed, its alot more work, but I believe the results speak for themselves

    Here's input and output labeled

    Here's a stock shot of a standard sleeved 3 pin fan cable extension

    Took a break to reflect on whats sleeved and what needs to be sleeved, theres more sleeved stuff inside the cube, so many wires!!!

    After killing the previously seen cable, here it is reborn, and also with a red tip, to keep in theme, ( Watch me end up with a Blue motherboard or something, lol)

    Tada! Here's the New and Improved, I mean its both new and improved, thats pretty amazing

    Another shot, now 36 more of these to go XD
    om/albums/jj391/pc1x1/Sestren%20Build%20Log/CIMG2027.jpg" alt="" />
    Heres a shot of heatshrink, no one will ever see EVArrr! However To keep my mind at ease, and for quality, I individually heat shrank each contact point, previously they came with 1, I did all 3, which imho is more complete, not needed per say, but this whole build has not needed parts, heh!

    Taking a break from 3 Pin fans, Those pins love to break and make me start over , and did all the Molex extensions cables, here is a before and after

    And Tada! there's also 5 that look the same but are smaller, for things that don't need to go through the entire case
    That's it for now, and onward to 3 pin fans extensions, then finally psu extensions, then PSU itself, and I am done with sleeving for PHASE 1 of this project.

    This is a 2 part project, and I hope to get part 1 done by this weekend, not likely but trying.

    Be back later!

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