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Thread: Battle Dragon Bag - Update #26 - 8/26/2012

  1. #61

    Battle Dragon Bag - Update #26 - 8/26/2012

    Update #21: Reservoir

    I started on the reservoir. I mocked up the pieces with foam core and checking it in the case for fitting:





    I cut some of the pieces…



    And I have begun assembling them.



    I’m glad I have a bunch of extra polycarbonate. Two of the pieces I cut were a little… off. So I’ll be replicating them until I get it right. Tonight I’ll work on completing the reservoir and painting some of the pieces.

    To-Do List:

    Fabricate the reservoir – In Progress
    Cut the tube lengths - In Progress
    Test the loop for leaks
    Install the CPU and GPU water blocks - In Progress


    Mount the video card
    Cut a hole for the video card on the back plate
    Mount the hard drives
    Sink the last of the screws

    Prime coat the case
    Detail paint the case

    Mount the lighting for the polycarbonate strip
    Mount the lighting for the CCRTs

    Mod the PSU (optional, will explain more later)
    Sleeve all of the cabling (can wait until after PDXLAN)

    Preload the OS, games, and software into the hard drives - In Progress

    Install all of the hardware


    Thanks for reading!

  2. #62

    Battle Dragon Bag - Update #26 - 8/26/2012

    Update #21.5

    I am exhausted. I've been owrking 11 hour shifts and then modding.
    I'm simply gonig to give you two quick teaser pictures and then more after PDXLAN or late Thursday evening. Please keep in mind, that's not the final color. It is just the prime coat.





    Have To-Do:
    Cut the tube lengths - In Progress
    Install the CPU and GPU water blocks - In Progress
    Mod the PSU (optional, will explain more later) - In Progress
    Mount the video card - In Progress

    Test the loop for leaks
    Cut a hole for the video card on the back plate
    Mount the hard drives
    Mount the lighting for the CCRTs
    Install all of the hardware

    Can Do after LAN:
    Detail paint the case
    Mount the lighting for the polycarbonate strip
    Sleeve all of the cabling (can wait until after PDXLAN)

    Completed:
    Prime coat the case - Done
    Preload the OS, games, and software into the hard drives - Done
    Fabricate the reservoir - Done
    Sink the last of the screws - Done
    Polish poly-c strips - Done

  3. #63

    Battle Dragon Bag - Update #26 - 8/26/2012

    Can't wait to see this at the lan. Think you'll have it up and running in time?

  4. #64

    Battle Dragon Bag - Update #26 - 8/26/2012

    Can't wait to see this at the lan. Think you'll have it up and running in time?
    Yeah I'll have it running. The question is how much of it will be where I want it for the LAN. I'm focusing on the water cooling and lighting. I'll be packing the emergency heat sinks in case I have water issues.

    The paint job will be in-progress and I definitely don't have time for all the sleeving.

  5. #65

    Battle Dragon Bag - Update #26 - 8/26/2012

    Oh hell man you still have a whole day to get more done....


    I'm with you on being wiped out. I have been working on 2 at the same time and just finished one about 20 minutes ago. I'll be bringing the other one with me to assemble at the lan.. :roll:

  6. #66

    Battle Dragon Bag - Update #26 - 8/26/2012

    Update #22

    Wow… so PDXLAN and Emerald City LAN happened. I just realized I was posting some modding drama on Facebook without following up on my forums. This is bad and I apologize but I was very, very crunched for time and did the best I could to keep my audience informed. So this is what you might have missed out on…

    The water cooling did not pass the loop test. The reservoir leaked horribly and I ended up cracking the plastic cover on the CPU water block. All was not lost because I’m a modder and I don’t quit. I rushed to make the case air cooled (just for the LANs) so that I could at least show the work in progress. I wasn’t going to win any contests with the current paint job but the computer was functional and semi-presentable.

    Here’s the case at PDXLAN. They were force feeding us Mean Bean Monster Energy drinks so most of my pictures were a little blurry. A new camera is on my birthday list this May. Actually my wife is more excited about learning photography than getting me a camera.




    Since I cracked the plastic cover of the CPU water block I decided to start a concept piece as its replacement. For some reason I have a bunch of .5” thick Poly-Carbonate in my basement. The people at Laird Plastics gave me an incredible deal for a huge piece for only $20. So I have a bunch to experiment with… Here’s where I started:



    I cut the piece of poly-carbonate to the shape of the brace. Then I drilled all of the screw and mounting holes. I held off putting in the water intake/output holes. I wanted to see how it looks before deciding the placement of these holes.



    Next, I tested using the Dremel and the little Dremel Work Bench as a router.



    When I felt comfortable with the set-up I tried it on my block cover.



    Here’s the (blurry) end result. I really like being able to see the pins and fins inside of the water block. I ended up making a couple of mistakes. But that’s ok, as I had intended to redo this block cover after I got my techniques down with the tools I have on-hand. There were two slips: one while routing down the brace and another when making the top oval. Both mistakes are lessons learned.



    Well, ladies and gentlemen, I’m back and modding! I had a lot of fun at the LANs but it’s time to go back to grindstone! Thanks for reading, updates will return to their regular intervals.

  7. #67

    Battle Dragon Bag - Update #26 - 8/26/2012

    Update #23

    So… I’m going to slip this update in and pretend absolutely no time has passed since my last update. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Seriously, though, while I have been remiss in posting on the various modding forums I have been quietly lurking and reading. I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked in the last 4 months but that’s the way life goes. And modding delays are ok if you’re making positive progress in other areas of your life.

    First off, let me introduce you to my new work space! I’ve cleaned up a third of the basement that we were using as storage and repurposed it into my new workshop. I still need to do the electrical work and drop a 220 in the spot I want to do my welding and put my oven for future powder coating. But it is well on its way.



    Okay then, on to the modding. I am still working on the Battle Dragon Bag case. I really like it. I’ve already taken it to two different LANs and will be taking it to the PAX PRIME 2012 BYOC. But I hadn’t had time to attack the failed water cooling… until now… My water cooling loop failed in pretty much every spot. It leaked from the plastic top of the CPU block. The reservoir leaked from every seam. And had I been able to put any real pressure on the loop I would have learned that I punctured my reservoir in 3 spots. My water loop worked perfectly as a lawn sprinkler. While I was freaking out trying to stop all of the leaks and the water shooting everywhere, I killed my pump by running it without water… because it was all over my floor and shirt and dog. The dog thought it was funny.

    The CPU block:
    I tried four versions of the CPU water block. I’ve kept the Thermaltake copper base because it looks cool and it was designed well enough for me to switch out the plastic top. When I first attempted modding the plastic top I tried re-tapping the two plastic holes. Unfortunately I snapped off a plastic divider and the area around the tapped plastic was weak and eventually cracked with a little pressure. So I tried remaking it with polycarbonate… but my unsteady hands and questions about the material with cooling fluid made me want to try it again.

    My third attempt (with the #2 on it) was with acrylic but my lines and the mounting plain was uneven. So, I tried a fourth time and it looks and works beautifully.


    The reservoir:
    So I apologize because I didn’t take pictures of this part. But all I did was go out and buy an EK rez and slice the acrylic cylinder down to the length I wanted. Then I topped it with another piece of acrylic instead of using the fancy top. But for ease of use I put a hole on top for pouring more water into the loop.

    The radiator:
    The radiator was an easy fix. I just had to replace it with another slim (30mm) radiator that possibly had a fitting inlet/output on the bottom of the radiator. Except, I wasn’t able to find a radiator like that made by any company. There were radiators that were 30mm thick and there ones with spots for fittings on the bottom but not both of those features. So I grabbed one that was 30mm and tried redesigning the case a little. As you can see, it’s a close fit.

    The pump:
    I am going to see if I can revive the Thermaltake pump for another project but to move this project along and to make a little more room, I went with a Danger Den pump that I decided to modify. The clamp top of the pump didn’t work with how I had my case designed so I decided to make a quick disconnect top that the reservoir feeds directly into. To Danger Den’s credit they provide detailed instructions on how to dismantle their pumps. I was impressed and it was easy to take the part off that I wanted to mod.

    Next, I sliced off the clamp spout, gradually widened the hole with increasing drill bits and the tapped the hole.

    Here’s the finished top.

    And here’s the pump re-assembled with the reservoir on top of it.

    And why didn’t I go with some fancy pump/reservoir combination? I didn’t have the space and I used bargain sites to get some of the parts.

    Here’s a quick picture of me testing the CPU block and the reservoir.


    That’s all for now, I’ll post another update this weekend with the other work that I’ve done! Thanks for reading!

  8. #68

    Battle Dragon Bag - Update #26 - 8/26/2012

    Update #24:

    As promised, another update on time! Just to finish off the last bit from the last update, I ran my completed loop for a good 48 hours WITH NO LEAKS! I think I’ve worked out all of my kinks and hang-ups with water cooling and feel completely comfortable in finding new ways to screw up my loops!


    Light rails:
    This next set of pictures is presented a little out of order. Three days ago, I dropped off seven pieces of the case (all of the outside pieces) with Seattle Powdercoat (http://www.seattlepowdercoat.com/). Two of the pieces were the top/front-side pieces that frame the strip window. I have some strip LEDs that I want to light up that window so I had to fabricate some rails to attach the strip lighting.

    First I had to figure out where to place the rails that wouldn’t interfere with any of the parts that have already been fitted for this case. I also had to make sure they were going to be close enough to the strip window.


    After riveting the rails in place, I did a quick fitting to make sure everything was still going to work. This is actually the most time intensive part of this case… I have to put the motherboard in and seat the video card in its bracket. Then I make sure it fits with the water cooling pieces. All the while, gently handling my hardware so I don’t accidentally @#$% my expensive parts.


    To help hide the rivets, I sank rivet holes, filed them flat and then patched and sanded the top. I fear that the patching and sanding won’t last the sand-blasting process the powder coaters put the pieces through so I did my best to make the rivet fill the holes as much as possible.


    Some painting:

    While the shell pieces are at Seattle Powdercoat, I decided to paint the internal pieces. Since several of these pieces probably won’t even be seen or only small parts of them seen I decided to make the muted with a flat black.




    I also painted the PSU shell to match the rest of the internal décor and then accented the logo for my nice sponsor.


    Strip Window:

    While I was waiting for my paint to dry I decided to redo the strip window that I initially made. When I was bending the angles I ended up giving the poly carbonate a little too much heat. And then it didn’t fit in the frame the way I wanted it so I ended up sanding it down in the parts that pushed against the shell. The result was sloppy and tacky. I didn’t like it.


    To make the new piece fit better I filed down the frame rather than the poly carbonate and the new pieces fit like a dream and look much better.


    I’m starting to run out of things to do for this case! Here’s my checklist until completion:

    Cable Sleaving Preparation
    Pick up pieces from Seattle Powdercoating
    Wire, solder, and install the strip LEDs on the light rails.
    Finish Cable Sleaving
    Assembly and Test
    Figure out what the @#$% I did wrong
    Fix whatever it is I screwed up
    Re-assemble and Test
    Curse the gods and look for what’s wrong again
    Blame the fourth guy that posts after this update for screwing up my case
    Cry, drink, sober up and then apologize to the fourth guy that posts after this update
    Actually fix the problem
    Install updates, patches and new games for taking case to LAN parties

    If any of you are interested in seeing this case in person it will be at PAX PRIME 2012 (http://prime.paxsite.com/) and the November PDXLAN (http://www.pdxlan.net/portland/). As a side note, I’ll also be bringing the case to show at the panel I’ll be speaking at in PAX PRIME 2012. If you’re at PAX come see me talk about modding (yes, I know I’m probably the LEAST qualified person to talk about modding) with other crafty people of a geeky nature: http://prime.paxsite.com/schedule/panel/for-the-love-of-making-geek-arts-and-crafts


    Thanks for reading!!!

  9. #69

    Battle Dragon Bag - Update #26 - 8/26/2012

    Your alive?

    Dude I wondered what happened to this mod.... er uh ... I mean you. :P

    Glad to see you're still pressing ahead with this. Wish I was meeting up with you at PAX but I didn't get working on it in time. Plus, the wife is real tired of all this "stupid modding stuff" taking away from her "me time".

    Have a great time for me!

  10. #70

    Battle Dragon Bag - Update #26 - 8/26/2012

    Your alive?

    Dude I wondered what happened to this mod.... er uh ... I mean you. :P

    Glad to see you're still pressing ahead with this. Wish I was meeting up with you at PAX but I didn't get working on it in time. Plus, the wife is real tired of all this "stupid modding stuff" taking away from her "me time".

    Have a great time for me!
    Awwww... my wife actually asked me if she could go to PAX to see me talk on the panel. We'll see if it's her cup of tea.

    If you're going to the Nov. PDXLAN, we can catch up there. I'll bring the finished case down there for your inspection. I believe I'm right next to Boddaker and BarthBeavis is one table away. You know you want to do another modder's dinner. That way they can judge all the casemods when all the modders are neck deep in beers and bullshiting.

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