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Thread: Cooler Master Cosmos II - Mod

  1. #21

    Cooler Master Cosmos II - Mod

    In my last update I had a specific idea of using a circular flashlight head, it really seemed like a great idea at the time. The reality of using a 2mm strand of fiber optic is the fact that it's really quite springy and resilient to bending. And they snap like dry twigs if pushed too far. Below is a mess, in a manner of speaking, that I am trying to tidy up.

    I ended up not using the flashlight idea because the entry point of the light beam is too extreme. I decided to use a piece of plastic stock that I had lying around, it's a bit too thing, only around 4mm in thickness. I drilled 24 holes in there and put all the optic wires into it. The idea here is to have the light beam into one end of the plastic and have it do the work of distributing the light a bit more evenly to all the optic fibers.

    And then to fit that plastic bar into the plastic shell area if the door. I want to cut a window to have the light coming in from a different area.

    I ended up getting these nifty little LED strips instead, they are meant for a 12V supply, which works great for me.

    And they pump out some serious light. Too bright to stare at, as I found out later when installing them into the top rail of the door frame.

    The two door frames are pretty easy to take off of the case, the upper part is a perfect place to place the light strip.

    Cut a little channel through the top area. Removal of as little as possible is better. Keeping the strength in that area is pretty important.

    I also went with a thicker plastic piece.

    Then I marked off and cut out the slot where the plastic will be located in the door.

    Nine lights for just a mere six inch strip is a decent deal. As I mentioned already they do put out a fair amount of light.

    I got the lights set through there, hot glued into place and it's shining pretty well.

    I like the result.

    And the fit in the door is nice and snug.

    Here's a preliminary light setup. I have a bit more to cut up in the door for everything to fit. I have discovered that using my heat gun solves a lot of the fiber optic problems. But the downside is if it's bent too steeply the light won't travel as effectively though the fibers.

    Thanks for looking!

  2. #22

    Cooler Master Cosmos II - Mod

    Well, the idea is great but the application still needs a little work. I mentioned before that the 2mm optic fibers tend to snap if pushed too hard, and that's what they do when I install it into the door. I lose about 4-5 lights every time I try. So I'm going to step down to the 1.5 mm, trying not to sacrifice on light out very much, but I have to have it workable when I put the door together too.
    In the meantime, while I wait for the shipment to arrive, perhaps I'll get to shaping that eagle head on the front now...

  3. #23

    Cooler Master Cosmos II - Mod

    Well, As I mentioned on the previous post I've been having trouble with the Fiber optics a bit and it's still not resolving itself. Or rather, I haven't been able to resolve it. So I have to move forward with a secondary idea. I really wanted to create a mod where you do not have to detach wires leading into the doors.
    Unfortunately it's becoming impractical to run 30-40 feet of optic cable, in the limited door space I have, and still not get the same light output that a few LEDs on only 18 inches of wire can achieve.
    The place I ordered the LED strips from is out of stock on the 12" light strips, so I'll try and make something happen with two 6" strips per door.

    It will look something a bit like this.

    I will put it only behind the wing, sort of rear facing, so it's not flashing out forwards and blinding the user. Also it's only on the trailing edge of the wing instead of on each tier. Any other possibility seems unfeasible, both financially and in the interests of time. It will still look great! And I hope to prove it soon.

    It's not exactly what I wanted as far as materials used, but it is much closer to what I wanted to achieve as far as light output.

    Perhaps I can use fiber optics elsewhere, in another mod, I do have a few extra feet of it in various diameters.

    Now, back to the eagle head...
    I added some foam, and then did some trimming and moderate shaping.

    After adding the bondo resin, I took a look at it and decided it was too short, and not shaped the way I wanted it.

    I really didn't like what I had so i chopped it off and started over on the beak.

    I also changed the design on the front door cover. It looks a little more inline with the Art Deco theme, as well as the eagle head.

    After finishing the door area, I once again didn't like the eagle head (that was the third rework of that area if you're keeping track) So this time I chopped the entire head off.

    And broke out the monster clay and got to work on shaping something a bit more pleasing to my eye.

    I think I'm heading on the right track here. The silhouette of the eagle head is much more recognizable and pleasing.

    Now to rework it in foam, coat it one last time with resin and then aluminum.

    Thanks for looking.

  4. #24

    Cooler Master Cosmos II - Mod

    On to getting the door into a workable state.

    This worked out pretty well for me, it's super easy just to stitch these LED strips together. A little solder, and a little heat shrink tubing and it's done.

    And as you can see, the effect is still pretty great. Maybe even more so over the fiber optics. (I promise one of these mods I WILL get a decent working model out of those fiber optics, it's too fun an idea not to play with more).

    Even in the daytime this lighting effect works really well. The LED strips have a sticky backing on them, and that's nice to hold it in place, while I used a little extra hot glue just to be safe.

    I dropped some black spray paint in the air shafts, just so they don't attract too much attention.

    And then I began the long and laborious process of installing the aluminum chips.

    Clamping around the edge was time consuming and I was using the Gorilla Glue still at this point. It took me hours before I could see if they would hold. Some did, some didn't

    So I got plain old fast cure epoxy. I have to test fit every piece anyway, and shape them, sometimes more than once, sometimes more than twice. The epoxy has helped immensely.

    This still takes days to do.It's pretty labor intensive.

    But I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

    The effect, in my opinion, is quite spectacular.

    The lighting is still a bit of a troublesome area. It's great. and I still need something to cover the area so I opted for a single piece of metal wrapping the entire area. It took a couple of attempts, but it's secure and still works!

    This may take me days to do, but it's arguably the hardest part. The surface area is complex and enormous.
    The good news is, there's only one more door to go! And the eagle head... haha.! 0-0

  5. #25

    Cooler Master Cosmos II - Mod

    Back for another fast update!

    I'll say it again, even though this wasn't my first choice of lighting effect I'm extremely happy with how it turned out.

    And here's the door in it's nearly finished state (provided you ignore the one missing piece on the top corner.

    Just for ease of installation I installed the plug wire inside the inner door handle area.

    Due to the brightness of the LED's you cannot really see what I've done here. I felt like I needed to show you how I go about covering up the light area. You could see it in the earlier post but I didn't really explain it.

    What I've done here is; place a piece of masking tape over the LED strip after it's installed.
    Then I marked out the lighted areas around each light.

    I then remove that tape and transfer it to a strip of the aluminum sheet. Using a common hole punch was the easiest and cleanest way to make holes for the lights.

    I cut about 6000 (maybe less) relief cuts along the edges of the aluminum sheet. It has to bend in two different directions and still give me metal to metal contact on the door side.

    I then cut an additional 6000 (or so) relief cuts along the outer edge and fold it up along the wooden wing part.

    Cover it all in metal.

    And then I re-test to make sure it lights up still. (I am paranoid about that. if one light burns out, it may not be terrible but I don't want to take that chance.)

    I have to remove excess epoxy out of some of the joints, re-glue some of the areas that didn't hold as well as I need, and then some texturing work with my brass cup brush on my Dremel, which disintegrated about half way through (so I need to find more of those).

    Back to my eagle facsimile. I have finally settled on a head shape. I had made this one out of the same foam as previous attempts. After getting something that was looking fairly good as a shape out of clay as my guide. Again, the head I built and glued on to here, was too high. So I sawed the head back off, cut about an inch off the height and glued it back on.
    The good news is; I did like the shape of it though.
    This time around I opted for an eye ridge, with no actual eye area.

    I even carved a place out for the control panel to go back in on the top.

    And a final shot done by my kid.

    Thanks for looking!

  6. #26

    Cooler Master Cosmos II - Mod

    Really nice light effect on the door, and can't wait to see that eagle head finished.

  7. #27

    Cooler Master Cosmos II - Mod

    Well here we are with an actual working eagle head modeled on the top of the case, finally!

    As soon as I finished with that I had to begin grinding and sanding all the parts to get them to fit back together better.
    Who knew the clearance tolerances wouldn't allow for some extra thickness of aluminum skinned to the outside of the case?

    I did have some success getting it to fit all back together.

    AND, I did have some failures as well. This really hurt me quite badly.

    The front door area alongside the hinge just grabbed hold of all my hard work and proceeded to separate it from it's mounting.

    It did it to the door as well, but a little less. Repairing this took me most of the rest of the evening, and I had to go back to grinding it back down to a suitable form. It still isn't perfect, and I'm afraid that if the doors get opened up too quickly it will happen again. Especially after it gets shipped across the country to Cooler Master's events.

    Getting it all worked out took a major chunk of time and I had very little left to give.
    I did manage to get the USB port cluster installed where I wanted to. And it turned out pretty nice, thankfully.

    The eagle beak is really hanging down there, please watch out if you are around this thing. It's about the only really sharp thing on the case, I've blunted it but I didn't want to go any further and risk destroying the tip.

    I tried to take some pictures of the case after the texturing. But due to lack of time and experience, I'm having trouble shooting a decent batch. This is one of the best ones I could come up with.

    Some low light shots to show off the wing lighting again.

    And from the rear.

    As I was putting the aluminum chips onto the eagle they all converged to the final piece, it was pretty close to a star shape under that area, so i just made a star and placed it over it. Seemed like a good place for one.

    This is directly behind the head, where I wanted the switch panel to be. In the rush one was not able to get sent to me on time and I hope that they will be able to manage to install it when the case arrives to it's final destination.

    The case is now all packed up and ready for it's voyage.

    **My final thoughts on this case mod.**

    This has been a learning experience for me in so many ways. (And some of it I wish it wasn't.)

    Estimated aluminum used was ALL of the aluminum I ordered. I honestly have so little left I think I couldn't even create one soda can's worth of material. It was approximately 9 feet long by 2 feet wide. I really thought I was ordering a lot MORE than I needed. But it turns out, it was just enough.

    I prepared the chips by doing this procedure.;

    -I cut the metal sheet into strips.
    -Then I cut the strips into square and rectangular shapes.
    -I put approximately 8 to 14 rivet dents per chip and then rolled them flat.
    -I did this about 600 times. (6000 rivets!!!? Wow!)

    I estimate I have spent about 300 hours on this project. Some of it was just experimenting, and some of it was research or even just a little but of spinning my wheels. But, that's all part of the learning what I can and cannot do with the materials I chose.

    I used and discarded about 50 feet of fiber optic cable. I have about 50 feet more that I didn't use, and that will have to go elsewhere some day.

    Overall I'm pretty happy with the result. I really hope that Cooler Master is happy as well. I also hope they can get some decent pictures of the case.

    Stepping out on a proverbial ledge like I did, and picking exotic materials, really has it's ups and downs.

    I hope you enjoyed the mod and thanks for looking!


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