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Thread: Tt Invitational Competition Entry - Adrenal Express

  1. #1

    Tt Invitational Competition Entry - Adrenal Express

    Greetings everyone! It's such an honor to be selected to represent the US in Thermaltake's CaseMod Invitational, Season 2!

    This is going to be a really exciting competition, with so many talented modders battling it out. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with, using the X9 chassis. []

    Here are my requisite photos of all the great hardware that will be going into this build. Special thanks go to not only Thermaltake for hosting this amazing competition and providing for most of the hardware, but also to Avexir for the sweet DDR4 memory kit, and to Newegg!

    Here is an overall shot of the booty, case and all..

    Thermaltake ToughPower 1200w power supply

    ASUS Sabertooth X99 motherboard

    ASUS Strix GTX 970 video cards X2

    Intel i7 5820K processor

    Avexir DDR4 16Gb Memory Kits X2

    Samsung 850 EVO 240Gb SSDs X3

    Thermaltake hot swap dual drive bays X2

    360mm Rads X3

    200mm Res/Pump combos X2

    Soft tubing

    Rigid tubing

    Miscellaneous fittings (too many to itemize lol)

    STRIX 970 waterblocks X2

    120mm Riing Fans Green X9

    200mm Luna Fan white

    Commander FT Fan Controller

    Commander FX 10 port Fan Hub

    - - - Updated - - -

    I really like the X9, not only for it's size, but also for the shear number of options and configurations one can choose to go with when building a system. It literally takes the boredom out of putting a computer system together because it can be built in so many different ways within this one chassis. This is evidenced by the myriad of X9 rigs out there right now that people have built for themselves and others, each one vastly different than the next, much like snowflakes in their uniqueness.

    That's why when I took delivery of my X9, I felt a sense of anticipation, as if I was stepping into the unknown, my path uncertain. I was giddy with excitement, eager to tear into the box like a child and his present on Christmas morning. My heart started racing and I quickly scribbled my illegible signature on the delivery man's tablet and waved him off, never once taking my eyes off the box. My new enemy became the very cardboard that had served to protect that which was concealed inside, and was quickly subdued as I targeted its weakest points with the first thing I could find within reach: my house key. Stabbing the packing tape repeatedly along its seams, I eventually succeeded in opening the box, only to find the X9 was yet unseen; obfuscated by Styrofoam and plastic (Dr. Cardboard's obvious cohorts). But even these final layers of protection were no match, and ultimately yielded to my unrelenting desire to gaze upon my new case.

    After a few moments of silent staring and admiration, I took a deep breath as I began to contemplate my seemingly impossible task of deciding what to do for a theme. The choices are virtually unlimited! How can I settle on one single idea? Should I go with a video game theme, or movie? What could I do that hasn't already been done a hundred times over? Then the answer just appeared before me as I watched the delivery truck start up outside and drive off. This whole thing that I had just experienced, the anticipation, the excitement, the excelerated heartbeat... it was like getting a shot of adrenaline. Before the X9 arrived, I was bored, tired and lethargic. And once it got here, I felt awake, motivated, inspired.. I felt alive! So this theme will exemplify that feeling of heightened alertness. The Core X9 will become the vessel that transports this highly exuberant chemical to its new owners, curing them of the common doldrums. Of course, there is only one company internationally certified to carry such a fragile, and extremely rare commodity...

    And that company is:

    - - - Updated - - -

    Since Adrenaline is such a potent chemical, it must be handled very carefully. If just one drop should escape from its container, the consequences would be devastating. So first and foremost, construction of the transportation unit is critical, and extreme care in keeping the Adrenaline stable is paramount. That is why these heavy duty shock absorbers will be employed on every corner to ensure that no vibration makes its way into the container..

    These heavy duty shock absorbers, normally used on full suspension mountain bikes, will be put to better use here.

    Taking 1" square box tubing, I cut eight individual pieces out for mounting the shocks to the inner chamber.

    The shock fits inside the bracket, utilizing the mounting hardware that came with it.

    All eight chamber mounts done.

    For the other end, a slightly different design was needed to mount the shock to the corners of the outer frame. More 1" box tubing was sectioned out.

    Cut and drilled to accept the shock bolt.

    All mounting brackets done!

    These triangle pieces will fit into the corners of the frame.

    The top brackets are drilled in the center, and the holes squared.

    This keeps the carriage bolt from spinning when the nut is screwed on.

    Both pieces fastened together.

    A 1" flat washer is used to reinforce the bracket and spread out the load.

    Once the frame is prepped, these brackets will then be riveted into place. More soon!
    Last edited by Boddaker; 09-11-2015 at 03:23 PM. Reason: made Invitational logo a link

  2. #2

    The inner chamber of the Adrenaline Transport Container was completed over the weekend, using only the highest grade galvanized steel sheet. The galvanization process alters the molecular structure of the steel, creating a superior adrenaline-proof barrier, should any leaks occur. Our courier's safety is of utmost importance here at Adrenaline Express!

    Marking out the dimensions of the inner chamber onto raw galvanized stock.

    A jigsaw outfitted with high tensile strength tungsten carbide blades was used to cut the specially treated steel.

    After bending, we have four sides.

    A separate piece for the back was made, with a 1/2" lip all around..

    The back fits perfectly inside the four sides.

    Once riveted together, I could start test-fitting parts inside the chamber. First was to ensure the two Adrenaline Reservoirs would fit snugly in their places.

    Next will be placement of the main control board, which will be responsible for regulating the environmental conditions of the chamber, as well as monitoring vibrations.

  3. #3

    Got all the shock absorbers mounted over the weekend!

    Working on the top shocks first, I got the corner shock brackets mounted into the corners using the existing pop rivet holes.

    For the top shock mounts, I had to cut the ends off of the radiator support bracket to make room in the corners.

    The back two shocks mounted..

    ..and the front two..

    All four top shocks mounted to the corners.

    After measuring and centering the inner chamber at the correct height, I drilled holes on all four corners to mount the other shock brackets.

    Flipping the entire case over, I started working on the bottom shocks.

    I removed the inner chamber temporarily so I could have room to work, and proceeded to mount the remaining four shocks in the bottom corners.

    While the chamber was out, I drilled holes in the bottom using the same measurements as the top, and re-installed it into the case.

    We now have a fully suspended inner chamber!

  4. #4

    The time has come to create the opening for the motherboard's IO, but I needed the factory cutouts for a template. I couldn't just put the entire case up next to the inner chamber, so I cut it out. :P

    Now I'm free to mark the openings with the stock "Ttemplate".. I included the GPU's IO brackets as well so I could transfer those holes for the displayport, HDMI, and DVI ports.

    Holes marked..

    Motherboard IO cut and the panel in for a test fit..

    With that in place I knew right where to add the standoffs, so now the motherboard is mounted.

    Moving on to the GPU cutouts..

    Graphics cards installed!

    Next up is drilling holes for the pump wires, along with other cables such as USB3 and front IO.

  5. #5

    The power supply will be located on the back of the inner chamber, in between the two reservoirs. But in order to mount it there, I'll need to fabricate a bracket for it to sit on. So more galvanized steel was cut..

    ..and bent into a shelf-like form..

    ..Here's a couple shelfies..

    The mounting holes were transferred to the bottom panel from the psu itself.

    Using special diamond-carbide cutting wheels, I was able to remove the center of the panel for adequate PSU ventilation.

    And the PSU mounted to the shelf.

    Using a box, I propped up the PSU and shelf to the desired height so I could mark the holes on the inner chamber. It will be held in place by some pop rivets once everything is prepped and painted and ready for final assembly.

    Last edited by Boddaker; 09-29-2015 at 11:37 AM.

  6. #6

    This vessel will be carrying the potent adrenaline, so it needs to be very strong and impervious to cracking, crazing, scratches, bullets, lasers, sharks, ... and even laser sharks. And since there is nothing tangible on this earth presently that comes close to this, I had to travel into the future and bring back some transparent unobtanium. Fortunately, I found that the future Pringles chip containers were made of it and happened to be the exact sized cylinders I needed, and was able to purchase a couple cans from the local Eleventy-Seven (formerly known as 7-11).

    Here's the stock container, ready to be upgraded.

    The de-agitator was disassembled, and it's feeble exo-coating removed.

    A special protective UltraViolet-activated barrier strip was applied to the outside.

    To further dissipate all those UltraViolets, this semi-permeable alloy was added over top the barrier strips.

    Once, reassembled, the housing's performance is greatly enhanced by these super cool racing stripes..

    Both vessels have been upgraded, and ready to be filled with the toxic fluid.

  7. #7

    More chassis modifications were necessary to ensure the safe and secure delivery of this most unpredictable substance. After exhaustive stress testing with premenstrual gorillas, extra care and stabilization was duly recommended, and therefore additional anti-vibration spring rails were employed at the base of the container.

    Fabricated simply from C channel and 1/4" multi-strand cable..

    Pass-through holes were drilled into both sides of the C channel.

    Once painted, the cable was threaded through.

    Both rails complete!

    Inverted and mounted to the case. It was decided that there was no need for the extra 1/4" bar seen in the first pic..

  8. #8

    Since the motherboard is mounted in the inner chamber with the IO facing down, I'll be using some panel mount extensions for HDMI, ethernet, and power connectivity.

    First, I pilfered the power plug out of this old psu

    I found the HDMI and ethernet panel mount extensions online.

    Here is the new back panel I made to replace the swiss cheese that was there before.

    Using the panel mount ends, I made myself a template on tape and transferred it onto the new back panel.

    After removing material and some filing, the panel mounts fit nicely at the bottom center of the back panel.

    Getting down to the last couple items I need to fabricate mounts for, then it's time for paint! Stay tuned..

  9. #9

    The last bit of fabrication I had to do involved placing the 2 Max5 Duet HDD Racks. They will be hidden inside the front bezel, but still easily accessible for hot-swapping the SSDs.

    Here's how they will be positioned, one on each side.

    I'm always looking for ways to re-incorporate parts of the original case into my designs. These hard drive racks will be perfect for mounting the Duets!

    They fit like a glove inside the tray..

    I won't be needing the doors, but will be utilizing one of the hinge points, so the tray will pivot out the side of the front bezel. I scribed an arc showing the drive's travel from closed.. the open position.

    After removing a bunch of material from the underside of the front bezel, the drive racks are now clear and can move freely. The bezel already has openings on the side, originally meant for the power/reset/audio panel, but the holes still needed to be widened a bit.

    Now the drive rack can be pulled out fully, and the SSD's accessed easily.

    Now that all the fab work is pretty much done, I can move on to paint!

  10. #10

    Finished the PSU last night, thanks to Shannon for sending me a 140mm green Riing fan.

    Installed into the PSU. The stock fan connector is only 2pin, so I'll have to run the new fan's cable out of the PSU and into the fan controller... which will be mounted directly underneath.

    Speaking of which, here is the Commander FT..

    Removing the 5 1/4" mounting bracket..

    ..and mounting it directly to the PSU mounting tray.

    Now that everything is painted, I can finally mount the PSU tray permanently to the back of the inner box.

    Then the fan controller bracket goes on, after cutting a matching hole in the top to clear the psu.

    PSU and fan controller installed.

    Plugged in for a test run..

    It's all starting to take shape now!

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