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Thread: Project: HourBeforeDawn, 10 of June

  1. #1

    Project: HourBeforeDawn, 10 of June

    Hello Im new to this forum but I joined mainly from the amazement of some of the other projects on this forum and well it inspired me to start a mod granted it wont be nearly as impressive as his and ad to the fact that Im new to this world but I will give it a shot. ^^

    I have been thinking of building my own case and a new system, well after thinking, designing, drawing, and budgeting I have decided to get started.

    Now after I got done with all my designed and budget the case cost I found that it would cost me around $400.00us, my case design is very similar to Mountain Mods U2-UFO Optimax, so similar that I decided to contact them and see if they would be able to alter their design a little to fit what I wanted and they replied stating yes with some extra cost involved and after figuring out the cost for them to build the case and to ship would be around the same as if I was to build the case.

    So I figured might as well let an experience group of people build me my case to my specs them for me to possibly screw it up.

    The main changes to the U2-UFO Optimax that will take place is that the motherboard will be on the right side of the case in what is called upside-down or reverse ATX standard where the cpu is towards the bottom of the case, the psu will be located at the bottom of the case as well on that side of the system however will be mounted on the top left side of the case instead.

    The only thing that will be on the right side of the case will be the motherboard, the 3 DD D-5 Pumps, 3 custom built res, and the 2 fan controller and lcd readout screen, everything else related to the computer will be mounted on the left side of the case.

    This Project thread will be the construction and modification of the case itself and the water cooling system that will be installed, as far as the computer parts that will be installed will come at a much later time after Vista comes out.

    What I plan to put in this case before I get the computer parts is:

    1 - Aquaero and Multiswitch
    1 - LCD Readout display for Temps
    3 - 12v DD D-5 pumps
    2 - Swiftech MCR-220 Radiator
    1 - Swiftech MCR-120 Radiator
    3 - Custom Reservoirs
    30ft - 1/2" or 7/16" Tubing (yes Im sure I will have extra but better safe then sorry)
    6 - 120mm Fans
    4 - Red Cold Cathodes or LED Tube
    2 - 700watt PSU

    I plan on running three water cooling systems in this case, one for the two graphics cards and one for the CPU and one for the North-bridge, HDDs and ram. On the graphics cards I plan to run EK Full coverage blocks and for the cpu and north-bridge I am still researching what block I will get once I decide on which AMD cpu I will go with.

    Here is a picture of what the case looks like when I got it.

    Product Link:
    My Review on the case:

    Here are some video clips shot of the case for use as a before referance, there will be follow up clips as I begin to mod the case.
    Here is Part 1 of a 3 part shoot.

    Part one shows the case with the side panels on.

    Here is Part 2 of 3 part shoot.

    Part two shows the case with the side panels removed.

    Here is Part 3 of 3 part shoot.

    Part three shows the case stripped down to its frame and all the parts that are removable.

    Please Take The Time To Visit All My Fine Sponsors.

  2. #2

    Project: HourBeforeDawn, 10 of June

    The back of the case will be cut off and rotated to create the reverse ATX affect.
    Here is a fast not accurate in dimensions just as reference design of the back of the case.

    Alright well here are some pictures on after I cut the back panel off and then after I used the JBWeld, once that cures (15hrs) I will apply a second coat to the inside of the case and where the clamps were located and then after complete cure will sand it smooth.

    Here is the video of me cutting the case, you have been warned lol

    Here is the bottom and the inside after the jbweld

    when I was setting the top, I cracked one of the corners, which lol happen to be the corner that I knew would be weak but afrer I sand that down and reapply thinner coats of jbweld it should hold like the rest.

    Here is a before and after shot ^^


    After: (the motherboard tray is just sitting there not mounted)

  3. #3

    Project: HourBeforeDawn, 10 of June

    Alright seeing how I dont have the bigass air compressor installed yet so I wont be able to use my air tools so...

    I will be doing all my sanding by hand.

    I will start off with some ruff files and work my way down to a finner file to get the excess weld material off and from there will work with the ruff sand paper with the block and again then work my way down to to a finner sand paper until I get it to a smooth finish.

    I dont plan to film this but I will film the mod of the side panel and when all that work is done, I will use bondo to fill any imperfections in the case and side panels and sanding that down and then priming the case and panels, I will film that whole process for all of you ^^
    Im hoping by that time I will have the camcorder so it will be easier on me to film it all.

    I recommend wetsanding as it allows your sandpaper to last longer and with a little less friction you get a smoother results.

    Also wetsanding is very messy lol

    oh and those blocks you see are wheights I use on the race carts, Im using them to keep the case from moving when Im sanding.

    wet sanding is by far the most labor intensive part becuase a lot of the sanding has to be done by hand.

    As you can see the bottom of the case is sanded smooth, the other side is also smooth, now all I have left is the inside corners and the top part of the case which by 3:30pm pst should be cured enough for me to start sanding, I have been sanding since 12:30 ><

    alright all the sanding is done, now on to the motherboard placement, here is some pics with the motherboard and top panel secured to the case.

    okay instead of moving the motherboard tray leg back and re-tapping where the thumbscrew would be located at the top panel due to flipping the back panel instead I created a new bracket so that I can use the existing thumbscrew location to hold and secure the motherboard tray. Oh and dont worry even with that long leg there I can still pull the tray out with no problems. ^^

  4. #4

    Project: HourBeforeDawn, 10 of June

    This is what the new panels will look like, I will be modifing the side panel that will hold the rads as you can see I will cut some alluminum scrap into an L shape and then jb weld them to the side panel, then use modders mesh to close the opening and cut the window panel to fit, the other panels Im not to sure about maybe just do a wicked lazer job and create some cool etched windows, still deciding. ^^

    Here is a link to the Modders Mesh

    well did some messing around heres what Im doing for the radiator side panel.

    Alright, I measured and calculated and measured again, made my markings and have the side panel taped out.

    The second picture above shows where I will be cutting the panel to allow for the fans on the rad to get better airflow.

    Picture above to the left shows just some of the markings made and the picture above to the right shows the part of the window that will be cut away and in its place will have the honey comb grill placed and then a nice L cut brave when overlap both the window and the grill to help secure both and give it a nice clean finish.

    Alright I went a head and cut the side panel, this is part 1 of the side panel mod, part two will be the cutting of the plexi and the L brace that holds the grill and plexi window in place and cutting the honey comb grill to size. Part 3 will be putting it all together.

    Here is the Video - There is sound of the cutting and the bumping and whatever so you have been warned lol

    Part 1 of The Side Panel Mod

    alright well the power went out today when I got home from work, some guy speeding around a corner slid and took out the power poll so with nothing to do I decided to go to the shop, break out the generator and worked on the side panel some more.

    Part Two of the Side Panel Mod:

    Here is a pic of the plexi window all taped up and ready to cut.

    After the plexi has been cut and filed down.

    The left over scrap of the plexi window which I could use somewhere Im sure and some left over of the honey comb grill after being cut to size.

    Here it is all layed out for a test fitting, all that is left for me to do is make the L-Brace that will lay over the plexi and the grill to give it a nice clean look, I will make that brace and finish up the panel on Part 3 and Part 4 will be the cutting of the cross.

    More updates soon to come.

  5. #5

    Project: HourBeforeDawn, 10 of June

    Okay first off I notice a lot of these builds that people do they always put a pic of their cats or dogs so with out further hesitation, I bring you my doggie


  6. #6

    Project: HourBeforeDawn, 10 of June

    okay now onto the real updates, here are some pics of what I have done so far.

    Alright notice that this bar is bent and not straight how I wanted it but it was the closest thing I could find the the thickness I needed but no problem one nice thing about aluminum is how it breaks when you score it with a razor blade as scene in this picture below then you put it in a break and it pops leaving a nice cut. ^^

    In the next picture I have the bar cut and in position to make the L -Bar, give that some time for the jbweld to set and I will do the other side then once cured I will sand it smooth and then it can be prepped to start the rad side panel assembly.

    Alright I drilled out the rivits holding the plexi windows so now that those are out of the way I can start getting the panels ready for paint. Oh and those will be the last time you see those pexi windows as I will have some custom etched ones to take their place.

    As you can see in this picture I cut the honeycomb grill to size and have glued the grill in place to the top panel as soon as it cures I will prep this panel for paint as well. (oh and the stuff ontop of the grills is just what Im using to weight it down while the glue cures)

    Well with the temps droping the items I had curing was not ready to be handled so instead I decided to work on something else and I was looking at my HDD Brackets that came with the case and well it looks a little too plain for my taste so I decided to do something about that.

    And the bracket all taped off ready to be cut.

    Here is a video clip of me using the dremel to cut and grind on the brackets and then I used a file to clean all up.

    And here is the HDD Bracket and the grill glued into place, when its dry I will take some more pics of the finished mini mod. ^^

    Moving on here is a close up of the modded hdd bracket.

    Here is the top panel with the grill done.

    Now here is the L Brace laying in place to be fitted, its always better to have to much then not enough, the extra will be cut away to make a nice clean fit.

    L Brace has been cut to size and JBWelded into place, once dry I will JBWeld the other side of the panel and then when cured sand all the JBWelds and then install the grill.

    Okay I have the grill installed so here is a quick pic of the Radiator Side Panel with the grill installed, tomorrow I will sand all the welds and prep it as well for paint.

  7. #7

    Project: HourBeforeDawn, 10 of June

    Alright went to a paint supplies store and $40.00 came home with part one of the painting process.

    Left to Right:
    Tack Cloth, Black Etching Primer, Black Gloss Enamel, Wet/Dry Sand Paper ranging from 600-2000 grit.

    So now its time to get to work... woot ^^

    oh and by request another picture of my Doggie Spirit, this is one right after a bath.

    ya she's not to happy ^^

    The panels will be black and the lighting red, the fan blades red, casing black, the rads will be red.

    Here are some pics, first pic is the front grill that will have the cross attached to it and the second pic is the rear fan grill and the final pic is the mobo panel after the first coat of primer has been sanded.

    So after 6 hours of prep work, priming, wet sanding, and priming again, I am all done priming all the side panels, all that remains is the frame, mobo tray and 5.25 bays but those will be last as I am not sure what modifications may still need to be done so why paint if I have to repaint later.

    Anyhow the following pictures is one on of the side panels I primed.

    1st picture is after the first coat of Primer
    2nd picture is after the second coat of Primer
    3rd picture is after the third coat of Primer

    The next two pictures if of the final coat and is now drying over night to get ready for paint tomorrow.

    Alright well I have put a few coats like umm 6 coats of paint on the mobo panel and is now curing, it will take about 24-48 hrs before I see the real final results of the paint and up to a week to two weeks before I can wetsand and buff the panel, as it stands Im still not sure if I want to keep the panels flat black or go with glossy black so Im putting painting the panels on hold until I can wetsand and buff the current panel that is painted so I can then come to a conclusion on which was I want to go.

    From what I see now one of the big downside of going with the glossy black is that if the panel is not perfectly smooth, every defect will show up and reflect back as I have noticed from the current panel that I have painted but I think I will be able to wetsand and buff those out, one of the reasons why I am waiting on painting the other panels is to see if this can be done.

    Here are a few pics of the panels, one showing the flat black and one showing the freshly painted glossy paint keep in mind the paint at this time is still considered wet, then one pic of the two together.

  8. #8

    Project: HourBeforeDawn, 10 of June

    Alright here is my fan grill concept for the front of the case and maybe the top of the case as well.

    alright well you can all thank Robodude as I will be going deeper into this Gothic Theme, the case will be left flat black or will be semi glossy.

    I plan to add more gothic design into the case and use gothic hardware.

    Found these Gate handles, 1.5" wide by 14" long, Im thinking of using a pair of these for the top of the case for lifting the case

    This is a gothic style door bell, what Im thinking is using this for the power button and where the screws go the top one for the power led and the button one for the hdd led.
    I may use this under it for the reset button

    and maybe these for the top corner area of the case

    granted these will be painted to match each other.

    I have a few other ideas playing in my head and as soon as I have them worked out I will post them, oh please let me know if you have some ideas or what your thoughts are. ^^

  9. #9

    Project: HourBeforeDawn, 10 of June

    The following is some rendered designs to give you a better idea of what the case will look like closer to completion.

    Here is the side panel with design number one and a black cross.

    Also same idea, here is what the top panel would look like.

    And here is the motherboard side panel.

    Now the front panel.

    I will be getting all my etching work done through HyperKore as they offer by far the best results and details that I need for this build.

    More Updates Soon To Come Until Then ENJOY ^^

  10. #10

    Project: HourBeforeDawn, 10 of June

    thanks guys the weather has been horrid so its slowed down my progress on the case Im waiting for a break in the weather to get some more paint work done and Ive ordered a few more parts that will get mod to fit the theme of the case.

    This a quick to do list I did just to help keep track of some of the things still left to do.

    To Do List:

    1) Finish remaining prep work on case
    2) Finish Paint
    3) Rad Cross and Front Fan Cross cut out
    4) Corner pieces cut out
    5) Paint cut out pieces
    6) Order Gothic Hardware for case
    7) Paint Gothic Hardware to mate cut out pieces
    8) Get all the acrylic work etched
    9) Cut out acrylic accent pieces
    10) Assemble Accent parts, cut out parts and gothic parts, acrylic etchings to case.
    11) Purchase Aquaerro stuff before the end of the year
    12) Finish working on Secret Project with Robo
    13) Purchase sound dampening foam
    14) Purchase all the lighting parts for the case
    15) Install Sound Dampening foam
    16) Install lighting
    17) Work on any other accents, covers and so on that will bring the theme together such as optical drive covers, ect...
    18) Move onto Part Two of the build.

    expect this list to get bigger instead of smaller lol

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