View Poll Results: What should the visual quality theme be?

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Thread: First time modder with an Idea, but alot of questions.

  1. #1

    First time modder with an Idea, but alot of questions.

    Well first let me say that I love this site, discovered it last year and after viewing various builds I've decided to take upon this challenge myself. I have built PC's before but never modified a case. I have an idea of what I want in my head but don't really know how feasible it really is. I want to build a case with a Fallout/Post-apocalyptic retro theme. Mainly the idea being a nuclear powered computer that ends up looking like it belongs in the fallout universe or something out of the 50's or 60's after a nuclear war. I want something that not only has a great look to it but functional as well. Here's my list of goals and then followed by some questions. Thank you for your patience if you're still with me.

    1. It has to have an old style look, think the really big computers in fallout, or the UNIVAC
    2. It has to a rustic or post apocalyptic feel to it
    3. I want to have old vacuum tubes visible and lit up by LED's
    4. Ever major component of this build will be liquid cooled, so I plan on having 4 140x560x80mm radiators to cool everything
    5. For the cooling system, I wanted to have old style gauges for water pressure and temperature, as well as maybe a few for voltage and such
    6. I have also thought about having some sort of a "Reel to Reel" system like old style computers, except I would use audio cassettes that simply looked like those for effect
    7. I wanted to have the disc drive disguised as an old floppy drive
    8. For the water cooling system, I had planned on building a lot of the piping into the case, for a few reasons. First to thoroughly test and secure all fittings to ensure a leak free system, and second, I plan on adding various devices to this loop over time, such as when I get a second GPU, HDD's, etc, so I want some valves to redirect the water flow when these are added
    9. The liquid cooling system would have LED's to make the water glow to look radioactive, as well as having random LED's on the case blinking to indicate HDD usage and such
    10. I want to somehow Hide the front USB ports and card readers
    11. If you're still reading you definitely have my respect and appreciation, just a little while longer
    12. I want to have older style toggle switches to switch the LED's off for when watching a movie and or mood
    13. I would like to still be able to just look at the computer and see the inner workings at a glance, the real components, the cooling system, etc

    Well now I guess its time for me to ask some questions

    1. This case is probably going to end up being rather large, so should I Buy a big case and add on, or should I just buy various parts of cases or salvage from others, and build a case from that and other things?
    2. With my water cooling build, how many D5 Pumps should I use?
    3. Is something like this even possible without unlimited funds and specialized equipment?
    4. Should I make it look like a mad scientist build this out of salvaged parts in his garage (think the BTTF DeLorean, or anything Rick from Rick and Morty makes" or more of an aged consumer product like something constructed by Robco, General Atomics, or Even Remington-Rand (UNIVAC)?
    5. If more of an off the shelf product should it be General Atomics or Robco, or Remington-Rand if you prefer realism

    As of right now I possess none of the internal components nor the parts needed for a case, I do however have an idea of the specs the build will be as far as the components go and the price for those as well, but this case idea is a whole different monster that I plan to tackle and get fully functional before buying anything on Newegg. Also, this computer will be named "Wittgenstein" after not only the philosopher of the same name, but the computer from the "Brave Little Toaster" sequels. I guess this was my initial inspiration for the idea, if you don't know what I'm talking about here's a few pictures. Click image for larger version. 

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    Any ideas, suggestions, tips comments, pretty much any comment will be appreciated. Constructive criticism is also accepted and appreciated, just please no "You're stupid and so is your idea" that's just rude. Thank you for bearing with me and hope to hear back from ya if you've made it this far. In the immortal words of Leonard Nimoy, Live Long and Prosper

  2. #2
    I hope I'm not asking too much

  3. #3
    Administrator crowTrobot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Sounds like an interesting idea. Probably easier to do a scratch build and frame it out with your own design.

  4. #4
    That's what I was thinking as well. Thanks for the tip and glad to see ya back on MST3K there crow.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Brisbane, Australia
    Design wise - nobody else can tell you what to build, that's entirely subjective - what do YOU want!

    6. For the reel to reel system try to work out some sort of endless loop arrangement fi you can - that way you can just run it constantly from a little dc motor, no need to worry about coming to the end of the tape and breaking it. Alternatively you could have one that uses a normal cassette and goes backwards and forwards using a stepper motor. Perhaps a good case for an arduino project.

    5. as for the old style gauges I presume you mean for aesthetic reasons rather than actually plumbed in to the cooling loop itself? Because the latter could be very problematic when it comes to keeping the loop 1. watertight and 2. flowing properly.
    Making up fake gauges is easy-ish, and you can design and print exactly what you want the gauge to be / measure.
    google steampunk gauges and you'll get plenty of hits...

    7. "the disc drive disguised as an old floppy drive" What disc drive do you mean? Are you planning on having an optical drive? Does the style of computer you are wanting to build even HAVE a floppy style drive (I wouldn't think so if reel to reel included)
    But if you did want to, you could easily grab an old 5 1/4" floppy drive, cut the back of just leaving the 'facade' and drop it into a spare 5 1/4 bay in the case.

    3. vacuum tubes lit up by an led - certainly possible but have a good look at what's around in the way of images and videos because it may not give the effect you are looking for. The charm of tubes is that the high voltage heaters in the tube glow a nice orange and that is INSIDE the tube, rather than a glow at the base (as is the case with the lit by LED ones you see on heaps of 'cheap' projects)

    8. The water cooing loop is going to be one of the greatest challenges in any build. You need to plan out ahead of time what devices you will have and where they will be, and lay the loop out for that. You can obviously just bridge areas where there are no devices initially but you need to plan the loop with the end result in mind. It's not really a matter of just adding components and tube, opening some extra valves and it works just as well. Increased volume of a loop will change the reservoir size/pump requirements etc. PLAN PLAN PLAN

    10. You sound as if you already have a case on which to base the mod? Anyway this will be easy to do if the case you buy even has them on the front panel - and is obviously not an issue for a scratch build if you go that way.

    12. In theory, also easy enough, but depends on how you are controlling any LED fans and strips in the system. (ie hardware or software controlled) Make sure that you know how you are going to address this before you buy the fans / lights as some donot allow LED's to be turned off independently of the fans.

    13. Perpsex window on the side. Easy.

    In answer to:

    Is something like this even possible without unlimited funds and specialized equipment?
    Let's the second part of that first. It depends entirely on what you mean by 'specialized equipment'. But you should be able to manage it with conventional hand/power tools and some creativity.

    As for the first part - Unlimited funds aren't necessary BUT given what you are planning it certainly sounds as if it will be expensive.

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