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Thread: UNIMATRIX 001

  1. #1


    this is my first PC mod and i have decided to use an old compaq mini ATX case.

    here is what it looked like stock, sorry i forgot to take pictures before i started modding:

    here is what i have done so far:
    i cut out a view panel, i actually messed up on the middle corner on the left side. i cut a little farther than i planned but i think i like how it turned out better than the way i have planned it

    i also gridded away the "q" and i will grid out "compaq" from the other side before i paint the whole thing.

    that is the optical drive cage, with a toolless install method, it works great but the stubs would scratch up the acrylic on the view panel

    see now it is nice and flat and i can still take my drives out with some pliers pretty easily

    drive bays:

    now the beige thing under the DVD drive is what i use to hold my HDD, it was original for a zip drive and my HDD happened to fit it so i ripped it off one of the old PCs. i am going to cover up the hole with something but not sure what.

    where my HDD should be but is not:

    i use it to hold all the wiring for my fans, lighting, etc. i am also going to mod the area below it to fit a 92mm fan

    this is my front panel, i have cut out some plastic that goes behind it as you can see from the empty space near the gray area:

    back view:

    also the gray section is detachable:

    parts i currently have:

    parts that where part of the PC already:
    DVD drive
    120 GB HDD
    2.7 Ghz celeron
    pre-installed coolermaster heatsink
    a 512 MB stick of DDR RAM
    coolermaster heatsink

    parts i already had:
    a 265 MB stick of DDR RAM
    soundblaster PCI card
    kingston PCI NIC

    stuff i bought:
    550w ultra PSU
    100mm neon green case light
    92mm fans X 2
    a big sheet of acrylic from homedepot, i will see if it comes out nice or not

    parts i need:
    u-channel molding
    dremel, jigsaw and razor blades(i ran out)
    acrylic rods
    some LEDs
    one X1550 PCI graphics card(no AGP slot on this thing)
    2 X 80mm fans and grills
    a big roll of adhesive tape of the gods
    and some painting stuff

    other stuff:
    the theme for this mod is the borg from star trek, hence the name "UNIMATRIX 001" i also picked the name since it is my first PC mod.

    i have plans to carve a new power button out of red acrylic to go with the borg theme and put a LED in it so when it powers on it lights up. i am also going to mod the front panel to have headphone, mic and power buttons all together.

    i am also going to get some of that special paint for plastic so i can paint the front panel easily. then i am going to remove the rivets and replace them with screws when i go to paint it.

    any suggestions guys on else i should do to it?

  2. #2
    Wet Sanded TheGreatSatan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    Something Borg-ish. Uh....Check out Dakal's "Hive Mind" for inspiration!

  3. #3


    If you still have the drive bay cover I would just take the front plastic part of the zip drive holder off and replace it with the stock cover. I have a zip drive holder almost exactly like that one and on mine you can unclip the bezel. Also, you can buy 5.25 inch to 3.5 inch (hard drive size) converter brackets on ebay for like $5 with shipping. If I were you I would upgrade to a better mobo, and if that celeron isn't 775 then a new proc too. But that depends on you budget and your need. Are you going for the borg ship look or just borg in general?

    Btw, nice new avatar, TheGreatSatan.

  4. #4


    i am going for the overall borg feel, plus i have no cash and this thing will become a server once i get to build my monster rig. also i don't have the stock drive bay cover, it had 2 optical drives in it when i got it

    plus having a bunch of scavenged parts makes it feel more borg like, since that is how they get most of their technology.

    also TheGreatSatan, that is one freaking awesome case. i plan on making a borg cube or borg sphere PC one of these days.

    i might also put some tubing coming in and out of the case with wires in them or something to that effect, if i get a better board that can fit inside this tiny case i will probably switch them out. also it is not a LGA 775 CPU so if i wanted to upgrade the mobo and CPU i will need new RAM.

    i might as well just build a new machine, i could have my local PC shop solder the AGP slot on for me. it has the ability to use AGP cards but not the plastic slot for the card

  5. #5


    Something that you could do to make it borg-cube style is cut strips in the sides of your case and then put green plexi behind the whole thing, lighted with LEDs. Naturally you would have to do this on the far side of the case as you have already cut out a window on the opening side. You could also do the top. You could try lighting the plexi you have in your possession with a green led, but I don't know how that would turn out...


    As for the panel, you could get a front panel controller, but those can be pricey javascript:emoticon(':|')

    Or, as you said, you can just cover it with something

  6. #6


    i like the idea, i probably will do something like that on the other side of my case. tomorrow i and going to try remove the rivets.

    for this case i wanted to make it look like a PC that the borg made or assimilated at . plus it will probably going to be part of my clustered server. which i will name "the collective"

    also i bet i can use my neon case light to light up the slits and reduce the number of LEDs i need

  7. #7
    The Main Man Dewayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    Its always fun to cut old cases. If you mess up SO they great to get your feet wet in modding.

  8. #8


    alrighty update time, sorry i forgot to update here when i updated my log at themodnation and i am short on cash for parts since i am going on a trip to canada in a few days

    so far i have gutted the inside, removed the rivets and replaced them with screws and nuts, cut out a big hole in the mobo tray so i can see the mobo from the other side

    what i will do is remove the compaq logo and fit a 120mm fan in the front along with sealing up the 2 piece fan grill with bondo and then cut out a space for some mesh and paint it. the USB ports, power button(making a custom one) and LEDs will be moved up and to the side. then i am going to cut some rectangular holes out of the side panel so i can see the backside of the mobo. i will put some green acrylic behind it and some LEDs to make it look all pretty.

    also the chassis will be completely painted black.

    i took off the O/I panel because it looked cheap, it had a metal plate under it so i will paint that or make my own I/O cover. it was all held together by rivets as well

    see really cheap looking

    i also find that this screws fit great with drilled out rivet holes:

    they are #6-32 X 3/4" screws. they are actually too long for some parts on the case but you can cut it down by either griding it with a dremel or by using wirecutters

    for the power button i am thinking of using the vandal resistant switch from mnpctech and putting a borg symbol on it or making a completely custom switch out of acrylic to get the borg eye look

    so far i have cut out some holes on the left side panel and mobo tray, to get that cascading look borg ships have. i am going to put some acrylic or lexan between the panel and tray:

    then i am going to bondo up this part of the side panel so i can cut out a fanhole much easier:

    now i am not sure if you can see from the picture so i drew some circles with paint, those are low points in the mobo tray that touches the panel:

    they will be filled with bondo since i have to grind them down to fit acrylic behind it and if i don't everything will not line up properly.

    to ensure that the tray does not move around after i install it i will probably glue it to the plexiglass after i paint the chassis

    i am thinking of painting the panels black and using green acrylic for the left panel. i am not sure what to do with the top of the case though.

    i should be able to order more parts after my trip, right now i am working on some custom power cables for my modular PSU which will be sleeved and maybe wired with LEDs

  9. #9


    Great! Looks good! Are you still going to have enough screw holes to properly affix your motherboard to the tray? I like the layered effect of the motherboard tray and case holes, very nice.

  10. #10


    oh yes i will, there are only screw holes on 2 of the sides of the mobo tray, which will be covered up so they will all stay, the top part latches to the rest of the frame with some notches that hold surprisingly well

    the little column of u shaped holes is going to be a problem, i could just cut it off but i like how it looks. i will probably try to bend it or just cut the end off.

    but i could also use really thin acrylic and grind it down enough to fit

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