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Lady Fitzgerald

Roisin Dearg (a Scratch Built "Modular" Case)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

After supper last night, I started working on the two 8 pin CPU power cables that plug into the top of the MOBO. I cut the #14 wires to 30", much longer than I needed but I won't know the final length until I'm ready to put the MOBO tray in the case, stripped the ends, crimped the pins to one end of the wires, soldered the connection since the wire is a bit over sized for the pins, which were designed for #16 wires, then inserted the pins into the connectors.

 

This afternoon, I started arranging the rats' nest of wires coming out of the cables into manged cables. Since I had so much fun getting the six wire cables flat, I first taped the eight wire cables into two four wire cables, then taped the two four wire cables into one eight wire cable. That worked fairly well but it was still fairly fiddly.

 

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After taping the cables together, I started bending them into shape. That was "fun". I made the cables offset so I could get to the latch on the connector, similar to what I did wth the 24 pin extension, to make removing the connectors easier (relatively speaking; they still are going to be stinkers to remove due to where the sockets are).

 

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Once the cable reaches the other side of the MOBO back plate, it then narrows down to a more conventional round cable. I taped the wires together so they will remain more or less parallel, reducing, if not eliminating, lumpiness.

 

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The ribbon cable portion was 3/4" wide and the round portion was 3/8". I found a 1/2" sleeve expanded nicely on the ribbon cable portion and could be stretched down to a snug fit on the rounded portion. I put heat shrink tubing on the finished end of the cable but I'll wait until I have the cable cut to its final length before shrink sleeving the other end. Here are the "finished for now" cables.

 

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The blue tape on the left end (in the picture) is just temporary to keep the bend form slowly spring open until I can the cable permanently installed. The blue tape on the right end are tags identifying which wire is which. 

 

Here is the test fit on the MOBO. I didn't seat the connectors since I didn't want to have to wrestle them back out. The photos stink becasue it was a tough location to take photos but they get the point across (kinda sorta).

 

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I'll start on the six pin cable that will connect into the extension cable I had so much fun with yesterday this evening but may not finish it until late tomorrow or on Saturday since I need to run errands tomorrow.


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Well, I lied. I finished the cable tonight. I had to add a little bit of offset to clear the CPU power cable next to it but, otherwise, was a simple single bend down at the connector. Without any further fanfare, here 'tis.

 

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The only power cables left are the two graphics card power cables and a couple of fan power cables (those will be interesting since they will have to be integrated with leads going to MOBO fan headers.

 

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Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I am an idiot! After getting up at 3 O'Dark this morning to get ready to paint that little PCI cover bracket, doing my grocery shopping, and running a bunch of errands with only an hour long nap around noon, you would think I would have gone back to bed after supper. No, that would have made too much sense. Instead I went to work on the graphics card power cable(s). Again, I used #14 wire and soldered the pins after crimping them on. To reduce bulk, I combined the two six pin cables into one 12 wire cable, flared out to a ribbon cable for where it ducks under the MOBO tray, then separated the cables for the rest of the run. Making this one was a real stinker.

 

Here is the almost finished cable.

 

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I pretty much had only one route for the cable. I couldn't go to the right side of the MOBO because the SATA ports, USB 3.1 Gen 1 headers, and the 24 pin header were all in the way. Going down to the bottom of the MOBO was not an option. That left going up to the top of the MOBO, running over but not touching a heatsink and parallel to the RAM.

 

Here are some shots of the cable temporarily installed.

 

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I was so pooped by then, I never even noticed I had left the pieces of electrical tape I had used to temporarily hold the wires in place on the wires going into the connector bodies while building the cable until I could get the sleeves and heat shrinks in place. I'll take them off tomorrow (oopsie, make that later--much later--today) when I get my nap out.

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Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

After too short of a night, I removed that unsightly tape (that was "fun"), then blackened the wires and the heat shrink with a felt pen. Definitely an improvement.

 

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I also blackend the heat shrinks andd the exposed wires on the other cables.

 

After lunch, I'm heading back to bed. After I get my nap out, I just might change gears from cables and start working on the GPU back plate with the materials I picked up yesterday.

 


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 minutes ago, mAs81 said:

All those neatly routed cables make me look at my own build in disgust , lol

 

Great job ! It's all starting to come together now ..

Thanks! And don't be so hard on yourself. Good cable management requires one to be significantly OCD, wich isn't always a good thing (at least, that's what I learned while working for my Psychology degree half a century ago; it wasn't even called OCD back then). Most people prefer to display their cables as works of art (when done well, they are works of arts and should be proudly displayed) but I'm old school (heck, I'm just old) and prefer to hide them as much as possible.

 

In fact, I feel it's a pity manufacturers don't make their MOBOs with an option to have the sockets on the back of the MOBOs. Talk about hiding cables! I've seen people move their sockets to the back of the MOBO or just solder the cables directly to the back of the MOBO but, besides being a wee bit more tedious than I'm willing to do, I'm defintely NOT willing to risk wrecking a $500+ piece of kit or voiding its warranty!


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I finally finished the graphics card back plate. Except for one part, it wasn't difficult, just tedious as all get out, especially the chevrons. I first cut a piece of lexan to size, sanded the edges smooth with 180, 220, 320, 400, and 600 grit sandpaper, then put down painters' tape on the Lexan to further protect it. I then used one of the Chromax CPU cooler fin covers for a template for tracing the outline of the chevrons onto the tape. The tedious part was cutting the outline of the chevrons with an Exacto knife, then peeling out the tape and the original protective film from inside the Chevrons. It didn't help I can't see all that great, even with a magnifying headset on, and my old hands aren't all that steady.

 

Painting was fairly simple. I sprayed a couple coats of blue Krylon Fusion onto the chevrons, removed the tape to see how they came out, retaped the edges and the top of the back plate, then sprayed the entire backside of the back plate, including the chevrons, with three coats of black Fusion (Krylon Fusion is designed for most plastics). The hardest part of painting was waiting for it to dry between coats, then waiting overnight for it to dry before installing it.

 

Hers, I'm doing a test fit on the card. I had to drill out the screw clearance holes oversized because I used my portable drill rather than risk blowing out my back digging out my drill press and setting it up (my back's been acting up a bit the last couple of days) and the drill bits drifted on me (how rude!). The CPU Cooler blocks the view of the holes anyway so I didn't lose any sleep over it.

 

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Taking pictures of the backplate was hard because it's shiny and is reflective as a mirror.

 

To mount the back plate to the card, I used some 3M mounting tape. It's one of the VHB (Very High Bond) series and goes on pretty much permanently so I used very small tabs of it to hold the plate to the PCB of the card. I had to use three layers of the tape to get the necessary clearance between the plate and the card. Here, I've placed six, tiny, three layer tabs on the card's PCB.

 

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Peeling the backing strip off the tape was one fiddly bear. That's why, before putting the tabs on the PCB, I prepeeled the backing strip on the topside of the tabs before sticking them to the PCB. i also had to be picky about where the tabs went because there are a bunch of teeny, tiny componets soldered to the back side PCB and I didn't think it would be a good idea to cover them with the tape.

 

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Here is the difficult part I mention earlier. When I tried to reinstall the card, that pesky, stupid, miserable, misbegotten mid board power socket got in the way of the back plate. Since trying to remove the back plate at this point would have probably destroyed it (or, at the very least, the paint job), I had to cut a clearance notch in the back plate with my Dremel, something scary since my hands are unsteady. It's ugly as sin but it clears the stupid socket and plug now. At least, the CPU cooler does an excellent job of hiding it.

 

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Here are shots of the graphics card and back plate combo installed back on the MOBO.

 

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Although you can't see it in these pictures due to glare from the flash, the blue of the paint chevrons are an almost perfect match with the blue inserts on the Chromax CPU cooler covers.

 

The back plate just barely cleared the RAM sockets. in fact, the back plate is right against them.IMG_0037.thumb.JPG.7f34bb725e3629c68a8fdb64ef8fc04a.JPG

 

After that chore, I'm almost looking forward to going back to making cables but yesterday's rain that rolled through the Phoenix area has set off my allergies (ironic since my house didn't get any) and I need to take a break for a short while.

 


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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I know that you won't be doing any gaming , but don't neglect to check out the card's thermals under load - It can put out a significant amount of heat (AMD cards FTW)   

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 hours ago, mAs81 said:

I know that you won't be doing any gaming , but don't neglect to check out the card's thermals under load - It can put out a significant amount of heat (AMD cards FTW)   

Thanks for the Advice. I tend to keep an eye on my all my thermals already, usually the CPU but also the drive, Mobo, and graphics card temps.


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Just a minor update. At sometime or another, I threatened to cover the Chromax labeling on the Chromax cooler covers with my own. Today, I did.

 

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'Nuff said.


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

My allergies are still driving me nucking futz so all I've gotten done today so far is to make a power splitter. Things like the two fan hubs and the LEDs need only a 12+ and a ground lead from the PSU and it would have been a waste to use a 6 or 8 pin socket for each pair. So, I connected four 2 pin sockets to a single 8 pin connector. This way, I can connect or disconnect each of the two fan hubs and the LEDs (not RGB, btw) without shutting down the others (and still have room for another). Any road, here 'tis.

 

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Funny thing is, that was even more work than a longer cable.


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have an almost 70 year old nose for sale. it runs good.

 

Despite my miserable, misbegotten allergies, I made some more progress today. I started working on the cables for the LEDs. I found this cute little dimmer switch to control the brightness and turn the LEDs on and off. I made a short cable connecting the dimmer switch to a four pin connector so I can disconnect just one cable when removing the switch panel.  Because of the weird wiring, (for example, the dimmer works on the ground leg of the LED strip) and tiny wires, it was a little fiddly. I also had to solder some splices as well as crimp on pins.

 

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This is a close up of the dimmer switch. It's surprisingly tiny for being rated for 60W @ 12v.  The LED strip is around seven feet long and draws approximately 31 watts so I'm far from overloading the dimmer.

 

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Here, I've started the cable to connect the LED strip to the dimmer and the power source. At this point, I redneck rigged a connection to my PSU to test the dimmer switch and the LED strip to make sure I was connecting things together correctly. So far, so good.

 

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Those two (blurry) pins in the foreground actually got plugged directly into a socket on the PSU and I taped the wires from the LED strip to the other wires on the cable.

 

This shot shows the dimmer ttemporarily installed on the switch panel along with the computer power switch. I had forgotten about a drive activity LED and the easiest and cleanest way I could think of to get one was to replace one of the non-illuminated reset switches with one that is illuminated and connect that. Those are in the mail. 

 

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This is the completed cable assembly. The power will come from the power strip. I put another connector pair in the line going to the LEDs (I used three pin male and female fan connectors) so I could easily disconnect the LED cable should I ever need to.

 

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I plugged one of the factory SATA power cables into the PSU, then plugged the dimmer and LED strip assembly into that cable for a final test. Everything worked great the first time. I was surprised by how bright those LEDs are. I'm glad I decided to put in the dimmer instead of just an on/off switch.

 

The next fun job is to stick the LED strip into their corner channels on the case running around the left side panel openiing and snap on the diffusers but that will keep until tomorrow or Wednesday (depending on when my allergies settle down a bit; I had a wee bit of trouble concentrating today while my nose was making like a faucet and I was sneezing my head off). Btw, the LEDs are white. Any other color would wash out the colors on the MOBO, RAM, etc.


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 hours ago, mycpuburnsme said:

Excited for the next instalment.

Thanks! I'll try not to disappoint.


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This morning, I reassembled the USB 2.0 (Gen 1?, said Jeannie sarcastically) ports to their PCI cover and installed it. I had to file down the short sides of the connector to get it to fit into the header. >:( 

 

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I didn't think to post these last night...er...this morning before I crashed. This is the factory diagram for wiring the LED dimmer switch and the diagram I drew up to help me keep the wiring I was doing with a connector in the circuit straight (pardon the expression).

 

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After going back to bed this morning (and sleeping to 1:30 PM), I tackled installing the LED strip. That was a chore because I had to do a lot of bending, twisting, and turning to kindasorta see what the heck I was doing (believe me, my old back did not appreciate that!). I had to resort to a flashlight propped in various positions...

 

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...and a hand mirror to see what the heck I was doing.

 

I started in the upper right hand corner since that was where the cable feeding the LED strip is closest to the dimmer switch. I temporarily installed one end of the diffuser to make sure the hole and half notch was in the right place (that was a chore since I still had prblems seeing what I was doing. The half notch on the end is where the LRD power cable will come out and the hole is to facilitate removing the diffuser once all the rest of the diffusers are in. 

 

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This mock up verified the power cable will fit properly.

 

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For those who didn't go to OCN to read the earlier parts of this epic length build tome log, this is a leftover scrap of the corner channel the LED showing better what it looks like.

 

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And with the diffuser installed.

 

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Here is the LED strip being installed.

 

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Turning the corners resulted in the LED strip buckling at the corners due the 45 degree angle it's mounted on. Here, I'm checking to make sure the buckle would clear the diffuser.

 

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The LED strip has to be cut at points marked every three LEDs. The LED strip ended at a point on the top right corner just a wee bit too long to fit in the channel so I had to cut it shorter than I like. The LEDs are so bright, I'm pretty sure a few missing LEDs at the corner will be problem not to mention the diffusers will help a lot. The tape is to keep the power cable from pulling the LED strip loose until I get the diffusers in.IMG_0034.thumb.JPG.82889924ebfe9290dd854c96ea105563.JPG

 

I haven't installed the diffusers yet, partially because I want to make sure the strips stay stuck and partially because my back is killing me. The diffusers are a tight fit and a bear to install, especially when one can't see what one is doing. I'll finsh this post with a shot of the installed LED strip at the bottom.

 

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Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I kept nodding off last night while laying in bed trying to watch some TV (no great loss) so I shut the thing off and was asleep before 8 PM. I woke up...correction...my "alarm bladder" woke me up at 1:30 AM (very unusual since it usually wakes me after only two hours), couldn't get back to sleep so, after taking care of business and while the Aleve I took at suppertime was still working, I tackled the diffusers. It took only 45 minutes to pop the puppies in although half that time was spent removing some Scotch tape, and the sticky residue it left behind, I had used a while back (maybe a year or so back?) to replace the protective film I had removed for some odd reason I no longer remember from one of the diffusers (of course, it was a long one). 

 

Anyway, to steal a line from B. A. Baracus, enough with the jibberjabber; here are some photos. This is the lower right corner, seen from inside the case.

 

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The top right corner where the power cable comes out, seen from inside the case.

 

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And the bottom, again seen from inside the case.

 

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And, with that, methinks I will read for a short while, then try to go back to sleep.


Jeannie

 

As long as anyone is oppressed, no one will be safe and free.

One has to be proactive, not reactive, to ensure the safety of one's data so backup your data! And RAID is NOT a backup!

 

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