OK, more updates, and a lot more snags. I've been bumping my head into obstacles left and right, some of them that I
created myself, but that's what happens when noobs
mod cases, I guess. Even some of the pictures came out
crappy this time, so I apologize in advance for the out-of-focus
I had to stretch the budget and actually make a purchase or two. I got the LED and holders at the local RadioShack, and
the Poster Frame at Wal-Mart, all for under $10. Later I also bought a power switch as well.
This is what i wanted the frame for; these pieces will make HAL's silver frame on the front bezel, just as the original, but...
...I was too optimistic as to them actually fitting nicely, the way I wanted. So, I had to modify these as well.
(Also, ignore the cat hair stuck in there, if you will...)
With my X-Acto knife and a carpenter's triangle, I cut on of the sides of the frame pieces.
I left a bit on the cut side, to give it some dimension, as it's supposed to have. The hard part will be to make the
corners fit properly afterward.
But then, another snag. I've been building and measuring all this time, and forgot about the top piece i took off earlier.
It has a rounded lip that covers the top of the bezel I'm making, and that just can't happen. Another snag.
So, again with my X-Acto knife, I repeatedly scored the rounded edge until it snapped.
Now I will be able to continue with the frame around HAL's bezel. Then i remembered that i measured the laminate WITH
that round lip piece on, which meant...
... Crap! Now the bezel was too short!
So i went ahead and sacrificed another piece of laminate, this time with all the right measurements
While i had the tools out, i decided to go ahead and also cut the fan hole on front of the case as well.
It's an 80mm fan that was donated by the same guy that donated the case.
Test-fit with bezel. It has enough clearance for airflow.
And maybe even enough clearance for a dust filter later on.
Then, with a rough hole on the bezel, another test-fit.
Another purchase, this one more extravagant. I looked everywhere for a type of grill that would
match the closest to the original, without breaking the bank, and this is what i found.
This stuff is so abrasive, than i can't even slide my hand on it, so i guess i won't have any
problem painting it.
It is sturdy enough to not bend easily, but open enough for good airflow.
This will be cut to size, and the frame will cover the (most likely rough) edges.
Then it was time to mount the power switch and HDD activity lights. I didn't want them on the front,
for obvious reasons, so my plan was to mount them on top. Then, yet another snag; not enough
clearance for the HDD light holder between the top of the case and the top of the optical drive, and
the power switch is almost twice as long... Again, i had to get ghetto creative.
First, i tried with a piece from the original front bezel, the sliding door at the bottom that revealed the USB
and sound ports. But that didn't work either, it was still too short. (I'm making this shorter, I'm guessing this already
has too many pics, and i don't want to overwhelm the post)
Then, i grabbed a clear plastic box, from an MP3 player my stepson bought, and modified it to sit at an angle,
using my always handy knife, and a pair of pliers to snap the pieces clean off.
I also wanted to add this USB 1.0 port, so it can be used at least to charge a portable device, i.e. smartphone.
Won't recommend for file-transfers or much of anything else, for that matter.
I knifed it all i could to make it smaller, and got to the core (again, i apologize for the bad picture)
Measured, sanded, measured again, sanded again, and marked with the switch, light and port, ready to be cut.
This was the last few cuts my rotary tool was able to make. After this, the shaft that holds the bits in place
somehow got stuck, and as i tried to pry it open, the whole tool broke to pieces. It was a cheap-o one, anyway.
And here they are. Of course, the transparent box will be painted the same black as the rest of the case.
Still working on the best method to glue the box to the top of the case, i may try bondo, or something
similar, since i now have a couple of screw holes on top, from previous attempts at placing these controls,
and i need to cover those, as well as cover any gaps between the box and the top of the case.
And that is it for now, I'm hoping i can keep going in the right track, there seems to be so much to be done, still.
I'm always open to suggestions, so please, let me know what you guys think. Thank you all again.
Mario Ramalho A.K.A. marius_brabus