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 Post subject: Project: STORMTRUPER
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:07 pm 
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A friend of mine was kind enough to give me a couple of old computers that he had replaced, one of them being this good old HP Pavilion 6746c.


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This case has all kinds of potential for awesome, it reminds me of the helmet of a Scout Trooper.


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I have been wanting to build a basic rig for the younglings, and they are huge Star Wars fans, so here we begin our journey. I'll be going pretty much off the cuff, with no real plans laid out. First, a little inspiration from the interwebs.


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Okay, now on to taking stuff apart! Top and front bezel removed, as well as the motherboard tray. This is an interesting set up for the side panels, as you see here its all one piece.


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Overhead shot of the side panel piece, front and top bezels, and my feet.


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Motherboard tray removed.


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Front bezel disassembled, I dig how easily this thing breaks down.


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Finally we have the money shot of the bare chassis.


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I plan to thoroughly paint every piece, so let's get the 1/8" drill bit locked and loaded to remove all the rivets.


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All rivets thoroughly pwned, and the chassis is completely disassembled. I just hope I can remember how it all goes back together.


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With that it's about time to call it a day, but first I want to toy with an idea for the front bezel. 140mm intake fan, with white steel mesh maybe? Thanks for looking, more updates soon.

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Last edited by hurv on Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:31 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:13 pm 
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If this goes as planned, it is going to be absolutely 100% kickass! If you could rig up some LEDs into the fan, and make them sound sensitive, that would be even MOAR awesomer!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:19 pm 
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I have that same old computer case laying around, if you need spare parts from it let me know. I will send them to you just to see this thing happen :)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:43 pm 
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hah... I just turned that exact case into an open-air testbed very recently, and I am also in the process of tricking out a similar Compaq case. Looks like it's going great so far!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:17 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback guys, and Mark I just may take you up on that :mrgreen:


I didn't have a lot of time today, but I did a little work on the front intake. I have this 1400mm Antec tri-cool currently not in use, so this will be our intake. I snapped the bezel back on and lined it up to decide where to mount it to the chassis.


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Then marked it off for cuts and mounting holes.


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It looks like we ran out of chassis for the top two fan mounts.


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I have an extra steel mesh piece that was used to practice painting, I think we can use that for a bracket. Measuring the gap, it looks like I'll need a 1" x 7.25" piece.


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I started to cut the mesh with a tin snips, but the excess started getting in the way, so its time for our old friend Mr. Dremel.


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Here's our piece.


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Now it's elbow grease time, filing down the edges and sanding off the paint.


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The piece got pretty bent up, but this cheap little $25 work table that I found at my local hardware store also works as a vice by turning the handles.

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The holes you see are for placing rubber pads that can be put in to hold things in place. I'm just going place the mesh piece between the boards to re-flatten it.


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And here it is mocked up, not permanently mounted yet, but once I do it should do the trick.


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That's all the time I had today, more to come soon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:14 pm 
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lol, Bruce Lee lunchbox FTW! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:34 am 
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mark_b_smith_II wrote:
lol, Bruce Lee lunchbox FTW! :D


Do0d I totally saw that and DO WANT!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:25 pm 
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Spider Monkey wrote:
mark_b_smith_II wrote:
lol, Bruce Lee lunchbox FTW! :D


Do0d I totally saw that and DO WANT!


LOL that was a total impulse buy, saw it in a store window as I was passing by, about ten years ago, and I had to go in and buy it. There's a matching thermos in there too :lol:


Went back to work on the intake this evening, dusted off ye olde jigsaw and cut the opening in the chassis.


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Here we have our opening.


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Then some love with the rounded edge file.


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Next up is securing the improvised mounting plate to the chassis, we'll try this two part, clear drying epoxy.


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The instructions told me to mix equal parts epoxy and hardener, and do it pronto since it sets in about a minute. A vigorous mix and slapped some on.


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I let that sit for about a half hour, then used a couple very small pieces of 3M double sided adhesive to tack the fan in place onto the chassis.


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Since I didnt have a fan template for the mounting holes, I used a 5/32 drill bit to score my marks through the fan holes.


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Once I got to the top two holes, I noticed that the epoxy wasn't holding very well.


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It was still the consistency of rubber cement. I must have not had enough hardener in the mix- the gentleman at the hardware store who steered me toward this product said it gets very hard quickly, and is supposed to hold up for a long time.



This is when I came up with a better idea. First I needed to clean off that crap, so took some Goo Gone and a razor blade to it.


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This worked pretty well, so next we'll take an 1/8" bit and drill a couple holes through the chassis and mounting piece.


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Then load up an 1/8" rivet and do work.


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Finally took a 3/16" bit to the scoring marks I made earlier, mounted up the fan, then snapped the front bezel on to see how it lined up.


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Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do to finish off the bezel. I initially was thinking of filling in w/ some body filler, but that big intake will be tricky to work around. So far I'm leaning toward a hex mesh to cover the entire opening (leaving room for an optical drive on top), but I'm all ears for ideas. :D


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 Post subject: Update 2/28/2010
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:26 pm 
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I've decided on a direction for the bezel. First, I'm going to cut the top off the outer portion of the original bezel.


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I'm going to use this part, so we'll sand the cut edge down nice and smooth.


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Here it is snapped back on to the main bezel piece.


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I'm going to fabricate the rest. Taking a cue from Bill Owen's Biomechanical mod, I'm going to use a piece of this pink sheet insulation. I happened to have this sitting in the basement.


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Then I used the original as a template.


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Now to shape it using a Surform Shaver.


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About a half hour later we have all these awesome pink particles everywhere.


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Here's a closer look, mocked up.


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That's all the time I had today. Thanks for looking, and here's a little teaser of what's in store.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:04 pm 
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It's looking pretty good so far. Hope you have good results with the foam.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:19 am 
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Clean work on the foam bro!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:53 pm 
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Thanks guys, I was hoping to have another update tonight, but I wanted to figure out how I'm going to mount that foam piece tonight and I'm absolutely stumped. The original plan was to have it coated in body filler, and mount it look like a floating piece in the middle of the bezel, with the Scout Trooper face as the intake grill. Since the 140mm fan takes up so much space, I don't think I have enough space to mount a bracket to hold it, and be comfortable that it wouldn't fall off :cry:

I think I'm going to cut a new piece of foam that fits snug into the bezel, and use the filler to make the bezel all one piece (with the same grill idea), securing it all together.

I'm sure I will have my share of these setbacks, but that's to be expected, since I'm winging it and doing things I haven't done before- that's part of the fun :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:17 pm 
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Tonight I started with making a new foam piece, this time made bigger to fit snug inside the bezel.

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Then cut out the fan grill template with a hobby knife, lined it all up and marked it for cutting.

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For cutting out the holes I used a tungsten carbide Dremel bit.

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For intricate work like this, the flex shaft attachment for the Dremel is slick- the smaller grip allows you to hold it like a pencil.

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The foam cuts like butter, although it still took about an hour. I don't quite have my Dremel black belt yet, and I took my time trying to get the cuts as accurate as possible.

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Finally another of my patented poorly photographed mock up shots.

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I'll have incoming updates soon, feel free to throw ideas and constructive criticism my way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:30 am 
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What are you going to use to fill in the gaps between the foam and case?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:21 am 
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Right now I'm planning on using a short strand fiberglass filler for the gaps and over the foam. I've never used the stuff before, so I hope it works. I'm all ears if you have ideas :idea:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:16 pm 
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This mod is pure awesome! Will you be adding led/lights to that huge fan?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:02 pm 
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GreenMidgetYoda wrote:
This mod is pure awesome! Will you be adding led/lights to that huge fan?


Thanks man, and right now I'm not planning on lights, I'm thinking of keeping it dark so the eyes/mouth are dark.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:59 pm 
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Ah I see, it would be cool if you can put some type of dark plexi glass on the cut outs for the eyes/nose. Then If you want to add lights you can have a glowing eyes effect :twisted:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:06 pm 
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GreenMidgetYoda wrote:
Ah I see, it would be cool if you can put some type of dark plexi glass on the cut outs for the eyes/nose. Then If you want to add lights you can have a glowing eyes effect :twisted:


That's a cool idea, but the eyes/mouth are going going to be the fan grill, so they'll have to stay open. I am kicking around an idea similar to yours for the side panel window though :idea:

Tonight was my first foray into using body filler, I used Bondo Glass short strand fiberglass filler. I prepped the bezel first by scuffing the areas where the filler would be applied with 60 grit sandpaper, then cleaned it with a rag and soapy water. I opened the window in my basement workshop, and ran a fan on high blowing out for ventillation. I also wore a ventilator and rubber gloves, the instructions said this stuff can be gnarly.

Here we have the goodies laid out, the top of the box was used for mixing the filler with the included cream harder.

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This stuff dries in minutes, so after a thorough kneading of filler/hardener, I applied about a 3/8 inch layer.

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I let that dry for about a half hour, then started sanding with a 60 grit sanding block. This stuff is hard and sands slowly! Throughout the next hour and a half, I had brought in my full arsenal of sanding blocks (for the larger areas), files (to get square corners and tight spaces), and dremel w/ a sanding drum attached for cleaning up where the filler meets the bezel.

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Here's a closer look after clean-up.

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As you can see, its still very rough, and I still need to get into the eyes and mouth, as well as the top of the foam piece. There are also a few air pockets that will need to be re-filled. So it looks like I have at least one more application of filler, as well as loads of sanding, filing, and dremeling to do- and finally finishing with spot-filler putty for the very small air bubbles and any small scratches that may be left.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining- I knew this project was going to be a learning experience, and I'm having fun along the way. The lesson I learned here is to go thin with the filler, because sanding is a bummer :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:48 am 
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great job
just use less hardener next time, it will give you more time to work with it. In other words make it smoother. I made the same mistake when I started working with the stuff. Just remember on hot days less hardener and on cold days more hardener.


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