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 Post subject: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:58 pm 
Coppermine
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Location: Top of California
[ Edit 7/2/12 ]
This is my 1st attempt at PC Modding, and posting a progress log. Compared to the other mods in this forums its a modest mod.
The log is 4 parts:
Part 1 - This post - A history of the case being modded and some of the reasons for doing the mod.
Part 2 - 1st mod - Front door ventilation and decorative paint job. Completed.
Part 3 - 2nd mod - Side panel ventilation and decorative fan cover/cowl. Completed.
Part 4 - 3rd mod - Top of case hole for Corsair H100 water cooler and decorative fan cover/cowl. It's yet to be done.
[ End Edit ]
Edit 7/9/12 - Fixed 1st 2 pics missing.

The year was 2004. The new Dream Machine 2004 just came out. It was future proof. It was a beauty. I fell in love with it. I had to have it. So I built it - half of it. You can see the article at http://dl.maximumpc.com/Archives/MPC0904-web.pdf and it starts on page 17.

Since it was so expensive, I had to leave several things out: the custom paint job, the LCD Display and LCD Touch screen, the sound card, the secondary video card, the two secondary storage drives, and I got the 2.1 Logitech Speakers instead of the 5.1 speakers. I managed to cut the price list in half, and still had a beauty of a system. But, nothing is ever as it seems...

The case - Silverstone SST-TJ03 Nimiz (I think it should be called Nimitz because its built like a battleship), a beautiful all extruded aluminum frame and brushed aluminum shell. Even the front door is solid 1/8" extruded aluminum.

Image
Mimi(t)z Circa 2004 by Rooke, on Flickr

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Mimi(t)z w/Doors Open by Rooke, on Flickr

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P5220011 by Rooke, on Flickr

Although it was touted as having more than enough airflow (for 2004) - 120mm front fan, 2 x 80mm rear fans, 80mm top fan, and an 80mm fan in the PSU; it had a small problem: the front door. Once I had everything up and running, I found out why MPC left the front door off after their DM2004 build was done - there's almost no airflow thru those little 1/8"x1/2" rectangular holes in the door's edges. The front fan is totally starved of air and you can really hear it straining when the door is closed...

Image
BackOfDoorTop by Rooke, on Flickr

And, that caused the CPU cooler to not get enough cool air so it got real loud real fast. So, I ran the PC with the bottom door open, because I liked the way it looked on the case when it was closed. As for that cooler, even with the door open - that cooler was terrible (idle temps of 58-60C) and a few months later I replaced it with a Cooler Master Hyper 6+ (100mm tower fan) which lowered the idle temps to 38C in winter and 48C in summer - and that was running it overclocked at 4GHz.

Image
Inside the Nimiz by Rooke, on Flickr

Image Image Image
CPU-Z by Rooke, on Flickr PC Probe by Rooke, on Flickr AI Booster by Rooke, on Flickr

As for the door having to be open every time I used the PC...

That brings us to about a year and a half ago when my wife connected her shin with the top corner edge of that door -- for the umpteenth and last time. I finally decided it was time to do some surgery... ( on the PC, not my wife. ;) )

Tomorrow: Pics of the Mods.


Last edited by Rooke on Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:50 am 
Boy in Black
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That's just a case IMO. You kept it simple and that's good! The issue is using power hungry parts inside it instead of sticking with the stock case and upgrading. Pentium4? Don't cut up that awesome case just because you have hot parts in there. That CPU cooler is way out of date along with the GPU and the add-ons you've done on your own.

I still have my DM CM Stacker case and it's never needed a single mod after the paint job. No DM build has needed cooling mods actually. What you need to do is get up to date. You can build an iTX 2500K in an iTX Antec ISk-150 that beats that old monster tower. Think outside of the box.

If you have to mod, mod...I get that. But IMO you're putting Duct Tape on an obvious issue. Conroe were a huge leap and now i3's 2100's are outrunning Q6600 quads of that magical era in performance and just sip power (thus, no heat). At some point, we gotta call a spade a spade and say...stop it.

It's a P4 man.


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:19 pm 
Coppermine
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Chumly,

It's good to see you again. :D Its been a long, long time.

I know what you're saying. I am doing these mods just for the sake of modding. And I've been planning on replacing that P4 for about two years now. But it's amazing how well that P4 held up until then. It wasn't until my wife got i7 920 PC that I realized how slow my system was... Then I was envious.

But, I really like that case: it's shiny, huge and really easy to work inside of, and I have no intentions of replacing it unless I'm absolutely forced to. I'd rather mod it to fit my needs.

My first post was to show what I was starting with. But I ran out of time and was going to add the mod pics and why I'm doing this, as another post today. Thanks for giving me the excuse to put that info here:

I already upgraded the ATI X800 XT to an NVIDIA 9800XT and added a WD 500GB HDD for storage to the 2 74GB WD Raptors in raid 0, then replaced the PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 510 with a Corsair HX850 when the 510 starting going on the fritz from old age. Then the 4 year old 9800XT died on me a couple of months ago and I replaced that with an ASUS GTX 560Ti. Then had to increase my memory from 2GB to 4GB due to the 1GB buffer on the 560TI.

I am planning on (as soon as I get the $ in the next few months) replacing the mobo, memory & CPU and going X79 and 3830K and 16GB memory. And replace that ancient and extremely noisy Cooler Master Hyper 6+ with a Corsair H100 that will go in the top of the case after I cut the hole for it.

Here's why I'm doing these mods: I want that case to be cool and quite and look cool too.

This is a 3 stage project that's already 2/3 complete. I've already modded the front door for ventilation (next post), installed 3 fans and fabricated a cover for them for the side panel (post after that), and finally fabricate a cover and cut the hole for the H100 in the top of the case. So far, I think everything I've done looks pretty good, and has improved the temps inside my case by 5C. So far, I'm pretty happy with what I've done.

My apologies for not posting everything all at once, but it takes me forever to get everything together.

I'll be posting the front door mod stuff in a couple of hours as soon as I get it all together. And hopefully, I'll get the side panel mods posted tomorrow. After that, It'll be at least a month before I can post the top case mods.


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:59 pm 
Coppermine
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Before doing anything, I did a bunch of calculations to figure out how much square area was required to allow 100% airflow thru that front door so it added absolutely no extra noise. Turns out, in addition to the little .125"x.5" rectangular holes, I needed 86 half inch holes. Here's one of the templates that I made for the middle of the front door that has 64 holes in it.

Image
FrontDoor Hole Layout 2 by Rooke, on Flickr

Now, I originally didn't want to tackle this myself, and tried to get a local CNC shop to do it, but they wanted to charge more than the case was worth. So then I tried to get a local machine shop with a drill press to do it, and they wanted to gouge me too. So, since I didn't have a drill press, I had to use my 1/2" chuck hand drill and a heck of a lot of patience.

What I did, to optimize the accuracy of my holes, was I glued the templates in place on the door. Then starting with a 1/16" drill bit I drilled a pilot hole (after center punching of course), for progressively larger bits - increasing thier size by 1/16" all the way up to 1/2". That way I was able to correct any of the holes that were off center with the next larger bit by angling into the correct position. I managed to get every hole (except the last one) almost dead on with only .1mm variance. The template came loose on the last hole which is off by 1/64". But if you don't know that you can't see it. So I figure I did pretty good. The only problem, was the holes were really rough looking.

Image
Drilled Holes before smoothing by Rooke, on Flickr

I decided to smooth and polish those holes. I first tried to burnish them, but that didn't look much better, so I decided to go the whole route, and sand and polish them smooth. I started with my dremel and a 120 grit sand drum, then using my finger tips (I've got very small hands and fingers) progressivly sanded the wholes with 220, 320, 600, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grits. Then used the polishing point wheel on my Dremel with some jewelers rouge.

Here's the finished product:

Image
Drilled Holes after smoothing by Rooke, on Flickr

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Positioned on Case by Rooke, on Flickr

Unfortunately, in the process of doing all that hand work, I managed to slip several times, and gouged the brushed aluminum finish badly enough it was noticable from a few feet away. (Yes, I covered the surface with a few layers of tape to protect the surface, but one of my tools (a jeweler's file) was very sharp, and I was tired, so you know how that goes.) I'm sure some of you already know this, but this is for those that don't... You can not fix blemeshes in brushed aluminum - anything you do to try to fix it will only make it worse if the damage cuts into the anodizing. Another leason learned.

I thought about it for about a week, and decided the only way to make it look better was to paint it. When I was a kid, I had a slot car - a 1964 Lotus, and it was Midnight Blue and Chrome. I loved that color combo and decided to paint the front of the door but keep the holes shiny to look like chrome. The paint I chose was Dupli-Color Perfect Match Premium Automotive Paint - Stellar Blue Pearl - BTY1612 (8L7) - rattle cans.

I was still really lucky to have really small fingers:

Image
Front of Door taped by Rooke, on Flickr

Image
Back of Door taped by Rooke, on Flickr

The painting part was easy - 3 color layers and 4 clearcoat (also Dupli-Color) layers:

Image
Door painting rig by Rooke, on Flickr

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Door painting rig closeup by Rooke, on Flickr

Then came the fun (sarcasm) part: wet sanding and polishing the paint to an automotive finish. I used wet automotive sanding paper grits - 1000, 1500, 2000. The fun part was not cutting thru the clearcoat on the edges and around the holes. I created a special spot sanding tool out of a toothbrush - cut off the end, and smoothed it almost flat, so I could get really close to the edges with 1/4" stips of sandpaper.

Image
Rubbing Compound and Detail Tool by Rooke, on Flickr

Then I finished it all off with the fine cut rubbing compound. Here's the results:

Image
Door polished in the Sun by Rooke, on Flickr

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Front view Door on Case by Rooke, on Flickr

Notice how shiny:
Image
Door showing reflection by Rooke, on Flickr

And, the disk activity light lights up all the top holes in the dark - it looks cool at night, and makes it easy to see the disk activity in the day.

Image
Door in the dark showing reflections by Rooke, on Flickr

Tomorrow I'll post the mod pics for the side panel.

BTW, my wife loves that she no longer gouges her shins trying to get past my PC. :D


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:08 pm 
Coppermine
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Now that the front door had good quiet ventilation, I replaced the 120mm fan from 2004 that came with the case with an Aerocool Shark 120mm Black Edition fan. It's very quiet and pushes twice as much air as the old fan. My case temps have already dropped 1C just by replacing that fan.

So now it's on to the side panel...

I want to make sure that any high end video cards I install in the future (and the one I had before it died due to overheating while I was working on the side panel mods), have lots of air so they can stay nice and chilly and don't have to overwork their poor little fans due to lack of cool air. Since I also plan on replacing my 7 year old tower cooler - CoolerMaster 100mm Hyper 6+ with a Corsair H100, I want to make sure the rest of the inside of the case is nice and chilly, but still stay quiet at the same time.

After doing a bunch of airflow calculations, and scouring teh webz for fans and specs, I settled on 3 Aerocool Shark 140mm Blue Edition fans running at half speed.

I then did a bunch of preliminary designs by making a mock-up of the fans using Paint Shop Pro, putting three of them side by side, and then layered different style covers, cowls, and grills over them. All of these were to actual size so I could print the layers out and use them as templates. Here's what I came up with:

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Fan, Cowls(2), Washers & Grill V2 by Rooke, on Flickr

Bottom Template:
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Cowl Bottom Outline V2 by Rooke, on Flickr

Top Template:
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Cowl Top Outline V2 by Rooke, on Flickr

The cowl is going to be painted with the same paint as the front door - Dupli-Color Perfect Match - Stellar Blue Pearl - BTY1612 (8L7). The grill I cut from Honeycomb (79% Airflow) Modder's Mesh that I bought from MNPCTech.com. ( Thank you Bill Owen, I love the way that stuff looks. :D ) The bottom layer is cut from 1/4" Birch furniture grade plywood because it's light, easy to work with, less likely to warp, and there's no voids in the wood so it won't rattle or vibrate. The top layer is cut from some cheapo 1/8" plexiglass I found at Lowes - BTW, if I knew then what I know now, I would have bought the expensive stuff. (But more on that later.)

I taped the plexiglass to the plywood using painters tape, then used double sided tape to tape my bottom layer template to the plexiglass:
Image
Template taped in place by Rooke, on Flickr

I drilled the holes for the screws, and the pilot holes for my scrolling jigsaw, cut away the inside then cut the cowl from the panels. I separated the pieces, put the top template over the plexiglass then used my hand drill to drill out the big holes for the washers to sit in.

That didn't go so well. The plexiglass split and cracked like crazy. One of the round tabs broke off completely. I welded it back together and sealed all the cracks with 1 part plexiglass filings mixed with 10 parts acetone. Just dab it on the cracks/splits and it soaks right into the breaks. Clamp it together for 10 minutes and its welded back together. I was amazed at how well it worked.

Where the holes came out all distorted, I used some Bondo glazing compound to make the holes round again.
Image
Bondo glazing used to fix holes in plexi by Rooke, on Flickr

The sheets were roughed up with 120grit sandpaper, then all 3 pieces were sprayed with two coats of Dupli-Color self-etching primer, and the Modder's Mesh was then sprayed with 3 coats of Dupli-Color Instant Chrome Finish Quick-Drying Enamel.
Image
Primer and Chrome paint by Rooke, on Flickr

After three coats of color and four coats of clear, and the pieces put in place to see how it looks:
Image
Top panel before polishing by Rooke, on Flickr

After wet sanding with 1000, 1500, 2000 grits, and polishing with fine cut rubbing coumpound. You're seeing the venetian blinds reflecting in the paint.
Image
All layers after polishing by Rooke, on Flickr
Image
Close-up of polishing job by Rooke, on Flickr

So now it was time to glue everything together. I wanted something that was flexible and water proof for glue. I used Gorilla Glue Polyurethane bond. I tested it 1st because it said to, and it expands. I didn't want my work ruined. A very little expands a lot. In my test it expanded 4 times what I used. I thought I knew what I was doing. Nope. Maybe I used more water to activate it, or it was hotter that day, or something, cause this time it expanded about 8 times. Crap. Really tough glop oozed out of almost every edge.
Image
Gluing Disaster by Rooke, on Flickr

Fortunately, I had a few used dental hygenist's cleaning tools that were going to be thrown out. After a long time of tediously picking that stuff off; trying not to damage the paint finish, I got all the glop off.
Image
Disaster Recovered by Rooke, on Flickr

A full view showing the cloud reflections:
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Full View w sky clouds by Rooke, on Flickr

A close-up showing the sparkles in the paint:
Image
Close-up showing paint by Rooke, on Flickr

With the fans attached:
Image
With fans attached by Rooke, on Flickr

So now it was time to cut the side panel. Using a duplicate of the bottom layer template glued in place I drilled out the screw holes and used my jig saw to cut out the hole for the fans. After a bunch of filing, sanding and polishing the side panel was ready. My wife kindly held it for the photo:
Image
Side panel after cut by Rooke, on Flickr

A close-up:
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Side panel hole polished by Rooke, on Flickr

Everything put together.
Image
Everything put together by Rooke, on Flickr

And finally, here's what I see when I'm at the computer:
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This is what I see by Rooke, on Flickr


That's it for now. I've run out of time. The Corsair H100 arrived a couple of days ago, and I'll get the pics for it posted hopefully on the 4th.

Have a good one, :)

Rooke


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:16 pm 
Coppermine
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BTW, putting those fans on the side dropped my mobo temps by another 4C. And I can't hear the fans unless I put my ear up to them. Things are working the way I'd hoped.

I'm a happy camper. :D

One more thing. I forgot to mention that after I fixed the gluing disaster, I filled the space in the outside edges where the Modder's Mesh was, with more Bondo glazing compound. Then sanded, primed, painted, wet sanded and polished the whole edge so it made the cowl look like one solid piece.


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:17 pm 
Million Club - 5 Plus
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I have to admit. That all looks really good. Congrats on a fine job.
I've never heard of "modder's mesh". I used a piece of gutter guard mesh on mine:
Image Image


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:26 pm 
Coppermine
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OvenMaster wrote:
I have to admit. That all looks really good. Congrats on a fine job.
I've never heard of "modder's mesh". I used a piece of gutter guard mesh on mine


Thanks for the compliment. :D

Modder's Mesh is a decorative mesh that Bill Owen of http://www.mnpctech.com has made for for his PC modding company. There's two versions: the hexagonal honeycomb 79% airflow open mesh and the round hole 60% airflow mesh. They're both ( it looks like they're pressed) pressed out of 22 gauge steel. They're kind of expensive, but they are decorative, and what I bought was very uniform and well made. That and they're sold in 1 and 2 square foot sheets which was a perfect size for my needs. But since it's steel it has to be either primed and painted, or you have to wipe a thin coat of oil on it (yearly, bi-yearly?) to keep it from rusting.

The gutter guard mesh you used for your application was perfect for holding that foam filter in place. If it's aluminum or stainless steel it'll be fine, but if it's plain steel, you might want to wipe a thin film of oil on it from time to time to keep it from rusting.

Originally, when I was looking for grill material for my project, I stumbled on that stuff at Lowe's and Home Depot, and briefly thought about using it, but I only needed a few square feet of the stuff and couldn't justify not having any use for the rest of it. I also wanted something that better fit the motif of my project - circular, the hex mesh came close to that and allowed the most airflow. Most the gutter meshes are diamond shaped or squarish, and IMO it wouldn't have looked right for my project.


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:45 pm 
Coppermine
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Finally got thru a whole bunch of stuff happening, starting with a 7 year old printer biting the dust, and ending with the Steam summer sale. Damn you, Steam! ;) ( Picked up Portal 2 @ 75% off & Skyrim @ 50% off. Sweet! :D ) But enough of that stuff. Onto the H100 that arrived a couple of weeks ago.

I ripped off the shrink wrap for a clearer photo:
Image
Shrink Wrap Removed by Rooke, on Flickr

Corsair packed it for maximum protection:
Image
Taking a look inside the box by Rooke, on Flickr

All the goodies seem to be there and in good shape:
Image
Everything out of the box by Rooke, on Flickr

Well, I finally got the correct answer to my question, "How long are the water tubes?" Answer: 12-3/4 inches. Which is more than long enough to reach from the top of the case to the CPU socket. Adding an extra two fans to the top of the radiator will not only give me extra wiggle room but also let me run the H100 fans at low speed for extra quiet and still get good cooling.
Image
The Radiator up close by Rooke, on Flickr

The long screws that hold the fans on to the radiator are #6-32 1-1/4 inch. I tested screwing them in to the bottom of the radiator, and they imbed into the cooling fins by about 1/16 inch - which according to the Corsair forums, is OK. Phew! Since I'm also adding fans to the top of the radiator, I'll need screws that rest on top of the washers that sit on top of the cowl bottom and go thru the 1mm aluminum case shell then the fans and screw into the screw holes in the top of radiator by no more than 1/8 inch. I figured that 1-1/2 inch should do it. But just to be on the safe side I thought it would be real cool to test it. Fortunately, I still had the scraps left over from the cuts I made for the side door. Yay - something went right for the first time. The scraps and the screws fit perfectly!
Image
Making sure everything fits by Rooke, on Flickr

So now I know I'm good to go with what I got. Now I just need the top fans that I ordered to arrive. Those would be two more Aerocool Shark fans. This time they're the 120mm blue editions. They should be arriving sometime in the next few days.


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:20 pm 
Coppermine
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This is a very minor update: the two AeroCool Shark 12cm Blue Edition fans that I ordered arrived.

Image
AeroCool Shark Boxes by Rooke, on Flickr

I unpacked both of them. Here's a pic of one with the accessories that came with it. On the left is a half speed resistor cable, on the top right is a 4 pin fan header to 3 pin Molex adaptor, and on the bottom right are the screws and rubber noise supressing pull thru posts. Notice how many fan blades it has - 15. These fans push a lot of air and do it quietly. I won't need any of the accessories since I already have the screws I need and I'll be plugging the fans directly into the H100 and using its speed controller.

Image
Fan Unpacked by Rooke, on Flickr

Here's a close-up of the fan blades. Notice the sharp curves of the fan blades. My guess is that design lets them cut thru the air quietly. Their big brothers the 14cm fans, have the same design, and I can barely hear them with my ear next to them.

Image
Fan close-up by Rooke, on Flickr

Just to be on the safe side, I thought it would be cool to pre-assemble them on top of the H100 to make sure they fit. They did. :)

Image
Making sure fans fit the H100 by Rooke, on Flickr


Well that's all for now. Next up: I have to get the ruler, get all the measurements, and start designing the fan cowl and the case top cut out. It'll take at least a week or so of spare time, so until then, have a good one.


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:03 pm 
Coppermine
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Well, I finally got a chance to get back to this project. After taking every measurement of the fans, I used Paint Shop Pro to create an exact image of one of the fans. Then I duplicated it, put the original and the duplicate side by side the same as they would be on top of the radiator and printed them unscaled. The measurements from the printout matched the fans exactly. The hole centers where the fans contacted each other were a perfect 15mm apart. Here's what they look like:

Image
Fan Frames by Rooke, on Flickr

Then, I created three more layers in Paint Shop Pro - one for the Cowl Bottom layer, one for the washers, and one for the Cowl Top layer - making sure that everything lined up on each layer. Here's pics of the Cowl bottom layer, Cowl top layer, and the bottom layer, washer layer and top layer, all on top of the fan frames:

Image
Cowl Bottom by Rooke, on Flickr

Image
Cowl Top by Rooke, on Flickr

Image
Fan Frames and Cowl by Rooke, on Flickr

The fan grating is going to be cut of the hex Modder's Mesh from MNPCTech. ( I didn't bother to include that layer here. ) It'll go on the same layer as the washers.

I'll be printing unscaled images of the Cowl Bottom and Top layers to use as templates that I'll be attaching to my joined ( corners and sides taped together ) plywood and plexiglass sheets using double sided tape. After I cut out both the plexi and the plywood using the bottom layer template, I'll separate the plexi, put the top layer template on top of that then cut out the holes for the washers. Hopefully this will all happen next weekend.

Until then, have a good one.


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:12 pm 
Sharptooth
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Very nice and clean project, Rooke


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:36 pm 
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this project looks very difficult,not easy at all :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:14 pm 
Coppermine
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Thanks! :D

That's what I was trying for. Something nice and shiny and polished. I'm pretty pleased with what I've done so far.

This last cowl on top of the case is going to be closer to my face so it's gotta be as flawless as possible. So, I'm going extra slow and triple checking everything I do before I commit tool, paint or glue to anything.


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:58 pm 
Coppermine
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I printed each half of each template on a seperate sheet of 8.5x11" paper, then carefully cut each at the registation mark and finally taped those together. The backs of each of those were then taped with double sided tape to be attached to the pieces to be cut.
Image
Cowl Templates by Rooke, on Flickr

Template trimmed, taped to joined plexiglass and plywood, screw holes and jig-saw pilot holes drilled, and jig-sawing in progress...
Image
Cutting out the Center by Rooke, on Flickr

Jig-sawing completed. It took forever, but it's the best free hand jig-sawing I've done to date.
Image
Cowl Cutting Completed by Rooke, on Flickr

Even the best jig-sawing still requires filing and sanding to get the edges straight and smooth...
Image
Filing the Edges Smooth by Rooke, on Flickr

The top and bottom cowl parts seperated and template and all tape removed...
Image
Top and Bottom Separated by Rooke, on Flickr

This time I tightly clamped down the plexiglass to a piece of scrap 3/4" plywood before drilling the 15/32" holes for the washers. This time the plexiglass didn't crack and no tabs broke off. Yay! :-D
Image
Big Holes for Washers Cut by Rooke, on Flickr

The trouble with cheap plexiglass is it will chip and get micro fractures no matter how sharp your tools are.
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Hole Edges chipped by Rooke, on Flickr

Luckily you can use Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty to fix just about anything that needs smoothing and leveling.
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Bondo to the Rescue by Rooke, on Flickr

Built up the Bondo and smoothed it flat with the rest of the surface.
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Bondo leveled n smoothed by Rooke, on Flickr

Filled in the wood grain where the paint was going to show on the plywood, and filled any voids to prevent vibrations.
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Filled in the wood grain by Rooke, on Flickr

Cut out the modder's mesh and positioned all three pieces together to see how they fit. So far, so good.
Image
Pieces fit together by Rooke, on Flickr


Well, that's it for this post. Next up... Painting!

Till next time, have a good one.


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:30 pm 
Coppermine
Coppermine
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:57 pm
Posts: 566
Location: Top of California
I'm having the hardest time getting this update done. This is the second time in over a month that we had a power outage while I was trying to upload it. First time the neighborhood transformer blew up due to a heat overload. This time lightning took out the main transformer for the area. Sigh. :(

But I'm determined I'm gonna finish it. So here goes...

First up - painting the Modder's Mesh Chrome. Three coats of Dupli-Color Self Etching Primer then three coats of Dupli-Color Instant Chrome Finish enamel. This time, I got the last coat perfect - it looks fluid without any runs or sags.
Image
Modder's Mesh w/Chrome Paint by Rooke, on Flickr

Primed both cowl parts with Dupli-Color Self Etching Primer. Fitted all three pieces together to see how they look.
Image
Primed Cowl Parts w/Mesh by Rooke, on Flickr

Smoothed out the primer with 600 grit sandpaper then took a close-up to show off the excellent chrome paint job on the modder's mesh. I've never seen chrome paint look that realistic before.
Image
Close-up - Primed Cowl Parts w/Mesh by Rooke, on Flickr

Three coats of color ( Dupli-Color BTY1612 Stellar Blue Pearl (8L7) ) were sprayed on and smoothed out with 1000 grit wet sandpaper.
Image
Color Coat Applied & Sanded by Rooke, on Flickr

A close up of the color coat sanded with 1000 grit wet sandpaper.
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Close-up of color coat sanded by Rooke, on Flickr

Four coats of Dupli-Color Clearcoat were sprayed on. Rattle cans almost always leave orange peel which has to be sanded out with at least 1000 grit sandpaper before polishing.
Image
Clear coats Applied & Sanding by Rooke, on Flickr

The bottom half of the cowl: The visible parts were sanded with 1000, 1500, 2000 grits wet sandpaper then polished with fine cut rubbing compound. The parts to be glued were sanded with 320 grit sandpaper.
Image
Bottom sanded & polished by Rooke, on Flickr

The top half of the cowl completely polished and fitted together with the bottom half. Ooh look, shiny!
Image
Top half polished by Rooke, on Flickr

Now it's time to glue everything together. This time I decided to use slow set (30 minutes) 2500 lb epoxy. It doesn't shrink or expand and didn't ooze out anywhere. Yay! A couple of half gallon jugs of water was just the right amount of weight to keep it all together while the epoxy cured overnight.
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Epoxying everything together by Rooke, on Flickr

This time I masked all the polished and shiny parts prior to filling the gap in the edge with Bondo then painting.
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Masking prior to filling the edge by Rooke, on Flickr

So I wouldn't have to spend days packing Bondo into the gap in the edge, I 1st packed it with waxed dental floss by wrapping it in the gap to fill it in up to about an 1/8 inch from the edge. Then I packed in thin layers of Bondo on top of that.
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Bondo being applied by Rooke, on Flickr

The gap in the edge is packed with Bondo, and sanded down with 320, 400, & 600 grit sandpapers. The edge is now ready for painting.
Image
Edge packed and smoothed by Rooke, on Flickr

Well that's it for now. While the power was out, I put the last coat of color on the edge. It may be dry by now, so it's back out to the garage to smooth out the color coat.

Until next time, have a good one.


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:52 pm 
Coppermine
Coppermine
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:57 pm
Posts: 566
Location: Top of California
Back again. I came up short on the color coats. There was only one and 1/2 coats left in the rattle can. Used a bottle of touch up to finish it. Smoothing it took more time than I wanted but it still came out looking pretty good.
Finished up with 4 coats of clear. Here's a pic showing my smoothing it out with 1000 grit wet/dry auto sandpaper.
Image
Edge Painted & Being Smoothed by Rooke, on Flickr

Here's another shot of it from a diffent angle. Couldn't make up my mind which one was better.
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Edge Painted & Being Smoothed 2 by Rooke, on Flickr

When I got down to 1500 grit I removed all the tape and paper covering the previously polished cowl face and discovered that a tiny line of bondo got in under the edge of the tape, and even though I used masking tape that was supposed to be paint sensitive, it was on so long it left the face finely mottled. Wet sanded the face all over again with 1000 and 1500 grits, then the whole thing with 2000 grit. Doing that freaks me out every time because it always looks like I've ruined the finish. But then when you use the fine cut rubbing compound... Whoa!
Image
Edge Polished by Rooke, on Flickr

Now that's a mirror finish. You can see the venetian blind slats, the trees out back and the dead winter lawn all reflected in it, and it's smooth as glass. Next week I'll be putting a good coat of auto wax on it to keep the finish that way. Then I start removing the old innards of my PC so I can cut the hole for the fans and cooler.

So, until then, have a good one.


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 Post subject: Re: DM 2004 case needs way more airflow
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:58 pm 
Coppermine
Coppermine
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:57 pm
Posts: 566
Location: Top of California
Back again. Finally got back to this project over the Thanksgiving holiday (briefly, until mini-Sandy hit northern California and knocked out the power for a day); finished cutting the top over pre Christmas weekend, and got all the new components re-installed and up and running by New Years; Lastly got everything installed that was needed to do this post just a few minutes ago. It's finally finished. (wipes brow)

Here's the template held to the top with double-sided tape, and the first of three layers of painters tape going on top to protect the finish from the jig-saw foot.
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Applied Template by Rooke, on Flickr

All three layers of tape applied. That foot has no chance of marring the case top now.
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Top Protected - Ready to Cut by Rooke, on Flickr

Drilled the mounting holes and pilot holes. Free hand cutting took about an hour. Did the cutting very slowly. I think I did a pretty good job - it doesn't need too much filing to clean it up.
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Hole Successfully Cutout by Rooke, on Flickr

Smoothed out the jig-saw cut marks with various flat and round files from 15" to jewelers. Then sanded the edge with 150, 220, 320, 400 and 600 grit sandpapers so it looks smooth and semi-shiny. Going finer than that isn't needed since it's barely visible with the cowl in place. The tape was removed last... The top has no mars, marks or scratches. Yay! :-)
Image
Filed and sanded by Rooke, on Flickr

Shortly after the previous post on Nov. 13, the replacement components were purchased. Here's what's going in the case:
Requisite picture of the P9X79 Deluxe box (Asus makes the nicest boxes) -
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The New Motherboard by Rooke, on Flickr

P9X79 Deluxe with Corsair Vengence 1600 Blue (matches the mobo blue perfectly), and an Intel i7 3930K is hidding under the (see a few posts back) H100 CPU block.
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Ready for a Close-up by Rooke, on Flickr

Btw, getting the block's mounting bars over the 2011 socket mounting posts took over an hour and required a lot of filing with a jeweler's round file - the powder coat was too thick and had to be removed where the posts went thru the slots. It's still a tight fit and ain't coming loose any time soon.
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H100 attached by Rooke, on Flickr

Before putting in the mobo, the case had to thoroughly cleaned of aluminium filings - used a vacum cleaner with a soft brush nozzle, tooth brush and a lot of rags and cleaner. Additional items from the November purchases are being installed next:
Samsung 830 128GB
WD Black 1TB SATA III
Asus DVD player
USB 3.0 3.5" front panel adapter and a USB 3.0 Male to motherboard adapter - both of which work, but are "finicky" due to the thickness of the USB 3.0 cables. One port keeps having problems when the cable gets jiggled. When I find a better solution, I'll replace those two items.
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Adding Components by Rooke, on Flickr

Two of my old WD Raptors 70GB (for RAID 0 - Games drive) were put back along with a PoS WD Green 500GB that was being used as a data drive but will be trashed as soon as I get all the data off it and on to the WD Black drive.
Next, the two bottom Corsair fans (push) were attached to the radiator. The mobo was then mounted to the case, and then the tricky part of attaching the top AeroCool Shark fans (pull) and the radiator to the case. I did get it, but I really could have used two more pairs of hands.
Image
Mobo Fans and Cowl in place by Rooke, on Flickr

After all that work, I couldn't resist taking a close-up. When I get a chance, I'm going to swap the "Shark" decals with the ugly decals on the AeroCool fans, then cover the wires on the support struts with something nicer.
Image
Top Fan Cover Closeup by Rooke, on Flickr

The Corsair HX850 goes back in and a preliminary attempt at cable management.
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Trying to Tidy UP by Rooke, on Flickr

I found some cable tie mounting pads at Lowes - 10 for $3.95. I applied several of those to the back of the case to use as anchors to hold the cables back there. For now, this is as good as it's gonna get in this case. I might get more ambitious about it later.
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That's as good as it gets by Rooke, on Flickr

Time to close it up and see how it looks...
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WIth Side Door by Rooke, on Flickr

At place next to my desk:
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At my desk by Rooke, on Flickr

A better photo in the light:
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All mods at once. by Rooke, on Flickr
It looks good! :-)

Finally with the lights out:
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In place at my desk by Rooke, on Flickr

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All lights out by Rooke, on Flickr

The red LCD lights of the mobo look cool through the side door fans when powering up:
Image
Mobo Status LEDs shows thru by Rooke, on Flickr

Well that's it for now. The mods are complete. The DM 2004+8 has tons of air now, even with the side door fans and the H100 fans all set to low, and I don't have to put up with the sound of a ramjet next to my chair. If there's no other noise in the house I can barely hear it, and even then I have to go out of my way to pay attention to it. I'm in the process of getting some benchmark and temperature numbers, and the first test run with Prime 95 made me really happy.

As a reference:
P4 560 3.6GHz sans Air: 1 Core, 2 Threads, stock 3.6GHz, Idle: 44-54C, 100% - 70C, Noise: Stupid Loud.

Results of the 1st test (2 hours) at stock:
3930K 3.2GHz with Air: 6 Cores, 12 Threads, turbo 3.8Ghz, Idle: 33C, 100% - 46C, Noise: Same as Idle - Quiet.


Have a Good One! :-)

Rooke


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