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Project: Air Force


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So I've been using a laptop for quite some time, it's nice in it's own right but it really doesn't compare to a real computer. I had hoped that the purchase of a PS3 would help postpone the purchase of a new computer until next summer or so. Unfortunately, the PS3 has turned out lamer than I had planned. This is no fault of Sony, as quite frankly I can't see any game on any console that I'd like to play. Especially without a keyboard.

 

So I decided to build something. Something that would serve initially as an all around workstation, gaming computer, and server. The gaming aspect will be reduced as some point as I build a dedicated gaming rig to hook to the HDTV. Until then though, I'll be playing on a 26" Samsung Syncmaster i just picked up a few days ago.

 

In any case, I set about on a quest to purchase components from forums in hopes that I could save a bit of cash as that monitor was not cheap. I have a few things I want to use, but for the most part it's kind of up in the air. I'm thinking I might grab a DFI board and a 9950BE as they're awfully cheap right now. I hadn't planned on purchasing a case for some time as it's generally a fairly expensive purchase (I'm a Lian-Li guy) and my last case was a V2000...a tough, tough case to match in terms of size, features, quality, and looks. Newer versions cost around $300.

 

However, I managed to find a nearly perfect V2100 from a fellow at XS for $180 shipped!

 

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Man it's clean, all the panels had a noise-suppressing foam on them as well.

 

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Wait...why did I just take off the wheels? Stop touching it Dan!!

 

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Oh god, stop....stop!!

 

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Please...no...

 

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Hmm....so it seems I forced my hand here. There was a bunch more rivets on this case than the V2000, even rivets holding the hard drive cages in! But I took most of them out (there are a few I have to go hit yet) and it is what it is. About halfway through I was having serious second thoughts and had to force myself to continue. I really wanted to do a halfway decent mod for once and I figured tearing apart a $200 case would give me some motivation to finish it. If nothing else I'll be forced to find some sweet bolts to put her back together.

 

I will have it painted though, and I think I'll let a shop do it. Found a hobby shop that'll powder coat it for $85 for each color. I'm not sure if that is just one coat or if that include clearcoat as well. Fortunately I save a lot of money by tearing apart the case, all of a sudden i don't have any masking to do. So that's good news. I'm chatting with Radodrill now about some custom acrylic work...won't be anything terribly original (likely) but it should look good if I do it. I really, really wanted to replace some parts with a light wood, like pine, inside the case. However it turns out the art and crafts place I was going to use doesn't have any woodworking equipment. So if anybody knows of such a place near Tucson give me a yell!

 

Lastly I don't know about watercooling just yet...ideally it'd be great but affording everything is somewhat prohibitive.

 

Oh, and I'm totally using these stick in this case, they look freakin awesome!

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820144242

 

Glowing eyes, wooo!

 

Anyhoo, if I can manage to find a table saw I'll be able to add some wood to this baby. If not...well I'm still gonna try to cram in a radiator on the front somewhere. Any ideas are welcome, nows the time as I need to get the case itself cut prior to stripping and painting it.

Edited by technodanvan

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Look like a pretty nice case before you tore it apart...

 

Wonder what its gonna look like after you finish modding it

 

Probably worse than it does now. :D

 

Nah, it should be cool. i've got some good help in dr_bowtie and radodrill, I just have to design it and put it together.

 

And pay for it I spose...

 

Edit:

 

Will definitely employ pieces of dark cherry throughout the interior for sure, possibly some exterior bits as well. Sort of planning on going with solid white paint on all the interior pieces with either white or black on the outside.

Edited by technodanvan

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Probably worse than it does now. :D

 

Nah, it should be cool. i've got some good help in dr_bowtie and radodrill, I just have to design it and put it together.

 

And pay for it I spose...

 

Edit:

 

Will definitely employ pieces of dark cherry throughout the interior for sure, possibly some exterior bits as well. Sort of planning on going with solid white paint on all the interior pieces with either white or black on the outside.

 

The result should be interesting

Don't forget to post pictures of it when your done :D

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Hey Danny...

 

you should probably make a list of things you have/need/want and if you are looking for Sponsorship....for contest...?

 

Maybe these guys here at OCC could help you with something...?

 

 

I am hooking Dan up with the Cherry wood and what ever else I can....:)

 

I was trying to hook him up with my favorite girls but, Bambi and Holly said they wouldnt drive that far...:(

probably a good thing though...as he would never finish the mod then...lol

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it's a lot easier to do a case mod fully de-riveted, that's how i did my last one, but I wish I'd gone for powder coating... or my paint might have been more scratch resistant if I used etching primer instead of regular...

 

I'm a bit bewildered by the wood aspect... what parts would you replace?

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probably a good thing though...as he would never finish the mod then...lol

 

Don't cut me too short man, I'm fast.

 

er...

 

Damn.

 

 

Anyway I went ahead and grabbed a Dremel as I didn't have one and I'll be getting a buddy to ship me my hole saws in the event I need them. As for parts, well here's what is set in stone (besides the case):

 

Geil Black Dragon 2x2GB DDR2-1066

 

Yep, that's it. I grabbed a power supply from OCN that turns out to have a real annoying buzz whenever I do virtually anything. I'll fix it at some point but it's not modular anyway and for this mod i think that's essential to have. I also have a Celeron 430 and Biostar I45. I'm thinking of selling the Biostar (probably to Bowtie as he won't shut up about it) and using the Celeron for an mATX build in the future. I also have a Palit 4850 but I'm getting on Newegg's . over it because the one they sent me doesn't look ANYTHING like the one they pictured. So here's what I'll be needing, whether I scrounge up the cash or get lucky with a sponsor or three it doesn't matter, it'll happen eventually.

 

1. Power Supply - must be quiet (120mm fans ONLY), powerful (Crossfire/Sli powerful), and modular. Looking at the Corsair HX1000 but that's bit much both in terms of power and price.

2. Motherboard - must look good in addition to performing great - NO ASUS or Gigabyte - leaning towards AMD but doesn't really matter much

3. Processor

4. Watercooling gear...all of it (probably processor only, if not I'll just use a TRUE)

5. Hard drives - this I'll probably have to buy myself, I'd like to get a pair of OCZ 32GB SSDs in addition to a few 640GB Western Digital drives

6. Possibly an LCD display, Matrix Orbital would be nice if I can find one at a decent price

7. Video Card(s) - leaning towards a single GTX260 but it really doesn't matter, everything performs well enough for my purposes

8. Assorted mod gear from mnpctech, performance-pcs, etc, etc...not sure what I'll need until I get further along.

 

I'll be designing one of the first pieces I'll need tonight, might get two of them done. Won't be any real updates with pictures for some time I imagine but you're more than welcome to follow along and offer advice feel free!

Edited by technodanvan

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it's a lot easier to do a case mod fully de-riveted, that's how i did my last one, but I wish I'd gone for powder coating... or my paint might have been more scratch resistant if I used etching primer instead of regular...

 

I'm a bit bewildered by the wood aspect... what parts would you replace?

 

I want to replace the entire middle horizontal brace and likely the bottom as well. Ideally I'll come up with a few smaller bits to get that look elsewhere, but as of yet I really haven't come up with much. Probably not on the outside but I haven't ruled that out just yet.

 

Also I'd like to get a window to basically replace the top of the case. I'm torn on this as (at least in terms of performance) a fan or three would be better up there. For aesthetics though I think it'd be better to have the window.

 

Also plexi will be a small window on the back of the case, sitting right above the 120mm fan past the expansion card slots. And a side window too I spose.

 

The door I think will have a giant rectangle cut into it and be replaced with a grill, probably all painted the same color. It's necessary to have a grill there as (if it works out) I want the radiator (probably a 3x120) to sit vertically in front with fans sucking the air through, not blowing through. Or maybe both, depending on the performance I see.

 

Those are my initial thoughts at least, won't know for sure how things work out until I can fit them in.

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So I was planning on stripping the panels tonight via wire brush in a drill and sandpaper....turns out that plan isn't going to work. At least not with 80 grit.

 

Any other ideas to strip it? The sandblasting place hasn't gotten back to me just yet but I'm thinking that might end up being the only way to do it.

 

Barring chemical stripping of course. Pretty sure that's out of the question as I don't really have anything large enough to deanodize the bigger panels.

Edited by technodanvan

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Don't just post pics when you are done, show us a worklog! I would also like to mention that you may not be able to overclock as much with RAM that does not have any heatspreader, but at least it is rated at higher speeds than the standard 800Mhz.

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Any other ideas to strip it?

My Chieftec case was that horrible paint job with raised flecks of paint that looking like someone put a load of paint in their mouth and went pbbppbpbpbttt all over the panels :lol:

 

So I just used an orbital sander with 1/3 sheets...

 

BUT... mine was paint on steel... I'm pretty sure Lian Li cases are anodised aluminium? I've never repainted anodised alu, so if this what your panels are, you can probably find stripping guides... it might turn out that you only have to sand it to scuff the surface to get the primer to adhere rather than getting rid of the black as if it's anodised it's not really a layer of paint over metal

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