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Thread: [project] Diabolic

  1. #1
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    [project] Diabolic

    I always wanted to post the worklog of my new box on XS, but I always ran into some problem when trying to register. Anyway, I am finally in.

    This is a post-worklog of a machine I built over a week and a half period in mid July.

    Initial graphical designs

    My goal was to build a bad ass machine, all black, with blood red cooling and some custom graphics. Here are some of the designs for the transparent side panel:

    The following reads "DiaboliC". This graphic never made it in the final build.


    A goat skull which appears on the side panel.


    The intended background for the goat skull. This also never made it since it was too busy.


    DAY 1

    The case I chose was CM Stacker 830 Evo (all black), from New Egg. Here is the side panel:


    I started by laying the masking tape on the inner side of the panel. I wanted the graphic on the inside so that it won't get scratched.


    The next step was to draw the skull design and a pentagram with a very soft pencil.


    After the pencil came the ink, just a simple blue inc pen with a ball tip.


    Finally, I applied the shadows with a marker. Everything that is colored black is to be cut out.


    I then proceeded to cut the masking tape with a razor sharp utility knife. Here is the end result after two grueling hours.


    I forgot to mention that I was building this in a one bedroom apartment, without a yard. My living room was essentially my build space and my bathroom was my cutting / painting room.

    After all the cutting, I applied four coats of black spray paint, removed the masking tape and tadaaa:
    Last edited by hhk213; 08-20-2008 at 09:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Xtreme Addict BlueAqua's Avatar
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    That turned out pretty good. Do you have anymore pictures of the entire machine?

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    DAY 2

    I started by ripping out all of the electronics and components from my old build which can be found at the EVGA forums.

    Since this build has a passive SB cooling and liquid cooled NB, I removed the stock heatsink, cleaned all the thermal grease and did a cold install to see how things fit.



    I attached some 14 aluminum heatsinks to the video card chips:


    The SB was troublesome. The chip itself is small and slightly raised, so the large heatsink I got for it would not stick. I fashioned a spring retention mechanism from a piece of wire (you can see it on the above picture).

    The last thing for the day was to butcher the bottom and cut a hole for the triple radiator (all Swiftechs by the way, not enough space for a Feser or Thermochill).


    I removed the exhaust fan grill because it was raised and would get in the way of the small radiator.
    Last edited by hhk213; 08-20-2008 at 09:23 AM.

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    DAY 3

    This was the troublesome day, nothing fit right and I had to change the design. The single radiator, which cools the NB, would not fit because the space was tighter by a millimeter. I could jam the radiator in, but it would bend the back plate, plus it prevented the motherboard tray to slide out. The solution was to file one of the beams (circled in red). Also I had to move the fan on the outside because it was in the way of the triple radiator barbs.


    Originally I wanted the triple radiator on the inside and the fans on top of it, on the inside as well, radiator grill on the outside. However the barbs hit the mouse and keyboard ports of the motherboard and were obstructed by the single radiator's fan. I was forced to mount the radiator on the outside. Not only did I have to cut additional holes on the bottom plate, but I also had to mod the motherboard tray itself.


    Finally came the turn of the dual radiator. It did not fit the intended spot, it was either hitting the IO panel or the power supply. I decided to place the radiator on the outside, fans also on the outside, above the power supply.

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    DAY 4

    After all this cutting, my Dremel died a heroic death - it burned on the inside. I did manage to cut the hole for the dual radiator:


    There was just enough space to drill four holes to mount the radiator. With the hole cut out, I did a dry assembly of the dual radiator, the fans and the air filters:


    The CM Stacker case has a bizzare bottom plate which makes a weird elevation due to a second aluminum plate. The end result is that the tripple radiator's mounting is flimzy since its width is slightly larger than the width of the elevation and the whole thing just moves around. I solved the problem by glueing hard rubber washers:


    With those in place, I did a dry install of the triple radiator:


    The barbs have just enough space to grip the tubing:


    With all the case modding pretty much done, I gave all the radiators and water blocks a bath. I used pure alcohol solution (91% alcohol, 9% distilled water) as a biocide, then boiling distilled water to wash it off. Here are the victims:

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    DAY 5

    I started assembling all components to see where to hide the wires, how to pass the tubes and where to place the pump. By moving the hard drive cage to its deepest possible level, I managed to fit a fan with a filter and still have the little snap-on drive covers. I suspended an additional fan (with a filter) with zip lines, but that was done in the final assembly:


    Here is the front, but on the inside. There is just enough space to install the pump:


    The top also looks good, enough space to run the tubes and the wires from the front panel:


    The water cooling loop is pump -> CPU -> triple rad -> NB -> single rad -> GPU -> dual rad. The distances between all the items are fairly small, so I didn't use a lot of tubing:

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    DAY 6

    I touched up all the places where I have been cutting and aluminum was showing with black paint. I also drilled the cable management holes (there are more of them, this is an earlier picture):


    I mounted the pump (which was later re-mounted, metal on metal = rattle)


    With all the preparations done, I soldered the additional cables. This is my make shift soldering station:


    This was my first time soldering and boy was it fun. The tedious part was preparing the cables:


    After a while I got the hang of it and started making good joints. The one on the bottom is a poor solder, my first one. The whole thing gets big from all the joints and tape. On the top is a better version, much slimmer, but trickier to make.

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    DAY 7

    I did a preliminary assembly of all water cooling related components in order to cut tubing of proper length. Here is the mess:


    I numbered all the tubes because it is impossible to remember which goes where.


    After this, I emptied the box once again and started laying the cables. In case you were all wondering why I drilled those five holes on the side of the drive plate, here is their final purpose:


    All of these cables are essentially extended fan cables. Some have been modded to support two and three fans. On the other side of the holes is the fan controller:


    Top (supports two fans):


    Bottom (one supports the three fans of the bottom radiator, the other supports the back fan):


    With the cables in, I greased up all the chips. Here is the motherboard with a Thermalright mosfet heatsink, CPU and NB blocks, with all unreachable tubing installed:


    The GPU also got its fair share of thermal grease and tubing:


    Check out the 24 pin cable hidden between the motherboard and the tray. Looked much better on paper... I didn't want to bother with cutting all 24 wires, sleeving them and the soldering the thing back together so I took the lazy approach. Now I'm stuck with this:


    After this I completed the loop. Yes, it's a single loop, but the pump does 50 spi after all, plenty of power to push all that water around.




    Lastly I filled the system with a whole bottle of Feser VS C, the rest with distilled water and blood red color additive. The lamp and the light makes it look fruity, but the color is much darker. No leaks.

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    DAY 8

    I had to babysit the water cooling and wait for all those tiny bubbles to disappear.




    I remounted the pump so it doesn't rattle and installed the remaining components - DVD drives, fan controller, HDD cage, an additional intake fan, sound proofing material and air filters. Here is the final result:


    I am a little disappointed from the cathodes, I thought they would glow brighter, but meh.



    FINAL PICTURES






    This is a little outdated, the front door has a rectangular hole which spans the length of both intake fans.

  10. #10
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    great build

  11. #11
    Xtreme Member HaCKs's Avatar
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    Looks awesome!

    I as well work in a one bedroom apartment, so I know how that goes!
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  12. #12
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    Nice log. You did a good job on keeping the cables in order.

  13. #13
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    Cable management is EPIC! I love it! I will certainly be using similar techniques on by next build. Well done!
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    Very nice. What kind of cable sleeving did you use? It's looks very pro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueAqua View Post
    Very nice. What kind of cable sleeving did you use? It's looks very pro.
    Nothing fancy really, just regular expandable sleeving.

  16. #16
    Xtreme Addict Patriote's Avatar
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    Haha Love the Goat kinda etche!
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