Author Topic: Project Addison - 2014  (Read 32336 times)

slipperyskip

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Project Addison - 2014
« on: August 08, 2014, 01:07:09 PM »
Project goal is to design and build a powerful as possible gaming rig into a small as possible enclosure.

Note: I place captions below photos.

Click here for final photos


Start by building a temporary structure to help mock up equipment locations.







This will be my first use of water cooling even though it is just an AIO unit.




The key to this build is this Mini-ITX sized GTX 970 from Gigabyte.








Gigabyte has been a sponsor of mine since 2006. This is the WiFi version of their Z97 Mini-ITX gaming board. I chose this over their GA-Z97N-Gaming 5 board because I didn't need the onboard Killer NIC and liked the idea of having dual HDMI instead of just one.




Gigabyte was also gracious enough to provide me with one of Hi Cookie's i7-4770K Intel Engineering Sample CPUs.






Silverstone has been a sponsor of mine for over ten years. 




For this project I'm using the modular cable version of their 450W SFX PSU.
 



Here it is sitting next to their hard wired version. Modular cables are awesome but for this design so are the fan and power cable connector locations.




Kingston HyperX is a new sponsor. They provided me with this 480GB SSD which will be the system's only drive.






They also sent me this 8GB Fury kit rated at 1866MHz.







Thanks for looking.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 06:46:37 AM by slipperyskip »

slipperyskip

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Re: New Project - Fall 2014
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2014, 11:52:49 AM »

Chopped up a bunch of 1/2" thick basswood sticks and glued them up into the matrix. Backing board is 1/16" aircraft grade birch plywood.

Once after mentioning some Imperial measurements a friend in Europe sent me a link to a world map with the US highlighted. It was suppose to be nations in the world not on the metric system. I told him I thought is was nations who have walked on the moon.   :)


 



Carved out the openings with a razer knife and sandpaper.








Glued up some offset spacers for the I/O plate mounting.
















The thickness of the cases back plate is determined by the mounting tangs of the video card. I also need the thickness to provide extra support because this sucka is heavy.

 


The project height will be determined by the 8-pin PCIE power connector on the video card. I have a low-profile version in the works. Until then the height of the back plate will remain "crazy tall".

 


Assembled the components and tested by installing Windows 8.1. Microsoft has been a supporter of mine for the last four years by providing the OS for all projects. Photo can also be captioned "Ten pounds of sh*t to go into a five pound bag".

Thanks for looking!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 01:39:07 PM by slipperyskip »

slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2014, 07:18:06 PM »

Low-profile graphics card power connector will help keep down the overall height of the enclosure. I calculate about 10mm savings which translates to approximately .6 liters in my design.




This is the cleat that will eventually hold the radiator mounting plate to the case. It needs to be removable so I'm using threaded wood inserts. First drill out pilot holes.




An Allen wrench is used to set the insert into place.






This is the radiator mounting plate with holes located for the four radiator mounts and two slots cut for the hoses. Opening for air flow is on the to-do list. This is 6-ply 1/8 inch aircraft grade birch plywood.




Mounting the cleat using 8-32 screws.




There will be an identical cleat mounted to the other end of the radiator plate. The cleats will be attached to the interior of the case so as to span the distance front to back.


Thanks for looking.

« Last Edit: August 31, 2014, 02:39:07 AM by slipperyskip »

slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2014, 02:39:37 PM »

Cut out the radiator opening and trimmed the plate length to size.




I had to add some material for the video card mount in order to allow adequate depth for the wood insert. I also had to widen the face on one side in order to center the radiator fan (and opening).




Wood insert and screw for the video card mount. I'll install another one next to it after adding more material to the area. I always use both screws in a two slot video card although some say that is overkill.




The front plate is identical to the back plate dimension-wise. Same 1/16" birch plywood with 1/2" reinforcements.

 


Here the two are back to back.




Here they are stacked.




Both face plates have the same 1/8" ledge to help align and fit them to the bottom plate.




Something like this. The height will be trimmed down significantly as soon as I get comfortable with what it should be. Sits nicely until the wind blows.




The radiator plate tossed on top. It will bridge the front and back plates eventually. I'm experimenting with 15mm thick radiator fans instead of the stock 25mm fans and that could greatly alter the radiator plate position.

Important to note here that all of this is an internal structure that won't be seen when finished. There is a completely separate candy-coated outer shell that will slide down over the top of this inner structure.

Thanks for looking!

slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2014, 12:39:35 PM »

Attached the cleat to the front panel.




Showing the embedded screw inserts.




Attached the cleat to the back panel.




Radiator mounting panel with attachment hardware ready to go.




Most of the scribbling is just random thoughts from some previous project. I tend to write on wood instead of paper.

 


Front and back panels bridged by the radiator mount.








Added in the bottom panel. This will be glued together eventually but I still have significant work to do on the individual panels so this is just a photo op.


 






Framed in the PSU so it can only move one way...upward.




Bought this mesh desk set at OfficeMax for cheap.




Loads of high quality mesh that will take me years to use. Some brands are better than others. I like this variety because it is a tighter mesh.




Finally after all these years I sprung for a crimper. This project hinges on reducing the mass of cables.




Over the years I have amassed a virtual mountain of spare modular cables of all varieties. I feel comfortable that I can experiment and screw up on a grand scale without too much consequence.




First up is the 12V EPS 4+4 cable. My board doesn't need the +4 so half of the cables disappear before it gets shortened. Before and after photo.

 


Next up is the PCIE cable. Instead of the 6+2 connector nonsense I'm going with exactly what I need...8-pin. Before and after. Note: I'm not concerned with fancy sleeving or anything right now. I'm only concerned with proper length and whether it actually works or not. I assumed up front that I'll be making each cable twice before all the dust clears.




SATA cable was a piece of cake because I have done them before. Before and after photo.




I haven't tackled the 24-pin ATX cable yet because of a mystery. The cable included in the new power supply has an electronic component heat-shrinked into the cable bundle. I did a little research but came up with nothing.






My best guess is it has something to do with backfitting PSUs with "Haswell compatibility" by using a special cable set. Does anyone know anything about this?

Thanks for looking.




« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 12:53:45 PM by slipperyskip »

slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2014, 05:28:26 PM »

Mocked up with the help of some heavy-duty rubber bands. The upper corner pieces are temporary to keep the box square. They will be fitted permanently later.





A Delta AFB-series fan...for when you get tired of playing with toy fans.





Coke can in classic reclining pose.




Circle drawn on the front will be the location of a 120mm exhaust fan.


Note again: This is all internal structure.

slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2014, 04:03:55 PM »

For cutting a large 135mm hole I mark it off with my precision optical measuring guide.




Next I mount the piece in the chuck on my floor mounted drill press and select my 135mm hole saw.

 


Took a long time to drill the hole. Seemed like five hours. Must be a dull saw blade.




Not as clean a cut as my CNC router but it is currently down for calibration.




Cleaned up the edges with my oscillating spindle sander.

slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2014, 01:06:48 PM »

Beginnings of the decorative cover. This is the start to the fascia. It's in the front and it's in your face. Fascia.




135mm hole.




Hand carved with a razer knife. About 13 hours.




SSD mount.




Carved out some indents to relieve some interference with the PSU modular cable latches. Probably one of the most useless things in a computer. Whose modular cables have fallen out of the PSU because there wasn't a little piece of plastic locking them in? OK maybe Elon Musk has to worry about one surviving a space launch but...seriously?








Cut a 120mm fan hole in the center of the front interior panel. Glued up a fan support system.



Also cut out center section of radiator panel mounting cleat. I had left out the glue in this middle part when the cleat was originally attached.



Scythe SY1212SL12M (1600RPM) Slip Stream Slim 120x12mm Fan



Probably mounted backwards. I dunno. Don't care right now. This the better looking side. There are no flow markers so they are making me think.



Cut a fan clearance/support section out of the radiator plate.



Also cut out a small notch to allow the PCI-E cable to disappear down below the plate.






Fan isn't mounted in the traditional manner. I would call it "restrained in place". I was concerned about stresses on the incredibly thin frame caused by mounting screws. I also don't want fasteners coming through the front panel because of the nature of the decorative cover mounting system.








Again. Facing the wrong way...I think.

Thanks for looking!




slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2014, 04:46:04 PM »

Been cutting up timber and punching out holes for my decorative cover.




This is wood angle. It is CNC cut from solid wood.




The angle is fit to each corner and acts as the foundation for the cover. All the exterior bits will be attached to these pieces. They are the only contact points with the interior box when the cover slides off and on.




The cover's front face includes an 135mm hole. This is the outlet for the 120mm Scythe fan.

 


This is the cover's back panel. It is cut to size but is being left blank for now because I haven't decided to do a full coverage panel or a cut-down "bikini" back panel. Either way, it starts with a full-sized wood panel.




The video card side panel with its 92mm vent hole




The PSU side panel also with a 92mm vent hole.




The top panel has an 135mm hole yet to be cut.




This is 11/16" quarter round made of pine. My design calls for rounded shoulders on the left and right edges. I'm going to incorporate these two pieces into the cover construction to get those curves.




Probably the most complex part of this project will be integrating this quarter round into the edge. Here it is placed nearby its future home. This means I'll be veneering on a curve later in the project. Always fun!




Progress so far all tossed together for a photo op.

Thanks for looking!



slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2014, 11:03:03 AM »

A 4 inch square piece of wood is cut along with 4 small framing timbers.




A 4 inch square piece of mesh is also cut.




This will be my mesh screen mounting system for the left and right (video card and PSU) side panel vent holes.




Glue the four small timbers around the edge of the wooden block to form a frame. Glue the block over the vent hole and cut out the hole.




Flipped over.




This process makes the panel look as if it is twice as thick giving the overall piece a beefier stronger look. I have used this optical illusion several time in the past.




With the mesh screen in place.




Final mesh screen installation will happen very late in the build. I'll do this by gluing in 4 small framing timbers around the inside edge effectively locking in the screen.




Result.




Rinse and repeat for other side.


Thanks for looking!

slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2014, 12:01:48 PM »

Cut some 1/4" square timber to same length as 11/16" quarter round.




Glued pieces together to create ledges for 1/8" panels to rest.










Top panel resting on its curved shoulders. The panel's radiator inlet vent hole is yet to come.




Built up a mesh support system on the back of the front panel and cut out appropriate sized piece of mesh. My "system" consists of 14 pieces of wood and includes spacers to elevate the panel away from the box enough to provide its own clearance.








The construction creates various slots and channels to support and guide the mesh panel.






The mesh panel will remain easily removable during construction to allow for finishing/sanding/painting. In the end the slot will be covered by a decorative element making the mesh panel permanent.





Thanks for looking!

slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2014, 03:03:51 AM »

Cut a significant chunk out of each corner of the internal box to provide clearance for the external covers rounded shoulders.




I knew this step was coming which is why I had previously built up a lot of material at each corner.




Attached the quarter round assemblies to the edges of the top panel. Modified them to provide clearance for the side panels mesh screen mounts.
















Fitted but not yet permanently attached to the side panels.

 



Thanks for looking!

slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2014, 10:48:43 AM »

Glued the top panel to the side panels




Decided to go with the cut-down bikini back panel. Not as strong as a full coverage piece but I think it will look better. Hence....bikini. :)




Glued into place. All of these gluing steps are done with the cover in place. The trick is to not accidentally glue two surfaces together that shouldn't be stuck together.




Positioning the front panel.




A step I like to refer to as "Bringing the Pain".




All the edges trimmed and cleaned up.



Video time!







Thanks for looking!

slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2014, 12:17:51 PM »

Cut some spacers to elevate the radiator plate.




I created three different thicknesses. These are combined in various ways to get the correct radiator height.

I'm attempting to correct a design error I made concerning the thickness of the stock watercooling fan. My original design created so much stress on the motherboard the I/O plate would pop out. The tightly coiled up radiator hoses were causing a downward pressure on the board causing it to bend. I struggled with shims to raise the plate enough to relieve the stress without the fan hitting the top of the case.

Didn't work. I have had to abandon the stock 20mm thick stock fan and replace it with a 15mm unit. With the extra space created by the thinner fan I was able to shim the rad plate up even higher. Everything fits nicely now and the board bending problem is resolved. Fan performance is the big question now.




 


Cut out the radiator inlet vent.




Radiator peek-a-boo.




Built the mounting system for the top vent mesh. A simple frame will do here.




This is the 15mm rad fan I'll be starting out with. It is made by ID Cooling who I believe is an OEM supplier for other companies including Cooler Master. Took three weeks to get this shipped from China.






Mocking up some decorative elements to check the look.




The lower hole was cut slightly small so that minor adjustments can be made after permanently attaching the decorative hole. To me this is easier than trying to align everything perfectly to a fixed hole. Don't worry if you don't understand. I barely do. :)


Photo number 200.

Thanks for looking!

slipperyskip

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Re: Project Addison - 2014
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2014, 01:39:55 PM »

Drove 240 miles yesterday (round trip) to the nearest Woodcraft store. Narrowed down my veneer choices to these two candidates. On the left is Myrtle Burl and to the right is Mahogany Crotch. Yes....Crotch.




The Myrtle Burl is flawless and seems to be easy to work with. The Mahogany Crotch was slightly damaged so I negotiated a 25% discount. It is like a thin sheet of glass shattering at any provocation. How well each negotiates the projects rounded shoulders will be a major decision maker.




I've never used a veneer conditioner before so I was willing to try it. Maybe it will help my Crotch and assist both species to get around that tight bend.




Laid down a sheet of wax paper to protect the project surface from the conditioner soaked veneer. Made the appropriate bend and clamped it down with scrap plywood. A sheet of paper towel is sandwiched in to help with the drying.




Not a dramatic 90 degree curve but it will definitely work. I am currently doing the same with a piece of the Crotch allowing it to dry much longer. It didn't bend as easy when setting up so the extra time might help.




Meanwhile, I installed all the equipment including all my new shortened cables. No magic smoke escaped so that's a good thing. Had some issues with fan blade interference that a couple of cable ties took care of. Stressed the system with some benchmarking and it didn't burst into flames.

So I really want to use the Myrtle Burl because it is unique and easy to work with. However, my renders have all been showing a reddish wood and that is what my eye is used to. I'm afraid the Mahogany Crotch will finish too deep a red.  I also like the Crotch because I get to say Crotch. :) Any opinions?

Thanks for looking!

« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 02:12:46 PM by slipperyskip »