I was asked if I'd be interested in modding Thermaltake's new Level 10 GT chassis. Of course I had to say yes. A case like that may be hard to mod, but I've got some crazy plans for this thing. It involves liquid cooling and LOTS of electronics.
First off, a HUGE THANKS to the current sponsors!!
Thermaltake hooked me up with the Level 10 GT chassis, a Toughpower Grand 1050W PSU and some liquid cooling goodness.
Thanks Garfield! I've got just about everything I need already, and the case and some of the LC stuff just showed up today. The hardest part is going to be getting all of the coding straightened out for all of the electronics
Firgelli L12 Linear actuator (50mm stroke, 100:1 gearing) from Trossen Robotics
Koolance 3-way splitters and flow meter
Koolance 3/8" and 1/4" G1/4 fittings
Here you can see a 3/8" fitting and 3 1/4" fittings in each splitter. What this will do is allow me to hook the main 3/8" tubing to the splitter, and have 1/4" lines run to each stick of RAM, then back out into the second splitter, and back into the loop.
Koolance Adapter block with temp sensor
EK waterblock for my XFX 6870
10' Koolance silver 3/8" PVC tubing
U-Channel edge molding
2 black 24-pin connectors and pins
5 3-pin connector sets
Silver Kill Coil
I also got a Black Ice 140mm Radiator, but I need to swap it for a 120mm one as it's too big to fit in the case in the rear 140mm fan spot. I may get creative and try to mount it elsewhere though, we'll see.
I'm still waiting on a 2x120mm radiator and a pump/res combo from Thermaltake as well.
I also got some work done on the case.
I test-fit the motherboard into the case to get an idea of the layout for some of the various components. This is when I found out that the bit 140mm rad I got won't fit.
I also got the lower intake cover, louvers and fan removed. The plan is to put a window in where the fan grill used to be.
Minor update. I got the case pretty much all disassembled. There was a ton of little screws and clips everywhere, and it was neat to see how they held everything together. Next will be finding placement for some of the components.
I also figured out a mounting for the 140mm rad. It was too big for the inside of the case and I thought putting it on the outside wouldn't look good. However after some trial and error I found that I can use the outer shell from an old 140mm fan as a spacer. The only other issue is that the barbs don't line up with the holes in the case, but that's a small hurdle. So the fan will be on the inside of the case with the rad and spacer on the outside. Alternatively I could just mount the fan to the rad and have them both on the outside of the case. Thoughts?
I got 2 of the 3 windows done. I started with the top mesh part on the side panel (where the headphones hang, above the hotswap bays)
I started by removing the steel mesh, then cutting out the plastic honeycomb mesh underneath with my scroll saw.
Then I cut out a piece from the AC Ryan panel I got. It took a lot of sanding and filing to get the window and the cutout nice and smooth.
MMMM nice fit
And a shot of where it goes on the case. I'm going to have a few components and some lighting behind this window, but I'm keeping the details a secret for now
Then I started on the top panel. I removed the steel mesh like on the side panel...
Then cut out the plastic honeycomb with the scroll saw. I had to do a lot more sanding and filing here than on the side panel. The reason for this is due to how Tt made the plastic parts. On the side I was able to install the window from underneath, so it didn't have to be 100%. Here I need to install the window on the top, and it will rest against a few small parts sticking out, so it needed to be perfect.
I used the steel mesh to trace out a rough line for the window panel.
And the window cut roughly.
And a nice fit This took a LOT of time as the window had to be a lot closer to perfect than the side one did. This window will also have components underneath, and both windows may have some etchings...we'll see on that later on.
I finally got the case entirely stripped down, minus drilling out the rivets (that's later).
Here's all the hardware I had to remove to get all the plastic off this thing!
I did some measuring and marking on the side panel in preparation for cutting.
Then I tackled the plastic casing that covers that side intake hole. This will also have a window, making for 4 total windows in the case.
Here it is all trimmed out. This took several hours of cutting and sanding with the Dremel and final finish sanding. There were a lot of small tabs and whatnot that needed to be removed. What I'm left with is 2 small ledges on which to mount the window.
I went about making the window the same way as the others. I used the mesh I removed for an outline/guideline. Then I cut it out with the scroll saw and did the finish sanding with the Dremel and belt sander. Here it is in for a test-fit.
Here is the plastic and window sitting on the side panel.
The main thing left to do now is cut out the steel side door and work on component placement and electronics. The tough part is going to be finding the right mounting location for the linear actuator that will open and close the door.
I did some work with SketchUp tonight. I want to dress up the radiator since it will now be hanging off the back of the case rather than be inside it. I used my Black Ice 140 radiator to make one in SketchUp. Then I used the following picture of an industrial rooftop A/C unit to design a shroud that will screw to the backside of the radiator and fit in with the overall theme of the project. I plan to make this shroud out of white styrene sheet just like I made the louver assembly for my Tempest SXR (
) mod a while back. Enjoy the pics
I decided on a location for the Koolance flow meter. Theres this spot where the cables pass through and it fits nicely with a pair of 90º Bitspower fittings. The only problem is that pesky piece of the frame in the way. Only one thing to do...cut it out!
That's better This will be visible behind the window I put into the side panel, along with one of the protoboards from ProtoStack. I've got an idea of what to use the board for, now I just need to make it happen
I also decided to mount my Sentry 2 fan controller in this side panel rather than the front 5.25" bays. I already have experience mounting it without it's housing from my Tempest SXR mod, so this should be cake.
I measured and marked the hole, cut it out with my Dremel and filed it down nice and smooth.
Here's an idea of how it will look. All I need to do is make up some mounts for it on the inside, which should be rather easy.
I got the actuator mounted! I used a hole that was already in the case as the rear mount, and used double-sided tape for the front to get the positioning correct. I set the actuator to full close, closed the door and stuck it on. It doesn't open 90º, but it's like 88º
Once I got the position correct and verified, I drilled the side panel to mount the bracket for the actuator. This nut and bolt will not be the final parts, they're just there for temporary mounting.
I also used a jigsaw to finish cutting out the rest of the side panel, then filed it down nice and smooth. I still need to do some finish grinding and filing to get the edges nice and straight, but it's a start.
Then I mounted the plastic covers back to the side panel to stiffen it, and retried the actuator to make sure everything was 100%
And a video, of course I set the code to run the actuator full open, wait 9 seconds, then full close, repeat. The reason for 9 seconds is that it takes ~4 seconds for the actuator to fully extend or retract.
I had uploaded them, just hadn't published them lol. I also uploaded the video to Facebook, but they took it down because of the music! Why can't they just put the artist and whatnot like youtube does?
I cut out a piece of black acrylic to use as a fill panel to hide all the slots and holes on the side of the 5.25" bays.
Next I marked and drilled 10 holes. 4 for the flow meter and 6 for the ProtoStack board. Each is held in by a 4-40 stainless allen head screw with a nut to act as a spacer. The acrylic itself is mounted in the same fashion to the side of the 5.25" drive bays.
And here's how it will look through the window in the side. The window is not installed here, but I put the panel on to get an idea. I'm going to use the ProtoStack board to run some interior lighting, wait till you see what I've got planned
Next I marked and drilled 4 holes in the top panel for the RFID reader.
Now the reader has pin headers and a barrel jack on it that won't allow it to fit under the window that will be there, so I had to break out the jigsaw again
I mounted the RFID reader in the same fashion as the ProtoStack board and flow meter, with 4-40 SS screws with nuts for spacers to keep the contacts off the metal of the case. It now fits perfectly under the window
And how it looks installed in the case. The rear 120mm fan will be as shown, with the rad spacer and 140mm rad behind the case. The spacer is necessary so that the fittings from the top of the rad will be able to go through the LC holes in the case.
Minor update. I got bored while waiting for UPS to arrive this Friday with the rest of my goods so I decided to lap my processor. I looked pretty well flat, but I was surprised just how much it was off. These pics go from 400 grit through 1500 grit, and all I've got left to do is polish it
Expect an update this weekend after UPS drops off my drool-inducing goods