Craig Tate

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Everything posted by Craig Tate

  1. Well... crap. Fought the good fight on the Coolermaster 2017 mod off, but just too many obstacles to overcome! I had good momentum through March, but April proved my undoing... I'm still going to finish the mod, as it is too nice not to! Additionally, I would like to thank EVGA for their donation of the two G3 Power supplies (SO glad you sent two, as I did end up needing both!) EVGA products are exceptional, and incredible product. I look forward to finishing this mod with the quality fit and finish it deserves, and showing off what I believe to be a first of its kind power supply mod centering around the EVGA Supernova G3 fully modular power supply. Be on the look out folks, the Sleeper is going to be a beautiful machine when complete! I would also like to finish by thanking Coolermaster for putting this competition on. It was where I got my start, it was what put me "on the map" so to speak... and watching year after year, how Coolermaster continues to run and evolve the contest, is truly inspiring! I leave you all now with the most current status pictures of the build: PSU bay area properly configured and constructed to allow for the redirection of the cables. Front rad installed, card installed, no tubing Working on the hard lines Much love to all. I think what I have setup for the outside will be a bitchen contrast to this clean/shiny internal compartment. Those are still in the garage "cooking"... Good luck everyone! -=Tech-Daddy=-
  2. No pics tonight.... I'm stripping the old powdercoat off of the top and side panels, just about done with all of my build parts!
  3. This build is GORGEOUS!!! And being a TRON nut, builds like this make me very happy. There are tron themed builds, and there are builds done by people who love TRON. You sir, appear to be the latter!! Thank you for sharing this build with us!
  4. So today, yesterday, and Friday, were spent trying to fix my CNC table, and get it working to see if I can create something smoooooth for this mod. What might this be? Well.... I alluded to it with another modder earlier in the thread. I'm making a custom front bezel, and right now, I'm dialing in the settings and design elements, using wood. Once I have everything set and the CNC is properly calibrated and working properly, then I will break out the sheet aluminium and go to town! I want it to maintain the classic, clean front, but still look like it came from the factory this way. Once I have all of the elements working and carving in the wood.... time to bring on the aluminium!!! -=Tech-Daddy=-
  5. I've made some fun progress that I look forward to sharing with everyone! It will be about an hour or so before I get the pics and vids uploaded!!!! Hope everyone has had a great weekend. Some good mods out here. -=Tech-Daddy=-
  6. Well hello there everyone! Been working out the particulars on the powersupply mod for this, so I guess this is a mod within a mod... OOOOooooOOooOoooo... So, I pulled the PSU out of the frame housing. If you have ever wondered,,, here is what a 750 watt fully modular power supply from EVGA looks like nekkid! Looking at the cable connection end, uncovered: This is the protector mat under the PCB, my guess is it is an electrical insulator to insure the solder points don't ground out. Comes out nice and easy, Here is the bare steel PSU chassis base, with the power switch and 120v wall jack input. Green/Yellow cable is a grounding line that attaches to the PSU housing: Closeup of the switch/grounding PCB, and the lines that lead to the PCB, as well as the afore mentioned housing ground: So, what I have to do with this bent aluminium frame, is make the base hole that the PSU would sit *on*... I need to make that hole big enough for it to fit *through*. I have to sink the unit about 1/2 of an inch to get the modular plugs at the right height, facing out the back of the case, into the area behind and under the motherboard. For me to sink this PSU, I have to remove enough material and enlarge this hole enough for the PSU to fit, but not fall through. So, what I am doing here is placing one of the housing plates into the space, orienting it, and then using a marker to mark the aluminium that I will need to remove: And after the initial markup, I have some surgical shaving of the sides and about an 1/8 of an inch to remove from the side opposite of the modular plugs: So I got to work, and I realized I was nailing my measurements when I hit the dimension to allow the steel through the hole, but not the sticker!!! As I was test fitting the PSU, I Had a bit of a high spot on one side that was taking the sticker off. I found that pleasing! After I finally got the hole bored out to the proper dimensions, the PSU fit like a glove. If I sink the unit about 1/2 inch, the ports line up perfectly. No, it's not staying like this... this was just me taking a picture to show that the PSU has a lot of adjustability, if I need it (which I don't) This shot shows the power supply sunk at about a hlaf an inch, and you will note that all of the modular plug ports will be easily accessible. If I want to, I will have about an 1/8 of an inch of adjustability to get the power supply to *jusssst* the right height. Next steps will be to move the exhaust mesh/wall jack/power switch to the correct side and build out any steel bracketwork that may be needed to make this look sharp. As always, good luck everyone and MOD ON!!!!! -=Tech-Daddy=-
  7. SotosLG, thank you for that. I hope to make most, if not all of this, a hand build/created machine. I have an X-Carve and it is difficult to not use it! My planning continues, but I needed to check and confirm my fans were going to work, and their lighting effects were functional. Video confirmed! watch[1]
  8. Thank you Zen! Did some more work tonight to get the top rad in place The top had a dimensional limit of just above the existing 80mm fan hole, as just past that is where the top PSU mount is located.So I have to locate and cut the radiator frame from the top, so my template needs to be as accurate as possible. Let the cutting begin! Fleshed out: roughhhing in the rad mount holes: Now, on the back side of the top were threaded standoffs that were used to screw in the mesh work that covered the fan. They are steel, threaded standoffs, embedded into the aluminium. Had to cut those off and mill those down to make sure the fan/rad installation would be flush and proper... whichever way I mount it (I have options that I am working through in my head). Pic below is of the standoffs cut off and ground down. Thats all I have for tonight folks. Everybody stay safe, and MOD ON!!!! -=Tech-Daddy=-
  9. Ok, my end mill bits are *FINALLY* on the way (there was a price discrepancy that needed to be resolved), but ahead of those bits arriving, I can practice the layout and dimensions of the part using wood. Buuuut, some exciting news! In preparation for my power supply modding I am going to have to do, I would like to introduce EVGA as a proud sponsor of this build! Quality products and exceptional customer service are what they are routinely known for. Build quality is always top notch. They have shipped me 2 of their 80plus Gold G3 *fully modular* power supplies. I asked for 2 just in case I horribly screwed up one, I can recover on the second unit! The shape and fully modular setup will lend itself perfectly to this build. I cannot thank EVGA enough for giving me 2 of their G3 PSU's to try this mod out on! So excited!!!
  10. while I have been doing some really boring stuff, like visualization, and part placement, I do have a couple update pics to show some of the pieces that will be in use: My primary colors are going to revolve around blue and black Metal flake blue radiator with blue anodized Monsoon hard line compression fittings: Monsoon DDC pump cover, with black nylon pump top, and anodized blue Monsoon hard line fittings: I have to get my final placement for all of the parts, and finish drilling and cutting my mounting holes, before prepping for color on the case. Next couple pics are me working with the PSU area, and as per my last post, I am not going to mount the PSU in a standard fashion. The cables will exit behind the motherboard tray. So I am working with a semi modular PSU to practice with, and get a feel of what I will need to do from a construction and demolition standpoint to make this element work. The weird looking finish of this PSU is due to the adhesive that came off when I pulled the side stickers needed to get to all of the bolts. You are looking at the back of the case, where you would normally insert the PSU into the holding cavity. Installing the power supply in this manner currently requires me to remove the top, insert the PSU, reattach the top. Solving this problem will be.... interesting. Looking from the back side, at where the power supply will be presenting the computer cables, if I were going to be using the PSU, the modular plugs are obscured by the lower sides of the roof piece, used to reinsert the side panels. Not only will I have to solve the installation issue noted above, depending on the back port height, I may have to lower the unit as well, to make the ports accessible. Just looking at the back pieces and top piece together, to get some ideas on making this functionally rad! If you notice on the floor behind the D5 box, there was my old Bitpower sparkle chrome D5 hood, with the stock input/output endcap. Would not have worked for rigid tubing, and I needed the g1/4 holes so that all of my fittings would match, so that had to go! I hope to have some very exciting news to share with you all here in a few days, meanwhile... mod on everyone! Stay safe! And good luck!! -=Tech-Daddy=-
  11. So, while working on my mod this last week, and specifically thinking about a problem tonight, I was inspired to write the following: I would be interested in you, the enthusiast and/or modder giving this a read and let me know how you would feel about this. Will have updates in a few days. Doing a lot of cutting and planning... -=Tech-Daddy=-
  12. Yup, I get what you are saying, just didnt have time to practice the TIG welding. Time is everyone's enemy on these contests, and I could not loose any more. So I used what I learned to give me a solution that I needed. It did not need to be cosmetically perfect, just flat and sealed. Work today to move closer to my end goal. Time to break out the aluminium diamond plate. Has to be cut to accomidate the radiator hole in the front/center: To do that, I break out my super dremel (Saw Max): And a short time later, nice straight cuts that need some filing: Then mark and cut the backing pieces for the inside of the drive bays: Line up my panels, and this is an evolution of what the sides will look like: Significantly more to go, but it is getting there! -=Tech-Daddy=-
  13. Ok.... so what all have I learned? Let's start at the very beginning... Initially what I tried to do was to take the side panel, and just fill in the holes! What you are not seeing here is the back side that had gobs of the alumaweld that had dripped through be cause I had not applied it properly. It was also during this initial learning phase that I had my next painful lesson: Dont grab hot stuff! 2nd/3rd degree burns on my thumb and index finger, right where I pinch together. You simply dont realize how much you use your primary hand's grasp/retrieve functions until you burn yourself here.... not debilitating, as I know many others that have had far worse, but annoyingly painful. A daily reminder to my momentary stupidity. So, realizing that my initial techniques to apply the alumaweld were not working properly, I went to a friend that had welding equipment, and hoped that our combined mental prowess could solve this issue.... Nope.... Nope, nope, nope, nope.... Going the wrong way here folks... Had some success with this, but as you can see the aluminium is too thin for this method, and we ended up melting the base frame aluminium while trying to fill the itty bitty holes! This was a MIG welder using argon, on the lowest voltage. Well, crap.... So if you have watched my video above, you will note that I figured out a way to use the weld product in a way that gave me a great chance at success... back the aluminium with sheet steel (that the welding product will not bond with), and clamp that to a 1/8" thick sheet of aluminium, using the steel and the aluminium as a heatsink to try and wick as much heat away from where I was working. So, I whipped out the flap wheel, and went after the welding work done previously, and ground out the scorching and flattened that weld work. Then I set to applying the welding product using my new found knowledge: And it was working!!! Looks ugly, but once ground down it will look much better. Additionally, this step is not for direct cosmetics. I am only wanting to create an environment where light will not be leaking through this. There is more to be done to this after the grinding and flattening. But so as to not give anything away, I will just say that is highly likely that none of this work will even be seen. But it needs to be done. one entire piece completed, but not ground down Both sides have effectively met the same treatment, and I will have them ground down tomorrow. Which should mark the end of my focus on this structural part of the mod, and I will then be moving to the next stage of the case frame build out. Excited to finally have a solution for this part of the build. I've been kind of fighting this to get the end result that I wanted. And while not as clean as I would like, if will give me the effect that I am looking for. More as I progress! -=Tech-Daddy=-
  14. I've learned a couple *valuable things that I want to pass on: 1) When using a blow torch, there is a VERY good chance that something around you just *might* be hot. Be careful of your reflexes and what you reach to grab. I'm just saying... 2) Angle Grinders and flap wheels are AWESOME. Eye protection is a must (which I was wearing), but also EAR PROTECTION should also be worn. I'm stubborn, and now I cant hear my family harassing me... so I'd call that a win! BUT DONT YOU DO IT!!! 3) When brazing aluminium, be careful not to overheat your work... otherwise sheet aluminium just goes molten and falls apart like a wet paper towel... dont ask me how I know that. 4) Build flexibility into your design so that when you %*#$ up, you have a way to fix it! (See number 3) I will try and post pictures later, I'm out bending sheet aluminium to achieve a desired effect! More later! -=Tech-Daddy=-
  15. Today was a messy, grinding day... quite literally, in the garage. So, what I found, was that I can make the components that I am wanting to use, fit the existing framework... with a little cutting. Isn't that always the case in modding? So, the ATCS is going to be watercooled. single loop, dual rad, blue and black color scheme. The case will have to be significantly cut away in order to accommodate the radiator functions and space needs, so today was disassembly, and cutting. Dead Rivets.... What the rivets were holding together... This is that computer base I was talking about that is a single, seamless milled piece! Placement for the rads will be one in the front, where the front intake would be, and one on the roof. The main issue with the front is the taper of the drive frames from the 5.25" bays, down to the 3.5" bays. The picture below shows the issue. That radiator you are seeing in the foreground is sitting on top of the center front intake that was designed for 2x80mm fans in front of the bay area for the 3.5" devices.. The radiator simply wont fit, it is too wide. Buuuuuuuut..... it is not too wide for the case, so I figured I would cut some of the drive bay walls out and slide the radiator *into the frame*. Size needed to be wide enough to account for the radiator and the attached fans. This was taken early on in the material removal. Very rough cuts as I get most of the material removed. And after I removed the base shape on the other side... I mocked the case back together, and put the rad in, and was generally happy with the results, until... I realized that the width of the slot was about 1-2 mm short, and would not accommodate the rad and the fans simultaneously. Well, fudge! So I pulled out the angle grinder and removed the necessary aluminium from the mount bay sides, checked measurements this time with a micrometer that I had set for the combined size of the rad and the fans, and *bam!* aced it this time! It was while I was working with the grinder that I remembered I had an electric nibbler that fit on my drill, why hadn't I remembered that before??!?! This would have been *SO* much easier! Oh well. I may use the nibbler on the roof for the 2nd rad if the gauge of the aluminium isn't too thick. Will draw out the fan frame mount for the rad, trace it to a piece of paper, then overlay that trace on the top and see what kind of cut out I can come up with that will be unique and complimentary to this build. Right now, it is rough out the cuts and flesh out the cut sites. One cool thing that I have done on the rad water path, is it will go from the front rad to the pump, to the CPU, then up to the roof rad, get cooled, then dropped into the video card, then back into the front radiator. Jury is still out on if I will be using a reservoir. Will see if it fits the build of the case. Anyway, I had aluminium dust all over me, going to hop off... good luck everyone! -=Tech-Daddy=-
  16. I want to thank my wife, right - the frik - now, as she said something that made me rethink how I was approaching this mod.... and because of that, I have a *much* less complicated way of getting the equipment into this case, that *will not* require me splitting it in half!!!! I will still be cutting and there will still be material replacement and some structural alterations, and some welding, but thanks to my wife asking me a simple question ("Are you making this harder than it has to be?"), I have been chewing on the end goal design... and I realized she was right! Lord I love her! Tomorrow starts the work!
  17. Woot! Getting closer guys! Found a company here near my work that is a metal supermarket.... no really! No minimums, they cut to order, and they have a TON of stuff!!! (yeah, I nailed that pun!) So, I am picking up sheet alu, havin 2 of the strips cut to precisely 3" wide, and 290mm long, and then another 12"x24" sheet, and I picked up two of the 5"x16" 3mm castoffs that were left over from a previous sheet that was cut. My 3" wide strips and my 12x24 sheet will be ready tomorrow (it was lunch time, the guys in the shop were hungry, didn't want any accidents, ), so after I pick that up... I will be ready to start some fabrication!!! I also picked up a 4 1/2in angle grinder, and 3 flap head discs of various grits (30/60/120) to work that weld bead down flush... hopefully!!! Got my aluminium welding rods, and I need to go pick up ceramic tiles to put the work on to keep the heat from catching my work surface on fire when I start welding. The technique I will be using is a simple propane torch to heat the joint and the metal, then using an aluminium welding rod to create the weld. It's technically more "brazing" than "welding" This is a similar rod to what I will be using to attach my plates together. WOO HOO!!!
  18. Sorry for the lack of updates since the initial post, I'm organizing resources, planning out tool purchase and going to start practicing my welding technique. I've soldered in the past, but never welded. I've now done a good bit of research on the techniques and I think I know how I can economically pull this off, doing the work myself. Going out to the garage today to cut up some old aluminium panel, and practice my welding techniques to make sure I can produce the proper end product. Once I have this down, the next stage will be cutting the case, placing the fans and widening the stance, and welding in the spacers to hold the case dimensions. It all completely depends on my ability to execute on the welding. -=Tech-Daddy=-
  19. Craig Tate

    Project VEGA

    What is this based off of or inspired from? I know you were talking about space in the very beginning, but is "Vega" from something specific? Just curious!
  20. So... to those that have not seen a living and breathing ATCS, here it comes in all of its current dirty glory: It has been sitting on my case shelf for many a year, just waiting to jump into the fray! Yeah, it needs a bath Finish is in decent shape, but it will be sanded and repainted by the time this is all said and done... *especially* after what I found out today during disassembly. More on that in a few pictures. Looking at the back, you can see that 80mm exhaust fan dosent have much material around it in order to make space for a 120mm or 140mm fan. Something will have to be done to accommodate this need. Pull off the side panel to reveal years of dirt. This chassis is nearly pristine. *Very* little wear. This is *all* aluminium, milled parts, U channel, rivets and screws. This is a dead 140mm fan placed in comparison to the 80mm, Yeah, that is not going to fit as is, going to work on aluminium fabrication of parts. Front intake 80mm fan placement, I have removed the front screen, and exposed the integrated mounting bracket. Remove the front bezel (which is also 1 solid aluminium milled piece). This was something that I noticed, and wanted to point out to you all, this is the backside of the front bezel. Looking at the hole for the power button. Note that it is not just a hole for the power button. It is actually milled large, so that another metal ring can be inserted, and the power button fits through that. The reset button also gets the same treatment. Metal rings around the power and reset button, and all aluminium. Now.... check out this next bit... This is looking down from the back of the case to the front of the case. What I am trying to show you here in the picture, is that the base of the ATCS is a *milled* piece of aluminium! Look at the bracket attachment and how the aluminium moves up around where the bracket bolts in. That is not a bend. That is a milled channel! The base of the ATCS was a milled piece of aluminium, not a bent sheet! Which now brings me to my next bit of news. I am going to have to "grow" this case in order to make the space for the fans (front and rear) and because there are parts of this case that I cannot simply refabricate (like this base) from sheet and a bending brake, I'm going to take a trick that I have seen in auto customization, and split the case long ways (down the middle) and inlay aluminium of the same thickness in a central strip fabricated into the top and bottom, which will make the case "thicker" from side to side. This will allow me to fabricate the back panel to accommodate the 140mm fan, and open up the front of the case for the 120mm or 140mm fans. While maintaining the same structural asthetic... that's the plan fore now at least... More as I have it! -=Tech-Daddy=-
  21. Craig Tate

    Project VEGA

    Love the details!!!! Good airbursh work! -=Tech-Daddy=-
  22. Diggin where you got this going! Keep it up man! -=Tech-Daddy=-
  23. Craig Tate

    Tech-Daddy builds

    Past and present work, looking forward to adding more!
  24. From the album: Tech-Daddy builds

    AIO CPU cooler and fans that I customized for a contest