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Jan 2, 11 at 3:59amhiigaran


  • phase 1: design
  • hardware
  • phase 2: case construction
  • speakers
  • air system
  • phase 3: assembly

    phase 1: design

    i figured it was time i got one of these threads up to show my progress. as most of you know, the rig i plan to have is a rather interesting design, but for those that are unaware...

    while i plan to have all the normal hardware of any computer, i wish to add a little twist to it...i figured i could save 1/15th of my total hardware costs by building my own case, so i can grab some scrap metal, make a box, get an ATX template for the motherboard, and add some final touches. then i realised that it still seems too plain (hehe, for those that already know...pun intended). so i decided to make a case that would combine my two greatest passions of computing, and aviation. my first thought was to make a small aircraft and put everything in it. that idea was dismissed almost instantly, as it would be impractical...where would i put it? and if it is to scale, it would still be quite big. so the next idea came...make a wing of an aircraft, and put it all in that. total length is roughly 2.3 meters.

    so if building an entire scale aircraft was impractical, then how is a wing more practical? easy - the wing can double up as a shelf. but there was still the problem of fitting the hardware in. while the motherboard, CPU, RAM, PSU, and disk drives could fit, how will the HSF and video card fit? they would have to stick out, and ruin the beauty of such a case, wouldnt they? well this is where things get creative. an aircraft wing based on a large passenger jet has two engines. i can design the jet engine casings so that they fit the HSF and video cards in them...that is, one engine case has the HSF, and the other for the video cards. to do this however, i will need these for the cards.

    the following image is what i plan to have the case look like, more or less:

    the side view of the engine case shows two fans. the front one (large end) would be about 200 mm, and the rear one would be 120 mm (pic not to scale of course). the red line is the mobo (again, not to scale). EDIT: i have now changed this to a single front 120mm fan on each.

    and it just keeps getting this is an aircraft theme, who can forget the sheer noise a jet makes? thats why the rear fan will be a 252 CFM Delta fan (and remember, i have two engines to fill). of course, i will have to fabricate a fan controller because these are some loud mofos, but i have my heart set on these fans either way. EDIT: this has been changed to being an outside air intake, but still going to use one Delta.

    ive had a request to give this rig a name, so ive decided to give it a tail number Charlie Golf November Echo Oscar, or C-GNEO for short. NEO for neoseeker, and C-G because it is based in canada. this would go under the wing near the tip. ill have to also find a place for my hiigaran emblem as well - probably on the sides of the engine casings.

    now the hardware that i am planning on is not definite. i dont expect to have my parts ordered for a few more months. i want to get the case built first, but before i start on the case, i need to finish off my recumbent trike, which is nearly finished. i have however, started gathering parts to convert into case material. the following is an unconfirmed list of parts i will be putting in this case:

    assuming that i finish my case soon, the prices should stay about the same - ive only got those last bottles to go, then i can paint it all and ill be done. so, here are the parts i am thinking of, not including the extras i might get from america:

    MSI P67A-GD55
    Corsair H70
    Corsair Vengence 4GB 1600mhz
    OCZ ZX 1000W
    GTX 590

    all of this will run me ~14420 SEK excluding shipping and those extras i mentioned before.

    the case will be built by getting junk car parts, mainly mufflers and resonators, stripping them of their casings, flattening them so they are square/rectangular, then welding them together to get a pair of larger rectangular pieces (the top and bottom sections). EDIT: i decided wood was going to be much easier and still for free as i have some scrap wood. after this, i will need to design some 'ribs' which will give the wing its cross sectional shape (example of a rib from google). these will be placed at intervals to maintain shape. before then however, the large piece of rectangle will have to be marked and cut, as the wing is not a perfect rectangle - it narrows at the tip. once done, and before the top and bottom parts come together, the interior space for the hardware would be designed - i will make a mobo tray on the top section to allow the mobo to hang upside down, add in a few mounting racks for the drives, and make a fixture at the thicker end of the wing for the PSU.

    in addition to all of this, just to make everything even more epic, i would like to somehow have this audio play as soon as i turn the computer on. it fades out a few seconds later as it transitions to the sound of the fans. this is something im stuck on...any ideas what i can do here? i guess something with a microcontroller, but i would have no clue what to do.

    thats all for now. ill update the thread with some photos once the case construction phase starts...and probably upload some photos of the trike into the GD when finished.

    UPDATE: Hardware pics:

    the mobo and the cooler are here! time to unpack these badass mofos:

    mobo...i like the added goodies

    CPU cooler...i got a little nervous when i read that red paper that says do not return to store...


    the hardware arrived today, and here are the pics of the important stuff:

    OCZ 1000W gold efficiency PSU in its protective packaging.

    out of packaging.

    i5-2500K and 4GB 1600mhz RAM.

    camera derped again on this one...just a shitload of cables.

    video card in protective packaging.

    GTX 590 in all its glory.

    free mouse pad...its HUGE. i need to make room for it...

    the cute and innocent looking delta that would take a chunk out of your flesh if you ever decided to pat it...

    Phase 2: Case Construction:

    well i decided against welding and making a metal case because i found out how expensive welding gas is. Considering that i have some spare MDF wood lying around, and that im already welding with my trike, i decided that wood is more economic. so while im waiting for the glue to dry out, here are a couple of photos:

    my room is a bloody mess. my sound system had to be taken off so that i can get it up there and there are wires everywhere. of course, i havent glued the top part to the bottom part yet - i just put it up there so that i can use it for measurements, but yeah, my room aint a pretty sight.

    heres another angle with some junk hardware in the spaces where they will be in. later on i will cut a hole through the bottom part so that the heatsink can fit through, and be encased by the engine. i will have to remind myself to design that part so that it may be removed if need be. i think ill need to design the entire thing so that it can be opened easily actually, so perhaps gluing wont be practical...ill probably use some of those little metal elbow joints with screws to hold things in place, which would be more practical.

    in addition, ive decided against the delta fans in the way i mentioned before. i will still have the 20mm fans, but nothing at the back. instead, i will have one delta fan at my window, pushing outside air into a small pipe which leads to the case for CPU and GPU cooling. while i can easily pull this off, and make it look good, im still not sure if i will go ahead with it, though i probably will.

    one benefit i didnt see before was that most of my cables can now be contained within this case.

    now that the main part of the wing is complete, i can get to work on the front part. now its too much effort to make this curve out of wood or styrofoam, and cans are just too small and easy to dent, so i just grabbed some anti freeze bottles, cut them up, and put them on as such. these are simply secured on with screws. of course, for the time being, they will remain like this, but they will be painted obviously. theres still some work to do on them before painting them.

    this is what the shape looks like. i dont like this shape though - its the shape it automatically took, so ill have to use a heat gun to make it malleable, and shape it as i see fit.

    getting there...almost finished with this part. i just need about 6 more bottles and im done

    MORE EDITS: part 2 of the case construction is complete:

    the front edge is now finished, so on to the third part of the construction...painting - should be nice and easy...a few coats of paint, add the neo logo and tail number, and finished...of course, ill still need to do some further modifications once the hardware comes, as i wont know the exact locations of the screw holes for the mobo, psu and drives.

    EDIT: the first coat of paint on most of the case is on, and im just waiting for it to dry now:

    it can be seen now that its a tad uneven, but thats alright. the next few coats of paint can help it a little bit.

    while you can still see the different sections where the bottles are, after a few more coats, they wont be seen at all.

    EDIT: after a bit of smoothing and painting, this is what i have...ive decided against fully smoothing it so i can give it a more industrial look, though im interested in your opinions on this:

    so i guess part 3 of the case construction (painting the wing) is complete. part 4 would be a combination of things; building the innards such as a mounting area for the mobo disk drives and PSU, as well as designing and building the jet engine casings

    EDIT: so ive begun part 4, regarding the construction of the engine casings. now using the dimensions given by the corsair website, the h70 is 120mm x 152mm. now because the engine casing is supposed to be a perfect circle, i have to treat the radiator as if it was 152mm x 152mm. just to allow for errors, i will add 1mm to these dimensions. using some simple math, i know that i must now link three bottles together to form a circumference of 68cm, which should allow the rad to fit in perfectly. this is only the first section of the casing though, so im going to be in for some long waits while i wait for the glue and paint to dry each time.

    EDIT: the very basic case for the engine is complete:

    i will be making further changes to it of course, but thats the general look to it. if you want to know what im aiming for, google 737 engines and look at the images.

    back view. because the plastic is so light, a tiny bit of glue is all thats needed to hold it in place. you can see two small wooden bits jammed into the lower corners. these are giving the outer casing its squashed round shape that i am trying to replicate from a 737 engine. nothing to do now, but wait until the glue has dried. next step; add more wooden blocks on the front. all this work will not be seen in the end though, as it will be covered up.

    front view with the beginnings of the front face. later on, i will dremel the sides into the proper shape, and then proceed to add layers of the same shape, but in thinner and thinner cross sections in such a pattern that it will give a nice, clean, curved protrusion.


    side view of the layer thing mentioned in the previous photo. its not perfect right now, as there are no corner supports for the plastic, but those will be added soon. i just decided to take this shot so that it is easier to understand what i am trying to do.

    front view with the second layer on. the excess plastic will be cut off once i have made a template that will help me cut out the right shape.

    the protrusion on the front face is pretty much done. its still a little uneven, but ill get around to fixing that soon. i dont know why i decided to give it a very quick coat of paint it at this stage (not the whole thing...just the front). i guess i was curious to see how it would turn out. i got some paint on the fans though, so ill also need to use a black marker to get rid of the unremovable paint. i am a little disappointed that i didnt get the squashed circle engine shape, but it still looks good.

    PAINFUL EDIT: this photo has been brought to you by a swollen hand...

    ive outdone myself here. i wanted to make a cone for the fan at the front for more of a jet look, but i didnt know how i was going to get a perfect circle, and curves. then the idea hit me...use the dremel as a lathe! it was so simple. all i had to do to convert my dremel into a lathe was to get one of my long, thin screws into the collet, and id have a base. well anyway, i cut out 9 circular pieces of cardboard, glued them on top of eachother, drilled a hole down the center, put the 'lathe' screw (if you will) through the center, secured it, then fired up the dremel. i got the beauty you see above as an end result. unfortunately, because the cardboard pieces werent all perfect circles to start with, they were unbalanced, and as such, caused insane amounts of vibration. i persisted, and while i did get the job done, my left hand has swollen up so much from the increased blood flow, that i couldnt bend my thumb. anyway, next step with this is to paint it black, and get a little bit of white paint to make that spiral you see on jet engines.

    hub cone painted and attached. just need to fill in the hole, and paint a white spiral, and everything on the front part is complete.


    bought the air tube...time to get to work with it.


    i didnt think this one through beforehand, so i had to rip through the side wall to put the air tube in. ive fixed it now, but it needs to be painted over again. unfortunately, ive run out of paint, so ill need to buy some more.

    showing the air tube as it joins up with the water cooling tubes.

    the final rear cone is on. it just needs painting now.


    havent had much time to work on the case and engine in a while, but heres an update:

    i added those white supports which will be how the engine gets mounted to the wing. the next two steps are to paint the unpainted parts (finally got some more paint), and to cut the holes in to the wing which the water pipes, air pipe, and supports will go in to. the latter will be pretty annoying, as i dont have a jig-saw at my disposal. i will first drill a large hole at each corner to define the corners, then proceed to cut out the hole with the grinder attachment for my dremel.


    working on the wing now. my objective here is to cut a hole which will allow the air tube, water tubes, fan cables, and engine supports to go through. ive finished the first part, which is for the supports, and i will then get to work on making a bigger hole so the CPU block can go through

    the second photo is just one i took because i might as well show off my little workplace. this used to be a storage area, but most of the stuff was just thrown out. its a tiny room, about 1m x 3, but its more than enough for me. ive even bought electrical cabling and installed an outlet there, and i also plan to install a light. i have more tools than you can see in the photo, but those are most of the hand tools.


    i forgot to put these up, but i did this a few days ago:

    engine is mounted on the wing with those white things. also, you may notice no tailcone...i accidentally knocked it off, but its back on now.

    all the junk sticking up from the hole.


    the bottom of the wing is back up, with the engine attached to it. the engine was drooping a bit, but that was to be expected, considering its mounts were too far back (there was no other way). its fixed now. all i had to do was to add a screw somewhere closer to the front. i still have a few minor details i still need to fix, but the engine is soon going to be complete.

    i will also need to hide the screw and rear engine mounts inside a pylon (that would be the streamlining between an engine and a wing). that part is something i will have to think hard about.


    at three in the morning, i decided to paint the spiral on the engine. any excuse not to sleep, of course:

    camera is derping today. this was the clearest shot i could get with any mode. anyway, this is only the first layer. later im going to add a second, and maybe a third coat to smooth out the outline.


    this is probably one of the last few photos im going to have here. the front cover is back on, and i noticed a massive decline in the noise made from the video card much so, that i cranked the fan up to max...i can hardly hear it. a piece of thin, painted plastic! anyway, i still have a few things left to do, but they are minor - paint some of the remaining uneven areas, and finish the delta housing (ive run out of wood...i dont want to buy a large board just for that, so im going to try and paw through the recycle bins for anything useful...yes, like a hobo).


    im going to make a separate section of this with a few photos. so i noticed that i could fit a pair of speakers inside my seat, and so i did just that:

    so now i have rear speakers...sort of. my computer doesnt have rear speaker ports, but who gives a crap about this old computer. its the new one thats got it all...but one more problem remained. the cables. they would be in the way if connected. so i decided to use my extensions and mount them to the same place as my starter switches. that way, i can easily plug the speakers in and remove them for storage inside the chair...dremel ahoy!

    of course, i still need to paint the edges so you cant see the wood, but for!

    one additional benefit with those ports being there is quick access to a USB port when the speakers are not in use

    air system:

    now i have begun work on getting the air system done. as you know, the air system basically consists of a small air duct that is partly built in to the jet engine, in an inconspicuous area to allow cold outside air to be passed through. to achieve this, a rather powerful fan is required, which will be the delta fan. this fan will be placed outside, shielded from rain/snow, and will force air through said pipe. this will be mounted right in front of my small side window. however, i am not allowed to make any modifications to the windows, so the next best thing is to remove the window and build my own. surprisingly, this took only an hour to do...

    these two parts were the window i had to remove...the 'door', if you will, and the rain/snow filter (for lack of a better word). these are now in storage.

    the unpainted part that will go in place of the original window parts. this is secured with only two screws. i have done this on purpose because should i need to get more air, as i usually do, i can remove the bottom screw, and slide the board over a bit. this gives me ample air. this 'function' will however, be redundant once i have the fan built in, as i will be powering the fan independently to the rig.

    complete! too easy. the inside face is painted white to blend in with everything else, and the outside face is painted metallic grey, so it looks like the original filter that used to be seen from the outside. also, leaning on the wall is the top part of the wing, with the motherboard already mounted on it. excuse the very ghetto solution for linking the two bits of wood together. it works, and it wont be seen, so i dont really care.


    drilled a hole through the board and threaded the air pipe through. now i just have to wait for the fan to arrive so i can build the housing around it.


    built the fan housing for the delta. very simple process. it was just a matter of cutting out four squares of the right size, joining them with screws, and painting it all. amazingly easy.

    phase 3: assembly:

    the moment of truth approaches. everything is more or less at a point where i am ready to turn on the system. first off, a temporary setup, as i dont want to put more effort in to assembly than needed if something doesnt work (which i am really nervous about):

    ...also, the 24 pin and aux. power cables are a few cm short. looks like im taking a trip to a computer store tomorrow...whoop dee doo!
  • Thread Recap (last 10 posts from newest to oldest)

    Dec 1, 11 at 3:03pm

    nah i havent taken any new images yet. probably wont until ive done more with the rig.

    Dec 1, 11 at 1:46pm

    Sweet. Are there any final pics though? I couldn't seem to find any in the work log.

    Also, I has i5 too.

    Dec 1, 11 at 12:53pm

    if anyone is interested, i got my hands on 4 arctic cooling fans from a dead computer. all but one of them are now integrated in to my computer. two of them are used to lead the GPU exhaust away from the PSU, which was getting dangeroudly hot, considering it was always obstructed. the third fan was added to the back of the PSU after a small bit of the wood was cut out. needless to say, i can now safely touch the PSU without burning my hand.

    dunno where im going to put the 4th fan though. in any case, im going to have to design a new cover, because the fans are a tad too large to get the cover back on. im thinking of just designing wooden pieces that will fit on each end of the case, and then stretch some kind of material over it and paint it.

    EDIT: also, looking at an empty protein shake container, it looks big enough to be used as a new jet engine covering. i might just do that instead, so then i can have a more even look to it.

    Jul 13, 11 at 7:28pm

    one more image added. going to be one of the last few images to post. youll find it in the case construction area...and i know, its a horrible worklog which seems to jump back and forth between phases. one day i might fix that up if i ever get the patience to do so.

    Jul 8, 11 at 9:22pm

    hah, while it is a risk, its only a small one, even if i am messing with voltages. in any case, i think ive hit the wall with overclocking. my final clocks are in the overclocking competition. i didnt do much at all with the RAM though, and i forgot to tighten the timings, but i couldnt be bothered going through the whole annoying phase of benchmarking again. if i see 3DMarks benches one more time, im going to make a hole in the monitor.

    Jul 8, 11 at 8:04pm

    That... sounds pretty bad.

    I assume there's no way in hell the company selling the CPU would replace it if you overclocked it and it was burned in hellfire as a result.

    Just seems odd to me how someone who has waited years to get a good pc, and saved up for it, is going to risk it catching fire.

    I am not as brave as you guys. My pc has an overclock profile but I have it turned OFF.

    It produces quite a strong "hot plastic" smell if activated.

    Jul 8, 11 at 7:58pm

    quote DG
    This may be an obvious question, but what do you do if you overclock too far and it literally explodes?
    Buy a new one lol.

    This isn't gonna happen. Worst case scenario IMO (With the hardware Hii is using) is he could put to much voltage and burn the chip, or fry some other piece of hardware.

    The worst thing that I've ever heard of happening was a CPU catching on fire. It happened to a member over at OCC, and if I remember correct he was doing it for fun.

    Jul 8, 11 at 7:50pm

    This may be an obvious question, but what do you do if you overclock too far and it literally explodes?

    Jul 8, 11 at 11:55am

    okay i think ive hit the limit without going into unsafe territory. core voltage at 1.392, only barely able to maintain stability at 4.71 Ghz. it actually performs worse on this speed, than it does on 4.6 Ghz. later on ill see if i can lower the multi by one and increase the base clock a bit, but i think this is what i would be using to try and get the overclocking award...

    Jul 7, 11 at 10:21pm

    not sure. ill try four and see what happens

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