LayerEX - by mr_kholl

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LayerEX - by mr_kholl

Postby KitKatBar on Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:39 pm

Mod Name: LayerEX
Theme: Futuristic View of the Stacker 830

Cooler Master products:

1. Stacker 830
2. Aquagate
3. Aquatrident
4. NV Aqua
5. Aquaturtle
6. Real Power 550.

LayerEX Project:

When I decided to mod the Stacker I had those topics in my mind:

- It needs to be full reversible (no holes and no cuts on the original chassis and panels).
- This time no functional side panels.
- It needs to be watercooled.
- Functions on the front.
- External panels in plexi.
- The case could be skinnable.

This is the preview of the project that I made in photoshop:

http://www.modtv.com.br/LayerEX/mr_khol ... eview3.jpg

The challenge (and the fun) was create a mod in a way which I could to reverse to the original Stacker any moment.


Worklog Index:

1. Modding the Aquagate
2. Modding the Corsair Memory Display
3. Creating the external panels
4. Custom front bays
5. Displays



1. Modding the Aquagate

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I decided to add a second radiator to the aquagate.

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So, I used this old cooldrive case (cooldrive 2) for the base:

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I replaced the original fan of the aquagate for this quiet one:

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The quick connection kit (with o-ring) that I used:

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I decided to keep the original quick connect feature of the aquagate.

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Creating the the second radiator supports:

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The base:

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Ok, the second radiator is attached:

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I had to decrease the size of the aquagate:

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The new module is done:

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Time to change the backlight of the LCD:

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My god...It's little!!!

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Soldering SMD Leds.... it's hard!

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Blocking the original blue SMD led of the LCD and the new led (White):

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With the red filter, it's done:

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2. Modding the Corsair Memory Display

I decided to put the diplay module of the Xpert memory on the front bay, so I had to create a extension cable:

I used: Ribbon cable, sleeving, shring tube, pin bars, latch connectors, and a perfored pcb:

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Creating the cable:

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No longer flat cable:

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Finishing:

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The pcb (for the support):

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Pins:

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It's done...

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...And working:

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3. Creating the external panels

I used my method to cut the side panel: Die-cut vinyl as template (it's cheap...I can't resist :)

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3 sheets to keep it firm and to get 3 panels at the end of the cutting (3 skins):

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Cutting:

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Holes:

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Continues...

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Goodbye spines...I left this idea:

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Main cuts are done:

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Time to finishing:

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Yes! the 3 panels:

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Time to do the corrections:

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and smooth:

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3b. Front Panels:

For the front panels I chose free hand beacause the rounded shape of the stacker front cover.

Transparent film to draw the panels:

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Hard draw is done:

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Time to transfer it to the plexi sheet:

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Then.... the cuts:

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Bottom display frame:

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Top Display Mask:

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Smoothing...

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...and molding:

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Ok, the panels are done:

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Primed and corrected imperfections:

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Silver coat:

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The side panel almost done (with the meshes, PetG window and decals):

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Regarding that I decided to not make holes on the stacker I chose velcro to attach the panels (I used this 10mm foam to avoid dust)

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Once the panels are in plexi (and the transparent part in PetG) and the meshes in aluminum, the panels are very light. The result is fine, and I can take off the panel any time.

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4. Custom front bays

One question asked by one sponsor of mine (Performance-pcs) changed the whole concept of the front bays that I was projected originaly: "Hey Mr. Kholl, I will send some parts to cut in laser, do you want cut something?".....ohhh!!of course!!! it's very nice!! so I drew the bays:

1. DVD
2. Aquagate cover
3. Memory display cover
4. Card reader
5. Baybus (4x fan controller + aquagate lcd/control module)
6. HDD meter


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The result was GREAT!!!


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Masking:

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Dark silver coat:

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I decided to create the bays cases using those old cd-row cases:

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- Building the baybus:

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Not so beautiful, but, works!

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Pots support:

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It Works!

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I made a simple 4x fan controller with tip 31c:

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- Bulding the memory display case:

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Primer...and Black coat:

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I created those photolit masks for the details of the covers:

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And painted one by one with uv paint:

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5. Displays

My plan was to use two displays in this project: one 240x128 Electroluminescent Display from Planar (on the bottom panel) and one 4" TFT Color in 16:9 ratio (on the top panel).

Unfortunally, until now, the Color TFT still haven't arrive....so, I will update this pics later.

Thanks for Planar that sent me this beautiful display:

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Thanks for Samtec to provide me the cable for this special connector (2mm pin space):

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Creating the supports for the displays:

I decided to create 2 bars in plexi for each display and mold it with heat.

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Fits perfect!

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Again, regarding the fact that I wouldn't make any hole on the stacker covers, I used this simple solution to attach the displays:

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Easy, firm and safe:

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Wiring:

I decided to create a simple pcb to wire up the display.

The original idea was a custom connector (I had to left it! not so firm):

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From flat to round / Sleeving (Techflex sleeve with 3M reflective monofilament):

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Final version (direct soldering.....I lost my patience checking the connector...so, this is the safe way):

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I used LCDStudio 2.0 to control the display. I made 3 simple designs with real data:

- System (general info about the pc)
- Online (real time infos: POP3 reader - Last e-mails / Weather info / RSS reader - Last news)
- Storage (info about the HDDs)

I'm working on the Winamp design

Some shots:

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Final Pics

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I would like to thank Coolermaster for this great contest, all the sponsors of the contest, and my sponsors for this project: Performance-pcs, Plextor, Planar and Samtec.

Jose Fernando de Carvalho Junior (aka Mr. Kholl).
Last edited by KitKatBar on Fri Dec 08, 2006 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby _ferry_ on Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:38 pm

You're my favorite! Well, i rather say your casemod is my favourite. But your previous mods were great too, this case is so cool due to the abstract lines, details and very modern look. So good luck while waithing for the result.
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Postby booman on Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:56 pm

I've never seen so many pictures for a mod.
mr_kholl did a very detailed job at posting pics, taking pics, and describing
everything he worked on.
Man, thats what I call a complete overhaul.
He modded everything on the case, and every inch of it has some eye candy.
Thats also a lot of cutting in 3 sheets of plexi-glass.
Dude has gone way to far!
Completely cut and modified the front panel into a totally different
computer. Takes a lot of patience to cut, sand, and polish off that much plexi.
Takes a lot of dremel discs too. Modifying the optical drives, making IDE cables, electrical, watercooling kit, he does it all. That is lot of talent and experience.
I love the memory displays on the front panel. That is great idea. I want to try that some day.
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Postby feldm4n on Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:03 pm

Kohl,
I really did enjoy your mod but i had a hard time seeing it as everyone else. Don't feel picked on please. I just would like to have seen some shots of the front, maybe some modding on the top, maybe some cool design on the motherboard side sidepanel. I just felt that it wasn't complete. I really was judging everyone just as hard so please don't take this personally. I am an honest person when it comes to what i say. I also thought it reminded me too much of your past mods :/ Little things i am big on. I noticed the plextor drive was cut kind of crooked and it just made me go darn its so cool looking if it had just been cut straight. I would like to see you hit some crazy direction with something NO ONE has seen, and you are the type to pull it off. The wire management bugged me a little also. Still i saw a lot of great ideas in this case, the one i totally LOVED was how you routed the RAM info modules to the front.... BRILLIANT man! I can NOT wait to see the final photos of your mod Kohl as it is very very cool to look at. I will be keeping an eye out on your future works :)
-Matthew

Please don't be offended by what i am saying. If you or anyone saw something wrong with my mod i would LOVE to hear it as it is the only way to correct ones work.
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Postby asgneto on Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:09 pm

Mr.Kholl, you have a excelent job... its deserve the prize and I can wait for the new release.
[]'s meu irmão !!!!
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Postby mr_kholl on Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:41 pm

_ferry_: I'm very proud to see the 1st. post was made by you! thanks a lot Ferry! hey....let's see that ATM next year...ok?

booman: Thanks a lot booman! very to see your comments! thanks for the paticience to see all details, texts, etc... :D

feldm4n: Thanks a lot Matt! I got your point. But living in a country like mine (I really hate 'cry' about it...but sometimes I need to explain that)...you need to find a way to make the things works! so, I really did my very best to show that final pics which you saw! I almost left this year...but the desire to participate this great event was stronger!

asgneto: Tino my bro....thanks a lot!!!


...


I would like to THANK ALL YOU GUYS/GIRLS WHO VOTED IN MY CASE!!! THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH!!
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Postby BoxBuilder on Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:19 pm

I understand your pain a little. I live in WAY far South Texas and I literally have every nut and bolt shipped in. All materials...everything.

Matt probably seemed like he was being a little hard on you, but I know him very well, and he is 10 times harder on himself. We discussed your work at great length and you do have a lot of talent. I too will keep an eye out for your future work.

My compliments on an excellent mod.

G
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Postby Boddaker on Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:31 pm

Great job mr. kholl! You managed to back up your last year's winning case with yet another awesome piece. Now that the contest is over, I hope that you continue to work on LayerEx and make it even better than it is now.

Congrats! :D
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Postby knud on Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:58 pm

Great job mr_kholl, but you already knew that I guess :P

When are there gonna be some new updates on this case?
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Postby mr_kholl on Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:25 am

BoxBuilder: Thanks for your comments!! nice that you understand that 'pain'! it's really hard when you wait something which takes weeks or months...

Boddaker: Thanks bro!!! and congrats a lot for you beautiful rig!!! perfect!

knud // elessar: Thanks my bro Knud!! i'm happy to see your comments here!! I will start my posts about the 2006 entries tomorrow! I saw very nice things this year! I will place comments about each one.
Last edited by mr_kholl on Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby zhukart on Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:15 am

Thanks for high appreciation of my work. Must say that your LayerEX was my favourite on this contest and had my vote.
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Postby BoxBuilder on Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:42 pm

mr_kkholl,

A dear friend has asked for a mod, and I said anything you want of course, and he said, an automotive theme...so now I am stuck doing it.

I was doing my research when I remembered you last mod and all those wonderful gauges. I was hoping you would not mind some tech help with this area as you obviously have it down pat?

G
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Postby Wacft on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:13 am

this was my favorite mod, i look forward to seeing your cases every year.
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Postby ID on Wed Dec 13, 2006 1:07 pm

BoxBuilder wrote:I was doing my research when I remembered you last mod and all those wonderful gauges. I was hoping you would not mind some tech help with this area as you obviously have it down pat?


Ahh you and me both. I've been trying to find some information on how Kholl made those amazing gauges but I haven't had much luck. The buttons he had were really cool too.
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Postby BoxBuilder on Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:46 pm

InfectiousDust wrote:
BoxBuilder wrote:I was doing my research when I remembered you last mod and all those wonderful gauges. I was hoping you would not mind some tech help with this area as you obviously have it down pat?


Ahh you and me both. I've been trying to find some information on how Kholl made those amazing gauges but I haven't had much luck. The buttons he had were really cool too.


Sources for the VU meters he used are pretty easy, and I don't think printing new faces for them would be hard of course, but if the ones he used actually work for the things printed on them, like CPU and fan speed, well that makes em 3 times as cool =)

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