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Monday, June 6, 2011

Introduction to The Penguin Palace Mod

[caption id="attachment_18" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Cool & Frosty: The completed Penguin Palace case mod"]Penguin Palace Mod completed[/caption]

This case mod project started when I had the idea that it might be interesting to run coolant through the side of the case. It was a relatively quick case modification, meaning time spent on the project was less than fifty hours from the time I picked up the tools.

The custom build Plexiglas case used for the core structure was donated by a friend. He’d had it for several years and it was a bit different from the clear plastic cases available now. The entire front drive bay assembly has to be removed to install drives, and only part of the side panel swings open using clear plastic hinges.

[caption id="attachment_19" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The clear acrylic case has a hinged side door and the entire front pulls out to install drives."]Clear acrylic case[/caption]

The rear lacked covers, so I made some clear ones attached to a couple of brushed aluminum slot covers. I left the I/O port cover off; while it might have fit, it couldn’t snap in, and left too much of a gap to attach cables.  There were also numerous fan openings on the front, top side and rear of the case which presented construction challenges.

[caption id="attachment_20" align="alignnone" width="224" caption="The case was missing rear slot covers and had multiple fan holes in the front, back, top and door."]back of case[/caption]

Clear case side view

The combination of a clear acrylic case with blue or UV lighting creates a cold appearance, which gave me the inspiration for a snow or ice theme. In keeping with this theme, I selected blue, white and silver whenever possible during the mod and when choosing components.  The OS is Ubuntu Linux which suggested penguins as the finishing touch.

[caption id="attachment_22" align="alignnone" width="291" caption="Penguins in the dark"]Penguin case lighted[/caption]

In the coming posts, I will describe how I created the waterfall effect, the panels and lighting, and provide a complete list of the components that were used in this construction.

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