Part 3: Hinged side panels
For the Quetzalcoatl mod, I wanted sloped panels to create a pyramid shape under the head of the feathered serpent cap. To keep the weight down, I used sheets of PVC plastic for the extended side panels, but had to come up with a way to angle the sides uniformly, and to have enough strength to hold up to handling. If I made them stationary, it might make it difficult to access the inside for wiring, lighting, or other purposes. I came up with the idea to hinge the panels, using a strip of continuous piano hinge along the bottom.
A section of piano hinge is cut to the length of the panel, centering the holes as best possible. Angle brackets are riveted to the hinge first. This sets the spacing of the brackets along the panel. Next, mark the holes of where the brackets line up on the panel, and drill holes for rivets. Anchor to the bracket and hinge assembly to the panel with more rivets. (I used pop rivets, and then flattened them with a hammer and anvil to make them extra tight and a lower profile.)
With the hinges anchored to the sides and front, panels of PVC plastic were then riveted to the sections of piano hinge. The hinge creates an adjustable angle between the base and the sides of the case and allows a way to gain access into the cavity as needed. Two sheet metal screws anchor the top of the plastic sheet to the side panels of the case.
To allow air flow into the front and sides of the case, I used some pierced sheet metal and pop-riveted it to the brackets and any unused hinge holes along the bottom edges. The pierced sheet is attached in sections so either of the case side panels can be removed for interior access; only the front section is riveted to the case itself.
Where the angled PVC side panels are attached to the case's panels and can be removed, screws hold the PVC securely to the metal side panel. The front panel is also hinged, but is not removable. Two magnets are hot-glued to the inside of the PVC to keep this panel in place when closed.
The top of the case has a new radiator fan hole that will need to be able to exhaust the heat somehow. This means an open chamber must be made underneath the head of the feathered serpent. I used pop-rivets to anchor a thin PVC plastic sheet in a curved shell, leaving the back open to vent hot air from the top fan. Over this, I formed a piece of steel hardware cloth, folding the edges under.
Two pieces of adhesive-backed hook-and-loop Velcro hold the hardware cloth to the plastic shell. The self-stick Velcro can be held temporarily in place against the screen, but will pull off the first time the screen is removed. To secure the Velcro more permanently, I added a layer of hot glue right through the mesh onto to the sticky side of the tape.
With the basic foundation complete, all of the components are installed in the case, including the CPU and hard drive cooling blocks, and the two radiators and pump are attached to the case.
Hoses were cut to move water from the radiator to the CPU block, from the block to the pump, to the hard drive cooler, and then into the radiators again. While almost any order could have been used, this flow should move the cooled water from the radiator across the CPU first, before being pushed on to the hard drives and back into the radiators. A fill-port reservoir was attached outside on the rear of the case, and the hose connected with a "Y" splitter just before the pump's intake.
I connected a drain hose to the lower radiator hose using another "Y" adapter and an aquarium hose valve to easily drain the system if needed. After adding some water and coolant to the reservoir, I used an external power supply to run the pump to check for leaks and to remove as much air from the system as possible.
Next time: Packing foam
Welcome to the Micro Center Tech Support Blog!
Find free technical support on a variety of products featured at Micro Center and plenty of how-tos on new technology. Start searching our Blog below or search our Tech Center archives »
Can't find what your looking for? Take advantage of our Tech Support services »
Join the MC Tech Support Community Forum: Get direct advice from the Knowledge Experts @ Micro Center.
Click here to access the Forum »