Completed Custom SFF/mITX Aluminum Case

zhl146

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jul 14, 2016
102
67
I just bought another card (single fan) from Newegg, will test both.
I love the look of Gaming X but its a BIG card unfortunately.
Many of the single fan cards won't fit since they tend to be tall and short rather than short and long. Just a heads up!
 

grsychckn

SFF Guru
Original poster
Salvo Studios
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Oct 11, 2017
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I just bought another card (single fan) from Newegg, will test both.
I love the look of Gaming X but its a BIG card unfortunately.
Feel free to contact me and ask if any card you are going to buy will fit. I could at least tell you whether or not it will be a tight fit or no fit.
 

juvenchan

Caliper Novice
Oct 14, 2017
28
10
Many of the single fan cards won't fit since they tend to be tall and short rather than short and long. Just a heads up!
Feel free to contact me and ask if any card you are going to buy will fit. I could at least tell you whether or not it will be a tight fit or no fit.
Thanks for pointing out the concerns, the second card that I got is also an MSI RX580, it's a single fan, 198 x 112 x 40 mm, smaller than the Vega 64 in all dimensions.
https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/Radeon-RX-580-8G-V1/Specification
 

Ants

Efficiency Noob
Nov 8, 2017
7
3
Would adding high static pressure or high airflow fans on the outside blowing air into the case help with cooling?

I noticed the vents can fit 2 120mm fans each. I may buy some and play with the idea and let you guys know if no one else has tried yet.
 

grsychckn

SFF Guru
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Salvo Studios
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Oct 11, 2017
1,043
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Would adding high static pressure or high airflow fans on the outside blowing air into the case help with cooling?

I noticed the vents can fit 2 120mm fans each. I may buy some and play with the idea and let you guys know if no one else has tried yet.
I've not tried that, but it would be interesting to see what results you get (including fitment/looks).
 

grsychckn

SFF Guru
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Salvo Studios
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Oct 11, 2017
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I've got a thin white wire that isn't connected to anything coming off of the power button. Is it supposed to be loose or is it supposed to connected to the led controller?

It is supposed to be connected to the controller. There are two white wires. One is the power for the LED button, the other is the ground for the warm white LEDs on the LED strip.

If the LED on the button is not working, the white wire needs to be connected to the "V+" output on the controller.

If the white LEDs on the strip aren't working, that wire needs to be connected to the "Warm White (WW)" output on the controller.

Below is an image of the controller with the plastic housing still on so you can see the labels. Also, page 8 in the manual (link here) shows the wiring diagram of the controller. If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me here or via e-mail.

 

zhl146

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jul 14, 2016
102
67
It is supposed to be connected to the controller. There are two white wires. One is the power for the LED button, the other is the ground for the warm white LEDs on the LED strip.

If the LED on the button is not working, the white wire needs to be connected to the "V+" output on the controller.

If the white LEDs on the strip aren't working, that wire needs to be connected to the "Warm White (WW)" output on the controller.

Below is an image of the controller with the plastic housing still on so you can see the labels. Also, page 8 in the manual (link here) shows the wiring diagram of the controller. If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me here or via e-mail.


Nothing was working before. I connected the thin white wire to the V+ output as you directed and now my power button LED cycles between several different colors. However, my LED strips are non responsive. The led on the controller board is lit up red and pushing the physical button on it doesn't do anything. Any tips? XD

One note: I don't have any other ways to power this thing so I threw it on a fan header on the mobo. Since it's just two wires, I may just switch it to a 2-pin connector so I can throw it on the pwr LED pins of my front panel connector.

EDIT: I was finally able to access it with the phone app and I can change the color on the button. I still don't have any response on the strips. I guess I will take it apart and check the wiring later.
 
Last edited:

grsychckn

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Oct 11, 2017
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Hopefully the picture below will help. This is the order of the wiring for the controller as wired in these cases. I am out of town for thanksgiving so I don't have cases accessible to take new pictures so I hope this suffices. Let me know how it goes. My guess is the black power wire for the LED strips is disconnected and needs to go into the same connection as the white one you connected.



Edit: Note at the red and green wires are out of order. For some reason the LED strips I bought weren't R-G-B but rather G-R-B which messed up the wiring on all the controllers.
 

grsychckn

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Oct 11, 2017
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One note: I don't have any other ways to power this thing so I threw it on a fan header on the mobo. Since it's just two wires, I may just switch it to a 2-pin connector so I can throw it on the pwr LED pins of my front panel connector.

I just got home and was thinking about how you wanted to re-wire the LED controller for power from the mainboard header. I don't think this will work because the LED controller expects a 12V source and most (if not all) mainboard headers only supply 5V. You'll have to use a mainboard fan header or molex/SATA to 3-pin adapter to power the LED controller.
 
Last edited:

zhl146

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jul 14, 2016
102
67
I just got home and was thinking about how you wanted to re-wire the LED controller for power from the mainboard header. I don't think this will work because the LED controller expects a 12V source and most (if not all) mainboard heards only supply 5V. You'll have to use a mainboard fan header or molex/SATA to 3-pin adapter to power the LED controller.

Yeah I was thinking the same thing. It would have been really convenient though XD
 
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zhl146

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jul 14, 2016
102
67
I just finished installing some parts in the case and I wanted to give you a few comments

1) thank god for the cutout behind the motherboard. I actually swapped a mobo out and forgot to uninstall/reinstall the M.2 drive. I thought I would have to take everything out, but then remembered I could probably access it from behind.

2) I fixed the LED strips. It did turn out that it's pretty hard to shove more than one wire in each of those holes and then tighten the screws so that they will hold. I'm not entirely happy with how much real estate that LED controller takes up, but I'm also not sure what you can do about it either.

3) I really like the power button. I am excited to see the improved power buttons that you got.

4) The stock cables that come with the SF600 are really stiff and are really hard to work with in this case. The ATX cable is actually only just long enough to connect on my mobo. I would definitely recommend getting custom cables that aren't as stiff for this case.

5) I think you should think about a different GPU mounting solution. I was having some issues while installing my 1080 because the button heads on the screws actually prevent the GPU from sitting flush with the case and also prevent the GPU from being fully seated in the slot. This could probably be ameliorated by simply using flat head screws of the same kind, but I'm not a fan of relying on such a small piece of aluminum that I could strip out very easily or if I just simply use it over several installs. I am currently using a case screw instead of the 2 button screws that you recommend and the GPU can be installed flush this way.

6) I'm looking for thumbscrew replacements for the long stand screws so that I can take the stand off more quickly and without tools. What kind of length should I optimally be looking for? 1/2 inch 6-32?

7) I think the back panel could use more support since it's not actually attached to anything. Every time I plug the power cord into the back I am a bit worried about the flex in the back panel. It's probably not a real issue, but it does make the case seem less rigid. If the cover panel had a screw or two that fastened to the back, this would probably solve this issue as well as the issue of the cover panel bowing out slightly.
 
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grsychckn

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zhl146, I really like your suggestions. If I get enough interest in making more of these I'll take them all into consideration. As for the thumb screws, #6-32 size is correct and ideally they would be 3/8" long but 1/2" should also work. The screws included with the case are #6-32 x 1/2" but that's only because I couldn't purchase them in 3/8" length.
 
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zhl146

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jul 14, 2016
102
67
The black looks amazing; I just got it installed. The modification to the stand cushioning worked and it looks a lot better now. I will get the white panels in the mail tomorrow or the day after.

Things that I need to do:

1) There's still something strange going on with my LEDs. I got it to flicker on for like a second and then it stopped working again XD. I swear the connections are correct this time, but I think with so many cables bunched up in the case, they may have gotten pulled loose again during install. This section of the case may need more protection from outside interference.

2) Customize my cables for length and pliability.

3) Get thumb screws for the stand attachment.

4) Figure out a way to stop the cover from bulging out a few mm.

Thanks again to grsychkn for a great case!
 

ZeroPucks

Caliper Novice
Nov 28, 2017
25
20
Wow, I wish I had known about this when it was first getting started. I only recently read about this on the /r/sffpc subreddit, but the name wasn't mentioned.

I'm looking to downsize from a SilverStone ML08 and the Zaber Sentry was the only console-style case ~7L volume I was aware of at the time with an integrated PSU. I know this is a little bigger than the Sentry, but I like how the Salvo has the GPU and CPU facing the same way for venting, allowing for horizontal orientation without thermal compromises. If there were any black cases left I probably would have jumped on one. As it is now, I'll be keeping an eye on this for any future development.
 
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grsychckn

SFF Guru
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Salvo Studios
Gold Supporter
Oct 11, 2017
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The black looks amazing; I just got it installed. The modification to the stand cushioning worked and it looks a lot better now. I will get the white panels in the mail tomorrow or the day after.

Things that I need to do:

1) There's still something strange going on with my LEDs. I got it to flicker on for like a second and then it stopped working again XD. I swear the connections are correct this time, but I think with so many cables bunched up in the case, they may have gotten pulled loose again during install. This section of the case may need more protection from outside interference.

4) Figure out a way to stop the cover from bulging out a few mm.

Thanks again to grsychkn for a great case!

You're welcome! I have a few ideas on the above issues you bring up.

1. I don't know about protecting the cables but if I make more cases, there won't be an LED controller built-in. Too much wiring and custom work to get a final product. If for some reason you think the controller itself is bad, I have a couple spares just in case. However, I tested every controller and the lights before I shipped to make sure they were wired correctly. Yours might have been just loose enough to shake free during shipping or during installation.

4. There are a few things you can try. The first would be to bend the cover and create an "anti-bulge". However, I think it happens because the the vented panel is wider than the base unit and when the screws are tightened it forces it to bulge. That said, there are two other things you can try. The first being to install some washers between the vented cover and the base unit where the mounting screws are inserted. This will close the gap between the two panels and keep the vented panel from flexing as the screws are tightened. The other option would be to bend the mounting tabs of the case outward to try and close that gap. You should be able to do this with your hands but be very careful on the tab where the USB adapter mounts - either loosen the adapter or just don't bend that tab as you might break the USB adapter.