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Io - Logic Supply MC600 modded into portable gaming case. (In progress - Galax GTX 1070 Mini)

zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
Hey!

This is a work in progress, but some things have started to get underway so I'll start adding updates and indexing what I'm up to.

The first thing to note: Hans (@breakfast) from Logic Supply sent this case to me for free--they even paid shipping! The front panel was barely scratched and I suppose that means they couldn't sell it. Of course, I don't mind that because I'm replacing the front panel! Thank you very much, Hans and Logic Supply.

The next thing to note: I'm in way over my head, this is my first modding project and I have pretty limited knowledge and minimal experience with modding in general.

The last thing to note: I have a vision for this project, but I'm kind of stumbling through the dark on my way there. There are a few details that I think would be cool and I'm trying to investigate whether they are feasible or not, but there's honestly no telling what the end result will look like!

"Why the name Io?"

I like names that reference mythology or cosmology. I also like... cows and space? The Galax 1070 Mini has two fans and the CPU cooler has only one fan. The cutouts for these fans in the top panel of the case--I'm envisioning--will end up looking similar to the letters "I" and "o."

...I like the cheesy play on I/O and whatnot, too.

Status: Day 3, Re-do by a friend and his band saw.

Previous Updates:


State of my Hardware: 4/7/2017

References:
 
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zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
So, I just did some hand-sawing of wood. I bought a Coping Saw and a "Keyhole Saw" for about $7 each at lowes. The 3/4" thick piece of 24" * 24" birch plywood was about $10.

I used the MC600 to lay out the front panel, then used a ruler from work to make some guide lines. I borrowed my workplace's vise to hold the plywood as I sawed it. This was clumsier than I expected, but it got the job done. The first cut, I used the coping saw for and it was pretty crooked. It's really neat how you can turn a coping saw while cutting but it takes some getting used to. For the second cut I used the keyhole saw and it was way more effort than it should have been. I needed to take breaks because my hand would cramp and the saw just moved extremely slowly. I spent about two and a half hours including breaks (and a quick dinner) day 1.

Day 2 I attacked as much as I could with the coping saw and progress was much faster. Eventually, I had to move back to the keyhole saw for the last ~1.5" of material because the 'bow' of the coping saw was not allowing me to cut straight down any more. It took me about one hour with one or two really short breaks to do the same amount of work I did Day 1.

Happy with this stopping point, but I clearly need machines to clean up my lines because these cuts are anything but square. I'm pretty satisfied with how well I followed my lines on the plane in front of me but fairly disappointed with how crooked I was cutting through the wood. Oh well, first try. Looks like there's enough material to make this piece work after tidying things up! And we need to take some material off for the veneers!

Here's the album:

 

robbee

King of Cable Management
Sep 24, 2016
700
942
The 'keyhole saw' is not the best tool if you want to cut straight lines by hand. A standard hand saw is easier due to the larger blade. Miter saws and circular saws give the best results, but they're more expensive and electrical.

Remember that you can also get plywood lasered. This way you can make much more complex shapes and cuts.
 
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zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
@Ceros_X, thanks. Hopefully I end up with something cool or some helpful lessons to show.

@iFreilicht: I was using this exact saw. Originally I was planning on using a power tool to cut the outside of the piece and also waiting to cut the outer shape, but I realized it didin't make much sense to do a great job on the inside and then just barely get the outer measurements off. The outer measurements are the ones that need to be most precise so we should try to get those right first! (I think?)

My friend gave me permission to use his belt sander tomorrow, so we're going to see if I can even this piece out. If I can't do that, I'll probably set aside ~$30 for a jigsaw which should give me a clean enough cut to dress up. Should be a lot less work with that, too. I did use less than 1/4" of the plywood I bought so I have quite a few more attempts left if I need to.

@robbee, are there any internet services that would ship me a laser-cut piece of plywood? I don't think anywhere local to me uses laser cuts and if they do, they're probably too dedicated to oilfield oders to bother with small jobs like this. I can try asking around.
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,243
2,357
freilite.com
@iFreilicht: I was using this exact saw.

I'm by no means an expert in woodworking, but from what I know, a keyhole saw is designed to cut tight corners, not long and straight edges. Do you have any other saws at your disposal like a jack saw or a pull saw? I've used both in the past and pull saws in particular are amazing for a job like this.
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
These are the only saws I have at my disposal, I'll probably just go for the jigsaw because I trust it to be more square than any hand tool after this experience. But if a pull saw is cheap enough I might give it a shot.
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
Current state of my hardware:

It's a little janky. I had a i7-4790K in my old gaming system, long story, but I started using server hardware for gaming. It was another project that ended up falling through. The 4790K was in an ATX motherboard, but I really want to go small. So I sniped a used ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac for ~$100, the seller was up front about the PCIe slot being damaged but functional so I trusted that it wouldn't be an issue. So far it isn't, it's just that the retention clip has broken off... honestly, it's been more convenient to work with like this. I'd like to update my motherboard/CPU (and get more M.2 and DDR4 RAM), but I'd also like to wait and see how Ryzen and ITX AM4 boards mature. It'd also be irresponsible to spring for a R7 when the R5 series could be 'almost as good.' Currently my max RAM is 16GB and I would really like to use 32GB like I have been for a while now.

For the time being, a NH-L9i and its ugly beige fan are cooling my CPU. It's doing good work, but I honestly can't stand looking at that fan. The fan will likely be visible in this mod (due to fan cutouts on the top panel), so when the time comes I'm going to try different fans (and different coolers) to see if there are any comparable teams or 'close enough' contenders to allow me to use a more attractive fan.

The Galax 1070 Mini I chose because--at the time--it was the only mini 1070 with two fans on it and it also is the smallest 1070 I know of. I do like the silver aesthetic of it, and I was hopeful it would neatly fit into a S4 Mini if this project fell through. (It does fit the S4, no modding to a DC connector necessary!) The reason I wanted a 1070 specifically is because prior to this card I was using a 980. The 1060 is a great card and it's much more efficient than the 980, but it's very much a 'sidegrade' rather than an 'upgrade' to the 980. I couldn't help myself from upgrading. So far, my experience with the card is that it's overkill. It plays Just Cause 3 at 1440p without breaking a sweat (or even really picking up the fan speed), I haven't started putting the card through its paces on more intense games because I'm throwing all my spending money at this system and mod. Haha

The PSU situation is going to be an adventure. I may end up surrendering and getting an external brick, but the main purpose of this mod is to make the system brickless. I currently have my hands on an Artesyn CPS250-M Series power supply (24V variant), and so far as I can tell, it puts out enough juice to power my system. According to readings from a Kill-a-Watt while gaming. I'm not an electrical engineer, I've never wired anything in my life, and I'll probably blow my computer up and electrocute myself, but hopefully in the end I can have a working AC-DC power supply? So far as I can tell, this will be the hardest and most frustrating and stressful part of the build. So, the Artesyn will be my 250W AC-DC power supply feeding into a HDPLEX 300W DC-ATX board, which will distribute power to my GPU and Motherboard/CPU. HDPLEX will likely soon release their 300W AC-DC internal unit, but it's larger than this Artesyn unit and I will have to add a little more clearance. I'm committed to giving the Artesyn unit a shot partially because I already have it, but also because I'd like to try learning the skills necessary to make it work.

I'd like to get spiffy NVME SSDs, but they're pretty expensive and I'm not sure the premium is worth it to me. I'm also considering getting 2.5" SATA SSDs and taking them apart to fit them in the case better, but I'll need to wait and see how the rest of the case is laid out and vented before I can really consider that.
 

Ceros_X

King of Cable Management
Mar 8, 2016
747
658
The PSU situation is going to be an adventure. I may end up surrendering and getting an external brick, but the main purpose of this mod is to make the system brickless. I currently have my hands on an Artesyn CPS250-M Series power supply (24V variant), and so far as I can tell, it puts out enough juice to power my system. According to readings from a Kill-a-Watt while gaming. I'm not an electrical engineer, I've never wired anything in my life, and I'll probably blow my computer up and electrocute myself, but hopefully in the end I can have a working AC-DC power supply?

Are you planning on running forced air on that PSU? Otherwise get an HDPlex 160W AC-DC

" delivers up to 155 watts of output power with free air convection cooling and up to 250 watts with 300 LFM of forced air. "
 
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zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
I don't know what constitutes "forced air," but my GPU's cooler will be blowing air onto the power supply where it's located, assuming things go according to plan. The majority of the air coming off of the card is in the direction of the power supply.
 

Runamok81

Runner of Moks
Jul 27, 2015
429
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troywitthoeft.com
Oh man, this is gonna be good! First, it's really nice to see Hans donating second hand MC600s to the community. Big thanks. I'm excited to see that Artesyn 250W in action, and I definitely agree that PSU placement and cabling will be a big challenge here. Good luck to you @zovc! Wishing the best for this build!
 

stree

Airflow Optimizer
Dec 10, 2016
307
177
Any cheap router inverted and mounted in a bench will cut as straight and as accurate as you need.............You could also make templates so you can repeat the cut as and when needed..Plus the many other things you could do with a router........ rebates, circle cuts, mouldings, dovetails and the list goes on.
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
So my friend Jason agreed to let me use the workshop he has at his home. Little did I know he has a massive, 'industrial' band saw. He's also got really nice squares and much more experience than me.

I showed him my work and, with using squares instead of just my eyes, it was clear I needed a re-do. Jason grabbed the plywood and cut me a piece out in like 10 minutes. This is what he came up with:


So the next tricky part is mounting the plywood to the front panel. I'm planning on drilling holes through the wood and threading into only the case. The screws will be countersunk into the face of the wood (and the veneer) so they shouldn't stick out any. Once the panel is able to be mounted to the case, I'll start playing with the fitment of components more. I can get a very reliable trace of the current openings and line up where the GPU shroud, heatsink, and PCB line up to figure out if I should be ofsetting the AC-DC power supply up or down. And if I'll end up needing to take any material off the shroud/fins.

My project for today is sizing the MC600's screws and trying to order ones that are about 3/4" longer. But my priority today is to take it easy and do some chores. :cool:
 
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zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
Galax told me replacing the thermal paste on my GPU will void the warranty. :(

I guess once everything comes together and I see my thermals I'll decide if that or flashing the BIOS/firmware (to enable 0% fans at idle) is worth it.

Didn't see the screw size on the dimensional drawings of the MC600 so I emailed them and will keep one of the screws in my car in case I can swing by a hardware store.
 
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Biowarejak

Maker of Awesome | User 1615
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Mar 6, 2017
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Yeah I replaced the thermal paste on my LP 750ti, went right through the warranty sticker with reckless abandon... Little did I realize I could have twisted that screw off by hand
 
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zovc

King of Cable Management
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Jan 5, 2017
852
602
I'll look at how the Galax 1070 comes apart this weekend, hopefully. If there aren't any stickers... who's to say I did or didn't reapply the thermal paste?! :p

So, while looking into info on the Artesyn 250W AC-DC, I noticed that it's rated to push out the 250W until it gets up to 50C. After which it pretty sharply tapers down in terms of output. I'm wondering if, instead of putting the AC-DC power supply next to the GPU, if I put it on the other side--near the motherboard/CPU--if I could have the CPU's cooling fan set to exhaust out of the case and pull in room-temperature air near the PSU?

Otherwise, we might be trying to figure out a way to cram the HDPLEX 300W AC-DC in here once it comes out... which could be hard. Or maybe I'll finally resign to having a power brick?
 
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