Stalled S700: Salvo Studios <23L ATX Steel Watercooled Unibody Chassis

annasoh323

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I think the next burst of inspiration will come from seeing a more completed build, if you're able to still do that. Spitball #2 thought: Would it be possible to video your building process and throw it up in a private YT link? Then, only those with the link can see it. It wouldn't have to be fancy, just a rough cut of what you're thinking and doing while building. That may be helpful to record your thoughts since this is an atypical case design. That would also help us see what you're thinking. I know it's a lot of work, hence why I sorted it under the Spitball thought category.
 
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annasoh323

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Hey @grsychckn, I just saw this post in @Marwan's thread for his own console-style case (hope he doesn't mind me borrowing that post and reposting it here for inspiration) and wondered if there were any conceptual insights to be gleaned from his approach to a case extension. In retrospect, it would be similar in concept to your own prototype acrylic spacers and perhaps even the Louqe tophats. Since there was a bit of waffling on the width extension of the S700, would it be possible to fab an extension bracket for those that want/need extra clearance, either on the flex side or mainboard side? I'm imagining a frame with small tubes welded in that can serve as passthroughs for extra long screws. That could be a bit sketchy; I'm sure that there is a better way to attach the bracket. Perhaps seperate tabs for mounting the bracket to the main chassis and then additional threaded tabs for attachment of the side panel? Those could also be designed and fabbed seperately from the main chassis. Those builds that want/need extra volume can have it.

I just, uh, don't know how to reconcile that to the front radiator area. It may look a bit dorky with wide extension pieces hanging off while the front rad area remains the same. It could look cool; almost like an attack helicopter carrying extra payload (Oahu has every branch of the military here so we get a lot of chopper traffic). Or, you could have "false" extensions where you have the bracket goes all the way forward. Then the side panel would need to be bigger... well, a small hollow there might not be terrible (I tried going back to see if I could catch a photo of the proto with side panels on but couldn't find it after my cursory search).

I'm foreseeing benefits in tube routing, clearance for over-sized video card coolers, fans, rads, and water blocks. Maybe even ATX PSUs (probably not because of the necessary lip of the case).
 

Marwan

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Feb 5, 2018
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Hey @grsychckn, I just saw this post in @Marwan's thread for his own console-style case (hope he doesn't mind me borrowing that post and reposting it here for inspiration) and wondered if there were any conceptual insights to be gleaned from his approach to a case extension. In retrospect, it would be similar in concept to your own prototype acrylic spacers and perhaps even the Louqe tophats. Since there was a bit of waffling on the width extension of the S700, would it be possible to fab an extension bracket for those that want/need extra clearance, either on the flex side or mainboard side? I'm imagining a frame with small tubes welded in that can serve as passthroughs for extra long screws. That could be a bit sketchy; I'm sure that there is a better way to attach the bracket. Perhaps seperate tabs for mounting the bracket to the main chassis and then additional threaded tabs for attachment of the side panel? Those could also be designed and fabbed seperately from the main chassis. Those builds that want/need extra volume can have it.

I just, uh, don't know how to reconcile that to the front radiator area. It may look a bit dorky with wide extension pieces hanging off while the front rad area remains the same. It could look cool; almost like an attack helicopter carrying extra payload (Oahu has every branch of the military here so we get a lot of chopper traffic). Or, you could have "false" extensions where you have the bracket goes all the way forward. Then the side panel would need to be bigger... well, a small hollow there might not be terrible (I tried going back to see if I could catch a photo of the proto with side panels on but couldn't find it after my cursory search).

I'm foreseeing benefits in tube routing, clearance for over-sized video card coolers, fans, rads, and water blocks. Maybe even ATX PSUs (probably not because of the necessary lip of the case).
Hi annasoh323,

Thank you for taking the liberty and mention my post. We all get our inspirations from one another. A pm would have been more appreciated.

Good luck to all.
 

annasoh323

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Apr 4, 2018
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Hi annasoh323,

Thank you for taking the liberty and mention my post. We all get our inspirations from one another. A pm would have been more appreciated.

Good luck to all.
Sent you a PM. Thanks for your graciousness and apologies for my jumping the gun.
 
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grsychckn

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Any updates on how things are looking?
I have to drill a new motherboard mount as the supermicro board doesn't have standard mounts. In fact, it only shared 3 of the mounts I had designed as standard mounts. I'm thinking I need to make the mounts less static somehow so I'm thinking of standoff mounts for standard boards and slots where standoffs can be adjusted. Not yet quite sure how to do this but been thinking hard.

Speaking of hard: hard tubing is a pain to get right if bending by hand. I wasted a ton of tubing to get most of it right, but it doesn't look as nice as I'd like. Pictures later tonight.
 
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Zephyraeon

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Nov 15, 2018
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If you're thinking about removing FLEX ATX PSU support and you want to increase the space available for watercooling GPUs, could you flip the SFX PSU over taking up the FLEX ATX space and giving yourself an extra ~40mm space on the GPU side? I see that the manufacturing is done with two "halves", but if it was possible for it to be placed there you'd be able to fit more on the GPU side without having to increase the volume.

Disclaimer: Not an ATX mobo user, so take my feedback with a grain of salt.
 

grsychckn

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If you're thinking about removing FLEX ATX PSU support and you want to increase the space available for watercooling GPUs, could you flip the SFX PSU over taking up the FLEX ATX space and giving yourself an extra ~40mm space on the GPU side? I see that the manufacturing is done with two "halves", but if it was possible for it to be placed there you'd be able to fit more on the GPU side without having to increase the volume.

Disclaimer: Not an ATX mobo user, so take my feedback with a grain of salt.
I like your suggestion. It got me thinking that the first thing I need to do is figure out how much additional vertical space I need to add for the GPUs. The SFX PSU location was chosen for two primary reasons: 1. Weight distribution. 2. dGPU is most likely going to pull more power than the mainboard/CPU so I wanted the beefier unit on the same side as the GPUs. That said, I could swap the PSUs and with the addition of a passthru at the bottom there wouldn't be much additional wiring headache.

I took a look at my Epyc system and realized I'm going to have to widen the S700. There's really no way around it unless I were to drop 3-slot support for the PCIe devices and reduce that chamber in width to accommodate the increased width for the mainboard/CPU side. The odd thing with doing that is the chambers won't be even widths so it would probably look funny. I think I'll need to increase the width by at least 5mm on each side which is significant, but not overly so. After doing that and increasing the height, the volume is definitely going up.

The other idea I had was to only increase the support for wider PCIe devices on 1 of the flex slots. This way the overall height wouldn't be too effected but it would still grant me clearance for things like the front button and between the mainboard and the FlexATX PSU.

I've been so busy at work and home that I've barely had enough time to keep up with the few orders still coming in for the S401. There's a lot of correspondence going on behind the scene with customers (new and old) and for some reason I've had a lot of custom acrylic orders which requires huge blocks of my time. I intend on taking one day off next week (probably Thursday) to get my nose back into Solidworks and make all the changes I want to the S700 for the next prototype. It will probably take more than one day to finish everything I want because I have to look critically after each change to make sure what I did is good.

If there are suggestions you want to make for the S700 please do so now so I can consider them (or if you prefer one of the options above speak now).
 
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annasoh323

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Trying to keep it slim while routing custom tubing was always an ambitious goal. Personally, after seeing the Louqe Ghost S1, having the opposing sides of the case be different widths doesn't bother me as much as having suboptimal spacing would. Granted, it doesn't have as much of a top seam as the S700, but it's still fairly obvious when looking at the I/O panels on the rear of the case.

Pretty sure a dual Epyc server build is the worst case scenario from a spacing perspective, though.

Spitball idea #... whatever we're up to now: I know some cases have (what I assume are) tube exits in the rear of the case. It seems like these are for external components of some sort. Would you be able to do that and mount, say, a pump/res combo on the back somewhere? I'm eyeing the space between the Flex PSU and mainboard I/O. (I am extremely out of my depth on this watercooling stuff. Also, I've never actually seen any cases do this yet.)
 

grsychckn

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Trying to keep it slim while routing custom tubing was always an ambitious goal. Personally, after seeing the Louqe Ghost S1, having the opposing sides of the case be different widths doesn't bother me as much as having suboptimal spacing would. Granted, it doesn't have as much of a top seam as the S700, but it's still fairly obvious when looking at the I/O panels on the rear of the case.

Pretty sure a dual Epyc server build is the worst case scenario from a spacing perspective, though.

Spitball idea #... whatever we're up to now: I know some cases have (what I assume are) tube exits in the rear of the case. It seems like these are for external components of some sort. Would you be able to do that and mount, say, a pump/res combo on the back somewhere? I'm eyeing the space between the Flex PSU and mainboard I/O. (I am extremely out of my depth on this watercooling stuff. Also, I've never actually seen any cases do this yet.)
I think I need to first accurately measure just how much additional space I need to make the fittings clear the (would-be) side panels. If you look at any hard tubing fittings, you'll notice that they have a much larger diameter than the tubes themselves (because the tubes fit inside the fittings). These larger fittings in combination with the longer 90-degree (rotary) fittings coming up from the blocks means there is a need for more clearance than I initially expected. And I guess the Epyc board could be worse-case scenario but since the blocks are TR4 blocks, the same clearance issues would show up on any Threadripper systems as well.

Good point on the external holes. I guess I could make some holes for the possibility of expanding the case vertically for an addition of more radiator space. Then the tubing would route outside the case to another chamber and then back again. I might have to see how large these holes normally are and how costly the grommets would be to install.
 

annasoh323

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Apr 4, 2018
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I think I need to first accurately measure just how much additional space I need to make the fittings clear the (would-be) side panels. If you look at any hard tubing fittings, you'll notice that they have a much larger diameter than the tubes themselves (because the tubes fit inside the fittings). These larger fittings in combination with the longer 90-degree (rotary) fittings coming up from the blocks means there is a need for more clearance than I initially expected. And I guess the Epyc board could be worse-case scenario but since the blocks are TR4 blocks, the same clearance issues would show up on any Threadripper systems as well.

Good point on the external holes. I guess I could make some holes for the possibility of expanding the case vertically for an addition of more radiator space. Then the tubing would route outside the case to another chamber and then back again. I might have to see how large these holes normally are and how costly the grommets would be to install.
I could swear that the NCase M1 has a pair of grommets, as a possible starting point
 

grsychckn

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Got some Epyc panels done. The ones on the GPU side are all messed up as I forgot holes for the PSU and was thinking I'd try to put the Vega FE watercooled cards in but forgot they are too wide with the PSU there. Regarless, they look pretty cool. And actually fit pretty well too.













BTW, i decided to play with the panels because I'm waiting on more water cooling fittings to arrive before I can finish the plumbing.
 

grsychckn

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BTW, I came up with a solution for the width and clearance of the fittings. I had originally counter-sunk the panel surface so that they wouldn't stick out much when installed compared to the side of the front rad housing. This created a problem where I wasn't sure how I was going to cover the sides when the front rad was extended out to accommodate larger motherboards. I'm now going to move the mounting surface out to be even with the front rad part which will gain me 1/8" on each side for clearance and now I'll also be able to make panels all one-size as they will cover the sides of the front rad mount when not extended and sit slightly back when extended, killing two birds with one stone.
 

grsychckn

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Awesome looking panels grsychckn!

What material did you construct them out of, and how thick did you have to go to maintain rigidity with the perforations?
Thanks! That material is a P95 matte acrylic 1/4" thick. This material is not something I've made available for purchase on the website as it is very expensive (and wasted half of it by not doing the GPU side correctly). I can, but would not suggest going thinner than 1/4". 1/8" acrylic would work but it is very flimsy and is even hard to cut on the laser without some deformation.
 
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annasoh323

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<checks for updates. Realizes last update was yesterday. Crawls back into hole>

I was contemplating mATX boards and their possible use in this enclosure. From what I can tell, mATX mounting is mostly the same as ATX. Is it similar enough to be considered officially supported? Would the length reduction of an mATX board provide any extra clearances to the PCIe extender and cable passthrough ports?

Sweet Moses, that matte acrylic is sleek...
 

grsychckn

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<checks for updates. Realizes last update was yesterday. Crawls back into hole>

I was contemplating mATX boards and their possible use in this enclosure. From what I can tell, mATX mounting is mostly the same as ATX. Is it similar enough to be considered officially supported? Would the length reduction of an mATX board provide any extra clearances to the PCIe extender and cable passthrough ports?

Sweet Moses, that matte acrylic is sleek...
Yes* (mATX support) and Yes (shorter PCIe extenders).

Edit: I want to say that although the extenders won't have to be as long, I'm probably not going to keep varying lengths in stock just in case someone wants to install a mATX instead of a standard ATX board. I think it best I buy as many of the same length cables to help keep costs down and if they are longer than they need to be at least they would support an upgrade if the customer decides to switch to ATX from mATX in the future.

*I want to officially support mATX and the standoff pattern should do that but I know as soon as I say it's supported, there will be some random mainboard that might not fit. Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to buy all the motherboards to test-fit, but I will do my best to support all that I can.

On a different note, I was going to take off one work day this week to try and make all the desired changes to the S700 in Solidworks but alas we have visitors this week and I won't be able to take off. Also, without going into detail the government shutdown will impact the amount of capital I have to invest in another prototype. This is probably for the best as it will force me to take my time and really critique the design before I submit it again for another round of prototyping.

I'm still hoping to be able to take off a day next week to work on the design and make some solid progress. I've already updated it to be 0.5" taller and about 1/8" wider on each side. I've added the front panel pushbutton top and centered as well as added a new pass through hole for the PCIe extender(s). I've also backed off the standoffs from the rear IO cutout to provide more compatibility with some of the mainboards with IO covers built-in (Asus primarily). I'm not entirely sure I have the spacing correct, but I know it's going to be better than the S401.