Production SENTRY 2.0: Evolution of console-sized gaming PC case

Khio

Efficiency Noob
Dec 16, 2019
7
19
Hellow @SFF_awesome ! On the compatibility sheet made by Sentry team ( Here ) the RX 5700 XT Gigabyte Gaming OC is marked not compatible. I think it's too tall, 114.35mm instead of 112mm. Unless you use low profile PCie power cable you will probably bend the top of the case, or put stress on the riser.

I don't know what is your noise tolerance level, but i use a RX 5700 XT reference and I'm actually fine with it. I was expecting a lot more noise, as it is my first blower GPU. I also tried a RTX 2070 EVGA with 2 fans, so i could compare and here is what i think :

At idle most dual fan / open air GPU stop their fan so they make no noise at all, the 5700XT stays at 800rpm at idle, so it is louder, but at 800rpm you need to stick your head on the case to hear it, and the CPU cooler is probably more noisy here anyway.

At full load the RX5700 XT is indeed louder than the RTX 2070, slightly, yea... But both reach noise level i wouldn't call silent anyway. For both card you will hear them at full load and you won't hear them if you have a headset. Unless you are really close to your case i guess.

About temperature the 5700 XT reference runs hot, around 75-80 degrees but it is it's 'normal' working temp so i guess it's fine.

If you really want a dual fan card you can check the PowerColor RX 5700 XT Dual Fan ( /!\ not the Red Dragon ) or the Asrock RX 5700 XT Challenger both are sure to fit, but can be hard to find depending on where you are !

Oh it is also worth noting i got noticeably better temperature inside my case, and the case itself is really less hot, with the blower card !
 
  • Like
Reactions: ZeQreda

SFF_awesome

Efficiency Noob
Dec 25, 2019
5
0
Hi! Thanks for your quick reply!

In terms of the Gigabyte card I am only going by the video here which shows the Gigabyte 2080Ti fitting but close to the case side... I did check the compatibility spreadsheet which clearly (and rightly) doesn't include the Gigabyte Gaming OC 5700xt if for nothing else than its width. Not sure whether it would fit vertically of course, but might be okay.

I am not set on a dual fan card necessarily, I've seen the Powercolor Card but it's not available here in Australia and the customer reviews of the Asrock Challenger don't seem too reassuring either, which swayed me towards the reference design as an alternative.

Interesting to hear you chose the 5700XT reference card over the dual fan RTX 2070 and there wasn't too much difference in noise but your overall case temps were better - this is same finding Optimum Tech had:
I'm not too noise sensitivitie whilst gaming, I was used to my dual fan xfx Rx 480 making quite a lot of noise and still thermal throttling, so I don't mind it being audible. At 800 rpm the blower will be quiet enough at idle I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem.

Thanks for your input! You may have persuaded me to go with the reference card. Have you done any undervolting or tweaking at all?


Many thanks!
 

Khio

Efficiency Noob
Dec 16, 2019
7
19
You're welcome !

I have tried the automatic undervolting in the radeon software, but it probably don't do much, otherwise I didn't do anything manual. As long as it doesn't melt I'll let it manage itself !

I could keep the RTX 2070, it did run well except for the better temp in the case with the 5700XT, but i wanted to give a try at AMD for a change, and damn that Radeon Software is sexy compared to Nvidia Panel ! Also despite a lot of people complaining about drivers instability and crash all over the internet I didn't have any trouble since I built the case ( except a crash with Enhance Sync, it is advised to just let if off for now )

I did put the Ryzen 3700X in ECO mode though, it's running really hot at full load and the Cryorig C7 is a bit noisy ( a lot actually haha ) at high speed, so I reduced the fan speed and reduced CPU power. I'm waiting for the Noctua L9a Chromax to change all that and repaste properly and see if it's better.
 

SFF_awesome

Efficiency Noob
Dec 25, 2019
5
0
I suppose not melting is definitely a win! To be honest, I don't mind having a go at undervolting (automatic or manual) and would be keen for an overall cooler build which seems to be the case with the blower cooler. I may also use the case in the horizontal orientation at some point where having a fans on a thick card so close to the side of the case may not work so well once gravity is involved...

I also may put the 3700X in eco mode depending how it gets on. I've got the Noctua l9a and a 3d printed fan duct from the Dan A4 to get as much fresh air in as possible. A home made version of the duct worked really well with my 2600X so pleased to have one printed and looking a bit more professional.

Thanks for the input, I'll let you know how I get on!

Many thanks
 

Idle2824

Caliper Novice
Apr 26, 2018
28
24
My phone camera isn't great, and the lighting certainly isn't helping either, but here is my build.

Specs:
Ryzen 7 3700x
Gigabyte Auros X570 itx
32 GB Innodisk ECC VLP ram (oc to 3600 MHz 18-19-19-43, will try harder at some point, it's samsung b-die)
EVGA GTX 1070 SC (I bought this all the way back at launch, right before the bitcoin mining saga. It's lasted me well)
Corsair MP510 1.9TB NVMe
Corsair SF600 Platinum (I was expecting the cables to be more of a pain than they were)
Black Ridge cooler with Noctua NF-a12x15 PWM Chromax mounted under (in push configuration)

I also made my own PSU cables with wire, terminals etc. from MDPC-X, though I didn't buy enough to do them all (oops).



My case came with a bad weld at one spot between the front piece and middle bar, but one message and a photo to Dr Zaber and one day later I had a replacement part. Me being impatient though meant I ended up building it twice, once with the old part and then with the new. It was much easier to do than I was expecting, and the manual was clearly well thought out. The biggest pain was the thickness of the USB front panel cables. Honestly, I couldn't be happier with the case, Dr Zaber have really outdone themselves with this project.
 
Last edited:

SFF_awesome

Efficiency Noob
Dec 25, 2019
5
0
Hi everyone, just put together my sentry! Excited to have it running.

I had a lot of difficultly getting the pci express riser bracket installed. I followed the instructions but it seemed tight to fit the bracket into its slots and then rotate/angle it to meet the riser and line up the screw holes on the case frame. I finally got it lined up after about five attempts but the screws got tight pretty quickly and they're not all the way in.

It seems to be working okay, but I would like to get it fitted with the screws in properly. Has anyone got any tips / pictures of theirs?

Interestingly my card wouldn't show a display past the bios screen and hung loading windows. Changing the PCI express slot to Gen3 in the bios solved that problem though and it's booted to Windows okay (I'm using a 5700XT).

Many thanks!
 

Khio

Efficiency Noob
Dec 16, 2019
7
19
Hi ! Someone posted pictures here showing how it should be Here.

Thought on mine the bracket "lip" doesn't sit right on top of the riser on the left side like on the 1st picture, but on the inclined part. No matter how hard I try to push the riser down.

I'd say you have to put the riser part in the MB first, then the 2nd small riser in the MB riser, then push it on the side of the case and then place the bracket to hold it there.

Insert the bracket angled outside, it has 2 "feet" you have to put in the chassis cutouts and then rotate against the riser to hold it.

The lip of the riser should be on top of it, and the riser should sit on the bracket bottom. I think !
 

Majestic

Average Stuffer
May 12, 2018
60
49
@ZombiPL is there a mailing list or something we can join to get notified when the sentry 2.0 goes back on sale? I can follow this thread, but I'm wondering if there's something better. Hoping to get the white/grey version.
 

mridontknow

Minimal Tinkerer
Mar 8, 2019
3
23
This! How did you end up doing the rgb button mridontknow? Looking at doing the same and would love some tips!
Sorry for the delay, I went a while without logging in. If anyone else has done this and I say something wrong, please correct me. I did it as a side project while waiting on the case. I found a button on ebay that was a 16mm anti-vandal momentary push button with a common anode RGB (Tri-Colored) configuration. Like the one in the adafruit link from @Capt. Fantastic, I needed to add 1k ohm resistors at the cathodes of the LEDs, even though the one on ebay claimed to be rated for 12v (I tested it in a friends computer and it burned out so I had to buy a second). I got a small breadboard and soldered the resistors in series with the diodes and cleaned up the wires. The button I ordered came with a connector (big orange thing in picture), so that made putting everything together much easier.

The two long wires connect to the "common" and "normally open" terminals on the "switch" part of the button so I could connect it to my motherboard. The wire that seems to go to nothing is the "normally closed" terminal, and it does go to nothing. The rest of the wires that are bunched together go to the breadboard with heat-shrink covering it, where I connected the resistors and a 4-pin header so I could connect a standard RGB extender between the breadboard and my motherboard.

If there is more interest in this I can put together a schematic of how I did it, but just remember that it involves soldering. I saw someone post in the SFF discord they did something similar for their computer with one resistor on the common anode (+12V terminal) instead of the individual LED cathodes and it seems to work well for them, so there is more than one way to make this work.
 

Airulzat

Efficiency Noob
May 5, 2019
5
0
Hi all,

can anyone send me the link to buy a new power button for the sentry. Mine still works its just that the red only colour is no go especially when my system is using RGB lights.

Thanks.
 

dtagirov

Chassis Packer
Nov 28, 2019
15
18
If someone from Russia wants this case in version 1.1 (white), I can sell my own.
I could sell it to any other country as well, but at the moment I do not have paypals (although it might be possible to come up with other options).
In fact, I can say that I love my white even more than the new gray. It was really a very good color and excellent performance.

Если кто-то из России хочет этот корпус в версии 1.1 (белый), я могу продать собственный.
Я мог бы продать его в любую другую страну так же, но в данный момент у меня нет пайпал (хотя может быть можно было придумать другие варианты).
На самом деле, я могу сказать что я люблю мой белый ещё больше, чем новый серый. Это был действительно очень удачный цвет и отличное исполнение.
 

SaperPL

Airflow Optimizer
DR ZĄBER
Oct 17, 2017
328
608
Hello Sentry team!

I had a v1.1 worth a dual slot XFX Radeon RX 480 GTR XXX edition which always ran pretty loud and up against the temp limits most of the time.

I now have a v2.0 which I'm going to be putting together this weekend with a Ryzen 3700X, noctua L9a and aorus x570 itx etc but I'm not sure what to do about the graphics card.

I want to get an RX 5700 XT and ordered a Gigabyte Gaming OC model which is 49.55mm thick. I ordered this because Paul from Paul's Hardware used the gigabyte 2080Ti which is essentially the same cooler but 50.2mm thick, although he did comment it got relatively noisy because the fans are close to the side of the case - in his video this didn't sound any worse than my old RX480 (as far as you can tell from a YouTube video).

I also ordered a reference blower card because this would not be up against the side of the case and would allow the hot air to be exhausted, even if blower cards are supposed to be 'loud.'

If stuck between the choice of a 'loud' reference blower card or a triple fan card that's loud because the fans are close the side of the case, which would you choose?

I also live in a relatively warm place where it's about 24 degrees inside on average (and without air-conditioning) if that would influence your advice?

The store I purchased these from charge 15% restocking fee if you return after opening, so I'd rather just open one of them!

Any thoughts appreciated!

Many thanks
I think you should have gotten the non-reference card with two or three fans that is just 2-slot wide. Depending on the card, you might damage the fans by scratching them against the perforation - they may have leeway on the motor axis. It could mean that you won't be able to return the 2.5-slot wide card because of that and it will be already damaged to a point it's loud and noone will want to take it from you.

I'd go for gigabyte windforce model that is 2-slot, if there's still something like that for 2080TI(not sure if you really can cool it properly in sentry though, that's a lot of power), BUT note the fact that aorus semi-passive fan control is pain in the butt right now and you simply cannot disabled it fully, it goes back to default on reboot.

For 5700XT AfaiR there's one from asrock and one from Powercolor that are twin-fan/non-reference designs and I would go for one of those. Powercolor has a lot more experience in radeons and in GPUs at all than asrock, so it might be a better choice here.


Anyway, all-in-all, don't buy 2.5-slot cards - they are made this way because they consume ton of power and need to dissipate that much heat. Your paying more will bring diminishing returns because such card won't be able to cool itself on its own as it would in a fully vented tower chassis that it's designed for.

Sentry was designed around 150W TDP cards and we stretched this to 180W TDP for 2.0 by increasing perforation area around the GPU, but most 2.5-slot cards right now are in range of 230-280W TDP - just don't do this to your wallet just for the bragging rights, it'll kick you in the back with throttling and noise.

The biggest pain was the thickness of the USB front panel cables.
This is something that is our pain as well. The 2.0 connector was pretty neat in terms of SFF and 3.0 20-pin plug is huge. We're waiting for it to be replaced by something like two type-E connectors (two type-E + one type-C would be possible natively), but those are proprietary ASUS connectors and only licensing boards will have those until ASUS will release it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dustbunnyck

SaperPL

Airflow Optimizer
DR ZĄBER
Oct 17, 2017
328
608
Hi everyone, just put together my sentry! Excited to have it running.

I had a lot of difficultly getting the pci express riser bracket installed. I followed the instructions but it seemed tight to fit the bracket into its slots and then rotate/angle it to meet the riser and line up the screw holes on the case frame. I finally got it lined up after about five attempts but the screws got tight pretty quickly and they're not all the way in.
I assume you are not trying to fit the screws into the holes in the riser's pcb? Because it's not supposed to be mounted this way and it's noted in the manual but often people try doing it anyway. The riser's pci-e slot body should fit into the two cutouts on the sides with it's protruding pieces on the sides, and with it's long angled protrusion into the long bent area.

Fitting the brackets into the cutouts may be cumbersome if you have routed some additional cables behind the riser, especially sata power that has a connector right in the middle. Not sure if that was the issue here.

It seems to be working okay, but I would like to get it fitted with the screws in properly. Has anyone got any tips / pictures of theirs?

Interestingly my card wouldn't show a display past the bios screen and hung loading windows. Changing the PCI express slot to Gen3 in the bios solved that problem though and it's booted to Windows okay (I'm using a 5700XT).

Many thanks!
PCI-E 4.0 is not officially supported and may come and go depending on your card and motherboard bios versions. We have made an update about this in the campaign when Wendell from Level1Techs tested this. He had some luck running it, but to be honest this might have been even before amd started restricting use of pci-e 4.0 on potentially incompatible risers, so now I wouldn't expect it to be stable.

On top of that, pci-e 4.0 is something you should use for m.2 drives and you don't really need the 4.0 for gaming at this point. We are barely saturating pci-e 2.0 x16/pci-e 3.0 x8 at this point which means with pci-e 4.0 you could potentially be close to 100% of your card's performance with pci-e 4.0 x4, for example connecting it with a pcb adapter to m.2 slot. You can read more about this here: https://www.techpowerup.com/review/nvidia-geforce-rtx-2080-ti-pci-express-scaling/6.html where TechPowerUp seem to keep testing this every time there's a major GPU lineup launch. The idea about m.2 connection is just my theory because there may be other limiting factors in such slot.
 

ZeQreda

Efficiency Noob
May 9, 2019
5
5
I never really understood how the riser parts ft together from the manual or the photos alone. I had to have the the case in my hands alongside the manual to really know what I was doing. I feel that an animation in this step or a small video would have made it much, much easier to understand.
 

SaperPL

Airflow Optimizer
DR ZĄBER
Oct 17, 2017
328
608
I never really understood how the riser parts ft together from the manual or the photos alone. I had to have the the case in my hands alongside the manual to really know what I was doing. I feel that an animation in this step or a small video would have made it much, much easier to understand.
Well, if the instructions worked when you had those pieces in hands, then maybe they aren't that bad.

The issue with the instructions is that if we overdid it with the amount of steps and explanations, most people simple wouldn't read them, especially the reviewers, who, in the most part, didn't follow instructions while building although they might have reed them before they got the package.

As for the video of this step and also few other parts, is that we didn't want to do it in a way we just make explanation for one step in a video format and link to it. If you are to do things like this, then it should be made as a whole build instruction video altogether, but we were short on time so far to do something like this, especially for a single piece that should be easy to understand while you get your hands on it. And on top of that we hoped there would be at least few review/showcase videos showing this step of build process as the mounting mechanism is pretty clever in a way it doesn't put weight of the card on the pcb's, but I guess we were wrong and few reviewers didn't even use it.

It is also hard to figure out how deep should we go when explaining things, because we have to set a boundary somewhere so we don't end up putting a wall of text or spending 5 minutes of video explaining that pieces made to fit together have corresponding shapes etc. So we spend time explaining things that may not be obvious. We assume that someone assembling PC in our case has some kind of experience with putting things together - if not, then we can always answer questions on that, and we will try to improve the manual based on whether an issue was so big that most users couldn't figure it out or whether it was just hard to tackle for few, maybe inexperienced, users.
 

ZeQreda

Efficiency Noob
May 9, 2019
5
5
Thank you for the thorough reply. Don't get me wrong, I think the manual is great. It's just that the part of the riser installation where you install the bracket and rotate in some way (I forgot how it's installed even I am looking at the manual just now 😄) was the only non-obvious part of the build process.

Additionally since you decided against using a printed manual, you don't have to be restricted by the print medium anymore. I don't think anyone would mine a hyperlink to a video showing the riser bracket installation that they can view on their smartphone or laptop while building.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SaperPL

Fuzzylogik

Efficiency Noob
Jan 5, 2020
7
2
Sorry for the delay, I went a while without logging in. If anyone else has done this and I say something wrong, please correct me. I did it as a side project while waiting on the case. I found a button on ebay that was a 16mm anti-vandal momentary push button with a common anode RGB (Tri-Colored) configuration. Like the one in the adafruit link from @Capt. Fantastic, I needed to add 1k ohm resistors at the cathodes of the LEDs, even though the one on ebay claimed to be rated for 12v (I tested it in a friends computer and it burned out so I had to buy a second). I got a small breadboard and soldered the resistors in series with the diodes and cleaned up the wires. The button I ordered came with a connector (big orange thing in picture), so that made putting everything together much easier.

The two long wires connect to the "common" and "normally open" terminals on the "switch" part of the button so I could connect it to my motherboard. The wire that seems to go to nothing is the "normally closed" terminal, and it does go to nothing. The rest of the wires that are bunched together go to the breadboard with heat-shrink covering it, where I connected the resistors and a 4-pin header so I could connect a standard RGB extender between the breadboard and my motherboard.

If there is more interest in this I can put together a schematic of how I did it, but just remember that it involves soldering. I saw someone post in the SFF discord they did something similar for their computer with one resistor on the common anode (+12V terminal) instead of the individual LED cathodes and it seems to work well for them, so there is more than one way to make this work.
@mridontknow - over 9000% interested in getting that schematic. I totally want to do this in mine and could use all the help on offer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mridontknow

mridontknow

Minimal Tinkerer
Mar 8, 2019
3
23
@mridontknow - over 9000% interested in getting that schematic. I totally want to do this in mine and could use all the help on offer.
Below is the high level setup I have on my computer. Sorry that it isn't professional grade quality of a schematic, but I made it in Google Slides because that is what I had available. I have a lot of notes below.


My motherboard has a 4-pin RGB header, which means it has 4 terminals that are labeled as "12V", "G", "R", and "B". It is constantly pumping out +12V and then the LED is "turned on" by the pin corresponding to the color being set to +0V or ground. This means the RGB button needs to be in a Common Anode configuration. Below is an image showing how the diodes are set up in common cathode and common anode configurations.

Since there is a common power pin, the voltage needs to flow through the diodes to turn them on, so common anode is correct choice.

I don't want to recommend a specific button because availability and price may vary by country, but I looked up "16mm common anode tri color anti vandal momentary push button" and found one that worked on ebay and had a black casing to match the Sentry 2.0. To break those terms down, 16mm is the diameter of the hole on the Sentry 2.0 for a push button, common anode RGB or tri-color is the LED arrangement, anti-vandal push button is the type of button the Sentry uses where it is secured in place from the inside of the case instead of the outside (so a "vandal" could not easily remove it without taking the case apart), and momentary or non-latching is the type of switch that a computer motherboard is expecting (so it only shorts the case power header pins while you hold down the switch). I also recommend picking one up that is rated for at least 6V across the diodes (I saw 2V variants as well, but I drew my diagram and tested using the 6V variant).

The button I received did not have a lot of documentation, so I needed to figure out what each of the pins on the back meant. They were labeled as 1, 2, 3, 4, C, NC, and NO. C and NO were the "Common" and "Normally Open" terminals for the part of the button acting as the switch, so I wired those up to the motherboard power switch header. I used these because they are shorted whenever you press the button and "open," or not electrically connected, whenever you are not pressing the button. The NC terminal was not used.

The terminals labeled 1-4 were for the LEDs, but I couldn't find a drawing to define what number represented the common anode and each color's cathode, so I had to test it. I pulled out an arduino and connected one wire to 5V and another to ground. I picked a random terminal on the switch (lets say pin 4) to connect to ground and moved the 5V wire between the other pins. When the switch had a visible light showing, it meant the 5V wire was on the common anode and the ground was on the cathode of the color being shown. In my case, when I put the 5V wire on pin 1 while leaving the ground wire on pin 4, I could see a green light shining. This meant pin 1 was common anode, pin 4 was green cathode, and then moving the ground wire to pin 3 showed me pin 3 was red cathode, and moving ground to pin 2 showed me pin 2 was blue cathode. Depending on the button you order, it might be labeled correctly or have the numbers stand for different colors so I recommend you test before you weld.

BE CAREFUL IF YOU ARE TESTING THIS WAY BECAUSE IT IS EASY TO CAUSE A SHORT IN THE VOLTAGE SUPPLY DEVICE. Arduino's usually have some sort of built in short protection in case you touch the 5V wire to the ground wire, but still be careful.

The button I found said it was rated for 12V across the LEDs according to the seller, but it burnt out when I tested it on a friend's computer before my Sentry came in. So I ordered another and added three resistors in series with the LED cathodes (G, R, and B terminals) to lower the power going through the LEDs. Since the LEDs were not burnt out from me testing with a 5V power supply, I assumed it was rated for around that voltage. Looking at the https://www.adafruit.com/product/3350 site, it mentions to add 1 k Ohm resistors in series with the LED cathodes to prevent burning out the LEDs of their button if the power supply at the anode of their switch, which is rated for 3V - 6V, is up to 24V. I assumed this would work with the button I ordered as well and I was lucky enough to be correct. My arduino came with resistors, so I used some of those in the circuit. I work at a company with a lab that let me use a soldering iron and gave me a small breadboard to work with and I was very happy about that because it is hard to buy those things in small quantities online.

The RGB extension cable I bought came with 4-pin extenders, so I was able to solder one of those onto the breadboard to plug into the cable (taking extra precaution to match them up correctly so I could use the extender cable). I then put the resistors in series with 3 of the pins (like shown in the image above). The button I ordered came with a connector, so I soldered the wires that connected to the R, G, and B cathodes in series with the resistors (again taking care to put them in the correct position to be able to use the extender cable). I soldered the wire that connected to the common anode so it would be connected to the 12V pin header on the motherboard. I also dressed up the wires with heatshrink and paracord to prevent anything from touching metal in the case.

When I was done soldering, I verified everything again with the arduino, and then I waited for all my computer parts and Sentry 2.0 to come. One thing I got extremely lucky with was my modular power supply had all of the power connections I needed away from the button. This was lucky because the connector would have hit some of the power supply connectors if they were any closer to the front of the case. I also decided to test my motherboard before installing in the case, so I put the CPU, RAM, Cooler, and graphics card together before adding any RGB extensions. Sadly my CPU cooler made it really difficult to reach the RGB header on my board so it took me a long time after everything was installed to plug in the RGB connector.

Finally, this was a side project I put a lot of time and research into during the period spent waiting for the Sentry 2.0 to arrive. I also have a background where I am comfortable soldering and building circuits, and I had access to all the supplies I needed to make this happen, so it was more of a fun thing for me to do to make the waiting time feel a little shorter. Dr. Zaber has posted on the product page that "Sentry 2.0 will not have RGB power switch. There is no standardized RGB power switch of the type Sentry uses and testing each switch would add unnecessary complexity to the product completion process." After going through this effort, I completely agree with that statement. In no way is what I put together anything close to production quality or the quality that meets the Sentry 2.0's standards. If you want to take on this project, do it at your own risk, but feel free to PM me if you get stuck or have any other questions.
 

Fuzzylogik

Efficiency Noob
Jan 5, 2020
7
2
Below is the high level setup I have on my computer. Sorry that it isn't professional grade quality of a schematic, but I made it in Google Slides because that is what I had available. I have a lot of notes below.


My motherboard has a 4-pin RGB header, which means it has 4 terminals that are labeled as "12V", "G", "R", and "B". It is constantly pumping out +12V and then the LED is "turned on" by the pin corresponding to the color being set to +0V or ground. This means the RGB button needs to be in a Common Anode configuration. Below is an image showing how the diodes are set up in common cathode and common anode configurations.

Since there is a common power pin, the voltage needs to flow through the diodes to turn them on, so common anode is correct choice.

I don't want to recommend a specific button because availability and price may vary by country, but I looked up "16mm common anode tri color anti vandal momentary push button" and found one that worked on ebay and had a black casing to match the Sentry 2.0. To break those terms down, 16mm is the diameter of the hole on the Sentry 2.0 for a push button, common anode RGB or tri-color is the LED arrangement, anti-vandal push button is the type of button the Sentry uses where it is secured in place from the inside of the case instead of the outside (so a "vandal" could not easily remove it without taking the case apart), and momentary or non-latching is the type of switch that a computer motherboard is expecting (so it only shorts the case power header pins while you hold down the switch). I also recommend picking one up that is rated for at least 6V across the diodes (I saw 2V variants as well, but I drew my diagram and tested using the 6V variant).

The button I received did not have a lot of documentation, so I needed to figure out what each of the pins on the back meant. They were labeled as 1, 2, 3, 4, C, NC, and NO. C and NO were the "Common" and "Normally Open" terminals for the part of the button acting as the switch, so I wired those up to the motherboard power switch header. I used these because they are shorted whenever you press the button and "open," or not electrically connected, whenever you are not pressing the button. The NC terminal was not used.

The terminals labeled 1-4 were for the LEDs, but I couldn't find a drawing to define what number represented the common anode and each color's cathode, so I had to test it. I pulled out an arduino and connected one wire to 5V and another to ground. I picked a random terminal on the switch (lets say pin 4) to connect to ground and moved the 5V wire between the other pins. When the switch had a visible light showing, it meant the 5V wire was on the common anode and the ground was on the cathode of the color being shown. In my case, when I put the 5V wire on pin 1 while leaving the ground wire on pin 4, I could see a green light shining. This meant pin 1 was common anode, pin 4 was green cathode, and then moving the ground wire to pin 3 showed me pin 3 was red cathode, and moving ground to pin 2 showed me pin 2 was blue cathode. Depending on the button you order, it might be labeled correctly or have the numbers stand for different colors so I recommend you test before you weld.

BE CAREFUL IF YOU ARE TESTING THIS WAY BECAUSE IT IS EASY TO CAUSE A SHORT IN THE VOLTAGE SUPPLY DEVICE. Arduino's usually have some sort of built in short protection in case you touch the 5V wire to the ground wire, but still be careful.

The button I found said it was rated for 12V across the LEDs according to the seller, but it burnt out when I tested it on a friend's computer before my Sentry came in. So I ordered another and added three resistors in series with the LED cathodes (G, R, and B terminals) to lower the power going through the LEDs. Since the LEDs were not burnt out from me testing with a 5V power supply, I assumed it was rated for around that voltage. Looking at the https://www.adafruit.com/product/3350 site, it mentions to add 1 k Ohm resistors in series with the LED cathodes to prevent burning out the LEDs of their button if the power supply at the anode of their switch, which is rated for 3V - 6V, is up to 24V. I assumed this would work with the button I ordered as well and I was lucky enough to be correct. My arduino came with resistors, so I used some of those in the circuit. I work at a company with a lab that let me use a soldering iron and gave me a small breadboard to work with and I was very happy about that because it is hard to buy those things in small quantities online.

The RGB extension cable I bought came with 4-pin extenders, so I was able to solder one of those onto the breadboard to plug into the cable (taking extra precaution to match them up correctly so I could use the extender cable). I then put the resistors in series with 3 of the pins (like shown in the image above). The button I ordered came with a connector, so I soldered the wires that connected to the R, G, and B cathodes in series with the resistors (again taking care to put them in the correct position to be able to use the extender cable). I soldered the wire that connected to the common anode so it would be connected to the 12V pin header on the motherboard. I also dressed up the wires with heatshrink and paracord to prevent anything from touching metal in the case.

When I was done soldering, I verified everything again with the arduino, and then I waited for all my computer parts and Sentry 2.0 to come. One thing I got extremely lucky with was my modular power supply had all of the power connections I needed away from the button. This was lucky because the connector would have hit some of the power supply connectors if they were any closer to the front of the case. I also decided to test my motherboard before installing in the case, so I put the CPU, RAM, Cooler, and graphics card together before adding any RGB extensions. Sadly my CPU cooler made it really difficult to reach the RGB header on my board so it took me a long time after everything was installed to plug in the RGB connector.

Finally, this was a side project I put a lot of time and research into during the period spent waiting for the Sentry 2.0 to arrive. I also have a background where I am comfortable soldering and building circuits, and I had access to all the supplies I needed to make this happen, so it was more of a fun thing for me to do to make the waiting time feel a little shorter. Dr. Zaber has posted on the product page that "Sentry 2.0 will not have RGB power switch. There is no standardized RGB power switch of the type Sentry uses and testing each switch would add unnecessary complexity to the product completion process." After going through this effort, I completely agree with that statement. In no way is what I put together anything close to production quality or the quality that meets the Sentry 2.0's standards. If you want to take on this project, do it at your own risk, but feel free to PM me if you get stuck or have any other questions.

MrIdontknow - This is awesome. Thanks for taking the time to put this here! As someone who has zero electronics experience (but somewhat intelligent haha) this should allow me to build this myself. I really enjoy getting my hands dirty so thank you for your efforts and insight.

So far all my interactions within this community has been A+. You guys rock!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: mridontknow

phinix

Minimal Tinkerer
Feb 1, 2020
4
0
Is Sentry 2.0 ok for gpus like 2080 for example?
Heat/throttling wise?

I would buy sentry 2.0 if someone is selling:)