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大道至简

如今常存的有信,有望,有爱;这三样,其中最大的是爱。

 
 
 

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Macro Case by macroman  

2008-01-13 18:14:50|  分类: 电脑硬件 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |
Foreword by Tim Smalley
Dave Williams, a man that I've often referred to as the Grandfather of modding, was one of the very first modders to successfully pull off the now classic Stealth Mod. After numerous requests from readers, we have dug up this blast from the past to show those that are new to bit-tech where this modding thing started to hit the mainstream.

It also serves as a reminder to those that have been bit-tech readers for a long time, just how far the bit-tech community has pushed modding standards forward over the past seven years.

With the Internet being a more advanced beast (we're on version 2.0 now, apparently) than it was when Dave first published his Macro Case project in September 2001, the images are much smaller than you're used to seeing in articles we publish on bit-tech now and as a result there are unfortunately no clickable images.

Anyway, that's enough from me, so I'll leave you to read one of the gems that made modding what it is today.

Macro Case

When the e-mail informing me that I had won the bit-tech case competition arrived, I could hardly believe it. In fact, compared to many of the cases I had seen entered, I considered mine to be pretty mundane in comparison, but the judges’ decision is final and who am I to argue when a nice shiny Crystalfontz display is the prize!

So when Koolvin (The Mod Father, founder of bit-tech - Ed.) asked me to write an article about my case mods, I jumped at the chance. (Boy, I wanted that display!).

For me, case modding is not just about adding features and improving looks, but also about making your computer unique to you. I bought the Lian-Li mainly because of its looks, so when it came to modding it, I wanted to retain as much of its original style as possible whilst improving on its feature set.

Many of my Lian-Li mods are pretty standard stuff, but I have added details to try and take them that “next step”. This article is not meant to be a step-by-step “how to” but rather a “This is what I’ve done to my case” sort of article. Hopefully you might find some of it interesting. Please bear in mind many of the mods were completed before I bought my digital camera, so some useful pictures will be absent from this article.

Here it is:


Now on to the interesting stuff, (sort of). First off, the most useful mod on the case...

Adding Castors...

Yeah that’s right castors. If like me, your pc sits on the floor and is constantly being dragged in and out for modding or upgrades then castors are a godsend.

Besides, the feet Lian-Li supply are the cheap plastic type found on sub £30 no name cases bought from computer fairs. A few holes drilled in the base are all it takes.

The original supplied feet were changed in preference for locking castors.


Keeping to my plan of retaining the original looks I decided to “stealth” the CD drives. Nothing complicated, just cut off the sides of the blanking plates and stick them to the CD tray fronts using double sided sticky pads. I like to see activity lights when my drives are running, especially the CD-RW. So I fitted fibre optic lighting to the metal panels. I used an old audio optical cable as the fibre optic, (as used with minidisk players), although Maplin sell the un-terminated cable. This cable had a 1mm diameter core.

The cable insulation was stripped off and the bare 1mm fibres push fitted into a 1mm hole drilled through the drive bay panel. A dab of thick super glue stops the fibres from working loose over time. Accurate positioning of the hole is crucial for the whole thing to work. The hole and hence the fibre has to line up exactly with the drives onboard led. The fibre is cut flush to the front panel making it almost invisible when the drive led is not lit. I put a drop of clear acrylic varnish on the ends of the fibre to fill any imperfections in the surface, which would reduce the fibres light transmitting ability.

Close up of DVD fibre from the front.


Rear of DVD panel showing the fibre super glued in place. (The fibre lines up with the drive led). Here you can see the sticky pads holding the panel in place. The out of focus black blob towards the far end of the panel is a small stick on rubber foot. (As used under speaker boxes etc). The sticky pads holding the bay panel in place have just the right amount of “give” to allow the foot to operate the drive eject button when the bay panel is pressed.

Twin fibres for the CD-RW - which are the same as the CD except there are 2 leds to display.


Both drives work perfectly in the open position:

Hard Drive and Power LEDs

I like to see my hard drive activity lights, but the design of the indicators on the Lian-Li are difficult to see when I am sat at the desk. So I decided to add a “mimic” to one of the drive bay panels.

This mod involved drilling a 1mm hole into the leds, inserting a fibre optic cable and running it up to 1mm holes drilled in the drive bay panel. Because the fibre is flush to the panel it can be seen from virtually any angle in front of the case.

Drive bay panel and old optical lead used for the fibre optic. If you look closely you can see the marking line ready for drilling on the right hand side of the panel. Two 1mm holes drilled: one for the power led, the other for the HDD led.

The fibres were stripped back and super glued into the holes. They were then fed through a hole drilled in the side of the panel and a grommet was used to protect the fibre so it wouldn't get cut or scratched.

Here is a close up of the HDD led with a 1mm hole drilled - normally I would drill head on into the led for maximum light transfer, but in this case that would interfere with the case facia when refitted. The fibres fitted into the leds and fastened to the metal work using stick-on cable ties.

Here's the finished job before and after replacing the case front facia:

Window and Fans

There's nothing special here, just a standard Tekheads window plus a few cathodes hidden away. I did have a blue led strobe to “freeze” the Delta fan that was rather cool (Ed: Delta!!! How did our ears and sanity survive these early days?!), but I dismantled it to use the bits in another project hence no pictures.

When I get the chance, I will rebuild it. In case you are thinking of fitting a cathode here are some pictures to help decide what colour to get.

Here is Mr. Green,

Mr. Blue and Mr. Red.

Let's jump on the fan bus...

We started at the bottom with the castors and now we have reached the top of the case.

The fanbus is a 4 channel electronic affair with press-on/press-off rotary speed controls. These controls are mounted on a sub chassis, which is bolted to the drive bay front panel. The control knobs are sunk into the panel and have then been drilled out to accommodate a red LED.

The front panel is backlit with blue neon string and all the front panel wires are connected to the circuit board via plugs and sockets to facilitate easy removal. Finally, the fanbus circuit board is mounted in a cut down 5.25" case from an old, busted CD drive.

Front removed showing control mounting chassis and cable connectors and modified CD case holding the circuit board.


3mm nuts and bolts retain the control mounting plate. The front facing surface of the mounting plate was covered in chrome tape to reflect back the light from the neon string. This helped to give a very uniform lighting effect. Below you can also see the neon string lit (the string brightness was turned down to assist taking the photograph). The wires passing through the grommets connect to the leds in the control knobs.


A hole is drilled in knob for the LED which is push fitted into it.


A close up showing how the drilled hole also opens the slit, which was previously blocked.


Before fitting the knob, turn the control shaft fully clockwise and wrap the led cable one turn clockwise around the shaft. This prevents the cable snagging when the knob is turned.

The Delta cooling the CPU was dismantled, sprayed silver and then UV varnished... Oh, and put back together again! Check this look! Fantastic!

A few extra fans on the back. What a sucker!

Let's jump off the fan bus...

I have been ask many times "Where did you get those knobs from?". Well, they came from Maplin Electronics in the UK, part number YR65V and are 22mm in diameter.

Here is the finished unit in action...

That’s about it. Where’s the LCD? You ask. Well, that’s currently undergoing modding surgery and will make its appearance when it is fully recovered.

Just for the record here’s how it looked before it went under the modder's Dremel. How it will look when it comes out is anybody's guess, so stay tuned to find out!

Modding my floppy...

The plastic front panel was removed and the disk flap and eject button covered with modellers aluminium plating foil. Next the Lian-Li drive plate was marked out using the drives original plastic front as a template. The slots were made by drilling a series of holes to remove most of the unwanted metal and then tidied up using needle files.

Fibre optic treatment is given.

The finished plate is push fitted onto the drive's chassis and here's how it looks accessing a disk.

That's all for now - until next time... Happy modding

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