Case Modders: Where to buy (and tips)?

darkjester

Golden Member
Aug 14, 2001
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So the modding bug bit me and I want to do some beginner stuff to my already stickered-up case. Namely, I'm going to put a rectangular window and a couple of fans. Of course, as a newbie at this, there are questions for you veterans. :)

First, where should I buy these parts? PCMods.com has some pretty decent prices, but is that the best out there? Anyone have any experience with their kits?

Speaking of kits, should I get the universal fan kit or can I just put those on with some common sense?

Also, I just picked up a rotary tool (dremel). I've read mixed reviews about using said tool for this. Are there any advantages to using this (already purchased) tool?

Thanks in advance!
 

Dan

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Glad to know the case modding bug hit another person. :)

I can answer a few of your questions; no doubt others will chime in.

PCMods is a good vendor to deal with. I got my baybus kit from them. When it came to a rectangular window though I went with Best Byte Computers. It was my first experience with them and I have no complaints. I used them because at the time they charged substantially less than PCMods, et. al. for their windows. I noticed recently that PCMods lowered their prices but I believe they are still a couple of bucks higher than Best Byte.

An excellent place to buy fans and other cooling materials is 2CoolTek. (I've ordered from Ian many times and he's great: quality products, fair prices and excellent ship times. (In fact, I just placed another order with him last night.) Another place I've used and recommend is Plycon.

As for fan kits, IMHO, don't waste your money. Buy good, quality fans instead. A good resource to evaluate various fans: GiZzO's Fan Page.

When it comes to tools, I used a jig saw to cut a hole for the Window. If you go that route, be sure you use a good quality blade that's made for metal cutting. I used a Vermont-American blade that has 21 teeth-per-inch (TPI) and is 2.75-inches long. For 80mm blowholes I attach a bi-metal hole saw to my electric drill. (Let me know if you want more info on that.) I use an old fashioned file to smooth out any rough edges but I can see where a dremel would be great for that.

Very important: be sure you wear safety glasses while you're cutting up your case.

Finally, you can see some examples of my system at my site. or in my Yahoo briefcase..

(My next mods will focus on improving the cooling while decreasing the noise from fans. I'm going to replace the 80mm intake fan in the lower front of the case with a 92mm Sanyo-Denki. I'm also going to replace the 60mm Delta "screamer" on the SK6 with another 92mm Sanyo-Denki.)

Hope this helps. Good luck!
 

Tetsuo316

Golden Member
Mar 14, 2000
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i also really like the guys over at CaseEtc.

my friend just hooked himself up over at SoTrickComputers

i've heard very good things about Directron

i hope that adds to the confusion. i've only personally dealt with CaseEtc and 2CoolTek and they're both great.

other than that, Dan covered the dremel stuff.

don't tell anyone, but i think i'm the only person ever to have cut their window with Wiss sheet metal shears.
 

Mats

Senior member
Jul 10, 2001
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Hey Dan what PSU can you recommend?

For a case with 10 fans you gonna need one helluva PSU...
 

darkjester

Golden Member
Aug 14, 2001
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What about messing with with the window? I saw some pics of people putting fans IN their windows, which I think looks pretty good, so I might want to try that. Suggestions? I assume the dremel will be sufficient (a jigsaw on the window... hmm... :))
 

Tetsuo316

Golden Member
Mar 14, 2000
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the problem with using a dremel aand lexan is that the lexan tends to melt. you need to go reeeeaaaaallly slow.
 

aphex

Moderator<br>All Things Apple
Moderator
Jul 19, 2001
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My vote is for PCMods.com LINKY

They have windows kits on sale for $14.99 and rounded cables real cheap too. Fast service, arrived in 2 days.

As for installing the window kit, it worked perfectly. After blowing a hole in my case with a Plasma Torch, it took me and my roomate about 30 mins or so to "wedge" the window in. Looks great, not too hard. :)
 

Echo42

Senior member
Jan 11, 2001
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pc mods is nice, but REALLY expensive and i dont like the locking strip kit that much.

my suggestion?

head on over to Home Depot (or other such hardware store) and pick up some plexi and some (whatever you wanna use to stick it. i recommend velcro, nuts & bolts, or doubled sided tape).

Then hit up a auto store and get some single sided window/door edge molding in your choice of black, blue, silver, or others.

cut said window (IMO round corners look a LOT nicer than square). Line edges with molding of choice. Attach plexi on inside behind molding.

cost: $5 for HUGE sheet of plexi, $3 for 4ft molding, $3 for sticky stuff of whatever choice you make. Total: $11 and you get it in your hands that day ;)

As far as fans in plexi, its a pain. if you have a drill you might wanna get a hole saw/arbor. again, get it at the local hardware store, NOT a "computer modding" store online. All they do is buy stuff at these places or other vendors and mark up. Dont get me wrong, i know a lot of these store owners and get along well with them, but facts are facts ;) So get the hole saw, some olive oil on the plexi, and carefully/slowly drill the fan hole out. You'll be set.


As far as cutting with the dremel, its expensive (takes a lot of those cutting wheels) and takes a lot of time. If you can, borrow/rent a jigsaw and do the big windows like that. But dremels ROCK for little cuts and intricate designs on windows ;)


if ya got any questions you wanna ask directly, drop me a line, echo42@ocia.net


 

dejo

Senior member
Apr 16, 2001
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also check out overclockers.com....they have case mods and dscriptions on how to make your own holes, ducts, and installation guides


link
overclockers

click on the tips about case cooling.....should help a great deal. I myself used their guide for ducts and made a couple...lowered CPU temp by 8 degrees celcius
 

LoneWolf1

Golden Member
Jun 16, 2001
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<< What about messing with with the window? I saw some pics of people putting fans IN their windows, which I think looks pretty good, so I might want to try that. Suggestions? I assume the dremel will be sufficient (a jigsaw on the window... hmm... ) >>



Your best bet for that would probably be to go over to FrozenCPU and pick one up that is already premade. The kit is a clear 12 x 12 acrylic with your choice of either a single 120mm fan or dual 92mm fans.