Building a computer case

By CMH ยท 36 replies
Feb 4, 2010
  1. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    Just for the heck of it, here's another pic.
  2. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Posts: 729

  3. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9


    I must say that I'm a big fan of what you did with the switches.

    I was going to do something similar, but with an IDE cable instead, which would have plugged straight into the motherboard (together with the Power LED).

    I'm also going to incorporate a 2x PWM fan controller into the case, with transistor switches for total shutdown of all LEDs with a single switch. I will post pics when that is done, right now I'm waiting on the ICs I ordered online.
  4. Reake

    Reake TS Rookie

    Wow that's amazing, I'd klike to do that one day.
  5. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    Thanks. I did note that I have absolutely no experience working with metals, I'm no handyman of any kind whatsoever neither. I might have a knack of picking things up quick, but thats about it. So if you're looking at this, and saying you want to do it, go ahead. If I could, you could.

    Do note that I did spend a VERY long time thinking through the process of how I was going to do every single part before starting. I think I should have stopped thinking and start doing, cos what I thought I would do, just never happened lol. As I did things, I realised there were better ways of doing what I wanted, or that something just doesn't work.

    For others who are just following, more pics coming soon, I'm about to paint the thing, optical drive bay is done, and I've got the fan controller circuits up (needs some tweaking). I should've brought the pics to work to upload them :D
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9


    Updated Frame
    Front of frame
    Closeup pic of PSU holding bracket's base + motherboard tray seat.
    Frame with PSU bracket.
    Front with PSU
    Another pic with PSU installed
    Optical drive holding brackets
    Now with the optical drive

    And here's a side-project.

    As mentioned, I will be putting in PWM fan controllers built into the case. As this is a small case, I don't have the space for many fans, and I plan to have only the CPU fan, and the rear 120mm fan controlled this way.

    This means building a circuit of my own, since commercial PWM fan controllers are too large (usually controlling 4 or more fans), requiring a whole 3.5" bay at least. They're also crammed with tons of features I don't want.

    I'm also designing a circuit for some LEDs to show the fan activity (dimmer if fans aren't turning that fast, etc), and a single switch to disable ALL LEDs in the case for total darkness. With my current case, I realised while the lights look pretty, when you're trying to sleep, they get irritating. My comp runs 24/7 btw.

    Anyway, to build these circuits, I will need to test them. Which means I need a benchtop power supply, which I don't have. My choices are to buy one (which costs about $50 bux for a basic one, which provides only a 12V rail), run it off a computer (which means I put all my hardware at risk if I stuff up), or build my own.

    And since I'm on this BYO (build your own) spree, I decided to build my own. Its simple enough, and will provide me with all the voltages a computer uses, which is 0, +12, +5, +3.3, -5, -12. This doesn't include all the different voltages from combining 2 voltages (+7 from +12 and +5 for example). This benchtop power will also provide more amps than anything of similar cost.

    In reality, this side-project took 3 days to do, but I put together the final project in about 2 hours. Someone who doesn't need to refer everywhere, and with all electronics tools probably can do it in 30 mins.

    Here's pics.

    PSU showing mods.
    Closeup of mods.
    Internals of PSU
  7. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

  8. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    Sorry this hasn't been updated. Just dawdling along. I think I've reached the stage where I feel real lazy to do anything to it, even though its ALMOST there..... Its been at this stage for months, just didn't post it up.

    Closer look at the back panel
    The Innards all done
  9. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Posts: 729

    That's looking really nice. Did you paint the aluminum, or have it anodized?
  10. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,472   +377

    Pretty cool stuff, though last month (maybe 2 months ago) Lian Li released a mini-ITX case that fits all but 1 of your requirements, the PC-Q08. Support up to the following:

    - one 5.25" bay
    - four HDD bays (six HDD bays if you are using an expansion card shorter than 7.2")
    - ATX standard PSU
    - 140mm front intake (obscured by the drive cage though...) and 120mm top exhaust
    - the best part (I think), clearance for a 300mm expansion card (11.8")

    Clearance for the CPU heatsink is about 75mm at best, so it's a little short (definitely too short for a "full sized heatsink"), but there are some decent low profile heatsinks out there, and with some fandangling you can actually install a corsair h50 in this thing.

    Anyways, the only reason this sounds like an advert is because I actually have one and tossed a dedicated raid controller and 4 Samsung F3 1TB drives for a dual RAID 1 (I'm silly I know), though most people seem to like it since they can actually fit full sized video cards.

    However, do keep at it and finish it, I want to see your finished work. :) I too, wish to one day break personal ground and build my own case; it's one of the few things I have not done yet regarding computer building.
  11. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    Actually, the Q08 was out before I started the project. However, I really wanted to overclock, so the standard cooler just didn't cut it for me.

    With Sandy Bridge, the point might be moot.

    Either way, the LianLi is a great case, and if I ever need a second ITX case (and they still make them) I'd probably buy that.

    Btw, I painted it. Anodizing would have cost me upwards of 100 bux... Painting costs me 20. I did enquire though, and my piece doesn't come close to their smallest part size, so I'll end up paying much more than needed really...
  12. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,472   +377

    Apparently the Q09 and Q11 were released recently... but the Q09 doesn't really make much sense (since it's basically like every other mini ITX case sans being anodized aluminum), and well, I doubt the Q11 would work out. It looks like it has a lot of space, but compared to the Q08, it's the same width, a quarter of a Q08 taller, and a quarter of a Q08 less deep.

    Not sure where Lian Li wants to go with either case.*

    Either way I think you're right to definitely keep an eye out on sandy bridge, can't wait until reviews start coming out later this year (hopefully). How does your case look painted? pics please. =)

    *The same could be said for the Q07 and Q08, but those two cases were niche filling cases where there wasn't really any precedence before them.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...