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Guide: Fueler's Custom Modded Folding Rig


Project Complete! (well, almost):

Finished.....except that I'm waiting on two green LED fans that I broke down and ordered (the freight's more than the fan), so it will be a few days before any night shots.

A few days later...

When I got home last night the new green led fans had arrived, so I slapped them in real quick and took a couple of pics. They are obviously going to need some additional tweaking before I get them to where I like them. The LEDs face outward towards the outside of the case, not toward the inside!. (they light up my office more than the inside of the case laugh.gif ) So I'll do some more work on them then post the final pics cool.gif but for now, here's the couple I took last night.

The first one was with a back-light, the second is in total darkness cool.gif

Fixing the LED's in my fans turned out to be a lot more involved than I originally thought it would be. Up until now, I usually used Antec fans (when I wanted LED's) or Panaflos for water cooling. The Antecs are easy to modify and they have a flexible PCB that goes around the outside of the fan. With surface mount resistors and LED's, the whole thing ties into the wiring for the fan with one set of +/- leads that can be easily cut and separated from the fan wiring.

These Coolermaster fans aren't anything like that. Not that the way they did it is bad, but it sure made things a lot harder to do. The reason I went with these fans for the case was because I liked the green color better than Antec's, plus these fans are crystal clear, not a matte finish like Antecs. They are also nearly dead silent at full speed, no need for a 50ohm resistor inline to slow them down to a low roar, with pretty good airflow (at least as good or better than the antecs with the resistors in place).

I had to pull the fan blades off to get to the guts of the motor....Coolermaster used one resistor per LED but at least they weren't surface mount which would have made things almost too hard. In order to separate the LED's from the fan circuitry, I was going to have to cut each resistor loose from the board on the hot side going to each LED. I left the ground side alone and tied into the fan ground.

The resistor leads are marked in red where I'm going to make the cut (I had to map out the board from underneath first to make sure I cut the right lead wink.gif

I pushed the resistors out to the edge of the board, so that the leads hung over the edge about a 1/16" then stripped about 3" of wire and soldered it (bare no insulation) to each resistor in a circle around the board, with the wire lead exiting with the rest of the fan leads.

I know leaving a bare hot wire hanging out seems nuts but unless you want to shove your finger into a spinning fan it's about impossible to get to and is completly surrounded by non-conducting plastic.

I don't think I mentioned it before, but the LEDs are glued in place and there was no way to just remove and place them somewhere else in the case.

I hooked the LED's up to a SPST mini switch which has a center off position.....so the choices are off, 5 volt or 12 volt.

I should have everything buttoned up again before too long and then I'll try some more pics. cool.gif

  1. Introduction
  2. The Frame
  3. End Caps & Castor Wheels
  4. Power Supply
  5. Hard Drives & I/O Backplate
  6. Fan Brackets
  7. Top Fan Grill
  8. Panels
  9. Panel Retention
  10. Weight Reduction
  11. Finishing Touches
  12. Project Complete! (well, almost)
  13. Kill Those Watts!
  14. The Finished Case (Final Pics)
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