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Guide: Fueler's Custom Modded Folding Rig


Power Supply:

ClayMeow: I didn't see if you stated this, but what PSU will you be using? I know you'll probably be creating one of your own as you have in the past, but I'm more curious about wattage. I assume you'll be going for something in the range of a 1KW PSU?

Fueler: I used an online wattage calculator (thanks for the link Roadrunner) and found out that at full load I would need just a tick under 500watts to run this thing. Now I wouldn't try this with just any power supply, but I had a PC Power and Cooling 510 ATX laying around and I'm hoping that it can do the trick. If not, then I'll just have to get a bigger PS. cool.gif

This next section is all about the power supply and associated wiring which is a pretty important part since one of the main features of this rig is running two PC's from one PSU. This is also probably the part where hardnrg will finally decide that I have gone completely over the edge ohmy.gif

A word of caution

Please....if you are the least bit uncomfortable with, or your knowledge of electricity is limited to "all I know is you can't see it and that it will shock you", then don't try doing any of the things I do here. First, once you even bust open the case your warranty is void, and second, I don't want to get any PM's from someones parents telling me that their kid blew his finger off when he touched a charged capacitor in a power supply trying to duplicate something I did


Okay, here we go.

On most of my cases I've spent a lot of time routing wires so that they are hidden, but because of the way this case is designed, none of the usual hiding places are available. Well, if I can't hide them, then I'm just going to hang them out in plain view and do the best I can to route them in an organized manner, to provide the best airflow.

I will be using a PC P&C Turbo-Cool 510 ATX power supply. This PSU has had a noisy fan since day one, so that is going to get replaced. I am also going to remove the PSU from it's case and just let it hang out in the open with the rest of the wires connected to it.

The first thing I needed to do was make a mounting plate for the PSU. This was pretty easy ... a couple of brackets and a section of 1/4" thick acrylic is all it took. (Keep in mind that this is just the fitting up part...once everything is built then it will all be disassembled, the parts cleaned and polished up, then reassembled)

This is the power supply with the cover off....in order to pull it out of the case some wires need to be cut.
  1. The blue and black wires needed to be cut from the 3 prong female plug recepticle (the other end of these wires are connected to the DPDT on/off switch mounted below).
  2. The green/white wire was disconnected from the grounding post at the bottom of the case.
  3. There were two sets of blue and black wires connected to the on/off switch...the two that go to the PSU board were cut from the switch.
Since I can hardly remember what I did yesterday I also made a little drawing of where each wire was cut from laugh.gif

Now the PSU could be pulled apart.

Since the PSU is going to be mounted back to an acrylic plate, it was important to figure out the grounding scheme. In addition to the green/white wire that came from the plug to the ground post, there was another green/white wire that went from the ground post to the PSU board. It would have been easy to assume that this was the only other ground, but if you follow the wires path it only grounds the top circuit board....the bottom main circuit board was grounded to the case by two of the mounting posts (you can see where in the pic below...left top and bottom corners).

Now that I knew how everything was grounded, I could mount the PSU to the acrylic. The only part of the case that I reused was the back panel, which I cut from the rest of the case. In the next two pics you can follow the ground path. I attached a wire to each of the mounting posts and routed those wires under the new fan and bolted them to the rear case panel just below the on/off switch. There is a third wire that comes from the rear panel to another ground post, where the two green/white wires are attached. This post bolts to the aluminum mounting bracket, which is riveted to the aluminum case frame, grounding the whole freaking thing.

Now is when things start to get a little hairy. For this build I need to have:
  1. 2x24pin atx connector
  2. 2x4pin aux board connector
  3. 2x4pin molex connector (for the hard drives)
That's it....any other connectors are just a waste of space. Looking at the atx connector I noticed that of the 24 wires going to it only seven were not either a 12v, 5v, 3.3v or a ground.....so gritting my teeth I grabbed a wire cutter and whacked all the wires off.

But I didn't stop there....deciding that there was way more wires than I needed I flipped the PSU over and proceeded to de-solder wires.

After I was done, there were still too many wires so I went at it again and this time I showed no mercy.

Much better.....Here's how it ended up....I bundled the wires up and attached them to a couple of six position bus bars. From left to right, the first five positions are the 5v,gnd,gnd,12v and 3.3v.....the next seven are the other wires that go to the 24pin atx connector. I only have one board up and running right now, but the important thing is that it is RUNNING laugh.gif

I've finished up the main bulk of the wiring. Not only did I have to double up on all the connectors, but I also had to convert both ATX connectors from 20pin to 24pin. I used a spare connector from a dead PSU and cut out the sections I needed to make two 4pin additions to the 20pin connectors and then swapped out the wire for the right colors.

You can kind of get an idea from the pic below....I was about a third of the way done here....the 4pin addition is plugged in, but the wires still need to be changed to the right colors.

  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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