A friend gave me this old Pavilion case a long time ago because she didn't need it anymore. It's been sitting in my basement for all this time and one day I decided to do something about it. I had already run out of space on my server (see my 5.5TB case mod) and I needed more space. So I started designing the case, trying to come up with a theme. Eventually an idea came into my head and this is what I ended up making with Google Sketchup:
The case modding begins.
The case itself was horribly designed. There was barely any space for components so I started taking it apart, breaking it down to as many pieces as I possibly could.
From the side you can see how constrictive this case is, which is fine if you're looking for a single hard-drive, single optical drive, cheap computer but for my purposes it just wouldn't do.
So I removed all the rivets and I observed the case at its broken down state.
The front side is still too restrictive for what I had in mind so I decided to get my dremel out and take care of the issue.
I have to say, this looks a lot better. The time had come to start the paint job for the case. After a lot of primer and 2-3 coats of paint, and some re-assembly I ended up with this:
After a lot of painfully slow bending and clamping I was able to prepare this piece you see to the right of the case:
Then I started assembling the case, and putting electronics in it to see how well it works. I mean, Google Sketchup said it'd work, but experience says that test fitting is always the best way to verify that everything will fit nice together. So I did a test fitting and left it running long enough to install the OS and build the RAID:
And in the dark:
I also got from MNPCTech a fan grill that looks like cross hairs. Here's a detail pic of that:
Also, just with the fans' lights on, the acrylic that holds the hard drives suspended looks awesome:
After the case was ready to accept the electronics I started working on the logo which proved to be a bit of a challenge but I kept pushing forward to get it done because I wanted to see the end result. So I started by taking a piece of blue scrap acrylic-type material (I don't know its exact name, if you do please let me know) and cut a disk using my table saw:
Then I put a pattern for the windows logo on the disk and cut it with a scroll saw:
And after some filing:
Then, the rest of the electronics, a LED chaser and 4 LEDs (red, green, blue and yellow) hooked up through a hex inverter to the controller's LED 4-pin connector. They all have a common ground and the inverter was necessary because the controller was giving a logic 1 when there was no drive activity. I wanted the LEDs to come on only when there was HD activity so a NOT gate was necessary. Here's the 2 boards:
Here's the inside of the case, with the board installed:
Here is the front of the case, with all the electronics installed:
So it's time to put the logo to the case. I used REALLY strong double adhesive tape and covered the back of it:
Then I put the pieces of acetane I got, 1 for each color of the Windows logo:
Then I used hot glue to assemble these flasher reflectors to the board:
And the final result looks like this:
Not bad eh?
The side panel
I decided to cut a window on the side of the panel, and to make it a bit more unique, I cut the Windows logo for the... window. Here's the final product, cut, painted and with the clear protective coat:
Final assembly pics
So after I powered it up and let it run for a while I closed the case and took the following pics:
With the CCFLs on:
And in the dark:
This is what it looks like in the dark, when the hard drives are busy: