Thomas (boggyb) wrote,

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More computer upgrades!

This batch of upgrades happened quite some time ago (as in December last year), but I copied the photos onto the laptop which promptly stopped working. Such is the way of computers here.

Anyway, on with the upgrades. This time there were several goals: replacing the top I/O panel with a fan, fitting a new front panel I/O module to one of the external drive bays, and adding filters to the existing intake fans.

The top I/O module was never quite right in this case. It collected dust and got in the way of putting anything on top of the case.

It was also very awkward to cable up as the cables have to reach right from the top of the case to the bottom edge of the motherboard. The supplied cables were only just long enough.

This turned the gap between the drives and the power supply into cable spaghetti. There's even a floppy drive cable tucked away behind everything else in that lot!

Removing the I/O module was easy enough, just awkward trying to reach round with the necessary screwdriver. The case did actually come with a replacement fan grille (even containing a foam filter!), so I dug a fan out from my bits box and screwed it in. It's fitted to suck air into the case - I'm hoping for a slight overpressure inside the case so that air will only be drawn in through the filtered fans.

A couple of moments later, and it looks like it was always there.

Simples! Next up, fitting the replacement I/O module.

Now, my plan was for this to go in the last remaining 5.25" bay using an adapter. Unfortunately the outfit that made the I/O module had an interesting idea of how big such should be...

That's not going to fit. The bowing of the metal frame means I can't get the screws in, not to mention that it's actually bending the plastic adapter as well. So I went for plan B, and stuck the floppy drive in there instead.

And then forced the I/O panel into fighting with the 3.5" bay in the case. The case, being made rather solidly out of 2mm aluminium, won that battle.

Result! Finally it's time to fit the fan filters. Now there's a handy trick I've discovered for the Coolermaster Wavemaster cases. These cases have a front split into two portions: a top half that hinges open, and a bottom half that's fixed. I've found that by undoing a couple of screws the bottom portion can then be hinged open to get at the fans, without having to strip the entire case down.

To get it open first remove the screw in the above picture - it's a 2mm hex head. Then turn the case over and undo the screw shown below...

...and the front just swings open like so. Just keep an eye out for the cables as it's possible to pull the switches out if you're not careful.

Now I could get at the fans to fit a couple of simple mesh filters - I picked these as immediately behind the fans are the hard disks and there's not much clearance.

Of course, this is when I discovered that the fans were fitted from behind the front, such that to remove them would require removing the hard disks. Which I didn't want to do as that requires completely removing the motherboard. As it turns out there's just enough space if you unscrew both fans to slide the filters in from the front.

Annnd done. There were a couple of other tweaks to do before I buttoned everything back up - I shifted the SSD in preparation for fitting the replacement hard disks as I had the slightly bonkers realisation that there is actually enough space and I/O to add the replacements without removing anything. This case only has one external 3.5" bay, but it's based off the Praetorian which contains two bays and as such still had the mounting holes.

I also rerouted the power lead for the speakers (that's the lead sticking out the back of the case below). The computer speakers I'm using were originally taken from an ancient IBM Aptiva which had a 12V power socket on the case for them. I spliced this into a spare Molex splitter many years ago, but it's always been rather awkward trying to route the cable. I finally solved that by sacrificing the splitter part of the cable (it's not like modern PSUs have a shortage of Molex connectors) and covered the remains in plenty of electrical tape to avoid it shorting against the case. Neither the plug or socket fit through there - I managed to get it in place by unpicking the pins from the Molex and threading the wires through.

As with all computer upgrades, you're not doing it right unless there's some spare parts left over (no, not the mouse or keyboard)...

Tags: computers, nyx

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