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  #11  
Old 08-04-17, 03:18 PM
gadgetjoe gadgetjoe is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Grimsby, UK
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Well.... Its been a while but the ball is rolling once again on the desk build and building has started!

we now have 2 carcasses, one smaller one for the test bench on the right and a larger one with shelves on the left hand side housing the main system! Using 18mm MDF for the structure we ended up with a good base to work on, the working space is vast also which allows for plenty of working room!

Still a bit more left to go building wise which will be done over the following few days but the base is there and I can now lay out everything in its place to get better judgement for holes, cutting and mounting!

The front and back of the housing will be cut to shape with multiple fans to draw cold air into the area and push the warm air out of the back to create the perfect ambient temperature to allow the custom loop to do its job! Originally the reservoirs were to be mounted underneath the motherboard to the right of the housing, and the radiators mounted along the right hand side but that would have caused messy looking tubing and also not utilize and show off the loop, so with the advice of a good friend ( @admodz ) it is now set out differently to allow better use of the space and also is symmetrical now, instead of having the motherboard at the top right, it is now in the centre top position with equal distance either side, the radiators are mounted on the left and right underneath the mobo but closer to the inside walls and the two reservoirs are mounted inbetween the two rads.The pumps and blocks are going to be on display underneath the top housing to show off its workings and the gorgeous pump blocks by alphacool, these will be hidden away behind some acylic on the front with maximum clarity to see it all. The psu and other wiring will then be put into the space behind the pumps underneath the housing.

Further updates to follow very shortly, alongside a video update on the channel!

Once again a huge thanks to Alphacool, the build sponsors for making this possible!







































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  #12  
Old 28-08-17, 10:49 PM
gadgetjoe gadgetjoe is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Grimsby, UK
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Well, its been a while since I have updated this Build Log. There has been a lot happening at the channel recently, and also things have gotten in the way. However, the Alter-Ego build is very much alive and well and is nearing completion finally!
There has been a few changes to the original plans also, namely due to practicality and design flaws that have popped up over the time of building.
There are plenty of Images to go through, so I will stagger them across multiple posts on here, describing each one until your all caught up with the current progress!
Starting off with the initial layout of the system within the desk. Originally it was laid out as you see above, everything would be secured into place on the flat plate, However, now the reservoirs and the radiators are mounted higher up on a custom made platform thatI built that emphasises the gorgeous Alphacool Eisbecher Reservoirs by bringing them higher upwards to the top of the case, with the radiators sloping to the sides of them with the Alphacool Sussoro Fans situated on top. Once I made the platform, I created mounts for the Res and Rads. Then I drilled multiple larger holes and fitted 8 Bulkhead Pass throughs that would allow the loop to connect through the desk platform to the lower space to hide the majority of the loop and give a cleaner look on top and also the finished article gives the completed system an extra dimension and a little more unique flair to it all.
[IMG][/IMG]













































































































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  #13  
Old 28-08-17, 10:55 PM
gadgetjoe gadgetjoe is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Grimsby, UK
Posts: 16
Once I had the platform created and in place, I set to work on creating the loop for the radiators and reservoirs as you have seen previously, the connections and fittings were all Alphacool fittings in chrome. The tubing is PETG, once again by Alphacool, except for the curved pieces from the reservoirs that were soft tubing just for visual appearance. I then proceeded to create some holes for spacing for the fans in the desk. I rough cut 3 spaces to fit the fans directly into the walls of the desk, The fans then simply slot in and I will secure them in place with the final cladding of the desk that will tighten everything up and give the cleaner look I desire. I Also then cut the spaces for the fan controllers on the front as you see here in the pictures.
















































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  #14  
Old 28-08-17, 10:58 PM
gadgetjoe gadgetjoe is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Grimsby, UK
Posts: 16
I received a couple of packages for the build around this time. One being from Anidees, who agreed to kindly sponsor the build and supply me with 2 of their Anidees Halo 120mm Fans, which have a luminescent glowing blue ring around the outer edge of the fans themselves. These look stunning when powered up and will give the front of the desk that extra wow factor! The pictures do them no justice at all. The second package was another order from Alphacool, this time it had more LED lighting, Watercooling fittings, Heat Gun, Bending tools, Cutters, Sleeving and more to complete the project.
















































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  #15  
Old 28-08-17, 11:00 PM
gadgetjoe gadgetjoe is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Grimsby, UK
Posts: 16
Work then commenced on the fittings and tubing for the loop, I also set up the pumps and pump tops. The pump is an Alphacool VPP755 and the pump tops are Alphacool Eisdecke D5 Plexi tops. The pumps are fantastic pumps that can be individually controlled either on the pump itself with 5 settings that can be changed to reduce or increase the flow rate via altering the RPM of the motor. It works by reducing the voltage supplied to the motor. You can also sync it with your system using PWM connectivity for that extra control level, this way you can change the speed on your system without having to touch the pump itself. It ranges from 1700-4500 RPM and operates at 14 watts.
The Eisdecke D5 Plexi pump top is a stunning top that is made of plexi glass and really shows off the coolant, whilst looking stunning within the setup in its own rights. I decided to mount the pump/pump top on its own shelf underneath the desk to show them off as I feel they would be wasted being hidden away. The soft tubing then feeds off them through some holes cut into the back of the shelf. This shelf when finished will be clad with spaces to view the pump and pump top working. There will be Led lighting placed along the upside of the shelf to light them up.
The fittings were all laid out into boxes, and there were plenty of them!
























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  #16  
Old 28-08-17, 11:01 PM
gadgetjoe gadgetjoe is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Grimsby, UK
Posts: 16
The power supply that I was going to use for the build was originally a Corsair CX600 non modular with some sleeved extensions for display in the top itself. However, this ended up being killed during testing of the supply, which actually turned out to be a good thing as a 600watt power supply probably wouldn't have been the best for everything within the build.
Thanks to a good friend, I managed to purchase a brand new Corsair HX850i Platinum fully modular PSU. This supply is a much better option as it Corsairs Platinum rated range. The supply came with black cables that actually may end up being used in the build as they are. These PSU's are super efficient, delivering upto 92% efficiency. Corsair Link allows me to monitor every detail too, from performance to fan adjustment etc.


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  #17  
Old 28-08-17, 11:03 PM
gadgetjoe gadgetjoe is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Grimsby, UK
Posts: 16
The GPU block that I had was from Alphacool for the RX480, this came in black with blue font, however I wanted to paint the block to either white or silver. With help and advice from a good friend Admodz. I set to work on stripping the block down. I started by taking the actual water block off the cover as this cant be touched. Once I did this I was left with just the backplate and the heatsink top itself.
The method to stripping these is actually quite a surprising one and left me a bit sceptical as to the effectiveness of it, however I trusted Adam's advice and set to work. I placed the blocks into separate containers that had water in them, and added Mr. Muscle drain cleaner pellets. I left them for a few hours and before I knew it, the solution had completely stripped the paintwork from the blocks!
I was so impressed with the results that I have actually decided to keep them the way they are as it ties in well with the chrome and silver accents throughout the build theme.










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  #18  
Old 28-08-17, 11:04 PM
gadgetjoe gadgetjoe is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Grimsby, UK
Posts: 16
We received some more goodies for the build from a couple of the channel sponsors.
First of all we received some gorgeous cable combs by our good friends over at Hydra. These combs are 3d printed and look quite stunning. They came in black and blue, which was the colour requested by myself to suit the Alter-Ego blue/black/silver colour theme. The pieces are of very high quality and the attention to detail is second to none. The combs work by simply taking an allan key and unscrewing a single bolt which opens one side up and then the cables simply fit in, individually spaced apart by each segment. The screw is then closed into place and the cables are organised very neatly. The advantage to these combs compared to the traditional solid combs, is that they can be applied to any cables without the need to have them put on during sleeving or having to remove the pins from the blocks. A more comprehensive review will be shown on my channel shortly too.
The second items we received are courtesy of the team over at Team Group and that is a set of 2x8GB (16G 2400MHz DDR4 ram sticks. The T-Force Dark Gaming series of Ram Memory Modules are simply stunning, the first in the world of its kind with a unique 4 piece heat spreader and innovative design for optimal performance. These will be used within the system and will most certainly compliment the build. Once again, the review will be up shortly.






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  #19  
Old 28-08-17, 11:06 PM
gadgetjoe gadgetjoe is offline
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Location: Grimsby, UK
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The plans had to be changed slightly to the dimensions of the desk to make it more manageable. Originally the desk unit with the system In was one single unit from floor to top and was going to have the box to the right of the desk to house a test bench. The top was set to be 6ft in length. However, after doing some trial fits and as you can see in the photos below, the space inbetween the box and the computer stack was very minimal and certainly left very very little room inbetween for comfortable seating. With it being a desk that I will use everyday, this would end up being a problem in the long run.
With that said, I redesigned everything and decided to lose the box on the right housing the test bench, cutting the desk shorter by 8" and then cutting the base of the main computer stack to allow it to be attached to the table and have space underneath it. There are many reasons for this, one was for practicality of the size of the desk. The test bench will now reside in a shelf to the left of the whole unit that I will mount separately but it will be linked in with the lighting and theme. With the carcass being made using MDF wood I solved a problem that many have encountered before and that is with water. Water and MDF simply do not mix, having 5 children in the house means that spills are inevitable, so taking the box off the floor altogether avoids this. (The whole carcass is going to be covered to make it waterproof when finished, much like the inside of the desk). I then acquired a motorised sit stand table from my sister. I took away the desk top it came with and have utilised the legs onto my desk, which now means that I can raise the whole unit to 5ft high, which might sound completely pointless in theory, but in practice this will provide me a whole host of benefits. Such as another angle for videos, but most importantly it will make maintenance so much easier for accessibility.
As you can see, its now starting to take shape and is in the rough stages of construction, the end results will be a completely different story.




















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  #20  
Old 28-08-17, 11:09 PM
gadgetjoe gadgetjoe is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Grimsby, UK
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I am now currently at the stage of doing the final structural parts of the build. Once I have done these, I will be installing the system into the desk and then setting up the custom loop and getting everything powered up and tested. Once it is all up and running I can add the final finishing detailing touches, such as the final cladding, lighting and the tempered glass top.
The front has a piece of 4mm Ply cut to fit over the front box. This is then wrapped in vinyl to not only give it a more finished appearance but also to add that extra level of protection and waterproofing. The final details will be fan grills, chrome inserts that will cover up the cuts made to finish off. I cut 3x 120mm holes using my holesaw on this front panel, all the correct distance apart from each other to show the fans through the holes. However, despite measuring the distances between, it turned out that 1 of the fans actually sits 1/8" lower than the other 2. This might sound like nothing and seem trivial but it threw the lining up off completely. 1 fan now sat out of place and you could see the fan housing through the hole. So I took to work on changing the design slightly. I decided to keep the front panel rather than creating a new one, knowing that the 3x 120mm holes were measured perfectly. Rather than trying to cut the carcass up that holds the fans to make it fit and risking it looking butchered up, I decided to mount the 3 fans to the front plate itself, this way I could position the fans perfectly. The carcass needed to be cut to make the alterations fit, so I set to work on expanding the hole needed for the one fan adjustment, when I made the decision to just simply cut a large rectangular space within it that would easily house the fans. It might not look pretty right now but it is functional and works. Cosmetic appearances will be tended to upon completion.
I then cut a rectangle out for the fan controllers to fit into and it fits nicely, albeit with some slightly rough edges. The rough edges are not a concern however as I am as previously mentioned doing the final touches at a later date.
All I need to do now is cut 2x 120mm holes underneath these that will show off the pump and pump tops on the lower shelf.
I will be setting to work on mounting Led Lighting also and then working on structuring the desk itself to make it strong and sturdy.
Its worth noting now for those that are wondering, this build is purely a scratch build that I fully intended to create using basic power tools and minimal plans. To showcase a raw construction and build that requires no machining or milling. Of course, if I had chosen to use different materials, such as steel/aluminium etc and opted for milled/cut parts then the construction would have been much more simple, but that is not what I'm looking for here.








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