30 Replies Latest reply on Jul 18, 2012 9:33 PM by cpachris_1969

    New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")

    cpachris_1969 Level 1

      Greetings everyone!  I started building a new system for photo/video editing about a week ago.  Many of you will probably scoff a little bit at some of the decisions I'm making with this build.  Although I only joined the forums recently, I've lurked anonymously for years.  From my vantage point, there are a handful of people that generate a lot of group think consensus.  I'm going to challenge some of that conventional forum wisdom with some of the decisions I'm making with the build.  I may prove myself right....I may prove myself wrong.  But it will be a fun process anyway.  Some things to peak your interest might be:


      • Large array of SSD's
      • Water cooling with 7 radiators
      • Dual PSU's
      • 4 graphics cards


      I know that right away, some people are going to jump all over some of these decisions and call them silly or dumb.  And clearly this is not intended to be a best  "BFTB" system.  My goals are to make this system incredibly powerful, but to make it nearly silent.  Those goals drive a lot of the decisions I'll make.  My full build log is over at Overclock.net and you can get there with this link.  Subscribe to it and you will get notified of updates. 


      But I'll post some smaller tidbits and pictures here.  More limited in file size for pictures here, so if any of these posts intrigue you, hop over to my build log to get more pictures and more discussion. 


      Once its done, I'll gladly be a guinea pig for posting benchmarks and/or other tests, so that this community can glean something from my trials. 

        • 1. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
          cpachris_1969 Level 1

          Here are some quick shots of the case I'm using.  It's powder coated crimson, in honor of my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma.  That also explains the name of the system, if you were wondering.  Head over to my build log for more pictures of the case.



          • 2. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
            cpachris_1969 Level 1

            I'm going to be utilizing more than 40 case and radiator fans in the build, so I've got to have a little bit of fun with the fans, right?  Here is one of the finalists in my fan auditioning, the Noiseblocker Multi-Frame. 




            It's a pretty good looking fan just the way you buy it.  But....with some paint, custom vinyl stickers, and a little creativity, you can make them match your system much better.  Like this:




            Here's all three, including one of the original untouched fans:




            After I decided I was serious about actually doing this to all of the fans, I needed to find a color match that was closer to the case.  Found one, and updated the red to a crimson:




            I'm happy with the match.  Now just need to get to work.  Will probably sleeve each of the fans wires also with some better looking sleeving.  If you want to see how its done, head over to my build log and subscribe for the udpates. 

            • 3. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
              cpachris_1969 Level 1

              Here is a sneak peek at some of the radiators I'll be using in this build.




              These are 480 radiators (120mm fan size X 4), and there will be 4 of these. 




              By choosing to spin my fans very slowly (< 1,000 rpm's) the fan become silent....but it impacts the radiators performance.  That's why I'm using so many radiators.  There will be 4 of these, 2 360's, and 1 280.  That's 7 radiators.  Because of the slow fan speed, no single radiator will be living up to its potential performance, but with seven of them all chipping in, I should still have fantastic cooling capabilities.  And it will be silent!




              Check out my full build log currently in process here. 

              • 4. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                cpachris_1969 Level 1

                Got all my fans ordered.  Now that's a big bunch of fans!


                Checkout - Receipt - FrozenCPU.com.png


                For those counting....there will be 50 fans in this box.  More on my fan selection process in upcoming post, and why this will still be silent computer. 

                • 5. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                  JCschild Level 3

                  so what is your OCed goal? 6GHz? pretty sure water cooling aint cutting it


                  got to tell you  we build silent systems and are OCed to 4.7GHz

                  WITHOUT water cooling and 50 fans. we could probably hit 5GHz (and have with air cooling) but not entirely comfortable selling them and the fans noise does increase past the 4.5-4.7GHz

                  • 6. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                    cpachris_1969 Level 1

                    Scott Chichelli wrote:


                    so what is your OCed goal? 6GHz? pretty sure water cooling aint cutting it


                    got to tell you  we build silent systems and are OCed to 4.7GHz

                    WITHOUT water cooling and 50 fans. we could probably hit 5GHz (and have with air cooling) but not entirely comfortable selling them and the fans noise does increase past the 4.5-4.7GHz


                    It would have to be some magic silicon to get to 6ghz.  But.....some is more magic than others, and my experience is that binning your CPU will probably do more for your overclock potential than any form of cooling may.  Some are just better than others.  


                    Personally, I wouldn't feel good building someone a 4.7 ghz system on air, and calling it silent...but to each his own I guess.  To run the components as cool as I would want to for a 24/7 system at 4.7 ghz on air, you would need to be spinning the fans at rpm's that are far from silent.  Some people are less sensitive to fan noise though, so its ok for some.  Silence can be relative. 


                    Water cooling is a more costly, more complex approach....but it yields better results.  An appropriate analogy for this forum would be Premiere Elements vs Premiere Pro.  Premiere Elements does the job fine for lots of people, and they probably don't even care about some of the stuff they are missing with PP.  But for those that want ultimate control and power over their results, they choose PP, even though it is more expensive.  Same with air cooling (Elements) vs water cooling (PP).  With water cooling I have a lot more control over how heat can be dissipated, and for an equivalent level of cooling vs air...can always make it quieter.  That makes it better, as long as the cost and complexity don't make your head swim.  Same as Elements vs PP. 


                    But in answer to your question....I'll push it to as high an OC as I can get and still feel comfortable with the temps and noise required to get there.  My expectations are it will be more than 5 ghz. 

                    • 7. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                      David OS Level 1

                      You'll be pushing a lot of water around. How many water pumps do you think it will need?

                      • 8. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                        cpachris_1969 Level 1

                        Thanks for the question David!  I purposely chose the Hardware Labs SR-1 radiators, because of their extremely low flow restriction.  The radiator is also typically not the most restrictive part of a water cooling loop....that title belongs to the CPU/GPU water blocks, and any 90 degree fittings that you use.  I've seen a lot of builds done succesfully with only one pump....that had more water blocks that I'm going to use (I won't be cooling memory or HDD's with water), but admittedly fewer radiators.  However, I'm going to start with two pumps and see what kind of flow rates I get.  Anything over 1 gallon per minute should be adequate.  Since I think just one pump would get me there, the second pump is really more for redundancy.  I'll be joining them in serial mode.  I'll show them off in an upcoming post. 

                        • 9. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                          cpachris_1969 Level 1

                          Fun with radiators!  In addition to my goals of extreme performance with extreme silence....I care about the asthetic properties of this build.  This will be my primary system for every day use.  Want to make a statement with it.  One of the things I'm trying to do is minimize the amount of black in the build colors to just small amounts.  Want mostly crimson, white and copper accents.  So even though the Hardware Labs SR-1 480 radiators look really sharp black.....




                          ....that's too much black in one spot for this build.  So....I took one to my local powder coating shop, just a few miles from my house.  They were very obliging.  This picture is the guy working my radiator in the sand blasting machine. 




                          It went into the machine looking like this.....



                          and came out looking like this......




                          Clearly the radiator is made from brass for the structure, and the fins are copper.  Kind of cool looking like this!  But...I had them go ahead and powder coat it using the same brand and color of powder that Caselabs uses for their computer cases, and I ended up with this:




                          I took out the protective plugs, and put it on top of the case.  Perfect match!




                          The first one was a test to make sure we were not going to damage the radiator with the sand blasting and powder coating process.  If everything looks ok tomorrow, I'm going to have them do the other 5 Hardware Labs radiators, and some other miscellaneous parts that I wanted to match the white of the case.  Stay tuned for more, and as always you can see the full build log here, or by going directly to this post in my build log.  I'll always have more discussion and pictures in the build log. 

                          • 10. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                            cpachris_1969 Level 1

                            Leak testing went well!  If I took the head of my kitchen faucet, I found that 1/2 inch ID tubing fit nice and snug over it.  Attached a compression fittiing to the radiator, connected the tubing, and blasted hot water through it for about 20 minutes or so. 




                            No leaks, so I guess we didn't break anything with the whole powder coating process.  I've given the green light to the powder coater guy to move forward with the other radiators.  Should have them back tomorrow.  I'll do a similar hot tap water flushing, and then flush them all with distilled water. 

                            • 11. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                              cpachris_1969 Level 1

                              OK.  With regards to my fans, I've got 3 different colors, ......that I can put on two different parts (blades and frames).  That gives me nine possible combinations, shown below:




                              And here they are with the radiator on the case:





                              I've got a poll going on my main build log, on which combination looks best!  You can check out the results by navigating to this post.


                              Fans should arrive tomorrow, so I need to get busy painting!



                              Ok. With regards to my fans, I've got 3 different colors, ....that I can put on two different parts (blades and frame). That gives me nine possible combinations, shown below:

                              • 14. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                Ok....this is kind of cool. Someone on another forum requested to see the fans spinning before they voted. Well....wouldn't have been a problem, but both of my PSU's are disassembled right now for some customizations. So....I created a quick "ghetto PSU" out of 9-volt battery to power up the fans for a video.


                                First, I grabbed a regular male to female fan cable I had laying around



                                Then I pulled out just the red and black pins from the connector



                                Did the same thing for 3 other fan cables, so now I have four total



                                Cut a small piece of 26 awg wire



                                Stripped about 1.5 inches of insulation off of one end, and a few millimeters off the other end



                                I took all 4 red wires/pins that I had disconnected from the fan connectors, and wrapped the 26 awg wire around them to tie them altogether



                                Put a piece of heatshrink on to give it a little more hold



                                Then lit it up with a lighter till it was tight



                                Did the same thing for the black wires



                                Then got my solder iron out and a 9-volt battery, and went about securing the other end of the wires I had cut to the battery terminals. I know, I know....real ghetto stuff.....but I didn't have a 9-volt cap laying around anywhere, and all I want to do is power up some fans so I can show them to you on video. So it will do for now.



                                Globbed it in there pretty good



                                I plugged a fan in to test...and it worked! So, I took it upstairs where I had the case still, and lined up three fans. Crimson blades, black blades and white blades. It is easier to see which looks better when the fans are spinning. I know what I think now....let me know what you think. 60 second video below:

                                • 15. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                  cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                  Got the rest of my radiators back from the powder shop. Thought I'd share a few more pictures documenting the process:


                                  Here is the outside of my local powder shop. Its in an industrial warehouse, and its hot as all get out in there.




                                  I took them my Black-Ice SR1 480 radiators, instructions on which brand/color powder to use, and let them at it:





                                  First step is to put them in sand blaster to get off any paint finish that is already on the radiators. This is the sand blasting machine. Operator sticks their hands inside those two holes in front of the machine and uses the THICK protected gloves inside to hold the object, ...while they position it over the sand being blow up from the bottom of the machine:




                                  This machine makes pretty quick work out of stripping off any finish that is on the object. You can easily tell that its made of brass sides and tubes, and copper fins. This is what unpolished brass looks like!




                                  Then each piece gets hung up on the powder coating rack, and is grounded. The sprayer electrostatically charges the powder material coming out of the sprayer, which causes it to stick/bind to the object being sprayed. These are not my radiators....but you will get the idea:





                                  After this, they heated up the rads to almost 400 degrees for about 15 minutes to cure. When they were done, the rads looked like this:





                                  They look as great as the first one came out, and they are all exact matches for the inside of my Caselabs case, which is finished in the exact same powder.


                                  Fans should arrive later today, and I'll be busy doing some painting this weekend. Should have some pictures of the fans on the rads, in the case, by early next week.


                                  I'm playing around with a few more ideas on the radiators. This picture shows some molding that I'm considering using around radiator edges. I think it gives them a real finished and professional look. The radiator to the right doesn't have the molding, so you can see the difference. It won't really show with the fans on....but I'll know its there. Let me know what you think! 


                                  • 16. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                    cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                    My order with the fans arrived today!  Here are some shots.




                                    More discussion on the parts received AND THE RESULTS OF THE FAN COLOR COMBINATION VOTING can be found in this post.  I've got to get busy painting those fans this weekend!

                                    • 17. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                      cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                      I've been busy working on all the fans from the last post.  Since this system will be my personal system, I'm trying hard to make sure it looks good, as well as being a top performing system.  I teased some shots earlier of a few sample fans I had been playing with.  Well now its time to do the real thing to those 42 120mm fans that I recevied.  First you need to diassemble all of the fans.  Put something interesting on TV, and get all your fan boxes close to you. I chose HBO's "Girls" because it was playing about 10 episodes back-to-back. Thought it would give me a chance to see if I like the series. I don't . But that's another story. Take your box and open it up.




                                      First thing you want to do is test the fan to make sure it works. I used my "ghetto PSU" made out of my 9-volt battery to plug them in and test. Quick and easy.




                                      Happy to say that all 42 of my M12-S2's were in working order. Now.....lets start tearing them down. There are a few goodies in the box that you will want to start piles of. First, I took out the rubber gaskets that come with the fan. You won't want to use these until you are ready to install on a rad. Put them in a pile for now:




                                      Do the same with the useless screws that come with the fan. If you are putting these on a rad, you won't need these at all:




                                      There is also a case badge in every box. So......if someone was dying for a Noiseblocker case badge....I could probably make you a good deal on one. or 42 or them.




                                      Ok. Done with the fluff. Now for the real work. You see that little black plastic clip that I'm pointing to? Take that off and start a pile of them.




                                      Now lets remove the blades from the frame. With these Noiseblockers, there are no clips or anything that you have to remove first. Just get your fingers wrapped around the frame, and put both thumbs on the blade hub and push. It will pop right off. This picture only shows one hand on the fan.....but its because the other hand is holding a camera.




                                      Now lets take the sticker off the fan blades. Get your exacto knife and gently peel one of the edges up. If you catch it clean, the whole sticker will lift off with almost no residue left. Just go slowly. Oh....and if you don't catch one clean and it leaves a lot of residue.......DON'T try and clean it!!!!!!! I've tried everything from alochol to acetone to soap, and all it does is get worse when you start burring it around. You need to either live with it, or scrape with your exacto knife.




                                      Now......we need to get that sticker off the frame. I wasn't as careful with this one since I knew I would be covering this spot with my own custom vinyl stickers.




                                      There is a second sticker underneath the first, and it holds a small magnet n place. Leave this one alone.




                                      Now some of you may not need this next step, but I do. I like to use some Liquid Tape on the wire connections for the fan.




                                      Nothing but a little drop of solder is holding these wires into place. And when I sleeve, I sometimes pull harder than I should. So, this just gives me a little extra insurance that the wire doesn't pop off the fan.




                                      I do it on the front as well as the back:




                                      Lastly, you will want to remove the rubber corners from the fans. One of the four corners is different than the other three because its shaped for a little cut-out to help facilitate wire management. I keep these in a separate pile from the others, because it is a royal pain to have to check each corner out and look for these when you put them back on.


                                      _MG_0966.jpg _MG_0967.jpg


                                      Now take a big sip of your glass of cabernet.....




                                      Now.....rinse and repeat 42 times, and you'll have something like this:


                                      _MG_0968.jpg _MG_0969.jpg


                                      That's the whole disassebly process.  Next up...we need to prepare the fans for painting.  More to come!

                                      • 18. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                        cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                        Ok.  The fans are disassembled now, but I need to cover up the sensitive parts so that I can paint these. 


                                        Next....get your painter's tape and put one strip down making sure it covers the outside edges of the hub.




                                        Unless you have some pretty wide tape, it probably won't cover the entire hub. Seal it down good around the edges with your fingernail.




                                        Put on a second piece of tape to cover the remaining edges, and seal tightly with your fingernail.




                                        Now take your exacto knife, and carefully cut around the OUTSIDE edges of the fan hub. You do NOT want to get paint on the inside of this hub. So stick to the outside of the hub.




                                        Peel off excess tape you just cut and examine to make sure you have it sealed up good.




                                        Rinse and repeat 42 times, and this is what you have.




                                        For the frames, the important part is to protect the hole that the fan blade spindle slides into. You don't want paint down there. You'll notice I didn't bother to protect any of the wires or sleeving, since I will be redoing all of this anway. Rinse and repeat 42 times, and this is what you have.




                                        Now the fans are ready for painting!

                                        • 19. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                          cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                          Now that the fans are all disassembled and ready for painting....lets get started.


                                          I made a quick little homemade paint booth out of a box for a TV I bought recently. I stuck some PVC pipe through the sides, and it made a nice little rack to hang the frames from. As mentioned previously, I just used the sleeved wire to hang them with, since I'll be redoing all of this anyway.


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                                          When painting you want to do just light dusting of paint to make a very thin layer of paint, let it dry about 30 minutes or so, and then do it again. Here is what they looked like after the first coat:

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                                          After two coats:

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                                          After three coats:

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                                          After five coats:

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                                          After six coats:

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                                          At this point they were looking pretty good. After each coat, I would also rotate the poles in the paintbooth so that the other side was facing forward, to help ensure I was getting all sides evenly. I think its also important to remember that you do not want to try and treat spots. That almost never comes out good. Do lots of thin coats over the entire fan. Do not get up close and try to pinpoint a certain area. You will overpaint it and it will run. I did one final coat for a total of 7, but it was dark so I don't have a final picture of it out in the paintbooth. Next up....the fan blades.

                                          • 20. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                            cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                            Here was my setup for the fan blades:


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                                            For the blades, I wasn't 100% happy with the last paint testing I had done, with regards to how well it matched the computer case I have. It was darn good, but not perfect. But if you are limited to just the "plastic" paints, there is not as big of a color selection as you get with all the other normal spray paints. So.....what I ended up doing is using a plastic primer from Valspar first. I put two light coats of it on both sides of the fans. Its clear...but creates a surface that will allow regular paint to bond to the plastic. That opened up some more colors for me. What I ended up being the happiest with in my pre-testing, was to create a base coat using Rust-O-Leum "cabernet", and then topcoating it with Rust-O-Leum "crimson red". The cabernet by itself had too much purple in it, and the crimson red by itself didn't have enough purple in it. The two together are perfection for what I'm trying to do. I ended up doing 3 light coats of the cabernet, and then 2 light coats of the crimson red.


                                            So this is what the blades looked like after the first coat of cabernet:


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                                            After two coats of the cabernet:

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                                            Lost my sunlight so I don't have pictures of what these looked like after each of the remaining coats, but I am absolutely thrilled with how they came out. They are perfect color for me. Here is a shot of everything after I brought it back inside for the night:

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                                            So at this point I have all of the fan blades done, and 1/2 of the frames. Tomorow I plan on finishing the frames, and then doing all of the tape removal. Then I'll start on fan headers and sleeving. I'm planning on shortening all of the fan headers to 3 or 4 inches, and sleeving them in white MDPC-X. Then I'm going to make a custom fan harness with male connectors to minimize the wiring. I'll have more tomorrow!

                                            • 21. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                              cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                              I've started another assembly line for a few more tasks on the fan frames that were painted yesterday. Here is what I'm doing to each of them:


                                              First I'm taking each fan frame, and inspecting closely for any missed spots or thin spots. For those that need a touch-up, they will go back out in the paintbooth:

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                                              For the frames that were in good shape, I go ahead and remove the protective painters tape:

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                                              Then I'm measuring 3 inches of wire from the frame, and cutting it:

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                                              I want all of my fans to have short headers on them, and then I will make a custom harness for them and run a multi-tailed power line where I need it to go.

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                                              Next, I'm taking an exacto knife and splitting the heatshrink that was holding the old sleeve on:

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                                              Next, I'm getting rid of the tab that holds the wires next to the frame. See that notch on the top right side of the frame?

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                                              I"m planning on having sleeve come down the side of the frame, and this notched opening is not big enough for the sleeved wires. I'm simply getting rid of it all together, and will most likely use a drop of super glue to keep the sleeve next to the frame.

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                                              And finally, I'm putting back on 3 of the rubber corners. I don't want the 4th rubber corner on until I'm done with the wiring and sleeving.

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                                              Now....rinse and repeat....42 times. More to come later!

                                              • 22. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                                cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                                I tried, but just couldn't seem to take a picture WHILE holding the stripper or crimper. So I have no action shots of these steps....but I'll show you one of the finished products, and describe the steps I'm doing to each one to get there. I'm working assembly line style again. I like to take a small number of tasks and work my way down the line of fans, doing just those tasks for each one. Here is what I'm doing tonight to each fan:


                                                1. Strip about 3mm of insulation of the end of each of the 3 fan wires

                                                2. Crimp a new pin onto the end of each wire

                                                3. Using white electrical tape to wrap the wires together. This will ensure that NO color shows through the white sleeve that will go on.

                                                4. Put in the 4th corner rubber piece. Decided I really did need it in there before I get the sleeve on.


                                                Here is a picture of what one of the fans looks like after these four steps:


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                                                After I had been through the above steps for each of the 42 fans, I got my tripod out so I could set the timer and take a few pictures of these next steps. Not all completely in focus, but it lets me get both hands in the picture.


                                                I'm starting with the crimped, taped, fan frame from the previous assembly line:

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                                                First I inspect where the wires run up into the motor, and use an exacto knife to clear any extra liquid tape away so that I can be sure and push the sleeve all the way down to the base:

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                                                Then I snip off 4.75 inches of sleeve. I don't need to measure each fan wire, since I cut them all the same length in previous assembly line. I'm going with white MDPC-X for the fans. I'll use some color on some of the other wiring.

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                                                Then I warm up the ends and taper the sleeve so it doesn't spread to big on me. Need it slim to fit down tight against the base.

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                                                Then I slide/inch the sleeve onto the wires. Sometimes you have to be careful when sliding it over the pins, to make sure you don't catch the sleeve and pull it.

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                                                Then I'm sliding a piece of the precut MDPC heatshrink all the way down to the base. I'm trying to make sure that once the stickers are on the fan, that there will be no wires still exposed.

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                                                Next I grab my heat gun and shink that thing up. NO MAKING FUN OF MY PURPLE HEAT GUN! I got this thing for $3 during a Hobby Lobby clearance sale. I think they usually sell it as a scrapbooking tool. But hey....it does the job. And by the way, I would highly recommend using a heatgun instead of a lighter when you are working with white heatshrink. It is so easy to char the heatshrink and discolor it. I use a lighter only on the sleeve ends to help taper them, since I know these will be covered with heatshrink. I would always use a heat gun with white heatshrink.

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                                                Next I put the connector on the fan pins. I'm going with white, instead of the black that came with the fans. Matches the heatshrink real well.

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                                                Next I cut a piece of the SATA shrink, and then slide it over the fan connector:

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                                                Now grab your super masculine heat gun and shrink that bad boy up!

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                                                That's it for this assembly line, so rinse and repeat 42 times. Here is what it looks like at this point:

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                                                After I get done with these steps, I need to superglue the sleeve to the frame (I'm not going to use the black clips that came with the frame), put on a custom vinyl sticker, and put back on the fan blades. Then I'll be done! More later.....

                                                • 23. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                                  cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                                  Before I can show you the last steps of putting the fans together, it would make sense for me to show you how I do the custom vinyl stickers. It's pretty easy to do, doesn't cost much, and really gives a build a professional custom look.


                                                  First, you need to use an artwork application to design what you want your sticker to look like. I use Adobe Illustrator. You could really use any program, but the reason I like AI is that it generates vector based graphics instead of raster based graphics (pixels). If you don't know the difference, Google it. In a nutshell, every line in vector art is defined by a mathematical equation that determines its relationship to other lines. What this allows is infinite scaling with no loss of quality. If your artwork is pixel based, it can start looking very poor when you make it larger or smaller.


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                                                  When I'm replacing a sticker with one of my own, I typically like to use a copy of the Company's logo, but then use my own color scheme and other items. In AI, I setup one artboard where I just paste in copies of the logo I want to use. It will always be raster based if I've grabbed it from a website, so I use the "Live Trace" option in AI to create a vector based graphic from it. If the original jpeg was large and clean, the trace function returns great results. If it was small.....sometimes you have some clean-up to do. After I have accumulated any of the vector art I want to use, I start an artboard where I arrange the pieces like I want them, and then a 3rd artboard where I scale the item to the right size and then copy it as many times as it will fit:


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                                                  Once this page is created, I will typically print it on plain paper, to test and make sure it is the size I want. Once happy with sizing, I get a sheet of printable vinyl and print the page on this. I typically use Papilio papers, and they have numerous ones to choose from, and you can find it fairly inexpensively online from their webshop or on Amazon. Its something like $10 to $15 a package for 10 sheets. This is the one I used for this project:


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                                                  The printed page is thick and feels very sturdy. It feel like vinyl.....because it is. You need to set your printer settings to the thickest paper profile it has to make sure it can make it through (one of the photopaper settings should work).


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                                                  Then you want to put a laminate over the top of it, to really give it that finished professional look. Any will do....I used this for my sticker project:


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                                                  Lay it down slowly, trying to smooth it one from one side to the other and not get any air bubbles. If you look closely in this picture, you can see an air bubble that will probably eliminate two of these from being able to be used. If you get a lot of air bubbles....don't despair. Sometimes they come out easier once you have cut your stickers, because you don't have as far to move the bubble to an edge.


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                                                  Now you are ready to cut out your stickers from the page. If you are doing circle stickers, like I am for this project.....DO NOT USE SCISSORS! Nothing would look worse than to see those ragged, non-perfect edges you are going to get from trying to cut a circle with a pair of scissors. You will ruin them, or be real embarrassed when you put them on your rig. Instead....you want a circle cutter. There are lots available online. I have several from "PaperShaper", and these are typically sold for scrapbooking and arts and crafts. The right size for the Noiseblocker fans is 1.5 inches, but you will find them in 1/8 inch increments for anything under 2 inches.


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                                                  Now just carefully line up the circle cutter over your sticker and click. Ta-da!


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                                                  Notice how I created the printed stickers with a larger border than I was going to cut? That is to make sure I don't have any white around the edges of the sticker when its cut.


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                                                  Now admire your pile of stickers. They have a peel-off adhesive back and will stick to any component you want.


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                                                  Now relax and enjoy some cabernet!


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                                                  Next up, we will finish up the fans and do some pics. Stay tuned!

                                                  • 24. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                                    cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                                    Two more mini assembly lines were what it took to finish up the fans. Here is what I did in each of them.


                                                    If you remember, the fans came with a little black plastic clip which kept the (non-sleeved) wiring in place on the frame. Well, after the electrical tape, and sleeving...I just can't make it fit flat enough inside the fan frame groove for this clip to go back on. But there needs to be something keeping the sleeved wire next to the frame. Thought about several options, but decided on super glue. That should hold it good, and also look the cleanest because it won't show anywhere. These are more self shot timer tripod shots, so the auto focus didn't always catch the right spot, but you'll get the idea. This is me putting down a thin strip of super glue inside the fan frame groove:


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                                                    Then I would press the sleeve down into the fan frame groove and hold it nice and tight for about 60 seconds. I kept some tunes playing in the background to help pass the time.


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                                                    Rinse and repeat 42 times.




                                                    Next assembly line was the last one. It's time to put the blades back on the fan, stickers on the frame, and test these puppies.


                                                    These Noiseblocker Multiframe fans comes with a little grease on the fan blade spindle, that you can see when you take them apart. After being disassembled for so long, and going through the taping, painting, etc.....I want to lube them back up before putting them back together. This is what I'm using for these fans. White lithium grease:


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                                                    I cut the tip of the tube so that its big enough for the fan blade spindle to slide right in:


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                                                    If I squeeze the tube a little bit while the spindle is inside the tube, it puts a nice little layer of grease on the spindle:


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                                                    Then just press/click the fan blade back onto the frame. No clips or rings to mess with.


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                                                    Then I plugged the fan back into my "Ghetto PSU" I made previously out of the 9-volt battery to test it. And by the way....I can't tell you how handy this little battery PSU has been to test fans. My guess is it would even power up a pump for loop fills. I may play with a cleaner design and make a few for sale. Very handy. Anyway, the fans needed to be tested, because after all, I had cut off all the original connectors, recrimped pins and put on new connectors. It would be fairly easy to make a bad crimp or put the wires back in the wrong connector spot. But I'm happy to report that all 42 fans spun back up and were as quiet as ever.


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                                                    Flip the frame over and slap on one of the custom vinyl stickers we previously made:


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                                                    Sit back and admire your work:


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                                                    Rinse and repeat 42 times.


                                                    That does it for the 120mm fans. In most of my posts, you'll see I'm doing one or more "assembly lines" with tasks. It definitely doesn't have to be done that way. Some people might choose to start with one fan and walk it all the way through the process from beginning to end, before moving on to the next fan. For me,...I found this approach easier for the volume of fans I was doing. I mean, with this many fans, even a fairly simple task that is about 3 minutes....will take 2 hours to finish for all 42 fans. And the more tasks you try and squeeze into your assembly line process, the more you are switching tools....etc. I like small bite-sized processes that I can quickly run down for all of them. But I may have done it differently if I was only doing a handful of fans. Just food for thought.


                                                    I still have to customize the four 140mm fans, and the 4 cute little baby fans. Look for some posts on that in the upcoming week.


                                                    Here are some finished pictures from up in my "faux studio"


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                                                    • 25. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                                      cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                                      Here are just a few teaser pictures of all 42 120mm fans in finished form:




                                                      I've got many more cool pictures of all 42 fans together in this post!

                                                      • 26. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                                        cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                                        I've got a really cool video in this link, that shows how I took these components.....


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                                                        and assembled them into this.....


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                                                        ....IN LESS THAN TWO MINUTES! Watch it now!

                                                        • 27. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                                          cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                                          If you have 42 fans lined up in a row for some pictures...aren't you pretty much required to topple them like domino's and record a video of it? 


                                                          See it here.

                                                          • 28. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                                            cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                                            Boy...this forum is quiet!  But people keep looking, so I guess I'll keep on posting updates for the video editing rig I'm building. 


                                                            Ok, I've got some pretty interesting news.  I'm going to put it out there for you the same way it happend for me.  The dialog below is a summary of an email conversation I started a few days ago.






                                                            Me to support@areca.com.tw


                                                            I've been holding off making a purchase of a raid card in hopes of a PCI 3.0 version.  Can you tell me if you have one planned, and if so, tentative timing? 



                                                            support@areca.com.tw to Me


                                                            Dear Sir/Madam,


                                                            we do have Gen3 raid card plan, but no confirmed release schedule yet. sorry for the inconvenience.



                                                            Best Regards,

                                                            Kevin Wang




                                                            Me to Kevin


                                                            Thanks.  Can you at least tell me if you think its a 2012 release...or are we talking about something in 2013? 





                                                            Kevin to Me


                                                            Dear Sir/Madam,


                                                            i am sorry, i did not been told anything about the schedule.






                                                            Well, that was kind of what I expected to hear.  And I do these types of emails to companies all the time, because you never know when you are going to get a loose lipped support rep that is new on the job, and he may give you an interesting tid-bit that you really shouldn't know.  Anyway, after the exchange above, I guess the support rep (Kevin) passed the email on to someone in sales.  I got copied on the message when the guy from sales (Joseph Chen) forwarded my original message to someone named Wayne Kou at Tekram.  I'm not 100% sure of the relationship between Tekram and Areca, but I think Tekram is kind of a US sales and support team for Areca.  If someone has additional information....chime in.  Anyway, here is the exchange that followed after Wayne received my message from Joseph:







                                                            Wayne to Me/Joseph


                                                            Dear Chris,



                                                            Thanks for the mail.


                                                            May I know how may ports (HDDs) of PCI 3.0 raid card do you need? I will check the right one for you.




                                                            Me to Wayne/Joseph


                                                            Thanks for the reply.  I will only have 8 drives hooked up to it to begin with, but was planning on either a 12 or 16 port so that I have room for expansion.





                                                            Wayne to Me/Joseph


                                                            Hi Chris,


                                                            Most of Areca cards is PCI-e 3.0 already, but the web site did not reflect this new fact yet.

                                                            The 12 ports Arc-1882IX-12 and 16 ports Arc-1882IX-16 will meet your requirement.


                                                            If you need any areca card, you may go to to get one.








                                                            If you have any further  question, please let me know.





                                                            Me to Wayne/Joseph


                                                            Thank you Wayne.  But even the newegg link you sent goes to card that states that it is PCI 2.0 x8.  Are you certain of the PCI 3.0 status?  Is it still utilizing 8 lanes? 




                                                            Wayne to Me/Joseph


                                                            Hi Chris,


                                                            I am 100% sure that is PCI-e 3.0, Areca told us not to update the web site yet.


                                                            Since Joseph, Head of Areca Sales, is also in this mail pool, He will pin point if what I stated is incorrect.


                                                            I just got 50 PCs shipment from Areca last night, if you order via 


                                                            I will guarantee you that you got the latest PCI-e 3.0.




                                                            Me to Wayne/Joseph



                                                            If it is truly PCI-e 3.0, then yes, I want one.  Can you confirm that with a picture of the box or manual stating such?  I'm just kind of surprised that you have one already. 



                                                            Can you confirm that you have definitely upgraded these to PCI-E 3.0? 





                                                            Joseph to Me/Wayne


                                                            It’s a PCI-e 3.0 version we shipped recently.

                                                            V3.0 printed on PCB silk screen.






                                                            Well.  What do you think about that?  I'm still waiting on some type of confirmation/picture from Wayne, but I think Areca has stealthed a PCI-e 3.0 card out for us.  Unless someone here has some info they think I should know....I'll be ordering one this week.  I'm going to pair it with an Asrock Extreme 11, which was announced last Friday and should be available for purchase in the next week or so. 






                                                            • 29. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                                              David OS Level 1

                                                              I've been holding off buying till the PCI-e 3.0 was available.... Guess I won't have to wait too long now...


                                                              Btw... Loving the build. I guess I'm one of the silent onlookers...

                                                              • 30. Re: New Photo/Video Editing System - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka...the "BBBB")
                                                                cpachris_1969 Level 1

                                                                There is someone else alive in the forum!!!!   


                                                                Here are some pictures I was sent.  Anyone with a Gen 2 Areca card want to examine and report on whether this one really looks like a new version?  I'm about to pull the trigger on one if I don't hear otherwise. 


                                                                0718 017.JPG0718 018.JPG