Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case.

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Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case.

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:25 pm

So, as some of you may have seen, due to me being an idiot, I've gone from using a beautiful Corsair Obsidian 350D to this thing that I got free from the tech guys in my department: http://imgur.com/a/3GrUP#awXvjYR. Yes, that is a floppy drive on the front. So, I've stripped it down, and am ready to start moving parts into it. I thought I should document my frustration in moving to this old thing after seeing a slice of nirvana. Oh, have I mentioned this is my first time scratch building a computer?

So, the first thing I notice is that it is really a pain to take the front panel off, as it has those sqeezy tabs, and it is really hard to fit even my keychain leathermen into some of the spots, and I don't have needlenose pliers. Whatever, I get it off and confirm that no, I can't move the fans from the Corsair over and clean the fans and grills. Then I notice that the cabling is a bit interesting. So, two fans, look normal enough:
Image
Then I look at the cabling.
Image
First; This looks like it connects to the power supply. Dammit, that means this is going to run as long as the computer is on, doesn't it? So much for my nice big cooler keeping the system nice and quite. Then, wait, why do two fans need FOUR plugs? Which one do I connect two? Why are some male and some female? What the heck? Anyway, I'll try and keep up commentary as I install things, provided I hit anything else strange and annoying.

Edit1: LOVELY. There isn't a front headphone connection, just a mark for one. This wouldn't be so bad, expect that I decided to save money by using onboard audio with my headphones and only getting speakers and possibly a sound card later on. Well, I hope the cord on my headphones is long enough or I may have to get creative with positioning. Repeat the mantra: beggers can't be choosers, you screwed up and tried to use too much free stuff, beggers can't be choosers.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:37 pm

Looks a bit like my case. Mine is a 24" which looks close to that, but mine is red, painted with car paint. Actually that's a bit shorter I have 6 bays.

It's just a breeze with a huge case to stuff in new junk. I'm on my 3rd incarnation and will go for the 4th soon. TESO approaches, and since I have the Imperial Edition with a mudcrab companion I'm gonna have to step up!
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:43 pm

It should be pretty cheap to replace those fans with modern ones that have 3- or 4-pin motherboard connectors. Those look like standard 80mm units, not so? As to your headphone cable, surely Monoprice has an extension cable.

The case looks like a pretty typical example from around ten to twelve years ago.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:49 pm

From the title, I was expecting something like an XT case. This is neat, but not all that exotic.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:51 pm

FireGryphon wrote:From the title, I was expecting something like an XT case. This is neat, but not all that exotic.


Canageek's probably not as old as us. :P
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:54 pm

I started computing on a white-screen 8K Commodore PET in 1977. That would be a pretty cool case for a retro PC build using modern components, but I was never a fan of the chicklet keyboard.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:56 pm

The problem with 80mm fans is that oftentimes they're either too loud or don't move enough air. I err on the side of silence. If you're interested in getting new fans check these fan options out. I own the Enermax. Very quiet.

Those 4-pin molex connectors are designed to get daisy-chained together. That's why there's so many ends.

Never too late to buy a decent inexpensive case.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:08 pm

bthylafh wrote:It should be pretty cheap to replace those fans with modern ones that have 3- or 4-pin motherboard connectors. Those look like standard 80mm units, not so? As to your headphone cable, surely Monoprice has an extension cable.

The case looks like a pretty typical example from around ten to twelve years ago.


I'll have to look into that. I'm hoping that is cheap, as there is a reason I'm using a case the tech dept was throwing out instead of getting a new one. I'm also considering eBaying the Corsair Obsidian 350D and seeing how much I can get for it, if I can acquire something a bit more modern then this one that would come with nicer fans, a solid state bay (My current plan is to mount it to the side of the floppy bay), you know, all the stuff that stunned me with the Corsair (Most of my past experience is taking a part and putting back together computers from the side of the road and replacing parts on HP Deskpros at my high school.....)

FireGryphon wrote:From the title, I was expecting something like an XT case. This is neat, but not all that exotic.


Huh, I've never seen one with fans on the top and side before. They seem odd places to put them. I've never seen one like it, but then again, as I've stated, my experience is limited; I've got another thread listing all the mistakes I've made (Not checking the motherboard and case were compatible, overpaying for a CPU, buying SATA cables that I didn't need, massively overpaying for said SATA cables, buying the CPU off eBay and then taking too long to get the other parts so if it doesn't work I'm up the creek without a paddle)

bthylafh wrote:Canageek's probably not as old as us. :P

I'm 25. Based on a photo I took of the parts the CD drive was made in 2003. I would have been in grade 10 then, so I guess it isn't that old a case. Only 11 years.

JustAnEngineer wrote:I started computing on a white-screen 8K Commodore PET in 1977. That would be a pretty cool case for a retro PC build using modern components, but I was never a fan of the chicklet keyboard.


My Dad and I have a Commadore 64 collection. http://canageek.wordpress.com/tag/c64/ It would be cool to do something with that.

DPete27 wrote:The problem with 80mm fans is that oftentimes they're either too loud or don't move enough air. I err on the side of silence. If you're interested in getting new fans [snip] I own the Enermax. Very quiet.


Thanks for the information; I'll see how this is and wait a few paychecks for things to get sorted out. Money is a bit tight right now due to some issues with the accounting dept at work, plus tuition coming due at the same time I placed this order.

DPete27 wrote:Those 4-pin molex connectors are designed to get daisy-chained together. That's why there's so many ends.
I was thinking it was something like that, it just seemed odd to have those on the fans instead of making those terminal.

DPete27 wrote:Never too late to buy a decent inexpensive case.


.....I'll think about that if this case turns out to be really noisy. Money is kind of tight; I saved up for about 8 months to get the parts I have now, and even then I had to cut down on what I planned to buy.

-----

Ok, I've installed the motherboard now. I had the first two screws lightly in when I decided to take it back out and recheck the standoffs for some reason. I was right, there was an extra one that didn't match up to a hole on the motherboard. Took that out and installed the motherboard. Man that is a lot of screws. I hope I used the right ones. Shot ones with the mushroom caps, right?

Image

Hindsight; I should have put the drives in first. I did that LAST time, why didn't I do that this time?
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:17 pm

I assume you live in Canada. Where are you located?
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:20 pm

Hmmm, I didn't pay attention to the thread on the screws I used to put the motherboard in, I just found ones that seemed the right side, and those also seem the right side to put the drives in, but according to the tech support video these are different screw types. Is this a problem?

Also; none of my drives have jumpers, and I recall those being important to set up which was master. Is that no longer a thing?
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:22 pm

UltimateImperative wrote:I assume you live in Canada. Where are you located?


Vancouver. I got a lot of this stuff when TR North gave away a ton of things.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:34 pm

Canageek wrote:Hmmm, I didn't pay attention to the thread on the screws I used to put the motherboard in, I just found ones that seemed the right side, and those also seem the right side to put the drives in, but according to the tech support video these are different screw types. Is this a problem?


If the screws fit, they'll work fine. I've been building systems for years and I just mix and match any old screw that fits.


Also; none of my drives have jumpers, and I recall those being important to set up which was master. Is that no longer a thing?


Yeah, haven't used jumpers on a hdd in a while. I'm nostalgic for that dark art, but it's just easier configuring everything by the BIOS.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:43 pm

FireGryphon wrote:If the screws fit, they'll work fine. I've been building systems for years and I just mix and match any old screw that fits.


That is good, as I used different screws for the HDD and the optical drive; I just went and used whatever fit, and when I ran out of screws from the old case, I broke into the corsair's supply.

What on earth are the 1" long screws that came with the Corsair for? 0.o

Also: HDD and optical drive in. HDD gave me some troubles. I miss the sliding trays from the 350D. Couldn't get the SSD into the HD bay; the screw holes didn't line up. Looking at using the optical bay or floppy bay.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:17 am

Problem encountered. The motherboard manual lists everything as + or - for the front panel header. while the cables just have a triangle at one of the holes. The speaker cable also has KSP under the triangle.

Edit: Hey, when did it become 9 pm? I should have dinner at some point.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:57 am

Man, the power supply is a pain to set up. Such thick cables, and so many of them. I've demonstrated that I at best am vaguely aware of cable management. I had to move the SSD around to get it connected, and remove the 80mm fan on the side of the case (It wouldn't fit with the coolmaster --Perhaps I should re-install it at the back of the case? There are mount points for it there.) I've done my best to tie the cables away so they aren't right in front of a fan or touching the cooling fins as both seemed like 'bad things'. Now I'm looking at it, all hooked up, plugged into the monitor and wall.

Welp. here goes nothing. Wish me luck.

IT LIVESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Well, it has a row of dots going across the screen, but that isn't a surprise what with the lack of OS.

"The system has experienced boot failures beacuse of overclocking or changes of voltages.

Last setting sin this page may not coincide with current H/W states"

Welp, I guess I know what TR north was doing with the motherboard. Time to figure out how to turn this all off....

Lets see. I've got the power supply in upside down, so the fan is pointing at the roof of the case. That isn't going to work and I'll have to fix that. The fan at the top of the case is in backwards, and overall it is the loudest computer I've used. *sigh* I'm wondering if I really NEED those two fans, but I'm guessing the answer is yes.

Also some idiot put LEDs on ALL the fans and the power supply, no having the computer on at night for me.

1 am edit: Realized better solution: Take the plexiglass out of the roof of the case, have the powersupply either vent or suck air out of/in to the room. I'll see if the machine shop guys will cut me a window in the plexiglass tomorrow, as man is it loud with no roof on.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:46 am

Canageek wrote:Problem encountered. The motherboard manual lists everything as + or - for the front panel header. while the cables just have a triangle at one of the holes. The speaker cable also has KSP under the triangle.


The rule of thumb with those light and switch headers is that the colored wire is + and the black or white wire is -. Polarity doesn't strictly matter on the switches but it's best to develop good habits.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:55 am

Canageek wrote:
FireGryphon wrote:If the screws fit, they'll work fine. I've been building systems for years and I just mix and match any old screw that fits.


That is good, as I used different screws for the HDD and the optical drive; I just went and used whatever fit, and when I ran out of screws from the old case, I broke into the corsair's supply.

What on earth are the 1" long screws that came with the Corsair for? 0.o


Hard drives, motherboard standoffs, and expansion slots use the same sort of screw, what my old boss taught me to call "coarse thread". Optical drives and IIRC floppies use "fine thread", for reasons I'm sure made sense at the time. They can and do have different head styles, but those differences aren't important unless you're using certain types of drive mounts (which this case doesn't use). If your 1" screws are extra thick they're probably for mounting fans; if not I have no idea.

As to your other question about mounting the surplus fan at the back of the case, that's what I'd do. I always build to have one intake fan at the front and an exhaust fan at back. The intake fan is usually right in front of the hard drive (case permitting) and the exhaust as close to the CPU possible. You might reduce your noise problems with the new fans that someone else linked to; older fans weren't designed as quiet and tend to get louder with age due to wear. 80mm is considered small today for a case fan, and smaller fans have to turn faster to move the same amount of air, which leads to more noise.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:00 am

I love messing with old vintage computers and parts, but that just looks like a cheapo case from around 10 years ago. Not quite sure I see the appeal, but to each their own.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:15 pm

The Egg wrote:I love messing with old vintage computers and parts, but that just looks like a cheapo case from around 10 years ago. Not quite sure I see the appeal, but to each their own.

Read this and his other thread. He picked up some cheap parts, but the case is micro ATX only and his board is not. And he has no money. He got this case for free, and now here we are.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:44 pm

This thread is still useful even though it's not "super-duper old case" because it shows us how far case design really has come in the last 10-15 years.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:22 pm

I should probably read more carefully. I got the impression maybe he was going for a strange retro look, or just liked using old cases for whatever reason.

Speaking of which, what do you guys usually do with your old/outdated cases? I recently tossed a couple, including a perfectly good Coolermaster Cavalier 3. I thought about giving them away, but didn't have any local takers, and they aren't really worth the shipping cost.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:52 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:This thread is still useful even though it's not "super-duper old case" because it shows us how far case design really has come in the last 10-15 years.


No kidding. Now, I don't know if this was a good case back then, but I don't think it was a bad one, given that it has a fan on the side, the top, and two on the front, and all the fans have LEDs; that sort of thing doesn't come stock from Dell, so I think someone made this custom for something or other. But man; no cable management, all screws, and it is a pain to take apart. Also, the new case mounts the power supply at the bottom (Why do they do that? I thought they put it at the top as it generated a lot of heat and heat rises?)

Flying Fox wrote:
The Egg wrote:I love messing with old vintage computers and parts, but that just looks like a cheapo case from around 10 years ago. Not quite sure I see the appeal, but to each their own.

Read this and his other thread. He picked up some cheap parts, but the case is micro ATX only and his board is not. And he has no money. He got this case for free, and now here we are.


Less money then even when I wrote that, as my profs accounts were frozen for a bit due to dumb accounting (He had $120K in one account and -$30K in another, and the university decided he has no money and stopped paying us, despite the fact he had pointed this out to them a number of times. So I've only been getting half my paycheck for a bit. I'll get it all soon, but until then....)

The Egg wrote:I should probably read more carefully. I got the impression maybe he was going for a strange retro look, or just liked using old cases for whatever reason.

Speaking of which, what do you guys usually do with your old/outdated cases? I recently tossed a couple, including a perfectly good Coolermaster Cavalier 3. I thought about giving them away, but didn't have any local takers, and they aren't really worth the shipping cost.


Well, I got the 350D when the TR North guys opened the van and told us to make everything disappear. If you are in Canada and will take a check or paypal for shipping I can give them a good home.... or if you are in Vancouver and want to meet I'll buy you a drink in exchange for it.

But really, Kajiji or Craigslist it. I've gotten rid of Nintendo power collections, bicycles, etc that way. You get cash, they pick it up, very little hassle.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:03 pm

bthylafh wrote:
Canageek wrote:Problem encountered. The motherboard manual lists everything as + or - for the front panel header. while the cables just have a triangle at one of the holes. The speaker cable also has KSP under the triangle.


The rule of thumb with those light and switch headers is that the colored wire is + and the black or white wire is -. Polarity doesn't strictly matter on the switches but it's best to develop good habits.


Sweet! Good to know. I'm going to see if I can take the front and the back panels off the case, so I can get holes drilled in them for my 160 mm fans, so I'll make sure it is wired right then.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:23 pm

If you keep the side panel off you might not need those two front fans. Or any fans minus your cpu/gpu ones.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:10 pm

bthylafh wrote:
FireGryphon wrote:From the title, I was expecting something like an XT case. This is neat, but not all that exotic.


Canageek's probably not as old as us. :P


I know when I saw "very old case" I was picturing a PDP-11 or an early HP 3000 or some other mini-computer...
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:20 pm

odizzido wrote:If you keep the side panel off you might not need those two front fans. Or any fans minus your cpu/gpu ones.


Yeah, but then I risk putting my foot into the case, and given I swing my legs around a lot....yeah, not a great idea.

So, I've got windows installed now, and installed all the driver CDs I could find. However, I can't get it to connect to my internet. I don't have a router, so fixing this is a slow processes of googling, swapping the cable between my laptop and the new PC and trying something, seeing it doesn't work and swapping the cable back. So far it appears it sees the modem, but not the internet. Not sure what I've done wrong, and yes, the network drivers are installed and I can ping 127.0.0.1. I can't ping the default gateway, but I see that isn't unusual if you don't have a router. This is also really annoying to google, as I hit untold search chaff of 'are the drivers installed'? and 'my wireless network is set up wrong' while looking. I'm wondering if I screwed up a BIOS setting or something last night? That doesn't seem likely, but I know I changed some network related ones (There are usually Wake on LAN options enabled that I never use and have seen cause problems in the past, so I turn them off). Other then that, welp, I'm feeling it is going to be something stupid and obvious, but have no idea what it is. I mean, this is ethernet and a cable modem, you are just supposed to plug it in and have it work. I don't recall doing anything special when I set my laptop up with it for the first time.

Edit: MAN, this hard drive is taking forever to format. I should not have turned Quick Format off, but I thought a full disk check might not be a bad idea....
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:39 pm

IIRC my ISP restricts handing out IP addresses to known MAC addresses. Maybe if you have this computer clone the laptop's wired MAC it'll work.
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:53 pm

Reboot the modem otherwise it will only accept the last MAC addy you had it plugged into. It's like that all over.
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PenGun
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:57 pm

PenGun wrote:Reboot the modem otherwise it will only accept the last MAC addy you had it plugged into. It's like that all over.


o.0 Damn, didn't even think to try that since I knew the modem was fine. I've cloned the Laptops MAC onto the desktop, so it is working now. I'll look into getting a router and undoing the cloning so that I don't have to swap cables every time. I've had really bad experiences with cheap routers in past though....
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."
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Canageek
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Re: Canageek tries to build a computer using a very old case

Postposted on Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:31 pm

The machine shop guys cut a whole in the top-plexiglass for the power supply fan. Nice.

Image

Now to get some holes punched in the case for some less noisy fans that don't freaking glow. Why would you want glowing fans? I turned on the light in my power supply, so I could see when it was spinning but at least I can turn it off if I want to have the computer download a game while I sleep, or somesuch.
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."
- Attributed to Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut
Canageek
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