Modified DigiDoc5, The Finish and Installation
Another carry over from the original BaDass project is a modified DigiDoc5. Like the top cover, I made a few of these, just in case there would be another place to use them. Instead of using a single 5.25′ bay, it now resides in a pair of 3.5′ bays.
It involved machining and anodizing a bracket from a piece of 4′ x 4′ x 3/8′ aluminum angle. Windows are cut into the angle’s face to access and view the necessary parts of the DigiDoc and a shelf was cut into the back allowing clearance for wires. Stainless helicoils are used in the threaded holes to avoid mauling the threads.
Mounting the DigiDoc to its new face plate is a simple matter of cutting it to size and a little epoxy to hold it in place.
After all the work that went into fabricating this case, it really deserved a special finish. I turned to Colorcoat in Modesto, CA, one of the premier powder coaters in the country. They used a unique combination of three finishes to put some color on things.
For the interior of the case, they used a gloss mint green. All of the fan grilles, USB cover plate and the fan controller plate were coated with a textured matte black. The body of the case used a mix of the two, with a powder mix of black with a dusting of mint green.
A few comments are in order regarding this finish. It turns out to be tougher and more scratch resistant than anodizing, which was the original finish of choice. In addition, it required much less preparation because putting a grain on the surfaces wasn’t necessary. My concerns that parts wouldn’t fit because of the thickness of the finish turned out to be ill founded. Everything went together just fine. Special thanks have to go out to Colorcoat, especially for their care in plugging all the threaded holes before applying the finish, which made assembling the case quite easy.
When it came time to install the system components, with the help of John from Flashawk Computers in Sonora, CA, everything went smoothly. Although things are close together in this rig, everything seemed to go together like butter. It’s just real easy to get to everything and evidence that there is more to this layout for a PC than just lights and glitz.
Two things did come up, however. First, the fan in front of the mainboard needs a shroud built to avoid some components. That will be a nice little project for another day. And secondly, I can’t seem to get the hard drive activity lights to work off of the RAIDCore controller. That one just really bugs me.