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 Post subject: Modified Antec NSK3480 with new front panel
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:17 am
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Location: U.K.
The Antec NSK3480 is a solidly-built and well-designed case except perhaps for a couple of features. First the front panel looks and feels a little cheap, and second there isn't room for a standard-sized power supply when using a full-sized optical drive.

My solution was to use a slimline slot-load laptop DVD-RW drive which gives enough space for a Corsair HX650W PSU, and to design a new front panel to be cut from black anodised aluminium. The laptop optical drive was mounted in a butchered 5 1/4" drive case along with a Sandisk Imagemate card reader.

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The computer is running OS X for photo and video editing, using the following components:

Case: Antec NSK3480
M/B: ASUS Rampage II Gene
CPU: Intel Core i7 920
Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P
PSU: Corsair HX650W
GFX: Asus 9600GT 512MB
RAM: Corsair 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz XMS3
Hard disk: Western Digital 640GB Blue
DVD+RW: Optiarc AD-7670S with Startech Slimline SATA adapter
Fans: 1 x Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120mm, 2 x Scythe Gentle Typhoon 92mm
Card reader: Sandisk Imagemate
Power switch: Bulgin MP0034

The front panel was made by Schaeffer AG in Germany (http://www.schaeffer-ag.de) and designed using their Front Panel Designer software.

I will add more photos once I have tidied up the cabling (so far I have routed cables from the top compartment to the bottom behind the motherboard following the threads by C. Zoui and Krick)


Last edited by sennen on Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:07 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Wow, looks great!

Antec could take some style tips from this! :lol:

Out of interest, how much did the panel design and cutting cost (if you don't mind telling us)?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 1:19 am
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Location: Australia
slick indeed.
though i wouldv'e taken the opportunity to move the buttons/leds/usb ports around since my case sits to my right.

how does it attach to the case?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:36 pm 
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Location: Norway
Neat hackintosh :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:17 am
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Location: U.K.
The panel cost €29 to make (or €43 with shipping and VAT). You download Front Panel Designer from their website, use the software to create your panel, it calculates the cost and allows you to upload the design for manufacture.

The plastic panel of the NSK3480 is made up of 3 parts. I glued the new 2mm aluminium panel onto the outer one of those.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:27 pm
Posts: 326
Nice looking computer. Please show us the insides. Also, what method did you use to install OSX? Not a bad price on that custom front panel although I suspect getting all the measurements correct was a delicate job.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:50 am 
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Location: en.gb.uk
Awesome. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:17 am
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Location: U.K.
Getting the measurements was tricky (I used a 15cm digital calliper) and it was a relief to find that everything lined up.

Installation of OS X followed the well documented USB drive method.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:02 pm
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Location: United States
Very nice! The front panel has always been one of the few things I've disliked about these cases. Mine's holding up better than I'd expected, but would have been nice if they had used some more robust plastic. The aluminum front panel is a good idea, and the case looks great with the optical drive stealthed like that.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:40 am
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Location: Sweden
Would it be possible for you to share the file containing your nice front-panel design?
It would be much appreciated if you could, would very much like to have one myself. :)

Also do you have any photos of the insides of your computer so that one could see the results of your cablegami?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:37 pm
Posts: 127
Location: Oregon, United States
samuelt wrote:
Would it be possible for you to share the file containing your nice front-panel design?
It would be much appreciated if you could, would very much like to have one myself. :)

Also do you have any photos of the insides of your computer so that one could see the results of your cablegami?

bump for this

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:42 pm 
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Location: United States
Bumping this again, does anyone know of a similar service in the US? I've always liked this mod, might be interested in adding an aluminum front panel to mine if I can get it fabricated without spending too much ($50 or so would probably be the absolute max, not sure if this is doable).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:38 pm 
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I think the company that does it in europe also has a US operation. If you hunt round on their website there might be a link. [/list]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:02 pm
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Location: United States
Didn't even consider that, but yeah, it looks like you're right. Thanks, will look into this and see what prices are like.

edit: Took some very rough measurements and did a design just to get an idea of price. Came out to about $50 for black anodized aluminum, 2.00mm thickness. At the upper end of what I was willing to pay, so not really sure if I will go through with it. Will have to think about this some more.

Anyway, if anybody wants to do something similar in the US or Canada, the site is below.

http://www.frontpanelexpress.com/

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