MOD #1 - CASE LEDs - 9/27/01
It's a pretty innocent
and easy mod to start with. All you need is a PC case with a
couple of LEDs in it, some scissors, a soldering iron and new
replacement LEDs of your desired color and MCD level. This,
as you might guess, is why I decided to start here in my modding
career. That and LEDs are damned cheep when compared to some
of the other mods I'm sure I'll be getting in to.
So here we find some
shots of our starting hardware:
First up we have the 5mm
ultra-bright blue LED from Radio Shack. Chiming in at around
2600 MCD, this is a rather bright little uppy that can give you a
bit ofa headache if you look at it head-on. The other key
component of this project is my brand new Lian-Li PC-68USB case
procured from Bigfoot Computers up in Canada. This is,
without a doubt, the sweetest case I've ever owned. Brushed
aluminum mid-tower case with 4 5.25" external drive bays, 3 3.5"
external drive bays and another 4 3.5" drive bases inside.
All this in a freakin' mid-tower. comes stock with two 80mm
Adda fans up front and another one in the rear. Check out a
nice review of the case over at Hardware Extreme should your
curiosity be piqued. Note the amount of green in the photos
below...we simply must do something about that.
The 5mm LED.
The PC-68 in low light.
Side shot...wouldn't a window look sweet
right about there...
So now we get to be a bit
destructive, enter a pair of scissors and one shaky right
hand...hey, you expect me to be calm and sedate the first time I
hack something off of a brand new, $200 case? Yeah, right.
Enter the scissors.
Hello clear blue.
Just a simple matter of attaching
the positive and the ground cables to the right sides of the LED,
a smidge bit of solder on each end and *poof* a nice, blue power
light to replace the dull green that was there just a few minutes
ago. Finish of with some heat-shrink rap to protect from any
unsightly shorts....repeat the process for the hard drive LED and
remount everything back in the face plate and the case.
Would you look at that!
It lights up and I didn't even short anything out.
The case back together.
Tada! A happy little blue LED.
That's it. Simple, unobtrusive,
yet oddly satisfying. You don't realize how dull green and orange
are until you've swapped them out with something blue. It'll
match the cold cathode light that's going to get installed in the
future very nicely I wager. Now we just need to do something
about the floppy, CD and CDR LEDs....but that's all for another