MOD #2 - CASE WINDOW - 9/29/01
So this would be the
hardest of the mods I'm planning on doing. Well, not necessarily
hard, but most stressful. Cutting a huge, gapping hole in the
side of your $200 case...yeah, I'll remain calm and
collected...one little slip up and I need to find a company that
will sell just a side panel. Or I'll have to get VERY creative
with how I fill the hole in. Lexan's not that expensive, so I
keep that in mind as I get ready to begin. You can always buy a
new piece of Lexan should you mess up cutting that...best to get
the case panel done right though. So here we remind ourselves of
how we left things from our last mod and then we take a look at
the proposed outline for the window.
Our last glimpse of the unhacked case.
Thanks to a blue felt tipped marker, we
have the guidelines.
Rounded corners are a
very necessary piece of this project as the molding strip that
will be used doesn't take to right angles at all. That and after
looked at dozens of other people's window mods, I'd have to say it
just plain looks better. Thanks to the lid to a can of fish food,
you can see the traced curves inserted in the otherwise
rectangular outline. Now this was the easy part...the trick is
now to slap on some masking tape so we don't inadvertently scratch
the case and then to break out the dremel and follow the
A quick masking tape outline, lest there
be an inadvertent hand slip.
Something tells me I need stronger dremel
cutting wheels...and more masking tape...
My, look at how that
aluminum just chews up those dremel wheels....all said and done, I
think I went through about 18 of them...should have used a jigsaw
or something, but the dremel was all I had...hey, it gave me
something to do and filled the house with this most wonderful
smell....oif. But as the next three pictures show, the dremel
still managed to get the job done...about an hour later, but
finished none the less and in relatively straight lines too.
The first corner gets cut away, with
rather rough edges.
The panel finally drops through to the
A ton of masking tape and one giant hole.
Taking the tape off, it
looks oddly nice...albeit a bit confusing. Slapping in on the
case and we get a little sneak peak of how things will look. Time
to start in on the Lexan. Keeping the protective cover on so as
to avoid scratches, we break out the dremel yet again. Only 5
cutting wheels this time due to them heating up too much and
snapping off. (Almost nailed poor Ivan with one of them) Now the
smell changes in the house to that of melting plastic...mmmm, mmmm
tasty. That will sure wake you up. Notice yet again, the blue
outline, a smidge bit smaller than the actual hole to accommodate
the molding to go in to place. Easier to cut than aluminum, but
melts a little if you're not careful.
Oooh, it's a freakin' mess in there!
Enter the dremel, yet again...this time
biting in to some Lexan.
Somehow that's going to fit in there.
It should be noted that
I did have to break out a grinding stone and smooth down the rough
edges on the case and the glass. A bit time consuming, but pretty
damned straight forward. Also, notice the molding...it goes on to
the case without any hassle...just be sure and cut it right...I
shot a little low, so I ended up with a small gap that I had to
fill in after the fact. With the aide of a trusty flat head screw
driver, the window manages to get coaxed in to place after about
an hour...the locking strip takes another hour to get in right
(note that I'm also distracted by TV at this point *grin*)...As
you can see however, I managed to pull it off....and it doesn't
look half bad. In fact, I find that I prefer the window to the
dull, boring normal case side. Too bad this innards are in an
embarrassing state at this point.
A window! Note the exciting couch
The PC-68, with a new window.
Alright, maybe there's some things better
So, there you have it.
The biggest mod to date. A common mod, but still a very pretty
one...as long as you ignore the nightmare that is the inside of my
case. But hey, what do you expect...at this point we have a
ribbon floppy cable, a ribbon cable for the Live!-Drive, a ribbon
SCSI-2 cable, a ribbon UW SCSI cable and a rounded U2W cable. Not
to mention power, fans and audio cables. Part of this project's
goals is to complete replace the innards as well, so who knows
where things will lead...stay tuned I suppose.