Tag Archive: HX08

Earthquake’s New Wood Case


Earthquake is my primary machine, and I just can’t keep my hands off of it. Lately, I’ve had a bug to build it a new case, to replace the rather poorly modded HX08 that currently hosts it.

So after building the wood case for Locust I decided to make a new one for Earthquake.

I set about looking at my efforts at building Locust and wanted a case set up along similar lines. I wanted a quiet case that was roomy and matched the rest of my desk furniture.

I gutted Earthquake‘s current HX08 for this project, using the motherboard tray and a 5-1/4″ drive bay from a previously gutted case. This would remove the jury-rigging I had to do with locust and would give a more finished look.

Tools used included a jigsaw, a Dewalt power drill with a 120mm hole saw and various drill bits including a 1″ drill bit. I also increased my skills with a soldering iron.

I used 5/8″ pine laminate which is essentially strips of pine glued and pressed together to form a stripe effect. Thicker slabs of this stuff are found in chopping block tables and counter tops. It makes for a good looking case, and is relatively easy to work with and not all that expensive (about $15 for a 24″ x 48″ piece).

The only problem with the laminate is that it tends to crack along its seams while drilling fan holes, so you must be careful about that. I finished off the look with some cherry-tinted stain.


I was trying to keep the look as clean and as cooling efficient as possible. I used two 120mm fans for intake down low in the front, and another 120mm fan and fans on the Enermax as outflow fans, creating a slight overpressure in the case, keeping dust from getting sucked into cracks and devices.


A close up shot of the fan grilles. The green metal inside the case is actually the light from the green cold cathode reflecting off of the metal hard drive tray inside. The flash reduced the light quite a bit.


Another picture with the lights out, showing the green neon:



Various detail pics of the dual hard drive configuration and and the interior wiring. What you can’t see in the hard drive picture is the two layers of vibration damping rubber matting I mounted under the drive tray to alleviate some of the drive noise caused by the drive platters spinning at 10,000 rpm.



I use five switches: one 12v-5v switch for the 92mm Zalman fan, one 12v-Off-5v for the dual 120mm fans up front, one 12v-Off-5v for the 120mm in the back and two momentary On-(On) switches for Reset and Power. The black switch is the On-Off switch for the Cold Cathode light.

The Four LEDs are for (from left to right) Power, IDE Activity, SCSI HD0 Activity and SCSI HD1 Activity.


For a quiet ride, go Zalman:


Here’s a picture of how it looks before spray painting the bezels. Note the boring beige HX08 that currently hosts Headcrash. It’s days are numbered!


Headcrash Background

I had a file server that had basically outgrown its case and was looking for a bigger, full tower case. I’d recently picked up the case modding bug and was looking for a good solid case with good cooling possibilities, since my server in its mini tower ran hotter than the sun with its dual PIII processors and multiple 10k rpm LVD SCSI drives. I ended up picking the Aopen HX08 as reviewed on Virtual Hideout .

Earthquake Gear Arrives

I’ve collected all my gear and it’s sitting in a juicy collection of boxes in my laundry room, waiting to be assembled. In going through the layout and setup it looks like the 90 degree 4″ elbow join that I was going to use for a duct is going to be too damn big. That radiator is a big mofo. The rad + fan combo pushed the duct into the PCI slot area on the motherboard tray. Not good considering I’ll have something like 6 slots full of cards.

I did have some layout questions that I’m looking for answers on [H]ardOCPGideontech and The Tech Zone.

Basically, I’m looking for a quiet and well-cooled rig (aren’t we all?) and would like to reduce the number of fans spinning, which is why I’m going for a watercooled solution. Well, that plus it’s a rockin’ idea.

I’m looking at two possible setups:


Option one:

I put one 120mm fan at the bottom with the radiator, sucking air in and 2x 80mm fans at the top pulling air out.

This way there’s only three fans spinning and I get airflow through the radiator and over the hot SCSI drives.

Question: Will this be enough airflow to keep the drives cool as well as keeping the overall case temp near ambient?





Option Two:

I add a 120mm Chimney fan up top to pull all the hot air in the case up and out and reverse the flow on the 2x80mm fans so they blow directly onto the SCSI drives.

What’ll be the temp difference in the case and of the drives?