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Homegrown Mod Manifesto:How To Build A UV PC

Last response: in Components
October 2, 2003 3:00:42 AM

Okay, if you subscribe to the news letter you have already seen the new case oriented article "Homegrown Mod Manifesto: How To Build A UV PC" - It will run on the main site Friday morning. (Exclusive content is a great reason why you should be subscribing to the news letter!)

Based on some of the feedback that I have seen so far many people didn't care for it at all, while others really embraced the concept that I was trying to show here.

Let's hear what you have to say about all of this.

Would you like to see more articles like this?

Are articles like this far too basic?

Do you feel that this was a stupid idea for me to write about from the get go?

Let me hear your thoughts on this one!
October 2, 2003 5:16:44 AM

It seemed like a pretty good idea, just kind of a shame in the end, the combinations of cables and lights didn't shine up any brighter. Just judging from other serious modding websites such as Bit-tech, Modthebox, Mikhailtech, ect, there's a lot of other idea's i'd build on.

Probably the nicest looking UV case was actually the one my friend had. He took part of a standard old enlight ATX case, to use the drive bays and backplate as a guide, then cut out some acrylic pieces from an unassembled acylic case. The end product looks great, all the cables are easily seen through the literal whole case window. It's not perfect, but it's pretty close.

I think another way to maybe improve the lighting and effect would be to take non conductive UV paint, and actually tape a fine tip paintbrush, to paint most of the motherboard chips, contacts, slots, and anything that doesn't require some kind of plug in device. I'd have to look around on google or something to find the website that did it, but they litearlly took a (very bright) array of neon UV paints, and painted the motherboard, video card top and bottom, and a couple cheap PCI cards. That, in combination with the UV cold cathodes and UV fans, looked tremendous.

Overall, the article was pretty cool. COuld maybe use some more pictures, to show the whole process, as well as some bloopers or problems that occured along the way. It would be great to see an update or new project in two or three weeks, as well as readers suggestions and feedback.

Great work THG!

:cool: I run my AthlonXfx at 7.65 Exahertz :cool:
October 3, 2003 1:49:56 PM

I know I will get flamebait for this. But I really don`t care for the see thru windows and the UV lights. Mind you I do like a good case mod the stuff on is pretty good most of the time. I even want a new case but most of them all have a window in them already, I don`t want a window!
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October 3, 2003 3:01:37 PM

I think it was a great article! Sure the fancy UV lights, case windows, and lit fans are completely unnecessary, but it’s fun and appeals to the artistic nature in many of use.

What makes this article really interesting to me is that I just built my first PC 2 weeks ago and used the same case! (but not black, aluminum color) and installed a light and such (not UV).

Dave, I had a specific small issue with this case that I want to know what the best way to deal with it is/was. It’s dealing with the panel on the back of the case where the various ports, i.e. USB, serial, printer stick out. On the inside, there were little metal tabs sticking out, towards the motherboard, that prevented the mobo from fitting flush against the case. I just bent these back as much as possble, pushed the mobo up against them and secured the mobo to the case. Do these tabs haave a purpose? It’s just really bugging me that I didn’t do it correctly. My intel mobo actually came with it’s own panel that I could have replaced the one in the case with, but I didn’t use it. Thanks.
October 3, 2003 3:06:29 PM

Its a good idea man, go with it. All the people who would rather look at the case instead of use the computer will love it.... (just kidding)
October 3, 2003 3:09:34 PM

Ya shoulda used the panel that came with your mobo...
Thats why its in the box dude!
October 3, 2003 3:26:22 PM

I read the article and couldn't see why they didn't add a large UV bulb to light everything (that's UV sensitive) up!

Roses are <font color=red>red</font color=red>, violets are <font color=blue>blue</font color=blue>, post something stupid and I won't reply to you!
October 6, 2003 12:06:47 AM

Green is not my favorite color although people are into "Hulk" theme these days, i.e. green chocolate syrup comes to mind. Color is matter of personal preference so no hiderence on the article. I think it's well written for those who want to mod but afraid to. I would love to mod my computer case complete with purple / blue theme and water cooling with dye ink to make em' really glow.

Hence the question why computer cases always have to be square? Now motherboards getting smaller in size so the case could be of any shape really. I have to admire Apple's creativity in this regard even though their computer prices are bit out of reach for most people.

I wonder if there will be a mod for the shuttle mini-case?

Meanwhile, computer show coming up next weekend so time for me to replace the aging Enlight case with something new with some dazzle and lights and a little bit of Las Vegas. :) 

a b ) Power supply
October 6, 2003 1:00:12 AM

Captain Obvious thinks such Articles are good for modding beginners and for those looking for something a little different!

The Captain however prefers elegant solutions that look nice but dont necessarily glow in the dark!

<b><font color=red>Captain Obvious To The Rescue!!!</font color=red></b>
October 6, 2003 2:44:11 PM

I have been doing a lot of looking at my Shuttle case as of late. I think it would be possible to do some mods with it, but right now, I am not sure what direction I am going to take this idea.
October 6, 2003 8:20:40 PM

My thoughts...

* I thought the article was a great idea! (I love reading wacky articles like this.)
* I thought that the concept of a UV PC was great.
* I'm glad that the article didn't use the P4 mobo. (Because it's not-so-great quality makes it hard to reccomend to anyone even if it does look cool.)

* UV and any other light don't mix well because reaction to UV is washed out by other bands of light very easily. I knew from the beginning that it was doomed to failure if for no other reason than because of the illuminated fans. This is a failing in a lot of UV projects of all types.
* UV light doesn't travel well so you have to make up for this in the number/size of lights.
* Single-color UV reactive is kind of boring in my opinion.

* Try using more UV cold cathodes.
* Unless you could get UV LEDs in the fans then just stick to non-lit fans.
* Paint UV reactive spiral patterns on black fan blades or get UV reactive fans and paint black spiral patterns on the fan blades. This works for CPU fan and/or case fans. Look to children's pinwheels for examples of what works and what doesn't.
* Try using whites and more colors. Maybe IDE cables could be one color, power cables for fans and such another color, leave the mobo's reactive parts their own color, etc. to categorize component types by color.
* Try using a translucent UV paint and/or UV paint with much paint thinner to put a translucent painting or message (like THG) on the acrylic window.

<pre><A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=black>People don't understand how hard being a dark god can be. - Hastur</font color=black></A></pre><p>
October 6, 2003 10:26:57 PM

I thought it was a useful article, b/c I like mod articles.

- good & timely topic
- good coverage on sleeving
- I liked the discussion on aesthetic aspects of system building, like cable runs, etc.
- nice-looking parts

- like others have said, you probably needed another UV cathode and/or better placement. Cathode placement is crucial, esp w/ UV your box, you may have been better off putting it vertically against the back or somewhere that hits more of the components.
- I noticed that in a few of the pictures, the UV cathode at the bottom of the case was dark at one end of the bulb. If so, that means you have a bad cathode...the UV cathode s/b bright at both ends. That could explain the lack of glow.
- it didn't seem like a guide that would fully apply to many people. I don't know how many people have $2k+ to spend on parts, plus can get Mark from frozencpu to sleeve their PSU for them, plus have access to a drill press.

General UV suggestions:
- cathode placement is very important
- other ways to get UV on the cheap: pctoys UV paint can be sprayed on stuff, normal fluorescent highlighters come in diff colors & make it easy to UV-ize many parts & pieces, plus you can get neon tape, zip ties, & other stuff.
- anything that glows in the dark will glow well under UV. Many (or all?) fluorescent/neon things will also glow. e.g. the orange thermaltake smartfan 2 glows brightly.

All in all, I'm glad the article was written b/c I like seeing case aesthetics being discussed.
October 7, 2003 1:06:02 PM

I thought the article was well paced, didn't go OTT on the tech stuff but it didn't go too far in the other direction and treat people as if it was "My first computer build" either.

Months ago I would have scoffed at case modding, but recently I've been looking at it in a different light, if you'll excuse the pun! The article was great for me and gave me a few tips. Nice one. Hopefully, you'll run some follow up articles on the concept.

<font color=blue>"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that" - Bill Shankly</font color=blue>
October 9, 2003 8:09:31 PM

I enjoyed the article. I just built a new system recently and even though I wasn’t planning to use any lights or UV stuff, I ended up going UV crazy. I knew my PIII-866 was not going to be Half-life 2 worthy, so I bought all of the main components and a Lian Li PC-65 to put everything into. But then the normal looking 420w power supply I ordered, somehow got misshipped or substituted by the vendor I ordered it from. They sent me an Aspire 500w clear power supply with blue UV fans, flourecent green connectors, and other various UV components. Since I was already planning to sleeve all of the power supply leads, I decided to buy UV sleeving material instead. (my son coaxed me into green for the power leads and orange for the ATX bundle) And since I was already planning to get rounded floppy and IDE cables, it only cost a couple extra bucks to get the UV versions instead. Then I topped it off with a 92mm, blue UV fan for my slk-947u heatsink and a 12" UV light. The nearly finished product looks pretty good. Under the UV light, the orange sleeving material is the most intense of all the colors and the red IDE cables are most disappointing. I just ordered a 6" UV light, blue IDE cables, and a prefab 2 switch cover that fits the extra 3.5" bay on my case. Overall, it was fun to do and my son and his friends think its cool or rad or something like that. It mostly reminds of the black light posters I used to have when I was their age. Where are my Zeppelin albums!! :) 
October 10, 2003 4:30:27 AM

Quetz brought up a good point tho, bloopers would be an amusing touch.

The one and only "Monstrous BULLgarian!"
October 15, 2003 3:51:40 PM

This is one of the few UV-case articles out there, and though I wish I'd seen it a couple months ago, *groan* it was quite informative.
I'm working on a blue/purple UV setup myself, with clear UV-reactive rounded cables, one UV-reactive (but not lighted) case fan, two UV 12" cold cathodes, a UV-reactive PSU cover, one UV lazer LED, and (supposedly) UV-reactive braided sleeving for the PSU wires. (I'm also throwing some green and blue EL glowire in; one string for the front of the case, the other to border the plexi slab I'm replacing the entire sidepanel with.)
So many problems! I started with one bright blue cathode and one UV and quickly realized the blue cathode totally overpowered the UV. So out it went...but still, the one UV cathode didn't even begin to light the cables and such. So I bought a second UV cathode, and that helped. Mounting one cathode beside the motherboard, between it and the drive cages let me backlight the clear rounded cables, (When the light is strong enough, the clear ones have this incredible eerie blue/purple glow) while the other one I left mounted on the bottom, like the larger cathode in the article.
The blue 'UV-reactive' braided sleeving I bought didn't react at all. You can place it right against the cathode, and it's just...sleeving. Still not sure if it's just the company I bought from falsely advertising this stuff as UV-reactive, or whether it's a wavelength issue (Some other brand of UV light might make it glow, in other words) or whether the warnings I've seen on other sites that 'blue UV-reactive sleeving not as intense as other colors' is severely understated. Grr.
I'm still trying to get ahold of the Gel Intensity fluorescent gel pens that metkumods ran a story on; they used them to trace the circuit paths on their PCI cards, and *wow* did it look great! Much more control than a brush.

Other things to try? Mirror the bottom of the case to reflect more of the light where it's needed. Get a UV-reactive cover for that PSU. Try a UV-reactive applique (if such an animal exists) on the window. (Definitely see how the UV dyes look in a watercooling setup. Whee!)

Good job on the article!

October 15, 2003 10:18:31 PM

Well, the majority of you will be happy to know that I have another PC build/mod in the pipe line that should be ready in a few weeks. Stay tuned, it should be good!
October 17, 2003 4:04:06 PM

Well, the majority of you will be happy to know that I have another PC build/mod in the pipe line that should be ready in a few weeks. Stay tuned, it should be good!

Cool. I hope that becomes a regular feature of THG. :) 

I kinda miss those OCing articles though... :( 

But hey, I was just at Antec's site looking for a replacement Sonata side panel when I came across a shameless promotion of their extended UV product line. (I didn't even know that Antec <i>had</i> a UV product line! **ROFL**) They had a <A HREF="" target="_new">strip of UV LEDs</A> that might be worth looking into if the UV PC attempt is tried again.

<A HREF="" target="_new">Then what's your poison of choice?
Soymilk. I was raised on the stuff.
Ah. What's it made of?
Is that soy as in soylent green?</A>