Blue Lagoon


- Case Mod -



(Click on Thumbnails for large pictures)


lotsa work

  • big window in left side (own design)
  • ring-shaped window in right side (own design)
  • blow hole in case top
  • ring-shaped window around blow hole
  • front grill made of acrylic (self made)
  • replaced rearward fan grilles by another window
  • 2x cold cathode blue at front, with aluminium light bezels (self made)
  • 2x cold cathode blue inside
  • 1x cold cathode UV inside
  • 1x cold cathode fan grill in blow hole
  • 2 Coolermate case fans bluw
  • 8x LED blue in right window
  • 4x LED blue in glow feet
  • 10x LED blue in moving HDD light
  • 7x LED blue in front grill
  • case in diamond blue metal effect (spray can)
  • drive bezels aluminium (spray can)
  • interior and back side covered with mirror foil
  • Asetek Waterchill KT12 (CPU, GPU, NB)
  • UV reactive cooling water additive
  • Revoltec RAM freezer copper (RAM)
  • Revoltec RAM cooler copper (VRAM)
  • Coolermaster Aerogate II fan control
  • be quiet color line PSU with blue lit fans
  • UV reactive IDE round cables
  • removed front door
  • floppy disk built into 5,25" bay
  • 2 Revoltec fan grills lasercut, type "Hurricane"
  • self made 5V/12V multi connector for LEDs and cold cathodes
  • HDD mounted behind and cooled by fan control

Material Used

this has cost me a fortune

  acrylic glass (4 - 5 mm wall strength)
Aluminium tube 30 mm diameter
4 cold light cathodes
10 super-bright LEDs blue + resistors + cable + breadboard
screws M4x16 stainless, countersink + collars + spring rings + nuts
mirror effect foil
cable support sleeves
color spray cans (aluminium and blue diamond effect)

Tools used

quality rules

  Dremel professional + many, many cutting disks (about 100)
jig saw + metal saw blade (for the acrylic glass)
portable electric drill + drills (3,4,5,6,10,16) + counter bore (16 mm) + milling cutter (20 mm)
half round file (medium)
sharpening file(fein)
hot glue gun
miter saw
universal pliers
needle-nosed pliers
various screw drivers
bench vice
sriber, steel compasses, center punch
pocket rule, ruler, set square
soldering iron and tin
fine marker



  Drilled/milled sufficiently big holes for cold light cathodes at front grille
Cut/milled holes for cathode ending blocks into front
Marked Al tube longside, cut to proper length, cut into halves with Dremel
Marked halved tubes with marker and center punch, drilled holes with increasingly big drills up to 16 mm diameter
smoothed holes with half round file
Cut hole for cathode ending blocks into Al tube
Cut Al tubes' lower ends to fit with front grille
Inserted cathodes and attached them with hot glue
Added light bezels and attached them with hot glue
Filled up remaining holes and cuts with hot glue


  Removed handle
Marked arches on inside of door (coord & marker)
Marked window struts with ruler
hatched areas to be cut out (helps avoiding wrong cuts!)
Cut out windows with Dremel (hint: Don't press the cutting disks into the metal, but create a groove with slight pressure, then deepen it. Rule of thumb: You should cut through the metal on the third pass.)
Smooted the cutting edges with sharpening file and sandpaper
Put window glass on door and marked it
Brought window into shape with jig saw
Glued window to door with carpet sticky tape
Drilled attachment holes through door and glass (4 mm)
Screwed the glass to the door
Removed enough material from the case's vertical rear strut (where the door bolt hooks into) to make the door shut properly again
Attached cold light cathode and inverter to door

case top

  Tried to cut blowhole with round saw blade, which did not work,
So I deployed the Dremel again
Drilled attachment holes for fan (6 mm)
Marked round window with steel compasses
Drilled window segment ends with 10mm drill
Cut out windows with the Dremel
Inserted cable sleeves into attachment holes (hence 6 mm holes!)
Marked window glass with steel compasses and cut it out with jig saw
Drilled attachment holes into case top and glass (4 mm)
attached window, cold light cathode fan grille, fan, and laser cut steel fan grille

right window

  Marked window with steel compasses
Drilled window ends with 10 mm drill, than widened holes to 20 mm with round milling cutter
Cut out window with Dremel
Marked window glass with steel compasses and cut it out with jig saw
Drilled attachment holes into side wall and window glass (4 mm)

lighting right

  Attached resistors to breadboard
soldered cables to them
Connected resistors with soldering tin and attached cable
Connected resistors with cable and positive poles of the LEDs
Soldered cables to LEDs' negative poles
Soldered cables to breadboard and connected them with soldering tin and the ground cable
Soldered cables to molex plug
Insulated breadboard with sticky tape
Cut hole into middle of the sidewall's acoustic insulation and attached breadboard with sticky tape
Drilled 5 mm holes into the window glass
Treated invisible part of window glass with fine sandpaper
Attached LEDs with hot glue to the 5 mm holes


  Carefully pulled out water cooling pump, fan and radiator
Covered interior walls with mirror effect foil
Hid cables as good as possible
Mounted water cooling parts

PSU window

  Removed PSU
Removed cover from PSU
Drilled window corners with 3 mm and 10 mm drills
Marked window and cut it out with Dremel
Marked window glass and cut it out with jig saw
Drilled mounting holes into NT cover and glass and sunk it
Put mirror foil into NT cover
Assembled NT and built it back in


  blue lit case fan
lasercut fan grille "Hurricane""
Back covered with mirror effect foil

glow feet

  drilled 8 mm hole into center of each case foot and case
removed case feet
used a foot to mark acrylic glass
rougly cut out marked shape with jig saw
drilled three attachment holes into each foot and acrylic panel
screwed acrylic glass to feet with small SPAX screws
filed acrylic glass to shape with feet
soldered LEDs, resistors and wiring together
drilled 6 mm channel into each acrylic panel
screwed feet to case
temporarily screwed off acrylic from feet
pulled LEDs through holes in case and feet
glued LEDs to those channel with hot glue
mounted acrylic back to feet

Technical Data

Case   Chieftec CS 601 blue, modded (side windows, front lighting, lit fans, IDE round cables, water cooling, fan control, lit blowhole)
PSU   Tagan EasyConn 430W
CPU   Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Socket 939
Motherboard   ASUS A8R32-MVP deluxe
Cooling   Asetek Waterchill KT12/Antarctica water cooling (CPU, GPU, Northbridge, HD)
Graphics   Sapphire Radeon X1900 XT (Radeon 9800 before, 128 MB)
Monitor   Samsung Synmaster 226BW
Sound   Creative Labs X-Fi
Speakers   Bose Companion 3
Headset   Sennheiser PC 160
Harddisk   Samsung S-ATA 150, 160 GB, 7200 u/min
DVD   Pioneer 106 (slot in)
CD Burner   Pioneer DVR 111D
Floppy   noname
Scanner   Agfa Snapscan Touch
Printer   Samsung b/w laser printer
Mouse   Razer Copperhead
Mouse Pad   Razer eXactMat X control
Joystick   Microsoft Sidewinder 3D
OS   WinXP home ed.

The Modding Process

How it started


Everything started with the hinges of my Chieftec CS 601 midi towers front door breaking. As I had always wanted to have some light at the drives, I got the idea of replacing the door with two cold light cathodes. That worked, but they were too bright. I need light bezels, but where to get them? "Harder than it looks", I thought, cut an aluminium tube into two halves, drilled holes into them, smoothed them and here I got my designer bezels. :D


a window ...


From here, there was no turning back. Next, I wanted to cut a window into the side wall. It had to be a geometric design, and it had to integrate the door handle as well as the totally superfluous side wall fan. After a lot of brainstorming I got the idea with the partial fan. Now I had an original design and a generously dimensioned window that would show what was to be seen, but would hide drive cases and cages.


and a blowhole


Now light was coming from the front, so the top should not miss out. As for thermal reasons a fan is recommendable here, I cut a blowhole into the case top and put a lit fan behind it. It proved too dark (esp. @ 7V) :(, but fortunately there are cold light cathode fan grilles ... :D A lasercut stainless steel covers everything. I amplified the effect of the blowhole with a round segmented window around it.




Something was missing for my satisfaction - something in the right side wall! Of course there's not much to be seen here, so this is not about a window as big as possible, but about a design and lighting accent. The result was a big, round, segmented window that picks up the blowhole design and is lit by 8 super-bright LEDs.




Unfortunately I had put quite a few scratches into the case surface during modding it. With a few cans of blue diamond and aluminium effect color I touched everything up and brought the drive bezels in line with the silver-blue case optics.


the interior


The interior had not to be neglected, so I covered all visible interior walls with mirror effect foil and hid the cables as good as possible. On top of that, I added water cooling (Asetek Waterchill KT12) and a fan control (Coolermaster Aerogate II), which can even measure several temperatures and cool the harddisk. Not yet shown are UV-reactive blue cooling fluid additive and a UV cathode, which will be added in a few days.


the rear


Now I thought I'd be done. Not so, as the box has a rear side too ... which I covered with mirror effect foil.

Now I was really done, or wasn't I? Indeed not. Modding fever had me in its tight grip. There are glowing PSUs, aren't there? I did not want to fiddle with my PSU's interiors, so I set out to get a new one. It just had to be quiet. Enermax PSUs weren't (at least not those not equipped with Papst fans). With be quiet PSUs the name is the game though, so I got one of those, and the Titanium finish ist a sight of its own.


the glow feet


A never ending story ...

well, what can I say - after long and fruitless pondering on what I could pretty up on my case, the case feet came to my mind (with some help from the internet). I still had some acrylic glass, so I cut it in shape, screwed it to the feet, and "been there, done that". :D

That was my last idea for the time being. A lot of effort, and I believe it shows. :)


HDD moving light


I always liked electronics, but with all the programming never had time to delve into it. But - I happened to stumble across some building instructions for a HDD moving light on the internet, and with the help of a skilled colleague managed to understand and apply it. Voilà: The HDD moving light.


Front grill


The front grill is currently my last project. The standard front grill just looked too dull for me, and somehow, so I thought, I'd like to have it shine more. That was a tough cookie though. I simply couldn't get a good idea about how to replace the standard grill. A perforated aluminium plate was an option, but I couldn't get one with sufficiently big holes, and it was rather hard to make it shine ... but my electronically skilled colleague came to my help again, as he had some contacts to a company working with acrylic glass and could get me a piece of mattfinished 8mm Plexi glass. In hours of work I drilled holes into it, fitted LEDs to it (and burned my hands like hell with hot glue in the process ...)

That's my last idea for the time being. I believe the result shows.




The story never ends ... this time it was more about making a virtue of necessity. As my newest CPU grows pretty hot during gaming despite of being water cooled, I wanted to add another radiator (Black Ice Micro). The fans are clipped to the CS 601 case by plastic clips however, which do not allow to screw the radiator directly to the fan. So I had to completely replace the part of the case's rear where the fans sit and screw them directly to the rear wall. A tin solution would either have looked too much like patch work, or I would have needed to cover the whole case rear with it.

So what was closer than simply creating another window and mount radiator and fan to it. However while I was working on this I found out that radiator plus fan were extended to far into the case, so I had to mount the radiator outside of the case. This in turn brought some new complications, as now it became impossible to screw both fan and radiator to the case. A few zip ties now keep them perfectly in place. The fan now sucks cold air from the outside through the radiator. As warm air is expelled from the case both by two PSU fans and a top mounted fan, this is none of a problem. Result of the operation: CPU temperatures dropped by about 10%. That's something. :)