Category Archives: Uncategorized

So now I’m on my own

Today was my last day working in secondary school. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to finish rushing the project, although I pretty much expected that to happen.

Anyway let’s begin with today’s little bit of detail:

Finished the two tiers of the power supply undercarriage, and then I rivetted them together with the bigger variety of pop rivets; 5.5mm diameter rivets.

Riveting the frame took 16 rivets. But it was a heck load of arm exercise. 😛

I wanted to lathe some support rods to prop up the top part, but as luck would have it, both lathes are not working! 😦

Anyway prefit:

I have no actual idea how tall this thing is. All I know is that thing is taller than a full tower. The top part is 50cm tall. The bottom was 17cm (I think). So yeah. It’s one heck of a height.

Anyway I did paneling for the bottom:

That’s all for now. I’ve got to make use of my own resources to work about now, so I’m pretty sure from here on the progress is just gonna be slow. Hope I don’t experience anymore problems with this.



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Posted by on April 8, 2011 in Uncategorized


The faster things go

Another photo from yesterday:

Tomorrow’s my last day. I realised that the nearer the deadline, the more progress I make. Strange eh? Taking time for granted I guess.

I chose another piece of stiff grade aluminium and cut out the front plate. It’s bolted in but it’s not entirely complete as I’ve not purchased the power switches and front I/O board yet, so I’ll just leave it aside first.

I also grinded down the corners slightly so that they’re not so deadly.

Early work on the power supply tray:


Yep it works.

So I’m left with a bunch of problems. I don’t bother about the I/O or switches, I can take time to save up the money. Painting can be done back at home, it’s the fabrication that I’ve worried about. I don’t have ample equipment at home (though I have a hammer drill, cordless dremel and corded dremel), I can’t possibly have a sheet stamper and brake at home. I better pray that I am able to get access to these in the workshop in the polytechnic. Also another engineering problem: How do I go about constructing the power supply tray so that the structure is capable of supporting the entire top portion of the case? Oh well, crossing bridges as we get to them.



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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Uncategorized


Rush time!

Okay though four photos from this small little update might not say much, but in my honest opinion I think today was one of my most productive days.

Today I brought in a motherboard for test-fitting, so I trimmed down the front bracket so that it isn’t blocking the motherboard I/O area anymore.

I installed in the motherboard tray with ten m3 screws, reason being I don’t really trust metric 3, but it’s just for a peace of mind. Then I reduced the length of the screws and filed them down.

Here’s the case inverted, test-fitting the CD-drive cage. I have to admit this is the first time that the bends worked out extremely accurately.

I’ll upload more photos tomorrow, and probably get the front plate done, though I haven’t purchased the I/O serial circuit board, so I might do the power supply tray instead.


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Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized


Back at it again

Okay I’m left with three days. The plan is to see how much I can do, then the rest, I’d either get bits done at home or wait till the school holidays to get it finished.

So here’s the plate that covers the back.

Calculating the numbers to make the harddrive locking bracket:

Recently from dismantling some clothes hangers for the rifle range , I collected a bunch of M6 allen head screws with a long screw head, so I cut up the thread to reduce the length and used them as thumbscrews. (Cutting costs in a simple manner. They are black oxide, but slightly rusted, might consider painting them.)

So here’s the bracket assembled in:

Yep it works.

I wanted to work on the power supply tray, I had the idea after dreaming for two hours on a lazy afternoon, but after building one tier it just looked wrong. Somewhat unpractical. So moving on, we’ll leave that lying around first.

So leaving that aside, I went ahead to make a fan shroud, since I wanted the cold air from the topmost intake fan to stay around for a while before getting sucked out by the exhaust. I’m still using the standard 1.5mm thick aluminium sheet, but one of a stiffer grade.

Drilled with four holes and screwed in with more of those screws:

Lastly I attached a small piece of bracket to the motherboard tray so that I have more surface area to attach it to the face plate. Although I think it’s slightly blocking the motherboard I/O, I can’t be sure. I’ll have to fit a motherboard tomorrow to check.


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Posted by on April 5, 2011 in Uncategorized


Crash and burn

Attaching the sides of the case.

Yep, I was wrong. My epoxy failed. After three days the joints all broke apart. So it was time for plan B. I riveted the case together. Lots of them.

I had some left over 1 inch thick acrylic * (read below) which I wanted to build two “pillars” to prop up the PSU tray, but it didn’t go very well due to the incredulously lousy properties of acrylic:

Yep. It cracked. There goes a solid block to waste. In fact, I didn’t have a mill on hand so I used a scroll saw, I broke one blade, next using the coping saw to cut away the melted acrylic and loosen the blade cost me another broken blade. Literally, this stuff is exhaustive. So it was a bad idea. Time to rethink.

Anyway improvisation, I decided to move on to the side rails for the 3 x 120mm intake fans. Could somebody just tell me, do you mount the filters in front of the intakes or behind the intakes?

Done with the drilling. I should make myself a reference template soon, rather than ramming fan holes with the hand drill everytime.

Anyway I got myself a sheet of 2 ft x 2ft aluminium that’s really thin for 12 dollars today. Yes, one thing, it’s expensive. I know that. Second, I wasted quite a bit of the sheet trying to build a harddrive cage. However there is one good thing about it though. It can be cut really easily. I mean, the store owner simply scored it with the penknife a few times and broke the piece. For me however, I chose to use a rolling cutter to score it and break it off on a bench vise.

So like what I said previously, the harddrive cage failed so I tried something different, rivetting the rails to the back of the case. So literally, the whole thing is A thing. When I paint it the whole thing gets painted altogether. Covering the back with a sheet of aluminium does give the opportunity for some interesting painting ideas, though I couldn’t show the photo since the camera’s battery died just as I took the previous photo.

Okay so on the course of this venture I’ve met with quite a bunch of problems. In fact, a lot of problems. First, acrylic stock material from Japan is in short order, right now I’ve been posed with the damned problem of acrylic trippling in price. What used to be 17 dollars for a sheet of 5mm thick 1m x 2m acrylic now costs 55 dollars. The price tag just gives me one more reason to hate working with acrylic. Plenty full of dust, melting extremely easy, breaking tools in the process, not really THAT impact resistant, and now the price tag is worse than aluminium. So in other words, you could say I did my project at a really wrong time. I had the budget for the old price tag, now I can’t do it. Also, the other problems I face, I need to finish this project in a week before school starts. I have absolutely no confidence that can be done. And I’m out of budget. Which seriously sucks. Anybody have an I/O serial board or switches to spare?




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Posted by on April 1, 2011 in Uncategorized


What a small world

Why do I say so? Today I was invited to lunch with Mr Kasmuri and Mr Roslee after the sec 4 dnt class. Mr Kas drove me to Ang Mo Kio ave 6, at a particular hawker centre. Mr Kas ordered malay food for us (my very first bowl of mee rebus lol) and I asked Mr Roslee if the stall was very popular since there was a long queue. Then he told me, the stall owners were Hady Mirza’s parents. Geez small world.

Anyway this morning we got into a jiffy with the same dude again. Seriously mister, you need to watch your manners. A security breach validates us to actually kick your butt out. Sometimes your behaviour really disgusts me when I think of how old you are and who I am.

Nonetheless to the other XMS audience reading this page, I’ll be working my final two weeks in Xinmin up to Home coming day, which pretty much seals my 5 months of volunteering here. So if you’ve got questions or stuff to ask, better make it quick! 🙂


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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


Okay, so maybe taking the bus wasn’t entirely a good idea..

Yep. Today I went to collect my mobile workstation from the vendor at the roadshow. I wanted to try out my travel options to school, so I decided to take the public bus to school. I took 147 ( i compared the routes of 74 and 147, i thought they were similar so I took 147). Behold, rather than just getting to school, I got more than what I had bargained for. The ride to school took me 2 hours 30 mins, and it took me all around sunny Singapore. I went to red hill, queenstown, bras besah, the art museum, chinatown, bendeemer, potong pasir, farrer park, outram park, the singapore river, geez. the list goes on. Literally.

And what could I have done within that time? Well, I could have nearly reached Hong Kong ( the flight from SG to HK takes 2 hrs 50mins)

And so, lesson learnt. NEVER take the bus 147 to Singapore Polytechnic. 🙂

Heh anyway I was lucky, my technician was a pretty good one, and we got the config done in 20 minutes. It funny to imagine how some people took 3 or 4 hours to get it done. Actually I just got lucky since the students were having a bet to see who could help config people’s laptops the fastest. So yeah my “team” won. 🙂

And so I took the MRT back to school, and today the worst thing happened to me. My epoxy failed me, the whole frame that I build for my computer just broke apart. Geez, I’ve only got two weeks left. I’m pretty much screwed. Oh well.


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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Uncategorized