Mod of the Month - October 2008

Written by Brett Thomas

October 31, 2008 | 07:36

Tags: #cygnus #dominator #lord-of-the-rings #month #motm #terabyte

Companies: #ac-ryan #mod

Cygnus X1

by oldnewby
Worklog


One of my favourite things about watching you guys mod is the concept of functional creativity. I love seeing the cases that are modded for increased form rather than function, don't get me wrong - many of you know of my love for the modeling-style cases, for example. But there's always been a real soft spot for creative engineering - looking at a problem with traditional cases, and coming up with a way of fixing it.

Several case makers read these forums for those exact concepts, in fact - do you really think that companies Cooler Master and Antec sit around and just dream up these great ideas in a bubble? Of course not - they look at some of the mods going on and find where people see weak points in their designs, and try to improve on them for the next round.

With that in mind, I hope someone's paying attention to oldnewby's build, dubbed Cygnus X1. He's become tired of the lack of component accessibility in cases lately, and has designed a scratch build centred around the ability to pull out the drives and motherboard in one chunk for easy access - the board on one side, the drives on the other.

Mod of the Month - October 2008 Cygnus X1 by oldnewby Mod of the Month - October 2008 Cygnus X1 by oldnewby
Cygnus X1 is built from the inside out, starting with the motherboard tray and backplate. Think it looks like a professional laser cut? How about just oldnewby, a jigsaw and a dremel? Yeah, I was pretty impressed, too.

Mod of the Month - October 2008 Cygnus X1 by oldnewby Mod of the Month - October 2008 Cygnus X1 by oldnewby
The pieces would slowly assemble into a central column that would move on bearings, being able to be slid out from the rest of the case. So, oldnewby went to work on the column, building out from the motherboard tray and doing all of the metal bending on his homemade brake. Talk about resourceful!

Mod of the Month - October 2008 Cygnus X1 by oldnewby Mod of the Month - October 2008 Cygnus X1 by oldnewby
Slowly but surely, pieces were added onto the central column, including the fans and the backplate.

Mod of the Month - October 2008 Cygnus X1 by oldnewby Mod of the Month - October 2008 Cygnus X1 by oldnewby
Also included on the column would be the drives, switches, and front panel. This way, the entire "guts" of the computer could be emptied onto the desk with ease, rather than struggling with connectors. To handle this, oldnewby put the front panel switches right on the fan shroud.

Mod of the Month - October 2008 Cygnus X1 by oldnewby Mod of the Month - October 2008 Cygnus X1 by oldnewby
As oldnewby began to think about how the central column was going to stay in place, he designed a very attractive spring-loaded locking tab for it. The column, in its nearly finished glory, was about done - but what about the drives?

There's certainly been a lot of thought that's gone into how Cygnus X1 will function, and its design elements are just icing on the cake. Of course, we're barely getting into all of the metal working that oldnewby has really put into this - so if you find the concepts interesting, you should definitely take a spin over to his worklog. Near the end, you'll get a good look at exactly what he plans to do to mount the rest of his hardware in this slick little chassis.

While you're on your way there, make sure to take a little side trip into another part of the forums to vote for Cygnus X1 by oldnewby as the Mod of the Month for October!
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