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Thread: TJ Maxx

  1. #1
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
    So begins the build log of Sprocket's new home.

    The case finally arrived.
    In the most ginormous box I've ever seen for a PC case.
    Which is odd as the case itself is actually slightly smaller than the Stacker, but it was actually a good thing- UPS had done it's best to destroy the contents- the excessive airspace around the TJ saved it from damage though.

    Did I mention it is heavy?
    It is.

    Despite the late hour (it showed up near 10PM) I had to rip it open and see what I had gotten- I'd never beheld one in person.

    I was not disappointed...I think it's beautiful.
    The main structure of the case is the thick u-shaped panel that forms the roof, front and floor- all in one continuous piece. It has a matte black finish that is satiny to the touch.
    The interior panels are all bare aluminum.
    Everything is screwed together, there are only four rivets in the entire unit (I'll get to those later), which makes this a case modder's dream.

    Prior to purchasing the case I had PMed owners on various fora to inquire about the possibility of converting the layout to pseudo BTX. This is my preferred arrangement and studying the pictures at Newegg lead me to think it was easily possible.
    No one responded so it was with some bit of trepidation that I examined the TJ to see how difficult it was going to be.

    To my amazement it looked like Silverstone had already done most of the work for me.
    The removable motherboard tray/backplane slides into runners- one on the subfloor (held by four rivets...the only rivets in the case) and the upper screwed into the thick roof panel. There were corresponding (unused) holes already in place on the opposite side.
    I immediately started to pull things apart to test my theory.

    Naturally, it wasn't as simple as it first appeared.
    Flipping the tray assembly and trying to place it the case (sans runners) uncovered the first issue...the case roof fans fouled the support bracket in the corner of the tray/backplane assembly.
    In fact, the roof fans were going to get in the way of the PCI slots (now located at the top rather than the bottom of the motherboard).
    So out they came (this presents another issue that I'll detail later) and the motherboard tray was temporarily screwed in. All the (eight) mounting holes lined up perfectly on the back and the unit was acceptably rigid despite the lack of the locating runners.
    But I kind of wanted to use the runners if possible.
    At least the bottom one (which was originally the top one as delivered).
    So I mocked it into place and test assembled again.
    All it needed was to be spaced up off the subfloor by 3/16" to fit perfectly.
    This was actually a blessing as I had planned on skinning the subfloor with plexi anyway, so I cut and fitted a piece and drilled two holes to mount the floorskin and runner. These two holes are the only modification to the case necessary so far...the whole process could be reversed and the case returned to stock with minimal visual evidence.

    *Rereading this section I can see how it would be confusing to someone who doesn't have the case in front of's difficult to explain some of the issues/procedures without extensive photo support.
    Which I'm not providing, so tough.
    This is not a "how-to" manual with step-by-step instructions- I simply don't have the time (nor the inclination) to write such a thing up- rather, I'll just be showing the end results and highlighting the major issues.
    I've already spent more time writing this post than it took to accomplish the described tasks...*

    So now we are here...

    The motherboard flipped and totally installed into the case.

    Phase One- the only part I had major concerns about- finished.

    There will be four major phases to this assembly.
    I think.
    I have a pretty good general idea of where I want to end up but it's difficult to plan ahead without the physical components at hand and anyway I've always preferred to let serendipity lead me as it will.
    Sometimes the best ideas are the result of sheer chance or the accidental juxtaposition of apparently unrelated objects.

    Phase Two takes us into the case's nether regions, home of the PSU (which should arrive today), the radiator and the pump.

    Three deals with the 5 1/4" bay area and Four is paint/cosmetics.

    Welcome to the journey.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

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  3. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Note: I had attempted to post the original entry yesterday but was foiled by the weirdness besetting the forum...thanks to the mods for cleaning that away BTW.
    This second post brings us up to speed...

    Today I started to layout some of the major components that will go into the build.
    Especially when watercooling pre-planning is critical, and it's important to remember that there will be tubes running all over the place so what appears as empty space might not be so empty later on.

    I don't really have many options where the PSU and radiator will go so the real design option is the reservoir...and even that is somewhat constrained.
    First I need to mock in a big space eater on the motherboard- the Fragtek mosfet/RAM cooling bracket. .

    This is being customized further by swapping out the supplied 40mm fans for a triad of dual-blade, counter-rotating AVC's.
    Overkill is the name of the game here.

    Now I can play with the reservoir location...

    ...without worrying about hitting the Fragtek setup.
    The rez is going to be slightly modified but that will happen later.

    Also visible in this pic are the Hiper 580w modular PSU and the Cooling Works triple radiator.
    Not shown is the waterpump- a MCP350 (18w) with a modified Alphacool top- mainly because it's in use in my current rig and won't be needed for a while yet.

    On my next days off- Sunday and Monday- I plan on mounting the radiator and beginning the modifications to the PSU wiring.
    I also have a set of these Lian-li custom black casters that will be mounted at some point, whenever the case is stripped out and it's convenient to drill and tap the holes.

    More to come...
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    fkdup74's Avatar Pneuberator.
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    You just couldn't wait, could you?

    That's cool, anxious to see this project in the works.
    Pics, pics, and more pics, if you don't mind.

    My plans on the TJ got held back.
    Been socking money away for an upcoming move.
    Commuting back and forth to work is getting old.
    I am just a worthless liar. I am just an imbecile.
    I will only complicate you. Trust in me and fall as well.
    I will find a center in you. I will chew it up and leave.
    I will work to elevate you just enough to bring you down.

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    suprafreak6's Avatar Suprafreak6 is Back!
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    Apr 2005
    looks like this one is going to be nice...

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    Darth Sushi's Avatar Sushi Lord
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Wow, those pics look better than pr0n!

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    Seedler's Avatar T__________________T
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Sushi
    Wow, those pics look better than pr0n!

    Waiting for more clocker.
    Biostar XE T5
    i5-750 @ 4.0 GHZ stable (CM Hyper 212)
    2 x 2GB Cosair XMS3 DDR3 1600MHZ
    Radeon 5850 @ 866/1254MHZ
    Intel X25-M in RAID 0
    WD Caviar Black 2TB in RAID 0
    3 x Asus 25.5" VW266H LCD [Eyefinity]

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    ApacNTS's Avatar Helljumper
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    i manage to build one and youve done 3. thing is, it just gets better everytime u have another project! cant wait for more.

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Thanks guys.

    It's going to seem like nothing is happening for a few days now as there is a lot of test fitting/measuring that has has to take place before the next fabrication steps can occur.
    Like most of my recent cases I plan on painting the interior panels satin black but want to get all of the drilling/cutting done first.
    This build is also going to feature the most extensive use of plexi skinning panels yet.
    You can't see it cause of the protective cover, but that floor panel is mirrored plexi and the effect is very cool. There will be three more plexi skins- a mix of black and mirror to highlight/disguise different areas.
    There should be minimal exposed wiring when I'm done.

    It's weird how one component can be the keystone on which everything else this case it's the reservoir. Once that part is in position the rest will fall into place. You may be wondering what the big deal will become apparent soon what is going on.
    I hope.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  10. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    mr. nails's Avatar m@D @n!m3 BT Rep: +1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    austin, tx
    what's the advantage of BTX? or maybe something just new? also, can u fit an ATX mb in one? obviously u did, but was it an ATX board? (understood u've modded, but it's basically BTX now, no?)
    Alamo Drafthouse!

    Last Game Completed: Aliens: Colonial Marines (PC) 10-13-13
    Now Playing: Paper Mario 64
    Total Games Completed: 503

  11. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    This is actually "pseudo-BTX" - as you note, my motherboard is a standard ATX flipped over.

    I think there are several advantages to this layout:

    a). If you were aircooled, the vid card would be flipped "hot side" up.

    b). In this particular case, the cable run for the 24 pin connector is shortened and the SATA ports are raised closer to the level of the drives they connect.

    c). It will make the tubing run for the waterloop a bit shorter and more logical.

    d). It's weird and requires fabrication which, quite frankly, is the main reason I enjoy building PCs. If I were to just pull the case out of the box and assemble it as delivered I'd be done in a hour...hardly much bang for the buck. I toss together standard PCs at work, when I get home and deal with mine I want it to be special.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

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