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Mod By: Ryan Williams [06.16.03]
Edited By: Trevor Flynn

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How to easily and efficiently light your case

For the last couple years I have been using what I believe to be an ingenious method for lighting up the internals of my case.  Instead of multiple EL strips or numerous expensive cold cathode lights I use instead two neon car license plate lights. These are quite economical, and can be found at almost any local automotive store.

I've found that these lights fit perfectly into the top and bottom of most ATX tower cases.  To hook them up all you have to do is run one wire to the 12v line on your wiring harness, and the other to either black ground leads.  I'm my opinion, they throw off just the right amount of light giving you the most neon for your buck.

I am Case...Hear Me ROAR!

A couple of side shots

With the painting pretty much done, things at this point are starting to move into the final touch stages.  I got ambitious and with the help of an exacto blade and a steady hand removed the sealed on tape from the front bezel.

Old is Made New Again

Now if you remember back to the beginning of this whole thing when I fitted the front bezel to size with the radiator to be used in the custom water cooling system, the thing was quite grungy.  I absolutely could not allow something that ugly to cramp the style of my sexy paint job.

Here's a good look at the ugly ol' heater core pre cleanup. Pulled this puppy out of my current stock of 1955 lincoln under seat heater cores.  The reason I use this certain type is that they are constructed of copper, for superior heat absorption/dispersion. 

 Here is a bucket of the crap I cleaned out of the heater core. NASTY!

Here she is after a trip through the glass bead cabinet. Starting to look a little more presentable at this point.

Finally here it is all cleaned up with the copper sides nice and polished along with a clear coat and a thin layer of black for the front. 

Finishing Touches

There is nothing worse, in my opinion, than a nicely modded case with a rocking paint job that has two ugly beige optical drives sticking out of the front.  With that in mind I went to work powder coating my two optical drives.

Here's the two optical drive cases. High gloss black powder applied, just about to slide them into the oven.

Bake, bake, bake.  As you can see, the powder has flowed out nicely at the time of this picture.

Here's an example of the difference some hand polishing makes.  The drive cover is sanded on the left, polished on the right. The two yellow bottles, made by Farecla, are the products I use.  It's the same polishing compound we use when buffing out cars.

Better shot of the polished front.  As you can see it matches the finish of the rest of case quite nicely.

Just to finish things off I decided to paint the front bezel logo black to match the optical drive covers.  Here it is baking again in the oven.

And here it is ready for me to take home.  All that was left now was to fill it with some hardcore guts and possibly paint the buttons on the optical drives.

If you have a keen eye, you'll notice the rounded red cables sticking out of the bottom front.  These were compliments of the crew over at Cablestore.  Thanks guys!

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