Ben Whittle’s Uber Computer Update – Front Panel


front panelSo having chosen the fans he will be using, Ben has finally set about mounting them to the front panel. The front filter sticks to a self-adhesive magnetic strip; so Ben used this as a template to marks out where to cut once he had planned out the exact positioning of the fans.


32ddOnce the air intake was cut out Ben had to carefully mark out where to drill the mounting points for the fans. The secondary filters made this quite a laborious task as they overlap the 120mm fans by about 2mm on each side, otherwise he would have just lined all the fans in a row and pencilled through the mounting points.



The careful planning paid off in the end, as all fans perfectly lined up with the filters literally touching each other. Ben was  quite pleased with that result.



tbvOne small issue with the front filter is that it is 120 x 480mm including the border, meaning a fair bit of the surface area of the blades is blocked by the front panel. This isn’t so much an issue of airflow, more that the blades being so close to the mounting surface will result in the fans not performing as well as they could.

Thankfully there is a solution, Ben found a company called Phobya who make 120mm acrylic fan spacers. This should put some space between the fan and the mounting surface, with the added bonus of having pre-drilled 5mm mounting points for LEDs. So this little problem, in a way, has turned out to be a positive. The fan filters are somewhat transparent and Ben likes the idea of a light glowing behind the filter, the only reason he didn’t go for LED fans was that he wouldn’t have been able to link them to the lighting controller which will change the colour of the illumination under the glass. However, if he’s just buying a bunch of 5mm RGB LEDs he can wire them to the lighting controller and have all the illumination changing colour simultaneously, might be a bit of extra work but Ben thinks the end result will look pretty good.

tttggfffOnce Ben had finished mounting the fans, he ordered his spacers and made a start on the panels underneath the desk, making up the sections which will house the optical drive and the Asus ROG panel. Ben discovered that cutting angles out of 8mm plywood is a bit of a pain but the end result isn’t too bad.

Ben says there is still a lot of work to do on the front panel, he has yet to design the control panel. He is planning on having power switch, headphones jack, 4x USB 3.0 ports, volume control and UPS control al mounted to one panel. That alone will be a few hours work, especially with wiring.

Stay tuned for more Ben Whittle’s Uber Computer updates.

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