Snake's gHeTTo Hardware MODifications



July 4, 2002
GhEtTo Hard Drive Bay

So, I got all these old hard drives that, while slow as bullshit, are fine for backing up downloads and music. I have one 40GB drive for all the applications that benefit from the extra ATA66/7200rpm speed, such as the OS and games, then 9GB of crappy drives. Since space is space, I'll put any hard drive that works in my rig. The real problem (besides not having enough IDE channels) is where to mount these goddamn things.

I wanted to put my old WD drive in the other day for some additional backup storage before a format of the 40GB Maxtor for WinXP. This case only has two hidden 3.5in bays and both were taken up with Maxtor hard drives. Enter the bay adapter, jacked from a Dell 386 desktop POS. It was originally designed for a floppy drive (as you will notice from the front view), but with a little gheTTO ingenuity, I will make the WD Caviar fit and not crash constantly.

The first thing I noticed with this adapter was that all four holes would not line up with the hard drive's holes (shit, even Gandalf would notice that). Of course, I'd only use two of them, then. The next problem was that the two holes didn't even line up and one of the holes wasn't wide enough for the screw needed to go through. This was rather easy to remedy, though. Enter the GHetTo hammer! I beat the holes farther apart from each other and then with a screwdriver, widened the small hole. Then there were some POS things hanging from the back of the adapter that could possibly touch a lead on the hard drive PCB. I bent the bastards off, then grinded and buffered the ends because I was totally bored.

The Caviar now fit alright and was suspended nicely on both ends. I wrapped a bar that went across the bay with electrical tape to further prevent any hard crashing. It was a beautimus gheTTO work of art:



I added the appropriate jumpers, data and power cables, and turned the rig on. Everything was boom. Loogie (who used it for about a month previously) had even left some Half-Life patches and a pirated version of NOLF. I copied those to the Maxtor 40GB and ripped the Caviar a new format. Now it's serving me as a backup document and downloads drive and hasn't faltered yet.



October 29, 2001
GheTTo Dedicated Geforce2 Vent

It's been a helluva long time since I did some ghetto. As you can see, this particular ghetto post is dated October of last year and now it's July. Jumping right in, though, I've been using this mod since that date and it's been rather good at its primary function, which was to direct heat from in front of the GF2 out of the case.

The fan itself was insanely hard to install. Besides having to gut my entire case, the metal on the back of it (where I was installing it) was super-thick. After wasting a drill bit on a starter hole, I switched to a jigsaw. It cut the rest of the hole out at a decent speed, albeit it did a messy job. The rest was pretty standard fan installation procedure. Drilled the holes for the screws (further junkifying bits), attached my grill to the fan with the screws, and then put the bitch on. It was a rather tight fit, too.

Then, I whipped up a cheap (really cheap) way to direct the air I wanted into the fan, because this wouldn't be worth much if it took the cool air from the 80mm right out. Using some cardboard and my ghetto trigonometry skillz (at this moment, I don't recall what those skillz were), I fashioned a simple cover that would fit atop the GF2 and SBLive! (see the pic). Then, with my lucky roll of electrical tape, I attached the cardboard duct to the cards and case. Every two or three months, I've had to apply new tape to the GF2 side of the cardboard as the heat seems to loosen it up. Just recently, I removed the duct until I find a better way to attach it to the case; therefore, eliminating the need to attach it to the GF2.

September 2, 2001
Fan Switching and Optimizations

I wouldn't say exactly that fan switching is a new thing, but it's definitely for us hardcore users. 80mm fans are loud and 120mm is ever louder, but using switches is a way to quiet the case when you're trying to sleep or just surfing the internet. I first got the idea from one of the better articles at Tweak3D. Then there's the mother of all fan switching sites, Cliff's Fanbus. He had the information I needed to complete my fan/case mod.

To start, all I needed was $2 to get a SPDT switch. It needed to be rated for 12v DC. Mine kinda looks like the one to the right. I first considered mounting the switch next to the fan because it would take less wire. But, as I thought more about it, it made more sense to stop putting more and more shit on the side of my case and go for the front. So, that's what I did. I drilled a hole in a 5 1/4 faceplate that was 5/12in across and got it in place. Then, the hard part...soldering, and soldering the correct wires. I was at a loss for wire twists, so I used electrical tape and garbage ties to hold the wires together.

Originally, the plan was to use the 12/off/7 volt trick. This proved to work improperly in my case. My theory on why it didn't work is that most people using the trick would be getting the power directly from the power supply on a 4-pin molex connector, but I was using a 3-pin. The motherboard must not have liked the waver in power, so my switch became a 12/off/whole pc off. Then I "switched" back to the original plan, using a switch for 12/off/5. Here's my Fanbus schematic:



The switch sorta works, but is more like a 12/off/off because the fan can't keep spinning at 5 volts. Here's two pics of the final switch:



I was playing with it today (the switch, sicko!), and noticed that turning the fan on increased the temperature. I was totally destroyed that my coveted fan was worthless. But, I was too good to let that get me down. I popped off the panel and made haste to reverse the fan direction as a final desperate attempt. Then, I turned it on and checked the temperatures again. BOOM! I haven't seen the Northbridge or CPU temperature this low since winter. Here's a current schematic of my case cooling:



I've never seen a schematic this dynamic or effective, most look more like Que's case. By putting intake fans in the center and exhaust fans on the front and back, I have created what I would like to call A ghETtO Circle of Coldness! (which we lovingly refer to as the "G-COC"). I made a test to check that this was the real deal. I turned on the interval logging feature of MotherBoard Monitor 5 and set it to one minute. Then, I played Quake 3 both with the fan on and off. I allowed the case to cool down in between tests to keep it fair. The same Quake 3 map was used and I personally oversaw the tests (meaning that I played against bots). The results can be seen on the following text file:


quake3 heat test.txt


Reference Links
Tweak3D's How to Make a PC Quieter (Page 3/5)
CLIFFS FANBUS LAB NOTES
June 14, 2001
The gHetTO CD-ROM Execution

Finally, I get to break something...

So, after yesterday's ghETTo article, I removed the POS Goldstar 24X CD-ROM. I simply love to break shit, though...so, the CD-ROM's time to live was limited. As soon as I got back from my final exam at 1pm, I went at gutting the bastard. After I split the electronics (PCB, reader lens, etc.) from the mechanical/case crap, I reassembled the casing for later "axle" smashing. Here we have the output:



Now with the electronics out, it was time to teach this piece of shit a lesson about not fucking with Snake! Break out the arms!



The PumpMaster .177cal BB rifle with attached 4x scope should do well for executing this mother fucker. There is also the .177cal steel BB ammo, a flathead screwdriver for scope adjustment, and leather glove so I don't get blisters after pumping 200 times (also so I can look badass like the Doom marine). I hung the PCB from a board with a nail and proceeded to load up. I'm not sure what range I shot from (somewhere around 30-40ft), but I wasn't hitting a whole lot; it's not like I'm a marksman. I did a few scope calibrations though and that seemed to fix it. My bulls-eye was the lens, but all I could manage to hit was the plastic surrounding it. I was pissed and this bitch had to die...something drastic must be done.



Point-blank execution style...perfect. I can't even find the lens anymore cause the BB blew it to shit all over the place and went right through all the copper wiring behind it. The power of a PumpMaster! Muhahahahahaha!


Then, I took a step back and loaded up the PCB with 30 or so BBs.



Here's a closer examination of the ass kicking.

There you have it, and the moral of this story is: old hardware sucks, so make it pay for it's crime of slowness and instability! You may be laughing over my choice of weaponry, but I assure you that the PumpMaster .177cal (4.5mm) is no laughing matter. This bitch could easily lodge a round into your skull. Fear the scoped PumpMaster in my Doom marine glove hands, llamas!!! AAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

That's all for this time. Who knows what I'll do next? Not even me. I wish GHettO-ness upon you.


Reference Links
Information on the PumpMaster
June 13, 2001
The gHetTO Air Intake (part 2)

This time, I decided to continue with the intake system by upgrading it with a 50mm fan (5K RPM). The fan was taken from that piece of shit Cooler Master HSF that I had to use for a month after completing The Serpent. Since the 50mm had been lying in plain view on top of my right speaker for several months (see here), it got me thinking about what to do with the little bastard. I knew that I had one last 3-pin connector on the mobo that was unused, but what could I do? My first plan was to attach it with some electric tape to the back of the processor, because of course, the back casing of mine is cut open for greater heat removal. After examining my case's circulation, that plan seemed unnecessary. Today though, was maintenance day and...


I took out the Goldstar POS CD-ROM that was left over from the Packard Bell POS. It was then that I noticed a space that was 50mm across and would fit the fan perfectly all while increasing the intake air-flow. So, I chucked the CD-ROM for something special I'm planning for tomorrow and got to work with installing the fan. Here's a rough schematic of the case's air-flow. Take note that the 80mm, 50mm, and Vantec HSF are on different levels of the case (the Vantec is on the mobo, the 50mm is about 3 inches above the mobo, and the 80mm is outside of the case).



Probably not the best plan, but there certainly is a lot of CFM being extracted from the case. I'm guessing 50CFM from the slot fan, 80mm, and power supply fan.

Anyways, to install the 50mm "Cooler Master" fan, I used some good old electrical tape and superglue for added strength. First, I cut a length of electrical tape in half and started to wrap it around the fan (sticky side down). Then, I stopped and superglued the end of the tape as I reversed the direction of wrapping (sticky side up). In the end, I wrapped it 2 times. Finally before popping it into the opening, I put several dabs of superglue on the tape; most of which would end up on my fingers once it was in. I keep forgetting that electrical tape is thick and inflexible, so it was a bitch to get the 50mm in place. As you can see below, the tape on the bottom kinda plopped out, but some more superglue ensured stability.


Well, that looks ghEtTO to me. I'm not sure if it really helps, but initial tests confirm a successful mod. After finally achieving a stable BIOS tweakage, I increased the Front Side Bus to 140MHz (effectively 700Mhz processor). That factor, coupled with the hot outside temperatures lately would be killer without good cooling. Yet, 3 hours of Infiltration yesterday without a hitch. I conclude that the 50mm intake fan is indeed...GHeTto goodness.

Later on, I may add some sort of cover for the middle 5.25 bay. That'll make the air more effective at being sucked into the fan by increasing air pressure.

May 23, 2001
The gHetTO Air Intake

Just one pic of GHeTto-ness for today. I did this about a month back, but didn't get a shot of it. A day before I took this, I ripped the filtering tissue while trying to put in a CD. So, I just tore it all off for the sake that it wasn't helping anymore. Just check it out below:



If you're a llama, the darker gray faceplate is my intake bay. It's actually only a bay adapter to put a 3.5 floppy drive in a 5.25 bay. However, the force of the large Sunon fan, the slot fan, and the power supply fan all blowing out creates a huge amount of pressure. The cooler air in front of the case is quickly sucked into the case using this simple scientific principal.

My case is pretty damn badass...got the fake Pentium 3 logo sticker on there and my SnakeWARE sticker. I was hoping to do some GHettO things with an old 386, but the bitches took it to the dump before I could. Stay tuned, cause I might get happy with some thermal paste soon.

May 4, 2001
The ghEtTO CPU Temperature Sensor

First thing I did was take the processor out...this task takes a bit of time with my Mid-ATX case (have to remove the power supply first) and the gay clipping thing that holds the Vantec Dual HSF on. Okay...then I get it out and take the HSF (remember, that means Heatsink/Fan) off. There are little holes on the heatsink (who knows what the hell they are for) that make dust spots on the processor, so I cleaned it off with a coveted Q-tip and went to work on obtaining a device to monitor the temperature.



Since my house is basically a weather station in itself, getting a thermometer was as simple as walking into the next room and pulling an old one off the wall. I didn't ask to have it, but who gives a fuck...there are two other devices monitoring the climate in that room. So I went ahead and started pulling the cord in from the outside and damnit if the sensor didn't break right off. Arrr! Had to get the ladder and start poking around in the bushes to find it. The GHeTto sensor was the size of my pinky finger, which scratched the idea of putting it right next to the core underneath the heatsink. But the actual attachment would have to come later, cause what I had here was a cut wire...damnit! Snake had to break out the electrical tape (the budget gamer's duct tape) and wire stripper (women aren't allowed to do that in some Middle East countries) and patch the wires up. Which would have been easier if both of the inner wires weren't the same color...damnit! So, I guessed the combination and did a trial and error test with it in the fridge. Rockage, it worked. The next step was getting the gheTTO sensor near enough to the core to be useful without hurting the heat circulation. I decided on popping it into the lower space of the heatsink. Good for the fact that the sensor was long at the opposite end and I could position it to actually touch the heatsink where it's the hottest without hurting much at all. Take a look.




"Now why did Snake wrap the GhEttO sensor in electrical tape? I thought it was an insulator."

Because it's made of mother fucking plastic and I didn't want it melting all over my Vantec. Later, I did wrap the tape with some more frag tape. So, after that was done, I cleaned off the Vantec fans and popped them back on the heatsink. Then I put the HSF back on the Pentium 3 (with the extra gHEttO casing that can almost be seen here. I was gonna run the LCD thingy out through my GheTtO Open 5.25 to 3.5 Floppy Bay Intake Vent w/ a Tissue taped over the front to filter but the thingy was too big and would have been in my way when doing further work inside. So, I ran it through the power supply opening, which worked well. I merely ran the LCD thingy (yeh, I have no idea what it's actually called) around next to my gHEtTo External Sunon Fan (why is that ghetto? because it's external!) and attached with more electrical tape.



As the image above says, it was reading 86.4F after being on for around 10min. Then, it was time to crank up the heat!!! Prime95 makes sure that the CPU uses all available cycles, which means that chatting and listening to music is the same (nearly) as playing Unreal Tournament. It's hard to say exactly what the peak was, but once it got to around 95 or 97F it would stop and go back down some when the Air Conditioner kicked back on. If you know your slot HSFs, then you'd be freaking about how low it is. Remember, though...it's not actually touching the core but is touching a part of the heatsink that is 1cm away from the core. I'd say that adding 10F would give the actual core temperature...but I can only get so accurate when working with gHeTtO hardware.

The project was a total success and it's really interesting to watch how sensitive the pentium 3 core is to factors such as outside temperature, air conditioning, cpu load, and amount of case cooling. Over the course of writing this article, the LCD has shown a fluctuation from 86.3 to 92.1F and right now reads 90.3F.

Well, what is the conclusion for the first edition of Snake's GHettO Hardware Modifications??? It is that when attempting to do something gHeTTo: have little to no plan about what you are going to do, don't get extravagant with your hardware, and always improvise. I was about to put some "CacheSinks" on my processor, but then figured out that the cache was on the back. Oh well, there will be more GHEtto to come.


Reference Links
[H]ardOCP Review for the Vantec P3-D5030