EL Applique Panel Mod
Why do I mod? Hmmm, I sit here thinking
about it and the best I can come up with is because I can. Moby is my
"Project Overmod", an attempt to include as many mods as possible
without looking tacky. As a result of all the existing case mods, and a
few others that are planned for later, there was no usable space on either of my
windows for the EL atomic applique that I bought from CrazyPC.
I was determined to mod it into my case one way or another and it didn't take me
long to decide upon the EL kits final destination.
Looking at my case I
saw that the only real blank space on my case is on the motherboard side so the
decision was made to mod it into the side panel itself. There are Lian Li
PC-60 case right side panels for sale on the net, I in fact bought a spare to
mod for my case, but I have not seen left side panels anywhere. Since the
left panel would be a bear to replace if modded wrong I decided that I was not
going to screw it up. With that in mind I broke out the dremel, cracked a
beer and prepared to mod.
The first thing I did was photocopy the EL
applique onto some heavy stock paper. Then using an X-Acto knife and a
cutting board I cut the atomic design out of the paper. I held the EL
apllique to the back of the paper to make sure that the image was cut out
correctly and everything looked good to go.
I then measured out the exact center on the
inside of the side panel and marked it. I then positioned my paper
template over the center mark and taped it down with masking tape. Be sure
that the template doesn't move around and then carefully trace around the edges
with a Sharpie marker.
Remove the template and flip the panel
over. Break out the masking tape and completely cover the side panel, this
will help prevent the metal shavings from damaging your case finish. I
have an applique on my panel already that I covered with paper and masked
I traced around the outline of the atomic
design with an X-Acto knife to make the edge more pronounced, a step that proved
helpful later. Confident that I was ready for the dremel I put on the
safety glasses, finished my beer and started cutting. To cut the design
out of my panel I traced around the edge with the #9905
dremel bit and finished cutting through with the #9901.
Now that the design has been cut out of the
aluminum panel it's time to get the X-Acto hobby file set and start making it
look like something. This is the part where having cut the design into the
panel with the X-Acto knife pays off, only file down to the edge that you cut
and it should come out perfect. Test for fit with the EL applique as you
go and always work from the inside of the case to prevent damaging the
finish. File, file, file, test for fit, file, file, file, test... you get
the point. When you are done you should have a kick ass cut out for your
EL applique, have a beer.
On to the easy part... remove the tabs from the
adhesive pads on the applique and position it onto the back of the case directly
over your cut out. Turn the panel over and see how close it is, if it
isn't right pull the applique back off and reposition it. When you get it
placed perfectly take some scotch tape and go around the outside edges to help
insure it stays put. Turn it back over and admire your work.