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*UPDATED 5/29/12* - X3 build log - x-box/ps3/xim custom built case  (Read 6612 times)

Offline cloudkat

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   Once again I have been bitten by the mod bug. While technically this is not a PC, I thought I would still post my work log here so you guys could see how this project turns out.

   The concept is simple. I have both an X-Box 360 and a PS3 that my kids, my wife and I all play on. And while we live in Tennessee, both of us are originally from Florida. So since both of us have the majority of our families there we make multiple trips every year down for visits and vacations. Well when we travel we always take both consoles, which include all the controllers, cables and power cords for both.
On top of that, I normally only play FPS games on the PC since I cannot seem to get the hang of using those two damned joystick things to move and aim with. But I have fixed that problem by buying a Xim 3 controller. I can now hook up my Logitech G13 gamepad and Razor Imperator mouse to either console and really tear up some FPS action on them now.
   Maybe you are starting to see the problem with all of this. When we travel we are carrying an extra suitcase worth of consoles, cables and accessories.
So to resolve this problem I have designed a mod that will house the X-Box and PS3 as well as my Xim 3. It will also only use one power cord, one Ethernet cable and one HDMI or component cable (some of the places we stay do not have HDMI TVs).
   Thus the X3 name. (X-Box 360 / PS3 / Xim 3)

   My best friend, Road, and I first had to custom build a case for all of this to fit into.
We decided on using 1 1/4” steel angle to build the frame (strength), an aluminum motherboard tray (lightweight) and sheet metal as the skin (very easy to paint or powdercoat). Once we had the idea and sketches down, it was time to start the project. 

   Road cutting the angle for the frame.


Prepping the metal for welding.


Me MIG welding on the frame.


Me grinding flat all the welds.


Finished frame


This is a better detail shot on how we cut our corners to get the best possible strength in our welds.


‘Motherboard’ tray cut to size and placed in the frame.


Planed component layout on ‘motherboard’ tray.


Cutting out part of the frame for fans



   Now that we had our basic frame built, it was time to start mounting hardware. First we had to mark where our standoffs were going to be, then mod the ‘brick’ power supply for the X-Box so it would fit inside the case with everything else.
   I also needed to find a solid 12v power source on each console to feed power to the fans. Each console was going to have to power two 120mm Nexus Real Silent case fans (1000 RPM, 22.8 dBA, 36.87 CFM), one intake in the top of the case directly above the mobo, and one exhaust in the center, rear panel.
   So I broke out the trusty multimeter and started tracing power. Once they were located all I had to do was solder some leads on them that I would later run to quick disconnects once everything was mounted.
X-Box 12v power


I also needed a way to trigger the little ‘wireless search’ button on the X-Box so it could find and connect to wireless controllers and peripherals. Once I attached leads to the button on the mobo, I would simply run the leads to a momentary contact push button on the rear panel.


   After tearing apart my X-Box and PS3 I knew that I wanted to remove the heat sinks from them and put them back on with some good quality TIM. I used Prolimatech PK-1.

X-Box slim mobo striped down.




Cutting away all the metal sides on the power brick.



Mounted PS3


I had to mod the nuts I was using to hold down the PS3 optical drive. There was not enough room between the mounting hole and the optical face for the nut to screw onto the bolt I was using.



   Once all of the hardware was mounted on the mobo tray, we cut away some of the angle on the rear of the frame to allow the tray to slide in and out while still being supported by the angle inside the case.
We found out the hard way that the mounting screws were in the way of the mobo tray sliding all the way forward in the frame. So out comes the dremel once again to the rescue.



We also found that for some reason the tray would occasionally bow on one side or the other causing the optical alignment with the front plate to go to hell. So we decided to weld in some mobo hold downs in the front of the case using just some small 1/2” steel angle.



Frame with front hold downs and fans put where they will be mounted in the end.


   Now that the easy part was over with, it was time to start modding all of the cables that would be going into this bad boy.
   I knew I needed to shorten the X-Box power cord by a long shot and mod the incoming AC to the power brick so that I could connect everything to a quick disconnect.




Now to mount it. I used old nylon motherboard standoffs with #6-32 nylon nuts to hold it in place.


   This thing has a crazy amount of USB cables running through it, most of which I had to custom make.

   I needed to bring the USBs from both consoles to the front panel, as well as the two from the Xim. But I needed the XIM to plug in to one USB on each  console as well. So I bought these two little micro USB hubs and then trimmed off all the extra plastic from around the USB plug so it would fit between the console USB and the front of the case.


   I then had to make the USB extension cables. I used old USB mobo extensions and just cut the ends off and soldered on ends I had cut from extra USB cables I had laying all over the house and garage.




   I also knew that I needed to get an HDMI switcher. It had to be auto-switching and it had to support 3D signals from my PS3 to my new 3D plasma TV.


   Next was power for my Xim 3. It normally gets its power from the USB on either the X-Box or PS3. But since I have like 5 miles worth of USB cables and hubs, I was worried that the Xim would not get enough power to run stable. Since it has an external jack for 5v power, I bought an extra PSP power cord and cut off the 2 prong AC plug and ran it to where I would be making all my AC input quick disconnects. I also wanted the ability to turn off the external power if i was playing a game with two or more people and was not using the Xim. So I cut into the 5v power lead and added a switch that I will be running to the front of the case.


I already had a 'spider' cable for my consoles (a cable that can plug into the X-Box, PS3 and Wii, then output video through component video and analog audio). And since most of our families' do not have HDMI inputs on their TVs, I needed the option to run through component connections. So I took my cable and broke the casing on the ends to help save room in the case and bought a wall plate that has both HDMI and component audio/video pass-throughs. This will be mounted to the back of the case.



   Since both consoles would be hooked up through either the component cable or HDMI, I needed a way to make sure that only one console was turned on at a time. I made an extension that had a 3 way switch on it that would go to the front of the case, and ran it to my AC in the back of the case. I also made sure that it was set up with quick disconnects in case I ever had to remove the mobo tray.



   Now that I have the majority of the cables made, I started fitting it all inside the case. That is when I realized just how little room I am going to have to try to get all this to fit.




   Once I got it all mounted to the mobo tray, I slid the whole thing into the case and realized that the entire tray has about 3/4" of free side-to-side movement inside the case. This of course will not work. The opticals will have to line up PERFECT with the cuts in the front of the case, and it will have to do it EVERY TIME. So we drilled holes through the mobo tray and frame, then taped the frame hole to match the thread of PC thumb screws. Now when I slid it in and out, it will always go back to the exact same position.


   Next it was time to start working on the skin of this baby. One thing I knew for sure was that I didn't want screws showing or pop rivets. So we decided to go with a hidden inner screw through the frame to a low-profile nut that was JB welded to the skin.
First we drilled holes through the frame at the places we wanted the screws to be. These holes were about twice the diameter of the nut so we would have room for the JB Weld around it which allows the skin to sit flat against the frame.


Then we placed the panels on the frame and used a marker to trace the holes onto the  skin plates. Once we had the hole pattern marked on all of the skin panels, we started JB Welding the nuts into the marked areas. To make sure that they did not move on the top plate while we did the front plate we used painter's tape to hold the nuts in place.


Me using the dremel to knock down any burrs left from drilling the holes.





We let it all sit overnight and the next day this is what we had;




   Now that the skin had the nuts in place it was time to start laying out the back plate and cutting out all the sections.


Rough back plate with all cutouts done. Now I just need to touch up the cutouts and start mounting all the hardware on it.


   Well, that is the progress so far. I will be going out of town for work on Monday, and will not be back until Friday, so I won't get a chance to work on it again for about a week and a half. But I will update this thread as soon as the work starts up again.
   Next is getting the backplate finished with hardware mounted, draw and cut out the front plate, design and cut out the front and side 3D pieces, and getting it all put together.

   I am also going to have to carve out of foam the top piece that the Xim and the X-Box controller sits in. Once I get it carved out the way I want it I will make a mold of it and start making it out of fiberglass. It will be hollow on the inside to give someplace to hide the Xim cables and X-Box controller cable.

   So there is still a long way to go on this project.





 



« Last Edit: 12:41 PM - 05/29/12 by cloudkat »

Offline tuffrabit

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Re: X3 build log - x-box/ps3/xim custom built case
« Reply #1 on: 07:38 PM - 04/24/12 »
Looks good bro...

I can come stay at your place for a few days??? I haz idearz.


XIM4 Anti Aim-assist curve: http://xim4.com/community/index.php?topic=31309.msg400143#msg400143
All you ever wanted to know about headsets and chat for the 360: http://www.xim3.com/community/index.php?topic=16461.0

Offline cloudkat

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Re: X3 build log - x-box/ps3/xim custom built case
« Reply #2 on: 08:09 PM - 04/24/12 »
Sure. BYOB.  ;)

Offline Od1n

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Re: X3 build log - x-box/ps3/xim custom built case
« Reply #3 on: 03:31 AM - 04/25/12 »
you have some crazy ideas, i like that :)
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Offline ModGyver

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Re: X3 build log - x-box/ps3/xim custom built case
« Reply #4 on: 11:28 PM - 05/20/12 »
pics of finish product please..

Offline roads

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Re: X3 build log - x-box/ps3/xim custom built case
« Reply #5 on: 04:42 AM - 05/21/12 »
Awesome, do you loose warranty if you do stuff like that? :D
RookCheck: Relax, no one is attacking you personally.

Offline ak-xs

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Re: X3 build log - x-box/ps3/xim custom built case
« Reply #6 on: 09:51 AM - 05/21/12 »
holy feces !!!

it's a bit big but SO AWESOME


a suggestion: why not build the top/front cover in a way where it has a hole/glass where the xim3 sits ?
soon..

Offline cloudkat

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Re: X3 build log - x-box/ps3/xim custom built case
« Reply #7 on: 12:35 PM - 05/29/12 »
pics of finish product please..

I wish it was finished so i could give you some pics my friend. But this is still a work in progress.
See below for my new update with pics of how it is going.

Offline cloudkat

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Re: X3 build log - x-box/ps3/xim custom built case
« Reply #8 on: 12:37 PM - 05/29/12 »
Awesome, do you loose warranty if you do stuff like that? :D

BIG TIME !!!!

Offline cloudkat

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Re: X3 build log - x-box/ps3/xim custom built case
« Reply #9 on: 12:40 PM - 05/29/12 »
holy feces !!!

it's a bit big but SO AWESOME


a suggestion: why not build the top/front cover in a way where it has a hole/glass where the xim3 sits ?

The Xim is actually going to be sitting in a custom molded fiberglass cradle right on the top of this thing. That way i can get to it to do whatever i need to do.

Offline cloudkat

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Sorry it has taken so long to update this thread, but I have not had a lot of time to work on this build over the past few weeks. Between holidays, getting sick and traveling for work, I have been just too dang busy to do anything with it. Sometimes working for the government is a royal pain in the arse.
   Anyways, here we go….

First thing I wanted to do was to get the X-Box motherboard mounted and all wired up.


I then got started with all the cutouts on the outside skin, cutting out the optical bays and intake fan holes.


For the fan grills, instead of buying some I found some type wire mesh box. Not sure what it is supposed to be, but the wire mesh when cut out worked great as a fan grill.



Road and his son cutting out the mesh from whatever in the hell it was.


To put the mesh on the top skin, I used some JB Weld and just layered it on the outside edges that were not already pinned in by the frame.


Top skin with all cutouts and grills.



Cut out the optical bays faceplate out of plexiglass. Drilled holes just big enough for the body of the 6x32 screws I was going to use, then using a counter-sink bit, I drilled over the top of the holes so that the heads of the bolts would be flush with the outside edge. This faceplate will eventually get covered with a 3M DiNoc Carbon Fiber film, so I did not want the bolt heads leaving bumps under the film.


Once I mounted the faceplate I marked the optical drive tray for the X-Box and the slot for the PS3 as well as where the bolts touched the frame and drilled out some holes for them to go through so the skin would still sit flush with the frame.




After cutting out the area for the X-Box optical tray and the slot for the PS3. The carbon fiber film will be cut to cover the inside edges of all the cutouts so the rough edges will not show. That is why I didn’t bother trying to get them perfectly smooth. Just smooth enough that it will not leave bumps in the film.



Then the real pain in the rear. I had to mark a piece of plexi then cut and shape it to fit inside the cutout for the X-Box optical faceplate. It took three tries to get it to fit just right. The first two I ended up sanding away too much and left a gap bigger than I wanted between the two pieces. I only needed enough of a gap that two layers of the carbon fiber film would fit between them without being to tight and stopping the optical drive from opening or closing.



After trying out a couple of different layouts, I finally got all the USB cables run and brought to a central location to be tied down. I also used that same area to tie down the X-Box hard drive.



I finally got the backplate all finished up as well.



Test fit all the pieces and switches. Here is an idea of what it will look like once it all starts coming together after paint and carbon fiber.



   The red thing you see on the X-Box optical is a double-sided gel tape. It is made by loctite, and is some seriously sticky crap. It will definitely do the job of holding the plexi cover on the tray.
   I think I have finally settled on what color I will be painting this sucker. I am going to go with a custom paint mixture. I have a high end paint shop just down the road from me that supplies all the local auto and body shops with their paint and supplies. They also custom mix paint to the customer’s specs.
   So I am going with a gloss black with a light blue and light green metal flake added in, as well as a 1-to-5 silver flake for contrast. I am going to probably get them to mix the black and silver flake together as a base and then make me a custom candy layer that is the blue (PS3) and green (xbox) flake.
   I know that doing it this way means more work, 6 or 7 layers of painting instead of just 4 or 5, but I think the candy look will add a depth that will really make the blue and green flake stand out a little better as well as add that deep color look.

   Anyways, the next steps are to get the area on the top center cut out for the Xim and X-Box controller cables to go through. Start carving out the foam for making the top piece that they both will sit in.
I also need to go ahead and get the carbon fiber on the plexiglass and get the USB port holes cut out of the front.
   That is all for now. Hopefully it will not take me as long to work on it again as it did this time. I am not scheduled to go out of town any time real soon unless some emergency comes up. So I may work on it a couple of hours after work this week and some this coming weekend. (fingers crossed)
« Last Edit: 12:49 PM - 05/29/12 by cloudkat »

Offline spinal_chord

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What ever happened to this, did it get finished?????

Dave.

Offline Thefoodman52

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Doooooo-hooo-hoo!! I LOVE builds like this! Aggravating, yet satisfying.


Please don't say it was abandoned, or left helf-baked. You left us on a cliff hanger, right before the painting and finishing!