No such luck...the plater is not done with the stuff yet so let's move on to the other components for this machine.

 

Like I had mentioned earlier, extra care must be put into every detail of a clear PC so that it doesn't come out looking like a rat's nest when you're finished. One of the worst things to see in a nice custom case is a jumbled bunch of red, yellow and black wires running out of control all over the place. To remedy this, I looked around for a power supply that was top notch both performance wise AND aesthetically. What I ended up finding fit the bill perfectly, and came from my friend Hank over at Performance PC's.

 

Raidtronics was a new name to me, as I have never used any of their power supplies nor did I remember reading any reviews on them around the Internet. As you can see, it passed my first requirement right off the bat...it's blue! Oh yeah! The housing is actually made from Blue anodized aluminum. This is the 400W model, and it has (2) 80mm fans (one pusher, one puller) for super cooling. I had the good fellows at Performance PC's replace the stock intake fan with an Antec blue LED fan for that extra bit of pizzazz. The other option I chose for this blue monster was to have all of the wires custom sleeved with nylon sleeving. As you can see, not only did they sleeve every wire showing, but they also shrink-wrapped all of the ends! This is the extra step that Performance PC's will do for you (if you so choose) that just puts the cherry on the top pf an already eye catching power supply! This has got to be one of the prettiest damn power supplies I have ever seen. The problem I mentioned earlier about not wanting ugly wires everywhere?....solved, and with style to boot! The voltages this power supply put out were nice and safe also, mainly the 5v and 12v rails. I must say that I was very impressed with the quality, service and performance that Performance PC's was able to dish out with this power supply. I highly recommend you check them out for your custom power supply needs. A shop that will go the extra mile to deliver you a one-of-a-kind custom product tailored to your specific needs is hard to find these days, and these guys deliver with no frills and in a timely manner.

 

The next thing I wanted to do was light this thing up like a Christmas tree. Bearing in mind that it is a clear PC, I did not want an ugly, bulky neon or cold cathode light to be sticking out like a sore thumb, so I decided to go with something better...Tweakmonster Rev3 Lightstrips!

As most of you know, my Lightstrips are not designed to flood a case with light. They are made to accent certain features with a soft glow that is easy on the eyes. Flood lights, like cathodes, cannot do this and that is what makes a Lightstrip so nifty and versatile. In this case, I decided to use 6 Lightstrips total in certain areas to fill the case with a soft glow while also highlighting the areas I mounted them at. Lightstrips use a small power inverter to convert the 12VDC power from the power supply into the voltage required for their operation. Each inverter can run about 2 lightstrips at once, but I decided to push them with as much power as possible to get the most light output that I could. This would require a separate inverter for each of the 6 Lightstrips installed. I can't stress enough how important it is to be sure a clear PC has no unsightly elements to take away from it's overall beauty, and so I fabricated an inverter bus to house all of the inverters in one nice, neat package.

The idea was to have one connection from the power supply to feed all of the cases' fans and Lightstrips from a centralized location. I chose to use 'screw-busses' for the connections to make everything simple and neat. Screw busses basically allow you to insert a bare wire into it, and screw the clamp down to hold it in place, and helps to remove all of the ugly connectors for everything in the process to give you a nice professional look. To make this inverter bus, I took a trip down to my local electronics store and picked up some small circuit boards and screw-busses along with a plastic electronics project casing to put it all in. The rest was just a matter of dremmeling and soldering it all together so that the one incoming power supply line would feed power to everything, and the black casing just makes it look good. The top left picture above shows the diagram of how this bus works.

As you can see in the bottom right picture above, it installed very nicely into a central out-of-the-way location I chose in the clear case. All that was left to do now was route the wires from the fans and the Lightstrips to their appropriate screw bus. Very nice and simple, indeed.

 

Woot! The plater has finally finished with our parts! Let's get a look at these things...

As you can see, the chrome plating turned out looking excellent! The Volcano 9 looks damn spiffy, as does the Tweakmonster northbridge cooler I sent. The CDROM and floppy cases look great also, as do the fan grills. Now that we have everything we need to get this case put together, out come the latex gloves and let's get to it!

Here we see the Volcano 9 coupled with a blue LED fan and a freshly chromed fan grill, along with the northbridge cooler, now installed on the Gigabyte board and wow do they look awesome! The processor I chose is a 1266mhz AMD Athlon protected with a Tweakmonster CPU spacer, and the RAM is a 256MB stick of PC3200 that was supplied to me by my buddy James over at XtremeDDR. Granted this is not the fastest combo I could have used but like I said... we are going for general all around good performance and absolute top-notch looks here so this should do nicely. Time to mount our drives into the case bezel, now that they are reassembled with their freshly chromed covers.

One really nice aspect of this Clearpc case is the fact that the entire front bezel slides completely out to allow easy access to the drives. It comes with all of the mounting hardware needed, and the drives were installed easily in a few minutes. For the hard drive in this case, I chose to go with a 40GB Maxtor D740X Ultra133, as I have had nothing but good luck with every one I have ever installed. They are reasonably fast and quiet, and the price is right.

All of the fans being used in the case are blue LED ones that I picked up from my buddy Jimmy over at Casecooler.com. To help in preventing dust buildup inside the case, I added a small fan filter behind the front intake fan. This is always a good idea in a case where dust and dirt will show up easily such as this one. As you can see, I took the time to color match the front of both the CDROM and the floppy drive by using some blue metal flake paint. This adds a nice look to the front of the case and helps to color match them with everything else for a complete custom look.

Now that our drives are installed, let's get the front bezel back into the case and finish up our wiring!