Previous instalments:
Orac³ Part 1
Orac³ Part 2

Part 3 - From DVD Drives to Radiator

This third article in the series is where things start getting exciting and I begin to realise the massive amount of work I have taken on with this project. I got bogged down a little during this phase of construction and finishing it, after numerous setbacks, really did feel like reaching the top of a hill and seeing what lies beyond. Unfortunately the sense of achievement passed quickly and the view left me unmotivated to continue modding for about two weeks (it looked like more hills)! However, continue I did and the results will be visible in the next article.

From here on in the Mod really starts to take on its final shape. You can see the internal complexity and vintage Sci-Fi 'Electronic Brain' look that was inspired by the original Blakes 7 Orac. I want the final look to be complex but still following along my main themes and always with attention to the small details. I hope that people will be able to look and look and look at this case in action and just keep discovering something new...

As these articles are based upon my project logs in the bit-tech.net forums, Part 3 will really be two articles in one as it covers two updates to the logs. I want to keep the same chronological progression as my project logs to give a more accurate sense of how things developed over time.

The first task was to tidy up some loose ends from the work done in Part 2 ...


Here's where the cabling really started to take shape. I wanted to follow on from the original Orac and have lots of cables twisting and writhing throughout the case - like a big electronic brain. It's quite often difficult for people looking at a work-in-progress to imagine just how it is going to look when completed, but by this stage the case was slowly starting to come together and hinting at it's final form.

Orac³ Part 3 Introduction
Almost all the Jack plugs were wired up and you can see the effect with the forest of cables coming from the junction box.

Orac³ Part 3 Introduction
Just a few cables ... I still had to add the (now fixed) fan controller - this has 8 cables coming out the back of it. I ordered some chrome plug-wire separators that should control things a bit (more on these later).

Orac³ Part 3 Introduction Orac³ Part 3 Introduction
The fish-tank air hose and the Techflex sleeving work really well together and I wired up the inline jack plugs that will be extending the fan cables from the PSU to the fanbus.

Orac³ Part 3 Introduction Orac³ Part 3 Introduction
Eventually all these cables will have to be plugged in somewhere!

Orac³ Part 3 Introduction
I ran into a few problems with a couple of the plugs being faulty and had to use a multimeter to test every plug and cable during the wiring. It took something like 8 hours to wire these (and the switch) cables. With the testing I had to cut and feed all the wires and techflex, heatshrink the wire joins and heatshrink around the bare plug before the cover went on. As the Techflex has to be inched onto each pair of wires it took ages. Also, the wire is 28AWG so very fine and fiddly to work with (I needed tweezers a lot of the time to feed it through the contacts or grab the ends). My best investment became my 'extra hands' stand with its crocodile clips!
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October 14 2021 | 15:04