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Old 05-24-2008, 01:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Are there power button mods for PC-A70?

Hi.

I would like to know if there are power buttons I can order to replace the stock button that came with my Lian Li PC-A70b case.

I bought the $200 case (after shipping) this week and love it. I love its sheen under my desklamp. And with the EX-33b sandwiched between 2 C-01b DVD bezels, the front looks gorgeous and understated at the same time, which made the half hour it took to line up everything perfectly utterly worth it. I actually considered buying the PC-A7010, but I chose this older model instead because I love how beautifully the recessed fan grills on the front of the PC-A70b complements the EX-33b.

Plus, with 9 fans inside the cavernous case running components cool and quiet, the case is a winner in both form and function.

So, as you might imagine, I have neither the desire nor the intent to rma this case. Yet, I can't help but consider returning it nonetheless because the case has one flaw so idiotic, that despite all its beauty and functionality, it leaves me incredulous: the power button and the reset button stick. In other words, when I press down on the power button, the embedded button grates against the side of its recessed wall and often declines to pop back out. In fact, every time I press one of these two buttons, it makes a screeching sound of metal grating against metal. So far, it hasn't reset the bootup process by getting stuck, but I am concerned.

closeup pic of buttons

I wish I had a camera on me, but I no longer have a functioning one. At any rate, the front panel can be easily removed. And doing so allows the button array to be screwed off and replaced, which is what I prefer to do.

Can someone help me find a better button option that would not disrupt the aesthetics of the case?

Thank you.
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are there power button mods for PC-A70?

Maybe you could try taking the button out, and filing the edges down a little bit?
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are there power button mods for PC-A70?

thats definately not a problem. You could just sand the insides down a little, but, power buttons are very popular in case mods. Get a bulgin switch. Google it. You will need to know the size of you current one (in mm) to get the right sized one.
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are there power button mods for PC-A70?

Thank you fellas for your suggestions.

Unfortunately, sanding will not solve the problem. I just right now disassembled the simple button array behind the front panel and discovered where the source of both the button sticking and the grating sound originates.

Smoothly melded to the back of each squat fat cylindrical button head is a long thin cylinder that reaches past the ~1inch depth of the front panel and pushes a small button on a circuit board on the main chassis which houses the actual components that translate the physical act of button pushing into electrical signal.

pic of circuit board

the click-action of the buttons on this circuit board is splashy soft--the kind I would like to have on the aluminum button array attached to the front panel.

At any rate, even as I thought that the grating and the sticking could be coming from the squat cylinder of the button head rubbing against the short wall of the well in the front panel that embeds this part of the button, I also could tell this was unlikely because the diameter of the well wall is significantly longer than the diameter of the squat cylinder such that the cylinder does not always brush up against the wall when it gets stuck.

Now that I have disassembled the button array, I can now see that the grating comes rather from deeper in the array--between the long thin cylindrical part behind the buttonhead and a very thin aluminum tunnel, or tube, which guides the thin cylinder towards the proper button on the circuit board. If I may be crude: basically, the problem is that the guy part--the finger behind the buttonhead--copulating with the girl part--the tunnel--is having difficulties because the girl part is not properly "lubricated"--that is, there is too much friction between the inner wall of the tunnel and the long thin cylinder that vascillates inside.

The inside of this thin tube would be difficult to sand because the inner diameter is roughly 2mm long. Moreover, subtracting the inner diameter of this tunnel from the outer leaves me with a tiny number.

Rather, what this tunnel needs is some sort of non-degrading coating which lowers the friction of the plunger action inside this tunnel without leaving residue. But I don't know anything about such coating or how to apply it in such a narrow tunnel.

I will instead try to see if a small rolled up piece of notebook paper can be finessed inside this tunnel and successfully lower the friction.

I will write back with my results shortly.
:freak:
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Old 05-24-2008, 04:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are there power button mods for PC-A70?

The good news: The tiny rolled up piece of notebook paper worked...sort of.

I failed to get a piece of paper into the reset button's tunnel, but it turns out that that probably is unnecessary for reasons I will state shortly. But I got one into the power button's tunnel, and it did end the screeching noise there.

Unfortunately, this experiment revealed that I also made some bad assumptions.

1. The power button head is snuggly embedded into the front panel wall. In the case of the power button, sanding would definitely help. Once I quieted the plunger-friction noise, I discovered that the button head did also screech by rubbing against the well wall of the front panel. Furthermore, the button did also get stuck due to the front panel wall. But I am leery of sanding because I do not want to risk damage to the panel's lovely brushed aluminum finish.

But at least without the distraction from the friction caused inside the tunnel, I can now definitely feel the soft splashy action of the button on the circuit board. And this made me think about a possible alternative to sanding.

But first I had to realize another thing.

2. It also looks like I overestimated the little phalluses. Neither plunger behind the button head is ~1 inch long. They are more like half inch or so. I believe that if I can lengthen the the plungers by about an eighth to a quarter of an inch, then the buttons would not move so deeply into the well, making it less likely for the buttons to get stuck. Furthermore, longer plungers may make it much easier for me to get a solid wet sensation from the button's action and not the squeaky one I have now.

Basically, what I want is for the button to be in near contact with, if not actually in direct contact with, the button on the circuit board. I want that immediate wet feedback the moment I press the button. I don't like having the button travel so long before anything happens. This is a messed up design flaw by Lian Li on an otherwise impeccable case.


Do you have any recommendations for lengthening a thin aluminum plunger? :freak:
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Old 05-24-2008, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are there power button mods for PC-A70?

Quote:
Originally Posted by taintedplay View Post
thats definately not a problem. You could just sand the insides down a little, but, power buttons are very popular in case mods. Get a bulgin switch. Google it. You will need to know the size of you current one (in mm) to get the right sized one.
Performance-pcs carries some of these Bulgin switches. I would love to try out one that has a colored led ring on its head. My PC-A70b seems to be a revision because it uses parts that are going to be featured in the PC-A7010. One of these changes is that the front part of the chassis with the front panel taken off has an empty rectangular hole where the PC-A7010 is supposed to have a circuit board attached with a switch controling the fan speeds. I know I could route any cable attached to the Bulgin Vandal Resistant switches to the motherboard via this hole.

But otherwise, how would I install one on a situation like mine? I would need some kind of bracket or array to attach the Bulgin to the front panel wouldn't I? But the Bulgin does not seem to come with something like that...
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are there power button mods for PC-A70?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoRol View Post
Now that I have disassembled the button array, I can now see that the grating comes rather from deeper in the array--between the long thin cylindrical part behind the buttonhead and a very thin aluminum tunnel, or tube, which guides the thin cylinder towards the proper button on the circuit board.


I haven't had to use any on my PC-A70, however.
Like you said, yours might be different. I got mine VERY shortly after it came out.
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