It is time for another modder interview, this time with the Swedish modder Tim ”timpelay” Petterson. His projects on Sweclockers.com have been very popular the last few years.
I got the privilege to interview Tim about modding...
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself?
I’m 26 years old and live with my girlfriend in our new house in Vasteras, Sweden. The entire summer holiday was spent on home renovation and moving in, but we are now finally settled in. My characteristic is that I always have some projects underway. As a true car enthusiast, I now own a couple of unique Saabs. And at the time I’m currently building a street/drag racing car out of a 1971 AMC Javelin SST. Its Supercharged V8 will be exciting next spring. In addition to computer building, I work as a structural engineer at an office.
2. First of all, what got you into modding?
I did three years in technical high school and during my last year, 2008, I got my eyes opened to modding during completion of a degree project. The idea was to modify a chassis entirely made of acrylic for the installation of two 4" coaxial speakers, one 8" subwoofer and an amplifier. There was a lot of tweaking before it all worked out. The amplifier was squeezed into a 5.25" drive and the PSU was modified to power not only the PC, but also the audio system. The result was, in hindsight, surprisingly successful. The case was playing really well without any particular vibrations or noise. The cooling was also worth mentioning, as the air vent also served as bass reflex port.
3. Where did you get your modding skills from?
Above all, I learned by doing. But my technical backrground is probably from working with Legos. Once I was introduced to the Lego Technic I had found my path. Together, my brother and I built everything. At the end of the era there were pneumatics and computer-controlled robots. We had even built a printer. These plastic parts inspired my innovations. My technical expertise and interest in tinkering with things applied to bicycles, mopeds, lawn mowers, RC cars, and has today resulted in particularly in my interest in automotive and computer building. When others were gaming I were building something.
4. What was your first custom build?
After completing the "HiFi-case" that I built together with my companion, I began planning my own scratch-build. It was to turn out to be something very different. Back then I had a great interest in acrylic. How could I use the flexible Makrolon to create a unique chassis? The result was an aluminum plate where the PSU, m-ATX motherboard, a 3.5 "HDD and a single slot graphics card were attached. Makrolon is bent from side to side of the aluminium sheet enclosing the hardware. Even the top and bottom consists of Makrolon. The finished chassis was never used as I directly started on a new scratch-build. But it remains in a cardboard box at home and I learned a lot building it.
5. Which of your own projects is your favorite?
IP66-M, in my eyes, is the project that is closest to perfect with its current combination of size, performance and detail work. If I could, I would like to replace the hard drive with two 1TB Solid state drives. But quality costs.
6. What is your favorite custom build by someone else?
Right now it’s Mr3Ds Project Tatami. I am incredibly fond of machined metal, it's like watching a movie. Very impressed!
7. How long have you been modding?
It took off back in 2008, and a lot has happened in these seven years. Both in personal development and in hardware. Each project offers something new and realization of new ideas. And when I ask myself afterwards; why did I not do it like that? Well then, I have learned something.
8. What tools do you use when building your projects?
My favorite is probably my little Festool cordless drill. It's a more reliable machine, but it's not easy to find. Since I've worked a lot with stainless steel, I know quality gear is required. Aluminum is no problem to process with generic tools, but if you wand to drill or grind stainless steel without the proper equipment, you will quickly understand. Otherwise, instead of using most other modders favorite tool, the Dremel, I am privileged to have access to a hydraulic handheld punch for making holes in metal, makrolon, etc. Invaluable in all my projects!
9. Where do you find your inspiration?
I have a habit of imagining computers in items I see. I also think that it is interesting to try to adapt a modding project to the environment in which it finally will be used. For example, in the future I will need a computer in my garage, so why not build one in a jerry-can? Otherwise, I find much inspiration from electrical power equipment and industry. More recently, my interest has also arisen for more retro oriented design.
10.10. A lot of you projects are so called “found object mods”, where you use a existing object to build your PC in, where did you get these ideas?
Earlier, I had a summer job building control equipment for substations and switchgears. There I got my eyes opened. As you can see, I now love bare industrial metal without paint and plastic. Since then I've asked myself: why can't computers look like this too? And that question is applicable on everything I see that is clean, solid and always kind of unique. There's more to come soon.
11.11. What is your favorite Corsair product?
Simple, Corsair Dominator Platinum. I was hooked at first glance and it has not changed today. Sometimes I wonder if they are designed to suit the industrial theme that has become a bit of my signature. There is a plan of IP66 V.2 with top of the line hardware. How would it be with Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 3400MHz Limited Edition Orange? I hope we get to see it. I’m getting excited by just the thought.
12.12. What happens to your mods after you finished them?
Some are built for my own use, such as HTPC and workstation. I have received inquiries and comments where people asking me to sell my chassis, but for some reason I get too attached to things that I built myself. It would be fun building a couple of chassis intended for sale. I do not think it would yield any significant amount of money, but to spread my own design is enticing.
13.13. What do you do when you are not modding?
When I was 15 years old I bought my first car, a Saab 900 Turbo. Since then, my interest has grown stronger. Today I am passionate with Saab and has managed to acquire four of the most desirable models. Hours and hours in the garage have resulted in a collection of cars with out of the ordinary condition and performance.
Other than that, I love training and I hit the iron almost every day after work. Then when the snow comes down, I’m busy with alpine skiing. There is the sense of nature, freedom and speed that I love.
Thank you so much Tim for sharing your thoughts and all your nice builds with us, we are happy to be able to support you with your projects and we are looking forward to seeing your next custom PC!