AC Ryan is relatively new on the modding scene as compared to other companies that have been doing it for sometime. AC Ryan’s kits are direct competitors to Vantec which has been making modding kits to for sometime or other new generic companies that have been making sleeving as well. What they offer is nothing new, but having options is always important when trying to get a specific look for any computer modding project. Today Viperlair looks at AC Ryans FlexSleeve, Backy, Backfire 4, and Twin Overboost UV lights.
The packaging for all of the items is pretty basic, and are designed to be hung up like any other convenience item at a store.
From Left to right that is the “Backy” with the additional cables, the “Overboost” dual UV light kit, the “FlexSleeve kit, and the “Blackfire 4”.
The item that interested me the most was the FlexSleeve kit, so I decided to start with that. Here we have the FlexSleeve kit opened.
Inside there is heatshrink tubing, tie wrap, and of course the FlexSleeve. The FlexSleeve comes in 4 different sizes inside the kit: 10ft of 1/8” Sleeve, 10ft of ¼” Sleeve, 5ft of 3/8” Sleeve, and 5ft of ½” Sleeve. Usually the most important sleeve size out of the kit is the 3/8” sleeve because that is the best size for all the PSU cables. Five feet is a good amount of it, but after I sleeved everything up, having more would have been nice, and having as much of the two smaller sizes was not as needed (1/8” and ¼”).
Also inside of the kit is three different sizes of heatshrink tubing. 12” of 10mm tubing, 12” of 20mm tubing, 6” of 25mm tubing. This tubing is definitely not used for that soldering job you just did, because all of the sizes are much too big. But if you want to have heatshrink tubing over the sleeving onto your molex connectors, than the 20mm tubing will definitely fit the bill, and the even larger 25mm can be used to seal up a big bundle of cables.
The last item is of course the 10 tie wraps which are always important to help make things tidy.
With that I removed my PSU from my computer and got to work fitting the different sizes of heatshrink on all of the on the PSU and inside of my case.
Here is a picture of the molex connectors with the sleeving on them. In order to get the sleeving on, I used a molex pin remover, and the floppy connectors were removed via a small knife and pushing down the pins, and simply pulling it off. Unfortunately I didn’t have an ATx pin remover, so I didn’t put any sleeve on that, however the Enermax PSU already comes with a braided cable, so it wasn’t entirely necessary anyway.
The next item I checked out was the Blackfire 4. This particular Blackfire 4 is a UV reactive 120mm fan with a UV light directly inside. So even if you don’t have UV lights in your case, this will still light right up. This particular unit pushed 77.70 CFM at 28.95 dB at a mere 2000 RPM. This is definitely a fan that should be used for two things. The first is if you like the UV lighted look, and also if you’re interested in trying to have a very quiet setup. I’m definitely interested in the latter one, and this works wonders for that. 28 dB is very quiet and is easily drowned out by my CPU fan which is the OCZ Gladiator 3.
From left to right, there is the box it comes in, the fan itself, the mounting screws, and the 3 pin to 4 pin connector (which I highly recommend using). I then immediately stripped it and put on the sleeving!
The Twin Overboost cold cathode kit comes with two UV lights, an inverter which can take the two UV lights, the back connector that allows changing of the settings for the light (on, off, or sound sensitive), and double sided tape to attach the UV lights and the inverter.
Each of the CCFLs is 30cm in length, and the entire kit comes pre-assembled. But that wasn’t good enough, so I sleeved it!
The last item that I checked out was the “Backy”.
The “Backy” is definitely the most strait forward product reviewed today. It comes pre-sleeved and is simply ports on the back of your computer that allow plugging in of 4 pin or 3 pin molex connectors. The Backy itself is the item on the left, and then on the right, a single cable that allowes the daisy chaining of molex devices.
With everything assembled and inside my case, it looked a little something like this:
Although my routing of cables wasn’t the best by any means, it’s tough to get everything where you want it to be in the tiny Sonata case. I sleeved everything including other fans in my case, the power and reset jumpers etc.
And of course some tasty in the dark shots.
This of course looks great through my brand new AMD window.
I am not done with the window though, need a little more sanding time, and the case needs a new paintjob, but that is another story for another day. But the picture looks good and it definitely gets the point across.
Everything in all of the different kits work how they are supposed to. The Sleeve Kit requires cutting of course and after you cut the pieces of sleeve you must melt the ends so that the sleeving doesn’t unravel. If you don’t have access to a molex pin remover, it would be very difficult to sleeve properly all of those correctly so investing in one would be a very good idea.
The Blackfire 4 is just like any other fan, and comes with everything to properly install it other than a fan grill if you need one. It’s very quiet and it glows orange and blue if those colors are co-orientated with your mod plan. However those aren’t the only options available, they have other colors like blue and green, red, green and blue, etc. Check out AC Ryan’s webpage for a list of all the color combinations and sizes.
The Twin Overboost CCFL kit is also easy to install, but the double sided tape is a little tricky. It works as advertised, but having a sound sensitive UV light is kind of strange, because while it is activated it simply makes everything that is UV sensitive turn “on” and “off” as the black light doesn’t produce a lot of visible light.
The “Backy” is a product that is pretty specific, and only a few people would have a use for such a product, but if you do, it definitely does the job. It simply plugs into a molex connector and then screws into an empty PCI expansion slot location. It could be great for an external SATA harddrives (of course it would require a molex to SATA connector). It also comes pre-sleeved which is definitely a plus.
All of these products reviewed from AC Ryan are definitely competitive products to Vantec. Modding is becoming more and more popular and sleeving, lights, and fans are usually the first items that are upgraded. Sleeving works great for keeping things tidy, aesthetically pleasing, and perhaps even allow better airflow.
Although I’m not particularily a huge fan of lighted fans, the Blackfire 4 works well, and if it is what the end user desires, than it definitely fits the bill. The UV lights work as advertised give everything a nice ultraviolet glow. Definitely the thing to own to go along with a DFI board with UV reactive ports etc. The Backy which is probably the strangest out of the group works easily and simply plugs right in.
Everything worked as it says it should right out of the box which is more than can be said for a lot of things.
Sleeving of different sizes for all the cables inside a case
Fan lights up great
Double CCFL kit allows for UV coverage of everything
Backy is easy to use, and comes pre-sleeved
Not enough 3/8” sleeving
No way to turn the Fan light off
CCFL kits double sided tape is difficult to use, and not reusable
The Bottom Line:
AC Ryan has put out mod supplies for us, and they work well, and I am more than happy to have them displayed on the inside of my case.
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