My personal Mods. (New D.I.Y. water cooling project)

ir_efrem

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Call me bored if you will, but that is the inspiration for my.. um.. creations. I do not spend hardly any cash because I want to see what I can do with a little patience, ingenuity, and spare parts. Call it recycling if you want.

This first image is a 3.5 floppy drive that has been re-purposed. The real thought behind this was the fact that I have several 2.5" SATA hard drives laying around. Instead of plugging them in, inside the case I rebuilt a floppy drive by ripping out the guts and using the leftover metal to create some rails for the drive to slide in. The power connection and SATA cable are Epoxied into place and will never move. This makes the drive Hot-Swappable and I can change out drives whenever I want, without having to have them all plugged in.

I have also coated the entire inside with Plastic (not plastic coated) playing cards that I cut to the correct size and glued into place. This prevents any metal on metal scraping and also leaves the Hard Drive labels intact, plus the "bay" is slightly tapered so the drives fit in much easier. The drives slide into place very smoothly and you can easily feel when it engages the connectors. The front is a blank 3.5" bay cover with the hole cut into it and bolted to the floppy case.




This next idea was born from seeing a direct touch heat sink (some of you have seen em I'm sure). Well I got the idea to bend up some copper tubing and create my own liquid cooling system. Keep in mind this project is in it's infancy and I have no idea what the exact results will be. The surface area that I have pounded flat (well not completely flat, water still has to flow through) is 1.25" square and I have the 1/4" tubing soldered together already. It might be a waste of time, but I don't think it will work all that bad. The image here is what I have made so far. The bottom is surprisingly flat but I am going to lap it anyway, it only makes sense to do so.

My next step to to install flare-nuts (I am choosing flare adapters because they are pretty much leak proof and easy to remove) on the ends of the copper tubes and create a manifold that will increase the tubing size up to 1/2" ID (inner diameter), perhaps 3/4", I am not certain yet. Four 1/4" tubes is close to the same capacity as 1/2" so it should suffice. The radiator is going to be a recycled heater core from an automobile, the one I am looking at is about 7"x7" and it will fit into the top of my case quite nicely (since I have a Full tower case). I have four 120mm fans from an old Apple PPC (found this on the side of the road) and at least 2 of them will be cooling off the radiator. Now I need to figure out what I will be using for a pump and reservoir. I also have to put a block of metal on top of the copper so the tubing wont flex, I have some stainless steel and will probably epoxy a metal slug onto it. I will also be adding a POT (potentiometer) to control the fan speeds in simple speed control circuit.




Just thought I would share my crap, have a good one folks. I will update this when I get more done with the second project.
 

ir_efrem

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Added an aluminum block with some JB Weld (epoxy of the gods heh). Tomorrow I.m going to the hardware store to get some fittings to build the manifold. I believe that I may use some clear tubing after all, it will be tons easier I believe. I will be also buying a magnetic submersible pump designed for hydroponics systems. The one I am looking at pumps 140 gallons per hour and only has one moving part, it is designed for longevity and constant use. Though it will be submersed it doesn't give off heat because of the design of the impeller and motor (since it doesn't have a real motor in a typical sense that gives off tons of heat). The pump will be in the reservoir and I will have fewer parts inside the case; I am not lacking room though.

Just need to stop by the junk yard and snag a heater core and I will have the majority of parts needed. Then some mods to the case itself to direct the flow of air for the water cooling.


 

ir_efrem

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I ended up finding a standard radiator for PC cooling for a good deal, about $20 shipped. The local junkyard wanted $20 for a heater core if I pulled it myself; needless to say it's a lot of work to yank out a heater core and I didn't think it was worth my time. Wish I could have found one cheaper locally but oh well.

I have on order right now, Black Ice Micro Radiator, the same shown here: http://pcpowerzone.com/blackicemicro.html?productid=blackicemicro&channelid=FROOG but like I said, I only paid $20 for it shipped. I hope it performs well, I intend on using two fans in a push/pull configuration.

I also have an Eco-Plus 185 hydroponics pump on order, it only cost me $13 shipped. It's a variable pump that adjusts from 0-185 Gal/hr. Plus it is inline and submersible, which gives me more options.

Here's a new image of what I have done so far. I epoxied some copper adapters (flare adapters required WAY to many fittings to make a manifold) on the end of the tubes. You will also notice that the pipes are bent to direct the lines better than them being straight up. The surface has been lapped completely flat with 400 grit sand paper. I'll be getting some 800-1200 grit to finish it up properly. It's shiny enough now to reflect light onto the table though. =)




I got the 1/2" tubing from the local hardware store, I got the braided tubing because I can wrap it around my wrist and it doesn't flatten out much, and it doesn't kink unless I purposely try to do so.
 

ir_efrem

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interesting stuff...looking forward to seeing the end result!
You and me both hehe.

It will be another week or so before I update, since I ordered parts in the middle of the week and I choose standard ground shipping. Once the parts are here I have to design a reservoir and hook everything together. Then I'll let it run for a while outside of the case to check for leaks.
 

ir_efrem

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I was browsing through some heat sink reviews a couple months ago and I saw a direct touch heat sink somewhere. It came to me a couple weeks ago, why not make a water block that is direct touch but have water flowing through the lines instead. So I started looking for inexpensive parts that will help me complete my project.

So far I've spent $5 on the pipe fittings, a little over $4 on the copper tubing, $20 on the radiator, $13 on the pump, and $5 on the flexible tubing. The epoxy and sand-paper I already had; I always have those laying around. The aluminum block that I added to the top is cut out of a heat sink from an old power supply, it's 1/4" thick.
 

ir_efrem

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Package came today, they sent me a Northbridge cooler instead of a radiator. Gotta call em in the morning.


Nice........

grumble flerb bleep cuss, ok I spose I feel better now.
 

ir_efrem

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You will notice from my first post that this was my original idea. Here I thought that I might have had an original idea using a heater core hehe.

I may just request a refund on this thing and go back to my original idea.
 

ir_efrem

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Just looked over at Danger Den, they have a heater core for less than $20 before shipping, and the barbs are soldered on already.

Junk yard wants $20 for a heater core..... Then I'd have to buy the barbs and solder them on. Seems like a good deal they have there.


Edit:
Well I called em, they are sending the proper part along with a return label for the NB cooler...

In the end It should work just fine, the radiator is a double pass and I'll set it up with 2 fans in a push pull config. Just don't want to deal with any more hassle. Not to mention the radiator will fit very nicely without a ton of mods. This could be a negative though, I enjoy modding more than completion. :p
 

ir_efrem

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I created a fan shroud/80-120mm reducer. The shroud is just sheet metal that I hand bent (ok I used vice-grips not my hands), left over side from an old case. The radiator came in as well. Took em long enough.

I am not certain if mixing an 80 and 120 fan will have any ill effects but I will find out soon enough. The folks where I ordered the pump finally got the stupid thing in stock and it's being shipped right now. I'll have it by Fri or Mon. I've decided on a reservoir, it's made by Rubbermaid and fits nicely into my case, I'll punch a couple holes in it and call it good. More pics coming soon.


 

ir_efrem

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I canceled my order for the pump and went up to Petsmart and just picked up an aquarium/hydroponics pump. The Quiet One 1200 rated at 296g/h, cost twice as much as the one that I originally ordered but $30 for a pump isn't to bad I spose.

Finished making the reservoir, like I said it's a Rubbermaid. :p

I didn't notice that the pump doesn't have barbs, so back to the hardware store tomorrow. sigh.....

I'll be assembling it tomorrow and running a leak test.


 

ir_efrem

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Running a leak test now in the kitchen sink. I was a bit worried that the water churning might pop the top but it's not so bad. I'll probably put a tiny bead of silicone around the seal anyhow, just to be safe.


 

MykC

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Really cool. I don't have anything to add to the thread but I think posting is the only way I can subscribed to a thread.
 

ir_efrem

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I got everything put together in the case. There were no leaks or a hint of a leak anywhere, didn't feel like waiting a long period of time to let it run the leak test.

I have run into a problem, the temperatures are the same with or without the fans on the radiator. The fans plain out don't push air across the radiator at all. For now the temps are about 4C lower than the AC7 pro. I'll need to get some decent fans before I know exactly how well it cools.
 

ir_efrem

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Here are some more simple mods that i have made. The retention bracket has 2 cut-off plastic pen tubes epoxied inside to add lateral stability to the water block.

I beveled out a penny to house the dimple in the retention bracket and epoxied that to the top of the aluminum block.

I'll add the completed photos tomorrow when I get a minute. I also wanted to add that the water doesn't churn really fast; it does indeed churn more than a little bit but not nearly as much as I would have thought. I'm leaving my judgement on how well this actually cools for when I get decent fans.



Went and looked at newegg found a 110 CFM Scythe fan for $9 - Looks like the one I'll get.
 

ir_efrem

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And here it is completed. The reservoir is literally wedged into place, the rim around the top of bowl fit into the top rails very nicely; its not going anywhere. The actual color of the water is a very pale green, it looks MUCH brighter in the picture for some reason. It's been almost 24hrs and no leaks at all..

I really want to test my water block with a better radiator and pump so that I know how well it performs. I'll start with a better fan and work from there though.

One thing I didn't mention earlier, I did indeed get some 800 and 2000 grit sandpaper to finish off the lapping. I wonder if I should do the CPU as well; it's definitely a bit concave.

 

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