WIP, projekt 'Massive Passive'.

undertheradar

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GOAL: to eliminate fans, active air movement, and noise all together.

REMEDY: Create a massive radiator that is passive to eliminate fans all together. Based on the innovatek konvekt-o-matic, but instead using finned pipe from a larger application, I can build a radiator easily capable of taking care of over 1000 watts of heat.

REALITY: I can eliminate everything but the PSU, although I am planning on making an acrylic box to house a PSU (Corsair TX850w looks like a contender) submerged in mineral oil, then using a small pump to circulate it through its own 'mineral oil' loop. In the meantime, in the pic below you can see an Enermax Rev85+ 1050w which is an 80+ Silver rated PSU (could be Gold rating from the test results I have seen). It has a fan, but with efficiency ratings in the 88-90% range, that means that under say... 500 watts load, it will only generate about 50-60 watts of actual heat... enough that the fan doesnt really have to do much at all... almost a passive setup already. I really wish more companies would make water-cooled PSU's though, esp in the 800 watt range. With higher 80+ efficiencies, I can imagine some PSU's might only need waterblocks on key components and not even need to be submerged.

WHY: On the usual scale of allergies 0-4, I have a dust-mite allergy that is a 4+++ (what the doctor wrote down). The nurses had to pick their jaws up off the floor, and I was given advice about moving to a different climate among other things. I hope to move to the desert or high mountain regions someday, but in the meantime, I have turned my bedroom into a massive 'clean-room'... only a bed and my desk. The problem is, my Lian-Li PC-V2000 has 'lots of fans'... I even added two 120mm blowholes to the top... which, as of me finding out I have massive allergies to dust this last summer... isnt a good idea. The dust that builds up in a computer is warm and gets good airflow, so its a dust-mite factory, and then the air (containing spores and the mite poop which is what gets to me) blows around the room. So if YOU have dust mite allergies... rather than aggrivate them and make them worse... consider eliminating the little dust blower at your desk. And no... you cant put HEPA filters on your fans... they are too fine and would choke the fans on a normal computer. I also run a HEPA air cleaner among other things like special bed-sheets... and I didnt want to give up a nice computer for a lower grade 'passive cooled' system, so I looked at doing a massive passive external radiator system. The only problem was, Im not that impressed with the capacity of anything currently on the market... not knocking Zalman and Innovatek, but I just dont think they have the cooling power to really handle 140watt CPU's, dual GTX285's, chipsets, and maybe a PSU.

>>>So here goes... first, the 'lungs' of such a system...
massivepassive1.jpg

Thats six pieces of 6-foot starfin pipe, 1" ID, each with six 3cm fins... or 36 linear feet of extruded aluminum longitudinal finned pipe. I would like to thank TrueLeaf for hooking me up with all the pipe and fittings:
http://trueleaf.net/heat/hot_water_systems/finned_pipe#starfin

Its not cheap, but how many of these would I need to match?
http://www.highspeedpc.com/Merchant...Y&Store_Code=HSPC&Category_Code=InnovaKonvect

ALOT!

Besides, with 1" ID, I can eliminate pretty much all of the back-pressure that the radiator would have. The pipe itself becomes part of the res tank in a way... as with a 1" ID, this pipe alone will hold about 1.5 gallons of cooling water itself.

This stuff is rated at 295 BTUH @65° air & 180° avg. water temperature... (I assume that 295 figure is per foot and degrees F). This gives me a BTU rating of 10620 BTU per hour... converted to watts... thats 3113 watts/hour of cooling. The thing is, I know this is with the delta of a 65 degree room, and I hope I never hit 180 degrees in the water!! So a more realistic rating would be more like half. I plan on using an eheim 1250 for circulation, rated at just over 300gph. I have other pumps at my disposal (look at my photobucket, and you will see I am also into reef aquariums... so yeah, I got pumps), but I think this will be fine. With 1/2" tygon and fittings, and the blocks, I would guess that 200-250gph of actual circulation is realistic. If I need more pressure-bias, I might pick up one of these: http://www.petrastechshop.com/iwrd24vdcinp.html With 200gph, that means that the water in the finned pipes will only circulate about 133x per hour, giving the water about 27 seconds in the 'MASSIVE PASSIVE' radiator... which should be plenty for it. I estimate that the temps in the loop will be determined more by room temps than the CPU.

Other equipment:
Swiftech Apogee GTZ
Swiftech Chipset block, although this might change to a DangerDen
...waiting on Danger Den's GTX285 GPU block
Eheim 1250
6' of 2" diameter clear PVC pipe for a matching 6' tall tank.
Lian-Li PC-A77B w/ window

... Ill post more as the work goes on...
 

Grimlaking

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Messages
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I had to say it...


"See a need.. fill a need!"

That is awesome though. You are creating a solution to your particular problem. I look forward to seeing the progress of this one.
 

undertheradar

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Thanks... I have actually considered this project for a couple years just because I wanted to do a water cooling system w/o any noise (isnt that the point?) To me, the idea of eliminating air-cooling is to get rid of fan noise, but many water cooling setups still have 2-4 (or more) fans on the radiator anyways... which to me is not the way forward. But with the passive cooling systems out there, they dont have the power to overclock... they are there for looks and to eliminate noise. I wanted something that could do it all just short of a phase-change system (which adds back a fan and radiator as well as noise). As of finding out about the root of my allergies, this project seemed like a good idea.

Things to tackle still... biocide and corrosion for what will hold about 3 gallons of water. I have my own RO/DI system (from the coral reef aquarium) which produces lab-grade water, but with all that aluminum, I have to protect those copper blocks. I dont want to clutter this thread up with too much text though... rather post pics when I get to it. But, if anyone has suggestions, please post.

I am going to be overclocking an AM2+ proc. Right now, they seem to be the ones with the most impressive overclocking headroom as well as a hefty amount of heat to move. Its what I have, and its cheap. I dont want to get an expensive x58 setup until I test it for a while and make sure nothing leaks. Down the road, those mini x58 boards do interest me though (Asus Rampage II GENE for one).
 

undertheradar

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The bottom manifold (All 3/4" PVC spraypainted black):
001.jpg

The top manifold and unions:
002.jpg

From the side:
003.jpg

From the front in the corner of the room:
004.jpg

I cant really take a pic of it where it will end up since its so tall (7 foot), so I have to set it up where I can take a pic... its huge. Takes up about a 12"x14" footprint all together, and the 7' tall radiator will go in between the cooling pipes.

So whatcha think? Looks good or no?
 

dealmaster

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Messages
467
Looks good, but with that much aluminum, stopping corrosion is going to be impossible. Your copper blocks are going to get destroyed very quickly. Even in a normal loop with small amounts of aluminum, you can never stop galvanic corrosion, only slow it down. I'd recommend trying to find all aluminum blocks, if they even exist, because any copper in that loop is going to get ruined quickly.

Edit: Saw the bit about the Eheim 1250. How are you planning on routing the tubing with those huge reservoirs? Water in the top, out the bottom, or vise versa, in the bottom, out the top? Keep in mind the 1250 has 6.5 feet of head pressure, so it can't pump water any higher than 6.5 feet and you said your reservoirs are 7 feet tall. You will probably need more pumping power to get water to circulate through this loop.
 

Hidetaka

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Are you sure that with this size you'll need pipes with FINS?
I mean, they're huge and there are only 4 of them, that doesn't look like good heat dissipation design :S
While we're at the size of this thing, don't you think you'd get better temps using regular copper tubing instead of alu? I suppose it'd be more expensive but what you got there wasn't cheap too [or was it?].
I know it's "a bit" too late to change anything now but I'm just wondering why'd you choose copper over alu. Was that just cause of the price?
 

undertheradar

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Looks good, but with that much aluminum, stopping corrosion is going to be impossible. Your copper blocks are going to get destroyed very quickly. Even in a normal loop with small amounts of aluminum, you can never stop galvanic corrosion, only slow it down. I'd recommend trying to find all aluminum blocks, if they even exist, because any copper in that loop is going to get ruined quickly.

Edit: Saw the bit about the Eheim 1250. How are you planning on routing the tubing with those huge reservoirs? Water in the top, out the bottom, or vise versa, in the bottom, out the top? Keep in mind the 1250 has 6.5 feet of head pressure, so it can't pump water any higher than 6.5 feet and you said your reservoirs are 7 feet tall. You will probably need more pumping power to get water to circulate through this loop.

Corrosion is a concern. I wonder how Innovatek and Alphacool deal with it and their passive radiators of similar design... those are Al as well, and I dont think they treat the insides at all. Anyways... I have a couple gallons of corrosion inhibitor for that very reason... Zerex and that ?30 stuff for cars (forget the exact name). I hope to use enough inhibitor to keep it at a minimum. If it doesnt work so well, I can take it, or rather the waterblocks will have to... Im using an Apogee GTZ on a phenom 2 system... even if it busts a leak, at least its not going to be on my i7 setup. If its really a problem, Im thinking I might coat the interior of the pipes with something.

The plan is to have the water come from the computer blocks to the Rez tower: a 2" diameter piece of clear PVC that is 7' tall (so its cap is at the high point/fill point of the system). I have a fill cap (or rather air escape/bleed) on the top of the radiator array, but the 7' tall clear PVC should be my main level indicator. The water will enter about half way up, with a waterline at least 4-6' tall (plenty of flexibility there). Then the eheim will have its intake at the bottom of the clear pipe, pumping into the bottom of the radiator, and then out the top of the radiator back to the computer.

I dont get how you figure that the eheim wont pump it though; I dont think your application of head pressure is correct here. Its a closed loop so the height of the system means nothing because the static 'back' pressure that the pump has to pump against in the radiator is equally countered by the pressure of the column of water in the res (you have bodies of water on both ends of the pump that are the same height, so the net head pressure due to difference in heights is 0). The only head pressure on the pump is just the restrictions from the water blocks and tubing. I most likely have less restriction than most setups because those active radiators have narrow tubing with lots of tight bends that causes alot of restriction. My setup has six 1" ID pipes running in parallel... so the restriction should be nil. My biggest restrictions are the 1/2" tubing itself and the blocks. Thats nothing compared to most systems.
 
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undertheradar

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Are you sure that with this size you'll need pipes with FINS?
I mean, they're huge and there are only 4 of them, that doesn't look like good heat dissipation design :S
While we're at the size of this thing, don't you think you'd get better temps using regular copper tubing instead of alu? I suppose it'd be more expensive but what you got there wasn't cheap too [or was it?].
I know it's "a bit" too late to change anything now but I'm just wondering why'd you choose copper over alu. Was that just cause of the price?

I gave the calculations for BTU's and such in the beginning. I did do an estimate for copper tubing as well. Based on the thermal conductivity of copper and the comparative surface area of copper tubing... well... let me say this first. I looked at the thinwall flexible copper tubing that comes in 50' coils, and the 1/2" thick is very expensive, yet the 3/8" diameter is less than half that, so 3/8" was the clear choice. Anyways, the calculation to match the Al finned pipe's thermal capacity gave me an estimate of about 234 linear feet of 3/8" copper pipe... so I would be using 5 of the 50' coils of 3/8" copper (running in parallel to minimize back pressure). It was cheaper, dont get me wrong, but still hundreds, and then I would have ugly copper coils to try to make look good. Yeah, the finned pipe really does help... much more surface area even though copper is a better conductor. If solid copper finned pipe was made, I would consider it (I looked around). As it is, I can always plumb a coil or two of copper into the system if I wish. Im thinking that this might be neat to do in winter because then I can hang them out my window in the freezing cold. Still, those Innovatek and Alphacool passive rads are aluminum... no problems there, right? These starfin pipes are an alloy too to minimize corrosion... not just pure Al. We will see...

Yeah, this finned pipe wasnt cheap though. I dont want to give an exact number because true-leaf cut me a deal as they want to see if this generates any interest, if it works well, etc. Lets just say you could buy a mid-range x58 board, ram, and an i7 920 for about the same price though. But hey... for me, its worth it. I can hook up just about any system (or two at once) to this thing now and well into the future w/o any worries other than swapping out water blocks. Many have to redo their water cooling with every new case/build, but the external nature and size of this thing removes it from that process. If I submerge my PSU in a mineral oil cooling loop, I could remove the last fan from my system and be totally silent forever.

I went for overkill on the BTU's though for testing as well. Those unions at the top allow me to plug each pipe, so I can test the system with less running and see what a good amount really is. I might find that only 4 pipes is enough (more is always better, but at a certain point, the benefits will diminish to being meaningless). I might find even just 3 (18' total) or rather instead of 6 x 6' tall pipes that 6 x 3' tall ones would be enough and be able to keep next to a desk or on top of it.
 
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D

Deleted member 184142

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Rather than use plain copper tubing you could have used some copper tension wound finned tubes, not really cheap, but I guess its all a matter of how much would be needed. As for corrosion, have you thought about DLC coatings on the waterblock?
 

undertheradar

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On a side note, one concern I might have is that IF I were to put my case/CPU on the floor (its going on a table though for now), that would put about 6-7' of static water pressure on the blocks, which is some PSI; not that some of these high-pressure DC pumps like the Iwaki's arent putting similar amounts of pressure on the block, but having the static pressure AND the pump pressure on these blocks makes me wonder. This is more pressure on the waterblock seals than normal. I decided to start with a Swiftech MCW-30 chipset block (to overclock a 790GX I figured I didnt need much)... and when I put it under 7' of static pressure, it started to have a very slight leak out of the edge.

I opened it up, and found:
waterblock.jpg


A 'dent' from a stamp or something right across where the o-ring goes.

So I contacted performance-pcs.com, and they patched me through to Swiftech (I suppose they passed on handling that themselves despite my $800 order with them). So now my $30 block costs me another $8.?? dollars in shipping, and they said they would test it, and if it leaked they would send me a new one.

Well, they tested it, and IN THEIR TEST, it didnt leak, so they said they were going to send it right back. So I asked HOW they tested it (how much pressure), and they never got back to me. So now I have a block that is obviously defective, but Swiftech just wants to send the leaker back to me because their 'in house' test methods didnt find the problem. Geez... thats getting me aggrivated. I mean, its an obvious machining problem, yet they want to claim its nothing and send it right back. So much for a warranty and service, its more like a worryantee now. Something tells me that this Swiftech block is going to end up in the trash and a Danger Den is going to be the solution. Anyways, not happy with Swiftech. Like I said, I posed the more technical question, and got no response. The defect is easily viewed if you open the block, so you would think they would at least correct that, but no. One star for you Swiftech. I decided to try you since the Apogee GTZ seems to dominate for CPU coolers, but maybe I should have stuck with DangerDen or waited for the Heatkiller 3.0... maybe I still will.

Anyways, dont you guys love the black and raw aluminum look? It matches my cases and my stainless steel desktop w/ chrome legs. The Lian-Li PC-V2000A, the PC-A05B, and the LC-A77B match the cooling tower...lol. Heck, my black w/ silver bezel monitor and my Z5500's match as well...lol.
 

Reza

Limp Gawd
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Sep 13, 2008
Messages
442
Looking great!! Sorry about your trouble with Swiftech :( I'll keep your story in mind when i'm in the market for a new block. But i'm about to put a DD TDX block on my cpu so yea ;) Again, looking awesome!!
 

undertheradar

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Well, I put it all together and its leak testing right now. I took some pics of the 'holding tank'...lol. Its a 2" diameter piece of clear PVC pipe that I cut to 7' tall. I put a cleanout on the top, and a base flange on the bottom to hold it up. The inlet is 1/2 way up the side, and the pump intake is towards the bottom (where the pump is... drrr...) All the connections are of course painted black...
005.jpg

006.jpg

007.jpg

There is the eheim 1250 Im going to use for circulation. I was going to put it on a PCI relay, but since PCI's are going adios, and its rather obvious if the system is on or not, I think Ill just put the pump on the same plug/switch as the PSU.

The entire holding tank is designed to stand in between the finned pipes. One thing I never did figure out is how to light the tank from the inside... but thats not a huge concern. Im thinking I might add something later for that.

So the flow is CPU/Chipset/GPU blocks>>res>>pump>>radiator>>CPU/Chipset/GPU (repeat). The pump is at the bottom of the res and pumps into the bottom of the radiator, and the top of the radiator feeds back to my case. The radiator should cool everything that passes through it to within a couple degrees of room temp, so I want to make sure the pump is before the radiator to prevent the pump from undermining this and adding some heat.
 
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Arcygenical

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Don't worry about corrosion too much.

Because the aluminum is not in electrical contact with your copper, through the case ground, you really have very little to worry about.

so I want to make sure the pump is before the radiator to prevent the pump from undermining this and adding some heat.

Absolutely does not matter where the pump is in relation to the radiator. In a few minutes, the coolant temps will equalize.
 

THRESHIN

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interesting build, hope this works out for you. i feel your pain with the allergies, i've had a bit of everything since i was born. i've got a few 4's and 3's...last time i went for the skin test i was a bit of a curiosity - 'oh wow look at that one!'

thankfully i've had the shots regularly since i was about 7 or 8 so my body has built up a good immunity now. i still test the same, but i just dont react as much.
 

BillParrish

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Looks great. The only thing I see that worries me is the pump mounting. I am concerned the weight of the pump + pump vibration will over time weaken the that connection to the res. A possible solution would be to fabricate a U shaped "shelf: that would wrap around the res pipe, possible secured with some kind of clamping to the res pipe that the pump could then rest on - resulting in the weight of the pump being supported by that nice thick res pipe instead of hangin on the the fitting. The fittings etc look pretty stout, its more the glue bond I would be worried about over time. I doubt there is any immediate need, just something to consider for later.

In a closed loop there is no static head pressure to worry about once the system is completely filled and the size of your plumbing makes frictional head pressure pretty negligable.

Woould like a couple of pics, one with air bubbles in the colum as you work the air out and one "bubble free".



It is likely too much trouble since you are ready to fill, but a blue high intensity LED in the bottom of that res pointed up would be pretty effective. getting power to it/hiding the wires would be an issue.
 
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Arcygenical

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It is likely too much trouble since you are ready to fill, but a blue high intensity LED in the bottom of that res pointed up would be pretty effective. getting power to it/hiding the wires would be an issue.

Could you imagine one of those 5w, collimated luxeons?
 

BillParrish

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Awesome and I cant help thinking, although it would be a very bad idea, with that 7 freaking foot tall clear res that a small aquarium air pump just letting a few bubbles "trickle" up that pipe all the time would just be cool as hell. I am trying to figure out how to run tubing to my bath and use that finned pipe for a towel warmer. ( I am closing and moving slowy away from the medication drawer now, slowly slowly... )
 

undertheradar

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Don't worry about corrosion too much.

Because the aluminum is not in electrical contact with your copper, through the case ground, you really have very little to worry about.



Absolutely does not matter where the pump is in relation to the radiator. In a few minutes, the coolant temps will equalize.

I wonder about that... I know where you are coming from, since a typical loop tends to have a rather low volume of water compared to the throughput of the pump. In this case though, the coolant will be allowed to stay in the radiator for about half a minute. Because of all these 'bodies of water' (the system being over 3 gallons in volume), there might be some static buildup/dissipation of heat in some areas (as in, the system temps between the water coming into the res and the water exiting the radiator may never equalize).
 

dealmaster

Limp Gawd
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Your temperature equilibrium will probably take a good deal longer to reach, but it'll eventually reach it. Even people that run 15 gallon radiators as a project see equilibrium reached after a long period. Water has very high specific heat capacity, so it can absorb lots of heat, and if you have a ton of water it can absorb even more heat. I can't wait to see how this turns out.

I'd also second building a little shelf for the pump to rest on. When I saw it suspended only by the fitting, I didn't think it was very secure.
 

undertheradar

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Looks great. The only thing I see that worries me is the pump mounting. I am concerned the weight of the pump + pump vibration will over time weaken the that connection to the res. A possible solution would be to fabricate a U shaped "shelf: that would wrap around the res pipe, possible secured with some kind of clamping to the res pipe that the pump could then rest on - resulting in the weight of the pump being supported by that nice thick res pipe instead of hangin on the the fitting. The fittings etc look pretty stout, its more the glue bond I would be worried about over time. I doubt there is any immediate need, just something to consider for later.

In a closed loop there is no static head pressure to worry about once the system is completely filled and the size of your plumbing makes frictional head pressure pretty negligable.

Woould like a couple of pics, one with air bubbles in the colum as you work the air out and one "bubble free".



It is likely too much trouble since you are ready to fill, but a blue high intensity LED in the bottom of that res pointed up would be pretty effective. getting power to it/hiding the wires would be an issue.

Ill work on those pics for you.

I too worry about that pump connection. There is a bit more to it... The output of the pump will have a 'soft connection' (tubing) that is only a few inches long and meets up with that barb that sticks straight up going into the bottom of the radiator array, so there will be some support coming from the pump's output as well. Still, I am considering options here. I bonded the clear PVC pipes (2" and 1/2") with weldon 16, and made sure the PVC fittings they are connected to had a 'face bond' as well. Had I been thinking, I should have coved out the backside of the fittings (to the OD of the 2" pipe) to create an even better bond... but this will have to do.

I cant run the LED through the bottom... too much weight on that part already, and as you see, running wires could be a PITA.

Im thinking that if I run the water level at the top of the fill cap, I can just make another 2" cap with a hole in the center and have an LED come through. The other problem is that its a pretty large tank, so a regular LED might not cut it... will have to tinker with that though. Those high power Luxeon style LED's are too hot, and couldnt be mounted because of their required thermal solution. Im thinking that I might be drilling & tapping multiple small holes throughout the pipe, or around the base, to mount regular LED's.
 

undertheradar

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Awesome and I cant help thinking, although it would be a very bad idea, with that 7 freaking foot tall clear res that a small aquarium air pump just letting a few bubbles "trickle" up that pipe all the time would just be cool as hell. I am trying to figure out how to run tubing to my bath and use that finned pipe for a towel warmer. ( I am closing and moving slowy away from the medication drawer now, slowly slowly... )

I have seen tanks in Asia where they recirculate the air in the tanks... if the air is on a closed loop, I could do this. The only drawback I see is noise perhaps... unless I use airstones... but then I would get micro-bubbles all over the system (higher density of coolant will most likely make for finer bubbles like with saltwater aquarium protein skimmers). So yeah... not going to happen...lol. With 200gph-ish going through a 2" diameter pipe... many smaller bubbles would get dragged down, most likely into the pump intake.

Who knows... I could tinker with it. I have lots of aquarium equipment and DIY skills for stuff like that... kept aquariums for over 20 years, been a 'reefer' for 7 of those. My reef tank:
0003tankonend.jpg

0004solarwrasseclamredzoasbluemilli.jpg
 

BillParrish

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Beutiful tank. Ya we just acking like the peanut galley waiting for the thing to go live.

But one thing you said struck me.

I cant run the LED through the bottom... too much weight on that part already

That bottom flange supporting the res looks like what I call a "toliet flange" and they are available in Brass which would support more load and maybe even scew it to a nicely finished piece of wood for more stability. Not quite sure what other fittings where used on that bottom of rez to fit that flange you are using but the brass would be an issue with the alum if the coolant came into direct contact.

Again just tossing stuff out there for future modifications/enhancements as I am sure you have your hands full just getting what you got going and I am killing time till you can report back.

No reply necessary. I am just mumbling to keep my brain from grinding to a complete halt.

Oh and I alos wanted to comment on your paint skills, getting paint to stick nicely to PVC is not trivial. Great workmanship all over.
 

undertheradar

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Its all good Bill, thanks for the input. No brass. Its 100% PVC. The bottom is a 'knockout' though... I reinforced it with a layer of weldon 16, and it seems pretty stable, but I dont want to drill the bottom and then end up making it weaker. Its still not as thick as regular PVC, so I dont want to push it.

Thanks for the comments on the paint skills. Yeah, it wasnt easy. I started with a metallic aluminum paint which would have looked just like aluminum, but it always ended up going funky no matter what. By 'going funky' I mean that it would 'crystallize' or something. I would imagine that the aluminum spraypaint has some conductive/metallic ingredients, and that PVC, like many other plastics, carries some sort of static charge that disrupts the paint's ability to stay 'flat' on the surface. It looks cool, but not what I wanted. So I had to go black.
 

undertheradar

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I'm honestly surprised you went with the Eheim over something like a Iwaki or Blueline, here.

Well, the eheim is very low wattage. When using 1250's as return pumps (sumps on reef aquariums), they pull only 10-12 watts RMS, with a power factor that is still great. The iwaki and blueline are louder IME, and higher wattage. Most of this wattage seems to go not towards flow either, but more towards pressure bias. Being that my passive system results in very little back pressure on the pump, the more flow-biased eheim should be just fine.

The other reason... I have multiple 1250's just laying around from aquarium use... some barely used.
 

undertheradar

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Well, I made some changes...

First, I ditched the Phenom 2 for overclocking... its collecting dust now... Im gonna convert it as a HTPC/Living Room Game Box for the Samsung LCD-TV.

I purchased a Rampage 2 GENE board, and got my hands on an i7 920 chip with D0 stepping (SLBEJ). OCZ XMP 1600 Memory (DDR3/3x2GB). I swapped the GTX285 cooler back to stock (have other plans for that, but wanted to make sure everything works with the CPU before I start adding the chipset & GPU coolers).

So far though, so good... With the Apogee GTZ I keep the 920 at a cool 40C while driven to 3.6GHz. I hit 4.0 GHz before, but I thought I would burn things in for a while at a more reasonable overclock. I am using IC diamond thermal paste. I had it set up with Arctic Silver 5 before, but the IC Diamond does keep the CPU a good 2 degrees cooler! I plan on getting a Watercool Heatkiller 3.0 when some place gets them back in stock (and the matching GTX285 cooler by them). I plan on using the Swiftech MCW-NBMAX (which does fit), and would like to try the Koolance CHC-36-D06 for the southbridge. Perhaps a Killer Xeno Ultra when they come out...lol.

I have added a smaller fillport/rez to the top of the radiator, as the 7' tall rez is going to be modded. I will be adding some 2" T's (after I paint them black) for the inlet/outlets, which will also give me mounting points for some LED's to light it. In the meantime though, its not as if its needed. The volume of the radiator alone with that little rez at the top (making it just under 8' tall) does a fine job. The eheim 1250 pumps into the bottom of the radiator > top of radiator to waterblock > back to eheim 1250. Stay tuned, this should be fun!!
BottomofRad.jpg

PumpandRadiator.jpg

The new mini-rez on the fill/bleed port at the top of the radiator...
NewRez.jpg

My Lian Li A-077 all gutted on the stainless steel desk...
MyLianLi77gutted.jpg

The stock Fan controller which is sorta built in on the A077 is useless... but the LCD Post screen fits in there and so this is its new home!
GENELCDPoster.jpg

The GTZ w/ 1366 mounting block... have to add the rest of the blocks next...
GTZ.jpg


I also need to add some eheim quick-disconnects to the tygon, since the computer case is about 5' away from the radiator/pump (using 20' of 1/2" tygon). This way I can disconnect the cooling lines for moving in the future. Also have to add some G11/G12 to the water. I am using pure H20 from the RO, so not too worried, but I have to do that before things start to corrode.
 

philodox

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 6, 2004
Messages
372
Very interesting. I'll be watching this. :)

I think I'll have to have a look at this new micro atx 1766 board from Asus...
 

undertheradar

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
1,792
Well, I was torn between this board and the W6T6 WS Professional board. I liked the W6T6 because it loses the legacy ports in favor of 6xPCI-E x16 slots. I liked its layout, and that it had the nf200 chip for SLi. But as the reviews came out, it seems the board, despite having more potential, is not as good a performer as say... the P6T Deluxe. Early comparisons of non-nForce200 chips to nForce200 chips indicate that the non-nForce200 boards worked better. This might not be the case now, and the nForce200 chip allows for more PCI-E lanes, but the nForce200 chip also is reported to run rather hot, so that would mean I have an extra thing to cool besides just the NB/SB/Mofset.

I have done SLi before (2x actually, once with 7900GTX's, and then again with dual 8800GTS 512's). I would say that both times, it didnt make itself worth it (unless I buy a 30" monitor or something). I think that just buying one of the highest performing GPU's (in this case, the GTX285) is the best way to go. Other than my GPU, I only plan on using my PCI-E X-Fi Titanium, and maybe one other PCI-E card (Killer Xeno Ultra perhaps... depends on how 'bloated' Windows 7 is). So the Gene is really all I NEED.

Also, the GENE is about $250, and the P6T6 is about $360. The Gene is a ROG board, and that LCD poster is a good idea (works well). The board's software and setup are like that of the Extreme, but I think we can assume its been 'refined' (it seems the Rampage 2 Extreme came with its share of bugs as it was pretty much the FIRST i7 board out there). I could see myself using those types of features for games and overclocking more than some over-featured, bloated workstation board... and so far, its held very true. The ROG style chipset cooler means that I can use a stock Swiftech block on the MOFSET/NB combo and not void the warranty (because the actual main heatpipe setup stays in place). So far, this Gene is a little monster, and not a single glitch or bluescreen.

I also figure that the lower price is a good thing. If I do run out of card slots or something in the future, by that time, I will be less reluctant to replace a $250 board than a $360 one, and perhaps by that time the ROG line will have a new Rampage 2 Extreme Mk/V 2.0 or something (a whole next gen of i7 boards perhaps).

So for now, I have a little-iddy biddy motherboard in a very big case...lol. Sure makes it easy to work on stuff around the board though!

I should have the last of what I need to eliminate the rest of my fans as of next week. At that point, the only fan in the system will be the Enermax Rev85+ 1050w. I am looking into mineral oil modding that as well (I want to do it with a less expensive PSU though first), but for now, its still a huge improvement towards a totally fanless watercooled PC. My plan is to put the PSU in its own acrylic box and run a cooling loop in/out of it with mineral oil on its own radiator (or a heat exchanger that goes to the rest of the water cooled system). By putting nozzles on the outlets into the acrylic box, I can blow the oil over all the critical components. The only challenge I see is that Im having a hard time figuring out how to seal all the cables/plugs. I would have to cut all the wires (even main ATX power) and run them through some sort of bulkhead/plug system... I dont know how Im going to do that exactly... thats alot of wires to seal... and Im not sure what components to use either. My latest idea is to use the stock plugs, but encase them from the backside with a cast block of resin/epoxy or something... sealing up the whole thing in a solid chunk of plastic.
 

undertheradar

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
1,792
Some more pics...

-added some eheim double tap quick disconnects so that I can move the radiator/rez and the case w/o having to drain the whole thing.
6eheimdisconnects.jpg

-redid the rez with 2" T's (painted black) for a more solid connection to the input/output. I put 6 cups of VW/Audi G12 radiator fluid into the mix to prevent corrosion between the aluminum and copper... now my computer is hot pink & ghey. Next I will suspend the pump from its intake on the side of the rez, but for now...
5thepinkrezoflove.jpg

-new blocks... the Watercool Heatkiller 3.0 for the CPU, the Aquacool Heatkiller GPU-X2 GTX285 for the GPU, and the EK NB Asus HP block. I applied everything with IC Diamond 7 Thermal Paste.
links to where I got them from...
http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/heatkiller1366.html

http://www.performance-pcs.com/cata...e=product_info&cPath=59_240&products_id=25219

http://www.performance-pcs.com/cata...e=product_info&cPath=59_241&products_id=24468

The GPU cooler is nice and slim. Im thinking I might want to find out if I can remove the dual PCI bracket and use it as a single slot GTX285... that would be cool.
1GTX285.jpg

The input/output are so close together that with 1/2" tygon I could only fit screw drive clamps on them. Thats okay by me though... they are the most reliable clamps anyways IMO even if they look a little clunky.

This thing is seriously heavy... but cool looking...
2GTX285.jpg


Its soo heavy that it bends the card... enough that one of the small chips by the PCI bracket that is supposed to touch the cooler (thermal pads included) doesn't reach. You could mount this thing inside a Lian-Li PC-V350/351 so the mobo is on its back (I was considering a red 351 for this setup...hmm...), otherwise, I added a piece of clear PVC pipe wedged in between the cooler and PSU to push the card up. That pipe is right under the chip in question that otherwise wouldnt be making contact with the cooler... by a good 1-2mm.
3GTXsupport.jpg


4blocks.jpg


Im 50/50 on the Watercool blocks. I am happy with their performance, thats for sure, but their inlet/output connections are close together... okay for 1/4" and 3/8" Im sure, but 1/2" can be a bitch. I could add swivel/elbow mounts, but thats more resistance on the pump as well. The weight/bending/gap issue with the GPU block was not cool... who knows what might have happened if I didnt catch & correct that. The finish of the GPU block is slick & smooth... almost perfect. Its better than the DangerDen GTX285's finish with all those CNC marks left on. OTOH, the CPU block is seriously in need of a better polish, and both have areas where it looks like little spots of corrosion have started... little pin-size spots all over the contact surface.

Im going to do some more tweaking and see what limits I can hit for overclocking and then post some screenshots, but so far so good. 4.2GHz on the D0 920 is easy. So far, the GTX285 gets up to 750 MHz w/o a problem (stock is 650 MHz). I got it up to 800MHz for a bit yesterday (and I ran Vegas2 and DoW2 at that speed for 3 hours), but I cant seem to hit that today (room temp today is most likely a little higher). Im sure if I open the windows on a cool day I can hit some really good clocks.

I plumbed the water from the CPU to the NB, then the GPU... I dont know, but the CPU and NB seem the hottest, so I wanted to give them the most breathing. I think that EK block is the most restrictive though... my intention was to add a 1/4" line in parallel with the NB for the SB. I have this low-profile block by Koolance...
http://www.koolance.com/water-cooling/product_info.php?product_id=425 to add for the SB, but I dont think the block is large enough to cover the whole chip (the SB chip is pretty large even though its cooler and has a smaller sink). Who knows, I might make my own block out of some 1/2" thick copper block stock and some 3/8" waterline copper... stay tuned. Based on what I found under the NB cooler, I would imagine just removing the SB sink and replacing the stock stuff with some quality paste would help out alot. Right now the SB is the hottest thing on the board... since there is no air going over it it hits 60C.

I think my pump might need an upgrade though too... too much back pressure has reduced the flow ALOT.

I also hope to add temp probes or thermometers to the rez and radiator to record the water temps, and a flow meter. Then again, a flow meter is more restriction on the pump, and I can just use a kill-a-watt meter to tell me the flow based on the pump's wattage (measure the flow using the 'empty bucket' method with a valve on the pump and record the wattage at various restrictions... as the wattage changes on the AC pump, the wattage will correspond with the tested flow rates when on the system).
 
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MisterSparkle

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
1,077
Wouldn't the involvement of an active pump no longer make the project 'passive'? :p I'm just messing, otherwise, very nice work :)

You know, if you were up for some work, you could make those passive radiators super sexy with some metal polish :D
 

undertheradar

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
1,792
Oh, yesssss... I do plan on making them all polished actually... they look pretty super secksy in person anyways though... all that raw aluminum. My desk is stainless, computer cases Lian-Li, monitor bezel's all 'silver'... even the file cabinet next to my desk is all silver metallic finish... so all together... its all black and metal.

On a side note though... the motherboard fried yesterday. I dont have any clue as to why. Because of the summer heat, I wasnt overclocking even (I havent been playing any intensive games either... unless you count killing floor), leaving the CPU at stock 920 levels. Anyways, the whole thing just shut off when I was on the internet. I tried to power back up, but after I disconnected the GPU, X-Fi, HDD, DVD, and left only one stick of ram... I couldnt even get a beep. I called Asus tech (amazingly very available on a Saturday morning), and they suggested trying another PSU (I should have told them it was an Enermax Rev85, eh?). They said that the CPU wasnt getting power somehow... I tried another PSU, and still no dice. I just kept getting this timer (counting up) with no error code on the LCD. We went through the reset of the BIOS and all... the tech guy still had me pull the battery... must not have been aware of the whole 'clear CMOS' button on the back of the board.

I let the thing sit all day... and later that evening, I tried it again... and it tried to boot!!! It started beeping that I had taken all the RAM out (which is more than I was getting before). I put a stick in and the LCD poster was saying "CMOS ERR", so I started plugging in the GPU and rest of the computer (I had the KB, monitor, and mouse disconnected as well so I couldnt take care of the CMOS error which means I have to go back into the BIOS to reconfigure everything). I got one startup screen where I could see the BIOS, but then upon F10, the computer went back to being a brick. I disconnected everything again and tried again... but no dice.

From the looks of it, something with the power on the board must have taken a dump. Some cap or something must be retaining a charge or something. This brings up a fear that I have about this board... I think its thermal solutions are too small, and as a consequence, it requires some form of active air cooling over various parts of the board. For many, this may not be a problem, but since I wanted a totally fanless setup... Good thing I didnt get around to removing the SB chipset to make my own custom waterblock for it yet... that would likely have voided the warranty. Still, I now question how well the hybrid NB cooler is for this board. The waterblock seems to be keeping the NB much cooler than the dinky stock heatsink, but without airflow, the fins on the MOSFET's can only transfer their heat to the heatpipe and hope that that alone does what it should. I might have to remove the stock thermal solution... but that would void the warranty, and its not there is any way to mount a good block on the SB unless you make one custom (which I was going to do). Still... I think the stock sinks on this Rampage 2 Gene board are lacking unless you have a 120mm fan blowing on the board. Considering how much hotter the SB runs w/o even a small breeze over it, I suppose the MOSFET's could be cooking. Still... I wouldnt figure they got that hot. I shot the board with a laser pyrometer a while back... the MOSFET's didnt seem to get that hot... let alone when I was just browzin' the internet...lol.

I think I might be looking for a new board... something that I can buy good waterblocks for. I like the 'pure PCI-E x16' goodness of the P6T6 WS... although Im not so sure it overclocks as well as this little demon. Ill have to see if I can find some good waterblocks out there though.

This must just be a bad month for electronics... my GF's computer fried as well a few weeks ago... the Raptor X I had in her computer just died. No warning sounds, and no mechanical error. It just seems to have lost power. It doesnt spin or anything... so I assume its a power issue as well on the control board. She just purchased something like $40-60 in I-tunes that are on that HDD... so she's all upset. I gave her an external HDD and told her to backup her crap every week... but noooooo... she didnt use it. She's trying to get me to do something to recover her data... and Im thinking I should just tell her that she should have backed up her stuff like I told her... duh. I might try to get my hands on an old raptor x and do a controller board swap... but Im thinking it might just make more sense if she just goes to i-Tunes, tells them she was dumb, and maybe they let her re-download the lost music... MAYBE. OR at least they give her a list of what she recently purchased and she can just re-purchase it all... seems more reliable and cheaper than trying to get my hands on an old raptor-x to do a controller board swap. Not to mention, it costs me not only the new HDD, but the old one since it voids the warranty. The rest of what she lost... well... chalk it up to experience.

All this, and we have to pack and move at the end of this month...lol.
 

viperbite

n00b
Joined
Dec 11, 2005
Messages
36
why dont you get a 120mm fan and run like 6 volts through it lol. it wont spin fast wont make a noise and will move enough air to cool components on the motherboard significantly

also, there are alot of little 60mm fans 40mm fans that make very very little noise. youre going to need something to cool the mobo components. ever seen a thermal image of a motherboard under load? random-ass pieces get stupid hot lol
 

undertheradar

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
1,792
Yeah, I have plenty of extra fans... that silentx ixtrema 120 fan was dangling over the mobo for a while before I had blocks on everything... I put it on the CPU header I think, and so it adjusted the speed according to temps, and since it was waterblocked, it was on so slow that it made a knocking sound. Maybe an emermax marathon would be better... nice and quiet and slow. I have a bunch of fans... so I suppose I can mess around with that. So much for being totally fanless though. Maybe I could just get creative with some paper and duct the intake of the enermax from over the mobo so it cools it... then I wouldnt have to add another fan... just use what Ive got. Hmm.... good idea though.
 

undertheradar

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
1,792
I moved... had to redo the whole setup in the process (didnt want any 500lb waterblocks knocking things around...)
Note that my 24" LCD normally resides right in front of the case on the right, and my keyboard sits right in front of it as well for multi-monitor mayhem (Asus VW246h). In the pic, I also recently removed the rear 120mm fan because I later replaced it with an Enermax marathon (dead silent) blowing INTO the back of the case and guided over the SB chipset with some air baffles. I never did block that SB chipset... I dont think it needs it as bad as the NB, and it is likely that by the time I did it, there would be a new revision of x58/i7 mobos out. Im already liking the way the P6T7WS supercomputer looks... lol.

MP4.jpg

MP3.jpg

MP2.jpg

MP1.jpg
 

mavalpha

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
10,451
Got any temps to report? And how hot are the fins- can you touch them, or would you hurt/burn your hand?
 

undertheradar

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
1,792
Well, temps depend alot on the ambient temp of the room... since its summer, and I dont feel like setting my AC down to 60 degrees, I havent 'gone for gold' yet.

So far, I can say this... I have hit 4.5GHz w/ my D0. I can run it at 4.2, but due to diminished returns, 3.8 is really the sweet spot. I use the CPU level up software that the GENE comes with to run it as a 965right now, and with an ambient room temp of 68F, the CPU is reporting 38C.

I happen to have a laser pyrometer, so I just shot the radiator a few times to see what its max temp is, and I get readings of about 72F. Oh yeah... its cool to touch. Due to the low flow through the radiator, I was worried about boundary layers forming... allowing warmer water to pass through the pipe while water along the pipe walls makes an insulating layer along the surface... so I dropped a thermometer into the rez pipe as well (hanging from the waterline by a cork and fishing line so it sits right where the water comes into the rez from the waterblocks). This is telling me that the water in the rez is 78F. Keep in mind that my loop order is: waterblocks (series), rez, pump, radiator, waterblocks.... so this is the temp of the water coming right from the blocks (and a few feet or so of tygon). So my delta from water to radiator metal is only about 6F... not bad... not great, but not bad. This is why I contemplated the radiator pipes so that it flows from top to bottom though... that way the internal velocity is low enough that warmer water might still rise... and if there is a cooler boundary layer forming, it will want to sink on its own out through the bottom while the warmer water tries to stay at the top. Since my radiator flows from bottom to top (to aid rather than hinder microbubble degassing purposes), the upward flow of water inside the pipes might be working against the cooler layer of water forming a boundary layer against the pipe walls... helping hold the water in place and working against me. Normally these things are not a concern, but with a 7' tall radiator and enough loop length to allow for a considerable delta between the water at the waterblocks and in the radiator (why the radiator goes right before the waterblocks), these things are worth looking at. It might cool better also if I increased the water flow, as this would decrease the delta between the water temps in the blocks and radiator... hey, wait a minute... what is that delta anyways? With the G11 dye in the water, I can adjust the sensitivity of the laser pyrometer to read the water temp right through the tygon.

Hmmmm... shooting the temp of the water coming out of the computer (heated), I get about 80F (so it cools 2 degrees in the tygon on its way to the rez where it is 78F), and the water going into the computer is reading 75F. The water only changes about 5 degrees in the whole loop. Increasing my pump pressure and flow might mean I can approach a constant temp of about 77.5F for the whole loop, but this wouldnt allow me much more cooling potential... which is why with a system like this, ambient room temps make the largest impact. The good news is that the delta from the water and the radiator/room temp is minimal... 68/72F from the room to the radiator is only a 4 degree delta, and the water in the loop only experiences a delta of about 5F (80 vs. 75). So the delta from the warmest water to the room is 12 degrees. Thats not bad. Still, I should put that other eheim 1250 back on (in series) to boost the pressure and flow and see if that allows me to eek out a better overclock. My only concern is that then my 1250 which runs at a mere 13 watts RMS right now (it runs through a kill-a-watt meter) turns into a 30 watt (the pumps each run faster and hit 15 watts) pump, which means Im dumping an extra 17 watts of heat into the loop by putting the extra 1250 pump back on.
 
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