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EnergyFX's n.audBl worklog

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by EnergyFX, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    EnergyFX's n.audBl (post)worklog

    This is one of those projects that started a long time ago and sort of evolved into the current setup. Back in my early days of watercooling I purchased the Thermaltake Tai Chi with the watercooling system built in and thought I was hot stuff with a jammin watercooling system. :laugh:

    [​IMG]

    I am quite fond of the Tai Chi chassis itself though. As far as computer cases go... this thing is a tank!

    [​IMG]

    Some crappy pictures of the semi-finished rig are on the case gallery (via my sig). Most of the pictures posted in this thread are going to be from after the system was 'finished' the first time around. Everything had to be taken back apart when the MB failed a BIOS flash and had to be RMAed :banghead: Since I didn't do so well with logging the work the first time around I chose to get some photos while everything was back out.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2008
  2. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    All this goes in

    [​IMG]

    not to mention the other few things like DVD, Creative I/O front panel, reservoir, etc.
  3. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Here are some shots of the heat exchanger setup that replaced the HDD cage. Two Koolance radiators sandwiched between two 120mm fans. The billet grill is the air discharge fan and goes inside the case. The black side it a Skythe product modified to work the way I needed it. The whole setup fits in the 5.25 bay so tightly that screws aren't needed to keep it in place. There is a bit of a heat stack factor since the air flows through one radiator before the second, but it is still more effective than a single radiator.

    The two splitters are held in place with metallic epoxy. The bottom surface of one of the radiators was rough filed as well as the top side of the aluminum splitters. This provided a better 'tooth' for the resin to adhere to. The final product is extremely solid. I actually tried with generous force to break one of the splitters off and started to bend the sheetmetal shell of the radiator instead.

    The unit is sitting upside on the counter compared to how it will be mounted in the case.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The grill is from MNPC tech and the rear fan is a Koolance (Alienware) LED fan. The significance of this style fan is the RPM range of operation. 1000 to 2800 RPM throttle range is very nice. I purchased 6 Skythe 1800 RPM fans for this project thinking they would spin even slower at low voltage settings but quickly learned that they would only throttle down to about 1400 RPM at the lowest voltage setting my fan controller puts out. DC fans can be very interesting creatures at times. Slower maximum RPM @ maximum voltage doesn't necessarialy mean slower minimum RPM @ minimum voltage.
    Last edited: May 12, 2008
  4. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Watercooling ad nauseum:

    One MB, 5 WBs:
    [​IMG]

    Stupid Macro focused on the wrong area:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    SB watercooling magic! The trick here was finding a method that wouldn't interfere with any of the expansion slots:
    [​IMG]

    Notice the PCI-E tab is just barely clear of the WB. Also notice the mounting stud on the left had to be filed (dremmel actually) down so as to not interfere with the PCI slot adjacent to it:
    [​IMG]
  5. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Two nVidia 8800 GTXs with Koolance waterblocks attached. It really chaps my hide that I was unfortunate enough to end up with two different colored PCBs. Oh well, such is life. I can't bring myself to RMAing either for the sole purpose of getting an differnet color PCB.
    [​IMG]

    And the Ageia Physx board with water block attached:
    [​IMG]
  6. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    This is the mounting plate I cut from a scrap piece of aluminum (aquired from Performance-PCs) to mount the pumps onto. This is the piece that will be mounted to the Tai-Chi's door. It is covered with Thermaltake sound dampening material purchased from a local Radio Shack and even though you can't tell in the picture the edge of the plate is lined in edge molding available from Performance-PCs. If you enlarge the image you can make out the holes drilled in the plate for the pump wires to run through to the backside to keep them out of sight. I used 1/2 inch grommets available at the local True-Value to help protect the wires.
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
  7. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    This is the door of the Tai-Chi case lined with Thermaltake sound dampening material. The stand-offs you see are Scythe HDD silencers mounted to the door. You can also see where the fan area on the back of the case was cut out for better airflow of the rear radiator. This area was eventually finished off with a MNPC aluminum grill.
    [​IMG]
  8. jbunch07

    jbunch07 New Member

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    15/10
    very nice work!
    EnergyFX says thanks.
  9. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Prepping the back side of the pump mounting plate:
    [​IMG]

    Pump wires run through and switch for cathodes installed:
    [​IMG]

    It's a mess, but this area will not be seen once the plate is mounted to the door.
  10. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Here are some shots of the standoffs mounted to the door. They are Scythe HDD silencing mounts. The rubber isolaters helps keep pump noise from transferring to the case.
    [​IMG]

    With the wiring harness routed into place:
    [​IMG]
  11. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Here is how the door and pump panel turned out:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  12. philbrown23

    philbrown23 New Member

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    wow
    EnergyFX says thanks.
  13. commandercup New Member

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    make sure those tubes don't end up kinking when you close the door :p

    otherwise, nice job!

    crazy setup on that motherboard...

    also.. how was the scrap alu from PPCS? how thick? annodized? painted?
    EnergyFX says thanks.
  14. Darknova

    Darknova

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    What interests me the most is the Rad set up.

    Now, if I gather this correct, you have 2 "elbow" joints as the nozzles on each rad right? and they are connected by really long screws?

    The tubes then come up out of the top of the block into 2 splitters?
  15. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    That's why the tubes coming off the door are wrapped. The one that seems to be most prone to kinking is the bottom one that runs to the splitter mounted to the bottom of the case. If you look closely you can see that the spiral wrap is bunched up a bit tighter right near the pump. That is the area I was having the most trouble with.

    When I ordered the scrap piece I specifically requested thick aluminum, preferably anodized black and that's exactly what I got. The only complaint I have is that the back side was covered with some sort of sound dampening material that I had to remove. I would suggest just e-mailing them and asking if they have what you are looking for. They are always helpful and quick with a response, and if you don't get quite what you wanted in the end you will only be out a few bucks. I think the piece I purchased was like $2 or $3 and a few $ for shipping. It was pretty good size too, about 16x18" or so.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  16. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Yes, you're correct. One of the splitters is the "In" and the other is the "Out". The coolant runs in parallel through both radiators to keep pressure drop as low as possible.

    The rads are held together with 6/32 all thread rods cut to length and 4 nuts/washers per rod. I had to do a lot of trial measuring and assembling to get the overall lenght of the apparatus short enough to allow for the two 8800 GTXs. I'll post pictures of the clearance between the aluminum fan grill and the back edge of the vid cards later. It's only about 1mm of clearance. I wanted as much space between the two rads as possible to keep heat stacking to a minimum and give the tube enough room to not kink. I had originally hoped to be able to use straight connectors on the rads, but in the end there just wasn't enough room.

    FYI, if you are interested in possibly building this, be aware that these are aluminum radiators... hence the nickel plating project in my sig. Also, Koolance has a newer style radiator that has wider dimensions and will not fit in 5.25" drive bays the same way this one does. These are HX-362 models and are a very tight fit in the 5.25" bay.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
  17. Darknova

    Darknova

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    Well I was just interested in a different way of doing things, instead of just getting a 2 or 3 120 rad and sticking it to the back of your rig, you've used 2 rads in parallel. Good thinking and I hope it provides the cooling you are looking for :)
  18. commandercup New Member

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    wow! $3 bucks + shipping for a 16x18" sheet!?

    lol, thanks! and yeah, PPCS is pretty nice for customer support, I emailed them about getting a deal for buying a bulk set of wiregrills and they replied pretty fast and gave me a ncie deal! 1/3 off
  19. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Yeah, but it is scrap... so it might not be a pretty piece.

    Edit: I lied, the price is $5 (either bad memory or they raised the price) and they currently claim they are 'Out of Stock' on scrap pieces.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  20. commandercup New Member

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    ahh, I could've sworn it was $3 too... oh well, its still cheap

    If its banged up I can always paint it, so thats fine I guess hehe
  21. Axelrod

    Axelrod New Member

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    why didn't u use an elbow joint pointing up?

    P.S. 10/10
  22. johnnyfiive

    johnnyfiive

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    Bringing this back from the dead. Because it is the best build EVER! :)
  23. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    Hah... thank you.

    I actually have a new build in the works for my wife, but it will be air cooled.
  24. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    How did I miss this! I love the look of the system, and how you did it all!

    Gotta let me know on the next one.. I couldn't even come up with words while I was reading it all.

    :toast:
    EnergyFX says thanks.
  25. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX New Member

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    I'm guessing you clicked the link in my sig... right? The final product is in the Case Gallery.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008

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