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Triple Loop External Cooler: the Tank

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by CyberDruid, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    Well I am lucky enough to have a little pause in my build schedule and I will be working on a project that has been rattling around in my head for over a year.

    Using some pebble finish lexan, aluminum angles and a lot of cooling gear I'll be crafting a new cooler for my rig. I've about given up on internally LCing my own rigs because I tinker too much and internal LCS is usually like putting 25 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag...just try upgrading without completely draining and taking everything to bits...it'll result in much:banghead:

    I've been thinking about how I want this to work and there are some guiding factors: must be really awesome looking (as it is likely going to be something I use to pimp myself out :pimp:); must outperform any "normally aspirated" hotrod cooler ever made (or else whyt bother?); must be quiet enough to have close to the desk.

    My current LC set up is quite potent...but the rig is pushing it past it's capacity...

    I am looking for input and my design is really open. I've been visualizing a number of configs but I am not ties to any.

    I am tied to the LC gear as it is on hand and it's what I intend to use.

    GEAR

    3 x Thermochill PA120.3

    3 x EK Cylinder Reservoirs

    3 x Alphacool 1510 pumps

    Meanwell S150-24 24V PSU

    Emtel 12V PSU

    Low Restriction Quick Connects might not use these...too restrictive?)

    9 X 67cfm S-Flex


    I'll post up some sketches in a bit.


    So: Good Looking; Powerful; Quiet are the main guides to the design.

    Secondary considerations are: use materials on hand; keep Form Factor as small as possible without sacrificing any of the main goals.

    Materials I have on hand are aluminum extrusions and acrylic. Although I could purchase mesh and other sheet goods to expand on a good design.

    Headed down the hill to the shop to see how this all stacks up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2008
  2. intel igent

    intel igent New Member

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    which rig is this for? skulltrail?
     
  3. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    yippers. The PA120.3 and Bonnie are capable of an estimated 800 Watts of heat dissipation. Just a guestimate. Apparently I am cranking out a lot more than that now. I want to see much lower CPU temps. I am running in the low 50C range and usually can keep everything in the low 30C range.

    I keep going back and forth on how to configure the loop(s) and how to conduct cool air through the rads with the least amount of sonic distress to my earbulbs.

    I'll post shots of the gear directly to help give a better idea of what and how big...
     
  4. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    [​IMG]

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  5. intel igent

    intel igent New Member

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    i like the potential look of the hexagon setup myself (its different - aquarium style ;) ) you could stack the PSU's in the middle and have a large fan at the top of the enclosure drawing all the hot air out?

    each one of the TC rads should be good for ~540w

    those alphacool pumps are quite monstrous, almost IWAKI performance :rockout:

    im assuming one loop will be for CPU, one for mosfet/NB/SB, and the other for GFX?

    you are a visionary Cyber

    :toast:
     
  6. Silverel

    Silverel

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    This already looks like a good thread to watch :)

    You should put a link up in the Bad Boys of Case Modding thread.
     
  7. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    Thanks for the input. Yep. You got the loops sorted. I like the hex too except for the huge waste of floor space. I was thinking something like a Radiation symbol...Since I already have these fans on hand I am not going the huge automotive rad fan route...at leat not yet.

    One concern is to set it up so the air does not recycle and also to have the rads oriented so the fans are not "fighting" each other for air...

    I also want to introduce some off angle to the rad orientation to try and dampen the sound fron the fans. If they are angled then the sound will have to bounce around and dissipate.

    Thinking about a trapezoidal shape with the long side on the top...this will aim the rads at the floor somewhat (and I have an AC vent nearby the desk) and hopefully will kill off some fan noise against the carpetted floor...
     
  8. intel igent

    intel igent New Member

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    you could put them at a slight angle within the hex no? it would be kinda big i guess....

    i was simply suggesting to have a large fan (like a 200mm from antec900) at the top to vent the air thats already been drawn in by the 120's :confused:

    trapezoid idea is cool! woud be wicked nice if it could get that cool air from the A/C ;)

    biohazard idea is cool too!
     
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  9. steelkane

    steelkane New Member

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    First of all,, Nice work shop, Second thats alot of hardware to work with, hope it all comes together the way u see it.
     
  10. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    Well after I got the three rads strapped together they were sooooooo heavy a trapezoidal shape would just tip over :D

    So I went with a cube. The amount of material, time, and planning it would take to pull off a sweet looking hex is just too much right now. Although I will revisit that sometime in the future ;)

    Here's what I got together so far. Technically the thning is ready to Rock and Roll:rockout:

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    I used a piece of 1 x 1/8 strap to join the rads. I also used silicon grommets to isolate them from the structure.

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    Truly the most amazing looking thing I have seen in my shop...it's like a car rad now

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    At least ten pounds empty...

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    I did some measuring...

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    Mader an incredibly detailed construction diagram...:eek::p

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    Somtimes ya just gotta bust a move...I was tired of gyrating around 12 different ideas so I started with a simple frame.

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    I braced up the rad rack with some angle mitred to 45 degrees

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    Trying to keep this small was futile :)

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    This isn't about small...

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    I am liking how it's going together at this point...

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    I tossed some tubing in there just to get a reality check

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    At this point I could put some wires on the PSU and git r done...but I want to add some acrylic to baffle the sound.

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    The pebble grain lexan is unbelievably expensive...we are talking HUNDREDS...sigh.

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    I added a strip up top to keep any air from recirculating.

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    This is my favorite part so far...no problem filling this humongo cooler...

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    The res/pump units get supported by the EK clips on a strap and by the cutout up top and by a piece of angle that I will 777 some Neoprene onto to deaden the noise.

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    Blue tape is aproximately where I plan to cut the exhaust port.

    The rear panel will get holes for the 6 lines. I will likely mount the AC plug there too. UYp top I will put any controls and gauges. Probably would look awesome with 6 gauges for pressure (in and out) and 6 gauges for the temps (in out) and maybe even a rheostat for the fans...but I doubt I will need to undervolt them.

    Gonna call it a night before I screw anything up:twitch:
     
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  11. steelkane

    steelkane New Member

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    Nice touch using the rivets, very very nice.
     
  12. Fitseries3

    Fitseries3 Eleet Hardware Junkie

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    that's the sickest cooling loop(s) i've ever seen!!! OMG>>>>> i want one!!!
     
  13. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    Hey thanks.

    About that fan up top here's my thinking on that: yes it would work very well...but I think it will compromise the sonic baffling. I will be lining the top back and part of the sides with Sonex

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    1" thick...works really well.

    Here's how I tried to do that last time:

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    The guts

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    The metering manifold (I call it the Hydra ;))

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    The control panel

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    One side is removable for easy access.

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    Lined...the depth I set the fans into the enclosure was to try and kill off the blade noise.

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    I line the bottom in an attempt to muffle the Iwaki...no dice...it's a loud-ass pump.

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    It's great for running a few Folding rigs on tech stations or bareback..or a quad and SLI or what ever you want...

    But the problem is that the pump is really loud...it's not as annoying as a fan that's loud...but it's too damn loud for me.

    Hence the switch to Alphacools.

    And the cooler depicted above has 9 fans as well...6 on the PA120.3 and 2 on the Bonnie and one for general below decks cooling of the pump and PSUs.

    So this time I was thinking is I angled the fans at the Sonex it would work even better. The pumps sit on a piece of angle that I will line in neoprene and I will use isolators on the straps that hold the EK clips. I really want this one to be quieter and at least twice as powerful. I want to shift at least 1500 watts.
     
  14. JacKz5o New Member

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    Hey CD, nice to see you here :D

    More awesome mods as usual eh? :p
     
  15. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    Well it's keeping me out of trouble sort of...

    I have a two day lull in my schedule so I am building the cooler and taking care of some odds and ends around the house. Then the powdercoat should be completed and I will be full on finishing the Cosmos...
     
  16. Fitseries3

    Fitseries3 Eleet Hardware Junkie

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    how much does something like those cost? im thinking of build a single unit that can cool my main rig and my bench rig.
     
  17. TheGoat Eater

    TheGoat Eater

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    I have to admit that I started from the bottome up and i said to myself looks like Cyber's handiwork and sure enough...
     
  18. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    Oh lord...

    uh

    Well a single set up is probably about $200 in materials for the enclosure (plastic has gone through the roof due to oil prices :shadedshu) But you could obviously use a much cheaper and more rudimentary stand.

    A PA120.3 is about $150 including shipping

    Alphacool 1510 ia $100 but it outperforms the equally expensive MCP655 and comes with a variable PSU that is powered via molex from your PC PSU to provide anywhere from 8V-24V. According to tests by Martinm210 (see www.martinsliquidlab.com) it performs on par with the Iwaki RD 30 (which is a $280 pump).

    The Reservoir I chose is about $45...but there are many options including a simple T line.

    Then add tubing and stuff like that...

    And then at least 3 fans (cheapest maybe $15 highest maybe $75)

    SO barebones a single rad/pump set up might be around $300-$350

    This rig is much more..

    The Lexan alone was close to $200, I used three 8' lengths of 2" angle so at least $100 there (gotta check) plus misc. other pieces of aluminum call it $350 in material.

    Three PA120.3 about $450

    9 Ultra Kaze 2000RPM about $125

    Three 1510 Pumps about $300 (more really have to include shipping)

    Three EK reservoirs $150

    Special fittings like the g 1/4 to g 1/4 adapters, lots of tubing, clamps etc add $50

    And I have not yet started dolling the rig up with pressure gauges ($15 a pop) temp gauges ($12 a pop) Switches (?) breakers (?) quick disconnect fittings ($35 a set).

    Then I plan to doll up the interior with more aluminum (maybe another $50)

    Might even add lights...I dunno.

    So right now nI have about $1500 in the parts alone and by the time I am done it could be very close to $2000 not including all the labor:twitch::cry:

    Don't EVAR ask me again:ohwell:

    It's better if I don't know!
     
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  19. Fitseries3

    Fitseries3 Eleet Hardware Junkie

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    WOW!!! your right.... i shouldn't have asked. that's A LOT of money for a cooling setup. that's more than some peoples entire computer.

    hmmm..... maybe i could go for something a little less crazy.

    i already have 2 Thermochill PA120.3's and 2 Laing D5's. i have 12 of the Scythe Ultra Kaze 120x38mm 3000rpm fans. i guess i could get 2 Reservoirs and put it all together in one unit. it wouldn't be anywhere near the performance of your setup though.
     
  20. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    Sounds to me like you are right up there...that's 1000+ watts of cooling power. Putting this stuff in an external enclosure is so much nicer. You can easily service and upgrade the rig...you can try and make it quieter by keeping it away from ear level and so on. I am totally an external cooler fanboy. I think internal LC is great for showing off and looking amazing..but for 24/7 use day and day out I would rather have my cooler farther away and my rig easy to service.

    Plus when filling or draining there is almost no chance of fluid getting on the hardware...I find that swapping stuff out rarely causes much aeration...it's easier to try out differnt configs and blocks without having to completely drain and disassemble the loop.
     
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  21. Silverel

    Silverel

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    :twitch:

    That's a lot of loot to drop on cooling. o.o



    Think you could ho0k me up with some of that modder-crack you're smoking? I'd love to be able to force myself to spend that much on anything.

    Seriously. Crack. Gimmie. :respect:
     
  22. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    I have been diagnosed with an incurable condition

    Tinkeritus in Extremus
     
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  23. DanishDevil

    DanishDevil

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    Sounds terminal to your wallet :roll:
     
  24. MKmods Case Mod Guru

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    Thanks on the heads up on the pumps.
     
  25. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    [​IMG]
    Mounting the PSUs on the rails

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    Fan wiring completed

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    110VAC attached to both PSUs

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    Fan Test

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    Getting ready to fit the pumps

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    Note Rheostat, Pump Kill Switch and Strain Relief. Pumps rest on the foam strip.

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    Ek reservoirs mount to the Alphacool 1510 pumps with G 1/4 adapters

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    Pump gets secured with a clip and a hole in the top. The tube presses the pump firmly into the foam lined rail.

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    Test fitted and plumbed.

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    Filling is extremely simple. Bleeding took less than 5 minutes for inital fill.

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    Obviously any leaks would be a bad thing...yet despite their proximity the PSUs are positioned away from any actual barbed fittings.

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    The side panels are off at this point so I can observe the operation.

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    The panel monted above the rads stops any air from recirculating. Removing the panel yields access to the bleeder screws.

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    I used some Storm waterblocks to give a bit of restriction.

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    The side panels will be routed to make triangular exhaust ports.

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    Through the sides I can access the PSU trimmers, wiring, and pumps

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    Almost immediately this pump was leaking from a misaligned O ring in the pump housing. Draining the loop was easy. I refitted the Oring and after a few moments noticed a weepage from the outlet fitting. The leak was from the metal to plasic connection. Alphacool uses a hard epoxy-like gap-filling hard sealant that is a transparent green ion color to mate the metal fitting with the plastic. These fittings are not designed to be tightened, loosened, removed...nothing. They are permanently glued in place.

    The smart thing to do would have been to pull the pump rebox it and send it back... instead I carefully freed the metal fitting and cleaned out the sealant and packed the threads with Pipe Paste and after three attempts got something like a leak free fitting...although I have my doubts about how long that would hold up. A better choice for repair would have been "Goop" which is like a super thick contact adhesive: rubbery and flexible yet tenacious.

    After a few more minutes I saw a similar weepage from a second pump. :(

    I tried to attempt the same repair but broke the pump instead.

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    The plastic alphacool uses is thin and brittle. For instance you can easily deform the housing, by pressing on the outlet, enough for water to leak by the o-ring.

    I am not impressed by the build quality or choice of compounds and materials in these pumps. They are very powerful...but 2 out of 3 pumps leaking is terrible...

    I have to question why Alphacool would design a pump with problematic areas like metal to plastic fittings with no compression or O-ring to seal them?

    This makes the pump impossible to service without breaking it. Simply using a flexible adhesive would make more sense...or an Oring.

    Needless to say this project is on hold until I can decide whether I am using RMAed pumps or simply going to a different pump style altogether...
     

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