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Project: External Acrylic Radbox

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by fornowagain, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. fornowagain

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Nov 3, 2004

    Posts: 9,825

    Location: UK

    Been buying bits and pieces for a high capacity radbox for a few months now. Thought I'd better get on with it.

    • Plan is to make it from 6mm cast acrylic sheet.
    • Capacity is designed for the long term future needs, so 2xPA120.3. Enough for cpu, motherboard and two graphics cards with fans running silent. Basically handle anything, serious overkill desired.
    • Two pumps in series for redundancy and pressure.
    • Variable speed control for 2x3 fans and 2 pumps.
    • Single loop with quick connectors.
    • Self powered and air/loop temperatures monitors.
    • Physical dimensions to fit in front of my window, so 500mm x 200mm footprint. Designed it to be compact as possible.

    So first up cutting the acrylic, never used this for fabrication before. Table saw seems to cut it well enough with a 80 tooth TCT blade, scraped the edges square. Drilling and tapping is fine once I reground a box of drills to a 90 degree point with a slight rake. Forstner bits also make a nice clean hole with a pillar drill.

    Cut the radiator holes with a Dremel with spiral bit. Flies through it, not easy to keep square. In future I think I'd make a MDF template and use my router with a roller laminate bit. Or maybe I'll get an xy compound milling table. Cut a stainless grill for the top, mounted on some corner bonded supports. Polished the visible edges.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Let is cure for awhile then offered up each part to mark out the fixing centers. Drilled, tapped and countersunk all the fixings to keep it looking clean. Tested out the CPC quick release connectors, not cheap but very little resistance and hardly any losses. Made a few brackets to hold the LCD displays and pumps. Mainly so I can remove the them quickly in one lump on strip down. Dry assembled to cut the 7/16th Masterkleer to length.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Next up the wiring/sleeving and how to kill a perfectly good reservoir by cleaning it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
  2. TheRedZealot

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 20, 2007

    Posts: 2,779

    Location: South Yorkshire

    Looking good, cant wait to see more :)
     
  3. domthecondom

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 9, 2008

    Posts: 3,891

    Location: Bristol

    deffently want to see the end result :)
     
  4. MikeHunt79

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 4, 2004

    Posts: 20,833

    Location: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    If you are going for twin rad and twin pump, I'd go for twin loop.

    1 loop for CPU, and the other loop for the rest of the gubbins....
     
  5. fornowagain

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Nov 3, 2004

    Posts: 9,825

    Location: UK

    No thanks, more losses from extra tubing in a second run. What I gain is more head pressure (series pumps are good for restrictive blocks as it keeps up flow rate), pump redundancy and it makes use of any spare heat dissipation of a potentially under utilised rad. The difference in dual/single loop delta's would be negligible with these levels of mass flow rates and load. Its a simplification, but once flow rates are high enough the loop temp is pretty much determined by the total radiator capacity C/W for a given fan air flow. Going by published Thermochill tables I should see around 4C water delta even at 800W.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  6. MikeHunt79

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 4, 2004

    Posts: 20,833

    Location: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Well, it's just what I would do, but by the sounds of it you've done your homework. ;) I'll look forward to seeing the results. :)
     
  7. fornowagain

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Nov 3, 2004

    Posts: 9,825

    Location: UK

    My favourite part the wiring. Using a Meanwell psu, good for 12.5A@12v ranges to 13.8v as does the DDC3.2 Ultra's. I will probably be undervolting all of it to keep it silent. The Meanwell is an excellent make, this one comes with an external trigger relay input which I don't need.

    Sunbeam Rheobus 4 channel controller, mounted with the controls just poking through in a vain attempt to child proof it. 20W per channel, maximum load is three very nice 38mm Sanyo Denki fans in parallel taking 6W each. Even so the Sunbeam heatsink got too hot for my liking, so a 40mm fan dropped to 5v mounted on top. The Sanyo's stall at 5V, the three Yate-Loon's are brilliant run silent at 4v, can't recommend them enough. The air flow at full power is excellent, you can feel it pushing your hand up when moving over the top of the box.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Two 5v LCD sensors, loop probe drilled & tapped in to a Swiftech MCRES-Micro. And a second thermistor mounted in the inlet air stream. Take one from the other gives the loop delta. Tested the two and they read the same.

    Harness wired, a few resistors added for voltage drops here and there, then sleeved and heatshrink.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  8. fornowagain

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Nov 3, 2004

    Posts: 9,825

    Location: UK

    Let it run overnight on slowest speeds, more work for the controller.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Oh, as I said. How to destroy a Swiftech MCRES-Micro reservoir. This is what happens if you put pure IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) on some types of Acrylic. It cleaned the loop gunk off great though :(

    My poor res after only 5mins with IPA vs the cast acrylic I've been using that doesn't seem to care.

    [​IMG]

    Next up the final assembly and leak testing once a new res appears. And I'd only just finished tapping all the threads in it and cutting the spare lugs off.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  9. mk17

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 3, 2006

    Posts: 1,787

    Location: London

    very nice, mate, uber craftsmanship.

    <edit> not fast enough, v. harsh about the IPA </edit>
     
  10. fornowagain

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Nov 3, 2004

    Posts: 9,825

    Location: UK

    Second res, tapped top hole added a sensor and cut the spare lugs off the front.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. booyaka

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 19, 2006

    Posts: 12,921

    nice craftmanship - well done
     
  12. Pneumonic

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 19, 2007

    Posts: 3,244

    Location: Suffolk

    looking good :)
     
  13. adi67

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 15, 2008

    Posts: 143

    That looks really nice - I've often wondered why there wasn't a mainstream commercial offering along these lines (kind of like those 'waterkegs' I suppose).

    Some serious cooling power you've got there!
     
  14. fornowagain

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Nov 3, 2004

    Posts: 9,825

    Location: UK

    Quick update: Res, pumps, rads and grills fitted.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    That's some serious air flow on full blast.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  15. fornowagain

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Nov 3, 2004

    Posts: 9,825

    Location: UK

    Final update. All complete, no leaks after 24hrs. Quite happy with it overall. Waiting on a 4870X2 card before I can tell load temps, so far a 4GHz quad on small ffts makes a 4C water delta.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
  16. Pneumonic

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 19, 2007

    Posts: 3,244

    Location: Suffolk

    that is a work of art :) damm fine
     
  17. adi67

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 15, 2008

    Posts: 143

    Yes, it's a beautiful thing.
     
  18. Tooks

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 24, 2005

    Posts: 2,039

    Location: Lincolnshire

    The 'inner geek' part of me is really attracted to what you've built!!

    But beautiful? No, I don't think so!! ;) :)

    Nice work though, and it will be interesting to see how it performs.
     
  19. pegasus1

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 27, 2003

    Posts: 5,015

    Location: UK PLC

    Any specific reason why you have the fans pulling air through the rad?
     
  20. TheKnat

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 13, 2007

    Posts: 1,821

    Location: Lancashire, UK

    Looks very cool, especially as a show piece. I'm not sure I would go the lenghts for my normal PC, but if it was built as a technical exercise then well done sir!