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Thinkin of an aquarium mineral oil pc build....thoughts?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
im thinking of using an old gaming computer i have lying around for this experiment....anyone else tried it? any warnings anyone can give?

if its good to go ill do a build log
post #2 of 13
Search For tippy25 thread. When I get to a computer I'll post a link.
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post #3 of 13
I have seen quite a few videos on Youtube about this. Honestly, it seems like a poor idea to build a computer only to submerge it in mineral oil. Mineral oil doesn't conduct electricity, so if it were to work its way between any connections (such as between the CPU and the socket) you'd be screwed since no electrical signals (or at least very few) would be able to pass through the oil between pin connections. Also, if you ever decided you wanted to change out a component like a CPU, graphics card, etc, you'd have the same problem. Or what if you decided at some point that you want to go back to a conventional case? You would have one hell of a time trying to get the mineral oil out of all the hardware without using water or a cleaning material that won't short circuit things when you turn it back on.

But, if it's an old computer that you don't care about...it might make a cool experiment, in which case disregard everything I just said biggrin.gif
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
indeed, it IS an old pc, but id hate to see it go undignified

im gonna look to other less problematic options instead of mineral oil. OR ill just seal up everything so that there isnt an issue

again, this is all for the funs, if anything itll look cool in my room with some lights and decorations. After all i dont use my aquarium for fish tbh, too expensive biggrin.gif
post #5 of 13
Mineral oil aquarium setups can be pretty cool. They're a good amount of work and they can get quite messy. Mineral oil is not fun to clean up, but with proper preparation and a bit of luck, you shouldn't have much to worry about. They are, however, very rewarding, and quite intriguing. Also a great conversation piece. It is unlikely to attract women, though.

There are several routes you can go to get started. You can do everything yourself, designing the tank, mobo tray, cable management, inside/outside tank interface, and anything/everything else from scratch and build it all yourself. This is going to give you the most personalized setup with unique solutions to your particular needs. Or you can go the route I went and pick up a DIY kit where the designing and the bulk of the fabrication is done for you and add your own customizations from there.

I hit 2 streaks of bad luck which has caused me to change the direction I am taking the computer. Both incidents involved leakage of oil, the first was rapid and extraordinarily messy, the second was slow and easily contained. Neither was fun, though, as a fully loaded tank, with computer and oil, was upwards of 60lb (and I had a small tank). While I'm not going to discourage anyone from trying it out, I will caution that things will get messy. It will void the warranty on your components, but I didn't have any components fail on me for the ~year that it was up and running, so I put that pretty low on my list of concerns. Even the fans were fine, but due to the viscosity difference between air and oil, a different methodology needs to be used in fan selection.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, either. Odds are, someone will have input that is at least tangentially related. Feel free to PM me with questions.
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post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tippy25;14549602 
They are, however, very rewarding, and quite intriguing. Also a great conversation piece. It is unlikely to attract women, though.

LOL^ I just want to see a video of somebody inserting a DVD into their submerged player and letting it spin up....drum.gif
    
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
i actually have an EXCELLENT setup for this. My aquarium actually has a cabinet below it, which can be handy for putting stuff out of the way

and as for my idea here i figure this. I will most likely submerge it right up to the back panel. That way i can plug in and remove devices with no problems

im gonna start a build log somewhere soon i believe, but i wont make it a serious ordeal.

whether it does or doesnt go well i will learn alot from this, and be able to inform people of it in the future
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tippy25;14549602 
Even the fans were fine, but due to the viscosity difference between air and oil, a different methodology needs to be used in fan selection.

Can I ask what methodology you used for fan selection? People have said that running them under oil will burn them out, but I'd be interested to know their reasons since they are just dc stepper motors. From what I know, the current draw decreases with lower rpm's, not increases.
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by suicideidiot321;14554007 
i actually have an EXCELLENT setup for this. My aquarium actually has a cabinet below it, which can be handy for putting stuff out of the way

and as for my idea here i figure this. I will most likely submerge it right up to the back panel. That way i can plug in and remove devices with no problems

im gonna start a build log somewhere soon i believe, but i wont make it a serious ordeal.

whether it does or doesnt go well i will learn alot from this, and be able to inform people of it in the future

Cool can't wait for the build log. Good luck with everything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobkeyman;14554206 
Can I ask what methodology you used for fan selection? People have said that running them under oil will burn them out, but I'd be interested to know their reasons since they are just dc stepper motors. From what I know, the current draw decreases with lower rpm's, not increases.

As long as it's a brushless motor and spins >500rpm, you should be fine. If a fan spins too slowly in air, it might not be able to start spinning in the oil due to the increased density and viscosity. I found smaller diameter fans that spin faster to be better at moving oil than larger fans that spin slower. Larger fans have more oil to push per revolution and end up slowing down more than smaller diameter fans would when submerged.

I used two 60mm fans that spun around 5000rpm in air to be great at moving the oil. They still spun plenty fast in the oil, and with air bubbles floating in the tank, you could visibly see the pull these fans had. Here's the fans that I used for general in-tank oil circulation:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835705033
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
im about to put a log up, but i dont know what forum to start the log in

i have pictures of the base starting point for everything, and once you see them you can get the idea of where its going

its not really going to be a fast computer, rather its going to be an experiment and to show what kinds of things you can do with it

plus with some lights and decorations it will look really cool in my room biggrin.gif much cooler than a normal fishtank
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