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Fluid Machine: I need your input!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey all, I'm rather new to the forum but I'll get right to the point.

I've been in the modding scene for a while now, focusing mainly on Xbox’s and minor case mods and I feel it's time to take the next step and move onto a full on fabrication project.

I've been jonesing for a long while now to get my hands dirty and build something, but have been at a loss as to what might be worthwhile. Then recently a co-worker bought a fish, and moved it's aquarium next to my desk. During a break I was surfing some hardware, and found myself drooling over some of the newer CoolerMaster hardware, when the fish flopped a bit and caught my attention.

Ok two plus two is nine in my brain, so what? Ok here's the idea:

To create a full on plexi-aluminum case that's half Aquarium and half PC. I know it's nothing new, but here's the "twist"; I want to create a system that's as symbiotic as possible. I'd like to keep live fish in the machine, and the entire project would then be based around the safety of the fish, which I don't foresee being too difficult.

My idea is to cannibalize a CoolerMaster Liquid Cooling system and a motorized Aquarium water filter, and make a Frankenstein apparatus that does both. Typically a water cooled machine needs a radiator because it's using a very small amount of water, which needs to disperse it's heat as quickly as possible. However if you were to use a reservoir of say, two fluid liters or more I don't think you would necessarily need a radiator. This benefits the machine making it more (technically) efficient, and also benefits the inhabitants of the aquarium because most fish need to live in a slightly warmer than room temperature environment.

So the idea here is you pull water from the tank which moves through the copper dam attached to the CPU, then the exhaust fluid moves through the filter rather than moving directly back to the reservoir.



Whats a good thread without a useless image eh?

Ok. For the PC side I’m thinking of using one of the mini-cube mobo's and fabricating the entire case out of Plexiglas, and using metal glue and aluminum to create the frame. For the water tank, I'm thinking that'll have to be custom as well, but I may have to outsource myself a bit to make it water-tight.

Currently my concerns are limited to the cooling system itself. I doubt the rest of the configuration will be difficult, just tedious.

a) I'm worried about the heated water melting the internals of the water filter.
b) I'm wondering if moving the water through the water-block before the filter will jeopardize the integrity of the water itself. I.e. PH, ammonia content etc...

Ok, here's where I open the floor. I'm looking for input. Do you like the idea? Do you think it'll even work?

What hardware config. would anyone out there recommend.

I'm also struggling with the design; I dislike the traditional vision of the water-PC with the standard ATX case in the upright position with the mobo at the bottom and the tank above. I'd like something in a more "widescreen" format, but am coming up short on details. I've got some ideas that I'll post about that later but for now, I'm open to all ideas.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

~3n16m4
post #2 of 5
Well, besides your waterblocks and pumps getting clogged up with algae, sounds great!

Do I think it's doable? Somewhat.

Do I think it's not practical? Very. Just build an aquarium around the case, and watercool it the components in their own loop. You don't want fish food, fish poop, fish themselves, running through your waterblock. You're going to run into way more problems this way, then if you were to just have an aqaurium, around a box.

Also, what happens when the PC ends up heating all the water in the tank to a higher than safe temperature for the fishies? What do you do? You have to stop using the computer and turn it off...Another reason not to.
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SandyBrin
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post #3 of 5
That is a neat idea

but... impurities in the water would kill your cooling hardware.

Another option would be to create the fish tank with a false back (double chambered, so that the water that the fish lived in and the water that cooled the system would be seperate.

That might even help with your heat disapation: The entire wall where the two liquids meet would provide a surface for the heat to move accross. Since the volume of the fish-side would have considerably more water content, the nature of thermodynamics would do the work on its own....hey, maybe no radiator.
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks for the replies both of you.

BrinNuts:
You make a good point, I had planned to place an easily replacable in-line filter before the waterblock. And as far as being practial, are any mods really all that practical? I will take your concerns under heavy consideration though. I do want to make something thats not just another box, i'd like to be able to go, hey i did it, it may be retarded, but it's different and it works. Also, with the excessive heat, the filter and pump would be on constantly. So, with adequate testing and measurements, using simply enough water would eliminate this problem. However that amount might be unreasonable.

Syrillian:
This is actually a very good idea. I think ill weigh it heavily when i get to my design phase.

For now, im waiting on my test waterblock to arrive: Im going to start a mock-up coolant system using a large amount of water (with impurities) to see if this system even works. I'll probably just use an old crap mobo-chip for testing.

Also, if anyone out there is familiar with molding-glueing plexi safely, please email me if you have time for me to pick your brain.

Thanks!
post #5 of 5
Not to mention the hot water from the cooling would totally kill most fish you put in there.

If the water stuck at as low as 35°C, you'd still be at like 95°F. Not many fish can survive those kinda temps :-\\

but I like the Inner and outer chamber idea. A+ for that
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