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Alphacool DC-LT Ceramic pump and tops information.

 
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Edit: As this thread has grown well beyond the initial unboxing of 5.25'' bay res and involves various topics related to the usage of DC-LT pump in various configurations then I have edited the title of the tread. Original post follows.

Got myself two of these Alphacool small pumps and res going with them few days ago in mail and now have got around to write up a little bit stuff about them. The information in the net seems to be somewhat sparse still about these items so I'll add some of my own which hopefully is useful for someone, considering that similar to the nova 1080 rad unboxing I posted yesterday https://www.overclock.net/t/1252656/nova-1080-radiator-overview-big-picture-warning#post_17151994 there were few things that were not as I expected.

A res page on Aquatuning - http://www.aquatuning.de/product_info.php/info/p13310_Alphacool-Repack---Dual-DC-LT---5-25-Single-Bay-Station---without-pump.html
And pumps on Aquatuning - http://www.aquatuning.de/product_info.php/info/p13012_Alphacool-DC-LT-Ceramic---12V-DC---Pump---bulk-Version.html

Pump has two reviews (in German) while the res has none.

Let me get started with pump(s) then.
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The pumps come in white paper envelopes with bubble wrap padding inside. Getting smart afterwards I should have paid more attention to the photos posted in the reviews as its quite clear that the pumps have only 2 wires coming out of them. That is not what I expected (although in stock photos it can be clearly seen) - I was expecting three wires (an third one for rpm signal) considering that these list clearly that they have an 3 pin fan headers. Was planning to run these off the motherboard CPU_FAN connector with a splitter cable and let the BIOS take care of controlling these based on CPU temp or perhaps use speedfan. Will have to see how this plan goes and if I will get an alarm about cpu fan not working if I go with that route. A bit disappointing nevertheless - adding that extra wire for rpm signal would have added quite a bit usability to this pump in my opinion.

Next up is the res.
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Its a acrylic res fitting into a 5.25'' bay. The box contains the res a small hex key and four short hex headed screws. There is a fill-port on top of the res and the back side of the res is attached with hex headed screws so its possible to take it out if you need to get into the res for some reason. The backplate is also a top for up to two of these DT-LT pumps. One spot is open for the mounting of the pump (apparently the rather short hex headed screws are long enough for the pump although at first glance I assumed these would be used for fixing the res into a bay as it has four m3 screw holes at the sides as well). The second pump spot is covered by a small acrylic cover held in place by slightly longer hex headed screws. The backpanel has also four places for LED's that by the specs should be 5 mm ones - by my measuring stick the diameter of those is 4 mm so I'll see once my ordered LED's arrive if I'm just n00b at using caliper and confused or they will fit without problems.

Pump on res

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Here one can see the pump fitted on the open spot intended for it at the back of res and the provided short screw holding the pump in place.

Speaking of screws
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The acrylic cover for the second pump is held in place by somewhat longer screws that measure about 14 mm with the head. They still have some clearance when holding the pump cover in place as one can see. The four short ones coming with the res are about 8 mm with the head.
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For a short summary I would say that I would really have liked if the pumps would provide an rpm signal as well. By the specs they should be able to go up to 3500 rpm at 12V and it would be nice to have some kind of feedback. As it currently stands it seems that while they do have 3 pin motherboard fan connectors I will be limited to controlling them by voltage alone without any kind of feedback to the motherboard if they are running at all and if they are at what speed. A bit disappointing discovery undermining the usability of them off the 3 pin motherboard fan connectors. Res seems to be made well and should perform quite reasonably as any acrylic box should that's intended for holding a little spare liquid.

If you have any questions I can answer about these things feel free to ask and I'll answer if I can figure out the answer (i.e., something I can measure or add additional close up photo of some part that's interesting you specifically).
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:53 PM
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Nice write up. thumb.gif

Interesting that the pump impellers are the same geometry types of the Laing DDC and D5 type without the top disc. Those are really compact too.

If those pumps operate at 10W, then the MB fan header or a fan controller can control the pump speed by adjusting the voltage.

The big question here is, what are the flow rates at 3500rpm and the pump wattage.

A DDC-1T (MCP350) at 10W runs under heat load at 57C. The DDC-3 series (MCP355/MCP35X) at 18W runs under heat load at 100C.

Maybe you and Martin can connect to do an in-depth review on this neat RES/pump setup. thumb.gif

Thanks for the heads up on this new product. smile.gif

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Old 05-06-2012, 02:08 PM
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It looks like the res screws straight to the case without any rubber/isolation? How quiet are they? Can you feel vibration in the res or the case when they're running?


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Old 05-07-2012, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I have not yet assembled my loop as some parts are still in transit (case, for example). I expect this build to take altogether a bit over the month as I will need to mod the case as well. Reviews praise this pump as "whisper silent" and "inaudible" but note that you can hear it at 12V. However, I have seen reports in forums (including this one here) that at 12V the pumps are "too loud".

On paper this pump has awesome specs. Max 4W, 350 l/h and 2,5 mH2O head pressure. In reviews I have see real flow rate around 100 l/h mentioned for moderate size loop which is my opinion very good for 4W (I have seen power consumption mentioned from max 2W to max 8W per pump). Even at 100 l/m this pump would be pretty good, I think, considering the size. For me it seems, that if you put 2 pumps on that res you get sort of decent pump/res combo for approx the same price as other pump/res combos (like, for example D5 + res) and hopefully similar performance (probably a bit under D5 performance, hopefully more quiet as D5 as well).

Main advantage for me is the size and that I should be able to control the pump speed through motherboard without needing a separate controller (lack of rpm signal is a bit disappointing tho, as mentioned). Gigabyte motherboards are specced usually for 2,5 A on CPU_FAN header so even if they are 8W this will not be a problem. Weight of the system is one of the aspects I have to take account as this one will be portable and lugged around twice a day on every working day. I would like to stay within 20 - 25 kg mark with this system.

I would love to see Martin to measure this thing properly smile.gif
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:24 PM
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The flow rate at 4W computes out to be about 1.54gallons/min. Not bad for flow. However, the head pressure is a bit on the weak side overall. The DDC 10W pump has better head pressure. In this case, the RES uses two of these small wonder pumps, then it's possible to achive a head pressure more than a DDC 10W, but sill less than a DDC 18W pump.

So, if the two little pumpshas one feeding the other, Martin's testing would show a postive for flow and pressure overall.

The really nice thing about these pumps are size and the ability to place them where needed in a loop provided that there are mounting covers for them.

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Old 05-09-2012, 11:03 AM
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Good luck ill be interested too see how your 2 work when you get them up and running .
as i said be carfull on the amount you nip the screws as there very fusy and the pump wont turn .
one pumped really worked well i must say only had it on 120 Rad and Gtx480 tho
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Update. A 5 mm LED fits in just fine into a LED hole on this res. Meaning that my initial suspicion was incorrect and I just fail at using caliper.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:58 AM
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Interesting...these might be just the ticket for my TJ08 build to save some space. Look forward to an update biggrin.gif
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:35 AM
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Picked up a pair of these as well. I have my loop all setup and the noise is ridiculous.

You have to get it just right between tight and loose to prevent the ceramic blades from whirring. I unplugged each at a time to get the noise as low as possible without leaking, but as soon as they are together the noise is back with a vengeance.

Any ideas?
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michalius View Post

Picked up a pair of these as well. I have my loop all setup and the noise is ridiculous.
You have to get it just right between tight and loose to prevent the ceramic blades from whirring. I unplugged each at a time to get the noise as low as possible without leaking, but as soon as they are together the noise is back with a vengeance.
Any ideas?

I have not yet set up mine (still in the process of modding the case for it). You are the second or third guy who I'm seeing complaining about the noise coming from these things so I'm getting a bit worried about mine wink.gif The main reason for getting these for me was that they were supposed to be very quiet.

Are you running them on max rpm (full 12V) or have you dropped the speed down as well and they are loud all the way from start to max rpm ?

Might there be a possibility of insulating the reservoir a bit more ? Say with little pieces of rubber between the chassis and res ? Although we should not be jumping through the loops for getting the noise to bearable levels considering the main selling point of these is the presumably low noise footprint in addition of being small, but other pumps are not that much larger either, especially if combined with res.

If they are loud all the way perhaps it might be worth trying to put them through warranty on the basis of "exceeding manufacturer noise specifications". On paper they are claiming pretty low number although I do not know how Alphacool is measuring it. Hopefully its not meant to be "3m away behind the closed door".
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