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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow tinkerers,

(I apologize in advance I don't know how to resize these pictures :S)

I was bored and had 30 bucks burnin' a hole in my pocket, and I've always wanted to try cooling my PC with outdoor air during the wintertime as it gets cold in MI (-14C right now),

I envisioned an outdoor radiator enclosure that could ensure airflow and also be somewhat weather resistant.

So I decided to do it on the cheap. I should mention now that this is just an experiment and not a long-term thing. I will be building a much more permanent unit for summer/winter operation involving a little bit of "phase-change".

Anway, I already have a Corsair H50, so that gave me the building blocks required to get started. I removed the hoses from the pump/waterblock and the radiator. I got 40' of vinyl tubing with a 1/4" ID to fit the barbed nipples.. (heh, nipples.......) It was somewhere around 12$ at Tractor Supply for the hose. I cut the hose into two 20' sections to make the cooling circuit. I put the radiator with push/pull fans outside in an old single-height double-wide VHS-tape storage drawer that I had removed the drawers from. This box was placed standing on its side, with the open end (where the drawers used to be) placed as close to the foundation as possible, and with the radiator unit placed inside and as close to the back of the drawer-box as possible. The rad rests on a board that is between where the two drawers would be, so it is up off the ground in case there is some snow leakage it will hopefully end up going in the bottom of the drawer and not plugging up the fans. I set the fans to blow OUT of the box, so snow should go OUT and it will draw air from the upper backside of the box (where there should be no snow) I hoped the exiting air will direct snow away. The just fits under the bottom of the siding of the house so it'll be alright 'til I get waterproof fans or build a long-term enclosure. Prepare yourselves, as it's about to get ghetto....
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Dig the message, haha.

The extra tubing exits my PC via a PCI slot (Antec case has nice smooth edges, no cheap steel here!) and it enteres a hole in the floor leftover from a Dish Network installation. It runs along the basement ceiling to a hole in the foundation where gas or cable tv or something used to be and then enters the radiator... Anyway, long story short the H50 was too weak to circulate the water through an extra 38' of tubing, so I had to improvise. I cut one of the two hoses in half and I used a water fountain pump from Home-Depot to give it a little assistance. It flows 8.7L a minute and can have a headflow of something like 15 feet. I put it in a cheap water reservoir (animal crackers bulk size container) and mounted it at the bottom with convenient sunction cups. I placed it on the foundation under the floor. (Michigan basement, WOOT!) I used a 12v wall-wart to power the fans and isolate them from the PC power. If they stall, no big deal.... The blue CAT5 cable you see gave me enough cable to get outside to power the fans. Coolant used is RV type, safe for all metals. Brace yourself, foo! Yes, I said this would be ghetto....

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So far with the two pumps in combination and outdoor ambient air of -14C I have low temp of 2C at idle and high temp so far never over 17C even after 6 hours of prime95x64. This is at a 3.7Ghz OC. (weak with this crummy 600w max PS, it might not match my rig sig on here, I've changed PS because the old one blew up as it, too, was cheap) I'm pretty condifent that with a new PS I could get to 4.5+ as I was at 4.3 when my crap 750w PS blew up and it just wasn't stable that high with the new crappier one)

Anyway heres a pic of the slightly dusty, but anti-ghetto, interior and a core temp shot. AIDA64 reports core temp consistent with CoreTemp's reading, and a cpu temp roughly 9 degrees higher. (guessing this is socket temp? dunno)

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I brushed on silicone all over the board in the vicinity of the CPU socket and from there down to the bottom of the mobo in case there is any condensation.
Not bad for like 3 hours of effort and around 30-40 bucks - I've got a low temp of 2c and high under 18 suhweeet
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And yes, ghetto...
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I will post some pics of the inside of the PC just not tonight as I'm winding down for the weekend and want to play MW3... Later!
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And thanks a bunch for looking
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hah, no, the cardboard just held the tube up and in place was all... and gave things a nice place to sit stably...
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Do you have fans on the rad or is it buried in the snow (looks like it is in a cardboard box) or is it just in a cardboard box sitting there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's in an old VHS tape storage drawer... it's some kind of luon wood-type product of mediocre sturdiness... pair of 120mm fans on the radiator in push/pull config.

At first I did try just open air and no fans, and peak temp was around 36 degrees C... Interestingly the radiator melted itself down to the ground through the 2' tall snowbank it was perched on!! It was encaged in a small 1' diameter ice dome after a few days of snow. Encaged I say!! After the ice barrier built up around it, it didn't get any airflow... poor thing melted itself into a tiny ice prison!

It is happy to have its new home... a.k.a. old VHS tape bin... hahaha
 

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Very nice! Great job
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Don't let it get too cold or you could have condensation issues potentially short circuiting your pc.
 
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