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Old May 20, 2011, 07:22 PM
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Default Helping me make an aquarium computer?

Hey,

Custom PC's by Puget Systems; Mineral Oil Submerged Computer

I'm gonna build my own computer aquarium idea but with a bit of a twist towards a case mode instead of using an aquarium.

I need someone with tools who can help with the heavy case modding. I'll be cutting out the sides/front/back of the case (minus the top 1/3 of the case) and then installing glass inside as the new case walls/panels. I need someone who can help me with the cutting of the case and a new fitted mobo tray. There will also be a bit of glass cutting.

I am willing to compensate financially for someone committing time to help with the modifications. I do not have the tools required for modding. Well, if anyone has some serious interest in doing this for fun, please PM me.

Edit: See post #4 for a potential custom build from scratch template.

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Originally Posted by last post
Now that BD has flopped with power consumption and SNB-E is only offering $600 chips right now, I've pulled the trigger on a 2600k build... would have loved to have found a better/similar folding chip for less $$, but oh well.

Parts:

Aurora FTC velocity case
Seasonic 760w 80gold 100% modular PSU
16GB G.Skills DDR 3 (4x4)
150 GB velociraptor (from my main)
60 GB Agility SSD (from my main)
EVGA GTX 295 (bought used)
Samsung Optical drive
ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z
120x360mm rad & pump (bought used)
i7-2600k (with free copy of BF3)

Well, I think that's everything. I have spent about $1170 so far and plan on installing some free linux OS. I will not be buying a dedicated monitor unless I find something cheap/free used and already have a Bluetooth keyboard. Just need a wireless mouse and wifi card.



It will probably cost me $300-$400 for the parts required to modify my case for submersion.

Last edited by draemn; November 14, 2011 at 04:05 PM.
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Old May 20, 2011, 07:50 PM
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Braineater, also in Calgary (usually..but working now) might know a thing or two about submerged PCs....(do a google search for thinktank)
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Old May 20, 2011, 07:54 PM
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You reside in the same City as our resident Mad Scientist in regards to submerged boards... wait for him to come back, drop him a PM...

edit: hmmm.

edit2: eh. The Scientist is logged as I type this...
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Old May 20, 2011, 08:18 PM
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This is a template of what I would ideally want to end up with. I would use bluetooth + wifi to have wireless keyboard + mouse... not sure what I'll do for sount yet, but I might be able to use front panel connectors with success? I'm thinking of mATX, so I just need enough room for a mATX board + the PSU on the bottom + 1 inch gravel.

I want to put glass fake fish inside and secure them to the bottom with fishing wire and need the same width as whatever computer case I chose to saw off for the top. I have no complaint about just using silicon + acrylic panels to make the aquarium itself (vs buying) but the custom mobo tray/fitting is still something I will need help with/tools. Noise levels and cooling are top priority and extremely important!

I expect heavy modding for:
mobo tray/wire passthroughs
computer case on top (probably need to mod for top fans)
PSU field stripping and possible soldering.

Last edited by draemn; May 20, 2011 at 08:38 PM.
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Old May 22, 2011, 06:59 PM
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NCIX.com - Buy Thermaltake V3 Black Edition ATX Mid Tower Case Black 4X5.25 1X3.5 4X3.5INT Front USB Audio No PSU - Thermaltake - VL80001W2Z - in Canada
-Something like this might work, althought I don't like the front panel ports being in the middle as I will cut off the case at the bottom of the 4 5.2" drives... I mostly like the fact that it has 2 top fans and a rear fan already... now if I can find a case with the same fans, but top front panel connectors (so I can avoid heavy case modding)... Anyone have a good suggestion?

Mineral oil retains heat better than water, so I'm not 100% sure if my plan will provide me with a large enough radiator to keep the mineral oil cool. Anyone have thoughts on if I'll be able to get away (approximately) 250mm x 120 mm (dual 120mm fans) radiator? I think can while keeping fan noise below 35db.
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Old May 22, 2011, 09:34 PM
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That would be Cool I sure wish that I had the space to do that
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Old May 23, 2011, 09:21 AM
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That's sick! Dumb thought, but: If you divided the fishtank off with the same transparent material its made of into two sections (one for the components and an extra one), can't you like put goldfish into the extra one? That would be awesome.
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Old May 23, 2011, 04:30 PM
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Hey.

I've done the submersion thing a few times.....

-----

- I'd recommend a glass tank over acrylic everytime.Acrylic will get scratched up over time , and acrylic cannot be cleaned with alcohol.If you are set on using plastic , use polycarbonate (lexan).

- You dont need to worry about any 'wicking' related to the motherboard tray , it's strictly the wires .The simplist solution to wicking/syphoning is an air gap ; basically every wire gets a short m-f extension that leads out of the oil into the top part of the case , the regular wires plug into those.

-Putting the PSU in the oil is cool and all (I did thinktank 1 that way) , but there are some issues with it.

-You are not limited to just 'mineral oil' . There are probably 100 different suitable 'oils' with many different properties including color.

---

If you have other questions ask away....If you havnt seen them yet , read This , and then This forsure .

Then if you have a few hours , read the thinktank 2.0 worklog here.....it's still a work in progress.

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Old May 23, 2011, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommie986 View Post
That's sick! Dumb thought, but: If you divided the fishtank off with the same transparent material its made of into two sections (one for the components and an extra one), can't you like put goldfish into the extra one? That would be awesome.
Yes but no.
If one wanted, they could have a submurged computer and then a separate tank 'sitting' on top with real fish... I really really don't suggest this though as ANY water that gets into the mineral oil or in contact with other parts would be disasterous! What you explain wouldn't work, but the general idea is possible. I plan to put little fake glass fish in :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainEater View Post
Hey.

I've done the submersion thing a few times.....

-----

- I'd recommend a glass tank over acrylic everytime- use polycarbonate (lexan).

-basically every wire gets a short m-f extension that leads out of the oil into the top part of the case , the regular wires plug into those.

-Putting the PSU in the oil is cool and all (I did thinktank 1 that way) , but there are some issues with it.

-You are not limited to just 'mineral oil' .
Then if you have a few hours , read the thinktank 2.0 worklog here.....it's still a work in progress.

Thanks for the insight. I have acrylic tanks with real fish and haven't had major issues with scratching if I'm careful... I'm most worried about a) cost of material b) I can build a custom size acrylic easier than glass.

- How exactly does wicking work? Does oil travel inside the wire or just along the outside? The only external wires will be for a front headers, monitor calbes, power cable (will have a m-f to prevent wicking) and ethernet.

- What issues have you had with the PSU? Puget hasn't reported any issues related to their mineral system (they removed the PSU housing & fan).

-I haven't done any research on materials other than mild mineral oil so I'll use that unless someone has done the research and can point me at the best product. I'll go read those links now.
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Old May 24, 2011, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draemn View Post
Thanks for the insight. I have acrylic tanks with real fish and haven't had major issues with scratching if I'm careful... I'm most worried about a) cost of material b) I can build a custom size acrylic easier than glass.
K. here's the thing , like I mentioned earlier ; acrylic is 100% incompatible with any alcohols...and warm Isopropanol is the best 'cleaner' for oil submersion gear.Use Glass or Lexan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by draemn View Post
- How exactly does wicking work? Does oil travel inside the wire or just along the outside? The only external wires will be for a front headers, monitor calbes, power cable (will have a m-f to prevent wicking) and ethernet.
'Wicking' or properly known as Capillary action happens inside the cables......but 'syphoning' can happen through the inside as well.The air gap fixes both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by draemn View Post

- What issues have you had with the PSU? Puget hasn't reported any issues related to their mineral system (they removed the PSU housing & fan).

Here's the deal with the PSU.The housing is an EM shield , PSU's emit EM.....I never saw interference from removing the housing , but the potential exists. .The other negative is the fact you are dealing with 120V AC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by draemn View Post
-I haven't done any research on materials other than mild mineral oil so I'll use that unless someone has done the research and can point me at the best product. I'll go read those links now.
I've started the research.That's link 2.

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