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p0is0n

[Build Log] Project Poison

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Let me begin by saying that there isn't much to do at work at the moment, so I am getting started writing this out. I am not much of a writer so don't expect great things. I haven't made huge progress yet but I wanted to get started on a log before I forget some of what I already did... I'm pretty good like that. Apologies the pictures are of average quality, but my mobile phone is also my only camera. If anyone has any tips on mobile phone photography I am all ears.

 

It's been over 4 years since I originally put together my current PC (specs in sig) which is used everyday as a bit of an all rounder; gaming, serving media, folding, designing, browsing and listening. I have a crappy old laptop with 'nix on it for browsing too, but this PC is what I spend the majority of my time using. Even though it has received a few upgrades, and still performs respectably, I am going to retire it to full time media server and build a new machine.

 

I was very impressed with the overclock I got from my Q6600, spending most of its life at least 50% overclocked (3.6GHz+). I think this may be what has given the PC such extended life, and as such, I wanted to make overclocking a bit of a focus on the new build, as the extra performance is well worth it. My current PC has gotten extremely noisy over the last 6 months, as the case fans are getting old and worn and one of the GPUs sounds like a jet engine under load. With that in mind I decided I wanted to give water cooling a go, as I've never dabbled with it before, and it should give me both great temps, low noise and a bit of bling in my new build. I still haven't settled on a decision about new hardware yet, I've been very tempted to just grab a 2500k like every man and his dog, but I am keen to see what bulldozer brings before I part with any more cash.

 

As my last build was also a bit of a rush job, I wanted to take my time with this one and make things look neat. I have a UV green theme in mind, but I am still not sure if I want to use any internal lighting or not. Some of you may have seen other threads I've started recently asking for advice and getting some questions out of the way before deciding on and ordering parts. The first thing to do was choose a new case, as my PC-7S is looking a little beaten and I want to continue using it as my server. I selected the Fractal Design Arc Midi as I think it looks great, has all the features I need and is very reasonably priced. I've written a review of the case, as I was quite impressed once I got my hands on one, which I still need to upload.

 

I've also decided on most of the parts to my loop, some of it has been delivered already and some will arrive in the next few days; the rest I am still thinking about. Here is what I've got, or am waiting on so far, I've been ordering just enough to keep me busy at the moment.

 

1x Fractal Design Arc Midi Case

1x EK Supreme HF (Acetal+EN Nikel) CPU Block

1x Phobya G-Changer 420 Radiator

1x EK DCP 4.0 12v Pump

1x EK Reservoir for DCP 4.0

6x Yate Loon D14SM-12

6x Bitspower G1/4" Black 3/8" ID Compression Fittings

3m Tygon 3/8" ID Tubing

+ Various Fixings

 

And for neatness...

 

10m Bitspower 1/8" Black Cable Sleeve

3m Bitspower 5mm Black Heatshrink

1m Bitspower 15mm Black Heatshrink

 

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Here is a quick picture of my subject, after stripping it down to its basics to work on. I removed the middle four 3.5" drive bays as I won't need them, the front panel connections, the case fans and the side panels.

 

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The only way I was going to fit this much radiator in the case was going to be externally, which is not a problem for me. I decided to go with the easiest approach and mount it on the top of the case as there was already plenty of ventilation. There was also 3x 140mm fan mounts on top of the case, but, they do not line up and so were no good for mounting the rad. The top of the case is also mostly pre-cut for ventilation and so there wasn't much in the way of solid steel I could drill into for mounting holes. I had to really think about how I was going to mount the radiator securely, as it is literally about the size of the top of the case.

 

After some thought I decided to try and use one of the pre-existing 140mm fan mounts, and cut some extra holes in the top of the case for additional 2x 140mm fans, to line up with the existing mount. Fortunately this was actually fairly easy, I just snipped some of the mesh out of the top of the case with my clippers. I also had to do the same thing with the mesh top cover; I measured the area of the radiator and cut out a section that size. I would like to try and use the section that was removed as a grill for the radiator, but it will need some cleaning up first. Lastly I cut out a small section to allow rad fans entry to the case, and cut a corresponding hole on the top mesh too.

 

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At first the holes were too big for the 3mm fasteners I am using, even with a washer, but I was able to solve that problem by using the rubber decouplers that came included with the radiator, this ensured the fasteners don't get pulled through the top of the case or wiggle around, but still hold the radiator securely in place. The full radiator assembly stands about 125mm from the top of the case and the mounting order goes as follows, Fastener> Washer> Decoupler> Top of case> 25mm Fan> Shroud> Radiator> Shroud> 25mm Fan> Grill> Washer> Fastener. The fans are configured in push/pull to exhaust from the top of the case. Unfortunately the 35mm fasteners I ordered were no good for mounting the rad to the case, as they were about 5mm too short, so I went to Bunnings and got some 50mm fasteners which I will have to cut down to about 40mm with the Dremel tonight. The 35mm fasteners were fine for mounting the fans to the top of the rad though. I've test fitted things without the shrouds in place and it is all very secure. I can pick the case up by the radiator and doesn't feel loose at all. I am happy with this result so far.

 

Posted Image

 

That's about all I've been able to do so far, as I am waiting on cable sleeve and other components to arrive before I can really do much more. I actually thought it may be more difficult to mount the radiator and so held off on ordering other parts initially. Will hopefully get the rest of my order on Tuesday so will be able to continue some more then. I will aim to keep this thread up to date as I complete any significant progress.

 

Please feel free to share any opinions or suggestions, or to ask any questions as I've done lots of research on this recently.

 

Thanks for reading.

Edited by p0is(+)n

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Good to see some progress, can't wait to see more. I see you decided to go the simple way of mounting the rad too instead of cutting a big hole in the top and messing around.

 

Seeing the way you are going, another idea for you to mount the rad:

 

Posted Image

 

Use the mounting holes you already made, but have the bottom row of fans on the inside of the case. Would make it so that the rad and fans don't stick so far out of your case.

 

Also, with mounting the rad where you are, do the downwards facing barb threads hang over the end of the case, or would you be able to have the hoses run straight into the case if you cut holes for them?? Because if the hang over the end, scratch my idea :P

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Thanks guys.

 

The rad actually hangs about right onto the back edge of the case, so I am pretty much limited to not using the bottom threads. I also thought about mounting the fans on the inside but I need the height of the fans to clear the top cover, else I'd have to remove it completely, and since I can't use the bottom threads I think the extra height may help with achieving a clean bend into the case.

 

Here is a pic to help explain what I mean:

Posted Image

 

I don't think PCCG have even shipped my order yet, which is a pain, even thought it was supposed to be express... so might not have more stuff to do for a few days.

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Just a quick update but didn't really get much more done. Still didn't recieve order from PCCG but it did ship today, would have expected that to happen yesterday given I ordered Saturday but its not too bad.

Should expect it tomorrow if AAE are any good.

 

I bought a Dremel to help with this project, and a few other little jobs I can use it to simplify. I needed to shorten 12 of my 50mm M3 fasteners for the radiator, as the 35mm ones I ordered from the kool room were only long enough for the top, but not the bottom, as the rubber and case lid make a bit of extra depth. Took less than 5 mins to shorten 14 of them, doing them 1 at a time with the dremel. I started by marking 40mm on the fastener, then clamping it to an old table outside, just tight enough not to move. Used a cutting wheel and went right through the screw no problem. I just scraped them on the bricks outside to fix the threads too, but they were all very clean cuts, every one of them screwed in just fine.

 

Here are the fasteners in the rubber decoupler before assembly.

Posted Image

 

Here is the view from underneath, I noticed the right decoupler a little crooked so I fixed it but couldn't be arsed taking another pic.

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Here are all of the spare screws that I have left... most of them came with the radiator (but all too short).

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Here is a side on of the rad securely installed. I picked the case up by the rad, and literally swung it around. It is secure :)

Posted Image

 

Lastly here is a quick pic from above.

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I know thats a lot of pics for something so simple, but I thought it might be worth while to try and show how it was mounted for anyone considering something simillar.

Again any tips on improving my mobile photography would be good, I suspect I need to find a nice lamp from somewhere, maybe for any pictures that really need the detail I will see what I can find... my snakes has some 50w and 75w sun glow lamps I might be able to pinch.

 

That will be about it until I get more bits, and get everything sleeved up. I need to flush my rad for sure as I can hear some slight rattling inside it as flakes or whatever fall around, any suggestions on how to do this? I was going to attach 2 short hoses, hold one up, start filling with distilled water, let the other drain out, into the sink or something. Then I can remount it permanently (or near enough).

 

Also I no longer have a hairdryer as my last girlfriend took it when she left, so can I use a lighter on heatshrink? any other quick tips for neat sleeving?

 

Thanks for reading

Edited by p0is(+)n

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Another small update. Got my supplies from PCCG yesterday, happy with that. Ducked out of work half an hour early to ensure I made it to the post office to pick it up in time, haha ;)

 

Here is what just arrived.

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So with that out of the way, I had a good look at everything to make sure it was all ok before I got to modding it. I was actually a little surprised at how big the compression fittings, and the pump and waterblock were. Its all about 20-25% bigger in scale than I was picturing, but this won't cause any problems. I am glad that I got the 3/8" tubing and not the 1/2" tubing, as the holes in the back of my case are only 3/8" size, fits nice and snug though. the tygon tube is also incredibly flexible, I was worried about having a few tight bends in the loop, but not any more. I was able to bend some very tight shapes with no kinking.

 

First thing I did was assemble the pump/res as they combine to form 1 component, I 've already decided on the ideal place to position it in the case. Once that was done.. I decided I was going to get stuck into the sleeving. The pump was the first thing I tried (and didn't do a great job) but it did turn out ok in the end. I haven't sleeved any cables for about 6 years or so... and was a little rusty!

Posted Image

 

The fans turned out much better, and after I had finished my second cable I had the technique down and was easy from there. The last couple of fans only took a few minutes each to sleeve. The hardest part is feeding the sleeving over the cable as i was using 1/8" sleeving, was quite a tight fit, this alone took a few minutes each.

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I've also put together a quick guide for sleeving if anyone is interested, as I think the way I did it was really simple.

Apologies in advance these pictures are really bad, but I hope they still serve their purpose

 

Step 1:

Get something long and thin to push down on the connectors within the plastic housing, after a firm press on each one, they should just slide out with no resistence.

Posted Image

 

Step 2:

Measure your sleeving, allow a few extra cm as it can stretch/compress a fair bit, and if it is too long, it is easy to shorten a bit. The easiest way to get the sleeving on was to feed it over the metal connectors and pull it over the cable. Takes a few minutes of basically feeding it along until your done.

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Step 3:

Starting with the end you didn't de-pin, cut some heatshrink to size, and feed it over the sleeving. Remember you need heatshrink on both ends before you put the cables back into the housing.

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Step 4:

Make sure there is as little slack in the sleeving as possible, then position your heatshrink, and apply heat. I used a small lighter (dont have to hold it that close) and it did the job in a few seconds. Just be careful not to burn or melt anything.

Posted Image

 

Done :)

 

Thats all for now again.. not sure what else needs sleeved but I still have plenty left. Maybe the front panel connectors, or the parts of them that will be visible.

This really hasn't been taking as long as I thought it would. If I had just ordered it all at the same time I'd probably be posting pics of the finished thing right now instead.

 

Either way, its keeping me busy.

 

Cheers

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p0is(+)n,

 

Awesome work, keep up the posts! I am currently planning my own watercooled case mod and this thread has just given birth to a plethora of new ideas :)

 

I look forward to seeing the finished project in all its glory!

 

Cheers

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looking gooood man :)

 

Just a tip with heatshrink - Last time I used a lighter/match I got soot on the heatshrink, though it was only noticeable as I was using red heatshrink. If you have black heatshrink a lighter/match is OK, but if you have coloured or clear heatshrink, the end of a soldering iron is the way to go. A hair dryer also works well apparently, but I've never tried it myself (yet).

 

Otherwise your all good. Can't wait to see some hardware installed, should look sweet. You still going to do a window as well??

 

 

On an unrelated note, I should be starting my next project soon-ish, going to have fun sleeving all the cables bright green, especially the 24pin :S Still got to find someone to fab the case for me, as I'm pretty not keen on making the thing myself......

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Great little log you've got going here mate. Instead of using the lighter though I'd recommend using a hair dryer if you have one in the house it will work much better with a lot less risk of burning your hardwork.

 

Looking forward to a completed product.

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Might be a silly question but you got 3/8" ID compression fittings right? The 1/2" ID ones won't work with smaller tube.

 

Oh and with the Tygon tubing, it will kink over time, so to be safe, throw a few plastic hose clamps in the middle of any really tight bends to stop it happening.

Edited by NukeJockey

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Thanks for the comments so far guys. I would have used a hairdryer but they seem to take ages to do anything, also as I mentioned above my ex girlfriend took it when her when she left. :( The lighter actually shrunk them in about 2-3 seconds at ~5-10cm from the top of the flame, so it works really well. I will try the soldering iron if I ever need to do colours, no soot noticable on the black :) If I was going to do it again, I would pre-cut the heatshrink to the same length for each piece so it looks more uniform.

 

Still going to do the window for sure, I think I am going to do some practise cuts on an old Macron case I have which has simillar steel side panels. Might even give it a custom window too, with no perspex in it though, haha, so maybe a custom hole? Once I am confident with the dremel though I will get stuck into the window.

 

I've just looked at my fractal design case fans that came included and they aren't sleeved anywhere near as nicely as the ones I did the other night, so I was thinking I should re-do them too. I actually peeled off the stickers on the fans and sleeved all the way inside. Then put the stickers back, so it looks slick. Any tips on removing the sleeving without damaging the fan cables?

 

Also do you guys know where I can order black plastic molex/fan headers so that I don't have to use the white ones that come standard? I was considering just spray painting them as I doubt they will be seen up close by anyone except me.

 

I've been looking at my tubing now to start planning a loop and think I got the right idea. I actually have everything I need to setup a complete system, although I would only be able to watercool my CPU so far. I was thinking about doing a build into this case on the weekend for to test it all out. If I was going to run it all for a few hours to test temps and stuff.. would just plain distilled water be okay? I want to learn how to fill it/dismantle it without getting anything wet, before I put any new hardware in there ;)

 

Might be a silly question but you got 3/8" ID compression fittings right? The 1/2" ID ones won't work with smaller tube.

 

Oh and with the Tygon tubing, it will kink over time, so to be safe, throw a few plastic hose clamps in the middle of any really tight bends to stop it happening.

thanks for that, I was very impressed with its flexibility (could bend it round my wrist with no kinks, that tight) but was worried it might warp into a kink eventually. Will play it safe with my tubing then.

 

I got 3/8" compressions and 3/8" ID tubing. I tested the strength by screwing a compression (finger tight) on the end of the hose and pulling as hard as I could (till it looked like the tube was about to tear in half) I couldnt pull the tube out. Pretty happy with that as I had read they can be a bit weak.

Edited by p0is(+)n

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Also do you guys know where I can order black plastic molex/fan headers so that I don't have to use the white ones that come standard? I was considering just spray painting them as I doubt they will be seen up close by anyone except me.

Gammods sell them separately, as thats where I will be ordering all the green ones I will need for my upcoming mod ;)

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Gammods sell them separately, as thats where I will be ordering all the green ones I will need for my upcoming mod ;)

Not sure how I missed that, I think their website could do with some work...

Thanks, looks like they have lots of colours.. giving me ideas now hahaha

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I got 3/8" compressions and 3/8" ID tubing. I tested the strength by screwing a compression (finger tight) on the end of the hose and pulling as hard as I could (till it looked like the tube was about to tear in half) I couldnt pull the tube out. Pretty happy with that as I had read they can be a bit weak.

Yeah, after a while once the tube is stretched, it can lose its grip, same as if it heaps up too much with the water running through it. I got a leak that way, was the last time I used compression fittings lol.

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Thanks for the tip dude, i will keep a close eye on them for a while. There are decent barbs within the compression that alone seem to provide a tough grip so hopefully I will be ok. I was thinking I will set it up on my old gear to leak test first.

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Good shit man !

 

i must get to work on my W\C build log...

thanks st8smn. yea get onto your own log, i love seeing other peoples projects, gives me a lot of ideas and inspiration to keep working on my own.

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hey guys i got onto a bit more sleeving after work last night but ran into a problem.

i have some female 3 pin fan connectors (i think?) that I have no idea how to de-pin. I managed to do one, but I guess i just broke the securing mechanism getting them out as they would not stay back in. im not sure exactly what they are called, but it would be the non standard end of a 3 pin fan extension, which accomodates a normal fan connector. they have 2 very small pins inside with no obvious locking mechanism.

 

any ideas?

 

edit: maybe i just was too tired last night but i found an answer this afternoon after doing another search... was still not an easy thing to find though.

anyway, can across these great pics that might help anyone else.

http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/6918/extractor.jpg

http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/4669/fanpin.jpg

 

I definitely broke the little pin that holds it in on the one that i got out, probably by too much force. It stays in place well enough when plugged into something so I think it will be fine.

Hopefully the other two aren't too hard now that I know what im looking for (didn't know what it was that I had broken off of the ones I got out you see..)

Edited by p0is(+)n

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Ok so i was about to place an order to Gam mods for some cable ties, black connectors, extra cables and bits. some bottles of coolant and some u chanel and perspex. not a big order, but possibly a little large in size. the cheapest postage available was over $70 WTF? the estimated weight only 4.5kg.

 

i sent a 5kg + box to melb on the weekend and cost half that.

 

So i am probably not going to order it now, as it literally doubled the cost of my order.

 

edit: just dropped the perspex, will try and source it locally. postage down to $25 which is ok, still not as good as koolroom or pccg though, both orders there were only $19 with aae.

Edited by p0is(+)n

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I've read that I am gonna have problems with literally any cooling product i've looked at. Everyone reckons whatever they aren't using will clog/corrode/damage or in some way fuck up the system. Especially reading through build logs and such at OCAU.

 

I dedided to just grab 2 bottles of the red EK pre-mixed coolant so I don't have to worry about additives or dye. And they were only $7 per 1L bottle at gammods. This way if I have any issues, EK will have to honour my warranty as I am using their recommended coolant.

 

Hopefully I have no issues though.

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Nice work p0ison, that's the right technique for depinning the old 3pin shielded male connector, thank your self lucky that you've got the crimped variety and not the soldered. If you happen to break a few along the way you can always buy them here:

 

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12299/el...?tl=g51c393s323

 

Installation with a proper crimping tool is dead easy, but a pair of pliers will suffice for such small pins.

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I've read that I am gonna have problems with literally any cooling product i've looked at. Everyone reckons whatever they aren't using will clog/corrode/damage or in some way fuck up the system. Especially reading through build logs and such at OCAU.

 

I dedided to just grab 2 bottles of the red EK pre-mixed coolant so I don't have to worry about additives or dye. And they were only $7 per 1L bottle at gammods. This way if I have any issues, EK will have to honour my warranty as I am using their recommended coolant.

 

Hopefully I have no issues though.

I've used several, they all leave residue.

 

Now I use a sliver of silver, demineralised water and a drop of algaecide. Loops been crystal clear for 6 or so months now.

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Thanks guys.

 

m0zes I was able to get them all done with only breaking a few, same with my fans. The ones that are broken still work OK once plugged into something so I will probably leave it for now. Good to know I can order spares if it gets annoying. Thanks.

 

Nuke thanks for your input on additives. I think I am just going to give the cheap coolant a go for now, as I see myself adding GPU blocks in a month or two so will need to drain it again then anyway, and I can rinse it and change up if there have been any issues. Ive mostly been worried about all the EK water block issues i read about, such as people experiencing corrosion after very short periods of time.

 

It might be a few weeks now till I get the new hardware for this build, so I might stick my old stuff in there for now. Will post up a few more pics if i do.

Edited by p0is(+)n

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