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Old 06-25-2012, 01:36 AM   #81
Orthello77
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Nice one man !! cant wait to see the pics.

Spent a couple of hours today just ordering things i need to finish the job, 30 mm insulation & adhesive, more zerex , methanol, distilled water , another order to frozencpu for pipe valves / pump filters / biocide and fittings. I added up the cost of the project so far ... quite scary lol .. its not something i would recommend ;-)

Anyway pretty much should be a full on weekend coming !!
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:43 PM   #82
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I'm too afraid to even do the sums....just ignore it is best.

I'm almost cooked now...just sealed the evap tubes and done a load of belt and braces additional sealing......will do the gaskets after work tomorrow night and then its just waiting for my cables which have been dispatched...may even arrive tomorrow....just seal those in and secure my fan stack and I'm ready to go.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:30 PM   #83
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Nice man !!! getting close, bet you can't wait. I'm more in the middle stages, resigned to having to wait for loads of bits to turn up and have a fair bit more to do. Any way i'm doing a little each day so it feels like progress.

Last night i put the Gasket into the chamber and screwed it in with the M5 bolts. Also done the base of the chamber with insulation, just need the inner sides, and the outer sides (insulated in and out ~ 70mm thick from outside to inside.

I think i'm 2 weeks away from testing with all that has to be done still :-(
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:22 PM   #84
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That's a nice lot of insulation...should keep it nice and chilly......It's surprising how long everything takes.....I often find myself just starring at the thing thinking how best to do something instead of actually getting on with it....still hopefully that will lead to a better end result......your build is more complex than mine, what with the reservoir, the chill chamber and the water cooling set up......but ultimately you will benefit from the better cooling system.....I'm going for a hopefully simpler and more cheaply upgraded system but don't expect the same temps that you will get.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:20 PM   #85
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TG i do the same thing .. stare and think lol .. Complex is right ! so many things to consider, and even then i will have to test to see if it all works , thats the fun part i guess.

I'm glad you came up with that compartment idea ... i'm hoping to actually have the chiller part operational next week and having the build part done this weekend.

One thing i don't know is how the unit will go under load, i hope its strong but we will see. Air temps will be a bit higher than yours i would expect due to transfer losses through exchangers , but GPU and CPU temps should be down just due to the watercooling efficiency - i hope lol .. have to see really.

Last edited by Orthello77; 06-25-2012 at 11:21 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:34 PM   #86
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One possible problem with my build I've just thought of is the heat pipes on the air coolers.....they are tuned to operate at a certain temp, they often use distilled water as an evaporant at low pressure so that it boils of in the required temp range.....in my set up that water will probably be frozen......so I my find my cpu temps being bottlenecked by the operational range of the heat pipes? Even above freezing if the heat pipes are designed to evap at 30 deg c and above then their heat transfer would be much reduced at below that :-/

Last edited by technogiant; 06-25-2012 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:53 AM   #87
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hmm... yeah , thats a very good point.. i guess it could be proven as air temperature drops how does that affect core temperatures ? below a certain point it may drop off, really only testing will tell. Thats one problem in my build i won't have unfortunately .. about the only saving grace lol.

Another issue, just made a great job of my base for the chiller, 910mm x 910mm with stainless handles and all .. then it hit me .. i cant get this through any door on the flat .. even my gate to the back yard wont fit 910 .. so the chiller is going to have to be on its side to fit through the gate lol ... man lucky Drew said they can be tilted..
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:51 AM   #88
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It was ever thus...the best laid plans of mice and men...lol.

I do have a plan "B" to include a water loop in the chillbox if cpu temps really aren't working out.

More by luck than judgement my gtx 360 would fit...just...next to the evap with the pump/res behind the evap.

Additional Comment:

Okay you've asked for it, I'll upload pics...but please excuse the messy build.....it may be messy but I've put a lot of thought into this and I'm sure its going to be as tight as a drum.

Here's an overview of what it looks like just so you can picture what I'm talking about. The outer shell is made of 6mm acrylic, all the joints a triple sealed in that they are not only edge sealed but also are sealed to internal 90 deg plastic angle and externally again plastic angle has been sealed over all the joints.

The insulation box is made of 50mm insulation panel and sealed along the joining edge and on all the joins internally and externally.

A bead of seal is also going to be run along the top edge of the insulation box sealing it to the acrylic outer layer.

I've lowered the height of the insulation box to the same height as the evap/rad and fan stack so that the lid will seal to them and so divide the box into two chambers for a circular air flow. That allows me to have access to the back chamber as I've got sachets of desiccant to go in there which will need drying out from time to time.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

The lid is made of an acrylic outer and insulation board inner. You can see I've put a viewing panel in there, also see that I've got an overlap on the acrylic. That will seal via a gasket to the acrylic box, also the insulation layer will seal again via a gasket to the insulation box, both boxes are independently air tight.

I'm going to put a section of mdf over the top of the lid for extra rigidity (although the acrylic is quite strong) as I will be clamping the lid on with ratchet webbing ties.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Here's a picture of the top edge of the acrylic box, you can see I've put an extra layer of acrylic around the top, this doubles the sealing area for the gasket/lid to 12 mm for a better seal. (got to tidy that up a bit yet)



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

A big problem is running cables from components that can't be in there like the psu and hard drives through the box wall and still keeping it air tight, particularly those bundled cables such as psu cables where air can channel between the cables.

I've used cable extenders to enable me to change my psu if required without having to break the box. I stripped off all the braiding/mesh and then wrapped each individual cable in self amalgamating tape. This stuff just melds together when you squash and squeeze it. So I was able to turn the individual cables into a solid block of amalgam as pictured below. This really was a hard and time consuming part of the build, particularly the 6X pcie 8 pin cable extenders.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Once passed through the box the cables were sealed to both the insulation box and acrylic box. I also put two further layers of acrylic around the outside of the cables to increase the joins depth and strength....so they are passing through 18mm of acrylic all sealed with copious amounts of gooop. On that note I should point out that I've used evostick "sticks like" its a very strong gap filling sealant/adhesive that is good down to -40 deg C.

Below top right are the pcie power cables, the red ones underneath are the sata data cables, below that the main atx power bundle and on the left the atx additional power cable.

I'm still waiting on a dual link dvi cable to complete running the cables from the left hand side of the box.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

On the right hand side I've installed my fan controller, had to use a beefy 45 watt per channel unit as my 3X scythe gentle typhoons 5400rpm 150cfm fans each draw 1.14A and 2.69A on start up. Also I've run my temp probe through here and attached it to to the fan controller. The other cable you can see is for a light so I can see whats going on in there, to the right the small switches are for power on, reset and cmos reset.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Finally for the "piece de resistance" I've included an idea that I think will greatly assist in leak prevention. Obviously when you are drastically reducing the air temp in a sealed space the air will contract and the pressure in the box will drop. We all are aware of this when you briefly close a fridge door and try to reopen it....there is a suction effect.
This suction will find the smallest of faults in your seals and suck in air, carrying with it water vapor that will condense out in the box. I've worked out that at the air temps I'll be using the drop in air volume will be about 15% or 9 liters in my case.

To over come this I will be using an expansion chamber...or more correctly in this case a contraction chamber. I've run a 19mm breather tube from inside the chamber to the outside. This is sealed to a rubber sac that will expand and contract like a lung and so equalize any pressure changes and eliminate any external air being sucked into the unit.

I had great difficulty in finding anything suitable for the rubber sac so finally settled for this.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Okay I know it's a child's toy....lol...not many of you would have that in your pc build I'm sure....but it's actually ideal....it has a pumping point on it too so I can put some pressure in there and leak test my chamber.

So that's it so far I still have to run my gaskets properly and seal the cables on the left hand side.....but should be ready for some testing in the next few days....I'll keep you all posted ;-)

Last edited by technogiant; 06-27-2012 at 02:44 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:12 PM   #89
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TG WOW buddy .. looks like a buttload of work has gone into that .. your so close to firing up .. I see all your cables done but DVI .. I still need to do all of my cables (cringe) .

I especially like the lid .. very cool.

I'm hoping she works like a charm when you fire it up :-) !!
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:01 PM   #90
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Taken a couple of more pics....finished the gaskets now..don't know if they show up so well in the pic though.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Also have finished the lid, have reinforced it with 18mm of mdf and run some banister rail along it, that overlaps the edge, the idea being that it will convert the tension in my ratchet straps into a closing downward force on the lid rather than just crushing the box.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

I can't put any tension on them just yet as the adhesive is still drying.

I just could not resist doing a no load trial though.....well I say no load but with the bulb and fans it was probably about 50watts.

Air temp went down to -25 deg C, didn't seem to go down so fast as with my prototype box...perhaps its because the fans are now drawing through the evap rather than pushing through it? Or may be the fact that my contraction chamber was doing it's job and allowing air in slowed the cooling process.

Like I said I couldn't clamp the lid yet and just had some heavy books on it, but did notice some signs of leakage, from the lid near the fan stack, this led to condensation on the outside of the acrylic box in the region where the insulation box seals and also some on the top fan right by this area.......I'm hoping when I'm able to clamp it down properly that will be eliminated.
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:51 PM   #91
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Nice one !!! load testing .. exciting stuff and nice temps too !

Well it does slow down in the drop especially past -20c , i only did a tape up test myself and it was taking some time to drop down , it may have kept going past -25c but i was worried about floodback etc and it was quite slow at dropping, maybe 2-3 mins for 0.5c . I think once i get it immersed it may drop lower due to better medium and insulation etc.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:01 AM   #92
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Well just did another no/low load test, this time with the lid strapped down tightly.....all good....so signs of cold escape on the outside box this time and down to -26 deg C.

One thing I'm noticing is that once the unit is turned off and is returning to normal temps, I'm developing condensation on the housing of the top fan.

What I'm thinking is happening is that as the air gradually warms the hotter air is rising to the top of the chamber where it is contacting colder surfaces and so causing condensation.

I think it's probably best to leave the fans circulating the air while it returns to normal temps to even out the temps?
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:41 AM   #93
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TG , yeah i think its definately a good idea to gradually rise the whole chamber rather than just have extremely cold parts and warmer parts.

I was thinking why the fan housing ? but i guess its one of the coldest top most surfaces like you mention, its very near the top.

Did you have the dissicents in there ? another thing i'm going to do is stick a humidity sensor in my chamber so i can monitor humidity , that way i'll know if there is a gradual leak or not.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:21 PM   #94
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I think you hit the nail on the head there Orthello, I'm sure its not a leak, because of the way I have the expansion chamber inflated, if anything its operating at a very slight positive pressure.

Thinking its because of imbalance of internal humidity / temperature, perhaps even being caused by the expansion chamber emptying a load of warmer air in as the chamber cools which may rise to the top fan?

Anyway I've put my desiccant in there now and given it a couple of cool/warm cycles to exchange air with the bag as well.....and its dry now.....dry as a nuns tush...lol

Additional Comment:

The only places I'm getting signs of condensation is on the outside, where the power cables come out.....again I'm pretty sure this is not leakage because like I said I only have a very very slight positive pressure in there.

I think cold is conducting out through the metal cable cores and causing a little condensation when that cold hits the atmosphere.

Additional Comment:

Just found a nice little product I can use if I find that the cpu heat pipes are limiting because of their temp operating range.

http://www.zalman.com/eng/product/Pr...ad.asp?idx=167

Pure copper.....no vapor chamber or heat pipes.....could get this to try on my Q6600 but is also compatible with lga 1155 for a sandy or ivybridge upgrade.....cool.

Additional Comment:

I've been testing the unit for leaks, I've left the lid clamped on and I have slight positive pressure in there, not enough to stretch the bag but enough to open it out somewhat so just its own weight is trying to collapse it. If I were to take the lid off it would collapse in seconds so there is a small amount of positive pressure in there.

Took this picture of the bag 8 hours ago



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And this one just now......can't see any difference.....think the chamber is pretty air tight at the pressures I'll be using.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Last edited by technogiant; 06-28-2012 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:01 PM   #95
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I joined this board to reply with an idea. Hopefully it will help.

I noticed your solution to the pressure drop- I was designing my own setup, and I was planning on having a fitting to which I can attach a pressure/ vaccumm gauge. Then have another fitting for compressed air (which would be bottled dry). Desiccant would remove all existing moisture in sealed box.

As the box drops in temp (and therefore pressure) constantly add pressure to maintain atmospheric pressure.
As a test to see how well the box is sealed, you could submersed it under water ( with pressurized air line attached, positive pressure @10psi).
Obviously, the case will bubble if there's a leak. Since the case has positive pressure, no water will get in. I thought of this first, cuz I had the wild idea of building an acrylic box (.75" to 1.0" thickness) and then building a fish tank around it... (not saying I'll ever do it, but it would be a pretty cool showcase build...)

Or you could simply pressurize the case@ operating temp and leave it for a few hours with the gauge attached. If the pressure changes drops, but temp has not, there's a leak.

To maintain system
One idea was to have a solenoid controlled by minor 12v dc power and controlled by a pressure sensor. If pressure drops below +2 psi then solenoid activates re pressurizing off off of compressed air.

Or, you could simply leave it at 0 psi, after leak testing it. The ambient room temp shouldn't change that much to make a difference on a well constructed case...

On a separate note, you guys should check out aluminum t slot framing. The have dual slot track and acrylic clear panels ( or clear polycarbonate) - you could in theory make a dual pane viewing window. I'm eventually going to be building part of my custom case out of this to keep it professional looking. It also has the added benefit of hiding any sealant inside the track.
The great thing about this setup it is that there are so many different options. It's like An erector set for adults. Different panel textures, materials, wheels, rounded edges, door hinges etc.

The down side is its used for industrial apps, and can get expensive quickly. My idea was to build a rolling chassis/cabinet with drawers... (easy access to components)...

A quick google search will net you many different vendors...
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:12 PM   #96
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Thanks for your interest EvilPanda, glad my project caught your eye.

I have also been thinking of doing something like this for a while and decided to take the plunge instead of upgrading my rig for now.

It's like you say, there are many ways to skin a cat, your pressure equalization method does sound much more professional if albeit probably much more expensive, but tbh my cheap approach to the build is already stretching my budget.

I also thought of another way of equalizing the pressure which would be more professional and quite cheap.

You could use an oil filled trap consisting of two containers both joined at the base by a length of flexible pipe.
The first container would be open to the air at the top and the second container would be sealed to the breather tube at the top leading to the chamber.

With the chamber sealed you would simply pour oil into the first container, as it filled some would also flow into the second container via the bottom tube until the chamber pressure built up to equal the head of oil pressure.

As the chamber cools oil would flow into the second container to replace its reduced air volume and would be pushed back out as pressure again returned to normal.

If the pressure head of oil was lost through leakage or having to open the chamber then it could simply be recharged by removing the chamber lid and lifting the second container above the height of the first to force the oil to flow back into it. Then replace chamber lid and lower second container again.

I may well try this at a later date as a cheap but more professional approach.

As regards pressure testing, as the chamber is now attached to the air con unit there is no way to submerse in water.

I've no real need or wish to leak test at high or higher pressures than will be experienced during its normal operation.
So long as it is good at the very low pressure differences it will experience then that is good enough for me, after all, the reason for the expansion/contraction chamber was to eliminate excessive pressure differences from forcing air into the chamber.

Provided the the expansion bag will retain enough air to accommodate the volume changes that occur without going flat on me for several days to a week then I will be more than happy as I will probably open it up on a weekly basis to ensure the desiccant is dried out. Even if I have to pump a little more air in there now and again just to maintain enough volume I have enough desiccant in there to more than cope with the small amount of additional moisture that will introduce.

So far although I don't have the facility to measure the pressure in the chamber by simple visual inspection and time lapse photography of the expansion bag it appears to have not altered its volume for 12 hours now....and counting...lol

That aluminium t slot framing sounds interesting, but man is very expensive, I baulked
at the 100 I paid for my acrylic, on top of the 390 for the air con unit.....so the rest of the build is cheap street...lol

Have you seen Orthello77's post, he's doing something similar but has had a custom acrylic chamber made....very nice.

I'll link you:-

http://forums.extremeoverclocking.co...d.php?t=363597

Btw...love the idea of a build inside a working fish tank...that would be a real show stopper.

Last edited by technogiant; 06-28-2012 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:57 PM   #97
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TG - thanks for the compliment! I really like the idea of using the oil as a seal, and a way to have a self equalizing pressure adjustment. My only concern would be the pressure drop "sucking in" too much of the oil on the chilled side. I suppose this could be overcome by having a large volume container... Also, is it possible to calculate how much the oil will absorb in terms of BTUs? The fish tank idea kept the water completely separate though...

I like the creativity of using the balloon effect as well. It sorta reminds me of one of those old fashioned breathers, or air pumps used in old movies. It looks like an accordion in a round glass tube. Perhaps it measured the volume a person was breathing?
Actually, if the box is sealed, one could make a line to a "float" in a tube as well. If you start out with the float at the top, it should stay there if the pressure inside the box exerts enought force on the bottom of the piston... Say .5 psi positive pressure at room temp- 2" dia float.
A=r^2x3.14, so... R=1, a=6.28 sq in. 6.28sq in x .5psi should hold up a 3.14lb float. Granted the "float" should be light as possible, so you could even go .25psi and it'd still work. (basically its a pneumatic piston). At lower temp psi drops, the float falls, reducing the displacement of the enclosure. The tube would be vented at the top, but not allow the piston to come out. The piston makes the seal.

It's really all the same principal, just different creative ways to go about it.

I read the link, as it was posted somewhere in this thread-it seems the main problem is chilling the water effectively.

I'd like to run a water loop in the cold box, as a backup in case the phase change system fails. I figure if the entire water loop was contained, eventually it would become as cold as the box interior. That way if the phase system fails, the water cooled loop would be able to cool the chip long enough for the computer to shut down on back up power...
(unless I missed something, and there's a water loop in your cold box)

Granted for myself at least, this is all theoretical. I'm going to be building a new comp in the near future around a i7 3630k. Once it's up and running, I'll build the custom case and incorporate the phase change and run it a safe/stable OC.

I just enjoy the design/building aspects of things, even if it's limited to then design phase right now.

The fish tank would be pretty cool though... Phase change stuff under it, drives and such on top. While it'd look cleaner being all clear plastic, I'd build a frame with the t channel stuff.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:54 AM   #98
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Your right EP, you would have to make sure that the volume of the oil containers was sufficient to prevent oil sucking through into the chamber...that would make a right mess of things and I'm not planing on doing an oil immersion build..lol

With the operating temps I'm hoping to get I can expect a 15% reduction in air volume which for my chamber is 9 liters not allowing for the volume occupied by components....so probably 5 - 6 liters as a guesstimate.

I don't think there would be much transference of cold to the oil as it is linked by an air filled breather tube which doesn't have to be very wide as that is only passing air....anyway I've got a few btu's to spare with 12000 of them in all...lol

The problem with this would be finding suitable containers and a means of joining them at the bottom tube without having oil leaking everywhere....the wife's already sick of the mess I've made so far.

I like your float/piston idea, clean and simple, but the problem would be ensuring a good enough seal to maintain a small pressure head for many days and yet for it still to move. If the method were to loose pressure over extended periods of time then you would have to top up with fresh air which obviously introduces more moisture to the system. That's the beauty of using oil, its self sealing, has little resistance to movement and no need for fine engineering tolerances, you've probably gathered from my build that I'm not very good at those...lol

Actually that's given me another idea, still using oil but much simpler. Instead of using containers connected with a bottom tube, just use a continuous "U" bend pipe of sufficient diameter...a bit like a manometer. You would need a means of pumping some air into the chamber side to produce the initial oil pressure head. Also an additional idea to prevent the pressure head from gradually leaking away over extended time period when the system wasn't in use you could seal the open end, so if the head was gradually decreasing because of leakage at the chamber then a vacuum would form at the now sealed open end and prevent the pressure head from forcing any further leakage. Or just hoffman clip the breather tube.

Could do something similar with my balloon expansion chamber, use a hoffman clip to seal the breather tube when not in use.

I've no immediate plans of including a water loop in the chamber as I want to stay with air cooled components for the cheapness and easy of upgrade.
But I'm holding the option open as a plan B as there is a potential problem in using air cooled components, in particular with the heat pipes. They use distilled water at low pressure as an evaporant and are tuned to work efficiently at a particular temp range. If they are not within that range they will work less efficiently and certainly below freezing the distilled water will freeze and drastically reduce their ability to transfer heat.
As an alternative I've found a solid copper heat sink without vapor chamber or heat pipes made by Zalman....but its so big I'm not sure it would physically fit on my current board because of the north bridge cooler...we'll just have to see how this one goes.

I love the design and problem solving aspect of this sort of thing as you do. I just suddenly decided it was time to do something about my ideas and I'm really enjoying it......but beware before you start your bank balance will hate it...lol.

Last edited by technogiant; 06-29-2012 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:33 AM   #99
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That makes me wonder, instead of using oil, one could use brake fluid. -at least in a sealed system. One of the nice qualities of brake fluid is absorbing moistur. One of the many a bottle of brake fluid cannot be left open...

As far as the piston method goes, you could put some oil on top of it. It will act to further seal the poison while lubricating it for ease of motion. As far as the piston sticking, either an increase in piston diameter, or positive pressure would exert more force. To keep low positive psi, increasing the diameter is the way to go, increasing the surface area that the air acts on.

If you're calculating 15% reduction in volume the piston cylinder volume would have to be 1L plus the piston volume, based on a 7L estimate. Since that's a considerable volume, having the cylinder inside
would reduce the volume of the container, requiring a smaller cylinder as well. obviously, the top of the cylinder needs to be vented to open air...
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:44 AM   #100
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Although the piston idea seems nice and clean, as often is the case with these things the devil lies in the detail and in its ease of execution.

For home diy builds finding suitable things to use off the shelf is a near impossibility and even if you have the facilities and skills to fabricate your own components to the high tolerances required to make an airtight piston unit it really just adds another layer of unnecessary complexity loading the dice further in favor of failure and tbh I don't really see to what advantage.

You could add oil above the piston to help the seal, it may help prevent air forcing in as it could not go down through the oil, but it would not prevent air pushing out passed the piston seal and bubbling up through the oil, but it also begs the question as to why have the piston at all if you are going to have to use oil anyway, oil alone in a u shaped trap would provide a 100% effective seal and have no free movement problems.

I'm not sure that brake fluids ability to absorb water would be an advantage or not. Certainly an area of it would be exposed to the chamber air to absorb moisture. But on the flip side the other surface would be exposed to the atmospheric air. In circumstances where the chamber air is at lesser humidity due to desiccant than the atmospheric air you may have a situation where moisture is absorbed at the atmospheric boundary and released at the chamber boundary, the brake fluid effectively transporting moisture across.

I think the fluid would be better to be impermeable to both air and moisture in all honesty.

I'm still waiting on my dual link dvi cable to be delivered....it's holding everything up now. I cracked open the chamber, it has been holding that air volume for 24hrs now without any apparent loss, so tbh simple as it may be I'm more than pleased with how the expansion bag is performing.
It is able to completely seal the unit, accommodate volume changes more than adequately and does not impose a high pressure on the chamber which may cause leaks.
When you think about it, the oil idea would require a pressure head of about 7 litres of oil to work, that would impose quite a pressure at normal temps between usage which may cause leaks and necessitate the system requiring an air top up, something to be avoided if possible. As ghetto as it may be I think the expansion bag is actually the best, easiest and cheapest solution.

I've put my pc mobo in the box now and started her up using the cabling that I've run through the box to make sure all is well.....all is well



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Additional Comment:

On a slightly different note one of the cables I'll be running through the chamber is a fibre optic cable for digital sound....does anyone know if this will be alright at low temp? is it made of a solid glass fibre or its it a hollow tube that may cause a leak?

Last edited by technogiant; 06-29-2012 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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