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Scratch Build – In Progress Behemoth, Modular Server Rack - Update Jun 15, 2014

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by ChromAnomaly, 10 Nov 2013.

  1. craig - toyoracer

    craig - toyoracer Member

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    The res looks great as does the sanding pattern on the side panel. :thumb:

    For drilling use a centre punch to keep the bit in place when starting a hole. ;)

    Your frame is coming along very well. :)
     
  2. ChromAnomaly

    ChromAnomaly New Member

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    Thank you. And yes, looks like a center punch is exactly what I need . . . now that I know what it's called, I will have to pick one up :)
     
  3. ChromAnomaly

    ChromAnomaly New Member

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    Finishing the Pump

    Ok, here's the final test fit of the frame for the pump housing before I finish it off. I have a love/hate relationship with modder's mesh. I see it online and it looks so pretty and convenient, but it is a huge pain in the ass to work with. Related, does anyone know what alloy this crap is? It's advertised as aluminum, but it doesn't react like aluminum at all. Strikes me more as some sort of iron-based pot metal. Ah well, after a bit of pain it seems to work well enough.

    [​IMG]


    So here is why I spent so much time building the housing to cover up my monster of a pump. These fittings look terrible! Not to worry, I think the final result works out.

    [​IMG]


    Fitting the frame in to the pump module with the radiators. I was really nervous here, but everything fit :)

    [​IMG]


    And from the back side. Yeah, looks like I have some wiring work to do now . . .

    [​IMG]


    It's ugly at the moment, but I really want to see if my components work . . .

    [​IMG]


    And YAY! It works :clap: Just testing the pump at the moment with minimal wiring on PSU #1. And looks like my homemade res has a few leaks. I think they're all manageable though, just at the interfaces of the res and the fittings. A little teflon tape and some extra silicone should take care of it.

    [​IMG]


    Next Steps

    • Test out leak patches for the res
    • Wire up the fans
    • Sleeve and route wires
    • Cut front and back panels for pump module
    • Build mesh frames for air inlets
     
  4. ChromAnomaly

    ChromAnomaly New Member

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    Not much of an update here, more of an explanation for why you haven't seen an update in a bit. Sorry, nothing I had time to catch a photo of either. Might have made for cool photos, but I was too busy trying to prevent damage.

    So after a couple days of fussing with stuff on my pump housing, my res suddenly sprung a leak. Actually 4 leaks, all at the same time. :sigh: It appears that standard silicone caulk doesn't really stick to cast acrylic (anyone else had this issue?), so after a couple days of bumping around all of my seals gave way. In good news, the caulk sticks to my fittings like there's no tomorrow. So new plan is to build up a caulk seal on the fitting (aka massive custom o-ring), add some teflon tape to the threads, and try again. Takes 24hr for the silicone to set, so maybe tomorrow I will have some news.

    While my res was busy springing leaks, I was busy hooking up my speed controller to my pump. I managed to get in a test run before the leaks got too bad . . . and I promptly caught my potentiometer on fire. And I don't mean just a little smoke, I mean it actually caught fire. :eeek: So yeah, potentiometer for a pump controller is a bad idea. :duh: Now I'm working on PWM controllers instead, but I won't be able to test those out until I have a working reservoir again.
     
  5. craig - toyoracer

    craig - toyoracer Member

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    So did you tap those 7/16" holes ? Teflon tape is not something I would trust in acrylic.

    I may be inclined to mill those holes with a 1/2" router bit in drill press and use weld-on with 1/2" (9/16) tapped acrylic pipe, say 3/4" long. Then no need for silicone either. :)

    Well at least you had running water to put the fire out. :lol:
     
  6. ChromAnomaly

    ChromAnomaly New Member

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    Lol, too bad throwing water on an electrical fire is more likely to cause an explosion than put out the fire. There's a reason I kept a hand on the plug though. :lol:

    Yes, I tapped the 7/16" holes with a G1/4" parallel pipe tap. I found that I needed to leave more material intact for plastic than you would for metal, otherwise the tap would just shred the hole. Mind you I'm hand tapping as well though, and without the benefit of a t-wrench. Next time I will seriously consider an acrylic connector, but I still feel like it would look funny against the side of the res . . . so far my test fitting is working fine, now just waiting on the rest of them to dry. Fingers crossed.

    What's wrong with using teflon tape on acrylic btw? Just a trust issue, or some incompatibility I'm not aware of?
     
  7. craig - toyoracer

    craig - toyoracer Member

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    I think just a trust issue in tightening with acrylic. :)
     
  8. ChromAnomaly

    ChromAnomaly New Member

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    Pump Controls
    Ok, I lied a little bit. I did get one photo of my potentiometer before it caught fire. I was using a resistor as a fake pump to test the circuit here. But I clearly didn't take in to account the amount of current the pump draws. Oops. Lesson learned.

    [​IMG]

    You'd think I knew what I was doing with an electronics kit like this. But apparently anyone can buy this stuff at Mouser and look like a pro without really knowing squat.

    [​IMG]

    Luckily I do actually know just enough to get myself in trouble. Working PWM circuit driving the pump now. And for the record it's sitting on a paper towel so I don't short it on the aluminum frame, not because my res is still leaking . . .

    [​IMG]

    Speaking of my poor res, after some significant surgery it is now leak free. Massive amounts of silicone on the fittings and teflon tape on the threads appears to have done the trick. C'mon water, where you gonna go now?

    [​IMG]

    And now with the control panel installed. I re-cut the plexi front. I originally ordered this in 1/16" acrylic from eMachineShop, but I just didn't like how flimsy it was. And in the meantime I acquired a scroll saw, so I remade it in 1/8" acrylic. Much better.

    Added some shiny aluminum knobs to the PWM boards, and some LED toggle switches for the main power and fans. Can't wait to get these wired up.

    [​IMG]

    Computer Component Brackets

    Enough of working on the pump module, time for some actual computer stuff! Since my current primary system is failing, I'm going to be transferring my hard drives over to this new computer. I have lots of hard drives . . . this should take care of 1/5th of them.

    [​IMG]

    Test fit of the first HDD rack. Still need to polish up the angle iron, and I ran out of finishing screws. :duh:

    [​IMG]

    1" extrusion parts seemed a little excessive for the HDD rack (and would have taken up a LOT of space), but I only need one PSU for the computer . . . so why not? Tapping 1/4" bolt holes to mount the PSU brackets. Overkill? Of course.

    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, and I finally bought some actual computer components. ASUS X79-Delux MB, and a first test fit with the MB tray.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Next Steps
    Making progress on my CPU block, many thanks to Skyrip. He has my acrylic top cut already, and we've been working through details of the copper heatsink. Rumor has it the block may be finished this weekend :clap:

    Image courtesy of Skyrip:
    [​IMG]

    In the meantime, Skyrip has been kind enough to run some fluid simulations of my water block. Maybe I'm just a nerd, but I think these things are damn cool. This is version 5 of the copper block, which is pretty close to where we ended up on the design. The *real* design was apparently too complex for the simulation :lol: Is it wrong to be proud of that?

    Image (and simulation) courtesy of Skyrip:
    [​IMG]

    Other next steps include finally installing intake filters (I think that's been a "next step" in every one of my updates), polishing up and installing my HDD racks, and completing wiring of the pump module (which may take forever).
     
  9. ChromAnomaly

    ChromAnomaly New Member

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    I've just been doing some odd work here and there on the case, wiring switches and lights, not too much to take photos of . . . until today.

    CPU Blocks!!!

    Newly arrived from the Netherlands, many thanks to Skyrip. A shiny new pair of custom CPU waterblocks.

    [​IMG]

    A closeup of the copper plate which apparently caused a few problems during machining. But it looks so pretty with all those heat exchanger fins . . .

    [​IMG]

    In retrospect, I might have been a little crazy when I designed this part. And I'm not really sure how Skyrip managed to machine it without shattering the plexi plate. But here's a macro shot of the tiny inlet jets. Like a miniature showerhead over my CPU. Rather excited to see how this works.

    [​IMG]

    Test fitting the block on my motherboard. Probably the most nervous I've been during this entire build, but everything fits perfectly.

    [​IMG]

    And with the block fully installed, complete with custom tension screws.

    [​IMG]

    Wiring and Odds and Ends

    Here's the rest of what I've completed over the last few weeks.

    I've done some rather intense switch wiring. These guys have tiny LEDs in them that turn on and off with the switch position. I've also wired them in series so I have a main power that also drives the pump, and once the pump is on the fans can be turned on in sets. Resistors for the LEDs are all soldered in-line, and the fans and pumps are on separate PWM controllers. Oh, and separate power supplies as well, all controlled by a single master switch.

    [​IMG]

    Speaking of fans, I have two 4x120 radiators in the pump housing. So that's 4 fans on each of 2 switches, powered by the 12V power supply and switched on by the 24V power supply. And no molex connectors.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And moving back to the actual computer frame, I've now completed the HDD cages and installed them. Ran in to some tolerancing issues with my round head screws and using nuts instead of threading the assembly holes (no way I can drill that precisely with a hand drill) . . . but I eventually got to something I can actually slide drives in and out of.

    [​IMG]

    My panel mount hardware that I ordered ended up being too small for the panel holes I had drilled, but too big for the rubber grommets that I had originally intended to use. I think this is a rather clever compromise. I trimmed out the interior flaps of the grommets and used the panel mount hardware to capture the remainder of the grommet instead of the aluminum plate. If nothing else these joints should be super leak proof . . .

    [​IMG]

    Next Steps

    • Wire sensors and lights on pump house
    • Fabricate and install dust screens (no, I still haven't done that yet)
    • Finish plumbing computer frame
    • Cut back panel for pump house and front panel for computer frame
     
  10. skyrip

    skyrip New Member

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    looks great, good to see that the blocks arrived in good order :)
    very nice pictures btw.
     
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  11. ChromAnomaly

    ChromAnomaly New Member

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    Thank you, sir. The blocks look great and fit perfectly :thumb:
     
  12. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Looking cool.:D
    Teflon: It puts stress on the inside of the hole and cracks the plastic over time. -Especially in extruded.
    Shower head: I think that might plug up with all the usual junk a loop develops. It's also killing the insane flow you would get with THAT pump. Even with a 1/2" hole you would have quite a jet blast going through it.
     
  13. KidMod-Southpaw

    KidMod-Southpaw Super Spamming Saiyan

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    This is quite amazing, don't think I could ever stand all the headaches myself though! :D
     
  14. ChromAnomaly

    ChromAnomaly New Member

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    Thank you!

    Teflon - Makes sense if you have a tight fit on your threads, but I think mine were leaking because they were a bit sloppy . . . so I'm hoping the teflon helps fill in the gaps. And I'm using cast acrylic which should help. I'll keep an eye out for cracks though.

    Shower head - Yup, I'm going to have to watch closely for clogging. If it gets to be a problem I can always drill out this area a bit. I really wanted to give this design a try though, and there are commercial blocks that also use small holes like this to form jets.

    Thanks! I don't consider them headaches personally since I'm learning from them, making each build a little easier. :) I usually bite off more than I can chew on purpose, otherwise I'm not pushing myself hard enough.
     
  15. NZ_mod_man

    NZ_mod_man New Member

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    Subbed! :thumb:
     
  16. ChromAnomaly

    ChromAnomaly New Member

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    I know, I'm far overdue for an update. Real life got the best of me again for a few months there, but I've still been working on Behemoth when I get time. Unfortunately much of that time has been spent on items that aren't really photo-worthy. But never mind all that, I have a photo-worth update now!

    Nameplate

    So I got a scroll saw for Christmas and decided I'd really put it to the test with this project. I spent weeks sketching out an appropriate logo for Behemoth, which I subsequently cut in to a stencil, traced on to a thin sheet of aluminum, and intended to cut out with said scroll saw. I drilled starter holes . . . and promptly realized that I had made my design too intricate to feed my saw blade through. :duh:

    [​IMG]

    Alright, no worries. I'll just grab my needle files and widen those holes a bit. And a bit more. And . . . aww, screw it, I'll just cut the whole design out with my files. So I filed a few hours each day until my fingers would go so numb that I couldn't hold anything without dropping it. And after about a week, this was the result. Next time I will definitely go the laser cutting route . . .

    [​IMG]

    No way was I going to repeat that process for the text. But hey, that's what industrial strength chemicals are for, right? Besides, this nameplate is looking a bit too clean right now. Behemoth needs to be a little grungy, and crispy around the edges. Ok, here we are coated in tar and ready to do a little etching.

    [​IMG]

    I probably should have used bolder lines, as this thing took forever to etch. I think I left it in the bath for around 12 hours before I started to see any significant relief. There's a bit of pitting where the acid ate through thin spots in the resist, but I did say I wanted a bit more of a grungy look, right? I think this will do.

    [​IMG]

    And speaking of pitting, holy crap this was some thorough etching! I like the effect I ended up with, but some of these parts got REALLY fragile.

    [​IMG]

    Good thing I was planning all along to reinforce the aluminum sheet with some acrylic. Here's some 1/4" thick acrylic with the eyes and teeth engraved in to it, lit with a couple UV LEDs. Almost finished, but unfortunately I hooked up the LEDs I really wanted to use for this the wrong way and fried them. Oops.

    [​IMG]

    And what about the text you ask? I filled in the etch with some brass powder and polished it down. But you'll have to wait until I get it installed for a photo.

    Filter Brackets

    Oh, what's that? Yes, I finally bit the bullet and made some filter brackets. After about 100 redesigns and months of procrastinating, it seems I've got something that actually works to hold my brass mesh air filter. I ended up using aluminum channel pieces as the track, and standard window screen framing to hold the mesh. I'm not certain how long this will hold up as is - the brass mesh is WAY thicker than standard screen, and kept popping the spline out. May have to add a bit of glue or something, but overall I think this will work pretty well for the rectangular holes at least. The best part is that the screens slide in and out on the track for easy cleaning.

    [​IMG]

    Rough Water Loop

    With my pump housing mostly finished, and all of my water cooling parts available, I couldn't help by give the full cooling system a bit of a test run. Here's the custom CPU block all hooked up.

    [​IMG]

    It's alive! Temperature gauge, switch LEDs, PWM fan and pump controllers. All working just like they should. CPU block is leak free, flow seems to be pretty good, system bleeds with a little work. Pretty happy so far.

    [​IMG]

    Just a fun shot of the lighting in the pump housing from the back side. I suppose this shows off the fact that I still don't have a back panel for the pump as well though. Another of those items I've been procrastinating on . . . Ah well. I really like the way cold cathodes fit right in to the channel of aluminum extrusion. Like it was made to fit there :)

    [​IMG]
     
  17. ChromAnomaly

    ChromAnomaly New Member

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    Just a quick update to explain the lack of updates. I'm still working on this guy, but progress is on hold due to an unexpected 8 month business trip to China (which I started 3 months ago). In the meantime, I'm putting together a quick portable desktop / laptop while I'm home for the holidays that I intend to bring with me as carry-on luggage. If you're interested, link is in my sig. I'll be back to working on the server rack once I return from my business trip.
     
  18. Bartacus

    Bartacus Member

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    I love it when good old threads that I missed get bumped. In!
     

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