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Planning Oil cooled PC...with Fish! Just an idea...

Discussion in 'Modding' started by cogitoergosum, 8 May 2009.

  1. cogitoergosum

    cogitoergosum New Member

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    So, I've seen a whole slew of submerged cases as of late and now I REALLY want one. But being me, I can't have just any old submerged case. Mine needs to have fish in it...

    So here's my idea, take an acrylic box and encase it in a second box. The inner box would hold the PC, submerged in oil and be far taller then the inner box, which would hold water and some fish.

    So, besides being an incredibly foolish idea (Lets mix H20 and electronics kids!) with a low tolerance for any sort of error..anyone see any huge problems with doing this? Think it would look cool?
     
  2. Volund

    Volund Am I supposed to care?

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    well, if you keep the two cases seperate (no common sides), you should be fine, and it would look pretty good imo.
     
  3. coster_sos

    coster_sos New Member

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    i actually bought a excellent PVC Clear Box worth around $20 last summer for this project, all the parts lying around. but I never had time to begin it... any way...dude..lol just dont put real live fish in it... serious man :)
     
  4. cogitoergosum

    cogitoergosum New Member

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    Thats the point though, to have live fish in it. The plan is to have oil in a center box, surrounded in water with live fish in it.
     
  5. Macros_the_Black

    Macros_the_Black Yup.. I'm a f-ing reptile

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    I agree with Volund, no common sides. The fish might need to have a certain temperature range in the water at all times, and having the computer heating the water on and off (heat transfer through the glass/plexi) might be bad for the fish.

    Other than that, I think it sounds like a cool idea! I'm picturing a Mini-ITX / mATX system (to keep the overall size down) with white aquarium lighting. I don't know how sensitive fish are to coloured lights, you might want to research this before you throw any unnatural lights in there. <=)

    I would probably build the aquarium part with glass as it will probably be easier to keep clean and scratch free (you will have to remove algae build-up from time to time). Acrylic for the inner box should be fine. Just remember to leave a gap between the glass and acrylic panels, so you don't 'cook' ;P the fish.
    Hehe, that reminds me of my first reaction when reading the thread name... "Oh great! Just add fries, vinegar and a newspaper" :p

    Good luck with the project!
     
  6. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    The best possible combination is using the refractive index to mess with people's heads:

    http://gr5.org/index_of_refraction/babywess.jpg

    Imagine that - a computer, apparently just dunked in a fishtank, with no glass or anything visible! If you do a bit of calculating you can certainly make it work, but you're going to need to insulate one from the other very carefully. The fish should be fine, as long as you wire a heater to keep the water at a constant temperature.
     
  7. dark_avenger

    dark_avenger Well-Known Member

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    i think i'd look really good.
    get some tropical fish and just fold 24/7 keep an even temp :p
     
  8. Fod

    Fod what is the cheesecake?

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    it would be an incredibly foolish idea with a shockingly low tolerance for error, and shows a profound disregard for aquatic life :lol:
     
  9. Von Lazuli

    Von Lazuli I get by fine with a jig-saw.

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    That is an awesome idea, but I am not sure if it can be made to work. The index of refraction of the oil will be much higher than the water, and the thickness of oil will be much greater, which means that you will need an incredibly low density container to surround the oil.

    Have I got that right? Or is high school physics too far behind me?
     
  10. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    Believe me, if I could/could be bothered to do the maths, I'd be trying it, not telling cogitoergosum to try it :p
     
    Last edited: 13 May 2009
  11. cogitoergosum

    cogitoergosum New Member

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    So, I have actually begun work on this. I am blatantly ignoring some advice above...because that is just how I roll.

    The design has also been reworked. Instead of case within a case, I'm doing one big tank, separated by a center divider. After doing some math (which is likely quite shady so I'm not sharing it) I cooked up some dimensions of the tank for 18" x 12" x 24" (457.2 mm x 304.8mm x 609.6mm for our metric friends). Splitting the tank in half I come up with a volume of a little more than 5 gallons on each side (19ish liters). This is a perfect fishtank for a school of Neon Tetras (who are not very susceptible to temp fluctuation and are very cheap) and hopefully a good sized oil reserve to cool my machine.

    So, while the design is being worked upon and messed about with in Sketchup and Solidworks, I have a question for the acrylic aficionados out there: How thick should I make the panels?

    I'm thinking 3/4" (19mm) but I'm unsure. I'm set back by the prices of 3/4" acrylic so I am considering 1/2". Any opinions on that?

    Anyone have a good online US supplier for acrylic/lexan that would cut me a deal?
     
  12. Volund

    Volund Am I supposed to care?

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    please for the sake of the fish use a thick divider and leak test before you fill them in... I don't like animals dying for experiments :p

    try http://www.estreetplastics.com/ or http://www.tapplastics.com/, they have decent stock and are resionably priced. I know that tap plastics has sponsored mods in the past.
     
  13. cogitoergosum

    cogitoergosum New Member

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    Oh, there will be a LONG leak test done. Combining water and computers is usually a bad accident...and I'm doing it intentionally.

    I'm also planning on tropical fish and regulating the water side with a thermometer to keep from killing them. I've kept fish for quite a while and tend to have the "magical touch" when it comes to keeping them alive. No animals will be harmed in the making of this mod.

    Thanks much for the links.
     
  14. Devolve

    Devolve Deadbeat

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    Or use white mice, thats what they were invented for wasn't it?
     
  15. cogitoergosum

    cogitoergosum New Member

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    Tell you what, if you provide the white mice with gills...I will be more then willing to use them instead of fish. Otherwise, I think they would just be dying a senseless death by drowning.

    Back on topic:

    I am still quite shellshocked by the sticker on acrylic sheet, especially 3/4". To think at the outset I was thinking on using 1".

    Any thoughts on the 3/4" vs 1/2" debate? I'm worried the 1/2" won't be strong enough...but the 3/4" is too expensive to get this project off the ground any time soon...
     
  16. Volund

    Volund Am I supposed to care?

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  17. cogitoergosum

    cogitoergosum New Member

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    Well wouldya look at that. In other words...3/4" would be overkill of a massive proportion. Dammit...now my "over-engineering" gene is demanding I make the entire thing out of 3/4" just to warp people's minds!

    I'll do some heavy thinking and plotting overnight and will hopefully present some sketchup models in the morning.

    Thanks for the help :thumb:
     
  18. Matticus

    Matticus ...

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    Sounds like a good idea.

    Neon Tetras are going to be one of the few fish you can keep in there. Between 20 and 30 is pretty much fine for them with the top and bottom end are a bit iffy, but they do usually do best at about 24-26.

    You will need to find out how much heat the system is going to dump into the oil tank, and then work out how much this will change the water temp in the fish tank.

    One way of keeping the temps from changing too much would be to "double glaze" create 2 walls with a thin gap of air in the middle, sealed of course, otherwise condensation will be an issue.

    I assume you have fish, so you will know this, a lot of water collects and condensates onto the roof of the tank, and then drips down the sides. So either seal the oil case which I guess you would. Or just make some sort of foam gasket around each bit so when the roof sits it seals each section off.

    Oh and most, even the cheapest fishtank heaters will just heat up to whatever you set them as and then turn off until the temp drops. If you set it to the highest degrees the water will reach, hopefully below 26/27 and then it will keep the water as constant as possible.
     
  19. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

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    Oil + fish generally leads to only one thing (if done just right)...

    [​IMG]

    :D
     
  20. MrWillyWonka

    MrWillyWonka Chocolate computers galore!

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    One question, how are you going to get the cables from the computer in the oil past the water into the outside of the tanks?
     

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