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Scratch Build – In Progress Posthuman

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Datulab, 2 May 2021.

  1. Datulab

    Datulab Human? AI? Robot?

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    I'm back with another project! Building the CryoPC was a ton of fun, and I learned so much, that I couldn't wait to start a new build with the lessons learned. Looking for an excuse to build another PC, I found that it would be nice to have one in my workshop as well, as my laptop can barely handle heavier Fusion Projects.

    I also had this idea floating around in my head to do a PC around the idea of the simulation hypothesis. For the uninitiated, it's the idea that we all live in a computer simulation that is indistinguishable from reality / is our reality. The most obvious way to realize is with a brain in a vat, that is connected to a computer. Except in my case, the computer is the brain, and it is in a vat of mineral oil. The "computer" would then house the radiator to cool the oil.

    Looking for a stylistic direction to take this build in, after a very short search, Steampunk was the obvious answer. It fits perfectly with the SciFi/Fantasy nature and gives me the opportunity to try out a bunch of new techniques. In contrast to my last project, I'll be using little to no plastic parts, using metals like brass and copper in conjunction with wood for most of it.

    For the hardware, I was limited by my budget (which is 0$, so I'm already a few hundred over:lol:), and the size of my vat. I could go with a bigger tank, but mineral oil is very expensive, so see reason number one, I went with a 10l fish tank. I was going to build the vat from scratch using acrylic, so I could get the exact size I want, but it would have cost over a hundred dollars here to get the materials, so I was lucky to find this fish tank that was close enough for a fraction of that.
    But enough talking for now, here are some pictures of what I have so far:

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    I scored this used SFF build for a very good price, especially considering it has a GPU included (1060). Now I don't have room for a GPU, so I'll be selling that and the R5 2600, making back most of what I paid. What I'm left with is:
    AsRock B450 Fatality
    16GB Crucial Ballistics 3200MHz
    500GB Samsung 970 Evo
    500W PSU, though I changed that out for an SFX one.
    For the CPU I'm going with a R5 4650G, as it seems to have decent graphics, and enough CPU power for what I need.

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    Probably the single worst thermal paste application I've seen in my life. It looks to be liquid metal but combined with the Crappy heatsink, it had maybe 3 or 4 tiny bumps that actually made contact. It's a miracle there was no thermal throttling.:duh: As I intend on selling the CPU, it took me almost half an hour to scrape off the thermal compound, and it still looks like crap. (If I was continuing to use the CPU, I would have just lapped it, but that would remove the markings, making it harder to sell)

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    On a more positive note, isn't this PSU just cute!

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    And of course, the first thing I did was to void the warranty, like a true modder:dremel:. Removing the chassis, also reduced the height from over 60mm to just 40mm! I'll also be doing custom cables soldered directly to the PSU, so I couldn't care less about the stock ones. Funny enough BeQuiet is actually using a 3rd party fan in this PSU, although they have their own line.

    [​IMG]
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    I tried to see if I could fit the GPU in there as well, as I already have it, and while it does fit, it would be a bit cramped and make it hard to properly get the brain shape in there, so I scrapped that idea.

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    With only the mobo and PSU, I was able to make the brain quite a bit smaller, so it's just about 1.5x normal size. So just slightly Abby Normal. In the end, it will be a frame of brass wires, but just a simple mockup for now.

    [​IMG]
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    To get a better idea of the whole shape, I modeled it up in my new CAD software (cardboard aided design), where the accuracy and graphics are a bit crappy, but the controls are very intuitive.
    The box in the back will house a 240mm rad, and the IO extensions, as the mobo will be completely submerged.
    That's it for now. There are many more exciting parts of this build that I can't wait to share with you, but I guess we'll both have to be a bit patient:lol:
     
    dan297, ciaognep, Cheapskate and 2 others like this.
  2. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Awesome. :D Look up Legoman's oil pc. (F-it... LINK HERE.)
    He ran into several issues with the oil:
    1. It dissolves rubber and thermal paste, so O-rings need to be silicone, and the capacitor type like the ones in the PSU have rubber seals in the bottom. He had some come completely off the mobo.
    2. It wicks up through wires and makes a siphon effect.
    3. It STINKS. :lol: I can confirm, since I bought his damaged radiator.

    So you need some creative sealing work like epoxying the cr*p out of the capacitors, isolated connectors, and tank seals.
     
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  3. Datulab

    Datulab Human? AI? Robot?

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    Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely look into it!
     
  4. Datulab

    Datulab Human? AI? Robot?

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    Quite the build log that Legoman wrote. Took me a while to get through the 36 pages, but it was worth every minute. Here are my takeaways from his years of troubleshooting (and thanks @legoman666 in case you're still active 10 years later:lol:):

    1. Sealing stuff is hard, especially when o-rings only work for a few weeks or months and then slowly start leaking. My solution: Avoiding seals as much as possible. Since I'm using a premade tank, there are no seals, it is injection molded as one piece (I should check the material it is made from, just in case). For the tubing, I was going to use copper anyhow, so I can just solder all the connections, even to the radiator, as long as I design it in a way that still allows me to lift it out. That should hopefully make sure there are no leaks. (The pump, a D5, will be in the tank)

    2. Thermal paste dissolves in mineral oil. There are a few solutions mentioned in the thread, the most common ones would be no thermal paste / just the oil itself, which is certainly the easiest, but also seems to perform not ideally. It could probably be improved by lapping the CPU and cooler, but still not ideal. Using thermal paste and hoping for the best seems to work fine for a few days up to many months, but is a bit too temporary for me. The third solution would be to use a TIM that isn't dissolvable, like liquid metal. Not sure how I feel about this one, I guess I'll have to do some more research.

    3. Oil will find a way anywhere and capillary action is a thing. Since my connectors will be submerged in the oil, with extensions going to the rear module, where I'll plug in everything, this is an issue I have to worry about. I would have never thought that the oil would find its way through the connector of a DP cable, but it makes sense that once in there, the fine mesh shielding is ideal to climb up. The only real solution I can see is to make sure there are no meshes to climb up, as a smooth cable should (TM) be fine. This means no sleeved cables going out, and for the DP cable, I'll have to either seal the crap out of the connector (kinda doubtful about the chances for success) or removing the insulation a little way up the cable and using epoxy to block the shielding mesh there.

    4. Some capacitors will swell up and break. Since I only have an ITX board, it's easy enough to just epoxy the crap out of the few caps there, just to be on the safe side.

    5. It stinks. I'm not too worried about that one, as I'll probably be using medical-grade oil (since that's what I can get around here and I don't need that much, so the price is not too bad), which should be a bit better smell wise. I'll also have everything pretty much sealed, so not much space for the smell to escape. And even if it does, this build will live in my workshop and not a bedroom, so it smells of paint, burnt things,... most the time anyhow, how bad can a bit of oil be.

    Let me know if I forgot anything major. I'm definitely glad to be able to use the knowledge of the hivemind on this one instead of finding all these things out myself!
     
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  5. No X

    No X What's a Dremel?

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    I like your approach!

    NoX
     
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  6. Datulab

    Datulab Human? AI? Robot?

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    So I'm in my workshop and just checked the material of the tank. It's Polystyrene (PS), which upon putting it into google gives me conflicting results on it's resistance to mineral oil. This source classifies it as good (best classification): https://alwusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Chemical_Resistance_Polystyrene.pdf while this source calls it "limited": https://omnexus.specialchem.com/polymer-properties/chemical-resistance/mineral-oil-20-c

    Just wanted to see if anyone here has slightly more chemical knowledge and has an interpretation, or if this just comes down to which exact mineral oil you're testing with?
    Sorry about the lack of pictures, I'll post a more visual update tomorrow, or on Monday.
     
  7. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    One way to find out: Put a drop in the tank. If it's 'styrene, there's a high chance of it clouding up from any chemical attack. Acetone for example, will turn it bluish-white, -if I remember correctly.
     
  8. Datulab

    Datulab Human? AI? Robot?

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    Guess so. I don't have the mineral oil yet and wasn't planning on getting it until I'm further along with the build (just to spread the expenses out a bit), but I guess I'll order it soon, so I can test it.
     

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