Scratch Build – In Progress The Mineral Oil PC - 3/24/2011 - More leaks :(

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by legoman666, 29 Jan 2009.

  1. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    I've been watching this thread for a few weeks now, and finally had to sign up so i could post.

    first off, legoman: your case is absolutely amazing. the level of workmanship and attention to detail is impressive. my hat is off to you.

    I had a suggestion/question about a possible replacement TIM for your GPU's. rather than using typical paste (most of which i believe are mineral oil based, which is why they wash off after a short while), what about using a thin piece of soft metal...such as aluminum or copper? Theoretically, if your heat sink is applying enough pressure, the soft metal should be squished to make pretty good contact with both the core and heatsink surfaces. Obviously it wont be as good as paste...but might be better than mostly dissolved paste.

    Another idea would involve soldering a heatsink to the core...but im not sure how one would go about doing that without overheating the core...

    Allogator...i love the look of the red oil. are you really using racing fuel though? i would have though gasoline would have been pretty hard on plastics...

    I had considered using automatic transmission fluid in the past, but decided against it because it contains some pretty strong detergents that i figured would shorten the life of the computer components.

    Keep up the fine work everyone. I hope to be able to join the ranks of the submerged cooling community some day soon :)
     
  2. legoman666

    legoman666 Beat to fit, paint to match.

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    Thanks sir :D

    As per your suggestion to use a piece of soft metal, I think that would defeat the purpose of the TIM in the first place. The TIM's purpose is to facilitate heat transfer between two surfaces that are almost perfectly flat but not 100%. If I added a piece of metal inbetween the GPU and heatsink, I would just be added another boundary that would need TIM. Also, while copper or alu are soft compared to other metals, I don't think I could possibly tighten the heatsink bolts enough to squish the metal. Also, I'd be worried about damaging the GPU if the pressure wasn't perfectly evenly applied. (Also, my wood shim on the backplate would squish before the metal shim between the GPU and heatsink squished ;) )

    Also: Gasoline would smell. And evaporate.
     
  3. Elledan

    Elledan New Member

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    If you want a soft metal, try lead, BTW :)
     
  4. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    The malleability of lead would be ideal, unfortunately lead is a pretty poor conductor of heat.

    Legoman may be right about the shim just adding another layer of metal (and air pockets) for the heat to transfer through...though I think some experimentation might be in order, just to convince myself :)
     
  5. longwing

    longwing New Member

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    I suggest using liquid metal thermal pads from Coollaboratory: In stock at Frozen CPU, though they may be available for cheaper elsewhere.

    I've been using these on my GPU and CPU for my submersion system, Isis Ascendant (relevant post here). They haven't given me any trouble in almost a year of use. For the little components, such as ram chips, I used thermal epoxy (Arctic Silver Thermal Adhesive), which has also held up to mineral oil exposure just fine.

    Your mileage may vary, of course, but I've found it to be a trouble-free thermal interface compound.
     
  6. legoman666

    legoman666 Beat to fit, paint to match.

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    Hm, I didn't know such a product existed. I'll give it a shot the next time I need to replace my TIM. Thanks.
     
  7. allogator

    allogator Oil Bath

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    Der. I stopped receiving email updates about this thread for some reason.


    I decided against a radiator since I was just using it as a media center PC. During normal video use my temps never go past 25c. My GPU gets the warmest at about 35c.



    And it isn't really Race Fuel! hehe. It's normal mineral oil--the electric company I got it from gave it to me in a 55 gallon drum labeled "Nitrous--Race Fuel" and it has a *VERY* strong gasoline smell.

    I made sure it wasn't flammable before I tried anything and with it being as sealed up as it is I only notice the smell when I mess with cables for whatever reason. I've had it plugged up for over a month now with 30-90 minutes use a day and 0 problems. (So far. Can't wait to see if some of my stuff starts to deteriorate.)
     
  8. legoman666

    legoman666 Beat to fit, paint to match.

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    Gotcha. I'd be very careful about accidentally leaving it on if I were you. With no active cooling, the temperature will continue to rise until natural convection off the sides of the case is able to remove all of the heat being produced inside. Since the rate of heat transfer increases as the temperature difference between the case and air increases, so eventually it will plateau.

    Nothing to report about my case. All is well. My USB hub likes to stop working when I toggle my ceiling fan, but that's a mystery for another day....
     
  9. allogator

    allogator Oil Bath

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    Yeah. But the longest I'll be using it at a time is probably 4 hours if I really, really want to Netflix it up. I'm also very anal about turning electronics off. Living alone and paying for your own electric bill will make you a Scrooge. >_<


    About your hub. I hope it's not the same problem I started to have. My house is very old and a few years ago when I swapped to a 1000w PSU in my room I discovered how important wiring and circuit breakers are.

    I had the computer and was playing games with it for months with no problems. When Winter came and I started using a room heater I had problems though. At first I blamed the game I was playing because it only happened when I loaded WoW. Then it dawned on me that it also happened if I was already playing the game and then also turned up the heater. (I was also able to replicate it with a vacuum cleaner :sigh: )

    After some research and testing, I replaced all the circuit breakers in my house and haven't had a problem since.

    I know a USB hub and a ceiling fan aren't exactly the biggest power users ever but you might be sort of hitting the cusp of whatever breaker you're on.
     
  10. legoman666

    legoman666 Beat to fit, paint to match.

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    Another leak and acrylic problems

    So about a month ago, I had to drain the tank due to a leak. I noticed oil under the case feet one morning. It was the end of the quarter at school, so I just now got the time to take a closer look. I never did find the leak. I tried putting UV dye in the oil, but my dye is not oil soluble so it just sat as droplets on the bottom of the tank.

    [​IMG]
    The solution! I had to go to a specialty restaurant supply store in order to find a baking sheet big enough. I ended up buying a 2/3rd sheet pan. It's quite large but yet cheap, only $8.

    [​IMG]
    And here it is in place. Since I couldn't find the leak after I drained the tank, I decided to refill it and try to find it.

    [​IMG]
    Using my old pump to put the oil back into the tank was a lot easier than pouring out of the containers. The pump can empty a 5 gallon container in a few minutes. The only hard part was priming the pump the first time because the tank was empty. I had to manually suck oil from the container, through the pump and then quickly cap it with my thumb. I then had to turn the pump on and attach the hose to the drain on my tank as quickly as possible in order to not make a mess. Fun times.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Something I noticed when I refilled the tank. The side of the tank bows when full. I looked at the old pics, it did not use to do this. I drained the tank again after seeing this and am going to make a brace to keep the upper part of the tank more square.

    :(
     
  11. allogator

    allogator Oil Bath

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    Ouch! I'm suddenly glad I went with glass instead of plastic. I haven't leaked yet and everything is still going strong as a Media PC. Hope you find the leak! :clap:
     
  12. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    thanks for the updates lego. this is by a wide margin my favorite case on here and im glad to see its still going strong.
     
  13. M77Z

    M77Z Banned

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    Reading this entire article from front to back all I can say is WOW. I've been working with engineers for 16+ years and I can say is that they're the same no matter what field you're in. You could have avoided so much heartache and wasted expenditures just by doing some research instead of going off your "all knowing" sense of self.

    I know this sounds harsh but that isn't the intent. I'm writing this for people who actually do research so they'll know what they're getting into when they Google "how to build an oil cooled computer". What should have happened before you even started designing this over engineered leaking cube was do some research i.e. long term effects of oil on things such as the seals and other various components. The problem with your submerged video card testing (Page 10) is that you didn't use the same video cards you planned on using nor did you test them while running (obviously not as they were dead cards). Heat accelerates most if not all forms of decay and degradation. Also, to note, you didn't pressure test the radiators prior to use after installation, you just assumed they would be good to go.

    Among all of that, you committed the greatest sin of all. The people that are actually knowledgeable of such things e.g. people who work with hydraulic systems. I'm quite certain you have a few on this forum. Engineers design the things we use, but we always provide feedback on how they're improved because we're the ones that operate it. You always build by the simplest means possible to reach the desired goal, then build upon that after you have a solid base to revise for future improvements. This would have saved you so much, alas, you had to learn the hardest way of all, from your wallet.
     
  14. wagoo

    wagoo ドレメルってなに?

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    I could say the same for your comment. You suggest he used the same high-end GPUs in his oil submersion test as in the final build? Then later you berate him for having wasted money. :rolleyes:

    You don't have to be a qualified engineer in oil submersion or hydraulics to do research into a fun project and have a go at it. It's not like he runs a company selling these PCs. For what it's worth, having seen the other oil submersion threads over the years, it was obvious that legoman666 had read through all of them and taken notes, then extended the knowledge gained from those projects through his own investigations.

    There's not a huge amount of information out there about oil submersion cooling for consumer PC components, this thread, partly through trial and error, has probably become one of the best resources though.
     
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  15. legoman666

    legoman666 Beat to fit, paint to match.

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    I dont think youre being fair. I did a lot of research before starting construction. I read other people's build logs, I researched information about how oil affects plastics and rubbers. My biggest road block was that I could only find 3 or 4 other logs about people who had done this before me. On top of that, none of them followed up with updates after they completed their build. To top it all off, I was only 21 when I started.
     
  16. Mankz

    Mankz 5318008

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    "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all..." - Jacqui Rivait
     
  17. Lance

    Lance Ender of discussions.

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    Is this guy serious or just a troll?

    I think this is a great build, I read about it in the mag and enjoyed watching it on the forums.

    Good work legoman, and I'm sorry its not worked out so far.
     
  18. B NEGATIVE

    B NEGATIVE All Hail Kim Jong Magoo!

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    I am going to something similar myself,im not using oil tho,im using 3m Novec 649 instead....
     
  19. Wicked_Sludge

    Wicked_Sludge My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

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    dont listen to the troll legoman. experimentation is the key to learning and discovery. i would much rather get my hands dirty and try something out than spend hours and hours reading books on the subject. who cares if there are hangups along the way? thats part of what makes modding fun and the end result here is an amazing case.

    and in the end, theres just some things books cant teach you.
     
  20. M77Z

    M77Z Banned

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    You're 21 with a degree in which says you know how to properly research, design, and build.:thumb:


    “A remark generally hurts in proportion to its truth” - Will Rogers
    “Better a lie that soothes than a truth that hurts” - Czech Proverb
    “Nothing hurts a new truth more than an old error” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    “Truth indeed rather alleviates than hurts, and will always bear up against falsehood, as oil does above water.” (My favorite) - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra



    :duh:

    Enough said.
     

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