Turnbuckle Mountings for Heatsinks

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With Coppermines becoming more prevalent, mounting a heatsink on a socket 370 mount is more crucial than before due to the small slug size. It is absolutely crucial that the heatsink’s base be absolutely parallel to the face of the CPU. Considering this, for some cooling solutions, conventional heatsink attachments mechanisms leave much to be desired.

This was particularly apparent to me in mounting my AquaStealth’s copper heat exchanger to my CuMine 500E. My first rushed attempt using a slotket and Alpha PFH6035 resulted in a less than perfect fit, with temps increasing accordingly. As I switched to the AquaStealth, the problem compounded due to the large size and weight of the copper cooler relative to the 500E.

After jury-rigging mounting methods which included rubber bands, I searched around for a more permanent method and one which would maintain a fair amount of pressure without breaking off the socket 370’s plastic lugs. One of the best places for finding “off-beat” hardware is the local hobby shop (unfortunately a disappearing breed).

I found something I thought would work – small turnbuckles. Turnbuckles (see pix below) consist of 3 parts – two bolts which screw into a threaded shaft. You can adjust the distance between the two ends by rotating the shaft. This allows incredibly accurate adjustment both for setting a parallel plane and adjusting pressure.

Turnbuckle

These turnbuckles are about 2″ (50 mm) long fully extended and about 1 1/2″ (37 mm) closed. They are made by DU-BRO, catalog #300. Catalog HERE and buy from Hobbyshack or Tower Hobbies..

Turnbuckle

How I used Turnbuckles

The picture below shows how I rigged the turnbuckles to mount the copper cooler to the socket. I used stiff wire to fashion the top and bottom mounting wires. The block of wood is a spacer to make up for the distance and on top is a plastic top-piece fashioned from an unused slot cover. The most intricate part of all this is bending the wires to mount to the socket’s lugs. I wanted to use both the small and large lugs to spread the force over as large an area as possible. It took a couple of trials to get it right, but works fine.

Turnbuckle

This picture shows one side mounted on a slotket with the AquaStealth’s copper heat exchanger. Adjusting the turnbuckles is done by inserting a rigid wire into holes in the side of the turnbuckle’s barrel and turning. The hardest part of this system is mounting each side on the socket. Because the wires are not rigidly mounted, it takes some patience to get everything just right so that the wire attachments to the socket’s lugs line up. Attempting this on a motherboard would be more difficult.

Turnbuckle

I’m sure there are more ingenious ways to secure the turnbuckles to the socket and would be interested in receiving any improvements to my admittedly crude (but effective) implementation.


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