Water Station

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Very nice solution to externalize watercooling gear — Jeff Cameron

I decided to build a case to hold my water pump and radiator that would be separate from my computer case. My reason for doing this was twofold – I wanted to

  1. Have the noise of the pump and fans away from my computer, and
  2. Reduce the amount of heat inside the computer’s case.

I made a metal box out of sheet metal using my brother’s metal bender (called a “brake”). The box is 21″ long X 12″ high and 8″ deep. I made the box this size by laying out the internal parts I was going to use and I needed this much space.

Here you can see the finished box:

Done

The radiator is at the end with the fans (one pushing, one pulling air).

Top In

A view looking down into the box.

The power supply is an old 250 watt AT that I had. I used it for providing power to the two fans as well as a future peltier cell. I also tapped into the power supply’s 115 volt terminal to power my pump.

The dimmer switch is to control fan speed/noise but I don’t use it as the fans are almost silent. The tubing is 3/8″ and I used rubber grommets where it passes through the metal. Here you can see

Inside

the terminal block that has 12 and 5 volts connections for my peltier cell. Here is a close up of the terminal block, dimmer etc:

Close

The white PVC reservoir is 6″ and holds my pump. I have a screw-on top that is not in the picture. The radiator is from a Honda Civic that I got at a junkyard.

Top down view of the pump:

Pump

I put in some antifreeze to help kill bugs, but you can see some slime on the lip of the tank. This system has been running for the last 8 months, so I should flush the water out.

The case cover:

Cover

There is blow hole on each side.

Summary

I have had my water station running on my system for the last 8 months without any problems. The water station is about 7 feet away from my computer and is very quiet. I have the power supply in the water station connected to a power bar that I turn on to start my computer, so the pump starts with the computer.

I used a set of brass quick connects from a pressure washer to be able to disconnect the water station from my computer. I am using a Danger Dan Maze 2 water block with the cold plate (but no peltier yet). I have used this setup with my Athlon 1 GHz, my Athlon 1400 and now with my Athlon 1800 XP.

I have a DigiDoc to monitor temps as well as Motherboard Monitor (Abit KG7 Raid). My XP 1800 runs the coolest (I don’t know if I just got a better block/CPU connection or if the XP is running cooler. With the 1 GHz and 1400 T-Birds, I used a shim on the CPU to help support the water block).

I lapped my water block with 800 grit sandpaper and used Arctic Silver. My temps are 2 – 4C over case temps. I usually run around 28 – 30C when websurfing and I have hit 37C after playing Unreal Tournament for several hours. As soon as I stop playing, the temp drops down about 1 degree every 3 – 4 minutes until it is back under 30C.

Any questions on my water station, please send me an email.

Jeff Cameron

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