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A different approach to the radiator..wrong or right?

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Feb 28, 2001
Ive been scouring the local hardware store for an alternative to buying a radiator. Ive found a loose coil of soft copper that comes in 10m lengths and is 10mm (3/8") in diameter for only £9.99 (about $13).

What i was thinking of doing was either

a: Creating a spiral of constant diameter, placing it in a box with open ends of some desciption that will fit inside my tower case and directing air around it using a cone. (the point of the curve sits at the centre of a 120mm fan thus forcing an equal (theoretically) volume of air outwards and over the spiral).

b: Creating a spiral of reducing diameter, again in a box of open ends. The larger diameter beind slighty smaller than 120mm and sitting near the 120mm intake fan, and reducing in diameter as it gets further away.

The concerns i have are..

a: will the lack of fins have a dramatic effect on the cooling. The surface area is less than a radiator with fins but i'm assuming the length of copper (much greater than most radiators ive seen) will counteract this.

b: the diamater of the copper pipe, 10mm (3/8"). This is the same size as my waterblock and tubing. Will it cause a restriction on the flow. I assume not as it will have been restricted by the waterblock and tubing anyway, if this was going to cause a problem.

I'm also toying with the idea of creating an external box to house the spiral/ pump and resevoir and having a 2nd smaller pump flow water over the spiral. This flow of water + a fan should cool the spiral temp further than just air by method of evaporation. If the flow over the spiral is very gentle and slight then the heat from the CPU being disspated via the spiral plus the energy supplied by the fan should cause evaporation to take place.

If youve read this far. Give the man a Cigar :)

Nehooo let me know what you think...
I like your idea. (by the way, I personally prefer descriptive post, than meaningless, TOO concise, obtuse one, I mean:We're here to read for lord's sake).

Maybe, if the cooling effect of the copper tube alone doesn't prove to be enough, add some fins by yourself. Say, maybe you'd enjoy soldering a few tens of thin (1/16) copper or aluminum thins. Everything then we ly on the shoulder of the proper design...
you could always add your own fins to it. But it should work fine. As long as enough air is flowing over the pipes you should be fine. I might go with the cone idea, as it should maximize the air over the pipes.