Welcome to my Vertical Station Completed thread. The build log is right above this post. But there might be folks linked directly into this post, who may not want go thru the entire build log, so I will have a few introductory pics summarizing the build.
The whole concept of this build revolved around hinging together panels of pegboard to provide a structure to mount my various components.
The structural panels were made with ¼” thick gray acrylic with laser cut pegboard holes, and I custom fabricated mounting units for all the components:
The leftmost panel holds my radiator, pump and reservoir for my graphics card.
The second panel holds the same units, but for the cpu.
The third panel houses my 5.25 bay, switch panel, and some storage shelves.
The rightmost panel holds the motherboard and hard drives.
The locking hinged panels allow me to choose whatever configuration I want the panels in.
Ultimately I chose a semi-circle arrangement, so that the unit would fit on my table.
(Self advertisement, if anyone is interested in a shroud-box, I have a few ready to go, and I can custom fabricate based on their design, shoot me a pm).
The shroud boxes are each fabricated from a sandwich of components:
The end plates were made from laser cut steel and powdercoated in a matte black, and interface with fans (top plate) and the radiator (bottom plate). The box is made from ⅛” acrylic.
Put together, they give space between the fans and the radiator to theoretically improve flow, especially in the “wind shadow” of the fan motor housing.
Unmounted from the panels, here is what each radiator unit looks like:
On the push side, I’ve got 3 Yate Loon low speed 38mm thick fans. The shroud box is particularly deep, because I wanted the fans internally mounted within the box, to give it a cleaner look at the front side.
On the pull side, I’ve got 3 Yate Loon low speed 25mm fans. I keep all the fans running at about 780rpms, about as loud as I want them.
Here you can see the backside of the radiator units, when mounted:
I’ll put in 2 comments. It took a thorough cabling job to keep this area neat (each unit has 6 fans, 1 pump, and 2 temp probes).
Second, at the bottom of each radiator, I added a tap for bleeding each loop:
Pump and reservoir duties were assigned to a pair of Swiftech Maelstroms, sporting MCP35x pumps.
These units worked great, and were nearly flawless. One unit did have a wire caught under one of the pump mounts, causing a tiny leak. But the unit was easily disassembled and the problem fixed.
Altho made for standard 5.25 bay mounting, I put mine on some custom brackets:.
The top temp probe is from the unit itself, within the reservoir (ie after returning from the block). The lower temp probe is in the exit port of the radiator (ie after the radiator has removed heat).
Also, if you haven’t already noticed, I’m running Mayhem’s Aurora Supernova.
Definitely hard to capture on pic, but I will devote a section to my experience later on down this thread. No doubt, super pretty fluid.
The next panel to the right of the radiator units is the panel with my 5.25 bays, switch panel, and some storage shelves:
Focusing in on the top portion, I’ve got my 5.25 bay and switch panel:
The 5.25 bay unit is really just a standard benching station 3 bay rack mounted to ¼” red acrylic with some brackets to stick it to pegboard:
It is currently housing my Lamptron touch controller, and 2 optical drives.
The Lamptron is real nice, allowing for good control of 6 channels, hi watts. I put all fans to about 780 rpms, and my 2 pumps to 3000 rpms.
Channel 1: CPU pump
Channel 2: CPU fan intake bank
Channel 3: CPU fan exhaust bank
Channel 4: GPU pump
Channel 5: GPU fan intake bank
Channel 6: GPU fan exhaust bank
In addition to the Lamptron, I’ve got a Blu Ray burner and a DVD burner, both Lite-Ons I believe.
The switch panel holds my Power-on button with a white circle LED indicator for power, and a Reset button with a red dot LED for HDD activity. Next to it is a set of ports for e-sata, USB 3.0, and audio (the unit is from Lian Li).
The unit itself was crafted from a single piece of ⅛” red acrylic, quadruple-folded into the C profile.
Started its life as a flat sheet:
Four folds later:
Since the whole thing is still made from translucent plastic, I did keep all the many cables running from this structure bundled with corrugated tubing and heatshrink.
The bottom half of this panel has some shelving units:
My plan is to store my camera, phones, etc. on these shelves. There are holes to allow for USB cables to pass thru--I plan on mounting a USB hub on the backside of this panel.
And finally, to my last panel, my piece de resistance, the motherboard panel:
The top portion of this panel holds my motherboard, with all of its cables and watercooling lines.
The bottom holds space for 6 hard drives (3.5”).
The mobo tray itself is a really pretty component:
It hangs on the panels with a tool free mechanism.
The panels behind are carved out to let cables pass thru, which then mate to the various clamps and organizers on the mobo tray itself. I used a set of Maxfinder braided cabling.
I tried to keep my watercooling lines as simple as possible.
From the front, you’ve got 2 parallel lines each to the cpu and gpu, coming from bulkhead fittings set within the pegboard panels. I’ve got a mix of Monsoon and Bitfenix fittings.
I also decided to go with the inverted motherboard because this system will ultimately sit on a table to the left of my desk--so I wanted all of my i/o cables coming off the end of the whole panel structure.
The graphics card is a evga GTX 680, cooled with a full coverage EK block and backside plate.
Man, how purty is that Mayhem’s fluid?
Lower down, I’m again using an EK supremacy block.
I had exactly ZERO difficulties working with the EK products. Of course, the aesthetics are a matter of (fairly hotly debated) personal preference. They work for me. The gpu and cpu blocks sit about 20 inches from my face, so I wanted to go with something interesting and unique to catch my eye, and they are that.
Below the motherboard, I’ve stashed my hard drives:
Hard drives are mounted pretty simply--they mount to a ⅛” red acrylic bracket with a 90 degree bend. The bracket then mounts (with rubber grommets if needed) to any 2 pegboard holes.
I’ve got my drives spots all lined up like soldiers, but really, I could hang a drive anywhere I wanted, with an appropriate pass thru hole for cables, and long enough cables.
Speaking of cables, I’ve found it easier to go ahead and pre-wire my drive spots with both power and data--which is why you see a bunch of empty connector heads. That way, changing in hard drives is as easily popping the drives on to the brackets and attaching leads.
Right now I’m sporting a 240gb Vertex 3 and a WD 1Tb.
I was trying for a strange blend of simplistic yet sophisticated, out-in-the-open but also structured, practical, but with a definite aesthetic.
I think that perhaps the first thing that sticks out are the watercooling lines. Again, I’m running 2 completely separate loops.
At first, I just ran lines to where they needed to be, but there was a definite disorganized look, which is really a problem unique to this caseless build.
In the end, I put together a cable clip from ¼” clear acrylic, which cinched the tubing into a sort of X organization.
Tucked back here, in a nice central location is my powersupply:
It took a fair bit of work to keep the cables clean, even being modular:
In this picture, running between these 2 panels are cables for 20 pin ATX, 4 pin ATX, 2xPCI-e video card cables, power for 6 Sata hard drives, data cables for 6 Sata hard drives, power for 2 optical drives, data for 2 optical drives, power for the fan controller, plus 4 temp probes, e-sata cable, 2 USB 3.0 cables, power switch, reset switch, power LED, HDD activity LED,
To keep things bundled and clean I used a fair bit of techflex split weave.
Swiftech Maelstrom pump → drops down into Alphcool Monsta radiator → crosses over to bulkhead fitting behind motherboard panel → flows to block → flows away from block back to bulkhead → long line back to Swiftech Maelstrom.
I specifically used bulkhead fittings on the motherboard panel, because it really isolates the lengths of tubing seen from the front:
That way, if I want to change the aesthetics of my tubing, I really only need to change these 4 short lengths up front.
Regarding fittings and stuff:
For areas highly visible, I used a mix of Monsoon compression fittings, and Bitspower rotary and compressiong fittings.
On the backside, I got a little cheaper and went with standard Dangerden barb fittings with worm-drive clamps.
For my tubing, I used a combo of masterkleer and clearflex, all ½” ID, ¾” OD. I mixed it up because, well I ran out of masterkleer. (More on that later).
I decided to give Mayhem’s Aurora (Supernova) a try. This is an expensive concentrate that throws some sort of shiny semi-viscous material in the loop.
I have to say, it looks fantastic!
The pictures do not really do it justice (note for other folks trying it out--in order to photograph it you must use a flash or flash-level lighting).
Video does a little better job, again super strong contrast lighting necessary:
Coupla other videos if you are interested:
Its definitely neat to look over into the tubing and see actual movement--in fact I can guess what rpms my pump is set to merely by watching the movement.
Now the downside (or maybe otherside) of Mayhem’s Aurora:
1) Lasts only about a week. Where does the additive go? I don’t know. Judging by the warnings on the Aurora FAQ, you might think it would collect in my drain nipple. But I tried draining a little, and the viscous component was not there!
2) On the other hand, a full draining, and second flush thru, and I recovered a lot of the viscous component. Enough so, that a little addition of concentrate and I could re-fill my system and it would look just as new.
3) My loops hold approximately 1.1 L of fluid, and one bottle of concentrate was fine.
4) The fluid definitely reacts with certain tubings. Clearflex tubing at about 2 weeks had developed a semi opaque, slightly green coating. This is not mentioned for Aurora fluids, but it is mentioned to occur with Mayhem’s Pastels, presumably a reaction to plasticisizers in the tubing. At 2 weeks, Masterkleer tubing remained completely clear.
2) Added a pci-e e-sata card, to which I hooked up my optical drives, freeing up some more native ports for more hard drives.
3) The tubing to my evga gtx 680 has been changed, to accomodate sli.
I briefly dropped my zotac gtx 680, stock air cooled, to make sure the 2 were compatible, but I ran into some serious alarm beeping.
However, then my wife's xfx 7970dd starting fritzing, so I had to move the zotac to her system.
So the sli process has been derailed temporarily.
Well Navig to return to the building of things here is a quick look at the beginning of my new build project! I hope you will like it, no way as good as yours but my enjoyment is in the making and building things etc! After running them for a while i tend to get bored and start looking for something to do lol! Respect AJ.