David’s solution for keeping bongs topped up.–David Brown.
Since it is fairly hot where I live, the temps for my T-Bird 700 @ 900 were getting a little too high for my liking (55C+ under load running F@Home) on my KT7-R. This is when I decided to upgrade my cooling from the GORB I was using.
After doing some research in the Overclockers.com forums, I was faced with two choices: high-end aircooling or watercooling. After looking at my options, I decided on watercooling since it was about the same cost as aircooling (at least with what I was planning) and left me with more options for the future (like adding a peltier).
Since I’m a little strapped for cash right now, I decided that I would make a bong cooling tower instead of buying a radiator to go along with the Maze2 and Maxi-jet 1200 pump I ordered. One thing that worried me while I was reading about these towers was the fact that they can lose a significant amount of water due to evaporation.
While I was researching the tower, I was trying to think of something that would sit there passively and whenever the water level in the tower got below a certain point, something that automatically fills the tower back up. The few ideas I had early on were not the best, since they involved a tank that would have to be big, but could not be any higher than the water level in the tower.
Then I remembered a watering method I’d seen for chickens.
Essentially, there was a large airtight reservoir, with several openings near the bottom that led into the watering tray. When the water in the tray went beneath the height of the hole leading to it (due to evaporation, or in this case, thirsty chickens), air would enter into the reservoir allowing some water to exit.
In that way, the water level could be maintained while still having a large amount of water in the reservoir. It is the same idea with a straw when you put your finger over one end. When you do that, air pressure doesn’t allow the liquid in the straw to leave until you take your finger off the end.
In our case, we will install a reservoir (pop bottle) connected to the tower. We will need to put the barb in our tower right where we want the water level maintained, not higher or lower. When the water level in the tower decreases to the point that it is below the barb we installed, air will enter the tubing into the reservoir, allowing a little amount of water to come out. It will continue to do this until the water level has risen above the barb, or until the reservoir empties itself.
For this project, you will need several things:
- Some sort of reservoir, a 1 or 2 liter pop bottle will do fine.
- On/off flow valve;
- A hole in your tower at the level you want water to be maintained at.
The price for all of this should be somewhere around $15, depending on what you have lying around. In any case, it should not cost an arm and a leg.
As you can see from the picture, this is a simple project. (Sorry about not having a real picture, I don’t have a digital camera)
The first thing you need to do is to put a barb in your tower where you want the water level maintained, and another in the bottom of your reservoir.
After that, you need to add the tubing and the on/off valve, and check to make sure that everything is airtight. It is absolutely necessary that the bottle and tubing be airtight so that the only air that can get into it is through the tube from the inside of the tower. If it is not air tight, the reservoir will empty itself into your tower or onto your floor.
Depending on how much water is in your reservoir and where the barb in your tower is, it could potentially overflow the tower and make a big mess. You need the on/off valve so you can refill the bottle without it emptying out the bottom and so you can close it if you have to move your computer around (like to a LAN party).
The last thing to do after that is to mount the pop bottle on the side of the tower. I used duct tape as a temporary method until I take the time to find something that will work better.
Before this mod, I was losing enough water that I had to add a splash every several hours. Now I can go a day or more before I need to worry about checking the water level in my tower (I still need to make it more efficient).
Last of all, for those interested, my temps stay right around 38 C idle and 46 C under load. I am now able to get my T-Bird 700 to 970, where before I could only go to about 927.
So, in conclusion, this a very simple mod that will allow you to go several days before you have to check your water level. I am frequently in the Overclockers.com forums under the nick Hooziewhatsit, so feel free to ask me any questions there or email them to me.