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The quiet diary

April 2000

April 15th 2000 (tax day)

I visited a fish store today and asked some questions about pumps and tubing. They suggested I go to a marine supply store, a spa/hot tub supply store, or a well sorted hardware store. They did have two pumps (one I recognized even :) When explaining my plans they also told me that the overflow drain would almost certainly make noises. I had suspected this myself, but I was hoping to get around it by angling the overflow drain 30 degrees or so. Maybe I will just skip the dual tank idea and just split the output from the pump directly instead. Hmm, perhaps I can make a hybrid system. I think I will revise my plans a bit:
In the above design I try to make sure that there is no back-flow and that each computer at least gets some water flow by putting the water supply line a above the computer itself. This might not be necessary, and I kind of hope I don't have to because it's a lot easier to just put all the tubing on the floor. The drawback with this design is that it requires one radiator per computers, and radiators seem to cost $30-$40. One possible alternative would be to use a large metal container to store the water in, the metal would conduct the heat to the outside of the container and if it is big enough the heat would dissipate before the water is goes back into the computers again. Actually, when I think about it the container doesn't have to be metal at all, as long as it is big enough and not actually insulates the water. Maybe I can borrow the unused 10 gallon fish tank that Monica has downstairs? :)

April 10th 2000

I've been continuing my research. It looks like I can find a lot of the stuff I need from aquarium supply vendors on the web. For instance, Aquadirect seems to have a wide variety of pumps to choose from. Kind of makes it hard to choose. I think I will call my favorite fish store to get a recommendation.. :)

Now I guess i should start a shopping list of what I need:

Probably in several different sizes.
Water containers
the 'lower tank' can be any waterproof container, but the 'upper tank' needs holes and connectors in places. I will probably have to drill the holes myself, so what I really need is some easy-to-mount connectors.
A Pump
The pump has to be quiet and have run enough water to keep the 'upper tank' full at all times. I can possibly use two pumps to get better reliability and more water flow...
Unless I find something else I will buy these from 3dcool or Overclockers Hideout.
Hopefully I can find some sort of connectors that I can mount in the back of my computers so i can connect and disconnect them from the water supply easily. Wonder if there is a good hardware store online?

It was also pointed out to me that I will probably need to add chlorine or copper tablets or something to the water to prevent green stuff from starting to grow in there. I haven't seen anything about this on other watercooling sites, maybe people just ignore that problem?

April 9th 2000

I have done some research and found lots and lots of people who made their own waterjackets for their water cooling needs. However, when it comes to buying waterjackets and other water cooling needs the choices seems to be very limited. The only place I've found that seems to have some of the stuff I need is 3dcool.com. I guess I could get one of their Aquastealth packages to start experimenting with, but it's a bit pricey and uses a fan... Still, it would probably be a good way to get started... Ah, wait a minute... Just found a place called Overclockers Hideout. They seem to have some interesting stuff too. Too bad that they suck at making websites. Wonder which is better: copper or aluminum water blocks? Also, I think I like the MAG-DRIVE utility pump displayed on this page, seems like a quiet and powerful pump.

I also feel that I should try to explain why the design from yesterday uses two water tanks instead of just feeding the water from the pump directly to the computers. The reason for this is that I want to make sure that each cpu gets equal water pressure regardless of water resistance. I am not sure this will actually work, or work better than just trying to balance the water resistance between the computers, but I will do some experimenting... An alternative solution would be some sort of pressure valve that splits the water from the pump into several water flows with equal pressure, I believe such a contraption is possible, but I don't know where to get one. I would also like to find some sort of connectors for the water tubing so that I can connect and disconnect the computers from the central water flow. I really have to get in touch which some hardcore aquarium buffs, they might know more about this stuff. :)

April 8th 2000

I have three noisy computers in my home office, and I am currently planning to add a dual-cpu computer to the collection. To avoid going nucking futs I have started planning how to get rid of all those noisy cpu fans. As you may (or may not) know there is a lot of people out there on the web who have applied water cooling to their CPUs for overclocking purposes, but so far nobody has made a water cooling system that focuses on being *quiet*.

So far, all I have is a plan. The plan looks like this:

The basic concept is to use one water pump to cool all my computers. Since all the computers are located in one room that shouldn't be a big problem. (unless I stumble over the water tubing... :) The pump will pump water from a water tank located on the floor through an (optional) radiator to an upper water tank located on a shelf in my closet. Gravity will pull water from that tank through the water jackets in each of my computers and back into the lower tank. An overflow drain will lead any excess water from the upper tank back into the lower tank. There will be no fans anywhere in the system. With most of the heat from the cpu coming out of the computer box I can hopefully slow down the case fans to make them less noisy.

So far, all I have is a plan, now I will go research what materials I need and where to get them. If somebody out there happens to know, feel free to send a line to me. I will add to this page as the project proceeds, if it does...

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