Further Radiator Planning

posted Aug 13, 2012, 1:11 AM by Andrew Stock   [ updated Aug 13, 2012, 1:11 AM ]
Hello Everyone! 

I had hoped to do some more cutting on the other case wall this weekend... but it was waaayyy too hot outside... so I spent some time designing and planning the innards of my build this weekend instead! I spent a ton of time in sketchup... a good portion of which was spent rebuilding from scratch to get the system properly to scale (and fix some errors I made early on due to my relative inexperience with sketchup... ). I also spent some time putting pieces 'physically' together (like assembling my pump combo and drain system)... but I don't really have any pictures worth sharing of that quite yet. Finally, I finished the second (and more 'scientific') set of radiator tests, and came up with significantly different results! 

This pass through, I used air and water temperature monitoring tools that were accurate to a tenth of a degree (instead of a lousy two degree resolution, with an error margin of 2 degrees... ) and took twice as many samples for a better average. Long story short, the FAN > RADIATOR-RADIATOR > FAN orientation ended up being the best of the three tested... so that's what I am going with! It's actually fortunate that this orientation won, as it gives me a bit more room to play with... having a bevel in the middle and trying to give more air space was very difficult for this size of case. 

Anyway, here's where I am in sketchup now! 

This first shot is an overview... lots of stuff going on here that is new. For starters, I redid the loop order to cut down on clutter somewhat. I think this is the most efficient way it can be done with the space that I have right now... but I'll keep thinking on it. I wanted to avoid tubes 'crossing' as much as possible, because it looks cleaner to me that way... 

I also added some acrylic parts around the radiator... I am planning on making a "U" shaped bracket for both radiators to sit in, and the fan screws will go through the acrylic into the radiator, holding the whole business together. This will also give me a place where I can connect the pump to, as it works out that the pump is almost exactly as wide as these two radiators back-to-back.

I plan on putting some gaskets or something between the acrylic and the pump to help cut down on vibration. It's not very obvious from this shot... but the pumps are suspended over the radiators by about 10mm... that should give it a little airflow, as I understand these pumps can get fairly warm when running at full speed. I took a serious look at grabbing some of those koolance heatsink replacement pump bottoms, but determined I couldn't quite get them to fit in this area unfortunately... they look real nice... 

I also rebuilt the drain system in sketchup, after finding that the 5-way block model I found online was not to scale either...  I scaled the model to make it accurate, but couldn't figure out how to return the g1/4 ports to scale without seriously messing up the model... so that's why they look a little weird. Oh well.  I opted to go with G1/4 extenders instead of tubing here, as the runs were pretty short. I also plan on using a "D Plug" for connecting the drain to the 5-way, so that I could easily remove the radiator from the case to clean it (after it's drained, of course.) One of the caps on top will probably be a thermal sensor, too. 

I've also been toying with the idea of using a "half hexagon" shape to house the front reservoir, rather than the "half cylinder" shape I was using before. I think it plays a little better with the 'angular' features of my case, and it's a heck of a lot easier to fabricate, too. 

This area (the return from the radiators to the reservoir) is a little tight, too. I will have to buy a 30 and 60 degree angle fitting on each end, in addition to using a 90 degree and two compression fittings. I like the tubing in my system (I prefer it over long runs of extenders, anyway), so I think this is the way I will go... but I am not positive yet. 

And here's a few shots of the case all put together as of tonight. Coming together! I still have to do the designs on the front of the case... but that's next!

Thanks everyone!