Plans for the Weekend

posted Aug 3, 2012, 10:44 AM by Andrew Stock   [ updated Aug 3, 2012, 10:44 AM ]

This is going to be a busy weekend!  I've piled up so much that I want to do over the past week, but I have been bombarded with work and other obligations... now I have two uninterrupted days in a row coming up... so it's time to get some work done!  Anyway, here's my plans:

1) Continued radiator testing! 

My first round of tests completed, and the results are:

Orientation 1: FANS > RADIATOR |BEVEL| RADIATOR < FANS ... Average Delta T: 1.875F    "Winner!"
Orientation 2: FANS < RADIATOR |BEVEL| RADIATOR > FANS ... Average Delta T: 3.88F
Orientation 3: FANS > RADIATORRADIATOR > FANS ... Average Delta T: 2.05F

... I was actually very surprised. I thought that having the fans blow air into a small area in the center would reduce air flow so much that it would reduce the effectiveness of this setup. Anyway, I decided to proceed with fitting the winning orientation into my case for some measurements when I realized I made a critical mistake when setting up this test... In the tests, I had the two radiators separated by a sheet of aluminum that was suspended between them, allowing air to flow out in any direction... but that setup would not be possible once it's in the case!  The bottom compartment that the radiators will be 'trapped' in would gradually heat up with the expelled air, as only one direction (down) is actually venting air out of the case. The other directions (sides and top) would just vent into that sealed space. What's more, heat rises (duh), so some of the heat expelled out of the case bottom would just be rising right back into the case.  To top that off, I made a slight mis-measurement on how much space I have to work with in the bottom of the case (forgot to consider the space that the screw heads take up, and the bracket holding the radiators up) and that reduced the space I have to work with to only 10mm.  Not much space for airflow. 

Anyway, I have resolved to re-do my testing... this time, I'll be testing it "inside the case" to try and help identify any 'impossible configurations' for this round. Let's see if I get really different results. 

To start off the round of testing, I fabricated a really crude bevel out of some scrap acrylic I had laying around. I'll add some pictures tonight, but it's nothing to write home about.  I then slid the radiator core into the bottom of my partially reassembled case and booted it up for a second round of tests. We'll see what kind of temperatures get generated over this weekend.

2) Case side modifications! Now that I have my design all mocked up in Sketchup, and my tools all in place, it's time to get cutting! I plan on cutting out the two case wall sections and working on how I want to get it all to fit together in the end. The biggest hurdle to jump will be the fact that the triangle window area is 'floating' in the center... you'll notice (from previous pictures) that the design is completely separated from the rest of the case. I plan on using some acrylic (maybe opaque black or something) to bond the strip and window together and to the rest of the case, keeping the whole case wall together. It should be interesting. 

3) Case effect planning! My 'partner in crime' that is programming the Arduino side of things for this case is coming over this weekend so that we can hammer out the details of the lighting effects for the case. The hope is that we come out of the planning sessions with a design for adhering the LED strips and mounting them into the acrylic, as well as cable routing for power and control. 

This should be a very productive weekend. Looking forward to bombarding you all with photos as we progress!  Wish me