Radiator Housing Part 2

posted Oct 18, 2012, 6:27 PM by Andrew Stock   [ updated Oct 18, 2012, 6:27 PM ]

First of all, I spent a whole $10 and bought myself a cruddy "already broken" tripod for my camera... but better than nothing!  Hopefully this will cut down on the blurry-cam photos and make it a bit easier to get those high ISO shots in low light. If it weren't already broken, it would be a pretty nice tripod... folds up to about 1 foot long, but the legs all telescope out to a full 4' length. 

Anyway... I received the thick block of acrylic that I mentioned in another post, and I went down and picked up those 'press fit' screw fittings, so I figured I might as well go ahead and assemble the radiator housing! I started out by putting the radiators together loosely to get some measurements for the thick blocks they will be sitting on. 

I measured the blocks out to be about 22mm thick in my case, so I just ran my block of 1" thick acrylic through the table saw a few times... or at least I tried to... but found my table saw had died on me.  To be fair, it was a table from the 1960's and it had served under my grandfather, and then my father (who backed into it with a truck... twice...), and a short while under me... so I do not blame it. Anyway, off to buy a new table saw!

(Yes, it's already completely covered in acrylic dust. I couldn't wait to try it out, not even for a picture. )

Here's the result of that 2 hour and $300 trip to the local hardware store:

Nice and crisp, exactly level. Well worth the investment. Hopefully this one will last as long as the last one. Keeping trucks away from it may help. 

Anyway, I cut the remaining bars. Here's roughly how I plan on laying them out:

I plan on using the router to cut some notches along the middle of each of the bars, so that I can route cables along the bottom, but that will come later when I have the wiring all figured out. Here's what it will look like on the case, more or less. I have the bottom of the case upside-down laying on top of it... so you are looking at the bottom of the case right now:

I need to find a good way to fill those holes in, which were the holes for my prior system that had a 3x120 radiator in the bottom pulling air up through the radiator. I'm thinking I'll just need to find a local supplier of aluminum so that I can get a good sheet of similar thickness, then cut out inserts and 'weld' them in place with some of that weld-on metal putty I have... then just sand them down or something... but yea, that's an experiment for another day. 

Now that I had the blocks cut out, it was time to drill the holes for the inserts on the ends of the block, so that I could fit these guys in there:

So very tiny, and yet so great! Here's the finished product:

And here we are, all put together (with some temporary screws, mind you... still waiting on the MDPC screws...)

And here it is in the bottom of the case:

With the pumps in their bracket:

Back in the case:

One thing I need to figure out is how to cleanly get the wires from the pumps down to the bottom of the radiator housing, where I will likely have a power distribution mechanism of some kind...

And finally, here's some shots of the system with the midplate temporarily installed, to make sure it all fits as expected:

Phew! Just barely. Less than 5mm to spare.  Well... that's all for that part for now. Remaining tasks include sanding the edges to get a nice clean shine, and replacing the temporary screws with some nicer looking MDPC versions, then peeling off the protective backing to see what I ended up with. 

That's all for the major stuff... but I'll leave you with a brief teaser for the next piece I am working on... 

Until next time!