Watercooled single C6100 node build log.

RimBlock

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Sep 18, 2011
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As some people may have read in my "Watercooling the rack" thread, I am gearing up for building a watercooled rack with the pump, res etc all being on the rack side.

As a precursor to this and to get a better feel for watercooling I have decided to do a C6100 node workstation build that will be watercooled. This will be the build log.

I want to thank S0lid for all the hard work he has done on working out how to power the C6100 node outside of the chassis. Check out his threads.

Assests for this build.
A bit of cash (not that much but some to play with).
Some Acrylic pieces (10mm & 6mm sheets and 30mm x 25mm x 25mm blocks).
A CNC mill for cutting the acrylic and possibly some aluminium but still learning to use.
Usual tools (Jigsaw, drill, hammers etc).
Blue and red coolant.
XS-PC waterblocks (x2).
Some standard tubing and connectors.
A small water pump.
2x temp LED screens with probes (one red, one blue).
A mezzanine PCIe x8 convertor.
A USB cable for the USB plug under the PCIe x16 slot.

Current design thoughts...
I always liked the look of the binary liquid explosive in Die Hard (x). Two tubes with different coloured liquid. I am thinking of going this way with two loops (one per cpu) and different colour coolant in each. Of course the downside is that two loops = twice as expensive (roughly)...

I also stumbled across Primochills acrylic tube system allowing you to use acrylic tubes and use heat to bend them then attach with their fittings which also have G 1/4" screws to allow connection to standard watercooling items. The tubes I can get locally and pretty cheaply but the connectors are very expensive. I am currently working on around 12 connectors per loop (including fill and drain ports) which would come to around US$80.

I could make the reservoirs myself if it was not for adding the thread at the top and bottom. I am really not sure how I could go about doing that. I do have a 4th Axis on the CNC but have no experience with creating threads using it.

I am looking at using 2x single 120mm radiators at the back of the case, the two cylinder res will be at the bottom under an acrylic plate which is holding the motherboard. I am not yet decided on placement of any hard drives / ssd or which type of PSU to use and where to place it. I have a very rough sketch but will see if I can do a better one over the weekend.

Things I am looking for...
Dual loop pumps (keeping the loops seperate).
Dual loop radiators (keeping the loops seperate).
Any other suggestions.

I have no plans to add a watercooled video card at this time.

I hope to make this a show piece depending on how well it comes out.

RB
 

RimBlock

Active Member
Sep 18, 2011
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Singapore
Ok, since a dual loop of the type I wanted was looking to come in at around $1k excluding case materials I have scaled back to a single loop to start with and then will add a second look later.

Parts list just ordered.

Swiftech MCP35X 12v PWM Controlled Water Pump - White 1
XSPC AX120 Single 120mm Radiator w/ Aluminum Enclosure - White 1
Bitspower Water Tank Z-Multi 400 Inline Reservoir - Clear (BP-WTZM400AC-CL) 1
Phobya Y Cable Splitter - 3-Pin to 4x 3-Pin - White 1
BitFenix Spectre All White 120mm PWM Fan (BFF-SCF-P12025WW-RP) 1
PrimoChilll 1/2" OD Rigid Revolver Compression Diamond Knurled Fittings - 10 Pack - White 1
PrimoChilll 1/2" OD Rigid Revolver Compression Diamond Knurled Fittings - 4 Pack - White 1
Monsoon Hardline Pro Full Bending Kit - 3/8 x 1/2 (13mm) 1
White Illuminated Vandal Resistant "Momentary" Switch - 22mm - Black Housing - Ring Illumination 1
M3-0.5 x 6mm Socket Head Screws - Aluminum - Anodized Blue 4-Pack 5

Theme will be blue, clear acrylic with blue/white lighting, frosted acrylic, and maybe even some fake ice cubes in the res ;)
 

RimBlock

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Sep 18, 2011
825
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Singapore
Well after a bit of investigation, it seems that powder coating may be an option.

Current thoughts are to have a ice white/blue milled alu tray with milled legs and the res hung center below it.

Powder coating at home looks pretty easy for small parts but will probably have to send the tray part out as I am unlikely to be able convice the wife to allow a baking oven to be installed in our fairly small (by US standards) apartment.

There are some interesting powder options including mirror, chrome, pearl, heat sensitive. Small parts I can do at home with a toaster oven including things like motherboard standoffs, cable clips and covers, possibly the PSU case, legs for the unit, res holding brackets etc.
 

RimBlock

Active Member
Sep 18, 2011
825
27
28
Singapore
Ok, some items have arrived.

The items


Compression fittings for acrylic pipe.


Swiftec pump (with fittings)


Single fan rad.


Res, white ring anti-vandel switch and fan splitter.


I am currently working on the motherboard plate. I have milled an indentation and have got the mounting peg holes drilled all with the CNC mill. I am now setting out the cable holes for SATA, front panel and power cables.

I am using 5mm acrylic for a test piece. I will then use 10mm acrylic for a acrylic build and will then move to a 100 aluminium plate powder coated with white with a blue glaze giving a pearlesant blue sheen. I have also seen some interesting heat sensitive powders that would be interesting for a possible future build.

Blue pearlesant


Heat reactive
[video=youtube;yUGbV9Mp2gU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUGbV9Mp2gU[/video]
 

RimBlock

Active Member
Sep 18, 2011
825
27
28
Singapore
All the parts for the watercooling are here now.

I still need to get a few plugs / sockets / sleaving etc for the electronics.

I have finally done a design, sketch on paper, that I actually like two days running. It involves a fair few curves though which is really best done with bending around formers rather than milling which would be very expensive. I am also still trying to work out what to do about the video card (or just to leave it out) as a decent one covers around half the motherboard and so would make it difficult to manage the piping. It I had the card vertical then it would interfer with where I was looking to have the rad.

I am also tempted to see if I can add some texture to the motherboard plate around where the MB sits, sort of like a snow drift or something like that.

The next step is probably to better draw out the design and then to try and transfer it to DesignSpark which will be a whole new challenge.

RB
 

RimBlock

Active Member
Sep 18, 2011
825
27
28
Singapore
I am currently modelling the watercooling parts so I can sort out the layout in DesignSpark.

The pump is done and so is the compression fitting. I hope to have the rad res and a few other bits done today and then I can start placing stuff and working out the brackets and structural parts.

The placement of a video card has proved to be problematic. For a good, fairly high end card, it will stretch over the middle positioned CPU in horizontal. This means it will block the piping for the watercooling. if it is mounted vertically it will interfere with where I would like the rad to go so I will probably mount it under the motherboard using a shielded ribbon cable which will be hidden away in a housing of come sort.

This then means I cannot place the long res there so I may have to place that coming out to one side. I will probably use a 1U PSU with standard cabling (rather than requiring a hot swap board). They are pretty cheap second hand but the unknown factor is the noise. If it is too bad I may have to look for another model or build in some sort of baffle. I am currently looking at the following models. I do appreciate I may have to look at other units if I do include a fairly decent PSU but at this time it is not decided whether I will as it will depend on cashflow.

Ablecom PWS-561-1H 560w
Ablecom 420 Watt SP423-1S
Gigabyte PoweRock 500W (ATX size but has connectors for video cards).

RB
 

RimBlock

Active Member
Sep 18, 2011
825
27
28
Singapore
Some basic cad images.

I am not modelling all the details or the threads etc as they will make no difference to me. These are purely basic models for component placement. All rendering is done within DesignSpark Mechanical and is very basic as it is for 3D design and not for photo realism.

Compression fitting for acrylic pipe.


Swiftech MCP35X pump (modelled in two parts so I could potentially design alternative pump tops if I decided to model the inside.


XSPC single fan radiator.


RB