External Watercooling Enclosure


[H]F Junkie
Dec 20, 2000
Well, I'm not a big fan of keeping a worklog, but I figure I can post some pics after each day's work (Hopefully there will only be a couple more days). I don't have a good picture of the box from the beginning, but I'll show you where it's at now:

First I cut a hole out so that I could pull air through the heatercore:

I bought some window molding that will go around the edges.

Next I cut out the holes for the 2 120mm fan and installed them:

I think the fan grills are pretty neat. I got them from SVC. (Note, I didn't install the heatercore because I'm going to be attaching it permenantly to the side of the box, but I'm going to be painting the box, so I'll wait on the heatercore)

After that, I cut a hole for the power switch and pushed it in:

The bad pics are because I took them on my camara phone :-p

Last for today was the power connector. I cut the hole and screwed it into place:

Again, I know, bad pic. But when it's all done I'll use a nice camara to capture it...

So here's what it looks like at the end of the day:




I still need to put together a Rheostat to control the fans, as they are rather noisy when doing 110CFM a piece, and put in the power LEDs. I'm thining a "Nightrider" type mod with 10 or so green LEDs at the bottom would be really cool. I was going to put a parallel LCD in the front, but my LCD seems to have decided not to work since the last time I messed with it. Next workday (tomorrow, or most likely Sunday) will consist of getting the reservoir put together and placing all of the watercooling components.

All in all it was a pretty productive day. Except for the really bad sunburn. Stupid Oregon sun! I miss the rain :( Let me know what you think and any suggestions you have. This "worklog" is really to keep me on my toes and actually trying to get this thing done soon...

EDIT: Oh, here are the watercooling components I'm going to be using:
Looks nice, I'm interested to see the final product, although I plan to keep my h20 inside the case.
Got some parts in today, but with complications. I guess I clicked the wrong barbs, and I decided to go with thicker walled tubing, so it was pretty much a useless order. Except for the hose clamps, those are pretty nice...
Here's an update:

I've got the cooling phase 100% completed. I'm waiting on a shipment of fittings and a reservoir from Danger Den and then I'll be able to do the plumbinh phase. The 2 120mm fans are powered by an AC/DC adapter in there. They pull about 100CFM apiece through the heatercore mounted on the otherside. Here are some pics:




Doh, it looks like the original pics were deleted. I'll see if I can't get 'em back
Another update. I got the pump and pump relay installed today. I have one last shipment to come in from MC-Master. UPS "should" be delivering that today. That will contain the hosebarbs for my reservoir and rubber grommets for the 4 holes I need to cut. That also means I need to make a trip the HW store and buy a 1 3/8" holesaw. Hope they have that guy there. Sucks livin' in the sticks... Well, here are some pictures. I should be able to update this tomorrow with the completed system.

Top view of the pump installed. When I get the holesaw and grommets, the tubing will be going out the back of the case.

Here's the relay that turns the pump and fans on when the switch is flipped.

Here's the AC/DC adapter that powers the fans and switches the relay
this has potential to be good, and it has potential to be horrible. lets hope it isnt the latter ;)
Wow, so you're using the negative pressure generated by the fans to pull air through the heatercore on the opposite side of the case? Damn. Hope you seal up the top lid good. Let us know how that works out as opposed to mounting the fans directly on the heatercore.
The lid sits on it really well. And then my computer will sit on top of that pushing it down. I put bondo on all the corners so it's decently airtight. I was going to put a foam hardner to finish it off, but from my tests, the fans pull a lot of air through the heatercore. I put a piece of paper on the side and it got half sucked in, so I'm gonna say that's decent enough :). I got the rest of my parts today, but low and behold my drill is completely dead. So now I'm waiting for it to charge so that I can do the 4 holes and mount everything.
I am finished! I will take pics this weekend. Here are my temps:

Idle: 25C
Full Load: 32C

I'd say it was a success. Especially considering it used to idle at 40C and load at 62C
Excellent job. This is a great example of how you don't have to mess with your current case to have a really good water cooling setup. Hopefully this will get lots of looks and answer some questions many people have about building their own external boxes.
Maximus825 said:
Hey, I see you're from Portland, have you gona to PDXLAN?

Yep, I have gone to 2 of the 3. The very first one in the summer of 2003 and then the January one of this year. I was out of town for the one this summer or else I would have been there. Have you ever been? If not, definitely check it out, it's a good time.
Yeah, I've been to all three of 'em. I'm Stiffler on the forums, if you ever post on there....
Maximus825 said:
Yeah, I've been to all three of e'm. I'm Stiffler on the forums, if you ever post on there....

I haven't posted on there in a while, been sort of inactive since the one in January, and I think I'll be out of town for the next big one :( I have posted in the past under Legoloss, and way back when I went on there more I saw you on a lot.
Deadlierchair said:
I haven't posted on there in a while, been sort of inactive since the one in January, and I think I'll be out of town for the next big one :( I have posted in the past under Legoloss, and way back when I went on there more I saw you on a lot.

Hey very cool. Small world.. :) You gonna make sure that you're in town for not only the next one, 4.05, but the one after that, 5.05. PDXLAN 5.05 is gonna be 1000 people at the Expo Center. Gonna be SWEET!
How did you go about determining the size of your external box? What type of metal is it made from and how is it bent. Thanks for the info. BTW the system looks great.