Water-Cooled Borg Cube, Part 3: Reservoir

aka Bob is assimilated by his Borg Cube...

I've chosen to add a reservoir not because I think it'll work any better (many systems do without), but because I've come to view the reservoir as a key piece of the overall aesthetic picture. I like the idea of a viewports that glows from the reservoir and shows some of the splashy water circulation. I wish this reservoir would come close to the Aqua Computer reservoir I've pictured below, but it is not to be.

Aqua Computer Reservoir with Fill Port

I'm working from a DangerDen reservoir. BTW, the silly thing is so small that unless you put a sponge in it, the inlets are very close together and the air just goes round and round instead of accumulating at the top of the res.

I did create an integrated mounting bracket for the pump and reservoir from plexiglass. I'll also be mounting a relay and wiring the pump to it. The relay will be operated by 12V molex, and will turn on the pump whenever the computer is turned on.

Here are a couple pix of the reservoir almost completed. I think it looks like the reactor circulation pump thingey that the Horta stole on Star Trek!

Here is the approximate position it will occupy inside the BorgCube. Note sponge in reservoir.

You can see a little better how it is constructed from the top. I'll stick the relay above the pump.

There's still a bit left to do. I have to wire up the relay I mentioned. I hate the idea of mounting the pump with cable ties, but there's no room between the pump body and bracket to work with any kind of screws. Also, I need to put some neoprene or other cushion between the pump and the bracket to quiet any vibration. The reservoir will actually be mounted hanging slightly off the side. This is another boneheaded thing I failed to see until too late. The barb position on the reservoir gives me a bad angle back to the CPU block if the res stays aligned with the bracket. Didn't see this until the bracket was made. Really, I should've created a little pad on the left for it to sit on. Also, I cracked the pump when tightening the elbow fitting (even just finger tight was too much for it), so I had to apply a bunch of Goop to seal it. The upshot is that sucka ain't changing angles anytime soon!

Danger Den Reservoir and Bubbles

DD Res needs a sponge to get rid of bubbles...

These DD reservoirs look cute, but they end up being too small for a 1/2" system with powerful pump. Basically, the bubbles in the system get sucked into the inlet too easily, and just keep swimming around the system. A number of folks have posted complaints about this on [H]ard OCP. There are two solutions to this problem. First, insert a little coarse sponge. Most aquarium pumps come with one. The bubbles get hung up in the sponge and make their way to the top. Second, "burp" the system. Let it run for a minute. Shut down the pump. Lift the various components to shoo the bubbles up into the reservoir, add more fluid to the reservoir, and repeat as often as necessary to cut down the bubbles. The Water Wetter is kind of soapy, and will encourage foam in the system too if you don't take these steps. The system is running in the photo above and there are no bubbles to be seen.

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All material 2001-2006, Robert W. Warfield.