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DPete27
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Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:59 pm

New project, stuff a PC inside a fire extinguisher. For pre-planning, I need some help/advice. First off, here's what the "Phister No 1" fire extinguisher looks like (6.5" x 15"):
Image
***I'd like to run the pressure dial off some stat of the PC. Perhaps the temp of the CPU or GPU, since they fluctuate, but not rapidly. Does anyone have an idea of how I can accomplish this? I can probably shoehorn the existing dial into whatever I need, but I'm not sure how to get signal to run an analog dial like this.

I will also incorporate one of the other handles/knobs on the top as the power/reset for the PC. I already have experience with that.

Tentative parts list:
Ryzen 5 2600X
The stock cooler should fit, otherwise Reeven Brontes with a 92mm x 25mm fan
Gigabyte B450i The mobo will protrude 1/2" out the back of the tank. Unfortunate consequence of the size of the tank, but I need a cutout in the back anyway. The mobo will be in the bottom half of the tank.
SFX PSU TFX PSU located in top half of tank.
EVGA GTX1060 located in top half of tank, display wires routed out of the tank at the mobo level.
RAM, M.2 SSD, and there will be room for a 3.5" hdd also.
I can fit a 120mm case fan in the bottom blowing up. The top will be vented [somehow].
The fire extinguisher will serve as a shell that's slid over top of the PC.
Last edited by DPete27 on Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:22 pm

Liquid cooling? Be neat with liquid cooling.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:23 pm

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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:29 pm

If you can fit a small servo into the dial housing, you could drive the pointer with a USB servo controller.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:30 pm

the wrote:
Liquid cooling? Be neat with liquid cooling.


Would be ironic without it, in fact.

Very cool project.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:52 pm

A 120mm AIO rad doesn't fit inside the radius of the canister. The reservoir(s) are too big. The high air resistance of a rad is also not ideal for using that one fan to blow air through the whole canister. I need velocity so that the GPU fan isn't eating its own excrement.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:49 pm

Since your motherboard would be going across the widest point (the center), that leaves you with less than the radius to work with if a GPU is coming off the board at 90 degrees. Unless I'm interpreting the dimensions wrong, you'll need to use liquid cooling (for both) and an x16 ribbon/riser for your GPU, with the GPU positioned vertically, parallel to the motherboard.

If it were me, I'd probably put the extinguisher on top of a small slotted wooden crate stand, with a sturdy pole/post attached to the stand for mounting everything. The radiator could go underneath/inside the crate, and it would also hide all the wiring coming out the bottom. Depending on how much room you have left, you could also run some ducting out the bottom for the PSU exhaust (possibly with a fan at the end of it to help pull the air through).
 
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:55 pm

DPete27 wrote:
A 120mm AIO rad doesn't fit inside the radius of the canister. The reservoir(s) are too big. The high air resistance of a rad is also not ideal for using that one fan to blow air through the whole canister. I need velocity so that the GPU fan isn't eating its own excrement.
Would you be willing to either perforate the bottom inch or so, or jack the thing up on small legs (with the entire bottom a mesh), so you could do a bottom-to-top chimney effect for your cooling air? With that kind of a setup you might be able to stick a small rad at the top (maybe just liquid cool one of the CPU or GPU) and use the dial to monitor the pump pressure or liquid temp.

Alternatively you could run rads vertically up the back side of the cylinder and exhaust that way, still drawing air from below. But that would require considerably more (difficult and/or undesirable) metal surgery on the walls of the tank.

Whatever you do, you need to have those valves do something -- crank up the fans, or the CPU clock, or something.
 
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:09 pm

Using the hose knob for a fan controller could be fun (open the knob for more airflow). I'm not sure what the red lever/knob on the right side does, but I might be able to fashion that into the power button instead. The T-handle acts like a bicycle pump to pressurize the tank and is currently approximately as long as the tank is tall, that's gonna have to get cut off and welded stationary in the contracted position (as shown) unfortunately. I can't have that thing taking up space inside the tank.

Water cooling is out.

Still looking for a solution to that pressure dial to read temps. Maybe it's something as simple as this?
Image
If I have to go that route, I want something with a smaller thermocouple that I can glue right to the heatsink very close to the CPU, and perhaps the ability to calibrate the dial travel to the expected temperature ranges though. Which I think would require it to be powered.
Preferably, the dial would take its readings from the mobo readings though. I feel like that's more elegant and accurate. How do the LN2 overclockers do it? Unfortunately, no mITX boards have pinouts on them for this like some of the "OC" boards of past generations had.
Last edited by DPete27 on Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:28 pm

This'll be cool. :)

Would a 120mm radiator fit vertically (blowing horizontally)? It'd take plates blocking the bottom of the exhaust chamber and top of the intake chamber, but that shouldn't be too difficult. That may make wiring extremely tight and not leave any space at all for the 3.5" drive, though.

Chimney effect will work better if you can put more of the heat production low in the case, but that may leave other components soaking in more heat than they ought to. I wouldn't rely strictly on the chimney effect either way, but the case fan might be able to spend a lot more time not spinning than it otherwise would.
 
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:00 pm

Maybe you can do something like this... Geek Mod Analog CPU Display
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:25 pm

DPete27 wrote:
I'm not sure what the red lever/knob on the right side does

That's an ancient carbon tetrachloride extinguisher. The red knob is the air valve to repressurise the unit after discharge and refill with carbon tet.

Just looking at the price of well-preserved examples on FleaBay turning it into a case, while cool, may not be for the best from a financial perspective.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:38 pm

The one I'm getting carries a $25 asking price. I definitely considered flipping it. I will absolutely be mocking the build inside a PVC or cardboard tube before I touch the extinguisher, just in case everything doesn't fit as expected (I did mock up the whole thing in CAD though).

Also, I was racking my brain for the memory I have of a 5.25" bay controller with triple analog gauges from back in the day. Couldn't find that, but what I did find was the Apevia X-Cruiser which has gauges just like the ones I'm hunting for....so they do exist. There are probably similar gauges available in the automotive arena, as long as I can feed them the power they need...
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:06 am

If the pressure gauge is still functional you could control it with a small plug into a cigarette lighter socket air compressor. They tend to be quite noisy, but you would not need to run it for very long to boost the reading. Just toggle it on and off at preset temperatures.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:45 pm

Any ideas on what amount of air movement I might need (CFM)? I'm now looking at an i5-8600K (AM4 boards have their 8-pin CPU power plug too close to the back) and the aforementioned GTX1060.

There are a couple factors in play as I see it:
The entire cylinder is only .26 cubic feet in volume (6"x16")
A 120mm case fan with a pedestrian 60 CFM pushes the air from one end to the other in about 1/4 of a second.
A 92mm case fan with ~30 CFM pushes the air from one end to the other in about 1/2 of a second
The single ~92mm GPU/CPU fan would be roughly in the 30CFM range also. Pushing more than that past each respective fan simply means the fan can't grab all the air moving past it...so anything more than that is just air that the fan(s) can't use anyway...right?
Anything less CFM than what the GPU/CPU fan can push means that hot air is recycled back through the fan since there's little/no void space to work with.

Sound about right?

I need to perforate the top of the fire extinguisher to allow air out, so the less air that goes in, the less holes I have to make. Right now, it's looking like the best way to let air out is by perforating the pump shaft.

....how would I determine required exhaust area? Assuming a 92mm fan that can push 35cfm @ 0.33psf?
Using Bernoulli's equation, I'm coming up with 9.76in2 of exhaust area required....that's a lot more than I can provide. :(
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:58 pm

Perforating the pump shaft really isn't going to allow much flow. A fan like this could make it work passably, but that one running at full speed isn't exactly nice on the ears (or even tolerable).

Any old 1200-1500 RPM 120mm fan should be fine if you can perforate a majority of the top surface. As you were considering, making the case airflow higher than the CPU/GPU airflow should be worth something, but I wouldn't consider it essential. I would go for a pressure-oriented fan regardless (as if for a radiator or similar) and overspec it a bit so you can turn up the RPM if it seems like a good idea later.
 
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:49 pm

Oooh. Yeah, that's a bit too far on the extreme, but I realize that going for a high pressure fan is essential if I'm going to have any hope at success. I don't need it to push all of its rated airflow into the case. I just need it to generate enough pressure to push enough out through the restricted area of vents at the top to give the GPU the airflow it needs.

Then the question arises of how much airflow overkill is too much? Most fans, even high static pressure ones, suffer the same fate against radiators....
I'm gonna have to measure the actual opening area (minus the fins) on my 120mm AIO aren't I?
....obviously as the delta between actual flow and rated flow increases, the fan noise also increases, and I'm betting that most companies take their noise measurements with zero airflow restrictions in front of and behind the fan.

So far I've got 2.1 square inches of "natural" openings in the top that I can take advantage of. Instead of solving for vent area, I'm going to have to solve for fan pressure. I can allow air to escape through the IO panel on the back of the motherboard also. As long as the total opening area is slightly less than the 9.5 square inches it should ensure that maximum airflow is being pushed out of every opening, regardless of its location.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:45 am

Looking at the layout you described in your original post, I'd probably be more concerned about the CPU and GPU waste heat cooking the PSU than the cooling of the CPU and GPU themselves. If significant air escapes past the mobo I/O panel, will that be a problem for the PSU?

Radiators are particularly tough because air has viscosity. A square inch of free space in radiator fins is a lot tougher to move air through than a 1x1 inch hole. I have no idea what the math for that is, though.

It seems like the math won't be as good as just seeing how it works, in the end. Good PWM fans are pretty adaptable; even that 3000 RPM monster will happily idle at 750 if that's what you decide you want from it. I'd probably go for this one and not worry about it (it doesn't generate peak pressure like an F12, but the middle of the airflow/pressure graph is much nicer).
 
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:43 am

I wonder if you could get away with just soldering a small diameter copper tube to the inside and turn the entire surface of the fire extinguisher into a radiator for a custom water system. You might have to fab up some kind of stand under it to hide a fan that blows across the outside of it, but I'd imagine that would save you significant volume on the inside of the 'case'.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:01 pm

I still need to mock up my fan box to test the Bernoulli Principle results for airflow and pressure given the limited exhaust venting. However, I wanted to check on the pressure stats for blower fans, and wow....whereas the majority of "High Pressure" axial fans top out at .635psf, a 90mm blower fan will push 2.5psf. The downside is the tradeoff of CFM and quietness for pressure. Whereas axial fans provide an overabundance of CFMs (more than can be exhausted in this setup), blower fans have comparatively high pressure, but lower CFM. The very layout of that particular blower fan is such that I don't even need to do the Bernoulli calcs. The exhaust port is approximately 2.5 square inches and almost exactly matches the total available exhaust area I can provide at the top of the extinguisher. I'm not sure if 21 CFM is enough @ 43dB though. Thoughts?
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:11 pm

21 CFM will need to be derated a bit for pressure, and then you probably won't want to run it full speed / 43dB very much of the time. I don't think there's any way that's enough.
 
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:37 pm

I'll be honest, I got this idea by looking at the 2013 Mac Pro fan. The Mac Pro measures 6.6" diameter by 9.9" tall, and packs significantly more thermal load into that package than what I have here (~430W according to anandtech). I think an axial fan was unfit for their design because they needed the higher pressure a blower fan offers to pull air through the dense hardware inside their case. My design is less dense internally, but has more restrictions on exhaust area. Ultimately it doesn't matter WHERE the restriction is, so the Mac Pro is a good upper bound example of my build. By eyeballing the iFixit teardown, it looks like the Mac Pro blower fan is ~120mm but (according to anandtech) runs at around 800rpm most of the time and maxes out at 2000rpm. A quick trip over to Digikey tells me that most <2000 rpm 120mm blowers are producing somewhere around 20-30CFM.

What I [still] like about axial fans is the excess airflow they provide. The CPU OR GPU may only need 20CFM individually, but excess intake airflow allows me to open the area near the mobo IO panel to let CPU waste heat out that direction instead of requiring the GPU to intake air that's already passed through the CPU. My internal layout is "serial" compared to the Mac Pro "parallel" cooling.

Either way I'll be doing a heat test mock-up with a 120mm axial high pressure fan that I already own before I go buying a $20 blower.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:47 pm

The Mac Pro has a lot of advantages to work with that this build can't - the air goes through the heatsink once rather than being recycled, a majority of the total airflow appears to go through the heatsink, and it's using a very large heatsink with extremely coarse fin spacing (which can in that orientation dissipate a lot of heat without any forced airflow at all). Given the fin spacing, I'd bet that the Mac Pro actually has much lower total resistance to flow than what we're looking at here.

If you're set on only giving it 2.5 in2 of exhaust, I would seriously consider trying to duct it so that the small available airflow will go only where it needs to. The right duct arrangement would depend on what components you're most concerned about - I'd probably try for sealed paths for the CPU/GPU (maybe even one path with the two in serial) and a bit of ambient flow outside that, with an eye towards keeping the big heat producers from cooking minor components and just assuming the CPU and/or GPU will be toasty one way or another.
 
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:15 pm

DPete27 wrote:
I still need to mock up my fan box to test the Bernoulli Principle results for airflow and pressure given the limited exhaust venting. However, I wanted to check on the pressure stats for blower fans, and wow....whereas the majority of "High Pressure" axial fans top out at .635psf, a 90mm blower fan will push 2.5psf. The downside is the tradeoff of CFM and quietness for pressure. Whereas axial fans provide an overabundance of CFMs (more than can be exhausted in this setup), blower fans have comparatively high pressure, but lower CFM. The very layout of that particular blower fan is such that I don't even need to do the Bernoulli calcs. The exhaust port is approximately 2.5 square inches and almost exactly matches the total available exhaust area I can provide at the top of the extinguisher. I'm not sure if 21 CFM is enough @ 43dB though. Thoughts?
could you fit three of them more vertically like in the link but exits pointing up, 60 degrees apart, pointing up through a circular plate?
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:23 pm

Bigger than you may like but I have a couple of these 49 CFM 115V 0.5A Dayton Blower in an instrument and they make a low hum.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:02 pm

Image
I wanted to do a mock-up to test the airflow through the anticipated restricted exhaust area. To do this, I fitted an AMD 7770 (100W TDP) inside a cardboard [hot] box with a 120mm Enermax Twister Pressure fan at one end (has a convenient 3 position speed limiter) and cut out the available openings the fire extinguisher offers at the other. The unfortunate disadvantage of not having a PCIe riser cable for this test meant that, in order to connect the GPU to the mobo, the box had to be pressed against the belly of the fan shroud above the mobos expansion slots. Because of this, the bottom of the box was effectively sealing the opening between the PCB and the shroud of the GPU, limiting its ability to get air out from under the fan shroud and into the box in that direction. However, with no other alternative, I had to proceed knowing that this would be a "worst case scenario". All cable openings and seams were sealed with tape.
Image
I kept time while I blew up a garbage bag taped to one end of the box first to approximate the CFM that's able to escape the end of the box. About 15-20 CFM @ 1400rpm in my "hot box" out of a rated 60 CFM unrestricted at that same speed.
On a FurMark run at 1600rpm on the supply fan, I was getting 78C on the GPU with its fan at 75%/3600rpm. On the open test bench the GPU runs 66C at 54%/2400rpm on its fan. I didn't run the test with the hot box wide open on the exhaust end to test the impact of the box/shroud dilemma.
The DiRT Rally benchmark run in the hot box produced a max temp of 72C @ 64%/2800rpm with the supply fan at 1500rpm.

Ultimately, I'm happy enough with these results to proceed. The next step will be to cut out the bottom of the fire extinguisher and get a better idea of what I'm working with for inside diameter to begin construction of the component frame.
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:24 am

The fire extinguisher in the picture looks like a nice "classic Americana" antique.

Why destroy such a nice antique by trying to stuff a piece of technologically obsolete hardware (a PC) into it? :roll:
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:31 pm

The project has been on hold for a couple weeks while I figure out how to finish disassembling some things from the top of the extinguisher without destroying them. I keep bobbing back to the cooling solution from time to time though. Thus far, it looks like the unhoused centrifugal fan on the Mac Pro is about the best I've found so far (except there's no airflow/pressure stats to be found). However, it's prohibitively expensive and I can't seem to find a similar fan design anywhere. Any ideas?
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:30 pm

DPete27 wrote:
The project has been on hold for a couple weeks while I figure out how to finish disassembling some things from the top of the extinguisher without destroying them. I keep bobbing back to the cooling solution from time to time though. Thus far, it looks like the unhoused centrifugal fan on the Mac Pro is about the best I've found so far (except there's no airflow/pressure stats to be found). However, it's prohibitively expensive and I can't seem to find a similar fan design anywhere. Any ideas?
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Having just bought a new hammer, everything looks like a nail. 3D print it! :D You can pick up a cheap brushless motor to run it.

--SS
 
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Re: Fire Extinguisher PC

Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:46 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:
DPete27 wrote:
The project has been on hold for a couple weeks while I figure out how to finish disassembling some things from the top of the extinguisher without destroying them. I keep bobbing back to the cooling solution from time to time though. Thus far, it looks like the unhoused centrifugal fan on the Mac Pro is about the best I've found so far (except there's no airflow/pressure stats to be found). However, it's prohibitively expensive and I can't seem to find a similar fan design anywhere. Any ideas?

Having just bought a new hammer, everything looks like a nail. 3D print it! :D You can pick up a cheap brushless motor to run it.

--SS

I like this idea if you're dead set on a centrifugal fan. Cannibalise a GPU blower for the motor if you have a dead card lying around still.

My gut says you're better off finding ways to ventilate this better, and use axial fans in a neutral-pressure setup, but unless you're going to cut out a big hole at the back somewhere, I can't see an obvious place to do that, though you've got to get the cables to the board somehow so I guess you're definitely going to need a large opening somewhere.

Do you have a sketch of what your proposed cooling layout is going to be and which way the board/GPU will be oriented inside?
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