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Retro Mod: PC straight out of an old russian power plant

I think, this might belong here:

Some time ago, I fell in love with the look of Nixie tubes. Nixie tubes are the kind of display which was used before 7-segment-displays came into market, so until maybe 1980ish or something. For futher information, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixie_tube

Since I love the aesthetics of these nixie tubes, I wanted them in a Computer for displaying CPU temperature and load, GPU temperature and load, RAM load and Graphic Memory Load. The general idea was to build something, that could have belonged in an old russian power plant, or something that could easily be interpreted as some kind of scientific instrument. So I made this retro looking system, with a custom watercooling. Since in the 1950s plastic tubing wouldn't be a viable option (and it also would have looked like sh!t, in combination with the rest), I used copper, brass and stainless steal fittings and tubes only. But why do I even bother to describe? Just take a look for yourself.

 

A general impression of the build:
k-1.thumb.jpg.346ca68dc428d9d949e6a241b2d42039.jpgk-2.thumb.jpg.082403d083eacc81d3df37e4fa459c45.jpgk-3.thumb.jpg.03bca8f76b022c58207e2e768d485a15.jpg

 

Actually, it is a terrible design for repairing or modifying something. In order to get to the actual hardware, you have to loosen eight screws, disconnect the fans and the pump, and carefully lift the whole upper part, including the radiator, the pump and the reservoir. It is managable, but it is way more bothersome than just untightening two screws. Here a picture of the opened case:

 

k-4.thumb.jpg.6521e601baa4f0565422e51cfbe8d6c1.jpg

 

The right section  of the PC (here bottom left) is the part, where the whole electronics for displaying the numbers on the nixie tubes is situated. Also, a regular D5 pump is screwed to the lid, you can estimate it's location by following the  metal tubes. Here a closeup of the electronics:

 

k-5.thumb.jpg.2014399fac8e01b89b734292fbff0e4c.jpg

 

But I haven't even spoken about the most important part! Actually, since the beginning, I also had another purpose in mind for the PC. It was designed to be a heated surface, right next to where a human would be a great amount of time. In other words, it is a very nice cat resting place. My cat Günter already claimed it.

k-6.thumb.jpg.692f44fb70a2d7c836c4e5efef45699b.jpgk-7.thumb.png.53f4fad3b6f05a5dfdaa503c09dfc3a7.png


Oh, and I guess you guys also want to know the actual hardware. Here you go:
-Ryzen 3800x

-Geforce 1080ti

-16GB Ram

-500GB NVME SSD

-1TB S-ATA SSD

-2TB HDD

-8TB HDD
-MB: Gigabyte GA-AX370M-Gaming 3 

I hope, you guys like it! If any question remain, I would be happy to answer them. 

PS: The idea and design for this build was actually created, before ltt created their copper tube build. But since I am a poor student, and all parts together were like 2000€, I had to save quite a while for it. Whatever, I guess neither they nor I were the first ones to actually use copper tubes. So, Whatever.

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Damn, this is amazing!!

I'm getting a real Atompunk feel from this.

 

The little details, like using flynuts (instead of other nuts), copper tubing, worn looking radiator, all the flips and switches at the front.. etc.

Absolutely lovely!

"We're all in this together, might as well be friends" Tom, Toonami.

 

mini eLiXiVy: my open source 65% mechanical PCB, a build log, PCB anatomy and discussing open source licenses: https://linustechtips.com/topic/1366493-elixivy-a-65-mechanical-keyboard-build-log-pcb-anatomy-and-how-i-open-sourced-this-project/

 

mini_cardboard: a 4% keyboard build log and how keyboards workhttps://linustechtips.com/topic/1328547-mini_cardboard-a-4-keyboard-build-log-and-how-keyboards-work/

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Oh fantastic build!! I love it!!

- If it ain't broken, don't fix it! - - Your post codes and beep codes in the drop down below -

Competitive Benching Team - Warp9-Systems 

Save the old OC forums just by reading old school tec

https://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/index.php

They have the best F@H stats too. 

Spoiler

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for you appreciation! The cat has so much fur, that it probably works as an insulator :D

 

Actually, the switches and the rotary controls all have a function, since I hate building extra shenanigans without a function into a project. The flips are used to control the Nixie tubes, the light, and automatic fan- and pumpcontrol. The fan and the pump speeds are adjustable, if the flip is enabled. Probably was a bad idea, since this theoretically allows no water flow and no fan spin, therefore overheating. But so far, everything works :)

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Amazing build, absolutely amazing. Looks like it's pulled straight out of a reactor or something. 👍 Also nice cat, bonus points.

TuringMachine

Ryzen 5 3600x - Asus Strix B450-F - Asus ROG RTX 2060S Strix AD - Fury Beast 3200 2x16 GB DDR4 - Phanteks P400S - Corsair RM 650x - BeQuiet! Dark Rock 4 - 2x Kingston A2000 NVMe 1TB SSD (RAID 0) - 2x Samsung QVO 1TB SSD (RAID 0) - Seagate Barracuda 3TB

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Really like this build's theme. I can't quite read the engravings on your reservoir, but I do like the feel they give to the system. 

"Make sense? Oh, what fun is there in making sense?"
-Discord

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wow good job

Everyone, Creator初音ミク Hatsune Miku Google commercial.

 

 

Cameras: Main: Canon 70D - Secondary: Panasonic GX85 - Spare: Samsung ST68.

Dead cameras: Nikion s4000, Canon XTi

 

Pc's

Spoiler

Dell prebuilt (main) - i5-6400- 20GB ram - 500gb HDD dvd 

 

HP compaq 8300 prebuilt - Intel i5-3470 - 8GB ram - 500GB HDD - bluray drive

 

old windows 7 gaming desktop - Intel i5 2400 - lenovo CIH61M V:1.0 - 4GB ram - 1TB HDD - dual DVD roms 

 

main laptop acer e5 15 - Intel i3 7th gen - 16GB ram - 1TB HDD - dvd drive                                                                     

 

school laptop lenovo 300e chromebook 2nd gen - Intel celeron - 4GB ram - 32GB SSD 

#Muricaparrotgang                                                                                   

 

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Wow... just wow... looks amazing!

Great job! Be careful though ... with all the Russian plutonium your cat might turn into some mutant tiger or somethin' like that

Sorry if my questions are a little stupid... I am living in the BGPC era (Before the Gaming PC)

Light users can't read this. Good job for using Night Theme!

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very cool 

Hi

 

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hi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

I'd really like to do a steampunk build, ultilising nixie tubes.

 

How do you get the tubes to display the temperatures etc? Can you get the numbers from Aida64 into an Arduino or something?

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  • 3 months later...
On 9/25/2020 at 5:16 AM, R0ADK1LL said:

I'd really like to do a steampunk build, ultilising nixie tubes.

 

How do you get the tubes to display the temperatures etc? Can you get the numbers from Aida64 into an Arduino or something?

I use OpenHardwareMonitor, which, as far as I understood, writes the values in some kind of deep windows storage. Then I use a Python script to read that storage, which in turn sends a string containing all values to an Arduino mega, which translates the string to bcd-coded Driversignals. But yeah, openhardwaremonitor, also because it works fine with amd hardware.

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  • 8 months later...

Since I got quite a few PMs on parts, schematics and layouts I used, I decided to actually draw out my layouts. For just the nixies, the following schematics and parts will be sufficient.
General Schematics:

nixie.png

 

 

I designed a PCV Layout for 6 tubes at easyEDA, it looks like this:

PCB_nixie_m9_single_2021-09-03.png.e94b6237f9654182f4b7ffc14f1bfada.png


You can change the design by yourself, just import this file in easyEDA:

PCB_nixie_m9_single_2021-09-03.json

 

If you like this design, you can use this finished Gerber-File to order your own PCB (at JLCPCB, for example):

Gerber_nixie_m9_single_2021-09-03.zip

 


The parts I had to solder on the PCB:

Clamps 1:
https://de.aliexpress.com/item/4000901980140.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.267c4c4dIctStO
Clamps 2:
https://de.aliexpress.com/item/4001268228679.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.267c4c4dIctStO

 

15kO-18kO 0.6W resistors (have to be less than 2.54mm in diameter, but rated for more than 0.5W):
https://www.conrad.de/de/p/tru-components-metallschicht-widerstand-18-k-axial-bedrahtet-0207-0-6-w-1-1-st-1557081.html

 

Driver for Nixies (K155ID1) (you can buy any variant of the k155id1):
https://de.aliexpress.com/item/33024476502.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.538f54af7E3Goa&algo_pvid=e083fc43-796f-4c6b-95e8-18f529482763&algo_exp_id=e083fc43-796f-4c6b-95e8-18f529482763-9

 

IC Socket for the K155ID1 (highly recommended, soldering the k155id1 directly to the pcb is rude):
https://de.aliexpress.com/item/32863286734.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.460d137dYZv4we&algo_pvid=8e6575b2-0569-4faa-bb7c-2c98b4b58c2c&algo_exp_id=8e6575b2-0569-4faa-bb7c-2c98b4b58c2c-11

 

PSU if you don't want to piggyback of the PC PSU:
https://de.aliexpress.com/item/1005002070095167.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.267c4c4dIctStO

nixie.png

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