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Scratch Build: Rad box

Kodan
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Hi there!

 

People suggested I post this project on here to do a proper build log for it as I go along. I am currently using a Mo-Ra 420 LT with 4x NF-A20 that I transport with my case to various local LAN parties and friends basements.

To help with this I have recently downsized to a O11 Mini, down from a O7 and before that a Thermaltake W100.

 

The Mo-Ra is an excellent rad and I like the low noise levels and great cooling performance. It cools a 5900X + 3090 without being loud even when there's load on the system and I want to sleep in the same room.

However, it is awkward to carry. With no handles and nowhere to really confidently put my hand on it without touching a fitting or possibly causing it to fall over I am looking to sidegrade into a more easily transportable and customizable solution.

 

The current state of the build:

image.thumb.jpeg.20658bfbc07d79d09d623e21fe7a33d8.jpeg

 

To achieve this without having to fabricate too much (since I lack the experience, confidence and tools) I bought a bunch of makerbeams and ordered some panels to make it look nice. The box will hold my reservoir, a leakshield, some lighting and either 4x 480mm thick rads with fans or slim rads AND the mo-ra, depending on how I manage to securely mount them once they arrive. The fan cutout is still missing holes in the panel for the screws to actually mount a 120mm fan that will blow some fresh air over the Splitty 9 active fan splitters that are supposed to spread my single PWM signal from the computer to the 4 rads. There's also a cutout for the SATA power cables and the PWM cable. I think it's a bit big so maybe a custom grommet will help clean that area up a bit. The case also has a set of feet... burrowed from a Mo-Ra 🤪

 

A set of two corsair dual 480mm front brackets will hold the rads. They're slightly longer than the case is tall so I will mount them sideways which also helps with the clearance for the radiator terminals.

image.thumb.jpeg.e0d6b23ae30605f9e0da7e5608ab79f7.jpeg

 

As you can see there is a big cutout in the back panel to fit an ATX power supply.

I originally intended to move my entire system into this box when I ordered the panels but the O11 build experience was so nice I am looking to keep the case for now.

 

I will probably keep the hole there and put another 150mm beam there to support the panel and make it easier to grab the case there and lift it up if I ever need to... Or I just get a new panel made.

 

I used silverstone rack replacement handles for the top panel. The current top panel was originally meant to go on the bottom and it's full of holes that serve no purpose because I screwed up in some places.

I will most likely order a new one.

 

Next step is installing the fan splitters and the two radiator brackets. Once they're in I can take the final measurements for the back panel and then maybe order replacements for the panels I have ruined.

Any advice on the radiators that could go in here? I prefer quiet operation and high quality over blasting as much air as possible through there to gain 1-2°C.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So turns out the Corsair frames don't work. They're ever so slightly too long and compensating for that by mounting them to the outside will force me to mount the fans between the frame and the radiators which is not what I want. I want the fans on the inside of the box pushing air through the radiators and out the side.

 

To fix this I have added more beams and drilled larger holes in some of the makerbeam brackets.

I managed to find 3 HWL 560mm GTRs in stock at the same time so I couldn't pass up the chance.

image.thumb.jpeg.baea1ae2845d9390aa38a1514d63db45.jpeg

 

After some pushing and reinforcing the frame the rads now sit neatly inside the box. Now we just need fans to go along with them.

I have decided to replace the cover and order new sheets. They will also go on the bottom of the back side to hold those vertical beams behind the radiators in place and prevent them from twisting.image.thumb.jpeg.f8fe2687d204b9889a62f9e2df15a37f.jpeg

 

There is still a lot of room to run tubes and install thick fans. I'm not entirely set on which to buy.

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On 6/9/2022 at 11:41 AM, Kodan said:

I'm not entirely set on which to buy.

The P12 Value Pack from Arctic has great static pressure and costs only $30 for 5 fans, so getting a few packs of those is a good option that’ll save you a TON of money. If you want premium, Noctua iPPC fans are good.

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6 minutes ago, NF-A12x25 said:

The P12 Value Pack from Arctic has great static pressure and costs only $30 for 5 fans, so getting a few packs of those is a good option that’ll save you a TON of money. If you want premium, Noctua iPPC fans are good.

I ended up ordering 15 P14s since these are rads for 140mm fans 🙂

I originally wanted to get eLoops but they weren't on sale and I need a lot of fans. P14 ARGBs are slightly better but cost more and weren't available in 5 packs.

 

Unfortunately I made the classic mistake of also ordering additional tubing for the rad box in the same order and that tubing ended up not being in stock.... so I probably gotta wait for the rest of the week until I can continue.

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1 minute ago, Kodan said:

I ended up ordering 15 P14s since these are rads for 140mm fans 🙂

I originally wanted to get eLoops but they weren't on sale and I need a lot of fans. P14 ARGBs are slightly better but cost more and weren't available in 5 packs.

 

Unfortunately I made the classic mistake of also ordering additional tubing for the rad box in the same order and that tubing ended up not being in stock.... so I probably gotta wait for the rest of the week until I can continue.

Nice! and oof on the tubing

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Fans are here at last!

Thanks to the rads being much wider than the fans I can easily snake the cables between the rads towards the controllers. They're two Splitty9 actives that are velcroed to the end tanks.

Next step is ordering a dual D5 pump top, two D5 varios and a new bottom piece for my Heatkiller Tube so I can combine them into a single unit.

 

IMG_20220617_161416.thumb.jpg.f5e2a38f36f8ce2c55f2dd9586df151c.jpgIMG_20220617_161406.thumb.jpg.df7075f470c62fad66e39acbaa44ffce.jpg

 

I ordered some Barrow telescopic fittings to connet the rads.

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I am digging the build, but I think we have vastly different ideas on portable lan boxes. This thing is a beast! Are you going to add wheels or just hit the gym before the next lan? 😉

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22 minutes ago, Blue4130 said:

I am digging the build, but I think we have vastly different ideas on portable lan boxes. This thing is a beast! Are you going to add wheels or just hit the gym before the next lan? 😉

It's surprisingly light and I don't have to grab it that awkwardly. I'll be fine 😛

I'll take my car there anyways, and this is "only" 18cm wide so i can stuff this, my computer, my chair, some supplies and clothing in the back with no problem and unlike the mo-ra I don't have to worry about damaging the fins or cracking the glass reservoir while moving stuff around. I don't plan on putting wheels on it but I do have some.

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image.thumb.jpeg.28bb5692b4df5c0a38e805374fc7feef.jpeg

 

Fans are hooked up and they're all running fine without one of them making uncomfortable amounts of noise. Great!

There's a big bunch of cables around the bottom splitter but without custom cables and/or extensions this is as good as it gets. Right now they're all working and that's what I need.

 

Still waiting on some new panels and supplies.

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  • 2 weeks later...

image.thumb.jpeg.775865ac521d86606632e9d020c60ee2.jpeg

Extension fittings are in!

Sadly, I ruined my D5 Top in the picture and will need a replacement to run a dual pump configuration.

 

Still waiting on those additional panels. They will hold the pumps, reservoir and some of the power cables. I will switch to a Molex daisy chain and get a set of black Molex to SATA power adapter cables for the Splitty9 and the D5 Next, then hook the second D5 (EK, RPM controlled) to a Molex header and synchronize it from the D5 Next using its Fan controller.

 

I will probably need to move the radiators further to the center since it's awkwardly easy to tip the case to one side.

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7 hours ago, Kodan said:

image.thumb.jpeg.775865ac521d86606632e9d020c60ee2.jpeg

Extension fittings are in!

Sadly, I ruined my D5 Top in the picture and will need a replacement to run a dual pump configuration.

 

Still waiting on those additional panels. They will hold the pumps, reservoir and some of the power cables. I will switch to a Molex daisy chain and get a set of black Molex to SATA power adapter cables for the Splitty9 and the D5 Next, then hook the second D5 (EK, RPM controlled) to a Molex header and synchronize it from the D5 Next using its Fan controller.

 

I will probably need to move the radiators further to the center since it's awkwardly easy to tip the case to one side.

looks good but do the math on the molex power...

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9 hours ago, thrasher_565 said:

looks good but do the math on the molex power...

If two D5 pumps need as much as they say they do, I should be just about fine. If not, I can easily run a second Molex power cable from the PC and bundle them together. They don't take up that additional space when strapped together - and since I want to run a PWM cable anyways it shouldn't be that much thicker than the tubes.

 

In other news:

 

The panels finally came! I am cutting and drilling them as we speak, and try to see where I can sneak in some cable management tricks.

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The Mo-Ra is dismantled and the heatkiller tube and pump have been moved to the new box.

IMG_20220701_183123.thumb.jpg.9d310029f681a8780242c8b3caa11e58.jpg

 

Now I'll run the water through the rads and a filter until everything is nice and clean, then drain and I should have a working system again. At least for now.

IMG_20220701_191752.thumb.jpg.257c470b3b39ccc26fdac81ba8e1a2e8.jpg

 

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Cleaning is done and I' m finishing the last couple of panels. The front is now properly closed, too.

IMG_20220702_165629.thumb.jpg.267fe0f2b7180426538246cf727faaa6.jpg

IMG_20220702_165638.thumb.jpg.e89c5158afb672d20f392248b662ddb3.jpg

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