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Sea Drive


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So we've all see computer in an aquarium... submerged in mineral oil.  But how about a computer with fish?  Fish tanks have been put in computers before but how about a computer in the center of a cylindrical fish tank?  I want my fish to be able to swim all the way around my computer (not above and below obviously, but 360 degrees around it).


This will be my work log.  An initial prototype has been made it is water tight and pictures will be up soon.


Only problem I'm having with pen and paper design is trying to fit a fish tank filter....


Final Parts list:
CPU: Intel i7 4790k
Motherboard: Asrock z97e-itx/ac
RAM: Patriot 16gb (not sure of the model because I removed the heat spreaders long ago)
SSD: M.2 Adata 128gb and Sata Adata 480gb
Powersupply: Silverstone SX500-LGInline image 1
GPU: Nvidia FE 1080 GTX
Fans: 2 Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 120 Balance, 2 Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 120 Pressure, 1 Corsair HD120 RGB
Watercooling: EK Supremacy MX, EK 1080 waterblock, Swiftech Micro Rev2 Reservoir, Swiftech DDC with EK top and bottom, EK SE 120, EK SE 240, Barrow fittings with some EK 90 rotaries
1 Arduino R3 uno


A goal of what I was aiming for with the design:




How it turned out:


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  • 1 month later...

So it all started off with a proof of concept.

I ordered some cylinderical display cases:



And if you are wondering, I couldn't get them in larger sizes I would have loved to have the outer be 12 inches wide and both be 12 inches tall, but alas... It definitely was going to make my job difficult...

I knew I could work with them, if I could make them hold water:


After laser cutting a hole in the top of one and a fan hole in the other we had a concept.

And it held water!


Next was to design and mock up the internals, I've made a few cases before so I had some stuff I could reuse with some modification.




After much searching for a small filter and pump that would create insane amounts of bubbles that could splash into the internals, I found this with the help of my brother.




Now that those both worked and we had a small filter, it was time to go about laying out a basement.  For reference this is 12 inches by 12 inches.  I don't think I can make this any smaller... and it looks like the filter will be determining the height.


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At the same time, I have to get a motherboard and video card to sit an a 8 inch circle... and somehow get the tubing from the watercooling to pass into the basement....  lots of playing with shapes later...


I did my prototypes drawing a circle for the inside and the outside of the tank, so I could see what area I had to work with.


Oh and apparently my 1080 is longer than my old 460 that I use for mock ups....


So more figuring stuff out I design a way to mount the videocard underneath the bottom of the tank area...DSC_0151.thumb.JPG.0c3ffe355ed96b57e76f569acc62f2bf.JPG



I guess that works.  Surprisingly it's very stable, but very very difficult to mount the videocard to.


At this point, I think I have a plan on how to attach the filter... so since the filter is in the basement and it's probably a good idea to be able to remove the fish tank for cleaning and other water related goods, I decided it would be a possible idea to attach acrylic tubes and bring the filter inlet and outlet above the tank.  From there I can just attach some 90 degree fittings and bring some tubing into the tank.  That means that without the 90 fitting, I should be able to just lift the tank straight up.




If you are wondering why there is a rectangle cut out of the front of the case, that's because I was planning to have a small screen there.  You'll see why I didn't have room in a second.

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So I have a prototype case, time to do some watercooling runs and plan it out.


So the top section was easy enough, but figuring out the pumping of the bottom was tricky.  I actually tried using soft tubing and then realized I couldn't it was too... unforgiving?  It didn't like tight places and always wanted to bend back into an arc (because it comes in rolls).  So hard tubing it is... :(


Those tubes made me not have room for the screen, but alas I'll live...


So the loop order ended up being, pump around and over and into the 240 rad, across to the 120 rad, out and up to the cpu, cpu to down and around (and over the 120 and power supply) to the gpu and then back to the res.

And look I can still actually get to my drain and fill ports!


(Power supply goes in the square hole on the left)


Next on to finishing it up and making it look good!



And then disaster struck, the stain wasn't coming out well and how we were planning to connect the panels together also wasn't working.  I leave for dreamhack the next day...

2 bottles of spray paint, lots of laser cutting, lots of epoxy and fiberglass and I have a case... an empty case, but a case (my brother helped me out, we worked from 11pm till 3:30am).



So off to dreamhack I went!


It was a crazy weekend and was full of people asking me about my case, including this one that had me super excited: http://www.pcgamer.com/this-ridiculous-pc-is-also-a-fish-tank-with-live-fish/



Here are some pictures of the finished product without the fish in it, I feel bad after keeping them cooped up in it for the weekend so they are in their tank (not the computer).











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There were for Dreamhack Austin, it is a fully functional fish tank, but given the limited room of it all I prefer the fish to be in a normal tank when I'm home.  And thanks!


So here you can see how I made the tank removable, left side is with the fitting off so I can remove the tank, the right is how it needs to be for the filter to function.



And the roof just sits on top where the fan keys into the center square



Here is how I had to organize the watercooling in the basement.  The pump and reservoir would go where the gap is in the top right, while the power supply takes the area in the top left.


Showing the rigid tubing run that ran above the 240 radiator.



And yes, the radiators were slightly too long to use 1/4 inch wood and have them fit centered in a 12 inch square box.  So the front panel is actually made out of 2 1/8 sheets with a cut out for the radiators to have clearance.


And lastly the ardiuno that was in the computer to run the lights on the corsair fan, with the retractable usb cable to control and power it.



I'm a programmer for a living so I was playing with different lighting effects here's a clip from some tinkering a while ago.



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  • 2 months later...


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