Archive for the ‘How To & Misc’ Category

While I have been a barb and clamp fan for some time now, water cooling has evolved into building artwork just as much as it is for high performance cooling.  Several variations of compression fittings have hit the market over the last few years and I’ve tinkered with many of them.  One complaint I have personally had with many of the compression fittings out there is the “Tool-less” concept.  Many of the fittings out there are intended to be hand or finger tightened, but unfortunately this does often result in partial loss of your valuable fragging fingertips.  One way to mitigate for the lack of tool compatibility is to use a cloth or other protective wrap and use something like vise grips or channel locks as a last resort attempt at converting the “tool-less” knurled compression ring into something you can wrench on.  My other complaint with some compression fittings I’ve used is their lack of internal barb which has led me down the path of leaks as the tubing warmed up and began to slip out of the fitting.  Regardless of the troubles I have personally had, there is no denying that compression fittings look more clean and finished that a regular barb and clamp.  BoxGods being a professional PC mod enthusiast and builder set out to break new ground in the area of compression fittings that would not only improve many of the user problems with existing fittings, but also to jazz up the mundane knurled look via the “Free Center” compression fitting which I’m looking at here.

A special thanks to BoxGods (Gene) for sending me these samples.  First he sent me a set of black chrome I spent extensive time using, and then these limited edition copper flavor to compliment my future copper build.

monsoonbanner

FrozenCPU MonsoonPPCS Monsoon

SPECS

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14932/ex-tub-1105/Monsoon_Free_Center_Compression_Fitting_-_12ID_x_34OD_-_Modders_6_Pack_Black_Chrome_FCC-1234-6P-BC.html

Tired of big ugly wrench flats on your compression fittings or tearing up your finger tips on knurling? Then Monsoon’s sexy new Free Center Compression Fittings are just what you’re looking for. The new patent pending Free Center Wrench design used to tighten the barb and the compression ring is perfect for tight spaces because it puts the wrench above the fitting plane giving you more room to maneuver than a conventional wrench. The small wrench notches on the compression ring are also a lot less noticeable than big ugly wrench flats or knurling on the side of a fitting which is normally the most visible portion when installed.

The patent pending windows on the compression ring reduce weight and add some BLING to your rig by allowing the tube to show through and, in a pinch, provide extra grip if you need to use your fingers. The barb base also features a knurled surface to help the barb grip when installed.


Measurements:
Outer Diameter (A): 3/4″
Wall Thickness (B): 1/8″
Inner Diameter (C): 1/2″

  • Barb and compression ring machined entirely from brass.
  • The Free Center Wrench works on the barb and the compression ring for hassle free installation without tearing up your fingers. Don’t be a tool!

  • Although we highly recommend using the Free Center Wrench, the barb can also be tightened with any coin 1.6mm thick and approximately 25mm in diameter—about the size of a US Quarter, and the machined windows on the compression ring can also be used to provide grip for finger tightening.
  • Smaller visually and physically to make mounting in tight locations like CPU blocks easier. Outside diameter is just 24.4mm (.96 inches) and total height is just 16mm (.63 inches).

  • Knurled base on the barb to increase its grab when installed.

  • Available in 8 colors and finishes.
  • Includes a black O ring AND a color matched UV O ring—your choice. (Chrome, Matte Black, and Black Chrome get a second black O ring.
  • Available in singles or in money saving SIX PACKS that also include a free Free Center Wrench!
Tubing Size: 1/2″ Inner diameter
3/4″ Outer Diameter
Included: Six Barbs with radial cut notch for use with a Free Center Wrench or a coin.
Six Compression rings with Patent Pending Side Windows and Free Center Wrench Notches.
Six black 2.4mm thick high quality silicone G1/4 BSPP O rings.
Six color matched UV 2.4mm thick high quality G1/4 BSPP O rings. (Additional O rings or different colors can be purchased separately in 10 packs).
One Free Center Compression Fitting Wrench.

Ever since doing pump top testing for the DDC series pumps, there was always some thought that gains from the DDC tops was larger in part (vs D5 tops) due to the sharp and small elbow at the pump inlet in the factory top that is removed.  In addition, past testing of aftermarket tops with alternate inlets also showed some rather large losses when using those alternate elbow inlets.   Which brings me to this fairly simple test of a single DDC pump + top using Bitspower 90 degree elbows and straight barbs as the variable.

While I didn’t request a sponsor specifically for this test, I did use some parts sponsored from a long time ago. The top was provide by XSPC many years ago.  This is the king of DDC pump tops that I tested back here in 2008. I have tested other newer tops and have yet to find one that outperforms it on a like DDC motor.  It has a fairly typical thicker top with a reduced inlet opening so I figured it represents the DDC tops out there fairly well.

XSPClogo

Bitspower also sent me the elbows many moons ago when these handy little swivel elbows first came to market.  They have the same quality barb and have a larger 10mm or so.  The internal transition is not quite a smooth radius, but it’s a fairly large diameter which makes a big difference.  These elbows are exceptionally nice and easy to use with the swivel feature.

LogoBitspower

So, the mission of this test, do modern 90 degree elbows like the larger 10mm ID bistpower swivel 90s create a significant loss on pumps when installed directly on the pump top itself?

We shall see…

Test Setup

The obligatory test setup picture, below is during the straight in and straight out configuration:

PUmpElbowTesting

I am using:

  • Mastech HY3005D DC power supply to regulate voltage
  • Cen-tech P98674 Digital multimeter to read molex plug voltage
  • Crystalfontz CFA-633 + WinTest B1.9 to monitor and smooth RPM
  • Dwyer 477-5 Digital Manometer to read Pressure Differential across the pump
  • King 7520 (Valved) to measure flow rate and adjust restriction

The large reservoir bleeds out the loop almost instantly, I simply swapped out the barbs for elbows in the other conditions.

Detailed Test Results

Straight In and Straight Out

PumpElbowImpacts-SISO

Elbow In and Straight Out

PumpElbowImpacts-EISO

Straight In & Elbow Out

PumpElbowImpacts-SIEO

Comparison

PumpElbowImpacts-Comp

That’s not quite what I expected.  I had expected the inlet side to be the bigger loss than the outlet AND I expected the losses to be much larger than that.  While you can see upwards of a 30-40% pressure loss at 1.5GPM using aftermarket pump top alternate inlets with their tiny little drilled passageways and close proximity to the impeller, the larger ID bitspower 90 degree elbows and more distant proximity is not affecting pump performance very much at all on this particular pump top.  I think the reduced diameter inlet built into the top probably straightens out the flow pretty well and we are mostly just measuring restriction added.  Some of the DDC tops such as the MCP35X likely have more impact, but there isn’t much showing when the inlet has a step down diameter after the elbow.

In an earlier elbow testing experiment here on blocks, I found this same elbow to have roughly .15PSI loss at 1.5GPM and in this test I’m getting around .1-.2PSI loss depeding on the location, so pretty close.

ElbowLosses

That data is fairly good for this discussion as well, so for those that like speaking in “Degrees”, adding an elbow to your pump inlet or outlet is about equivalent to a 0.05C temperature loss.  Probably not something to worry about much.

So, that’s that.  While I used to be a skeptic about installation of elbows on pumps, I’m not so worried about it now. At least with your typical DDC top with reduced inlet opening, the larger ID Bitspower elbows do not seem to cause much more than a little restriction which is not going to add up to more than a tenth of a degree and really not worth worrying about.

Cheers!Smilieparty0012
Martin

I was in need of picking up another gallon of distilled water at Wal-mart today, and decided to stop by a few more stores and do a quick evaluation of water purity of a few different brands.  In addition, I wanted to better understand the importance of water quality and scale since there is no data on how water quality changes when run in a loop.  I’ve read or heard a few people say that store bought distilled water just isn’t good or reliable enough and that you really need to buy ultra pure water.  I have used regular distilled water in non-plated water cooling loops for years now and have even run tapwater in a loop for over a year now just for this nagging myth being spread about.  Since I bought my own water purity meter, I now had the tools needed to see for myself and wanted to share my findings.

This test is sponsored by martinsliquidlab.org…:)

Water Quality Meters

First, let’s look at the meters.  It doesn’t break the bank to buy these, I spent under $100 to buy them both:

I initially started testing both electrical conductivity as well as PH, but after a while realized that the PH was generally the same.  It’s hard to measure with such little conductivity, but all the samples were within 6.5-7.5 PH which is neutral.

The conductivity meter is an HM Digital COM-100

http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/com100.html

SPECIFICATIONS

EC Range: 0 – 9990 µS; 0 – 9.99 mS
TDS Range: 0 – 8560 ppm (mg/L); 0 – 8.56 ppt
Temperature Range: 0-80 °C; 32-176 °F
Resolution: 0-99: 0.1 µS/ppm/mS/ppt; 100-999: 1 µS/ppm; 1000-9990: 10 µS/ppm. Temp. resolution is 0.1 °C/F
Accuracy: +/- 2%
EC to TDS Conversion Factor: Non-linear conversions for KCl, 442TM or NaCl solutions, selected by the user.
Calibration: Digital calibration by push button.
Probe: Detachable platinum electrodes
Housing: IP-67 Waterproof (submersible; floats)
Power source: 3 x 1.5V button cell batteries (included)  (model 357A)
Dimensions: 18.5 x 3.4 x 3.4 cm (7.3 x 1.3 x 1.3 inches)
Weight: 90.7g (3.2 oz)

The COM-100 meter is calibrated with a 1413 µS solution.

The meter comes factory calibrated with a 1413 uS solution and appeared to be reading fairly accurately, so I proceeded to test with that factory calibration.

Electrical conductivity or EC is a commonly used indicator to measure water purity.  While conductivity itself isn’t the only measurement goal, total dissolved solids (TDS) in ppm (Parts per million) are also routinely converted from this number.  To keep it simple, I’m just measuring the conductivity in this test and including a conversion table that was included with the meter to TDS if you are so inclined.  Distilled waters typically should be better than 10uS where municipal water systems could be as high as 500-800uS.  In water cooling we have had all sorts of numbers thrown out there with suggestions that grocery store distilled wasn’t good enough.  In addition there was not any data in regards to how quickly this water becomes ionized in the loop which is important when considering the relevance of purity.

So with that….let’s get on with some measurements..:)

Liquid Electrical Conductivity

Posted: March 18, 2012 in How To & Misc

I bought another lab toy to play with specific to looking at water quality a bit more.  While most veteran water coolers understand there is no such thing as “Non-Conductive” coolant, you still see quite a few coolants labeled as “NON” conductive.  What I’ve been struggling to better understand myself is how good or bad various things are such as distilled water vs. tap water vs. other coolants and how that all changes as the fluid is run through the loop.  With that, I decided to buy an EC/TDS meter and PH meter as tools to help me explore water quality a bit more scientifically.  I will add to this as I go, but for now a few quick pictures of some random tests.

Before getting too far, you should understand electrical conductivity units.  Most commonly used is uS/cm or microsiemens per cm.  Also one mS (millisiemens=1000uS)

This link provides a good basis of understanding:
http://www.mbhes.com/conductivity_measurement.htm

Table of Aqueous Conductivities
Solution µS/cm mS/cm ppm
Totally pure water 0.055
Typical DI water 0.1
Distilled water 0.5
RO water 50-100 25-50
Domestic “tap” water 500-800 0.5-0.8 250-400
Potable water (max) 1055 1.055 528
Sea water 56,000 56 28,000
Brackish water 100,000 100 50,000

Although there is some difference of opinion on what “Distilled Water” should be.  Wiki for example defines it as something with less that 10uS here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purified_water

In particular this statement:

Distilled water is produced by a process of distillation and has an electrical conductivity of not more than 10 µS/cm and total dissolved solids of less than 10 mg/litre.[1] Distillation involves boilingthe water and then condensing the vapour into a clean container, leaving solid contaminants behind. Distillation produces very pure water. A white or yellowish mineral scale is left in the distillation apparatus, which requires regular cleaning. Distillation alone does not guarantee the absence of bacteria in drinking water unless containers are also sterilized. For many applications, cheaper alternatives such as deionized water are used in place of distilled water.

Anyhow, I decided to take my unit straight out of the box and record some measurements.  Granted this is per the original calibration which may or may not be off to some degree, it did seem to give reasonably expected results.

My grocery store distilled water samples both tested well under the 10uS wiki definition.

And my household “Tap” was considerably lower than the 500-800uS definition by the other link.  I guess I’m fortunate to have fairly clean tap water.

Never really cared for Dr Pepper myself, so I wanted to measure how bad it really is…:)  I’ll do a good beer next time..lol!

Anyhow, not a lot to conclude at this point other than my $1/gallon Wal-mart distilled is measuring pretty darn clean and it makes me wonder if you are really getting any benefit at all from the “Ultra Pure or double distilled” types.

I’m more curious what happens to that single digit uS level after it’s running in the loop for a while getting contaminated by metal ions, flux, and plasticizer from tubing.  If the water immediately shoots up to 200uS from 1-3uS regular distilled water, do you really care about the 1-3uS?  That’s the question I have.

More to come…
Martin

I figured I’d post a quick little blog of what I’ve been doing the last week or so rebuilding my test bench and gaming.  I was invited  to PDXLAN this weekend and figure it was a good reason to do some remodeling on the torture rack I use regularly for my block testing.  The LAN space was technically 24″x30″ per seat, and my horizontally mounted 480 rad and pump setup was in need of reorganizing to be more LAN friendly.  With the “Compact/Clean/More Portable” idea in mind, I mounted two of my triple radiators vertically, and switched to the Monsoon D5 pump/reservoir.  I also spent some time cleaning up the various bits and installing new tubing/fluid.

I do have a few sponsors  including:

A very special thanks to Dennis and Jeremy from Danger Den for the M6 block, Monsoon Reservoir, and seat at PDXlan:

Paul from XSPC for the RX and EX 360:

Eddy, Niko, and Gregory from EK for the UV blue EKoolant:

And BoxGods & Performance PCs for the Monsoon Free Center Compression Fittings

I bought the torture rack and hardware myself.  While I’d never consider myself a case modder/builder of any sort, I was pretty happy with the result.   The rebuild went pretty smooth.  The M6 block mounted nicely, Monsoon fittings cleaned up the clamp look, the Monsoon reservoir green blended in nicely, and the EKoolant added some much needed color to the tubing.  The EKoolant is one of the newer less toxic food grade antifreeze coolants with both algae and corrosion blockers built in.  I thought the blue went well with the MSI motherboard.

The two triple XSPC radiators are way overkill, but I couldn’t help myself…I’ve always enjoyed seeking those single digit water/air deltas..:)

Here are a few quick snaps:

Yeah I know the 570 needs water…:)

Got a chance to try out the new Monsoon free center compression fittings which look really nice.  They held the tubing in place nice and solid when done and made for a really clean look.

After braving Friday 5:00pm Portland, OR rush hour traffic on the interstate, I found my way to the gaming Mecca..PDXLAN event #19.

Sorry for the quick snaps, I was focused on gaming and only broke the camera out for a brief intermission before my battery went south.

The LAN event was a blast! I had never been to one before, so it was a whole new experience.  What’s better than gaming online?  how about organized tournaments, prizes, give aways, and gaming with 500 other gaming enthusiasts that share the same passion.  While my system doesn’t even come close to some of the builds at the event and I’m average at best in gaming, I had an awesome time!

Finally had a chance to meet the great folks at Danger Den as well as a few people from the west coast that frequent the forums.  Everyone there was really welcoming and there was generally a very strong “Have fun and play” atmosphere.  The event also offered some sneak peaks at Gearbox’s new Borderlands 2 game trailer that was never seen before.  Lots of new technology demos of several products scattered around the many booths to drool over and play with.

It was the perfect testing vacation and I managed to get several days worth of much needed medicinal frag time…:)