Oil computer ver. 2

oil bath computer

Reader Jay was so mesmerized by the original oil computer story that he had to try it out himself. He had other good reasons: producing an experience report in English and creating a case that didn’t look slap-dash. It turned out to be a partial success and definitely a lesson. First thing he discovered was how not to oil proof a hard drive. He does get the chance to use the phrase “rock out with my caulk out”; which only goes to show: if you mess with bad puns, you will get burned. The rig did drop the computer temp quite a bit and Jay’s got numbers to prove it. Within hours of completion the case developed a fatal crack and redistributed the oil to the floor. Better luck next time Jay. It has been a couple months since the first story so if you’ve completed a similar project feel free to post your pics and/or comments.

28 thoughts on “Oil computer ver. 2

  1. He said that this actually cooled his system, but it was running for half an hour or so. Of course I’d expect it to be cooler in that time as the room temperature was lower than the CPU and thus the addition of any additional material would have lowered it. I’d have to see it running for hours, long enough to allow the oil to reach a steady state (taking in as much heat from the system as it emits to the room).

  2. I love the oil computers. I hope to try one myself. I am wondering if there is a way to have some sort of ‘breather hose’ for the harddrive, that would allow for the harddrive to be submerged but still able to breath. I have a few old harddrives I am going to play with.

  3. Oil Cooled Electronics are not new, though oil cooled computers may be, but why use cooking oil, it will go rancid and start to smell bad after a short time. Mineral Oil is cheap, and easy to find (try a pharamacy) does not go rancid, is clear, and is a good dialectric (better then cooking oil), it is used in transformers, and other oil filled electrical parts.

  4. I’ve got a problem with these oil computers: once they’re submerged, I’d never feel right putting them back into a case again. I guess that I’m just not ready to take the plunge (no pun intended) and risk my hard-earned dollars submerging electrical equipment in liquids.

  5. After filling it, me and dave dropped an old school PS/2 wireless mouse in the oil to see if it would work. we wanted to rotate the tank, because the motherboard was directly between the reciever and the mouse and was causing interference. We both grabbed the tank and started to twist, and then it *snapped* free from the table and we rotated it a quarter turn or so. As far as we know, there was already a small crack, but us moving the tank could easily have made it much worse. Anyway, a friend of mine told me that, ragardless of the fact that I broke it under my own stupidity, I didnt buy it there, and i drilled holes in the lid, i could still probably return the tank to W*mart.

  6. I might try this. I found a cool mineral oil, but will this be an electrical insulator?:

    It would be pretty cool: Pink oil…

  7. I did some research after I read the first article and it seems this is a bad idea. Oil will break down plastics and rubber such as the cables/wires and circuit board. It is also very messy to remove.

    A better solution may be a liquid developed by 3M it is expensive but sounds great. Cheapest solution is hydralic fluid.

  8. I’m not positive on this one, just an off-the-top idea. But perhaps it leaked because the oil broke down the silicone rubber.

    Corroboration:

    http://www.azom.com/details.asp?ArticleID=920

    See: Disadvantages

    And I know from experience that when aquariums are filled with things that you don’t want to leak, they will leak. They do not care if water with high levels of bleach or potassium permanganate spill on your carpet. Oh, the horror.

    When filling any aquarium with a non-intended substance, it is always better to put it in another container to contain the possible disaster.

  9. Dude I will get the next tank ready, it’s a bit more sturdy and theres probably more room for the mobo and psu. This time lets try the mineral oil.

  10. Yeah, as far as cooling goes, it’s obvious that pouring room-temperature oil all over it would reduce the temperature, but if it ran for a long time, i could see the oil heating up a lot. If you had it circulating really well (such as by adding a few muffin fans strategically in the tank) it might give off enough heat to the air.

  11. QUOTE
    A better solution may be a liquid developed by 3M it is expensive but sounds great. Cheapest solution is hydralic fluid.
    /QUOTE

    If you’re talking about “saphire” this evaporates at lower temperatures than water to help suppress fires and it also eventually becomes corrosive if it comes in contact with water. This is why it has to be stored in a container with a drier. It can’t even be stored in open air becuase it will absorb the moisture from the air.

  12. When I saw The Fish Tank Computer I thought it was a joke. So The IT Department at Seneca High School(my Job) wanted to try to build the crazy idea. Many of my coworkers though I was crazy. When I brought in fish tank and some cooking oil. When searching for a computer to destroy we found the one of the Administrators old home computer. We took plenty of Picture as we pored in the oil . It has been 6 weeks and it’s still running we never turn it off.

  13. When I saw The Fish Tank Computer I thought it was a joke. So The IT Department at Seneca High School(my Job) wanted to try to build the crazy idea. Many of my coworkers though I was crazy. When I brought in fish tank and some cooking oil. When searching for a computer to destroy we found the one of the Administrators old home computer. We took plenty of Picture as we pored in the oil . It has been 6 weeks and it’s still running we never turn it off.

  14. Is there another way to cool the oil other than running it into a radiator outside the tank? Otherwise after some long term gaming you get some very hot oil but still stable system.

  15. I know the opportunity for aesthetics here is tempting, but seriously, why use an aquarium?

    A PVC bucket, like the general purpose ones they sell at Home Depot, would be *ideal* since its built to hold things much heavier than water. Plus, its a single piece, so there’s nowhere for the oil to leak to. *plus*, it comes with a handle!

  16. the problem with hydraulic oils, several types will eat rubber, plastics. Just look at your car’s brake system. I worked at a facility that manufactured underwater ROV’s and we used pure mineral oil for inside the vehicles with no problems. And that was down to several thousand feet. The pressure balance tube was simply a piece of garden hose.

  17. why not put it in a metal case with a copper layer attatched to the heatsinks of an overclocked quad xeon system then use it to fry up some chicken at the lan party?

  18. Hello there, great site, where did you come up with the info in this synopsis? Im happy I found it though, I’ll be checking back soon to see what other articles you have.

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