Ultimate flame bait: liquid cooled Arduino

We do so many things around here  just because “we can”. Though this guy cites this as his reason, we somehow can’t help but wonder if he’s doing it just to troll the Arduino hating crowd. He has decided to overclock his Arduino by replacing the crystal and dropping it in some non conductive liquid coolant. Can you guess what sketch he’s running? That’s right, he’s blinking an LED.

Normally we would point out that we have no preference when it comes to Arduino. We simply post what is submitted. Though we are often accused of being Arduino lovers, it is simply just another tool to us. We sometimes delete obnoxious comments that get off topic, threatening, or vulgar because that’s just good house keeping. That being said, we know what to expect here. Go ahead, bash the Arduino. Get it out of your systems. Just keep it non offensive or it will be moderated.

[thanks jfreak09]


  1. noise says:

    Lol,that rocks.

  2. fu says:

    I think arduinos suck but I like this. I think hackaday are the ones trolling. Marketing puke style

  3. Alexander says:

    What I want to know is why he felt the need to make THREE videos…

  4. The Ideanator says:

    So he dunks his arduino in this blue liquid to keep it cool, which brings up the question, does that overclocking actually cause the arduino to get warmer then its non-overclocked brethren?

  5. gadget says:

    Interesting but valueless hack (even from a novelty standpoint).

    Separately it seems like arduino bashing is in vogue – I suppose anything that becomes popular (or at least in increasing widespread use)becomes a target sooner or later. I find the arduino fairly easy to use (and cheap) with a lot of code out in the public domain that newbies like myself can take apart and learn from. It’s even cheaper if you feel like putting it together with breadboard and a few parts.

  6. Haku says:

    32mhz? is that all? the Picaxe 20×2 can run at 64mhz without the need of an external resonator, or cooling…

  7. Neolith100 says:

    Awesome! The End.

  8. concino says:

    I am going to liquid cool my 555 flip-flop circuit right now!

  9. arcnemisis says:

    ok.. have not read through other comments..
    so sorry if I repeat..

    where is the temps.. ? oh wait.. he said he put a temp sensor on it.. but honestly I am not watching 5 videos to get details.. a damn graph would suffice…
    sparkfun had done it way long ago with 16F873A in ’04 and write up of crystal clocks in 2008 with the mega 168..

    this isn’t post worthy.. I have given benefit of doubt with the regime change but …seriously…
    some people have too much time on their hands..

    with the title “Ultimate flame bait:…” enough is said there.. i miss the old HAD.. I know it is slow all around, depressed markets, jobs lost but really..

  10. Sam says:

    I’m not an Arduino basher, per se, but there sure are an awful lot of posts on Hackaday about them. What most of the commenters seem to be complaining about is that the posts aren’t about hacks, they’re projects, and many times they’re projects which could have been accomplished trivially without the Arduino at all, which makes them lame projects instead of interesting ones.

    I’m sure there are some genuine haters here, those who look down upon it because it’s a learning platform, but I think most just hate mostly non-hacks and posts without substance.

    I think this qualifies as a hack, at least. It’s doing something that goes beyond the design specs in an unprofessional, but apparently effective, way. Its value has yet to be determined – if the designer actually pushes the thing to its limits with something more taxing than an LED it might actually be interesting.

  11. tristan says:

    lol, is the coolant to keep ice from forming?

  12. Scotty says:

    The arduino is about the same as a good pair of pliers is. It makes a lot of jobs a whole lot easier, but you coulda done without it. Nothing more. Just a tool.

  13. MrX says:

    Aha! Hack-a-day made my day!

    Thank you very much for this moment.

  14. coolface says:

    u mad?

  15. BOBJOESMITH says:

    sweet! I love overkill lol all the arduino haters!

    ps to arduino haters: its just a complete microcontroller package and is similar to a pic or basic stamp controller kit, just simplified

  16. canbot says:

    All he needs now is a GPU shield and he can run Crysis!

  17. desktop thread says:


    And perhaps show us his magnificent selection of Tidus approved desktop wallpapers.

  18. DiRWiN says:

    cant you make an LED blink without an Arduino?

  19. FDP says:

    Thanks for pointing out the stupidity of man…

    what’s next?

    “I overclocked my 555 timer!”

  20. #1 compsci graduate says:

    DiRWiN, of course not. Stop asking silly questions.

  21. #1 compsci graduate says:


    That’s almost as bad as the time Xzibit put 4 555s in the one package and called it the 558.

  22. Jim says:

    I think I’ll overclock my toaster and cool it by submerging it in the bathtub with me.

  23. Inventorjack says:

    @Jim: Let us know how that works out ;)

  24. ESylin says:

    OK really.. this is wicked funny. I laughed so hard reading all these comments.

  25. T&P says:


  26. SparcMX says:

    Yes, Arduino is the tool, not the project. So strip away the Arduino and see what you have left, creativity in this case, 4 wires and a crystal. Its a textbook hack and shouldnt warrant a mention, my 6 year old knows the purpose of a crystal. I guess the owners of Arduino’s need to dig a little deeper and actually challenge themselves.

  27. SparcMX says:

    Heres an idea, make a water quality tester that tests for light diffuse, ph, temp and viscosity using a micro pumping system. Put it all together in one unit on a suction cap then you’ll have a reason to submerse it.

  28. JB says:

    I’ll try a liquid hydrogen cooled Arduino then… 1GHz and blink the LED at 0.1 Hz :P

  29. #1 compsci graduate says:

    That’s pretty awesome. Your 6 year old should be writing for hack a day or something.

  30. Loren says:

    Cool, just to tick people off.

  31. Loren says:

    With 31 arduino’s you can drive 868 led’s. /duck

  32. Ho0d0o/Heatgap says:

    What’s wrong with Arduino? Like Caleb said it’s a tool. If you can get a task done with an Arduino than why not use it?

    I don’t really understand why there are Arduino haters out there. That’s like saying you hate hammers because they drive nails easier than your fist. I just don’t get it.

  33. Haku says:

    Caleb, you do realise that poking the hornets nest like this will get you stung whilst at the same time make you look foolish for dumb stunts like this and cheapen the quality of HAD?

    I’d rather fewer, higher quality hack submissions get through the ‘interesting filter’ and end up on HAD than a slew of bullshit ‘hacks’ like this.

  34. angrydroid says:

    I just want to log in to Facebook.

  35. M4CGYV3R says:

    There is only one appropriate response to this.


  36. Randy says:

    Why is stuff like this getting posted? Maybe if this was a Composite video application where the base clock frequency was not enough to display the desired graphics… maybe if the un-cooled performance was described… maybe if the end result couldn’t be replaced by a 555 timer or a few transistors, a resistor, and a cap… or maybe if this was in any way unique or interesting would I want to see more things like this being posted!

  37. Walken says:

    Personally, I think it needs more cowbell.

  38. blah says:

    @Randy: Because hack-marketing like all marketing adapts to trends, the Arduino is a trend in this demographic.

    People who don’t like the affect it has on the community are considered ‘trolls’ and ‘flamers’ for the sake of pseudo-intellectual convenience(hence why they are labeled negatively).

    Also on an interesting note: the majority of the people who don’t like it DO have projects, projects that are finished and not 3/4 Arduino and incomplete…even more importantly people who were here before suburbia/hack-marketing.

  39. Illlion says:

    I havent read any of these probably miserable comments. just to let you know i choke-laughed whilst reading the entry title.

    thanks Hackaday <3.

    keep it up

  40. Tough Guy says:

    I dare someone to try to claim that they have never posted something some people didn’t find interesting.

    *(as i mutter under my breath)* “Buncha whiners”

  41. jimmys says:


    “Normally we would point out that we have no preference when it comes to Arduino.”

    Yeah, that denial does get made a lot.

    It’s obvious to everyone that the site favors the Arduino. Every arduino based project is tagged an “arduino hack” while worthy PIC projects like BusPirate are tagged “misc hacks”.

    Probably because there’s no such thing as a “PIC hacks” or “BS2 project” category tag for you to use. Why? How hard would that be to add? It would make it easier for users to find articles based on those microprocessors…maybe that’s the point.

    If your business model calls for pimping the Arduino and running off the old timers that question the wisdom of a “120VAC Arduino Shield”,
    that’s fine but why pretend it’s not?

  42. M4CGYV3R says:

    Can it run Crysis?

  43. xbox live says:

    Only if the LED is blue. Blue for gaming.

  44. n says:

    you can still use a turbo mode on ds lite that increases frequecy…

    liquid cooling is a bit of overkill but that is what hacks are supposed supposed to be.

  45. Frogz says:

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    oh crap, i hope my comment doesnt get deleted… its pretty bad..

  46. anonieme_lafaard says:

    As a DIY microcontroller, the arduino is a complete tool…just like its users.

  47. markii says:

    wow this is cool… NOT!

  48. Besides all this Arduino noise, if the coolant is water based there WILL be corrosion over time, even if it does not conduct electricity (it claims < 1µS/cm), electrolysis will eventually eat the tracks/pads/pins. There are cooling liquids that can be used to immerse the whole thing, like 'Fluorinert', (not eco-friendly at all btw) or the like.

  49. civissmith says:

    Tsk tsk tsk… I still don’t understand the hatred for the Arduino. The biggest question I have is really this: How many of the naysayers have actually tried it? I’ll respect AVR/PIC/68000 folks that have given the Arduino a shot and think little of it. But personally, I just don’t listen to folks who have either not tried it or are basing their opinions on little-to-no actual proof of deficiency.
    Personally, the Arduino is a comfort uC for me. When I’m frustrated with my ATtiny’s or non-bootloaded ATmega’s, it’s nice to grab a slice of Arduino.
    Aside from that, you can remove the ATmega168/328 from the board, slap some hardware behind it – and embed the chip your project –> making it act like any other AVR.

  50. al says:

    lol the ascii art comment by M4CGYV3R is the most 1337 comment EVER!!

    It’s not that people hate arduino. It’s all that comes with it. A nerd using it to play with blinking leds, another nerd spending $100 to make it blink leds thru ethernet and usb for which he could just buy a micro-atx pc board or any arm/xscale/whatever board that can run a full OS.

    You see, seeing someone play with electronics for the sake of playing is like seeing an adult guy play with a barbie doll and at the same time like seeing the teacher’s pet study just for the sake of studying, with no sense of purpose whatsoever. Plain f*ing disgusting.

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