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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    4

    Default Questions About Mineral Oil Computer

    I am completely fascinated by the mineral oil computers you build and want to try this myself. I'll be building a computer in the very near future and think this is the way to go. I have a couple questions that were posed to me when telling friends about this. I've only been reading about these for a short time and want to get as much info as possible to avoid problems that I've heard about.

    I'm curious about the sealing of the aquarium and the computer components. I've read that the oil can deteriorate the seams of an aquarium and some of the rubber fittings of the computer parts. Is this true and is there a way to protect against this?

    I've seen some mineral oil computers where they apply silicone caulking around the base and heat sink of the CPU. I've also been told you would need to apply silicone around any cards plugged into the mobo. The thought here being that the oil seeps into the connections and that being non-conductive, will hinder the electrical flow. Is this an issue with your machines?

    I was planning on adding several computer fans and bubblers to circulate the oil and dissipate the heat. Will this be sufficient to prevent overheating or does an additional water cooled system need to be included as well?

    And what grade or viscosity of oil is the best choice for this? Do you have resources for buying this large amount of oil?

    Thank you so much for your time. I think your site is amazing and your mineral oil rigs are genius. I HAVE to have one of these.

    Thanx,
    - Dean -

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,450

    Default Re: Questions About Mineral Oil Computer

    Hi Dean,

    We don't have a lot of experience with tanks that are not the model we sell. The model we carry is a single acrylic piece, so there's no rubber or seams to deteriorate.

    We've never used silicone to seal the CPU or PCI slots in any of our aquarium systems. They've all worked just fine.

    Circulating the oil is probably not enough to keep a modern computer cool, unless you've specifically bought extremely low heat components. You should really consider pumping the oil through an external radiator. I want to emphasize how important it is to monitor the temperatures in your system, if the oil gets to hot it can lead to a tank failure, and that's a real mess.

    You can buy mineral oil online fairly easily. Here's the link from our aquarium computer page: http://store.steoil.com/categories/C...h-Grade/CP70T/

    Good luck. Come back with pictures when you finish the project!
    Richard

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Questions About Mineral Oil Computer

    Thank you for the reply Richard,

    I'm only beginning to learn about these systems and really want to build one. But there seems to be a lot more to it than just pouring oil over the parts. The more I read, the more I realize this isn't a project to be taken lightly. I want to be sure I have the most accurate and recent info available before I even consider this adventure.

    You wouldn't happen to have a guide or FAQ file on your site outlining the procedures and precautions in building these systems would you? Maybe a list of the recommended parts and options available and things to avoid?

    Thank you again for your advice. I'll be scouring your site for further ideas and tips.

    - Dean -

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Questions About Mineral Oil Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by Rokitman View Post
    I am completely fascinated by the mineral oil computers you build and want to try this myself. I'll be building a computer in the very near future and think this is the way to go. I have a couple questions that were posed to me when telling friends about this. I've only been reading about these for a short time and want to get as much info as possible to avoid problems that I've heard about.

    I'm curious about the sealing of the aquarium and the computer components. I've read that the oil can deteriorate the seams of an aquarium and some of the rubber fittings of the computer parts. Is this true and is there a way to protect against this?
    As Richard said the ecliplse tank they sell is a single piece of acrylic molded (at least that's what it advertises :P) and I bought my GPU, CPU, and PSU with solid caps to be on the safe side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rokitman View Post
    I've seen some mineral oil computers where they apply silicone caulking around the base and heat sink of the CPU. I've also been told you would need to apply silicone around any cards plugged into the mobo. The thought here being that the oil seeps into the connections and that being non-conductive, will hinder the electrical flow. Is this an issue with your machines?
    I don't believe PUGET did this and nor did I and I have had no issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rokitman View Post

    I was planning on adding several computer fans and bubblers to circulate the oil and dissipate the heat. Will this be sufficient to prevent overheating or does an additional water cooled system need to be included as well?
    The circulation of a bubbler and fan doesn't seem amazingly significant to me, I don't notice much when I turn em all to high so I don't know how important it is, wouldn't go overboard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rokitman View Post
    And what grade or viscosity of oil is the best choice for this? Do you have resources for buying this large amount of oil?
    The lowest you can find, with no additives and make sure it's fully refined so it's not bad for your health. I bought from STE Oil company like Richard linked, 70f tech grade. Puget and STE actually partnered up I believe.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Questions About Mineral Oil Computer

    In addition to these questions, do either of you(since you two seem to be the non-puget experts) know if you can use a PCI wireless card rather than ethernet?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Questions About Mineral Oil Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by jgruberman View Post
    In addition to these questions, do either of you(since you two seem to be the non-puget experts) know if you can use a PCI wireless card rather than ethernet?
    I'm certainly no expert, that's for sure. I'm learning all this from the ground up. But that's a great question. I would think any type of card would work. But can a wireless signal cut through oil? Any takers?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Questions About Mineral Oil Computer

    Rokitman, if you have some sort of online chat or email(which is faster than forum response), I'd love to chat with you more about all of this to absorb some of your knowledge on the topic...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Questions About Mineral Oil Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by jgruberman View Post
    Rokitman, if you have some sort of online chat or email(which is faster than forum response), I'd love to chat with you more about all of this to absorb some of your knowledge on the topic...
    I'd be more than happy to do that with you JG. But I think you'll get more ~ and better ~ information the way I did. From searching Google for the forums and discussion groups that specialize in this. I've never built one of these systems even though I'd love to. But I'm sure there's a lot more to it than I can envision and if it's not done right, taking MY advise might end up in a huge mess for YOU. I'd really like to see you get advice from some TRUE experts in the field.

    That being said, I have a Gmail account. I'll try to PM you my email address if you'd like to talk real time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Questions About Mineral Oil Computer

    sure, I figure worst case is you can never have too many collaborative minds working on a project - if you can't get the PM system to work, mine is jgruberman at gmail dot com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,450

    Default Re: Questions About Mineral Oil Computer

    We've never tried a PCI Wireless card. I wouldn't be confident that you'd get very good signal strength, but if someone else has tried it, I'd love to know the results!

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