Fanless DIY Dual-P3 WC System

Do-It-Yourself Systems
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I intended to build a fanless system and a noisy PSU fan was simply unacceptable. I selected the by-now old QuietPC 230W PSU that I had lying around as my victim:

Remember: Always leave a PSU disconnected for at least 24 hours before working on it. Those capacitors can kill you!

This PSU has a very pliable heatsink, enabling me to slip two copper tubes between the pins and then bend them back around the tubes, creating a pretty effective heat transfer device.

The two tube ends were connected with a piece of tubing bent into a "U". Notice in the picture below that I used an old telephone cord wrapped around the tubing to prevent kinks, a technique used on tight spots throughout the case. The "outer" ends of the tube were slipped through two holes I drilled in the front of the PSU.

I decided to power up the PSU inside the case, just for testing purposes. Big mistake 2! I saw a spark and my apartment went dark.

After some thought I came to the conclusion that one of the heatsinks was live and I had accidentally made my entire case live! (Although I did take precautions against this when powering up - hiding behind a chair…) [Editor's Note: Weenie! ;-D]

The copper tubing is just thick enough to allow watertight attachment of 9mm ID hoses without clamps. I ended up disconnecting the live one from the PCB and insulating the copper tubing from the PSU shell with electrician's tape, just in case.

PSU test-mounted in case.


There was still some heat rising from the PSU components that were not attached to the heatsinks, so I decided to cut a top hole in the case so that it could escape through natural convection.

Components mounted inside case.

Some window modding work.

After I finally mounted all components into the case as shown above, I turned on the pump and fired up the computer: Silence.

Had I done something wrong? Did I kill it with all my fumbling around? Then I heard the Post-Beep.


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