Wednesday 4 August 2010

Zalman Reserator 2 - final solution

This one was long overdue.
See Solving Zalman Reserator 2 problems and Zalman Reserator 2 (review ?) for background.

Anyway, fixing problems one after the other didn't seem to have much effect. It seemed as though every solution gave way to yet another problem.
It seems just about every moving part on the radiator unit was faulty in some way or another.

Therefore I undertook a general overhaul of the unit.
I did this for a couple of reasons:
1. I like the Reserator as such. I find the design beautiful
2. Buying 3 of these (for passive cooling) would set me back €180, not to mention the trouble I'd have to go through to mount them on the wall behind the monitor.

So I decided to remove the flow indicator, the pump and the quick couplings that started leaking.

Again I had to open the unit, but this time I paid special attention to the flimsy screws as to not ruin them. Naturally even being extremely careful, I managed to totally ruin two of them.
Removal of the flow indicator was easy since I already have done that before and knew exactly what to do with it. I just removed the indicator, but kept the casing so that I don't have a hole in the unit :) The pump posed no problem either. I just unscrewed the block at the bottom that holds it and then dismounted the pump.
Removing the quick couplings from the unit was easy, but the coils inside the coupling / pump block were full of this strange white stuff. This white stuff was very effectively restricting water flow and thus also had to be removed. I guess the original intent of the stuff was to prevent water leaks. It was rather easy to peel off too, so no problem there.

I managed to find quick coupling replacement in form of some hydraulic valves, rated for 100 bar pressure :) But hey, can't look a gift horse in the mouth, can I? Originally I almost gave up on the whole thing and almost went for normal non-detachable couplings since I couldn't find anything on the net. Funny how the stuff was to be found in a store almost next door...

Anyway, here's a pic of the new couplings:
Note that this setup is a lot bigger than the original couplings. Each of these beasts measures some 8 cm in length and is about 2,5 cm thick. But it does the job. I now have non-leaking quick couplings instead of the old leaking ones.
Don't pay too much attention to the color of cooling liquid in the tubes. This is a direct result of using AT Protect UV Green (which is just about the only cooling liquid obtainable in Slovenia) and using a car anti freeze liquid, which I was only able to obtain in red. I used a green AT Protect because at the time I didn't know that the liquid itself doesn't suppress algae growth. I saw a blue anti freeze liquid a few months later, but by then it was already too late...

The water flow is now handled by one single pump, placed inside the computer as it was before. Since the Eheim in the unit was not powerful enough I just figured there was no need to even keep it there any more.

So, for the third time I can say than now I finally have a water cooling setup that I wanted in the first place.
In the mean time I also replaced my 8800 GTS with a Powercolor Radeon HD 5870 LCS which is also getting cooled just fine.

Happy again.

Until the radiator itself starts leaking...