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  #46  
Old 04-24-2014, 10:15 AM
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Excited to announce the newest sponsor for The PPPP.......





Many computer forum members know Mike of Lutro0 Customs as one of the foremost sleeving evangelists. It was actually his videos I watched when doing my first sleeve job.....and I know I'm not alone in that regard. Lutro0 Customs is sponsoring all of the wire, sleeve, terminals, connectors and heatshrink for The PPPP. I'll even try out some of his sleeving tools that he sells from his website and let you know what I think. I used MDPC-X in my last build, so I'm anxious to compare Mike's new Telios line of sleeving with my prior MDPC-X experience. If you haven't checked out his website lately.....you should. He has really done a great job at gathering together all of the things you would need to do your own custom cables....into a one-stop shop.

I guess I have to redo the sponsor plaque.....right? :) Introducing......


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  #47  
Old 04-27-2014, 10:36 PM
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Let's pull those beautiful EK pump tops out the box, and the EK cover kits......

As with most EK products...the pump tops (including pump) are packaged in a first rate fashion. Not sure why the cover kits don't have the same treatment yet. Maybe too new? Or since it's such a small dollar item maybe they don't worry as much about packaging.





The pump top has a perfectly sized red box that slides out of the cover. Very similar to the orange boxes for the waterblocks that match the orange sleeve. Love how EK does this.....





The red box opens up to reveal components surrounded in foam protection and inside a plastic bag. As typical, the box is the perfect size for the included items. No more....no less. Very nice again. *cough*payattentionaquacomputer*cough*.





These kits are the pumps and pump tops. I chose these because I really wanted a "clean" version of the acrylic pump top, and the only way they are currently offered was as part of the kit that includes the pumps. My guess is that will change eventually....because these pump tops are beautiful. It comes with all the tools you need for installation.







The pump cover kits have the same great foam protection inside a perfectly shaped box. No waste of space in most EK packaging.





Installation of the pump cover kits is pretty straightforward. First you separate the pump top into two pieces by removing the 8 screws....





Then you replace the standard pump top backing (acrylic in my original pump top kit) with the pump top backing from the pump cover kit (black in my kit). The one from the pump cover kit must be used as the diameter of the hole for the pump cutout is too small to let the pump cover through on the original one.





Screw it back together and ....viola!





The back of the cover kit is purposely missing the EK badge....





One of the aluminum EK badges comes in the kit, and you can put it on whichever direction you want.....





So....if you wanted to rotate the back cover so that the wires come out the left...or the right....or bottom....or whatever you want....you can still make the EK badge line up in the correct direction. Whatever direction you want it read. Nice touch.





Let's take a lap around this beautiful pump top. Similar to the "clean" version of the Supremacy block I showed earlier....you'll notice that the top of the pump top is much clearer than the sides....which have a frosted look. My plan will be to polish this bad boy up so that everything is clear as glass......




Couple of LED holes on this right side of the block.....











I find these pump tops beautiful. Imagine them inside the black part of my case, with a soft glow of LED's illuminating the inside of the block and the engraving....and some gorgeous pink coolant circulating. Mmmmmmm. The only thing better looking than one of these pump tops.....





.....are two of these pump tops. :)





I find them so attractive that I'm going to find some prime real estate in the case, right by a window, for installation. I'm even going to try and stack them vertically so that there is this enormous surface area of beautiful clear illuminated pump tops....with pretty pink coolant pulsing through. Yes.......my precious........





They receive the official Pink Panther seal of approval. He thinks they're purrrrrrrfect. Whatever that's worth.





If you're already familiar with Bitspower pump tops, these next pictures will help you get a good feeling for how BIG these pump tops are. The EK one is an 80mm square, while the Bitspower one is a 60mm square. That means there is about 75% more surface area on the Bitspower pump top. In the pictures below, I've lined up the left edge of the EK pump top, with the left edge of the Bitspower pump top in the BBBB. You can see how much longer the EK version sticks out on the right side.





If you have the space for it, it's beautiful. But it does take up considerably more space.





When comparing these to the Bitspower pump tops and mod kits.....I would say that the Bitspower mod kit definitely has a lot more "bling" to it, while the EK mod kit has more of an simple, elegant and refined look. They both are great looking...so it really just depends on your preference or the aesthetics you are going for in your build.

The installation is also very different. Bitspower relies on threads on the pump top to screw the mod kit on to it. EK secures the mod kit with a series of screws. The Bitspower installation method is quicker and easier....but I think I prefer the EK screws. I feel rock solid about the seal I'm getting with the screws. It seems like sometimes the Bitspower mod kits loosen up a little on me after installation, and need to be tightened again. I also get hesitant about possibly stripping the threads on the Bitspower version if I tighten up toooooo much. Bitspower is definitely available in a much larger variety of finishes though....so it may be easier to match your build colors with a Bitspower top. And as mentioned earlier....the EK pump tops are much larger and take up more space. If you have the space and want to show them off.....cool. If you are short on space....definitely consider whether you have the room.



And since I was in the BBBB taking the pump picture....here is a shot of the inside in the location in my office where she currently resides. She has been humming along perfectly for several months now. I'm starting to give up on getting a GTX790 released...so not sure what the next upgrade here will be. Pretty sure I DON"T want to drop in two Titan Z's at $3,000 a piece.




Why is it you never notice the dust in your system until after you've taken a picture?
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  #48  
Old 04-27-2014, 10:40 PM
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i think were in a race for the longest build here
but im ahead since its up on air
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  #49  
Old 04-28-2014, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wytnyt View Post
i think were in a race for the longest build here
but im ahead since its up on air
Lol....not a race I want to win! But to be honest, I'm not in a hurry and I don't ever rush. This one won't take me 18 months like my last one though. I expect to be done by the end of July.

I should be pretty much done with shooting all the sponsored parts in the next week or so.....and then I can start the real fun.
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  #50  
Old 04-28-2014, 07:50 PM
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Going to dig into my care package from Lutro0 Customs tonight. Thanks Mike! Pictures later.....

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  #51  
Old 04-29-2014, 12:42 PM
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The Lutro0 care package was so full that it was actually difficult to get a shot of everything together. :) Had to go wide angle lens....





Lutro0 Customs is supporting this build with all of the sleeving, wire, heatshrink, terminals and connectors that will be used. Being extremely grateful for their support, I also decided to pick up a few of Mike's tools from his website to try while doing the sleeving for this build. In the general direction from left to right and top to bottom, the Lutro0 Customs care package contained:

- 16 feet of 1/4 inch heatshrink (his recommended size for heatshrinkless sleeving)
- 12 feet of 1/2 inch heatshrink
- various connectors
- Wire stripper
- Crimper
- Molex Extractor
- Combination drill bit and tap
- Flush cutters
- 250 feet of Custom 16 awg wire
- 175 feet of Custom 22 awg wire
- 10 feet of black SATA sleeve
- Multimeter
- Adjustable heatshrink jig
- various terminals
- 75 feet White Telios Sleeve
- 75 feet Dark Grey Telios Sleeve
- 200 feet Black Telios Sleeve


I'll do some additional pictures of individual items since it's such a large batch of stuff. Very excited about the Telios sleeving. First impression is very positive. Looks smaller diameter than MDPC-X and also looks to be a tighter weave. Very attractive.

FYI....the white sleeve will be for my attempt to dye it pink. :)

Thanks Lutro0 Customs!!!!!

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  #52  
Old 04-29-2014, 02:09 PM
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Here are some comparison shots between Telios and MDPC-X.

For all of these shots, the Telios is on top, and the MDPC-X is on bottom. First the black sleeve.....





It's pretty easy to see that the Telios is a smaller diameter sleeve. In theory, you would think that this would make it grab the wire better and be easier to stretch tight. I'll let you know if that's true once I start sleeving with it.

Closer up....





The shades of black color are almost idenitical. No real difference there at all. But there is no doubt that the Telios is a tighter weave. Take a look in the picture above at how many specs of light you can see through the Telios sleeve vs the MDPC-X sleeve.

Below is a shot of the white sleeve. Again, Telios on the top, MDPC-X on the bottom....





The shades of white are very different bewteen the two, with Telios being cooler white vs MDPC-X being a warmer white. Easy to see the size difference still....





...and when you get closer it's easy to see that the weave is tighter for Telios.

Now...I would never recommend sleeving red wire with white sleeving without taping up the red to cover it first. But....just to see if the Telios covers better than MDPC-X....lets do it. I put a piece of red 18 awg wire in each of the pieces of sleeve. Still not stretched, so this is just about as bad as it could ever get with regards to coverage. :)




While neither sleeve can hide the red wire without stretching it tight....it is easy to see that the MDPC-X shows more of the red specs of wire beneath the sleeve than the Telios does. So I think it's fair to say that you are going to get better coverage from the Telios.





They almost look pink! Maybe I don't need to dye the sleeve after all...... :p



What is the difference in cost? Well....that takes a little math. Any CPA's in the house? Oh...wait. Ok...I'll give it a shot. Nil's sells MDPC-X by the meter instead of the foot, and you pay by Euros, not $'s. So we need to do a little conversion. And while we are at it, let's go ahead and set up a scenario where you are getting 200 feet of sleeve. That's enough to do a sleeving job for most computers. Not all. But it gives us a start at estimating total cost for a sleeving job between the two (without the heatshrink, terminals, etc....just the sleeve):

Telios -- As of today, the cost is $6.75 for 25 feet of black. You would need 8 packs to get 200 feet. 8 * $6.75 = $54 bucks. Shipping for the 200 feet of sleeve would cost you another $6 bucks, for a total cost of $60.

MDPC-X -- As of today, the cost is six euros for 10 meters of black....or about 33 feet. So you would need 6 packs to get about 200 feet. 6 * six euros = 36 euros. As of today, the conversion rate is 1.38, so it would cost you about $50 bucks. So the sleeve is a little bit cheaper than Telios was. Not much....but every dollar counts, right? However, the shipping on this one will cost you another 9.70 euros, which is about another $13. Total cost of $63.

So the cost is pretty similar between the two, and the $3 difference is not even something to consider when you are working on your $5k gaming rig, right? For quite awhile, Nils would only open up the MDPC-X international shop for a few hours at a time, and only a couple of times a week. So....ordering it was a process involving finding out when the next opening would be, setting your alarm for whatever ungodly hour it might have been in Germany, and then quickly filling your order online before the store site went down again. Although this difficult ordering process did create a certain mystique about the product, I always found it to be quite annoying. Not sure if it's been changed permanently or not....but for awhile now the MDPC-X online store has been open every time I've visited. So maybe that policy has changed. It will take you a little bit longer to have MDPC-X shipped to you though. If you are getting Telios through FrozenCPU, ...you know how fast they ship and you have options on the shipping method.

Hope that helps if you are trying to decide between the two. I'll pass on more thoughts as I start using it, but Telios appears to be a very attractive option for sleeving.
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  #53  
Old 04-30-2014, 12:00 PM
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I had a request to show the white comparison again....after it had been stretched tight. Who am I to say no? Telios on top, MDPC-X on bottom....





...and closer.





Both are better than before I stretched the sleeve taught....but I would still never sleeve a red wire with white sleeve. Just say no folks.

In order to stretch the sleeve, I had to to go ahead and put terminals on each end of the wires, so I could melt the sleeve on the terminals to hold. This gave me a chance to play with some more of the Lutro0 Customs tools. I can tell you that this crimper....





....is amazing and does absolutely perfect crimps. This is a combination of the Custom 16 awg wire, the terminals that Lutro0's carries, and the Lutro0 crimper. So nice.





But my favorite new toy so far is this wire stripper. I've never had one before. Can't tell you how nice it is. Effortless to make a perfect strip every single time. I won't ever go back to the old way.







It's so easy and beautiful that I may need to show it on video. My first attempt with the heatshrink jig wasn't perfect though. My knife isn't always cutting through the shrink all the way on the first pass. A second pass always cuts it....but not always perfectly lined up with the first cut. Need a sharper knife...or maybe a razor blade, and I'll try again. Quick video wouldn't hurt to show off the jig either.

Last edited by cpachris; 04-30-2014 at 12:35 PM. Reason: It was 16 awg, not 18 awg wire
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  #54  
Old 05-01-2014, 11:46 AM
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There are lots of things I love about the EK-Res X3 150.

Of course it comes in attractive and well protected packaging.....





......Of course it comes with all the accessories that you would ever need......





....and of course the reservoir itself is absolutely beautiful.





But what I really love about the EK-Res X3 150, is how versatile it is......














EK. It's what's for breakfast.
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  #55  
Old 05-01-2014, 07:15 PM
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Was a gorgeous day today here in Oklahoma. Decided to spend a little time in the garage working up a prototype for a pump stand. Because I am in love with the look of the large EK pump tops, my current plan is to put them right in front of a window so they can be seen easily. I think I want the reservoir in the front window....so the only logical place left that doesn't block the view of anything critical is right behind the reservoir on the left side of the case. And I need to stack them vertically. Not just because I don't have enough floor space over there ( I don't ), but because I want them to both be stacked against the window. So....

First I went to Lowe's and grabbed about $6 bucks worth of aluminum strips. I'm doing the prototype in aluminum because it is so darn easy to work with and so cheap. Once I have a design that I think works, I may investigate doing it in other materials. My first attempt here is using 1/16 inch thick strips. These are pretty soft, so I'll have to see if they can support the weight of the pumps.




Sketched out rough dimensions. Nothing to precise here. This is just a prototype.





Got my hacksaw out and went to cutting.....







This stuff is fairly thin....so it didn't take long. Maybe 10 minutes. Now I have these 6 strips....





Did some real quick touchups on the ends with a file. Just a few minutes. Not trying to make them look good....just trying to keep from cutting myself. :)





Drilled some quick holes.....





When I did a test fit to see if the holes lined up on the pump....I found out that the pump cover was just large enough where it kept the strip from coming in far enough to line up with the holes. Fail. So....I just filed out a little "v" shape right where the cover was touching the strip.





Didn't take much....now it fits.




Got my pieces all cut, filed and drilled. Let's put it together.

[


First I put the long vertical strips on the back of the pumps. I used the EK vibration dampeners that come with the D5 mounting kits. I attached the dampeners to the pumps, and then attached the aluminum strips to the dampeners. Was able to use screws and washers from the EK D5 mounting kit also.,







Then I attached the vertical strips to the base strips with 8mm M4 bolts and nuts.







It actually feels very solid even without the support strips I cut....but I went ahead and put one on the back anyway.





The idea would be to mount this directly to the midplate in right about this location. I'd have to do something to decouple it from the floor....but you get the idea. There is just enough room in front of it to reservoir. I might even be able to extend a little mounting arm off the side of this and attach the reservoir to it.





If I stick with aluminum, these would be powder coated with the same black powder that CaseLabs uses on the interior....so they would blend right in.





The pumps are about 1 inch higher than I think I want them. So....when I redo this, I'll bring them down a little so they are more centered in the window.







Would love some feedback on improvements for the pump stand...or other ideas for how to mount these big bright beautiful babies. Oh wait....this is the PPPP....not the BBBB. Ok...how about....ideas on how to mount these particularly pretty plexi pumps. Word.
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  #56  
Old 05-02-2014, 04:54 PM
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Gave bending acrylic a try today. Still thinking about different ways to make the pump stand.

As a test....first I just cut a little 1 inch strip off one of my squares with my table saw.





Then I grabbed my heat gun and used my workbench edge as an angle to bend the acrylic over....




It didn't take long until it was getting soft on it's own accord. With some pressure, I could mash it down into a 90 degree angle. It would tend to spring back out of shape if I let it go to soon. Really had to hold it in place for about 2 minutes while it cooled in order for it to stick....




It's not pretty....but it worked.




Way too much flex in the bend though. This is pretty thin acrylic....I think it was 1/8 inch. But there is enough flex where something this simple just won't work.




So I decided to try my hand at a longer double bend. Something that would let me make the sides of the pump stand solid ( for no flex ) while bending out the angles that attach to the pumps and the floor.




Cut my basic shape....




Clamped it to the side of my bench, and applied the heat gun liberally. :)




Massive fail. Making a long bend like this is much much harder to get to 90 degrees. I was able to bend both sides that I wanted....but they didn't come out real straight. Not usable, and I don't think I could get it a whole lot better outside of having some better tools to layout the plastic and clamp it.








Have decided that bending acrylic will not be the route I take. :o :o Going to modify the dimensions of my aluminum strip version, and paint it black to see how it looks. I'm also still contemplating some other options with plastics that don't require me trying to bend it....as well as a sheet metal option that was suggested. More soon....
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  #57  
Old 05-02-2014, 06:38 PM
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if you were to use a flat piece of metal the length of your bend,you can get a nice uniform bend in your acrylic
all of the sheetmetal in my build was done in this manner which of course i didnt have the option of heating so hammers and mallets were used
i wasted several pieces of acrylic trying to make sharp edge bends and eventually gave up..
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  #58  
Old 05-02-2014, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wytnyt View Post
if you were to use a flat piece of metal the length of your bend,you can get a nice uniform bend in your acrylic
all of the sheetmetal in my build was done in this manner which of course i didnt have the option of heating so hammers and mallets were used
i wasted several pieces of acrylic trying to make sharp edge bends and eventually gave up..
Good to know I'm not the only one who gave up on bending acrylic.
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:49 AM
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Has anyone ever used any of the online 3d printing services? I played around in Sketchup and modeled a neat little pump mounting system....but I have no idea of how rigid the ABS material comes out.

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Old 05-05-2014, 12:16 AM
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Fresh off the Thunder win Saturday night....I spent some of today putting together pump prototype #2. I recut some aluminum pieces, and this time I decided to go ahead and put a coat or two of black spray paint on them...just so the bare aluminum wouldn't be so distracting. Here was the highly calibrated and controlled painting environment setup for the evening....





Using this paint tonight....





One coat.....





Two coats.....





...and then rush inside to put it together before it's even dried. You'll notice I painted one of the Corsair fan accent rings black also, so that when I get back to choosing the fan colors I can use that one.





Several people had asked about decoupling the pumps, and this is what I'm using right now. These rubber vibration dampners come with the EK D5 mounting kit. The pump tops screw into these, and the frame I'm building screws into the other side of these. That way the frame is never touching the pump.




Here it is put together. The paint wasn't even close to dry so I really buggered it up doing this....but it still makes it less distracting fhan the bare aluminum when trying to picture what it would look like. I'm still excited about the 3d printing idea for a pump stand and I'm exploring that....but if I end up doing an aluminum version, I would definitely powder coat the final version.

The differences in this version are:

1) I lowered the top pump about 1.25 inches from where it was last time, and decreased the spacing between the two pumps. I knew it needed to be lower, but you really can't tell if you've done it the right amount with building a prototype.
2) Shortened the front side of the "T" brace at the bottom. Before, the base stuck out way in front of the pumps. Now...I only have it extending just a little bit in front of the frame. It still stands on it's own even with the shorter base.
3) Eliminated the horizontal brace I had between the pumps. It just doesn't need that since both of the pumps serve as a brace between the two frame sides.
4) Added a vertical / diagonal brace that extends from the middle of the pumps stand down to the back of the bottom brace.





Here is what the first version looked like:





An improvement. And much sturdier. This one is solid with that back brace.

This one turned out to be just about the right size also. Here are some pictures in the case. Notice how there will be just enough space for the reservoir (mounted and elevated eventually) to the right of the pump tops and in the front window.







And with the window on you can see that the pump tops are fairly well centered in the window now. Just what I was picturing.







More info on the 3d printing tomorrow......
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