Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-07-2021, 12:54   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Norfolk, Virginia
Boat: 1984 Passport 42 pilothouse cutter
Posts: 301
Boat computer - watercooled

Looking for a sounding board here.

I am in the process of rebuilding a cabinet to install a new AC. Figuring stuff out I realized some of the available space left over that would be un-utilized would fit a computer motherboard.

I did a little research, and there are quite a few plywood computer case builds, which isn't far off of what I'm thinking.

I was thinking about the runs for raw water hose, when I realized that I could use an engine oil cooler as a heat exchanger for water cooled computer components. I would need to modify the oil cooler for NPT threads and I'll have to get an AC pump relay box, which would work with a standard 120c computer power supply.

An alternative is run a second DC pump and hoses in parallel with the AC hoses. Not preferred but the advantage is I can run a dc power supply that would in theory be a little more efficient and compact.

Computer would be multiuse, but run opencapn and/or expedition. Was thinking that in building this space it would essentially create a closed environment case with standard parts that could be replaced or upgraded semi easily. Likely run pretty quiet.

I dislike unused space and part of this is trying to figure out something useful to fill it. Maybe I'm just letting my mind run away with this.

Any thoughts?

Thank you
alaskanviking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2021, 18:23   #2
Registered User
 
JC Reefer's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 447
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

IMO, your creating way more problem points then you are solving for.
JC Reefer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2021, 18:28   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Boat: Still deciding
Posts: 306
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

Agree with JC Reefer.

Maybe use the space to store a laptop?
ChrisJHC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2021, 20:11   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 642
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

Have you ever heard of the KISS principle? Everything you propose in your post SOOOOO violates it.

BillKny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-07-2021, 20:23   #5
Registered User
 
Nord Sal's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: POW Alaska
Boat: Trlåren, Saltjö Dunväs, Sweden
Posts: 174
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

You're trolling,right?
Nord Sal is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2021, 00:55   #6
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Lefkas Marina ,Greece
Boat: Bavaria 36
Posts: 15,749
Images: 3
Boat computer - watercooled

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskanviking View Post
Looking for a sounding board here.

I am in the process of rebuilding a cabinet to install a new AC. Figuring stuff out I realized some of the available space left over that would be un-utilized would fit a computer motherboard.

I did a little research, and there are quite a few plywood computer case builds, which isn't far off of what I'm thinking.

I was thinking about the runs for raw water hose, when I realized that I could use an engine oil cooler as a heat exchanger for water cooled computer components. I would need to modify the oil cooler for NPT threads and I'll have to get an AC pump relay box, which would work with a standard 120c computer power supply.

An alternative is run a second DC pump and hoses in parallel with the AC hoses. Not preferred but the advantage is I can run a dc power supply that would in theory be a little more efficient and compact.

Computer would be multiuse, but run opencapn and/or expedition. Was thinking that in building this space it would essentially create a closed environment case with standard parts that could be replaced or upgraded semi easily. Likely run pretty quiet.

I dislike unused space and part of this is trying to figure out something useful to fill it. Maybe I'm just letting my mind run away with this.

Any thoughts?

Thank you


If you determine you need water cooled pc components , there is a whole suite of cheap dedicated liquid cooling pc components out there. Much better then retasking engine oil coolers etc. !!! Your solution violates the second “S” in KISS
__________________
Interested in smart boat technology, networking and all things tech
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2021, 02:22   #7
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Denmark (Winter), Helsinki (Summer); Cruising the Baltic Sea this year!
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 31,677
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskanviking View Post
Looking for a sounding board here.

I am in the process of rebuilding a cabinet to install a new AC. Figuring stuff out I realized some of the available space left over that would be un-utilized would fit a computer motherboard.

I did a little research, and there are quite a few plywood computer case builds, which isn't far off of what I'm thinking.

I was thinking about the runs for raw water hose, when I realized that I could use an engine oil cooler as a heat exchanger for water cooled computer components. I would need to modify the oil cooler for NPT threads and I'll have to get an AC pump relay box, which would work with a standard 120c computer power supply.

An alternative is run a second DC pump and hoses in parallel with the AC hoses. Not preferred but the advantage is I can run a dc power supply that would in theory be a little more efficient and compact.

Computer would be multiuse, but run opencapn and/or expedition. Was thinking that in building this space it would essentially create a closed environment case with standard parts that could be replaced or upgraded semi easily. Likely run pretty quiet.

I dislike unused space and part of this is trying to figure out something useful to fill it. Maybe I'm just letting my mind run away with this.

Any thoughts?

Thank you

Heat goes with power consumption -- do you really need all that power?


I use a passively cooled minicomputer with a Pentium Silver chip -- works like a charm for OpenCPN and all kinds of navigation and radio work, and since it runs 24/7, the power consumption is BIG consideration. It's 6 watts max.



You seem to be thinking about not only a massive power hog of a computer, but also adding pumps and whatnot to that. Do you have the battery power (huge lithium bank maybe?) to power that over a long passage under sail?


I do computing-power intensive tasks on a separate box, namely an i7 laptop. But hardly anything I use a computer for other than, maybe, video editing, is really too much for the 6 watt, passively cooled, tiny minicomputer running the latest quad-core Pentium Silver chip.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-être pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2021, 08:39   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: East Coast Florida
Boat: Chris Craft 38 Commander 1965
Posts: 435
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

Why not just use a fanless 12volt PC. These are small, quiet and don’t require a converter.
I’ve had numerous pc’s on board going back to the early nineties. Ran them off an inverter or later the generator or now just directly off the 12 volt. Same for the monitor. Can’t get any simpler than that.
Squanderbucks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2021, 09:01   #9
Registered User
 
captmikem's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Pacific NW.
Boat: KP 46
Posts: 680
Images: 2
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

If you seriously need an overclocked CPU in your PC (which is why you would want to water cool it) for $80 to $120 you can buy a water cooled system that mounts on the CPU.
an example: CORSAIR - Hydro Series 120mm Radiator CPU Liquid Cooling System. (photo below)

However, I have run computers on boats since about 1986 and now use a very simple $400 minipc (example below, about the size of couple of packs of cigarettes) that runs off the ships 12 volts, uses very little power and will drive just about any monitor you wish. it takes micro sd cards to expand the memory and drives, uses a wireless mouse and keyboard, has multiple USB and HDMI ports. I run Open CPN, Adobe Photoshop, Excel, Word, plus any and all internet browsers. Use it to watch movies with, connected to the Pactor for emails.
To me that is the simplest and best option

M
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	aaa wc.JPG
Views:	57
Size:	34.0 KB
ID:	242696   Click image for larger version

Name:	aaa pc.JPG
Views:	66
Size:	29.3 KB
ID:	242697  

captmikem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2021, 10:01   #10
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Vienna, Austria
Boat: Vagabond 47
Posts: 743
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

OH wow, a serverfarm with i386 or amd64 on board. What a scrap. Use arm64 and never again think about thermal problems. And get rid of

windows, 24 - 28 GB upgrades 12-15 GB - a real pain in the a...
android 14 - 25 GB upgrades ??GB - a real pain in the a...
and mac ?
Linux 4 - 7 GB with almost everything - upgrades?
I reckoned it simple did it without any problems an annotations - it simply works,

UOHEH BUT - nada - your choice.
moseriw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2021, 10:13   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Norfolk, Virginia
Boat: 1984 Passport 42 pilothouse cutter
Posts: 301
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

I need a computer with more oomph for autocad, inventor and other Autodesk products.

The space will be in the cabinet I'm mounting the AC unit in, it won't be accessible generally. I was thinking of water cooled components to alleviate additional fans and heat in the area. Not planning to overclock. It's an odd shaped space, but it would fit an ATX or MATX motherboard.

The AC pump is being installed regardless, althou I'd prefer a DC pump for power savings. As I have the system on board this just goes inline. Not nessesarily more complicated than what I'm already installing for the AC.

The water cooled components with a radiator is an alternative and cheaper, however it's still blowing the heat somewhere, which is what I was thinking to avoid. I suppose I can run the radiator into the lazarette, but that can get pretty hot, or too cold in the winter.

Air cooled computers are generally bad on a boat, unless you can mask off well and coat the components with a conformal coating or potting epoxy. The salt air just corrodes stuff over time. My desktop PCs I have used in the past we're bulky and didn't last more than a couple years. There are mitigations here, but everything is a compromise.

Underway an dedicated and more efficient small computer that can run Expedition or open capt is a better solution. I have another odd space for that.

The problem with small computers and laptops is they are difficult to upgrade and repair comparatively. standard components are vastly cheaper than laptop. While Laptops can work anywhere, they also can fall, get stolen, ECT. A laptop with the graphics card I need is on the high end. I can pick up a replacement MATX mother board or components from pretty much anywhere. So in a worse case scenario I can be up and running again quick.

There is some shock, g-force and movement related issues as well, but that just comes with being on a boat. Desktops and laptops also have that issue, but can also fly ac the salon when you forget to secure them.

I haven't jumped onboard with this plan either. Just going through things in my head, checking feasibility, is it worth it ect. I definitely overbuild and over complicate stuff, main reason why I posted.
alaskanviking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2021, 10:32   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Norfolk, Virginia
Boat: 1984 Passport 42 pilothouse cutter
Posts: 301
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

Just realized I can watercool using the fresh water tank just like ann ozefridge. A small 1-3gpm dc circulating pump would cool everything fairly efficiently. No dissimilar metals or corrosion issues to deal with. Wouldn't be enough heat to even worry about a change the fresh water tank temperature.
alaskanviking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2021, 10:45   #13
Registered User
 
Jesse's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Oro Bay Puget Sound
Boat: Irwin sloop
Posts: 403
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

I've cooled a couple cell phones and a pager in saltwater but no computers, probably just a matter of time
Jesse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2021, 11:09   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 56
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

May be a better idea:install a dedicated A/C unit to cool down that processor...
patrickbarbary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-07-2021, 11:10   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Portsmouth, VA
Boat: Morgan 382
Posts: 443
Re: Boat computer - watercooled

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskanviking View Post
I need a computer with more oomph for autocad, inventor and other Autodesk products.
<snip>
I think you are grossly overestimating the requirements of Autodesk products. They certainly run better on higher than average performance PC's, but they won't benefit much from extreme performance water-cooled PC's that hard-core gamers like to build. Or, maybe the size of your projects is a whole lot larger than what I would expect. For the small stuff I have done, I have been happy with performance from run of the mill laptops.

I do note and understand the salt air issues-I also have those. If trying to solve those issues, careful engineering is necessary. I'm not sure a surplus oil cooler is what would work. Maybe it will, but I would not trust just assuming that it will. The oil cooler was engineered for different liquids, different temps, and different flow rates. So, you would need to calculate what is required in terms of surface area and flow rates to cool the PC to the required temps with the warm salt water running thorough the heat exchanger. Then confirm the heat exchanger meets that. Maybe it does, but don't assume it.

I also wouldn't want a case made out of wood, or in a confined area. Wood is an insulator, and will trap in heat. A water cooling system will cool the CPU/GPU, but the rest of the computer could go into thermal runaway. Plus, computers generate massive amounts of RF, and the metal case is a required shield.
__________________
-Warren
wholybee is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boat, water

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Where to buy spiral watercooled condenser for refrigeration phorvati Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 12 27-05-2020 06:53
Isotherm watercooled pump not ticking on katandseiorse Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 8 03-04-2019 17:31
Wanted Raymarina Type 300 Course computer or S3 Course computer Plukky Marine Electronics 0 08-05-2014 23:20
XO, OLPC as a boat computer. sluissa Marine Electronics 5 24-09-2007 10:36
Using a desktop computer aboard an offshore boat Euro Cruiser General Sailing Forum 28 18-08-2005 22:55

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:37.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.