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Old 10-19-2003, 02:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default mini fridge comp mod

Yes, thats right - I plan on incoporating a thermoelectric cooler into a full tower. Not to cool the CPU or the hardware, but 6-packs and food.

Rather than buying a Peltier-style solid state heat pump raw, I've decided to buy a thermoelectric cooler from Wal-Mart for about $35 and rip the guts out. I'm going to mount the TEC to the back of the case or possibly the side for easy access to the temperature control. The hardest part I forsee in this project will be making an insulated chamber within the case. I'm thinking a watertight plastic seal, and then foil inside of that, then some simple insulation I have lying around, and finally a plastic inside, which I still don't know how I'll go about obtaining. Maybe a plastic bucket or container cut to my needs...

I'm fairly confident that I can do this with few problems, but I decided to put this item up for review in case I missed some unforseen variable. I dont think condensation will be a problem with adequate insulation, but then again I was sure I'd ace that Algebra 2 exam last Friday too. Does anyone know how long the average TEC can stay on safely without the hot side melting? I want this mini fridge to operate safely for at least 3-4 days at a time, otherwise it would be pointless.

Your comments and/or ridicule mean a great deal to me.

Thanks in advance,
We Play Up Here

PS - attached is a compter-generated design for my mod that I rendered on state-of-the-art MSpaint software.
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File Type: jpg 100_4793.jpg (42.6 KB, 119 views)
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Old 10-20-2003, 12:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well first off... where'd you get that MSpaint software you used to make that... gosh, just incredible... anyways, I like the idea.. Having a 6-pack right inside your computer?! wow.. that would work out well, I wish you luck with your project!
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Old 10-20-2003, 09:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've seen a mod like this before. Here are the issues that you have to worry about.

Condensation. It looks like your putting the rig in your freezer. A good idea might be spray silicone. I think it's non-conductive so you can spray it all over your board, which will act as a sealant.

How do you plan on accessing your drives? where will you plug in your usb, keyboard, monitor?

Don't forget to defraust that freezer before you start. Don't need ice all over your stuff.
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Old 10-20-2003, 11:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Actually, I'm putting a freezer in my rig, but the motherboard and cold chamber will only be seperated by 1/2 inch of foam and foil insulation, so I may use that silicon spraying idea you mentioned.

The ports for keyboard, mouse, monitor etc. will be in a custom plate on the back of the tower above the TEC. Where you see that curvy line sticking out in my illustration is approximately where the power cord and other such plugs will be.

I have pics, I will post them soon fo you to see exactly what I have in mind.

*edit* - thanks for all your suggestions by the way!
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Old 10-20-2003, 12:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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sounds like a sound idea. keep us updated on the progres...im certain id like to c pics and conecpts...if u become a miwionair, rember tha folks back in tf!!!
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Old 10-20-2003, 04:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The networking/computer repair teacher at my school was generous enough to give me a full tower with a motherboard, hard drive and everything. I think I'm going to keep the junk operating system in it until I'm sure my stuff will be safe from condensation. It has like a Pentium 1 and has 16mb of RAM and 850mb of memory, but it was free and can serve as my guinea pig setup. I want to replace it with my dell's insides when I'm sure it's safe.



This is the tower I'm working with, nice and tall with enough room on the bottom to hold a couple 6packs.



As you can see, plenty of empty space. I am currently moving everything to the top half of the tower above the bar. The entire bottom half will be dedicated to the fridge.



Here is how I plan on making space for the motherboard, by putting both the floppy and CD drives sideways and placing the the motherboard in the empty space to the left. I will cut out a slot in the metal on the bottom of the tray for the board to slide in. As soon as I get it and placed I will post an update.
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Old 10-25-2003, 11:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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thats pretty frickin awesome, nice pics too!
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Old 10-26-2003, 08:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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right on, I have a big p1 comp im not using, i might look into that...
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Old 11-02-2003, 04:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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hows develpoment going? as u can c, i am curious.
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Old 11-02-2003, 05:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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yea, me too I wanna see this
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