Monthly Archive: October 2001

Earthquake Assembly

Set up Earthquake‘s hardware over the weekend, which included stealing components from Plague, my trusty PC for quite a while. Set up scratch installations of Win98 and Win2k Pro on the machine and ended up with a 1 frame-per-second difference using Quake3Arena’s Demo001 (151fps v. 150) so I think I’m going to go with Win2k pro for its OS.
Took lots of pictures over the weekend of my rig. I’ll post them as soon as the roll is used up. I’m still working on tweaking everything to get it just so. It’s like settling into a new apartment, it takes a while to get everything where you want it.

One bummer is that the HX08 is really, really full now that I have the radiator kit installed with the fan shroud as a part of the watercooling loop. I have so much crap jammed in there that it makes working in it a bit rough. I didn’t even have room for the planned radiator duct. Maybe next time I’ll go for a full-on server cube or something.

More parts and wiring modifications for Earthquake

My BayBus arrived today. I decided to order a BayBus from PCmods instead of building my own. After thinking about it for a bit, I realized that each DPDT switch cost 5 bucks and the BayBus cost 20 bucks with four switches. I save no money doing it myself and I get a much higher quality device by purchasing theirs. I guess I’ll be working on my fans today.

For prosperity, here is a diagram of the three position 12v-off-7v trick to undervolt fans for lower noise (and throughput, of course):


This is akin to the 7 volt fan modification from but it uses a three position switch to control it at two speeds.

More Earthquake case design

I’ve been working on the case this week. Working with fresh cut metal minus gloves equals tiny little slashes all over my fingertips.

At any rate, I think I’m going to try a little experiment with my case. My current setup resembles this:


There was space enough in the lower front of the case to secure an 80mm fan between the radiator and pump. This way there is fresh air being blown into the case and the intake isn’t limited to merely the hot air being sucked through the radiator.

Although I know that fans cool better when they blow on the object rather than suck away from the object, I’m going to see if this method will suffice for the cooling of the two 10k RPM SCSI hard drives up top in back.






If I’m not happy, I’ll just reverse the 80’s from suck to blow and install a chimney fan.

Maybe I’ll do that anyway, just to see how effective both methods are. Depends on how motivated I am…

Twilight 2000 to Aftermath conversion

For shitz and giggles we’ve switched game systems from Twilight 2000 to the Aftermath! set of rules by Fantasy Games Unlimited. I’ve always felt that Aftermath was one of the best skills-based RPGs out there and has a combat system that goes into much greater detail than T2K does.

Basically I just got tired of the weird abstractions that T2k did for the intent of simplifying combat (e.g. The M-16 having 10 shots, a 9mm Beretta holding two, etc.). Twilight:2000 has a great set of modules but the game itself is simplistic and has limited opportunity for character advancement or improvement.  Aftermath, on the other hand, has far fewer options for modules set in their post-apocalyptic setting but the system itself is great.

Earthquake Gear Arrives

I’ve collected all my gear and it’s sitting in a juicy collection of boxes in my laundry room, waiting to be assembled. In going through the layout and setup it looks like the 90 degree 4″ elbow join that I was going to use for a duct is going to be too damn big. That radiator is a big mofo. The rad + fan combo pushed the duct into the PCI slot area on the motherboard tray. Not good considering I’ll have something like 6 slots full of cards.

I did have some layout questions that I’m looking for answers on [H]ardOCPGideontech and The Tech Zone.

Basically, I’m looking for a quiet and well-cooled rig (aren’t we all?) and would like to reduce the number of fans spinning, which is why I’m going for a watercooled solution. Well, that plus it’s a rockin’ idea.

I’m looking at two possible setups:


Option one:

I put one 120mm fan at the bottom with the radiator, sucking air in and 2x 80mm fans at the top pulling air out.

This way there’s only three fans spinning and I get airflow through the radiator and over the hot SCSI drives.

Question: Will this be enough airflow to keep the drives cool as well as keeping the overall case temp near ambient?





Option Two:

I add a 120mm Chimney fan up top to pull all the hot air in the case up and out and reverse the flow on the 2x80mm fans so they blow directly onto the SCSI drives.

What’ll be the temp difference in the case and of the drives?



A PC named Earthquake

Earthquake is my principal tweak-toy, digital audio workstation and game player. I know that everyone at AudioForums would flame that you aren’t supposed to have anything but DAW stuff on a PC that will be recording audio, but oh well.

I will be posting about my four main PCs: Eathquake, Headcrash, Locust and Plague. These PCs are so named after the four Unix machines in the UC Berkeley computer lab underneath Davis Hall.

Remember: Gnome smoking will kill you.