• 18.10.2017, 05:36
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Need advice before I buy. Please someone confirm that my setup will work

Freitag, 15. September 2017, 09:32

Hi there.

I'm building something different- an external watercooling setup inspired by the Alphacool Eiswand. I have all my parts figured out, and even have a plan for the assembly of the thing in a custom enclosure.

The only things I can't be sure of are my fan/pump control, and my method of controlling when the external system turns on/off.

I want a PCB-only controller, and ideally one that can be controlled by plugging it into a USB port. From the looks of things, the Aquaero 6 LT meets my needs perfectly. It even has PWM fan headers.

The thing I'm unsure about is my pumps. I'm running two Alphacool DC-LT 3600 pumps in series, because I found a great way to mount them in a super low-profile configuration to keep the size of the external unit as small as possible. I'm using a 280mm Monsta radiator, and four Noctua Industrial PPC 2000 fans. It's already beefy and there are no aquabus-compatible pumps that will fit into the design at all.

So what I was thinking of doing is plugging two PWM fans into FAN1 with a splitter, ditto with FAN2, and then in FAN4 is what I would use to control my pumps (which are powered by 3-pin molex fan headers) with another splitter. Also, I intend to use a Aquacomputer USB cable A-plug to 5 pin female header to connect the thing via a normal USB port. This has the added benefit of being able to unplug it when I need to without any hassle. The unit will be powered by a Phobya external PSU 230V to 4Pin Molex 34 Watt plugged into the molex connector on the Aquaero 6 LT. This means that it will be receiving power from the wall even when the computer it's connected to is turned off. I imagine I should be able to simply tell the controller to only turn shit on when the system turns on, but I didn't see any documentation confirming this.

I basically just need confirmation that all this will work. In summary:
  • Will I be able to control my pumps via voltage control on the Aquaero 6 LT's fan headers? Will the 3-pin splitter work? Will I be able to tell it that they're pumps, not fans?
  • Will the controller work as if it were connected internally? i.e. I only want the pumps and fans to turn on when the computer is running; there's no switch on the external PSU and I don't particularly want to add one even though I could. It's cleaner to just have it turn on when (and only when) my motherboard tells it to via the USB. That said, what would happen if the USB connector got unplugged while the system was running? Unlikely to happen, but is there any potential problem there? (by which I mean unexpected or unpredictable "glitchy" behavior, not the fact that I now have a computer running with a non-active water loop)
  • I plan to get a Aquacomputer cuplex kryos NEXT with VISION as my CPU block. Will this be able to display stuff about the fan speeds etc (info from the external unit) provided it's plugged into the USB internally? And I'll be able to make custom fan curves based on CPU/GPU temps without purchasing extra temperature sensors, right?
I'm pretty sure it's all going to work fine, but I wanted to be sure before I locked in my enclosure design based on having this particular controller.
Please let me know if there's anything else I should be aware of before I choose this controller, and any advice is welcome.
If I've explained this badly, sorry; I can clarify anything that's unclear.

Freitag, 15. September 2017, 16:25

Using an external PSU for the Aquaero while it is connected by USB can damage your Hardware!
The USB and the molex connectors are not electrically seperated.
Power from the external PSU can flow into the USB Port of the Motherboard.
This can cause your Motherboard to burn.

Dieser Beitrag wurde bereits 2 mal editiert, zuletzt von »Hufeisen« (15. September 2017, 16:38)

Sonntag, 17. September 2017, 00:00

Using an external PSU for the Aquaero while it is connected by USB can damage your Hardware!
The USB and the molex connectors are not electrically seperated.
Power from the external PSU can flow into the USB Port of the Motherboard.
This can cause your Motherboard to burn.
What if I just removed the +5v wire from the header? Then no power can be sent/received over the USB.

Dienstag, 19. September 2017, 13:31

The pumps seem to have a low power consumption so I see no problem to connect two of them to one fan port. The aquaero can not tell what you connect to its fan ports so a pump will be always listed as a fan.

It does not matter if you connect the aquaero to an internal or an external USB port - the functionality is exactly the same. Since the aquaero is an autonomous device it does not care if you remove the USB connection while it runs. It will just continue to work with the settings that have been saved before. If you use software temperature sensors they will run into the timeout limit and use their fallback values - all these values can be adjusted.

Using the aquaero with another PSU is not recommended. It can not be said if it will work, behave strange or maybe damages something. It depends a lot on the used PSUs. Well, one of those simple one plug PSUs like from your link is not recommend at all for this kind of setup.

The aquaero will always run in its normal operation mode as soon as it gets 12V so you can not tell it that the PC is turned off and it should stop the fans etc.

The VISION module can display pretty much all information that you can get by hardware monitoring and also the general data from other devices like the aquaero.

You can create fan curves based on the CPU or GPU temperature but usually it is not recommend because these temperature values can jump up and down quite fast without any serious load that would require to speed up the fans. Controlling the fans with the temperature of the water is better in many ways.

Dienstag, 19. September 2017, 16:15

The pumps seem to have a low power consumption so I see no problem to connect two of them to one fan port. The aquaero can not tell what you connect to its fan ports so a pump will be always listed as a fan.

It does not matter if you connect the aquaero to an internal or an external USB port - the functionality is exactly the same. Since the aquaero is an autonomous device it does not care if you remove the USB connection while it runs. It will just continue to work with the settings that have been saved before. If you use software temperature sensors they will run into the timeout limit and use their fallback values - all these values can be adjusted.

Using the aquaero with another PSU is not recommended. It can not be said if it will work, behave strange or maybe damages something. It depends a lot on the used PSUs. Well, one of those simple one plug PSUs like from your link is not recommend at all for this kind of setup.

The aquaero will always run in its normal operation mode as soon as it gets 12V so you can not tell it that the PC is turned off and it should stop the fans etc.

The VISION module can display pretty much all information that you can get by hardware monitoring and also the general data from other devices like the aquaero.

You can create fan curves based on the CPU or GPU temperature but usually it is not recommend because these temperature values can jump up and down quite fast without any serious load that would require to speed up the fans. Controlling the fans with the temperature of the water is better in many ways.
All of that is good advice; thank you.

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