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HardDriveCooling

Summary

Not enough room in your case for all those hard drives? I've got the solution....external cooling case. A cheap easy way to cool all those hard drives for all your legal movies and music...

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What you'll need

5' roll of 1/4" work cloth (wire mesh)

wire clippers

needle nose pliers

some spare wire (low gauge and malleable)

Large case fans of your choice

Concept

I don't know how many drives you have but I made 2 cases each housing 2 drives. I'm sure you can upscale this a bit to your liking. Some rough dimensions for a 2 drive case would be a 4" x 4" x 7" box you can see this by the crude drawing marked figure 1.

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It's pretty easy to measure the work cloth out since each square is a quarter inch, I use a tape measure though just in case, you never know how accurate it really is. Now for the actual dirty work.

1. Lay out a sheet of cloth, this might require some bending and flexing to get it flat enough (it comes rolled up tightly)

2. Mark out all your dimensions (I like a highlighter because it wipes off clean but still leaves dark marks)

2.2 Leave a half inch on every side used later for binding it all together

2.1 Make sure to mark on the outside of each square, you don't want to cut through a critical square

3. Cut your outline, be careful... I can't tell you how many mistakes I've made and had to start over.

4. Now you've got the outline with 5 different side panels you can start bending. A couple of suggestions: bend the big portions first and wait on the small flaps till the end. But whatever you find easiest is best. I like putting a wooden board across the cloth and bending over the edge across my line....use your judgment, crisp lines are best.

5. Ok now for the tricky part getting it to bind together...I've tried a few ways, wiring it together can be tricky and not as clean looking but maybe be the only option for a really small case. I like the clean look of wrapping the 2 inch flaps around the edges as seen in figure 2. You have to clip the cross wires leaving small 1/4" or 1/2" lengths. Use needle nose plyers to wrap them as far around as you can making it tight.

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6. The base can be done the same way. There's not really an exact science to it, just make it stay as tight as possible. Don't bend the ends too much because they will break off.

7. With the case complete the last step is insterting dividers. The dividers should be about an inch apart to allow for air flow between the drives.

8. These racks as I will call them are about 3 squares wide and are 4 squares longer than the width of the case (2 extra squares on either end).

9. Cut the cross wires, leaving 1/2" leads on either end and angle them straight down.

10. Use the same wrap-around technique to attach the racks, jimmy them into the case align them to the same hight on the side walls. They should sit in there neatly like little shelves, make sure you align them so your hard drives will fit in first before securing them.

shelves in the case

11. Now for the fans. Any case fans will do. If all your hard drives don't fit in your case, you are probably done reading this by now and have already hooked it. Putting fans next to the case is the easy part.

My set up

Basically I moved my 4 biggest hard drives outside my case into a small wire mesh rack. Four 120mm case fans blow air across all four drives. Lets just say, when I hooked it up, the room was noticably cooler from the air flow. After is was all finished I put a mesh cover over the open side of my case. I cut holes for all the cables going to the drives on the outside of the case.

Further ideas on this

My original plan was to do my entire case like this. I decided to hold off and try somthing smaller first. But since it isn't that hard, i'm gonna do a case for my friend whose going to build his own computer, I'll post to show you how it turns out.