I picked this cooler up on ebay as a catalogue return, it was complete and sold as an untested catalogue return, when it arrived it was clear it hadn’t been installed, they’d got as far as thermal paste but the brackets and screws weren’t used. So perfect modding material.
I had a look around for any teardowns on the liqmax 120x or similar and didn’t see anything, looking at the block it looked like the top plate only covered the circuit and the pump, especially since LEDs are in there. Thankfully the whole thing didn’t come to bits. I’ll not be removing the LEDs though, as that board is gobbed in there well and truly.
I’m going to crib some notes from my portal gun, ala Rick and Morty from last halloween, I have a box full of old radio tubes they look pretty cool lit from below. Since I have a bunch of prewired for 12v LEDs in green, it’ll be green. For 12v I’ll take it off the fan header, since the draw should be pretty inconsequential on top of the pump.
The see through cover that glows a bit crappily pops out easily, so I’ll enlarge that hold with a step drill to fit the tube on through – this time I’ll use one with a clear bottom, the effect was nice putting holes for the LEDs in one with a bakelite bottom but the end result was pretty bulky.
Drilling it out and soldering the connectors was pretty easy – a flat tip is really handy in these cases, to get good heating on each of the wires individually. A step bit flew through the aluminium. For attaching the vacuum tube I just got it seated snugly and placed it with hot glue, it’ll probably be removed a couple of times yet.
Finishing it up
I did consider adding a cage like thing to this contraption for a bit of a more complete look, however it’s kind of buried in my computer currently and due to the logistics of it I had to swap the tube out for something a bit shorter, since I hadn’t really intended to put it on before the move to the case I still haven’t built, you know, as life goes. The effect is good and building it up a bit later might be on the cards, to be honest drilling some small holes and making a wire cage would be fairly minor some afternoon but there’s no space in the IKEA Kallax to hold the radiator and graphics card up above the rest of it.