[clug] Submerged PC (White Oil) & TV Capture Cards

Neil Pickford neilp at goldweb.com.au
Tue Jan 5 06:53:55 MST 2010

My concern would be any inductive Radio Frequency (RF) components in the 
tuner part of your capture card.  The essential parameters of inductive 
components will change if a different dielectric (oil rather than air) 
is substituted.

Some of these components such as the Variable Frequency Oscillator (VFO) 
are now supplied in a sealed can with a buffered output and so would not 
be sensitive to oil.  Really depends what is in the tin box on your 
tuner card.

It remains to be seen if this change would push the RF tuners 
performance outside the locking range of the Phase Locked Loop for 
tuning and any front end filters that control RF overload/distortion 
from other unwanted strong RF signals.

I would measure and note all your signal levels & Bit Error Rates before 
& after immersion of the tuner card if it still works.

BTW are you planing to immerse the PSU too?

You need to be pretty scrupulous about any impurities in the oil that 
could lower its insulation with higher voltages such as the mains AC.

Neil Pickford

Jeff Stiff wrote:
> 2010/1/5 Arjen Lentz <arjen at lentz.com.au>
>> Hi Jeff
>> ----- "Jeff Stiff" <smee.heee at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I am looking at trying my MythTV server submerged in White Oil
>> Couple of comments and questions...
>>  a) as shown by a url posted in the thread, PC in mineral oil can work
>> fine.
>>  d) I don't understand why you want to use white oil, this may in fact be
>> dangerous. I'll explain:
>> White oil is essentially veggie oil + dishwashing liquid. Detergent is fat
>> + emulsifier. What does an emulsifier do? It allows fat/oil to mix with
>> water. And that's my worry. Why the blazes would you want to add something
>> into your coolant that allows water to mix in the oil?
>> Water is something you don't want to have any of. When mixed with pure oil,
>> it won't mix, it'll separate with the oil on top and water at the bottom.
>> Easily managed.
>> So, based on that I would suggest going for pure mineral oil like the other
>> example did successfully, and not use white oil? And please feel free to try
>> and tackle this train of logic, that's what it's there for.
> The reason for the white oil was based on the original url posted.  They
> used it, and did not have any issues.  I believe from past reading, not a
> recent refresh, that the others that used the pure mineral oil had it go off
> after a few months.  This might be wrong, it might have been using "pure"
> veggie oil.
> I was under the impression that white oil was essentially pure mineral oil.
> I agree that I do not want it to help water mix with it, or to have anything
> added to it.
> Given the above, what is "Pure" mineral oil, and where can it be sourced
> from?
> The fumes/vapour issue is interesting.  Maybe the garage might be the new
> location for the Myth backend.  I do wonder (more research needed) what
> temperature the oil would need to get to to start giving off vapour.  While
> the cpu might still get around the 70c mark, I am hopeful that the amount of
> oil, about 40 litres, should stay relatively cool.  Also, the tank will be
> capped, not air tight, but it will have a lid, that what where I was
> planning on housing the hard drives.
> I will still go ahead with the experiment, but will revise some features
> based on advice and concerns raised.  Any more advice appreciated.
> Cheers,
> Jeff.

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