So finally enough of my parts arrived to start building 🙂
So far I have:
An old cpu fan, a 500ml pot, thermal paste, a TEC1-12710 cooler, a TEC1-12709 cooler, an old ATX power supply (450W), glue, a knife, some metal, some uranium glass, a torch, scissors, nuts and bolts.
If you are interested in building this project yourself I would recommend waiting until I have it working properly. 🙂
This first part is the same as the the first part of the Instructables link in my first post and has been proven to work.
To start off I measured out a hole for the 12709 in the base of the pot, the coolers are 4cm by 4cm, and put it to one side. Next I cleaned and put thermal paste on the cpu fans heat sink.
The paste should form a complete layer as thin as possible on the heat sink. The cooling is by far the most important and difficult part of this project and is very prone to going wrong. Place the 12710 cooler on top of the thermal paste, with the heat sink orientated as in the picture and the 12710 cooler on top with the wires towards you the red wire should be on the right.
A quick check is now needed, make sure the PSU is unplugged. On the main power connector connect the green cable to one of many black cables, this is the PS on connection and will allow the power supply to fun whilst not connected to a PC. Plug the CPU red cable to a yellow cable, all yellow cables on all of the plugs are 12V, and connect the black to a black. The same goes for the 12710 cooler, red to yellow, black to black. A useful page http://www.smpspowersupply.com/connectors-pinouts.html
This next part must be done quickly, place a finger on top of the 12710 cooler and plug the power supply in. Make sure air can flow through the fan and turn it on.
If the fan doesn’t spin turn it off and check your wiring, if it still fails to spin unplug the 12710 cooler and use a multimeter to check if there is a voltage being produced by the power supply, if there isn’t make sure the green and black are connected. If there is still nothing then your PSU may be broken check the fuse first though.
If the 12710 cooler gets hot switch it off quick, it is upside down. If it gets noticeably cold then it is set up correctly, turn it off.
Place thermal paste on top of the 12710 cooler same as before as thinly as possible and place the 12709 on top. Both should be orientated the same way, wire colours on the same sides. Now for a check, the set up is the same as before apart from the red wire from the 12709 goes to a red wire in the socket (5V). The cooler should get very cold, around -25 degrees Celsius or better.
Up to this point is the basis of the cloud chamber, from now on this is all experimental and has a high chance of not working properly. Again it is advisable to wait until I have it working before making it yourself.
At this point I went back to my pot, on all the cloud chambers I have seen the dry ice or other coolant is connected to the plastic. This didn’t seem very efficient so I cut a hole in the plastic and mounted it on the cooler.
I used the glue to keep it sealed.
Following this I made sure pressure was applied and the whole thing couldn’t twist by using some nuts and bolts and I fixed a plate, using thermal paste, to the top cooler to give it a larger surface area.
I switched it all on for a test and found that water in the atmosphere condensed and froze on the metal plate, I took it as a successful test 😛
Until my Isopropyl alcohol and thermometer arrives I can’t test it any further.