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oil submerged playstation 3 Answered

Hi again iables,

I want to build a oil submersable ps3 and have a few questions,

1. Will the oil degrade the silicone on a glass fish tank and cause a leak?
2. How do i extend the power and eject buttons off the motherboard?
3. How do i extend all other wires for the hard drive, power supply, bluray drive, hard disk drive and any i have missed?
4. What would be the best way to stop wicking in the wires from slowly emptying the oil?
5. Would any normal pc case cooling fans be ok to circulate the oil or would they burn out from the extra current draw?
6. Would a normal overhead fish tank filter be ok to use as a diy radiator pump?
7. Would this prevent the dreaded YLOD as iv already had it twice and fixed it myself, with relative success (about 2 months or 100ish hours), and this time im going to oven bake instead of heat gun as this method is rumoured to provide the best results, anyway i hope because of the even cooling provided by the oil bath, then it would keep it much cooler than air cooling?
8. What about using themoelectric cooling pads with huge heatsinks to provide extra cooling?
9. Would the wireless and bluetooth antenna's need to be extended or would they be ok submersed? i thought radio signals were blocked by water so is oil the same? If they do, how would i go about this?
10. Where would i buy mineral oil? I heard that Johnsons baby oil would work?
11. Could i use something similar to an undergravel filter in a fish tank to generate circulation if a pump head wont work?
12. What metal piping should i use for a diy radiator as i heard that mineral oil is very good at dissolving some things and im worried that the contamination may cause conductivity?

I think that's it... if not ill add more when i think of them,
many thanks in advance for any help!?


People who have done the submerged in oil thing say that it seems neat at first, but the benefits were not that great. Later if you need to stop the process, the cleanup is a nightmare. Sony needs a better design.

Agreed, sony does need a better design, with their buying power i dont understand why water cooling isnt standard in compact machines like a playstation, anyway cleanup is relatively easy either use alcohol or a dishwasher... sound extreme with the dishwasher but as long as soap or salt isnt used and the board is low temp baked for 6 or so hours i cant see much of a problem like salt build ups or the like? or an RO-DI unit and use the water from that... all of which i have so thats not really important to me! what are the down points then? all i can see is the benefits, like the whole board is cooled and it just looks good haha and as for maintenance... i have 5 fish tanks with fish in... all soft water and one being 500 litres and i cant see the maintenance of the system being anywhere near the hours i put into fishkeeping....

I know mostly what im doing in the soldering side of things, just not so much about the effects of oil, i thought that this was a novel and asthetic solution to my ylod problem mostly, and although i could probably get it reballed for the cost of this, it just isnt as amazing to look at! I have been toying with the idea of running water cooled pipes just under the surface of the water, getting a few 15mm case fans at the bottom and cooling by a hybrid type convection/water system but water cooling rads are silly money in my opinion when considering the cost of a ps3 (obviously my high end desktop in my office is an entirely different beast that will be avoiding oil for a while yet)! Im also wondering about how "properly" i need to do the cooling, some people have pc's with nothing but convection cooling, and as the psu, bluray and hdd, are not being submerged (still um'ing an ah'ing about psu) taking away a portion of heat does my radiator really have to be designed perfect? Surely a covering of bent copper pipe sat off the back glass with some fans should do the trick?

Opening the system up and placing it into a larger case with a decent PC fan will go a long way to helping cool the system. Its the confined space in the system and barely adequate cooling solutions in the PS3 that cause the problems. Even replacing the CPU's heat sync with a slightly larger one and leaving the lid of the system will go a long way.

yeah i did look into doing the former of those options but im looking primarily for two things
1. to permanently solve my ylod, so they way i figure it, air cooling is not doing the job and putting it in a bigger case will just make it longer until the next time!
2. asthetics, something that can take pride of place beneath my tv, that i know will last me until at least next gen consoles, probably more likely until their premiums drop and i feel the price is more sensible!

i would do water cooling as you have said as it could look amazing but the cost of that would probably be more that a new slim ps3.

In all Oil is more expensive. The worst part about water is buying the radiator. You still have to have a radiator and a specialized pump for the oil.

Air cooling can do the job if its done right. The 1st gen PS3 has a piss poor air cooling design. Hence the problems your having. You get better air circulation in the unit and your all set. Cutting a hole in the top of the case and putting in a PC fan to exhaust the hot air is all you really need. With proper air flow through the case you won't have to worry about over heating anymore.

Why do you want to oil cool the system? Oil cooling is little more then a novelty and cost way more then water cooling and is less effective. If your going to spend the time and money on a cooling mod then water cool the system.

To answer your questions:
  1. No
  2. desolder the parts and add solder in wires.
  3. buy or make longer wires. there will be a good bit of desoldering and soldering involved here. if you don't know what your doing you could damage the system.
  4. seal the ends of the wires with silicone
  5. no
  6. no
  7. if not properly pumped and cycled through a radiator you won't get effective cooling. Once again water cooling is your best option. Oil tends to trap heat. Initially it absorbs heat faster then water but takes longer to dissipate that heat.
  8. If you go this rout you may as well attach them directly to the processor and RAM to get better cooling and skip the mess of the oil.
  9. It would probably be a good idea to move the antennas out but that is much harder to do. I believe the antenna are built into the chips so you wouldn't be able to move them outside the case.
  10. Mineral oil is easily available just do a search
  11. probably not
  12. Copper. You almost never go wrong with copper.

Water cooling is cheaper? Each time iv looked at buying or building a water cooled ps3 its been in the region of £200, this idea will not even cost £100

Oh didnt realise how snappy that sounded until i read it again, i am appreciative of your advice, and to be 100% honest i dont know all that much about the water cooling sytems in general, my pc has one and thats aall i needed to know at the time, but as i v said iv read guides about water cooling systems for ps3 and they all seem very expensive?