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Icy-Flo - The solution to this summer's heat 145

Steve Kerrison writes "Desperate times call for desperate measures, but I'd like to think of this as more of an exercise in cunning. It's hot, but I'm not, thanks to an Icy-Box and a Panaflo. This was nearly categorised as hardware hacking, but then the only 'hacking' required was the removal of four thumb-screws."
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Icy-Flo - The solution to this summer's heat

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  • IDGI (Score:1, Redundant)

    So he set up a fan? What's the point, that it's from a computer?
    • maybe it's so interesting because most nerds use those fancy USB fans. Dunno, I don't get it, too. For my pleasure this thing does not provide enough power, it's 37C in here.
    • Re:IDGI (Score:3, Informative)

      by unts ( 754160 )
      Wow, I really didn't expect the Slashdot editors to accept my submission of this. Still, this is what happens when you can't be arsed to go out and buy some proper cooling. Take it at face value folks, it's just a bit of light humour! I'll just sit here staying cool.
      • Re:IDGI (Score:5, Funny)

        by I Like Pudding ( 323363 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:26AM (#15516152)
        Take it at face value folks

        So, retarded then?
        • It's slashdotted, for sure.
          • Re:IDGI (Score:3, Funny)

            by flumps ( 240328 )

            There seems to have been a problem with the database.
            Please try again by clicking the Refresh [] button in your web browser.

            An E-Mail has been dispatched to our Technical Staff [mailto], whom you can also contact if the problem persists.

            We apologise for any inconvenience.

            Oops does that mean when I pushed refresh 1000 times they'll get 1000 emails?



      • Here in Atlanta, over the long Memorial Day weekend, both of our house's central air conditioning units died, just in time for the first batch of 90F+ degree days of the year. The only thing that made my computer room even slightly habitable was hooking up a pair of 120mm case fans to the external molex connector that Antec thoughtfully added to my computer's PSU (why they no longer offer that as an option is a mystery to me). So you have my complete sympathies, even as I declare victory thanks to the fact
  • A bit low tech... (Score:2, Informative)

    by md81544 ( 619625 )
    Er... it's called a fan... I was at least hoping for something more high-tech, like Peltiers and stuff :)
  • news? WTF? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Uh..this is news? some guy wiring up an old psu-fan to cool himself? how elaborate....

    must be a slow, slow news day...
  • Hooking a 5v fan to 12v and using it to cool the user instead of the computer qualifies as front page material? Wow. Slow news day already?
  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:00AM (#15516051) Journal
    That's a better solution to this summer's heat... with Vista and DNF REALLY REALLY likely to get shipped soon, it should be quite cool in Hell.
  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by I Like Pudding ( 323363 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:00AM (#15516053)
    How in god's name was this article accepted? HE PLUGGED A FAN INTO A POWER LEAD! WOW!

    Alert the media.
    • Hey, don't forget he had to remove some screws... This could bring the sweat up to your face on days like these.
    • I think Slashdot's beginning to resemble Microsoft these days... More eye candy, some fancy graphics.... but rotten content inside! To top it all, there's an AMD ad talkin' about the Power of Cool!! Are companies paying Slashdot to dumb-down readers?
      • The MS comparison is stretching it. This is just fucking stupid in its own singular fashion. Hmmmm....singular...ity? OH GOD IT'S COLLAPSED IN ON ITSELF GET AWA-
    • PS: (Score:2, Funny)

      I tagged this one "pseudozonk"
    • We are currently having some of our few days of real summer temperatures in the UK, that is the news.
  • WTF? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Vulture101 ( 728858 )
    what is this, an article about connecting a fan?

    whats happening to slashdot?
  • by madsdyd ( 228464 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:02AM (#15516056)
    Honestly. That seems to be about the most silly thing I have seen in ages.

    A floor ventilator around the corner from where I am sitting, goes at about $30.

    Smaller models (like the one he is using) goes as low as $10-15.

    If your time worth so little (and remember, the FTA says its for those that _has_ to work) that this is a solution for you, find a better paying job!
    • Look, I'm an accountant by trade. But I think you're missing the whole point of any hack. It's not about a CBA of potential solutions, it's about implementing a creative solution, particularly when done with excess parts on hand.

      Is this a grade school-level hack? Sure. Is it 'cooler' than purchasing a fan? You betcha. Does the author deserve ridicule? Not at all (though I'll withhold judgment on whoever posted the submission).
      • Well, I always thought it was also about beeing clever, and implementing stuff that in some sense was "better" than what non-hackers would think up.

        And, even applying my most friendly view on it, there is nothing clever about powering a (5V) fan from the (12V) power supply on a portable hd.

        In addition to that, its a somewhat dangerous solution, and it is suboptimal even to the cheapest ventilator you can buy. (Which will most likely rotate, and thereby make the airflow more tolerable). So I do not believe i
        • And, even applying my most friendly view on it, there is nothing clever about powering a (5V) fan from the (12V) power supply on a portable hd.

          No, it's even sadder than that. He ran a 12v fan off a 12v powersupply.

          Hell, when I was 16, I lost the powr adapter to my model 1 Sega Genesis. Unfortunately, all the stores carried were the model 2 power adapters, which supplied less voltage and had a different jack (for obvious reasons). I took a printer powersupply (with the wrong jack, but the right voltage /
    • $30? Christ, I picked up 2 30" box fans at lowe's last year for 8 bucks each and a round one that sweeps the room for under $25 including a piece of shit cheap metal stand...
  • Impressive (Score:5, Funny)

    by digitalhermit ( 113459 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:03AM (#15516067) Homepage
    Wow.. He took a case fan and powered it from a, uh, power supply. But that's not all that impressive. One time, at band camp, I attached a CD-ROM drive and used power from *ANOTHER* power supply sitting in a *DIFFERENT* machine. And once, at a hacker convention (well, at my friend's house really), we super-hacked a a PS2 mouse to work with a USB interface by using an adapter we rigged (well, it came with the mouse actually).
    • Don't hold out on us. I know I'm not the only one with a bunch of PS2 mice that I'd love to plug into a USB port and use. I just need a link to a schematic or maybe you could email me a walkthrough on how you made that work. I'm sure with a few friends I could reverse engineer it get it working myself.

        Seriously, put me on the list before you start charging for that stuff.
  • by bobamu ( 943639 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:04AM (#15516075)
    So I have to guess the other comments.

    He attached a fan to an electrical supply?

    All I can say is, as an article, that blows.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Either we slashdotted the page or they didn't pay the ISPs premium-access fee.
  • Real Men... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Curious Yellow 82 ( 863079 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:06AM (#15516085)
    ...would use a superfluid [] to keep themselves cool. They would also draw upon inspiration to explain the birth of the universe [] from it.

    Alternatively, I could say, "on another hot summer's day where there was absolutely nothing newsworthy, /. decides to publish something that was born of a jobless geek's attempt to soothe his fevered brow while entertaining himself watching pornography."
  • /. effect (Score:3, Funny)

    by Presidential ( 805793 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:06AM (#15516086)
    Okay, here we see uncontested evidence that the /. effect overheats computers. Er, it overheats computers whose fans have been removed by their owners to cool their own paltry 98.6F down a degree or two, completely ignoring the smoking machine whose processor just jumped to that magical 170F.

    I can't even RTFA on this one.

  • At least it sounds like it wasn't worth readying!

  • by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:07AM (#15516089)
    for that poor little server...
    • and the e-mail server. "An E-Mail has been dispatched to our Technical Staff, whom you can also contact if the problem persists." I wonder if every failure has sent off a message.

  • Unless the air is really humid where you are, it'll work a lot better than a normal fan, and for pretty much the same price. If you have the luck of living in a dry climate, then it'll work really well.

  • by iogan ( 943605 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:10AM (#15516101) Homepage
    of this [] fine article..

  • Pssst... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thrill12 ( 711899 )
    ...this is a secret plot to scare people away from slashdot - it all adds up:

    * stage A: post dupe articles with increasing frequency to annoy regular reader
    * stage B: completely re-skin slashdot to confuse reader even more
    * stage C: post outright annoying articles on confusing, technically shallow subjects to scare the last bit of slashdotters away
    * stage D: ????
    * stage E: profit !
    • Maybe you and I are the only ones that remember hardware hacking articles that actually insired you to try them or got you to think about a new solution... but these days, we get a fan. Plugged into a PC power supply. That it is meant to run off of anyhow. To "cool" a room. Umm. All I can say is the biggest WTF ever.

      This site has all but become completely useless beyond maybe 1-2 minutes of time a day. It is so shallow and lame that I've basically given up. Between Zonk's "reviews" making frontpage news tha
  • ...maybe apply the cooling to your brand new, Smoking Hot Slashdottet(tm) server?

    Seriously.. When will people start posting links in coral cache or something?
  • Refresh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Vo0k ( 760020 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:24AM (#15516149) Journal
    The hack seems really simple:
    "Please try again by clicking the Refresh button in your web browser."

    I did, but I don't feel more refreshed really. What am I doing wrong?
  • Any way we can moderate this entire story into the "-1!!1111!uno!!, Stupid" category?
  • a trademark of real genius.

    This guy has made a trademark violation.
  • ok... so it was a simple hack (the site is officially slashdotted so I can't see what he did exactly) - give him a break :)

    What I want to know is whether or not it's cooling off his Technical Staff - who must be getting a slashdotted size of email!

    An E-Mail has been dispatched to our Technical Staff, whom you can also contact if the problem persists.
  • Hemos turned Hexus into a smoking crater for no reason.

    Quoth the Hexus:

    "There seems to have been a problem with the database.
    Please try again by clicking the Refresh button in your web browser.
    An E-Mail has been dispatched to our Technical Staff, whom you can also contact if the problem persists.
    We apologise for any inconvenience."

    I saw the mirrordot. Surely there is more happening in the world than this?

    What about the Abandonware bill?

    Re: OT:What hides behind the orphaned b
    by: ColonelZen
    Long-Term Sentimen
  • Thats nothin.. I have my smb server set up to all of the heating controls in my apt building. I can make it snow or rain whenever I want.... I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD...
    • I have my smb server set up to all of the heating controls in my apt building. I can make it snow or rain whenever I want...

      Like Gremlins 2.
    • I know a certain Al Gore that would like to make a documentary about you.
      • He already sent his lawyers after me and forced me to pay royalties or to cease and desist any further use of the "Gore Weather Energy Efficiency Domination Opperations (GWEEDO). It took me some time to hack his system and set up a keystroke logger and hack his system. It was after all really his idea.
  • Seriously. Did anyone read this before they posted it? This article is so bad, it hurts.

    Now that we have solved the biggest problem facing /. (mainly how ugly it was), can we work on the remaining problems?
  • Would never have know that fan + power = working fan My day is complete
  • His room should receive all the heat from the computers that wasted time loading that article. Your little fan won't help you now! Fry!!!
  • Not very interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ajs318 ( 655362 ) <sd_resp2.earthshod@co@uk> on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:51AM (#15516243)
    What would be better, would be to modify a mobile air conditioner so it actually worked!

    The problem with most mobile ACs is that there is only one vent pipe, which discharges the air that has been used to cool the condenser outside -- the condenser-cooling intake is in the room. So this means there is a continuous flow of air out of the room ..... and so, what with the pressure in a fluid acting equally in all directions, a continuous flow of air into the room. This is likely to be warmer than you want {if it wasn't a hot day, then you wouldn't have the AC on in the first place} and also, some of that air you just spent good money cooling is being heated up and blasted outside! Better would be to have a coaxial arrangement like a gas boiler flue, where the {hot} exhaust pipe is actually mounted inside the {cool} intake pipe. Then the arrangement would work more like a "fixed" air conditioner, since the condenser-cooling airstream would be entirely separate from the evaporator-heating {or, if you prefer, room-cooling} airstream.

    You probably could do all this with Peltier Effect devices {dry heat pumps}. In which case, you would need to attach two lumps of metal with large surface areas {heat sinks from your nearest electronic components store fit this description nicely .....}, one to each side of the device; separate them by means of the best thermal insulation you can get, and blow fans over each. Circulate air from the room over the cold side, and air from outdoors over the hot side. You will also need to shut off the current every so often, in order to allow the cold side to de-ice.
    • Better would be to have a coaxial arrangement like a gas boiler flue, where the {hot} exhaust pipe is actually mounted inside the {cool} intake pipe.

      What would be the benefit of this over two pipes side-by-side ? Your exhaust-air would get a little cooler, your intake-air a little warmer. But that's exactly the oposite of what you want....

      • Some of the modern ones do have the two pipes side by side, but traditionally the flue of a gas boiler has comprised an outer duct supplying fresh air for combustion from outside the building, with an inner duct discharging waste products outside. This allows the combustion chamber to be completely sealed from the room. In older appliances, before fans and electronic ignition became commonplace, the inner and outer ducts would present equal cross-sectional areas to the outside air so that any wind pressur
        • Yeah. But that's rather different.

          In a gas-boiler you *want* to loose as little heat to the exhaust as possible and keep as much as possible heat in. Leaking heat from the exhaust to the intak is a *feature* in such a setting.

          With AC you *want* to loose the heat in the exhaust. In that context leaking heat from the exhaust to the intake-air is a *bug*.

          • It still doesn't make a lot of difference, because the condenser cooling circuit should be sealed from the room anyway. The intake duct is on the outside to minimise the temperature gradient across the outer wall of the duct; it may be warmer than the room air, but still better if it's only a little bit warmer than a lot warmer.
    • Why not just open up the AC unit, and stick the condenser outside, and the evaporator inside, with a fan on each? I bet most of them have some tubing inside flexible enough to handle reengineering through BFI (brute force and ignorance.) If not, you need a lot more hardware, especially to avoid losing refrigerant. At minimum, if you're willing to let the refrigerant out, you need a vacuum pump and a gauge set.
      • Why not just open up the AC unit, and stick the condenser outside, and the evaporator inside, with a fan on each?

        Sure, why not. After you've torn apart a window unit, pissed off the EPA by letting the R-22 escape (because you're not going to buy the proper recovery equipment, right?) and bought several tools and supplies including: service valves, refrigerant grade copper lines, fittings, R-22, an oxy-acetylene torch, a manifold gauge set and a vacuum pump, you can easily build (and pay just as much for) w
        • and bought several tools and supplies including: service valves

          Service valves? You list "manifold gauge set" down at the bottom so I don't know what you're talking about here.

          refrigerant grade copper lines

          Bullshit. You really think that's what's in those window AC units? They use aluminum, same as probably every car you've ever driven.


          You flare the tubing and use some compression fittings. $10 for the flaring tool. Jack diddly shit for the fittings.


          Maybe, maybe not. Lots of

  • by tweakt ( 325224 ) * on Monday June 12, 2006 @08:53AM (#15516250) Homepage
    In the hopes of salvaging this discussion (TFA is a non-story)

    Has anyone tried one of these? The priciples behind it make sense: sku__SI758SL2 []

    And since hearing about this development: ulaug/features/cool.html []

    It makes even more sense, though a neck-worn device is more practical for mobile usage.
    • I saw a commercial for this just yesterday. I'm inclined to be skeptical of anything [] from The Sharper Image, but there may be some value to this. I've noticed when I get really hot on a bike ride, a small amount of cool water on the back of my neck does wonders for my whole body.

      But that thing looks [i]really[/i] uncomfortable to wear, I have to say. Even in the commercial, which was no doubt shot to make the device look as good as possible, it looks annoying, not to say dorky. (Okay, dorky.) I think I'll

    • I have a "Personal Cooler" from Sharper Image, though it is about 5yrs old. Looking at the picture on their site it doesn't look like they've changed it much. (But I don't know that for a fact so this all refers to my little bit older one.)

      My review: Like most other things that Sharper Image sells, save your money!

      I've used it (or tried to) while walking, while mowing, while working in the yard and in a few other instances, some during leisure, some during manual labor.

      First, I'm not a very larg
    • I worked in a Sharper Image retail store for two years (in NC, hot summers). We'd sell those only if the customer absolutely demanded to buy it. They were clunky feeling, "worked" in that it made your neck cold, but didn't work because that only makes your neck cold and doesn't cool you off. They were almost definite returns, and I believe that the people that didn't return them just threw them in a closet and didn't bother.

      Here's some more general advice about TSI: 90% crap. Look at a product and think to
    • That research by Stanford is interesting, but I'd like to understand why a $4000 gadget is preferable to sticking you hand is a bucket of ice water.
  • I just has to be. I can't see any value in the article except to lure out those foolish enough to respond... ... like me... dammit.
  • Sorry, no digg (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by tropicflite ( 319208 )
    Editors, you really need to weed out stuff like this.
  • As I sit here in my living room, windows closed and heat turned on, the outside temperature is a chilly 57 degress at 9 am on a Monday morning in Detroit. Normal temps about this time of day and year would be 20 degrees higher. The last thing I'm worried about is my machines overheating.
  • When reading the submission, I was immediately phased with it being more along the lines of shoddy advertising. Tech tips are one thing, but the "ultimate" solution to cooling is Icy-Flo?
  • Granted, there are some stupid articles that make their way through the approval process, but this one takes the cake. Many people before this guy, including myself, have done something similar to get some air moving with parts laying around and not have to make a trip to WallyWorld (WalMart) to buy a fan. However up to this point, no one has had the audacity to post up something this stupid.

    Damn it. I want my click back.
  • When I first got my air conditioner, it was set at a factory default of like 76 degrees. With a little savvy hacking on my part I was able to bring it down to about 74 by pressing the down arrow. I will have a full 10 page blog posting up in a few days so look out for it! For my next project I plan on doing the same thing, but in my car!
  • Someone at the University of Waterloo made their own "air conditioner []" last year.

    Granted, the CoP is probably miles worse than that of a normal heat-engine based A/C, especially when you consider the energy costs of freezing the ice, but . . .

    In case of slashdotting, this is what he did:

    Fill a bucket with icewater
    Put a coil of copper tubing on the back of a fan
    Use rubber hosing to connect the copper tubing to the bucket of icewater
    Use a 2nd piece of hose between the copper tubing & the window
    Siphon acti
  • At least this [] took some effort. I thought that he would at least use the water cooling to provide some extra cooling. This is just a fan. You can buy a regular fan in the store for about $5. For a little more, you can even get oscillation!
  • Since it's slashdotted, you can check it out at MirrorDot [].

    But I'll save you the hassle and summarize it for you: he takes a 12cm case fan from an old watercooling rig (just uses the fan, not the water cooling bits) and powers it from the 12V pin of the power supply of an Icy Box hard drive enclosure.


    Lest you think that the Icy Box is actually doing any cooling, it's not. It's just providing power.

    Now why did this make the front page of /.?

  • by smithmc ( 451373 ) * on Monday June 12, 2006 @12:20PM (#15517503) Journal
    In other news, man quenches thirst by filling cup with water, then pouring water into mouth.
  • A few weeks ago, I jumpstarted our car with the power supply for an IBM Thinkpad. I guess I could have made it to the front page of /. too.

    (Admitted - it was not a real jumpstart, since I let it charge for some hours first.)
  • I've got a simpler solution - I just deal with the heat and get on with my day. (Save energy too!)
    But then I grew up in the South before nearly universal aircon and before the age where everyone expected to be pampered from cradle to grave.
  • Back in the day, I had some 286's laying around and since my smokin' 486's made them obsolete, I took the fan's out and mounted them in a mobile home to blow cool air around. Going to do the same thing in my car. Big deal...

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard