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can shorter cables make a PS3 run cooler (less fan noise)?


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#1 of 4 PaulDA

PaulDA

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Posted September 13 2010 - 05:05 AM

I have the last 80 gb PS3 model that also plays SACDs.  It is my blu-ray player for the "man-cave" and it also gets (very) occasional use as a game machine for my kids (couple of hours per weekend and not every week).

 

I very much enjoy my PS3 for its many features, speed of operation and PQ (have done so since summer 2008) but it does have one characteristic I find annoying.  It can get quite loud (fan noise).  In order to solve this problem, I have relied on the wonders of bluetooth, a long HDMI cable and a long optical cable.  I placed the PS3 in the next room (the family play room) where I can't hear the fan noise and until this past June, that worked fine.  I hooked up its analogue outputs to an SDTV that allows the kids to game in that room and when I want to watch a movie, I switch it through the setup to HDMI/optical audio (no HDMI receiver yet). Cumbersome, but inexpensive as a multi-room solution.

 

Since June, I've experienced audio dropouts with movies in the "man-cave" (never with the analogue outputs--occasionally I put a kid's movie on in the playroom).  I suspected the toslink cable was the culprit (I had a 25 foot one before that I put to another use and replaced it by a 30 foot one--each from Blue Jeans cable).  At first, the dropouts were rare but they got progressively more frequent.  I believe a kink that appears to have developed in the cable (it has to run under a door and seems to have been caught in the doorjam) is the reason the problem arose and got worse.  To test my theory, I moved the PS3 into the "man-cave" and hooked it with a short (four foot) toslink cable and a short (six foot) HDMI cable to the switchbox I've been using for 3 years (DVR, HD-A2 and PS3 in, PJ and small LCD display out).  I've run several movies and no more audio dropouts.  Clearly I need to get a shorter cable for toslink (until I upgrade the receiver--can't switch out the other long toslink I have).
 

While I solved my audio issue, I made another discovery that makes me curious.  When the PS3 was in the next room and I sometimes forgot to close the man-cave door, the fan noise could be heard and, at times, it sounded like a small jet.  However, since I have hooked up the PS3 with shorter cables (HDMI and toslink), I have watched several movies (the PS3 is about four feet in front of me, on the floor, at the moment--used to be eight feet away up on top of a entertainment unit--in each case, equal ventilation is available) and the noise has been barely perceptible.  I will keep experimenting but I wonder if the shorter cable lengths somehow make the player run less hot?  I'm not a technical person, so I don't know if it is coincidence or causally related.

 

Any ideas?


Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes time, and it annoys the pig.

#2 of 4 Leo Kerr

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Posted September 13 2010 - 09:11 AM

Cable-length should not make any significant difference.  Yes, in theory, if you go over, what, 25-feet with HDMI you should use a repeater/amplifier/equalizer, but that's not a resistance issue.
 

I'm not familiar with the PS3, but some of those fans can make a very 'directional' sort of sound that will bounce cleanly (think laser-like beam and mirrors.)  If you're in a bad position when you had the door open, maybe you were getting a chance reflection that focused the noise of the fan right where you listen?

 

Perhaps the way to test this, scientific-like, would be to coil up your long HDMI cable, and zap the signal through it while the player's sitting right where it is with the short cable.
 

Something that might make a difference, and if you wanted to be properly scientific about this, you might try running an extension cord from the outlet you were using in the other room to inside the ManCave.  If it's a different circuit, maybe there's an electrical difference that, coupled with the signal wire making an electrical connection between the two circuits, is making the PS3 get warm?  Alternatively, run a power-line out of your ManCave to the other room for a similar experiment.

 

And while you're at it -- specifically with hunting ground issues, disconnect (physically) from the other system you were plugging in to.  Any of these might be sources of... electrical issues.

 

Good luck,

 

Leo



#3 of 4 chuckg

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Posted September 16 2010 - 06:29 AM

I have heard that there is a difference in fan noise with the PS3 upright versus laying down.  It's weird - no fan noise on my PS3, a friend has a loud one.


--ignore the man behind the curtain

#4 of 4 RobertR

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Posted September 17 2010 - 02:47 AM

This idea could easily be put to rest once and for all:  Leave the PS3 where it is.  Measure the fan noise with a sound level meter (Radio Shack or equivalent).  Switch to the longer cables.  Change nothing else.  Measure again.

 

Done.