Cabinet Fans

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Shannon, Feb 3, 2003.

  1. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    ok...I got a cabinet from Ikea, but it doesn't have very much ventilation (it has a glass door on the front), and I have many components on the shelves (CD player, DVD player, Reciever, VCR, PS2, Xbox, Cassette Deck).

    I am worried about heat disapation or overheating, because after an hour and a half movie, my Panasonic SAHE100 is hot to the touch (it's hard to keep my hand on it for long).

    Now, the reciever has a built in fan, but I would like something to get the air circulating in the cabinet... I had an idea to buy 2 or 3 of those mini 12V fans (the type you find cooling a computer processor), and a 12V adapter from Radioshack... I was going to splice the wire on the adapter, and connect the fans in series to the adapter (the reason for the adapter is so they can be run on AC power instead of batteries). After doing that I would drill appropriate sized hole in the back of the cabinet (it's that thin MDF type stuff) and mount them...

    I have a couple questions...

    1. What could I do to improve this (insulation from rattling, etc.)
    2. Is the wiring going to be dificult?
    3. Which way should the fans be pointing? Outwards to remove warm air, or inwards to bring in cool air from outside?
    4. Is this an overall good idea?

    Thank you in advance for your response...


    PS, sorry if this is in the wrong section (this seemed like the best one..)
     
  2. Juan Castillo

    Juan Castillo Second Unit

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    I don't know about wiring the fans in series to one AC adapter, I am sure the voltage, and amperage ratings on the adapter will have to be sufficient enough to carry the load of the fans, otherwise, it can get hot itself. Other than that, I can tell you that you shouldn't need insulation from rattling, if they are mounted correctly, I would put some rubber washers between the fan and the back wall just to make sure the fan blade does not rub on any of the backing material. The doors should keep most of the noise the fans make inside the rack. For this setup you will want the fans to draw the warm air out of the enclosure. You will be surprised how much just one fan by the reciever will make a big difference. I actually got a thermometer from an old aquarium and took readings from watching a movie with the fan and without. No joke, prolly made a 15-20 degree difference.
    Overall, this is a great idea. One that costs very little, and will add life to your components, and relieve some of the worrying about what you are putting your toys through!
     
  3. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    You can run two medium-speed 8cm fans easily from one AC adapter. Make sure you get quiet fans, though. Go to http://www.directron.com and go to their section where they carry fans. Then look into the SILENCER fans as well as the Vantec Stealth fans. You could even do twin 120mm Vantec Stealth fans and then use an AC adapter from RadioShack that has the switchable voltages from 1.5 to 12 volts, and then just run them on 6 or 9 volts so the bigger fans will run slower and make less noise. Noise is really your biggest concern in selecting fans. High-CFM fans usually spin very fast and make lots of noise.
     
  4. Owen Bartley

    Owen Bartley Second Unit

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    Something you might want to consider, depending on how large (and how interconnected) your rack is. If you want to do 2 fans, put one near the bottom of the rack and have it blow in, and put another near the top (or the hottest component) blowing out. Also, when I was conisdering doing this I planned to plug the fans into one of the accessory plugs in the back of the receiver, that way the fans power on when the receiver powers on. As long as you buy quiet fans (the larger the diameter, the slower they have to spin, therefore the quieter they are - in general) and mount them securely you should have very little noise.
     
  5. Bryan Michael

    Bryan Michael Supporting Actor

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    it is easer to do a setup sucking the air out than blowing htem in.
     
  6. Peter Mansell

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    You could also try 110V fans. Have a look at www.papst.de

    They make some of the quietest fans around.
     
  7. Chris Hovanic

    Chris Hovanic Supporting Actor

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    Bryan

     
  8. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    wow, guys, those are some really good suggestions and all... but please keep one thing in mind... i'm only 15...

    I don't got a credit card to buy things off the internet (pretty tough job convincing my father to borrow his), so I'll have to resort to things I can buy at radioshack....

    I'll try to have some pics of the improved cabinet (once the fans are in) as well as the rest of my setup...
     
  9. mark, some companies will take money orders. You can go to the post office to purchase one for 80cents.

    I get most of my computer stuff from www.newegg.com or www.mwave.com. I currently use Zalman silent fans and am happy with their performance.

    IIRC, a lot of computer fans run off of 12V DC, not AC. you can pick up DC adapters prety cheap. you can usually make a non quiet fan quieter by running it at a lower voltate (like 9VDC instead of 12VDC) and lowering the RPM's. many fan companies do this cheaply in the computer by adding a resister in series with the fan.

    EDIT:
    I am absolutely positive Steve at www.apexjr.com would take a money order.
    "Pabst Fan 4 wire 115V/230V metal fan at $8.95ea Fan Guard .79ea "

    not sure how big model 4860N is, but they will run directly off of the wall outlet.
     
  10. Owen Bartley

    Owen Bartley Second Unit

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    Hey, another Toronto member. Good to see you're starting young too. [​IMG] I'd say if you can find a small fan with an AC plug that isn't too loud at Radio Shack, or at a local computer store, go with that for simplicity. And one exhaust fan at or above the heat source should help a lot.
     
  11. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    Thanks for all the help... still I haven't got far enough out of the house yet to search for a fan, but thanks for all the idea....

    Owen, how old were you when you started?
     
  12. Owen Bartley

    Owen Bartley Second Unit

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    Lets see... my grade 8 shop project was a cabinet for my stereo so I guess I would have been... around 14 I think? Of course the cabinet sat empty for a few months till I finally got my good ol'Pioneer Pro Logic reciever (that was in heavy use and never let me down until it was stolen last year), but the cabinet is still in use today in my bedroom. Anyway, the hobby stuck with me.

    Good luck finding a fan, and don't forget to look or call around at some computer parts stores they should have lots of stuff like that, just maybe not AC ready.
     
  13. Ronnie Ferrell

    Ronnie Ferrell Second Unit

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    Not trying to knock the fan idea, but a fan did not work for me. I have an an open front entertainment armoire. All other sides of the components shelves are enclosed. I have a Parasound HCA-2200 "space heater" amp. It is class A/B and get real hot even out in the open. I wanted to put it in my armoire but was worried about the heat. I only have about 3" above the amp and 2" on each side. I got a low noise, pretty much silent, 120mm AC fan. The fan was great when it was in free air. BUT when I attached it to the back of my cabinet, the thing sounded like a 150.00Hz test signal at about 60db. The back of the cabinet acted as a sounding board and amplified the fan vibration. I tried to no avail to silence the sound. I used neoprene grommets, E-A-R fan mounts, etc.. Nothing helped. The only thing that might have worked would have been to suspend the fan by wire from the shelf above it, floating it in front of the "blow-hole", but I did not try this.

    My armoire has 4" legs, so what I finally did was, cut 7 2" holes in the bottom right under the external heatsinks of my amp. I then slightly tilted the shelf above my amp. The back of this shelf is about 3/4" of a inch lower than the front. My CD player is on this shelf and you cannot tell it is not level. The heat from the heatsinks pulls fresh air in the holes I cut and the angled shelf directs the hot air out the front of my armoire. This directed air-flow does wonders for cooling my Parasound HCA-2200 "space heater" amp. It is no hotter in my armoire now than it was out in the open!

    If the fans do not work out you can try doing something similar by cutting intake holes in the bottom and angling your top shelf toward the back. Cut a 1.5" channel all the way across the back of you cabinet right below the angled shelf for the hot air to escape.
     
  14. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    OK, so I got a couple fans last night....

    now before you knock this, remember, I'm only 15, and on a limited income... I don't have $100 to spend on ultra silent fans with grillguards and flashing lights all over the place

    I ended up getting two 12V fans, as well as a variable voltage adapter. All I need to do is splice the wire on the adapter and connect... I don't really need to worry about polarity, as the adapter has a built in polarity switch.

    The actual fastening the fans to the cabinet will have to wait until the weekend, as I'm in school most of the day.

    Ronnie, I don't want to knock your idea, but I'm really not up for cutting holes on the 3/4" wood that my cabinet is made of, only the thin MDF at the back.
     
  15. Ronnie Ferrell

    Ronnie Ferrell Second Unit

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  16. Dan M~

    Dan M~ Second Unit

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    Just a note...

    Fans are more efficient pushing cold (denser) air then warm (less dense) air.

    You might add a filter to the air inlet so you don't pump the equipment full of dust.

    If you use filtered cold air, then you should not get a buildup of dust in the cabinet as it will have a positive pressure. Only clean, filtered air will enter.

    All this is tough to do if the cabinet does not have doors.

    Good luck.
     
  17. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    I'm not really planning on pumping air in, but rather moving the warm air out.

    My cabinet is a follows (from top to bottom):

    5-Disc Carousel CD Player
    DVD Player
    Reciever
    VCR
    PS2
    XBOX
    Cassette Deck


    As the reciever is the most used unit in the rack, one fan will definitely be placed behind it. The other fan will be placed behind the CD player, as any heat created by the DVD player will rise upwards and then be sucked out, as well as heat from the CD player being removed.

    I'm not too worried about the VCR (barely creates any heat), the PS2 and the XBOX (They both have their own internal cooling systems, plus, I've never felt any heat on them after prolonged use), or the cassette deck (it rarely gets used anyways)

    I also intend to have the power adapter connecting to the extra outlet on the back of the reciever, as all of the units require the reciever to be powered on anyways...
     
  18. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Supporting Actor

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    your how old and have a 52" tv, i mean damn brotha, i thought i was cock of the walk with my tempest. props on it though

    but let me guess you didn't pay for it out of your pocket did you?
     
  19. AndyF

    AndyF Agent

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    Nuts. I wish I could have responded to this thread earlier Mark. Another place to get a fan would be your local hardware store.

    Here's an on-line place that sells a few sizes of fans. It also lists the dB level of each fan as well as the flow rate.

    http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPR...ARTNUM=951-807

    http://www.rockler.com has them a well.

    I know you can't purchase on-line, but you could print the page and take it to some hardware stores and show them what you want.


    I'm getting a couple of these where I work. I have a bunch of interactive television equipment (CODEC, amps, mixers, network equipment,...) in a cabinet that I need to keep cool.

    I know you purchased some DC fans, but in case it doesn't work out...

    Andy
     
  20. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    hell no, I didn't pay for it myself...that was my father's money... we actually got a pretty good deal on it... when we got it, it ran for $3000, but we got it from an RCA dealer (who just happens to be my neighbour and we never knew it) for $2700...

    Andy, I actually didn't get the fans from a retailer or franchise store... I got it from a local privately owned electronics shop... they have the same quality products of other places, but for 2/3 the price... That's also where I got my 100' ethernet cable for Xbox live for $39...when radioshack had the same thing for $49....anyways....

    I appreciate all the help. Again, when I get the chance to install the fans, I'll be sure to post pictures.
     

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