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Thread: DIY AV Cooling

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    The Irish Drunk! neonplanet40's Avatar
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    DIY AV Cooling

    Hi folks,

    In my cinema room my av cabinet has a lot of hot equipment like nas, av receiver and htpc.

    I am keen to put some 120-140mm quiet fans on to circulate the air a little bit. However, it would be best if these connected to USB and only came on when the devices were turned on.

    I know it is easy to add some 140mm fans. However, how easy is it to wire these to a USB connection?

    Buying some with USB already attached seem relatively expensive.

    I'll be looking for at least 4 fans connected up (two for air in and two for air out). I also want them to be as quiet as possible. If I can't hear them, that would be perfect.

    Any ideas or guides?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Old and VERY grumpy. g8ina's Avatar
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    Re: DIY AV Cooling

    Easy enough, the outer two pins of the USB are power, as long as you can find a solderable USB plug ... Or, cannibalise a cable

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  4. #3
    DDY
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    Re: DIY AV Cooling

    My approach would be to have a separate power supply for the fans and use the USB power to switch a relay on.

    For a quiet approach, that would probably mean a 5V PSU, for four fans, say in total ~8W? Assuming 2W per fan, 8W would result in a fairly high current draw for a typical USB port and is what would sway me from powering four fans directly off USB.

    Pick one of the many 5V relay modules on ebay. The only requirement is that the coil voltage is 5V and draws less than a few hundred mA, also preferably a module with a snubber diode on it.

    Find a USB cable from your scrap pile and chop the B-end off and use that to power the relay.
    Last edited by DDY; 08-07-2018 at 12:12 PM.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: DIY AV Cooling

    PC fans are 12V, but the decent 4 pin ones are PWM controlled so can be chained up to all run at about the same speed.

    What you really need is some sort of temperature sensing fan controller as a 12V supply. A quick Google turned up this controller which might do but there must be something like this which is a good fit: https://www.banggood.com/ZHIYU-DC-12...p-1162516.html

    That way it can cool the equipment if needed, and keep the fans running a short time after turning amps etc off. If the fans are struggling, you want them turned up to go faster. Faster cans are loud, but not as loud as an exploding amp

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    Re: DIY AV Cooling

    I'm a bit confused now..... Here was me hoping for an easy fix
    Home Entertainment =BenQ W1070, Samsung 65" HDTV, Denon AVRX6300H, Playstation 3 and Monitor Audio Silver RX 5.0, Monitor Audio CT265IDC(x4) Dolby Atmos and XTZ 12.17 Sub
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    Re: DIY AV Cooling

    Home Entertainment =BenQ W1070, Samsung 65" HDTV, Denon AVRX6300H, Playstation 3 and Monitor Audio Silver RX 5.0, Monitor Audio CT265IDC(x4) Dolby Atmos and XTZ 12.17 Sub
    My System=Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wi-Fi, AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, Patriot 16 GB DDR4 3200MHz, 256GB Crucial SSD, Kingston 256GB SSD and 500GB Samsung F3, Palit GTX1070 GameRock Edition , Enermax Liberty 620W, Akasa Eclipse-32,Dell 2715H & Dell U2311H
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    DDY
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    Re: DIY AV Cooling

    Quote Originally Posted by neonplanet40 View Post
    Not entirely the same functionality between those two products, one is a fan splitter in a fancy box and the other offers customisable fan control.

    Either will work, but if it's just a means to provide constant air flow, as opposed to fans which adjust their speed based on a temperature or to a programme, and you can make use of your PC's PSU, then look no further than a basic fan splitter cable;

    https://www.novatech.co.uk/products/...025780460.html

    The only real downside, is of course, the fans will only run if your PC is switched on.

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    Re: DIY AV Cooling

    THanks, DDY. My HTPC is on 24/7 so that should be okay! Just need to check I have a slot to connect it to as it is a HP Gen 8 microserver.
    Home Entertainment =BenQ W1070, Samsung 65" HDTV, Denon AVRX6300H, Playstation 3 and Monitor Audio Silver RX 5.0, Monitor Audio CT265IDC(x4) Dolby Atmos and XTZ 12.17 Sub
    My System=Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wi-Fi, AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, Patriot 16 GB DDR4 3200MHz, 256GB Crucial SSD, Kingston 256GB SSD and 500GB Samsung F3, Palit GTX1070 GameRock Edition , Enermax Liberty 620W, Akasa Eclipse-32,Dell 2715H & Dell U2311H
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    Re: DIY AV Cooling

    Is this a solution looking for a real problem?

    What is the temperature in the cabinet?

    Maybe ventilation holes in the top and bottom would be sufficient to get a convection air flow?

    I'm all for the K.I.S.S approach!
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    DDY
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    Re: DIY AV Cooling

    Oh, the HP MS Gen8

    Here we go

    Unless you've already used it, the only available power connector is the 'floppy' power connector for the ODD bay on top.

    The other problem if you're considering variable speed fans, is that there's no spare fan connector for fan speed control on the motherboard - in fact, the only fan connector for the rear fan isn't even standard. In other words, the only easy way forward is to have constant speed fans.

    The cheapest option in this case could be to build your own adapter cable.

    Otherwise, because 'floppy' power to fan adapters are rare, you'd need a combination of either;

    'Floppy' to 'Molex' and 'Molex' to fan (the adapter I linked to at Novatech is an example of the latter), or
    'Floppy' to 'SATA' power and 'SATA' power to fan

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    Re: DIY AV Cooling

    Here is a small PCB where you can flip the switches to 45 degrees which sounds reasonable, then it will control 6 fans having them run at minimum speed up to 45 degrees and then speed up. Stick the temperature probe where you want the temperature regulated. You would also need a regulated 12V supply to feed that with.

    If you just stuff 12V into a fan, it will run flat out and your attempt to be silent will fail. You either need to run at reduced voltage, which is a bit hit and miss as to what the fans will do, or you want something to generate a PWM signal.

    I have used little fan controllers with a knob on the front that allows you to set the fan speed. They get hot, so probably not what you want here.

    Edit: Possibly a Pi Zero could act as a controller: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/v...c.php?t=184386
    Last edited by DanceswithUnix; 08-07-2018 at 06:35 PM.

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    Re: DIY AV Cooling

    My suggestion, if you want to keep it simple, is to open some holes in the cabinet just to let air out from natural convection (as per peterb's suggestion) which should deal with anything that's 24/7. ALSO make some fan holes and buy voltage controlled (3pin) fans with a low maximum RPM (~1000-1400) and run them at a lower voltage by combining them with a cheapo power supply and one of these:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/PowerDown-T...eon+power+down

    One set up, these mean that devices only gets power when the "controlling" device is powered on (tip: this can also cut standby power for the other devices in your system that are only needed when e.g. the screen is powered up).

    1st, have a dig through the box of adapters and cables and other nick nacks, and see if you have any power supplies (plug tops or bricks) from age old equipment you dont need anymore, check the voltage it kicks out and if you find anything with 6-10v (doesn't need to be high amp output) then your good to go.
    Next, splice the + and - from the PSU(sometimes printed on the cable, or as an image for the connector on the rectifying device) into the fans (Only red+ and black- needed). A multimeter can help figuring this out, but also you can just splice it into the + and - of the fan and see if it runs backwards. Bit of electrical tape and off you go.
    Obviously if you want to be tidier and safer, you can use heatshrink or some form of junction box/block to combine the power brick cables with the fan cables.

    You want to get a little more advanced, you could always build a small system delivering a PWM output (Pi/Arduino) or a transistor/relay circuit, but for this case... seems overkill to me (but more fun).

    edit: If if you prefer it to just work off temperature all the time, you could use something like one of this and set an upper and lower temp threshold.
    Last edited by Biscuit; 08-07-2018 at 08:50 PM.

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