I recently pulled my iopener out of inactive storage when I got my wireless access point and a USB wireless adapter to go with it. It all works... but I'm still really down on the fan sound (did a Winchip2 mod with the Lasagna fan). Compared to a laptop it's still freaking deafening, despite my having nibbled the RF shield away above the fan.
Does anyone have a pointer to, possibly, a 12-volt low profile fan that could be run off the internal 5V more quietly? Or is there anyone out there who's got the equipment to make a combo hard drive mount and heat sink? I've got to get this quieter or it'll never be able to live in my kitchen :(
Here's what I did. I bought a I-mod 2 adapter bracket from badflash (which was a waste of money to anyone with a jig saw, a drill and a piece of 16 gauge aluminum). I ended up modifying the hole configuration slightly so that I could fit as much of the original heat sink back in as possible. I then cut the heat sink roughly in half and fit it back in with the HD. This seemed to work fine but I was still worried about cooling, so I went to Radio Shack and got a 12v cpu fan.
I figured half the original heat sink plus an externally mounted fan should give me enough cooling. So now I needed a way to connect it to the 5v. I took a pin and widened the plastic wire insulation at the end of the leads wide just enough to slip over the pin outs on the 5v. I then threaded the leads through the RF shield and the back of the case and attached the leads to the pin outs. I used a hair dryer on them and they shrunk down tight. I then just put the whole thing back together and attached the cpu fan externally to the back of the I-opener right over the heat sink and screwed it down (the RF shield provided the holes). I'm very picky about appearance and I think that it looks fine. I tucked the wires into the box so those are invisible - so all you can see is a small black fan on the back, which doesn't look out of place at all.
I use the I-opener about 3-4 hours a day and I've never had any problems with it and it seems to run cooler than when it had the whole heat sink in. I'm very happy with it.
uwiz: Try putting a drop down resistor in series with the fan. If you run the fan at about 75% of its rated voltage it is usually very very quiet. I start experimenting with about a 30 ohm resistor and adjust it from there to get the desired result. At the 75% voltage the fans will always start and will move enough air to be effective. You will give up some cooling capacity, but the lack of fan noise is worth it. YMMV.Glitch
Electronics run on smoke, if you let the smoke out they won't work
uwiz, I too found the fan to be "deafening" so took it out and put the original heat sink back in, after cutting it down. I also have a WinChip2; have forgotten the drive (9.5mm) model; and some will argue I'm asking for trouble but the setup seems cool enuf and I've run now for >1mo without any trouble at all. I did over-goop (heat sink material) the WinChip2 so next time I need to take this apart I'll clean it up a bit which should help also.
By "overgooping" I mean that the orig sink had tape or a pad of some sort (teflon?) on the back and I didn't scrape it off--put on a dollop of heat sink compound. I'm gonna scrape off that tape and do a thinner layer of compound...
BTW my setup is identical to yours (use only a Netgear EA101 USB enet adaptor with it) and I only email & surf w/this thing (Win98 w/98lite chubby). I've said here before this thing is my favorite computer of all now that I've gotten rid of the fan!
One thing I have done to reduce the voltage to a fan is to put a bunch of silicon diodes in series with the fan. Use the power supply diodes and not the switching diodes. The power supply diodes are black epoxy with about 20 g wire. Ratings are something like 1 to 3 amps at 50 to 1000v depending on the diode. Switching diodes are glass, usually with one end painted red and about 24g wire. You can buy these in a bulk pack at radio shack for something like #10 for 2 bux.
There is about 0.5 V drop across each junction so 4 diodes in series will cut 5 volts to around 3.
I can't speak to how much fan speed reduction the iopener can stand but this is a simple cheap predictable way to reduce the fan voltage.
The 5V fan may or may not start reliably at 3V. You will have to check and see. On my i-opener running at 450 major cooling is needed if you want maximum life out of your machine. My V4v has a large cpu heat sink with a 12V fan attach. Running it at 12Vs my cpu max temp is 105F and motherboard max temp is 95F. But the noise is deafening. I am now running the fan at 9V and getting max temps 117/100. But the noise has dropped down to a whisper. I can live easiler with this combination. By the way the fan is powered externally. Now that I have found a voltage that determines a noise/temperature ratio that I can live with I will eventually figure out a way to move the fan power internally.
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