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Thread: Cooling the DirecTivo

  1. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    114

    Vantec Thermoflow

    I'm a complete believer in the Vantec 60X25 Thermoflow fan. I had a T60 that was hovering around 59/60 after installing a Maxtor 6Y160P0 drive. Unacceptable. I tried the ADDA fans and even the expensive Papst 612N/2GML fans. None were as effective at cooling the T60s as the Vantec 60X25 Thermoflow. I highly recommend these for most cooling purposes. I have yet to measure the noise levels, so I'm not so sure I would suggest using them for a bedroom TiVo.

    Basically, I have 3 T60s, stacked on top of each other in the TV room. All of them hover around 39 degrees now. Amazing. The only other minor cooling mod that I used was a dam to separate the left and right sides underneath each unit.

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Out West
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    3,171
    Quote Originally Posted by OvitivO
    I'm a complete believer in the Vantec 60X25 Thermoflow fan. I had a T60 that was hovering around 59/60 after installing a Maxtor 6Y160P0 drive. Unacceptable. I tried the ADDA fans and even the expensive Papst 612N/2GML fans. None were as effective at cooling the T60s as the Vantec 60X25 Thermoflow. I highly recommend these for most cooling purposes. I have yet to measure the noise levels, so I'm not so sure I would suggest using them for a bedroom TiVo.
    Pretty sure I tried and hated the Vantec.
    SpongeBob is not a contraceptive - Bart S.
    A tabloid, is that one of those really strong mints? - Homer S.

  3. #48
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    Aug 2002
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    114
    Pretty sure I tried and hated the Vantec.
    For a quiet/bedroom TiVo or just in general? The Vantec Thermoflows put out about 33 db(A), so I doubt they would be a good choice for a placid setting. The Pabst are very quiet, but they only push about 14 ft^3/min (compared to the 24 ft^3/min for Thermoflows).

    I've tried quite a few fans, and so far, the Vantec Thermoflows have been great for my TV Room T60s. 60 -> 40 degrees for $6...hard to beat!

    http://www.vantecusa.com/product-cooling.html
    Last edited by OvitivO; 04-02-2004 at 06:57 AM.

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    35
    The mag levs are also very loud if powered directly @ 12 VDC. I believe that they would be in the "high-speed" category. That's why I mentioned that they are connected, as the stock fan is, to the mo'bo' connector that PWM averages the 12 VDC down to anywhere from 5-12VDC.

    I believe that different cooling fans have rather distinct
    applied-voltage -> dba -> air flow characteristics.

    When powered directly from 12VDC the fan is wicked loud and the TiVo goes down to 43/44C, but it isn't worth the noise. My observations are that the TiVo fancontrol.o module is set to close loop control the fan to a 50C setpoint.

    ;must again state that the networker mods are critical to keeping the most vital mechanical component (the hard drive) cool, even if the indicated temp runs a tad higher because of the redirected air flow. The TiVo temperature sensor is just upstream of the fan's inlet between the 2 MPEG decoder chips.

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    7

    29 Testing Tivo Heat Fix

    I add a 7200 40 gig HD
    Heat Was Real Problem.
    After Reading I've Done the Following To Cool tivo:

    (1) Remove foam From Top Cover
    (2) Replace The Tivo Fan and
    cut Hole in Steel Base So Your Can See the Harddisks.

    (3) Add Two Harddrive Coolers and Moded
    Them So They Fit over Mother Board IDE Port on Motherboard

    (4) Put Tivo Back together
    (5) Raised Tivo Off Ground 2 Inches.

    So Far I am Running Around 30-40 C

    I Let Everyone Know After Few Day How Works Out.

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    7

    33 Updated

    Working for 24 Hrs 34-39 C

    Thanks For All The Help

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    26
    > yotool wrote:
    > The networker mods actually cause a little less air to be drawn
    > over the temperature sensor on the motherboard.

    Absolutely. I have received reports that the mods actually
    _increased_ the measured temperature by a degree or two. This is a
    worthy trade-off to get your disk(s) 35 degrees cooler (see below).


    > It's just a pain to keep yoinkin' fans in and out and reconnecting
    > everything (a little risky each time too; potentially bangin' the
    > drive or accidentally reefin' on the fan connector, or drive cables
    > etc.).

    Indeed. I fried the fan connector monkeying around with fans. Do NOT
    underestimate the risk any time you open the box.


    > [The Mag Lev fans]
    > I believe I "remember" the sound of the stock fan from 2 years of
    > service (I feel it was louder)

    That's interesting; as someone else mentionned I have tried them also
    (without the silicone) and found them to be louder than the stock fan.


    > and was thinkin' of cutting a 40mm hole just above the AC power
    > connecter at the rear of the DSR6000 and running this cute little
    > guy @ a fixed 5VDC to pull a little air over the rest of the power
    > supply and essentially pull the static pressure of the exit side
    > of the primary fan a slight bit lower which should make the primary
    > fan flow a tad bit more air at the same fan speed. This might not
    > be the case as it would probably pull most of its supply air from
    > the exit side holes.

    Indeed. There is some danger into doing this: you do need to
    cool the power supply side. The problem is that you would have
    multiple pressure differentials to manage and and don't see how.
    If the inside fan was on the front, I would have said to tape all
    the exit holes and go out all by the new fan, but it's not the case.
    If you do implement this mod, the risk is that the front part of
    the power supply won't be cooled at all.


    > I need a chemical smoke generator

    Try the one called "Marlboro" :-) Besides annoying sides effects
    such as lung cancer it works pretty good.

    > and lighted mini-camera to check the air flows with the cover on...

    Good luck finding one small enough :-)


    > must again state that the networker mods are critical to keeping
    > the most vital mechanical component (the hard drive) cool, even
    > if the indicated temp runs a tad higher because of the redirected
    > air flow. The TiVo temperature sensor is just upstream of the
    > fan's inlet between the 2 MPEG decoder chips.

    Indeed. Another critical part is heat sinks on the hot chips. The
    temperature being reported is not very significant; before I did
    these mods I borrowed one of these temparature measuring gizmos
    that measure the temperature with a laser beam. I measured just
    after pulling the cover while the unit was running and got 135
    degrees on the disk and 140 degrees on one of the chips. After
    modding it I got the disk to less than 100 and the chip heatsinks
    to less than 90. Running 50 degrees of tivo temp is no biggie.

    Michel.

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4
    Just recently I decided to do something about cooling my DirecTiVo Sony SAT-T60. I found this thread and started doing the mods. First one was to make the hole so that the internal fans blows over the top of the hard drive, not just underneath. First, I did the same thing as Networker showed on his pics by drilling straight holes but then I thought about the holes and decided to screw it and whipped out my Dremmel and cut a nice rectangular hole instead. (See picture).

    Next is to add a 40mm fan to the back of the box between the RCA and CATV connectors to blow air out of the case. Just have to get a nice 40mm fan from online. Most likley something not too loud.

    Then I'm going to flip a coin and decide if I want to put in another fan above the power connector to blow air out of the back of the powersupply or maybe blow air in. I really don't want to since there doesn't seem like there is enough space back there for a 40mm fan and I would have to cut that nice white sticker back there. I don't wanna...

    I haven't decided if I want to go the distance and cut holes in the bottom of the box to place fans underneath the hard drive, but at this point I don't think that'll be necessary or even warranted since it would create too much noise most likely.
    Last edited by JakFrost; 05-08-2004 at 07:46 PM.

  9. #54
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    26
    > JakFrost wrote:
    > First one was to make the hole so that the internal fans blows
    > over the top of the hard drive, not just underneath.

    Did you _reverse_ the direction of the internal fan? If you did, there is a big catch: you are blowing hot air from the power supply inside the case, which is not good. I have had many overheating issues with PCs that blow air from the power supply inside the case; no good. You want to _extract_ hot air from the case, not to put more in.

    > First, I did the same thing as Networker showed on his pics by drilling
    > straight holes but then I thought about the holes and decided to screw
    > it and whipped out my Dremmel and cut a nice rectangular hole instead.

    Nicer and more efficient than my holes, no doubt. If I had a Dremmel I would have done this. Your chip heatsinks are nice, too.

    > Next is to add a 40mm fan to the back of the box between the
    > RCA and CATV connectors to blow air out of the case.

    Keep in mind: more fans, especially exhaust fans near the box exterior = more noise.

  10. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4
    "Did you _reverse_ the direction of the internal fan?"

    No, I just drilled the hole. I didn't see a need to muck around with the internal fan since it still works and does its job pretty well. I just wanted to have air moving over the top of the drive.

    "Nicer and more efficient than my holes, no doubt. If I had a Dremmel I would have done this. Your chip heatsinks are nice, too."

    Yeah, I started the mod like you by drilling the holes and I had about 5-large holes done after about 2-hours of drilling then the battery on my little Black & Decker drill died. I recharged it overnight and went to town again trying to drill a few more holes but this time it just wasn't working very well and I couldn't even get one hole to drill since I'm guessing the bit was getting worn. So I decided to whip out the Dremmel, put on the black cutting disk and was amazed at how well and quick the Dremmel was able to cut through the steel. I had that entire hole done in about 20-minutes with a bit of polishing here and there instead of the hours that I spent drilling holes.

    On a previous date I used the Dremmel to cut that hole above the phone jack to install the network port cleanly. If you look at the pic you'll notice the network cable running to the network jack in my TiVo. Dremmel is just great for this type of stuff. Just make sure that you use the right bits for the tough steel that you're dealing with, and they are the black discs, not the brown ones since they are too soft. (I shattered a brown cutting disc and also wasted a green polishing head on a previous try.)

    Always wear eye protection when dealing with a Dremmel, and if you have wear hearing protection and use thick workman's leather gloves to protect your hands.

    To get the proper cutting done with the Dremmel you have to rev some of the bits to 8,000 RPM or even 10,000 RPM and at that speed the steel dust gets pretty dangerous along with the noise. The workman's leather gloves also help to protect your hands and dampen any vibrations.

    "Keep in mind: more fans, especially exhaust fans near the box exterior = more noise."

    Yeah, but my TiVo is usually running between 47-49 degrees C and I think that this is just a bit too hot. I use it in my living room and I usually sit about 20-25 feet away from it so the fan noise shouldn't be too much of a problem.

  11. #56
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    26
    >> networker wrote:
    >> Did you _reverse_ the direction of the internal fan?

    > JakFrost wrote:
    > No, I just drilled the hole.

    Then you misunderstood the air flow inside.

    > [..]to make the hole so that the internal fans blows over the
    > top of the hard drive, not just underneath

    The internal fan does not blow over the top of the hard disk, is pulls air from there.

    > Next is to add a 40mm fan to the back of the box between the
    > RCA and CATV connectors to blow air out of the case.

    That would be a disaster, as it will counter the flow of the internal fan. The other direction would not be as bad but still not a good idea as there would not be much air flow going over the chips.

    > Then I'm going to flip a coin and decide if I want to put in another
    > fan above the power connector to blow air out of the back of the
    > powersupply

    That would work.

    > or maybe blow air in.

    That would be a disaster: it will oppose the flow of the internal fan and your tivo would become an oven.

    > I had that entire hole done in about 20-minutes with a bit of
    > polishing here and there instead of the hours that I spent
    > drilling holes.

    You must have a lousy dril; my holes are ugly but it took me a matter of seconds to drill them.

    > and was amazed at how well and quick the Dremmel was
    > able to cut through the steel

    It's because it's cheap aluminum....

  12. #57
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1

    Internal Fan Speed

    I would like to know how to increase the speed of the stock fan adjacent to the power supply. As I understand the prior posts, the fan speed will increase both when the heat increases and if the fan power source is changed from the fan controller to a 12v source.

    Where is and how do I use this 12v source?

    I am not too concerned about the increase in noise.

    Bob

  13. #58
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    26
    > xxBobxx wrote:
    > I would like to know how to increase the speed of the stock fan
    > adjacent to the power supply. As I understand the prior posts,
    > the fan speed will increase both when the heat increases and if
    > the fan power source is changed from the fan controller to a 12v
    > source. Where is and how do I use this 12v source?

    There are two avenues:

    1. Software (I don't know jack about it, but understand that stuff such as unloading fan.o can be done).

    2. Hardware: grab the 12v out of the spare drive power connector. The 12v is the red wire. Standard adapters exist for this.

  14. #59
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    208
    I did an experiment last night (the second HDD power tail was contacting the fan blades, so had to open it to repair that situation, and I suspected another piece of equipment was having heat problems, so I rigged up a fan for it, thought I might experiment with the Tivo when I had the chance).

    Before, my temps read in the high 40s (mid to high 30s with one of those indoor/outdoor thermomters, with the outdoor probe installed in the Tivo)

    Supposition: System temperature is read from a sensor on the HDD.

    What I did was take this extra fan, and have it blow over the HDD, and the temp went down at least 10 degrees.

    Conclusion: System temperature is read from a sensor on the HDD.

    My Tivo is an S1 Standalone Philips, with 80GB Samsung Spinpoint 7200 RPM drive installed in the right hand bay, using silicone rubber blocks (I have plenty of that I can use) holding the drive up, and elastic bands holding it down, attacthed with hooks fashioned from wire.

    Next experiment, to see if installing the HDD in the left hand bay helps.

  15. #60
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1

    Cooling dtivo without opening the box

    My T-60 has been running at about 52C since upgrading to 2 WD 120g drives. All of my AV equipment is in a cabinet with a glass front door and the rear completely open.

    As a test I wanted to see what I could do without opening the dtivo box.

    Stage 1
    As suggested by previous posts, I tried raising the box by putting bottle caps under the feet and a paper roll to separate the intake side from the exhaust side holes. This lowered the temp to 50C.

    Stage 2
    I found a cardbrd box that was the same depth as the dtivo and slightly less than the width. I cut the box height down to the size of a 80mm fan. I cut a hole in the rear of the cardbrd box and mounted the fan to pull air out of the box. I placed the box under the Tivo so that the exhaust holes were inside the box and the intake holes were outside the box. I sealed the top of the box to the bottom of the Tivo with some masking tape. The fan is powered by an small external power supply. The results were that within 15 minutes the temp had gone down to 46C and overnight down to 40C. The whole outside of the Tivo box now feels cool to the touch.

    The box does 2 things. It moves more air through the dtivo and separates the intake from pulling heated air from the exhaust side.

    As a permanent solution I plan to build a wooden box with foam weather stripping as seals to the exhaust holes. I used a Silencer fan from www.pcpowerandcooling.com

    I still plan on using Networker's ideas inside the dtivo box.

    Sony T-60
    2 WD 120g 7200
    Turbonet card
    TivoWebPlus

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