Decoupling fans from case [updated with more pics]

Discussion in 'Modding' started by johnbarry, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. johnbarry

    johnbarry Member

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    As per the title. How do you guys mount your fans to reduce case vibration?

    I know there are a few options that can be bought like these
    SilenX fan mounts
    Siliceous washers
    Siliceous flange thingo

    I wanna see your ghetto styling. :leet: I'm looking for some cheap and easy ideas for my own case.

    To start everyone off, a bit of browsing from SilentPCReview turned these up:

    Foam bits
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Foam bits, v2 (with ear plugs)
    [​IMG]

    Cable tie trick
    [​IMG]

    Rubber band trick
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    If you guys use any of these please post in here. Also let us know what you think of them or if you have any more ideas. :thumbup:

    PS. Their should be 8 pics in this post. If pics don't show up its because either my bigpond space has reached its limit or imagestore.ugbox is down.
    edi: resized images
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2005
  2. Smoken

    Smoken Member

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    But if ya left the ear plugs in ya ears - ah never mind

    Some great idea's there


    Smoken


    I just normaly put rubber washers under fans

    And with my Antec 1080 i swapped out the 80mm hard drive fan for a 90mm and put foam and a cable tie to hold it in
     
  3. kogi

    kogi Member

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    SilenX fan mounts = not tried, too expensive
    Siliceous washers = tried useless
    Siliceous flange thingo = tried useless

    I use the cable tie method.
    ie cut off the head of a cable tie and use nut bolt style, with a bit of foam between the fan and case.

    kogi
     
  4. xinzhitan14

    xinzhitan14 Member

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    the foam looks kind of dodgee.. i just screw mine in half way so there is a gap between the fan and the case and use bluetak to hold it down so it doesnt shake. it's a bit cleaner... but still blutak looks dodge heehe.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    johnbarry

    johnbarry Member

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    My method - in pictures

    I opted to do a combo of the cable tie trick and the ear plug thing, and here are the results.

    Starting with some ear plugs and a small screwdriver. Some were cut in half.
    [​IMG]

    All ear plugs were then pierced with a screw driver.
    [​IMG]

    Small cable ties were used. Half an ear plug was put onto the cable tie first. Then this was threaded through the fan. Subsequently a whole ear plug was added. This is the one that goes between the case and the fan.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The free ends of the cable ties were then put through the original fan mount holes.
    [​IMG]

    Half ear plugs were threaded onto the cable ties.
    [​IMG]

    Extra cable ties were then used as "nuts" to tighten the assembly, with the original cable ties acting as "bolts".
    [​IMG]

    The extra cable ties were then trimmed.
    [​IMG]

    My exhaust fan.
    [​IMG]

    All up it took 8 ear plugs and 8 small cable ties to do a single fan.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2005
  6. Smoken

    Smoken Member

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    And if you have to take fan out - do you need another 8 zip ties to put it back in again ?

    and did it realy make much difference ?
     
  7. OP
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    johnbarry

    johnbarry Member

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    Well, theoretically you'd only need to replace the "nuts" if you cut them off carefully, so 4. But its only zip ties, so 8 doesn't really matter to me.

    I was shocked how much difference it made to the front Tt fan (orange blades), it sounded like a vacuum cleaner before.

    The rear LED fan had only a slight improvement in comparison.

    I guess more dramatic improvements will be seen from crappier fans but it all helps.
     
  8. PooJou

    PooJou Member

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    Amusing.. most of those pics with the various methods:
    - Have the fan grilles still intact
    - Use shitty fans. (first pic of L1a's grille less now withstanding.. but using foam to mount them is just silly, wouldn't want to knock that case accidentally...)

    First, there is no point decoupling a fan from a case if it's a bodgy thing to start with. Fair enough you can eliminate vibration, but that is basically not the problem with cruddy fans (i count thermaltake fans as cruddy fans)
    Get some good fans first, then remove all grilles, THEN think about decoupling after you've worked out a good voltage-limiting system et al.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2005
  9. OP
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    johnbarry

    johnbarry Member

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    My fans are already on controllers, and I've already cut out the grills. See my setup in post #5. And yes I know Tt fans are crap, I'm working on that situation here. But I am told that decoupling has less effect on the better fans. My apologies if that sounded a bit anal. :p
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2005
  10. newSpeak

    newSpeak Member

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    This looks like a lot of trouble. Is there really any point to it?

    I mean, unless the vibration of the fan in operation [which depends on the mechanical characteristics of the fan] is causing your case to resonate, surely there is no need to decouple it.

    Personally if i was going to decouple my fans, i would bolt the fan firmly to the chassis with rubber washers inserted between the fan and the chassis. Unless your chassis is ridiculously flimsy, even this level of damping is probably overkill.

    No offence but foam and zip ties look terrible. :lol:

    Whatever makes you happy though. Everyone needs a hobby :thumbup:
    :)
     
  11. koma_white

    koma_white Member

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    Here's the quick way to tell if its worth it.
    Take said fan... hook it up to whatever voltage you'll be running through it and hold it in your hand. Fairly quiet right? If there is noise it's either a dodgey fan as PooJou said, or it's a screaming delta and it's pushing alot of air.
    Now bolt said fan into case, and give it the same power. It WILL be louder. I haven't come across a fan that wasn't louder when bolted/screwed in.

    There are a few ways to help this though.
    For one, the aluminium bling fans have heavy surrounds, and actually do help reduce the vibration a bit by increasing the mass. It helps, but not much.
    The quick, cheap & cheerful is to use 3mm double sided foam tape. It does an OK job of isolating the fan vibration.

    The best is probably going to be something like the earplugs/cable tie idea. I was given an 8 pack of those SilenX fan mounts (the ones that Antec supply), and was surprised how much they did. It still wasn't perfect but it was pretty damn good.

    At present i'm using said double sided foam tape method for my radiator fans. It does a decent job, and keeps them more than quiet enough to sleep near. That said they are Tricod 120mm fans which are pretty damn quiet at 5v. ;)
     
  12. PooJou

    PooJou Member

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    Yeah, sorry, i knew that you had done that already, i was just referring to the top pics. I dunno.... Like, decoupling is fine and dandy, but why don't you just buy better fans to start with? It has less effect because they vibrate less yeah? I guess if you already have TT fans, might as well use them to the best of their abilities huh?
    Oh and also, even though it's fine and dandy to decouple via foam standoffs, you may find that you introduce a new variable... that is, blowback from the fans because as you know, axial fans airflow is not a straight cylinder, more like a cone outwards. Therefore, in your situation I'd be wanting to tape some foam of some sort to the frame of the fan, thereby creating a 'seal' between stood off fan (is that even a term :p) and the case.
     
  13. DaveHimself

    DaveHimself Member

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    My god you guys they are just fans fer christsake!!!!


    i used to have 19 fans on my Xaser3 and the only noise i got was when i cranked them up as i ran them on 17v modded psu.

    anchor them tightly to your case and leave them be orrrrrrr piss em off and get a vapochill and just have 1 fan on the front and 1 onr the back to keep some air flow moving.


    How anal do you have to be to worry about the slight vibe a fan makes?? :wired:
     
  14. OP
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    johnbarry

    johnbarry Member

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    I'm assuming that this "blowback" will be negligible in comparison to what I had before with fan grills on.
     
  15. FreeyM

    FreeyM Member

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    Well you think about it, the fan vibrates, the panel vibrates it acts as a flat panel speaker, and ive only had one set of flat panel speaker and done away cause the sound was tinny, if you listen closly to the case you can kindove hear that sort of sound. Im all for standoffs and optimizations hey it what makes a mod a mod.... :thumbup:
     
  16. PooJou

    PooJou Member

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    I'm assuming you have no grilles, the blowback would occur between the panel that the fan is fastened to (assuming that the fan is blowing out) - I dunno, seems less efficient, and it's not hard to chuck a bit of foam on.

    DaveHimself - Mate, it's annoying when that's the noise that stops your case from being nearly whisper quiet.

    Apologies if i sounded a tad stand offish before, a lot of stuff pulled from SPCR is pure codswallop (some of their members are a tad funny in the head :))
     
  17. xinzhitan14

    xinzhitan14 Member

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    ahahah... would that work a lot betteR?? i would think so ahah.
     
  18. Red Valdez

    Red Valdez Member

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    Nice work there johnbarry. I've been thinking of decoupling my fans for a while now (stock Antec 80mm fans at ~5v - I want to replace them eventually though), as the plastic fan holders in my Antec 1080AMG suck for vibration. The idea of ear plugs + zipties is pretty ingenious - maybe I'll have to try it for myself :)

    The only concern I have with what you did is how secure it would be. I LAN pretty regularly, and obviously I don't want my fans to be at risk from becoming unattached from the case. Do your fans feel pretty secure with the zipties?
     
  19. xinzhitan14

    xinzhitan14 Member

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    with zip ties. make sure you use big strong ones.. i had 2 of my 80mm fans fly out when i found out the 2 zip ties in each corner had broken off :wired:
     
  20. OP
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    johnbarry

    johnbarry Member

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    Thanks Red Valdez
    Zip ties are pretty strong, and its not like you'll be subjecting your fans to massive Gs or anything. In my case the front one won't be going anywhere anyway since its jammed between the case front and the hard drive cage. But anyway, this little mod would be a greater concern for me:
    [​IMG]
     

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