FW HDD enclosure - safe to disable fan?

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by losfp, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. losfp macrumors regular

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    #1
    I just got a firewire case today.. hooked it up to a 7200rpm 80GB HDD, ready for some seriously fast data transfer. ARGH!! THE FAN!!! it's fast and whiny. Anyone have any opinions on just disabling the fan? Right now, the fan is unplugged, and I've left the side of the case open so the drive doesn't overheat - anyone have any experiences with this sort of setup? the drive itself is a super-quiet Barracuda IV :D
     
  2. yzedf macrumors 65816

    yzedf

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    #2
    replace with better quality fan (nicer bearings). that enclosure needs ventilation! heat and vibration are the 2 killers of hard drives (besides dropping them from 32ft onto concrete - oops).
     
  3. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #3
    Which case is it?? Is the power supply outside the case, or do you plug a standard computer power cord into the enclosure? If you plug the computer power cord into it, you need the fan running to prevent the PSU from generating excessive heat inside the enclosure.

    Many companies that manufacture the enclosures are now putting the power supplies outside the case. Combine that with sufficient ventilation or materials to pull the heat away from the drive and you do not require a fan.

    I hope to be offering some FW enclosures on my store site in the near future. If a deal I have been working on actually does happen, then I will be able to get the enclosures. These will be my own brand, not another brand name. I intend to make them as silent as possible, using as much heat moving technology as possible inside the enclosures. I also intend to make them sturdy enough to survive longer then the actual drive inside them does. I would sell the enclosures both with, and without drives inside of them. I even hope to be able to offer up FireWire RAID enclosures, but that depends on the bridge board availability to me.

    heh
    A
     
  4. losfp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    the power supply is external, and the fan is one of those tiny ones that's about 1" across. stupid thing. without it on, the whole thing is damn well near silent :)
     
  5. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #5
    If the power supply is external, I would say it would be safe to disable the fan. Although it will void whatever warranty you may have on the enclosure.
     
  6. yzedf macrumors 65816

    yzedf

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    #6
    hdd will last longer in cooler environment. fw drives are usually relied upon as backups. doesn't help when the backup fries itself... ;)
     
  7. losfp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    I might see if I can find another, less annoying fan. In the meantime, it'll just have to sit with the side of the case off for ventilation :)
     
  8. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #8
    Can you give an accurate dimension on the fan?? I've started searching for you to see about locating a small fan that is virtually silent. Most of the fans I have located are 60mm (2.362") and larger.

    Check the case to see if there is possibly an alternate place where the fan can be installed. Which case/enclosure are you using?? Which brand/style??

    A
     
  9. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #9
    Here's a thought... If the case can be modified, you could install a termal detector as well as a speed control for the fan. That way you can let it spin slow when idle, but then turn it up when the temperature starts to get too high. ;)
     
  10. losfp thread starter macrumors regular

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  11. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #11
    Unless the drive is right up against the front of the enclosure, there should be enough room to install the speed control items in the front of the case. Since you have disabled the fan, I assume it uses either a two or three pin connection to the bridge board.

    If you want to try the mod, let me know and I will gather everything you will need to get and do to accomplish this.

    A
     
  12. losfp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    nah that's cool AT - Thanks for the help though :) I'll just see if I can find an alternative fan at lunchtime today. Otherwise I'm not too fussed. 95% of the time it'll sit under my desk hooked up to my 12" PB. I'm pretty sure that leaving the cover off would actually cool it as much as that tiny fan, if not more!
     
  13. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #13
    It's a Barracuda IV. The drive will be within its manufacturer specified operating temperature range even without a fan in that enclosure. There is no evidence to suggest that a drive in a 70 degree environment will last any longer than, say, a drive in an 85 degree environment. The rush to put a fan in front of every hard drive is mainly a result of the "tricked-out PC mod placebo effect." There are plenty of Firewire enclosures with no fans and not even ventilation holes that have no problems at all.
     
  14. losfp thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Actually come to think of it, this drive has probably been exposed to higher temperatures in my PC (its former home) with another 2 hard drives, 2 optical drives, 768MB of SDRAM and an Athlon 1.2 processor :)
     
  15. yzedf macrumors 65816

    yzedf

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    #15
    Being a mechanical engineering type... heat is the enemy of all rotating things. bearings work better and longer at lower temps. whatever the lubricant used in the bearing is, will have less work to do in a cooler environment (less expansion of rotating parts due to increase in temp).

    Why else do you think a oil cooler results in a higher performing car engine???
     
  16. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #16
    How many case fans were inside the pc?? You have air flow inside the computer, even if you only use the processor fan and fans inside the power supply. Any additional fans make the system run cooler, thus extending the lifespan of the computer.

    I have two fans at the front of my case, pulling air in, one in the top of the case, and one at the back (all 80mm fans). The power supply even has an extra cooling fan inside of it. Of course, there is a fan (60mm at the moment) on the processor heat sink. Granted, it can be a bit loud when I power the baby up, but I KNOW that I have good air flow inside there.

    Most modern cases are designed with fan spots that will optimize air flow.

    BTW, I have both the hard drives inside my pc directly behind (or in front depending on how you look at these things) the two air intake fans (front of the case). That makes sure that they always have positive air flow to maintain their temperatures well within operating parameters.

    Something else, the faster your drive spins, the more air flow it will need because faster drives simply run hotter. Think of it this way, your car can run longer at lower rpm's without the cooling system then at higher rpm's. You also "warm up" the engine faster if you rev it higher (for those familiar with needing to warm their vehicle up during winters).

    My advise, place the drive (with the fan running) someplace where it minimizes the noise level that you hear. Don't place it someplace with little or no air flow (like a desk drawer).

    A
     
  17. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #17
    just to clarify and go off-topic, if you're warming the car so you won't damage the engine by running it cold, revving it while cold may not be a great idea-- tho if you just want the heater working, it is ;)

    pnw
     

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