Easy cooling mod?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by DeltaOne, Apr 17, 2019 at 3:24 PM.

  1. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Sep 29, 2013
    I recently helped someone replace a hard drive in a 2 year old Bolt. At the same time we replaced the fan and now have the Bolt sitting on one of those cheap laptop cooling fans from Amazon.

    Had to move the Bolt a little to the left, we didn't want the Bolt's fan blowing out (down) directly over the laptop cooler that was blowing up.

    Temperatures before the hard drive died were 65 to 70 ºC. Temperatures after the hard drive and fan replacement have been 50 to 57 ºC.

    I wasn't too impressed with the new replacement fan...it really doesn't move much air. I wasn't impressed with the cheap laptop cooler...it has two big fans but doesn't move that much air either.

    And I wan't too impressed with the tiny slots on the bottom of the Bolt for air intake.

    I've been wanting to drill a 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch hole in the side of the Bolt. The opposite side from the fan. Not the bottom, not the top...a new hole in the side of the case. Seems to me it would allow the fan to easily pull air in...across the logic board and hard drive...and then out the bottom.

    Or...remove the logic board...and drill holes in the case bottom.

    Thoughts? And those of you that have a cooling mod...what temperature is low enough?
     
  2. bkc56

    bkc56 Designated Grunt

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    I've seen others report that simply removing the cover from the cable-card slot helps. I suspect that card gets warm, and exposing it allows the heat to escape.
     
  3. Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

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    If the IDT is now 50° - 57°, isn't that cool enough?
    I wouldn't drill holes In the case. The suggestion to remove the CC cover is a good idea.
     
  4. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Sep 29, 2013
    I've read that too. After dinner last night we removed the cover from the cable-card slot. And remember, this Bolt is sitting on a laptop cooler that blows air up.

    Just a bit later the temp had dropped from 55 ºC to 51 ºC. That's a reduction of 8 ºF.
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  5. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Sep 29, 2013
    I just posted when you did...we did remove the cover to the cable-card slot. Temp went down 8 ºF.

    Is it cool enough? Maybe...I was looking for opinions. I know there are at least two extensive cooling mod threads here. I plan today to go through them and look for the answer to how cool is cool enough.
     
  6. Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

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    Can you turn the laptop cooler over? Might be better to blow air away from the Bolt. But if you're now always below 50°, that should be cool enough.
     
  7. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Sep 29, 2013
    We can try it as a test.

    I also want to try putting the Bolt's original fan back in. I got the impression some folks use this replacement fan because it's quieter. But this Bolt's original fan was quiet. And the replacement fan, to me, doesn't move much air.
     
  8. Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

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  9. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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  10. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    In my personal opinion, yep, especially if you're considering other, more drastic alternatives (drilling holes in the case, etc.). In fact, TiVo has said here at TCF that the "higher" original temps. are fine for the Bolt boxes (take that as you want).
     
  11. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Sep 29, 2013
    Thanks!

    One thing that interests me: finding a replacement fan that moves more air than the original fan or the Noiseblocker BlackSilentFan XS-2. The Noiseblocker is rated at 8.8 CFM.

    I'd be willing to have more noise if it moved more air.
     
  12. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Sep 29, 2013
    Lots of fan choices here: 50-52mm Fans

    The 50x50x10 fans seem rate around 9 to 10 CFM. So, not much more than the NoiseBlocker. And probably not much more than the OEM fan.

    I wonder if a 50x50x15 fan would fit? Those are rated up around 13 CFM. But I haven't checked the power draw on those fans.
     
  13. Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

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    I also heard this, never tried it, and forgot about it. My Bolt ran at 57° (it's in a ventilated cabinet), so never worried about cooling. Removed the cable card cover a few hours ago, and Bolt is now at 55° -- Cool
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  14. Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

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    The Bolt it blowing hot air out, and the laptop cooler back in, so having the fans in the same direction should be a better option.
     
  15. leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    SF Bay area
    Here you can see my Vox bolt I drilled a bunch of holes right over where the heat sink is, inside the TiVo. I also disabled the fan completely so this is a passive cooling solution. I also leave the hard drive compartment slightly ajar to let heat Escape. My temps are slightly lower than stock and much quieter.
     
  16. leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    Aug 24, 2005
    SF Bay area
    15556196996996341857072891570351.jpg
     
  17. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    You might try the NoiseBlocker fan that's frequently recommended around here. Cost is about $10 on Amazon and it's very quiet.
     
  18. KJN

    KJN New Member

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    Feb 24, 2019
    This thread is called " Easy cooling mod". Do not drill or damage your Bolt in any way.
    I took the CC door off, put it up on 1" blocks, and plugged in a $6 USB fan blowing over the unit.
    Temp dropped from 68 to 48.
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  19. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Sep 29, 2013
    That mirrors our result, except the cheap USB fan (a laptop cooler with two fans) is blowing up -- under the Bolt. Same drop in temperature.
     
    KJN likes this.

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