My Awesome BOLT Cooling Mods ;-)

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by CIR-Engineering, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. barnabas1969

    barnabas1969 Active Member

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    This is overkill.
     
  2. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    My projects are not about doing things the easy way, they are about doing mods of high quality ;)

    If you think this is overkill check out this thread:

    Instructions: Adding eSATAp connector to BOLT (tech)

    Best,
    craigr
     
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  3. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Different strokes. Some people enjoy the engineering challenge. :)
     
  4. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    @CIR-Engineering, I think that you would do a killer job of replacing a refrigerator lightbulb. Of course, the bulb probably would end up being powered by a nano-sized nuclear generator or the natural disintegration of food molecules. ;)

    I was impressed by the finish of your cooling fan mod--it actually looked like it could be the original kit. Of course, your interior Bolt box work scares the living bejeezus out of me--I'm using an exterior fan-based cooling pad. :p
     
  5. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    Lol

    Thanks Mike.

    craigr
     
  6. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    I just noticed that your mods got the box ODT down to a max of 31 degrees C--jeez, that's the temp. of a warm Summer-day room, and not even enough for culturing yogurt!

    My external fan-based cooling pad (an AC Infinity) gets my box (cablecard compartment door removed) down to ~45-the low 50s, depending on the room temp.--this is with the fan on the lowest speed, with no audible effect even next to the fan (it pretty much feels like a light breeze); experimenting some, the highest fan speed would get me down to around 40 degrees (but I'm satisfied with the lowest speed, for sound reasons--the Bolt box is in my bedroom). I've been fortunate, though, as my Bolt box never was a hot or noisy one.
     
  7. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    Yeah, mine started out as a really hot one, 72 degrees C in March. Now I’ve never seen it go above 34 degrees C even in summer with the AC off. I also have the tuners running much cooler as the coax connectors are no longer smoldering.

    I think 45~50 C is fine though. You’re good.

    I was at a client’s place a few weeks ago. He had a new BOLT and it was running low 50’s stock in a shelf. I don’t know if TiVo is making them better or if Broadcom did a die shrink or what?!?

    Best,
    craigr
     
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  8. Oct 6, 2019 #128 of 158
    John7777

    John7777 Member

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    This is exactly what I would like to do, but being the lazy S.O.B. I am, I just removed the cover on my bolt and placed a small fan on top. I added some rubber feet to the bottom so it sits level. My bolt runs at 35 and sits inside a stereo cabinet with no back. I intend to blow the dust off from time to time and brush it out if necessary, but I hope there are no drawbacks to this lazy man's method. I figure reducing the heat is more than half the battle for getting plenty of life out of the unit. If anyone knows of any problems with my method, please let me know. My lazy man technology has come back to bite me in the ass from time to time, but generally my motto is: It ain't pretty but it does the job." Thanks.
     
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  9. Oct 6, 2019 #129 of 158
    CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    You should be good to go with no negative ramifications. I would be onboard with the lazy man Métis if I weren’t so anal about fit and finish. That said, this mod only took about two hours.

    craigr
     
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  10. Oct 6, 2019 #130 of 158
    My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    Curious what problems you've had, if any since doing this. You added the fan, and it sounds like its quiet enough to not hear it. You have it hidden, but use the IR for the remote, and as bad as that gets is a little more battery use. Would the only problem left be dust? I was curious what your experience has been with that. How often have you been cleaning it, and how bad does it get? This would obviously be relative, but maybe compared to the rest of your house.
     
  11. Oct 6, 2019 #131 of 158
    CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    The white BOLT (the first with the fan mod in this thread) is in our living room. It’s HDMI goes into an HDFury Integral that strips HDCP and splits the signal to the living room TV and then sends the other HDMI down to the equipment rack outside the theater room. At that point the HDMI goes into an HDMI to HD BaseT converter that again splits the HDMI to the theater room and the HD BaseT goes to the kitchen. The reason for this is so that when we have sports parties the three TVs are all at the same time without audio delay between sets. And for this reason, in the living room the TiVo is controlled with RF (it’s behind the TV) and controlled by IR from a remote in the theater room. This may be more than you wanted to know...

    Anyway, I have had no issues at all. I vacuumed off the fan screen every couple months. I open the TiVo every 8-12 months (as I have always done with all my TiVos) and blow it out with an air compressor. I will say that with the fan screen this TiVo has less dust inside than any other I have ever seen and I started with a series 3 and have about 100 clients on TiVos.

    This TiVo also has my eSATAp mod with a 3.5” external bare drive:
    Instructions: Adding eSATAp connector to BOLT (tech)

    I have another BOLT VOX in the theater room that also has a similar fan mod. On that one I used the same fan but am running it at 5v instead of 12v and it has a 2TB internal hard drive. Much to my surprise it usually runs around 34 degrees C and also does not have any additional holes in the bottom. On this TiVo I have never had to vacuum off the screen in the 2+ years I’ve had it. I think it’s less dusty in the theater, but the main thing is that the fan is moving less air so less dust.

    I’ve thought about changing the white BOLT fan mod to 5v to see if it stays as cool, but I have yet to bother.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    craigr
     
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  12. Oct 6, 2019 #132 of 158
    My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    No. Even though I didn't get most of that setup, that's great. Thanks.
     
  13. Oct 7, 2019 #133 of 158
    John7777

    John7777 Member

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    Thanks Craig, With retirement looming on the horizon, I'll keep that in mind. Have a good one!
     
  14. Oct 7, 2019 #134 of 158
    CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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  15. Oct 7, 2019 #135 of 158
    jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

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    Really like the looks of this mod!!!
     
  16. Oct 7, 2019 #136 of 158
    zubinh

    zubinh Active Member

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    Drilling holes in the bolt case is wayyyy too much work for me. Buy the two fan version (link below), plug it into the Bolt's USB port, put one fan on the case above the hard drive and put the other fan on the left or right side of the Bolt. Total Installation time = 22 seconds. The cool thing about this fan (pun intended) is that it also has a female USB port so I was able to plug another fan into it and route that one to my A/V Receiver..:)

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IJ2J2K0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  17. Oct 9, 2019 #137 of 158
    John7777

    John7777 Member

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    Thanks and it's a shame TIVO goes with the cheaply made fans, but we learn by finding better alternatives.
     
  18. keithg1964

    keithg1964 Ragonk

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    I just completed this modification on my TiVo Bolt and my results are very similar. I did not drill any holes in the bottom case and I soldered the fan to the 12v and ground wire that are running to the hard drive. That was easier for me to do than to solder to the motherboard. I want to think the original poster and all the responses for their help. I used an jigsaw to cut the hole in the top cover it worked very well.
     
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  19. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    Great!

    I was just using a junk BOLT the other day to help optimize my antenna. The BOLT was unmodded and I forgot how fast and how hot the coax connector gets. In just a few minutes it was way too hot... really bad for the tuner chips and their solder joints. Fan mod fixes that too.

    craigr
     
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  20. gus2000

    gus2000 New Member

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