New Bolts MAY Have Better Fans

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by V7Goose, May 11, 2017.

  1. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    New Bolts MAY be coming with much better fans - even better than the recommended replacement fans?

    I am starting a new thread on this so the information does not get buried in all the other complaints about noisy fans and poor cooling. Those other threads regularly recommend replacement of the stock fan with a Blacksilentfan XS-2 to both make the box quieter and lower the temps by about 10 degrees.

    My experience has been very different. If you have a new 2017 Bolt, you may not need a replacement fan!

    I currently have three Bolts, and I have zero complaints about the noise on any of them. My first one, a 1TB model with the original drive installed, was new in September, 2016. The ODT temp on this box remains around 59 - 62 degrees while sitting on an open glass shelf.

    But the real surprise seems to be my brand new 500GB box, built on 4/1/17. I installed a Toshiba 3TB drive in this box (uses much more power than the stock drive), and it is sitting on a wood shelf in an enclosed cabinet with the UPS and other heat-generating equipment. I ran this box for a month with the stock fan, and never saw the temp go above 69 degrees. Yesterday I replaced the stock fan with the recommended XS-2, and guess what? The temps did NOT go down at all. In fact, after only running for a few hours, the ODT was showing 71 degrees!

    I did make sure the new fan was spinning before I put the case back together. I'll poke around a bit more today, just to make sure no wires or anything might be fouling the new fan, but if I cannot find anything wrong, I'm going to put the stock fan back in this Bolt.
     
    delgadobb likes this.
  2. Redoctobyr

    Redoctobyr Active Member

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    Interesting. My Bolt was built April 25, and my temps dropped by roughly 10C with the 3TB Toshiba upgrade, and the XS-2 fan.

    You matched red/black wires, and the airflow direction, with the XS-2? It should be blowing air down, out of the case.
     
  3. leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    My new 420 bulid date 500 gb Bolt may be quieter then earlier bolt revisions I don't know this is my first bolt. I do know its just as loud as my basic Romeo which was also too loud for me. My solution is to keep top lid off bolt and disable fan. As a result my temps are also dropped by 10c and no more noise. I plan on hanging my bolt vertically on the wall so as to dissuade dust from settling.
     
  4. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    Yes, the plug is on correctly and the fan is blowing down/out. Interestingly, this morning when I turned on the TV to check the temp after having it run all night (I do not use standby on this box), it did show a slight reduction, down to 66 degrees. That may simply be due to a cooler than usual room temp due to the cold-front yesterday - no way of knowing for sure.

    I popped the small cover off and verified that the fan was both turning the correct direction and was not being impeded in any way. And although I did not let it run this way for an extended period of time, the ODT temp did start to rise with that cover off - this is to be expected, since the only intake vents are located around the far edges of the case bottom, which normally forces the incoming air to flow over the hotter parts of the system before being exhausted. By only removing the small cover directly over the fan and HDD, none of the normal board cooling can take place.

    I went ahead and pulled the full cover off the box again, just to verify the fan connections and re-route the wires (that XS-2 fan has a lot of extra wire compared to the stock fan). Perhaps the excess wires were impeding the air flow a bit? Right now the temp is at 64 - while that is 5 degrees lower than it used to be with the stock fan, it hasn't really been running all that long since I put it all back together again today. I'll update this thread tomorrow after I watch it for another day.
     
  5. Redoctobyr

    Redoctobyr Active Member

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    What's your ambient temperature? My room has typically been 60-65F.

    My ODT was about 68-71C with the stock fan. Since changing to the XS-2, it's usually been 55-58C. I was impressed by the improvement.

    Both fans are quiet, in my opinion, even at a straight 12V from another supply. But I understand some stock fans are quite loud. I found mine to be quiet, but it made my Bolt run warmer than I'd prefer.

    I don't use standby mode on mine. I didn't do a great job of organizing the wires from the new fan. I should have wrapped them together, to keep them compact.
     
  6. csell

    csell Member

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    Where do you find the temperature? I can't seem to find it in the System information which is where I thought it was.
     
  7. Redoctobyr

    Redoctobyr Active Member

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    It's on the second page of system information.
     
  8. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    System information, 2nd page. A couple of lines above the Remote address. On the Bolt, they only have one temp value, called ODT.
     
  9. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    My room temp now is about 66F, but inside the cabinet where the equipment is located shows about 76 degrees. Right now that Bolt shows ODT = 65 (very little improvement over the stock fan).

    Although I have not done specific indoor temp measurements over the past month, today's ambient temps are at least 10 degrees lower than they have generally been for the past month (days have regularly been in the 80s, but today's high is still only 59F), so I really doubt that this new fan is gaining me anything at all.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  10. Redoctobyr

    Redoctobyr Active Member

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    It being in an enclosed cabinet with other heat generating equipment may be an important point, then.

    The fan can, of course, only get the device closer to the temperature of the air it's circulating.

    So if you have it in a hot enclosed box, with little access to cooler air, that will of course put you at a significant disadvantage.

    My room has been 60-65F. I put the thermometer next to the Bolt at first, on its open shelf. That was showing 72F. But I moved the thermometer to a table by the TV, to better read the room's temperature, since that's a more common comparison.

    But even if it's 72F next to my Bolt, it is still getting fresh air, since it's on an open shelf.

    If you could do something to allow exchanging with some cooler air, maybe the fan could help more. Could you move it to an open space, as a test?

    Exaggerating the point, if the Bolt was at 70C, and you were blowing 70C air across it, even a big fan wouldn't really be able to do much for you. No cooling would actually be taking place. But use 10C air, and the airflow will help a lot more.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  11. timstack8969

    timstack8969 Member

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    What should be a normal DOT? I have 62
     
  12. Redoctobyr

    Redoctobyr Active Member

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    I don't know, sorry. I see a lot of people taking about 60C to maybe 72C or so. People seem to start getting somewhat concerned once they're over 70C.

    Of course, this is just based on some reading on my part, and will vary, even for a given Bolt, on the season and ambient temperatures.

    62 sounds pretty good, in my opinion, I wouldn't be worried about it. Someone said that chips like these are often rated to run as high as 85C, though I don't think anyone knows for sure the limit for this one. Regardless, the Bolt is reporting the temperature in one location, and generally, the cooler your electronics run, the happier they are. The hard drive might last longer if you can keep it cooler, for instance, and the Bolt is not reporting/monitoring its temperature.

    So even if 80C was ok for the chip, my personal preference is still to help the unit run as cool as possible/practical.

    I'm not going to set up an air-conditioner for it. But if something like raising the Bolt off the shelf (eg- putting soda caps under the Bolt's feet) will help it run a few degrees cooler, I'm open to that.
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  13. George Cifranci

    George Cifranci TiVo Bolt 500GB - TE4 UI

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    Columbus,...
    My April 3, 2017 built TiVo Bolt (500GB) is very quiet and I can only BARELY hear it from my seating position (9 and 1/2 feet away) when my TV is muted.
     
  14. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    My 500GB Bolt purchased in the Fall sale last year was built 04/16 and is effectively silent
    My Bolt+ bought in the April sale was built in 11/16 and has a very noticeable fan and it was a replacement for one with a noisy fan, I think I'm replacing the fan :(
     
  15. timstack8969

    timstack8969 Member

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    How do I know when my Bolt+ was built? On the box? or somewhere else
     
  16. compnurd

    compnurd Well-Known Member

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    I know there is a concern with the ODT temp.... But has anyone had one fail due to the temp? Do we know the chips threshold? Wondering if this is all much ado about nothing
     
  17. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    In my opinion, this is all completely off-topic for this thread. I am not complaining about the temps in the equipment cabinet, nor am I complaining about the internal Bolt temperature in a box running an upgraded HDD. In fact, I was specifically pointing out that even in a less than ideal location the STOCK FAN was doing a very good job in my opinion.

    What I was trying to do by starting this thread is specifically address the question of whether or not the fans in the newer Bolts were as bad as many people keep yelling about in various forums. Personally, I think they are just fine, but I tested the popular XS-2 replacement just to see if it would be even better. So far, I am sure it is NOT better than the stock fan in the one Bolt I have tested. During normal use yesterday evening, I repeatedly checked the Bolt temperature, and it was running as high as 68 degrees - just one single degree lower than I had always been seeing with the stock fan. And the room was still generally cooler than it had been over the past few weeks, so I'm betting that single degree cooler temp is due to the room and NOT the replacement fan.

    My advice to other Bolt owners would be that they do NOT need to replace their fan. Unless they suspect they have a defective fan in their box, they should not expect some magical and oft-repeated 10C reduction in internal temperatures by replacing the fan. Just my opinion. But I did the testing, and I wanted to share the results.

    Maybe TiVo sources their fans from multiple suppliers, and half of them are good while the others are bad? I do not know - I can only say that in the three Bolts I own right now, all the stock fans are very quiet and cool the boxes very well.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
  18. idksmy

    idksmy Guest

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    I was never looking to reduce the internal temps in my Bolt, rather I was looking to reduce the noise and replacing the stock fan accomplished that.

    P.S.
    Thread drift in a discussion forum? Who could have imagined that? :)
     
  19. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

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    SE Ohio
    Running toasty hot can cause problems. According to The Temperature Ratings Of Electronic Parts, Absolute Maximum Ratings are often determined by potential electromigration problems:
    If those temperature ranges refer to ambient operating conditions (as I think they do), a Bolt running with an ODT of nearly 70°C may be OK, but it still seems pretty hot to me. I guess time will tell.
     
    Redoctobyr likes this.
  20. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    Sticker on the bottom of the unit has the build date.
     

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