Replacing Noisy Bolt Fan & Power

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by Kevin Zimmerman, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Kevin Zimmerman

    Kevin Zimmerman New Member

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    Oct 31, 2018
    Obviously, a lot has been written about fan and/or fan power noise in the Bolt. I experienced the issue myself, and found it insanely frustrating. I'm hoping that outlining my steps will help someone with similar issues.

    I purchased a Bolt VOX 500GB from Amazon in January, and contacted TiVo support about the noise it was making within a few weeks of purchase. The support tech recommended cracking the case open (my first indication that this wasn't going to end well) to see if the fan itself was loose.

    I did. It wasn't. So I contacted support again and exchanged it for another unit. Same noise issues. At that point I ordered a Noiseblocker BlackSilent Fan XS-2 from Amazon, as prior posters suggested. It fits, but the screw holes don't line up, so I attached it with 3M Command Strips. And the power for the Noiseblocker fan is 3-pin, and the connector on the TiVo board is 2-pin, so you have a 50/50 chance to get it right the first time.

    It was quieter, but the annoying high-pitched whine was still present, which it turns out was caused by the actual power connection itself (as others have pointed out). I then ordered a USB to 3-pin Power Adapter Cable, and hooked up the fan to a USB port on the TiVo. Dead silent. Running fan. Great.

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    So, to wrap it all up, I Dremeled a hole through the bottom of the case, and routed the power cable through, and put it all back together. I've voided my warranty, but at this point I don't care. It's dead silent and my OCD can relax a bit. I'll monitor operating temperature over the next few weeks, but so far so good (averaging around 55).

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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
    Idol likes this.
  2. Nov 1, 2018 #2 of 53
    Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    To replace the fan, you remove the original fan from the plastic holder . The holder is what screws into the case, not the fan directly.

    There's a much easier way to get 5V, it's available on an unused connector.

    tivobolt5vfan.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  3. Nov 1, 2018 #3 of 53
    Kevin Zimmerman

    Kevin Zimmerman New Member

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    Oct 31, 2018
    Understood. I saw at least one post from someone who drew power from the other connector on the board, but I chose not to try it. If one power connector on the board squeals too noisily for my liking, I though there was a decent chance the other would as well.

    I'm pretty low-tech, and I though explicit steps links to parts used would be helpful to other low-tech folks experiencing was seems to be a very common issue. It's not a very elegant solution, but neither is the Bolt...

     
  4. Nov 1, 2018 #4 of 53
    Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    The really low tech solution is to just take the cover off and unplug the fan. It runs cooler that way than with the fan and cover.
     
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  5. Nov 4, 2018 #5 of 53
    LarryAtHome

    LarryAtHome Active Member

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    If you put a 100uF 25 Volt capacitor across the fan power wires (be sure to observe polarity) the motherboard noise will be eliminated and the fan will still change speed as needed.
    As not all people are experiencing this issue, this might be a motherboard revision issue. *note, this has solved this in my case but I can not be certain long term damage to the motherboard might be caused...use at your own risk.
     
  6. Nov 4, 2018 #6 of 53
    HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    I don't recall having any issues with this when I did it for my son's Bolt. Wasn't there an adapter bracket that it clipped into?

    Scott
     
  7. Nov 5, 2018 #7 of 53
    Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    Does the fan run at the same speed? I'm thinking it might run faster since it's getting power from the cap when "off".

    I doubt it's a motherboard rev issue, just component variation. People have complained about noisy Bolts since it was released.
     
  8. Nov 6, 2018 #8 of 53
    tommiet

    tommiet Active Member

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    My bolt is only 2 months old and I get zero sound from it. Temp @ 59, so I'm sure the fan is working. Lucky, I guess or it just takes time for the issue to come up
     
  9. Nov 6, 2018 #9 of 53
    Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    That's been mine (although I can hear it when by it, but no more than earlier TiVo boxes), since purchased 1-1/2 years ago--still fine.
     
  10. leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    Aug 24, 2005
    SF Bay area
    That's what I do.
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. DocNo

    DocNo Member

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    Bristow, VA
    Whoever thought the bolt case was a good idea... well, it wasn't. Hmm, I have a dead Premiere. I may move the Bolt guts to it. I'll probably have to drill some new holes but I can put the hard drive in the same case as the Tivo guts and I'll just power the much larger fan in the Premiere case from the external power supply I use to power the 3.5" hard drive my Bolt uses.

    If it wasn't for the stupid case, the decision to switch to 2.5" hard drives and the other niggling issues with the fans an sensitivity to signal strength the Bolt would by far be the best Tivo ever since they finally fixed the CPU and memory issues that have plagued Tivo from day one.
     
  12. Idol

    Idol New Member

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    Sep 23, 2010
    KS
    There is another thread that was started back in August were people were discussing something similar to this. I haven't seen any activity for a while. I was hoping someone would find a simple solution.

    Re-Casing the Bolt - ideas for giving the Bolt a proper case
     
  13. bobwalton

    bobwalton New Member

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    Oct 22, 2014
    There is no power on that header. I tried every combination for the two pins. Perhaps TIVO disabled power to this connector.
     
  14. Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    Nov 5, 2002
    Don't randomly try things, use the ones in the picture. You can verify with a volt meter. The 5V on the header is the same 5V that powers the hard drive.
     
  15. bobwalton

    bobwalton New Member

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    Oct 22, 2014
    I tried pins 1 and 3 as pictured. The fan never spins up. I have the 1TB version and the header is in a perpendicular orientation. Perhaps the board was changed.
     
  16. Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    Nov 5, 2002
    Could be, always a good idea to check the voltage before connecting.
     
  17. Paul1522

    Paul1522 New Member

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    Jan 22, 2019
    Ummmmm, don't you need 12V for the fan?
     
  18. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Ashland, PA...
    Only if it's the fan shown in post 2.
     
  19. bobwalton

    bobwalton New Member

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    Oct 22, 2014
    So you got the Noiseblocker fan to spin up with 5V? I tried it and the stock fan. I was actually thinking of trying to just route the two tiny wires out the grill under the fan out to the USB on the back panel, perhaps using the slower spinning Noiseblocker fan.
     
  20. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Can you post a picture showing your board? I didn't have any issue replacing the stock fan with a Noiseblocker using the original fan's power connections. Also, a picture of the original fan would be good (or at least model and power requirements).

    Scott
     

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