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Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by ilovedvrs, Oct 8, 2015.
Feels like a piling on of Howard Wolowitz.
2004 article discussing 2-wire fans and low frequency PWM (and other forms of fan speed control with advantages and disadvantages.)
Why and How to Control Fan Speed for Cooling Electronic Equipment | Analog Devices
If we assumed that the 4-pin header could actually work for a PWM fan, does anyone know if a quiet, 4-wire PWM fan exists in the correct size? I did some quick searching earlier, and wasn't coming up with much for 50mm PWM fans.
My Noiseblocker XS-2 fan arrived the other day, though my Bolt still hasn't shipped yet. To get a sense of how loud the fan is, I fired it up tonight.
I used a variable-voltage power supply, so I tried feeding it a range from 5V, up to 12V. It will likely seem louder when mounted in the Bolt's case (resonance, airflow noise, etc), but I was very pleasantly surprised at how quiet it is. At 5V it was effectively silent. Even at 12V, I still had to get quite close to fan to really hear it. It certainly didn't give the impression of something that would be noticeable across the room.
So if there's a good 12V source inside the case, I might try to simply power it that way. From my brief test (not perfect, certainly), it doesn't seem like it would be loud even running full-speed at a constant 12V. And it would completely avoid the electronic buzzing sound from the board, courtesy of not using the 2-pin fan header.
Worst-case, I could try to draw power from something else, even a second external 12V supply. I'd prefer to avoid making any permanent changes inside the Bolt, such as soldering to something. I can check for 12V on those 4-pin headers, but then it's a question of whether they're capable of actually powering a fan safely (I have no idea what's feeding them, and what current draw they can handle).
If I got a male and female set of the proper round plugs, I suppose I could make a "pass-through" for the stock power supply's output. Something I could put between the PS output and the Bolt, allowing me to tap into the 12V from the normal power supply. This would avoid one risk of using a 2nd supply for the fan, which is the second supply failing, shutting off the fan, while leaving the Bolt running.
If you find the right plug, please post here. The 5V USB is keeping my Bolt safe at 61, by I like your thinking. Agree with the noise of the XS2 fan. To me the hard drive gives off more noise than the fan.
This thread references a BenQ monitor power supply, which someone said he used for his Bolt:
Alternate power adapter for bolt
That eBay listing shows a plug size of:
"DC connecter size: internal diameter: 2.5mm, external diameter: 5.5mm"
I don't yet have a supply to measure. But assuming that's correct, this looks like it could work as a $6 female-to-male extension, which could provide a means to non-destructively tap into the stock supply's output, to draw power from it:
"5' ft DC Power Extension 2.5mm X 5.5mm Cord/Cable CCTV Extender Male to Female"
5' ft DC Power Extension 2.5mm X 5.5mm Cord/Cable CCTV Extender Male to Female
Or, on Amazon, with free shipping (over a certain order amount, and not eligible for Prime, sadly), $3:
Amazon.com : kenable 5.5 x 2.5mm DC Power Plug to Socket CCTV Extension Lead Cable 1.5m (~5 feet) : Camera & Photo
I've read all the posts and might have missed it but has someone documented all the steps to replace the fan?
There really isn't much to it. Remove the two pin fan connector from the motherboard. Remove the two screws attaching the fan. Then pry the adapter off of the fan and clip it onto the new fan.
And if I remember correctly, the 3 pin XS-2 fan connector had the unused wired on the side of the fan.
And I put the extra cable from the new fan on top of the hard drive. Since the wire to the power connector is so long. Not sure what other people did with it. But that seemed like the only place I had space for it.
I followed the same steps as arronwt describes. The only other trick is the little wireless board stuck to the side of the fan. You have to pull it loose before you can access the screw underneath. I used a spudger (though a butter knife would suffice) to pull the stretchy adhesive away from the fan while keeping it attached to the foam block. Keep the adhesive clear of dust and debris while you replace the fan, and it should stick back onto the new fan pretty well.
One thing I forgot to do was snap some photos of everything before I started futzing with it! It's always helpful to have a record of the original configuration.
I forgot about that wireless board. It comes off very easily if the TiVo is still hot. And can also be easily put back on. If the TiVo has been off awhile and is cold, removal and replacement will be an issue.
I'll be moving pretty slowly, so to avoid rushing while the Tivo is hot, i'm hoping running a hair-dryer will suffice to warm/loosen the adhesive.
Yes my new bolt is loud. How about running this thing without a lid maybe even without the fan? My roamio basic runs without a top lid for years with fan disabled still runs great. Temps stay about the same. I had no reason to open my new bolt because I don't plan on upgrading the harddrive
Mine hasn't arrived yet. But I get the impression that the lid helps guide the air to flow over the areas that get hot. So removing the lid might mean that some things suddenly get less cooling. Remember that the reported temperature is just for a single location in the box, it doesn't guarantee that other areas may not be getting hotter.
I'd be concerned about removing the lid and disabling the fan.
But one "compromise" option might to remove the lid, disable the internal fan, and use an external fan to blow air across the unit. An external fan can be larger diameter, and therefore spin more slowly and quietly, while moving as much air (or more) than the stock fan.
Just an update on my fan (XS-2) running from the USB power (5V instead of 12V) after nearly 2 weeks...
My TiVo temps still hover around 59-63 through various workloads. The only noise I hear coming from the TiVo is the noise of the hard drive spinning. 100% happy with the modification and wish I did it months earlier.
I really believe that most people would be fine keeping the same TiVo fan and merely powering it externally. Requires minimal modification with just finding a way to get the fan power plug out of the case. Taking the Bolt case off permanently will not in any way help if you are experiencing the electronic buzzing that was the issue in my Bolt.
Bolt on a wood shelf, the top, front, back and sides of the Bolt are open, i.e., nothing to restrict air flow, new fan, recording 4 shows and watching a recording = ODT = 62 or 63.
When the four recordings ended; 62
I thought it'd drop more, although I admit not having monitored temps prior to this.
If you're trying to get the processor to do some heavy lifting, recording multiple shows is probably not very heavy lift. After all, the DVR is constantly recording a 30-minute buffer on each tuner.
For what it's worth: I saw the biggest jump in my ODT when I transferred programs from another TiVo. (I was connected via Wi-Fi, though I don't know if that matters.) After about 20 minutes of continuous transfer, I saw a noticeable jump in temperature.
That's a good point. Transferring to a computer might be even more demanding? If transferring to a TiVo (at least if streaming to a Mini, for instance), it may only need to send the data fast enough to play it live. But if transferring to a PC, it has to encrypt the data (at least, that's the impression I get), and also has to push the data as fast as possible.
At least with my network, wired Ethernet is faster than WiFi, so transferring that way might stress the Bolt more.
One thought, especially as the seasons start changing: it might be useful to have a sense of the room temperature, in addition to ODT, if trying to compare. The person testing in late spring in Florida may be running in different conditions than the person testing in Wisconsin in winter.
My new Bolt+ typically shows 65-66 in a 72F room. When I noticed it showed 70 I was concerned enough to see if the fan was still spinning (it was). Then noticed the system information screen showed it was processing guide data after a connection. A few minutes later when it had finished the temperature had dropped back to the levels I typically observe. Probably doing a file transfer while processing guide data would push the thermal envelope of this machine.
That's good info, thanks. Can you still force a guide data update, like you could with the older machines? You could start a file transfer, then also start a guide update, to see how bad things got.
My Bolt should arrive today, I'm hoping to set it up tomorrow, then I can start exploring this a bit myself.
I've just mentioned this in a couple other threads but so all can see my positive results I'm going with fan disabled and lid removed my temps are 10 degrees cooler and everything is nice and silent..
I did manage to break some of the plastic safety hinges by accident. take care when lifting the smaller lid compartment off of the hard drive and fan portion of the bolt that needs to be lifted vertically to avoid snapping off and breaking the little plastic things.