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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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.




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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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...

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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
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
 

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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.

View attachment 37410
There is no power on that header. I tried every combination for the two pins. Perhaps TIVO disabled power to this connector.
 

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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.
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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