PC Cooling & Silencing... with a Cookie Jar!

Do-It-Yourself Systems
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At the bottom intake vent is this excellent Hamilton Beach TrueAir model #04711 air-filter for a home air-cleaner unit. The 3M Filtrete filter turns the computer into a allergen reduction system and makes it the cleanest computer I ever built. Anyone who has opened their PC after even a few months knows how dust can cling to key components like heatsinks, whose cooling power drops when dust clogs the fin surfaces. My filter system eliminates that problem; periodic cleaning or replacement of the filter is all that's needed.

This oak box on castors is a compact version of the same wood box I constructed for my previous Lanboy project. This unit did not have to be quite so big as the Lanboy version, because the 120mm fan is not in the unit. It serves as a quiet padded duct, filter housing, and base for the HDD cage. At the very rear I installed an electrical outlet. At the front of the oak box is a cabinet drawer handle, making it easy to move the computer without getting fingerprints on it.

The main benefit of the wooden box is to provide a long damped tunnel through which the noise from the fan has to travel to get out of the intake opening. It also gives more room to work with, especially for the copper HDD cage.

My two Maxtor hard-drives are mounted in a copper cooling cage that is de-coupled from everything by sitting on the floor of the wooden case, on four foam feet. There is no other firm connection to either the computer case or to the wooden box that comprises the rest of the intake duct; the copper cage only touches the foam. The drives are always smack dab in the middle of the fresh air intake path.

Preparing the cookie jar for this project was simple. I drilled four holes at the corners of the jar opening to mount the fan, cut out a hole in one of the sides, put a foam seal around this opening, and cut out a small notch for the IDE cable and power cable. That's it. In my case, the cookie jar is not permanently attached, but merely wedged in by those insulation sheets shown in the photos. It could have been attached a number of ways; this was easiest and secure enough for my setup.

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