Archive: SPCR's Test / Sound Lab: A Short Tour

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Modded Shuttle Zen
The audio PC was modified for minimal noise so that it could be in the same room as the microphone if necessary. It measures about 16 dBA/1m.

The first mod is at the bottom of the case, where a spare piece of AcousticPack material was cut and affixed. The white rubber feet no longer make contact with the desk. This mod ensures that any vibration emanating from the internal suspended Samsung notebook drive does not conduct to the desk and cause any extraneous noise.

The second mod involved the removal of the back fan grill, which reduces impedance to fan airflow to an absolute minimum. The fins of the heatpipe cooler are visible in the photo above. Rubber edging to hide the sharp edges was provided by MNPCTech. The internal fan with its frame was also removed. A Zalman Fanmate1 was plugged into the motherboard header for the CPU cooling fan and run outside the case.
The third mod involved installing a Panaflo 80L on the outside of the case with rubber damping mounts from Verax. These easy-to-use devices work well with fans that have a cylindrical channel for mounting holes. They were not needed for the Panaflo (EAR fan mounts would have worked fine) but just happened to be handy. The external mounting without the shroud maximizes airflow, and keeps the fan from exciting any internal cavity resonances that can cause the aluminum case panels to resonate. The difference in noise between external and inernal fan mounting was noticeable even at a such low fan speed.
Here's the Panaflo decouple-mounted on the back panel, with the Fanmate1 turned to just about minimum: That's enough cooling for this PC at the hottest summer temps... admittedly, the temp in the lab rarely exceeds 26~27° even on the hottest summer days.

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