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Make SPCR Even Better... and Win Great Prizes!
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=47677
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Author:  MikeC [ Fri May 02, 2008 6:39 am ]
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The giveaways continue; added to the original post:
Quote:
FLASH!! May 2, 2008:- More Great Prize in 2nd Giveaway Draw for SPCR contributors!

Our corporate sponsors have stepped up to the plate yet again to offer more great prizes in a second giveaway draw for supporters of the Make SPCR Better in 2008 project. Each $25 contribution to SPCR in the period 1 May to 12 May will give you one entry into a draw to win a range of prizes. Anyone can enter to win from the following prizes:

  • Enermax MODU82+ 425W power supply (2 units!)
  • Enermax PRO82+ 425W power supply (2 units!)
  • Antec Solo mid-tower case
  • Antec 900 ultimate gamer case
  • Corsair VX450W 450W PSU
  • Corsair Survivor 16GB USB drive
  • Intel E7200 Core 2 Duo processor
  • Intel QX9650 Quad Core CPU — The obvious 1st prize, currently selling for over $1000!
There are already 18 lucky winners. Join them in this second contest for the new prizes, which have a net market value of about $1900.

The results of this random draw will be announced in the SPCR forums at 10AM Pacific time on May 13. Emails will be sent to winners within 24 hours after that in order to arrange delivery details.

Author:  Skirge01 [ Fri May 02, 2008 7:15 am ]
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<drool> Now I'm actually pretty happy I missed the drawing yesterday! LOL! Of course, I'm assuming that's the QX9650... if so... <DROOL!>

Author:  KyleSTL [ Fri May 02, 2008 7:22 am ]
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You sweetened the deal (again) that prompted a second (larger) donation. Keep up the good work.

Author:  MikeC [ Fri May 02, 2008 7:32 am ]
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oops, yes, it's a QX9650. Corrected.

Author:  AZBrandon [ Fri May 02, 2008 7:51 am ]
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The prizes were really good the first time around, but for round two, the prizes are... wow, I'm at a loss for words! Quick, somebody bid $100 for my Intel Pentium Overdrive lamp on ebay, so I can use that $100 paypal money to enter the contest! :)

Author:  Skirge01 [ Fri May 02, 2008 9:10 am ]
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Yeah, really! These are some awesome prizes! I may very well up my original donation promise for this Monday. No way I can beat Phil, though! That was one very generous donation!

Author:  BeerParty [ Fri May 02, 2008 9:29 am ]
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mattthemuppet wrote:
Keep up with the updates Mike, it's fascinating to watch these projects develop. A photo blog ... would be a good idea too - people are always more likely to contribute if they see how their money's being put to use.


I'll second the request for you to post photos of the build. I donated because I wanted to "see" :roll: this room get built, not for the prizes (but after seeing the second set of prizes, I am very tempted...).

BTW - I got my SPCR logo tag in the mail, Mike, thanks! I have not decided yet if I should put it on my existing Antec Sonata (the first purchase I made based on the reviews here, but not the last!), or the SOLO I am going to buy to replace it.

Author:  KyleSTL [ Fri May 02, 2008 9:45 am ]
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BeerParty wrote:
or the SOLO I am going to buy to replace it.

Or win (possibly), if you donate again.

Author:  scdr [ Fri May 02, 2008 5:53 pm ]
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MikeC wrote:
wim wrote:
scdr wrote:
Speaking of heat - it occurred to me to wonder. If this room won't have ventilation, how will you control the temperature while testing? Or are the test runs short enough that even a beefy PSU won't heat the room much.

(I know, the build details will come in future articles ...)


i was under the impression that the sound room would only be used for noise level measurements and recordings, and the stress testing , temperature measurements etc would all be done in a different lab

In general, you're right, wim. There's no compelling reason to do both thermal and acoustic testing in the chamber... except maybe in the case of load/heat sensitive fans in complete systems. Then we'd have to establish basic guidelines. This could be easily done tho -- leave the door to the chamber open during the stress testing to ensure reasonable air circulation and close it only when we're wanted to record/measure a change in the noise -- which we'll listen for.


I was thinking in terms of things like the
OTHER DATA SUMMARY on page 5 of the Enermax Modu82+ 625 review,
where it lists fan noise and load. But I guess you can do the low load tests with the door closed, then if temperature is a problem, open the door for the higher load tests (as long as you don't come up against something that is really quiet at high load).
Thanks.

Author:  nutball [ Sat May 03, 2008 12:42 am ]
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Well given that it was pay-day I've ponied up a pony or two. Pound ponies that is, not dollar ponies. :) Onward and upward!

Author:  jammin [ Sat May 03, 2008 3:35 am ]
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Great to see the sponsors pulling their weight. :D

If they can do it, then surely I can afford another $25 donation. ;)

Author:  Gillian Seed [ Sun May 04, 2008 3:00 am ]
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Just donated $50. The chance of winning the quad core CPU is too good to pass up! :)

Having said that, I'm happy to donate anyway. The reviews and advice I've got from the site in the past couple of months have meant I've reduced the noise of my PC dramatically. I can now hear my harddrive seeking, something I've not experienced since I put a 2.5" drive in my Amiga 1200. :-)

Author:  FartingBob [ Sun May 04, 2008 3:46 am ]
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Ok Mike, you convinced me to donate a bit more this time! It'll have to wait until payday. That QX9650 would enjoy testing my ninja i think! :)

Author:  AznJason [ Sun May 04, 2008 3:46 am ]
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Made my second donation. Go SPCR! I've pretty much used it to help with all of my builds. :D

Author:  AiDnDtel [ Sun May 04, 2008 3:14 pm ]
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A few observations.

What's with PayPal only?
How about Interac email money transfer?
What's with the donation being in US $?
Is my Canadian dollar not good enough for you?
Also, my money is better spent elsewhere.
Such as the goal to build a new Children's Hospital for British Columbia.

Author:  MikeC [ Sun May 04, 2008 3:35 pm ]
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AiDnDtel wrote:
1. What's with PayPal only?
2. How about Interac email money transfer?
2. What's with the donation being in US $?
3. Is my Canadian dollar not good enough for you?
4. Also, my money is better spent elsewhere.
Such as the goal to build a new Children's Hospital for British Columbia.

1. It's what SPCR has.
2. SPCR doesn't have it, and it's not easy to set up for technical reasons. That's also only good for Canadians.... maybe US, never tried.
3. Paypal dictates some currency be picked, and US is still the world currency. Anyway, SPCR is a "world" site, not a "Canadian" site. Only 8% of visitors are Canadian.
4. I respect your opinion. No one claimed greater entitlement for SPCR. Contributions are always your personal choice.

Author:  MikeC [ Sun May 04, 2008 11:33 pm ]
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After 18 days, 135 individuals have contributed a total of $6247. Our current average rate is $347/day; if this rate is maintained, we'll reach our goal in 11 more days.

Much thanks to all who contributed so far, and good luck in the second draw!

NOTE: Only 26 individuals have qualified for the second giveaway prize draw which began May 1. With 10 prizes, their chances of winning are better than 1 in 3.

Author:  frostedflakes [ Mon May 05, 2008 12:16 am ]
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It's nice to see things going so well, I honestly didn't expect donations to come in so quickly. The prizes are probably the main reason for this, so big thanks to the vendors for donating them. Hope things keep up at this rate, if so you should have that new setup in no time Mike. :)

Author:  kma [ Mon May 05, 2008 2:56 am ]
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Just sent (I hope it arrives in time) my small contribution. After all, $100 is less than the average one year subscription to a monthly computer magazine. And hey! I can't read those for free off the internet :wink:

Been enjoying SPCR form some years now, and although I don't buy computer gear often I am up in about $1000 of products inspired by SPCR. Never buy anything without consulting SPCR first.

With over $6000 donations i guess we're home on the acoustic chamber now, right? Just start building :D

Author:  Skirge01 [ Mon May 05, 2008 8:06 am ]
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As promised, my donation just went through... more than I intended, but those prizes are too good to pass up! Definitely great to see all the people donating.

Just for the record, I donate to numerous charities every year, so I'm happy to also support a free site like this.

Keep up the good work, SPCR! I'm really looking forward to more and even better reviews.

Mike, how goes the process of getting bids? Getting better prices? Inquiring minds want to know! :D

Author:  MikeC [ Mon May 05, 2008 9:07 am ]
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Thank you Skirge01, your contribution is most appreciated. 8)

As for the projects themselves, I've already mentioned the acquisition of the SpectraPLUS RTA tool, which we're in the process of learning to use. We discovered that when SpectraPLUS is recording or measuring real-time, CPU usage is pegged at 100%. We did not realize this till after the Shuttle P4-2.56 system crashed and restarted after about half an hour of recording. We suspected software bugginess until the CPU load was noticed. Then it dawned on us that maybe a Nexus 92 fan at 5V might not be enough cooling for long stretches with SpectraPLUS. The CPU most likely overheated. For now, a quick 12V fan switch will be added, as much of the recording takes place in another room where the Shuttle's noise will not intrude... and later, an upgrade to a more powerful computer with better cooling (but similar <18 dBA/1m noise).

A 1" ACOPacific measurement mic is being purchased, to work with SpectraPLUS. This is a ~$2000 tool of super caliber with ~10 dBA self noise. More details when we have it in hand and working -- probably near the end of this month.

Finally, the room. Over the weekend, I discovered the web site of a Toronto store dedicated to home recording studio gear and classes. Revolution Audio built -- or is in the middle of building -- a room to contain the noise of drum practice! They wrote about it. The techniques they employed are very similar to what we're planning here. The walls and ceiling are pretty much what we're planning... but the neoprene rubber used as dampeners for the floor are new to me, and I've got an email out to them asking more details.

The walls will be made of QuietRock (8x more sound blocking than oridinary drywall) and steel studs, with Bonded Logic's Ultra Touch recycled cotton batting (85% from blue jeans!) in place of fiberglass insulation, which is nasty stuff. The same material will be used for acoustic damping to eliminate echos inside the room -- this is difficult to explain, but you'll see and read about it as/when it is done.

The floor will "float" on the concrete cement foundation, then the walls will be built atop the floor, without touching any of the existing room's walls (a 4" gap is planned) and the ceiling will sit atop the walls, again without touching the existing room's ceiling. There will be double doors, both carefully sealed with neoprene rubber seals. No openings of any kind will be in the the room when the doors are closed -- it will not be safe to be in there long.

The estimated cost of the materials for the room is something like $8000 right now, higher than the $5-6000 I originally anticipated. This doesn't include any labor cost. I will be doing a lot of the work myself, Rob (my bro in law) will take charge when the work gets going (he's been involved in construction for a long time), and we hope to have one more helper for a few days. Maybe this can be a volunteer.

The room building will probably not start till close to the end of May. I have a conference in SF to attend till past the 21st; it's clearer sailing after that, so we can start and finish quickly, hopefully in just a few continuous days of steady work.

Right now, the big question is whether we should build in the attached garage or the main test room in the house. The latter will probably be a touch quieter, but building in there is a much bigger challenge. In the garage, the inner chamber can be built at one corner, then two more walls added around it. This should be a much more straightforward procedure, as we won't be working in the confines of a room that's only 4" bigger than the one we're building. The additional walls will cost a bit more $, tho. The main question is whether it can be made quiet enough. We will decide after Rob goes over both option very carefully.

Author:  KyleSTL [ Mon May 05, 2008 1:12 pm ]
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That sounds very exciting. If I lived in your state (or country for that matter) I'd offer you a weekend of service. However, in the early stages of my career I have little vacation in industry and St Louis is a couple time zones and a couple latitudinal degrees away, so I will not be able to offer my services. I hope I can be involved by reading the blogs and viewing the in-process pictures. I think of projects like this a 'fun time' (I may be in the minority in regards to that).

As a suggestion, you may be able to have some cost savings by opening up a 'wish list' of computer parts to be donated by SPCR members to assemble a computer that will be more capable and quieter than the P4 you have now. In my experience, most enthusiasts are eager to give away old parts a good home after periodic upgrades.

Author:  MikeC [ Mon May 05, 2008 1:21 pm ]
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Thanks for your offer, KyleSTL.

Oh, I definitely think this project is fun, even tho there's a lot of hard work involved.

The issue of a faster PC is not really an issue at all... where do you think all those review samples end up if if they don't get sold off? :lol: In any case, a faster PC might not be an issue. It's not like the system was choking, just overheating due to too little airflow. The fan was set so low because we hardly every pegged the CPU for more than a minute or 2 before. After the chamber is done, more noise from this PC may be fine, as it will reside outside the chamber.

Author:  KyleSTL [ Mon May 05, 2008 1:56 pm ]
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Ah, I see. How will you make the penetration for the microphone cord into the chamber for doing recordings? Just curious. I was under the impression that the recording computer would have to reside IN the chamber so that there would be no penetrations into the chamber. I guess that makes a big difference on the opposite side of the door. That should be a very easy problem to solve (in relation to the other preparations).

Author:  FartingBob [ Mon May 05, 2008 2:22 pm ]
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KyleSTL wrote:
Ah, I see. How will you make the penetration for the microphone cord into the chamber for doing recordings? Just curious. I was under the impression that the recording computer would have to reside IN the chamber so that there would be no penetrations into the chamber. I guess that makes a big difference on the opposite side of the door. That should be a very easy problem to solve (in relation to the other preparations).

Putting the computer in the same room will defeat the point of building it as even a fanless PC will make very minor amounts of noise and effect results.

Author:  AZBrandon [ Mon May 05, 2008 8:54 pm ]
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So are you going to sell your old sound meter to add to the money generated, or is it going to an SPCR member in an alternate location so you can do sound meter qualified testing from two different labs in North America?

Author:  MikeC [ Mon May 05, 2008 9:13 pm ]
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AZBrandon wrote:
So are you going to sell your old sound meter to add to the money generated, or is it going to an SPCR member in an alternate location so you can do sound meter qualified testing from two different labs in North America?

The latter is definitely a possibility, but we'd actually want to hang on to the old B&K as a backup and reference after having it completely calibrated at the factory. (A cost of around $300 iirc). But these B&K 2203s can be had here and there from time to time, and I keep an eye out for them If one in good shape comes up at a good price, I'd probably invest in it for precisely what you suggest.

Author:  MikeC [ Mon May 05, 2008 9:16 pm ]
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FYI, the project progress has been updated.
Quote:
May 6, 6am Pacific: We're making good progress! After 19 days, 153 individuals have contributed a total of $7450. Our current average rate is $392/day; if this rate is maintained, we'll reach our goal in just 7 more days!

Much thanks to all who contributed, and good luck in the second draw!

All contributors should consider themselves the cream of the SPCR community: You represent just 0.1% of the total number of unique visitors to SPCR in the last 19 days.

NOTE: Just 48 individuals have qualified for the second giveaway prize draw which began May 1. With 10 prizes, your chances of winning are currently better than 1 in 5.

Author:  continuum [ Mon May 05, 2008 9:29 pm ]
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Congrats to the winners!!

Author:  Gillian Seed [ Tue May 06, 2008 3:52 am ]
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frostedflakes wrote:
It's nice to see things going so well, I honestly didn't expect donations to come in so quickly. The prizes are probably the main reason for this, so big thanks to the vendors for donating them. Hope things keep up at this rate, if so you should have that new setup in no time Mike. :)


I didn't expect so many contributions either to be honest. I think it speaks volumes about the sites visitors and about how much we value what SPCR gives us.

Congratulations MikeC - and all the people who donated! - I've seen a few calls for funding on various sites over the years, but I don't recall one that generated so much money so quickly.

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