Zip-Tie Fan Mount Method....DIY

Control: management of fans, temp/rpm monitoring via soft/hardware

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Bluefront
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 5316
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: St Louis (county) Missouri USA

Zip-Tie Fan Mount Method....DIY

Post by Bluefront » Sat Mar 13, 2004 3:15 pm

All those rubber fan mounts I've seen, won't fit a 120mm fan with a deep mount hole......plus they cost too much, don't look re-usable, have to be mail-ordered, etc.

Here's my new DIY setup (never saw it used around here). List of Parts:

eight small plastic cable ties.

small length of automotive soft rubber vacuum tubing, sliced thin.

small strips of adheasive foam (to seal around the fan)

The strips of foam fill in the small gap created by the new gap between the fan and the case. Any sort of small rubber hose could be used....as long as it's soft. The cable ties are just snugged up, not pulled too tightly.

Bingo....soft rubber-mounted fan for next to nothing. :D

pics
Last edited by Bluefront on Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

ahrbruz
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 10:06 pm
Location: Burnaby, BC

Post by ahrbruz » Sat Mar 13, 2004 7:49 pm

My approach has been to use nylon FH machine screws: 8-32 X 1 1/2" with nylon cap nuts. I use a rubber grommet to isolate the fan from the case. Seems to work in conjunction with other mods: HDD decoupling, sound dampening etc. No vibration whatsoever in my aluminum case.

It's easy to do, and relatively inexpensive. Besides, one of these days Home Depot is going to become the source of 'quiet' for North American'
SPRC members/googlers.

Cheers

Edward Ng
SPCR Reviewer
Posts: 2696
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:53 pm
Location: Scarsdale, NY
Contact:

Post by Edward Ng » Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:33 pm

Is it just me, or are we looking at a Cooler Master rifle-bearing fan? :)

-Ed
[size=75][b]Contributing Writer, SPCR
[url=http://www.ngtechnik.com/]NgTechnik[/url][/b]
[url=http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=6134]Want something reviewed? Help us get samples![/url]
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/article98-page1.html]Donate for Patron or Friend Status![/url][/size]

Bluefront
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 5316
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: St Louis (county) Missouri USA

Post by Bluefront » Sun Mar 14, 2004 12:00 am

ahrbruz.....I thought about the small nylon bolt/nut thing. The end result would be the same, but. In some tight fan locations the assembly of a nylon noc-nut would be difficult. Besides I had the necessary pieces already in stock. The whole mounting operation took all of 2 minutes. :)

The people at Home Depot all know me by name. heh.

EndoSteel
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 7:50 am
Location: Moscow, Russia
Contact:

Post by EndoSteel » Sun Mar 14, 2004 4:08 am

Here's my approach. Very much like Bluefront's, heh...

Image

Image

Image

Wedge
Posts: 1356
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:59 pm
Location: NorthEast Arkansas, USA

Post by Wedge » Tue Jun 22, 2004 10:14 am

Bluefront

Can you give me a shot of what the automotive soft rubber vacuum tubing looks like?
The Quake III Machine
C2D e6750 @ Gigabyte GA-P45T-ES3G | 8GB GSkill | Venemous X | Asus 560Ti | Corsair 520HX | 750GB Seagate | Antec 300 | Thanks SPCR

Bluefront
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 5316
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: St Louis (county) Missouri USA

Post by Bluefront » Tue Jun 22, 2004 12:25 pm

Photo

Couldn't find the exact piece of hose I used.....this piece is larger, actually fuel line. Vacuum line comes in many diameters. It has to be tuff stuff to remain soft in high-heat areas...under the hood. You just need to find a piece at an automotive parts store, with an inner diameter small enough so the head of the cable tie won't slip through. Cheap stuff. Usually comes in long rolls that the store just cuts off to what you want.

You can also use a small flat steel washer, to keep the cable tie end from slipping into the hose. This technique can be used for mounting fan grills, or almost anything. Replaces nuts/bolts/screws etc. in many mounting projects. One of those cable ties is strong enough to support the whole computer. Just make certain only a slice of hose rubber, is the only thing touching the case....inside and out.

Another photo

PretzelB
Posts: 513
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2003 6:53 am
Location: Frisco, TX

Post by PretzelB » Fri Oct 08, 2004 6:36 pm

I just found this thread. I don't get how the cable tie secures the fan to the case. It looks like you use the cable tie head on one end (outside of case) but then the other end appears to just be hanging on the inside of the case. Are you folding back into the fan or something?
[size=75]Antec P182 - Stock fans, SeaSonic S12-500 ATX12V 500W PSU, Sunbeam controller, Scythe SCNJ-1000 w Titan 120mm, ASUS A8N-SLI Premium, AMD X2 2 3800 Manchester, 2gb Corsair value ram, Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3250824AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA HD, passive XFX 7950 GT [/size]
[size=59]Old stuff - Chenbro 611 - Titan 120mm intake, Evercool 120m (M version) exhaust [/size]

Wedge
Posts: 1356
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:59 pm
Location: NorthEast Arkansas, USA

Post by Wedge » Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:03 pm

If I'm not mistaken (and we know this is impossible right? Image)...if I'm not mistaken he placed the head of another cable tie on the end of the original. Then he cut the excess/unused line of the 2nd tie close to the head since adding that tie just acts as a way of clenching off the original tie. At least, that is how I did mine and it worked like a charm. Also, cut off the excess of the original tie.

The great thing about this (and hats off to Blue for this one) is that there is no need to drill new holes, regardless the size of the fan and the spacing of the holes. For example, the AMB3700 has the plastic fan mounts that a true silent PCer wouldn't want to use. You can simply remove the plastic mount and use the original holes to mount a 120mm or 92mm fan by using these ties. You cannot do a straight bolt-through (screw, fan isolators, etc) to attach the fan because the holes do not match any particular fan size. But introduce cable ties to the mix and you can adjust as needed. Just space them properly and make them snug. Cheap, quick, and as effective as any solution that I'm aware of.

Image
The Quake III Machine
C2D e6750 @ Gigabyte GA-P45T-ES3G | 8GB GSkill | Venemous X | Asus 560Ti | Corsair 520HX | 750GB Seagate | Antec 300 | Thanks SPCR

Bluefront
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 5316
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: St Louis (county) Missouri USA

Post by Bluefront » Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:25 am

Wedge's photo shows how versitile this mount system can be. I've never had to mount a fan into holes with so much of an off-set, but the photo shows it is indeed possible. This ability is what makes this method so useful, as opposed to trying to perfectly line up holes for a nut/bolt.

Nylon cable ties come in all sorts of sizes, colors, lengths. There's even a different type that has a flat mount/type end. Used in automotive applications, these things can last for years, even when exposed to extreme heat/cold. Police even use them to replace hand-cuffs. :lol:

PretzelB
Posts: 513
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2003 6:53 am
Location: Frisco, TX

Post by PretzelB » Sat Oct 09, 2004 7:05 am

I get it. Two cable ties per fan hole. Neat. I have tons of them cluttering my toolbox anyway - I will remember this for next project ... right now my retail cpu fan drowns out any noise made by my case fans.
[size=75]Antec P182 - Stock fans, SeaSonic S12-500 ATX12V 500W PSU, Sunbeam controller, Scythe SCNJ-1000 w Titan 120mm, ASUS A8N-SLI Premium, AMD X2 2 3800 Manchester, 2gb Corsair value ram, Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3250824AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA HD, passive XFX 7950 GT [/size]
[size=59]Old stuff - Chenbro 611 - Titan 120mm intake, Evercool 120m (M version) exhaust [/size]

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Sat Oct 09, 2004 7:35 am

Don't forget the incredibly simple and effective sponge foam grommet trick employed by Leo Quan (powergyoza) in his Quiet Dual MP Workstation article--

Image
Image

See the article link for full details: Quiet Dual MP Workstation article
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

Jan Kivar
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 1310
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 4:37 am
Location: Finland

Post by Jan Kivar » Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:34 am

MikeC wrote:Don't forget the incredibly simple and effective sponge foam grommet trick employed by Leo Quan (powergyoza) in his Quiet Dual MP Workstation article--

See the article link for full details: Quiet Dual MP Workstation article
That's what I'm using with my BQE & Nexus 120mm combo. The Nexus fan has closed holes, so I pulled the foam through the entire hole. I also didn't cut those tiny slits there, as pulling the foam through the holes in the case was quite difficult (small holes = torn foam sticks). I didn't tape the sides of the fan (like powergyoza did), as I managed to get the fan quite close to the case.

I first tucked all four foam sticks to the fan and then used four twisty ties to pull them through the case holes.

Cheers,

Jan
[size=75]E6600 (2GHz@1,163V, 3GHz@1,237V), Ninja rev. B, AB9 Pro, 4x1 GB Corsair (CM2X1024-6400), MSI 7600GS, Samsung HD501LJ/HD401LJ/SP2504C, Plextor PX760SA, Seasonic S12-430, Nexus Fans, Antec Solo, ViewSonic VP201b[/size]

Brain
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:25 am
Location: Finland

Post by Brain » Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:58 am

I've been thinking about using those same elastic ropes that you use with HDD suspending to mount fans. A piece of rope, knots in both ends, some rubber or foam between the fan and the case.

Now, someone please tell me what I should've thought about myself but didn't and why I shouldn't try this out. ;)

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Sat Oct 09, 2004 11:27 am

Brain wrote:Now, someone please tell me what I should've thought about myself but didn't and why I shouldn't try this out. ;)
The 4 knots would probably end up too dense & non-elastic to be very effective.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

josephclemente
Posts: 580
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: USA (Phoenix, AZ)

Post by josephclemente » Sat Oct 09, 2004 1:57 pm

Brain wrote:I've been thinking about using those same elastic ropes that you use with HDD suspending to mount fans. A piece of rope, knots in both ends, some rubber or foam between the fan and the case.

Now, someone please tell me what I should've thought about myself but didn't and why I shouldn't try this out. ;)
I have done this with some of my fans using Stretch Magic, and it works very well. I'm sure regular elastic should be fine too...

Brain
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:25 am
Location: Finland

Post by Brain » Sun Oct 10, 2004 2:27 pm

MikeC wrote: The 4 knots would probably end up too dense & non-elastic to be very effective.
There could be some foam or rubber there, too, to keep the knots from touching the case or the fan. Or the ropes could be tied to a loop that goes through two mounting holes. Or all 4. As long as the holes aren't too sharp so that they would cut the rope, I think it there should be less vibrations that with zip ties anyway.

frosty
Posts: 636
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 9:40 am
Location: USA

Post by frosty » Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:21 am

Wow Mike that foam idea just ownz! : --)

threevok
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:12 pm
Location: Thornton, Colorado USA

Post by threevok » Sat Nov 20, 2004 11:54 am

Has anyone tried non-hardening silicon adhesive? I plan to give it a try in my SLK3700AMB when my Panaflo FBK-12G12LH arrives. I'll probably attach a safety wire to the fan, just in case. Any thoughts or experiences?

Straker
Posts: 657
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:10 pm
Location: AB, Canada
Contact:

Post by Straker » Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:18 pm

try search, i remember one thread on this a few months ago (cutting out grommets/washers from silicone caulking/adhesive type stuff)

threevok
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:12 pm
Location: Thornton, Colorado USA

Post by threevok » Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:38 pm

Straker wrote:try search, i remember one thread on this a few months ago (cutting out grommets/washers from silicone caulking/adhesive type stuff)
I meant actually attaching the fan directly to the case with silicone. It would provide all the benefits of silicone washers and screws. I am trying to avoid drilling my Antec SLK3700AMB because of down time to do it right. I was working very deligently until I found this site. :wink:

I ended up using sticky back Velcro for the 120mm intake fan. A little triangle on each corner did the trick. It appears very secure, but I'll let it run a few days before trying the same technique for the exhaust. I'd hate to mow all the capacitors off my motherboard. :D

mikeki
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 1:33 pm
Contact:

Post by mikeki » Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:17 pm

I just wanted to thank you guys for posting this thread.

I just used the ziptie method to attach a 120mm fan to my sonata (the original had gone bad) and it's super easy. Bought 2 ft of rubber vacuum hose at Shucks for $2. That's enough to mount 100 fans I think. Grabbed the zip ties and a razor blade to cut the hose. 5 minutes later the fan is installed, quiet and well damped.

I'm also going to use the rubber hose to fix a vibrating exhaust fan in our bathroom. This is great stuff.

Lourdes
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:55 pm
Location: UK

Post by Lourdes » Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:17 pm

Many thanks for this method. What I did was punch out wholes in a piece of silicon, I then took these and pushed the cabe tie straight through as it was sharp enough to pierce them. You could do the same with a specialist vibration absorbant foam but you may need a needle to make a small initial hole and I expect they might be harder to punch holes in.

Garry
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:40 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Post by Garry » Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:53 am

I bookmarked this thread some time back and am now getting ready to put it to use. WOW! A simple, effective, versitle, and inexpensive mounting method. Thanks bluefront. Now that I have reviewed the post however, I find I don't really understand one aspect I skimmed over the first time.

bluefront said:
small strips of adheasive foam (to seal around the fan)

The strips of foam fill in the small gap created by the new gap between the fan and the case.

What does this accomplish and how signifcant can it be?

IsaacKuo
Posts: 1705
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2004 7:50 am
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Post by IsaacKuo » Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:40 am

It prevents air from leaking in/out of the created gap. Whether this is a good or a bad thing depends on how the fan is mounted and which direction it's blowing in.

Worst case scenario:

The fan is mounted outside the case, sucking air outside to exhaust. In this situation, leaving the gaps is disastrous--the fan wastes a lot of airflow sucking air through the nearby low resistance gaps instead of from the high resistance case interior.

Best case scenario:

The fan is mounted INSIDE the case, sucking air outside to exhaust. In this situation, leaving the gaps is no big deal--the fan's exhaust air is very directional and will essentially ignore the gaps off to the side. In fact, you might get MORE airflow by leaving the gaps in place. It's possible that the suction effect of the fan's exhaust air will overcome the internal case's negative pressure. Thus, the gaps might actually draw more air outside the case along with the fan's own exhaust!
Isaac Kuo

Garry
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:40 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Post by Garry » Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:26 am

Thanks a bunch IsaacKuo. I'm mounting inside the case, and although this mounting method has much to recommend it, sealing the gap is an added complication I will gladly bypass given your timely explanation.

BigA
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 8:28 am
Location: Ohio

Bicycle inner tube solution

Post by BigA » Sun Oct 09, 2005 8:51 am

I was searching for a similar solution when installing a case fan in an Antec 3000 case last summer. Since the case holes lined up with the fan holes, it was not necessary to drill holes, although I was looking for something which could be inserted between the case and the fan to damp vibration.

Looking around the workbench, I found an old bicycle inner tube. I sliced the inner tube into strips and used a paper hole punch to punch holes in the rubber at the locations where the fan screws needed to go through the rubber. The case fan was then assembled as usual with the rubber strips between the case and the fan. This solution has worked well for the past three months and best of all it was free!

TG
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 2:59 pm

BlueFront "pics" and "photo" still avail

Post by TG » Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:02 pm

Are Bluefronts "pics" and "photo" mentioned early in the posts still available. Have tried over 3 days but keep getting an error message "cannot find the server". I can get "another photo" but not the other two.

Bluefront
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 5316
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: St Louis (county) Missouri USA

Post by Bluefront » Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:45 pm

Here's another link
to the album these pictures are in.....I think the picture numbers are 1-4.

You know this mod is the simplest I ever came up with, that I ever posted on SPCR. I had used it before on different things, but never a computer fan. And yet this thread still surfaces now and again, and has the most hits of any of my threads.

This is amusing to me, because many of my mods are very unique, some are difficult, some easy...all haved worked well for me. And yet most of them have simply vanished into the SPCR arcives....never to be seen again.

Too bad.... :lol:

theyangster
Posts: 424
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:08 pm
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow....

Post by theyangster » Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:47 pm

i've still kept my purple fan mounts :)
but i've put foam in between the fan and mount

btw
i don't think i've seen that case of yours bluefront
i gathered it is the Black knight :)
what did you use for the sidepanels? it looks like the playmat stuff, but it's black
Antec SLK3700AMB l Intel P4 @ 2.8 l MSI PT880 Motherboard l Lite-on COMBO DRIVE
1gb (512 x 2) l ATI 9800 Pro 128 l NINJA l
[url=http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=31734]A Finally Quiet SLK3700AMB Final Edition[/url]

Post Reply