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 Post subject: Best way to silence 4 HDDs in Antec P180?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 3:46 am
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Location: Helsinki, Finland
Can you guys give me some pointers as to how to effectively silence 4 internal 3.5" HDDs inside a P180? I've used the standard Antec HDD bay at the bottom of the case, but I doubt it's the most effective solution. I will probably need to suspend the drives somehow, but that will take a lot more space.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:16 pm 
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Location: U.S.A. Massuchusetts...... *Folding For SPCR*
do what i do... suspend 2 in the lower drive bays and 2 in the upper...

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 Post subject: "Hanging from grommets"
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:48 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Las Vegas, NV
I am a recent silent computing convert and don't know anything more than what I've read on this site for the last few weeks plus a limited amount of experience building machines.

So I'd like to hear expert's reaction to my suggestions and I do not by any means pretend to know the best answer.

Anyway, that preamble (don't want any flames!) aside, I faced the exact problem you are having with my P180. The drives made it a super loud beast! Well, not really all that loud compared to earlier systems that I'd used, but I was expecting the world and all I got was a continent.

I almost gave up on the case, but stuck with it and I think I now have a solution that is pretty good, if not perfect.

The first thing that I realized was that one of my biggest problems in the entire case was that the Scythe enclosure I had mounted in one of the 5.25 bays was causing a TON of vibration. I could feel it on all panels. Once I took it out, much of the vibration was reduced and the system was a bit quieter. But the drives still were making way too much noise.

After doing research on here, I realized that it was not an isolated issue. Others are having the same problem. I then saw the various DIY suspensions. To test the value of these, I put 3 of my 6 drives in an Antec Solo case using the suspension. You definitely still hear the idle, but it is not nearly as amplified. So I was sold on the idea of suspending versus grommets.

However, I was not willing to do a DIY suspension in the P180. Basically I have six 3.5" drives and a DIY suspension for six drives in the P180 is a major PIA and would severely cramp the case, plus making it near impossible to do surgery on w/o removing each drive each time.

So to sum up, the problem I was having was mostly vibration induced noise (I think) from the HDs. They were all seated on rubber grommets. Even when not tightly screwed in, vibrations occurred. Wouldn't it be nice, I thought, if I could suspend the drives but without using much space?

That led me to my brainstorm: suspend the drives on the rubber grommets.

"Huh?" you might ask.

Here's what I did:

- For the two drive sleds in the upper chamber, I flipped the grommets, putting the thick side on the "bottom" of the sled. I then screwed the drives in -- loosely. I then reinserted the sleds -- but with the sleds and the drives "upside down". The screws were tight enough to hold the drives but loose enough to leave a little space between the grommets and the drives themselves. In this fashion the full wait of the drives rested on the top part of the screws. The advantage of this mounting method is that instead of a small part of the drive making contact with the grommet, the full surface area of the screw head is supporting the drives weight. Moreover, the grommet absorbs the vibrations as they travel up the screw from the drive. I can't feel any vibration at all on the sleds with this mounting method.

- For the four drives in the lower chamber, I used the same idea. I was a little more skeptical that this would work since the grommets would have twice as much weight on them because of the vertical mounting method. What I did was flip all the grommets. So now the small sides of the grommets orient towards the drives and the bigger sides orient away. Then I screwed in all the drives taking care to make sure that I screwed the drives in tightly enough so that no part of the bottom of the drive rests on the bottom grommets but loosely enough that no part of the drive rests on the top grommets. The only thing that should be holding the drives up is the top of the screw holding it in. Note that it's important to flip all the grommets otherwise the fit of the drives is too tight.

So far, so good. The drives at least seem much quieter to me. I didn't make any objective measurements, but the system now passes the subjective "am I annoyed by the drive" test -- with flying colors.

Also, note that I have tried this method to mount 4 drives in the SOLO. It's a tight squeeze on the bottom drive (you have to remove the spare drive rails holster at the bottom of the case) and I can't tell a difference with it compared to the suspension.

I'm planning to write up a post on my P180 installation and hope to have some pictures of all this by then. (I'm hoping that I can help other people avoid some of the newbie mistakes I made with my P180 installation.)

Anyway, I'd be very interested to here what people have to say about my "upside down" or "hanging from grommets" mounting method. I haven't seen other posts about it, but I also haven't looked exhaustively.

- Jedster


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:16 pm
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Location: France
Hi jedster,
I'm very interested in your solution but I have troubles to figure it practically. Would it be possible for you to post some pics? I really would appreciate. Thx.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:27 pm 
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Posts: 118
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Hotshot2006 wrote:
Hi jedster,
I'm very interested in your solution but I have troubles to figure it practically. Would it be possible for you to post some pics? I really would appreciate. Thx.


I will post some pics as soon as i can but unfortunately it is unlikely i will be able to until next week.

the concept is simply to have the HDs hang from the grommets instead of resting on them.

to accomplish this with the upper drive cage, basically all you are doing is turning the drive sled upside down. the only difference is that you also flip each grommet upside down so that the bottom of the screw rests against the thicker side of the grommet. you then loosen the screws just enough so that the drives are firmly held in palce, but there is a small gap between the drive on the grommet -- no part of the drive touches anything but the screw.

i am also going to try doing this using nylon screws from home depot (i found some 6/32 nylon thumb screws that might work).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:09 pm
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Location: U.S.A. Massuchusetts...... *Folding For SPCR*
Very nice idea jedster... i also have the p180 and though i would suspend my drives but i thought it would be to much work for the benfit beacues my drives are all ready somewhat silent... but i never would have thought of suspending my drives from the grommets... in theory yor setup should work perfectly... im gonna do what you did with 2 drives in the top drive bay

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:48 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Las Vegas, NV
PopCorn wrote:
Very nice idea jedster... i also have the p180 and though i would suspend my drives but i thought it would be to much work for the benfit beacues my drives are all ready somewhat silent... but i never would have thought of suspending my drives from the grommets... in theory yor setup should work perfectly... im gonna do what you did with 2 drives in the top drive bay


you can do the same thing on the lower drive bay, but you have to flip the lower grommets and then carefully attach the drives such that they do not rest on any part of the grommets.

so far it seems to work about as well as suspension, and it is far more secure if you move your PC around a lot.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 8:32 am
Posts: 486
Location: UK
Seems like a very good idea IMO.

I have a couple of drives suspended in the lower cage but may try your suggestion.

Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:16 pm
Posts: 4
Location: France
jedster wrote:
I will post some pics as soon as i can but unfortunately it is unlikely i will be able to until next week.

Thanks jedster. It will be hard for me to wait such a long time but I'll try to manage :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:25 pm
Posts: 110
could really do with some pics of this, im having a hard time visualising what you are doing. ive got a p180 and im about to do a new build so i would like to try this solution as i have a noisy 74gb raptor


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:56 am
Posts: 323
Location: USA
It seems at least possible for the drive vibration to loosen the screws over time. Might it not be wise to put a dollop of silicon on the ends of all the drive mount screws?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:30 am 
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Posts: 48
Location: Belgium, Europe
Maybe not a solution, but if you need new HD's get the new Samsung T166 drives and all noise is gone. I have 2 of them in a SOLO case and my fans make more noise then the HD's. Atm. they are not suspended as I don't have the need for that.

Cheers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 8:32 am
Posts: 486
Location: UK
Pictures

Lower chamber mounting - grommet is not touching the HD

Image

Image


Upper chamber mounting

Image


My Samsung 80GB didn't like the vertical mounting in the lower chamber - it made a horrible noise (similar to fan blade brushing against the side of the frame) so I've gone back to horizontal suspending with elastic. Thank God it's quiet again.

Seagate HD is in the upper chamber using jedster's method.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:48 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Las Vegas, NV
sorry that the sammy didn't like being vertical. but it's cool that you got the other one to work.

i noticed something when i was mucking around the other day. when i use this mounting method with a wd5000ys, there are still some vibrations. but what's interesting is that the vibrations aren't from the hard drive to the drive cage -- they are from the hard drive to the power cable. adjusting the power cable minimized the transference of those vibrations to the rest of the case.

the sammy501lj on the other barely vibrated the power cable at all -- not enough to make any sort of noise.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:16 pm
Posts: 4
Location: France
Hi jedster,
I've used your tip with my 6 hdd. Works great ! :P
Thx.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:41 am
Posts: 51
Location: Finland
----


Last edited by Vaiski on Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:34 pm
Posts: 278
Location: Portugal
I tried this method with an older Samsung SP120 200GB PATA, it didn't really do anything for me, most of the noise of this hard drive is air noise. Currently I have it inside a Smart Drive 2002c resting on the grommets and I can still hear the air whoosh. :x

I'll only get quieter drives when I do a full upgrade on my ancient system, so I'll be sure to try this method again when I do. :)


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