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 Post subject: enermax modu 82+ noisy fan
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:30 am
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Location: Poland
Hello, this is is my first post here.

Few months ago, impressed by SPCR review, I bought an Enermax Modu 82+ 425W PSU.
It had been working very good, inaudible, 500-600 rpm all the time, until recently.

Now it works fine for an hour or two after power on, then it starts to make faint clicking and chirping noises. That noise comes from the fan or its bearing, it's constant and gets louder the longer the PC is on. It's not very loud but very noticeable, a high pitched constant clicking-ticking in time with the revolving fan.

I'm considering sending it for RMA, but as I live in Poland it could be problematic.

I also want to get another PSU, this time maybe a Corsair or Seasonic with Adda fan, but I read on some forums, that they also quickly become noisy as allegedly all ball bearing fans do.

What should I do?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:21 am 
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Location: Poland
Let me refrase my question.

I have 2 disks and 3 fans in my system ( 2 x fander 80mm, 1 x scythe 120mm) which run about 800 rpm each, and still the enermax psu is the loudest thing in my PC. Ticking fan is just much more audible than low broadband noise.

I'm looking for a quiet PSU which will not start ticking or deteriorate in any other way in just few months. Which one should I chose?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:32 am 
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Hi, try to RMA PSU. I am sure Enermax is more than happy give you brand new unit or fix that one.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:46 am 
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Well, first off are you totally sure it's the PSU fan causing the problem - have you tried stopping the PSU fan by sticking something (non-conductive!) through the grill to stop it? It's depressingly easy to mis-attribute where such sounds are coming from especially if you have several fans in your PC.

Anyway to answer your broader question my experience with out-of-the-box "quiet" PSUs has been distinctly average, even those which get good reviews here. Seasonic, Corsair, whatever, they've never really lived up to expectations, almost invariably due to the quality of the fan. I don't know why this is, maybe I'm unlucky, fussy, crap or whatever. The only PSUs I've ever been happy with are those I've fan-swapped.

I trust the reviews here to give me probably the best info I can get on the internet about the general efficiency and quality of the PSU, and base my purchase decisions on those reviews. But after half-a-dozen disappointments I now buy PSUs presuming that I'm going to have to swap the fan to get the noise level I want. I've just bought the same Enermax PSU you're having problems with - it's still in the box, I'm still mulling over whether to fit it with the stock fan (and almost inevitably have to pull it out again to swap the fan), or just swap the fan straight away.

I dare say a lot of folks here will disagree with what I said above. I don't know why my experience is so different from others. But it is, and it is what it is, so I do what I do :|


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:59 am 
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nutball wrote:
Well, first off are you totally sure it's the PSU fan causing the problem - have you tried stopping the PSU fan by sticking something (non-conductive!) through the grill to stop it? It's depressingly easy to mis-attribute where such sounds are coming from especially if you have several fans in your PC.


Yes, I tried to run the pc with all the fans and disks disconnected, I'm sure noise comes from the PSU fan. I didn't stop the fan, but the ticking is faster when fan revolves faster and it slows down to a halt when I switch it off.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:06 pm 
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nutball wrote:
Anyway to answer your broader question my experience with out-of-the-box "quiet" PSUs has been distinctly average, even those which get good reviews here. Seasonic, Corsair, whatever, they've never really lived up to expectations, almost invariably due to the quality of the fan.


Unfortunately that's exactly what guys in Polish forums say.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:08 pm 
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Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
Earlier someone said that in his sample of Modu82+ the fan was touching zip tie inside the case and he was managed to slightly move zip tie down, so fan did not touched it anymore. After that the ticking sound was gone.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:26 pm 
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I remember that post.

I allready looked inside with a flashlight and poked it with a straw to check.

Tomorow I'll take it out and put in my old dual fan 300W Tagan (praying it would not give up ghost under strain).
I'll take a closer look inside, maybe I could even open it without breaking the warranty sticker.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:35 pm 
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nutball wrote:
I've just bought the same Enermax PSU you're having problems with - it's still in the box, I'm still mulling over whether to fit it with the stock fan (and almost inevitably have to pull it out again to swap the fan), or just swap the fan straight away.


I was very satisfied with the outright inaudibility of the enermax before it started to rattle. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:38 pm 
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Same here with a Pro82+ 385W model. Mine did it from the start, but since I'm living on a noisy Highstreet it never bothered me enough to go through RMA. Just not worth the hassle in my eyes and once the waranty expires, I might as well swap the fan.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:48 am 
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You might just be able to fix it by opening it up and cleaning the fan. This is easier than swapping the fan as a swap out will mean having to run an externally powered fan as the included one is a strange 4-pin one.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:15 pm 
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Kuba wrote:
Let me refrase my question.

I have 2 disks and 3 fans in my system ( 2 x fander 80mm, 1 x scythe 120mm) which run about 800 rpm each, and still the enermax psu is the loudest thing in my PC. Ticking fan is just much more audible than low broadband noise.

I'm looking for a quiet PSU which will not start ticking or deteriorate in any other way in just few months. Which one should I chose?


It's will be hard to find this kind of PSU, as everybody try to reduce costs, so I think nobody will use high quality FDB fan like S-Flex or Noctua in a PSU as a default option.

I have a two years old S12 with ADDA, and I'm satisfied with it's noise.
Maybe you should do a fan modding, with a carefully selected FDB fan.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:38 am 
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A second caution here that the Enermax uses an unusual 4 pin "bi-voltage" fan. A straight fan swap is not simple, it can't be powered by the PSU fan connector, it would have to be powered from the motherboard or molex power connector.
See the postscript on page 6 of review.
Seb

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:14 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI
I've had the same issue with my fan, it started clicking after first use. I think it's gone away for the most part after pushing and moving it around gently with both parts of a broken in half popsicle stick (don't use anything metal to avoid electrocution.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:07 pm 
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Location: Poland
I uncovered the grill and found that it's imposible to oil the bearings without taking the whole fan out and breaking the warranty sticker.

SteveRCE wrote:
I've had the same issue with my fan, it started clicking after first use. I think it's gone away for the most part after pushing and moving it around gently with both parts of a broken in half popsicle stick (don't use anything metal to avoid electrocution.)


After some roughing up the fan indeed stopped rattling and clicking (for now). It's still chirping like a cricket, though. I guess I'll have to live with this for a while, as my spare Tagan is in use in another PC.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:19 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI
I do notice it clicking still. Once it becomes annoying (summer?) I'll be doing a fan swap. I'll have to take measurements with my DMM to see what my options are regarding multiple supply voltages and their trigger points. A few diodes can drop the +12v feed due to the forward voltage drop (~1v each?)


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 Post subject: Ways to improve/replace the stock Enermax PRO/MODU 82+ fan
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:35 pm 
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Location: Ukraine, Kiev
Dear all!
I am happy to bring you 2 important news about the ways you can improve your PSU fan noise.
There are 3 ways, i'll start from the most significat one.

1) Here is an important peace of information that i've found considering the fan's circuitry:
============
We use a bivoltage fan. We have a patent on this. Normally, when you use a fan, you lower voltage down to 3-4 V, which impacts also the hall IC of any fan, which controls the fan. With such voltage it gets unstable. By using a bivoltage fan (12 V for the hall IC and custom voltage to the bearing – any voltage, way lower than 3) we can go down to 450 rpm (even lower if we would want to). By still having the hall IC powered by 12 V, it can run/control the bearing with its custom voltage more smoothly. That's the difference to any single voltage. But we do use a standard two ball bearing fan, custom manufactured for us. That is what is looking like PWM, but you can see two 12 V wires and no PWM cable. Other manufacturers can match this only by using PWM sleeve bearing fan with limited lifetime. So we are pretty proud of our patented invention and having the world's most silent PSU fan control (and series) without sacrificing on heat or cheating even with sleeve bearing.
==========
If i'm not mistaking, it is possible to plug a low start voltage fan instead of the stock fan. One candidate that might do is SCYTHE S-FLEX 1900 RPM FDB fan. Its starting voltage should be something between 3-3.5 volts.
You will just have to feed it with BLACK, RED, and YELLOW wires from the PSU circuit board. White wire corresponds to +12 non-variable voltage that feeds the stock fan's circuits, and Red wire is the variable +12 line that might do the trick.
I have not yet tried that out due to lack of time to construct an adaptor to feed the 3-pin fan, but i'm sure that this should be the best noise killing solution. If I will do this experiment myself - i will update you on it.

2) I personally have replaced a dual ball bearing with a SLEEVE BEARING!!!
This is not a joke, I took the bronze sleave detail out of Thermaltake Silent Wheel fan and have squeezed it inside the stock fan's rotor.
It has fit just perfectly. I have lubricated the sleeve contact areas with a gun oil and didn't put on the white holding ring of the blades or the PSU fan grill on the PSU case.
This way I can always just pull out the blades to clean them and oil the sleeve whenever I want without having to unscrew the PSU from the case and dissasamble the PSU itself.
This method eliminated the bearing noise 100% guaranteed. You just have to make sure that there is a 2 mm space between the blade's plastic base and the sleeve bronze detail so that they don't touch each other while spinning. Don't worry, even at full RPM the magnetic field won't let the blades fall down of fly up from the frame.

3) The least helpful method that i've been using for the last 2 months is to replace the balls that become too loud (high frequency hiss).
I have tried AKASA AMBER 6 cm fan's balls, they had 1 good ball and 1 bubbling noise ball. I have replaced the loud ball from the stock fan with a quiet ball from AKASA and thought that I woun't have to redo this again.
I was wrong, the AKASA ball became even more noisy than the ball it replaced. I then tried the ball from GlacialTech silent blade 8 cm 1 ball 1 sleeve fan. The ball there turned out to be one of the best i've heard in my life, it even was quieter than the good sounding stock ball. I later bought a GlacialTech SilentBlade 8 cm 2 ball bearing fan to have the balls from it to put into a stock fan. They turned out to be very reliable, after a week of spinning @ 2000 RPM they didn't show any changes in sound.
Finally I gave up and replaced the balls with SLEEVE - see above.

This is the end of my story. Good luck to all the silence lovers out there!!!


Last edited by Nu_NRG on Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ways to improve/replace the stock Enermax PRO/MODU 82+ f
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:29 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI
@Nu_NRG:
Thanks! I'll look at this myself once I get some free time. I've never swapped bearings in a fan, but I have plenty of donors to scrap.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:15 am 
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Nu_NRG sent me an email referencing his post above, and asked a question of me. I cite the relevant portion here:
Quote:
As you can understand, and probably you already have came to the above conclusion on your own earlier, there may be a way to fit another fan into the PSU. My candidate would be SCYTHE S-Flex SFF21G (1900 RPM, 3-4 V starting voltage – based on a 1600 RPM model review). Perhaps you have tried fitting the mentioned fan inside that PSU already, if not maybe you or someone from your surrounding can give an answer whether the SCYTHE fan will start spinning inside the PSU if it would be fed from RED, BLACK, YELLOW wires leaving the white wire untouched.

The reason I’m asking you this is because I don’t have S-FLEX fans available here in Kiev and currently I have a chance to order one from Moscow, Russia, but I don’t want to waste 17 dollars to find out that the experiment would be a failure and that I may even burn down the PSU circuitry if I would try to feed a 3-pin fan in such a way, but most likely is that the later shouldn’t be true.

Anyway, if you are reading this then I have gotten your attention and I hope that you’ll give me some sort of response.

Now my PC is almost completely at the 13 db level where I can clearly hear the motor ticking after eliminating the bearing noise, this ticking can be heard on your 30 cm recording of the MODU 82+ fan that you have in the end of the review article.

I’m not sure 100% what’s the source of that noise, but I believe that this has to do with a magnetic field switching between the coils. If I’m wrong and you have some sort of a solution for this noise then please let me know.

Thanks again for your time, and I can’t wait to hear an answer from you!!!

Best Regards,

Nikolai

I felt his query deserved a reply. Here's what I wrote:

Quote:
Hi Nicholas,

Thanks for your email.

If you are a native Ukrainian, then I commend you on your excellent written English! Better than most native speakers!

I also must commend you on the research you've done. You've taught me things I did not know, as I have not experimented with replacing the fan in the PSU.

From the description you quote, it seems that one pair of wires from the PSU to the fan has steady 12V. The other pair has variable voltage to control speed. You should be able to use a multimeter to determine which pair is which, using the original fan.

I hope what I write is clear enough -- measure the voltages at the terminals to the fan with the PSU running. WARNING -- There is some risk of electrical shock if you are not careful.
-----------

Actually there's about a 10 minute pause between this and the last thing I wrote. I spent the time to locate a Pro 82+ 425W and opened it up, turned it on and measured those fan voltages. I was curious for myself and didn't want to tell you to risk something I did not try myself. I attached the black lead from the multimeter, set to <20VDC range. Then I used the red probe to touch the bit of metal exposed at the 4-pin terminal where the wires from the fan meet the PCB. Here's what I found, at idle:

yellow wire -- 12V
black -- 0V (ground)
white -- 0.25V
-- this has to be RPM sense wire
red -- 2.6V -- this is the variable voltage that drives the fan motor.

SO.... assuming that 2.6V is normal for all the Enermax 82+ PSUs, the 1900rpm Sflex fan is not an ideal match. It won't start up at turn-on because the voltage is too low. It probably will start up as the PSU heats up; the main question would be whether the heat build up before this point is small enough so the fan can cool the PSU down to keep the drive voltage from continuing upwards. Chances are... probably.

Does all that make sense? You should probably try measuring the fan voltage on your PSU. Maybe it's not quite the same as what I measured.

After all the above, I got under my desk to check on the Modu82+ 625W that's powering my main system right now. I've been aware of some mild fan chuffing noise for the last loittle while. Too low to really be audible from my desk but definitely audible from up close. It's mostly the fan in the Enermax. Very faint, like I said. Now that I know what the start voltage is, however, and which wires to connect, I have a good option for replacement, some time in the future if/when this fan gets worse -- one of the Sanyo Denki fans used in the Seasonic M12D, which actually starts at that low voltage. Seasonic sent me a couple of spares to analyze. :)

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Last edited by MikeC on Tue May 26, 2009 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Enermax NO FAN voltage measurement.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:59 am 
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Location: Ukraine, Kiev
Dear all!
I have made my own measurement this morning with no fan attached.
I put a ground probe onto the BLACK wire connector and the measuring probe was put where the RED wire connector is.
Upon turning on the power, the voltage turned out to be +5.4 V, after the Windows XP OS has finished booting the reading was 6.6 V and after the shutdown sequence was initiated the reading reached 6.9 V mark.
Mike told me that this may be due the the IC +12 V line was left without a resistance (nothing was consuming it), perhaps the Speed Guard circuit also reads the fan's RPMs and decides what voltage should be fed to the magnet line. The third option may be is that the PSU also changes its rotation speed basing on the unit internal temperature, and having a fan inside would change the picture.
I freaked out a bit after the PC was assambled back after the measurements, beause for some reason the LAC controller didsn't work. But in the evening when I got home and tried to check it out once more - everything was back to notmal. Probably this was just some BIOS malfunction problem that hopefully won't arise in the future, but maybe it was the way I tested the PSU with it powering all the PC components. For your safety, please disconnect the PSU from all the PC components if you know which contacts to connect on your PSU 24-pin cable, if not, then at least disconnect all your hard drives, not to loose any valuable data that you were collecting for many years.
Good luck on your modding.


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 Post subject: Stock fan lubrication
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:32 am 
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Location: Ukraine, Kiev
I would like to point out one very important point to you all.
Never lubricate your stock fan's bearing with any sort of oils or greeses.
This will lead to very unpleasand pulsating noises of the balls that you woun't be able to eliminate by any means.
The only way is to replace a noisy ball with a new one.
To check which ball is noisy:
1. Dissassamble the fan
2. Take all the bearing components out
3. Put one of the 2 balls onto the blade's axis with no spring in the way
4. Spin the blades gently with your finger holding the fan's bearing near your ear.
The above described method will let you select the best sounding ball bearings that you'll have handy.
If you're lucky, your good quality ball bearings woun't produce any high amplitude high frequency noises for at least a few months of continual usage.
If you want more than that - do a sleeve bearing mod that i've discribed earlier.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:18 am 
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Location: Warsaw, Poland
I've experience a similar problem with my Enermax Pro 82+ 625W. It's also never fell below 560RPM.
Now I want ot buy a second computer and it's really difficult to pick a PSU for it (Core i7, GTX 285, maybe SLI in future etc).

Anyway I'll try to RMA mine and find out how Polish Enermax support looks like. I've only been told that I'll have to wait at least 3 weeks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:28 am 
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Does anyone know if I change the original fan with a noctua nf-s12-800 which I power from the motherboard (not from the psu) will the psu work properly if it's not seeing any fan?


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 Post subject: Noctua 800 RPM fan inside Enermax 82+
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:03 am 
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9minutestorm wrote:
Does anyone know if I change the original fan with a noctua nf-s12-800 which I power from the motherboard (not from the psu) will the psu work properly if it's not seeing any fan?


I have successfully loaded my system and turned off the computer without having the fan attached. The PSU worked in such mode for 1.5 minutes.
I have then connected the stock fan back and it works like it did before.
If you would place a Noctua on that PSU remember, that Noctua has just 7 blades and lower surface area, so I guess you'd have to set the RPM to 600 rotations to have more or less same performance that the stock fan makes at 512 rpm. Also, you will have to increase the rotation to all 800 RPM if you wish to get 300 W out of the PSU, 600 RPM will do fine beyond the 250 W mark. If you plan to use the Noctua above 300 W you should consider the 1200 RPM model, and you'll be able to go up to 400 W.
Noctua has a ticking motor, this ticking is reduced if you apply slight pressure to the center of the rotor. Putting come sort of thick rubber layer of a piece of thick densy cloth will reduce the amplitude of the motor buzzing, but not as much if you'd apply the pressure to it, and i guess it is impossible if you'd have that fan inside the PSU.
Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: enermax modu 82+ noisy fan
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:17 am 
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Kuba wrote:
Hello, this is is my first post here.

Few months ago, impressed by SPCR review, I bought an Enermax Modu 82+ 425W PSU.
It had been working very good, inaudible, 500-600 rpm all the time, until recently.

Now it works fine for an hour or two after power on, then it starts to make faint clicking and chirping noises. That noise comes from the fan or its bearing, it's constant and gets louder the longer the PC is on. It's not very loud but very noticeable, a high pitched constant clicking-ticking in time with the revolving fan. ....


Same exact problems with my modu82+ 625W after only 4 months of use in an Antec P182 case. Impressed with review here. Works perfectly fine for a few months. Then same noise you described from the fan bearing and gets louder the longer PC is on. Even with the PC just on idle. It's happening sooner and getting progressively louder as time goes on. It's so loud now you can hear it from outside the room the PC is in.

I've contacted Enermax USA support and I'm anxious to see how customer friendly their warranty policy is. Like most I can't be without my computer for any length of time. I'm hoping they have a policy similar to other customer friendly companies; they send you a replacement and charge you pending the return of the defective unit at which time you receive a credit for the charge.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:27 am 
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GrayWolf

I have myself written a few e-mails to Enemax U.S.A.
They said that they'll replace the fan if you have a valid waranty.
This process should take a few weeks plus you'll have to pay for the PSU's shipment.
As an engineer I can say that the quality of the bearings Enermax is using in their PSUs is lousy.
You'll have to repeat the process of sending the PSU to Enermax every few months.
If you are willing to void your waranty there are a few methods of improving that noise (replacing the ball bearings, replacing the bearing, ...) (see my posts above).

The new ECO 80 series from Enermax in using their new Twister bearing fans, perhaps you can find out whether it's possible to pay extra and get the whole PSU replaced.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:43 pm 
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Hi Kuba

This same problem happened to me with my Modu82+ 625, I had to RMA it.

Recently the fan is making noise again and my Modu82 buzzes loudly constantly now.

I will never buy an Enermax again after this. I should of stuck with Seasonic. :/

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:08 pm 
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Just to add, I recently purchased an enermax revo 85+ 850W. Supposedly the quietest high end power supply available right now. Guess what, same exact fan problem described here.

My first one started making clicking noises after about 2 weeks of use. I RMA'ed, and got another one (I think they sent me a new unit rather than replace the fan as the sticker on the fan grill was still on for this one), and this one started squeaking after another 2 weeks. I am 100% sure it's the fan as these noises continue for a min or so after my system is shutdown - for those that don't know, the new Revo's fans continue to spin for a time after shutdown supposedly to keep components cooler.

In any case, I am extremely disappointed that such a high end expensive (paid $250) unit would use such garbage fans.

So, anyone interested in a slightly used Revo 85+ :cry:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:07 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Canada
Fwiw, my Modu 82+ 525W fan also developed clicking after a couple months of use. Replaced it with a Noctua P12 fan (thermally controlled by T-balancer Mini). It works great now. No noise from fan or coil whine.

I don't really mind having to replace the fan, because I would do it for just about any PSU (unless theres an efficient PSU with Noctua/Scythe/Noiseblocker stock fans ;) )


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:13 am 
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Friend of SPCR

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:53 am
Posts: 1314
Location: CT
My turn... :(
Enermax modu 82+ PSU fan is now buzzing.... grrrrrrr !!!! it was the only fan on at the time of testing (hard drives also disconnected)
It's a shame for such an expensive PSU...

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