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 Post subject: Killed my SuperSilencer 400 during a fan mod...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 5:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 8:20 pm
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Location: Redwood City, CA
Is there a computer modding version of the Darwin awards? I'd like to submit this entry...

I went to exchange my Supersilencer's stock SuperRed fan with a Panaflo M1A. I decided to get fancy with it and got out the soldering iron and routed the new fan's wires into the old two prong connector on the PSU circuit board. Then I routed the monitoring wire out to the motherboard. I checked and double checked my work (the lead wires were different colors, so it was a bit confusing). After convincing myself I had it all correct, I plugged everything back in. The computer powered up as normal, except the new PSU fan did not start. I let it run a couple minutes, assuming the PSU just hadn't fed it enough starting voltage to spin the M1A. Well, I finally gave up (probably too soon), so I opened up the PSU and checked my work again. Still seemed correct. I turned it on with the PSU casing open so I could see whether the heatsinks were warming at all. I touched one heat sink with a screw driver then to ground to make sure I wasn't going to shcok myself. this shorted out the PSU completely. So for better or worse I avoided getting shocked alright, but the PSU also avoided working again.

I've temporarily replaced it with the sotck Antec that came with my case, but now I've essentially got a broken, out of warranty SuperSilencer on my hands. Any idea whether there's a fuse somewhere that I tripped or something? I'd like to get it working again if I can, now that I know the rules of engagement a little better...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 9:25 pm 
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Although it's a bit late now, an easier way to do this mod is to use a 3-pin tail for the Panaflo, and to lift the plastic fan socket off the PSU circuit board using a flat tipped screwdriver. Then you can just plug the fan in, no soldering necessary!

BTW I don't think the M1A does RPM monitoring, you'd need a M1BX if they exist

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 12:07 am 
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Yeah hindsight is 20/20. I figured the 3-pin connector wouldn't fit, so I went through all that trouble for nothing it seems. I believe I got the Panaflo with RPM monitoring (BX).

Anyway, the ANtec PSU I put in there now is crazy loud. I'm gonna have to buy another PSU methinks, unless someone thinks there might be a way to get the SuperSilencer to work again...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 12:15 am 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Change the fan in your antec psu. :)

My story is kinda similar to yours, except I didn't blow anything up! hehe. I swapped the fan in my SL350S for an L1A and in the process I damaged the fan connector on the PSU board considerably. One of the pins was missing and all the surrounding plastic was gone. What I've done now is simply feed the L1A's cable through the grill and out into the case to be connected to my fan controller.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 6:05 am 
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Location: London, UK
Let me get this straight, you made an electrical connection with the screwdriver between one of the heatsinks and ground? If so then not surprising it blew.

Most PSUs have a small glass fuse somewhere on the circuit board. If it has blown then you might need to desolder it and change it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 6:12 am 
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Location: Sunny Melbourne, Aust.
Have done the same as you with one pc, chylld, and with another just connected a 'flo straight to the HS header on the mobo, with the inline resistor thingy that that came with a zalman case fan. Both methods are effective in my case (or crate :D )

Cheers, Dave.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 6:15 am 
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I'd try powering up your PSU again since it's sat for a while. Some PSU's seem to have some sort of thermal protection in them to where if something gets shorted out, it shuts down the PSU and it takes a few minutes before it can be turned on again. I've seen this happen on several occasions, it's first seems as if the PSU is dead but if you wait a while it will restart.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 2:53 pm 
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Location: Redwood City, CA
Ralf, I tried it again like you suggested, but still no luck. I looked around the inside a bit, and I believe I've found the fuse. It's soldered to the circuit board right next to the power connector, but it's covered with a length of heatshrink tubing, so that's probably why I missed it the first time over. It is cylindrical, and I'll assume it's the glass type with the filament inside, though I can't verify until I pull it out.

Now, to get the fuse out, I'll need to unscrew the circuit board from the PSU housing, exposing capacitor leads. Is there any rule of thumb here about safely doing this? Can I safely test the voltages across capacitors with an ohmmeter?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 9:25 pm 
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Location: Redwood City, CA
I managed to get the fuse out without any further collateral damage. It looks like it exploded pretty violently, heh. It's 250V 7A, so I'll see if I can find a replacement at RadioShack. Perhaps I'll add a snap in fuse holder while I'm at it just in case I have another brilliant idea in the future that necesitates a fuse change. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 6:33 am 
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gourdo_1 wrote:
Perhaps I'll add a snap in fuse holder while I'm at it just in case I have another brilliant idea in the future that necesitates a fuse change. :D


Now that's using your noodle! Perhaps there's hope for you yet! :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 11:41 am 
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gourdo_1 wrote:
I managed to get the fuse out without any further collateral damage. It looks like it exploded pretty violently, heh. It's 250V 7A, so I'll see if I can find a replacement at RadioShack.
Thats good news. As a tripple check, there is slik screening on the psu mobo just above the fuse that lists fuse specs for each of the psus that mobo is designed for. (And dont try get lucky by hoping a 450W fuse will give you a cheap upgrade - there are other component deltas as well. Definately replace with the identical spec fuse!)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 10:24 pm 
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Location: Redwood City, CA
The original fuse was a 20mmx5mm glass tube rated @ 250V 7A, but I couldn't find the exact same one at RadioShack, so I replaced it with a 1-1/4"x1/4" 250V 7A fast blow glass tube, which is physically larger, but electrically the same as far as I can tell. Should I be concerned? The PSU works fine now.

Once I got everything back together, I noticed the new Panaflo M1A-BX is not starting up with the rest of the computer. You can see the blades ticking slightly, so it is definitely trying. This would indicate the starting voltage of that fan is higher than the original SuperRed. I figured this wouldn't be a major problem if the fan would start once the PSU warms up and increases the voltage to the fan, so I started Prime95 and watched temperatures very closely. The PSU fan still refused to start even with the CPU and Northbridge fan working at full RPMs, CPU temp up in the mid 60s and case temp reaching up into the 40s.

I checked airflow at the PSU while this was going on, and it was sucking air in through the back, causing hot PSU air to circulate into the case, but still the Panaflo wouldn't start. So I nudged the fan blade with a pencil and it started up immediately.

That's where I stand right now. All in all, the mod appears to have been a failure as far as I can tell. Any ideas about what I could do to make the fan start up consistently? Should I look at another kind of fan that starts at a lower voltage? The reason I went with the M1A in the first place was because it had similar CFM to the original...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 11:49 pm 
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Glad to hear you revived your PSU. ;)

The start voltage on the Panaflo should be 4.5~4.7V. The Seasonic start fan voltage is usually 4.3~4.5V but it should easily and quickly reach 5V with the kind of load you're putting on it. Sounds like you have a reluctant starter. If you have more than one 80M, try a swap.

Another simple solution: Don't turn the PC off. This is my solution -- I use Panaflo 80L modded Seasonics in several of my PCs. Works fine. Put the PC into sleep mode if you want to minimize AC power draw. Even at just long idle, the AC power draw is probably down to ~60W.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:17 am 
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At work, one of the computers in the production hall was suddenly killing PSUs. I replaced the original PSU with our test/spare PSU, and it worked for a day. The next day the computer wouldn't turn on again. Third, new 300 W PSU (for this PIII-500 etc.) is still working.

I opened the PSU to see if the fuse was blown. It was a plastic one, so I couldn't tell it's condition. I just replaced the fuse with matching one, and fired up one of the other PCs I was currently working on, using this PSU. The PSU worked out fine for ten seconds, and then created an effect similar to those smoke machines You see in concerts etc. The computer was still booting when I pulled the plug.

After the smoke had cleared, :lol: I opened the PSU to see that one of the large capacitors had leaked, causing the smoke.

Lesson: Seems that the fuses don't always blow without a reason...

Cheers,

Jan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:21 am 
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Location: Redwood City, CA
MikeC wrote:
Glad to hear you revived your PSU. ;)

The start voltage on the Panaflo should be 4.5~4.7V. The Seasonic start fan voltage is usually 4.3~4.5V but it should easily and quickly reach 5V with the kind of load you're putting on it. Sounds like you have a reluctant starter. If you have more than one 80M, try a swap.


Hmmm, a reluctant starter. I guess I could order another one, but at $12-15 a pop, it could get pretty expensive. BTW, how do you know these start voltages anyway? The only numbers I've seen indicate that it is speced to start at 7V.

MikeC wrote:
Another simple solution: Don't turn the PC off. This is my solution -- I use Panaflo 80L modded Seasonics in several of my PCs. Works fine. Put the PC into sleep mode if you want to minimize AC power draw. Even at just long idle, the AC power draw is probably down to ~60W.


Well, when I go into sleep mode, I suspend to RAM, so all fans shut off. I suppose I could set the BIOS to the other suspend mode so it doesn't shut off the PSU fan. It's just that I have my comp in my bedroom and would rather be able to shut the whole thing down from time to time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2002 1:27 pm
Posts: 341
Location: Sweden
Thanks Guordo,
I initially decided to get my Super Silencer 400 an M1A but couldn´t find it anywhere near.

Finding a good replacement fan for the Superred is no picknick. I fitted a Papst with 26 cfm and ran it from my automatic fan controller. Also confirmed that both my 8412N/2GML always starts at 4.2 volts. It worked so nice I even went ahead and recommended this mod.
Now I´m ashamed to admit I did this before trying it out with the PSU as the fan controller. The S2FC circuits make the Papsts sound funny, "rrrr" or something, and it has them spinning up and down all the time even though I tried it with the case side open to rule out fluctuating temperatures. The weird sound from the fan is a bit like an engine.
Beats me what makes for this. First thought the fan faulty but new one exhibits the same problem. Sticking to external control now but need to remedy myself here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:29 pm 
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Your description makes me wonder if Seasonic is using the dreaded PWM circuitry?! I say dreaded because I have yet to see a PWM fan controller that slows most fans down without causing them to make more noise.

But funny thing is, I have 5 PCs running F@H and 2 of them are with Super series Seasonics -- one is a Silencer 400, the other a Tornado 300. These run open testbench systems 24/7 (P4-2.4~2.8 & XP Barton 2500+ oc'd to ~3000+). They are also used as HS and fan (and other) test platforms, and sometimes get stuffed into cases that are being examined. And they NEVER misbehave or speed up hardly at all.

Well not quite true -- I got that squealing fan noise from the Tornado twice. But never again.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:30 pm 
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Location: Hudson Valley, NY, USA
Gourdo,

How many hours of running do you have on the M1BX ? Perhaps the new fan is a bit tight. If you run it for a day or so it may loosen up a bit and start easier. Quick, cheap fix if it works.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:43 pm 
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Location: Redwood City, CA
Well, I've been running it for a couple days now. I'll see if it starts up any easier in a few minutes.

One thing I've noticed while running this M1BX is that it is unbelievably quiet. The PSU is no longer the loudest component in the system. But I am worried about overheating -- for some reason the fan just doesn't seem to be spinning any faster as the system gets worked up and I hosed the speed sensing output to the motherboard in the modding debacle above. I'll have to open it up again and resolder the sensor wire to the right lead so I can monitor it with the motherboard again. From what I can tell, the fan just isn't revving up under high load it seems, possibly indicating that the PSU's heat sensing circuitry is hosed or something. It might explain why even under full load the M1BX has been refusing to start.

Anyone know what the thermal sensor looks like or where it should be located inside a SuperSilencer?

Oh and by the way, in case anyone thought reversing a PSU fan is a good idea... (I foolishly considered the idea a couple weeks ago actually). It isn't. While running the system for a few minutes with the M1BX fan off, it started sucking air in through the PSU. The heat sensor for the CPU and PWM area of the motherboard went through the roof. Just in case anyone needed to be convinced that this is a bad idea. ;-)


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