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 Post subject: Suspending hard drive w/ Stretch Magic (picture)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 3:48 pm 
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Location: USA (Phoenix, AZ)
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I have tried hard drive suspension for the very first time. I couldn't believe how much better it works over grommets!

I found a very nice suspension material at Michaels. It is called Stretch Magic. I got the thickest they had, 1.8mm in a 3 meter roll for $2.49.

It is a "high tech polymer that will not crack or harden over time." It is very strong - I tried stretching it as hard as I could (until it hurt) without breaking.

To mount the hard drive, I drilled eight 1.5mm holes in the drive cage, just above the predrilled mounting holes. I sliced the tip of the Stretch Magic so it would fit through the hole, and strung it through. The ends were tied into knots to hold it in place.

The drive is not touching any case metal (the picture looks like it might be low enough to touch the case, but it is actually pretty high.)

The only problem is the drive temperature feels MUCH hotter by about 10C. The drive used to be grommet mounted in the 3.5" drive bay, where I had an 80mm opening in front. I need to figure something out before I keep it running this way... :(


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 Post subject: Re: Suspending hard drive w/ Stretch Magic (picture)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 3:36 am 
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josephclemente wrote:
The only problem is the drive temperature feels MUCH hotter by about 10C. The drive used to be grommet mounted in the 3.5" drive bay, where I had an 80mm opening in front. I need to figure something out before I keep it running this way... :(

Leave the 5.25" cover off? :?

Cheers,

Jan

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 5:37 am 
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I like the way the colour of the silver and clear plastic go together :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:53 am 
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Bluefront's diagonal aimed internal fan mod would cool that 5.25" bay (by sucking air through it). As an added bonus, the fan would blow onto the GPU and/or CPU, depending on exactly how you aimed it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 11:52 pm 
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Location: USA (Phoenix, AZ)
I have decided to move the drive back to the internal 3.5" hard drive bay - but this time mounted vertically and suspended with Stretch Magic. I don't think I can get a good photo of this configuration - not as much open space.

Directly in front of the drive is a 92mm Panaflo FBL09A12H attached to a Zalman Fanmate at minimum speed. It is spinning at about 1250 RPM.

The Panaflo is also suspended with Stretch Magic. I went a little wild with this stuff. :)

I'd like to get a much slower 92mm fan. I think even 600 RPM should be fine as long as it can start reliably...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 4:43 pm 
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Wow! That definately looks pretty cool. And you can't go wrong at $2.49! One question, how well does it actually silence the drive?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 8:43 pm 
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Can you try to take a picture of the vertically mounted drive in the 3.5" bays? I'm particularly interested in any mods that can keep the drives in this area, for the airflow reasons you cite...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 9:19 pm 
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Location: USA (Phoenix, AZ)
Thanks! This suspension really does an excellent job at making the drive quieter.

I'll try and get another picture - right now I'm still refining things. :)

Here is the trick to vertical suspension in the 3.5" bay. It is arranged exactly like the 5 1/4" picture - just tilt your head (or the picture) and that is pretty much what it looks like.

I drilled eight 1.5mm holes on the bottom of the case. Then I took a sheet of clear lexan, cut it to fit the 3.5" bay as if it was another drive. I drilled eight holes in this acrylic piece (the eight holes previously drilled in the case makes a great template.) This sheet goes in one of the drive bays so there is about 6" of space below it. I used nuts and bolts just above the acrylic sheet which holds it in good.

Then I just string the Stretch Magic through and adjust the tension so each strand is about the same (I pluck each strand and listen to the tone). The drive slips through (I like to use a ground wire for the hell of it).

I have since replaced the 92mm Panaflo in front of the drive with an Evercool aluminum fan. The 80mm fan mounting hardware in the Cooler Master Wave Master can be removed completely, and put back together in the future if needed. It is held in by rivets on the side - I just drill them out and it comes right off. Then I had room to suspension mount the 92mm fan with ease.


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 Post subject: Re: Suspending hard drive w/ Stretch Magic (picture)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2004 8:38 pm 
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Location: Canada
josephclemente wrote:
I have tried hard drive suspension for the very first time. I couldn't believe how much better it works over grommets!

I found a very nice suspension material at Michaels. It is called Stretch Magic. I got the thickest they had, 1.8mm in a 3 meter roll for $2.49.

It is a "high tech polymer that will not crack or harden over time." It is very strong - I tried stretching it as hard as I could (until it hurt) without breaking.


Where are you located? I'm wanting to buy some of this stuff but not sure where I can find it..
I'm in Burnaby, British Columbia by the way..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 4:45 am 
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Location: New Jersey
slimeballzz wrote:

Quote:
I'm wanting to buy some of this stuff but not sure where I can find it..


I did a Google search and came up with about a half dozen on line vendors. I ordered from this vendor http://www.artbeads.com

It is sold for making jewelry, necklaces and bracelets; and perhaps in brick & mortar craft or hobby stores. Joseph got his at Michael's, which I think is a sewing or craft supply shop.

Thanks to Joseph's post I tried this out and it works great. I suspended 3 drives, 1 Seagate IV 40 and 2 Samsung 1614N's in the bottom front of an Antec full tower case. I have an Evercool 120 at 5v to cool the drives. There is a big difference in the overall sound as opposed to the previous grommet mounts before. If I really listen closely I can hear the read/writes, but just barely.

Thanks for sharing, Joseph :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 10:20 pm 
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Location: Little Rock, AR, USA
It took me a few minutes to locate this thread, because I wanted to suspend my drives with this stuff, so I'm bumping it--thanks for the great looking tip :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 8:18 am 
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I did this myself and it does work very well. Thanks for the tip Joseph! I'm going to be getting my D8000 pretty soon, and I'll be to try a vertical suspension also (probably in the drive cage). I'll post some pics if it works...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:30 am 
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I meant to post this ages ago. After looking at what you did I decided to use the same material but in a slightly different way. I've no picture yet, so I'll post one once I open up my case.

If you are in the UK and want some Stretch Magic you can buy it from Julesgems - www.julesgems.com

I bought the 1mm stretch magic and it works a treat.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 5:16 am 
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Luminous,

I just noticed I ordered the 1.0 mm. Good to know that its not too small.
Laso when ordering from www.artbeads.com the free shipping can take along time. I rodered on 6/16/2004 and mine has still not arrived. Thats 10 days so far.

Regarding Tying:
Are you guys tying one side for each strap or are you threading the whole thing and just tying at the beginning and end?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 2:14 pm 
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Location: Olympia WA USA
Just an update on this thread, I got some Stretch Magic at Michael's today and the cashier scannned a coupon at the register that gave me 40% off the price, making it $1.49 before tax for a 3m 1.8mm spool. I'm not sure how long this discount will last, nor what locations are participating, but if anybody wants to try this stuff out and has a Michael's nearby, now would be a great time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 4:04 pm 
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Location: California
If you're near a Michaels just check the local paper. Those 40% off coupons that was just mention appear almost every week so there's no hurry.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 4:30 pm 
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Location: New Jersey
Quote:
Are you guys tying one side for each strap or are you threading the whole thing and just tying at the beginning and end?


If you follow the picture that Joseph posted, I used four ties (knots) to suspend one drive. I put two knots at each tie point because only one seemed like it could work loose over time due to the HD weight or vibration.

The trick is to keep each strand equally the same tension as you go from row to row. I think using only 2 ties is do-able if you have the patience.


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 Post subject: string suspension performance over time
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 7:02 pm 
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Hey, glad to hear the great reports about hard drive string suspensions. I have one question though. Typically most elastomeric materials (eg rubber bands) stretch out over time. ("creep" is the technical term) This is the only potential downside I can think of for this type of suspension.

So my question is, have any of you guys noticed any stretching of your strings? How long have you had your setup running?

Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:41 am 
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Location: New Jersey
I've got three drives suspended in a homemade rack that is sitting on the bottom of my case. After 3 1/2 months there is no sagging at all that I can detect.

You do bring up a good point, I was wondering about that too. Probably should check for that on a 3 month interval.

So far so good :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 4:35 pm 
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Location: USA (Phoenix, AZ)
After I first mount the drive, I push the drive down manually. This way I have a better idea of where the drive will settle naturally from weight.

I'm at month 3 now, the drive is just where I left it. It would have been month 4, but I have since moved the drive.

I have also used Stretch Magic to organise wires - because it is clear and not as noticable as cable ties. I even have a small piece (3.25mm long) used as a replacement for a missing screw in my glasses, LOL.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 11:59 am 
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Do you know how well this method would be able to handle transportation? Since im in college, I have to transport my PC a lot, so, would you have to disassemble this everytime you wanted to move your PC or do you think it could hold? Thanks

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 12:15 pm 
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Your drive would *probably* stay put if you're appropriately careful; the problem is that it might get jiggled out of alignment (being lined up at 90-degree angles everywhere, perfectly level, etc.).

Are you talking about LANning every few days, or about taking your computer to/from home at semester beginning/end?

The suspension is kind of pain to get perfect (if you're that kind of person). The sorbothane block method some people talk about seems like it's quicker and easier to set up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 12:40 pm 
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I am only taking it to and from home every quarter (3 times a year) and maybe a lan once or twice a year, so overall not too much moving. I guess i could pull it out of the straps, but that would be a pain. Plus, I have to flip the case on its side, so the with the BQE, the hard drive would be completley vertical. I was thinking about drilling a hole on the side, so as to provide some vertical support too.

Also, looking at sorbothane, and when ralf did it, i don't feel too comfortable having my hard drive rely completley on a sticky substance.

* Edit: Just wondering, does anyone know how quiet this is compared to the BQE's rubber grommets?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 12:57 pm 
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For going home from college, I used to take out the drive and keep it with me anyway. Better than trusting airport baggage handling or UPS to treat my box with loving care ...

Anyway, transporting your case (like in a car back seat or trunk) should be fine for your suspended drives. I've moved my computer from room to room at home withi my cheapo sewing elastic and the drive hasn't fallen out. If you're paranoid I suppose you could rig up something pretty easily to restrict the drives' front-back movement.

Whether you go with blocks or suspension, you'll probably end up wanting/needing to re-align your drives' suspension anyway; I don't think you can get out of this task after a move.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 1:11 pm 
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Hmm interesting. Well realigning probably doesn't take that long. I hated taking my HSF off my CPU during transporation because of the clips, whichi s why i finally went with bolt through. Hehe I guess im lazy.

Thanks rtsai, youve been a great help heh. Last question though :) How does this compare to say rubber suspension? Should there be any difference?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 1:43 pm 
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Can't say; I only have my cheapo sewing elastic setup and haven't tried anything else. The Stretch Magic is probably a better option material-wise, but it would have been a bigger pain for me to get right.

With the elastic, I was able to measure off two pieces of the exact same length (front and rear suspension); I used a stapler to make the loops, so I was able to get loops of exactly the same length. With this Stretch Magic stuff I'd have to tie my own knots, which would introduce a source of variation into my loop lengths. Since I only have two rows of suspension, this would drastically adversely affect the leveling. My drive cage is very old; I only have holes for two rows. I don't feel like taking a drill to it (and even then, I'd have to drill even holes :P). I'm guessing my sewing elastic is probably more prone to sagging and "creep" (to borrow someone else's technical term) over time, so I'll probably end up having to re-level anyway.

You have a more modern case, so you probably have more holes in your drive cage for more rows of suspension, so a little variation probably won't hurt you as much.

Whatever you end up trying first, it's not going to cost you much. The Stretch Magic at the local Michael's was $2.49 for 3m of 1.8mm-thickness "magic". Sewing elastic is something like $0.40/yard. And neither methods are irreversible; they're both very low-risk.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:32 pm 
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Just thought of this while reading this thread... you could try the same parts that people use to *hang* their drives with (eg http://www.silentpcreview.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=109&page=1), but simply thread bungee across the bay, along the front and back of the drive. Then screw four of those p-clamps around the cord, into the bottom holes of the drive. If your case uses screw holes or grommets in those bays, you could get away with two pieces of cord, simply knotted at the ends to keep them in. If you epoxied the clamps (onto the cord, not the drive!) and made sure drives can't hit anything above/below them (sorbothane or foam rubber spacers or something), this should be nearly rock-solid, without needing a hardmounted rubber box or a big frame or anything.


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 Post subject: careful with aging rubber..
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:00 pm 
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I bought some 3" diameter rubber O'rings from my local hardware store -- they look a heck of a lot like the ones used in the commercial products for suspending hard drives.

I stretched them between the walls of the drive enclosure and slipped a drive in there.

The drive stayed mostly below 42 degrees C.

After two weeks, one rubber o-ring broke, and the other is cracked and on it's way out. I'll be stopping by a Michael's to see if they have any of that Stretch Magic.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 6:48 pm 
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is it better to have high or low tension in the Stretch Magic wires? I used made it pretty tight. Does it make a difference, is there more possibility of vibration if the tension in the wire is tight?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:30 am 
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Too much tension will transmit more vibration, though obviously you don't want the drive hitting the sides of the case when you move your PC. So, somewhere between firm and relaxed, then. :)

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