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 Post subject: drive suspension for lian li pc-v1100, pc-v1000, v-series
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:27 am 
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here are some photos of my improvised drive suspension for my lian li pc-v1100. it requires no irreversible modifications to the case. its design is similar in theory to the novibes commercial product, but it's designed to fit into the very tight space in the lian li v series 3.5" hard disk cage.

the first step is to make just a little bit of lateral space by removing the plastic brackets on one side of the drive cage, using a special right-angle screwdriver. you only need to remove one screw. (temporarily remove the front fan to make working room)

Image

here is what the cage looks like with two of the brackets removed. note the small clips made of spring metal at the rear in the photo below, which were uncovered when the plastic brackets were removed. these are easily popped out with a small screwdriver.

Image

i obtained some nylon shoe lace material and "cord locks" from a local outdoor-recreation shop. 10 ft of shoe lace and 4 cord locks cost about $3.00.

Image

the next step is to cut a 24" length of lace, thread it through the drive cage, and add a cord lock. i heated an old knife on the stove until it was hot enough to melt through the nylon lace. this keeps the ends from fraying. a toothpick makes it easy to get the shoe lace through the cord lock.

the drive will go through the large opening in the lace in the photo below. when the lace is tightened, there will be a layer of lace between the drive and the drive cage.

Image

a second lace is added, so there is one at the front of the drive and one at the rear.

Image

the drive is now inserted and the laces are pulled tight and secured with the cord locks. it helps to do this in a couple of stages, tweaking the position of the drive.

Image

at this point, you may be satisfied and go no further. i decided to add two 20" pieces of lace running lengthwise, for redundancy and to keep the drive from rolling on its lengthwise axis. these go over the top of the drive cage. tightening them has the effect of drawing the drive upwards, adding additional tension to the widthwise laces. the cord locks make it easy for you to make the whole system as tight or as loose as you like.

Image

if you need to replace the drive, the laces and cord locks can be loosened, but they do not have to be removed to get the drive in and out.

it was easy to do one drive this way. i'm pretty sure you could fill the front cage with 2 or 3 drives, using the same technique. you'd thread the laces so the cord locks are to the left or right of the drive, rather than under. this makes them a little more cumbersome to tighten but is workable. i'm sure you could also get at least one drive in the rear cage with this suspension. more than 4 total drives might be possible, but would be tricky.

i have not yet evaluated sound or temperature. it may be a while before i get this system all together. the drive does feel like it's nicely suspended, and it will not make any contact with metal or plastic.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:22 am 
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wow, that's awesome... interested in seeing what kind of results you can get!

What kind of HD is that anyways?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:33 am 
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That's interesting and thanks for the pictures.

It's interesting looking at those photos that the 2 HDD racks are much closer together than in the V2000 which is deeper as well as taller than the V1000. In my V2000 there is a good 2cm between the the two 'walls' of the front and rear HDD bays.

Is there not enough space to remove the second plastic rail? If not, things are still going to be pretty tight because that shoelace material is quite thick. I suspect that you might get better noise results if you create some more width space between the HDD and the wall of the HDD rack, if that is at all possible.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:06 pm 
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davidstone28 wrote:
Is there not enough space to remove the second plastic rail?

Nope, the two drive cages are nearly touching. That's why I mentioned having to drill them out if you'd want to remove the rails in the other thread.

Not having suspended any drives yet: does anyone know if shoelace is a suitable material to do this? I have never touched or seen the oft-mentioned "bungee-cord" but IIRC the material should preferably have at least some degree of elasticity...

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I: E5200 OC, Ninja II, Gigabyte P45, ATi HD4850 w/ S1, Raptor + Samsung disks in Quiet Drive, Enermax Modu82+ 425W, Lian Li V1000, 2x Nexus 120 PWM
II: A64 3000+, Ninja, DFI nForce3, headless, Samsung disks suspended, Enermax Pro82+ 385W, Antec 3000B padded & dampened, 2x Nexus 120 B&W


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:41 pm 
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Not sure about that Stretch Magic stuff - basically strechy cord for threading beads and making bracelets.. In the UK, I can't find any 1.8mm Stretch Magic, so I bought some 1.0mm Stretch Magic. It's ok - not ideal because it stretches alot and doesn't hold the drive in place very well because of that, although it works better if you pull you it really tight (it doesn't seem to break). I might try thicker material with less stretchniness. I might also try some shoelaces but I suspect it might not be stretchy enough. All of that of couse, once I find an offset screwdriver......


Last edited by davidstone28 on Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:46 pm 
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responding to a several posts:

(1) the drive is a WD raptor 74G SATA

(2) the photos make the shoe lace stuff look thicker than it is. the drive does not feel tightly wedged in; there is quite a bit of play. i'm pretty sure there's no way to get more space without making irreversible mods to the drive cage.

(3) the shoe lace is not elastic. i'd guess you could get elastic with dimensions similar to my shoe lace material at a sewing supply shop, but i'd worry about it being strong enough. you're probably familiar with bungeee cord under a different name; it's the flexible cord with hooks on both ends that you can get at any auto supply shop to hold your trunk lid down when it's too full to close and latch. sometimes known as a "shock cord."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:19 am 
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my system is not yet all put together, but it's together enough to experiment with the drive suspension.

i ran the system with all fans unplugged, so the only source of noise was the raptor. i just powered the system on for a few seconds at a time, long enough for the platters to spin up to speed and for the initial burst of head seek activity. since i had to open the case, reconfigure the system, and then button up the case between trials, i had to rely on memory to compare the results of the trials, which meant only large differences could be detected reliably.

with the drive in the stock lian li plastic rails, there is a constant, unpleasant whine, like a vacuum cleaner, which appears to be leaking out the holes in the bottom of the case. there is also a very loud seek noise.

to establish a baseline, i placed the drive vertically in the motherboard area, sitting on a piece of sorbothane. the whine and the seek noise were substantially reduced, but not eliminated.

using the shoelace suspension, the seek noise is virtually eliminated. the whine is reduced, but is still perceptible.

i think i perceived better noise performance with the laces slightly loose, rather than cinched up very tightly. could have been my imagination.

in any case, i conclude that the shoelace suspension makes a definite contribution but still leaves room for improvement. it'd definitely be worth using, but i will keep an eye out for better solutions.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:19 am 
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thanks for the update. I'm definitely gonna have to try this myself; my seagate's driving me nuts.

Where did you get the offset screwdriver btw?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:47 am 
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Okay, I did the mod as well. More or less agree with everything Alpine says. My addition comments are as follows:-

1. Got an offset screwdriver from UK supplier http://www.tooled-up.com/searchresultba ... chButt.y=0
The 6mm one works but its better to get something small - 4mm or 5mm would be better. Ideally, you want something with a short depth, otherwise you'll have to remove the front fan.

2. Removed the plastic rails. Very easy to remove. Unscrew them, then push them forward and in slightly and then snap off. Fully reversible.

3. Removed metal pins. There are some small 2cm long metal curved pins left in the rack which provide some 'springiness' for the plastic rail. Removed them with screwdriver. Again, reversible.

4. Threaded Strechmagic 1.0mm around the HDD (1.8mm is better). The key here is pull the stretch magic very tight, otherwise, it tends to droop. Not convinced that its the best material - its still a bit too springy even when pulled tight and wouldn't hold the HDD in place if the PC was tossed around. I would hazard a guess than any stringing material would be okay - thick shoelaces would probably be fine.

5. Decoupling the drivers makes a big improvement to seek noises - the HDD simply stops rattling around the drive cage / against the plastic rails.

6. If you position the HDD level with the circular holes - cooling improves by 2C (no horizontal plastic rails to block airflow).

Problems I encountered were:-

7. Still can't figure out a way to remove the drive rails between the 2 HDD cages. On the V2000, there is a space of about 1cm to get a offset screwdriver in but I can't find a screwdriver with a head thats shallow enough. Not sure if there are any screwdrivers with a S shaped type bend in them so you can thread it through the circular hole on the side of the HDD rack to get at the screw head.

8. Without removing the 2nd lot of plastic rails, space is very tight on either side of the HDD. Not sure if the V2000 has a slightly narrower drive bay but there is only 1mm between the alu driver cage on one side and the plastic rail on the other side.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:55 am 
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today i noticed some cables positioned in a way that they may have gotten wedged between the drive and the case side panel. this may have skewed my test results by over-tightening the shoe laces or transmitting some sound to the case.

after tying these down, i find the shoe lace suspension to be as quiet as i remember the sorbothane. it's now comfortably within my noise tolerance.

i also tried just sitting the drive in the bottom of the drive bay on a piece of sorbothane, and this was no better than the shoe lace suspension, probably because it brings the drive very close to the bottom vents.

i think the only way to make further progress would be to go to a "silent drive" type enclosure or close off the bottom vents, where i think much of the noise is escaping.

at this point, the drive is quiet enough for me to declare victory and move on.

if anyone else experiments with this technique, please let us know what you find.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:00 am 
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sorry, i've had the offset screwdriver for years; don't remember where i got it. probably an auto parts store.

it's a very small ratchet-type device that takes interchangeable hex bits.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:31 pm 
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Thanks for the tips.

Picked up an offset ratchet from sears in the US; was quite surprised at their choices... they've got tons. I hear walmart's got some too but i'm not about to give my money to those bastards.

I used stretch magic 1.8mm and it holds pretty well. My results have been poor though. The seagate no longer rattles around the case but the seek noise is so bad that you can still hear it anyways. I guess I'll just hafta deal w/ it.

This is definitely one of the top mods for the v1000 series though! Highly recommended. thx again.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:13 am 
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i'm not familiar with stretchmagic, but 1.8mm might be a little too thick for good suspension. does the drive feel "loose" if you wiggle it around by hand? if it feels wedged in tightly, it may be transmiting more vibration to the drive cage than necessary.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:01 pm 
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I've tried various tensions but unfortunately they all yield the same results. Maybe i'll try a different material, like shoelaces...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:32 pm 
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It does sort of work, but you really need more space in the drive cage to take into account the amount of flexibility in the material. Get a small piece and stretch it as hard as you can to see if it breaks - I'll bet you'll be surprised ;) Loop around lots of strands around the same dimension / same level very very tight and then slip the HDD in by pulling up one strand, pulling down the next strand, puling up the next one and so on. Slip the drive in in between the up/down/up threads seems to work better for me because of the stretchiness of the material.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:01 pm 
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If you want to remove both drive rails, you can readily remove the entire drive cage for easy access to the screws that hold the rails on.

Working from the bottom of the case, chisel off the four rivet heads (they are aluminum so you can shear them off fairly easily). Reinstall the cage with a readily available "pop rivet" hand tool. That tool probably doesn't cost much more than an offset screwdriver, and has more case-modding uses. :) Or if all four holes are readily accessible, you could reinstall with machine screws and nuts.

(Disclaimer: I don't own one of these cases, but I have an older Lian Li case and temporarily removed a drive cage holder this way so that I could line the entire floor of the case with Dynamat, then riveted it back in.)


Or... rather than mounting the drive cage directly to the floor again, it would be interesting to try decoupling it from the floor by resting it on a couple strips of Sorbothane or something. You could also rotate the cage 90 degrees if that made for better airflow. And/or remove the second cage for the same reason.

In fact... if you decoupled the cage from the floor, I wonder if you'd need to mess around with suspending the drives at all? The normal rigid connection of drive->cage->case would be interrupted, and maybe that would be enough. Has anyone tried something like that?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 7:29 am 
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teedub wrote:
Working from the bottom of the case, chisel off the four rivet heads (they are aluminum so you can shear them off fairly easily).

Or if all four holes are readily accessible, you could reinstall with machine screws and nuts.



When you say 'shear' off the rivet heads, do you mean using a hammer and chisel to smash off the rivet heads? Did you place the chisel under the head before hammering - if so, how did you get it to fit (surely there's not any space for the chisel to fit?)

Do you have to shear off the heads on both sides or will shearing off one side will enable body of the rivet to fall through?

How did you manage to do this without damaging your case?

Finally, with using screws to replace the rivets, did you you try this and what screw / thread size did you use?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 8:27 am 
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I always drill rivets out with an appropriate size metal drill... for my peace of mind this usually involves removing things like the motherboard which makes it a little involved. But the end result is very clean: if done correctly, the only thing damaged are the rivets themselves. Then I just take smallish nuts/bots to reattach anything I want to. Still plan to do this on my case, just got to find the time.

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I: E5200 OC, Ninja II, Gigabyte P45, ATi HD4850 w/ S1, Raptor + Samsung disks in Quiet Drive, Enermax Modu82+ 425W, Lian Li V1000, 2x Nexus 120 PWM
II: A64 3000+, Ninja, DFI nForce3, headless, Samsung disks suspended, Enermax Pro82+ 385W, Antec 3000B padded & dampened, 2x Nexus 120 B&W


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 9:07 am 
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teejay, how is the "hum" and overall noise on this case. I am looking into purchasing a new case for a quite system, but I still want to keep a full tower. Reading the board it sounds like this case is good, but needs some upfront modifications, like cutting out the stamped exhaust holes in the back and in the front, for more unobstructed airflow, Appling sounds dampening material to the side panels, to the sides of the case, isolating or suspending the hard drive. Etc… I want my total system to be within 20-30aDb locked up. My current system in more like 40-50aDb


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:24 am 
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Without modding, the hum is definately there. I've heard a lot worse on other alu cases though. I think the layout has potential for excellent cooling @ low airflow (meaning low noise), but like most cases it needs some work. Right now my harddrives are by far the biggest noisemakers. I have not gotten around to suspending them and they drown out every other sound from the case. Of course they are Maxtors which are very low on the SPCR "this is a good drive" list, but it is something to consider.

With suspended drives, cut-out back fan grill and perhaps some sound dampening it can be very quiet case which looks absolutely stunning. Just remember it won't be quiet out-of-the-box and it will need more work than some steel cases. If you're prepared to do that you too can be/stay a happy SPCRer with this case.

_________________
I: E5200 OC, Ninja II, Gigabyte P45, ATi HD4850 w/ S1, Raptor + Samsung disks in Quiet Drive, Enermax Modu82+ 425W, Lian Li V1000, 2x Nexus 120 PWM
II: A64 3000+, Ninja, DFI nForce3, headless, Samsung disks suspended, Enermax Pro82+ 385W, Antec 3000B padded & dampened, 2x Nexus 120 B&W


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:39 am 
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Just a quick update w/ my V1000.

Since the Seagate seeking noise wasn't alleviated by drive suspension, I ended up selling the drive in favor of a samsung spinpoint. Thankfully, I got one w/ a nidec motor, and it has been absolutely silent. The Seagate it replaced was about as quiet as a freight train in comparison to this drive; I'm really happy I made the change. About the only noise the Samsung makes is a really low rumbling sound during seeks which is virtually inaudible when the case is closed.

I still retained my suspended setup, so I'm not sure how it would sound using the conventional mounting method.

mkruer,

After months of experimentation and light mods, I can say I'm completely satisfied w/ my V1000. To me, I can consider it totally silent, well, except for my PSU whining issue... :shock: I've yet to figure that one out.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 1:44 pm 
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Quote:
When you say 'shear' off the rivet heads, do you mean using a hammer and chisel to smash off the rivet heads? Did you place the chisel under the head before hammering - if so, how did you get it to fit (surely there's not any space for the chisel to fit?)

Do you have to shear off the heads on both sides or will shearing off one side will enable body of the rivet to fall through?

How did you manage to do this without damaging your case?

"Smash" is such a violent word, but, yes. :) You can sneak the chisel point under the edge of the rivet head, tap gently to work the chisel in until it's resting against the stem of the rivet, then smash away. The rivets are aluminum, so they aren't too tough.

Once you've sheared it off the other half of the rivet inside is easily removed if it hasn't removed itself. You might want to put a piece of tape over it ahead of time to prevent it from flying off and lodging its conductive bad self somewhere undesirable.

By the way, remove your hard drive first unless you want to test those claimed G-shock ratings.

Regarding case damage, any scrape marks will be on the bottom of the case on the raw aluminum, so are of little consequence. I just checked mine and apparently I managed to do it without any scrape marks.

Here I am threatening a rivet with my not-quite-ready-for-fine-carpentry chisel:

Image

You can also drill them out as mentioned, however you then have conductive aluminum shavings to contend with. Also aluminum is kind of an annoying metal to work with, and using a hand drill to drill out a rivet is likely to result in some jamming and pulling, so you'll probably end up damaging the case hole a bit. Scrapes or raggedy hole, your choice -- no real functional harm to the case either way.

Quote:
Finally, with using screws to replace the rivets, did you you try this and what screw / thread size did you use?


I didn't try this, but I'd just use the biggest that fit and the coarsest thread size available to help prevent the nuts from rotating off over time due to drive vibration.

If you don't think you'll be removing the cage much, I'd go with rivets. You can see two of them visible in the photo above, along with backup plates (little aluminum washers sold for use with rivets). As the name suggests, normally you put the backup plates on the reverse side if you're riveting fragile material, to provide a solid base for the rivet to compress against. But here I stuck them on the front side to lift the rivet head away from the case to make it easier to remove the rivets again in the future.

I think I've seen a cheap pop rivet tool and starter pack of rivets bundled together for around $10 at a home improvement store. I'm certain you could get all you need for less than $20, even if you had to buy it at Sears. The advantage over bolts is that they don't vibrate loose and you don't have to mess around trying to thread a nut in a confined space. You might find them useful in other case mods or fabrication as well. And they're fun to pop on there. :)

But... as I mentioned in my first post, you might not want to use either. I think it would be worth trying to soft-mount the entire cage, with or without the drives being suspended.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:51 pm 
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silencery wrote:
Just a quick update w/ my V1000.

Since the Seagate seeking noise wasn't alleviated by drive suspension, I ended up selling the drive in favor of a samsung spinpoint. Thankfully, I got one w/ a nidec motor, and it has been absolutely silent. The Seagate it replaced was about as quiet as a freight train in comparison to this drive; I'm really happy I made the change. About the only noise the Samsung makes is a really low rumbling sound during seeks which is virtually inaudible when the case is closed.

I still retained my suspended setup, so I'm not sure how it would sound using the conventional mounting method.

mkruer,

After months of experimentation and light mods, I can say I'm completely satisfied w/ my V1000. To me, I can consider it totally silent, well, except for my PSU whining issue... :shock: I've yet to figure that one out.


Yeah I am thinking about picking up the PC-V2000 version to appease the megalomaniac in me, and I am comfortably is doing some relatively minor modding (cutting holes, drilling etc…)

I have been reading that for the PC-V2000 reversing the air flow for the back fan front fans seems to cool the system down even more plus it seems to be a wee bit quieter, but more importantly I might be able to get away with a massive heat pipe, and use the back fan to blow over it, in essence I might be able to make the system with only 2 fan.

Somthing like this should work nicely
Image


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:01 pm 
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yup, I reversed my rear fan and its seem to have yielded positive results for me.

Right now, I'm down to 3 fans, front, rear, and HSF. I'm pretty happy with where I'm at right now.

That HS looks interesting. Be sure to check that it'll fit w/ your mobo and case though! I've got about 1-2mm of clearance w/ my current setup.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 9:11 pm 
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I just suspended my two hdd's and the vibrations must have been reduced by 95%. My suspension differs a little from the original method, because I used some wide shoelaces. Then, I just tied the shoelaces in a knot.

The only downside to what I did was the fact that the drives are not very secure. But I don't plan on moving my case around any time soon.

Overall, for what it's worth, this suspension idea is unbeatable.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 3:56 am 
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I would love to see a case manufacturer grab the bull by its horns and release a case where HDD screws are attached to rubber cords (or other material) allowing the HDDs to be decoupled but still enable the case to be transported easily.

Don't reckon it's outside the realms of possibility but neither is it likely to happen anytime soon!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 10:07 am 
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I think one problem holding them back is the fact that they'd be liable for not providing some sort of grounding for the HDD. Effectively, they'd have to decouple the disks AND be able to ground it (maybe we/ a separate wire or something).

Agreed, probably not gonna happen soon :o


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:12 am 
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I've just spent the last half hour suspending my 3 harddrives in a lianli 2100.

The hum-noiselevel goes down remarkably here too. Seeking noise goes down even more. This case is very decent for silencing, but the original drive brackets&screws system really held it back.

I removed the drive slider brackets on both sides. One with a right-angle screwdriver as the OP. The other just by using force. Indeed this way is not really reversible, but if i plan to move my case, i just use some of the drive brackets i left in. Actually, not much force needs to be applied. I just wedged a screwdriver in and twisted it off. Damage to the case is just a few small scratches, so no worries there.
I estimate a 5mm clearance on both sides of the drives. They rest on thin, round, not really stretchy, shoelace like material woven through the holes of the drive bay.

As claimed by someone before me in this thread, I too notice a ~2° drop in drive temperatures. Probably cause the drive rails were a bit airflow obstructive.

EDIT: I've just placed foam on top of the cords that carry my drives. Used the standard foam mats that come with motherboards. Drive temps did go up a bit with the foam but drive vibration has gone even lower. Since i'm hitting 44° with my hottest drive wich i'm perfectly comfortable with, i think i'm going to leave the foam.

Recommended mod!
Simon


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 5:28 pm 
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Nice article with various mods here:-

http://www.systemcooling.com/lianli_exos_mod-01.html

Best of all - lots of nice pictures (a couple below) :D

http://www.systemcooling.com/images/art ... image4.jpg
http://www.systemcooling.com/images/art ... mage15.jpg[/url]


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2005 6:18 pm 
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Oh wow, I love the removal of the back grill with the CD as a reference. I may have to do that, if it weren't so dangerously risque!


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