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 Post subject: Fan Isolators experience (good report)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2003 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 11:50 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Austin, TX
Hey

I bought a few sets of fan isolators from Silicon Acoustics, and installed them today. They are basically blue, rubber (?) screw-like things that you use to replace the screws hard-mounting your fans to your case. They're basically the same type of isolator that Dells have mounting their 92mm fans to the plastic shround covering the CPU heatsink.

Overall, I'd have to say that this is one of the best investments I made in keeping my computer quiet. They are a little pricey at $4.50 a set (4), but they allow me to run my fans at 12v (rather than 5v) with very little noise. Basically, the fans (Panaflo 80mm), at 12v, are as loud as they are when you hold them in your hand. To me, that is exceptionally quiet, and I'm thrilled that the airflow in my case has improved tremendously, without the increase in noise.

My system is in an aluminum case using 4 fans. 1 on top, 1 in back, and 2 in the front. The top fan is running at 5v, but the other 3 are all at 12v, and the system sounds just as it did with all fans running at 5v. (My case is a giant amplifier to anything hard-mounted to it. If you're having similar trouble, I really suggest trying these.)

-a


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 10:40 am 
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How do they work exactly? Do you screw them in or just push them?

Im sure if you went to the manfufacturer or something, these would be $0.15 each or something!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 11:07 am 
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Location: Austin, TX
You pull them through the case, and then through the fan mounting holes. It's incredibly difficult (aggravating) to install them in tight spaces. In my case, a Cooler Master ATC-111, the front two fans are aligned vertically, with very little clearance between the two fans. It took me almost 2 hours to complete the installation because of the lack of space and the required amount of "pull" to successfully mount them. But, this may not be a problem for most, for my rear fan only took 30 seconds to install.

Here's a closeup of what they look like:

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 11:15 am 
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Location: Austin, TX
For those who might have a similar problem pulling them through the fan holes in tight spaces, this is what I did:

I took fishing line and tied a knot around the knobby end of the isolator. Then, I melted the knot using a soldering iron. I then pulled the line through the case hole and the fan hole. I aligned the fan to the holes, and pulled (with a good deal of force) the isolators through, while pushing the fan against the case.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 11:28 am 
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Posts: 41
I have a Coolermaster 110, and I used those exact same fan mounts on the front fans.

I got a pair of angled needle-nose pliers from Radio Shack and was able to pop them in in about ten minutes. The angle allowed me to reach around the edge of the fan from the inside to get a grip on the isolators. A bit of pulling on the pliers, pushing on the fans, and they popped on no problem.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 11:54 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Tampere, Finland
I've been thinking about getting those, but since I live in europe, ordering from states is something I'd like to avoid due to large shippingcosts.

So does anyone know any place in Europe, preferably in Finland, that has these in their stock?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2002 9:04 am
Posts: 331
Location: Belgium
In Finland aye? I'll ask around, I know quite a lot of Finsk casemodders and such ;).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 2:50 pm 
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If somebody could find a general hardware shop (rather than a computer modding shop) which sells these things, I bet they would be cheaper than water. Like, £5 for 100 or something. Ive tried all the websites I have bookmarked to no avail though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 4:54 pm 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
They are made by a company called EAR -- listed in the SPCR web links. I doubt you would ever find them at anything like a hardware store; they are specially made just for this purpose. Yes, I do believe they are much cheaper than the retail price SA charges, but you don't have to buy thousands of them. I am guessing that the minimum order would be a small box maybe 5-10 lbs and this would easily run several thousand units. Even at 10 cents a pop (or whatever) wholesale, it would not be cheap.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2003 2:34 am 
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Location: Linköping, Sweden, EU
These are available in Sweden.

http://www.gtek.net/index.php?mode=item ... 1f7dd954c4

Should be quite similar to the blue ones mentioned above.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2003 12:08 pm 
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Location: Tampere, Finland
Thanks Jolt

My swedish is bit rusty due to a fact that I haven't had to use it anywhere for quite many years (my skills weren't good even in the start). Do you have any idea how much would be the shippingcosts to over here?

I got that part that says they are delivered in packs of four, but whats that lager 50+ st, that ain't beer :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2003 2:06 pm 
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Posts: 57
Okay, I found a UK based manufacturer who makes these things...

http://www.emcsolutionsltd.com/antivibration.html

"elastometric fan mounts" is the technical name. Im waiting on a quote. I suspect they will be dirt cheap though.

The manufacturer claims they reduce noise by upto 7dB (not dBA). Quite significant indeed. They also sell some HDD/CDROM mounting stuff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:14 pm 
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Posts: 137
Okay, I'm confused, how exactly do they make things quieter? Vibrational noise being dampened?


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 Post subject: Grommets
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 12:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 12:42 am
Posts: 86
I'm interested in this too. I wonder if these fan isolators are any better than rubber grommets or other methods of isolation?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 1:27 am 
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Quote:
how exactly do they make things quieter? Vibrational noise being dampened?

Try this simple experiment; take care not to cut yourself. Even slow spinning blades can get cut you. Me, anyway...

1) power up a fan that you can hold in your hand. Any fan you can hold, preferably not a super quiet one.

2) listen to it while holding it. Note the vibration you feel with your fingers.

3) note the increase in noise as you bring your hand over either side. You'll hear the noise increasing more on the INTAKE side.

4) now place the fan on a side on almost any desktop. Whether you hold it down tightly or looselyagainst the desk with your fingers, the noise will increase. This is because the vibration is being transmitted into the desktop, which is acting like a sound diaphram, much like a sounding board in musical insruments. That vibration was damped before by the flesh of your fingers and had no way of getting into the air as noise.

5) if you put a soft foam sponge between desk and fan and repeat 4), the noise increase may not occur at all.

6) if you use a wooden ruler to hold the fan against the foam on the desk, the noise may go up again, and you will feel the vibration in the ruler.

The elastomer grommets have about the best internal damping qualities to prevent vibrations from going through it, better than ordinary rubber. Probably not as good as live human flesh... :twisted: It allows for more effective mechanical decoupling from the PC case. I can hear the difference easily with faster noisier fans; the difference is more subtle with quieter fans, but still there. Against direct screw mounting, there's no doubt even at low voltage low speed fans.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 10:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2003 10:09 am
Posts: 57
Apparently Blu-Tack is a good ghetto equivelant. Just skip the screws and splodge a load of blu-tack through the screw holes. I suspect its a bit harder than specialist elastometric screws mind.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 11:36 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Hey, I like that blu tack idea. You could also try foam. Any soft foam would do. See here: http://forums.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=5728#4214

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 1:42 pm 
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Posts: 86
Is it easy to find elastomer grommets? I'm in Canada which makes it even harder to get such items.

I was about to order rubber grommets like these:

http://store.yahoo.com/directron/grommet.html

But if someone has an idea where to find the elastomer types I'd like to try them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 9:52 pm
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Location: United States, Mobile, AL
cant u buy rubber grommets at radioshack, or a hardware store, or hell even walmart? is there really a difference in rubber grommets? i would think you would be able to buy a big bag of them for a few dollars.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 10:04 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
another ghetto way of doing it is using RTV silicon to stick the fans to the mounts, using something to introduce a gap (I used some glue sticks) and then cover the gap round the fan with tape... very easy to do, I did it with my ThermalRight AX-7 and a Panaflow L1A, but it'd work for case cooling as well :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2003 4:59 am 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
korsch wrote:
Is it easy to find elastomer grommets? I'm in Canada which makes it even harder to get such items.

I was about to order rubber grommets like these:

http://store.yahoo.com/directron/grommet.html

But if someone has an idea where to find the elastomer types I'd like to try them.


Jeeze man - those are just rubber washers - you can get them anywere - like Canadian Tire.

If you want rubber grommets, Home Depot has some that are perfect for mounting fans.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2003 8:20 am 
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GamingGod wrote:
cant u buy rubber grommets at radioshack, or a hardware store, or hell even walmart? is there really a difference in rubber grommets? i would think you would be able to buy a big bag of them for a few dollars.

Depending on how soft the grommet is, you'll get good decouping or no decooupling at all. That's why I used foam - nice and soft so it doesn't transmit vibration at all. A previous posting says about the same thing: http://forums.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2114#1611

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2003 8:54 am 
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Location: United States, Mobile, AL
where do you get the foam?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2003 12:52 pm 
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GamingGod wrote:
where do you get the foam?


I got my foam at a local foamshop - http://www.foamshop.com. The kind I used was camera foam, but I'm sure you could get good results with the foam used for cleaning dishes. I'm sure some kid's bath toys are made of foam. Or the foam filters used on dirtbusters. Even some cardboard boxes come with a soft foam these days.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2003 1:38 pm 
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Posts: 43
Location: Denmark
You can buy theese types of rubberscrews in denmark too.
It seems to be the same type as the swedish ones - however they are cheaper (most hardware in denmark is cheaper than in sweden - germany and england seems to be even cheaper though)

http://studiedata.dk/product.asp?product=170&page=1

I read in the danish newsgroup for noisereduction dk.edb.hardware.stoej that people have had good results using theese to dampen vibration.
One guy used theese in his PSU and said it made a world of difference


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2003 2:02 pm 
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Posts: 57
The noise-reduction fan mounts certainly do make a DRAMATIC difference.

They more or less silence any fan, particularly usefull for your PSU from my experiments.

If you want to build a quiet PC, a very good step would be to buy enough of these for every single fan (theyre available for 60's and 40's too).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 9:18 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2002 2:21 am
Posts: 24
hi,

im trying to get hold of some of these isolators in the uk..
Does anyone know of a re-seller in the ok (not the manufacturer as previously posted)

-tri


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 1:27 pm 
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trifin, phone the manufacturer and ask for a reseller near you, theyll surely know one.


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 Post subject: Decoupled case fans on an Antec Mid-Tower
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 1:34 pm 
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Location: Akron, OH (The Rubber Capital)
I have a problem that I'm sure someone else has run into. How do you decouple your case fans when they are in t hose purple plastic brackets that come in Antec cases? My antec case doesn't have standard fan mounting holes, just square slots for the purple bracket. Has anyone mounted (or decoupled) a case fan in this circumstance?

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 Post subject: Re: Decoupled case fans on an Antec Mid-Tower
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 6:13 pm 
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miker wrote:
I have a problem that I'm sure someone else has run into. How do you decouple your case fans when they are in t hose purple plastic brackets that come in Antec cases? My antec case doesn't have standard fan mounting holes, just square slots for the purple bracket. Has anyone mounted (or decoupled) a case fan in this circumstance?


If you look at my article (http://www.silentpcreview.com/goto.php?t=s&id=66&a=1) you will see how I dealt with that problem.

I used soft camera foam to attach the fan to the case without using the purple bracket. You don't need camera foam - any soft foam will do.

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