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 Post subject: A quiet DIY PSU, built-in muffler finished pics.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 6:50 pm 
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So I'm trying to passive cool my P4 using the airflow from a Fortron PSU/120mm fan. I'm thinking of using a Zen heatsink, with some ductwork. One problem I see is the 120mm fan of the PSU is not in the optimal position in relationship to the heatsink. Ideally it should be directly above the CPU heatsink, particularly since the fins of the Zen will be oriented up/down.

So why not move the PSU further back into the case, say about 2"? This would line it up exactly with the Zen. Easy enough to do with this case.....I could construct a small duct to fill in the extra area. This might even quiet the PSU fan, since it would be further away from the exhaust opening.

It looks like it should work just fine. Anybody seen this done before? Looks like it would improve airflow over the CPU quite a bit, and could be used for better cooling in any number of setups.

FWIW....concerning the ability of a 120mm PSU fan to cool a ZEN/P4, a quote from the Zen documentation: "The NCU-1000 should only be installed in vertically oriented (tower) type system so that convection can be achieved (motherboard up and down, heat sink on its side).

Recommended configuration: Use the NCU-1000 with a 120 mm fan PSU. The exceptional cooling of the 120 mm fan makes it possible to assemble a virtually silent system with no other cooling fans required. The close proximity of the 120 mm fan intake provides sufficient cooling even under maximum load conditions."


Last edited by Bluefront on Wed Dec 24, 2003 2:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 10:41 pm 
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Instead of moving the PSU, wouldn't it be easier to just make a duct from the Zen to the PSU fan? This would improve cooling of the CPU, and surely would save you the time it'd take to move the PSU - if you weren't planning on not mounting it to the case again I assume you would have to make new screw holes for the new PSU position.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 3:04 am 
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ecto....I'm already planning a duct assembly to channel the airflow over the CPU heatsink. The problem is the offset between the PSU fan and the heatsink. In it's present location there would be a large offset angle, forcing the airflow through the heatsink to make an almost 90 bend at the top of the heatsink fins, a not-too-efficient flow path.

Uh, time is no consideration here. I'm trying to run the whole computer off this single PSU fan, so I have to use every possible method to optomize airflow. Also the easier the flow path, the slower the fan could run.

On this particular case the PSU sits on two rails, and is tightened to the case with the four screws. Well I am completely de-coupling the PSU from the case using these rails and some foam. There won't be any screws into the PSU anyway. It'll be a simple matter to move the PSU back on the rails until it's directly over the heatsink.

I'm considering constructing a muffler of sorts for the PSU output. The added space between the psu output and the rear of the case would make this muffler an easier build anyway. I think it'll work fine, but I wonder if it's been done before(the PSU re-location).


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 7:06 am 
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If anyone can build it bluefront can. Have you seen his mod pictures. Bluefront is the ducting king around here.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 11:38 am 
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Bluefront, aha. Didn't know the PSU and Zen would be so much offset.

Sure seems like a good idea to me. Haven't heard anyone think of this before. It's always like that - you think that "this is so logical. Someone's got to have thought about it before me?", but many times you can be the first.. maybe you are now Bluefront =)

Moving the PSU backwards might be a good idea even if you don't have a 120mm fan, just to get the rear 80mm further into the case and then dampen the extra space from the PSU to the back of the case. As long as performance doesn't drop it'll be worth a try. I might try it in my PC-60, as it too has these rails that the PSU rests on.

Let us know how it works out Bluefront (before/after temperatures/noise). Sorry if it seems silly to ask for this.. I guess that's what most people do here, try things, discuss and share results obtained, but I'm new so I don't know yet how most people go about when reporting results etc.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 12:23 pm 
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ecto....there probably won't be any "before temps", as I'm puting this computer together from scratch, with all new parts. Now most of the techniques I'll be using will have already been tried out by myself and others, but some of the things will be completely new (like this PSU mod) and the use of the Zen heatsink. I've also been working on a new air intake on the bottom of the case, using an auto air filter.

Well everybody around here has different posting habits when it comes to new ideas/info. I'll keep posting about any new ideas concerning this PSU mod in this thread. When it gets further along I'll post pictures. When the whole thing gets finished I might start a new thread in the picture gallery section concerning the whole project.....provided it's successful :wink: .


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 10:26 pm 
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Too bad we won't get any before temps. At least you get to build a new system, always fun :)

I'm also building a new system now, where I'm going to apply several of the tricks learned here. Actually haven't gotten around to doing more than installing AcoustiPack, as I don't have a digital camera and want to get some pics before continuing. I know I won't disassemble it all afterwards to get the pics. Gotta get that camera this week. Well, enough on that.

If I try the PSU mod, I'll also post it here.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 12:13 pm 
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I put up a few pictures of the prototype project. The PSU is moved 2 1/2" back into the case. You can see the beginning of the muffler channel, made out of wood. I expect to construct a shallow external muffler hanging off the back of the PSU opening....still under construction. Also note how the PSU fan lines up better with the heatsink (this is not the board I'm going to use). In it's normal position the airflow off the heatsink was not ideal.

The other pictures show the only intake, using an auto air filter. The hard drive will sit in this general location, cooled by the incoming airflow. I made this copper heatsink/bracket a while ago, but never used it. Similar designs of this setup work great.

Feel free to try any of these ideas....I sometimes feel the stuff I come up with is too complicated. Not. :lol:

final muffler photos


Last edited by Bluefront on Wed Dec 24, 2003 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:24 pm 
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One thing to consider...is that the ideal place for the power supply fan might actually be in the "original" location.

Assuming the bulk of the air-flow is coming from the lower front of the case, having the power supply fan "behind" the CPU might put the air flow path more directly over the CPU heat-sink. ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:55 pm 
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Joe...my idea is to use a Zen heatsink. When mounted the fins are up/down. When this setup is final, there will be a duct from the PSU fan, over the heatsink and the ram, with the NB heatsink below the Zen. So the airflow will be in a straight path to the 120mm fan, over the hot spots. In the original PSU position, this airflow path would have taken a sharp bend after leaving the top of the Zen. I think this is the ideal flow path....a straight shot to the PSU fan.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 10:37 pm 
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Bluefront, looking good so far. What are you going to use to dampen sound in the muffler channel, some kind of foam I guess? And I wonder why you would make the external part of the muffler more shallow than the internal? Don't know if I understand what you mean.

Btw, what is that black material your case is covered with? Looks neat, but hard. Is it effective (compared to AcoustiPack)? I guess it is, or you wouldn't have put it in there.. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:47 am 
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After the little muffler is finished, I'll dampen the inside with 4mm foam....sold under many brand names. I've made mufflers similar to this setup before, but the extra 2.5" will provide enough extra depth to make the thing shallower than previous versions.

That foam in the pictures is called Safety Mat, available in hardware stores in the USA.....I think you can get it in Europe. It's cheap here (eight 2'x2' pieces for $15 USD). It's 1/2" thick, soft, closed cell, stiff but flexable. It's not glued down...just wedges in place, so it's removable.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 8:23 pm 
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Bluefront wrote:
After the little muffler is finished, I'll dampen the inside with 4mm foam....sold under many brand names. I've made mufflers similar to this setup before, but the extra 2.5" will provide enough extra depth to make the thing shallower than previous versions.


Ah, by shallower you mean "not sticking out from the back of the case as long as previous versions"? I thought you meant shallower as in narrower, so the air would be forced through a narrower path when moving through the muffler.

What do you think you'll get away with, a couple of inches? Also, do you plan on making the muffler exit point downwards, upwards, or perhaps to the side? I thought on making one pointing to the right (as seen from the front of the case), as that wouldn't restrict airflow in any way, and that exit point would be the farthest away from my ears as my computer always is to the right of me. I reckon it'll be easier to hear the PSU fan if the exit is upwards, but I wonder if it would make any difference pointing it to the side or downwards. Tried it?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 2:59 am 
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I think pointing the exit downwards gives the quietest result, and avoids sound bouncing off a back wall....or resulting in back pressure problems. Of course if you have a hard wood floor, your result may vary. This muffler will be removable from the outside, so I can change it around if necessary, maybe trying different internal baffles. This will probably be the final mod to the case, and the most important.....since this will be the only air exit from the case.

I'm curious if other people would try this mod....having only one fan exit means you only have to deal with a single exhaust muffler. Total size is yet to be figured.

Here's a picture of a similar design (commercial version). This setup could be improved, made to look better, and custom fitted to your own case.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2003 2:51 pm 
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Well the muffler is finished....and really works well. I'm running the entire cooling system off the fortron PSU and temps only went up about 3C when this muffler was installed

It's made out of a center arm rest from a 2002 (I think) Altima. I cut off the bottom 1/3 of the thing, added some foam inside, and made two little brackets (riveted on), which attach the muffler using the top two side panel holes. The arm rest/muffler has a rubber cover which seals the thing well against the case.

The output of the fan is now pointed at the floor, and the carpet really quiets the whole thing. If you were using your rear case fan opening, you could point the muffler off to one side, rather than down. This armrest/muffler was an easy project....well worth the time.

muffler

In case you cannot see the AC cord to the PSU.....it's routed through the case, and comes out the bottom wooden air intake/filter duct. Eventually I'll get the whole thing posted with pics.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2003 9:49 pm 
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bluefront you are the man, love the muffler, even if you desecrated a nissan :(


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