PC Isolation Box - ?

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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jonmatifa
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PC Isolation Box - ?

Post by jonmatifa » Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:55 pm

I think this might be my first post here... Anyway, I've browsed over this site, the articles, the forum, and have been implementing a lot of the concepts and my PC has been getting quieter, and quieter, but its not enough. I'm into recording, so the noise needs to go away entirely. The most preferable solution I think would be to stick it in my closet, but I don't really want to worry about it accumulating heat and stringing wires from my closet to my desk, if it can be avoided.

I think I've heard about someone doing something like this before, but I don't remember where I heard about it. Anyway, I thought about building an isolation box that I can stick the PC in and do away with the noise. Something that is obviously larger than the case itself that can fit under my desk and I can take the PC out of, put it back in, etc.

My questions are, where can I find more information about this type of project? Does anyone have any experience with something like this? Do you think it will work? How do I maintain airflow in such a case, while eliminating the noise?

qviri
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Post by qviri » Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:00 pm

If the heat is going to accumulate in a closet, it will accumulate much faster in a box if you don't provide any ventilation holes. As soon as you make a ventilation hole, you open a pathway for the noise to get out...

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:22 pm

where can I find more information about this type of project? Does anyone have any experience with something like this?
You've come to probably the best place to answer those questions. A lot of people have put their PC in a closet/desk/cupboard/room next door/etc.

What you could do is have the PC in the closet, and have a duct with a 120mm fan evacuating hot air out of the closet, but build acoustic baffles into the length of the duct to stop sound getting out. This is how car exhaust mufflers work.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:33 pm

I built & used one for a while but no longer feel the need -- my PCs are quiet enough without having to be further encased. There's a bunch of commercial sources -- and various DIY projects floating on the web, check SPCR's web links pages...

http://custom-consoles.com/isobox.php
http://www.makeitsimple.com/projects/ca ... ndex.shtml
http://www.acoustiproducts.com/en/acoustirack.asp
http://www.xrackpro.com/
http://norenproducts.com/Acoustilock/

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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Sun Feb 05, 2006 9:43 pm

I myself have considered this before becomming knowledgable about spcr'ing.

It really doesnt work. The only things that DO work are:

getting a processor that just simply runs cool. A dothan pentium, or a 1.8 ghz 90nm amd64.

Suspending a new hd, one off of the list here. Audio recordings and 2.5 drive speeds might not go hand in hand unless you pay for a good one.

phantom 350 psu, 2-3 undervolted 120mm Nexus fans, now your own breathing will be louder than it.

the case thing always heats up the computer more than anything. directly removing the heat off the electronic is key, if you have layers of dead air around layers of dead air (a case around a case) you will never figure out how to make it silent without doing something strange.

One way is to pump air conditioner air from another room into it and exhaust it with a large fan sucking out yards away. Was a consideration for me a while ago until I just built a system that was quiet. saved me lots of engineering.

jonmatifa
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Post by jonmatifa » Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:47 am

Why doesn't it work? It seems like it should more or less, at least be adaptable as yet another tool in the silent PC arsenal. Of course I wouldn't put an overclocked PC with multiple 80mm turbo-jet-powered fans into an isolation enclosure and expect it to be silent.

Anyway, what got me interested was this article,

http://www.ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html#noise

its fairly long, but specifically his solution on taming his PC noise inspired me into this discussion... which is rather simple; I was just thinking of taking that concept a little further.

Anyway, thanks to MikeC's links I've found a little bit of information as to what I've been looking for, it does however seem at this point there are a few more things I can do to my case, fans, etc to drop a few more dBs, and I'll probably focus on that for now.

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Post by mrzed » Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:25 pm

I think the first picture in that link is a perfect example of what to do: don't enclose the PC, but block direct line of sight to the mics. As you've found out, the experts generally agree that enclosing a PC is much more difficult than simply making a quiet one. Once you have a nice quiet PC through careful component choice and undervolting, placing sound absorbing panels in the line of sight to your recording equipment could go a long way to removing any residual noise.

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Post by Eunos » Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:26 pm

I do recording also. There was a time when my set-up involved a basic PC with no fans, Phantom 350 and a Zalman Reserator1 water cooling system. I mounted the Reserator under a desk and the case was also out of the line of sight. No cooling problems and I couldn't hear anything except the tiniest read/write noise from the hard drive when it was working hard (it was sitting on a piece of foam). No probs with cooling either!

jonmatifa
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Post by jonmatifa » Tue Feb 07, 2006 5:54 pm

So the phantom 350 works ok without any air movement in the case at all? Antec seems to highly recommend using the phantom with some sort of fan in the system.

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Post by MikeC » Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:09 pm

jonmatifa wrote:So the phantom 350 works ok without any air movement in the case at all? Antec seems to highly recommend using the phantom with some sort of fan in the system.
You have to understand that when external WC is used (as in Eunos's setup), the amount of heat in the system (case) drops tremendously. All the CPU heat (and generally, the VGA heat as well) is wicked out of the box to be cooled in the Reserator, so there's very little heat left in there. Convection and conduction then becomes adequate to keep the PSU cool enough.

len509
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Post by len509 » Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:55 pm

jonmatifa wrote:So the phantom 350 works ok without any air movement in the case at all? Antec seems to highly recommend using the phantom with some sort of fan in the system.
If you get a phantom or other fanless PSU, it is easy to build a 1 fan system. Check out the General Gallery forum, there's probably a dozen of them. You'll also be suprised of how little noise an undervolted 120mm Nexus or Yate Loon fan makes. And if you put your case away from your recording equipment, I bet you will find it hard to hear it.

GOATMAN!!!
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Post by GOATMAN!!! » Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:18 am

I've allways thought it would be cool to stick a zalman reserator outside/under my house, with the tubes coming in through the wall/window or whatever, and have quickrelease plugs on the wall and box so you could take it out to service etc.

Maybe you could do something like that.

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Post by ronrem » Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:43 pm

The wood/tile/insulation thing can work,you design your housing so there is a base that has an airflow chamber so you create 2" -3" gap under the computer and have a fan mounted on the floor of the computer case.
I'd use the 140 mm Aerocool,which gets nice flow at 1000 rpm.. With the bottom exhaust,the fan not being near any openings,you'd channel the heat/sound to the rear. The PSU can be floor mounted too,especially if it is a bottom fan type. You then can have some open or ducted intakes,mainly upper rear.

Put some carpet on the wall behind the open rear of the housing so soundwaves do not rebound. Don't make the housing too snug,and line it
indoor outdoor carpet would be adequate to reduce echo and resonance.

Be sure the metal case of the puter is isolated from the wooden case by some foam or ? pads. You likely want a front door if just enough to access Drives,burners,and the switchs.

Starting with quiet innards,say a Sempron Palermo and Ninja Spinpoint HD is a big plus.

My opinion on passive PSUs is the benefits are mainly if they can be mounted outside the case....while that's doable,it adds complications to the design.

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