Zalman 7000AlCu Decouple Mod

Cooling Processors quietly

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Joe DeFuria
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Zalman 7000AlCu Decouple Mod

Post by Joe DeFuria » Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:50 am

In the spirit of this thread..., I have my own mod to decouple the Zalman fan from the heat-sink. I wanted something that was:

1) Relatively cheap
2) No specialized skill
3) Easily "undone."

Note that I performed this mod before mounting the cooler to CPU, so I don't have any before and after analysis to give you. I can say that with the mod, I am not experiencing any of the vibration / noise issues that some others have been experiencing with the stock fan.

Materials I used:
1/4" Sorbothane, 40 ODO
1/8" Sorbothane, 40 ODO
2, 1/2" #2 self-tapping sheet metal screws
2 washers

Image

The "small" screws in the picture are the original fan screws that come with the cooler, they are replaced with longer ones for reasons which will be obvious. For those that don't know, the metal bracket next to the fan is the mounting bracket.

First, I cut the 1/4" sorbothane (which will sit between the fan and the bracket) into stips that match the bracket. I could have just cut one large "square", but I wanted to keep airflow as close to the original design as possible, to minimize any chance of a negative impact on air flow. I also cut two "ghetto washers" out of the 1/8" sorbothane, which will be used to decouple the srew head from the metal bracket:

Image

In order to "push" the screws through the sorbothane, I found it helps to poke a pilot hole completely though the sorbothane with a pin first. Here you can see the screw+metal washer+sorbothane "washer" assembly:

Image

Now just remount the fan using the screw assembly, though the bracket and sorbothane, and self-tapped into the fan:

Image

Image

And that's all she wrote!

JimK
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Post by JimK » Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:00 pm

VERY Nice. And much closer to my skill level, no sheet metal fabrication here! Thanks, please keep us informed when the project all comes together.

PretzelB
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Post by PretzelB » Fri Feb 13, 2004 4:52 am

Very interesting. Good job.
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sven
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Post by sven » Fri Feb 13, 2004 11:49 am

Nice Job 8)

My mod only covers point 1 and 3 - cheap and easyly undone.
Yours is the fast and easy way.

But one question i have. Are the fan screws touching the metal bracket or are they fully decoupled (bigger hole than original, ..?) :?:

Joe DeFuria
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Post by Joe DeFuria » Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:42 pm

sven wrote:But one question i have. Are the fan screws touching the metal bracket or are they fully decoupled (bigger hole than original, ..?) :?:
Good point....I did not drill out the holes any bigger...but the screws aren't "threaded" through the bracket in the first place. (They just slip through the holes).

Mine is faster and easier...but yours is cooler. 8)

clive
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Location: Sydney Australia

Post by clive » Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:00 pm

I decided to try and quiet my 7000 AlCu and being lazy I drilled out the fan mount holes in the bracket slightly and put in rubber grommets so that the fan assembly is decoupled and clear of the bracket. It is about 1-1.5mm higher than the bracket.

It is now significantly quieter and only took me about 10 minutes to do - the hardest part was getting the grommets into the holes, also used a slightly larger self tapper to hold it together

Sort of makes you ask why Zalman did not do something like this in the first place?

clive
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Post by clive » Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:01 pm

I decided to try and quiet my 7000 AlCu and being lazy I drilled out the fan mount holes in the bracket slightly and put in rubber grommets so that the fan assembly is decoupled and clear of the bracket. It is about 1-1.5mm higher than the bracket.

It is now significantly quieter and only took me about 10 minutes to do - the hardest part was getting the grommets into the holes, also used a slightly larger self tapper to hold it together

Sort of makes you ask why Zalman did not do something like this in the first place?

ChrisH
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Post by ChrisH » Wed Feb 25, 2004 7:38 am

What size grommets did you use? How big are the new holes?

clive
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Post by clive » Wed Feb 25, 2004 2:32 pm

ChrisH wrote:What size grommets did you use? How big are the new holes?
Very small ones - they are from a servo from model RC gear.

travanx
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Post by travanx » Tue Mar 02, 2004 7:21 am

So does this make that big of a difference, anyone try a before and after? I think I am going to try this. Where did you get that Sorbothane from?

dukla2000
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Post by dukla2000 » Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:56 am

Another variation on the theme is at SilentHardware/Dirkvader forums. (The second post is an English version of the first one.)
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aphonos
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Post by aphonos » Tue Mar 02, 2004 11:01 am

dukla2000 wrote:Another variation on the theme is at SilentHardware/Dirkvader forums. (The second post is an English version of the first one.)
The link Joe DeFuria put in the first post goes to sven's SPCR post linking to his very same Dirkvader post. So, I guess your link is just one fewer steps. FWIW. 8)

travanx
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Post by travanx » Tue Mar 02, 2004 11:57 am

Yeah but that one you have to cut metal. I like this way much better. BTW I should get that sorbothane from McMaster on Thursday. So I will let you guys know my before and after results with this method. I am also hoping to use that stuff on my hard drive rails as well.

halcyon
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Post by halcyon » Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:49 pm

I also recommend this mod. I tried it myself with material available to me (no Sorbothane here).

I decoupled the fan from the bracket with some neoprene fabric and grommets.

Then I decoupled the bracket from the heatsink base with neoprene again and the bracket screws with grommets.

Very easy to do mod and reduced vibration based noises audibly (at least on my unit).

Thanks for the tip!

halcyon
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Post by halcyon » Mon Mar 22, 2004 5:41 am

Another more elaborate Zalman CNPS-7000 decoupling mod (with images):

http://www.silenthardware.de/forum/inde ... topic=2309

mr_pickles
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Post by mr_pickles » Tue May 11, 2004 8:35 pm

Reviving an old thread here but I just tried this mod tonight and I'm very happy with it. Maybe it's my imagination but my 7000-AlCu seems much quieter now. And the great thing about it was that it was very easy to do (no special tools or skills). The only problem for me was tracking down the materials (none of the hardware stores around me had any screws smaller than #6) but found everything I needed at McMaster.

Many thanks to you, Joe, for coming up with this.

I still have plenty of Sorbothane left so I'm trying to figure out other ways I can apply it to components in my machine.

Pigpen
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Post by Pigpen » Sun May 16, 2004 12:26 am

clive, thanks for the idea. :)
I had forgotten about all that RC stuff i had.

Pigpen
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Post by Pigpen » Sun May 16, 2004 12:33 am

clive, thanks for the idea. :)
I had forgotten about all that RC stuff i had.

intx
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Post by intx » Sat May 29, 2004 7:44 pm

here's an idea. from a cheapskate after buying some washers, decided they suck.

Use rubberbands! :lol: Not the real small kind but the thick ones that are usually wrapped around green veggies (like broccoli).

Someone do this and take pics! :roll:

Bistro
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Post by Bistro » Sat Jun 05, 2004 7:55 pm

Did this mod today (with some slight variations) and it worked like a charm. Thanks for posting this one, Joe!

Couldn't find #2 self-tapping sheet metal screws anywhere, so I used #3 regular ones and just reversed the direction, then used #3 hex nuts to tighten them---put a small droplet of Locktite on the hex nut to keep vibrations from working them loose. Used rubber mini-washers. The mod works great!

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