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 Reducing noise from DC muffin fans by removing grill and using lower fan upply voltage
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 9:02:23 AM on 20 April 2016.
Wa2ise's avatar
 Location: Oradell, US
 Member since 2 April 2010
 Member #: 643
 Postcount: 760

For those of us wanting to cool routers, servers, switchboxes, radios and such, and not wanting fan noise:

Turns out much of the acoustic noise from muffin fans (the kind found in PC power supplies) comes from the fingerguard/ grill interacting with the fan blades. No, not physically touching, but it seems air turbulence from air being sucked through the grill beats against the fan blades.

First step to reducing fan noise is to run the fan off reduced supply voltage, like 7V feeding a 12V fan. Then remove the grill. Of course, you now have the hazard to your fingers, but if the fan is reasonably out of reach, and is small enough and wimpy enough to not hurt your fingers, you could get away doing this. Especially if the fan is mounted inside the equipment chassis, blowing on say the power transformer. I used stickers to remind me to not get too close with my fingers. : If you still want grills, try mounting them about 3cm from the fan blades.

Below I have such a fan setup cooling my router and ethernet switch. These are mounted at the ceiling in the basement, reasonably out of normal reach. Before they got rather warm, especially the power supplies. This is mounted above my brother's workbench, and he doesn't want to hear noisy fans. It's there because it's close to a chimney, where there is a chase I used to string ethernet cables all over the house.

Turns out you don't need that much of a breeze to get a decent amount of cooling

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