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PC Noise

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Caine Dreiling, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. Caine Dreiling

    Caine Dreiling Active Member

    Has anyone tried to put your DAW (PC) in a homemade refrigerator? I was thinking about buying a cheap 12/120v drink cooler, disassembling the "innards" and making a sealed pc cabinet. The entire project will cost less than $25, and I should have negligible amounts of noise. Will this work, :td:
     
  2. Phil Elmore

    Phil Elmore Guest

    When will you have time to defrost it?
     
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Actually it will work well. Good idea that many others have done.

    Don't forget to seal up the hole where you run your cords though (you had realized that you will have to put a hole in the refrigerator for the cords) Do this with DUCT SEAL, a commercial product for sealing holes, that will not harden and will stick to the wires and to the plastic pipe like glue until you need to remove it. My friend used two pieces of wood and some plastic pipe to put into the hole that he "carved" in the side of the fridge. The wood had holes with the outside diameter of the plastic pipe bored in them and the plastic pipe was glued to the boards and to the fridge. He painted them to match the color of the fridge. It worked great and he chose a black refrigerator so it looks like a piece of audio/computer equipment in the studio. The walls of the refrigerator will be two pieces of light gauge metal sandwiched over a core of fiber glass. You can use a hole saw on a drill for the cut out.

    Be real careful when working with the FREON refrigerant ( if you decide to take out the guts) as it can produce cold burns. It would probably be better to take the refrigerator to a commercial place that has the resources to "drain" the freon from the fridge before you take it apart. Freon is not OZONE friendly and it is illegal to release it into the atmosphere.

    College dorm room size refrigerators work well. Make sure your unit has a good seal on the door before purchasing it and also make sure your computer will fit inside of it as some refrigerators are not as deep as they seem on the outside due to the beverage holder or other holders in the door.

    You will also have to provide some air into and out of the unit for the computer to remain cool and not overheat. My friend put in two pieces of 1 " plastic tubing with right angles in them (like a periscope) for fresh air in and out on the back of the fridge. One high up for exhaust one low down for intake. (sound has problems going around right angles air does not)

    Hope this helps....
     
  4. Caine Dreiling

    Caine Dreiling Active Member

    Tom, Those are some great tips. I will keep you posted on my progress. If you, or anyone has any other ideas, I'd love to hear them.
    Thanks,
    Caine
     
  5. Why not just plug the fridge in?

    ;)
     
  6. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Active Member

    Why not just put the computer in the fridge! I have actually seen this in a pc magizine I was browsing through at Chapters once. Oh well......there goes the beer fridge! :c: Oops....that's what you guys are talking about. Seriously though, it has been done sucessfully although this would be way outside my ambitions. Good luck on the project and let us know how it works out!
     
  7. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Two reasons for NOT plugging the fridge in. (in case you were NOT joking <GRIN>)

    1. It would make noise which you are trying to eliminate but putting the computer into the fridge and

    2. The equipment, believe it or not, likes to be warm, not hot but certainly not cold. It is designed to work warm.

    There are commercial products on the market today that will isolate your computer and have built into them slow speed fans and ways of getting cabling in and out of the unit. The problem is that they are EXPENSIVE so the refrigerator is an cheap and easy solution. Disk drives, fans and other peripherals can make a lot of noise.

    We have a machine room that all of the equipment resides in and it makes a HUGE difference to your concentration and enables me to work for long hours without getting fatigued.

    Best of luck and do post some pix if you get this all done.
     
  8. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    I am of the opinion that treating the source of the noise is the best way to deal with this problem. You can replace your power supply, case fan, and processor fan with some of the best and most quiet products on the market for about $150, and you will have an under 25dB computer. Much better than a case that will cost you over $500.
     
  9. WDavidW

    WDavidW Guest

    :w: Hey, I've got the same noisy computer proble. In fact, (this might sound crazy) but if I'm sitting at my computer for any length of time and I am not using any audio, I will actually wear ear plugs. I can hear my computer from most places in my house. What kind of fans (brand names) would you reccomend and where to get them? I'm using a pc. Thanks.
     
  10. Caine Dreiling

    Caine Dreiling Active Member

    Hi All,
    After thoroughly considering this project and my perfectionist nature, I have decided to go the easy route and spend a little more money on quiet pc parts. After an investigation of the inside of my box, with my eyes and ears, the cpu cooler is generating 80% of the total noise. The chasis fan is completely variable and produces almost no noise, and the power supply is relatively quiet. I found a website called 3Dcool and purchased a Copperstream sk.478 cpu cooler and a tube of Artic Ice 5. The noise rating for the fan is 27.5 db, and I can live with that. As for the chasis fan (rear) and the power supply noise, I may build a right angle diverter out of fiberlgass (similar to a chimney) for the sound to play in until it dies. I am also going to apply some kind of cheap damping to all sides of the box. That should reduce vibrations and noise as well. The hdd's are Western Digital with 8mb cache and run very quiet. My contorl room is very close to a mechanical closet with 2 10 MILLION ton AC units (not really) and 3 power transformers, so I'm never going to have a noise floor of less than 40 to 45 db unless I build walls. So for now I can live with some aural discomfort.
    BTW, the guys at 3Dcool provied excellent advice and are very friendly. (I chose the old-fashioned land line way)
    Cheers,
    Caine
     
  11. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    WDavidW,

    Here is a very nice site I found that you are going to like: http://

    Happy hunting!
     
  12. WDavidW

    WDavidW Guest

    Thanks for the links! I opened my case and it seems like my cpu fan is the loudest, then my power supply. There's a realy loud high pitch anoying ringing nagging sound and I can't really find the source for that but i think it's the cpu fan. I checked out the links you gave me and it was very helpful. It looks like a Zauman and Nexus are the way to go. I'll probably be getting the fans almost immediately because I can't take the noise any longer. Thanks again!
     
  13. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    I've been looking at the Nexus NX-3500 power supply myself. Is that the one you're interested in? Please post back with a report after you get your fans.

    Good luck! :D
     
  14. Caine Dreiling

    Caine Dreiling Active Member

    WDavid,
    The annoying high pitch sound could be the hard drive(s).
    Caine
     
  15. WDavidW

    WDavidW Guest

    Hi Cain and David French-
    I went to a couple of local places today to see if I could pick up a couple of fans from them but they didn't carry the Zalmans or Nexus fans. One guy suggested to water cool the cpu but then you still have the issue of the pump sound. he said that you could put the pump in another room. I think that would probably be overkill since I'm not overclocking or anything like that. I don't know. He also said, just as you have suggested Caine, that it could be my hard drives too. I opened up the case again and stopped the fan for a second to listen and it did seem like the high hiss was still there. Now what? I'd love to put a hole in the wall and run cables into the other room and put the computer case in there but it's just not practical-my kitchen is on the other side. The refridgerator option that you mentioned is starting to seem like a good idea.
     
  16. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Wel, here's one solution . Another would be to buy a new harddrive of course. Before you try either, you should make absolutely sure that your harddrive is the culprit. As for water cooling.. i'm not an expert on this, but it has always seemed foolish to me to but water in a computer.
     
  17. WDavidW

    WDavidW Guest

    David French,
    I went to a local computer place-Microcenters today and picked up the Zalman 400A-APF power supply. I got a great deal on it. I haven't installed it yet so I can't comment on the sound. I also just ordered the Nexus AXP-3200 cpu fan from the web site you recommended. I should get it in a few days. I'll post again to let you know the results when I'm done.
     
  18. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    That's so cool :(
     
  19. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Active Member

    Also, and this is a hunch, do you have a fan on your videocard? I looked at someones machine that had a HIGH pitch sound to it and it turned out to be the videocard fan. Just a though, though I'm sure you have already checked this.

    My own personal system, with the quit fans, I can't even tell it's on sometimes. I've actually reached under and turned it off, thinking I was turning it on. Of course, the computer was not thrilled by this at all.
    :p:
     
  20. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    DezertDawg, which model fans do you have?
     

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