Fan Filter Recommendations and Any Chance of a Filter Retrofit Kit?

  • 6
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Answered
What are recommendations for Fan Filters and will there be a Filter-Kit?

Intending to put my radio into a rack, and have always preferred as a preventative to provide basic air filtering. Can also see field use being more secure with air filters.

Is there a recommendation for an air filter media and/or will a air filter retrofit kit be a possibility?

(You'd never imagine how much natural stuff wafts around at some of the Island sites I visit.)

73

Steve
K9ZW
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1318 Posts
  • 668 Reply Likes

Posted 6 years ago

  • 6
Photo of Greg - K5GJ

Greg - K5GJ, Elmer

  • 79 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
Official Response
Steve:
I asked Ken - K5UHF our packaging guru and he told me what you might expect: Filters also restrict airflow. Less air means more heat. More heat means the fans will eventually go to high speed. High speed means more noise... This is the reason that PCs have abandoned filters in general. It's better to just pop the top and blow the dust out once a year or so than to risk a clogged filter. The good news is that the radio will protect itself from overheating.

If you are going to use a filter, Ken suggested a washable static charge filter with a very open weave. Use small ty wraps and the honeycomb holes on the fan inputs to attach the filter.

Hope that helps some. 73, Greg - K5GJ
Photo of Norm S

Norm S

  • 64 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
If you go to Fry's electronics or most other vendors that sell PC cases, you will notice that almost all of them have incorporated filter systems.  Most of them have actually come a long way and are very easy to open up and remove the filters for cleaning.  All are reusable foam filters that can be washed in a sink, dried out and placed back into the front of the PC case.  Dust and dirt are hard on electronics.  When it is hidden inside the device, the user is unaware of it, or it is difficult to get to and the dirt doesn't get removed on a regular basis. 

The above by Greg makes me think that maybe we shouldn't have air filters on our cars or home air conditioners because we might not clean them often enough and there will be airflow restriction. 

So I'm with Steve.  I think there should be filters that can be attached to both sides of the 6000.  I have a very dusty environment here in Arizona and really don't want all of that junk getting sucked into the rig where it can be somewhat difficult to remove.   I was at Wall-mart a few weeks ago and came across a package of 1/4 inch course foam filter material that is used for air purifiers.  Price was only $2.99 for a 2 foot square piece of foam.  I got it home, cut a couple pieces for the Flex and used double backed tape to somewhat keep in it place.  A proper filter attachment would be much better.   The nice thing is that in just a week, I was starting to notice quite a bit of dust accumulating on the outside of the foam.  I took them off, cleaned them under the faucit and they are now back in place.  I also cut one out for the intake on my Elecraft KPA500 amplifier.  It just sits on top of the amp and I rinse it out as needed.  Keeps the rig and amp CLEAN.....  The nice thing is that the foam is black in color and visable every time I look at the rig or amp.  It is immediately obvious when I need to take them off and clean them.  I figure if the airflow was restricted, the fans would come on.  So far, I have not had enough air flow restriction to cause the fans to come on other than the low speed they normally run in during receive.   I like the idea that the inside of the rig and amp are being kept clean....

Norm - KL7RS

Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1318 Posts
  • 668 Reply Likes

I've opened up my Flex-6300 after doing a number of weekend portable operations and can see that some level of filtering would be a benefit.

Will do some fabrication in our metal shop here at work and see if externally adding some basic dust filters significantly raises operating temperatures.

73

Steve

K9ZW

Photo of Norm - W7CK

Norm - W7CK

  • 747 Posts
  • 154 Reply Likes
Velcro tape works fairly well.  It has to be replaced after washing the filters a few times.  Velcro is what I'm currently using.  Sometime in the future I'm going to try to use some sort of magnet system.  This would be much more convenient.  The case is made of steel after all.  A small frame with magnets to hold the filter is all we really need.
(Edited)
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1318 Posts
  • 668 Reply Likes

Had mother nature make a mess in my Island QTH shack.  Mice, and not the computer sort.  All trapped out now, but when they came in they chewed a box of tissues on the operating bench.

Little risk this time as the mess was big enough to see and clean prior to starting the gear up.  If I had I would have a Flex-6300 with a lot of fluff in it though. 

Have asked a supplier for some thinner samples of a permanent air filter material we professionally use and for data on air flow restriction, as I really should be prepared, especially if I am going to work remotely!

More as it develops.

73

Steve K9ZW

Photo of KC2QMA_John

KC2QMA_John

  • 604 Posts
  • 211 Reply Likes
Does anyone know the size of the fans on the 6500/6700?
Looks like 80MM? maybe 90MM?
Photo of Dan -- KC4GO

Dan -- KC4GO

  • 339 Posts
  • 68 Reply Likes
I have not had to replace fan(s) in my 6500, but if I did I would look for a Noctua fan (most can be found at Amazon). Very quiet and long lasting. Every time I need to replace a computer or cooling fan they are my choice. I'm sure that the fans in our Flex radios were chosen to a specific requirement so I would check with Flex for specifications.  The Noctua NF-A8 ULN Premium 80mm Fan is about $16.00 
Photo of Steve (N9SKM)

Steve (N9SKM)

  • 198 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
While i agree they are great fans and nice and quiet they tend to move less air for their size as well. Like you said people should keep an eye on the stock fan specs.

I have a laptop cooler fan under my 6500 to help cool the case, i have never had the fans kick on high yet and have run it in the same conditions that the 6300 ramped up.
Photo of KC2QMA_John

KC2QMA_John

  • 604 Posts
  • 211 Reply Likes
Yes Noctua fan are good. CFM & Amps are the most important spec.
I was just curious what the size was.

So is it 80MM?
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9153 Posts
  • 3496 Reply Likes
Just a reminder.  If you replace the fans with one that has a lower CFM rating than the stock fans or add filter material that restricts air flow, it will void your warranty.
Photo of KC2QMA_John

KC2QMA_John

  • 604 Posts
  • 211 Reply Likes
My fans work fine. I just want to know the SIZE only.  How many MM are they? 80,82,90MM?
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1318 Posts
  • 668 Reply Likes


This is a very good reminder. 

To be clear, until (and if) an engineered solution compatible with the original design airflow needs is developed, I am NOT recommending anyone add filter material or otherwise impede the designed airflow at this time.  Keep those vents clear, clean and open!

Once the engineering data and material samples requested arrive, I'll touch base with FRS in investigating if there is a warranty compatible solution. 

So as to not encourage anyone to cook their radio I'm considering this end-of-thread for now.  Always available by direct email (good at QRZ).

Thank you and 73

Steve K9ZW


Photo of David Warnberg

David Warnberg

  • 538 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
I filter the entire shack where the computer, power supplies, radios, everything resides.
 
Something like this
 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ANEPYO/ref=s9_zgift_hd_bw_b28iu_g201_i3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&a... 
or like this
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002KMILVG/ref=s9_top_hd_bw_b28iu_g121_i6?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&... 

works well on keeping down the dust, dirt, hair, lint, etc...

I have allergies so keeping the home air as clean as possible helps.

David
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1316 Posts
  • 668 Reply Likes

These are an excellent addition to a shack (and any living area).

While my Island QTH shack is in a fully climate, humidity and air purified space, the XYL leaving the doors to the space open for much of a weekend to move out gardening gear stored for the winter, perhaps coincidentally, is the demarcation after which I had mice. 

Since removing the mice I've seen no more sign and the live traps are empty. 

 I did make a friend in the process though - picture:

Afraid he cleaned up the no longer living mice I put out on a boulder and was after the ones I released from the live trap.  Usually they aren't so greedy once they have the white (bald) colorings. 

I am a bit concerned that when the Skyneedle goes up about protected birds, like the several nesting pairs of Eagles at the north edge of our land, will start thinking the work platform is a good shelf for a nest. 

73

Steve K9ZW

(Edited)
Photo of KC2QMA_John

KC2QMA_John

  • 604 Posts
  • 211 Reply Likes
Maybe I was not clear enough....

My fans work fine.

I just want to know the SIZE of the FAN only.
I just want to know the SIZE of the FAN only. 
I just want to know the SIZE of the FAN only. 
I just want to know the SIZE of the FAN only. 


How many MM are they? 80MM, 82MM Or 90MM?

That's All I Want To Know. 
Photo of Chris DL5NAM

Chris DL5NAM

  • 639 Posts
  • 138 Reply Likes
If you get now answer, use a screwdriver and check it - Sorry but what it help if you to know the mm but no further info like voltage, 3-pol or 4-pol, how many air ....
Photo of KC2QMA_John

KC2QMA_John

  • 604 Posts
  • 211 Reply Likes
I guess I will measure the fans next time I clean the dust out of the radio or just call flex. 
Photo of KC2QMA_John

KC2QMA_John

  • 604 Posts
  • 211 Reply Likes
The people in this group are so smart they could build a spaceship. But ask them the size of a fan and????
:) ;)
Photo of Chris DL5NAM

Chris DL5NAM

  • 637 Posts
  • 138 Reply Likes
Flex6700 Fan

SUNON
KD 1208 PHB 1
40 cfm ( 68 m3/h )     35dB ( like a vacuum cleaner :-((

3.000 rpm     3-pol connection

80 x 80 x 15mm -     2,5W
Photo of KC2QMA_John

KC2QMA_John

  • 604 Posts
  • 211 Reply Likes

Thank you Chris for the details!

WOW 40 CFM@2.5W ! And that’s X 2!

SUNON fans are very high quality and the fact that they run at reduced RPM most of the time at idle in our 6XXX's is why they should a last long time.

"When you get these baby's going it will sound like taking your flex in for a landing on runway 6500" ;)

Now with specs like these I'm sure a filter can be used, it just has to have the correct air flow characteristics. 

Some of us run our flex's 24/7 so for us dust control is even more important & having a spare back up fan or 2 is not a bad idea.

In the end you will still have to clean the dust from inside the radio but the correct filter will not only protect from larger debris from entering the case but reduce the frequency that you will have to open the radio for cleaning. And as always the amount of dust will depend on your environment.


SUNON

KD 1208 PHB 1

40 cfm ( 68 m3/h )  35dB 

3.000 rpm     3-pol connection

80 x 80 x 15mm -     2,5W
Photo of Ernest - W4EG

Ernest - W4EG

  • 607 Posts
  • 117 Reply Likes
Digi-Key has them priced at $12.10 each.
Photo of Chris DL5NAM

Chris DL5NAM

  • 637 Posts
  • 138 Reply Likes
I am not sure, was a year ago since i open the "black box". If i remember right there was 2 of them included (left and right side of cover, a tiny 3. fan as chip cooler is in a cage) and they generate over pressure inside of enclosure. Air blow out at backside but ventilation slots are small.
But i am not sure - many any others can confirm or check it again.
Will be nice if any found a spare fan without the sound of a vacuum cleaner :-)
Photo of KC2QMA_John

KC2QMA_John

  • 604 Posts
  • 211 Reply Likes

I'm sure the engineer's at flex Optimized the fan power curves for maximum efficiency, So as long as the replacement fan is the same spec as the original there will be no problems.

In the future if flex offers a filter kit they can adjust if necessary the fan curve code for that filter.
Photo of Chris DL5NAM

Chris DL5NAM

  • 637 Posts
  • 138 Reply Likes
I forgot (found my document) the small fan in cage:

ADDA
DC Brushless

AP 0512 HB-J96

6.600 rpm
9.5 CFM   33dB
3-pol

50x50x8mm

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.