Low noise fan optional

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  • Updated 2 years ago
Hello,

I would like to know, if possible, technical specifications of 6300 cooler fan (size, rpm, nominal voltage, etc). I read several previous posts about this argument and, if I am not wrong, there are two small, constant speed fans, and only one in 6300 (two on 6500/6700), with variable speed.
Actually, the problem is not in the noise itself, but in the beat phenomenon it creates probably near to the other two fans. In my station there are no other fan noise sources and my pc is a really small and nearly silent Intel NUC I5.
For new Flex rigs a low noise fan optional could make sense: used in a rack installation, currently installed fans should be fine, but on our desktop shacks, the same fans could be a bit annoying.

73' Enzo
iw7dmh
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IW7DMH, Enzo

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Posted 5 years ago

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Dale KB5VE

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issue with the 3000 also. I did the mode to the fans recommended, Silentx I believe with the liquid bearing. quite yes but look at the cfm versis the two factory fans, less but I did not run rtty or digita so I went ahead and did it. no issues but if I was running the digital modes I would look for one with the same cfm.
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Steve N4LQ

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I did a little video on this. The exhaust fan makes a growling sound at low speed and sounds like a fighter jet at high speed. I forgot the size but watch out for CFM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he374Vy8QF0
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butch alline

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video not available ;-(
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Rob N4GA

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This is a good question. The FAN is unacceptable on the 6300 - it's louder than my Ten Tec Centurion...and that's keeping two 3500z's cool!

First thought was can I perforate the entire top of the case, like the sides, then slow down the fan to inaudible, or delete it altogether.

What's that fan keeping cool anyway? The main A/D chip?
(Edited)
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IW7DMH, Enzo

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Don't know exactly, but don't damage the case, at least remove it at all.
In the mean time I removed the standard big fan and installed a very low noise 80mm Noctua fan as you can see in the picture below.



But this solves only 1/3 of the problem.
The strongest noise came from the two little A/D chip fan covered by the metal shield as you can see in the picture below.



If you remove the cover you will void the warranty, so at the moment I stopped myself.
I am still annoied by the beat of the two small fan and I hope Flex gurus find a solution.

73' Enzo
iw7dmh
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Manuel - W4SSB

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Do you have the part number of the fan you used?
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IW7DMH, Enzo

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It is a Noctua NF-R8
http://www.hamradioweb.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=14584&stc=1&d=1434147510
I used it at the maximum speed of 1800 rpm.
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Steve N4LQ

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Be aware that the original fan in the 6300 provides 80 cfm airflow while this Noctua only provides 31 cfm. 
Low CFM is 99% of why these "quiet fans" are quiet. 
I have kicked the original fan up to full blast with long CW transmissions and believe me , it's as loud as any 1.5kw amplifier! That's why I installed it under the desk and put a "laptop pc cooler" under it. That eliminated most of the noise and fast RPM. 

Normally to get 80 cfm you would use a 140mm case fan but there wasn't room I suppose. This fan keeps the final amp cool and you better not downsize it. 73
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Installing a fan with a lower CFM rating will provide inadequate cooling for the PA and internal processors.

Also note that modifying the radio by replacing the fan may void your warranty.

From the FLEX-6300 Product Web page:

"This Limited Warranty as it pertains to the transceiver or radio components does not cover repair or damage caused by (1) misuse, negligence or user modifications; (2) any performance malfunctions involving non-FlexRadio accessory equipment; (3) connection to improper or unstable voltage supply; (4) improper execution of hardware calibration or test routines; (5) the incorrect installation of any and all cables connected to the radio by the user; (6) the use of third-party software applications or hardware that directly or indirectly controls radio functions and/or operating state by utilizing a communication or control protocol, such as, but not limited to CAT or I2C commands or (7) random acts of nature such as flood, fire, water, weather related storm, lightning or electrostatic discharge damage."

Caveat utilitor.
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IW7DMH, Enzo

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My previous link was wrong, sorry.
The model I installed is the NOCTUA RF-A8-FLX http://www.noctua.at/pdf/infosheets/noctua_nf_a8_flx_datasheet_en.pdf
I am using it without any adapters from about six months and I did many contests at full power for many hours.

@Steve: can you tell me where did you get the cfm parameter? I am curious to read also the db noisy level. Unless it doesn't make sense as the Flex 6300 is intended for rack usage only.

Edit: I looked at my notes and I find the old installed fan is an ADDA AD0812XB-A73GL. It has 57cfm and 42.5 db
(Edited)
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Steve N4LQ

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Enzo
The part number on the fan in my 6300 is San Ace 80 model 109p0812H704, Sanyo Denki
I looked it up months ago but can't find it now. My notes say it is rated for 80 CFM with a sound pressure level of 49 db. 
Noise at low speed, idle, is a rumbling metallic growl. At higher speeds it's as loud as my KPA-500. It's the loudest rig I've ever had and I've had many. The TenTec Omni, Paragon, Jupiter etc. had no fan at all. The K3 has 2 fans but they are very quiet. The TS-2000's fan is a bit annoying.
The 6500 has 2 large fans but they have never kicked up to higher speeds and are much easier on the ears than the 6300's single fan.  
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Joe, KQ1Q

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I don't see any 80x25mm fan on the Sanyo Denki web site that produces 80 CFM. There is one (9GA0812P4J001) that produces 73 CFM at 7,400 (!!) RPM, supposedly 48 dbA.

The 9GV0812P4K03 produces 74.8 CFM at 5,600 RPM, but 52 dbA.

It would be interesting to confirm the original 6300 cooling fan spec. Maybe there was a running change and some units have different fans? If it really is 80 CFM, I would be further disinclined to replace it with a fan moving 38% as much air.

As you said there is no magic quiet 80x25mm fan that produces 70-80 CFM. The Noctua fans are impressive but they aren't moving nearly that much air.

http://www.sanyo-denki.com/contents/product_information/san_ace/dc_cooling_fan/index.html

http://www.sanyodenki.com/archive/document/product/cooling/catalog_pdf/San_Ace_80GA25_E.pdf

http://www.sanyodenki.com/archive/document/product/cooling/catalog_pdf/San_Ace_80GV25_E.pdf
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Rob N4GA

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Enzo - thanks. Very helpful. Is that a 6300 or 6xxx?
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IW7DMH, Enzo

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An amazing 6300.
I love it :)
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Rob N4GA

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Wow, ok.  :)

Thanks
(Edited)
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Joe, KQ1Q

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To repeat, as Enzo said the 6300 original fan is an ADDA AD0812XB-A73GL, which delivers  57 CFM @ 4200 rpm and 42.5 db. I have used many Noctua fans in computers -- they are great fans but Noctua nor anybody else makes a quiet 80x25mm fan which delivers 57 CFM. 

Various suppliers have search tools for fans, e.g. NewEgg, but I don't think you'll find one (at any price) which meets the CFM spec and is quiet.  http://tinyurl.com/qz3t837

I have retrofitted quieter fans in power supplies and several VHF/UHF radios. However I either met the original spec, came close to it, or accepted the possible consequences. I would be very hesitant to try that on an expensive radio like the Flex 6000.

Another factor is the 6000-series fan is variable speed. I assume speed control is by PWM (or is it voltage?), so any replacement fan would have to be compatible with this and deliver required airflow at all fan control settings.

A few 80mm fans are thicker than 25mm and can deliver more airflow but there's no room in the 6000-series case for those. The only real solution is larger diameter, slower-turning fans, but there's no room in the current design. FRS cannot offer an extra-cost "quiet fan" option -- there is no available fan that meets the cooling spec and physical space.

They could re-evaluate the technical basis for the current cooling or redesign the internal heatsinks or redesign the chassis for larger fans, but all those are expensive, would require lots of testing, and would have to be prioritized relative to all other work items.

I actually don't find my 6300 that loud relative to the Elecraft KPA500 amp and several computers on my desk.

BTW Google can convert between cubic meters per hour and cubic feet per minute, just use the IN keyword, e.g: "59 cubic meters per hour IN cubic feet per minute"
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IW7DMH, Enzo

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Hello Joe,

I agree with you, and probably I will go back to the original fan, mostly because I didn't solve the whole noise issue.
But I have a question: why you, and others in the community, compare the Flex rigs to the KPA500?
KPA500 has a cooling system for a 500 Watt power system, while the 6300 is a "normal" 100 watt rig.
Have you ever compared it next to a K3 or a TS590?
Mine is nearly a 0 db noise ham shack: my computer is a Intel NUC i5 and I use fanless linear power supply. Quietness has a great value for me.
(Edited)
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Joe, KQ1Q

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Enzo, the reason for comparing to the KPA500 is it's on my desk and I use it 90% of the time. It doesn't help much to make the 6300 quieter if the KPA500 is the dominate noise source. The KPA500 isn't really loud by amp standards, but it's noticeable even at low fan speed.

Of course using an amp means the exciter is only used at lower power, which means the 6300 is relatively quieter. The intent is not to make an unfair comparison but to accept the real world operating configuration where the 6300 is less a contributor than the amp.

The same noise issue exists on the KPA500 or any similar device: how loud, what duty cycle, is it objectionable, what fan replacement options exist, does it affect the warranty, etc.

I also have a TS-590S; I'd say the 6300 may be a little louder but I haven't tested them closely.  People have reported when the TS-590S fans start cycling on and off it is very apparent, but in normal SSB phone use I never encountered that.

Comparisons are difficult because of the variable relationship between duty cycle and fan speed on different devices.
(Edited)
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Dan -- KC4GO

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The NOCTUA fans are very quiet and very reliable. I have change all my PC and other device fans to them (except the Flex 6500) I guess I'll wait until it's out of warranty. per Tim's advice above.. 
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Steve N4LQ

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I believe the specs I gave for the fan were for my KPA-500 so someone needs to pop the lid on a 6300 and let us know the model of the original fan. Sorry for that!
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AA0KM

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Not to Hijack this thread about the fan but will Peltier chips ever be used for cooling?

Completely silent.

I always wondered about these chips ever since they come out why not for transistor/finals cooling?

I am not an EE or such so be easy on me. lol.

73 Jeff

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_effect#Peltier_effect
(Edited)
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Doug Hall

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Jeff,
It does seem like a natural solution, doesn't it? The main problem with Peltier devices is that they aren't very efficient, and their efficiency drops as they are asked to remove more and more heat. They do OK for applications where the things they are cooling aren't actually generating any heat, ie. solid state refrigerator applications, but once you bolt one to a hot FPGA or CPU the efficiency goes down quickly. Furthermore they just transfer heat from one side of the junction to the other, so you'd still have to remove that heat somehow, presumably with a fan, otherwise there is no benefit.
They also require a fair amount of current. Like amps, not milliamps, so even on receive you'd need a lot of current.
73,
Doug K4DSP
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AA0KM

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Hello Doug thanks for your reply, Efficiency would be way down for a radio using more excessive

current using peltier vs heatsink and fan. Ok I get it.

Peltier being used in refrigerators and portable cooler`s was always neat stuff to me.

I was thinking maybe miniaturizations of those chips would someday work in this type application.

I`ll study some more on it. Always nice to learn new things.

73 Jeff 

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Jean Drolet

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