I Love Electricity

A/V Equipment Cooling System (OLD)

So, you have your nice new ReplayTV (or really, any other AV component) and it runs hot. There is no fan inside. You don’t want to open it because it will void the warranty. What’s the solution? A modified computer case slot fan!

What you will need:

1 computer case slot fan
1 9 or 12v DC 500ma wall transformer (read below)
Soldiering iron/gun and soldier
Heat shrink tubing/electrical tape
Foam pad larger than 10×4 inches
Hot glue gun and glue

As you can see, mine is a little ugly. It didn’t matter though because it can’t be seen. I have my fan facing to the left on top of my ReplayTV so that the hot air is sucked from the vents on top and exhausted towards the doorway of the room. Since it is so thin and exhausts towards any direction you want, it is a perfect solution to this problem.

Another view of my fan on top of my ReplayTV. It is not glued or taped down, but uses gravity to hold itself in place Smile If I ever move my ReplayTV, I can easily reposition it if necessary.

Now, you might be interested in doing this as well. It’s very easy. Go to a computer show or other computer shop and buy a slot fan. Sometimes they are called Squirrel cage fans. The first thing you want to do is pull off the metal slot cover. It obstructs air flow and we don’t want that. Next, cut a retangular hole in your foam pad the size of the vent holes on top of your ReplayTV. Proceed to take the cardboard and cut a hole for the fan to suck air through. Glue that to your foam pad, glue the fan onto the cardboard, and glue some paper around the inner edge to prevent air from coming through the foam. There ya have it; the foam keeps vibration away from that shiny new EXPENSIVE ReplayTV, makes sure all the air is sucked from the vents on top and not from around the edges of the fan, and keeps it from slipping off the top of the unit because it is tacky. This shroud design is more efficient than my previous version because air is sucked through all the vent holes on top of your ReplayTV. Easy enough, right?

Now the final challenge. You’ll need a 9-12v DC power source. I dug this one out of a box, but you can buy a 9-12v DC 500ma wall transformer at RadioShack. Use a 9 volt transformer for less noise and if you have a 1 drive ReplayTV or a 12v if you have two hard drives in your ReplayTV. Cut the computer connector off of the fan, and cut the connector off of the transformer. Now, use a digital multimeter to see which way the polarity is. Usually, the white striped wire is the positive. Once you know the polarity, soldier it to the fan. Either use heat shrink tubing like I did or electrical tape to insulate it. Tada! All done. Plug it in, and put it on top of your hot ReplayTV.

Now you could paint your new fan device black or silver to match your ReplayTV if it is visible. I’m going to spray paint mine someday and I’ll post a pic of it once I finally get around to it.