June 28th, 2002, 04:44 PM
SCSI Drive Cooling in Limited Space Case
More info is always better right? Well, here's my story. I maintain a small peer-to-peer network for my church and migrated 4-4.3 GB 50 pin Compaq (Seagate Barracuda), 7200 rpm SCSI drives from a 486 DX2 66MHz compaq server to a 10 Bay Tower AT Case with 300 Watt Power Supply. New motherboard is an old ASUS TX 97 with AMD 300 MHz processor and 128 MB 66MHz SDRAM. Frequency is set to 75 MHz x 4.5 (i.e., running at 333 MHz). I had to short two of the processor pins just to allow for processors greater than 233 MHz. Well, the church wants Filet Mignon on a hamburger budget. Each of the Drives is 1.6" in height and the only way to fit them in the tower case allows for little cooling space (if any between the drives). I now have in order from the top of the tower in the 6-5.25" bays: SCSI CD-ROM, SCSI Tape Backup (Seagate Archive Python DDS-2), then the 4-1.6" Hard Drives (i.e., the top of the case is full of drives). Drives C & E have dual fan coolers with temp sensors pulling in air from the front of the drives. However, drive rails allow for little circulation. I added a blower to the bottom of the case in one of the PCI Slots and a front case fan sucking air from the outside into the bottom of the case. Temps for MoBo, CPU and Video card are great but, the cables and wires running from the bottom of the case to the drives at the top prevent circulation from the bottom to the top of the case. I added an additional fan attached to some vent holes at the back of the case just above the power supply. I have just replaced the boot drive for the second time and attribute drive failure to heat. I thank God I made regular backups. The length of time between drive replacements was approximately 4-5 months each. The computer is set to power down after 2 hours but is otherwise always left running (i.e., turned on). After replacing the boot drive last week I covered the other holes in the back of the case above the power supply thinking that the fan I added was simply sucking air from outside the case and blowing it around rather than venting the case. To change the drives I would likely have to replace the controller and drive(s) or use an IDE alternative. I don't have a great deal of money to spend on an alternative.
I may have increased the air flow in the top of this Tower Case to the extent that I won't have problems in the future (time will tell). Any suggestions to improve air flow or increase cooling are appreciated. Please respond also to email@example.com
Francis M. Fota
June 29th, 2002, 02:00 PM
Suggest that you practice with a Dremel and start installing additional chassis fans on the side...
"I know nothing."
June 29th, 2002, 07:43 PM
A Dremel Tool may sound like comic relief but is actually a really innovative and potentially useful suggestion. I've been more than willing to hack a hole in the back of an AT case to install a MoBo with PS2 connectors. . .
Considering I already have extra fans at the front and back of the case (I'm just not getting the air to where it's needed), how many fans do you suggest I add to the sides and where should I locate them?
For each fan, do you suggest one large hole or several small ones? Which way should the air flow?
If I install on both sides, I would think one fan sucks: the other blows?
With ventilation coming from front to back (however inadequate), I am concerned that the airflow from one or more of the cooling fans may cancel each other out.
Please also reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last edited by fota; June 29th, 2002 at 07:57 PM.
Francis M. Fota
July 1st, 2002, 09:40 AM
Having two 120 mm intake chassis fans on the side directly across from the drive bays should do the trick.
Not only would the 120 mm move more air,
It should create less noise as well.
"I know nothing."
July 1st, 2002, 05:19 PM
i have different versions of those same compaq drives and they CANT TAKE HEAT at all. if they can be mounted on their sides, then that's a start, but you need to move a lot of air to keep them cool. mine were mounted on their sides in 5.25" bays with dual mini-fans in front and they still failed from heat. luckily they worked ok once they cooled off.
with limited airspace between drives, you should be able to move air if you mount a large hi-flow fan in front of them mounted for suction. creating a vacuum in the small spaces between drives should create more efficient flow than forcing air into it.
it looks like there is enough cool air getting into the case; so with suction located in front of the drives, you are sure to make good use of it.
be extra special tidy and tie up the loose cables as neatly and out of the way as possible; it makes a huge difference.
July 1st, 2002, 05:35 PM
Drill a few holes in the bottom of the case and turn the drives on theri side. You likely can put at least two down there in front of the case fan. They sould not have any trouble running on their side. This will let you space out the other ones a bit and add a fan behind them blowing air around a bit.
I've also heard that SCSI cables are pretty long. Just make a small bock that sits next to the tower with the SCSI drives and a fan. You really do not have to be too picky. If you never move the system, then just zip tie them to a board and slap a house fan in front of it.
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