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srey

Cooling setup for AVR

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Hey guys, looking for any experience you lot might have when it comes to keeping your receivers running at a reasonable temp when space is limited.

 

I'm running a Denon 4520 now which fits in my entertainment unit, but doesn't have much in the way of breathing room (see attached pic). Clearnce is:

Top - 80mm

Sides - 25-30mm

Rear - 200mm to back wall, 80mm between rear of entertainment unit and wall

Unfortunately, as we're in a pretty small apartment, space is limited and that isn't going to change anytime soon.

 

Obviously the unit it going to get pretty warm in there, and whilst it hasn't been as  big an issue in the cooler weather, on a mid/low 20° day, after driving it pretty hard for a couple of hours, the air in the top of the case is pushing over 33°C so I really want to do something to pull those temps back down.

At the moment I'm looking mostly at ready to go solutions, I don't mind a bit of DIY, but being in an apartment now I've had to give up workspace and most of my tools. :(

I've seen people recommend running laptop coolers, but what I'm leaning towards at the moment is a setup from AC infinity. Specifically a Aircom T8 to deal with the AVR, with a few of their seperate 120mm fans run off that unit to help with some of the other components in the cabinet.

It'll be a bit exxy at ~$225 for the T8 and 3 other fans shipped from Amazon, but having had an old Onkyo do the HDMI death from too much heat I'm ready to spend a bit to avoid that.

 

Does anyone have any experience with the AC Infinity stuff, or any suggestions on what I should be looking at instead?

 

Shayne.

ReceiverClearance.jpg

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I've used a cooling setup on some previous gear for years. i use a turkey temp probe for checking and if too far over ambient I tend to think a good thing to be using some forced cooling and especially in case of aVRS which have so much stuff built in and typically with more channels being squashed in with even more compromised internal heatsinks and such slowly cooking them from insides wiht the heat building up. what helps i think is just assisting natural convection. i.e. drawing cooler air from below and sucking heat out the top

 

I use the noctua nf-s12 or pfs12 silent pc fans and they are 120mm and generally need one/two sitting on their rubber feet on the top grill sucking hot air out. can get from likes of pccasegear and will sell all bits needed to power off avr (either switched power outlet or usb)

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My Consonance Ref 7 sits atop my Marantz 8801 and a meat thermometer placed on top of the Marantz in the middle tells me it regularly sits at 39 degrees.  I'm not too fussed, if it was 50 I'd install some fans.  I wouldn't have thought 33 degrees was an issue???

Edited by Kaynin

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28 minutes ago, :) al said:

I've used a cooling setup on some previous gear for years. i use a turkey temp probe for checking and if too far over ambient I tend to think a good thing to be using some forced cooling and especially in case of aVRS which have so much stuff built in and typically with more channels being squashed in with even more compromised internal heatsinks and such slowly cooking them from insides wiht the heat building up. what helps i think is just assisting natural convection. i.e. drawing cooler air from below and sucking heat out the top

 

I use the noctua nf-s12 or pfs12 silent pc fans and they are 120mm and generally need one/two sitting on their rubber feet on the top grill sucking hot air out. can get from likes of pccasegear and will sell all bits needed to power off avr (either switched power outlet or usb)

Thanks Al, this was the other option I was thinking of; I've always had a good run with Noctua fans in my PC builds.

That said, I don't like the idea of running the 12V fans off USB as I doubt they'll hit the RPM they should, so I was thinking along the lines of a 12V power adapter to run something like a 5.25" bay fan controller that could control the fans. In a perfect world it would be a controller with it's own temp probe, and able to run externally without PC software control, but I don't like the chance of finding that.

 

Which leaves me with 2 real issues: how do I make it so that the fans only run when the receiver is on, rather than 24/7, and is the 80mm clearance I have above the receiver room for the fans to exhaust air straight up, rather than blowing it out the back like the AC Infinity block?

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1 minute ago, srey said:

Thanks Al, this was the other option I was thinking of; I've always had a good run with Noctua fans in my PC builds.

That said, I don't like the idea of running the 12V fans off USB as I doubt they'll hit the RPM they should, so I was thinking along the lines of a 12V power adapter to run something like a 5.25" bay fan controller that could control the fans. In a perfect world it would be a controller with it's own temp probe, and able to run externally without PC software control, but I don't like the chance of finding that.

 

Which leaves me with 2 real issues: how do I make it so that the fans only run when the receiver is on, rather than 24/7, and is the 80mm clearance I have above the receiver room for the fans to exhaust air straight up, rather than blowing it out the back like the AC Infinity block?

what will find is the noctuas come with inbuilt fan speed leads. so have some options. the other is simply use any 12V power supply again pc case gear will sell you this. i just used the switched output on avrs I've had previously but yeah likely they dont do that any more !  you can also use a switched power board e.g. likes of master slave units jay car sells.

 

one thing i will tell you dont buy one of those lap top fan cooler things they are noisy as heck

 

the noctuas are truly silent and yes 80 mm is find the fans from memory are 20-25mm thick with legs 5 mm that still leaves decent amount of space above to blow air out :)

 

i dont think you need some sort of smart controller and all that ! 

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There are a few options.

  • I note the product that you refer to has several models with the cheapest starting at US$46 - IMO a good price for a good looking solution with temp control.
  • I use a quiet laptop cooling fan connected to a usb output - either front of AVR (not nice) my blu ray player or my TV (this has been working for more than 5 years)
  • Would be great if your AVR had a usb port at the back.
  • Master/slave extension boards can work
  • You can build your own with relays, thermostats etc. The problem is the total cost.
  • Bunnings sells an Arlec remote controlled power supply for $18 - just plug your usb charger and fan into that and switch the fan on via remote control.

 

I dont think it matters that much where the air blows to or from - e.g sideways, front to back or up and down - you just have to have airflow.

 

@darren69 has built a system based on posts here based on temp.

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Thanks all for the input.

 

The 4520 does have a rear USB port, but it's only rated at 1amp and from what I've found so far most notebook coolers don't push a lot of air (~135m^3/h), and they do seem to push as well, rather than pull from the contact face which is what I think I need.

Seems the best option is either a pre-made solution like the AC Infinity setup, or something I rig up myself with a 12V power supply, some kind of remote switching power outlet and some quality PC fans.

 

For anyone who cares, here's how I think things stackup from what I've found so far:

 

AC Infinity T8/9:

- 270 m^3/h (rear exit T8)  350m^3/h (top exit T9)

- 24 / 21 db (T8/9)

- Temperature based fan speed control

- Unsure as yet if it can be set to completely shut off when the AVR is off

- Can control other fans, but only from AC Infinity's range I believe

- Looks pretty schmick

- ~$170 shipped from amazon

 

DIY setup:

- 12V 2.5A power supply from ebay + 3 x Noctua 120mm FLX fans + remote switching power outlet

- 320m^3/h (combined - top exit)

- 17.8db (each fan)

- Hoping to find a nice IR remote controlled power outlet that I could program to turn on with the Harmony remote I use, no joy yet though.

- Should be easy enough to add additional fans as required, since the Noctua's don't draw much current.

- Not schmick looking (really Noctua, I get that the tan and brown is part of your identity now but seriously, this stuff is gonna be visible from the lounge!)

- Could potentially add a PC fan controller later to get temp based control, but likely to push the price up another ~$50.

- $25 + $90 +$?? for a IR switching power adapter

 

Ultimately I'd probably like to have the AVR cooler plus 1 or 2 always-on fans for the other compartments in the cabinet. I'll have a dig around tomorrow since I'm pretty sure I've got some spare PC fans kicking around, and I might get the power supply and run those as a test initially to see how much effect they have. If I end up deciding to go with the AC Infinity anyway I'll just move them to the other compartments and nothing wasted.

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7 minutes ago, srey said:

Not schmick looking (really Noctua, I get that the tan and brown is part of your identity now but seriously, this stuff is gonna be visible from the lounge!)

I fixed that easily. spotlight sell self adhesive black felt. cut appropriate size, run around the outside of the fan housing. from more than a meter away wont even realise its there :)

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19 hours ago, :) al said:

I've used a cooling setup on some previous gear for years. i use a turkey temp probe for checking and if too far over ambient I tend to think a good thing to be using some forced cooling and especially in case of aVRS which have so much stuff built in and typically with more channels being squashed in with even more compromised internal heatsinks and such slowly cooking them from insides wiht the heat building up. what helps i think is just assisting natural convection. i.e. drawing cooler air from below and sucking heat out the top

 

I use the noctua nf-s12 or pfs12 silent pc fans and they are 120mm and generally need one/two sitting on their rubber feet on the top grill sucking hot air out. can get from likes of pccasegear and will sell all bits needed to power off avr (either switched power outlet or usb)

 

Sorry to the OP for going OT - How does this work?  If the unit has a USB will it have power when the unit is on, or does it have to be "selected" as an input? 

 

I have a Marantz 8801 with iPod/memory stick USB at the rear, does it power on only when it's selected as an input?  I also have a USB at the rear of my Consonance Ref 7.  The Ref 7 generates heat, but not the 8801, so thinking of running a fan from the Ref 7 but not sure if it will power it...

 

I tested my Ref 7 at the top of the unit with a meat thermo and it registered 48 degrees, so will definitely go with a fan somehow...

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2 minutes ago, Kaynin said:

 

Sorry to the OP for going OT - How does this work?  If the unit has a USB will it have power when the unit is on, or does it have to be "selected" as an input? 

 

I have a Marantz 8801 with iPod/memory stick USB at the rear, does it power on only when it's selected as an input?  I also have a USB at the rear of my Consonance Ref 7.  The Ref 7 generates heat, but not the 8801, so thinking of running a fan from the Ref 7 but not sure if it will power it...

 

I tested my Ref 7 at the top of the unit with a meat thermo and it registered 48 degrees, so will definitely go with a fan somehow...

hi kaynin, I found it to only power on with unit. i only tried it with  one particular lap top cooler fan thing from jaycar. it was very effective in cooling but its sitting in the garage now collecting dust as was WAY too noisy !  this was with a denon avr some years ago. no idea on marantz on consonance.

 

 

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By chance is the cabinet  well vented at the rear?

If not you could try cutting a big hole?

 Or If your AVR has a 240 volt output built in on the rear you could add one or two puter fans to the rear of the cabinet powered by the AVRs AC out via a 12v walwart.

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8 minutes ago, Pops110 said:

I have just the one of these on top of my Denon, works a treat. Keeps it nice and cool.

https://www.ebay.com.au/i/252356033602

 

Cheers Dave 

 

that looks like a great unit ! 

 

and in the picture they have there to the left sitting on top is how i used the noctua. benefit of this unit is it comes with usb port , speed controller and can be daisy chained ! cant ask for more ! 

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 10.04.14 am.png

 

one is likely plenty, i would be wary of daisy chaining too many vs load on the usb port :)

 

one brand to stay away from is antec. I found their fan to cause some sort of EM/EI type interference causing drop outs. with a set top box i had at the time. it was greatly intermittent too ! so took a while to hunt down. soon as i pulled out the antec gone ....

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@:) al any links to a good Australian sold usb fan?

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I should have looked at the picture in more detail.
In any cabinet IMHO you have to have as much airflow as possible. I make as big holes as possible at the back - make connections of cables a lot of easier.
I even went further and drilled holes in the shelves.
IME the USB ports only work when item is switched on. USB fan will only run then.

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2 hours ago, Sime said:

@:) al any links to a good Australian sold usb fan?

sorry i bummed out on that one as mentioned. at time i was looking but was some years ago. have no doubt much better options now. all the computer parts stores e.g. pccasegear MSI scorptec etc  should all have something. jay car office works are good for return policy if trying to find something that works. main issue is some of these things will either be ineffective or too noisy so matter of finding  something that absolutely suits :)

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24 minutes ago, Jventer said:


In any cabinet IMHO you have to have as much airflow as possible. I make as big holes as possible at the back - make connections of cables a lot of easier.
 

 

Yep, I had a cabinet custom built and requested no backing boards at all for easier access and better airflow.  It's the stacking of equipment, for me, that presents an issue.

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1 hour ago, Kaynin said:

 

Yep, I had a cabinet custom built and requested no backing boards at all for easier access and better airflow.  It's the stacking of equipment, for me, that presents an issue.

want to avoid stating or if stack. stack hottest component above. i.e. hot air rises. so dont want something hot below and heat rising through everything else. so power amp above pre rather than pre amp over power amp :)

 

things like source gear i.e. disc players pre amps etc dont tend to run hot as such. things like power amps avrs etc do. so want to avoid stacking over an avr.

 

what have done is put shelves in where needed to provide a physical barrier between if have to have an avr below. :)

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1 minute ago, :) al said:

want to avoid stating or if stack. stack hottest component above. i.e. hot air rises. so dont want something hot below and heat rising through everything else.

 

things like source gear i.e. disc players pre amps etc dont tend to run hot as such. things like power amps avrs etc do. so want to avoid stacking over an avr.

 

what have done is put shelves in where needed to provide a physical barrier between if have to have an avr below. :)

 

Yeah, spot on.  I have the Marantz 8801 on the bottom which doesn't generate any heat, and the source (Consonance Ref 7) is on top of that.  The Ref 7 runs hot because of its tube output stage.  Between both components I've measured it to be around 39 degrees, again with the Ref 7 generating the heat.  I put some isolators on the feet of the Ref7, but that's put the Ref 7 closer to the top shelf.  On top of the Ref 7 it's 49 degrees.  The Ref 7 has always been very warm to the touch, but now that it's stacked it sits closer to the top shelf.  I think a fan is needed for the top of the Ref 7.

 

P1010152.JPG.8f68c21d9a2ee3fe94ef530a94636c2d.JPG

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8 hours ago, joz said:

By chance is the cabinet  well vented at the rear?

If not you could try cutting a big hole?

 Or If your AVR has a 240 volt output built in on the rear you could add one or two puter fans to the rear of the cabinet powered by the AVRs AC out via a 12v walwart.

First thing I did when I got the cabinet was completely remove the back panel for the centre section that houses the AVR, partly to aid airflow and partly because it's a ***** of a job trying to fit dozens of cables through those stupid little cutouts! Unfortunately no 240V outlet on the receiver though, that would have been perfect.

 

8 hours ago, Pops110 said:

I have just the one of these on top of my Denon, works a treat. Keeps it nice and cool.

https://www.ebay.com.au/i/252356033602

 

Cheers Dave 

Yeah, they're from AC infinity, same mob who make the big full component cooler I mentioned at the beginning. By all reports seem to be pretty well thought out gear.

 

7 hours ago, Sime said:

@:) al any links to a good Australian sold usb fan?

I've been looking at that too, and it's slim pickings. PCCG have USB to 3pin fan adapter cables, but the challenge is finding a decent size fan that will run at proper speed off 5V, doesn't seem to be a common thing with the PC companies at least. The AC Inifinity ones may be your best option, and pricing isn't too bad through Amazon, it's just the shipping that can kill it.

 

I made some progress myself today. Found a couple of new fans that I'd pulled out that I'd pulled out of my PC case to replace with Noctua PWM ones, as well as some 3 pin extensions. The fans are just cheapy Antecs (thankfully no EMI so far Al!), one 140mm and one 120mm, but they're dual speed with little switches on cables, and were just looking for a use.

I swung past jaycar this arvo and picked up a 12V plugpack for $30 (2.5A just in case :P ), lopped the tip off it, and the female ends off a pair of the 3 pin extensions and soldered them all together. Threw some spare noctua silicon grommets I had floating around through the fans and sat them on top of the denon.

 

The 120mm fan is basically inaudible at either speed setting, but the bigger one moves enough air on hi that I can hear it from the couch so I left it on low. With a hand up close to the gap above the receiver I can feel air moving out into the room, and the space between the top of the AVR and the shelf above it is noticable cooler than before.

I've been running the setup for over an hour now and even though the ambient is showing a tad higher than yesterday, the temp on top of the AVR is at 28°, a good 8-10° lower than what I was seeing without the fans. The top of the case is a lot cooler to the touch as well.

 

Very happy that I'm seeing a noticable difference with just a bit of active circulation, really suggest that airflow through the case is the base issue. Only downside with this setup is that I have to manually turn it on, but I think it will just be a temporary solution for the AVR now, I'll likely repurpose this as always-on ventilation for the other compartments in the cabinet which house the PVR and the NAS.

For the Denon, I think I'll likely go with a setup from AC Infinity, either the T9 box and maybe one 120mm fan that can run off it and help pull air from above it out the back of the cabinet, or maybe just a couple of the 140mm USB units to run off the rear port of the Denon. I'm keen to know whether I can have the T9 setup to turn on as soon as the AVR does, either with a 12V trigger or otherwise though, as I'm worried a simple themral threshold won't work for me as the apartment can get quite warm itself in summer, and I don't really want the cooler running all day just because the ambient has hit 27°C inside.

I did notice though from reading the manual for the T9 cooler that even though it states it can control up to 6 additional fans plugged into its ports, those fans will all share the same program as the T9 itself. That certainly puts pay to my idea of having the T9 cool the AVR as required, and the child fans run all the time for the PVR/NAS.

 

Thanks everyone for your input so far!

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Just another vote for the AC Infinity option: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IJ2J2K0/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have this pair of 80mm USB powered fans( plug into one of the rear Oppo 203's USB inputs) on top of my HK990 integrated amp.

Without them, when cranking the amp, it would run at ~50C, with them extracting from over the vents the temp drops to low 20C.

They supposedly run at around 20dB, so they can only barely be heard from the sitting position when the system is not actually playing anything.

Best $30 I've spent all year.

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One thing I learnt very quickly when I was a sound guy running my own PA, is that it takes very little airflow to make a big difference. 

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@IMDave thanks for the link, I might get those, if you’ve seen how my gear is stacked, well it’s pretty clear once summer rolls around. 

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1 hour ago, IMDave said:

Just another vote for the AC Infinity option: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IJ2J2K0/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have this pair of 80mm USB powered fans( plug into one of the rear Oppo 203's USB inputs) on top of my HK990 integrated amp.

Without them, when cranking the amp, it would run at ~50C, with them extracting from over the vents the temp drops to low 20C.

They supposedly run at around 20dB, so they can only barely be heard from the sitting position when the system is not actually playing anything.

Best $30 I've spent all year.

 

Yep, thanks to @Pops110 as well, I'm going this option because they have the USB end as factory fit off, plus are specced for 5V.  It will be either the single or double fan, I'll have a closer look tonight.

 

@IMDave - how far is your sitting potion from the fans?  Also, when you can hear them when the system is silent is that when they're running on High (considering they have 3 speeds).  I'm not sure on a single 120mm or double 80mm...

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