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Old 02-20-2014, 09:44 AM  
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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PC overclockers/tinkerers...I have a question...

Last year I bought a Sabrent external HDD enclosure that includes a cooling fan. I thought it might help extend the life of the drive in the enclosure.

Today, I noticed that the fan was not spinning. After taking it apart, I noticed that the mounting bracket was poorly installed (and cheap plastic) so the fan was rubbing on the drive, stopping the fan.

Normally, a case fan of this sort (when installed in a PC or other similar device) would be mounted with the closed side (the housing with the label that doesn't spin) facing the computer case. The open (spinning) side would be facing in and normally would either have free space behind it or be covered with a screen to prevent something from interfering with the fan. Air is pulled into the open side and sent out of the case.

The problem with this thing is that there's precious little space between the open side of the fan and the HDD. On top of that, the mounting bracket actually has a built-in screen. After taking it completely apart, the fan actually fits better in the mounting bracket if I reverse it so the housing side of the fan is facing the HDD. Then the open side is protected by the built-in screen in the mounting bracket. It almost looks like that is the CORRECT orientation based on how everything fits together.

The issue is this:

With the closed side of the fan facing the HDD, I've reversed the airflow. I would now be pulling air IN to the enclosure rather than blowing it out. It does appear that the design of the enclosure would allow air pulled in to flow 2 or 3 inches and out the grill in the front of the enclosure.

So for those of you that have done a lot of work with PC cooling, should I reverse the fan?
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:57 AM   #2
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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The more I think about it, most laptops nowadays have cooling systems installed this way. The pull air through the case, from the bottom, across the CPU heatsink, and out a port on the side.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:25 AM   #3
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It's intake and exhaust either way.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:26 AM   #4
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I would think it would just depend on how the airflow works through the rest of the case. If you have other case fan(s) that are directing hot air out of the case sufficiently, I wouldn't think anything of it.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:37 AM   #5
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
I would think it would just depend on how the airflow works through the rest of the case. If you have other case fan(s) that are directing hot air out of the case sufficiently, I wouldn't think anything of it.
It's not actually a PC, it's a HDD enclosure.



After working on it this morning, I noticed the blue LEDs are no longer functioning (the red "write" LEDs are working). There's some oxidation on the PCB but none on the HDD, so it appears this unit was damaged when I bought it and I never noticed.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:37 AM   #6
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Originally Posted by jspchief View Post
It's intake and exhaust either way.
Not in this case, it's not. Take a look at that pic.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:52 AM   #7
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It will work to cool it, but you would almost have to test to see which way is better.

One thing I can throw out there is that if you take apart the case portion of it, and you can see anything exposed that is having air driven over it to cool it, you can buy some very cheap and low profile copper heat sinks that stick on with thermal tape, the passive cooling combined with ANY airflow should be better than what you are getting at the moment.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:56 AM   #8
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Originally Posted by hometeam View Post
It will work to cool it, but you would almost have to test to see which way is better.

One thing I can throw out there is that if you take apart the case portion of it, and you can see anything exposed that is having air driven over it to cool it, you can buy some very cheap and low profile copper heat sinks that stick on with thermal tape, the passive cooling combined with ANY airflow should be better than what you are getting at the moment.
There's literally no room for heatsinks. There's maybe 1/16 of an inch between the drive housing and the fan.

I ended up ordering a new one anyway, after finding the oxidation on the PCB.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post
Not in this case, it's not. Take a look at that pic.
It's still going to drag air through to ventilate. If the fan is pulling (intake) it's going to exhaust through the side (or back... narrow end, whatever).

It changes the direction of airflow, but should still be flowing. I doubt it's so well engineered that it will make a difference.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:54 PM   #10
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I found these small fans to be so ineffective that it's only worth having them if you are in a really close space with no moving air at all. I've checked the temperature of a hard drive and found that removing the sides of the enclosure results in very similar temps.

The external casing is decoration that trap heat.

If you don't need the decoration, then just remove the shell and don't worry about having the small fan at all.

FYI i believe i have the exact HHD enclosure, blue LEDs and all. The fan went completely bad on mine. I disconnect the LEDs and remove the sides of the shell. Still have the frame, it's just open now, works fine with any fan.

JMO
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:38 PM   #11
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Laz View Post
I found these small fans to be so ineffective that it's only worth having them if you are in a really close space with no moving air at all. I've checked the temperature of a hard drive and found that removing the sides of the enclosure results in very similar temps.

The external casing is decoration that trap heat.

If you don't need the decoration, then just remove the shell and don't worry about having the small fan at all.

FYI i believe i have the exact HHD enclosure, blue LEDs and all. The fan went completely bad on mine. I disconnect the LEDs and remove the sides of the shell. Still have the frame, it's just open now, works fine with any fan.

JMO
The difference in drive temp between this enclosure and the aluminum Rosewill I used before is 25-30 degrees farenheit. When it comes to an always-on backup drive (it's actually backing up my NAS), the fan makes a HUGE difference.

I really can't leave the case off, it's not just decoration, it also protects the drive.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:16 PM   #12
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I think creating negative air pressure in the enclosure creates the best cooling.

I can't find the link now, but I found one that said that 1 fan exhausting created the best cooling.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:26 PM   #13
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Originally Posted by TheUte View Post
I think creating negative air pressure in the enclosure creates the best cooling.

I can't find the link now, but I found one that said that 1 fan exhausting created the best cooling.
Certainly if outward flow is restricted, pulling air is not providing significant cooling because it's the movement of air over the surface that is providing heat transfer.

Right now, it's functional and I can feel a tiny bit of warm air coming out of the front grill, so I believe I'm getting at least some cooling.

My new enclosure will be here on Monday.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:34 PM   #14
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Looking at this:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002UUPWP6/...I34ZCVY94GKOZV
  • Support all 3.5" SATA I/II/III hard disk drives up to 4TB per drive
  • Transfer rate up to 480Mbps via USB 2.0, 3.0Gbps via eSATA
  • Power off in synchronization with PC
  • Switch USB 2.0 or eSATA interface by pressing one button
  • Smart Fan function with built-in Thermal-Sensor, auto & manual modes, and 3 speed levels




Thoughts?
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:59 PM   #15
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It's normal for smaller devices with only 1 fan to have only intake and then a grill for exhaust. Makes no sense the other way around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by digger View Post
Looking at this:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002UUPWP6/...I34ZCVY94GKOZV
  • Support all 3.5" SATA I/II/III hard disk drives up to 4TB per drive
  • Transfer rate up to 480Mbps via USB 2.0, 3.0Gbps via eSATA
  • Power off in synchronization with PC
  • Switch USB 2.0 or eSATA interface by pressing one button
  • Smart Fan function with built-in Thermal-Sensor, auto & manual modes, and 3 speed levels




Thoughts?
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