12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 25, 2007 5:52 AM by jon gallet
daftboychemist Level 1 (0 points)
So I used to not shut my eMac down very often, just put it to sleep when I went to bed and that stuff. But now the fan is kinda loud, and the internal mic picks it up and everything, so now I shut it off every night.

But is it a bad thing? Like should I get it fixed or something?
  • PT Level 7 (20,875 points)
    Doesn't the fan turn off as well when you put it to sleep?

  • daftboychemist Level 1 (0 points)
    It sure does, kind sir, but nevertheless the fan remains quite loud. Naturally whenst I first boot it up, it's of quite a normal volume, but gradually over the period of about 5 minutes it's whirred it's way into once again being relatively loud and yeah. Sometimes it seems like it gets super loud and I shut it off either because I fear for it's life, or I just find it annoying, but THAT may have something to do with the level and amount of OTHER noises going on around me... But yeah.
  • daftboychemist Level 1 (0 points)
    Anyone... care to help...?
  • jon gallet Level 1 (35 points)
    I've got two emacs and the fan noise was getting so bad that I was about to upgrade to g5 imacs but I do graphic design and I really like the crt on the emacs.

    I heard of a fan modification where you can put a controler that slows down the fan. But I got a bit scared about taking the emac off. However after a year of the controlers sitting in my draw I had a go at it and it's really easy to do.

    The item that you need to buy is called a Zalman Fanmate2, and you connect it to the fan, I have mine on the outside of the computer with the idea that when I found was happy with it I would put it inside, but I quite like it outside now.

    Using the Fanmate I can slow the fan down to a point where it is almost silent. The difference is astounding and now I'm happy to keep my emacs for a long time. I'm really happy with the modification.

    Before you put the fan in you need to clean the dust out of the emac and it will probably be filthy inside with great globs of dirty dust.

    Put the mac screen down. It's a good idea to leave it for a few hours or even overnight to let some of the residual voltage dissipate. You will hear all sorts of stories about how dangerous the voltage is, but truth be told the danger part is nowhere even close to where you are working so it's really quite safe. The dangerous part is that little suction pad thing on the crt, you will be working on the other side of the computer. So I wouldn't worry about it.

    Anyway so you've got the mac face down. Remove all the allen key bolts and the back cover will just lift off. But before you lift it all the way off you need to lift it halfway and unplug the tiny connector from the powerswitch. Having someone hold the case while you do this makes it pretty easy.

    Once the back is off I recommend getting a small vacuum cleaner and gently sucking all the dirt from the computer. As the case is off there will be no wind tunnel effect which can otherwise cause a static build up which can cause some damage.

    Be nice and gentle, don't touch the computer with the vacuum nozzle. The dirt is pretty light and it will get sucked up quite easily. This is necessary to do to keep the cooling efficient since you will be lowering the fan rate.

    The Zalman plugs wont fit the emac plugs so you need to shave the plugs on the zalman a bit to fit. Also the wires on the Zalman need to be changed around. This can get confusing and it is best described with photos.

    I was putting a pdf together about this and if you are interested I'll finish it and publish it here. I've got all the photos and stuff ready.

  • mmcd Level 1 (0 points)
    Radical Idea?

    Would it be a bad idea to disconnect the fan or is it necessary in a home environment? Also, I'd like to go ahead with your fix. Am I too late or should I look at getting a quieter machine? Any answers/assistance from anyone would be welcome and appreciated.

  • jon gallet Level 1 (35 points)
    Hi, No, you cannot disconnect the fan or you will destroy your computer. I recommend cleaning and slowing it down with the Zalman. You don't need to get rid of your emac it's brilliant without the noise. Give me a couple of days and I'll get a pdf together. On wiring the fan.

    In the meantime I would recommend that you take the back off and clean the dust out, once you've taken the back off had a look and put it back on you will feel much better about putting the zalman fanmate in.

    It's really easy just shut the computer down touch the metal bit where the RAM door is with your hand, then unplug it and leave it for a few hours.

    Unscrew the hexbolts and the feet and just lift it off, remember to stop halfway and unplug the power switch wire.

    Then suck the crap out gently without touching anything wipe the inside of the case, clean the fan blades as best you can with a damp cloth and suck out the ventilation holes underneath where the CD drawer it.

    Before you put the back on have a look at the fan, you will see the plug that is what you are going to insert the zalman fanmate.

    As I said give me two or three days and I'll get a pdf together, I've already got all the photos. It's all fairly simple. A bonus is that you will feel a lot better about having a go at replacing the HD in the future.

    This is what the Zalman Fanmate 2 looks like, you can see the white clips that fit into the fan clips, (but you need to shave a bit of plastic off the zalman clips so they fit in and also change the wires around, which I will explain on the pdf. In the meantime grab a zalman fanmate 2 from ebay costs about $6

  • mmcd Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you for your help and PDF to follow. I'll give it a go and look forward to many quieter late-night sessions.

  • jon gallet Level 1 (35 points)
    OK here is it, pretty low production values though.

    Zalman Install
  • roam Level 6 (13,565 points)
    Hi jon

    What is the temperature increase as a result of slowing the fan?
    What is the resistance, in OHMS, that this device is applying to the fan circuit?
  • jon gallet Level 1 (35 points)
    Don't know anything about the resistance but it's continuously variable from very slow to full. However if it is put on in reverse then it reduces the speed by 50% without being able to adjust the speed.

    I have it turned down fairly low and the exit temperature increase was only about one degree celcius. With an ambient temperature of 22 degrees the exit temperature remains about 37 which is pretty good.
  • roam Level 6 (13,565 points)
    I am very cautious about altering the fan speed, but am also attracted to the idea. On the web there a few designs using thermostatic resistors where the current increases or decreases depending on the temperature. I intend to look into this to see if it is practical and reliable. As the imperative is to avoid cooking the eMac, study and testing will be required.
    I am not as bold as you, perhaps because here in summer the outside temperature can reach 40 Celsius so I am pretty conscious of keeping this computer's fan running at full speed for those occasions. But at other times it seems possible to reduce the speed in the cooler months without impact.
    Determining temperatures, their relation to fan speed/fan current and designing a temperature sensitive controller that works to my needs, will take some time to develop.
    If I get around to doing this, I shall post in this forum, but it may be summer before I can collect all the data, which is several months away.

    regards roam
  • jon gallet Level 1 (35 points)
    Yeah I fully understand where you are coming from, I bought one of these Zalmans and then after seeking some advice on forums by people who didn't really have a clue, I demurred and it sat in my draw for a year. I had since decided to upgrade to a G5 imac but I was not looking forward to an lcd screen as my crt on the emac if excellent.

    Then only reason that I was considering a G5 imac was that I could not stand the noise of the fan any longer it was driving me nuts. Anyway I decided to see if cleaning the emac would help the noise, when I pulled the back off I was astounded to see that it was chock a block with greasy dust, so much in fact that it must have been seriously impeding the airflow, so I cleaned it up and it was a very tiny bit quieter. However after taking the back off it reduced my techno fear and I thought I'd give it a go installing the fanmate.

    After seeing how much dirty dust was inside I understood that most emacs are going to be like that because how many people are going to open it up, not many. Also how many people are going to take it to a shop to be opened and cleaned, not many. I reasoned that Apple must have overdesigned the fan so that it would still be efficient even when the inside of the computer was blocked with dirt.

    This emboldened me to not be scared of turning the fan down. Also it's been well tested. this website is where it all started, complete with sound files. It convinced me that the fan could very safely be turned down. That site uses a previous model zalman and I must confess I didn't understand the wiring until I did it myself, which is why I've tried to explain it better so that others won't have to do it twice as I did.

    I left the fan outside with the idea that I would monitor the temperature and find an amount I could turn it down that would not increase the temperature too much. Anyway after installing the fan it was completely unbelievable the difference it made and I immediately ordered another zalman to add to my other mac, (1.42 and 1.25) I had also read elsewhere on a blog where someone was reclocking their emac and measuring the chip temperature that these things can run really really hot anyway.

    The French website suggests an exit temperature of 45 degrees celsius is fine. After installing the fan I measured the air exit temperature and I was astounded to discover that when I had the fan speed turned down to a level where it was very very quiet, the exit temperature of the air rose by only one degree!

    There still seems to be a fair bit of air coming out of the back and I am convinced that it is probably more efficent at cooling the emac with the fan down and the inside clean than it was with the fan up and the inside filthy.

    These are my personal experiences, I was hesitant and a bit skeptical at first but I'm converted. I do graphic design and work with the CS2 suite and these 1.42 emac with their very nice crt are perfectly adequate even when working with massive photoshop files. So I'm really pleased that I have solved the noise which was the only thing bugging me. These late model emacs can take 2 gig of ram so there's a lot of life in them. It's not too shabby running X-Plane either with the global scenery.

    Do yourself a favour and open it up and check out how filthy it is inside and think how much more efficient it is when clean. I still check the temperature regularly and turn the fan up to full to see if it drops much. It doesn't. In a few months it will be summer here with inside temperatures about 30 degrees. I'll keep checking it but I'm not expecting any problems.