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1U silent server enclosure - Page 2

post #11 of 26
Is transplanting the innards an option?

If the mainboard is a standard ATX board (some are, some aren't - newer stuff tends to be more ATX-like, older servers are really bespoke inside) you could just buy a 4U case & stick the stuff in there. You will then have a much easier job of silencing everything. You can add nice big heatsinks on the cpus & chipset (and even the NICs & HDD controller if necessary), and suspend the HDDs or replace them with quieter modern drives. Add a few quiet 120mm fans & some damping material to the panels and you'll be all set - and much quieter than a boxed 1U server will ever end up.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
I think people are missing the point of this project.

The task is to silence, or dampen a 1U hp server. Using a type of enclosure for the entire server, like those hard drive enclosures, except for the whole computer.

This server is basically just a big toy, it has no purpose yet, other than to be a time waster . So, to recap:

I know the hd's and fans are the noise makers
I do not want to take any components out of the case
the server its self is highly optimized for air cooling
the enclosure will be constructed out of wood

questions:
what kind of baffling, or channeling would be the best to dampen the sound?
What kind of material would be the best at absorbing mid to high pitch constant sound?
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syjeklye View Post
I think people are missing the point of this project.

The task is to silence, or dampen a 1U hp server. Using a type of enclosure for the entire server, like those hard drive enclosures, except for the whole computer.

This server is basically just a big toy, it has no purpose yet, other than to be a time waster . So, to recap:

I know the hd's and fans are the noise makers
I do not want to take any components out of the case
the server its self is highly optimized for air cooling
the enclosure will be constructed out of wood

questions:
what kind of baffling, or channeling would be the best to dampen the sound?
What kind of material would be the best at absorbing mid to high pitch constant sound?
Not missing the point - you wanted to quieten a 1U server. The easiest way to do that is move the stuff to a bigger case. It is also probably the cheapest way.

If you leave the current fans in the case, the cooling will be fine, providing you don't impact too much on the air path outside of the case. But it will NEVER be quiet. Quieter, maybe. But it will always give you a headache unless you make a seriously HUGE case with many layers to put it in.

Similarly the HDDs - unless you make a massive case, they will remain audible.

To be honest, any kind of baffling will work. You mainly need to get a lot of layers of decoupled mass between you & the noise source. The denser the better - it is decoupled mass that absorbs sound. You will need multiple layers, each isolated from each other, and probably intake fans as well as exhaust fans as the current ones are only designed to push air through the case itself - not pull it through multiple baffles on the intake & exhaust. The case NEEDS huge airflow as the heatsinks are, by necessity, very small inside a 1U case.

You will be fighting an uphill battle if you try and stick with the current enclosure.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_beast View Post
Not missing the point - you wanted to quieten a 1U server. The easiest way to do that is move the stuff to a bigger case. It is also probably the cheapest way.

If you leave the current fans in the case, the cooling will be fine, providing you don't impact too much on the air path outside of the case. But it will NEVER be quiet. Quieter, maybe. But it will always give you a headache unless you make a seriously HUGE case with many layers to put it in.

Similarly the HDDs - unless you make a massive case, they will remain audible.

To be honest, any kind of baffling will work. You mainly need to get a lot of layers of decoupled mass between you & the noise source. The denser the better - it is decoupled mass that absorbs sound. You will need multiple layers, each isolated from each other, and probably intake fans as well as exhaust fans as the current ones are only designed to push air through the case itself - not pull it through multiple baffles on the intake & exhaust. The case NEEDS huge airflow as the heatsinks are, by necessity, very small inside a 1U case.

You will be fighting an uphill battle if you try and stick with the current enclosure.
heheh, uphill battle = what I was aiming for.

I was thinking of doing the layered approach like you said, what materials would be the best for this layerd job? I know those build at home soundbooths aren't sound proof, but they work very well, and the walls are not too think that it's impossible to build one yourself.

As for the size of the case, I was thinking it would have a dedicated space for the server, and then either on top or below that, the channeling and baffling for the intake and exhaust. Basically two equally sized sections, 1 for the server mounting, and the 2nd for the air flow and dampening. The dampening/proofing material would be layed all throughout the server mounting location and the channeling/baffling. As for fans mounted on this enclousure, I was thinking it would only need exhaust fans to help move that hot air away from the server. I had a dryer vent duct taped to the front of the server and ran it to another room, and it didn't effect the cooling all too much. I'm afraid though, that once the air is through the server, it has no where to go, and I will need something pulling the air out of the back of the case.

Also, since there are clearly marked intake and exhaust vents on the server, I would thermally isolate the front and back of the server with some simple foam inserts, so the hot air coming out the back would not be recirculated.
post #15 of 26
this seems like a good idea, if you are mounting it in a rack than i would think that you would but 1U of dampening under the server and 1U of dampening above the server. the problem is that 1U servers are so loud!, i would think that rubber grommets of some sort would at least help keep the vibration down, the only thing really making almost all of the noise is those noisy fans.. i would use foam for anti vibration but fan noise... i would put it in another room or get a 2U chassis with bigger slower fans.
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post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mazza- View Post
this seems like a good idea, if you are mounting it in a rack than i would think that you would but 1U of dampening under the server and 1U of dampening above the server. the problem is that 1U servers are so loud!, i would think that rubber grommets of some sort would at least help keep the vibration down, the only thing really making almost all of the noise is those noisy fans.. i would use foam for anti vibration but fan noise... i would put it in another room or get a 2U chassis with bigger slower fans.
If it was a production router, i most likely wouldn't care about the noise. I would either have it our server room, or in the datacenter and do everything remotely. It's more of a toy since it's out of warranty and we can't really use an out of warranty item in production anymore.

Basically I want to make my own cabinet that can house a 1u server and stop most of the sound from leaking out into the surrounding area, since it is a toy now, it resides in my house.

I totally agree with your anti vibration techniques, but it hardly vibrates at all. HP really does an awesome job with their servers (really it's compaq that makes them, but hp bought compaq) and the things hardly vibrate, but their fans do make alot of noise. If the thing wasn't so loud, you could barely tell it was on due to the almost non existant vibration.
post #17 of 26
The trouble is, enclosures need airflow, and something well ventilated would let out lots of noise, so you have to find a balance.

However foam and anti-vibration stuff makes no difference at all if the source of the noise isn't reduced. In this case (no pun intended) that would be the very loud 40mm fans. I would find a way to give the fans 7 volts instead of 12, that should drastically cut back on the noise. Or you might be able to do something like leave and rear fans alone, then remove the front fans and cut 2 or more holes for 120mm fans on the top of the case, and have the fans blow down into the case, preferably at a slight angle.
    
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post #18 of 26
Hi Syjeklye, have you made any progress on this project?

I'm very interested in finding a simple, effective design for reducing the noise from 1U servers to tolerable "closet or garage" levels.

How does this sound:

Form a sleeve from two layers of cardboard, with some soft fill between, around the whole unit and a few inches beyond in back and front (maybe a sealed plywood/particle-board box would be more effective for high-pitch 1U fan noise?).

Connect intake and exhaust to S-shape ducts (particular kind, PVC plumbing stuff or metal? 4 inch diameter?) lined with eggcrate. Put a larger fan on the exhaust.

Suggestions for improving this recipe? Links to existing builds?
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Actually your idea is not too far off from what I was planning. Only I would hide all the S-Shaped channels inside a larger case, probably wood; since my uncle owns a wood shop and has all the tools you would ever dream about using. I think my problem now is, I don't know how to mount it inside the enclosure.

Racks are all standard, and the server's mounting kit is measured to fit these standard racks. And this one in particular is held in place by an adjustable spring loaded sliding rail. So the rails will be pushing against the enclosure to support the server.

I'd like to see it mounted vertically, so the back of the server faces the ground, and have casters on the bottom so i can wheel it around. Another option is to put molding and a nice top mounted like a normal rack mount server, with all the vents on the bottom and use it as a coffee table of some sort.

eh, i don't know where to take the idea, but i haven't given up yet.
post #20 of 26
This is an old thread, but I was wondering if anyone ever came up with a working solution for this problem. I've got 2 old TYAN GX28 1U servers for $25 each. They each have 2 AMD Opteron dual core 2 GHz CPUs with 4 GB memory, but as everyone has said, their fans are loud.

I was thinking of a MDF box with shelves within another MDF box. The inner box would be wrapped with layers of the sound absorbing foam that goes under laminate flooring. I was thinking of having a "U" shaped maze for intake for cool air and similar outlet for hot air. These end baffles would be detachable for access to the servers inside. Wires would pass between 2 layers of foam to prevent sound from getting out with the wires.

Thanks,
Greg
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