[mythtv] Quiet/Silent PC for Myth

Drew Bernat abernat at zathras.net
Fri Jan 31 01:55:47 EST 2003

On Thu, 30 Jan 2003, Brian Foddy wrote:

> One thing you didn't mention in your writeup tho, and VERY
> important for me.  How about RF interference?  As I
> use good old-fashion rabbit ears, not having a good shielded
> metal case I think would be a disaster.
> In my prototype machine, its bad enough.

That was something I was worried about, but it hasn't seemed to be a
problem. That doesn't mean it won't be, though.

The original plan was to use some sort of shielding material on the inside
of the case, and connect it to ground (i.e. the shell of the power
supply). I've seen both what is effectively stickybacked aluminum foil or
aluminized spray paint, both used for this purpose.

However, I'm currently getting better reception (bunny ears here, too)
with the mythbox than I was with bunny ears straight to the VCR. I can
only guess the tuner on the TV card is better than the one in my VCR...
believable, if a bit disappointing (in the VCR).


> On Thursday 30 January 2003 01:30 pm, Drew Bernat wrote:
> > On Thu, 30 Jan 2003, Larry Matter wrote:
> > > And lastly, vanity weighs in.  I cannot find a small (and cheap) case
> > > that I like for micro ATX platforms.  Add to that the task of finding low
> > > profile cards, and it gets even harder.  And then there is noise.  Trying
> > > to make an AMD based system "silent" will be quite a chore I think.
> >
> > I just wanted to chip in a few comments.
> >
> > I recently put together a MythBox, and with a quick resoldering of my IR
> > circuit it's actually working quiet well (i.e. wife can use it ;). It's
> > also fitting in perfectly with our living room, and is almost silent. If
> > there's conversation in the room, or even a car driving by outside, it's
> > inaudible.
> >
> > First, specs:
> > KT333 motherboard (fullsize, meant to be microATX but I screwed up)
> > Athlon 1700
> > Seagate Barracuda IV (80GB)
> > Geforce2 MX (noname)
> > SB Live (onboard sound was desynching)
> > Leadtek Winfast TV2000XP CanWeAddSomeMoreLabelsOnPlease
> > Old 300 watt power supply from another machine
> >
> > And it runs almost silently. And here's what I did:
> >
> > First: ugliness. I didn't want another PC case in the living room, and
> > the really slick microATX cases were just too pricey. So I built one, out
> > of oak and oak plywood. I now have an endtable with a DVD-ROM faceplate in
> > the front :) Another alternative is to get a cabinet or somesuch and stick
> > a case inside.
> >
> > More importantly, heat and noise. Last I checked, my processor was holding
> > steady at 105F, and there are no components that I'm particularly worried
> > about. I'll break down the parts and say what I did.
> >
> > Processor:
> >   Check out www.silentpcreview.com and take a look at the heat sink
> > section. I bought the big hunk-o-copper HS (umm... err... Thermalright
> > SLK800). It's huge all right. I topped it with a low-flow, low-noise
> > Panaflo 80mm fan. Almost no noise from the fan, and massively less than
> > any machine I run.
> >
> > Hard drive:
> >   The barracuda IV's are almost silent to begin with, and I suspended mine
> > from a web of elastic. This decouples vibration noise from the case. Data
> > point: I forgot to demount the HDD when I was sanding the case (oops!) but
> > when I put my hand on the drive I couldn't feel any vibration, though the
> > case was buzzing a fair amount from the power sander.
> >
> > Power supply:
> >   Power supply fans can make a fair amount of noise. I pulled the cover on
> > the PS (BE CAREFUL DOING THIS since you can electrocute yourself but good)
> > and blew the dust out. That helps. I also replaced the noisy 80MM fan with
> > a quieter one, hacked to run at 7 volts. Basically, I snipped the +12 and
> > ground leads to the fan, ran the wires outside of the PS, and plugged them
> > into the +12 and +5 lines of a disk drive power connector. Much less
> > noise, but if you do this make sure there is enough airflow. In my case,
> > since the PS doesn't suck hot air from the CPU, it's good enough.
> >
> > Case venting:
> >   I bought a 120MM Panaflo low-flow fan. Man, that sucker is _HUGE_. It's
> > running at 7 volts (as above, +12/+5) and exhausts for the case. The air
> > that comes out is barely warm.
> >
> > So it is possible to silence an AMD system. I spent about $70 in bits and
> > pieces to do it (HS at 50, two fans at 10 each), but I think it's worth
> > it.
> >
> > Drew

Drew Bernat                                                __ ____
abernat at zathras.net                                         |  | |
http://www.zathras.net                                         | |

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