B3 Air Cooling Modification

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DanielM
Posts: 637
Joined: 28 Mar 2008, 06:37
Location: Sweden

Re: B3 Air Cooling Modification

Post by DanielM » 03 Dec 2011, 03:17

Puma wrote:Normal operation temperature 43-44 degrees C
Are you kidding me? That is about the temperature I get on my B3. It has no fan and it's standing on my UPS in a minimal cabinet. Before I put it in the cabinet the normal temperature was about 40-41.

http://ideel.nl/bubba/bubba/daniel.bubb ... rtctl.html

/Daniel

plbrandon
Posts: 7
Joined: 15 Nov 2011, 06:40

Re: B3 Air Cooling Modification

Post by plbrandon » 06 Dec 2011, 10:56

su_root -

I agree with your approach, getting the power out of the case is a great way to avoid cooling concerns.

When I first looked at the B3, what I wanted was a 240GB SSD but that is not an option. I considered buying one anyway and using the HDD somewhere else. The SSD I was considering (and still am) is the Corsair Force CSSD-F240GB2-BRKT-A 2.5" 240GB SATA II, 2W max, 0.5W standby (Newegg part: N82E16820233169 $309.99 + $7.56 ship = $317.55). With this SSD I would have a total maximum of 4W (2W CPU + 2W SSD but typically 2.5W) which would be low enough to satisfy me without air cooling. I have used this SSD before on Ubuntu systems and have had no problems. Also, reviews I have read on this SSD did not indicate user problems. The SSD comes with a 2.5” to 3.5” mounting bracket so it would be easy to install on the existing B3 HDD mounting rails.

Another alternative I considered (my second choice) was to order the B3 with the 40GB SSD option and equip an external HDD with eSATA to the B3. I have disks and cases that I could use so the cost would be zero for me. The case I like is Rosewill RX-358 V2 BLK (Black) 3.5" SATA to USB & eSATA Ext. Enclosure w/Int.80mm fan, Newegg part: N82E16817173042 $24.99. I really like this case and the fan is not loud. This alternative would also be about 4W inside the B3 case, but would have the cost of an HDD and external case if you did not have those on-hand.

I also considered the USB flash drive approach. You can get 32GB or 64GB USB flash drives for $40 to $100. This approach also runs into the problem of having to order the B3 with some storage. The most obvious would be to order the B3 with some HDD option and use this HDD in an external eSATA drive case with the USB flash drive as your OS drive. Now you have the added costs of just the flash drive and the eSATA case (about $75 to $125). This alternative would be just 2W inside the B3 case. With your approach of an internal HDD and reduced HDD usage you could get down to 4W (4W to 8W WD Caviar Green specification) for a total of 6W inside the case. As you point out, the USB flash speed and read/write lifetime must be a concern and I am uncertain what adjustments would need to be made, so I resisted this approach. Your suggestion of a tmpfs for /var/log and /tmp are undoubtedly sound, however there is only 512MB of CPU memory and I am still uncertain about other possible needs to accommodate the flash drive in this role. I simply do not have the knowledge and did not want to spend the time experimenting. I am very interested in hearing if you or anyone have more information on the possibility of using a flash disk for Linux OS operation. Doing a quick google search I came up with a few hits that lead me to suspect that this may not be easy and may require more memory than 512MB. See: http://www.cyrius.com/debian/nslu2/linux-on-flash.html

My final choice was to air cool the B3 with an internal air flow. This provided me with the maximum cooling under any configuration and allowed complete flexibility for any use or changes I might want to make in the future satisfying my “put it in and forget it” desire while allowing for flexibility. This approach had no cost for me but would be low cost if you did not have the parts on-hand. The down side is that you must build and modify, and you must give up the aesthetic appeal of the small neat package of a stock B3. To avoid these down-sides but still provide extended life, I would suggest that most users choose the B3 with a 40GB SSD and add an external HDD in a cooled case (my second choice above).

Take care,

Paul

su_root
Posts: 38
Joined: 29 Nov 2011, 06:27

Re: B3 Air Cooling Modification

Post by su_root » 07 Dec 2011, 06:34

Paul,

Thank You for Your reply!

512mb of ram is a problem but it is still enough for doing /tmp and /var/log in tmpfs (let logs go with the wind @ reboot and enable /var/log to HDD or USB-mem when there is trouble or forward logs to other server).

Regarding installing OS on USB memory, I think it should be OK. I estimate that the life of USB memory is well above 5-years depending on usage though. Almost all USB memories use wear leveling these days so a 16Gb memory should be just fine. Buy 2 of these and dd-copy after updates or major system changes so that you always have a decent copy of the system settings.

If running OS from USB-memory, power consumption would be very low if you "sleep" internal HDD when it is not in use and thus the temperature would be close to room temperature @ idle.

After some research, I'm now a bit uncertain what I should buy. I'm now leaning towards buying a NAS (perhaps Qnap, very low on power and supports wake up schedules and most important of all, RAID).

Get back later, have to run!

BR,
Chris

plbrandon
Posts: 7
Joined: 15 Nov 2011, 06:40

Re: B3 Air Cooling Modification

Post by plbrandon » 12 Dec 2011, 10:09

I was asked to report temperature with my air cooling mod. I finally got my thermocouple temperature unit, installed hddtemp and got the following results:

hddtemp /dev/sda 25 degC, ambient 18 degC, 7 vdc on the cooling fan and idle B3 load.

Paul

su_root
Posts: 38
Joined: 29 Nov 2011, 06:27

Re: B3 Air Cooling Modification

Post by su_root » 19 Jan 2012, 04:04

After much comparing between B3 and other NAS devices, I decided to go for the Synology DS212+ mostly because of RAID.

DS212+ has a fan but I have run it in silent mode (~20dB = noiseless) and here is my HDD temperature after/under a serious stress-test:
http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/7092 ... on002q.png

It is also possible to set the fan active when the HDD temp > X degrees.

DS212+ vs. B3:

- Only 1 x LAN
- More expensive than B3 (about 350 EUR + 190 EUR for 1 x 3TB HDD = 540 EUR)

+ Fast NAS
+ DSM interface is close to using a desktop OS
+ RAID
+ WOL & power schedule (= ~1W "when-not-in-use")

EDIT: DS212+ is placed in a 1 x 1m closet full of clothes => airflow is surely close 0 and the temperature in the closet is about ~25 degC. There is about 10 - 20cm free space around the NAS on each side except the rear where the fan is located.

asparak
Posts: 173
Joined: 08 Jun 2009, 07:38

Re: B3 Air Cooling Modification

Post by asparak » 20 Jan 2012, 04:06

Why not just use an old laptop cooler? Works perfectly well here, runs off one of the USB ports and the temp of my B3 and external drive never gets warm enough to feel

dna_watt
Posts: 3
Joined: 01 Sep 2011, 01:00

Re: B3 Air Cooling Modification

Post by dna_watt » 20 May 2014, 18:20

USB - molex power cable - $2 from eBay
120mm brushless 5v PC fan - $3 from eBay
Mount above B3 (to allow air flow) - My B3 is under a monitor shelf, so I just screwed the fan to the underside of the shelf

B3 temp <40 degrees (even in Australia's hot summer)

asparak
Posts: 173
Joined: 08 Jun 2009, 07:38

Re: B3 Air Cooling Modification

Post by asparak » 20 Feb 2015, 10:41

Love what you did wit it. Very cool (pun intended) solution.
Rather than modding my B3 and the external disk, I actually used some old kit I had lying around. I have all mine (as well as a Cisco switch that is always warm) sat on an old recycled laptop cooler. Power via USB port on B3. Virtually inaudible and keeps everything cold to the touch.

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