Inventors - How do I cool my sideboard using USB?

  TipX 10:47 05 Jun 2008

Problem :

I have converted a wooden sideboard in my front room to discreetly house my PC base unit and peripherals, and another to house my stereo and sky box. Both have their backs removed, and use adapted shelving. The issue with the cabinet housing the PC is the heat that builds up when the doors are closed over (for example if I want to stream music when guests round). It is fine with doors open if working by myself.

Question :

Does anybody know of a way that I can use a base unit fan, embedded in a suitable venting hole in the side of the cabinet, which will also power up and down automatially by being linked to a USB slot for example. Even better - that will also use an additional cabinet temperature to control fan to reduce unnecessary noise (e.g. when temp acceptable).

Can this be done?
Will it operate 'silently'?
Does a product already exist, or is it a trip to Maplin?


  Technotiger 10:57 05 Jun 2008

Perhaps you could use a smallish version of a kitchen window extractor fan in the front and in the back of the cabinet - at front to suck cool are in (and subsequently through the pc) and at the back to suck warm air out.

  Ditch999 11:00 05 Jun 2008

2 x 120mm case fans in each side of the cabinet (one in each side, one for intake one for extract) wired in to the fan connectors on the motherboard?

  Stuartli 11:08 05 Jun 2008

A USB port only delivers a maximum of 500mAh, no where near enough to drive a "base unit fan".

If you are prepared to provide a venting hole or holes in the top of the side of the cabinet, you could either fit mesh grille on the inside to allow hot air to escape or, alternatively, fit computer case fans powered from the computer system's PSU.

There are, of course, various sizes of case fans.

  Stuartli 11:09 05 Jun 2008

Ditch999 beat me to it whilst answering the phone...:-)

  Technotiger 11:12 05 Jun 2008

I was thinking of kitchen extractor fans because they run off the mains and are quieter.

  Stuartli 11:57 05 Jun 2008

Not the ones I've come across...:-)

  Covergirl 12:31 05 Jun 2008

a. If you've got an extractor fan in the base unit, use flexible tubing to vent the warm air out of a hole in the back the cabinet.

b. If your fan sucks fresh air into the base unit, use flexible tubing to connect to external fresh air via a hole in the cabinet.

Either way, you will need an extra hole/vent for a. fresh air in or b. warm air out of the cabinet.

  woodchip 13:04 05 Jun 2008

One Easy way, Do not have sideboard up to wall leave room for hot air to get out. This may be all you need do

  jack 14:11 05 Jun 2008

Then dont go the xtra fan route - modify the doors.
by taking a scoop out top and bottom.
Replace with Louvre type doors from a DIY shed.
The idea is to create an air flow with the doors closed.

  Ditch999 15:39 05 Jun 2008

Be adventurous!

Go for silent water cooling! The water reservoir/radiator can be outside the cabinet and it can cool the CPU and Graphics chip. No fans required at all. click here

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