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Old June 7th, 2008, 03:40 AM   #1
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Acoustic enclosure for PC

I think this fits here - sort of...

I have a great relatively new PC which has five fans altogether. The noise from it is no great issue for normal use but I record my voice into the computer for some stuff I do - at least I did when I used my old computer. I need to do some more recording, and now find that the computer noise interferes and so I need to somehow quieten the whole thing down.

I know that there are quiet fans etc etc which just sounds like dollars and dollars to me, so I was wondering about building a noise reducing enclosure. It wouldn't need to be absolutely sound proof but able to cut a lot of the sound out.

Has anyone been this way or have any suggestions on how to go about it. I'm a builder with some clues already but wondered if anyone had any good ideas I could flog. I've been hunting around on the web for acoustic foam without much success.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 08:12 AM   #2
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For a source of acoustic foam, check the Auralex website.

The hard part is keeping the sound in while letting air for cooling move in and out. For some ideas, check out these articles:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec0...pcmusician.htm
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr0...ician_0406.htm

Added...

Just ran into this site which has a division in Australia and New Zealand worth checking into. Note that they carry acoustic foam kits for lining PC cases.

http://www.quietpc.com/
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Last edited by Steve House; June 7th, 2008 at 11:27 AM.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 04:29 PM   #3
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Thanks Steve,

I'm heading towards making a temporary slide over enclosure for when I'm recording, that cuts most but not absolutely all the sound. Will post what I end up with and tell how well it works.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 03:35 AM   #4
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just get some long cords, and move the tower as far away as possible.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 03:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacha Rosen View Post
just get some long cords, and move the tower as far away as possible.
Yeah, I thought of that also - 'inverse sq law' isn't it called
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Old June 8th, 2008, 11:59 AM   #6
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putting a piece of 4" acoustic foam behind the computer will absorb a great deal of the noise as it exists out the back and bounce off the wall into the rest of the room.

fans are pretty cheap. check newegg and you can replace all those fans with quiet ones for maybe $20-$30. also being sure you have fan managment is also very helpful. if they spin at top speed they can really make a lot, but getting them to even 80% will reduce a lot of it.

a sound blanket can also help when placed around / near the computer.

realistically, moving the computer out of the room is the best solution. its how I have both my edit rooms set up. no computers or anything else with a fan in the room. just takes some extension cables, and a hole in the wall to run them thru. its also MUCH cheaper then any of the sound isolating cases that run $1200-$1600 !
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Old June 8th, 2008, 09:03 PM   #7
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closet or next room. Foam doesn't block noise, it just sucks up some of the highs.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old June 9th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #8
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I had this same issue and decided to move the machine out of the room. Gefen makes some nice extension cables for DVI and USB http://www.gefen.com/
Although if you're like me running a 30" Apple Cinema Display, you're limited to 15' http://www.gefen.com/kvm/cables/appledlcombocable.jsp

The hush boxes from Noren look cool, but man are they pricey...and heavy http://norenproducts.com/Acoustilock/gCAB.html
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Old June 19th, 2008, 02:05 AM   #9
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Weeill...I made the enclosure out of 18mm Customwood, and lined it as shown on the inside with 50 sound absorbing polyester duct liner called 'Novahush.

Yeh, it cut down the fan noise a bit but not sufficiently I thought so then I looked at replacing the case fans as well - which I have done.

The case had a 120mm and an 80mm fan blowing IN, and 1x 120mm fan blowing OUT. The 80mm job was the noisiest, so I replaced that and the other IN fan with 120mm 800rev Scythe fans http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspeci...?ItemID=364882 , and the OUT fan with a 120mm 1200rev Scythe fan http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspeci...?ItemID=363843 . Dropped the noise considerably, and with the box, majorly.

Put filters on the IN fans as well to stop dust entry.

Had to duct the exhaust out to one side (the opposite side from where I sit so as to increase distance for any noise - inverse sq law) and stop the warm air going back into the enclosure. Then had to drill a couple of big holes in my desk - one each side of the computer - to feed sufficient air into the rest of the enclosure.

The enclosure pushes up against a sheet of Novahush against the wall, and I've put the computer on some sponge as well to stop sound transference through the desk.

The temperature of the computer rises when the enclosure is on but only by about 3-6 degrees as shown by 'Speedfan'. Case temperature thermometer only shows about 3-4 degree increase.

So there you go...:-) Happy now.

I'll only use the enclosure when I am doing audio recording.
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