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NewerTech Announces Quieter miniStack V2
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Ted13
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:44 am    Post subject: Noise vs. OWC Mercury Elite Pro Reply with quote

I urgently need a 750GB drive for my Mini and am considering the new V2 MiniStack, but am very concerned about fan noise.

I currently have a fanless OWC Mercury Elite Pro drive, and am very satisfied with its noise level. It has no fan, and is totally quiet when not spinning. It spins down within a couple of minutes of the last time it gets accessed (or when the Mini goes to sleep).

I am tempted by the MiniStack due to the Firewire hub and the form factor, but I'm very concerned about the contradictory fan noise comments. Will it at least be off when not in use? How will the noise level compare to the Mercury Elite? http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MAU4F7750G16/

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Ted
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Tuishimi
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:50 am    Post subject: Re: Noise vs. OWC Mercury Elite Pro Reply with quote

Ted13 wrote:
I urgently need a 750GB drive for my Mini and am considering the new V2 MiniStack, but am very concerned about fan noise.


The fan noise is about the same as if your Mac Mini fan was at full blast. It cycles and runs for a few minutes, then shuts off for a few minutes, then spins back up as the disk heats (your mileage may vary depending on your environment, of course).

Compared to a PC (Tower) fan it is nothing. If you are used to silence, you will hear it.
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dvenardos
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got the 250GB model yesterday and the fan is loud, way too loud to be usable for me (I like quiet) and runs constantly until the drive is ejected (whether the drive is being used or not). The drive has plenty of air and is not stacked. Mine probably has a defective heat sensor, but in no way can you say this fan is quiet. I have put in a tech support call, we'll see...
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Tuishimi
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:31 pm    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

dvenardos wrote:
I got the 250GB model yesterday and the fan is loud, way too loud to be usable for me (I like quiet) and runs constantly until the drive is ejected (whether the drive is being used or not). The drive has plenty of air and is not stacked. Mine probably has a defective heat sensor, but in no way can you say this fan is quiet. I have put in a tech support call, we'll see...


Good luck! Yeah, my fan does not run full time... it cycles every few minutes even while I am compiling code.
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papa13wg
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:42 am    Post subject: NewerTech Mini Stack Fan Noise Reply with quote

I have had a NewerTech Mini Stack v2 for close to a year and am very happy with it. The extra USB and Firewire ports are very nice for connecting peripherals. Periodically, I would get fan noise, sounding like something was interfering with it, especially if the Mac Mini was on top of the unit. I essentuially left them side by side, rather than stacking them. Being an engineer, I took it upon myself to investigate the cause (nullifying my warranty, but it was almost up anyway).

What I found was poor wire management inside the case that was allowing a wire bundle to touch the moving fan, ever so slightly, but enough to make an audible and annoying noise. With the weight of the Mac on top of the stack, it could push the fan cae down into the wire bundle making the noise louder. I carefully rerouted the wires and have had no issues with noise since, even pushing down on the case. I would NOT recommend a novice computer user or anyone unfamiliar with computer internals to do this. I am 100% certain this was the issue and it's probably what NewerTech advertises as a more quiet v2. Overall, I am very pleased with this product, but if you order one, be sure to ask about the wire management and possible fan interference. They should know about this issue and should have fixed it.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that posting, pappa13wg. I suspected something like that would be the explanation why some people are pleased as punch with the unit whereas others complained about fan noise. But if the problem is poor quality control, a buyer is taking a big chance by purchasing this if they can't fix the problem him/herself. This is especially true of a buyer outside the U.S. because shipping charges from OWC are horrendous, and if you have to send it back, you'll pay for shipping again. But the other problem would be if OWC doesn't consider fan noise a problem and therefore won't fix or replace a noisy unit. This would affect American buyers, too. I seem to recall seeing one post where an unhappy Mini Stack buyer sent one back for fan noise and got it shipped back with an indication that nothing was wrong with it.

Would someone just pushing the wires to a different position likely fix the problem?
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papa13wg
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:48 pm    Post subject: RE: Mini Stack Fan Noise Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Would someone just pushing the wires to a different position likely fix the problem?




Pretty much. The above link is a pic that illustrates where the wires are that I am talking about. The red, black (2 of them), and yellow wires running from upper right to lower left (and under the fan) are the power supply wires to the hard drive. This was the bundle that caused interference with the fan in my unit. I simply rerouted this bundle so it didn't interfere with the fan.
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Last edited by papa13wg on Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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YoMo
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:32 am    Post subject: Re: RE: Mini Stack Fan Noise Reply with quote

papa13wg wrote:
http://www.123macmini.com/accessories/images/reviews120_12.jpg

Pretty much. The above link is a pic that illustrates where the wires are that I am talking about. The red, black (2 of them), and yellow wires running from upper right to lower left (and under the fan) are the power supply wires to the hard drive. This was the bundle that caused interference with the fan in my unit. I simply rerouted this bundle so it didn't interfere with the fan.


Do you think this caused your fan to come on more often? Most of my noise seems to becoming from the fan running. Are you saying that it made like double the noise? Meaning it was a vibration and the fan running. Do you still hear the fan when it comes on?
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papa13wg
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 5:30 pm    Post subject: Re: RE: Mini Stack Fan Noise Reply with quote

YoMo wrote:
Do you think this caused your fan to come on more often? Most of my noise seems to becoming from the fan running. Are you saying that it made like double the noise? Meaning it was a vibration and the fan running. Do you still hear the fan when it comes on?


No, it did not make it run more often, but it was more than double the noise compared to now. The wires were coming into contact with the spinning fan, so it sounded like a buzzing sound. After fixing it, I only really hear the hard drive running when using it. Fan is fairly quiet.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. I'm going to take a closer look at the wiring and routing in my original miniStack.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took a closer look at my original (not the V2) miniStack tonight and noticed the same thing. The wires were touching the fan. The black cable on the drive's power cable even looked a little chafed in one spot. I'm not sure if the circuit board is the same as the miniStack V2, but I was unable to reroute the cables. I tried stretching them around some capacitors, but they wouldn't go far enough. So I decided to leave the fan out. I also decided to leave the temperature sensor cable running to the hard drive just in case there is a shutdown failsafe in place. Problem solved! Very Happy

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papa13wg
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[/quote]

That's very similar to what I observed. I ran the wires over the top of the hard drive. On a business trip now, but I will take a pic of my repair and post when I get home later this week.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

papa13wg wrote:
That's very similar to what I observed. I ran the wires over the top of the hard drive. On a business trip now, but I will take a pic of my repair and post when I get home later this week.


So using my picture for orientation. Did you route the wires to the bottom and then back over hard drive? Similar to the way my temperature sensor (the white wire) is going. I'm sure you didn't sneak them up between the drive and the fan. The little power cables for the fan barely make it through there. I'm not sure if my wires would reach going the other way. I'll have to take a second look, just in case I decide to put the fan back in. That being said, I don't think the fan is really warranted in the first place. The open vents that I have now are probably doing just as much good.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 5:19 pm    Post subject: re:wires Reply with quote

devo wrote:
So using my picture for orientation. Did you route the wires to the bottom and then back over hard drive? Similar to the way my temperature sensor (the white wire) is going. I'm sure you didn't sneak them up between the drive and the fan. The little power cables for the fan barely make it through there. I'm not sure if my wires would reach going the other way. I'll have to take a second look, just in case I decide to put the fan back in. That being said, I don't think the fan is really warranted in the first place. The open vents that I have now are probably doing just as much good.


I ran them straight up from the connection on the board, then over to the left (as viewed in your picture) and over the top of the hard drive. The wires then tucked in along the front, between the case and the drive. I also wonder what the fan is doing. Not a lot of heat generating components besides the drive, which has a large passive heat sink underneath.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: re:wires Reply with quote

As promised, a pic of my fix. Fan at right, front of case to the left.


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