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Old 09-15-2015, 12:39 PM   #1
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Location: Sequim, WA
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Adding Ventilation To Entertainment Cabinet

Having lost one DVR to excessive heat in a previously owned coach, I wanted to make sure it did not happen again. It's a hassle to get a replacement TiVo-capable DTV DVR while on the road. The only practical solution I could come up with is adding supplemental ventilation to the enclosure in which the DVR is installed.

Like everything else, there are trade-offs. The more air to be moved, the more noise there is likely to be. DW is extraneous-noise-intolerant. Size is directly proportional to the amount of air moved and I have to find a way to get it installed within the limited space allocated to entertainment electronic devices.

I had previously tried various muffin-type and small high-RPM DC squirrel cage fans used in computers and electronic devices. They were way too noisy and way too anemic as air movers. Knowing that most HVAC systems use squirrel cage blowers to move as much air as quietly as practical, I searched the web and came up with the model below. These small blowers are used in fireplace inserts and other noise-sensitive, low volume air handling situations.

I found this one on Amazon but they're widely available elsewhere.

Small Quiet Blower


You'll notice that I mention steps taken to minimize the effect of the blower motor's heat on nearby wiring and wonder if all that heat does not defeat the purpose of the blower. Well, after installing this blower the internal temperature of the DVR went from 48c/108f to 42c/118f, a 10f degree drop. That's inside the DVR as reported by the DVR. The reason is that this moves 75 cfm compared to 15 cfm for a muffin fan that does not overwhelm all other sound in the room.

Since there were switches on the panel face from the previous attempt to get additional ventilation I used then to enable powering up the blower separately. Noise is not an issue now but with the previously installed fans, we wanted to turn them on only when necessary.

Around the top-front of the cockpit there is a hollow duct-like structure that I wanted to push air from the electronic entertainment cubby hole through. The air exits out the original TV enclosure.

All's cool and quiet in the entertainment electronics enclosure now.


Dave & Cathy, 2002 Country Coach Affinity, 42', #6103, CAT C12, 2003 Cherokee Overland
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Old 09-15-2015, 01:21 PM   #2
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Great shots, and nice looking job!! We just had some work done, where I had the Genie, Oppo BluRay, and Marantz AVR installed in that cabinet. The Marantz was a tight fit, so could not have fan or power strip added behind the components. I had them drill several 1" holes, as well as a 1" slot along the back of the cabinet wall that is to the right. Put the power strip in that cabinet, and have added wire connections into that cabinet to facilitate auxiliary HDMI and USB connections to both the Marantaz and Oppo, also fed the Dongle fro the Oppo into that cabinet. And, finally, also ran another USB and Firewire from the cabinet to the right, into feed the AV components. These are for a hard drive to stream videos and music off of.

So far, I've been monitoring the temps, with only the breathing 1" holes, and what I call the conduit slot along the back to feed wires thru. The temps flow from the AV cabinet, into the larger cabinet. I've been OK so far, but as you pointed out, temps can damage and shorten the life of components. So, I'll probably add ultra quiet pancake fans to help pull the air out of the cabinet. So far, I've avoided cutting holes into the AV Cabinets left side, that would be seen from the stair well. Will do this, and add fans to that side if I feel I need them.

Really like your fan job, and look forward to progress posts as things develop.

When I get mine wrapped up, I'll take some pictures and share them too - as that is how we all get to learn form each other!

Best to you,

Roo II is our 04 Country Coach Allure 40'
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:03 PM   #3
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I put my DVR in the cabinet behind the TV, where your TV is mounted.

That is a big chamber but does get heat from the roof brow and windshield area.

My backing board for the TV has holes in it that allow the cooled air from the salon to enter the cabinet and the hot air to escape.

Great job and explanation on your project.
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:57 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys. Sounds like you have your ventilation covered. I was hoping that the newer DVR's would have solid state memory like PC's are starting to use. That would make them less temperature sensitive. But in the case of the DVR we like, there's no option for that.

Dave & Cathy, 2002 Country Coach Affinity, 42', #6103, CAT C12, 2003 Cherokee Overland
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Old 09-16-2015, 05:08 PM   #5
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A squirrel cage fan does move a lot air!
However some use 1 or 2 "laptop cooling pads":
....while some can simply open the entertainment cabinet door and keep things sufficiently cool.
'96 Safari
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