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Old 11-22-2014, 11:12 AM   #1
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Entertainment Cabinet Capacity

I have the typical vented-front entertainment cabinet seen in older motor homes, an enclosure above the PS seat. I took out a lot of old electronics, including a VHS player and a pre-Blu Ray DVD player. I installed a DirecTV DVR, a DCA (DirecTV's wireless Internet adaptor), a Trav'ler dish controller, a Blu-Ray DVD player, an HDMI switch and a wireless HDMI transmitter.

I was going to add a receiver to drive the home theater speakers, but I started thinking about the devices I have installed that generate a lot of heat. The DCA and DVR really generate a lot of heat, and so will the amplifier. I was thinking of adding some muffin fans at the top of the enclosure to suck out some of the hot air, but I don't have a lot of real estate left in the cabinet.

Has anyone else gotten concerned about overloading that cabinet heat-wise? If so, what did you do about it?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-22-2014, 11:46 AM   #2
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Yeah, I had similar concerns on my old 2008 Bus when I loaded up that compartment. Luckily I had a vented door on it but I didn't have any way on the bottom to let the air into the compartment. Tiffin had started using cherry wood slotted covers for their heat vent outlets on newer rigs. I special ordered one of them pre-finished with my interior finish, cut out a large oblong hole in the bottom of the compartment, and then covered it with the slotted cover. It worked fine with our setup, as we had the Panasonid Home Theater box, the DirecTV box a Hughes Internet Modem and a D-4 Satellite Controller in the compartment.

If you think you may be putting more heat load into the compartment than I was, perhaps you could put a second slotted grill in the bottom and/or one high on the rear facing and front facing surface. Also, make sure any additional shelves you add to the compartment have a lot of vent slots or holes so that rising heat from all those boxes can use convection to let itself flow. We added some small spacers under our boxes and didn't stack any boxes on top of each other without spacers but it worked well. We had a considerable heat flow coming out when everything was cooking (on) but we never had a box failure in 75,000 miles of use. The wood grills blended in to the decor as the finish matched perfectly with the rest of the wood and didn't look klunky or amateurish.
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Old 11-22-2014, 12:01 PM   #3
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Heat kills electronics. Ventilation, fan assisted if needed, is recommended.
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Old 11-22-2014, 12:22 PM   #4
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I found that the heat from the sun on a hot day raised the temperature in my overhead compartment almost as much as the audio gear. I decreased the heat in the compartment by leaving the door open when using the electronics. The Direct TV box seems to generate more heat then my surround sound system and HDMI switches.

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Old 11-22-2014, 01:02 PM   #5
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On my last coach, Monaco had placed a screened vent at the back of the cabinet that vented toward the windshield. I used a small computer fan to pull air in the front and out the vent. If you don't have a vent, use a hole saw and then put a cover over it.


On all of my DirecTV boxes, I add a 1" rubber foot at all four corners (glue them on). This allows more air flow under the DirecTV box, where it vents. Take some of your other components, like the 110v blocks used for the Winegard and DirecTV power and strap them to the side walls for more space.


When the sun hit the front cap of my Monaco, even after adding insulation and the fan, the entertainment cabinet still got really hot on 90 degree plus days, which will kill a DirecTV receiver.


It looked hokie, but on hot days, I made a tube that attached to a nearby ceiling A/C duct and blew cold air into the cabinet. When the DirecTV receiver gets hot, it will start to pixelate. You can also use a small computer fan on the outside of the box. Add a 12v connection and hang it from the open cabinet door so that it blows in on the components. Just try and get some air flow going.
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