Fan Panel


The server rack that I use in my home server has an acrylic front panel, rather than a solid or mesh panel. This is fine and all if you have decent internal air circulation in the case - but I don’t.

Because the NTD boxes for nbn internet connectivity in Australia backfeed the DPUs in the comms pits, the transformer inside runs quite hot, which sucks when it’s in a closed case.

At times my brother just took out the devices that were in the rack, but we eventually just removed the front door of the rack. As the Australian summer hit we even dangled a 200mm fan… issue with this was that there was no dust filtering so the fan sucked a whole lot of dust

Note: That mesh wasn’t there during the leadup to this project; I had taken a photo for a before/after preview - but forgot to take out the mesh for the ‘before’ photo

I had plans to modify the acrylic front panel and install some fans, but only got around to doing it recently. But now that I have free time during uni break, it’s time to get it done!

I purchased two Thermaltake 200mm fans, as I couldn’t get my hands on a second matching fan to pair with my existing Bitfenix Spectre Pro 230mm.

The larger the fan diameter, the more air it can push when compared to a smaller fan running at the same speed. So with a larger fan, I can run it at a lower speed (quieter!) and still push a considerable amount of air

As I had gotten fans with a blue LED (without a switch to turn off), I snipped off the LED wires.

On the panel I had two 200mm holes cut out, and screw holes made to mount the fans.

(Oh yeah, I frosted the panel to diffuse the lights of the server equipment that would shine through it)

I glued back the rubber vibration dampeners (or whatever they are), and then reinstalled the panel onto the front door

Looking good!

Finally I put on a computer fan mesh over the panel (with double sided adhesive)

And we’re done! It’s quiet, there’s fresh air flowing into the case, there’s dust filtration, and it looks decent!

In terms of wiring up power, I found a three pin fan Y-splitter in my house that I could use to power both fans. Inline to this I added a fan speed reducer (overglorified resistor) that I had lying around, as at full speed the fans run abit loud.

Right now the fans are being powered off a 12V 2A DC adapter that’s on a powerboard outside of the rack - eventually I’ll move the power adapter inside.

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