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Custom Cooling for a Peripheral Device (Audio Interface)

Last response: in Components
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May 14, 2014 4:59:15 PM

I have a Lexicon Omega audio interface that constantly runs hot. After hours of use it often totally stops functioning only for me to discover how hot it is, then I have to let it sit until it is room temperature before it works again. I realized I needed to do something to fix this so I took it apart and now use it opened up to get at least some air flow, but this isn't a permanent fix. I have a lot of experience tinkering with electronics but none whatsoever with cooling, so I'm wondering if anyone has some pointers. I've come up with a plan and was hoping someone could look at what I've come up with and tell me if it looks good or what I could do better or suggest better products than the ones I listed at the bottom.

Device: http://www.lexiconpro.com/en-US/products/omega
Opened up: https://i.imgur.com/SipwqGl.jpg

I'm thinking on the blue piece I can cut a big circular hole on top for a fan and a little hole on each side near the front (where there would be no pcb right next to the hole) to let air escape. I figure it shouldn't need that much air flow, just enough to keep it cooler than if it were totally closed off like it is manufactured. I was thinking I could either screw it in with a nut and bolt, or I could just use rubber cement which would seal the gap around the fan considering the fact that the surface of the blue piece isn't exactly flat.

It's 75mm wide so I'm thinking I could go with a 60mm PC fan, and I see no reason to get anything thicker than 10mm. For power I'm thinking just take any random 12V PSU available on amazon, cut off the plugs on the fan and psu then strip them so I get bare wire, then splice them together with a potentiometer in the middle so I can have some speed control. Then I would feel safest having some kind of filters to cover everything. If I blow air in, I could use a dust filter on the fan and then just cut up some wire mesh for the vents that let air out.

Fan: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BJGF5OA
PSU: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000VDR78E
Dust Filter: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K40NDIM
Mesh: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CNM1K3E



== UPDATE ==
I finished it and it works great. The voltage regulators which were once hot enough to give me a blister now stay around room temperature. I am somewhat surprised by just how well it works, it has exceeded my expectations.

In case anyone is interested, I created an imgur album going step by step through the process and a Youtube video demonstrating the working device.

https://imgur.com/a/3QuZR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t6_qkzs_uU

Best solution

May 17, 2014 11:24:10 PM

What you have is a little heater. You have to think medium to high speed fans of a Bigger size. Think overkill
not underkill. You Have to think airflow. In basic a better solution on the fan deal is needed. But you are on the right track.
Push air in and pull it out if you cab.. Just like a little computer case.
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May 26, 2014 9:11:41 AM

I appreciate your suggestion but I really didn't want to add two fans. It is very cramped inside so they would have to be sticking out of the device. I know people say you need intake and exhaust but I'd rather try with one fan first and see how that does. With a big exhaust vent I feel like I can get pretty good air flow. I did decide to go larger though, I got 80 mm. After opening it up I actually discovered there were some voltage regulators inside generating all the heat, so I put heatsinks on them and put the fan on the side to blow directly on them. I will be getting the last piece I need in the mail tomorrow so then I will see how it works.
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May 26, 2014 6:03:24 PM

Best wishes. Hope it works out. Good call on the heatsinks
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June 3, 2014 6:12:36 PM

I finished it and it works great. The voltage regulators which were once hot enough to likely give a blister now stay around room temperature. I am somewhat surprised by just how well it works, it has exceeded my expectations.

In case anyone is interested, I created an imgur album going step by step through the process and a Youtube video demonstrating the working device.

https://imgur.com/a/3QuZR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t6_qkzs_uU
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