Introduction: IStar Hard Drive Cage Fan Replacement Mod

Picture of IStar Hard Drive Cage Fan Replacement Mod

The iStar Tray less Hard Drive Cages are known to come with cheap noisy fans. These fans are an odd size and have a non standard 3-pin JST connector. They can be replaced with any 80mm fan you choose. In this Instructable I will be using Noctua's NF-A8 ULN.

For this project you will need:

  • 1x iStar Hard Drive cage
  • 1x 80mm 3-pin Replacement Fan
  • 4x 6-32 X 1 1/4" Screws / Bolts
  • Heat Shrink / Black Tape

Tools you will need include:

  • Flush Cutters
  • Soldering Iron
  • 7/64" Drill Bit and Drill
  • Phillips Screwdriver

Step 1: Remove Old Fan

Picture of Remove Old Fan

Remove the old loud fan and shroud by unscrewing the four screws on each corner, and unplug the 3-pin JST connector. You can save the shroud for later if you want to reinstall it, although this is not needed.

Step 2: Make a 3-pin JST to 3-pin Molex Adapter

Picture of Make a 3-pin JST to 3-pin Molex Adapter

Cut the the 3-pin JST connector off of the old fan leaving about 1-2" of wire. Then Cut the connector off of a 3-pin extension or off of your 3-pin fan. Solder the JST connector onto your extension or onto your new fan. Solder black to black, yellow to yellow, and red to red.

Note: Make sure you use some black tape or heat shrink so that the exposed wires don't touch each other.

Step 3: Cut and Drill Out the Fan Mounting Holes.

Picture of Cut and Drill Out the Fan Mounting Holes.

Using a pair of flush cutters, cut the fan alignment dowels off the four mounting holes. Then using a 7/64" drill bit, drill out the four mounting holes.

Note: Be careful not to hit the PCB on the other side with the drill bit.

Step 4: Screw Your New Fans On

Picture of Screw Your New Fans On

Using a set of four 6-32 X 1 1/4" screws screw your new fan onto the iStar Hard Drive Cage. Then plug in your new fan using your adapter if you made one. At this step you can install your new fan with or without the old fan shroud. Although any new fan you get is going to be thicker then the stock one, so the fan shroud won't fit the same.

Note: Don't use power tools to screw your new fans in, you don't want to strip the new plastic mounting holes out.

Comments

Swansong (author)2017-11-21

I'm glad you could fix it :)

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