Step 4: Make Holes

Time to make holes in the lid.   Take your new fan and estimate a decent location on the lid for cooling.   Roughly the middle is ideal, but depending on the board layout you could move it about.

Mark your fan's outer limits on the top of the lid with marker or pencil.  This helps reposition the fan when it moves.

Then poke your pen through the blades and try to draw the limits of the inside.   You should end up with a circle, likely with four chords cut off the sides.

Finally, mark through the four mounting holes so you know where to put the screw holes.  Then put the main body of the switch out of dust's way.

Drill a pilot hole not hard on the line, big enough for your jigsaw blade.  Then using scraps of timber for support, carefully saw your line off - that is, cut off the line you drew.  This will allow enough room for air but without being too wide.

Clean up the edges of the hole using files and steel. You could also use a laser cutter, but anyone with that kind of kit could just buy a silent switch.

Ideally the cut edge should be rounded and have no protrusions - any irregularities mess with airflow and also catch dust.

Once the main hole is done, test fit and check the screw holes, and drill large enough for your mounting screws or bolts.

I chose to put a coat of spray on galvanising paint on the raw edges.  This will help keep the steel from getting rusty over time.

And assemble!
<p>Thanks so much for the idea! I bought a HP ProCurve 3500yl-48g-Poe+ switch and it was SUPER SUPER loud! Out with the old tiny fans and in with the new 200mm fans. Taped up the grills where the stock fans were to direct the airflow in the direction it would have been going stock. Super silent and runs cool as a cucumber :)</p>
My instructable <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Fix-a-PC-power-supply-fan-without-needing-screwdri/" rel="nofollow">HERE</a> would have been of great help at this point I think.
Yeah, nah. <br><br>I've done this kind of thing in the past and yes it has a short term benefit. <br><br>However I wanted this switch to run non-stop for 10 years, not needing another oiling in some number of months.<br><br>Plus the added benefit of using a large slow fan is a slower rotation speed with the same cooling. These little fans howl even when running properly purely because of the high RPMs needed.<br><br>YMMV :)
Point taken. My little fix might be of benefit to others though that don't want to void their warranty! LOL! <br>Or to someone that wouldn't be able to fit their switch back in the rack after (I assume yours isn't in a rack). <br>For your purposes though, it's a great idea. <br>First off, the horizontal placement will greatly decrease bearing wear in the first place. Coupled with the slower rotation, a half decent fan should easily last several years. <br>I have an MSA30 with 14 U320 SCSI drives in it, and the power supply fans in that thing sound like little jet turbines! I'd love to get into the programming on that thing and tell it to slow the fans down since it's not in a rack. <br>If you know of a way to get into the code for the HP Storage Works MSA30 please let me know.
You should enter this in the <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Weekly-Make-It-Challenge-Foam/">Foam Challenge!</a>
Heh pretty tenuous use of foam. Actually sorbathane rubber would have been a better choice but I didn't have any.<br><br>In fact, other than the resistors I already had all of this in the shed. What *does* that say about me?
It says you need to get a bigger junkbox to hold all your spare scavenged resistors :)
personally i enjoy the sound of a server's fan, they put me to sleep. but i guess for a practical standpoint this would be fantastic, great instructable, clear advise, you did well!
We have 2 routers and 1 server we need to do something like this to. The way everything is going, I might just donate them to a school.
10+ years ago I was working in a high school, and all the cheapy edimax ***** switches started having fan failures.<br><br>So I made an airbox using a plastic icecream container. That had an old desk fan on one side, and there were four or five 50mm flexible hoses coming off the other side. The fan was mains 240V powered and it was really loud. However it put a gale of air into those nasty 100 Mbit edimax switches, and they kept running. I believe it was still there working when the school was destroyed by earthquakes last year. Along with the Sun3/50 I made up as a clock :)

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