In "rack" Cooling - Updated




Introduction: In "rack" Cooling - Updated

About: I like to tinker with just about anything, sometimes it works out in the end. Have fun looking at the projects, try tearing something open and let me know how it goes. cheers, -Joe

In my house I keep my linux box in a modified side table.

I removed the back, but it seems the external drives get a bit warmer in the summer months than I would like.

A trip to radioshack fixed this.

After doing this the first time, I decided to add an extra fan/

Also if anyone has a small (less than 10" ) vga lcd screen source, let me me know.


Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Parts

12v Power supply
2x12v Computer fan (I used the Thermaltake with leds)
M-Type inline dc power jack

Step 2: Tools

Wire Stripper
Soldering Iron

Step 3: Identify the Problem

So while I was at this, I decided to move a power strip in to the "rack" and label the cables and organize them. Running all the cables from the wall to the "rack" was getting messy.

Step 4: Test

The fan had a 4 prong PC power supply type connector.
To figure out which wires I needed for the fan I attached it to a 12v power supply and tried them all out.

Step 5: Cut and Strip

As I said, the fan has a 4 prong connector for attaching to a PC power supply.

After testing which wires I needed It was obviously the green shrink wrapped wires.

I off the 4 prong adapter and stripped 3/4" of heat shrink from the end of the green cord.

This revealed 2 wires, I soldered the positive to the middle of DC power jack, and the negative to the outer tab.

Step 6: Slide the Cover Over

Slide the cover of the plug over the metal jack and screw on.

Step 7: Attach to Door

This side table had two convenient crosses cut in to it. I put the fan behind one of them. Honestly if radioshack had of had two fans in stock I would have used two.

Radioshack did not have two, but had one so now there are two.

Step 8: Stand Offish

After I mounted the first fan and had it running I noticed it was kind of noisy and did not pull in that much air.

I fixed both of these issues by moving the fans off the door with some spacers. I used washers and nuts since I had them on hand. This quieted the whole thing down and increased the air flow immensely.

Step 9: Sit Back and Admire Your Work.

Time to sit back and admire your work.

Step 10: Going Forward

So the next step is to put a thermostat on it so it only turns on at a certain temperature. But that screams of an effort I don't feel like putting in.

Be the First to Share


    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest
    • Raspberry Pi Contest 2020

      Raspberry Pi Contest 2020
    • Wearables Contest

      Wearables Contest

    5 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    turning the fans on/off with a microcontroller and a temperature sensor is fairly simple, but im not sure or your electrical knowledge. maybe ill make an instructable on it.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    An actual microcontroller is probably overkill- I'm thinking a temperature sensor and a few discrete components could do the job. Microcontrollers have made me lazy and I've forgotten exactly how I'd wire that up purely in the analog world, but if you are allowed an op-amp chip I could probably do it with just that and a potentiometer, temperature sensor and a transistor or relay to control the motor. Maybe I'll do one of those- need an excuse to go to Maplin anyway and my computer runs hot in this weather as well.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    No, something like the temp sensor lm335z with a small microcontroller like the attiny2313 or similar could work great for this, attach a transistor to one of the pins and have the power flow across the transistor when the pin is high, could work great! But you are right, a comparator circuit with a temp sensor and possibly an op amp could work too...


    10 years ago on Step 9

    Quick question, which method would you recommend: - Air flowing into the rack ("pulling" the air into the cross when you close your rack) or - Air flowing out / exhausting from the cross ("pulling" the hot air out of the rack)?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I think you want to pull cool air in and go across the devices and blow the hot air out the back. That is the way that real servers and telco gear operate. -Joe