(Topic ID: 215113)

Fixing/Replacing Stern Spike & Spooky noisy PS fans (plugnplay shipping now)

By PinMonk

5 years ago


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  • 640 posts
  • 129 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 65 days ago by PinMonk
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    There are 640 posts in this topic. You are on page 13 of 13.
    #601 2 years ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    I am of the constant on theory of fan operation. While the thermally regulated fan is one solution, the up and down temperature swings are not the best for the electronics in the power supply. A consistent temp is better. However, the fan included with the power supply is way too loud for continuous operation. The one that PinMonk provides is fine but I don't know the voltage it is rated for. I took a Noctua 12 volt silent fan and wired it to the accessory connector.

    I added the same fan with the adapter from thingiverse.
    In a quiet room it certainly isn't silent, but you don't hear it while playing.
    It beats the on and off of the very loud thermal controlled fan hands down.
    Found the connector on Mouser. Looks factory.

    PXL_20220402_201936766.jpgPXL_20220402_201936766.jpgPXL_20220402_202330966.jpgPXL_20220402_202330966.jpg
    3 months later
    #602 1 year ago
    Quoted from torpedo2k:

    I added the same fan with the adapter from thingiverse.
    In a quiet room it certainly isn't silent, but you don't hear it while playing.
    It beats the on and off of the very loud thermal controlled fan hands down.
    Found the connector on Mouser. Looks factory.[quoted image][quoted image]

    Looks so clean! Can you link the connector you found on mouser?

    2 months later
    #604 1 year ago

    I just got my first Stern pin, a GZ, and I can’t believe how loud the fan is! My MMR makes literally no perceptible noise whatsoever, so this came as an unpleasant surprise. At least I know I’m not the only one, and there’s a fix. Very annoying though. Shame on them for not sourcing a better PS. For the price of a NIB Stern pin, this sort of thing is BS. I’d rather pay a bit more if the margins are really that thin.

    #605 1 year ago
    Quoted from CigarPundit:

    I just got my first Stern pin, a GZ, and I can’t believe how loud the fan is! My MMR makes literally no perceptible noise whatsoever, so this came as an unpleasant surprise. At least I know I’m not the only one, and there’s a fix. Very annoying though. Shame on them for not sourcing a better PS. For the price of a NIB Stern pin, this sort of thing is BS. I’d rather pay a bit more if the margins are really that thin.

    The Meanwell power supply itself is actually really good. It just has a ridiculously noisy fan. Meanwell (the manufacturer) has said that they will customize it if asked, but Stern hasn't asked, I assume because it will raise the price of the power supply a little. And Stern's excuse that they need to use a fan with better CFM for edge cases like "a sunny laundromat window where the temps in summer are extreme for a pin" is ridiculous because the EDGE CASES should have to buy the louder fan version, so all the home and air conditioned locations can have the quiet fan. Build a quieter pin for the 99.98% of users and make the laundromat edge cases buy a heavy duty power supply. Don't punish everyone to cover your edge cases. Besides, the power supply has power throttling and a cutoff if the power supply gets to 158F, so failsafes are already built into the power supply. It's just Stern being lazy/cheap. Boo.

    This graph shows the temp range for normal operation and then when it starts throttling, and by how much, and then the failsafe kicking in and cutting off power if the temp reaches 158F.
    RSP 500-48_temp_graph (resized).jpgRSP 500-48_temp_graph (resized).jpg

    #606 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    Stern's excuse that they need to use a fan with better CFM for edge cases like "a sunny laundromat window where the temps in summer are extreme for a pin" is ridiculous because the EDGE CASES should have to buy

    Edge cases aren’t going to buy anything. They are going to complain to their op/distro/Stern that this pos isn’t working and ask for it to be replaced with something reliable. And Stern doesn’t want that, ops don’t want that and distros don’t want that.
    Until people stop buying due to this issue Stern has no incentive to change it.

    #607 1 year ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    Edge cases aren’t going to buy anything. They are going to complain to their op/distro/Stern that this pos isn’t working and ask for it to be replaced with something reliable. And Stern doesn’t want that, ops don’t want that and distros don’t want that.
    Until people stop buying due to this issue Stern has no incentive to change it.

    I honestly don't even believe the edge case Gomez cited as the excuse for keeping the noisy stock higher CFM fan exists as more than a handful of cases, if that. When testing before release, I ran my quieter, lower CFM fans in a bar that was 90F indoors at times in the summer (no ac, they just opened the doors) for almost a year with constant temp monitoring inside both the head and inside the power supply casing (using dual probes) and never got close to even throttling to 80% load. My lower CFM fan turned on at 122F, cooled power supply back to 104F, fan turned off. Stern COULD do it, but I think it's the bean counters that are leaving the status quo and shifting the cost to change to a quieter fan to the end users. Boo.

    Gomez did say another power supply is coming, but that was over 2 years ago, so we'll see.

    1 month later
    #608 1 year ago

    Everyone happy with these? Any failures or issues with game?

    Gameroom gets loud with all the machines on, looking to replace 7-8 fans.

    #609 1 year ago
    Quoted from Psw757:

    Everyone happy with these? Any failures or issues with game?
    Gameroom gets loud with all the machines on, looking to replace 7-8 fans.

    I've installed 3 over the years. They work as advertised and take maybe 20 minutes a piece to install. Worked great in a Spooky and worked great in a Stern. 10/10 would recommend IF you don't rotate your pins alot. I seem to just keep upgrading mine for the next guy.

    #610 1 year ago
    Quoted from SantaEatsCheese:

    I've installed 3 over the years. They work as advertised and take maybe 20 minutes a piece to install. Worked great in a Spooky and worked great in a Stern. 10/10 would recommend IF you don't rotate your pins alot. I seem to just keep upgrading mine for the next guy.

    I mean for $18 a game seems to be a big improvement if you have several spike games.

    I was just checking to see if anyone has had any failures or overheats.

    They are plug and play now with no cutting correct?

    #611 1 year ago
    Quoted from Psw757:

    I mean for $18 a game seems to be a big improvement if you have several spike games.
    I was just checking to see if anyone has had any failures or overheats.
    They are plug and play now with no cutting correct?

    Plug and play, no cutting of wires or splicing, but you have to pull/cut some wires out of some glue inside the power supply box. From a technical point of view it's unscrewing screws, unplugging/plugging in a wire, and pulling some wires out of some loose silicone glue. A supervised 8 year old could do it.

    #612 1 year ago

    I would go this route but I like the constant on fan rather than one that runs intermittently. A constant temperature is better than one that cycles up and down. I just tossed the stock internal fan and replaced it with a 40mm Noctua fan wired to the accessory board. Works great and you can't hear it.

    #613 1 year ago

    I forgot to cross link a post I made about Stern recently changing the fans in these power supplies...for the worse. The new fans are cheaper/slightly louder. You can read details about that here:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stern-finally-has-a-new-fan-in-their-spike2-power-supplies

    Quoted from SantaEatsCheese:

    Plug and play, no cutting of wires or splicing, but you have to pull/cut some wires out of some glue inside the power supply box. From a technical point of view it's unscrewing screws, unplugging/plugging in a wire, and pulling some wires out of some loose silicone glue. A supervised 8 year old could do it.

    The amount/type of silicone in the power supply varies WIDELY. I've personally done dozens of these now and sometimes the fan's wire is barely in the silicone, and other times it's BURIED. It's not hard to get the wire out at all as long as you're careful snipping into the silicone a little at a time, but I don't want to misrepresent that it's always dead simple. Really that's the only part of the install that can take a few minutes by itself if you get one that is BURIED in silicone.

    Here's a comparison pic of two different pins (I've since figured out that you can get either type of silicone mass at any time. Seems to be pot luck, not tied to any particular years of manufacture):
    Older_vs_2020_power_supply_goo_gone (resized).jpgOlder_vs_2020_power_supply_goo_gone (resized).jpg

    Quoted from Psw757:

    I mean for $18 a game seems to be a big improvement if you have several spike games.
    I was just checking to see if anyone has had any failures or overheats.
    They are plug and play now with no cutting correct?

    They are plug and play. I've had one fan failure reported - ever. They're very reliable, and I have the wire length customized at the factory, so it's the correct length with the connector already on.

    There's no overheats possible because the power supply has built-in throttling that takes over if the power exceeds 122F and then cuts power completely if the power supply hits 158F. When I was developing this solution, I had dual probe continuous temp monitors inside the power supply and inside the backbox at a location that was in the 90s ambient temps in summer (bar with no A/C, just some fans) and it never exceeded the 122F where the fans kick on and bring the temp back to 104F or less.

    Here's the temp management graph for the RSP500-48:
    RSP 500-48_temp_graph (resized).jpgRSP 500-48_temp_graph (resized).jpg

    #614 1 year ago

    I'm looking to replace the fan in my Rush Premium. When I made the change in my Iron Maiden I bought this Noctua 40x40x20 (https://a.co/d/ev2U4Gd). If I recall correctly, I figured out how to run it off of 2 wires rather than 3. I have read that these are highly rated fans even though they are a bit pricier. I've had no issues with it at all.

    However, seeing as I may be submitting an order to Digikey for some other parts, I noticed the following is the replacement fan for the Sunon that was listed in the very first post in this thread:

    https://www.digikey.ca/en/products/detail/sunon-fans/HA40201V4-1000U-A99/6198729

    The specs look to be the same as the original one that was listed in this thread and it's about a third of the price of the Noctua, even though that is not the determining factor for purchasing it.

    Do you see any issue using this fan as a replacement in Rush?

    #615 1 year ago
    Quoted from dzorbas:

    I'm looking to replace the fan in my Rush Premium. When I made the change in my Iron Maiden I bought this Noctua 40x40x20 (https://a.co/d/ev2U4Gd). If I recall correctly, I figured out how to run it off of 2 wires rather than 3. I have read that these are highly rated fans even though they are a bit pricier. I've had no issues with it at all.
    However, seeing as I may be submitting an order to Digikey for some other parts, I noticed the following is the replacement fan for the Sunon that was listed in the very first post in this thread:
    https://www.digikey.ca/en/products/detail/sunon-fans/HA40201V4-1000U-A99/6198729
    The specs look to be the same as the original one that was listed in this thread and it's about a third of the price of the Noctua, even though that is not the determining factor for purchasing it.
    Do you see any issue using this fan as a replacement in Rush?

    As long as you know those digikey fans are bulk pack and have naked wire leads with no connector or protective shrink tubing. So you have to also buy the connector and pins to finish it, or cut it to the right length then splice it, solder it, and shrink tube it onto the lead from the existing fan so you get a connector, that would work.

    You also need to get slightly wider thread-cutting screws as the holes on that fan are larger than the ones in the stock fan, so the two screws on the power supply cannot be used.

    #616 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    As long as you know those digikey fans are bulk pack and have naked wire leads with no connector or protective shrink tubing. So you have to also buy the connector and pins to finish it, or cut it to the right length then splice it, solder it, and shrink tube it onto the lead from the existing fan so you get a connector, that would work. You also need to get slightly wider thread-cutting screws as the holes on that fan are larger than the ones in the stock fan, so the two screws on the power supply cannot be used.

    Yup, no problem with any of that. I have all of the necessary bits and pieces to make it work. I think I may even have 2 extra thread cutting screws left over from the Noctua. I will see if they fit and if they don't I will find something more suitable.

    Thanks for the quick response!

    #617 1 year ago

    Ordered one to try before I order for all 7 of spike machine I have.
    Just installed in slightly under 15 minutes and most time consuming part was removing all that silicone.
    Wow is it quiet now!

    #618 1 year ago
    Quoted from Psw757:

    Just installed in slightly under 15 minutes and most time consuming part was removing all that silicone.

    You don't want to remove the silicone completely, though. The goal is to get the wire running through the silicone out without removing all the silicone. Basically just carefully nip a line through the silicone following the path where you expect the wire to be and test lift, nip silicone, test lift, nip the silicone, etc until you can free the wire. Like this:
    wire removal RSP500-48-sml (resized).jpgwire removal RSP500-48-sml (resized).jpg

    1 week later
    #619 1 year ago

    What is the actual purpose of the silicone? It looks like it is just holding the wiring in place so it doesn't touch anything else and perhaps melt and cause a short. If your replacement wiring is zip tied to other cable in there and makes it next to impossible for it to move and/or touch anything, shouldn't that be sufficient?

    We did a handful of games over the last week or so and the amount and position of the silicone varied in each power supply.

    #620 1 year ago

    Just a support material. Prevents components with longer leads from getting loose or vibrating and causing noise.

    #621 1 year ago
    Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

    Prevents components with longer leads from getting loose or vibrating and causing noise

    Oh, the irony.

    #622 1 year ago
    Quoted from dzorbas:

    What is the actual purpose of the silicone? It looks like it is just holding the wiring in place so it doesn't touch anything else and perhaps melt and cause a short. If your replacement wiring is zip tied to other cable in there and makes it next to impossible for it to move and/or touch anything, shouldn't that be sufficient?
    We did a handful of games over the last week or so and the amount and position of the silicone varied in each power supply.

    It's just to hold the stuff in place and prevent buzz from vibration/movement. Also provides support/stability so components that may expand/contract or vibrate don't break loose over time.

    And yeah, the amount of silicone used is all over the place. Some of the ones I've done have like little dots here and there, while others are giant globby messes.

    #623 1 year ago

    Another reason to toss the fan completely and replace it with 40mm quiet Noctua fan powered from the accessory jack next to the power supply. No reason to connect it to the internal jack, no worries about wires rubbing or interfering and no temperature swings as the fan is on constantly and completely inaudible.

    #624 1 year ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    Another reason to toss the fan completely and replace it with 40mm quiet Noctua fan powered from the accessory jack next to the power supply. No reason to connect it to the internal jack, no worries about wires rubbing or interfering and no temperature swings as the fan is on constantly and completely inaudible.

    Certainly an option, but the reason I made this DIY and then offered an even less work plug and play quiet fan kit is for people that want a factory look. The noctua external bezel idea absolutely works, but doesn't look close to factory and isn't self-contained with the external power requirement. In my experience the majority of people want a clean, factory look for the power supply fan replacement.

    But, both methods are documented in this thread (and the external larger fan with external bezel DIY ideas keyposted for easy location), so whatever way any one person wants to go, the information is here.

    #625 1 year ago

    For me, the factory look doesn't matter much when it's behind the backglass and even less when a functional improvement is made. But that's me.

    2 months later
    #626 1 year ago

    Im a first time owner, just got a Stern James Bond Premium, and the first thing I noticed after a few games was how loud the fan was. Everyone is saying how easy this is, should i be worried about warranty and/or being a first timer and messing up my brand new machine?!? I've never modded or done anything with the internals past the initial setup.

    #627 1 year ago
    Quoted from BW1029:

    Im a first time owner, just got a Stern James Bond Premium, and the first thing I noticed after a few games was how loud the fan was. Everyone is saying how easy this is, should i be worried about warranty and/or being a first timer and messing up my brand new machine?!? I've never modded or done anything with the internals past the initial setup.

    The instructions of the kit are very step-by-step. I've sold a lot over more than 3 years and there are zero install failures I'm aware of. There was one bad fan, but that wasn't an install failure.

    If you have a #2 philips screwdriver, 11/32" socket, and some precision cutters (for jewelry or small gauge wires, etc) the instructions will walk you through it carefully.

    Cary Hardy did an install video (even though he skipped the check your work step at the end) of one he bought:

    4 weeks later
    #628 1 year ago
    Quoted from BW1029:

    Im a first time owner, just got a Stern James Bond Premium, and the first thing I noticed after a few games was how loud the fan was. Everyone is saying how easy this is, should i be worried about warranty and/or being a first timer and messing up my brand new machine?!? I've never modded or done anything with the internals past the initial setup.

    It really is easy and difficult to mess anything up. Even if you somehow mess up the power supply, you can buy a new one but never heard of anyone having to do that. Technically there really is not much of a warranty to begin with so this makes no difference. Plus, pretty much everyone is installing mods of some sort so it's hardly abnormal.

    The power supply is super easy to access inside the backbox and easy to open up with simple tools. You need an exacto knife or something sharp to cut away at the spray silicon stuff holding the fan wires down. Nothing complicated. Then you just unplug the stock fan and plug new one in. Just pay attention putting things back together. I didn't and ended up pinching some wires bolting everything back in place. Game had some distortion/noises in speakers but once I freed the wires everything was fine.

    10 months later
    #629 88 days ago

    Just dropping by to say thanks for putting these fan kits together and making them available. I just replaced my 4 stern fans with the pin monk quiet ones and I can now enjoy watching TV with my games on to just see them and smile. Peace and quiet at last, my zen moment!

    Why the eff doesn’t stern just use these in the first place?!

    I have a Looney Tunes and Jaws on order. I will definitely be getting one for Jaws, but by chance, do you know yet if Spooky still uses the same loud fans for TCM/LT?

    #630 88 days ago
    Quoted from foobeer:

    Just dropping by to say thanks for putting these fan kits together and making them available.

    Thanks for the support!

    Quoted from foobeer:

    I just replaced my 4 stern fans with the pin monk quiet ones and I can now enjoy watching TV with my games on to just see them and smile. Peace and quiet at last, my zen moment!
    Why the eff doesn’t stern just use these in the first place?!

    Nothing official. Meanwell has said they would do it if Stern requested, but there would be a cost difference. So that's probably the core issue. Since Gomez alluded to budgetary restraints when selecting power supplies in a video a few years ago.

    Quoted from foobeer:

    I have a Looney Tunes and Jaws on order. I will definitely be getting one for Jaws, but by chance, do you know yet if Spooky still uses the same loud fans for TCM/LT?

    If it's the same as ultraman/halloween then the Spooky fan I sell will replace it. The fan is still way too loud, but there is an improvement compared to Rick and Morty and previous spooky because the U/H pins forward have thermal control so they are not running all the time, just when the temperature inside needs to be reduced.

    #631 88 days ago

    Used one of these in my amh and no difference at all in the noise of the fan unfortunately

    #632 88 days ago
    Quoted from musketd:

    Used one of these in my amh and no difference at all in the noise of the fan unfortunately

    If you bought it from me, either the fan was defective (would be the first on a spooky and only like the 3rd ever, PM for replacement) or you tightened the fan too much when you re-installed it. If the screws holding it to the case are tightened too much, it tweaks the fan housing and makes the blades barely hit it, making it loud. All the fans I sell are a *substantial* reduction in sound over the stock ones.

    #633 85 days ago

    Well yeah the one I put in sounds even louder so not sure was just like wth and even followed the video online for installing it and it didn’t say anything about that with the screws

    #634 85 days ago
    Quoted from musketd:

    Well yeah the one I put in sounds even louder so not sure was just like wth and even followed the video online for installing it and it didn’t say anything about that with the screws

    It was added to later instructions, so the video zach did, which was very early, would not have had it. The one Cary did was later, but still before I discovered it was a potential issue. Your instructions may not have had it, either, depending on when you got it and/or when they were printed. I only figured out the cause by working with people that were experiencing fan noise.

    That said, your fan may actually just be defective. It's unlikely, but not impossible. If loosening the screws a bit doesn't help, PM me and I'll set up a replacement.

    #635 80 days ago

    Thanks for the write up. I installed via the DIY method, and it worked like a charm. Thank you!!

    #636 80 days ago
    Quoted from BustaBucket1977:

    Thanks for the write up. I installed via the DIY method, and it worked like a charm. Thank you!!

    Awesome. Doing my part to help people reduce the audio assault from that fan power supply! Not a lot have gone the DIY route once I made the plug and play kits, but it's totally do-able if you have the time and skills, so I've left the original DIY instructions up for people like you that are down to do it themselves.

    2 weeks later
    #637 66 days ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    For me, the factory look doesn't matter much when it's behind the backglass and even less when a functional improvement is made. But that's me.

    Is there a premade connector someone offers somewhere that connects the fan connector to the power board on the stern backbox? I order something I thought was correct from pinball life but it doesn't have the correct connectors.

    #638 66 days ago
    Quoted from stuckey_t:

    Is there a premade connector someone offers somewhere that connects the fan connector to the power board on the stern backbox? I order something I thought was correct from pinball life but it doesn't have the correct connectors.

    Maybe, but I'm not aware of one. I think the closest pinball life has is this one:

    pbl-600-0046-00

    It connects to CN6 on the PDB for the 12v fine, but the molex connector on the other end is the wrong type for fans. You need a much smaller connector on the other end, but that involves soldering (or crimping).

    #639 65 days ago

    I gotta say, PinMonk's efforts are to be recognized and commended. I know that the stock fan on the ps is crazy loud in a home environment and I would have gone with one of his fans but I don't like the idea of a fan switching on and off and the temp in ps fluctuating to the extent that it does with this setup. I had to find a compatible connector for the fan plug into the Stern power distribution board at an electronic supply shop and had to solder the wires to it.

    #640 65 days ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    I would have gone with one of his fans but I don't like the idea of a fan switching on and off and the temp in ps fluctuating to the extent that it does with this setup.

    It's only an ~18 degree fluctuation. 122F fan on, 104F fan off, and that's built into Meanwell's component spec, so I doubt it's an issue. If you're in an incredibly hot environment over over 100F, maybe it turns on at 122F then continues rising to 125F before it can get the temp to pull down, but that's a pretty extreme case. When I was long-term testing these in a bar with no A/C it was close to that kind of environment during the summer at times (it was a brick building, too) and even then it rarely got much over 122F inside the power supply before the fan pulled the temp back as designed.

    Mouser/Digikey sell the pins/connectors that will work, but that will require crimping/soldering/etc, and I don't think that's what the request was about. If you're going down that road, it's pretty completely DIY. There's just not any premade components to help do that connection.

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