(Topic ID: 215113)

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


By vireland

1 year ago



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  • 337 posts
  • 70 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by EightBallTexas
  • Topic is favorited by 110 Pinsiders

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    There are 337 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 7.
    #151 11 months ago
    Quoted from jabdoa:

    You need some Meanwell 48V supply with at least 500W power. Passive ones exist such as MW HEP-600-48. But they are quite expensive compared to the Spike model (200 vs 100 bucks roughly).

    Thanks - so I guess this is the upgrade?

    Fanless - how nice!

    But, it's expensive, for sure.

    https://www.trcelectronics.com/View/Mean-Well/HEP-600-48.shtml

    #152 11 months ago
    Quoted from paul_8788:Finally got around to trying this. My machines are in my basement, which never gets above room temperature. They are fairly close to where I watch tv, and I like having them on just for the ambience while I am watching or gaming, so the noise on my Deadpool and SW Premium were starting to bug me.
    I did my SW Premium, following the instructions and using the parts in the original post. I didn't want to splice, I wanted it as reversible as possible, so I also bought the connector housing and crimp on connectors. I also bought both the 12.8 and 21 db fans so I could compare. My notes/findings:
    1) The crimp on connectors are the right part #, they worked great. Anyone trying to do this who does not already have a crimp tool, get one, comes in useful for all types of pin repair stuff.
    2) The 21 db fan is definitely quieter than the Stern. I didn't time it closely, but it did not seem to run any longer than the stock Stern fan when cooling down. I really wanted to use this one just to play it safe, but I felt the fan was still too noisy
    3) The 12.8 db fan is nice. Can barely hear it while running. I can hear it come on but I have to be listening for it. It does take longer to cool down the power supply, runs for about 6 mins compared to 2.5 to 3 mins on Stern fan.
    Big thanks to Vireland for posting the parts and everything. I bought extra housings and crimp connectors (because I usually screw up my crimping a couple of times), and two of each kind of fan, and with shipping only came to about $55 CDN, which is less than I usually have to pay on shipping alone for mods and parts, so pretty happy.
    Maybe one day Stern will source fanless or quieter power supplies but until then I will just mod my Spike games with this, and will still be able to pop the original fan back in when I go to sell if someone is concerned.

    What crimp tool did you use?

    Think I am going to do all my Sterns as the noise from the fans is just ridiculous!

    #153 11 months ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    What crimp tool did you use?

    I've had one for awhile, cannot remember where I got it and doesn't have a brand name on it. Should be able to find a reasonable tool at an electronics place. Both Marco and Pinball Life sell crimpers, looks like Marco's can do a wider variety of wire gauges. I think I crimped them at 24 awg.

    #154 11 months ago
    Quoted from paul_8788:

    I've had one for awhile, cannot remember where I got it and doesn't have a brand name on it. Should be able to find a reasonable tool at an electronics place. Both Marco and Pinball Life sell crimpers, looks like Marco's can do a wider variety of wire gauges. I think I crimped them at 24 awg.

    Ok, thanks - I guess something like this?

    https://www.pololu.com/product/1929

    Still can't believe with all the different modders out there, no one has offered a plug and play silent fan solution!

    #155 11 months ago
    Quoted from paul_8788:

    Finally got around to trying this. My machines are in my basement, which never gets above room temperature. They are fairly close to where I watch tv, and I like having them on just for the ambience while I am watching or gaming, so the noise on my Deadpool and SW Premium were starting to bug me.
    I did my SW Premium, following the instructions and using the parts in the original post. I didn't want to splice, I wanted it as reversible as possible, so I also bought the connector housing and crimp on connectors. I also bought both the 12.8 and 21 db fans so I could compare. My notes/findings:
    1) The crimp on connectors are the right part #, they worked great. Anyone trying to do this who does not already have a crimp tool, get one, comes in useful for all types of pin repair stuff.
    2) The 21 db fan is definitely quieter than the Stern. I didn't time it closely, but it did not seem to run any longer than the stock Stern fan when cooling down. I really wanted to use this one just to play it safe, but I felt the fan was still too noisy
    3) The 12.8 db fan is nice. Can barely hear it while running. I can hear it come on but I have to be listening for it. It does take longer to cool down the power supply, runs for about 6 mins compared to 2.5 to 3 mins on Stern fan.
    Big thanks to Vireland for posting the parts and everything. I bought extra housings and crimp connectors (because I usually screw up my crimping a couple of times), and two of each kind of fan, and with shipping only came to about $55 CDN, which is less than I usually have to pay on shipping alone for mods and parts, so pretty happy.
    Maybe one day Stern will source fanless or quieter power supplies but until then I will just mod my Spike games with this, and will still be able to pop the original fan back in when I go to sell if someone is concerned.

    Thanks for the compliments. I'm using the 12.8 db fans on all the pins and have a dual probe temp monitor inside and outside the power supply on the "warmer" locations and none of them have gotten anywhere near the safety cutoff temp, so I'll keep using the 12.8db ones.

    Also note that fans will be going up 25% in price soon because they are one of the categories hit by Trump's tariffs on China. Stockpile now!

    #156 11 months ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    Ok, thanks - I guess something like this?

    I don't know of that one specifically. I think the open barrel one on pinrestore is what I used:

    http://www.pinrestore.com/Tools.html

    There are a couple of threads on here on Pinside on what is the best overall crimping tool to get, would start searching there.

    #157 11 months ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    So, even my wife is fed up with Stern fans when I leave my games on!
    ebay.com link » Pc Computer Case Cooling Fan Cooler 2pin Ultra Silent Low Noise 40mm 40x40x10mm
    Trying to find a quiet 2 pin.
    This one is 15DB.
    Would it work/fit?
    Not sure why it has 2 connectors on it?

    That fan is too thin. It won't fit correctly in the power supply slot. I'm also not buying the specs on that fan. Almost 20% less RPM and slightly MORE CFM? For the same diameter fan? Nope.

    The two connectors are just to be there so it fits regardless of what connector you have on your PC. You only use one of them.

    #159 11 months ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    That fan is too thin. It won't fit correctly in the power supply slot. I'm also not buying the specs on that fan. Almost 20% less RPM and slightly MORE CFM? For the same diameter fan? Nope.
    The two connectors are just to be there so it fits regardless of what connector you have on your PC. You only use one of them.

    Thanks - going to try and get all the pats/fan you detailed at beginning of thread

    One question - how do you remove old fan as wire seems to be stuck in a pile of gunk?! I noticed it when I was looking inside.

    #160 11 months ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    Thanks - going to try and get all the pats/fan you detailed at beginning of thread
    One question - how do you remove old fan as wire seems to be stuck in a pile of gunk?! I noticed it when I was looking inside.

    The stuff's like old taffy, mostly hard. It just pops off with some careful pressure.

    I'm checking with suppliers in China to see if I can get these Sunon fans with the connector already on. They USED to have them, but they went NLA, so the naked wire ones are all that's out there. If I can get them for a reasonable price, I'll probably offer them for people who want a plug and play solution, but the cost will probably be $10-15 IF I can get them, since I'd be buying hundreds instead of thousands. And it's a race against the clock since there's a 25% Trump tariff taking effect very soon.

    #161 11 months ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    The stuff's like old taffy, mostly hard. It just pops off with some careful pressure.
    I'm checking with suppliers in China to see if I can get these Sunon fans with the connector already on. They USED to have them, but they went NLA, so the naked wire ones are all that's out there. If I can get them for a reasonable price, I'll probably offer them for people who want a plug and play solution, but the cost will probably be $10-15 IF I can get them, since I'd be buying hundreds instead of thousands. And it's a race against the clock since there's a 25% Trump tariff taking effect very soon.

    I will hold off for a little then as was going to buy tomorrow.

    Tempted as all the parts you list on page 1 are all available.

    When you say splice, I guess you mean you twist all 4 wires together and then put tubing on?

    Are these the right screws?

    ebay.com link » 10 24 X 1 2 Ss Phillips Flat Head Machine Screws Hillman Box Of 100

    #162 11 months ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    I will hold off for a little then as was going to buy tomorrow.
    Tempted as all the parts you list on page 1 are all available.
    When you say splice, I guess you mean you twist all 4 wires together and then put tubing on?
    Are these the right screws?
    ebay.com link » 10 24 X 1 2 Ss Phillips Flat Head Machine Screws Hillman Box Of 100

    I twist, solder, shrink when I splice.

    Those are not thread-cutting screws. They have to say "thread cutting".

    #163 11 months ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    I will hold off for a little then as was going to buy tomorrow.
    Tempted as all the parts you list on page 1 are all available.
    When you say splice, I guess you mean you twist all 4 wires together and then put tubing on?
    Are these the right screws?
    ebay.com link » 10 24 X 1 2 Ss Phillips Flat Head Machine Screws Hillman Box Of 100

    Just go for it. It's an easy mod on a POS power supply. If you blow it up (which you won't) you could easily replace it with a better one immediately.

    #164 11 months ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    I twist, solder, shrink when I splice.
    Those are not thread-cutting screws. They have to say "thread cutting".

    Hard to find!

    Think these are correct?

    ebay.com link » Thread Cutting Screw 10 24 X 1 2 Phillips Flat Head Uc Steel Lot Of 100 5580

    #165 11 months ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    Hard to find!
    Think these are correct?
    ebay.com link » Thread Cutting Screw 10 24 X 1 2 Phillips Flat Head Uc Steel Lot Of 100 5580

    Those are thread cutting, but they're not pan head, so they will look a little weird sticking up.

    I've been working on getting a plug and play solution, and I've found an overseas manufacturer where I can get the Sunon fans and only buy hundreds instead of thousands to get custom wire length and connector, so I'm 98% sure I'll have a plug and play solution (with two of the correct thread-cutting screws) for those that want that within a month.

    #166 11 months ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    Those are thread cutting, but they're not pan head, so they will look a little weird sticking up.
    I've been working on getting a plug and play solution, and I've found an overseas manufacturer where I can get the Sunon fans and only buy hundreds instead of thousands to get custom wire length and connector, so I'm 98% sure I'll have a plug and play solution (with two of the correct thread-cutting screws) for those that want that within a month.

    I'm in!

    #167 11 months ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    Those are thread cutting, but they're not pan head, so they will look a little weird sticking up.
    I've been working on getting a plug and play solution, and I've found an overseas manufacturer where I can get the Sunon fans and only buy hundreds instead of thousands to get custom wire length and connector, so I'm 98% sure I'll have a plug and play solution (with two of the correct thread-cutting screws) for those that want that within a month.

    Nice work Vic....... Put me down for a few. Im sure you will sell alot.

    #168 11 months ago

    I had already ordered a few fans but tempted to sell them and go for plug and play!

    Will see how tricky the crimping part is....

    #169 11 months ago

    Guess I'm not the only one bothered by noisy Spike fans. Hard to believe I owned 30-40 games pre-Spike and NONE of them had noisy fans (or fans at all). Also hard to believe they startup with almost no activity (making them even more annoying).

    While I respect Stern's manufacturing prowess (and ability to make a buck), this is a ridiculous regression for a new pinball platform. For an extra 2 bucks (or less), they could have solved this for everyone. Oh well...at least they finally listened and got rid of the PF pegs that everyone hated (after many years of collectors complaining).

    snaroff

    #170 11 months ago

    I know I get picky over certain things, whereas my wife is pretty laid back.

    When she asks me to turn off my Stern games because of the 'awful noise', I know it's time to set about modifying and switching to quiet ones.

    #171 11 months ago

    Now that I have modified one I would do the same to all. Night and day difference. I was watching the SDTM MBRLE review yesterday and could hear the fan on the SW Premium kicking in during the review and I kept thinking "Zach needs to replace that fan!"

    #173 11 months ago
    Quoted from snaroff:

    Guess I'm not the only one bothered by noisy Spike fans. Hard to believe I owned 30-40 games pre-Spike and NONE of them had noisy fans (or fans at all). Also hard to believe they startup with almost no activity (making them even more annoying).
    While I respect Stern's manufacturing prowess (and ability to make a buck), this is a ridiculous regression for a new pinball platform. For an extra 2 bucks (or less), they could have solved this for everyone. Oh well...at least they finally listened and got rid of the PF pegs that everyone hated (after many years of collectors complaining).
    snaroff

    That's the part I don't understand. With the volume of power supplies Stern orders they could DEFINITELY request any fan they wanted in there, but they don't. It's lazy and puzzling.

    #174 11 months ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    I had already ordered a few fans but tempted to sell them and go for plug and play!
    Will see how tricky the crimping part is....

    Yeah, I'm not taking away the instructions for those that want to do it themselves, just going to offer a plug and play to make it easy for anyone that wants to try it since way more than I thought are afraid of their skill level to do the cutting and crimping bits of the mod when it REALLY improves the game.

    #175 11 months ago

    I have several different sized Noctua silent fans around from other projects and was thinking of adding one to my GoTG LE to force airflow through the PSU (don't want to modify the PSU itself on a new game).

    What connector do I need for the 12v AUX on the power board? Standard PC fan/accessory connections don't fit it and I'm struggling to figure out what to buy to make up a lead to connect to a standard 3pin fan connector.

    It's also not that clear from the Stern docs what the 3pins are - looks like top one is ground, bottom is +12v, but what's the centre pin for? Is it speed feedback for fans, or something else?

    #176 11 months ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    That's the part I don't understand. With the volume of power supplies Stern orders they could DEFINITELY request any fan they wanted in there, but they don't. It's lazy and puzzling.

    To me it shows that they just don't care. If there was more competition in their price range, we'd likely see a change. I'm assuming they got a great deal on these PSUs.

    #177 11 months ago

    I’m in for a handful, of not two. I can put 4 to use immediately.

    #178 11 months ago
    Quoted from jfesler:

    I’m in for a handful, of not two. I can put 4 to use immediately.

    I have the sample fans right now that just came in so I can check the custom length of wire, shrink tubing and connector I specified. I plan to install some this week and if it works out well, place the full order. I'll probably sell them with the thread cutting screws you need included since they're different than the two Stern has on the power supply. That way it's truly plug and play. Should be a 10 minute or less job for most people this way.

    #179 11 months ago

    I’m in

    #180 11 months ago

    Count me in...

    #182 11 months ago

    Count me in for 3.

    #183 11 months ago

    Test fitting of the sample fans from the factory worked, but the custom wire length is a little too tight, so I'm adding 3cm (about 1.25") to the length of the final version. Working on getting the matching thead cutting screws, but I should have the whole solution worked out this week to place the order. I'll have to order at least 300-400 to get decent pricing.

    This is what the Spike power supply looks like with the plug and play 12.8db fan installed:

    power-supply-new-fan-install (resized).jpg

    Closeup of the connector
    connector-ps (resized).jpg

    Added 10 months ago:

    PLUG-N PLAY kit availability announcement is here:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/replacing-stern-spike-noisy-ps-fans/page/5#post-4702977

    #184 11 months ago

    Has no-one connected to the 12v AUX connector on a Spike system then?

    All connectors here in the UK are metric pitch (mm) between pins, does US electronics use imperial measurements (inches) and any idea what the connector type is?

    #185 11 months ago
    Quoted from cyberkryten:

    Has no-one connected to the 12v AUX connector on a Spike system then?
    All connectors here in the UK are metric pitch (mm) between pins, does US electronics use imperial measurements (inches) and any idea what the connector type is?

    Are you talking about the connector on the power distribution board in the back box? I'm not sure which connector you're referring to.

    #186 11 months ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    Are you talking about the connector on the power distribution board in the back box? I'm not sure which connector you're referring to.

    Yes, there’s a connector labelled “CN6 12v OUT FOR B.B. USE” which looks ideal to connect a silent fan to without having to open up the PSU as I have some spare fans about from other projects

    #187 11 months ago
    Quoted from cyberkryten:

    Yes, there’s a connector labelled “CN6 12v OUT FOR B.B. USE” which looks ideal to connect a silent fan to without having to open up the PSU as I have some spare fans about from other projects

    And that is what I did. The silent fan runs continuously and there are no issues at all.

    #188 11 months ago

    I’m in - I’ll have a chat with the UK members so we can maybe do a group buy and save in shipping costs?

    #189 11 months ago
    Quoted from cyberkryten:

    Yes, there’s a connector labelled “CN6 12v OUT FOR B.B. USE” which looks ideal to connect a silent fan to without having to open up the PSU as I have some spare fans about from other projects

    It could work, but I prefer cleaner solutions like the DIY fan replacement or the plug and play one I'm working on that both are inside the power supply and look factory. Plus that power distribution board connector is already used for toppers (like Game of Thrones). The fan mod, and especially the plug and play one, will look completely factory except minus the noise and not use any connectors used for other things. It's also temperature controlled based on the temp inside the power supply and not on all the time.

    #190 11 months ago
    Quoted from NeilMcRae:

    I’m in - I’ll have a chat with the UK members so we can maybe do a group buy and save in shipping costs?

    Probably a good plan. Shipping to Europe is stupid-expensive. I have no idea how the US can have a postage treaty with China so they can send small packages to the US for virtually nothing, and we don't have the same thing for Europe.

    #191 11 months ago

    hmm it looks like some games have different PSU - have you checked spike 1? one guy here in the UK has a different PSU?

    #192 11 months ago
    Quoted from NeilMcRae:

    hmm it looks like some games have different PSU - have you checked spike 1? one guy here in the UK has a different PSU?

    The early pro spikes had a larger fan in the front of the unit rather than the top. Very small amount of the overall number of power supplies for spike.

    #193 11 months ago

    yes saw that - thanks - defo interest from UK folks.

    #194 11 months ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    And that is what I did. The silent fan runs continuously and there are no issues at all.

    Any idea where you got the connector? I have a lot of 'bits' and none of them fit, nor have the couple I've ordered to try.

    Quoted from vireland:

    It could work, but I prefer cleaner solutions like the DIY fan replacement or the plug and play one I'm working on that both are inside the power supply and look factory.

    Fair enough and I'll probably take a couple of your replacements (via Neil's group buy to the UK). Its just that I have the fans, so figured I'd use them and see if that stopped the (current) PSU fan going nuts. When both GoTG and Deadpool fans kick in, it is pretty annoying.

    #195 11 months ago
    Quoted from cyberkryten:

    Any idea where you got the connector? I have a lot of 'bits' and none of them fit, nor have the couple I've ordered to try.

    Fair enough and I'll probably take a couple of your replacements (via Neil's group buy to the UK). Its just that I have the fans, so figured I'd use them and see if that stopped the (current) PSU fan going nuts. When both GoTG and Deadpool fans kick in, it is pretty annoying.

    when IMDN, GOTG, GB, DP and B66 kick in- its like torture! luckily I changed the PSU on TNA which would make you want to poke your eardrums out.

    #196 11 months ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    It could work, but I prefer cleaner solutions like the DIY fan replacement or the plug and play one I'm working on that both are inside the power supply and look factory. Plus that power distribution board connector is already used for toppers (like Game of Thrones). The fan mod, and especially the plug and play one, will look completely factory except minus the noise and not use any connectors used for other things. It's also temperature controlled based on the temp inside the power supply and not on all the time.

    There are wires everywhere in there. I ran mine so neatly it is hard to find. There is an accessory block available that multiplies the single terminal into 8. My thought on the fan turning on and off is that temperature swings are best avoided with electronics to increase reliability, and a constant flow of air minimizes these. But, hey, do what you like.

    #197 11 months ago

    Order placed for the plug and play quieter Stern power supply fan kits (fan plus two thread-cutting screws). Factory should have them done in 1-2 weeks, then 7-10 days for shipping/customs. Once it gets close and I get shipping figured out, I'll take preorders.

    1 week later
    #198 11 months ago

    I take three Vic.

    #199 11 months ago

    I'll take one! I bought the stuff months ago but have been to chicken to put it in!

    #200 11 months ago

    I'll take one

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