(Topic ID: 215113)

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


By vireland

1 year ago



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    #1 1 year ago

    NOTE: Due to popular demand, a plug and play solution with the custom fan and correct thread-cutting screws is now available if you don't want to bother with the DIY solution outlined in this original post below. This is available in my pinside store, Pin Monk (https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1170-pin-monk) and pinmonk.com. International isn't working through pinside, so use pinmonk.com to order internationally. Otherwise, the DIY instructions to roll your own follow below. Here's what the plug n play kit looks like:

    fan-kit-in-bag-sml (resized).jpg

    Sept 2019 UPDATE: Pinball Life is also carrying the Spike Plug n Play Quiet Fan kit now:
    https://www.pinballlife.com/stern-spike-system-plug-n-play-quiet-fan-kit.html

    UPDATE 8-27-19: Working on a possible plug and play version for the previously-unsupported front-mounted fans.

    NOTE: THIS FAN WILL NOT WORK ON WHOA NELLIE!, PABST CAN CRUSHER, PRIMUS OR ANY VERY EARLY PRO THAT HAS THE FAN ON THE FRONT OF THE POWER SUPPLY. IT IS FOR ALMOST ALL SPIKE 1 and 2 GAMES (THE LISTED MACHINES ON THE STORE SALE PAGE THAT HAVE THE FAN ON THE TOP OF THE POWER SUPPLY). IF YOU'RE NOT SURE USE THIS PICTURE TO COMPARE WITH THE POWER SUPPLY YOU HAVE:

    PowerSupplyComparison (resized).jpg
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ORIGINAL DIY VERSION POST
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NOISY Stern Spike 1/2 power supplies can be quieted SUBSTANTIALLY
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Stern insists on using CRAZY loud fans in their power supplies (34.6dB!) when much quieter ones (12.8dB) are available. I suggest picking up one of these from Digikey. It will be so quiet you can't hear it come on - a huge improvement over what Stern ships with. The CFM is less on this one, but I've never had a problem in a temperature-controlled location. If you have your pin outside in 90 degree heat, this is probably not a good idea. But for a house or temperature-controlled location, this is fine in my experience.

    Replacement part 40mm x 40mm x 20mm - use ONLY this size fan:
    https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/sunon-fans/HA40201V4-000U-999/259-1617-ND/3694184

    (If you're concerned about airflow, this one from mouser has 30% more airflow than the one above, but is 21dB instead of 12.8dB - still less than the Stern at 34dB: https://www.digikey.com/products/en?keywords=MB40201V2-000U-A99 )

    You'll need to get 2 thread cutting screws (NOT sheet metal, but they can work - look for "thread cutting" screws specifically) because the holes on this are a little bigger and the stock screws will not work to put it back in.

    Stern used to have different power supplies in the Pro and Prem/LE, but it seems like they've settled on the Prem/LE type power supply for Pros, too, so this fan should work in all the recent Spike power supplies that have a small fan pointing up at the top edge of the power supply. If you have a larger fan in the middle of the PS on your older pro power supply, it's not nearly as loud, and you'll need to source a different fan.

    Before you start this POWER OFF the machine and UNPLUG IT from the back of the head.

    Here's the original Stern Fan:
    original-Stern-fan (resized).jpg

    Here's the newer, quieter fan:
    new-fan (resized).jpg

    This is the Stern Power Supply with the noisy fan:
    powersupplyjpg (resized).jpg

    Loosen (do not remove!) the two nuts on the left side of the power supply, then loosen the two on the right side of the power supply, then remove the three nuts in yellow below. Once you've done that the bottom cover will come forward and off:
    power-supply-screws (resized).jpg

    Once the lower cover is off, disconnect the two revealed connectors here:
    power-supply-connector (resized).jpg

    Remove the power supply by sliding it up and then pull it forward over the 4 loosened nuts. After removing the power supply, remove the two screws at the top end that hold the fan in:
    power-supply-end (resized).jpg

    Remove the 6 screws around the edge of the top side of the power supply and remove the lid, revealing the inside. The connector you need to disconnect is here pointed out here:
    open-power-supply (resized).jpg

    FAN KIT NOTE: To remove the existing fan, you need to free the wiring from the glob of white goo. If you don't have precision cutters for this task, you can get a pair for like $2 on Amazon with free shipping (or locally at Harbor Freight if you have one in your town):

    amazon.com link »

    Some of the fan wires are near the top of the white blob and can be pulled out gently. Others you need to cut free. If you need to cut, CUT CAREFULLY and shallow, a little at the time and test-pull after each snip or two. Don't go crazy here. And watch that white connector to the left of the blob. If you disturb that, your machine may not turn on.

    DIY NOTE: If you don't want to splice this in, you can get the connector and contacts to crimp to make a factory-look with these Digikey parts:
    Housing (455-2266-ND)
    https://www.digikey.com/products/en?keywords=455-2266-ND
    Crimp on connectors (455-1135-1-ND) :
    https://www.digikey.com/products/en?keywords=455-1135-1-ND

    (Note the connector is 100% right, but I haven't tried the crimp on connectors yet - I believe they're the right ones, but waiting until I've done one where I add the connector to a naked fan might be a good idea)

    Slide out the old fan, splice the connector onto the new fan (keep the color orientation the same, use shrink tubing to cover each color and a slightly larger tubing to cover both those) and re-install. NOTE THAT YOU MUST INSTALL THE FAN WITH THE LABEL FACING THE OUTSIDE OF THE CASE (NOT THE CIRCUIT BOARD) so it will vent the power supply! You'll need two new Thread Cutting screws to attach the new fan since the holes are little larger. Sheet metal screws will do in a pinch, but try to get the thread creating ones. I used these ones from Ace Hardware:
    replacement-screw (resized).jpg

    The new fan is so quiet you can't tell when it comes on, so to test my work, I leave the backglass off and put a torn off piece of paper towel over the fan so I can tell that the fan is coming on (when it blows the paper towel piece off) to make sure I did everything right before putting the backglass back on and calling the job done. Just play the game to put the power supply to work and look up every now and then to see if the paper towel has blown off. Sometimes it can take 20 minutes or even more (if the room is cool/cold) for the fan to kick on.

    The amount of time before the power supply reaches the thermal threshold to turn on the fan (122 degrees) can vary WIDELY from machine to machine. Ghostbusters turns on very frequently. Games like KISS not as much. I haven't had a defective fan sent out yet, but it's why I recommend you ALWAYS do the paper towel test, even if it takes a long time before the fan comes on. That way you know everything's working as it should before you zip the machine back up.

    If you want more concrete temperature data to make sure the machine is still being sufficiently cooled, you can get a Thomas Traceable 4240 Dual Temp probe thermometer. Put one probe inside the power supply and the other probe near the top of the head. It will measure and save the minimum and max temp recorded by each probe over a day or week or month or whatever time range you want. Super handy for making sure everything's working great now that the PS is essentially silent. You can pick them up used on Ebay for around $25 shipped. Highly recommended. They look like this:

    Thomas Traceable 4240 (resized).jpg

    All done with this project? Here's a couple other DIY guides I've made for newer Spike machines:

    Are LED lights popping out of your spotlights (not just on Spike machines!)? Make sure they never fall out again:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/fixing-led-bulbs-flashers-that-fall-out-of-spotlights#post-4402506

    Have a Stern machine from KISS or after with the softer wood cabinet? Reinforce it to prevent a splitting cab:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/reinforcing-stern-cabinet-legs-step-by-step

    Are your Iron Maiden speakers crackling when you crank it up? Fix that with a cheap external amp:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/replacing-on-board-amp-with-external-amp-for-iron-maiden

    Is your Spike machine occasionally resetting during hectic play, torpedoing your high score runs? This guide to fixing it might be for you:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/fixing-stern-reboots-on-spike

    Do you have a WoZ ECLE and think it's too loud in a quiet room? Replace two fans and make it almost silent:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/quieting-down-a-woz-ecle-machine

    And here are some other plug and play mods you can just buy:
    Iron Maiden Light Tree Mod for colored mode lights:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/iron-maiden-colored-mode-lens-tree-mod

    Metallica F-U-E-L lights bracket:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/metallica-f-u-e-l-gauge-lens-bracket

    ColorDMD gasket for Stern machines with the angled speaker panel:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/colordmd-gasket-for-angled-stern-speaker-panels

    2 weeks later
    #8 1 year ago

    I guarantee they're buying them straight from China:

    https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Mean-Well-LED-Power-Supply-RSP_60753566828.html

    Says $20-30 per unit, and (having dealt with China manufacture extensively myself) in quantity I'm POSITIVE they could get the manufacturer to put a quieter fan in it. Their real cost may actually be less than $20/unit.

    Interesting that the RSP-500 is not UL listed, but many other meanwell items are.

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from kermit24:

    What is the difference in CFM? I would not install one of these that was less than the factory spec airflow.

    Well, you already know it's less because I said it was, so you won't be installing this. I have this running in 10 machines with zero problems, from KISS forward, so years of real-world testing. As I said in the OP, the reduced CFM isn't a problem if you have the machine in a temperature controlled environment.

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    Have you got any better pictures of how you spliced the connector and tube wrapped it?
    No hurry as going to order a fan and do this at some point.
    Thanks

    I didn't take pictures of that, sorry. Before this last one I documented, they had another fan with a red label that had the connector pre-installed and you just had to put an adapter on it and plug it in. But that fan is NLA. I've been looking for this fan with the connector already on it for a decent price but haven't found that yet. When I do, I'll post.

    Basically, you want to slide one large shrink tube on on end that covers the whole wire and leave that unshrunk, then put smaller tubes over the soldered connection of the splice of each lead and shrink those, then slide the bigger one over the two smaller ones and shrink that. You don't want the spliced leads touching each other when they have power, for obvious reasons.

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from way2wyrd:

    im thinking about doing this and am looking at this fan which runs 14$ and has a CFM of about 17
    amazon.com link »

    19.3 dB isn't THAT quiet. If you're getting a larger fan like this you should be able to get somewhere in the 10-12Db range. You also need a 3 pin to 2 pin adapter to use that one (if the fan is even the right size).

    Is this for the older Stern power supplies for the Pros that have the big fan in the middle? If not, this is the wrong fan for the ones that have the fan on the end.

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from RoyF:

    I notice that this fan is available at Digikey for immediate shipment, but it is marked as obsolete.
    Just curious, why not this fan instead: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/sunon-fans/HA40201V4-1000U-A99/259-1791-ND/6198729
    It is not marked as obsolete, same manufacturer, price, CFM (5.5) and size as the fan you listed, slightly quieter at 12.3 dB(A) vs. 12.8 dB(A), uses a bit less power at 380mW vs. 600mW.

    It looks like this one is the newer replacement for the now-obsolete one I've been using. They obsolete fans like CRAZY.

    If you try this one instead, post how it goes and if all goes well, I'll update the OP with this newer version. The one listed in the OP isn't going out of stock anytime soon, they have plenty even though it's now-obsolete.

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    19.3 dB makes well under half the noise of 34 dB and probably won't be audible in a typical room.
    vireland have you compared the temperature inside the enclosure using the stock fan and your replacement that moves less air?

    20dB gain is 10x more sound pressure and 4x perceived loudness. So, yeah, the 19.3 is better than 34dB, but is still too loud.

    I didn't stick a probe inside the power supply to get a numeric temp, but the fact that the temperature controlled fan (comes on when it's too hot inside) was only coming on intermittently tells me everything I need to know. If the CFM wasn't sufficient, the fan would never turn off, and even after this mod, it's off more than it's on.

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    Thanks - never had to shrink tubes before so will need to watch a tutorial!
    As for the fan - I have exact same in my KISS and it is so much better than the Stern one.

    Alternately you can get the part number and order the connectors and the housing and make a new plug for the new fan. That would be the cleanest install, but I didn't have the part information for the OP. If anyone knows what they are, please share, I'll try it and then update the OP.

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from Sinestro:

    Seems odd that there isn't a plug and play equivilent in a quieter fan. Is Stern's connector some kind of propriatary plug?

    No, nothing special about it. The original red label Sunon was plug and play with a 3-2 adapter, but they discontinued it. I just need to find another with the connector already attached, that's all. Until then, I've been splicing them in.

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    How did you determine the power supply turns on the fan at a specific temperature as opposed to after load x for time y or some other factor?
    Testing would be easy with an inside/outside thermometer. Put the outside sensor under the PS cover and play for an hour, recording the temps every five minutes.

    Because I can read a spec sheet?

    I know how to test for temp inside the case, but that would be stupid since the fan clearly works, and the fan control is temperature based according to the spec sheet for the RSP-500-48.

    The spec sheet clearly says the fan comes on when the case exceeds 122 degrees farenheit, then shuts back off once the temp goes down to 104 degrees or less. And if there's a runaway condition the power supply just shuts down. All of that's plenty good enough for me, but you're welcome to probe your power supply to your heart's content.

    The ONLY thing anyone HAS to test for is whether they installed the fan with the proper orientation, and that the fan comes on occasionally.

    -1
    #35 1 year ago

    Looks great, it's just the wrong fan. Part number says that one is 21dB, which is MUCH louder than the 12dB on in the OP.

    #36 1 year ago
    Quoted from tktlwyr:

    No disrespect meant to vireland' but I just want to show the doubters that this has been an issue and this fix has been done for a few years:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stern-spike-cooling-mod-for-kiss-wwe
    I did this on my GoT and never had any issues.
    My new fan is on the way!

    That backbox fan mod is a waste of time, IMO. Fix the problem at the source (the power supply) and if the power supply is over 122 degrees, the fan will just stay on longer. You can't hear it anymore once it's replaced, so who cares?

    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    Specs say 10-15 dBA.

    No the "specs" do not say that. The newegg AD says that. The listing company can write whatever they want in there. If you go to Digikey and look up the real specs of the fan part number in the picture (KDE1204PKV2), it says 21dB. NONE of the real Sunon specs have a 5dB RANGE. They give you the sound rating - ONE sound rating.

    https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/sunon-fans/KDE1204PKV2-MS.A.GN/259-1353-ND/1021202

    Aside from being very loud, it's also an obsolete fan.

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    If by "very loud" you mean whisper quiet you're pretty close on the sound level.
    Jeff's also moves 3x more air than the one you suggest. If it fits it's a much better option.

    This advice from the person that thinks an ad is a spec sheet. And the CFM in that ADVERTISEMENT you keep referring to is NOT THE SPEC. The real CFM is only a little higher than the much-quieter one in the op. Like 2k CFM more - not the ridiculous 15k CFM in the advertisement.

    The ultra-quiet fan in the OP is the best choice for ANY temperature controlled environment. It moves plenty of air to keep the power supply cool. The ONLY time I wouldn't recommend it is if you're in a non-temp-controlled environment (i.e. outside, or no A/C) and it's hot anyway. Even then the fan would probably be enough, but I would err on the side of safety, so I wouldn't recommend it for THAT ONE APPLICATION. So, in that ONE CASE (hot environment) the 19dB fan would be better since it moves a little more air but is still quieter than the Stern one. But ONLY that one case.

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from tktlwyr:

    You obviously didn't read the entire thread which is a common problem on this forum. LOL It's even a thread you posted in.
    Start here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stern-spike-cooling-mod-for-kiss-wwe/page/2#post-3165228

    I remember the thread, and I know I posted in it, I guess I didn't remember the finer details of it.

    That was back when the Pros had the big fan in the front of the power supply. End result for Prem/LE was essentially the same as this post, just with a plug and play fan that's NLA. I'm still looking for one like I used in the OP with the connector already installed. Would make this upgrade way easier.

    #44 1 year ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    It’s hard to find a quiet 40mm fan. I gave up and went with this approach instead (not my idea, but it works well):
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/guardians-of-the-galaxy-owners-thread/page/40#post-4395474

    That fan isn't 10db because the Stern power supply ONLY runs the fan at 12v speed (on/off, only), not lower 5v and 7.5v power to get them quieter. I'm not sure which size you went with, but the two smallest ones are 16.9dB and 20dB respectively, so substantially worse noise than the one in the OP here.

    Plus, most people want a factory look and the larger fan isn't it, so it might be a negative when you sell.

    #46 1 year ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    I use an external power supply,
    It's right there in the first link, 70mm. It's small enough to not cast a shadow on the translite. No modification of the original PSU required.
    That's at 12V. I use the inline resistor provided with the fan to reduce the voltage to 7.5V,. and the noise is under 10dB. You can't even tell that it's on unless you put your head right next to the translite.
    I can remove my magnet-mounted fan in 10 seconds once the backbox is open, so that's not a problem. I don't know why someone would prefer the noisy factory fan, but I'd be happy to keep mine for my next pin.

    It didn't click with me that you were using an external power supply plugged into the service plug. It seems like a waste to be pulling 115v only to convert it to 5v when the power supply already has 12v for the fan inside. But, yours is easier to undo, I'll give you that.

    #48 1 year ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    Yeah, that's why I bought the one rated for 1A. I'm just very shy about touching Stern's stuff after their cabinet node board blew up on me when I tried to put a PWM board inline with my shaker motor (something that worked fine on SAM pins).

    Heh. Gomez wasn't kidding when he said the power budget on Spike is so tight adding a single mod runs the risk of killing it. Talk about crap system...

    I wasn't worried about the fan mod I did, though because it's pulling the same voltage as the stock super-loud fan, and everything happens pre-spike system. The output of the power supply is unchanged with this mod.

    #50 1 year ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    One last thought on this topic. I am getting old, so a 4500 RPM fan hurts much more than a 2000 RPM fan running at the same noise rating. When someone puts their iPhone on speaker, I have to leave the room. It literally hurts.

    Do you have a hearing aid? Usually people lose the upper frequencies when they age. It should be less annoying, not more as you get older, UNLESS you have a hearing aid.

    1 week later
    #52 1 year ago

    Okay, I've run a temperature test on the power supply with the lower CFM, quieter fan in the power supply, using a dual probe Thompson Scientific unit. The minimum temp is 101F. The maximum temp recorded is 110F. This is well below the max for the unit of ~170F where it would shut down. These temps inside were with an ambient temp in the closed backbox (near the top where I placed the probe, because heat rises) was 83F to 88F, and the temp in the location is 74-78F.

    So, using the quieter fan still leaves temps WELL below critical temps (as in, not even close) as long as the room is temperature controlled reasonably.

    We do have a location where they let it get a lot warmer before they turn on the A/C, and it's much warmer there in the summer. I might try the 22dB 7700CFM fan there and check the temp. I wouldn't be comfortably using the lower CFM "quietest" fan there. If I do that upgrade there, I'll report back.

    #60 1 year ago
    Quoted from BoJo:

    When someone makes a plug and play solution (no splicing) I have a feeling they will sell a bunch.

    Working on it. I have the parts, but haven't tested it yet. It's on my project list.

    Sunon used to sell them to vendors with the connector, but now they mostly sell it with naked wire ends, which is a pain. I have the right connector and I believe the right female connectors. I plan to do it on the slightly louder Sunon fan I got with the 7700CFM airflow for the pin that's in a location that is not well air-conditioned.

    I'll post once I have it completed and verified. It's still Ridiculous that Stern doesn't order these from their Chinese factory with at least the 7700CFM fan ALREADY IN IT. In the quantities they order, the factory would do it, no problem. CRAZY that Stern doesn't do it and leaves it to the end user when they're finally driven crazy by the obnoxious noise level of the PS fan.

    #70 1 year ago
    Quoted from andre060:

    My biggest objection to this version of the mod isn’t the looks - it’s that you have no idea what the temperatures are doing inside the power supply. Having the fan wired in as the original is critical as hearing (barely!) the fan come on *then off* is what confirms you are in the safe range. With your mod the temps could be climbing and climbing and you wouldn’t know it. Unlikely, granted, but it’s what doesn’t sit right with me.

    Uh, did you look at the post where I monitored the temp range INSIDE the power supply and posted it? The temp inside the machine over a WEEK (min/max registration in real time 24/7 with a Thompson Scientific dual probe thermometer) was nowhere close to the max with this mod?

    Also, the power supply has a safety where it just turns off completely if the temp exceeds 170 degrees. 111 degrees is the highest I've recorded with this mod. Nowhere close to the safety cutoff.

    #73 1 year ago
    Quoted from andre060:

    I was referring to D-Gottlieb’s version of the mod in which the internal fan is disconnected altogether. Obviously I wouldn’t have done your version of the mod on two of my games if I thought it was a bad idea.

    Heh, sorry. That's what I get for jumping from notification to notification to catch up instead of reading through the thread.

    2 weeks later
    #82 1 year ago
    Quoted from metwurcht:

    hello
    on my aerosmith LE , I did not ask myself questions

    You CUT a hole in the front of the power supply? This kind of thing belongs in a bad B/W European container pin hack story. Not recommended because it can't be easily undone.

    #85 1 year ago
    Quoted from metwurcht:

    hello
    why undone ?
    the little fan never works . the big fan rotates slowly and continuously, less than 8 db , 1200 rpm with ultra low noise adaptater .
    it is no longer original but it is effective
    amazon.com link »

    The little fan is temperature controlled. If it never comes on, your power supply doesn't need cooling. The ONLY job of the fan is to make sure the power supply stays in a specific temperature range while in operation. No more, no less. If it never has to come on, that doesn't mean the fan isn't working or badly designed, just that the temperature never gets above a certain level.

    Permanently defacing a machine with a modification that cuts metal (not a small piece, either) is a no-no. It devalues the machine permanently and in this case, the solution is worse than the problem.

    #89 1 year ago
    Quoted from Leo13:

    I think he says that the little fan never works AFTER doing the mod (and obviously unplugging the little fan).
    Also, I guess the big fan sucks air OUT of the PSU and not in, preventing from injecting dust.
    I agree that this is not recommended to damage the original PSU cover, but I would have prefered Stern to have such design instead of a LOUD smaller fan.

    Stern had a large fan in the middle of the power supply on earlier Spike games.

    But putting the fan where he did is still pulling dust/dirt into the PS through the top. Cutting aside, it's a bad idea, especially if it's bypassing the thermal control switching action of the power supply.

    #93 1 year ago
    Quoted from fosaisu:

    I'm not disagreeing that it's a little nuts to start cutting holes when there's no need, but wouldn't the stock Stern fan (and all of the various mods in this thread) also be pulling dust into the power supply?

    The stock fan is pulling hot air out of the power supply, but there's only the fan hole, so there's not a lot of flow, just more of a venting action. By cutting a hole in the power supply, you're adding flow-through, which will add a LOT more dust to the power supply, pulled through the stock fan hole and out the big newly cut fan hole.

    #95 1 year ago
    Quoted from DNO:

    Power supply could always be replaced if someone HAD to have a stock game.
    I've seen worse, and if all he wanted was to quiet the game when sitting idle, he accomplished that.

    But WHY do that when you can do the same thing with a quieter fan that is compatible with the stock socket at the top. There's no need to cut into the power supply. None.

    #98 1 year ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    I am certain that another power supply lid could be obtained if need be. My mod is not too different in principal. Disconnecting the tiny jet engine fan and instead supplying a steady dose of air is not a bad thing. Dust filters can be placed in the cabinet, but, unless you're in a barn, there won't be much.

    I don't have any problem with the way you did it because your way is also completely reversible. Cutting into the perfectly fine metal face of a power supply to do a fan mod that has a number of documented better alternatives where no permanent modification of the power supply is required is not something I can recommend.

    #100 1 year ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    Why is a little (or even a lot) of dust in the power supply a bad thing? There are no moving parts other than the fan itself.

    A little dust is not a bad thing, but over time it can build up and have an insulating quality that leads to overheating and/or components working harder than they should have to because it restricts the air flow around components. Which is the irony of this cutting mod.

    #101 1 year ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    Great way to weed out annoying buyers. Anyone who thinks a mod that can’t even be seen is “defacing” the game is someone I’d rather not deal with.

    I've bought plenty of European pins with similar weird long-way-around-to-the-solution hacks. I still bought them, but I shake my head at the thought process that produced them. And it's mostly Europe and South American pins I've seen the weird things. Never Asia and rarely North America. No idea why.

    1 month later
    #106 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mikedenton49:

    Perhaps I missed it elsewhere but what situation leads to a constant on fan on an early gb pro?
    Its driving me gd insane.

    Is that the one that has the big fan on the face of the power supply (picture?) ?

    You can swap it out straight across for the $70-$100 newer style with the smaller thermostat controlled fan that's the subject of this upgrade. Upgrade it with a better fan before you install it and you're good to go. Built in thermostat will only turn the fan on when it gets past 122 degrees, and shut down if there's thermal runaway.

    Here's one source, but there are many others (aliexpress, etc):
    ebay.com link » Mean Well Rsp 500 48 48v 10 5a 504w Switching Power Supply

    #108 1 year ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    My suggestion is to install a quieter fan, such as the Noctua, and have it run the entire time the machine is on. Stable temps make a happy power supply, and I can't hear it at all in a quiet living room.

    Verified with a dual temp probe, the better Meanwell with the thermostat on/off sensor that Stern's using now with a quieter fan upgrade keeps the power supply in an 11 degree range WAY below the max rating for the power supply. Running a fan 24/7 is just wearing out a wear-prone component unnecessarily.

    #111 1 year ago
    Quoted from HighVoltage:

    I did the swap for the very quiet 5.5cfm fan. Now that we've actually got some warmer weather in Seattle, I've been monitoring it's action closely. Previously on average room temperature, I noticed it ran as long as 6 minutes before turning off. Yesterday room temperature was 79 degrees, and when the fan came on, it ran continuously for 15 minutes with machine idle and still wasn't shutting down.
    It doesn't have enough cooling power to get it to the turn-off boundary on a warmer day, although likely it is keeping it in the safe range while continuously running. I'm not totally happy with that so will try to find one a step up next time I order electronics. If you're getting 80+ room temperature, I'd consider choosing a more powerful fan than that one.

    The turn on point is 122 degrees for that thermostat, but the 13dB fan will keep it far away from the point where it would shut down, no problem, so there's really no danger to the power supply even if the fan is on for 15 minutes at a time.

    However, if you go for a 21dB fan, you can get 30% more cfm than the 13dB one (7.7cfm), and it's still much quieter than the Stern one. I linked to it in the OP, but here's the link again:

    https://www.digikey.com/products/en?keywords=MB40201V2-000U-A99

    #112 1 year ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    Granted, the fan will need to be replaced in 15 years.

    This is China. Depends on how cheap they were on the fan bearing type. Could fail in just a few years. Why run it 24/7 when you don't have to?

    #114 1 year ago

    I was talking about the stock fan. Of course you can buy something better, but if you're going to improve the power supply, move to the power supply Stern uses now that has a thermostat-controlled fan and get off the one that runs all the time.

    #117 1 year ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    I do have the latest version in my SW. If you see my prior posts, you will see the mod.

    I know what you have in yours. This is getting crossed up. I'm talking about the person just a few posts up that has the older style power supply with the fan on the face that runs all the time.

    #120 1 year ago
    Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

    Um yes there's a huge reason they switched! The PS is cheaper than a transformer.

    And in quantity they're likely getting these power supplies for something like $20. So yeah, it's clear why they went this route.

    #121 1 year ago
    Quoted from HighVoltage:

    Yup, just wanted to provide some extra detail that would help others decide which to choose. It's likely not dangerous, but if it has to run constantly at 79 degree room temperature, I'd be concerned about its cooling ability in locals where ambient temperature could be much higher.
    I really don't like the 40mm fans, they have a poor trade off between cooling ability and noise. I can see why people are considering the adapter approach.

    I've got a location that's around 85 in the summer and the 12.8dB fan runs a lot, but is still shutting off, so it's holding its own. If you have a location hotter than that, you likely shouldn't have a pin there.

    That said, I've been planning to put the 7.7cfm fan in that specific pin for a while now so it cools faster when it does come on, I just haven't gotten around to it.

    #124 1 year ago
    Quoted from HighVoltage:

    Can you quantify a lot? Like I said, at 79-degree temperature, it ran 15-minutes straight and didn't shut down. Has anyone else timed fan time on a warm day? Maybe it would vary based on machine, which could have different power requirements.

    I didn't time it because it was shutting off (which means it was achieving proper cooling), but probably 3-4 times in an hour. 85F is a pretty warm environment. If you're putting one in a place that will be that hot consistently, I'd look at the linked 7.7cfm fan that's 21dB instead, though. Like I said, I plan to change it out at some point, but I'm not in a rush because the 12.8dB fan is still doing its job in the one pin in that warmer environment.

    #128 1 year ago
    Quoted from HighVoltage:

    We probably need a larger sample size or include machine type to figure out the discrepancy since mine doesn't shut off in a cooler environment than yours. Maybe my machine is more power-hungry and has a warmer inside ambient temperature.

    Is your power supply already upgraded to the quieter 12.8dB fan? Or do you have one of the Stern pros that have the factory larger fan that always runs and never shuts off?

    #131 1 year ago
    Quoted from HighVoltage:

    Msg 109... The 6-minute run time I referred to was the longest run time I measured on the louder stock 40mm fan before I switched to the quiet low volume one.

    Sorry, I lost track of which conversation went to what. If the low-volume fan is shutting off, it's clearly still doing its job, and the upper threshold for the power supply to shut down is really high temp, so you're not going to get there. But if 15 minute run times bother you, then switching to the 7.7cfm one should get it under 10 minutes in your environment, and 21dB is still a LOT better than the stock Stern one.

    #133 1 year ago
    Quoted from HighVoltage:

    Not sure how you missed it, but mine is -not- turning off.
    On cooler days with low 70s room temp, it would run for as long as 6 minutes at a time, and the original fan ran about 1-minute at a time.

    Weird. The only way to see if the problem is the fan or the temp sensor in the power supply is to get an accurate reading inside the power supply using a bullet probe. Something like a Thomas Traceable Dual Probe 4240 Thermometer. It records the max and minimum temp recorded on two probes (I put one inside the PS, and the other in the head when testing). Very useful. There's one on Ebay now for a decent price. Usual price is $30-$40 used.

    ebay.com link

    The only other thing I can think of for the difference is maybe the humidity? Redding is very dry with super-low humidity. Seattle is not. Maybe that makes the warm air move less? No idea.

    #137 1 year ago
    Quoted from Vader77:

    I just got IMDN and that fan is crazy loud! I've read through the thread but I'm a little confused... what's the recommended fan for easiest replacement?
    Thanks

    How warm is your environment? You can do the 12.8dB fan or if your pin is in a warmer area that's in that's in the upper 70s or better, you can do the 21dB fan. Both are significantly quieter than the stock Stern fan.

    #140 1 year ago
    Quoted from Vader77:

    It's in a basement that is 73-80° 100% of the time.

    I'd go with the 7.7cfm 21dB one then. The link in the OP works fine for me...

    This one. Says there are more than 3800 ready to ship:
    https://www.digikey.com/products/en?keywords=MB40201V2-000U-A99

    If you want to get some connectors while you're there, you won't have to splice it in. It will be plug and play.

    #142 1 year ago
    Quoted from Vader77:

    Ah... I saw "obsolete" and "non stock" and thought it was unavailable, sorry. I may try that way...

    For some reason Sunon LOVES to keep rotating part numbers, so stuff goes non-stock all the time when they have a new one that's essentially the same thing. I think they just make a whole bunch of one, then when they make another run - new part number! It's a hassle.

    3 months later
    #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!

    #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.

    #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.

    #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".

    #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.

    #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.

    #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.

    #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

    #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.

    #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.

    #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.

    #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
    #201 11 months ago

    Factory has given me a ship date of 11/22, so I'll start taking preorders around that time.

    #206 10 months ago

    These should be shipping from the factory in one day (they're a day ahead, so the 22nd is our 21st), so I'll probably start taking preorders on Friday once I've verified they're on the way.

    #208 10 months ago

    If you want one of the plug and play kits (Sunon fan, custom length cable, correct connector, and two thread-cutting screws) for $12 + $3 shipping, PM me your email address and I'll send you a paypal invoice. According to the tracking, they should be here early next week and I can start shipping them out. If you want multiple fans, shipping is discounted to $1.50 for every fan after the first one since the box, tape, label is already paid for with the first one. I'll try to make sure everyone that said they were interested gets a PM, too, but I may not get everyone. Just PM me your email if you want to be sure.

    And just reiterating that opening the power supply may void your warranty (likely will), so if you're unsure about that, don't do it. I have tested these Sunon 12.6dB fans extensively and even with the slightly reduced airflow vs the noisy Stern one, the temperatures inside the power supply and in the head don't get anywhere near the tolerance range for the power supply where it would cut off. I have put them in all the machines that are out on the route I help maintain and had zero problems, but again, if you're not sure, don't to it.

    Also, this plug and play kit is for people who feel the instructions I made in the initial post are too hard or too much trouble. If you buy the parts (especially if you buy more than one) you can do it yourself cheaper. That option is still available, and all the instructions and part numbers are in post 1 of this thread.

    Added 10 months ago:

    Shipping is $4.

    #210 10 months ago
    Quoted from DeeGor:

    I tried this modification and successfully swapped the fan out, but I did run into some issues. My particular power supply had this white glue like substance that prevented me from easily removing the cable for the old fan intact. I tried removing it, but it's REALLY stuck on those components.
    Edit: Looks like it was addressed earlier in this thread and I missed it. [quoted image]

    If you're lucky you can just pull up and it will pop out of the goo, but depending on how much or how deep it is in the goo, you may have to carefully cut an escape path for the original cord.

    Also, I've started favoring routing the cord from the fan off the left side (rather than the right where it's tighter).

    #213 10 months ago

    Pic of the fan replacement kit:

    #221 10 months ago
    Quoted from NeilMcRae:

    so vireland 15 for the UK folks!
    Neil.

    I just PMed you. I need you to PM me your delivery address to get a postal quote for shipping to your UK address.

    #222 10 months ago

    Test fit one of the production fan kits and it works great. The little bit of extra wire length I added since the last sample run really helped. Now that I've confirmed the fit and function of the final kits, I'll start sending them out tomorrow!

    #223 10 months ago

    Okay, all preordered fan kits are shipped!

    #225 10 months ago
    Quoted from PBMAN:

    Sweet. Looking forward to getting that OEM out. Thanks Vireland

    The difference in volume is shocking, but I put a notice with these to not get carried away because of that and remember to do the paper-towel test (leave the backglass off and tear a piece of paper towel off and rest it on the top of the power supply, then play the game until it blows off and shows the fan install was successful and it turns on when the temp gets too high). You can set the backglass brightness to 0% in the adjustments so it's not blinding you while you test.

    1 week later
    #228 10 months ago
    Quoted from Cheddar:

    put the fan in my ghostbusters Saturday night and had it on freeplay at the Sacramento Gamers Expo all day Sunday. Very little downtime and worked perfectly!

    Awesome to hear. It would basically have to stop working completely to create a problem since the auto cutoff for that power supply is over 150 degrees. I've never had it get over 122 with the quiet fans.

    #230 10 months ago
    Quoted from Phatchit:

    This is a must have for anyone that has a noisy fan on a spike system!!! It really is a must have to make your pin calm down and not be so crazy . I put this on my starwars pro and it is awesome !!! I don’t understand why this isn’t a factory install . No more high spinning fan noise and my pinball is playing and running just great! I used to turn my game off when watching tv because it was a distraction, but now I don’t even hear it !!!! Will
    Buy more !! Thanks for the mod

    Thanks for the nice review. I also am completely confused as to why Stern doesn't order the meanwell power supplies with quieter fans like the one here. They're ordering thousands (3000-5000 at a time?) so the Chinese manufacturer will DEFINITELY take requests. They'd probably take requests with as little as 1000! Yes, the quieter fan does have reduced airflow, but the practical result is that when the power supply hits the turn on threshold for hear, it just runs longer before it shuts off and never gets anywhere near the critical shutoff temps built into the power supply. Who cares if it runs 5 minutes instead of 2 when you can't hear it? Until they wake up, this option will be available as a DIY with the instructions I provided or as a plug n play kit you can buy.

    2 weeks later
    #235 9 months ago
    Quoted from jfesler:

    Vireland, thanks for making this easy. I’ve got all mine done (other than WNBJM). A lot less high pitch whine in the game room now!
    WNBJM, while spike, uses a different power supply (MW SP-320-48) with a 60x60x25 fan inside. I’ve ordered a Noctua fan to replace it, especially since I might have canonibized an annoying cable or two while removing them from the other Spike games.

    Do you have a picture? It's probably the same power supply Stern used on the original Spike Pros with the fan on the face instead of the top before unifying all models on the power supply they have in them now.

    Noctua fans are great. I used 3 to make WoZ essentially silent.

    2 weeks later
    #237 9 months ago
    Quoted from Phatchit:

    Bump for a great product and because these are a must have to kill the annoying fan noise ! Already put one in Starwars and couldn’t believe the difference and have another for my Munsters when it arrives thanks for a sweet plug and play option.

    Thanks for the support. It really is amazing how much quieter the Spike power supplies can be and STILL be cooled WELL inside the limits of the spec (as in, not even CLOSE to the upper limit). One day Stern will order their Meanwell power supplies with these already in them. I will be happy to see that day. Until then, I'll keep offering these even though I have to bring them in a few hundred at a time.

    #239 9 months ago
    Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

    Stern has zero incentive to do that (it can only increase their cost), so I think your awesome improved fans are safe forever

    Given the volume Stern orders those power supplies in, the net change in cost would very likely be zero. Meanwell would do it to keep the volume of power supply business Stern does with them.

    But if they never do it, I'm fine continuing to supply a plug and play fix.

    1 month later
    #243 8 months ago
    Quoted from MJW:

    Passed paper towel test. Thanks Vireland. You are an asset to the hobby. Game has all your improvements. Spotlight electrical tape trick has also stopped pita bulbs falling out in other games.

    Glad to hear it. The fan change is such a HUGE improvement in a home environment. One of the best things a person can do to improve the game. Those stock fans are obnoxious!

    #245 8 months ago
    Quoted from NPO:

    Bought just now - thanks Vire for doing this!!

    Post once you get it installed. I'm sure you're going to like the difference!

    #246 7 months ago

    I've made a change to the OP and the sale page to be clearer about what pins these DO NOT work on:

    NOTE: THIS FAN WILL NOT WORK ON WHOA NELLIE!, PABST CAN CRUSHER, PRIMUS OR ANY VERY EARLY PRO THAT HAS THE FAN ON THE FRONT OF THE POWER SUPPLY. IT IS FOR THE LISTED MACHINES THAT HAVE THE FAN ON THE TOP OF THE POWER SUPPLY.

    They were never listed as compatible on the sale page, but it wasn't totally clear that they weren't listed on purpose until now.

    #248 7 months ago
    Quoted from jfesler:

    Brought home a Beatles this weekend. Holy crap the game room was noisy again! Ripped out the power supply and swapped fans .. and that fan whine is gone.
    Thanks!

    Thanks for posting so I know for sure that Beatles isn't using the older-style power supply with the same fan as Whoa Nellie/Pabst/Primus.

    Once you experience Stern spike machines without that terrible stock fan noise, you can't tolerate it in any new machine.

    #250 7 months ago
    Quoted from Wotto:

    Just installed tonight in IMDN.
    Soooooo much better.
    Waited for paper test.
    All good.
    DP next.
    Thanks for this.

    Welcome to the quiet fan club!

    1 week later
    #254 7 months ago
    Quoted from Phatchit:

    Yup just put one on my Munsters pro , such a must have . The difference is insane ! There is a arrow on the fan to show direction of airflow , make sure the arrow is pointed up and your good to go . I still place a small piece of paper after the install to make sure it working because it’s so quiet

    Yes, checking your work with the paper towel test to make sure the fan is oriented properly and will come on after a while is a MUST before you put the head back together.

    Glad you like it. One day in my dreams Stern will contract Meanwell to use these in the power supplies instead of the terrible noisy default one.

    #256 7 months ago
    Quoted from DudeRegular:

    Just ordered two. One for BM66 and one for GB. My batman spins up periodically, but the GB just runs all the time. Looking forward to putting these in!
    thanks

    Be sure to do the paper towel test to check your work at the end, but you're going to love the silence compared to what Spikes ship with.

    #259 7 months ago
    Quoted from NeilMcRae:

    Vic - great job on these - got them all installed and feedback from other UK folks is super positive!

    Thanks! Such a small change, but it makes SUCH a big difference in a quiet environment like a home.

    #265 7 months ago
    Quoted from hd60609:

    vireland Thank you. I ordered two of these. One for my GOTG and the other for Star Wars. Put the first one on GOTG and got the positive paper towel air flow test. Last night after company left, I had all the games on without the TV. Totally quiet downstairs. The only game I could here was Star Wars. Stock fan ramped up every so often. Very, very obvious. So I went and listened for our other spike games. I could hear KISS, and GB but not bad. These had the older style stock fans that direct vented out the front, not the top, so I did not use your replacement fans.
    But GOTG! I could only hear it if I really listened. Wonderful improvement. I will be changing out the SW fan this afternoon or tomorrow! Great job and thanks again.

    Awesome. Once people hear the difference there's no going back. I really wish Stern would put me out of the fan businesss and ask meanwell to put these in theirs from the factory, but if they don't (and they likely won't), I'll keep offering these replacement to quiet the machines.

    #269 6 months ago
    Quoted from DudeRegular:

    I installed the Noctua fan in my Ghostbusters tonight. It has the front facing fan style power supply. Clipped the connectors from the old fan and the new, then soldered them together and shrink wrapped it all. What a difference. The game is running behind me as I type this and my PC is now louder than my GB. My PC is in a quiet case too btw. GB was super loud before. What a difference. Highly recommended for anyone on the fence.

    If there were enough of the front-facing power supplies out there with people that wanted a plug and play kit, I could do a custom factory order for those, too, so there's no soldering and no cutting, but the front-facing machines are a small fraction of the top mounted ones and I'd probably end up sitting on a lot of fans since I have to buy hundreds to make it pencil out and leave me enough for a #1 combo at Mcdonalds.

    #272 6 months ago
    Quoted from jfesler:

    It *might* be worth making the 2 pin (power supply) to 3 pin (standard PC) adapters, particularly if that’s a part you can outsource. Those would be easier to stock, mail, etc. Then again, it’s only been a couple games so far that we’ve run across that use the 60mm fans..

    THAT part already exists. I'm not sure if the pins are all in the right place but you can get that fan adapter on Amazon.

    2 weeks later
    #276 6 months ago
    Quoted from Vader77:

    Finally put mine in... SSOOOoooo much better, thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Another satisfied customer. Now if Stern would just do this OBVIOUS change at the factory level!

    #279 6 months ago
    Quoted from Wotto:

    Hi Vireland
    Done a few of these.
    All good.
    Doing a mates KISS.
    20++ minutes in, no fan action. Played heavy game. Nothing.
    Swapped fan for another, still nothing after 10 minutes idle.
    Can the games vary wildly ?

    Yes, the amount of time before the power supply reaches the thermal threshold (122 degrees) to turn on the fan can vary WIDELY from machine to machine (even longer times on all machines if the room they're in is cool/cold). Ghostbusters turns on very frequently. As you've discovered, KISS not as much. I haven't had a defective fan sent out yet, but it's why I recommend you ALWAYS do the paper towel test, even if it takes a long time before the fan comes on. That way you know everything's working as it should before you zip the machine back up.

    If you do a lot of these, do yourself a favor and get one of the Thomas Traceable 4240 Dual Temp probe thermometer for like $25 on Ebay. With it, you can watch the inside of the power supply temps after install in real time to see what the temp inside the power supply is inside while you wait for it to come on. You can also just leave it in and have one probe in the power supply and one in the backbox to see the max temperature in each over whatever timeframe you want (hour, day, month, whatever). It's what I used to test these fans on location for like 6 months before I released the plug and play kit.

    1 week later
    #281 5 months ago

    FYI, I'm almost out of the first batch of these fans I had made for this application. Factory is already working on the order for the next batch, but they haven't been sent yet. There's a possibility that there may be a week or two where I have no fans to send, but it will be a temporary situation.

    2 weeks later
    #282 5 months ago

    With the existing orders, I'm completely out of these now, but will be restocked by next week, so if there's a delay when you order some, it will be short.

    2 weeks later
    #283 4 months ago

    The new shipment of fans is in, so backorders are being filled and they're available to ship for new orders.

    2 weeks later
    #284 4 months ago

    These fan kits will be available from distributors soon, so I made instructions on installation to go with each one. This is what they'll look like. See anything wrong (typo, etc - besides a couple words cut off at the bottom of STEP 1 I already know about) I missed? (Click to see the larger version)
    fan_install_instructions.jpg

    #287 4 months ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    It is cool that you went to all this trouble and time to come up with this solution. I gotta ask, though, wouldn't a resistor that could be plugged in line to the existing fan slow the thing down to make it quieter and still keep temperatures where they need to be?

    Simple. A resistor will not solve the enormous NOISE of the stock fan. Sure, making it turn slower will reduce the sound somewhat, but you're not getting down from 34dB to 12dB with a resistor while also keeping any decent kind of cooling flow. The stock crappy fan also has a 30% shorter life than the replacement.

    Plus I've learned with this thread that people in general don't have the skills or don't want to DIY. The vast majority want plug and play, even when I lay out all the instructions and part numbers for DIY.

    And I'll say it again, Stern COULD just request a better fan like these Sunon maglevs in these power supplies from Meanwell. They buy enough that the factory would DEFINITELY do it for them. Cost would be almost the same or pennies different at the scale Stern buys them. Nothing would make me happier than to have Stern end the need for this mod. It makes no sense that they didn't do it from the start.

    #288 4 months ago
    Quoted from AUKraut:

    Looks great, I'll be installing mine this weekend......

    If you have a #1 and #2 philips, if you'd double check which works best on the tiny screws on step 4, let me know. I'm pretty sure it was a #1 but I don't have a power supply on hand to check easily.

    #290 4 months ago
    Quoted from jfesler:

    I found that my number 2 for better even the tiny machine screws. Less likely to strip those heads.

    Thanks for verifying. Those tiny screws are a pain, and I've found in the many I've upgraded that not a small number are cross-threaded from the factory and hard to get out, so having exactly the right kind of philips is critical.

    #292 4 months ago
    Quoted from AUKraut:

    vireland:
    Agree, just got done installing mine, a #1 will work, but a nice new #2 tip will work better.
    You do need to make a couple of other corrections/additions:
    For reference all nuts loosened/removed in Step 1 are 11/32"
    Step 1 C: You only need to remove the bottom 2 R nuts to remove the lower power supply cover.
    Step 2 A: You are actually unplugging connector CN1 and NOT CN6. I would also put this step before Step 1 C as it makes it easier to remove the left most nut R.

    Awesome. Thanks for the feedback to make the instructions better.

    #294 4 months ago
    Quoted from jfesler:

    I'm just gonna say: It's great you shared the info. People can be frugal and still get rid of that hideous cheap fan noise. It's also great that you're putting these together for those who are inept, lazy, and/or short on time. I'm pretty sure I'm all 3. And the time saved with the plug-n-play I certainly value!

    Thanks. I didn't intend to get into the mod business when I started with these DIY instruction threads (fan, corner bracket cab upgrade, etc) and the color DMD gasket. The fan and gasket were projects for just me that kind of exploded once I showed them. But yeah, even when I started selling the fans, I left the DIY instructions there for anyone that just wanted to make their own. Best of both worlds. But like I said, most people just opt for the time-savings and buy the plug n play kit.

    #297 3 months ago

    Here's the revised instructions, front and back. I decided to just bite the bullet and illustrate step 2. It was less confusing than an arrow to the cover talking about what's behind it.
    fan_install_instructions-rev3 (resized).jpg

    2 months later
    #298 48 days ago

    I'm currently working on a possible plug and play version for the previously-unsupported front-mounted fan Stern power supplies and the Spooky meanwell power supplies. Holy crap, I had no idea how LOUD Rob Zombie was because of the fan in the cabinet. Perhaps due to the larger area in the cabinet, it makes it even more of an echo chamber than the Stern Spike fans in the backbox. It'll probably be a bit longer because I need to do temperature testing inside and outside the power supply with the new MUCH QUIETER fan, but I expect the results to be essentially the same as the Stern one I already have out. If things go well, I should have it available in a few months.

    #301 48 days ago
    Quoted from pickleric:

    Impressive instructions! Did you draw all of those images? Looks great.

    I did part of the images and had an artist do the ones that were more complex. It really needed something visual that reduced well (photos don't) to go into each fan kit. I was happy with the way they turned out.

    Quoted from herg:

    That's funny, I was just reading this thread, thinking I needed to do something in my AMH and TNA. I did already swap out using the fan suggested in the TNA thread, but both games (especially AMH) are still louder than I like. I used one of your kits for IMDN, and it makes a HUGE difference. I'd love to get those kind of results for my Spooky games.

    I had no idea how LOUD those Spooky power supplies were since I hadn't heard one in a home environment before. But holy crap they are unacceptably loud. I didn't know people had already tried other fans. I'm hoping I can get one set up that will work for both early Spike1 with the front mounted fan and the Spooky in one, but I need to get the Spooky Meanwell power supply taken apart to check the actual connector since I'm just going off specs for the unit from the company, then I can get get the first test fan installed and start temperature testing over time.

    #303 42 days ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    Houdini has a pretty loud fan in it that runs constantly. Not as loud as the Spike fans though. The loudest fan I ever had on a pin was WoZ. Between the fan and the buzzing on the speakers in time with the LEDs in attract mode, that thing was embarrassing.

    WoZ had 5 fans (LCD, Case, ATX, switching power supply, CPU fan). That was the main problem. By replacing the LCD and cabinet case fans with noctua fans (I made a how-to thread on it https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/quieting-down-a-woz-ecle-machine ) the sound was made WAY better.

    Houdini with the added power supply is loud, but we're back to meanwell crappy fan choices.

    Getting this replacement set up with the right connectors and thread cutting screws for Spooky and early or contract Stern Spike systems with the front-facing fans is looking pretty good. The fan is literally more than 10x quieter than the terrible stock fan.

    #305 40 days ago
    Quoted from JeffF:

    Just wanted to thank the op for the information provided here! I picked up an Aerosmith Pro a couple weekends ago and it sounded like a jet turbine starting up when the fan kicked on. LOL.
    Also, thank you for providing individual part numbers AND a complete kit. It's nice when people figure something out and SHARE what they know for both DIYers and non-DIYers.
    Thanks again!

    Glad I was able to help. This started as a DIY project and turned into a product for sale I never intended to make for others. But most people wanted something they could just plug in so that's where I went. At least now there's a way to quiet the fan. I can't imagine if there was no way to do it. It's OBNOXIOUS from the factory.

    #306 37 days ago

    Okay, so the first Spooky test fan is installed and testing underway.

    Some notes:
    1> Meanwell is using Sunon fans in this giant power supply Spooky is using, but it's not their super-silence series - it's a regular ball bearing fan that cranks out a whopping 34.5dB. Crazy loud.
    2> It's not as easy of an install as the Spike fan replacement due to some weird wiring choices at the back of the cabinet by Spooky and some dumb engineering choices by Meanwell.
    3> This Meanwell power supply pushes air INTO the power supply, whereas the vertically mounted Spike fans pull air OUT of the power supply.
    4> The replacement fan is literally 10x quieter than the stock Meanwell Sunon fan (Model KD1206PTB1).
    5> Because it's a vapo bearing vs plain ball bearing, the replacement fan uses about 1/4 watt and .02amps to run, while the stock fan uses 1.8W and .15 amps to run - 7 times more power.

    We're probably about 8 weeks away from having this plug and play Spooky/Front Mounted Spike fan available for purchase.

    I've been working with a Rob Zombie for testing, but if any Spooky owners with America's Most Haunted, Alice Cooper, and TNA can verify what model meanwell power supply is in their machine, it would be helpful.

    Thanks!

    #308 37 days ago
    Quoted from herg:

    Both my AMH and TNA have a SE-600-48. ...and I agree they're not nearly as easy to get to as the Stern ones. I'll gladly remove and disassemble them for a second time to get them quiet, though.
    [quoted image]

    Thanks!

    So that's the same model as in Rob Zombie. Only need confirmation of what's in Alice Cooper now. Because of the way the wire is routed it needs a much longer wire to the connector than the Spike kit, but since I'm having it done custom for the full order, that's not a problem, just a data point.

    Once I make instructions for the Spooky kit (instead of me figuring installation out as I go on this first test), it's probably a 30 minute job. One of the dumb things is the Meanwell case screws need a #2 philips, but the bracket screws Spooky used on the power supply side of the brackets need a #1 philips, so there's lots of unnecessary back and forth, where if Spooky had just used #2 compatible screws, there would be none of that - everything would work well with a #2 philips, making it faster.

    Why did you take the power supplies apart the first time?

    #310 37 days ago
    Quoted from herg:

    To replace the fans. Per recommendations in the TNA thread, I used Vantec Stealth SF6025L. They are still loud enough that I know whether those games are on the moment I start down the stairs into the basement.

    Thanks for the model number!

    Who was recommending that fan? It's a terrible choice. You have the reduced airflow (which I've proven is fine with long term temp testing since that's what the ones I use do), but you get almost NONE of the benefits of sound reduction since it's still a whopping 20dB with too much power draw. It's crazy. I can't find the life rating on it, but as a straight up ball bearing fan, I'd be shocked if it was over 40,000 hours, which is bad because unlike Sterns, the Spooky meanwell fans run all the time the machine is on. That's only like 4-5 years at a 24/7 location.

    The one I'm testing now has slightly better airflow than the vantec, 1/4 the power draw of that one, and only 10.7 dB. That's almost 10x less loudness and about 4x less perceived volume than the vantec. It's roughly the same as the quiet plug n play stern fan kit.

    #312 37 days ago
    Quoted from herg:

    I'll refrain from posting a name. You can easily search and find it if you want. It was mostly my fault for not checking the specs and just blindly using what someone else posted.

    Haha, I don't want to name and shame. It was more a rhetorical "What kind of person would do this?" kind of question.

    Since you replaced the fan twice already, did you find a way to get the old fan out and the new fan in with that metal lip on top WITHOUT unscrewing and shifting the circuit board away from the fan so it could be slid out from under the lip then up and out? It's a hassle, but I don't see any way around it...

    Here's the stock fan stuck under metal lip with circuit board jammed against it.

    fan-out-with-lip (resized).jpg

    And then with the circuit board unscrewed and shifted down to allow for fan to be removed.

    fan-out (resized).jpg

    #314 37 days ago
    Quoted from herg:

    No, I didn't. It really wasn't that big of a deal once I accepted that was the only way to do it. It was a bit of an aggravation, but it went much faster on the second one once I knew to expect it.

    Yeah, it's not hard, just an irritating engineering fail that involves lots of tiny screws and will make it a little harder/more annoying for a novice. Not as hard as without illustrated instructions, but a bit harder. If only Meanwell had thought about the construction a smidge more...

    #316 34 days ago
    Quoted from dnaman:

    Confirmed, ACNC (#48) has the same PS:
    SE-600-48

    Awesome, thank for you for confirming!

    #319 28 days ago
    Quoted from herg:

    I bought and installed (in my Spooky games) a couple of fans that match the specs vireland mentioned above. I'll leave it up to him to post a part number if he wants to.
    I also installed a thermocouple on the heat sink while I was in there so that I could monitor it. I let the game sit in attract for hours and played multiple games, and I never saw it go over 27C. It was only about a 5C rise, so I'd agree that these fans are certainly up to the task.
    They are also VERY quiet. I can still barely hear them with the game all closed up, but the speaker noise in attract mode on AMH is a good deal more noticable.

    Oh, there's no real secret for the Spooky/Alternate Front Fan Stern power supplies, either. Just like with the DIY I posted that started this thread, if people want to roll their own on this version, too, that's great. I'm just providing a finished kit that gives less-techy pinheads the right fan without having to crimp connectors on and with the correct length of wires protectively shrink wrapped. A solution for those that DON'T want DIY and just want to have a fan and some install instructions that they can install and enjoy with a minimum of hassle.

    This is the fan I'm testing now - it's an actual production sample with the correct wire length and connector. But you should be able to buy a naked one with no connector and roll your own from the usual suspects.
    spooky-fan-small (resized).jpg

    #321 28 days ago
    Quoted from herg:

    Yep, that's the same one I bought, and it's working great for me so far. Thanks.

    Fun fact, the -10000 part number one is the European version that most places seem to have at US parts places. The actual one intended for North America is very uncommon for some reason.

    #325 28 days ago
    Quoted from Kkuoppamaki:

    Thank you for doing this. I love my AMH, but the loud fan is very annoying. Once you have this all sorted out, you can count me in as a customer!

    Will do. It looks like we're about 6 weeks out now. I have to get the final factory sample I just got in and complete thermal tests on it and then they will start making them.

    1 week later
    #326 18 days ago

    The plug n play fan kits through the pinmonk store and on pinmonk.com are out for a couple weeks. I thought I had ordered more far enough in advance of running out (lead time is long-ish), but orders have been steadily increasing and I ran out before the next ones came in. So I have no more for a couple weeks, but as of right now, pinballlife.com still has some stock, so if you need one right away you can get it there.

    1 week later
    #327 9 days ago

    Pinball life is out of stock too now. So no more plug and play quiet fan kits for another week or two until more show up from the factory.

    #329 9 days ago
    Quoted from hoby1:

    Installed mine tonight,,,, FANTASTIC kit Vic!!!
    Keeps the factory looks and is whisper quite.

    Thanks for the props! People have no idea how big of a difference it makes until they try one. It's not uncommon to have someone buy one, then come back 2 weeks later and buy 4 or 5 to do the rest of their Spike machines.

    The spooky power supply is even MORE obnoxious, if you can believe that. It's also ALWAYS ON (no thermal switch). Relief is on the way for those machines too now, though. I think the factory samples I have now are the final ones before manufacture.

    #331 4 days ago

    Next fan order arrived, so Spike plug n play quiet fan kits are back in stock for pin monk here and on pinmonk.com. Pinball life will be restocked and should have them the middle of next week.

    #333 2 days ago
    Quoted from EightBallTexas:

    So glad I found this thread.
    I cant seem to find it on your site...

    If you're talking about the spike quiet fan kit pinmonk.com, just pick any of the spike games (deadpool, ghostbusters, munsters, etc) and the fan is listed as one of the options for it.

    If you're talking about the spooky/early spike fan (the front-mounted fans), that kit isn't available yet. Probably another 3-4 weeks for the factory to make them.

    #335 2 days ago
    Quoted from EightBallTexas:

    I just got my JP and the fan is so loud as its just off the living room and we hear it go off every few minutes. This is a great find.
    I m not handy at all so this one plug is a wonderful find.
    Thanks so much.

    No problem. You will be AMAZED at the difference.

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