(Topic ID: 323755)

Stern FINALLY has a new fan in their Spike2 power supplies

By PinMonk

1 year ago


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  • 12 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by PinMonk
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 1 year ago

    Ever since just over 2 years ago when George Gomez said Stern would be addressing the ridiculously loud power supplies in their pins, I've been opening every new pin hoping to see the new power supply. Every time - same power supply.

    (At the end of this clip where he says the power supply controls the fan speed, this is incorrect. The fan in the two Meanwell power supplies Stern uses are "dumb" fans. There is no speed control lead for the fans in these power supplies. They turn on at full power/RPM until a temp target is reached, then they turn off)

    BUT THIS TIME with Guardians of the Galaxy Pros that just came off the line, when I opened the head, the power supply was the same on the outside, but the FAN inside was completely NEW. Totally different manufacturer. Had Gomez finally come through with a quieter fan setup stock from Stern??

    So, don't get too excited. The new fan's worse.

    The NMB fan in the power supply Meanwell has used for years was an annoying 34.6dB. The new fan is min 35.32 to max 38.4dBA . I believe Meanwell runs the fans at max, just full or no voltage for on/off, and since decibels are not linear, that's a pretty good jump in noise.

    Well, at least it's pushing more air for that noise increase, right? Nope. The old NMB was 11.4CFM. New one is 9.88-10.98CFM. So, Meanwell's kind of tacitly admitting that the NMB fans were overkill with the high CFM since this new one is less. Kinda.

    The new fan also uses a smidge more power.

    The one upside I see is it DOES quote a longer MTBF (useful life) compared to the NMB, but given how budget the whole fan seems, I don't know if I trust it. Besides, who could put up with the increased NOISE this new one puts out in a home for YEARS?

    Also, this new cheap...err, "cost conscious" fan is also very broke-ass with the serial numbering. You can barely see the 8 digit serial number that's been stamped over the logo. At least the original NMB ones had a nice sharp serial number printed at the top of every label. I picture someone at this new fan company with a rubber stamp and a barely-inked stamp pad stamping these on each label manually.

    Since Meanwell made this change, it would have been a PERFECT TIME for Stern to ask for quieter fans in the power supplies they order in bulk. But, nope. Stern did not do that. I'm beginning to wonder if they ever will. I mean, I'm happy to continue to sell quiet fan kits to solve this problem, but it's just kind of annoying that Stern is sitting on their hands when they could EASILY fix this for everyone.

    Gomez says they're looking for a power supply to meet their requirements that also has a quiet fan. But they HAVE a great power supply, they just need to order it with a quieter fan. I asked Meanwell's engineers directly years ago if Stern could specify a different fan for the power supplies they order, and they said that Stern just has to request it. But Stern hasn't - apparently. I don't know if it's down to money (this new fan is even more crappy than the NMB, so cost-savings ahoy!) and Stern just doesn't want to pay the dollar or whatever extra (Gomez does mention the power supply budget is a factor) for the change, but for now, this is what it is.

    Original NMB fan
    nmb-04020A-sml (resized).jpgnmb-04020A-sml (resized).jpg

    New PowerNex Fan
    CH4012BH Fan-sml (resized).jpgCH4012BH Fan-sml (resized).jpg

    #2 1 year ago

    All I can say is Ugg..... This exciting new update sounds like an actual step backward on ALL fronts (but perhaps out of Stern's hands and instead a value-engineer change made by Meanwell to reduce their costs and BOM). That said, Stern has the option of changing sources if they had a better choice, but not sure if they do: same power specs, quieter, long life, wholesale right price, etc.

    I suspect the true PB enthusiast will ultimately seek out the more intrusive 'changing the fan inside the supply' approach, like Pinmonk's:
    https://pinmonk.com/products/spike-quiet-fan-plug-n-play-kit?_pos=3&_sid=082e53ceb&_ss=r

    #3 1 year ago

    Hey, it may not be that big around, but at least it’s short.

    #4 1 year ago

    Got to cost cut while jacking up those prices : ).

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from Markharris2000:

    All I can say is Ugg..... This exciting new update sounds like an actual step backward on ALL fronts (but perhaps out of Stern's hands and instead a value-engineer change made by Meanwell to reduce their costs and BOM). That said, Stern has the option of changing sources if they had a better choice, but not sure if they do: same power specs, quieter, long life, wholesale right price, etc.
    I suspect the true PB enthusiast will ultimately seek out the more intrusive 'changing the fan inside the supply' approach, like Pinmonk's:
    https://pinmonk.com/products/spike-quiet-fan-plug-n-play-kit?_pos=3&_sid=082e53ceb&_ss=r

    Yeah, I don't know where the cost-cutting happened. Whether it was Meanwell just doing it on their own (they have used Powermax fans in other power supply models they make in the past, apparently) due to cost or availability on their end or whether Stern squeezed them to reduce costs and this is how they did it. But the fact that Meanwell changed fans shows they CAN do that, so I wish Gomez would concentrate on working with Meanwell engineering to get quieter stock fans for the tens of thousands of Meanwell power supplies they likely order yearly.

    Trying to find a completely different power supply just to address the noisy fan is unnecessary. The Meanwell power supply they have is already great - it just has a loud fan, and Meanwell has said Stern only needs to ask them about getting something quieter in there - they're willing to work with Stern to address it. But two years on since that video, Stern hasn't done that. Boo.

    #6 1 year ago

    (That was a sad trombone, in case you couldn't hear it over your Stern power supply.)

    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    Trying to find a completely different power supply just to address the noisy fan is unnecessary.

    As is being concerned about the louder fan, it has not lost them a single sale.

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from DNO:

    As is being concerned about the louder fan, it has not lost them a single sale.

    Well, that's obvious. But in the video Gomez said they're looking to address it by finding a whole new power supply. My point is that's not necessary, they have a great power supply already, they just need to have Meanwell change out the fan, which Meanwell engineering has said they're willing to do - I asked their engineering directly a few years ago.

    If Stern's hung up on high CFM (which is unnecessary based on the way the Meanwell failsafe is designed, IMO), there are three fans that have essentially the same air flow as this new cheap-ass fan that shave a huge amount off the noise:
    EF40201BX-000U-A99 - 10.8CFM / 28.5dB
    EB40201SX-000U-999 - 10.8CFM / 27.5dB
    MB40201VX-000U-A99 - 10.8CFM / 27.5dB

    You'd still be able to hear when those come on, but they would be MUCH quieter than what's in there now.

    6 months later
    #9 1 year ago

    In the Foo Fighters Pro machines that came off the line last month, Stern is back to NMB fans in their Meanwell power supplies. So, back to a SMIDGE less loud that the terrible PowerNex ones that were used on Bond and RUSH, but still too loud.

    5 months later
    #10 9 months ago

    Happy to report that the latest Venom Pro with a meanwell power supply is still is back to having NMB fans, so definitely loud, but a hair less loud than the crappy bottom of the barrel PowerNex fans they were using for a few runs there. Now if they'd just ask Meanwell to just put a quiet fan in there to begin with, everyone would be happy!

    #11 9 months ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    Happy to report that the latest Venom Pro with a meanwell power supply is still is back to having NMB fans, so definitely loud, but a hair less loud than the crappy bottom of the barrel PowerNex fans they were using for a few runs there. Now if they'd just ask Meanwell to just put a quiet fan in there to begin with, everyone would be happy!

    Our jp 30th fan was stupid loud, all put other sterns are annoying but tolerable. This one was 2 or 3x louder , so I put one of your fans in my pinball life order.

    #12 9 months ago
    Quoted from Hayfarmer:

    Our jp 30th fan was stupid loud, they were annoying but tolerable. This one was 2 or 3x louder , so I put one of your fans in my pinball life order.

    Haha. If it was noticeably louder than the NMB usual, it was probably the super-garbage PowerNex fan. Awful.

    Thanks for the support! Glad to make an option available to provide some peace and quiet.

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