Amp cabinet temperature - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-25-2014, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Amp cabinet temperature

What's considered ideal and max for a cabinet that houses audio amps and a dsp?

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post #2 of 13 Old 06-25-2014, 07:23 PM
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Ideal, is room-temp or even slightly below that.
Max, I'd say is ~40C or ~104F.

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-25-2014, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thx. Im 110 - 112 f with front cover on.

If it wasn't for those bright blue peavey lights....

Sounds like I have some adjustments to make !
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-26-2014, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxrealtor View Post
What's considered ideal and max for a cabinet that houses audio amps and a dsp?
As low as possible: electronics hates heat. Remember that the enclosure temperature will be lower than in the amp/dsp case. Mine is passive until 30*C and then I have one or two large fans (6" high flow inline) that progressively come in to ensure that it doesn't exceed that by much and for long.
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-26-2014, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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^^ thanks. Everything I dig up says the same but a lot the times it's followed up with 'amps can hang in a much hotter environment' so it was kind of confusing. But it just didn't seem right having the cases hot to the touch.

I have enough room in the top back to add something like this - not sure if Pyle is a the preferred product, but you get the point. Brand aside - would something like this vent enough of the hot air?
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-26-2014, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll add a bit more info - the cabinet is enclosed on the front and sides, and open on the back with the exception of an ~ 8" brace that goes from the right to left side. It's located at the top.

There is about 7" of space on both sides of the amps, which draw air in on one side and blow it out of the other. There is ventilation holes in the front of the amp too.

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post #7 of 13 Old 06-26-2014, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxrealtor View Post
^^ thanks. Everything I dig up says the same but a lot the times it's followed up with 'amps can hang in a much hotter environment' so it was kind of confusing. But it just didn't seem right having the cases hot to the touch.

I have enough room in the top back to add something like this - not sure if Pyle is a the preferred product, but you get the point. Brand aside - would something like this vent enough of the hot air?
From your description, it's hard to know if it will make an appreciable difference.

Pyle seems to run between OK and sucks, so if you did decide to do a fan wall like that, I'd get some Scythe, Noctua, Gelid etc quiet fans, add them to a piece of scrap ply and wire them to a 12V supply that comes on when the amp is turned on. Even if the Pyle is OK in terms of airflow, I bets it noisy as hell. The fans I mentioned are much quieter.

The trick of getting devices to stay cool in an enclosed environment is to control the flow of air through/past the device with as little spill as possible and no recirculation of warm output into the cool intake. Middle Atlantic have a great pdf on temp control in racks which is worth reading, giving illustrations as well as example of airflow vs heat output of devices etc.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-26-2014, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Just read the MA pdf about active and passive cooling. That is based on front of amps being exposed to exterior. Mine is opposite. Exposed on most of rear, but enclosed on front and sides. To cover the blue lights.

I guess the only way would be try it. Quiet fans are key. I don't need the temp controller and in fact it might be a waste since even in idle the temps will be above the 85* f ideal temp.

It's either suck air out of the back or suck it out of the top. Seems like the MA paper suggests sucking it out of the top. But that's with open front.

Ahhh yet more tinkering. Woot!

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post #9 of 13 Old 06-26-2014, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxrealtor View Post
Just read the MA pdf about active and passive cooling. That is based on front of amps being exposed to exterior. Mine is opposite. Exposed on most of rear, but enclosed on front and sides.
It doesn't matter the principle is the same. It's about control of airflow to maximise cooling. Mine is rear to front. However I've installed several tons of gear into racks that draw in cooling air from below and ventilate it out the top. Can you do that?

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To cover the blue lights.
Which amp and what is the direction of airflow through it? I assume it has internal fans. Can't you just put a small spot of gaffer tape on the front to cover the LEDs?

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I guess the only way would be try it. Quiet fans are key. I don't need the temp controller and in fact it might be a waste since even in idle the temps will be above the 85* f ideal temp.
On all the time would be best and maybe good fans, esp in a larger size like 120mm, will move a lot of air still at low speeds and do so very quietly. See Silent PC Review for fan tests.

I knew when I was designing the system that I would be using a lot of amps with a lot of capacity (about 30kW rated total) so I designed the system initially to deal with all the heat. Most audiophiles / AV enthusiasts don't think of this before they start so have to work out a 'fix' later. I've been building gear like this a long time so I factor it in.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-26-2014, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
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The amps are peavey ipr2 7500s. Air flow (fans blow) is side to side. Front is vented.



Yes, tape on front is an option and might be the best. With sides of cabinet I don't get the light bleed if front is covered and the side also quiet down the fan noise.

I have a picture of the cabinet. Let me grab it.
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-26-2014, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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So here is the amp cabinet when I was building it. It's now almost identical, but....


That top rack was for the minidsp, however due to going from two amps to four I needed space and cut that shelf out and left the back panel piece you see, on for structural support.

The minidsp is still on top. Its not as deep as the amps which is where I have room for fans. Top, back of cabinet.

The front has a cover that all but seals up. It has plexi glass to view only the clip/signal lights and then there is a section of plexi to view the mdsp status lights and IR eye.

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post #12 of 13 Old 07-17-2014, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I got some 200 mm fans, two intake two exhaust. I also got a temp controller. After I extended the back of the amp cabinet and completely sealed the enclosure the system is working very well. Temps remain @ 30C after the fans come on.

The fans are rifle bearings. 166 CFM / fan. I wanted to get quieter fans, but they were sleeve bearings and I wanted higher quality. I decided to put rheostats on each set of fans to quiet them down. I've got it dialed to come one at 32C and it cools down to 30C quickly. I would have liked to have them come on a bit earlier, but then they don't turn off at a temp I like them to when set to come on so low.

I hear the amp fans more than the cabinet fans. Even so, the noise in my room with PJ and amps on is 44 DBs. Not too bad.

Here's a link to the fan controller. It's used in HVAC, but works great for this purpose too. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Suncourt-...S100/100028788

Question -
My amps bring air in on one side, and blow it out the other side. I have been taking temp measurements on the air intake side, at the top of the cabinet. Is this the best spot to put a thermometer probe for a permanent thermometer display as well as dial in controller on/off temps?

Since I have speed control, would it make sense to turn the intake up a bit and the exhaust down? It seems to me this would 'pressurize' the cabinet with cool air a bit better before the exhaust sucks it out of the top.


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Last edited by pdxrealtor; 07-17-2014 at 11:35 AM.
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-17-2014, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
From your description, it's hard to know if it will make an appreciable difference.

Pyle seems to run between OK and sucks, so if you did decide to do a fan wall like that, I'd get some Scythe, Noctua, Gelid etc quiet fans, add them to a piece of scrap ply and wire them to a 12V supply that comes on when the amp is turned on. Even if the Pyle is OK in terms of airflow, I bets it noisy as hell. The fans I mentioned are much quieter.

The trick of getting devices to stay cool in an enclosed environment is to control the flow of air through/past the device with as little spill as possible and no recirculation of warm output into the cool intake. Middle Atlantic have a great pdf on temp control in racks which is worth reading, giving illustrations as well as example of airflow vs heat output of devices etc.
Thanks for the laugh.

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