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Auxiliary cooling fan test.

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I thought I would try an experiment with my projector. It's a Sharp XR10X 2000 lumen XGA machine. I have been reading a lot about bulb life as a function of cooling etc and thought I would do a test and see what I could discover. I have read reports where lowering the temp. 12 degrees can double the lamps life span etc so here is what I did.

I have a non contact infrared thermometer that measures surface temperatures and is repeatable to a few degrees. I took readings with the projector off at 4 places, (mine is ceiling mounted so when I say top it's the projectors bottom.) I measured the case top bottom and the air intake and exhaust. I took 5 sets of readings each one half hour apart, (the time it took to stabilize.)

All temps are in degrees F

First readings (power off) top 74, bot 74, in 77, ext 75

Second readings (eco mode projector fan low) top 99, bot 99, in 89, ext 155

Third readings (eco mode projector fan low) top 91, bot 96, in 91, ext 156

Forth readings (eco mode projector fan high) top 88, bot 93, in 84, ext 143

Fifth readings (eco mode projector fan high and the addition of the external fan)
Top 79, bot 74, in 73, ext 118

The external fan is located 4 inches from the projector case and roughly blowing in line with the air intake of the projector. It's a Dayton 110VAC equipment fan model number 4WT46, 115 CFM, 3100RPM, 20w, .24 amp, and 49db. This fan is more than likely twice as big as required but is what I had on hand for the test. At 49db I'm surprised it's not that loud. My theater most times runs in one of to modes. Ether sound cranked up pretty well or late night usage is with headphones. So in my case it wouldn't be a problem. In fact I quickly tuned out the new fan sound very much the way I did when I went to high setting.

Conclusion: if your projector has a high fan setting that will override in eco mode there is a 14 degree drop doing so with this projector. Adding the aux fan such as this will lower you another 25 degrees.
If you are at high altitude or high temp or have a problematic projector known to overheat something like this might work for you.

The setup shown below in the thumbnails was just a makeshift setup. I think I will refine the idea some and see if I can decrease the sound level some by mounting the fan away and ducting the air to the projector. Also I may control the fan thru a temp switch.

post #2 of 25
You can use 12v DC fans with 1/2 the noise and 1/2 the CFM much cheaper. You can also tie the fan around the PJ with clear fishing line. It works even better if you use a 120 mm->80 mm fan adapter and tie the 80 mm part of the adapter directly on to the PJ's air intake (less wasted wind).

Check out www.nexfan.com for lots of cooling ideas and parts for decent prices (also watch www.xpbargains.com for frequent coupons for this site)
post #3 of 25
12v fans are pretty quite, you could put about five 80mm fans and barley here them if you get the right ones. If you go to newegg.com and check out the typical 80mm computer fan, you can see that there are about 100 different ones to choose from with different rpm's and db ratings. The only thing is how are you going to get those fans to wind up without opening the projector case and voiding the warranty?
post #4 of 25
I'm all about adding a fan to my HD1000U and what not, but I just wish I could power it in a "cool" way without busting open my practically new PJ.... People said using 12V triggers on the PJs is a no-go as it would eventually kill it as it just doesn't have the power.... I want to do a "slick" solution, but I'm still thinking....
post #5 of 25
Originally Posted by Huey View Post

You can use 12v DC fans with 1/2 the noise and 1/2 the CFM much cheaper.

Great thread. I was wondering if this was possible.

Just to add, there are also plenty of 'quite' computer fans built specifically for low db, but maintaining air flow. Mostly in the 120mm range, but a few 80mm to exist. There are websites devoted to building quiet and silent computers, but still keep those Intel Pentium IV chips cool. I have three primary 120mm quiet fans in my existing computer, which makes my old computer sound like it was using a vacuum cleaner motor to keep it cool. Just need to find a good 110v/12v converter that isn't as big as a computer power supply
post #6 of 25
Keep in mind that you also introduce more dirt into the PJ. Cleaning the filters should be a good indication if more dirt gets in.

Other than that it is a natural solution. My PJ has a quiet Pabst 120 mm fan sucking from the exhaust opening and it helps a lot.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Filters? What are they?
One of the nice things about the XR10X is a sealed optical path.

The fan I used and showed in the opening post is bigger than needed IMO but was on hand and I thought I would give it a try by way of an experiment. AC or DC both would be a good way to go and both can be found in about the same CFM and db ratings. Just if you go AC you don't have to mess around with a wall transformer is all. If your projector has a 12VDC trigger output that would work great to run the fan but I would use the trigger to pick up a relay and let the relay control the fan.

I wouldn't recommend anyone trying to shoe horn a fan inside their case and I was trying to be careful with the placement I did not to obstruct the louvers on the side of the case. That's why I left it back 4 inches. Sure the placement I did was very inefficient but it did result in a 25 degree drop in the output air temp. some of the air is flowing across the case and cooling that and that should help with sinking heat from all the electronics inside the case not just the bulb. That's why I did temp measurements 4 places on the case.

Yesterday I bought a digital thermometer, the indoor outdoor type and the outside range goes to 158F. What I'm going to do is mount the outside thermocouple a few inches in front of the exhaust opening and mount the base unit on the wall. Now that I have a few benchmark readings I'll be able to keep my eye on the temp. The other nice plus is it will tell me room temp and humidity. Good to know in a basement theater. Once I get it hooked up I'll post some pictures.

I may play around with a couple more location changes with the fan also.
post #8 of 25

It would be interesting to see if you obtained the same amount of cooling by mounting your external fan at the exhaust port to help pull air through the unit.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Thomas Willard View Post


It would be interesting to see if you obtained the same amount of cooling by mounting your external fan at the exhaust port to help pull air through the unit.


You read my mind. The only problem I have in doing such is measuring the temp. The readings I took were of the exhaust louvers taken with an inferred measurement.

At best the method I'm using just gives an indication of the temp inside the projector and the temp of the bulb. I'm assuming by lowering the temp of the air leaving that I am in fact cooling the bulb better. How much better is the question. By adding more volume of air just by dilution I'm sure I'm seeing some of what I reported.

My feeling is moving more air cant hurt and even if only 25% of what I measured is actual real heat reduction it cant hurt to do this.
post #10 of 25
Good thread. I like the distance you placed the fan, that way if it fails or you forget to turn it on, it won't disrupt the normal airflow. However if it's running, it should add lots of value.
post #11 of 25
This looks like an ideal fan. Unfortunately, to adopt it, I think one would have to modify a 110v AC to 12v DC adapter (for car accessories) to make it work.

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

That was my thoughts also when determining how far back to place the fan. I didn't want to cause something that would alter what the projector did normally. At first I was thinking just cool the outside of the case and blow some of the heated air away from the air intake. But then I found that it seemed to help a lot by blowing into the louvered vent on the side of the projector opposite the fans.


I'm assuming that fan you linked is just 12VDC I didn't see the voltage listed. Anyone using a 12V fan can just get one of those little wall transformers rated at 12V and enough current to run the fan and wire that to the AC. I always save them when I throw stuff out phones etc.
post #13 of 25
Won't alot of projectors shut their bulbs down after a certain number of hours whether or not the bulb is ready to go??
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Paul_PDX View Post

Won't alot of projectors shut their bulbs down after a certain number of hours whether or not the bulb is ready to go??

I haven't heard of that but then again there are a lot of things I haven't heard of. I think mine gives some kind of warning when the hours hit some mark. But you can also reset the hour counter in the menu. So I guess I don't really know.

Heat is a big killer of all kinds of electronics not just bulbs. Dust buildup is bad but because it holds the heat in. my XR10X has sealed optics but the rest of it isn't sealed so hopefully I'm helping it out all over with the fanning.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
I cleaned up the project a little and added a digital thermometer.
Thumbnails below show the setup as it is today. The inside reading is the room temp and the outside reading is the projector hot air outlet. The probe is about 1 inch from the projectors case and right in the main air flow. I watched it tonight over about 5 hours and the temp stayed around 120F with the aux fan off it was running around 145-150F.

So my guess is I'm seeing a cooling improvement of at least 25-30 degrees internal.

post #16 of 25
I like this thread, and your final setup is great. It's giving me the motivation to lean back towards the Panasonic AX100U 'light cannon' after reading about all the issues with heat control/damage to the optical block.

I didn't even think of utilizing a typical wall transformer. I got a box of them in the garage that I might try to find a match with. Great idea. Great idea overall, in fact. I like your use of the outdoor/indoor temperature device. I wonder if my wife would miss the digital cooking thermometer from the kitchen...

Yes, the fan I linked above is a 12V. It's engineered to be very quiet (17db). Here is a better link to the fan, and some additional specifications . There are a lot of fan solutions out there, this is just an example.

The CFM is much lower (about 40 cfm vs 110cfm), so 2-3 fans may be needed to approach the same effect. But it would at least be quieter if sound control was an issue.

Another reason I mention the 120mm, 12v computer fans is that some are kits with a fan-temperature controller-TC wire (heck, you might even get a couple memory card slots to boot ). You place the tip of the TC wire where you want to measure temperature, then set the controller temperature. below the setpoint temperature, the fan runs slower/quieter. Above and fan speeds up. Heck, there are even computer mods were people have taken dorm refrigerators and converted them into CPU and chipset coolers, lol. hmm Your cool project (pun intended) is giving me some ideas, but I have no PJ yet to play with
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
I had a couple over to watch a movie over the weekend and had the projector and the new fan running when they came down to the room. I didn't say anything about the fan just thought I would wait to see if there were any comments. I had the surround sound set fairly high and asked them during a preview if it was to loud and they said turn it down a little the movie was a pretty quite movie with lots of dialog. And I didn't notice the fan noise within the first minute of the movie. Once my mind was occupied with the movie.

After the show I pointed out the new fan that hung directly over their heads for 2 hours and they both said if you wouldn't have mentioned the fan they wouldn't have heard it.

It has already become second nature to flip the fan switch on as I enter the room and its on a minute or so before starting the projector but runs 5 to 10 minutes after I shut the projector down just because that's about how long it takes me to get around to it.


I like your idea about the fan you found having a built in thermal switching and that could work out good. I would try just one fan to get started and measure the temp like I did to see what improvement you get. At 17db each I know you could use 2 and not ever hear them running. The cooking thermometer should do ok for testing I think.
Good luck on finding a projector and getting started I'm still totally blown away with my Sharp XR10X for 700 bucks projectors like this are making front projection affordable to just about anyone that wants to try it out. And at 2000 lumens it's defiantly a light cannon.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
I haven't posted to this thread in quite some time and I did have my first lamp failure. The projector I have I have grown to love the PQ I have and the extreme brightness is key to my overall ambient light viewing abilities. But unfortunately this projector became one of many problematic projectors that suffered from premature lamp failures. I would like to have posted back I made it to some better than advertised lamp life but I didn't. I did exceed a lot of others with the same projector but there are so many factors that go into lamp life (some within our control and some based in blind luck) so I wont speculate on how much my aux fan helped or didn't. But I do feel safe in saying it didn't hurt. And my gut feeling is still that cooler electronics is happy electronics.

I have also added a few of the little 12v jobbies to my surround receiver and the big carver amp that drives my two 12 subs. And the results there didn't need a temp probe to see the results, that carver could have doubled as a cook top before the fans and now is always cool to the touch. I powered the fans off the plug in the back of the receiver that is switched on when it is powered up making those fans automatic on and off.

I redid my mount a while back but retained the fan and temp probe.

post #19 of 25
So after an early lamp detonation I decided to rig up a fan unit as well. A bit rough but we'll see how it works out. Basically 2 36cfm 12v DC fans, typical PC style. I built myself an on/off switch with a DC power adapter input, to use almost any AC/DC universal adapter. That's the little box with wire wrapped around it, this will get mounted to the wall behind the couch just out of view, power adapter's not in shot.

The two fans cover the intake pretty well and I'm going to look into some ducting options.

post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 

Looks good come back and post some photos when you get the ducting done also.

I just got two of the 12v smaller fans (much quieter) and I think I’m going to retire the 120VAC fan also.

I now have fans on the power amp (subs), the surround receiver, and the DVD burner all 12VDC very quiet and all running cool now.
post #21 of 25
Hah! Just got my new lamp installed, and guess what I found? 1309 hours! Might be a common burn life for the XR10X. Going to hook up my external cooling now. Hey Bud did you ever get the lamp timer to reset, mine doesn't seem to want to follow orders. Any trick not listed on the manual?

Okay figured the reset out, the PJ needed to be in the off (standby) mode. Hit the 3 buttons, then Standby, timer will reset on start up.
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Wow that's about the only thing I didn't try. I was standing on my head for a half hour pushing those buttons. The book I got with my lamp never mentioned power off. Thanks for the tip. And yes we were within 30 hours and pretty close to the same number of months. Like I said before I got a lot of enjoyment for the cost of the replacement lamp. Yes it should have went at least 30% longer at least.

I had a group over the other night and I started getting strange artifacts on the picture. First I thought the bulb was messing up again. It was strange they would last for exactly 3 minutes and then go away and then start again each time for 3 minutes. The mystery was solved when the wife came down the stairs with 5 bags of microwave popcorn.
post #23 of 25
Did the artifacts look like little popcorn bursts?

I happy my system is back up and running and with only 4 days out of service, so I can't really complain.

I installed the fan unit, looks a bit rough right now, but I think I'll makes some type of face cover or something, perhaps even paint it to match the PJ. At least that'll make it blend it a bit more.

Oh and the 2 cables running to the unit are just safeties in case my plaster wall gives out (very doubtfull).
post #24 of 25
I know it's an old thread, but maybe I can find some help here. I have an Epson 8350, which I had to place much too close to the rear wall, since I'm really pushing the projection distance. It is about 4 inches from the wall, and unfortunately the air intake is right there on the back of the projector. So I thought about adding one or two 12v rear fans to help the air flow. How should I do this, given my limited space? Should I just make them blow directly on the intake at a minimum distance, or would it be better to have two fans blowing in diagonal one on each side? Any tips would be very very welcome.
post #25 of 25
Another possible option, and maybe better, would be to hang a medium table fan at some distance at a side if the pj, so to help with the air flow back there and at the same time keep the whole pj cooler. How about that?
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