AV Receivers and Dust - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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AV Receivers and Dust

More than any other electronic equipment i have seen, most AV receivers have really open grill tops with lots and lots of holes. I know it's needed for ventilation but isn't dust and other little things getting in direct to the electronics an issue ?

also if heat is an issue, why not internal fans/cooling systems like PCs ?

or do high end receivers already have them ?
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 11:53 AM
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Some already have fans, but old skool audiophile would look down at any of his hardware having a potentially noise adding fan in them. Fan or no fan, open for debate.

As far as dust, don't worry about it. This shouldn't be an issue in most homes. If you feel like, every spring cleaning open it up and give it a vacuum.
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 12:53 PM
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UL has standards for the size of the grille openings so that smaller items can't be dropped inside..
Regarding dust, U should avoid accumulation of this...
About every 6 months, we pull out our larger computer stuf, AVR...
Disconnect, take it out of the system and blow it out with Dust-Off..

Just my $0.02...
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 01:49 PM
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The smell of dust burning off of old AV gear that hasn't been used in a long time is one of life's greatest pleasures.

Just the other day I fired up a 1970's era amp that probably hadn't been used in 30 years. The aroma was intoxicating.

Leave the dust alone, you probably have more of a chance of hurting the equipment trying to clean it than than if you just left the dust there.
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S_rangeBrew View Post

Leave the dust alone, you probably have more of a chance of hurting the equipment trying to clean it than than if you just left the dust there.
Bad advice...
Fans are the primary cooling system in most computers and audio/video components. They bring cool air into the component's cabinet and pushes warm air out. They also blow air directly onto heatsinks which cool components including the various, larger silicon processors (CPU, DSPs for audio & video, connectivity) and amplifier output devices. Heatsinks are finned metal blocks that dissipate the heat generated by the chip or output device they are mounted to. The fins allow air to flow through them transferring the heat into the case which is blown out by a case fan. If any of these fans fail the system can become much hotter...

The heatsink can be coated in dust and is worthless for cooling...
It will get hotter and hotter with the component it is trying to cool and acts as a thermal barrier holding in the heat. And eventually as the silicon processors and/or output devices get hotter and hotter, they will reach a point of shutdown and/or destroy itself.


Just my $0.02...
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 02:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by M Code View Post
Bad advice...
Fans are the primary cooling system in most computers and audio/video components. They bring cool air into the component's cabinet and pushes warm air out. They also blow air directly onto heatsinks which cool components including the various, larger silicon processors (CPU, DSPs for audio & video, connectivity) and amplifier output devices. Heatsinks are finned metal blocks that dissipate the heat generated by the chip or output device they are mounted to. The fins allow air to flow through them transferring the heat into the case which is blown out by a case fan. If any of these fans fail the system can become much hotter...

The heatsink can be coated in dust and is worthless for cooling...
It will get hotter and hotter with the component it is trying to cool and acts as a thermal barrier holding in the heat. And eventually as the silicon processors and/or output devices get hotter and hotter, they will reach a point of shutdown and/or destroy itself.


Just my $0.02...
So blowing pressurized air is okay, is there a reasonable limit to the air pressure used? Could I instead of buying aerosol cans of air use my air compressor for example? Anything inside not to aim the air at? I have an old avr out in the garage and sometimes do some woodworking and the dust is a definite concern, it gets everywhere...and I do have a compressor but no bottles of air....
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
So blowing pressurized air is okay, is there a reasonable limit to the air pressure used? Could I instead of buying aerosol cans of air use my air compressor for example? Anything inside not to aim the air at? I have an old avr out in the garage and sometimes do some woodworking and the dust is a definite concern, it gets everywhere...and I do have a compressor but no bottles of air....

In my original post...
Dust-Off is an aerosol can available everywhere including CostCo, Best Buy...
My preference is to take the component outside and blast it there, keeps things kleener...

Just my $0.02...
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 03:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post
In my original post...
Dust-Off is an aerosol can available everywhere including CostCo, Best Buy...
My preference is to take the component outside and blast it there, keeps things kleener...

Just my $0.02...
Yes, but those are a 90 mile round trip, nothing like that local. I have a compressor with a nozzle fitting and the hose is long enough to go outside....
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 03:50 PM
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Yes you can use a compressor but remember, compressors also become a trap for moisture because of humidity, make sure the air you use is not full of moisture.

You can also use something like a new (unused) soft paint brush to brush dust off electronics - this is good in combination with your compressed air.

The biggest problem with dust and electronics is moisture, dirt/dust attracts moisture and it then becomes nicely conductive and can short things out inside your receiver/amplifier/computer. Dust + Moisture would account for around 90% of all normal operating failures.
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 04:15 PM
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Suggestion.. make sure to UNPLUG your component before cleaning the dust. Simply turning it off isn't enough.

While I hate to admit it, I made a mistake on a computer years ago. Opened the tower case to pull some items to place in a new computer. Saw the case was filled with dust. I used a small vacuum cleaner hose which worked very well. Until a small metal part near the end of the hose touched something. Ended up burning out a video card port. Everything was off, but I forgot to unplug. It was an old machine and the damage could have been worse. Important lesson learned.

And to echo avParsec's advice... be careful with compressors. Condensation in the tank can come out as water, damp air or something in between.
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post #11 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jrm21 View Post
And to echo avParsec's advice... be careful with compressors. Condensation in the tank can come out as water, damp air or something in between.
Valid warning, but most compressors I've seen and have, have a water trap regulator which traps most of the moisture that's got inside with the humid air. Also all compressor manufactures recommend you open the drain on the bottom of the tank to release the built up water on a regular basis.

Anyone who uses their compressor to paint with, will definately have a water trap regulator on it.

Pressure wise? ... that's up to you to decide, but if you keep the nozzle no closer than say 200mm away from the components you'll still blow the dust away and not cause any problems even at maximum pressure of the compressor. If you start to bring the nozzle within say 50mm you need to be careful with the delicate parts.

Above all, if you have a fan inside your receiver, do not allow the compressed air to spin the fan, as you can damage the fan at the far higher speeds it will spin at with the compressed air.


If you live in a dusty area, you want to do this with all your electronics gear, as dust traps heat, and heat kills components.


Also, as mentioned earlier do this outside, because if you do it inside you'll just get that dust back inside the receiver as it settles back down.
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post #12 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
So blowing pressurized air is okay...
Not in my experience. I've worked with control systems, computers and lots of other equipment with IC boards over the decades. The best thing to do is DON'T TOUCH THEM. I've seen so many stop working and be destroyed by well-intentioned folk with their compressed air or vacuum cleaners. The ONLY times I've seen it be a good idea is in an extreme environment where the dust/dirt buildup is so high it stops the fans or heatsinks from working and the system would overheat.

You know how many homes I've seen with that kind of dirt? NONE.

Now, I've seen plenty of receivers die, but it was always because they were built with components that only last so long or they were put in a place that was too hot. Opened them up and barely a speck of dust to be seen.

Don't sweat the dust, worry about the temperature of your AV closet though.
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post #13 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 04:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by S_rangeBrew View Post
Not in my experience. I've worked with control systems, computers and lots of other equipment with IC boards over the decades. The best thing to do is DON'T TOUCH THEM. I've seen so many stop working and be destroyed by well-intentioned folk with their compressed air or vacuum cleaners. The ONLY times I've seen it be a good idea is in an extreme environment where the dust/dirt buildup is so high it stops the fans or heatsinks from working and the system would overheat.

You know how many homes I've seen with that kind of dirt? NONE.

Now, I've seen plenty of receivers die, but it was always because they were built with components that only last so long or they were put in a place that was too hot. Opened them up and barely a speck of dust to be seen.

Don't sweat the dust, worry about the temperature of your AV closet though.
Thanks, but as I mentioned the unit I'm concerned with is out in my garage/workshop and after a few cutting and sanding sessions recently it obviously was going to be an issue judging just by the amount of dust that settled on the case and surroundings. I'll be careful as others have noted, and do drain my compressor after use so not worried about the moisture. I'll also make a small dust cover for the long term to help out as it sits on an open shelf currently.
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post #14 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies guys

I found out from the Denon thread that the usb port in my Denon X3000 will power a small USB fan

I've ordered one on ebay and intend to have it aimed at the top of my receiver so the air is skimming off the top

That should keep the dust off and keep the receiver cool

I've never been that fussed with fan noise, i have a HTPC in my setup plus an external 4 hard drive caddy which has it's own fan and i don't hear them.
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post #15 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterpack View Post
t
I found out from the Denon thread that the usb port in my Denon X3000 will power a small USB fan

I've ordered one on ebay and intend to have it aimed at the top of my receiver so the air is skimming off the top

That should keep the dust off and keep the receiver cool
Don't forget that will also draw dust in, which will settle inside, although hopefully it might keep some dust from settling.
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post #16 of 20 Old 01-02-2015, 07:06 PM
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Don't forget that will also draw dust in, which will settle inside, although hopefully it might keep some dust from settling.
I have a feeling OP is overthinking this one.

Fan does not keep dust away, how can it? when you put a fan on top, drawing air upwards, the equipment has to draw air in from somewhere, side or bottom slits. Ad for fanless pc boasts their dust-less benefit, why? think about it. Also, do you have a PC that's been running for years? open it and see this grime stuck on the slits, over the fans' blades. you have to brush it to get it off.

I do believe in this case the treatment does more harm than the sickness trying to cure.

If you TRULY want no dust, the box has to be designed with one inlet with a filter and one or more outlets with fan(s). Some old PC used to have that but you have to keep up with the maintenance of the filter and after a while people find that's too much hassle.
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post #17 of 20 Old 01-03-2015, 03:29 AM
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You're right, a fan could drag more dust in than it ejects.

No point in filtering the air coming in, because as you said you only have to keep it clean, and if it clogs up there's no cooler air coming in, so the internals get hotter and hotter.
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post #18 of 20 Old 01-03-2015, 03:33 AM
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Put an air purifier in the room and cut down on the dust from the get go!
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post #19 of 20 Old 01-03-2015, 03:36 PM
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Put an air purifier in the room and cut down on the dust from the get go!
And another point of failure too.

I understand the thought behind it, but whilst it will work to a certain degree, the simple fact that dirt and dust still gets in, not all gets in the path of the air purifier to be cleaned out.

Naturally if you can keep the dust levels down in the first place, it is going to be an improvement.
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post #20 of 20 Old 01-04-2015, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by bpratt2 View Post
And another point of failure too.

I understand the thought behind it, but whilst it will work to a certain degree, the simple fact that dirt and dust still gets in, not all gets in the path of the air purifier to be cleaned out.

Naturally if you can keep the dust levels down in the first place, it is going to be an improvement.

Depends how many times the purifier cleans the air , I have a total of 4 in the house for the sqft I have, these along with a good filtre merv 12 filter keeps the dust down significantly
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