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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anybody come up with a way to clean their Rock without voiding the warranty? I am posting this here, because I am pretty sure that the other rock thread is going to be closed shortly. Tim's unit was not covered because it was dusty, and my Rock is easily as dusty, if not more dusty than his!


Here is what I posted at TAW. Anybody have any suggestions?



TAW POST:


Hello Guys,


I have been having great luck with my rock + here in the "italian villa theater," but I have a concern.


The room is very large, and I have a $1300 hepa filter running 24 hours a day (except when I am watching a movie) but the rock fan still is very dusty (as are the fans in the 7 or 8 PCs around my house)


Since the fan actually looks dustier than Tim's fan that is pictured in the ugly thread over at AVS...and since Tim's Rock failed due to dust....and since Tim wasn't allowed to clean it himself....What should I do?


If I leave it dusty, there is a chance of failure due to heat build up. This wouldn't be a warranty item.


If I clean it, I will void my warranty, since I cut the stickers.


So....do I send it to you for a warranty cleaning? Is there such a thing?


It seems like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place (no pun intented.)


You will not cover the unit under warranty if the problem is dust related (and mine is dusty) but you also won't let us fix it?


So what do we do?


Thanks...just trying to prevent a problem before it happens.
 

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You can get the new TAW upgrade . . . The TAW Dust Buster (sorry, couldn't resist, and all in good fun).


I remember being very impressed with the Rock Demo at CES. And, despite some of the comments that I saw in the "other" thread, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Dave Harper for his service in the military, which is more than I've ever done.


My concern, since I've wanted to audition a Rock in my own environment, is that these issues that I've read about in several contexts now are indicative of a cash-strapped company, which is not unusual for a start-up venture. That is the perception which would concern me most were I to consider the purchase of a Rock. No matter how good the product, I would not be interested in it if the company might not be around much longer.


I'm certainly not saying that's the case. But that's the real question lurking beneath these issues, and that's the one that TAW--or any start-up venture--has to maintain as a top priority.


There is no question in my mind that the Rock+ is capable of impressive results, because I saw them at CES.


Nick :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Phil just gave me an answer for this over at TAW. They are coming up with a procedure which will allow users to open their units and clean out the dust. They are working on the plan as we speak...


Sounds like a good option for me....


btw, a shop vac would work, except for 2 other words:


voided warranty!
 

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Tony -


It sounds like Phil is going to send you the procedure needed to clean the unit. I hope he does the same with me (I just posted a followup to your message). I asked them specifically about this when they were repairing my unit, but they did not answer my question.


It would be nice to put this behind me...


=== Tim
 

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What great news. Give people a chance and don't back them into a corner. I won't say more I just want to :) . Best news I've heard all day.
 

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Just stick the vacumn cleaner hose up to the fan opening. I often do this for my computers, because its also very dusty here in Silicon Valley since its dry most of the year. The fans bring dust into the power supply area pretty heavily. The vacumn cleaner sucks it out quite nicely.
 

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Hi Everybody,I guess i might be missing something here but this is a predictable result of leaving any fan blowing into an enclosed area and mentioned this from the beginning on the Rock forum.Just turn the Rock off when not in use,very simple.If you left it running for 24 hours a day for one week this would be the equivalent of watching 84-2 hour movies in one week ! I also live in Denver Colorado,dust capital of the world and when there is a chance of lightning storms i unplug EVERYTHING !My house has already been hit twice by lightning.
 

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With expensive equipment you may not want turn it off and on like that. Electronics are quite happy to warm up and reach a state of equilibium. They would rather spend their lives this way (I've asked them, just kidding) than power cycling. During power on currrents surge pretty well into caps and things. This is probably the most stressful time for a unit.
 

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Hey guys- this is not right


how many of us actually open up and vacuum out our electronic gear on a regular basis?


a properly designed $5000+ unit should be designed to be left on 24/7, and opening it up to clean it with a shop vac could cause more harm than good


most of the dust is going to accumulate on the fan blades itself (use of a shop vac from outside the cabinet to clean the fan blades is OK), the rest will settle somewhere just downstream of the airflow, usually in the bottom of the unit due to velocity change at discharge of fan (the cabinet acts as a separator for the dust)


an earlier post suggested a discharge fan will help remove this dust: not so because the fan will not be able to pick the dust back up once it has settled out


a properly designed unit will limit the velocity of air, provide a screen over the air inlet if necessary, and not allow dust that does get into the cabinet to settle on critical areas


Mark
 

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Hi,The problem is the fan and obviously anytime one is used in a piece of equipment pollen and dust outside will end up inside the equipment regardless of design.Unfortunatly the CPU runs too hot to survive without one. Some have said on this forum they would prefer complete power down with the remote and others have stated this is not good for the electronics.I for one just turn off anything with a fan when not in use and have had no premature failures at least that i know of and at the least i worry far less about dust,power surges and lightning.Also i just checked the condition of my fan and see very little dust build up (one year in use) .If i were to leave it on 24/7 i would certainly add a filter to the fan inlet but with the resulting loss of airflow you might need a larger and perhaps noisier fan.
 

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It would be intersting to know if the processor that they claim died due to overheating had its own fan. Electronics dying due to dust in their cabinet seems to be reaching a bit. Have you guys taken the lid off (I know someone did without voiding their warranty) to see if there is a small fan attached to the processor or at least a large heatsink?


If the system is that susceptible then you should at least find some baffling to force air in the correct places. My guess is that you will not, that the board that was deamed failed due to overheating didn't, that it was a random failure of some component, and that they didn't want to eat the cost of the replacement mother board under warranty. I am still trying to figure out what evidence they found that the board overheated. I can not think of one physical aspect of a component that would dictate this that could not be attributed to somehting else as well.


The reason I said what I did about powering on and off is that I used to run the manufacturing test department for one of AT&T's subsidiaries. The distribution of failures for electronics normally follows a bathtub curve with a large infant failure, level lifetime failure and large end of life failure with respect to time. In these types of tests products are normalyy power cycled to induce stress. Do you know if they "burn-in" there rock product after assembly?


Just as an aside. If I owned one of these I would be very careful about taking it apart to clean it. With ESD and other concerns (charged caps, etc..) you may do more harm than good.
 

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years ago, before manufacturers started burning in their products, there were a lot of early failures which they blamed on "shipping dust"


this sounds like a similar excuse to me


Mark
 

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I vacumn out my computers any time that I open them up to replace or update something, which is at least a few times a year. Partly its to keep them clean, and partly its to avoid having a massive sneezing fit will working inside it because of the dust I stir up. I just put a soft brush attachment on the vac hose and give it a good vacumn. As long as you don't bang things around, you aren't going to destroy anything, and it keeps the dust down inside.


Of course, my warranty doesn't get voided by doing so, so that makes it a bit easier to do :) But, in general, I never have any problems with doing this kind of maintenance, and I vac the power supply clean via the fan duct while I'm at it. Its amazing how much dust we get here in the Silicon Valley area. Its something I wasn't used to coming from the east coast originally, where regular rains keep dust down. But its pretty heavy here, since the lower and eastern parts of the valley are basically a desert during the summer, and there being no rain most of the year.


I got my carpet cleaned a couple weeks ago, and lift up my server machine for the first time in probably 6 months. The amount of dust under it, which had fallen through the bottom holes after being sucked into it by the fan, was unbelievable. I'd popped it open and cleaned it out a couple times during that period, but had't moved it physically (the side just pops off easily.) At first I thought it had burnt the carpet because it was totally black.
 

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The reason I caution against vacuuming inside the case (which I do as well) is that high static charges can develop (especially in low humidity areas) on the plastic of the vacuum hoses due to air flow etc.... If you are going to do this then get an ESD (conductive) hose and ground it so you dont arc to your components. No doubt this is somewhat rare, but it is possible and the geometries of the devices is so small nowadays that they can be punched through.

Electronics stores should have small handheld vacs that are ESD safe and you can get an ESD wriststrap as well.

ESD can arc quite a distance so you may want to consider these safeguards with this expensive equipment.
 

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A fan is used to draw in cool air or blow out hot air. Why not reverse the fan to exhaust the air.


Warning: I am not an Electrical engineer, do this at your own risk:)
 

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I dont know the rock design, but reversing the fan would depend upon where the air out holes are. If they are in the back or front then you may be OK, but if they are on top or bottom then I wouldn't suggest it. If you stack components then you may be drawing in air that has been warmed by the component above/below your rock.

Also, the fan blade geometry may be more efficient in one direction so you may get a little difference in flow.

If you are going to do this, and the motor is a DC brushed fan motor, then you can just reverse the leads and the fan will spin backwards. However, if the fan is a brushless motor (which many are now for a better lifetime) then you will have to physically turn around the entire fan and assembly and leave the lead polarity alone.
 

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if you use the fan for intaking air, that will be the only intake and it can be filtered with an external filter. if you use the fan as an exhaust, every hole in the chassis will be an intake...much more difficult to control dirt ingestion.
 

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I was not implying opening up the Rock to vacuum...simply sticking it over the outtake. I can't see this hurting the unit too much unless they forgot to solder something down :)


It would help to put tape over all the possible airholes before you do this as well I Would think.
 

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If you put tape over the holes then you will not get any airflow into your vacuum. This may clean the fan, but none of the internal dust will come out.
 
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