Cooling down the Icybox
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
A few months ago I bought myself an external enclosure to put my spare IDE drives in. It was the so called "Icy Box". Where they got the "Icy" from, I don 't know, maybe the icy blue leds on the side might have been a reference.
I for a change expected something along the lines of a very well cooled enclosure. I read somewhere it didn 't need any active fan cooling since the box had plenty of passive cooling. So far the fairy tale.
What I got was an extremely hot running disk, trapped inside an iron box with no visible cooling measures whatsoever.
Eventually, last month my disk started making funny noises and that was enough for me to put the Box in a drawer and get me a bare usb cable of 14$ to connect to my disk.
Nevertheless, my quest for cooling was not over... merely in the fridge. Until one day I stumbled upon a cooling fan of a broken Acer laptop, about 5mm in height.
It took me about an hour to fabricate what you see here now.

The materials you need are:
-1 (very flat) laptop fan (5 volts)
-some thin wiring
-super glue
-some scotch tape
-1 dremel or drill with a fine head (or whatever you can drill fine holes with in aluminium)
-1 old 3,5"diskette

Here 's how to do it:

Bend a piece of metal (from the diskette cover) to make a bridge for the side of the icy box equal in height to the lower part of the back.
Remove the screw in the corner and squeeze your metal bridge in between the two plates.
Apply some superglue to the rest

Now glue on the fan, using the lower part of the back and the side bridge as placeholders.

Connect the black and red wire of the fan (make 'm longer if needed) to the 5 volt part of your disk power connector.
Use the red and black wire (not the yellow one, that 's 12v!!!). Forget about any white wire on your fan, that 's for fanspeed measuring/throttling and we don 't have that.
In my case, I had to use a little white wiring to extend my connection.
But you get the picture: peel off the plastic isolation and squeeze the wires next to the existing wires. Try already if your fan works.
Now put some glue over it. This should hold sufficiently.
I disrecommend using any of the other connectors (the ones from the leds): your fan will run, but at an extremely slow and unusable rate. I tried it and I even had to jumpstart it first.

Once everything is in place and nicely stowed away, you should get something like this:

And now it 's just a matter of drilling enough holes in it. Here 's the result of that.

My Icy box is now worthy of the name "Icy".

Where before I couldn 't almost touch it after a few hours of work, I now find it to be as cool as when switched off. The airflow is great, you can feel it being sucked in at the top and flow out at the front.

Now all I need is an idea to hold that power supply in place.

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