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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => AC Power and Grounding => Topic started by: Tim McCulloch on February 01, 2019, 04:16:04 pm

Title: Thermostatic rack fan controllers
Post by: Tim McCulloch on February 01, 2019, 04:16:04 pm
What are you using?  I'm familiar with the units from Mid Atlantic and PennFab.  I'm hoping for something more economical.  Looked at various components on Amazon and Fleabay and realized that someone in our little industry has probably done this already.  Ideally a 2 stage system (2 temps, 2 outputs) but not critical.

Any suggestions?
Title: Re: Thermostatic rack fan controllers
Post by: Lee Douglas on February 01, 2019, 09:14:12 pm
I used to use these guys quite a bit: http://www.activethermal.com/  I did a lot of installs where I needed to move heat not just out of the rack, but out of the area.  They have a great selection of rack cooling as well.  I did miss the bit about economical.  If nothing else, it's another resource.
Title: Re: Thermostatic rack fan controllers
Post by: Jeff Lelko on February 01, 2019, 10:27:29 pm
Hi Tim, I use a Cloudplate product from AC Infinity (https://www.acinfinity.com/rack-fans/) to keep air moving in my dLive rack.  It's an all-in-one unit with a temperature probe you mount wherever you think is best for getting an accurate measurement.  Program once and forget, and the controller auto-throttles to stay within the desired temperature range.  It's as good as silent unless you're outside on a hot day.  I'm not sure what economical if for you, but to me this $100 is well spent to keep a $15,000 rack nice and cool.  Hope this helps!
Title: Re: Thermostatic rack fan controllers
Post by: Jonathan Hiemberg on February 06, 2019, 10:15:20 am
Hi Tim, I use a Cloudplate product from AC Infinity (https://www.acinfinity.com/rack-fans/) to keep air moving in my dLive rack.  It's an all-in-one unit with a temperature probe you mount wherever you think is best for getting an accurate measurement.  Program once and forget, and the controller auto-throttles to stay within the desired temperature range.  It's as good as silent unless you're outside on a hot day.  I'm not sure what economical if for you, but to me this $100 is well spent to keep a $15,000 rack nice and cool.  Hope this helps!


These look slick. Is there an accepted practice/logic behind venting direction? For instance, if all your amps are front intake, would the logical solution be to install a front exhaust unit at the top of the rack?

Title: Re: Thermostatic rack fan controllers
Post by: Taylor Hall on February 06, 2019, 11:27:26 am

These look slick. Is there an accepted practice/logic behind venting direction? For instance, if all your amps are front intake, would the logical solution be to install a front exhaust unit at the top of the rack?
Basically be mindful of your flow path, pressure zones, devices that could get heat soaked, and what kind of air resistance will be created in your flow path.

In your case, what kind of rack are we talking about? Something sealed like a home AV/networking rack or a mobile PA rack that would have its clamshells removed? If it's the former, something like they have pictured on their site is pretty standard (though you could potentially skip the bottom of rack active intake assuming your active exhaust is able to overcome the combined exhaust pressure of all your devices). If it's the latter, you're better off just pointing a box fan at the back of it to get the hot amp exhaust out of there.
Title: Re: Thermostatic rack fan controllers
Post by: Jonathan Hiemberg on February 06, 2019, 11:40:31 am
Basically be mindful of your flow path, pressure zones, devices that could get heat soaked, and what kind of air resistance will be created in your flow path.

In your case, what kind of rack are we talking about? Something sealed like a home AV/networking rack or a mobile PA rack that would have its clamshells removed? If it's the former, something like they have pictured on their site is pretty standard (though you could potentially skip the bottom of rack active intake assuming your active exhaust is able to overcome the combined exhaust pressure of all your devices). If it's the latter, you're better off just pointing a box fan at the back of it to get the hot amp exhaust out of there.


The particular rack I'm thinking about is a 42ru installed rack, no rear door, but rear patch panels for speaker breakouts.


Installed gear: A collection of Powersoft X and T, and a couple of network switches.
Title: Re: Thermostatic rack fan controllers
Post by: Taylor Hall on February 06, 2019, 12:35:24 pm
Fully loaded or with blank spaces?

You might be better off with a dedicated rack chimney since you have an open back, and especially if you have open spaces on the front. You'd probably have to put in blanking plates to get any appreciable form of air flow in any case.
Title: Re: Thermostatic rack fan controllers
Post by: Jeff Lelko on February 06, 2019, 09:22:42 pm

These look slick. Is there an accepted practice/logic behind venting direction? For instance, if all your amps are front intake, would the logical solution be to install a front exhaust unit at the top of the rack?

I can follow your logic there, and I'd tend to agree.  You want to maintain air flow and minimize stagnation.  Mine is the intake flavor of the product which is positioned on the opposite side of and below my DM32 Mixrack.  Perforated rack blanks are above it.  This seems to work well with the exhaust of the dLive's fan to flow up and out.  I'm not an expert on this sort of thing, but all I can say is that it seems to work very well!
Title: Re: Thermostatic rack fan controllers
Post by: Jonathan Hiemberg on February 07, 2019, 05:50:20 pm



The rack won't be full up, probably about 65%, but the empty slots will be blanked.


The chimney isn't a bad idea - I'll have to see what the incoming cable tray trajectory is.


It also seems like a rear exhaust at the top of the rack would work as well, rather than front. That keeps the air moving the same direction as the amp fans. The rack won't be against a wall, so something that just helps dump some warm air out of the rack and make things a little more efficient.


Of course this is all in a climate controlled environment, so I'm not too worried about heat. But in a rack full of Powersoft, a $100 fan is a reasonable investment I'd think.