G3 hard drive sandwich

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eeun's picture
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G3 hard drive sandwich

I take no credit for this mod. The first time I saw it was at overclockers.com by one Mike Chin. I've merely used the same technique for my G3 and am sharing it here for those who may not have seen the original.

G3 hard drive sandwich

Quarter-inch thick aluminum plate was cut about 1 1/2" larger than the hard drives dimensions. The plates had their edges sanded to remove all burrs that might fall off into expensive areas and to prevent nice people from getting their hands cut. It also looks nicer.:)

I held the plates together and drilled through all four corners with a 7/32" bit, with a drop of 3-in-1 oil on the bit. I don't know why it works better, it just does. Before I drilled, I used a Sharpie to mark one corner on each of the plates. That way when I put everything together, I can line up the holes and didn't have to accurately measure each hole before I drilled. It's a bit of a cheat.

The plates were cleaned again, and waxed with floor wax, and the drive placed in-between. Home Depot supplied the plastic bolts and wing-nuts, for about $0.15 each (and the aluminum was $20 for enough for two drive sandwiches, at a place called Metal Supermarkets).

I was concerned about the 'do not cover this hole' vent on the drive, but it seems to be working fine after over a month of light use.

Once the sandwich was made, I cut some foam to fit around the hard drive. I tested both foam from chair-cushions and a dense adhesive foam with a metallic surface on one side that's designed for insulating furnace pipes. Both were similar in the small amount of noise they reduced, so I went with the cushion foam as it's a bit easier to work with.

I tightened the wing-nuts until they were snug, and adjusted each one as tightening one loosened the other. don't over-tighten! I wasn't too concerned, as I figured the plastic bolts would snap long before any damage would be done to the drive.

The plates act as a head-sink for the drive, so having it all packaged up like this creates no thermal issues.
G3 hard drive sandwich

Due to the size of the sandwich over the bare drive, I installed the drive at 90 degrees to how it sits by default on the hard drive, and had to use a different cable from the 4-ish inch one that comes with the G3 (at least mine did).

The final word...for now:

The drive is noticeably quieter. Not silent, and not as quiet as I'd hoped, but quieter. The most annoying noise was in the higher frequencies, and that's been reduced enough that it's competing with the power supply fan for attention, whereas before it was the dominant noise. Better foam would help, but for now, it's good enough.

eeun's picture
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And another thing...

How I wish we could edit those first posts...

The sandwich is sitting loose on the floor of the G3. The G3 doesn't get moved around, so it's perfectly safe there. A more permanent solution would be to drill holes into the bottom plate and mount one of the G3 drive brackets onto it, then the whole thing is solid...maybe even proper.

Also, a slice of foam was removed to allow the drive power and ribbon cables to exit without lifting the foam around it.

jt
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Bump post . . .

. . . for your initial post and put the real info in the first comment! :ebc:

Also, use more than just a drop of oil when drilling metal! The oil acts as a coolant, allowing the high speed steel drill bit to keep its temper. If you drill a hole without using coolant, overheat the bit and then let the metal bit cool off when you're finished . . . the process is called annealing and for drill bits . . . this is NOT A GOOD THING!

jt Wink

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Did you manage to get the met

Did you manage to get the metal to touch some of the controller chips on the harddrive board? They can get pritty darn hot.

I once saw a rig like this except it was watercooled....

Nicely done btw. No rough edges Smile

eeun's picture
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Re: Did you manage to get the met

Did you manage to get the metal to touch some of the controller chips on the harddrive board? They can get pritty darn hot.

No, I didn't bother, unless some of the chips are flush with the base of the drive by design. That might be something to consider, though. Maybe I can dig up some otherwise useless thermal pads for that...

Nicely done btw. No rough edges :)

Thanks! I've cut my hands on enough PC cases without making more trouble for myself.

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