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Quieter Fan? Active Air - Can Fan or Vortex?

mrgreengenes

New Member
I have an Active Air 6" in line fan that blows 268CFM and it seems like a loud little mother. Just got it hooked up and ducted and it seems to make more noise when turned down low with a blower speed control. Its the vibration of the metal housing on the fan that's the main culprit. I've bungie-ed the fan to suspend it hoping to kill some vibration noise but it's still too loud.

So the questions - anyone else used an Active Air and had quiet results? Maybe I just have a lemon. If I were to upgrade would the "Can Fan" be any quieter, or maybe the Vortex fans? Or should I spend my energy making a sound proof box for it?

I'd love some thoughts from you wise peeps. :peace:
 

mrgreengenes

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

Anyone - Bueller? Seems like a common problem that's been solved by building insulated boxes or cutting coolers. So I'll try that first before shelling out more beans for a new fan.

Unless you know of a quieter in-line fan. Suggestions?
 

McBudz

Nug of the Month: Oct 2008
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

Try coating the metal fan housing with a sound dampening material like dynomat or similar acoustic dampening compound. Then try duct mufflers and or enclosing the fan in an insulated box like a cooler you mentioned.
 

mrgreengenes

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

Thanks McBudz - I'm going to try to dampen the fan down this weekend, Never heard of dynomat. I'd love to enclose a room with the sheeting material. My room of choice was the only reasonable location in the house but it's not ideal for a stealthy set-up.
 

NE14AJ

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

Rubber is a great at deadening sound and vibration, i would say use a rubberized undercoating for auto's but the stuff is messy , so mabe try the tool handle rubberized dip or spray , its cheap and cant make it worse, but if your like me i would bust out my tin snips and make something with the parts lol , or do what i did i made a 4 cpu fan (6") exhaust unit 2 fan in cab and 2 above and it works great and very quite almost my whole set up is 12 volt , .......o yea is the fan blade bent or damaged ? balance is key to a quite fan
 

mrgreengenes

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

Never thought about coating the fan in rubber but it's not a bad idea - although I'm sure it's damn messy. The fan does seem to be off balance a little as well which is why I originally thought about trading it in for a different kind. I may still do that since the hydro store seemed open to the idea as well. But I'm sure it won't be the end all solution. The nature of the beast I suppose.

Thanks for the input NE14AJ. Nice avatar - I feel like I partied with that family at one point in my life but yer heads are too tiny to tell.
 

IBleedGreen

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

If you want a really quiet fan get a ruck acoustically insulated fan. They provide high CFM while producing very little noise the decibal rating is 16 decibals lower than vortex fans which i have heard are some of the quietest fans made in the usa. The only problem is that to my knowledge they are not sold in the usa so you will have to have one sent from Europe and shipping can be expensive. I currently have one being shipped to me. I also assume that i will have to get an adapter to be able to plug it in but being that noise is such an issue for me i am willing to spend the extra money. Ill come back and post again once i get mine in and let you knwo how it goes. hope this helps
 

snowman1969

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

I would suggest making a muffler for your fan. I had some 8 inch ID x 3 ft pvc laying around and some insulation. I wrapped the inside of the pvc tube with the insulation and attached it to the fan. It reduced the noise by %50 easily. And that was a vortex fan.
 

slojoe

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

if you can afford it , vortex is the best in the business. has a 10 yr. warrenty to boot. i have both + vortex is most quiet + durable , thicker power cord also.
 

Growing247

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

Sorry to say but you people are ALL WRONG and I will now give the man the right advice. All the stuff people have said is to try to muffle the loud fan. No matter what fan you buy, by virtue of the amount of air being pulled it is going to make noise. I went to the grow shop yesterday to pick up my monthly issue of nutrients and supplies and I noticed something in the case that is perfect for you. What it is is a small device for around 28.00 dollars that you connect to the wiring of your fan (ECO PLUS) is what it is designed for and the kind most growers run because they are cheap, everywhere, and just as quiet as the expensive models. You hook up this little box and it let's you turn the speed down just enough to where it LOWERS the audible noise quite a bit. The guy had one hooked up for display purposes and had a fan next to it without one attached and it was really a lot louder. Next time I get some money I will probably buy a couple because I have 2 ECO PLUS fans. One for exhaust for my HPS and charcoal filtering and 1 for cold air intake and being able to lower the speed just a little bit helps so much and is worth the 28 or 30 bucks for the controller.
 

CanaHealer

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

Sorry to say but you people are ALL WRONG and I will now give the man the right advice. All the stuff people have said is to try to muffle the loud fan. No matter what fan you buy, by virtue of the amount of air being pulled it is going to make noise. I went to the grow shop yesterday to pick up my monthly issue of nutrients and supplies and I noticed something in the case that is perfect for you. What it is is a small device for around 28.00 dollars that you connect to the wiring of your fan (ECO PLUS) is what it is designed for and the kind most growers run because they are cheap, everywhere, and just as quiet as the expensive models. You hook up this little box and it let's you turn the speed down just enough to where it LOWERS the audible noise quite a bit. The guy had one hooked up for display purposes and had a fan next to it without one attached and it was really a lot louder. Next time I get some money I will probably buy a couple because I have 2 ECO PLUS fans. One for exhaust for my HPS and charcoal filtering and 1 for cold air intake and being able to lower the speed just a little bit helps so much and is worth the 28 or 30 bucks for the controller.
In the OP it was stated that he is already using a speed controller and still has vibrations and too much noise.

mrgreengenes,
What are you cfm requirements? There are some very quiet 6" fans but they do not move as much air as the ones you have mentioned.
Panasonic makes an extreemely quiet 6" rated at 340cfm but is a over $200 and in a non standard form factor. Also they have one rated at 240cfm that is only $175ish
If you can get away with less cfm take a look at a Soler and Palau TD-150. It is a two speed fan (not sure if it is compatable with a speed controller as it has a built in solid state speed controller and you have to wire it for which speed it will be used at. Anyways, on high its 295cfm on low it runs at 215cfm. On low it is very quite. Good against static pressure, as well as being light and compact. S&P is about $125.

Also, another cheat is to run a larger fan and slow it even more with your speed controller. Personally I would recomend a fan that is designed around being quiet if noise is an issue for you.

Anyways, if noise is of the utmost concern then there are fans that are just born to be quiter with performance and/or cost affected accordingly. Remember though that the fan unit itself is only one component of ventalation noise. Air rushing though ducting is the other factor. Usually not as significant as the fan/motor. You can lower this noise with insulated ducting and oversized ducting.
An example of an extremely quite setup would be one of those panasonics pulling air from whatever filter or hood your 6" fan is connected to now. Then exausting through 10-20 feet of 8" insulated ducting.
 

Gnarnar

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

You can find Dynamat at Pepboys or Autozone. The shit is kind of expensive though. They sell them in "Door Kits" and i think last time i glanced at them (for the same reason) the kit was $70. Eff that. I just put my room filter/fan on the floor next to my box and it just makes it look like thats the culprit. I also put some rubber feet on the bottom of my cabinet.
 

bish

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

Panasonic whisperline. I have the 400+ cfm and it has got the lowest sones of any grow fan. Put it in the middle of the ductwork. You will not be disappointed.
 

Cptn

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

search on Panasonic Whisper Fan
this thread gives some great advice.
The Panasonic whisper line is FREAKY QUIET and moves a LOT of air.
shop on the web for it to get the best deals.
 

sneeze

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

I've got the Panasonic Whisperline (the largest 400 CFM model) and 3 Soler & Palau mixed flow fans.

The Panasonic is the quietest thing around if the CFM's work for you. It's basically a large box with a squirrel fan inside, has 8" ports, and seems to do well with static pressures. I have not tried a speed controller on it.

The Soler & Palau fans are mixed flow fans and are very quiet as well for their CFMs. To make them even more quiet, I've put them in bins filled with Rockwool chunks. You'll need to wire on a cord, they only go up to a few hundred CFMs, and they are generally more expensive than the normal fans we use. I've used them for room scrubbing, not for venting lights. I wouldn't recommend them for that.

Cheap speed controllers work by turning down the voltage and are designed for use on drills/tools, etc. They are not recommended for some of the fans we use. If you hear humming when turning down the speed controllers, this means it is not recommended for the motor type in your fan. You can buy safe speed controllers but they are more expensive. That said, I've used the cheap speed controllers on the Soler & Palau's to temporarily lower the noise without issue. I would not use them as a permanent method of controlling.
 

xtrchessreal

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

I know a bit about AC electricity, motors, transformers, ballasts... Just to clear up a couple things I thought I would add this.

You should not use a light dimmer or Incandescent dimmer for a fan. They are cheap but electrically not constructed for the dimming or slowing of a motor purpose. If the dimmer you have says Incan or something similar then it is for Incandescent lights. If you used this dimmer to try to dim a CFL you will hear a hum in the CFL and in the dimmer. Unless you have expensive dimable CFLs.

CFLs have small ballasts in them. A ballast is really just another way of saying Inductor coil. This is why you cannot dim HPS or MH and most CFL lights that are using a magnetic ballast. Ballasts are Magnetic (inductor) coils similar to transformers and motors and all are very similar in function. A fan speed control looks like a dimmer but it is made with a small coil wound potentiometer that is rated for higher current. Wattage or the amount energy used is simply Current multiplied by Voltage. As you dim an incandescent light it is resistive so, the lower the voltage the more current, you hear them start to hum - 60Hz - BTW this does not lower your energy bill.

Motors and ballasts will increase their Current as you lower Voltage thus the same energy will be used. The big problem is if the motor is rated at a specific voltage and current then the wiring windings inside the motor will be gauged/rated to run at that rating. So if you use a basic incandescent dimmer you will increase the current - likely beyond the dimmer rating and the winding rating of the motor. You will hear a hum at a frequency of 60Hz, the current will heat up the windings and cause early failure, you might smell an electrical burning odor.

Fan Speed controllers have windings in them to inversely match the changes induced by the current and the magnetic coil.

That said, even with a speed controller like the type for a ceiling fan you will hear a change in the fan motor sound as you decrease the voltage and increase the current. This is typically why ceiling fans are large, they have a large gauge wire winding and a large magnetic core. The fan you should have should be designed to handle a range of speed/current so that when you slow it down you do not heat it up and burn it out.

Now some of these small duct fans use DC and they do not have a large voltage they may come with a small voltage transformer and a AC to DC rectifier attached. They are quieter because they are small but also do not have the 60Hz hum since there is no AC current running through them. You will still have to be sure you have a controllable motor, with a range, so that it does not burn out. The small Computer fans are usually setup up for 5 or 12 volts DC and are made to be controlled. A resourceful person could use an old computer power supply and run several of these just add up the total amperage of each fan and multply it by the specified voltage to determine how many from one power supply. The power supply is a AC to DC rectifier with 5 and 12 volt connections. So a 200 watt power supply could operate thirty three 12 volt/.5 amp fans. That comes to 6 watts/fan. Actual CFM is depending on size and rating of each fan, the duct size, the pressure in the ducting, and the wind drag of the duct. These are things that are not always explained to you at the Hydro shop

It has been a while since I had my power and control systems classes so if I left anything out then please fill in the blanks. I hope I didn't bore you with science.:peace:
 

xtrchessreal

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

BTW I use an AC dual caged squirrel fan aka Centrifugal Fan rated at 320 CFM 115V 1.3 Amp for my room exhaust, it was made for a wood stove and to be controlled. It was made to blow convection air across a large wood stove like the type some restaurants use for smoked flavors. This means I can reduce the voltage and increase current and the current will never exceed 1.3 amps regardless of speed/rpm. I use a 5 amp rated ceiling fan speed controller to slow it down as it sucks the Panda film wall in. The room is framed without attaching it to any part of the structure of the house for lowest possible noise caused by transverse sound waves of fans, ballasts, pumps etc. A cube inside a cube without touching the walls or ceiling. :high-five:

You can find that fan on ebay for $49 plus shipping. :thumb:
 

gus738

New Member
Re: Quieter fan? Active Air, Can Fan or Vortex?

wiid in my situation what would you recommend? i have a regular room i think 10x10x10 with a window that is 5 and half ft by 4 half ft. my goal would be to exchange air intake and exhaust without stressing the plants . i think i would need at very least one 6 and one 8 inch fans . vortex and elicent are so far my only choices . now as i leave the room to the right walking distance of 2 ft is a window door that leads to the very small patio. back to the room if you make a left about walking distance of 4 or so ft is my double garage ... my idea is to ehaust the air out thro the window of the room but im open to recommendations .
I know a bit about AC electricity, motors, transformers, ballasts... Just to clear up a couple things I thought I would add this.

You should not use a light dimmer or Incandescent dimmer for a fan. They are cheap but electrically not constructed for the dimming or slowing of a motor purpose. If the dimmer you have says Incan or something similar then it is for Incandescent lights. If you used this dimmer to try to dim a CFL you will hear a hum in the CFL and in the dimmer. Unless you have expensive dimable CFLs.

CFLs have small ballasts in them. A ballast is really just another way of saying Inductor coil. This is why you cannot dim HPS or MH and most CFL lights that are using a magnetic ballast. Ballasts are Magnetic (inductor) coils similar to transformers and motors and all are very similar in function. A fan speed control looks like a dimmer but it is made with a small coil wound potentiometer that is rated for higher current. Wattage or the amount energy used is simply Current multiplied by Voltage. As you dim an incandescent light it is resistive so, the lower the voltage the more current, you hear them start to hum - 60Hz - BTW this does not lower your energy bill.

Motors and ballasts will increase their Current as you lower Voltage thus the same energy will be used. The big problem is if the motor is rated at a specific voltage and current then the wiring windings inside the motor will be gauged/rated to run at that rating. So if you use a basic incandescent dimmer you will increase the current - likely beyond the dimmer rating and the winding rating of the motor. You will hear a hum at a frequency of 60Hz, the current will heat up the windings and cause early failure, you might smell an electrical burning odor.

Fan Speed controllers have windings in them to inversely match the changes induced by the current and the magnetic coil.

That said, even with a speed controller like the type for a ceiling fan you will hear a change in the fan motor sound as you decrease the voltage and increase the current. This is typically why ceiling fans are large, they have a large gauge wire winding and a large magnetic core. The fan you should have should be designed to handle a range of speed/current so that when you slow it down you do not heat it up and burn it out.

Now some of these small duct fans use DC and they do not have a large voltage they may come with a small voltage transformer and a AC to DC rectifier attached. They are quieter because they are small but also do not have the 60Hz hum since there is no AC current running through them. You will still have to be sure you have a controllable motor, with a range, so that it does not burn out. The small Computer fans are usually setup up for 5 or 12 volts DC and are made to be controlled. A resourceful person could use an old computer power supply and run several of these just add up the total amperage of each fan and multply it by the specified voltage to determine how many from one power supply. The power supply is a AC to DC rectifier with 5 and 12 volt connections. So a 200 watt power supply could operate thirty three 12 volt/.5 amp fans. That comes to 6 watts/fan. Actual CFM is depending on size and rating of each fan, the duct size, the pressure in the ducting, and the wind drag of the duct. These are things that are not always explained to you at the Hydro shop

It has been a while since I had my power and control systems classes so if I left anything out then please fill in the blanks. I hope I didn't bore you with science.:peace:
 
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