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Radically modifying Mutlibridge Pro

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Will Salley
Radically modifying Mutlibridge Pro
on Feb 1, 2010 at 10:09:48 pm

I've finally decided to take the Multibridge out of the mothballs and put it back to use. There were several reasons for having mothballed it in the first place. The first was that it caused a serious graphics issue with the nvidia 8800GT, this problem was rectified with the release of Snow Leoapard and OpenCL.

The other issue is the noise & heat generated by the physical unit. As wonderfully quiet as the MacPro is, it is all for naught when the Multibridge has a cheap, whiny fan built in. So I'm thinking that, since the warranty ran out and it's not being used, I might as well mess with it.

I'm thinking of pulling the housing off of the electronics and removing the entire top and sides away from the unit, leaving the boards open to receive a gentle breeze from a proper box fan. I shouldn't need to cut anything (except the fans leads).

My question is, has anyone tried this and if so, how did it work? Has anyone done any other modification concerning the cooling and/or noise issues of the Multibridge Pro? If so, what was the result?

The unit will be in a small rack that will never get moved so dust and foreign objects getting inside aren't an issue. I'd like to be able to keep the case intact and just use the guts, but the connectors are all mounted to the rear and I don't want to fabricate something.

Thanks in advance for any responses.




Mac Pro 2x2.8 Quadcore - 10.6.2 - QT 7.6.3 - 22 GB RAM - nvidia8800GT - SATA internal & external storage - Blackmagic Multibridge Pro - Open GL 1.5.10 - Wacom Intous2 tablet - AJA io
SONY XDCAM EX3 - Letus Elite


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Chad Kopec
Re: Radically modifying Mutlibridge Pro
on Feb 2, 2010 at 4:20:49 am

This is quite a coincidence-

I was in the same boat, and decided to do a little modification to my Multibridge Pro about a month ago.

I was tired of that whiny fan also, so I spent all of $7 to replace it with a quality unit. I was careful to select a fan that had the same specs (electronically speaking) as the old one, but went with a regular chipset fan rather than the squirrel-cage design that BM uses. It moves much more air, and is nice and quiet. I removed the top of the Multibridge case and cut a circular exhaust hole for the new fan directly above the heat sink that covers the main chip, along with four holes for the mounting screws. I used the connector that was attached to the original fan to connect the new fan to the board (a simple solder job and some heat-shrink tubing).

The new modification works great- Much quieter, and cooler as well. I don't know that it would be any better than just removing the case top as you suggest, but if you want to protect the electronics a little more, this has been a good solution for me.

Good luck!


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Joshua Helling
Re: Radically modifying Mutlibridge Pro
on Feb 2, 2010 at 10:26:22 pm

While I don't suggest it for obvious reasons, there should be no reason you can't do that. Something to keep in mind.

First...we can get you a new fan as it sounds like the one you got has gone belly up.

Secondly if you do this you should make sure that the fan is powered EXTERNALLY and not from the power source on the Multibridge as it was designed to handle a very specific load.

Also keep in mind that the speed of the fan is (well originally) controlled by the firmware of the device so I wouldn't recommend trying to use that either.

Other than that, running the unit open will increase your chance of destroying the unit (static discharge) so if you are doing to do this make sure you close it off. But the geeky part of me is curious as to what you will do? Are you going to make a bigger enclosure with a larger slower rotating fan? Perhaps change the heat sync on it? Just morbidly curious.

Sincerely,

Joshua
Director of Support
Blackmagic Design Inc.


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Margus Voll
Re: Radically modifying Mutlibridge Pro
on Feb 4, 2010 at 9:06:43 am

Hi.

In some time my unit will need also new fan as it starts to make bit noises already. Full warranty is not over yet but for such a small part it would not be good to have unit to repairs for long time. Is there way to get "original" new fan or get detailed information on fan specifications?

Changing it will not be a problem i think.

--

Margus

http://iconstudios.eu


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Will Salley
Re: Radically modifying Mutlibridge Pro
on Feb 14, 2010 at 10:13:57 pm

UPDATE: So I decided to keep the sheet metal intact and use an external fan to circulate forced air into the Multibridge Pro...although I did enlarge the exhaust hole and removed the baffles, which seemed to produce most of the noise and block airflow.

So far everything works fine. No fan noise and the PC board seems quite cool.

I think Chad's suggestion is another very good solution that I might try just to keep down on clutter. One problem I have now is that the access to the rear panel is a little limited by the tube running into the MBP.




Mac Pro 2x2.8 Quadcore - 10.6.2 - QT 7.6.3 - 22 GB RAM - nvidia8800GT - SATA internal & external storage - Blackmagic Multibridge Pro - Open GL 1.5.10 - Wacom Intous2 tablet - AJA io
SONY XDCAM EX3 - Letus Elite


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