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Noise from "silent" PC, Trying to fix it!
garym
post Oct 19 2012, 14:03
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QUOTE (extracampine @ Oct 19 2012, 07:00) *
I asked Andrew of Small Green Computer for a refund or replacement though he did not oblige.


I suspect his view was that your perception of a problem is not actually a reasonable problem. Don't know. But I can add that I've purchased three regular "vortexbox appliances" to act as music servers from Andrew. These don't need to be quiet because they are not in the listening room. On on 6TB unit I had some problems and he was very attentive to getting them solved at no cost to me, long after I had purchased. So I've had excellent dealings with Andrew and Small Green Computers.
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scuzzy1
post Oct 19 2012, 17:34
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That's too bad about the refund/replacement.

You could try airing your issue on the silentpcreview forums. The members there go to extremes to build silent computers. Someone there may have experienced a similar problem.

If you decide to replace the mobo:

From the manual for your case, any mini-ITX motherboard should fit, though you should check the measurements of whatever board you decide on before purchase, just in case. Try browsing a site like Newegg to see what's available (look under Computer Hardware>Motherboards>Motherboard / CPU / VGA Combo>Form Factor : Mini ITX). I think for just about any board you purchase you'll need to buy DDR3 memory, since DDR2 use has been pretty well phased out. You'll also need to buy a power supply; the best (only?) option would be a PicoPSU.
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krabapple
post Oct 19 2012, 17:42
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Can you record the noise from your listening position, and send it to Small Green? That might convince them that it's a 'reasonable problem'. ( I would think *any* computer noise audible from the normal listening position would be a reasonable problem if you've spent money to have a box built to 'computeraudiophile' specs -- a questionable idea in itself, given some of the TOS8 violations computeraudiophile.com touts, but that's another thread....)
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extracampine
post Oct 20 2012, 18:45
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I can try and record the noise, though as it's quite feint/high pitched, it might be difficult to capture!

I'll check out the silent PC forums, maybe they can help!
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Rotareneg
post Oct 20 2012, 20:52
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You mentioned the "system beep." If there's a speaker hooked to the motherboard you might try disconnecting it on the off chance it's the source of the noise.
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zenpmd
post Oct 21 2012, 07:34
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I had exactly this problem! But there is a solution! Its basically changing the software settings out power supply management and is completed as follows:

Its all very weird, but this stopped the (capacitors, I think) sound:

1. Execute: "regedit"
2 .Locate: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Power \ PowerSettings \ 54533251-82be-4824-96c1-47b60b740d00 \ 5d76a2ca-e8c0-402f-a133-2158492d58ad
3. Change Attributes from 1 to 0.
4. Then, through the control panel - power - in the settings mode select power management processor. There will be an option disabling idle processor and high pitched noise immediately disappears.

Taken from this thread:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/292 ... oming-area
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Porcus
post Oct 21 2012, 15:30
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By the way, what do you use this Firewire port for? The sound card?


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extracampine
post Oct 21 2012, 21:04
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Thanks zen, I will try that shortly!

What do I use the firewire port for? Read above and you will see. To recap, I use it to connect an external DAC. The music is output from the PC to the DAC via firewire, and then from DAC to the amp to the speakers.
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Porcus
post Oct 22 2012, 00:23
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QUOTE (extracampine @ Oct 21 2012, 22:04) *
What do I use the firewire port for? Read above and you will see. To recap, I use it to connect an external DAC. The music is output from the PC to the DAC via firewire, and then from DAC to the amp to the speakers.


Sorry: Do you have to use Firewire? That DAC accepts other inputs. If the computer becomes noisy with the firewire working, ... ?

(Doesn't seem like you got a good deal, so I am not attempting to blame the victim.)


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RonaldDumsfeld
post Oct 22 2012, 12:01
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QUOTE
Firewire?


I don't know if it's the cause of your troubles here mate but you need to be aware that Firewire cards are notorious for causing problems among the PC digital pro audio community.

Firewire is an Apple adaptation of the old SCSI file access system. SCSI was regarded as technically superior but expensive to implement which meant it lost out to PCI/USB 2. At one time, pre Windows Vista, most users of high end DAW applications only considered working on Macs. When more users migrated towards PCs it was discovered that not all Firewire implementations were created equal. There are subtle difference in the firewire cards from different manufacturers. This had never come to light for Mac users as all Macs use the same manufacturers cards. So it's easy to test. PCs on the other hand offer an almost infinite variety.

The whole issue is now shrouded in myth and confusion as the interface manufacturers blamed the firewire cards and the card manufacturers said it wasn't their fault that the drivers offered were such rubbish. The usual recommendation (which may or not be true now if indeed it ever was) is to buy an after market firewire card with a TI chip. That said I run firewire on a MOTU Ultralite (notoriously poor driver support) from an ASUS board with the dreaded VIA chipset and do not have issues. So.....

If you visit the website of your interface device or most popular forum you will almost always find a stickied thread which will recommend cards which are known to work.

The above is one of the reasons why take up of the, technically inferior, USB by users and manufacturers of audio interfaces was so rapid although it now appears that Intel's USB 3.0 implementation is not 100% back compatible with USB 2.0. Specifically isochronous audio transfer. As you might expect once again Intel points the finger at the manufacturer's drivers and the manufacturers accuse Intel of not following the defined standards.

If you can afford it always buy an audio interface from RME. They always manage to get them to work.



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Porcus
post Oct 22 2012, 13:27
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QUOTE (RonaldDumsfeld @ Oct 22 2012, 13:01) *
although it now appears that Intel's USB 3.0 implementation is not 100% back compatible with USB 2.0. Specifically isochronous audio transfer.


... ewww? :-/


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RonaldDumsfeld
post Oct 22 2012, 15:11
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QUOTE
.. ewww?


I own MOTU, NI & M-Audio nterfaces.

Forums for all sites currently report users experiencing difficulties plugging USB 2.0 devices into USB 3.0 slots when they are supposedly backwards compatible. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports or the suggested explanations. Haven't experienced the problem personally, I don't have USB 3.0 h/w yet.

I'm following the situation closely because I want to buy a small portable and all the best new ones no longer come with USB 2.0 ports at all.

This post has been edited by RonaldDumsfeld: Oct 22 2012, 15:13
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Porcus
post Oct 22 2012, 15:30
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... might need an ExpressCard slot to get USB2 to get compatibility? :-/


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extracampine
post Dec 2 2012, 14:34
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I've continued to investigate this issue and have had something of a small breakthrough! I've managed to isolate the particular component that I think the noise is coming from - but I don't know what it is or what it does! See pics below:






When I put my finger on this component, or more specifically, cover the small hole on top of it, the main part of the noise is gone! The code on the component reads: AC-1205G, and there is also a + mark on it.

I googled the component, and it seems to be described as an "external drive magnetic buzzer" with the hole being a "sound hole" (http://www.buzzer-speaker.com/manufacturer...al/ac-1205g.htm):





Is there anything I can do to fix this? Can I remove the component? Some of the posts above mentioned putting some hot glue on components. Would this be safe, or is the hole necessary for ventilation or something? smile.gif

This post has been edited by extracampine: Dec 2 2012, 14:35
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fuflo
post Dec 2 2012, 14:48
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seems like the regular internal pc speaker. If that's truly the case, then you would be safe by just applying some duct tape over the hole.

// also if it's just the 'beeps', try this: http://www.7tutorials.com/how-disable-system-beep-windows-7

This post has been edited by fuflo: Dec 2 2012, 14:53
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[JAZ]
post Dec 2 2012, 14:50
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It looks like it is the integrated speaker. The thing that "beeps" when a computer starts (well, or that it used to), and also warns when there's a problem with the hardware (like wrong RAM modules, or faulty videocard).

I wouldn't use something that would damage it, but you should be safe in making it more silent by closing the hole in some way. Desktop motherboards used to have a real speaker, and one could disconnect it if needed.
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washu
post Dec 2 2012, 15:47
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Are you absolutely sure that is the cause of the noise? As others have pointed out, that is the PC speaker and it should only make noise if it's supposed to. It would also be very obvious and louder than any electronic whine. Is the noise constant or does it only present after the PC has been on for a while?

If the noise is more like electronic whine then the likely suspects are the coils to the left of the speaker in your picture.

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extracampine
post Dec 2 2012, 15:57
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QUOTE (washu @ Dec 2 2012, 14:47) *
Are you absolutely sure that is the cause of the noise? As others have pointed out, that is the PC speaker and it should only make noise if it's supposed to. It would also be very obvious and louder than any electronic whine. Is the noise constant or does it only present after the PC has been on for a while?

If the noise is more like electronic whine then the likely suspects are the coils to the left of the speaker in your picture.


I am sure that it is the cause of most of the noise, and the most obvious high-pitched noise I was hearing. The noise was constant but fluctuating in intensity, depending on whether I was doing things on the PC or not. It appeared on the Windows splash screen and then just continued.

Covering the hole on the top of this component instantly removes this part of the noise. I have put some glue over the hole and that has had the same effect.

There is still a different noise remaining, but it is much less obvious. I would like to get rid of this also, and am still looking into it. I don't think it's coming from the same component but it's possible. Would it be OK to remove this component from the motherboard as a test? I'm not sure if it's soldered down or not - it might just be stuck in with pins. I also wonder if the remaining noise is coming from below the heat sink, but I don't know if there's anything I can do about that.

The coils to the left of the speaker - you mean the component immediately left of the one I mentioned - i.e. marked 1R5M?

Thanks

This post has been edited by extracampine: Dec 2 2012, 16:02
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Soap
post Dec 2 2012, 16:18
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It's soldered. If you motherboard doesn't have a pc-speaker header the ideal solution would be to replace the piezo with such a header - then you could connect a speaker as-needed for diagnosis purposes.


What concerns me more than the fact it's making noise is that the motherboard design is so piss-poor that the piezo is getting energized at all during normal operations.


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washu
post Dec 2 2012, 16:49
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I'd suggest you get some temperature monitoring software and see what your board thinks the CPU temp is. It could be a high temp alarm. That's the most likely cause of a constant noise after boot on a board like this. That doesn't necessarily mean your board is overheating, just that it thinks it is. Is the heat sink on securely?

All the components with an "R" like the 2R2's are coils and a potential source of noise.
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JJZolx
post Dec 2 2012, 17:36
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Pair of wire snips. Should take you about 8 seconds.
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mzil
post Dec 2 2012, 17:49
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QUOTE (extracampine @ Dec 2 2012, 09:34) *
When I put my finger on this component, or more specifically, cover the small hole on top of it, the main part of the noise is gone!

I'm thinking the noise problem is not due to a spurious electrical signal entering the electrical connection of that little "beep only" speaker, but rather a physical coupling of an unintended, high frequency vibration of that entire circuit board, which is being manifested by the only part which is designed to excite air, the thin diaphragm inside that component's hole. The fact that it is an electrically connected loudspeaker is just a coincidence. Although it seems as if "I press my finger against the hole and the noise is trapped", what is really happening, at least partly, is the added mass of your finger changes the frequency of resonance (mistakenly called by most the "resonant frequency") and damps the vibration/sound.

Whizzer cones on cheap (car) speakers, a primitive but partly successful "2-way" speaker design, employ a similar principal called a "mechanical crossover". They are coupled loosely to the surface below, the main cone and voice coil bobbin, through compliant glue and are meant to vibrate at a higher frequency than the heavier (more massive) underlying body, the main cone, is capable of.

I muffled the sound of my kitchen timer by stuffing a thin cone of Mortite (similar to clay) deeply into that same hole, making it a point to press against the thin internal diaphragm to help dampen its vibration. It works well for me.

This post has been edited by mzil: Dec 2 2012, 18:06
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Glenn Gundlach
post Dec 2 2012, 21:17
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QUOTE (JJZolx @ Dec 2 2012, 08:36) *
Pair of wire snips. Should take you about 8 seconds.


Assuming you don't break anything. Stressing holes in a PCB can tear internal layers and since we don't know what is internally connected we can't know what the potential damage might be. A GOOD soldering iron and someone who knows how to use it would be best.

G
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extracampine
post Dec 2 2012, 22:55
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Replace the piezo - you mean replace this particular component (AC-1205G) ? The motherboard is a Jetway NF96FL-525-LF, as recommended by Chris Connaker of the Computer Audiophile site.

Re. the CPU temperature - I downloaded Core Temp and it tells me that Core #0 is min 34 max 44 degrees C, and Core #1 is min 36 max 46 degrees (under mild load - about 10 minutes of playing music through Foobar). I can't imagine that the noise is a high temp alarm, or any sort of alarm, since it's (relatively) quiet and doesn't sound like an alarm, more like fizzy tinny noise. The heat sink seems to be screwed down pretty tight.

Re. the snip/soldering iron - you're saying to remove this particular component (AC-1205G)? Would this be ok to do? Wouldn't there be a "gap" in the electrical signal then?

Thanks

This post has been edited by extracampine: Dec 2 2012, 22:56
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Soap
post Dec 2 2012, 23:50
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QUOTE (extracampine @ Dec 2 2012, 16:55) *
Replace the piezo - you mean replace this particular component (AC-1205G) ?

Yes.
QUOTE (extracampine @ Dec 2 2012, 16:55) *
Wouldn't there be a "gap" in the electrical signal then?


No. Is there a "gap" in the electrical signal when you unplug a normal speaker?


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