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Noise from "silent" PC, Trying to fix it!
extracampine
post Oct 15 2012, 16:25
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Equipment:

Thecus N5200B NAS - ethernet cable - silent PC - firewire cable - Weiss DAC2 - Nordost Red Dawn XLR cables - Classe CAP2100 - Atlas speaker cable - B&W 804s (with Soundocity Outrigger)

PC:

Known as the "CAPS version 2" - a custom PC build designed by Chris Connaker of the Computer Audiophile website (www.computeraudiophile.com). Mine was built by Small Green Computer who have linked in with Chris Connaker (http://shop.smallgreencomputer.com/CAPS-20-CAPS.htm).

PC specs:

Origen ae M10 case; Jetway NF96FL-525-LF motherboard; dual core 1.8 GHz Intel Atom D525 processor; 2x2GB modules of DDR2 667 from Transcend; 64GB Micro Center SSD drive; SOtM In-Line SATA Power Noise Filter; SYBA SD-VIA-FW1E1H PCI FireWire card (6-pin); Casetronic PW-12V5A-L5 60w power supply. More details about the CAPSv2 available here: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/...erver-caps-v20/. It is running Windows 7 Ultimate service pack 1 64-bit.

Problem:

The PC, supposedly silent, emits a noise. The noise can be divided into 2 components; a constant "crackling" noise - this is quiet though audible with the ear near to the case. It seems to fluctuate if the PC is being used (e.g. scrolling down through a website or starting a program). Moving the mouse causes slight fluctuations in it. The second noise is the main problem - a constant high-pitched emission; this noise starts when the firewire port is connected to an external device.

The noise only starts when Windows boots up to the main screen (it is not there on the BIOS screens). The noise is definitely coming from the PC unit itself and not anything external to it such as the speakers. Given the effect the firewire cable has on the noise, I ran some tests:

1. All equipment off & connected - no noise
2. Monitor on - no noise
3. CAPS on - no noise initially, then system beep, then some noise when the Windows logo appears, then the continuous noise when the Windows welcome screen and then desktop appear
4. Unplug monitor from CAPS - 1 second pause in noise, then resumes

5. Switch on DAC (connected to CAPS via 6pin-6pin firewire cable) - 1 second pause in noise, then resumes
6. Switch off DAC - noise continues, no pause
7. Unplug power from DAC - noise stops
8. Plug in power to DAC - 4 second pause, then noise resumes

9. Unplug firewire cable from CAPS - noise stops
10. Plug in firewire cable to CAPS - 2 second pause, then noise resumes
11. Unplug firewire cable from DAC - noise stops
12. Plug in firewire cable to DAC - 2 second pause, then noise resumes

13. Unplug/plug in ethernet cable to CAPS - no change
14. CAPS off - noise stops

I have opened up the unit to take a look inside. It's not really possible to isolate where the noise is coming from; the red circle in the photo below given my best guess but it could be wrong:

http://i49.tinypic.com/1fwew2.jpg

I tried disconnecting the SSD and booting up; I get a message saying "reboot and select proper boot device". There is no noise, though the noise only starts when the PC fires up into Windows anyway.

I looked into the firewire drivers on the PC. I tried a few different drivers that came with Windows, though they did not alter the sound. I then tried a driver from a third party (Unibrain - ubCore Firewire (Firewire 800 - IEEE 1394b) driver suite) and this significantly reduced the noise. However, when this driver was selected, the driver for my Weiss DAC2 seems to stop working:

http://i48.tinypic.com/2ltoy9h.jpg

The DAC2 is not recognised as long as the Unibrain firewire driver is being used. If I select the Windows legacy firewire driver and then disable the DAC2 driver, most of the sound goes away also (though not all of it). Of course I then cannot play music through the system as the DAC is disabled. I have tried a different firewire cable (4pin to 6pin) and used a 4pin to 6pin converter; this should cut the power leg of the cable. However, again no difference in sound.

When I run the Weiss DAC2 controller info program, it detects the OH 1394 Host Controller as: (1106) VIA Technologies, with chipset (3044) VT6307/6308. Finally, I tried connecting 2 firewire cables concurrently (there are 2 ports on both the DAC and the PC). This reduced the noise, though music will not play on the PC.

As you can see I have struggled with this for a while - any suggestions greatly appreciated! smile.gif

This post has been edited by extracampine: Oct 15 2012, 16:39
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skamp
post Oct 15 2012, 18:03
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Posts: 1430
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From: France
Member No.: 13875



$1,500 for an Intel Atom PC that's supposed to be completely silent but instead emits annoying noises? Sorry, but you were scammed!


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Posts in this topic
- extracampine   Noise from "silent" PC   Oct 15 2012, 16:25
- - hlloyge   Remove firewire card and boot the computer, tell i...   Oct 15 2012, 16:49
- - phofman   Noisy motherboard is a rather common issue. Under ...   Oct 15 2012, 16:52
- - washu   Your motherboard is a special one which has additi...   Oct 15 2012, 17:04
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (washu @ Oct 15 2012, 12:04) Your m...   Oct 15 2012, 17:14
|- - washu   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Oct 15 2012, 12...   Oct 15 2012, 18:39
|- - phofman   QUOTE (washu @ Oct 15 2012, 19:39) This i...   Oct 15 2012, 20:13
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (washu @ Oct 15 2012, 13:39) QUOTE ...   Oct 16 2012, 15:40
- - skamp   $1,500 for an Intel Atom PC that's suppos...   Oct 15 2012, 18:03
|- - Trondis   QUOTE (skamp @ Oct 15 2012, 11:03) ...   Oct 15 2012, 22:13
|- - garym   or pickup a Squeezebox Touch (< $300). Wil...   Oct 16 2012, 00:44
- - Brand   At least with regular desktop motherboards you can...   Oct 16 2012, 09:58
- - googlebot   In 2001 I spent considerable efforts to manually e...   Oct 16 2012, 10:24
- - Porcus   Is that thing getting hot? If not ... a padded box...   Oct 16 2012, 13:19
- - Cegadede   I solved the noise problem by using an old eeepc 7...   Oct 16 2012, 14:44
- - extracampine   Thanks for the replies all. I like the story about...   Oct 16 2012, 16:27
|- - washu   QUOTE (extracampine @ Oct 16 2012, 11:27)...   Oct 16 2012, 17:31
- - mzil   I'm not sure if it will help with this particu...   Oct 16 2012, 17:29
- - Nick.C   Outside possibility: where is your modem / router ...   Oct 16 2012, 18:36
- - extracampine   My router is in a different room to the PC, connec...   Oct 16 2012, 20:19
- - washu   An ATX power supply is what most non-laptop comput...   Oct 16 2012, 20:42
- - scuzzy1   Would it be possible to return the computer for (p...   Oct 16 2012, 21:58
- - nagual   I recommend to anyone who desires to lower PC nois...   Oct 17 2012, 13:18
- - pdq   Why are some people misunderstanding the OP's ...   Oct 17 2012, 13:27
- - extracampine   I asked Andrew of Small Green Computer for a refun...   Oct 19 2012, 14:00
|- - garym   QUOTE (extracampine @ Oct 19 2012, 07:00)...   Oct 19 2012, 14:03
- - scuzzy1   That's too bad about the refund/replacement. ...   Oct 19 2012, 17:34
- - krabapple   Can you record the noise from your listening posit...   Oct 19 2012, 17:42
|- - extracampine   I can try and record the noise, though as it's...   Oct 20 2012, 18:45
- - Rotareneg   You mentioned the "system beep." If ther...   Oct 20 2012, 20:52
- - zenpmd   I had exactly this problem! But there is a sol...   Oct 21 2012, 07:34
|- - extracampine   QUOTE (zenpmd @ Oct 21 2012, 06:34) I had...   Dec 14 2012, 21:18
- - Porcus   By the way, what do you use this Firewire port for...   Oct 21 2012, 15:30
|- - extracampine   Thanks zen, I will try that shortly! What do ...   Oct 21 2012, 21:04
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (extracampine @ Oct 21 2012, 22:04)...   Oct 22 2012, 00:23
- - RonaldDumsfeld   QUOTE Firewire? I don't know if it's the ...   Oct 22 2012, 12:01
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (RonaldDumsfeld @ Oct 22 2012, 13:0...   Oct 22 2012, 13:27
- - RonaldDumsfeld   QUOTE .. ewww? I own MOTU, NI & M-Audio nterf...   Oct 22 2012, 15:11
|- - Porcus   ... might need an ExpressCard slot to get USB2 to ...   Oct 22 2012, 15:30
- - extracampine   I've continued to investigate this issue and h...   Dec 2 2012, 14:34
|- - mzil   QUOTE (extracampine @ Dec 2 2012, 09:34) ...   Dec 2 2012, 17:49
- - fuflo   seems like the regular internal pc speaker. If tha...   Dec 2 2012, 14:48
- - [JAZ]   It looks like it is the integrated speaker. The th...   Dec 2 2012, 14:50
- - washu   Are you absolutely sure that is the cause of the n...   Dec 2 2012, 15:47
|- - extracampine   QUOTE (washu @ Dec 2 2012, 14:47) Are you...   Dec 2 2012, 15:57
|- - Soap   It's soldered. If you motherboard doesn't...   Dec 2 2012, 16:18
- - washu   I'd suggest you get some temperature monitorin...   Dec 2 2012, 16:49
- - JJZolx   Pair of wire snips. Should take you about 8 second...   Dec 2 2012, 17:36
|- - Glenn Gundlach   QUOTE (JJZolx @ Dec 2 2012, 08:36) Pair o...   Dec 2 2012, 21:17
|- - extracampine   Replace the piezo - you mean replace this particul...   Dec 2 2012, 22:55
|- - Soap   QUOTE (extracampine @ Dec 2 2012, 16:55) ...   Dec 2 2012, 23:50
|- - extracampine   I don't know as I haven't done that before...   Dec 3 2012, 00:15
|- - extracampine   I just looked into desoldering components, and I w...   Dec 3 2012, 14:54
|- - Soap   You don't need to get fancy on the desoldering...   Dec 3 2012, 15:50
|- - Glenn Gundlach   QUOTE (extracampine @ Dec 3 2012, 05:54) ...   Dec 4 2012, 09:19
- - Porcus   What about chewing gum?   Dec 3 2012, 18:55
- - extracampine   You mean stuck over the component ? Might be worth...   Dec 3 2012, 20:36
- - Porcus   Over and down into the hole.   Dec 3 2012, 22:16
- - JJZolx   If you do that, be sure to keep an eye out for bot...   Dec 3 2012, 22:20
|- - extracampine   See above - I've already used glue to that eff...   Dec 3 2012, 22:23
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (extracampine @ Dec 3 2012, 22:23) ...   Dec 4 2012, 18:14
|- - extracampine   More great replies, thanks! The glue has remo...   Dec 4 2012, 18:44
|- - Soap   QUOTE (extracampine @ Dec 4 2012, 12:44) ...   Dec 4 2012, 21:25
|- - extracampine   Removing the component completely would rule out t...   Dec 4 2012, 21:54
- - Porcus   Is the noise still there if you hold that thing fi...   Dec 4 2012, 22:19
- - extracampine   Yes, the noise is still there if i do that. Ive tr...   Dec 4 2012, 22:53


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