Noisy Dahua NVR5432-4KS2 Sound proofing ideas, Fan upgrade, Reduce fan speed

bigoliver

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Hi all,

I have just received an unbranded Dahua NVR5216-4KS2 courtesy of Andy.
It's a well made, solid looking unit and a great spec.
Unfortunately it is also very loud, infact it is much loader than my HTPC, TV and Humax box all combined. This is currently unacceptable to both me and my wife.

My noise levels according to a, probably unreliable, app on my phone...

Noise levels with NVR OFF/ON: (min 35/50db) (avg 39/59db) (max 48/65db)

The majority of the noise seems to come from the internal power supply. Apparently some NVRs have an external power supply, I maybe should have bought one with an external power supply?

I tempory disconnected the case fan, whilst problem solving, and it made no noticeable difference to noise. The HDD isn't the problem either so it must be the power supply fan.
The power supply fan is ADDA branded, see spec at bottom of this post.

I only have one camera ( 2mp starvis IPC-HDW5231R-ZE) currently connected, as I'm just starting my CCTV install.

Temperatures:
I can't find a temperature gauge on the NVR, but the power supply feels like very cool to touch.

I've read on this very informative forum, that some NVRs can control the fan speed. Unfortunately mine doesn't have the "Self Adaption/Full Speed" option. I don't think this is the problem though, as the power supply fan only appears to have 2 (red and black) wires. I assume this means the PSU fan can only be on or off, unlike the 4 wire case fan?

I've been looking at my options to fix the noise. Here are my ideas:

1) Move the NVR out of the front room and probably into my server cabinet in a cupboard.
Cons:
*I would need to add some simple sound proofing to the cabinet/cupboard as it would be heard otherwise.
*I wouldn't be able to view the camras on my living room TV with powering up my PC or some other hack.
Cost: the insulation, probably less than £30

2) Replace the power supply fan with something quieter. Like this fan by Gelid...

GELID Solutions | SILENT 6

This fan's spec sheet claim to be 24dBA compared to the original fan of 28.8dBA.
It also claims to move 16CFM compared to the original 14.2CFM
Cons:
*Will certainly void any warranty (not sure how good a warranty from China is anyway)
*Time consuming

Cost: about $6 or less than £10 buying in the UK

3) Reduce the power going to the power supply fan.

This is by far the easiest and cheapest solution. I'd simply order a cable that reduces the power from 12V to 9V, or 12V to 5V and plug it in.
Something like this...

Phobya - Speed Reduction Cable - 3pin Molex - 12V to 7V - Black Sleeve https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004CLCNBC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_vZCWBbM06E8R8

Cons:
Would reduce the airflow through the PSU. Personally I don't see why it needs as much airflow as it has. The PSU is cold to touch after 24h use. It's only powering one hard drive (soon to be 2x 6tb hdd) and 1 camera (soon to be 12x IPC-HDW5231R-ZE.)
It's not going to be powering the cameras, I have a POE plus switch for that.

4) Simply insulating the NVR (inside and/or outside) with sound proofing material.

I ruled this idea out almost immediately as the fan blows through a vent and this is where most of the noise comes from. Obviously you can't insulate the vent.

Cons:
*Not likely to reduce the noise

Any help, ideas or advice would be much appreciated. Have you tried, or thinking about trying, any of the above options?

Original fan specification. The manufacturers spec seems slightly different to the Amazon listing...

PicsArt_10-13-09.53.01.jpg

Thanks,
Oliver
 
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Shockwave199

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I remember reading somewhere that a lot of noise can be nullified by modifying the vent itself. Vent grills, noise. Remove vent grills, quiet. Can't remember where the heck I read that thread. Maybe do a search.
 

bigoliver

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I remember reading somewhere that a lot of noise can be nullified by modifying the vent itself. Vent grills, noise. Remove vent grills, quiet. Can't remember where the heck I read that thread. Maybe do a search.
I think I read that too somewhere. I'm pretty sure it's not the vent that is causing the problem.

Putting my hand near the vent I can feel a huge amount of air passing through. I really don't think it needs to spin so fast.

I'm currently favoring reducing the power to the fan. Although I'll set up all my cameras first and see if it is still very cool.
 

looney2ns

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The spec's show that it has a smart fan. It doesn't specify which fan or if it's both.
From spec sheet: Smart Fan: The NVR is equipped with a smart fan to achieve high cooling efficiency. It automatically adjusts fan speed according to CPU and ambient temperature. The fan is long-lasting and low noise, reducing maintenance costs and improving the user experience.

Also being discussed here: cooling fan replacement on dahua nvr
 

bigoliver

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The spec's show that it has a smart fan. It doesn't specify which fan or if it's both.
From spec sheet: Smart Fan: The NVR is equipped with a smart fan to achieve high cooling efficiency. It automatically adjusts fan speed according to CPU and ambient temperature. The fan is long-lasting and low noise, reducing maintenance costs and improving the user experience.

Also being discussed here: cooling fan replacement on dahua nvr
Another members shared this picture of the Smart Fan option...

Screenshot_2018-10-13-10-11-53.png

...but I only see these options. "Status" is missing...

20181013_193239.jpg

My NVR is updated to march this year, so it shouldn't need an update. Says no update available anyway.

Could it be because it's an unbranded NVR and the unbranded has different software?

Cheers,

Oliver
 
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The spec's show that it has a smart fan. It doesn't specify which fan or if it's both.
From spec sheet: Smart Fan: The NVR is equipped with a smart fan to achieve high cooling efficiency. It automatically adjusts fan speed according to CPU and ambient temperature. The fan is long-lasting and low noise, reducing maintenance costs and improving the user experience.

Also being discussed here: cooling fan replacement on dahua nvr
The smart fan appears to only be in the latest POE versions of the NVR. The speed settings only affect the smart fan which is the 4-pin connected case fan. Power supply fan runs at the same speed regardless of fan speed settings in NVR menu.
 

bigoliver

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The smart fan appears to only be in the latest POE versions of the NVR. The speed settings only affect the smart fan which is the 4-pin connected case fan. Power supply fan runs at the same speed regardless of fan speed settings in NVR menu.
Thank you for that.
I thought the smart settings would only do the case fan, the case fan is very quiet anyway (well I can't hear it over the PSU fan)

I'll try with reducing the voltage via a power reducer and then maybe changing the fan. I don't see why it needs such a powerful fan.

Do you (or anyone) know if there's a way I can check the temperatures, and would the NVR warn me if it is getting too hot?

Thanks
 
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J Sigmo

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I remember reading somewhere that a lot of noise can be nullified by modifying the vent itself. Vent grills, noise. Remove vent grills, quiet. Can't remember where the heck I read that thread. Maybe do a search.
I think I read that too somewhere. I'm pretty sure it's not the vent that is causing the problem.

Putting my hand near the vent I can feel a huge amount of air passing through. I really don't think it needs to spin so fast.

I'm currently favoring reducing the power to the fan. Although I'll set up all my cameras first and see if it is still very cool.
What you guys saw might have been posted by me.

When a fan's blades are very close to a grill, especially the type where the openings are just punched into the case, you can have what amounts to a siren. If you look at how an old-school police/fire/ambulance siren works, you'll see that it's just rotating disks with holes in them that rotate very close to each other. You can get the same effect if a fan's blades run right next to a fixed object or objects. Kind of a shock-wave sort of thing.

Anyhow, if you make a gasket/spacer to move the fan away from the grill, that can often quiet a fan appreciably. If there's room in the case, and you can use some longer screws, and can build a spacer to get the fan farther from the case opening and still achieve a seal between the fan's body and the case, just a matter of 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch can make a big difference if this is the problem.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a very small diameter fan needs to run at a very high RPM to achieve much air flow while a larger diameter fan can run at a slower RPM and achieve the same amount of air movement. And higher fan RPMs = higher noise levels. So if things can be modified to use a larger diameter (and lower RPM) fan, that's always a good way to quiet things down while still getting enough air flow.

I never recommend reducing airflow. Heat is the mortal enemy of electronics. So I wouldn't just slow the fan down. I'd look for some way to get the same amount of air through things, but hopefully more quietly.

I've had BAD luck with ADDA fans, by the way. They have failed very early in equipment that I've had that used them. That could have been bad luck, and maybe they're better now, but that's been my experience.
 

bigoliver

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What you guys saw might have been posted by me.

When a fan's blades are very close to a grill, especially the type where the openings are just punched into the case, you can have what amounts to a siren. If you look at how an old-school police/fire/ambulance siren works, you'll see that it's just rotating disks with holes in them that rotate very close to each other. You can get the same effect if a fan's blades run right next to a fixed object or objects. Kind of a shock-wave sort of thing.

Anyhow, if you make a gasket/spacer to move the fan away from the grill, that can often quiet a fan appreciably. If there's room in the case, and you can use some longer screws, and can build a spacer to get the fan farther from the case opening and still achieve a seal between the fan's body and the case, just a matter of 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch can make a big difference if this is the problem.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a very small diameter fan needs to run at a very high RPM to achieve much air flow while a larger diameter fan can run at a slower RPM and achieve the same amount of air movement. And higher fan RPMs = higher noise levels. So if things can be modified to use a larger diameter (and lower RPM) fan, that's always a good way to quiet things down while still getting enough air flow.

I never recommend reducing airflow. Heat is the mortal enemy of electronics. So I wouldn't just slow the fan down. I'd look for some way to get the same amount of air through things, but hopefully more quietly.

I've had BAD luck with ADDA fans, by the way. They have failed very early in equipment that I've had that used them. That could have been bad luck, and maybe they're better now, but that's been my experience.
The PSU fan only has a small gap to squeeze in.
I would have like to use a Noctua quiet fan, but they are 25mm thick and the PSU can only take around 18mm so I'm stuck with 15mm thick fans. I guess the thicker fan is why Noctua are so quiet

Here is the gap I have to work with...

20181012_222931.jpg

I've ordered a 15mm fan that claims to be quieter than the original whilst increasing airflow, and a fan speed reducing cable. I'll keep you all posted
 

J Sigmo

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If you have the room where the PSU itself mounts, you could mount a thicker fan to the outside of the PSU case. But then the PSU probably won't fit in the NVR case anymore.
 

bigoliver

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If you have the room where the PSU itself mounts, you could mount a thicker fan to the outside of the PSU case. But then the PSU probably won't fit in the NVR case anymore.
Fitting the fan to the outside of the PSU is an interesting idea, I don't think it will look right thight. I'll see how it is after I fit the replacement fan.
 

bigoliver

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I have a possibly related question:

I shut the NVR off via software, and even with the cameras and NVR all off, the fan still continues to spin and at the same noise level.
Is it normal for the fan to keep spinning after shutting the NVR down?

The only way to stop the fan is to physically turn off the NVR at the switch.
Is this normal or could my NVR have a fault, explaining the noise?
 

J Sigmo

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I am not familiar with this NVR, so I can't say if this is typical. But any gadget that can be remotely switched on and off must have power on, at all times, to at least part of its circuitry, in order to be constantly "looking for" that remote wake-up command.

So it seems to me that the PSU would always be on.

It's just a shame that the PSU doesn't adjust the fan speed to meet the heat demand. That would likely quiet things down considerably.

As for the external fan mount idea: If doing that would work and make things less noisy, the looks of it wouldn't bother me. But I would probably put a finger guard on the outside, and make sure you don't place the NVR such that the fan is blocked against something.

The fan you have on order may do the job for you, though. If so, that will be excellent.
 

bigoliver

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I am not familiar with this NVR, so I can't say if this is typical. But any gadget that can be remotely switched on and off must have power on, at all times, to at least part of its circuitry, in order to be constantly "looking for" that remote wake-up command.

So it seems to me that the PSU would always be on.

It's just a shame that the PSU doesn't adjust the fan speed to meet the heat demand. That would likely quiet things down considerably.

As for the external fan mount idea: If doing that would work and make things less noisy, the looks of it wouldn't bother me. But I would probably put a finger guard on the outside, and make sure you don't place the NVR such that the fan is blocked against something.

The fan you have on order may do the job for you, though. If so, that will be excellent.
That makes sense, thanks.

After shutting down I couldn't find anyway to turn it back on, without physically turning it off and back on again at the switch.

How are you suppose to turn it back or remotely, or on site even?
 

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My explanation of the running fan dates from the old days, that when you power down heavy electronics, it needed to cool down some time. If you cut the fan off, the heat inside the box cannot dissipate anymore. So back in the days, these fans were "programmed" to run for at least 15mins. Not sure on this NVR, but mine also keep spinning when powered down by the software.
@bigoliver : if you want to avoid running into your attic/basement to physically turn it on, you might opt to select "reboot" instead of "shutdown" ;-)
 
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I have a possibly related question:

I shut the NVR off via software, and even with the cameras and NVR all off, the fan still continues to spin and at the same noise level.
Is it normal for the fan to keep spinning after shutting the NVR down?
My NVR5216-16P-4KS2E does the same thing. Which leads me to believe it is normal for these NVRs, but it definitely isn't normal for any other piece of computer equipment. As for the idea above it is "cooling itself down" before fully shutting down - I'm testing now.

The only way to stop the fan is to physically turn off the NVR at the switch.
Is this normal or could my NVR have a fault, explaining the noise?
I am interested to hear how loud your power supply fan is. Since, by far, on the model I have (NVR5216-16P-4KS2E) it is the case fan that produces all the noise above about 45dB.
 

looney2ns

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I have a possibly related question:

I shut the NVR off via software, and even with the cameras and NVR all off, the fan still continues to spin and at the same noise level.
Is it normal for the fan to keep spinning after shutting the NVR down?

The only way to stop the fan is to physically turn off the NVR at the switch.
Is this normal or could my NVR have a fault, explaining the noise?
When you choose "shutdown" in the software, it simply prepares the NVR safely, by saving video files and such so they don't get corrupted.
It is NOT turned OFF, until you use the toggle switch. The toggle switch is what turns it "on".

After all, it's intended use is to run it 24/7/365.
 

catcamstar

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I am interested to hear how loud your power supply fan is. Since, by far, on the model I have (NVR5216-16P-4KS2E) it is the case fan that produces all the noise above about 45dB.
Mine is also "loudish", but I'm not sleeping next to it, so I don't mind :)
 

bigoliver

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Thanks all for your replies.

It's good to know it is normal for the fan to continue after the NVR has "Shut Down"

I don't believe a PSU would need to run the fan for any longer than a few seconds after powering anything down. If there's no power the device would cool down naturally soon enough. I don't see any need to speed up cooling after turning a device off. Infact the fan running is just a waste of energy.

Like @looney2ns said, I will now think of shut down as preparing the NVR to be turned off.

If I get chance tomorrow I'll make a series of videos showing the noise. I will also make a video showing the effects of the fan speed reducer and the new fan. Fingers crossed it works.

This NVR is the loudest thing in my house, louder than the fridge/freezer, PCs, laptop. It's a similar loudness to my cordless Hover vacuum cleaner. It drives me mad.
 
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When you choose "shutdown" in the software, it simply prepares the NVR safely, by saving video files and such so they don't get corrupted.
It is NOT turned OFF, until you use the toggle switch. The toggle switch is what turns it "on".

After all, it's intended use is to run it 24/7/365.
I can confirm after choosing "Shut-down" and waiting over 30 minutes it never actually shuts-down as far as the power supply fan still remains operating at it's normal speed indefinitely.

You are definitely right it is intended to run 24/7/365. I just find it odd that the NVR has a physical ON/OFF switch versus an electronic one that has been standard in computers for 20+ years.


Thanks all for your replies.

It's good to know it is normal for the fan to continue after the NVR has "Shut Down"

I don't believe a PSU would need to run the fan for any longer than a few seconds after powering anything down. If there's no power the device would cool down naturally soon enough. I don't see any need to speed up cooling after turning a device off. Infact the fan running is just a waste of energy.
Like @looney2ns said, I will now think of shut down preparing the NVR to be turned off.
Agreed, I would assume that a future revision would look at changing to a different switch.


If I get chance tomorrow I'll make a series of videos showing the noise. I will also make a video showing the effects of the fan speed reducer and the new fan. Fingers crossed it works.

This NVR is the loudest thing in my house, louder than the fridge/freezer, PCs, laptop. It's a similar loudness to my cordless Hover vacuum cleaner. It drives me mad.
Now that is some crazy noise! I did see your posted dB readings reaching up to the 65dB, I was hoping it was a typo. Makes my max reading of 55dB sound like a relaxation tape.
 
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