I don't want to notch my hearing!
April 3, 2008 10:42 AM   Subscribe

How do I make a piece of test equipment quieter?

The person at the workbench next to me just got a new piece of test equipment (Aeroflex IFR 2975). It is placed on top of a shelf that sits between our two benches. The fan on this thing if very loud.

Is there a way, without modifying the equipment, to deaden the noise from this fan? I think the majority of the noise is air noise, with only a little bit of the noise coming from the actual workings of the fan itself.
posted by vansly to Technology (3 answers total)
Best answer: Often, fan noise is amplified by mechanical coupling to the surface the equipment rests on. You can dampen this coupling with, for example, rubber pads beneath the equipment.

If it is air noise, you could install an acoustic baffle between equipment and yourself. Just set up a barrier like this next to the device and maybe below the shelf. Be careful not to interrupt the air flow itself though; you don't want to compromise the cooling.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:01 AM on April 3, 2008

Best answer: This seems like a good chance to experiment with active noise suppression in an ambient environment.

If you can get a small mike, sample the noise, invert it and amplifiy it and apply it to a speaker, you can negate some or much of it. It may take some tinkering.

Since you've got test equipment nearby, it sounds like you've got technical skills, and if earplugs/isolation pads and baffles don't do the trick, electronics might help?
posted by FauxScot at 12:40 PM on April 3, 2008

I've found that the white noise from data center servers tends to be surprisingly directional. Can you try re-orienting the equipment and seeing if that helps?
posted by jenkinsEar at 1:00 PM on April 3, 2008

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