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· Cool Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curiosity got the better of me...

I took the cover off to check out the guts of the 721. The attached picture shows the 721, a close-up of the Broadcom 7021 video/mpeg processor, the National Geode CPU (I think thats what it is under the heat sink), and the Connexant tuners on the tuner blades.

Notice the pci style connector to the left of the processor? Ethernet card anyone? How about video sharing like Replay TV?

The power supply (left of the pci connector) is absolutely huge? The power supply generates most of the heat in the system. Hard drive is probably the second largest heat source.

The fan is under the hard drive (under the bracket on the right side of the tuner blades). It does not move much air.

I installed a second plastic squirrel cage fan that fit below the tuner blades and to the left of the hard drive. It draws air from underneath the hard drive, through the original fan and blows it across the motherboard, through the power supply and out the vents on the left side.

The system is now cool to slightly warm to the touch. It was burning hot to the touch before the mod. The fans now turn off after running for about 5-10 minuts and seem to come on ever hour or so. With the system "powered off" the fans have not come on yet (overnight).

The fan noise was driving me nuts. Now, I love this thing. Best piece of hardware out of Echostar to date. Keep it coming!!!

I want software updates. Make it like Tivo... PLEASE!!!
 

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· Banned
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6,970 Posts
Metro25 showed me some pics from inside the 721 last week.

Good pictures, the picture of the PCI slot is suprising. :) I don't think it will ever be for consumer use, as I don't think that they want everyone opening the cover of the 721 to put a card in.

I am kind of suprised they don't put tamper switches in their PVR units to prevent folks from tinkering in the units. :)
 

· Legend
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156 Posts
Could you explain a bit more about how you put in the fan and a better description of the fan itself- whereyou got it and maybe a photo?. I assume you wired it onto the connections for the other fan so it would shut on and off as well?

The warranty will be gone in a year anyhow and by then it may be fried without good cooling.

I have not examined it well myself but I think that there in now way for air to enter the unit from the right side to blow out the left side. We have SGI computers in our lab that do this and act like small vaccum cleaners- stay cool but have to watch the filers.
 

· Legend
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145 Posts
I wonder if one could figure out a way to output to vga/xga. That would be bad to the bone. I use a large 16:9 RP monitor (a sony) that has video, svideo and rgb. I use a skyworth dvd that has rgb output and the image is stunning. I would love to have the 721 output in vga but I realize that is probably wishful thinking. I will probably do the fan mod if 968 woudl be good enough to provide some pix and direction.
 

· Cool Member
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The fan is a PC fan. Its the type that plugs into a PCI card slot (no actual edge connector). It sucks air from the side and blows out the back.

Its called a 'slot' cooler fan.

I took off the metal bracket and installed the fan with the exhaust pointed to the left (at the power supply when looking down on the 721 unit with its front towards you).

The fan fits perfectly between the front of the unit and the two tuners. I zip-tied it to the plastic post between the tuners. I'll do a better mounting job once I am convinced that this works.

In this arrangement, the fan intake is on the bottom and exhaust to the left.

I connected it in parallel with the existing fan.

So air is being sucked in from the bottom (original fan opening)and possibly behid the unit.

One note: I have a 501 that has been running HOT for the past year. The fan has always been on, and the case is HOT to the touch. No problems with functionality. Its noise did not bother me since its running the TV in the den. I ended up moving this up to the top shelf of the entertainment unit, and its fan is now turning off when the 501 is powered off.

Here is a picture of the fan I used...

http://www.hobbytron.net/media/slf-01.jpg

Another picture if the above does not work...

http://www.mikhailtech.com/articles/cooling/pciroundup/pciroundup-logo.gif
 

· New Member
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1 Posts
The pictures are great. Anyone know a place to find some documentation on the hardware and what can be done with it. I know there are lots of docs out there for Tivo's and such that let you upgrade drives and things of that sort. Does anyone know what OS this thing runs, how the drives are setup those sorts of ideas? I'm ready to chop this thing up, warrenty be damned :D
 

· Godfather
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432 Posts
I just purchased but have not installed a small DC voltage fan, that I was going to mount in the back of my entertainment closet. I am really not up for cracking the 721 open to do the fan install there. On the back wall of my cabinet I was going to add the fan, should I cheat it towards one side or the other. I was going to put it near back right side, since the front left seems to be the hottest. Also I was going to exhaust outward, there is a few inches between the cabinet and the drywall.
any comments or suggestions on this setup..
This is the fan I just ordered
http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/alarmandaccesories/silencerfan/index.htm
thanks
 

· Legend
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124 Posts
Originally posted by KhakiBoy
I'm thinking AGP slot too, judging from the dark brown color. Wish I had one of these bad boys. I'd love to pop a vid card in and see what happens.
Good luck with the driver!:D
 

· AllStar
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55 Posts
That's the beauty of Linux...there may be a driver already available. :)

Still the Linux kernel would have to be told to look for it. THAT'S the kicker. Unless E* has released their kernel source (which they should be required to do under the GPL).

Not sure why you'd want a graphics card in the 721 anyway. Do you REALLY want to blow up an E* signal to computer monitor resolutions? :D

Bob
 

· Hall Of Fame
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2,014 Posts
AGP slots are smaller than pCI.... and that definitely looked like pci.

Forget the video... what about plugging in a firewire card...?!!!
 

· Mr. FixAnything
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28,008 Posts
Originally posted by Neil Derryberry
AGP slots are smaller than pCI.... and that definitely looked like pci.

Forget the video... what about plugging in a firewire card...?!!!
this slot looks familiar for me - it shoud be VESA type - High Speed Extention Slot ...
 
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