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View Full Version : How quiet are IceCap smartfans?


RWD
02/29/2000, 02:33 PM
Hi All,
I just ordered 3 fans for a new hood I'm building.I don't know anyone that has used them.How do they compare to a Radio Shack for example?I'm building what I hope will be a stealth tank and want to know if I made the right choice.Bob

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FishWish
02/29/2000, 03:14 PM
Hi Bob, I put one of the IC Fans on my hood and am awaiting another one. When the Halides first fire up the fans is whisper quiet, however after they heat up a bit they are about as loud as any other fan I've used. I am hoping that the addtion of the second fan will keep the first one from working so hard this way they'll both be quiet...Overall I'm pretty happy with the unit in general, and the temp probe is sweet..just can't wait until my other one arrives...Andy.Hint.Hint..Hint :)..HTH..David

[This message has been edited by FishWish (edited 02-29-2000).]

derekd
02/29/2000, 05:54 PM
I just replaced my 120 Volt Radio Shack fans with 12v fans and I am very happy. Much quiter than the RS fans. I used 120mm (approx 4") 100 cfm fan and 2 x 92mm 80 cfm (approx 3.5"). The IC fan is a nice fan, with the remote thermostat it is really convenient. You could also use any 12V high CFM fan. I have seen comparable fans to the IC without the thermostat (thermistor) for 15.00-20.00 each. But you need some way to activate them. I use an Aquacontroller

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Thanks
Derek
http://www.homestead.com/dreef/Index.html

RWD
02/29/2000, 06:06 PM
Yea Andy.How about some free fans to "evaluate".(Just kidding)I use IceCap ballasts now and am impressed with the quality and service.thats why I went with their fan even though it cost more.Thanks guys.Bob

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Fishwife
03/01/2000, 07:01 AM
Wish I had gone with the smart fan. I got one of the regular fans in my 48" IceCap hood and we don't even use it because it sounds like a jet plane taking off. Seriously, you can hear it outside. :p Our temp is only going up 2 degrees under the lights so I'm not going to worry with it.

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Fishwife

"By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea..."

ASH
03/01/2000, 08:06 AM
The reason IceCap went into the fan business is I didn't see anything out there made for a saltwater environment. When my Radio Shack fans started to rust they got very loud and occasionally got stuck. The perception was no one was willing to pay for a quality fan.
No you ever gave me the choice.
If your fan is staying at full blast try moving the probe closer to where cool air enters the hood, unless you need all the air movement you can get.
Andy

RobertK
03/01/2000, 08:10 AM
The quietest fans I've found are made in Europe by Papst and marketed in the US by EBM-Papst (http://www.ebm.com/home.htm). Papst has developed a sleeve bearing that reduces noise levels lower than that from normal ball bearings. I don't know what type of fans IceCap used for their product, but I compared the dB/CFM ratio for their fan with that of some of the Papst fans and found their ratings to be a little bit higher in noise for the amount of air they blow compared to the comparably-sized Papst fans. However, I have not used the IceCap fan personally. The controller they use and variable speed sounds really cool, though; I might even get one just to check that out. BTW, I recently hooked my heater and fans up to a Ranco electronic controller (thanks, Jim Hobbs!) which will turn on the fans when my tank temp goes above the set temp.
FWIW,
RK

RobertK
03/01/2000, 08:13 AM
ASH,
I missed your post while I was typing mine. What has IceCap done to make their fans more able to withstand the salty environment?
Thanks,
RK

FishWish
03/01/2000, 08:14 AM
Hi Andy, Good to hear from you again, I'll give moving the fan probe a bit whilst awaiting for the arrival of the fan for the other side. BTW I do have another question.
I would normally hard wire an AC Fan into the lighting circuit so that they come on when the M/Hs do. In this case thats not easily possible because of the transformer. What I was thinking of doing was plugging the Fans into X-10 controllers and allowing my neptune to do the job of turning the fans on.Either that or just buying a couple of those cheepo timers or better yet an IceCap timer and allowing it to do the job of turning the fans on and off :D..Do you have any preferances either way or any cautions either way...OK I give up high quality Fans(which the IC certainly is) we'll pay..we'll pay...Seriously Andy..Thanks for all of your help and advise..David

[This message has been edited by FishWish (edited 03-01-2000).]

FishWish
03/01/2000, 08:20 AM
Robert K: Specs Smecks..I hooked up a Pabst 4" Fan to one side of my hood and an IceCap to the other side.Hands down the IceCap was quieter..The Pabst always runs full bore whilst the IC only runs that way after things heat up a bit. Even at full bore the IC fan was considerably quieter...Highly reccommend..David

ASH
03/01/2000, 08:35 AM
The way we beat the salt problem was to get a fan with a minimum of metal and have any metal parts that are used sprayed with a sealant to protect them. The IceCap fan was also the best design we could find that moved the most air with the least noise.

As far as a timer, the load is so small you really can't go wrong with any timer combination you use.
Andy

RobertK
03/01/2000, 08:45 AM
David,
Papst makes at least 20 different 4" fans, which one were you using for your comparison? AC or DC? I know their new DC fans are quieter than their AC fans. BTW, is the IceCap fan AC or DC?
Thanks,
RK

FishWish
03/01/2000, 04:20 PM
Robert K, The 4" Fan I compared it to was the Pabst 4606n AC fan. The iceCap Fans are DC..TTYL..David

RobertK
03/01/2000, 08:18 PM
David,
I know that specs don't always translate into reality, but I think you may be comparing apples and oranges. The technology that goes into DC fans is advancing much faster than that of AC fans. The Papst AC fan you tried is 4.7" square and 1.5" deep, has ball bearings and is rated at 106 CFM and 51 dBA. The comparably-sized 12 volt DC Papst fan (4212NGH) has a smaller motor than the AC fan, sleeve bearings, 106 CFM and 45 dBA. Per Andy at IceCap, their fan delivers a maximum flow of 100 CFM at 55 dBA, minimum flow of 50 CFM at 33 dBA. So at least according to the "specs smecks" the comparable Papst fan is quieter than the IC at max speed. Of course either one would be quieter at less than max speed.
FWIW,
Robert

TheDonger
03/01/2000, 11:25 PM
Just FYI. Stay away from Sleeve bearing fans. In the computer business people buy the cheaper sleeve fans for their processors, within a year, they are seized up and dead. Ball bearing fans are much more reliable and last longer.

Anyway, to control fan noise, control the speed by buying a fully controllable ceiling fan rheostat from Home Depot and control the speed of rotation and tune to your liking.

I have been doing this with the 3" radio shack fans for years and it works great.

Keith

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turbo
03/02/2000, 12:06 AM
Andy,
I just bought 4 Ice Cap fans and are very happy with them as well as your other products. I would like to make a suggestion regarding the fan transformers. It would be nice to offer a transformer that would handle more of a load, maybe 2 fans at the same time or more. It would help to free up space on the electrical outlet/power strip. Most of the people I know in this hobby run 2 fans on their hood/canopy.
Putting 4 transformers on my power strip wasn't an option. I went out and bought a 12v power supply($20 at local computer store) and powered all 4 fans. Thanks for listening.

Paul

FishWish
03/02/2000, 02:08 AM
Thanks Robert, I do appreciate the info. I did know that DC Fans are generally quieter then their AC brethren. But I certainly did'nt have all of the "specs smecks" which you provided..nice research job..David

ASH
03/02/2000, 06:35 AM
Paul,
Thanks for the suggestion. Based on the the reactions I got before introducing the Fan I wasn't sure we wouldn't be looking at stacks of them forever.
I will look into the dual power-pack option.
Thanks,
Andy

newkie
03/02/2000, 12:25 PM
Andy,

This is just a suggestion I thought I'd throw out there. Currently your fans are running in the 50 dollar range from what I can tell. Well, I was thinking that a good bit of that may be the fancy variable speed/air temp probe deal. Ever think of just offering a straight fan for maybe half as much? I haven't had cause to replace my RS fans yet, but that kinda offer would speak to me after hearing all these great comments.

cheers,
chris

ASH
03/03/2000, 07:24 AM
Chris,
Thanks for the suggestion. I am waiting on the details to offer dual power packs and will add this to the list.
Andy