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eightbit

Color Computer 3 with 512KB...does it really NEED a fan?

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Recently I received a CoCo 3 in "ok" condition. It works fine, but was obviously played around with internally by a "technician" at some point. A 512KB ram expansion (original Tandy part) was inside along with a hackery fan installation. The fan was connected to areas of the motherboard with a series of hardware (and lots of solder). It is a small 24V fan about 1 inch by 1 inch. It worked, but it was literally like a jet engine. Super loud...so much so that it was ruining my experience. Yeah, it was that bad.

 

So tonight I removed the 5 pounds of solder connecting this thing and cleaned off the board. It's nice now and does not look like anything was ever installed. And, most importantly the CoCo 3 works fine and is now silent like I remember.

 

But, I have been reading about overheating with CoCo 3 models outfitted with 512KB. How common is that? Do I have to worry? Or is it something that only occurs in heavy production environments with the computer on for hours or days on end? I usually never have more than a one hour (if that) session with the computer myself.

 

Any comments are appreciated!

 

 

EDIT: added a picture of it. Looks like the fan went to some sort of can (capacitor? I am not sure) and then to a bridge rectifier.

 

2019-12-29 22.39.24.jpg

Edited by eightbit

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512k coco is a great machine., i had installed a small fan in mine when i has one. You can easily find a small fan from a computer repair shop that only needs 5 volts. I would say it does get quite warm without the fan .. for the 2$ cost of a fan i would stay on the safe side..coco3's. Are getting to be rare...

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5 hours ago, MrDave said:

512k coco is a great machine., i had installed a small fan in mine when i has one. You can easily find a small fan from a computer repair shop that only needs 5 volts. I would say it does get quite warm without the fan .. for the 2$ cost of a fan i would stay on the safe side..coco3's. Are getting to be rare...

 

 

Do you have any information on how you are supplying the 5V for the fan internally? I cannot find any information online on exactly how to power a fan internally (and safely). Any help is appreciated!

 

Ultimately I'd like to get a nice quiet Noctua 5V fan inside of this if possible.

Edited by eightbit

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9 minutes ago, eightbit said:

 

 

Do you have any information on how you are supplying the 5V for the fan internally? I cannot find any information online on exactly how to power a fan internally (and safely). Any help is appreciated!

 

Ultimately I'd like to get a nice quiet Noctua 5V fan inside of this if possible.

I have a 512k coco 3 no fan and never had any issues in the 2 years I've had it

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Just now, Iwantgames:) said:

I have a 512k coco 3 no fan and never had any issues in the 2 years I've had it

 

Nice. It doesn't seem like it gets THAT hot (I had it playing Arkanoid for about 45 minutes and it was luke warm) so I am thinking it is not really necessary either. But getting opinions on this can only be a good thing. Thank you for your input!

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Pin 9 on the cartridge connecor , or on the + side of one of the 100uf caps like c15. Or the live side of the casette relay should all have +5 volts  ., please check with a volt meter first.. i don't have a coco3 in front of me..

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I have an fan by AC Infinity, on top of my CoCo 2 by the power supply. It is a personal choice of mine to keep the power supply cool, thus increasing the total longevity of my computer. Is it necessary? No. Is it wise to do so? I believe it is.

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Fans aren't really needed unless there's some odd 3rd party stuff in the machine that generates a lot of heat.

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You could also replace the current 512k upgrade with one of cloud9techs triad 512k upgrades which supposedly runs 90% cooler than the original upgrade that I'm guessing this coco3 had. It's 50 bucks though. I had one on one of my coco3s and the thing barely got warm

Edited by AtariLeaf
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12 hours ago, AtariLeaf said:

You could also replace the current 512k upgrade with one of cloud9techs triad 512k upgrades which supposedly runs 90% cooler than the original upgrade that I'm guessing this coco3 had. It's 50 bucks though. I had one on one of my coco3s and the thing barely got warm

 

 

My thoughts exactly and probably what I will do down the road. I like having the original Tandy part, but it does generate heat ;)

 

 

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On 12/30/2019 at 10:47 PM, Michael Kline said:

I have an fan by AC Infinity, on top of my CoCo 2 by the power supply. It is a personal choice of mine to keep the power supply cool, thus increasing the total longevity of my computer. Is it necessary? No. Is it wise to do so? I believe it is.

 

 

Good call on the AC Infinity fan. I was actually looking at one of these the other day. At $10 I figured I'd order one ;) 

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On 12/31/2019 at 11:36 AM, AtariLeaf said:

You could also replace the current 512k upgrade with one of cloud9techs triad 512k upgrades which supposedly runs 90% cooler than the original upgrade that I'm guessing this coco3 had. It's 50 bucks though. I had one on one of my coco3s and the thing barely got warm

Boysontech also has 512K, and 2MB upgrades.  2MB requires desoldering the CPU to install a socket. 
He can do the work for you (recommended), and you'll also get a 6309 CPU with the deal.
https://boysontech.com/marketplace/
 

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On 1/1/2020 at 10:05 AM, Michael Kline said:

You'll like the fan. It's very quiet.

 

I got it, and I do like it! Awesome fan...just what I needed! Great tip, thanks!

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Honestly, no, it doesn't need the fan, at least if you're installing original equipment.  Once you start installing 3rd party hardware, or useless things never designed in (like a power LED for example), then you're off into territory that was never tested by Tandy when the product was designed.  So, a stock Tandy upgrade on a coco3 doesn't require the fan.  Ironically, the addition of a fan may put enough extra strain on the power supply such that the unit will generate enough heat such that... it would require a fan... so, I wouldn't add one to be honest.

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25 minutes ago, John_L said:

Honestly, no, it doesn't need the fan, at least if you're installing original equipment.  Once you start installing 3rd party hardware, or useless things never designed in (like a power LED for example), then you're off into territory that was never tested by Tandy when the product was designed.  So, a stock Tandy upgrade on a coco3 doesn't require the fan.  Ironically, the addition of a fan may put enough extra strain on the power supply such that the unit will generate enough heat such that... it would require a fan... so, I wouldn't add one to be honest.

 

Thanks for the info. I have the AC Infinity fan now which does not rely on the CoCo at all for power. Whenever I feel I have been using the CoCo for long enough that it should be "cooled down" I pop this on:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CNJ4DYX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Excellent and powerful tiny fan that is relatively quiet and sits perfectly on top of the CoCo PSU area which is conveniently vented right where it sits. 

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As said above, you don't NEED the fan.  But the original 512K board did run hot.  The new options from Cloud9 and Boysontech run much cooler.

 

And I'm speaking as someone who added a 512K board in 1990 after saving allowance money.  It getting that hot can't be good for the system over time!

 

 

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