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Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > Installed Vortex II fan today

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philh

Belleville MI

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Posted: 04/17/19 06:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Now you tell me!

Lynnmor

Red Lion

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Posted: 04/17/19 10:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Blacklane wrote:

I installed a Vortex II, but I had heard about reliability problems. By inspecting the circuit board, it was obvious that the big, heavy resistors could never hold-up in a high-vibration and shock environment of an RV. So I under-filled the resistors with silicon to support them better. This is actually a pretty common practice in electronics; I don't know why Vortex doesn't do it. It's been 5 seasons with no problems yet.

I tried a PWM speed controller on my old single-speed Vortex, but noticed that it had a lot of parasitic current draw, even when turned off. The one I used also made an objectionable high-pitch noise when it was on. I decided not to use it. Instead, I installed it in my stove vent fan circuit downstream of the switch, and I love it there.



Putting silicon under resisters might be a bad idea, as they produce heat.

The first PWM that I tried did cause noise so I bought a different model. There is no parasitic draw because there is an on-off switch, turning it down till the motor stops is not the correct usage.





BarabooBob

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Posted: 04/18/19 04:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I installed a Vortex II last summer and I love it. We never use the high speed because it is loud but with the amount of air the fan moves on medium, I think high would suck the toilet paper off of the roll. I picked mine up for about $35 on ebay from an RV overstock company.


Bob & Dawn Married 31 years
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Blacklane

New Carlisle, Ohio USA

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Posted: 04/19/19 07:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lynnmor wrote:


Putting silicon under resisters might be a bad idea, as they produce heat.


That seems like a valid point. I assumed that since silicone can handle temperatures above about 500F that there would be no problems, but lets investigate further.

So I took the fan out and measured it.

The measured currents in the forward mode were:
0.48 amps (low)
0.64 amps (med)
0.99 amps (high)

There are three 5-ohm, 20 watt resistors (each measure about 5.5 ohms). The forward mode uses zero, one, or two resistors. The reverse mode uses zero or one resistor.

For the low-speed case, we have 0.48A through two 5.5-ohm resistors, so the power in each resistor is:

(5.5)*(0.48)^2 = 1.27 watts each

For the medium speed case, we have:

(5.5)*(0.64)^2 = 2.25 watts

So our worst case for heat in the resistors is the medium speed case of 2.25W. We also know that this is far below the 20W rating of the resistors.

For the thermal analysis I ran the fan for about an hour at medium speed and used a thermal camera to record the temperature of the hottest resistor. This was done at an ambient temperature of 60F (black color) and the hottest temperature recorded was 113F (white color). This is about 53 degrees above the ambient temperature.

[image]
[image]

This was repeated for the low-speed case where two resistors are used in series. Here the hottest temperature was 86F.

[image]

For completeness, the test was run on medium speed in the reverse direction to measure the temperature of the third resistor. It got to 111F, similar to the forward medium-speed case.

[image]

The maximum temperature for one-part silicone adhesive (room temperature cure) is 572F. This is the only thing actually touching the resistors. Ceramic resistors have a max operating temperature of around 250C (480F). Solder melts at about 190C (375F). The Standard glass-epoxy (FR-4) circuit boards have a service temperature up to about 110C (230F). The fan housing seems to be made of ABS plastic, which melts at around 105C (221F).

If we adjust the ambient temperature from 60F to 110F and add the increase in temperature of the resistor, we end up at 163F. This is far below the damage temperature of anything in the vicinity. In fact, it's not much hotter than domestic hot water.

So we can conclude that there is not a thermal issue with under-filling the resistors with silicone.

* This post was edited 04/21/19 06:26am by Blacklane *

Blacklane

New Carlisle, Ohio USA

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Posted: 05/02/19 08:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Update: I just got my hands on a new Vortex II fan, and this problem no longer exists. Here is a picture of the new circuit board with the resistors properly mounted against the board:

[image]

Unfortunately, they still use wire nuts with electrical tape (which is not holding well already), but those can be easily replaced with crimp connectors, which are far more reliable in a vibrational environment.

* This post was edited 05/03/19 04:18pm by Blacklane *

TurnThePage

North ID

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Posted: 05/03/19 09:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I hope to someday have time to enjoy my RV like this! [emoticon]


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seaeagle2

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Posted: 05/04/19 05:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just did the Vortex update, I went with a single speed and got a reversible PWM off of ebay. Our trailer has tall ceilings and my wife couldn't reach the fan switch so I ran the wiring down the wall in some wiremold and mounted the switches on the wall. Now I have an infinitely adjustable reversible fan. Is is louder than a fantastic fan, yes, but it mounts from the inside and it was less expensive.


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gmckenzie

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Posted: 05/06/19 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

seaeagle2 wrote:

I just did the Vortex update, I went with a single speed and got a reversible PWM off of ebay. Our trailer has tall ceilings and my wife couldn't reach the fan switch so I ran the wiring down the wall in some wiremold and mounted the switches on the wall. Now I have an infinitely adjustable reversible fan. Is is louder than a fantastic fan, yes, but it mounts from the inside and it was less expensive.


I need to do the PWM thing.

We keep a broom in the bathroom (just because it's a good place to store it) so if I need to turn the fan on while siting, I reach up with the broom handle.


2015 GMC Sierra 4x4 CC SB Max Trailer
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