Friday, September 1, 2023

Silencing the Breeze: Upgrading Legion Network Racks for Whisper-Quiet Performance

In our home, we utilize a couple of Legion 18 network racks. These particular 18U network racks are designed to be compact, making them suitable for placement in closets or offices. Additionally, they come equipped with built-in cooling features, specifically two 120mm fans located at the top of the rack.

However, while the built-in cooling is a valuable feature, I couldn't help but notice that the noise generated by the fans can be quite noticeable, particularly in quieter environments. One of the main reasons for this is that the fan speed is fixed; there's only an on/off switch available. Consequently, you can either turn the fans off entirely or run them at their default, relatively loud speed. This limitation led me to seek out replacement fans for the rack.

Stock fans from the Legion 18 network rack

After conducting some research, I decided to opt for the AC Infinity Rack ROOF Fan Kit. This kit includes two 120mm fans that can be connected to a provided fan controller, which, in turn, connects to a power source. The fan controller offers precise control over the fan speed, allowing for quieter operation.

The fans included in this kit come pre-mounted in fan shrouds designed to be attached to the interior of the top of the rack. In the case of the Legion rack, it already comes with an existing fan shroud. Consequently, it's possible to remove the fans from the included shrouds and install them into the existing one from the rack itself.

The power cord supplied with the fan kit is longer than the one that came with the original fans, but you can easily secure the excess cord length to the fan shroud using zip ties, ensuring a tidy setup.

Fan enclosure with AC Infinity Roof Fan Kit

Once everything was set up and turned on, the difference was immediately noticeable. Not only did the network racks become significantly quieter, but they also began operating at lower temperatures. To monitor these changes, I installed temperature sensors in each rack, allowing me to track and observe the improvements in real time.

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