Larkbox fan noise and temperatures

Hi!

I received my Larkbox yesterday and for now, I’m very disappointed.

The specs say “only 19db”, whisper-quiet fan… bullshit.

This thing with the fan at full speed my “sound meter” reads over 50dbs at 5cm, 40 at half a meter.

Has anybody the same behaviour? , there’s no fan curve at all?

I can’t even watch a video because the constant ramp down - ramp up every ten seconds is driving me crazy, It’s so annoying.

Cheers.

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Yeah it’s loud and seems like there is no way to make a fan curve at all.

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Same problem here. The fan makes quite some noise. And indeed, the ramp down ramp up is super annoying.

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What is the thickness of the processor thermopade?
What are its thermal conductivity parameters?
I would like to exchange for a better one.

Hi.

I think that the problem is the thermal pad indeed. But perhaps better change it for a copper fin instead of another thermal pad.

At all, there wouldn’t be any problem, if the fan ramped at 70º instead of 55º because the processor runs around 65º in standard tasks (at least in my case, at browsing, watching movies…).

The thing that gears my grinds is that in 2020 a new-engineered machine doesn’t have a fan curve, c’mon Chuwi…

I’ve watched this review from Eta-Prime at Youtube (Excellent content creator by the way) and there is a gap between the heatsink and the die, maybe a 1,5mm x 1,5mm x 0,75 - 1mm thick copper sheet and some quality thermal compound would solve the problem.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LJZgMEabLc around 5:34 you can see the gap.

Anyway, I’m talking to Chuwi because of this, they asked me for a video and my serial number, maybe it’s only a bad batch and only some of the larks are showing this behavior.

Cheers.

I bought a Gelid GP-Extreme Thermalpad 120x20x1 mm TP-GP05-B. When arrives, I’ll see what happens.

Peter

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Hi.

Looking forward to your results.

Cheers!

The fan used has only 2 cables. I doubt whether it is possible to control the speed of such a fan.
If that’s the case, then the LarkBox is worth less than $ 120.-140
I have an Intel NUC J5005 and this one is very quiet. LarkBox howls like a dog. It’s ok during the day, but I use it in complete silence at night. Let Chuwi say if he’s going to do anything about it (Bios)?

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The fact that the fan has only two cables doesn’t mean that it can’t be controlled. It can be controlled if the electronics has the ability to switch into three different voltages, 0v off, 5v half throttle, 12v full throttle, the Larkbox uses a 12v power supply and has internals to convert it to 5v to power up USB ports, so is possible assuming that te fan runs at 12v max.

After all, I think that I will return it, I’ll wait a few days for Chuwi to answer, and for @Piter results with the new thermal pad.
Mine is always with the fan on, even without doing anything, at 50-65ºC, It’s louder than my laptop a 45w core i7!

We’ll see who comes up with the best cooling solution. There’s a guy on youtube who took a 60mm, 12 volt fan to cool his Raspberry Pi. A 12 volt fan connected at 5 volts runs slower and quieter. I don’t know if having a flat piece of copper with a 60mm fan is going to fit or fix the problem. I was thinking maybe you could intake from the Larkbox outtake and blow the air out the top, which has more area on it.

The tiny squirrel cage fan isn’t very awesome at all. I measured it at 35mm x 35mm x 7mm tall. There is a little screen in the top of the Larkbox that can be taken out to gain a little height (and probably gain a little more air flow), but I’m not sure how much height you can gain.

I tried taking the little metal cover off the squirrel cage and it sounds a little better, but doesn’t cool well. I thought maybe the top of the Larkbox case was close enough to make a syphon. I was getting runaway, it got up to 105 celcius before I stopped the stress test.

You know, I do have an Odroid with a 2 pin fan that they are able to control. Maybe with PWM. I don’t know if that’s possible on the Larkbox.

The problem is that this thing is too small to cool quietly. I have an Odroid H2+ with an entirely passive cooler on a J4115, but the heatsink is approximately 100mm x 100mm x 25mm. It’s very big.

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Hello.

I’ve made some progress, but not enough.

I’ve purchased the same thermal pads as @Piter, removed the little metal sheet over the fan, and put some ~0,5mm spacers between the heatsink and the top plastic case, this reduced the gap between the processor and the heatsink allowing more pressure (a little bit more and maybe replacing the pad with thermal paste is possible).
This ended in much fewer load temperatures (82º with a few passes of linkpak), but at idle the problem is the same. The heatsink is surrounded by plastic, all of it. There’s not enough for passive cooling. So it slowly reaches the 55+ degrees, starts the fan a few seconds, and get down to 51-52, and go up again slowly to 55, and so on.

I think that with a little bit of undervolt that would be fixed. But for this we’re on Chuwi’s hands and bios upgrades.

And, if you open the larkbox be EXTREME CAREFUL with the threaded inserts of the top case because the plastic is rubbish, I had to fix ALL of them with loctite the first time I opened the Larkbox.

Cheers.

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Good to know, thanks for sharing :+1:

exactly the same issue here, fan goes from silent to full blast every 10 seconds … there is no in between, did Chuwi even go through QA for their final design before rushing it out the door? i doubt it … this is the absolute last time that i ever back Chuwi on indiegogo or kickstarter

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Fan noise issue fixed with fanless LarkBox :

Bonus : LarkBox is powered by a PowerDelivery power bank :wink:

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do you have tested, what temperature it have at full load for about 2, 3 hours??

That makes sense, indeed ! :rofl:

Wow @JeffBlagnac, that’s neat!

I thought about it too but couldn’t figure out how to attach the heatsink to the Larkbox. Can you share more pics with your solution?

Also thought about a new “hat” to the Larkbox, knowing that is 60x60, remove the top case, make a 3D printed fan housing with threaded inserts (or something like) where to attach the heatsink, and openings at the four sides of the case. Then disassemble the stock fan and trow a 60x60 5v Noctua fan over it. The Larkbox would be one-two centimetres high but would perform ages better on cooling and noise.

Cheers.

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I changed the thermalpad. Not worth it.
The fan runs for a shorter period at low load. It doesn’t matter during normal operation. Then it works as before.

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Have you @MrUlla, or anyone tried reinstallation of the system?

It is mentioned at FAQ in "Indiegogo:Update #21 from CHUWI LarkBox (https://shorturl.at/coqA8).

I haven’t tried it yet, because the message does not elucidate the outcome of the reinstallation.

What irritates me the most is the “intermittent on/off of the fan”, so I desided to keep it runing all the time by minimizing one browser in the taskbar, and it makes me feel less annoyed :grin:

Hi @ISOKEN, that was the first thing I tried :pensive:

Cheers.