09-15-2017, 09:10 AM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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I'm still gearing up.

One thing I noticed on some of the "perhaps" dead capture cards I've acquired. And the HD HomeRun I have from Silicon Dust.

Is that the chips on these cards are really poorly cooled.

Video cards in general seem to run very hot, even in a well aerated case with extra fans.

The air just does not carry heat away fast enough from the surface of the chips.

I had thought of combobulating some sort of add-on heat pipe system, but didn't want to make something so specific and one-off as to not be portable between capture systems.

I had to add an exteranl to case USB powered fan to my HD HomeRun network tuners to force air thorugh the holes in the case before they would settle down and be reliable. The internal tiny fan was just so underpowered for the heat generated.

I was wondering if maybe extra "directed" cooling would be a good idea both for stability and longevity of the capture cards, especially ones where MPEG2 is being conducted in the hardware of the chip. I don't even want to think about the heat dissipation of MPEG4 or H.265 (another advantage of the old AIW cards might be they "can't" do this or do it in the general CPU instead of the T200 capture card chip)

Do most people run their capture cards "naked" with whatever cooling is available in the case.. or have some "overthunk it" somewhat like I'm probably doing?

I ask because of the great success I had augmenting the HD HomeRun network tuners, the stability was like night and day... and very quiet.

I also noticed that "forced directed air" PCI slot coolers are available, with articulated fans in single and double configurations and speed controllers for a lot less than $20 .. Titan for example makes one set that looks like an erector set kit and has good reviews. One reviewer said you could take one titan fan kit and position it on one side, and the second fan from the same kit with the bracket provided and position it on the opposing side of a card immediately adjacent in the computer for forced air cooling on both sides of the card. -- This could be important since some of the ATI cards have chips on both sides.

-- merged --

Wow.. there are a lot of options even in the do-it-yourself cantilevered case fan frameworks available to surround PCI and PCI express cards. Quite a target rich environment.

In addition to that I found with directed case fan augmenting its common to add case fan "air filters" to clean room the air supply of dust bunny particles and other things that might get in there when increasing the air flow.

.. and here I thought (I) had over thought things.. I'm an amateur

It does make sense though, you don't want pseudo conductive dust settling on the chip pins or leads, and a static charge build up could be lethal to the capture cards.
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09-17-2017, 05:02 AM
dinkleberg dinkleberg is offline
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Air is a poor thermal conductor. If you are concerned about heat buildup it's worth noting that fans aren't going to do anything by themselves. To keep silicon cool you need:

1) heatsink(s), like this for example


2) thermal interface material - just get whatever's cheap. Arctic MX is always a safe bet.

3) fans to dissipate heat from the heatsink

Case fans are almost always better than those "specialty" cooling devices. The fan's only job is to move air reliably, so get something reliable. Like Yate Loons.

I'm partial to Fractal Design for great cases that don't break the bank.

Given the age of most of our hardware, it's probably a good idea to undervolt. And if your power supply isn't 80Plus Bronze at the very least, it's putting off a significant amount of extra heat as well.

All this being said I don't think it's worth worrying about that much. I wouldn't spend more than $20 in all. As long as your case has decent airflow you're fine. Chips ran hot back in the day.
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09-23-2017, 05:27 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I don't need to even read the post to know that you're asking the wrong question. To answer, yes, probably some overthink.

Are you actually having an issue? Yes, I know, you're probably referring specifically to that hot-as-hell ATI AIW USB, which is an unusual card. Rarely does anything get so hot. Offhand, the only one I can think of is the DataVideo TBC-100 card (including inside the TBC-1000). But some chips are rated to run hot, and well-kept DataVideo TBCs are usually tanks.

Actually, come to think of it, ATI Theatre chips are pretty bad, too. But the chips on the AGP/PCI often have good heatsinks, and the PCIe can be modded with a Zalman kit. But honestly, is that any different from any other graphics card? Never the video aspect (which is a variant of graphics).

Air is a pathetic cooling method, but given yours past educated posts, you surely already know this. What you need is heatsinks, and let the air cool those.

The Theatre chipset is hybrid, not pure software/CPU. It uses Ligos MPEG tech in the chip. It why you can only capture MPEG with the proprietary ATI MMC.

When I built my latest system, it was done with cooling in mind.

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09-24-2017, 02:03 AM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Yes the ATU USB2.0 runs very hot.. I'm working on a low effort fix for that. Heat sinks feature prominently.

The combo Videocard+Capture All-In-Wonders run slow for graphics cards, but the later ones still had behmouth heat sinks and loud fans.. no wonder Gamers liked them.. they had the full on, over the ear, head gear.

The nice trade off though is hardware Overlay assist for Preview was almost certain.

I'm finding with the AIT USB 2.0 Overlay is possible, but performance is subject to the hardware backing the Software Overlay feature of whatever video card you have.. so its a suboptimal situation. This is probably true for any USB capture solution.. but live and learn eh?

I think the Tuner generates the most heat and it just swamps the ATI Theater chip since that is the only place it can go. The Tuner is a boat anchor.. but it wouldn't make sense to disable it.. the software expects it.. and part of the initialization uses it to scan for channels. Without a MMC re-write that would disable the software.
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09-27-2017, 06:20 PM
dinkleberg dinkleberg is offline
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Welp, I jinxed it. Overheating triggered a BSOD today. Gonna have to reseat my heatsinks.

I'm blaming you, Willis!
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09-28-2017, 08:04 PM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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I'm still pondering over the cooling options for the ATI TV Wonder USB2.0n

I did find the case incredibly easy to disassemble, single machine screw and no plastic tabs to break.

Once inside I found the ATI Theater 200 chip generates almost as much heat as the Phillips Tuner.

I found some $1.00 raspberry pi single chip heatsinks with thermal adhesive that perfectly cover the surface of the Theater 200 chip.

I also found some $5.00 (and 5 volt) dc fans that can probably be driven off small wires attached to the 6 volt connector, with a small resistor or trimmer to shift the voltage slightly and vary the speed. It would only be dropping 1 volt and a very tiny amount of current.

I'm thinking it can hang out on the outside of the case with the antenna plate removed and possibly held there with a little gray square or rectangular abs plastic channel tubing


Rather than drill or glue it to the case, a washer and nut could hold the addon to the unit, if I drilled/dremeled a hole big enough for the antenna stud and tightened the nut down over the washer and on the antenna stud.

The opposite side of the antenna stud would provide an exit space for air flow, so the pattern would be swoop down into the cavity on the Right side, guided by the Phillips tuner wall through the Theater 200 heat sink fins, around the Phillips and back up and out the Left side. Further trimming and grooving the abs channel tubing piece might make a tighter custom mating fit with the opening in the box around the antenna stud.

The fan would only gently increase the air pressure and be fairly quiet, squeezing the hot air out, since the Phillips tuner generates the majority of heat, it would have the most overall surface area in contact with the moving air flow.

Its all theory right now, lots of things I'm thinking about.

I got the idea from a soccer mom with a Storm Trooper helmet, using some of these fans with a couple AA batteries.

I have to be careful though that I'm not over thinking it.. I do that a lot.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg heatsink1.jpg (126.9 KB, 26 downloads)
File Type: jpg heatsink2.jpg (126.7 KB, 25 downloads)
File Type: jpg cooling-fan1.jpg (55.5 KB, 26 downloads)

Last edited by jwillis84; 09-28-2017 at 08:15 PM.
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