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S3 Fan noise when printer is idle


jeremymorgan
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Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

I have a brand new S3. After the printer boots up and is 'ready to print' (idle) I notice quite an annoying high-pitched whine from the front (axial) fan. It's not particularly loud, but is annoying in a quiet room if working near to the printer.

 

When the printer is idle the fan is disabled so the fan blades are not moving - the fan is stalled.  The noise I can hear is coming from the fan motor. I asked my supplier to send a replacement fan, and I have fitted this but it has made no difference. I measured the voltage across the fan in this idle state and it is around 2.3V. I would have expected it to be lower. I think that this is the problem - as the idle voltage is not zero the fan is trying to start but the voltage is too low so it is unable to do so, and it is generating the noise. The fan works OK when printing by the way. Interestingly, if I rotate the fan blade a few degrees with a screwdriver the noise stops, but then returns when the blade springs back to its resting position.

 

Anyone else noticed this? Maybe a firmware update to set the idle voltage lower could fix it? I believe Prusa had a similar issue with a fan driver that was fixed in firmware.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

I have the same exact issue, I've been turning the printer off when its not in use because I have sensitive hearing and the high pitch is very annoying to me. If this can be fixed via a firmware update I would appreciate it very much.  

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Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

circuit diagram for reference.  Fan normally sits with 5V on pin 1 and pin 2 is open (I assume pin 0 is not used).  So both sides of fan should be at 5V when off.  Inside the fan is a fancy circuit (I believe) that detects rpm and pulses the wiring accordingly with circuitry inside a chip inside the fan.  I think the sound is coming from that circuitry trying to get the fan to start up but it can't because the voltage is too low.

 

What seems strange is that the fan is getting any power at all as I would think the firmware would keep Q1 turned off (when Q1 is turned on it grounds pin 2).

 

It could be that the firmware is not at fault and some part is broken (Q1 or D1 most likely) but I suspect it is a firmware thing where it is sending a small amount of power to the fan.

 

524930441_Screenshotfrom2021-11-2118-33-05.thumb.png.105a15961045c68198c14a92add0b3ed.png

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Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

@jeremymorgan @wdwms @DemonicYoshi This forum is for users helping each other. When you want Ultimaker to take action, then use the support link posted by @gr5.
By coincidence I see this topic and created a ticket for you guys.

 

Being curious I also had a look into the problem and I think I found the problem. A led driver chip is used for the LEDs in the print cores and a few spare pins are used for controlling the fans. The LED's brightness can be controlled from 0 to 99.6%. The fan function is inverted and ranges from 0.4% to 100%. This means the fans are always a tiny bit on and that might be what creates the noise.

I'll test a firmware fix this week. No promise on when it will be released.

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Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

@CarloK  Many thanks for looking into it. Yes i would have opened up a support ticket if you didn't pick up the thread. Much appreciated that you started it on our behalf.  I need to open another one, my Z axis started making an odd noise when getting ready to print.

 

If it helps, I don't recall having the fan/sound issue prior to v7.


Thank you!

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

    @wdwms Weird that you mention this wasn't noticed prior to v7. We are talking about the fan in front of the printhead, right? Not the two fans on the side of the printhead?
    The front fan is driven by a low level routine and hasn't changed in 4 years.

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

    @CarloK Correct, it's either it wasn't doing it before 7 and a little bit into 7.. and by that I really just noticed it this weekend. So, wondering if all the printing finally wore the fan to a point where it is less tolerant. That is, its now broken in so that little bit of voltage can move the fan ever so slightly, the magnets pull it back.. repeat this over and over at 60hz and you get the buzzing.  The bushings "new" out of the box may prevent this oscillation; but after hours of printing it reaches a point where the issue surfaces.  W/that said, I only got my S3 2-3 months ago, i'll get you total print time if you'd like.

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

    Our intention was to have no voltage on the fan when off. I think we can fix this with software but didn't get to test this yet.

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle
    On 11/30/2021 at 8:21 AM, CarloK said:

    Our intention was to have no voltage on the fan when off. I think we can fix this with software but didn't get to test this yet.

    @CarloK Did you make any progress with this? Do you think it is possible to fix it in firmware?

     

    Every time I update my S3 with latest firmware I have had my fingers crossed hoping the fan idling noise will stop!

     

    By the way I opened a support ticket for this: #14701 then #23846 to follow up.

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

    I have the same issue too my my S3. Hopefully it's going to fix soon.

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

    A firmware fix has been proposed and is high on the backlog, but it has to compete with many other tickets. It's now planned for v8.1, end this year, but don't take this as a promise, it only means it will not arrive earlier than this release.

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

    Is there any update on what release this will go into? I have had the same issue since buying the S3 a few years ago. Thank you.

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

    Another owner here, I can't stand having this printer on in my office because of the loud idle fan.

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

    @mikebuss, @cleverhans: I already posted an update on progress, which is more than we normally do: The problem is known and we hope it can be fixed with a software change, this is not going to happen before end of this year.

    This forum is for users helping each other. Some Ultimaker employees, like myself, do visit here occasionally but our powers are limited. Priorities for planned work are, amongst others, determined based on the number of user reports.
    You can get a bug or feature on a higher priority by reporting to https://support.ultimaker.com

    - Choose the 'Support' button on the lower right

    - Select ' Get in touch'

    - Select 'Leave a message'

    - Select ' Hardware enquiry'

    - Enter your problem description or feature request

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

    @CarloK - are you still at UM?  I think you should be able to answer this regardless.  I've seen people who have trouble with active leveling failing due to noise (fails the noise test) and they fix the printer often by changing a side fan!! Which is "off" during leveling.  Now it could be acting as a passive antenna with it's coils and such but is it possible that the side fans are also slightly "on" when they are "off"??

     

    If so, then this is extremely important - your simple fix to completely turn off the fans (all 3) should get implemented as soon as possible as it is causing a world of hurt for some people.

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

    @gr5 I'm sorry to say I'm no long part of the UM organization. 😪

    I tried to get attention for this ticket but I wasn't part of any of the teams working on the S-line of printers (I was mr. UM2+ Connect). I don't know the current status for the ticket, perhaps @robinmdh can give an update?

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

    But @CarloK do you happen to remember if this problem was only for the front fan?  Or if it was for the front and also the side fans?

     

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    Posted · S3 Fan noise when printer is idle

    @gr5 The front fan is a different type from the side fans but the electronics circuit is identical, so I suspect the side fans to have similar noise problems (electrical and audible) as the front fan. It's just that these problems might be more notable on some batches than on others. For the front fan we know there was one batch with more audible noise than earlier batches, but results will vary per individual printer.

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