Bachmann E-Z COMAND® 5 Amp power boosters

Started by Desert Rose, February 14, 2023, 08:32:40 AM

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Desert Rose

We are running four Bachmann E-Z COMAND®  5 Amp power boosters which have annoyingly loud cooling fans, it gets so loud it hurts your ears. You have to wear ear plugs with a noise canceling headset.     
We are installing Noctua NF-A6x25 Premium fan with Flow Acceleration Channels mounted on Anti-Vibration Mounts running at 1600 rpm in each booster today.

We started by removing the top of the booster and remove the fan in the back panel, back drill the screw holes. Cut the fan mount flush with a snap-off knife. Enlarge the four holes and install the 4x Anti-Vibration Mounts. 

Verified that the fan is pointed in the right direction (airflow out). Installed the fan on the 4x Anti-Vibration Mounts previously installed on the back panel. 
NOTE: Some fans have on the outer case arrows pointing airflow direction and rotation.

There are two options for low – nose speed settings:
(1). 2400 rpm low – nose Adapter (NA-RC10).
(2). 1600 rpm Ultra-low-nose Adapter (NA-RC12).

The fan has a three pin female connector while the booster has a two pin male connector with a tab. I broke the white tab off the two pin male connector, so the three pin female connector will plug in. 

Operationally check the fan for proper flow. Plugging in the female connector as shown, the fan will run in the right direction. Plugging it in on the other pin the fan will run backwards and you will be sad.

We installed the 1600 rpm Ultra-low-nose Adapter (NA-RC12).

Installing the cover and checking air flow one more time, using two 5 Amp power boosters we hooked up one booster per forty-two feet of track in an oval for a total of 84 feet. Running four DD40AX's eight motors total pulling 60 89' TOFC flatbeds loaded. Total train weight 32lbs the train was moving forty-two feet every 25 seconds at step 28 using a E-Z Command Digital Command Control system for two hours. The booster's inlet temperature was 75° with 15% humidity, outlet temperature of 82° with a deferential of 7°. We operate the train room between 62°min. to 79° max.
The four 5 Amp power boosters are sounding quite nice, you can't hear the boosters running anymore.

Ralph S

Quick question, Was the loud noise coming from the Bachmann power booster fan?  Or was the noise reduced
after the installation of the anti-vibration mounts?   

I am questioning whether the original Bachmann fan is the noise generator, or the fact that the Bachmann fan does not have the anti-vibration mounts that would generate the noise from the fan.

My understanding is that you replaced the original Bachmann fan with a quieter fan.  My experience is that by placing a heavy object on the booster it quiets the noise from the booster.  This makes me think that the original fan is just vibrating its entire frame against the body of the booster, thus making that noise.

Desert Rose

It has more to due with blade design and RPM. The Bachmann fan is a low-cost entry-level computer fan. With non-engineered fan blades and low cost ball bearings. The NF-A6X25 FLX fan has engineered fan blades and SS02-enginered bearings.

Non-Engineered blade.
Boundary layer separation from the suction side of  the fan blades leads to increased vortex noise and lower airflow efficiency.

Engineered blade.
The Noctua's A-Series impellers feature suction side Flow Acceleration Channels.  These channels alter the flow distribution on the suction side of the blades and speed up the air flow at the crucial outer blade regions.  As the flow separation is more likely to occur when the speed of the fluid relative to the fan blade is low, the increase in speed achieved through the Flow Acceleration Channels leads to significantly reduced flow separation, which permits lower vortex noise and higher airflow efficiency.

Engineered bearings.
Noctua's self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing (SSO -Bearing) combines the proven concept of oil-based hydrodynamic bearings  with an additional magnet that supports the self-stabilization of the rotor axis.  Due to the axis being stabilized by the magnetic field, Noctua's SSO Bearing achieves highest precision and better longevity than conventional ball-,sleeve- or hydrodynamic bearings.

Ralph S

Okay, I understand the higher air flow from the NF-A6X25 FLX fan, plus the added benefit of better blade design.  You wouldn't happen to know the fan flow of the Original Bachmann fan, cause I'm guessing that the Bachmann fan runs/rotates at 2400 rpm (high noise-low flow) and you set the NF-A6X25 FLX fan at 1600 rpm and that produced better flow characteristics but much quieter.  True or am I misssing something?

Desert Rose

You are correct. and the rpm on the Bachmann 60 x 60 x 25mm square tipped fan, run about 3000 + RPM.