A little while back I wrote a post on silencing a Cisco 2911 for home use. You can read about that here. I accept that it’s unlikely anyone would be using 2951 at home however you may find yourself in a situation where you need to reduce the noise level of this router. In my 2911 guide I went to the extent of rebuilding the power supply as a 12V DC version to reduce heat output. We’re not going to be bothering with that here, instead we’ll be looking solely at the fans. The first task is to remove the four original fans. Remove all the screws you can see on the fan module, and release the plastic clips holding the face plate.
Next step is to unpick the contacts from the receptacle I personally used the Molex Mini-Fit Jr extraction tool (11-03-0044) – which is the correct tool for this, however you may find it more convenient to just cut the wires off the old fans and splice them onto the new fans.
In my case I’ve used the same gold-plated Mini-Fit Jr contacts (42815-0012) as were used on the original fans. You may not feel the need to bother with those. You can read more about these connectors here. Just in case it isn’t obvious – the pinout for that connector is as follows:
1 : GND (Fans 4, 3)
2 : +12V (Fans 4, 3)
3 : PWM 3
4 : TACH 3
5 : +12V (Fans 1, 2)
6 : GND (Fans 1, 2)
7 : Module presence strap
8 : PWM 4
9 : TACH 4
10 : PWM 2
11 : TACH 2
12 : PWM 1
13 : TACH 1
14 : Module presence strap
The next step is to re-install connections for fans 1 and 2 only, as we’re going to blanking up the holes for fans 3 and 4. If you’re not replacing the contacts entirely like me, you won’t need to be bothering with this.
As previously mentioned, connections for fans 3 and 4 are omitted, except we’ve strapped the tach signal from fans 1 and 2 to them to keep the software satisfied that all 4 are present. Now we have to assemble the new fan module. I’ve used two Delta AFB0612VHC fans. I don’t personally see the need to go splashing out on expensive “ultra silent” fans from the PC modding scene. You can if you like but they’re not going be much (if any) quieter than these.
I have also blanked up the holes for fans 3 and 4, to ensure airflow remains consistent. Next step is to re-assemble the fan module, and plug it back into the router – making darn sure you’ve wired it properly first. Now, the obligatory ‘show env’ to check that everything’s OK:
SYSTEM POWER SUPPLY STATUS
Internal Power Supply Type: AC
Internal Power Supply 12V Output Status: Normal
External Redundant Power Supply is absent or powered off
SYSTEM FAN STATUS
Fan 1 OK, Low speed setting
Fan 2 OK, Low speed setting
Fan 3 OK, Low speed setting
Fan 4 OK, Low speed setting
SYSTEM TEMPERATURE STATUS
Intake Left temperature: 21 Celsius, Normal
Intake Right temperature: 20 Celsius, Normal
Exhaust Left temperature: 34 Celsius, Normal
Exhaust Right temperature: 25 Celsius, Normal
CPU temperature: 59 Celsius, Normal
Power Supply Unit temperature: 49 Celsius, Normal
REAL TIME CLOCK BATTERY STATUS
Battery OK (checked at power up)
Motherboard Components Power consumption = 55.3 W
Total System Power consumption is: 55.3 W
Environmental information last updated 00:00:04 ago
As I stated in my previous 2911 guide, when we make modifications like this, we’ve got to consider the consequences. For the 2951 you’ll not be able to use it with any service modules. If you need to install service modules, I would recommend using 4 of these fans.
How much quieter is it?
To save you from asking – it now makes about as much noise as a middle of the range ATX power supply under a favourable conditions (i.e. small load, and room temp of 20 degrees Celsius.