Rope putty is my friend...

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James Romeyn

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Rope putty is my friend...
« on: 23 Mar 2013, 07:21 pm »
I employ two identical fan-cooled components.  Fans switch on/off depending on myriad factors, level setting threshold, current demand, internal component temperature, etc.  Though music masked fan noise I heard loud, irritating noise for 1-2 seconds when music stopped, time elapsed till internal software opened the fan solenoid.  Beyond that offense, one can only presume fan noise diminished S/N ratio while music played. 

I loaded the plastic frame around the fan blades with as much "cord weatherstrip" (AKA Mortite rope putty) as would reasonably fit.  There is much open space around the fan. 

Later, playing music at high level, hitting the mute and listening for fruits of my labor, both fans appear non-functional.   Sitting inches from components with hand on the tops, I slowly turn level from minimum to maximum and back again several times.  No noise.  No vibration.  No resonance.  No fan.  Bummer. 

Finally, wearing ear protection stuffed with extra padding, closing two nearby doors to save cat's ears, happy the wife is away doing errands, I play Alan Parsons loud, sit next to the component, with small highly focused LED pointed through cooling slots, searching for fan blades, turn the level up and down, and the fans work perfectly.  Honestly, I had to see the fan blades start and stop several time to believe my eyes. 

I can not believe the putty's effectiveness.  From raucous racket at the sweet spot to dead silence inches away with hand on the top.

One maker of great components damped everything in site (caps, resistors, transistors) with clear silicone sealant.  Another employed epoxy.  I had neither handy, so I damped several passive items not susceptible to heat with rope putty.       

Steven Stone

Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #1 on: 24 Mar 2013, 03:57 pm »
The only problem with rope putty is that it dries out and looses some of its flexibility and adhesive properties over time, which means it could shift in place or fall out. You may have to repalce with fresh putty every six months or so...

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #2 on: 24 Mar 2013, 04:27 pm »
If you're using what I think you're using, the automotive industry use to use it extensively around HVAC components.
Auto parts stores sell it in spiraled rolls about 3/8" diameter and is often called "dum dum". It won't harden or "melt" (ooze) as time goes on, and can stand the torturous environment of engine compartment temps.

Bob

Salis Audio

Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #3 on: 24 Mar 2013, 06:55 pm »
I found plumbers putty stays well as it is non-hardening, so long as there is no heat concerns. "dum dum" is now 3m strip caulk, or this stuff. Rope caulk can just fall off sometimes, it only works in tight spaces usually, or a circle.

James Romeyn

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #4 on: 24 Mar 2013, 09:45 pm »
I found plumbers putty stays well as it is non-hardening, so long as there is no heat concerns. "dum dum" is now 3m strip caulk, or this stuff. Rope caulk can just fall off sometimes, it only works in tight spaces usually, or a circle.

HERE'S the product I used; except for color it looks similar to your Mustang link above.  Prior to this I unplugged the fan employing the component as line preamp only (fan cools only power amp heat sink) but the software sensed a fault, shutting off the component at a very low level threshold.  The noise damping effect is phenomenal in this application.  I needed to see blades start/stop several times to believe my eyes.     

Mark Korda

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #5 on: 24 Mar 2013, 10:06 pm »
Hi James, not to burst your bubble but Steven Stone is right. I live in Maine and don't make that much money so I try to insulate every thing with rope putty,  More-tite. It does work but will dry out. I like to build speakers and thought it would make a good gasket but was fore warned not to by Wayner who works for Audio by VanAlstine. The better stuff is modeling clay, Plastistine, it never dries out. It's still very pliable after 14 years as a gasket on my small monitor speakers I made back then. Here's another one; My landlords so cheap he wouldn't put a storm window on the broken one outside. I took things into my own hands and did a McGiver. I Mortited the shi% out of my window. I took a contractors garbage bag, cut it around the edges and unfolded it. Instead of stapleing it up, I used paint sticks and little brads to seal in the window, cost, nothing, I'm a painter. It's been up 5 years. The Mortite dried up behind my make shift storm window. Now when it gets windy my homemade window still works but breathes in and out, kinda Munsterish, because the Mortite dried and fell out of its anchorage, the cracks of my old wood windows. You have the great idea for your fans though! Plastistine does not come in peel off ropes but you can do the same thing with it if you pretend to go back to kindergarten and roll out the ropes your self. Your idea is great! The only reason I wrote in because Wayner gave me such a stern warning about using it in certain audio applications I thought you should know......keep the faith....Mark K.

rbbert

Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #6 on: 24 Mar 2013, 10:12 pm »
I have some rope putty that is more than 10 years old and still soft and flexible.   I also have some that's only a couple of years old and is hard and brittle.  Both came from Home Depot and superficially look the same.  I don't think one can generalize about this issue.

James Romeyn

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #7 on: 24 Mar 2013, 10:45 pm »
I'll check the putty on the fan at some point.

This putty has sat here in my room for over a year and is soft and pliable.  I suspect that 4900' elevation in dry Utah desert climate would accelerate drying.  Conversely, though, maybe the fact it is rolled up together keeps it soft.  Cheney started using it about 35 years ago to mass load passive radiators.  Till a few years ago I found pieces left over from passive radiators going back to the early 90s, possibly earlier (1990s, not 1890s you smart alleck whipper snappers).  That older putty was drier, but less dried out, than me, for instance. 

Salis Audio

Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #8 on: 24 Mar 2013, 10:58 pm »
plasticine, hm, I guess the question is the level of tackiness you need then!

*Scotty*

Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #9 on: 25 Mar 2013, 12:26 am »
A product called florist mounting tape or specifically by brand Panacea Florist Sticky Clay, does not seem to dry out. It is a viscoelastic compound similar in consistency to fresh chewing gum but not quite as sticky. It might be just as effective at damping vibration and more permanent than rope putty. 
Scotty

Mark Korda

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #10 on: 25 Mar 2013, 05:26 am »
James from Utah,your a cool guy. I' m 56 and in Maine whipper snapper sounds more like Whippah Snappah. I think I got you all beat on caulking on a rope. In 1993 I got a job at a monument shop, tombstones. Part of the job was to set the tombstone. This involved me digging down 4 feet to the vault, the cement enclosure around the coffin. I mixed cement in that hole to be level with the ground. Next was a thing called the base, a flat block of granite that looked like the tombstone. Before the tombstone could be put upon that base I had to roll out this special putty on some one elses tombstone near by that was glossy and smooth. A penny or a piece of lead was put in each corner, and that putty which was to adhere the tombstone to the base had to be put down to resemble a square or rectangle which would make an air tight seal keeping the up right monument,tombstone to the granite base. One day I had to ride out to a cemetary and pick up a tombstone to bring back to the shop for sand blasting a new date. The monument had been there since 1927.The guy I was working for tried to knock it off its base with a large wooden block. He was strong but was killing himself trying to do it. I walked into the truck we had and found a butter knife. I stuck it into the 1927 seal and heard a (sahhh) sound. Air came out and the seal was broken.  The seal was still plyable and the tombstone came off the base with a finger push. He hated my guts because I figured it out before him. He laid me off on Xmas Eve. What ever that stuff was,look it up on Google,it never ,ever dries out and keeps a seal for life. Sorry for rambling but I want to try that stuff....PS... I rolled up a string of that putty on Rudy Vallee's grave without knowing it until shown by the other guy.I was spitting Copehenhagen all over the Maine Crooners grave with out a clue. I quit the habit a few days later and still today. I did not make this up. .....Mark K.

James Romeyn

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #11 on: 25 Mar 2013, 05:45 am »
Mark,
As per SIP (standard internet protocol), images of Rudy Valee's grave or it didn't happen!   :lol: :lol: :lol:

Let's send this thread to the IGW right now...

Who is up for ABX test for all these different putty/clay thingies?  I removed one of these fans.  We'll load up the fan with equal weights of mass and test SPL in anechoic chamber...

Just sayin...

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #12 on: 25 Mar 2013, 01:00 pm »
Mark wins.  :lol:

Mark Korda

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #13 on: 25 Mar 2013, 03:44 pm »
(http://www.emporia.edu/~delmottp/MonumentRepair.html)   Hi James, I'm sorry for getting off the subject, and Rudy Valee isn't my favorite rock star but it's true. He's buried in St. Hycenths cemetary in Westbrook Maine. I was spitting tabacco on his grave without knowing it. The guy I was working with pointed it out and thats when I quit nicotine cold turkey.Copenhagen is like chain smoking non filtered Pall Malls.I never smoked but can understand how hard it is for people to quit the nicotine habit. I had to roll out that putty on the smooth polished granite for a grave site right next to his grave when it was pointed out to me. I'm not going to take a picture but if you want proof call Richardsons Monument 207-767-2761,ask for Jay, we played football against each other in high school. Here's one more and I will never bother you again,I just wanted to warn you against Mortite because of Wayner,the most respected hifi guy I ever met thru the Audio Circle. Here's the last story. Before I worked making those grave stones I was delivering for Fed Ex. I had a package for Gary Merrill. He was an actor,Stranger on a Train,12'Oclock High, Mysterious Island,Time Tunnel, to name a few. He was a great man and very freindly. He was living in a dumpy old cottage but in a beautiful location in Falmouth Me. He was married to Betty Davis at one time. Shortly after my Fed Ex job, I did the monument thing. The mission that day was to move a monument that was pretty massive with wood blocks and iron bars, like the Egyptians must have done. It was his as he had passed away,Pine Grove cemetary, Falmouth Me. Bob from the big arch, thanks for believing me.....Mark Korda.....James, I used Parts Express speaker caulking once and it melted and got gunky and made a mess, Great company, but one product to stay away from...sorry to get off the subject,Ive had a bad cold and was stuck in and needed to vent...sincerely Mark.

James Romeyn

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #14 on: 25 Mar 2013, 03:52 pm »
Another bet I lost!  Fooey!  :lol: 

Whoda thunk we could learn in the DIY "Lab:" "How to properly break a head stone seal." 

Mark Korda

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #15 on: 25 Mar 2013, 04:29 pm »

()   Jim,sorry about the tombstone stuff.Here is a crappy picture I took about 2 weeks ago.That speaker is a Woodstyle 802 cabinet with a 8 inch co-ax, Audex tweeter in the center of the woofer. It has a variovent on the back. The gasket is a 1/2 inch of modeling clay,still plyable after 13 years. Theres a few smudges on the black baffle,and I could neaten it up a little with a credit card, thats what I used to cut off the excess, but it's hidden by the front grill cloth anyway. Jim ,I also lined the whole inside with clay before egg crate foam was put in. That little sucker weighs almost 50 pounds. I got the idea from Frank Van AlStines Audio Basics, free now on his web site, 1980....on. Wayner works there. Have a good one Jim....Mark.

James Romeyn

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #16 on: 25 Mar 2013, 04:47 pm »
Mark,
What make/model is the coax? 

DIY variovent or did you buy it from Madisound or whoever it was that used to sell them?

James Romeyn

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #17 on: 25 Mar 2013, 05:30 pm »
We've thoroughly driven a nail in the coffin of the OP (putty, clay), but this never stopped me before...oh, is my metaphor not perfect for this thread? 

When I worked for VMPS decades ago we of course had this light grey "Mortite Rope Putty" on hand all the time.  Brian had his specific pre-determined weights to add to each passive radiator depending on the model.  Every floor stander had a down-firing slot-loaded mass-loaded passive radiator.  The thinking behind the slot was to filter the passive's higher order noise component. 

Anyway, when we start assembly for the day Brian's thumbing through invoices and he rattles off the required passive radiator sizes.  Some days prior we had already built passive radiators: clean the machine oil off the steel basket, epoxy the spider (yech, gross, messy), epoxy the surround of the cone, epoxy the gasket to the basket/surround corner, let the epoxy cure for 24 hours or longer.

Now Brian tells me PR sizes to select, and the weight to add to the center of the cone for each, something like, "Eight inches plus one ounce."  Which translates to: hot melt one 1 oz. fishing weight to the cone center, then cut 8" of one strand of Morite rope putty (don't stretch it), then hot melt the putty atop the lead fishing weight.

IMO, and of course I have nothing but my fast-fading memory, the current "MD (brand) Cord Weatherstrip" I have down in our fifth bedroom (my office or work room or whatever is that hazard zone) is softer, more pliable, and of higher quality content than the stuff we used back in the day.

On a related note re. passives: years later I suggested (many times) to Brian that I was convinced that side-firing the passive just above the floor was ideal.  Brian did not employ my side-firing advice till his last model, his greatest effort by wide margin IMO, the bipolar RM50. 

Most recently, I suggested to Brian that contrary to intuition, it is ideal to side fire the L/R passives both on one side (L or R, does not matter).  Below about 150 Hz (Schroeder frequency, unrelated to the Peanuts piano playing character) the less symmetrical the driver array the better.  In this case, if both passives fire toward the L side, then within the effect bandwidth of the PR, the speakers cause less modal effects (with equi-distant side wall spacing).

If such tower is a linear vertical array, the user can reverse the L/R towers and I guarantee one arrangement will stimulate far less bass modes than the other, i.e. perform much better/smoother in the bass range.

Brian did not take this last advice.  He rather built the RM50 towers as mirror image pairs.  At CES he set up RM50 with unequal distances to the side walls, somewhat simulating (over a larger range) the same advice as both PR on the same side. 

Mark Korda

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #18 on: 25 Mar 2013, 05:47 pm »
Hey Jim, the specs I have are buried in my old issues of Speaker Builder.I'll fight thru my junk and find em tonight. Madisound made those co-ax's in 3 sizes.The biggest was 8 inches. They were called the Europa's, probably because they used a Audex tweeter from France. The cost was 50 bucks in 1990 from Madisound. The variovent might have been from Dynaudio who won't sell raw drivers to individuals any more. It must have hurt their sales of their own line of speakers. Madisound sells the Scan Speak, Danish, which is just about or the same thing as the Dynaudio. I have 2 that I have not yet used and will also dig them up for identification comparing them to whats on the back of my speakers, but to me they are the same. Let me see what I can find Jim....Mark....Ps. I will get a picture of my storm window for a few laughs so you don't think I'm totally nuts.

Mark Korda

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Re: Rope putty is my friend...
« Reply #19 on: 25 Mar 2013, 05:51 pm »