DIY cooling system using an old tuner

Resurrecting the ST-S505ES tuner and transforming it into a central cooling powerhouse with 6 fans

Sony St S505es Diy Cooling Device

Cooling is a vital procedure in all machinery. If you own an N80ES (or another powerful) amplifier, you’ve likely observed that it generates a significant amount of heat. The manual instructs us not to place items above the amplifier, covering the air vents for heat dissipation. Unfortunately, achieving this in small rooms can be challenging. As a simple solution, I initially added two PC fans on the top of the case, powered by an old phone charger. This proved effective but did not meet my aesthetic preferences.

I fondly remember my trusty old Sony ST-S505ES tuner, a trooper that worked 24/7 for a remarkable 20 years before ‘calling it a day.’

The vent holes were deliberately situated on the right side, corresponding with the TA-N80ES to efficiently disperse the predominant heat generated in that specific area.

Breathing new life into an old case

Determined to revive its spirit, I performed a little DIY magic. I took out all the boards, created an opening on both sides for air vents and designed a black perforated grille. Afterward, I positioned fans inside the case and configured them to suck up air from the bottom upwards.

The old phone charger was replaced by a voltage-adjustable AC adapter, enabling the adjustment of the fan speed. The original power button turns the fans on. Ideally, the tuning knob would serve to adjust the AC voltage, but I’ve reserved that for potential upgrades in the future. Another exciting additional feature could be a display showing fan number and speed data.

The greatest challenge was achieving a level cut for the cooling vents with a flex grinder.

Adding more fans for other amps

With the primary amplifier now effectively cooled, the focus shifted to addressing heat concerns from other components. Assembling everything in a tall vertical rack resulted in additional heat emanating from all the amplifiers. Introducing more cooling devices for additional components wasn’t a practical solution due to space constraints. The alternative? Placing additional fans at the back of the shelves. This arrangement ensured that the air was blown away (into the room), keeping everyone cool.

Simple L-shaped brackets were crafted and coated with a sleek black finish. The precise placement of fan holes ensured a secure and stable attachment to the shelf, without the need for screws, accommodating 120 mm fans. While any brand could be chosen, my preference leaned towards the beQuiet Pure Wings 2 for its sleek black aesthetics.

Note: Proper adjustment of quiescent/bias current can impact heat generation, so ensure you have this set correctly.

The look from behind the rack. Fan attached to a shelve with a bracket.