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V240 CPU Fan Modules

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Jeff Wieland, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Jeff Wieland

    Jeff Wieland Guest

    So, since Sun/Oracle no longer sells the CPU Fan/Heatsink modules for
    the V125/V210/V240, we're wondering what people are doing to replace
    failed fans on them. The refurbished modules that we've seen appear
    to not have the TIM[1|2] intact, so they don't seem to be a viable
    option either.
    Jeff Wieland, Apr 18, 2011
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  2. Jeff Wieland

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    I've no experience with the V120/V210/V240, and can only find
    the V210/V240 in the FEH (Field Engineer's Handbook) stored on
    sunshack's site. Looking at the V210, I have questions:

    1) Is there a separate fan built into the heatsink? I see a
    red/black twisted pair near one corner of the heatsink.

    2) If not that, is it simply cooled by one or more of the fans
    in the fan tray?

    3) What is the "TIM[1|2]]"? I don't find a reference to it in
    the FEH pages.

    Anyway -- can you look at the actual fan itself and see whether
    you can find one at a vendor like Mouser or Newark to swap in? I found
    one some years ago for a Sun Ultra 140 which had a fan die. The
    original fan was the usual sintered bronze (Oilite) type bearing. I
    found one with the same dimensions, voltage, wattage, and bearings, and
    another which was the same except for the fact that it had ball
    bearings. I ordered that and swapped it into the Ultra 140, and it kept
    running without problems until the system finally was retired. (I was
    using it as a firewall for quite a while.)

    With the Sun Fire 280R, I see that the fan tray has to be
    changed if you upgrade to the CU CPUs, and comparing two trays, I see
    that the only difference between the trays is that the center fan (for
    the CPUs only) is a 14 watt fan instead of a 7 watt fan. Both fans are
    three wire -- so they have a tach feedback to the computer which allows
    it to detect fan failures. I keep planning on ordering a three-wire 14
    watt fan to replace the fan in the spare tray, so I can swap it in at
    need with the newer CPUs. (I'll have to remember to mark the tray with
    the new part number to avoid confusion if someone else winds up
    maintaining these systems -- but they are at home, so this is not too
    likely. :)

    DoN. Nichols, Apr 19, 2011
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  3. Jeff Wieland

    Jeff Wieland Guest

    Each module has two 25mm fans attached to one end that blow air
    across the heat sink and under a shroud. They were used on the
    V125, the V210, and the V240, and maybe some other machines
    as well. The slower processors used TIM1 as the heat sink compound,
    and the faster ones (1.333Ghz and 1.5Ghz) used TIM2. Sun quit selling
    these modules around Dec. 2008. Generally speaking, removing the
    module from the processor seems to screw up the TIM such that it
    would need to be replaced with the correct stuff.

    If you're really curious, the document for replacing the module is at

    I can't believe that all the V240's have been retired... :)

    We're probably going to try going the "replace the fan without
    disturbing the heatsink route" if all else fails. Access to the
    fan screws looks pretty tight though.
    Jeff Wieland, Apr 19, 2011
  4. Jeff Wieland

    Michael Guest


    I would not go that route since you will almost need to remove the
    mainboard, do some digging on heatzink thermal compound insteadcand try
    on one CPU first then run it and try the next then you know it it is not
    rocket sience.

    If you google for those that do overclocking and replacing fans on PCs
    you will soon have a grip of it and also probably get a feeling for a
    good quality compound.

    Here is one.


    Michael, Apr 20, 2011
  5. Jeff Wieland

    Jeff Wieland Guest

    If I had a V240 motherboard to spare, I'd probably try remove and
    the heatsink route.
    Jeff Wieland, Apr 20, 2011
  6. if anybody cares, the fans on V240 heatsinks are Delta Electronics p/n
    AFB02512HHA. Fans are flavor of the week so good luck with an exact part
    number match.

    Oracle still has plenty of these left for customers with support.
    Cydrome Leader, Apr 21, 2011
  7. You can't replace the fans on the v240 heatsinks without removing the
    heatsink assembly. It's not hard- no goofy torque wrenches, just your
    finger and a tab/lever thing, like on some PC.

    One catch-

    The thermal paste dries up over time and turns to glue. The cpu may pop
    out of the socket with the heatsink. Check for bent pins/bend them back
    and you're good. There's a ZIF lever for the CPU, just like on a PC too.

    If you disturb the grease or thermal pad, you will need to remove the crud
    and replace it. The silver grease mentioned in this post is fine for these
    machines. The processors don't get all that hot to start with.
    Cydrome Leader, Apr 21, 2011
  8. Jeff Wieland

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    [ ... ]

    O.K. So "TIM" stands for "Thermal Interface Material" -- in
    other words heat sink compound with more pretentious phrasing. :)

    Based on the descriptions, I suspect that the TIM2 would work
    for the earlier systems as well, as long as the CPU and heatsink
    surfaces are properly cleaned.

    From the description of the TIM2, it sounds like a heat sink
    compound with powdered silver included to maximize the heat transfer.
    The trick is to find out just what that is -- and the mentioned MSDS
    (internal page number 6, PDF page number 8) might be helpful in that, if
    you can still get that. The heat sink compound has to have come from
    some source outside of Sun, and the trick is identifying it (and,
    because of the MSDS mention, it *may* have been discontinued as a
    product for safety reasons.

    Anyway -- once you have a source for what Sun called "TIM2", it
    is time to look for replacements for the fan modules. Newark and Mouser
    are good places to start. You *might* have to splice the cables,
    depending on what lengths and connectors come with the replacement fans.
    Are these two-pin or three-pin connectors? (E.g. does the fan have a
    tach feedback wire or not?)

    Or -- are you needing certified replacement parts as part of a
    service contract? I'm accustomed to looking at how to replace/repair
    things even when they are no longer supported, but I work with the
    computers at home, not in a business. :)

    Also -- can you access the screws securing the fans to the
    heatsink modules without removing the modules? If so, you could perhaps
    replace the fans while the heatsinks are still mounted to the CPUs. (I
    see later in this e-mail that you intend to try this very thing.)
    I'm sure that they have not. But Sun/Oracle *hopes* that they
    will soon be retired, so they can sell new systems and new service
    contracts. This sounds like a reasonable motivation for discontinuing
    the service modules.
    Ah good. You can. It looks as though CPU1 should be fairly
    easy to get to, but CPU0 may be more difficult.

    I picked up from MicroCenter a screwdriver set which includes
    several small screwdriver bits of various styles, a magnifying glass, a
    handle with a telescoping shank, and a flexible shaft perhaps 7" long
    which can go between the handle and the bits. (It can go into the
    socket in the shank, or with the shank removed, directly into the
    handle. This might enable better control of the screw removal and
    replacement process. There is no visible name on the kit, just a "Made
    in Taiwan" sticker on the back. The top of the kit is transparent, and
    the bottom a pale orange if this helps you to spot them. I got a couple
    of extra of these kits which I used for Christmas Presents this last
    Christmas. 7 each straight blade, four each Phillips bits (000 through
    1, two Pozidrive bits (0 & 1) and 9 Torx and 8 Allen (hex) bits. Of
    course, most of this kit does not matter, as long as you have the
    handle, the flex shaft, and the right sized bit. :)

    Good Luck,
    DoN. Nichols, Apr 21, 2011
  9. Jeff Wieland

    Michael Guest


    Ok, then Digikey is one good supplier

    Michael, Apr 21, 2011
  10. Jeff Wieland

    Michael Guest


    if you buy some of the thermal compound as I said and then have some
    cleaning alcohol you will find that replacing one CPU will only take 1
    hour at most.

    BUT follow Sun suggesting in the replacement doc about IF the machine
    should be hot OR cold when you removing the original compound this is
    very important for a easy cleaning.

    Fans are a digikey as posted

    Michael, Apr 21, 2011
  11. Jeff Wieland

    Jeff Wieland Guest

    The part# for the fans is AFB02512HHA-F00 - they are three wire, which
    is how
    the ALOM monitors the fan speed. We can get these fans, but the leads
    about an inch shorter than what was used on the Sun modules.

    The newer heatsinks with TIM2 work fine on the older processors -
    we've got
    a couple of those in production.

    It's unfortunate that Sun/Oracle chooses to not sell these to
    customers. We
    recycle a lot of hardware and we do nearly all of the maintenance
    This isn't going to sell maintenance contracts - it's going to sell
    from other vendors for which we know we can get replacement parts.
    Jeff Wieland, Apr 21, 2011
  12. Jeff Wieland

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    O.K. So -- time to splice the cables. I would suggest that you
    cut the old cable off fairly close to the old fan and splice it onto the
    new fan, which would maximize the number of times you can splice in new
    fans (shortening the old cable a little each round) before you have to
    find the proper connector and crimping tools so you can make new cables
    for the new fans. I would suggest that the splice be lapped as follows:

    __________ _________________________
    ___________________ ______________
    ______________________________ _____

    With the "====" actually representing tinned wires from both cables
    overlapped and flowed together. (Offset is thanks to the limitations of
    ASCII graphics. :) The liner arrangement assumes that the wires are
    like a three-conductor zip cord -- otherwise you will want a tiny
    heat-shrink sleeve on each splice.

    If the zip cord style -- just a single somewhat larger
    heat-shrink sleeve over the whole length of the three splices.

    Nicer would be a crimp splice for all three wires at once.
    Good -- from the description, I suspected so, as the TIM2 was
    for the higher speed (and thus hotter) CPUs. It should be overkill for
    the older and slower ones.
    Unfortunately so. I've always liked the quality of Sun's
    hardware -- but as it becomes less and less practical to the hobby user
    (other than running from other OS' such as OpenBSD, which has gotten
    quite good at handling the interface between the LOM and the running OS
    on the Sun Fire V120 at least. :)

    Good Luck,
    DoN. Nichols, Apr 22, 2011
  13. Jeff Wieland

    Dave Wade Guest

    Its already going that way where I work. The pile of discontinued servers
    contains several SUN boxes but we have replaced them all with Intel boxes.
    Dave Wade, Apr 23, 2011
  14. Jeff Wieland

    Jeff Wieland Guest

    We were able to replace the failed fan successfully - we had a
    module with known good fans, and we used one of the fans from
    it. The problem was, this was the fan on the rear processor (P0)
    that's behind the front processor. What we ended up using was
    a #1 Phillips drywall bit as a very short screwdriver, and a open
    -end wrench on the bit to get enough torque to turn it - this was
    for the lower screw. The upper screw was was easily accessible
    with a jeweler's #1 Phillips.

    The fan module that we swiped that fan from was for the slower
    processors, but they both use the same fans.

    We've got another fan on a V240 to replace yet - it's on the front
    processor, and we'll get that by either pulling the fan tray out or
    by pulling the system board to get access.

    Then we'll have two dead fans to cannibalize for terminal wire
    and connectors, so we can make up some more fans to have
    on hand.
    Jeff Wieland, Apr 26, 2011
  15. Jeff Wieland

    Jeff Wieland Guest

    Odds are if OpenBSD works on V120, it'll work on V100 as well. We've
    got a
    fair number of V100's scattered around that we use as small DNS/DHCP/
    servers in specialized environments. Maybe I should have a look at
    Jeff Wieland, Apr 26, 2011
  16. Jeff Wieland

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    Good news there.
    O.K. You weren't able to find the flex shaft screwdriver bit
    sets at MicroCenter then? Or too busy to try. (I only know that they
    had them on display near Christmastime -- not sure about currently.)
    Great -- Glad to hear that it can all be done, and that there
    are people still willing to do it.

    Best of luck,
    DoN. Nichols, Apr 26, 2011
  17. Jeff Wieland

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    [ ... ]
    Almost certain to work. It works on Sun Blade 1000 & 2000 as
    well, Ultra 5 and Ultra 10 systems and many others. The only thing
    which is not quite certain is whether it will talk to the LOM.

    O.K. Checking the lom man page, I see:

    The lom driver provides support for the LOMlite lights out management
    module found on Sun Netra t1 systems and the LOMlite2 module found on Sun
    Fire V100/V120 and Sun Netra X1 systems. Temperature readings, PSU
    status and fan status provided by the LOM are made available through the
    sysctl(8) interface. The integrated watchdog(4) timer can be configured
    through the sysctl(8) interface as well. The watchdog timer supports
    timeouts between 1 and 126 seconds. If the watchdog is disabled, which
    is its default state, it will turn on the system's fault LED after the
    maximum timeout of 126 seconds.

    The lom driver will update the hostname stored in the LOM whenever the
    system's hostname is changed.

    so it is described as working on the SF-V100 as well.
    Good for a lot of things which require exposure to the outside.
    Beware that the apached httpd is run chrooted so if you use CGI
    programs, you will have to compile them with paths which work in the
    chrooted environment -- and supply whatever else they use in the chroot
    tree as well -- which is one reason that I compile the CGI programs as
    statically linked ones, so I don't have to have shared libs vulnerable
    to being corrupted in the chroot tree.

    Also -- while you are at it -- look at the PF (Packet Filter)
    feature built into the kernel. In particular, download the _Firewalling
    with OpenBSD's PF packet filter_ by Peter N.M.Hansteen. It can be
    downloaded from:


    Among other nice features, it can be set up to automatically block IPs
    which have too many failed sshd connections in a short period of time,
    or have too many open connections to sshd at one time - -and keep it
    blocked for 24 hours. The limits and the time are tunable for your
    system, of course.

    OpenBSD has a serious focus on security -- so you will find it a
    bit less GUI encrusted than current versions of linux. Yes, it runs
    X11 without problems, but it does not force it on you. :)

    It also has (in the extension of the file attributes) an
    "immutable" bit, which prohibits any changes -- including to the bit
    itself -- until you drop down to single user mode, thus making it
    difficult for people to exploit holes from outside. If you want it
    really locked down, you can make the /etc/passwd and /etc/master.passwd
    files immutable (along with many other things), as long as you know you
    won't need to add or delete users frequently.

    DoN. Nichols, Apr 26, 2011
  18. Jeff Wieland

    Jeff Wieland Guest

    The other V240 lost both fans on processor 1. Fortunately it did
    not cook anything (it's in a VERY well cooled environment :) ).
    Processor 1 is much easier to work with -- I just pulled the system
    board (using the instructions from the service manual) and replaced
    the fans using a #1 jeweler's screwdriver. We had a "rebuilt" fan
    module without usable TIM1 or TIM2, so I just cannibalized the fans
    from it. It's up and running now with all fans operational.
    Jeff Wieland, May 4, 2011
  19. Jeff Wieland

    ptrrkssn Guest

    I've been replacing our dead V240 CPU fans with an alternative fan that seems to work since the original one was a bit hard to find around here. The fan we are using is:

    ebm/papst 252/2N.

    It's slightly thinner but the original screws seems to work. It also seems to output half the "ticks" compared to the original fan (so the system thinks these fan run at half the speed of the original one - but it's still about the alarm levels so I just ignore that :)

    - Peter
    ptrrkssn, Feb 14, 2014
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