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EMI Shielding in Mac Mini server


Hailey
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I am also interested to know more about shielding emi rfi. I build my own pc based streamer with 3 LPS for the mobo (asrock q1900 itx), ssd (samsung evo) and paul pang usb v2 card. The lps have their own part in my streamer, separated by a steel and copper plate from the mobo etc. Questions i have: why do you need to shield, what to shield (which IC's, memory,.....) and with what material?

 

Sent from my SM-T580 using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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There is a lot of information out there to be googled. Most (any?) metal can reduce EMI and RFI... RFI just being the subset of EMI that is radio waves.

 

As far as heat, you can leave holes in the material. The hole size depends on the EM waves you want to get through, following the equation speed of light = frequency * wavelength. Put a screen over the holes if they are too big.

 

To reduce magnetics you need something that reduces magnetics (duh). Something like copper or mumetal but not aluminum.

 

Search the web for more information...After search post remaining questions at diyaudio.com and you should get some good advice

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Also: your EMI blocker would act like a Faraday Cage, and I *think* thickness doesn't really matter. It could just be a metal mesh that you place around the mini. As far as magnetics, I gather that thickness does make a difference.

 

Anyone correct if I am wrong.

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There is a lot of information out there to be googled. Most (any?) metal can reduce EMI and RFI... RFI just being the subset of EMI that is radio waves.

 

As far as heat, you can leave holes in the material. The hole size depends on the EM waves you want to get through, following the equation speed of light = frequency * wavelength. Put a screen over the holes if they are too big.

 

To reduce magnetics you need something that reduces magnetics (duh). Something like copper or mumetal but not aluminum.

 

Search the web for more information...After search post remaining questions at diyaudio.com and you should get some good advice

 

Thanks. Helpful start.

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  • 2 weeks later...
So the mother of all posts about rebuilding the Mac Mini ( Mac Mini version of a CAPS music server - Step by Step ) makes a rather general nod toward shielding more or less everything.

 

But what exactly does that mean? Does anyone know?

 

Shield with what? Where? How much?

 

Oh, and what about heat?

 

Any thoughts? Anyone?

 

I don't know about modifying the Mac Mini to reduce RF/EMI. Any CPU will be a somewhat noisy environment for audio out. Some more than others, of course. What I've done, which seems to work perfectly, is use a device PS Audio just came out called the LANRover which gets rid of a lot EMI/RF noise and can allow you to furthermore separate the CPU from the rack by converting USB signal to ethernet through a sending LANRover unit. This can then be sent over a router to the receiving LANRover unit connected to the DAC with another USB cable. The improvement was not subtle. From what I understand, people are getting better sound with this device than Uptone Audio Regen. A microRendu may be another option, which people swear by. You may want to look into that instead of hacking apart your Mini. Just a thought.

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I threw the kitchen sink at the Mac Mini including separate enclosures, 3M absorbers, alu foil, etc. In the end I could not get it to sound as I wanted. Too fatiguing.

 

Not until, and what the above post also mentions, you separate the computer from the DAC will it sound good. MicroRendu, optical LAN, renderer are good options. Also do not have the computer on the same AC drop as your DAC and amps.

 

Those are better places to spend money than to try and optimize the mac.

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What I've done, which seems to work perfectly, is use a device PS Audio just came out called the LANRover which gets rid of a lot EMI/RF noise and can allow you to furthermore separate the CPU from the rack by converting USB signal to ethernet through a sending LANRover unit. This can then be sent over a router to the receiving LANRover unit connected to the DAC with another USB cable. The improvement was not subtle. From what I understand, people are getting better sound with this device than Uptone Audio Regen. A microRendu may be another option, which people swear by. You may want to look into that instead of hacking apart your Mini. Just a thought.

 

Thanks, I'll check out the LANRover. Wouldn't that conversion, reconversion induce additional jitter or what-have-you?

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