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bobfa

Installing the UpTone Audio MMK in a 2014 Mac mini

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Wow Robert!

Can't thank you enough for posting the photos of your installation process (and for having given us permission to use some of these in our overdue photo-essay installation guide).

 

So glad that you--and hundreds of others--are enjoying the benefits of eliminating the high-current pulse train that normally controls the fan speed in the Mac mini (this occurs in other computers too, but it is harder to do anything about it for those).  It makes a very nice sonic difference to get rid of those 25KHz/0.5A pulses!

 

For those dropping by, MMK ($135) stands for "Mac mini DC-conversion/Linear Fan Controller Kit."  Always in stock and available on our web site.  Use of our choke-filtered, dual-output, 5-7 amp JS-2 linear power supply is optional, though after installation of an MMK (in a 2010/'11/'12/'14 Mac mini--all the thin ones) one does need to provide an external source of +12VDC--at least 4.5 amps.

 

By the way, the benefits of the Linear Fan Controller upgrade afforded by the MMK can be had even if the external power supply used is an SMPS (switch mode power supply) such as this $26 Mean Well GST90A.  The MMK will still provide smooth, variable DC to the fan--controlled by the Mac's OS, thermal sensors, and the fan tachometer--based on the varying cooling needs of the computer.

 

Of course the perforce and SQ will be better with a great linear supply, but we have had a bunch of people do the above while saving for a JS-2. B|

 

While the installation process may look challenging to some, folks all over the world have performed it without incident.  The MMK comes with a toolkit and detailed instructions, and I am always available to assist.

 

Lastly, I will mention that for those who buy a JS-2 and an MMK (at the same time or years apart), we offer complimentary installation/test of the MMK in your Mac mini.  All you pay for that service is the round-trip shipping of the computer.  A number of people have even had Apple drop-ship a new or refurbished Mac directly to UpTone for this free service.

 

Regards,

--Alex C.

 

 

 

 

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Alex, 

 

Thanks for the kind words and I did not mean for you to have to  write a whole post!  You have a lot on your plate!

 

All,

 

I am tracking my progress on my Mac and stereo project on this thread:

 

 

Note that Alex is VERY right about the SQ here. I am very happy with this progress.  I have a lot of work to track over there!

 

--RJF

 

 

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Thank you greatly for posting this, @bobfa. Superb work and much appreciated. 

 

Timely for for me as I have a somewhat similar 2014 MacMini server system and will be attempting the MMK install within the next few days. (I already have the MMK in hand, and the HDPLEX 200 LPS I’m going to use for power just arrived).

 

I’m following your other thread with interest as well. 

Regards...

 

jonathan

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Just go slow follow the instructions.  I would install the fan speed test utility first to make sure it works.  That WiFi antenna cable is fussy so take care with that.  

 

The directions that Alex has provided are very good and  would read them through and checkout the ifixit stuff.  I actually had two screens up on my iPad Pro next to where i was working so I could quickly review them

 

 

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Hi! First of all I'm a big fan of UpTone products. These guys are great!

Secondly - I've recently installed the MacMini DC Conversion/Linear Fan Controller Kit (MMK) in my Mac Mini Late 2012. 

I have to mention that in the same time I also installed a brand new SSD (Samsung 860EVO)...

Today I hooked up an SMPS (12V, 5A) and was planning to install the MacOS... but something happened. When I plugged in the wall the SMPS the fan in the MacMini already started to spin very fast and noisy (MacMini wasn't turned on). When I've turned the thing on everything seemed to be ok... The USB stick with the OS was recognized but I decided to stop and investigate the FAN problem... Any suggestions? Why did it start to spin (full speed) even if the MacMini was turned off?

 


Triangle Magellan Concerto 2 < AQ Everest < Vitus Audio SS-010 Mk2 < AQ NRG-Wild < AQ WEL XLR < Chord Qutest DAC w UpTone JS-2 & AQ Dragon Source < AQ Diamond USB < SOtM sMS-200UltraNeo w Paul Hynes SR5-12 Turbo XL & AQ Dragon Source < NetGear GS105GE Switch w UpTone LPS1.2 < Supra CAT8 Ethernet < Apple MacMini w UpTone DC Conversion Kit & UpTone JS-2 < Squeezelite w Logitech Media Server < Stillpoints UltraSS, Ansuz Darkz D-TC & D2, Omicron Harmonic Stabilizer, Gold Evolution SE & Classic < Furutech FT-SWS (R) < Synergistic Research Blue Quantum Fuse < Solid Tech Hybrid < GigaWatt G-16A 2P Circuit Breaker

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10 hours ago, johndoe21ro said:

Hi! First of all I'm a big fan of UpTone products. These guys are great!

Secondly - I've recently installed the MacMini DC Conversion/Linear Fan Controller Kit (MMK) in my Mac Mini Late 2012. 

I have to mention that in the same time I also installed a brand new SSD (Samsung 860EVO)...

Today I hooked up an SMPS (12V, 5A) and was planning to install the MacOS... but something happened. When I plugged in the wall the SMPS the fan in the MacMini already started to spin very fast and noisy (MacMini wasn't turned on). When I've turned the thing on everything seemed to be ok... The USB stick with the OS was recognized but I decided to stop and investigate the FAN problem... Any suggestions? Why did it start to spin (full speed) even if the MacMini was turned off?

 

The fan control coming from the Mac Mini is a series of pulses, these are not voltages coming out of the Mac, they are called a "pull down". The destination (in this case the MMK) has to put a voltage on the wire and the Mac "pulls it down" when it want to be low.The length of time the signal is pulled low determines the speed of the fan. If it mostly low with just a little time high, then the fan speed is low. If it is mostly high and only low for a short time, the fan is fast.

 

When the Mac is turned off or the fan signal from the Mac is not connected, the signal is always high, which means "run the fan as fast as it can go".

 

So the fan running fast when power is applied to the MMK and the Mac is turned off is normal. Note this is not a normal configuration. Normally things are setup so the Mac turns on when the power is applied to the MMK so you would not see this. I'm not a Mac person so I don't know how this is done.

 

John S.

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I appreciate the effort to write down an answer but that doesn't help me much. The fan speed is high and it's high without it even being turned on. When it's on it remains high... Looking for an answer from a Mac Mini owner... 

 

P.S. John, you wrote: When the Mac is turned off or the fan signal from the Mac is not connected, the signal is always high, which means "run the fan as fast as it can go". The fan signal from the Mac could be the problem. Is it the white ribbon cable? And, if so, is this a DS4 14 pin power switch ribbon cable? In case I'll damage it trying to stick it better into the connector... 


Triangle Magellan Concerto 2 < AQ Everest < Vitus Audio SS-010 Mk2 < AQ NRG-Wild < AQ WEL XLR < Chord Qutest DAC w UpTone JS-2 & AQ Dragon Source < AQ Diamond USB < SOtM sMS-200UltraNeo w Paul Hynes SR5-12 Turbo XL & AQ Dragon Source < NetGear GS105GE Switch w UpTone LPS1.2 < Supra CAT8 Ethernet < Apple MacMini w UpTone DC Conversion Kit & UpTone JS-2 < Squeezelite w Logitech Media Server < Stillpoints UltraSS, Ansuz Darkz D-TC & D2, Omicron Harmonic Stabilizer, Gold Evolution SE & Classic < Furutech FT-SWS (R) < Synergistic Research Blue Quantum Fuse < Solid Tech Hybrid < GigaWatt G-16A 2P Circuit Breaker

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12 minutes ago, johndoe21ro said:

I appreciate the effort to write down an answer but that doesn't help me much. The fan speed is high and it's high without it even being turned on. When it's on it remains high... Looking for an answer from a Mac Mini owner... 

 

P.S. John, you wrote: When the Mac is turned off or the fan signal from the Mac is not connected, the signal is always high, which means "run the fan as fast as it can go". The fan signal from the Mac could be the problem. Is it the white ribbon cable? And, if so, is this a DS4 14 pin power switch ribbon cable? In case I break it down trying to stick it better into the connector... 

There are three cables involved with the fan:

 

1: the long white one from the big board to the little board.

2: black from little board to the fan

3: black from little board to the MotherBoard

 

The white cable carries both the signal from the MB and the power to the fan. Since the fan is running this seems to show that #1 and #2 are working, which points at #3 as the problem.

 

So try removing and re-inserting both ends of the #3 cable, this is the black cable that is plugged into the connector on the small board labeled "TO MB".

 

John S.

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19 hours ago, johndoe21ro said:

I appreciate the effort to write down an answer but that doesn't help me much. The fan speed is high and it's high without it even being turned on. When it's on it remains high... Looking for an answer from a Mac Mini owner... 

 

Sounds like you need to reset the SMC (System Management Controller):

https://support.apple.com/en-us/ht201295

 

Feel free to contact me directly for further assistance.  Frankly there is almost nothing that can fail on the MMK.  If your machine was working fine with the MMK installed, then your installation was correct.  Most likely either your Mac is failing or the external power supply you are using has a problem.  The ultimate way to prove that for yourself is to reinstall the original Apple 7.2A SMPS (you did save it and the clip, etc. right?)

 

Keep us posted,

--Alex C.

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The culprit was the white ribbon cable! After its re-insertion everything went just fine. 

Thanks guys!


Triangle Magellan Concerto 2 < AQ Everest < Vitus Audio SS-010 Mk2 < AQ NRG-Wild < AQ WEL XLR < Chord Qutest DAC w UpTone JS-2 & AQ Dragon Source < AQ Diamond USB < SOtM sMS-200UltraNeo w Paul Hynes SR5-12 Turbo XL & AQ Dragon Source < NetGear GS105GE Switch w UpTone LPS1.2 < Supra CAT8 Ethernet < Apple MacMini w UpTone DC Conversion Kit & UpTone JS-2 < Squeezelite w Logitech Media Server < Stillpoints UltraSS, Ansuz Darkz D-TC & D2, Omicron Harmonic Stabilizer, Gold Evolution SE & Classic < Furutech FT-SWS (R) < Synergistic Research Blue Quantum Fuse < Solid Tech Hybrid < GigaWatt G-16A 2P Circuit Breaker

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14 minutes ago, johndoe21ro said:

The culprit was the white ribbon cable! After its re-insertion everything went just fine. 

Thanks guys!

 

Nobody cared to check this thread believed you didn't mess up the process of installation. Your notification effort appreciated anyway.

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14 hours ago, johndoe21ro said:

The culprit was the white ribbon cable! After its re-insertion everything went just fine. 

 

That’s great! Thank for letting us know you figured it out.  

Somehow we had the impression that you had had the MMK installed and that your machine was running fine with it for a while before the problem started.  But rereading your original post it does seem this was a new installation that you just recently made.  Had I not made the wrong assumption I would have suggested you check the MMK cable connections. 9_9

 

Please let us know if you need any further assistance.

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I just did my MMK install.   A big thank you for this forum very helpful.

1st  way better sound,  need i say more.

 

2nd.  How can i test my fan to make sure everything is working correct.

 

musicguy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, musicguy said:

I just did my MMK install.   A big thank you for this forum very helpful.

1st  way better sound,  need i say more.

 

2nd.  How can i test my fan to make sure everything is working correct.

 

musicguy

 

First: Congratulations on your successful installation of our popular Mac mini DC-conversion/Linear Fan Controller Kit (MMK)!

 

You should have received an addendum e-mail from us which contained--among other pre-install hints--information and links for testing operation of the fan (still under automatic control of the operating system and Mac mini thermal sensors).  Here is the relevances excerpt from that e-mail:

 

Upon first power up after you complete the installation of the MMK (or maybe before you even start), please download the free fan speed/temperature utility called "Macs Fan Control” from http://www.crystalidea.com/macs-fan-control and launch it to be sure that your Mac mini fan is running.  
It should report at least 1800 rpm, and if you double-click on the highlighted Exhaust fan you can then select "Constant RPM value" and run it up to a high speed to listen and confirm fan control (you have to click OKAY to have the speed change take effect, and be sure to set it back to automatic afterwards so the computer and OS X will adjust the fan as needed).

Alternatively, you can leave the cover off during first power-up after MMK installation and use a flashlight to confirm the fan is running (it is all black in there so it can be hard to tell).  If for some reason the fan is not running, then please shut down your Mac mini and recheck all connections.

Another popular free utility for fan control and temperature reporting is smcFanControl from http://www.eidac.de.  That is what I had been using, but I am recommending "Macs Fan Control" because it reports the fan speed the moment you launch it.

 

Please let us know if you need any further assistance.  We are always here to help.

 

Enjoy your upgraded Mac mini.  And if you did not purchase it with our acclaimed JS-2 choke-filtered, dual-output, 5~7.4 amp linear power supply, perhaps you will consider upgrading to one in the future.

 

Thanks and regards,

--Alex C.

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So,  I am completely blown away how good the mod works.  Its like rediscovering my music again.  And I dont even have a js-2 yet.  I plan on getting one for sure.  

 

musicguy

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