So after seeing how many people were reading my initial posts asking for help installing dust filters on an Antec 900, and how few (read: none) had any suggestions, I decided to come up with a way to do it on my own, and share my success or failure with everyone else, so here goes...
After plenty of tinkering, I've finally been successful in installing dust filters in my Antec 900 case. What seems like it should be a fairly simple procedure actually took well over an hour before I came up with a workable solution.
As I mentioned previously, I purchased two different types of filters this time around. Upon receiving the package, I realized that the first set of filters
were more like speaker grills than fan filters. The mesh didn't really seem fine enough to catch enough dust. The second set
, on the other hand, were just what I was looking for. They had thin aluminum frames that looked like they would hopefully sit just behind the intake fans and fit snuggly between them and the hard drive cages, plus the mesh was finer and appeared to be of a higher quality.
There was one drawback to the Black Anodized Fan Filters
though. As you can see in the picture on FrozenCPU.com, there is an indentation at each of the screw holes, effectively widening the filter from a millimeter or two thick to over half a centimeter or more. I didn't think this would be a problem until I thought I had successfully mounted the filters onto the fans and tried to reattach the plastic fan mount to the hard drive cage. Luckily the filter frames are made of soft aluminum so I was able to simply pound out the indentations on all four corners until they were perfectly flat. This decreased the diameter of the screw holes, but they were still just wide enough to use.
Anyway, without futher ado, here are my instructions for installing dust filters on the front panel intake fans on an Antec 900...
First things first, get yourself two 120mm filters similar to these.
Newegg doesn't have them, but I was able to find them on FrozenCPU. Though I'd never heard of the site before getting myself into this mess, they're service was pretty good. They processed the order withing 24 hours and the filters arrived two days after that.
Once you have your filters on hand, the first thing to do is flatten out the indentations on the four corners. Just lay them on a solid surface with the indentations facing up and give each corner a few solid whacks with a hammer and that should do it. Just don't go overboard and bend the frames. Its not easy straightening them back out. I learned this the hard way...
Now its time to pull out the first hard drive cage. Remove both sides of the case, followed by the eight thumb screws (four on either side) holding the first hard drive cage in place. Slide the cage out the front of the case, and proceed to remove the three black screws on either side of the cage that hold the front grill panels on, as seen here:
After you remove the screws, carefully pop the three front grill panels off of the front of the hard drive cage. Be careful not to bend the sides of the panels when you do this. Now take notice of how the power and speed selector switches for the fan are run through three clips along the length of the hard drive cage. You've got to bend these up and release the cables like so:
Once the cables are released from the hard drive cage, carefully unclip the black plastic fan mount from the cage and turn it around so it looks like this:
Notice there are only two screws holding the fan in place, in the upper left and lower right hand corners only. Unscrew these and place the filter over the back of the fan. When replacing the screws, you may have to turn them to get them through the screw holes on the filter since these have narrowed from pounding out the indentations around them, however, they should fit. Once you feel them make contact with the screw holes in the plastic fan mount itself, CAREFULLY screw them back in. It should only take about one full turn to a full turn and a half to tighten them, as the added thickness of the filters means only a small portion of the screw actually makes it into the fan mount. If you turn them too much you will strip the holes and you'll have to go to the hardware store and get longer screws to replace them with, however, if you are careful, these should be fine.
At this point, you're almost finished, and your fan should look like this:
***You must make sure that you only put screws in the top left and lower right hand corners. The hard drive cage has small cut outs in these two corners to allow added room for the screw heads once the fan mount is clipped back on. If you put screws in the other two corners, you will not be able to get the fan mount back onto the hard drive cage.***
Now that you've got your dust filter secured to the fan and fan mount you're almost done, just clip the mount back onto the hard drive and run the fan power cable and speed selector switch cable back through the clips on the side of the hard drive cage and bend the clips back down to resecure them. After this just pop the three front grill panels back onto the fan mount and screw them back in and you're all done. Repeat the steps for the second intake fan on the other hard drive cage and you should be all set.
Hopefully this helps some of you guys out who are in the same position I was in. The Antec 900 is really a great case, but due to its great airflow, it's bound to be a dust magnet without some kind of filtering. I realize that my instructions are a bit more detailed than what would normally be necessary to install filters, but the trial and error I went through to figure out how to get these filters in neatly was way more of a hassle than I ever expected. Thoguh if you follow my directions carefully, you shouldn't have nearly as many problems as I ran into at first. Once I worked out a way to get the first one in, I had the second one installed in a snap.
Now for a quick disclaimer:
I'm sure some of you will probably point out that it would be easier to just mount the filters on the other side of the fan, but I was hoping to not obscure the fan LEDs with the filter. Also, I have a theory that the fans will move more air by pushing it through the filter behind it than by pulling it through the filter if it were in front of it. This is just a theory though since my build it not complete and I haven't been able to test it out.
Anyway good luck guys, and by all means, post any ideas or improvements you've come up with...
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