Great to hear it's working and nice job finding the fan, but I think a couple points need to be made.

1) Likely the $2,800 wouldn't have been even close. When IBM quotes such things they include the most expensive potential part such as the system planar board, processor and memory. Now it won't be $35 either with them as you'll pay for some time and such. However had it not been a fan you'd be still looking for parts while they would already have it fixed. As expected, you make the call :-)

2) "Using a compressor." Dangerous. First they move air a bit faster than is appreciated by some components. Very high speed air can damage things such as fans as well as create static that could damage components. Also compressors often have condensation in them so if you do use one be sure to use one with a drier. Worse some shop air has oil in it! Better to use 'canned air' which is dry and limited velocity. Another option is a vacuum cleaner starting on 'blow' which moves a lot more air but slower and then finish with it on 'suck' and a clean soft paintbrush to loosen the dust.

- Larry "DrFranken" Bolhuis

On 5/9/2013 2:20 PM, Nathan Andelin wrote:

A couple days ago I received a call from IBM saying that our development box had called home and reported a hardware problem. It turned out that 1 of 3 fans had burned out. You could smell the burnt electrical smell in the computer room.

I asked IBM what it might cost to fix it, and they quoted an estimate of $2,800.

That evening I removed the cover of the box, removed the fan with the burn-out motor, and ordered a replacement part off the Internet for $35.

I noticed some dust in the interior or the box, so I took it outside and blew out an incredible cloud of dust, using a compressor.

After the IPL the tape drive started working again. I had been without a tape drive for months after neglecting to clean it. The air compressor evidently fixed it. Now, just waiting for a replacement fan to arrive.


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