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Niles® Audio FM-1

Audio/video system cooling module

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  • Niles® Audio FM-1

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Our take on the Niles® Audio FM-1

by Ralph Graves
Niles

The Niles FM-1 system helps keep your audio/video components running cool, so they can operate at their best. This slender module uses two fans to pull performance-robbing heat away from your gear. It's especially handy if you store your equipment inside a closed cabinet with limited ventilation.

A simple minijack cable connection lets you turn the FM-1 on and off automatically, via a remote trigger output on your A/V system. And the module itself also has a trigger output, so you can connect it in-line with other remote-activated components.

A built-in temperature sensor regulates the speed of the fans, running them slower when your system isn't producing as much heat, and speeding them up when your amplifiers begin working harder. A delayed shut-off circuit keeps the FM-1 running for two minutes after you power down your system, ensuring that your components cool down safely.

Highlights:

  • two variable-speed fans
  • built-in temperature sensor
  • circulates up to 150 cubic feet of air per minute
  • brushless motor design for quieter operation
  • auto on/off via remote trigger input (12V DC or 3 to 24V AC)
  • remote trigger output (11V DC)
  • two-minute delayed shut-off
  • front-panel LED "power on" and "fan on" indicators
  • 17"W x 1-3/4"H x 8"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
 

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What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • System cooling module with attached 6' AC power cord
  • Installation Guide

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.

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At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Niles FM-1 System Cooling Module is designed to keep your cabinet and rack equipment cool without taking up a lot of space and without making a lot of noise. The single-rack fan design will draw up to 150 cubic feet of air per minute. Its dual 12VDC brushless motors maintain whisper quiet operation without noise feeding back into your 120V circuits.

Temperature-Sensitive Speed Control: The FM-1uses two temperature-sensing variable-speed fans that detect the amount of heat being generated by your components in its proximity and adjust speeds accordingly.

Placement: The FM-1 should be placed on top of the device you are trying to help keep cool. The FM-1 pulls air from the bottom of the unit through its chassis and out the top.

Delayed Shut-Off: The FM-1 has a built-in two minute delayed shut-off. This feature helps to dissipate heat build-up in the rack or cabinet even after the system has been powered down. The shut-off delay will always be active.

LEDs: There are two LEDs on the front panel of the FM-1. The red LED signals "power" while the green LED signals when the fans are operational and blowing air.

Remote On/Off: The FM-1 utilizes a 1/8" mini-jack Trigger input and a 1/8" mini-jack Control output for its Remote On/Off feature. These two jacks connect to your compatible audio equipment that also use Trigger and Control 1/8" mini-jacks via an optional mini-jack cable. The Remote ON/Off feature enables the two fans to begin air movement only when your system's audio equipment "tells" it to do so. The fans will begin blowing and the green LED will light up when the FM-1 receives a 12V trigger from another source. The FM-1 Trigger input jack accepts 3 to 24V (DC or AC) from either another audio component that transmits this type of trigger voltage or a standard 12V (DC or AC) power transformer plugged into the switched outlet of an audio source. The Control output passes 11VDC, 20mA (max) power along to the next component.

 
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Niles® Audio FM-1 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

Awesome cooling unit!

Written By Featherhead, Houston, TX on Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
In a fairly enclosed media cabinet, the Niles Audio FM-1 is the perfect solution for cooling my Denon-AVR-2313CI amplifier.
Pros:
Easy to set up and operate, works perfectly right out of the box.
Cons:
None.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Really Works

Written By Anonymous, Cortland Ohio on Wednesday, January 25, 2012
 
This unit cooled down my Onkyo 3009 from 43c down to 27c after it runs a while.I tried the Antec & although a lot less expensive it would cool it down to 36c. I highly reccomend the FM-1
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Functional, but not "whisper quiet"

Written By Mark, Kansas on Friday, April 15, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This cooling unit does perform an excellent job cooling my cabinet. However, it
is not "whisper quiet" as advertised. After using it for several days, and I
continued to notice the sound in the background of the cooling unit, I decided to
check the decibel level of playback as a reference. When listening to a sound
level of 70 decibels I can still hear the fan running in the "background" noise.
This is with the glass door closed in front of the amplifier! This is not real
impressive to me. Now I did say that it does an excellent job of cooling, which
is my main goal. I just expected it to be MUCH quieter.
When paying $300 for an item, I would also expect that when it is advertised to
provide a remote trigger, it sure would have been nice to have a cable included
to perform that function instead of having to spend another $7 to $10 for a
cable. In all honesty, I never planned to spend $300 to cool my $1,000
amplifier, but I will keep it for the cooling function alone.
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

John

Written By Anonymous, Fairport, NY on Monday, January 18, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
We purchased this fan to prevent the heat-related failure of another video
processor on our AV Receiver as our entertainment center gets quite warm inside.
Since our receiver does not have a 12 volt trigger except for a zone 3 amp, I
used a 5 volt wall wart plugged into the accessory receptacle on the receiver.
The limited information in the Niles manual indicated that any 5 to 24 volt AC
or DC input would trigger the fan but even though rated at 5 volts and 3/4 of an
amp output the fans would not run. After calling Niles tech support, they
recommended a higher voltage, so I switched to a 9 volt DC 1 amp output power
supply. The fans now work great and as advertised, however I was quite
disappointed in Niles accompanying and/or online literature related to this product.
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Not Exactly Silent

Written By Gregory, Washington, DC on Thursday, October 01, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
First and foremost, this thing works. What was a dangerously hot cabinet now barely even feels warm. The two brushless motors are quiet but not exactly unheard. I equate the sound to that of a computer fan. The sound is not noticeable when the cabinet is closed or when there is sound from the A/V system. It is when there is a lull and I have the cabinet door open that I can notice the Niles running. A minor point for me which is why I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I would buy it again.
8 out of 8 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Cool Solution for Rack or Cabinet Systems

Written By Brian, Schaumburg, IL on Monday, July 27, 2009
 
After researching several options to cool my Sony ES receiver located in my system cabinet, I settled on this Niles unit. I liked the fact that this unit sits directly atop my receiver and draws air up through the chassis from the bottom. Also, it can be hooked up to a trigger outlet on a compatible component via a 1/8" male to male cable. This allows the unit to be automatically turned on and off from the component it is hooked up to. Overall I am extremely happy with the performance of this product. It cools my receiver beautifully and was very easy to set up. My only possible reservation is regarding the sound of the fans when the unit is first started up. I actually ended up sending the first one back to Crutchfield because it produced a loud humming sound when I turned it on. I called Crutchfield Technical Support to see if I was doing anything wrong. We could not come up with any problem on the set up, so I sent the unit back. The second unit I received started making the same sound, but I decided to leave it on and after about 8-10 minutes the humming sound went away and it was completely silent except for the sound of air moving. So, it would seem that the humming sound is normal until the unit gets "warmed up". That is why I rate this at 4 stars instead of 5. This is a relatively small quibble, I know, but if I'm going to shell out this much for a fan, I feel it should be silent ALL the time. Otherwise, this is a great unit and a solid solution for cooling components.
9 out of 9 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Excellent Product for Enclosed AV Cabinet

Written By Nick, Richmond, VA on Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I looked long and hard to find an entertainment center that had enough room for my AV components, and the one I settled on required my components to be behind solid wood doors. I put my Denon AVR-3805 on a shelf by itself with all my other gear in a separate compartment beside it. Well, it turns out that there was not enough ventilation, and the receiver began to overheat and cut in and out. If l left the doors open it was fine, so I decided to look for a cooling fan. I went to Crutchfield first where I found the Niles Audio FM-1 and decided to give it a try. I have to say that it works wonderfully, and I have not had a problem with my receiver since. The doors remain closed and with the system on for hours watching football on the weekends, the sound is clean and uninterrupted. I would recommend this product to anyone with AV equipment in an enclosed entertainment center or closet. It turns on when the receiver turns on and shuts itself off a couple minutes after I turn the receiver off to get rid of all residual heat. It was simple solution that prevented serious buyer's remorse on a very nice entertainment center. It is also whisper quiet so you never hear it running while watching quiet movie scenes.

As always, Crutchfield came through with the right product at the right price!
34 out of 36 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Niles® Audio FM-1, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_190FM1/Niles-Audio-FM-1.html ).

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