US-XG-6PoE Fan Replacement

August 14, 2023
US-XG-6PoE Unifi Mod

My home network runs UniFi equipment, and I demand 10GB POE capable ports at every port in the home. Because I can. That’s a tough requirement though, since switches are still rare that handle that. Then came the US-XG-6POE switch some years ago. A marvelous tease of a switch. Let’s all take a moment of our day to just stare at this thing. It really just needs to be a 10 port + 2 uplink SFP switch to be just about perfect. In this configuration, I operate three of them with fiber links between them to create a ring, allowing STP to down the loop link. This allows for a strong 10GB backbone and one switch at a time can reboot without any major impact or outage.

Unifi Store Picture of a US-XG-6POE Switch

Technical Specifications

Dimensions165 x 268.1 x 31.8 mm (6.5 x 10.6 x 1.3")
Weight1.3 kg (2.9 lb)
Enclosure materialSGCC steel
Management interfaceEthernet In-Band (1) RJ45 Serial port Out-of-Band (1) USB Type C port Out-of-Band
Networking interface(4) 1/2.5/5/10 GbE RJ45 ports (2) 1/10G SFP+ ports
PoE interface(4) PoE++ (Pair A 1, 2+; 3, 6-) (Pair B 4, 5+; 7, 8-)
Power method54V DC, 3.88A power adapter (Included) DC input with terminal block
Power supplyExternal AC/DC adapter (Included) DC power source
Supported voltage range44–57V DC
Max. power consumption40W (Excluding PoE output.)
Total available PoE170W
Max. PoE wattage per port by PSEPoE++: 60W
Voltage range PoE modePoE: 44–57V PoE+/PoE++: 50—57V
ESD/EMP protectionAir: ± 18kV, contact: ± 12kV
Operating temperature-5 to 45° C (23 to 113° F)
Operating humidity5 to 95% noncondensing
CertificationsCE, FCC, IC
EthernetPoE Link/Speed/Activity

Then the Honeymoon was over.

That’s right, four and a half years into owning three of these switches, the most terrible thing happened. The switch fan within the switch started to grind and howl like a banshee scratching its way out of a prison made of chalkboard and leaf blowers. Coincidentally, that image prompt is not work friendly from the AI art generator.

So opening this thing up, the laptop-style blower fan from Sunon had lost its lubrication and had a bearing failure. I decided that the solution from UniFi was lacking to begin with, and I decided to modify take liberties with thermal conveyances within my private home.

Somewhat to my surprise, the temperatures weren’t terrible per se at 54C to 78C; they seemed reasonable. However, even before the fan failure, these sounded like a gaming laptop spinning up. Personally, I prefer my packets medium rare, so this definitely needed addressing.

Temperature raising up to 54C to 78C

I grabbed some supplies;

I drilled some holes;

Drilling a hole

Drilling a hole

Drilling a hole

Drilling a hole

Adapted the fan power cable;

Wiring the fan

Wiring the fan

Put it all together;

reassembling the switch

reassembling the switch

reassembling the switch

The Results

Looking at the temperatures afterwords showed an improvement with 36C-44C observed on the hottest summer day of recent history. Not bad. Most importantly though, the sound is now effectively below the background noise level. Included is an obligatory video recorded with a phone from 30 cm away.

temperature has improved

switch in use

This is what switch stacking is right? 😂

switch stack

Hey, UniFi, can we have some switches designed for… wait for it. Not racks? But these silly residential structured wiring cabinets that I wish didn’t exist? Really, they should sell a cover for these standard boxes that allow for vertical half rack mounting. And yes, before I get emails, and postcards about it, I did fix the fiber radius bends. I created some 3d printed bend supports to tidy it up. The fan mods made this possible at all though. Crammed in this way the temps could get very high.