Synology NAS and linear power supply

Posted by: Qlder Brad on 30 December 2018

Hi, Iím hoping to get some feedback from anyone who has a Synology NAS. Does anyone use a linear power supply (LPS) on their Synology NAS and has it made a difference? If you have I would like to know the manufacturer of the LPS.

 

When listening I sometimes get the feeling that the dynamics of the music is coming in waves. I have my 272 and NAS connected to the same switch, Iím currently only using normal Cat 6 cables, but Iím not going to upgrade the network cables yet, Iím working on the theory that the LPS for the NAS and the switch could be putting some noise on the network and if I get some better network cables that is not really going to eliminate noise generated by the LPS.  I think upgrading the power supplies of the NAS and the switch is going to be a more beneficial way to go.

 

The switch requires a 5 volt 1 amp power supply and they are easy enough to get but I have a Synology DS 2018 play, it needs a power supply that does 12 volts at 5 amps. Custom Hi Fi cables does a 12 volt 5 amp power supply but it is about 5 times what I paid for the NAS, not wanting to quite go down that path yet, maybe for the finishing touches and I canít find anyone else that does that exact rating.

 

An XPS DR is on the horizon (still a way off) , but I have a little case of upgraditis and I thought replacing the power supplies of the NAS and the switch might help. Iíve had some really great improvements this year when I purchased a PS Dectet powerboard and a Nordost Red Dawn power cable for the powerboard,  so I am on a cleaning up power supply obsession at the moment.

 

Thank you in advance and Happy 2019

Posted on: 31 December 2018 by Qlder Brad

Edit , 

"Iím working on the theory that the LPS for the NAS and the switch" should have been "the SMPS for the NAS and the switch"  and "eliminate noise generated by the LPS" should have been "eliminate noise generated by the SMPS". 

 

Fortunately I can't put proof reader/editor in the What was/is your job/Career post, I work in IT. 

Posted on: 31 December 2018 by Mike-B

I've tried a LPS on my DS214,  it was a borrowed lab standard PSU hat was far to big & bulky but it was only for an experiment to see if a LPS did as some have claimed. The units manual claimed it to be super quiet DC & gave some numbers at different loads that if correct did support the low noise claim. I had it powered direct from the mains power & TBH I really could not hear any difference & from that point on I gave up on LPS for the Synology.    

I have to mention my Synology SMPS is connected a little different from 'normal';   it's powered from an APS UPS which has an isolation transformer meaning the SMPS has a degree of isolation between it & mains power in both directions.  The 230VAC cable from UPS to SMPS is loaded with two ferrite cores, a N30 mix medium frequency & a 75 mix low frequency,  these add further suppression of any 230V noise.  On the SMPS DC cable I have a large ferrite which the cable makes four passes thru.  & plus not forgetting the Synology cables attached ferrite.   

Its also worth noting that unlike a wall wart type SMPS,   the Synology SMPS has an earth connection,  the switching & rectification is done between L&N after which the -0v DC is connected to earth & that grounds any 0vDC ripple that is its present.

Anyhow,  good luck with your experiments,  I'll be interested to hear of how you get on.   

Posted on: 31 December 2018 by easeback1

I have a similar setup: N272 / 250DR / Synology DS 118.  I recently swapped the stock Synology SMPS for an iFi power supply. A low-cost experiment, but can't honestly say if I heard any improvement.

Definitely heard an improvement though when I added a Powerline to the system. Big grin when I connected it to the 250. Bigger grin when I moved it over to the 272. Also considering an XPS DR for 2019, but a second Powerline will be my next purchase. 

 

Posted on: 31 December 2018 by Qlder Brad

Hi, 

Mike-B the UPS is something I never thought about, I'll do some research .

Easeback, a better quality power cable was also something I was thinking of .

Thank you both for replying, I think you may have saved me some time and effort, UPS and power cables are things that are things I can get locally. To get a LPS, I would have to get it internationally, there are always trial periods but to return them is expensive (it cost me over $150 AUD to return a power supply to Israel from Australia, after getting charged freight to get it delivered). 

I may get an LPS one day for the switch (it does have a wall wart power supply),but I'll have a chat to my dealer and borrow some better quality power cables. 

All the best. 

Posted on: 01 January 2019 by Simon-in-Suffolk

It is worth pointing out that so called wall wart SMPS supplies can be designed and built well so they are effectively benign... however itís also the case, more typically for cheap consumer electronics, they can be shockingly poor... 

Without test equipment it can be hard to see what you have, however an off station tuned LW/MW/SW radio placed physically very close to the power supply and itís wiring can give a relative indication of noise being emitted. I have used this method before to track down errant RF polluters.

Finally with some electronic equipment like network switches, computers, you need to ensure if you are using a replacement powersupply it has the correct RF decoupling for the device to be powered... otherwise adding an unsuitable linear powersupply can create more RF noise than the SMPS it replaces, or even become none compliant in terms of electro magnetic radiation produced... so be mindful of this... again the radio test can be helpful here.

Posted on: 01 January 2019 by ChrisSU
easeback1 posted:

I have a similar setup: N272 / 250DR / Synology DS 118.  I recently swapped the stock Synology SMPS for an iFi power supply. A low-cost experiment, but can't honestly say if I heard any improvement.

If you used an iFi iPower wall wart, Iím pretty sure itís underpowered for a Synology NAS  - not something I would want to take chances on. 

Posted on: 02 January 2019 by Mr Happy

A while back I tried an Israeli power supply on my Synology ds 213j nas. It made a small positive difference. However both the Israeli company and synology wouldnít confirm that it was ok to use as the power of the supply was slightly less than the power of the original supply. However the Israeli power was higher than the rating of the nas itself, hence my confusion and enquiries. I decided to keep the synology supplied power brick in the end to be safe.

A far bigger sonic upgrade was achieved last year by upgrading the nas to the same synology that you have (ds218play). Then the network switch and ethernet leads were later upgraded and also both made a significant difference.

Posted on: 02 January 2019 by ChrisSU
Mr Happy posted:

.....the power of the supply was slightly less than the power of the original supply. However the Israeli power was higher than the rating of the nas itself.....

I have probably misunderstood you, but to me, it looks like you have contradicted yourself!?

Posted on: 02 January 2019 by raym55

Power supplies supplied with equipment are normally rated higher A than the equipment requires, to provide an overhead. So the way I read it is that the new PSU is rated less than the original  but is rated more A than the NAS needs.

correct me if I'm wrong

Posted on: 02 January 2019 by ChrisSU
raym55 posted:

Power supplies supplied with equipment are normally rated higher A than the equipment requires, to provide an overhead. So the way I read it is that the new PSU is rated less than the original  but is rated more A than the NAS needs.

correct me if I'm wrong

You could be right, although my Synology shows the same voltage and amperage figures on the NAS as on the SMPS. I suspect that some look only at the voltage figure, and miss the point that the PSU Amperage, as you say, needs to match or slightly exceed the requirement of the device. 

Posted on: 02 January 2019 by easeback1
ChrisSU posted:

If you used an iFi iPower wall wart, Iím pretty sure itís underpowered for a Synology NAS  - not something I would want to take chances on. 

Thanks for the heads-up. The power adapter that came with my NAS is rated 12V/2A; the iFi is rated 12V/1.8A. 

Using a higher-rated supply is an obvious no-no, but am I taking a risk with 1.8A versus the recommended 2.0A?

From the iFi website: "Works with virtually any DC powered device. Just check the correct voltage (5V/9V/12V/15V)." Why no mention of amps?

Posted on: 02 January 2019 by Qlder Brad

Thank you for the advice with the radio, that is brilliantly simple. 

Looks like the best course of action is not to worry too much about the NAS power supply and work on the power cables to the 250 and 272 and upgrade the network cables. 

I upgraded the switch the day after I wrote this post, I had a look at my switch, it was just a TP Link (mostly made of plastic) . I bought a Linksys LGS108, all metal, looks very nicely put together. Has improved the sound. I had a look on the auction sites for a 2960 which gets a lot of favorable mentions here, but I preferred to have an unmanaged switch.

Thank you every one for your very helpful suggestions. 

Posted on: 02 January 2019 by Mike-B
easeback1 posted:

Using a higher-rated supply is an obvious no-no, but am I taking a risk with 1.8A versus the recommended 2.0A?

From the iFi website: "Works with virtually any DC powered device. Just check the correct voltage (5V/9V/12V/15V)." Why no mention of amps?

The important number is voltage,  it must be the same.   With amps itís always safer to go higher,  it might be the PSU is rated with higher amps than the NAS actually needs, but as you most likely donít really know, unless you can match it with the same amp number, safer to go higher.

I agree it would be better if iFi did mention amps

Posted on: 03 January 2019 by ChrisSU
easeback1 posted:
ChrisSU posted:

If you used an iFi iPower wall wart, Iím pretty sure itís underpowered for a Synology NAS  - not something I would want to take chances on. 

Thanks for the heads-up. The power adapter that came with my NAS is rated 12V/2A; the iFi is rated 12V/1.8A. 

Using a higher-rated supply is an obvious no-no, but am I taking a risk with 1.8A versus the recommended 2.0A?

From the iFi website: "Works with virtually any DC powered device. Just check the correct voltage (5V/9V/12V/15V)." Why no mention of amps?

As mentioned in several posts above, the supply should have an Amp rating the same as, or a little higher than the specified requirement of the device. 

Posted on: 03 January 2019 by fatcat

The rating of a power supply isnít a good indication of the actual power requirements.

Iíve just charged my fuji camera and noticed the power supply is rated at 5v Ė 2amp, but the camera power usage is quoted as 3.5w at 5v.

So the current drawn by the camera is 0.7amp (3.5/5 = 0.7), but, the power supply is 2 amp.

The SMPS rating 5v Ė 2amp simply indicates it can deliver 5v at 2 amp load. At no load it will be higher than 5v.

Posted on: 03 January 2019 by raym55
fatcat posted

The SMPS rating 5v Ė 2amp simply indicates it can deliver 5v at 2 amp load. At no load it will be higher than 5v.

Unless its regulated.

Posted on: 06 January 2019 by Mike-B
raym55 posted:
fatcat posted

The SMPS rating 5v Ė 2amp simply indicates it can deliver 5v at 2 amp load. At no load it will be higher than 5v.

Unless its regulated.

  Most SMPS's have some form of regulation,  albeit a bit belts & braces,  to keep them within limits.  I tested some 12v SMPS's used on a network switch a while back.  The test included no load & loaded with 6.5watts (22ohm resister) to apply a load that was safely within the SMPS rated power but more than double that of the maximum 2W of the switch.     

The Netgear was supplied with a GS105 switch & was (as to be expected) less stable.  The iFi & Friwo both proved to be very stable,  but I would really expect that to be the case as both cost more than double that of the Netgear switch & PSU kit.

Netgear  -   No Load Ė variable 12.14 to 12.16VDC      6.5W Load Ė variable 11.70 to 11.78VDC 

iPower  -  No Load Ė steady, no variable 12.22VDC     6.5W Load - steady, no variable  12.18VDC

Friwo MMP15  -  No Load Ė steady, no variable 12.21VDC     6.5W Load - steady, no variable  12.19VDC