Diy Fan Controller - Creative "Custom cooling control solution"
Discussion by mirdux with 5 Replies.
Last Update: July 14, 2010, 9:12 am
Now with the above mentioned, you KNOW ther has to be an easier way, right? Well there is. with a stop to radioshack and some 22g wire, and some electric know-how you can be the master of your fans. The pictures included are on a completed case, but will give you a good idea of how this is done.
- wire strippers (scissors/pliers will work if you have steady hands)
- stereo wire (doesnt matter how thick/thin, for it doesnt get enough amperage to matter)
- switches (be creative, anything from a simple chrome switch to a red pilot's rocer switch will do)
- electric tape/ shrink wrap
- scissors,knife, or a drill with bit fitting your switch
Alright, so im assuming your aware this involves opening your case and messing with things, this is inviting for some but will draw some others away
/////----WARNING: IF YOUR NOT COMFORTABLE WITH WORKING WITH COMPUTER INTERNALS: PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS
-Now first, make sure your computer is turned off, cable is OUT of power supply
-when the computer is off discharge any remaining electricity in it by switching the rocker switch on the back of the power supply to "off" or "O" , then pressing the power button on the case. The computer should try to turn on, then turn off fast, if it doesnt thats fine.
- recognize the fans you would like to be able to control , spot the red wires leading to them from the molex connectors they came with.
- with the red wires, you cut them anywhere between the connector and fan, then strip about 1/2-3/4 inch of the insulation off to reveal wire.
- now take your radio wire (should be 2 wires side/side) and strip both to 1/2-3/4 inch, with the two ends, one will go to one part of the red wire you stripped, and the other to the other stripped red wire.
- with the other end of the stereo wire, you will route it through any gap in the frame that goes to the front of the case.
- with the drill bit, scissors, or knife, put as many holes in the front of the case as you need that fit the switches your going to use.
-secure the switches in the holes and route the ends of the wires to the according terminals on the switch (not too hard theres 2 terminals, and 2 wire ends so its pretty straightforward.)
-close up the front cover
- go over all of your exposed wire with either electric tape or shrinkwrap, an exposed wire touching the metal on the case will create problems.
- close up your case
- switch your power supply on , put the cable back in, and press your power button.
- fool around with your switches for a while and make sure everything is doing its job. Most of the time, you can put your ear to the case and tell when one turns on/off; having a window in your case makes this a breeze for you can see your fans turning on/off.
- "my computer will not turn on"
-a exposed wire is touching metal on your case/ your comptuer does not have power (is not plugged in etc.)
- " does it matter how thick the wire is?"
-not at all
- " can i do more than one fan with one switch?"
-easily, just do the procedure for one fan, only with the 2 stereo ends, have 2 reds (one from each fan)
going to one stereo wire end.
- " how much quieter is this?"
- youd be surprised by how much noise is eliminated from shutting fans down, if you want to be blown away, put switches on all the case fans in your computer, then turn all of them off and see the difference (not recommended for extended periods)
- " can i do this to my CPU/Video Card fan?"
- ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! your CPU and GPU are dependant on those fas and keep it cool, no fans= burned up hardware.
Finished product! 3 switches monitoring 5 fans!
ill try to find it then repost here..
you could also fork out a few dolars to purchase one of these. It fits into the 3.5" bay on your computer and provides a display of pc temps and controls fan speeds at the same time. Also, the blue light would look nice on any pc have a look at http://www.pccasegear.com/category18_1.htm for heaps of other solutions!
Also, the top two switches you have pictured are similiar to some I got myself. Did you buy them from Maplin Electronics, by any chance?
QUOTE (Jimmy89)I only know simple electonics but if you were to put a variable resister inline with the switch, you can then also control the speed at which the fan is running, and then turn it on/off if you want to! this is just an idea, im not sure if it would work - and im not willing to try it on my computer just yet!
Link: view Post: 115885
You can simply put a variable resistor inline just like that, it's not efficient, it it might just burn out the variable resister when you turn it to the mid range. An off the shelf speed controller are normally using PWM(Pulse Width Modulation). It's much more efficient. When you use a variable resistor inline, you're actually absorbing port of the power and waste it at the variable resister. If the fan is 2 Watt, when you turn to the mid range, it's when most power is dissipated through the variable resistor, that's 1W. It might be small, but most variable resistor can't withstand that much of power transfer.
Also, the speed control using variable resistor is not linear, assuming you use a high wattage one, or using rheostat. Meaning when you turn to 10%, it's not running at 10% of the fullspeed. Another issue is that, it might not be able to start the fan at 10% or so set point. You might have to turn to 30% or more depending on the type fan you're using and it's current consumption. Then turn down to achieve slower speed. With that you'll also risk having the fan stall and stop moving, and your system heated up.
Another thing is, if you use the built in fan speed monitor on the motherboard, you'll have to set the fan speed alarm everytime you change your fan speed, or you're only left with the option of the lowest, which is 1000rpm, normally. That also reduce your chance of detecting if the fan is dying or not. Image if you're fan is built for 4000rpm, and you can set the alarm at 3000rpm. If it hit the alarm, you know that your fan is full of dust and not running well, or it's dying.
I've tried using a variable resistor to control the fan speed and guess what? It doesn't work! The answer to this is because modern 3pin cpu fans are made to run only on 12VDC! By introducing some form of resistance, this also reduces the voltage. Remember the V=IR rule during your physics class?The only way to control the speed is by using Pulse Width Modulation method, meaning that by turning the power supply to the fan on and off many times in a second. To achive that, you'll need IC circuit such as 555 timer to achive this. It is a very challenging method but free diagrams are available online if you have some electronics know how. For those who know nuts bout electronics then I suggest that you get a commercial off shelf Fan Speed Controller that is available in your local PC accessories shop for around to .
-reply by Row1
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