Powerful Controller, but Not Without Issues

A Review On: Lamptron FC2 Fan Speed Controller 45W x 6 channel Black

Lamptron FC2 Fan Speed Controller 45W x 6 channel Black

Rated # 2 in Controller Panels
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Price paid: $28.00
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Pros: Enough wattage per channel to run a couple Deltas each.

Cons: Only 3-pin extensions are included (unlike the Rheosmart 6: splitters, 3-pin to molex, molex to 3-pin, etc.). Annoying/loud buzz at medium voltages.

If you have been looking into which controller to buy, you've probably read some reviews on this specific one. A few years ago, Overclock3d (and some others) did reviews, where they found two major issues with this controller: voltage varying wildly at low settings, and an annoying buzz when it isn't turned to maximum.

Today, mine arrived, and I did a few quick voltage measurements at full, 3 o'clock, and 12 o'clock locations (I didn't bother going lower, since my fans don't even run at such low voltages).

Fans used for testing: four Delta AFB1212VHEs (an older version). Label says 12V at 0.9A each, so 10.8W each fan, or 43.2W total.
I measured them to be at 10.6V and 1.74A total (for some unknown reason wth.gif). With three of them, they come out to be 10.9V and 1.44A total. This was ran directly off the power supply (did I mention loud?).

Side note: yeah, forgot to do no-load measurements at 12 o'clock redface.gif.

Looks like the voltage issue is fixed! At least at above 4V.

Regarding the buzz, it's still there. I did measurements by ear (half a foot away, seems to be coming from the capacitors), and all six channels had it start up at about 8V, and stop at 11.08V.
It's loud to the point that I could hear it over my six Deltas at 6-7V four feet away. At full 12V though, obviously the fan noise reigns.

I also ran into a problem trying to stick the controller into a 5.25 slot on my HAF 922. The sides of the controller are not straight, but protrudes outwards (like a sideways staircase with one stair) near the panel itself, which was what prevents the controller from going all the way in. I had to dremel off a millimeter or two of each side of my 922's 5.25 slots to get it to fit.
If the sides of your 5.25 slots are steel, it could be a problem.

Now, the nitpicks.
The knobs are not evenly pushed in, i.e. some are protruding more than others, and it didn't seem like you can't fix it by pulling them out to the same distance.
The knobs themselves are not identically built. The dots on them that indicate how far it is turned varies in size, from knob to knob. The grinding off of the corners are not even (but less noticeable).
I'd prefer the dots replaced with lines (from edge to center), but that's just me.
The capacitors were angling in all sorts of directions (I'm a semi-perfectionist!).
Only 3-pin extensions are included (not sleeved frown.gif), so you'll need to get your own splitters/3-pin-to-molexes/molex-to-3-pins, etc.
It could have also had separators that prevents light from one channel bleeding into another channel (so you don't get confused if a channel is on or not).

If you're looking for a high-wattage-per-channel fan controller and don't run fans at 8-11V range, look no further (or if you don't care too much about buzzing)!
Otherwise, I'd recommend you look elsewhere.
I don't run my fans that high, so I'm fine biggrin.gif. Besides, I was looking forward to running three Deltas on one channel anyways, so my 360 radiator fans can match in CFM.
In addition, be careful about the controller not fitting in 5.25 slots.


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