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SOLVED! PWM question. Fans don't throttle down.

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
I put together a MO-Ra3 with 9 fans and built a fan header/molex extension to get the power to my Rad. I have a program called "fan xpert" on my motherboard and when I turn the appropriate fan down it does not show a lower rpm and the fans still sound like a whirlwind and the noise level never drops. I have watched to see if by chance one fan is slowing down and not the rest and it doesn't appear that way. My question is will this type of a connector (since I used this as a template) circumvent the pwm function?

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Update 5/28/12
So I ordered a Rheosmart fan controller and it still didn't work! One fan (without the cable that jumps power from the molex) throttles down normally however the Rheosmart hooked to the R4E would not throttle under auto (PWM) settings. Otherwise in manual mode the Rheosmart changes the voltage just fine. I got my Fluke meter out and checked every wire for any errors and everything is fine. Next I flipped to voltage settings and checked the power wires (the two outside wires on your four pin PWM header) and as it turns out the fan header varies the voltage of the power from 5vDC to 12vDC. Not sure if other motherboards work differently but that is how mine works.... and the cable is not made for this in addition to the Rheosmart fan controller. Also in order to eliminate another variable I used the same cable and hooked up a Cougar PWM fan with the same results. Also it seems worth mentioning that Sunbeamtech seems to have discontinued the Rheosmart series. I emailed Sunbeamtech and they did not respond after almost 2 weeks. Could be that possibly because of a difference in MB/fan PWM functions they are having to re-design the fan controllers? Maybe with this new info we can come to a new conclusion? Thanks guys
Edited by Little_Timmy - 5/29/12 at 1:21am
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post #2 of 42
Thread Starter 
sorry about the text messup not sure what happened but I will have to fix it after work.
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post #3 of 42
So the custom fan header/molex extension you built isn't working? Might want to check your wiring first, and then test it with a few fans to start. It could be that you mixed the wires somewhere in the line (ie. make sure the PWM signal is carried to all extensions)
Edited by gymenii - 5/9/12 at 12:26pm
post #4 of 42
Thread Starter 
Ok I tried the factory adapter from the link above on one fan and the fan will not throttle down. Connect this same fan directly to a fan header or my extension and it functions properly lowering from 1350 RPM to 600. My conclusion unless somone can show me otherwise is that PWM only works when the power is taken from the header on the board. This makes no sense to me since there are all types of adapters like this sold.... people using PWM pumps on these adapters an everything? Please let me know if you guys have any other ideas.confused.gif
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post #5 of 42

First of all, we start with the premise that you have 9 PWM fans. Call that step zero. From there, you proceed to test your links.

 

1. You plug a single PWM fan into the cpu header on your As.s motherboard.

2. Go into Fan Xpert and select Calibrate. That will allow you to see if the motherboard with its settings is capable of modulating the speed of a single fan. If it can, proceed to step 3. If not, then play with your settings until you can modulate a single PWM fan. If that doesn't work you need to have a discussion with As.s technical support, maybe RMA the board.

3. If your mb can modulate a single PWM fan, plug that single fan into your harness. If the Calibrate function can modulate your fan, great. Ideally your harness will include an rpm wire for one of the fan sockets that tells the motherboard how fast that fan is running. If the motherboard cannot modulate the single PWM fan, you have a problem with your harness. Fix it.

 

Actually, if I had to hook nine PWM fans up to something I would get two Akasa Flexa FP5 PWM splitters. The first FP5 will support four fans and the second FP5. The second FP5 supports the other five fans.

 

All of the above supposes that your motherboard puts out a strong enough PWM signal to spread among nine fans. Interesting question. If it doesn't, then your harness will not be fixable. Maybe you'd need a signal repeater or something. It's beyond what I know.

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post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input! I must not have worded it well since much of what you said I already tried. I did try just using one of those FP5s and one fan and it does not work. I tried that same fan directly to the fan header and it worked well.
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post #7 of 42

I would test the continuity of your FP5's PWM line. If the PWM line conducts electricity, the PWM signal from the motherboard must no be strong enough to signal your fans. That would be sad. The AK-CB002 controls two 9S1212P4M011's on my Mugen 2 and a TY-140 intake on the case. But my As.s board is only controlling three fans.

 

One other thought: you could get a PWM Mate. Mine controlled five PWM fans. One caveat: the PWM Mate instructions tell you to power its PWM line from the motherboard PWM line. I used the 5v line from Molex.

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post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 
ehume I am still learning how this works but I think what I have found is that for pwm to work the power has to be drawn from the fan header since none of the wires on my fp5 are broken and it will not controll even one fan for speed controll... however connect that same fan to the header and it works.
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post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 
hmm just read an article on how pwm works and now im more lost than before.
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post #10 of 42
technically speaking a PWM fan is a regular fan that has a control chip built in to where the motor is... it uses the same wires to draw power from. same yellow wire to give the RPM info back to the mobo, but the 4th wire is the one sending the PWM control signal to the chip on the fan telling it how long to keep the fan on, and how long to keep it off.

the difference between a regular 3 pin fan and a 4pin PWM fan is the 3 pin uses voltage modulation to control the speed of the fan. while the PWM fan use the full 12v power but pulses it on and off very quickly to control the speed. if it works on the fan header but not in your radiator assembly, then it's as ehume said, the PWM signal from the mobo isn't making it through to the fans... I would maybe try using a thicker wire for the PWM signal since you are obviously extending it beyond it's intended length and thicker wires may carry the signal further.

even then, that may not be the problem since the PWM signal is only intended for a single fan. by splitting it so many ways, there may be an electrical difference in the signal itself that is either too weak for the PWM chip to trigger the pulses or too scrambled for the PWM chip to understand the signal... just like network cables, signal integrity does degrade over distance and nothing short of a repeater/booster will help with that...

how far is the radiator assembly away from the system anyway? and is it absolutely crucial that you use PWM fans to begin with? would have been alot easier for you to use a rheosmart6 and powered the fans that way and run the PWM cable back to the mobo for control
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