A little review of the new Phobya MaxGuide 6 Dualbay Fan/Pump VFD Controller
Well the name is sure long enough, but what it does is what counts.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been looking for a 6 channel display with simultaneous display of all 6 rpm's and all 6 temps to display the data from all 3 loops.
I wanted to show pump rpm, flow rate, water temp & air temp, or water temp in and out of the rad.
I planned for a separate controller / display to handle the fan speed control and display . . . . 4 channels would be enough here.
So then Lamptron comes out with their new CW611 controller . . . designed for watercoolers . . . so I got 2 for the Mix 'n Match 630's builds. They really are quite nice, with a lot of features, but they only show data for 1 channel at a time, and you have to turn the knob to scroll thru each channel.
Ultimately, I like seeing data more at a glance without having to interrogate the system for it and decided to maybe put them in the stretch build here, and move the Lamptron FC9 and the Aerocool X-Vision displays to the Mix 'n Match builds.
So just as I make new pcb's and order lots of electronic parts to translate the tach signal from fans controlled with the FC9 so they display on normal display devices, the X-Visions in particular, I see this new Phobya 6 channel VFD display come out at PPC's.
Wooo Hoooo, it was like some one granted my favorite wish. . . .
So I ordered one right off, even though there were no reviews yet and even the Phobya website doesn't have much about it yet.
It arrived Friday in a plain white box, guess they haven't gotten the regular color printed packaging in yet.
The display is super bright as you'd expect from a vacuum fluorescent, and the viewing angle is super wide.
There are 6 plastic control knobs, not too
cheap feeling, but could be considerably nicer for just a few cents more.
When turned to minimum position, the rpm display for that channel reads "OFF".
If you're using it to read pump rpm of flow meter output, you need to turn the knob slightly above minimum position.
It's a strictly manual controller, in that there is no speed control based on temp sensor data like the Lamptron CW611 provides.
In its primary role as an rpm / temp display, it works very well. It will read the fastest of the 5400 rom fans just fine.
Where the problem arises, is as a flow meter display . . . .
Most flow meters output a pulse frequency that when displayed as fan rpm, equates to ml per minute.
2 gpm is right at 7000 ml / min and a lot of controllers / displays seem to do poorly from around 6500 rpm and up.
Some just stop and read no higher, some go nuts and read all over the place, and some just seem to lock up, and don't recover normal function without being power cycled.
This Phobya unit is like that, once it reads about 7500 rpm, then it'll jump to 9990, and maybe drop back to 7600 or so, but just stays there until it's power cycled.
While 2 gpm is probably higher than most systems normally run at, it's a lot lower than what the dual D5 or dual 35X setups cab do in a test setup, and for that reason, having the display lock up way before barely 65% of the flow rate is achieved and having to power cycle to clear the lockup, even after the pump speed is reduced, is unacceptable.
Well, since the display is otherwise perfect for what I want, I figured there must be a way to make it work for me.
I figured that if I divided the flowmeter pulse rate by 2, then I'd keep the max number below the ~7500 mark where the display fails to function properly, and still be able to do a quick mental "double the reading" to know the real value.
In the pics, you'll see a little perfboard with the "divide by two" circuitry, which now lets my spiffy new display read up to about 4 gpm without crashing.
There are 4 channels of divide by 2 available from the 2 IC's, so I essentially have a spare one.
The top row now reads pump rpm from each of the 3 pump setups and the second row reads 1/2 of the flow rate from each pump setup. Notice the #1 flow rate reading is "OFF", that's the last flow meter that just failed, so it reads 0000, or OFF when the knob is at minimum position. You can see the little index marks on the knobs.
DarleneEdited by IT Diva - 6/23/13 at 3:42pm