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Homemade fan controller question. Please Help

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So I want to go the cheap route and make my own fan controller, but I don't know exactly how to go about doing this. Can I just hook up my fan to a potentiometer or is it more complicated than that?
Links to guides or any advice is appreciated
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post #2 of 6
Dont man, it will cost you more than buying one, they cost like 15 bucks online. Saying this because I once wanted to go that route, since it sounded fun and I'm all up for the homemade stuff. But later realized it wasn't worth it for me so I went ahead and bought some.

If noise is a problem then you could try the 5volt or 7 volt mod. IMO making your own controller will be a waste and pain in the ass.
Edited by TheBirdman74 - 4/24/11 at 12:27pm
post #3 of 6
Unless you already have the tools necessary or you are creating a special purpose fan controller, it may be cheaper to buy a prebuilt. The sunbeam rheobus for example only costs around $15-20 and controls 4 fans. The Rheobus extreme controlls 6 fans and supplies 30W per channel and is only $30.

Crafting your own fan controller requires a little more than a potentiometer as the potentiometer will most likely not provide the current needed to run the fan. You would need to run the potentiometer's wiper (output leg) to a power transistor capable of handling the power requirements of the fan. The potentiometer would give a low amp voltage signal to the transistor and the transistor could control the fan since it can handle the higher current and wattage necessary to power the fan.

It is not particularly safe to do the 7v PSU mod because it can damage the PSU.
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBirdman74 View Post
Dont man, it will cost you more than buying one, they cost like 15 bucks online. Saying this because I once wanted to go that route, since it sounded fun and I'm all up for the homemade stuff. But later realized it wasn't worth it for me so I went ahead and bought some.

If noise is a problem then you could try the 5volt or 7 volt mod. IMO making your own controller will be a waste and pain in the ass.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonSlice View Post
Unless you already have the tools necessary or you are creating a special purpose fan controller, it may be cheaper to buy a prebuilt. The sunbeam rheobus for example only costs around $15-20 and controls 4 fans. The Rheobus extreme controlls 6 fans and supplies 30W per channel and is only $30.

Crafting your own fan controller requires a little more than a potentiometer as the potentiometer will most likely not provide the current needed to run the fan. You would need to run the potentiometer's wiper (output leg) to a power transistor capable of handling the power requirements of the fan. The potentiometer would give a low amp voltage signal to the transistor and the transistor could control the fan since it can handle the higher current and wattage necessary to power the fan.

It is not particularly safe to do the 7v PSU mod because it can damage the PSU.
Alright thanks. I was thinking that it would be harder that just a pot. Oh well I might just buy one then.
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post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonSlice View Post
Unless you already have the tools necessary or you are creating a special purpose fan controller, it may be cheaper to buy a prebuilt. The sunbeam rheobus for example only costs around $15-20 and controls 4 fans. The Rheobus extreme controlls 6 fans and supplies 30W per channel and is only $30.
Correction for clarification for future questions...

Either Rheobus controls more than 4 or 6 fans, but they only have 4 or 6 channels, each with a 30W limit in current draw. So you can control many more fans than 4 or 6
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post #6 of 6
pre-built is probably the way to go.
I built one to control fans on a machine pendant, this is basically a PC.
I needed to interface the front panel switches, a set on the front and on the motherboard
tray so had to make a PCB.
I made a pulse width controller that pulsed a FET, it will run a load of fans.
The fans come on full for a few seconds when the power is turned on and
then the speed is controlled according to temp of a couple of LM35[?] temperature sensors. Works but wasn't really necessary, the motherboard could probably could run the fans. If you still want to do it look up PWM, it's a way to control the speed and if your really new to electronics, like me, try microcap simulator program it let's you build the circuit and test it. The little PCB beside the motherboard tray is the one in question; turned out an extra fan on the PSU inlet was enough to keep a lot of air moving thru the pendant.

Edited by integerspin - 5/23/11 at 4:38pm
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