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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want a fan controller that can be externally controlled, however, I don't have any 5.25" bay slots in my case. I need a current rating -- per channel -- greater than approximately 0.54A or 6.5W. I've been searching forever and after my research I believe that a PCI fan controller would be the best available option.

I found this silverstone FP33 fan controller: http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-FP33B-Expansion-Independent-Controllers/dp/B001NPEBI8. It comes with a PCI bracket. The problem is that it only has 0.4A per channel!

The only fan controller I found that supports multiple channels is this ratchet one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/PC-4-Channel-3-Pin-3pin-PCI-Cooling-Fan-Speed-Controller-Support-Turn-OFF-Fan-/171904985525?hash=item280655e9b5:g:AAoAAOSwwbdWM3AF. It's completely unbranded and from China or Hong Kong. Allegedly it supports up to 2A per channel! If it actually functions and doesn't break on me this would be great.

Has anyone seen or used this fan controller?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoLDii3 View Post

Have you seen the NZXT Grid V2+ ?

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/7350/nzxt-grid-v2-digital-fan-controller-review/index3.html

I don't know if i am good at this,but it says it supports up to 30W of combined power. Isn't that 2.5A?
Somebody else recommended this to me. Unfortunately the NZXT Grid only has 30W in total power. Per channel that is only 5W or .417A. I mean I could split each channel but I'm trying to control whole radiators at a time... I might have to concede and use this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alright well I bought the fan controller from ebay.... I'll be the scout to verify the quality in this frontier of cheap unbranded items. Maybe I'll hit the jackpot, maybe it will arrive DOA. Regardless $12 isn't that bad I guess.
 

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Some years ago I bought some inexpensive 80mm RFX fans from Newegg, mainly to get their controllers. The controllers are single-channel controllers that fit in your PCIE slots, one fan apiece. They will handle up to 7 watts, but watch out -- one caught fire handling more than that. Anyway, the fan controller was cheaper than the controller alone.

Bonus: I loved the fans. How ironic. I think the same fans are available from Newegg. The RFX series comes in 80mm and 120mm. The 120mm fans are fun, but fast and thus loud for my taste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
1 PCI slot a piece? Dang dude, I'd have to install 3-4 of them haha. Yeah I'm looking for a multichannel fan controller. Anyways, christ I'll have to watch the controller! On fire! My God... Hopefully I'll have the luck you had with cheaply made products.
 

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About the controller on ebay. I'll just say this. 4 channels and 2A's per channel. 12*2 = 24W*4 = 96W. That's a hefty amount of power. When you receive it, take a look at the wire gauge of that 4pin power cable. Although it doesn't look like (in the listing) it even comes with it. Did you order it from his/her shop like the listing suggests? I didn't even find it there. Though is that cable even removable. Ah, chinglish.
But it's probably fine since you said you only need about 0.6A per channel. Though do make sure the connector is good and it makes a proper connection!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by lagittaja View Post

About the controller on ebay. I'll just say this. 4 channels and 2A's per channel. 12*2 = 24W*4 = 96W. That's a hefty amount of power. When you receive it, take a look at the wire gauge of that 4pin power cable. Although it doesn't look like (in the listing) it even comes with it. Did you order it from his/her shop like the listing suggests? I didn't even find it there. Though is that cable even removable. Ah, chinglish.
But it's probably fine since you said you only need about 0.6A per channel. Though do make sure the connector is good and it makes a proper connection!
What happens if the gauge of the wire is too small?
 

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It's the ampacity of the wire. Or how many amps you can move across it. Smaller gauge number means thicker wire. Bigger gauge number means thinner wire.
Thicker wire has lower resistance, thinner wire has higher resistance. If the wires resistance is too high it resists the electric current. Like literally, electrons or whatever magic pixies releasing energy when they collide with something.

If the wire is too thin then the wire can heat up. If it heats up severely it can melt the insulation and/or sleeve. Which would be kinda bad.
It also determines how much of a voltage drop you have across the wire. Since if there's resistance (there's always some amount!) there will be voltage drop.

Here's an example of an AWG chart and a calculator. But the amperage ratings are just some sort of rule of thumb.
http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm
Like if you'd got 18 AWG copper wire and had a 30cm run of it, the voltage drop across it with 12VDC/8A would be 0.87%.
Where as 22 AWG would have a voltage drop of 2.18%. Or 30 AWG would have a ridiculous 13.85% voltage drop.

That voltage drop % directly ties in to the resistance of the wire, e.g. power lost as HEAT.
If I'm not mistaken most PSU's (at least the decent ones) use 18AWG or thicker.

I don't mean to scare you but I would just make sure the AWG they used for the cable isn't ridiculously thin. But on the other hand, ~0.6A*4 is only 2.4A so with it say 22 AWG would be appropriate.
I'd be more concerned with the 4pin connector. Bad connection? inb4 electricity arcing which is always so much fun!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by xNiNELiVES View Post

What happens if the gauge of the wire is too small?
Too small a wire makes the wire a fuse .. wire burns itself up before burnng equipment
biggrin.gif
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by doyll View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by xNiNELiVES View Post

What happens if the gauge of the wire is too small?
Too small a wire makes the wire a fuse .. wire burns itself up before burnng equipment
biggrin.gif
Too thin, and the wire becomes a filament, like the old incandescent electric light bulbs had in the "old days." Gets bright, hot enough to combust, then burns in the air. Whee!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehume View Post

Too thin, and the wire becomes a filament, like the old incandescent electric light bulbs had in the "old days." Gets bright, hot enough to combust, then burns in the air. Whee!
I think "fusible link" is better analogy the ""filament" is.
tongue.gif



But either way there is plenty of heat .. and often things glow brightly.

Bot only the fusible link properly follows Lucas smoke laws.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehume View Post

Too thin, and the wire becomes a filament, like the old incandescent electric light bulbs had in the "old days." Gets bright, hot enough to combust, then burns in the air. Whee!
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyll View Post

I think "fusible link" is better analogy the ""filament" is.
tongue.gif



But either way there is plenty of heat .. and often things glow brightly.

Bot only the fusible link properly follows Lucas smoke laws.
Woah! Alright, good to know thanks. It would be awesome if this fan controller is actually rated for 2A at 12V. That's the exact voltage and current my Swiftech 655-B runs at. I've been running it off of my Lamptron FC-5V2, a 30W/channel 5.25" fan controller. You guys think it will run with this cheapo one? If not, what modifications do I need to accomplish to keep it from blowing up?
 

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Working as an electrician nad electrical engineer we never loaded a component at more than 80% of what it was rated for. And the ratings on everything we used (motors, fans,etc like in the big HVAC units on commercial buildings) were all maximums based on full load at start-up .. which is usually 3-4 times as much as the maximum load when in use. Even doing this we had to put delay start timers on the units to stagger their startup over a period of several minutes because if too many were starting at same time they would draw too much power, lower the voltage and trip the breakers. Computer fans and pumps maximum load specs are often running load, not start-up load.
wink.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyll View Post

Working as an electrician nad electrical engineer we never loaded a component at more than 80% of what it was rated for. And the ratings on everything we used (motors, fans,etc like in the big HVAC units on commercial buildings) were all maximums based on full load at start-up .. which is usually 3-4 times as much as the maximum load when in use. Even doing this we had to put delay start timers on the units to stagger their startup over a period of several minutes because if too many were starting at same time they would draw too much power, lower the voltage and trip the breakers. Computer fans and pumps maximum load specs are often running load, not start-up load.
wink.gif
You're saying my pump won't run at 2A all the time, only at the start-up?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by xNiNELiVES View Post

You're saying my pump won't run at 2A all the time, only at the start-up?
I'm saying running a 2a load on a 2a rated source is running on the edge. 999% of the time you will be fine. Do you want to gamble on that 1 in 1000 chance it can overload the source?

Or would it make more sense to have your 2A pump controlled by a 2.5A source .. with only a 1 in 1000000 chance it can overload the source?

Do you run your car engine at its maximum rpm all the time .. as in running the engine at 6000rpm which is it's redline?

If you weight 150 pounds would you hang over a cliff on a rope with a maximum load rating of 150 pounds?
I wouldn't.
If a little bird flies up an lands on your head, your weight is more than rope's rating, rope breaks and down you go.

I would want require the rope have a rating of at least 200 pounds.
biggrin.gif

That way even if an eagle lands on my head I'm still safe.
biggrin.gif


Electrical load ratings work the same way.

Running a 2A load on a 2A rated source is running it at the maximum load it can function at. Anything (even the slightest blip of additional load) and it is overloaded.

Running a 2A load on a 2.5A rated source means if something weird happens and you load goes up to say 2.1A or 2.2A the source can handle it no problem.
 

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Always a leave 25% head room for overload capacity try not to exceed 75% max lead life ur house hold distro panel. or you could put an inline fuse holder with a 2a blow, provided you can find a low voltage fast acting fuse rated for 12volts.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by i2CY View Post

Always a leave 25% head room for overload capacity try not to exceed 75% max lead life ur house hold distro panel. or you could put an inline fuse holder with a 2a blow, provided you can find a low voltage fast acting fuse rated for 12volts.
You are contradicting yourself.
biggrin.gif

A 2a fuse will blow the same time the controller does.

25% headroom is extreme. (100A load on 125A breaker)
10% is realistic. (90A load on a 100A breaker.)

I've done a lot of commercial / industrial wiring. Always allowed 10% margin.
Never 25%.

After all if a motor is rated18A, and we put it on a 20A breaker with 10 other 20A breakers in a 220A sub panel with 220A breaker. that is 10% margin on each, or 20% from sub pannel to motor.

And if that sub panel is fed by a main panel with similar 10% ...
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK so it is definitely a no go. Again, is there a modification I could do to safely get it to work? I'm ready to make my own fan controller at this point. I know people have.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by xNiNELiVES View Post

Somebody else recommended this to me. Unfortunately the NZXT Grid only has 30W in total power. Per channel that is only 5W or .417A. I mean I could split each channel but I'm trying to control whole radiators at a time... I might have to concede and use this.
Actual their is no per channel Watt. You can put all 30W in one channel if you want. as long as you stay 30W or below you will be fine.

If your willing to spend the extra money this is the best fan controller you get: http://www.performance-pcs.com/aquacomputer-aquaero-6-xt-blue-usb-fan-controller-graphic-lcd-touch-control-ir-remote-control.html

it's 30W per channel x 4 Channels.

I currently use NZXT Grid for my case fans and All my watercooling components are plugged into Aquacomputer Aquaero 6 XT.
 
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