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 Post subject: product idea: DigitalDoc 5 + UltraDM
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 3:09 pm 
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Posts: 37
Most of you will know what a DigitalDoc 5 is, but I'll refresh & describe the UltraDM:

DigitalDoc5 monitors up to 8 temperatures (comes with 6 air thermistors & 2 thin contact ones) and can turn on/off 8 fans. It also monitors fan speeds & power supply voltages.

UltraDM from www.natriumtech.com Natrium has four channels of high-current-capable PWM fan control. It has a serial connection for control from a PC app.

There's also the www.cobalt3.com Cobalt3 Pyramid line of temperature-driven fan controllers.

What would be really great is to have something that controls multiple fans, monitors their rotation and monitors temperature of multiple devices, then lets you choose a cooling vs. noise strategy with manual overrides possible.

The newer fan controllers from Maxim and Analog devices and the one built into Intellifans offer something like this for motherboard designers and SpeedFan and FanSpeed let you wrest some control away from the BIOS authors.

They lack in a couple of ways: 1) you have to have a supported motherboard 2) they don't offer control (or alarms) in Hibernate.

The Maxim chip is neater than some other PWM solutions because it uses tach feedback to control the speed (closed loop) rather than voltage of the fan.

The solution? How 'bout a 5.25" bay-mount intelligent fan controller with an LCD & buttons (& a rotary encoder if we want to get crazy) and a serial or USB interface for host control. I'm thinking a PIC + Maxim or ADI fan controller + LCD control.

It would be expensive, though, probably $100 if someone builds & sell them himself (a la fanbus). If a Far East manufacturer picks up the design, it would probably cost the same $100 if you buy it through a reseller.

I think the Maxim chip measures fan speed with PWM going by being tricky about when it does it's PWM pulsing and counting for a (relatively) long time. If that works, great, but a simpler solution is just to remove any pullup resistor between V+ and the tach switch that's on the fan. Instead, the pullup should be sourced from a constant supply on the controller.

If a Panaflo @ 7 volts is quiet & cool enough for me, though, I won't need all this fancy stuff. Waiting for my new case, cables & grills to arrive...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2002 5:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
hmmm really good idea but if u want to achieve this type of setup u'll probably need indiviual thermally sensing fans or maybe u could flash the EEPROM on the Digidoc 5 to pull more currents at different temperatures. but the only way u could do that type of setup right now is to have thermally controlled fans hooked up to a digidoc with a lowish switching threshold :) good idea though :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2002 5:20 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
http://www.goroyalpc.com/product.asp?m_cat=hardware&cat=casefan&action=show&id=104CaseFan I forgot queue posted this on the forums pretty close to what u want

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2002 8:26 am 
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Another alternative, if building a new system, are the new Intel mobos with ADI 1027 thermal/fan control chip embedded.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2002 1:45 pm 
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quokked- the Magic Box only offers manual H, M, L control.

MikeC- this is exactly what I'm talking about, but I want a retrofit for existing systems and I want more control than I suspect most on-motherboard solutions will offer. I imagine they'll focus on the most common case configurations, but if I add some baffling and fans and another hard drive and a couple more sensors, I'd like the option of building all of that into the cooling "profile."

Let me give an example that's a little contrived and possibly based on false assumptions.

Take a Via C3 or possibly a P4 with a really good heatsink, a case with case fan right next to the CPU (maybe with a duct a la Dell) and a power supply with intake near the CPU & exhaust fan.

At startup, only the power supply fan runs, maybe near full speed. If the hard drives start to get hot, the case fan comes on gently. If the CPU starts to get hot, it's cooler kicks on & maybe the case fan a bit more.

I don't know how one fan running full speed compares with three at 1/2 voltage, so I don't know how reasonable this is.

Also, it seems that the RPM range of most fans from 6 to 12V is not wide (below the 6V speed is possible with a higher volt start or PWM, but pretty hard to manage & possibly growls), so it seems picking the right fan in the first place is more important than having good fan control.

-M


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 2:40 pm
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Found something: the crystalfontz.com 633 does PWM variable speed control and temperature monitoring.

It doesn't use temp to control fan speed but this should be possible from the PC using the serial interface.

Still about 60% DIY. You have to wire up "one-wire" temp sensors instead of just plugging in thermistors like the DigitalDoc.

-M


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2002 9:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2002 9:28 am
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Location: Canada
Try this device, unfortunately I found it after purchasing 2 Digidocs...

http://www.fanstorm.com/products.php?pId=1448

Cheers

Andy :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2002 3:26 pm 
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That looks pretty nice, but it doesn't tell you what the temperature is. It looks to me like the "digital control" is either a dedicated (not programmable) PWM controller or a PIC/AVM with a very simple program.

It looks like something fulfulling the totality of my vision isn't far away. I didn't really want another project anyway: gotta edit down about 3 hours of video first (after putting the PC back together and trimming my trees aughh!).

-M


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 2:40 pm
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I found some students who did a digital variable fan controller and temperature monitor: http://www.eb.uah.edu/~wells/cpe496_sp_02/afb/Documentation/finalreport.pdf

Very nice!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 8:34 pm 
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Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
I'll confess my backwards-compatible fan control fantasy of many months ago: a PCI card that has hookups for three-pin connectors and thermal probes (like the DD5), and that has an onboard EEPROM capable of storing configuration data (specifically, the activation and control parameters for each fan). The card could be configured through an additonal BIOS screen like those for IDE RAID add-on cards. There could also be software for whatever OS to let you monitor or re-configure the temperature settings. Naturally, the configuration settings for each fan would include temperature dependent speed ramping.

The nice thing about a PCI-based design with a BIOS/OS based configuration is that you don't have to bother with an LCD or other complicated or custom hardware. And, it's easy to manufacture, since it's just a simple PCI card with some standard connectors on it. You could even skip the BIOS-based configuration screen. You would have to write drivers and software for it, but that seems a small price to pay for the level of functionality you'd get.

After not finding this fantasy product anywhere, I wound up buying a DD5, which I no longer use. Now, I just use 5V Panaflos anytime I need a fan (even one that might only sometimes be necessary). They're cheap, quiet, and "fire and forget".

Incidentally, at one point I tried using thermal control fans with the DD5, but it would sound alarms anytime one of the thermal control fans slowed down too much.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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Location: Walnut Creek, CA
I just ordered the 'fanstorm' deluxe product
(http://www.fanstorm.com/cat.php?cId=4). I ordered it direct from the mfr in Australia, as they have no local distributors in the US. I started filling out the online order form, but then noticed the site was not secure so called them on the number listed on their website. They are about 5 hours 'behind' (earlier) than Pacific Time, so it's easy to get through to someone. Note this changes dramatically from winter to summer, as we change our clocks one way, they change the opposite, so the winter/summer time difference is quite big.

While on the phone, I suggested they send a model to you guys (forum) for a review, and also suggested they try to get silicon acoustics to carry the product.

Anyway - I wish it displayed the temp, but it doesn't. I have the digitaldoc5 also, so I'll use that to monitor temps. This is less than ideal, as digitaldoc5 will monitor temp; display temp; turn fan on when threshhold exceeded. Fanstorm will monitor temp; turn fan on when threshhold exceeded; increase power to fan as temp rises; give visual indication (pulsating/color led's) of the increase in power.

Much overlap, but niether one does everything. The fanstorm only has 3 preset 'trigger' temps - 35, 40, 45. Once the trigger is exceeded, it turns the fan on 'slow'. It will gradually increase the power to the fan as the temp rises. A blue LED reflects this by blinking slowly or quickly If it reaches full fan power (solid blue LED) and the temp does not drop, a separate red LED comes on. It also provides RPM signalling. I think this is 'one wire' only. Not sure if the digitalDoc5 can read the RPM in this manner - for a fan that it is not powering itself. We'll see.

The biggest drag is going to be the need to mount two thermistors on key devices - hard drive, power supply, etc - one for the fanstorm to monitor (so it can turn on the associated fan) and one for DigitalDoc5 so it can display the temp. I won't be using the fan control aspect of the DigitalDoc5, I guess - but maybe I can - use it to turn on an 'auxiliary fan' in case the fanstorm does not cool.

Anyone else tried this device (fanstorm?). Looks worth a shot.

I did look at the Natrium Tech product, but the fans aren't temp controled. I looked at the Pyramid (Cobalt3), but it seems to have only one temp sensor - I want to monitor HD, PSU, Case, etc.

The project continues ...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2002 2:09 am
Posts: 11
cool.....i never know this product b4 :oops: and i'm in Aust too....

Quote:
The fanstorm only has 3 preset 'trigger' temps - 35, 40, 45


can i set it manually ?? like 30,35,40 for the 'trigger' temps


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2002 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Dunno - hope to find out soon. Doubt it, though. Check out the mfr's site http://www.fanstorm.com/products.php?pId=1448, and this review http://www.xtremepctech.com/index.php?page=reviews&review_id=1%20Ou for details.


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