Another automatic PWM fan controller

Control: management of fans, temp/rpm monitoring via soft/hardware

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Gholam
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Another automatic PWM fan controller

Post by Gholam » Sat Sep 25, 2004 9:25 pm

VLSystem Zephyrus. Seems to be similar to, although slightly less capable than mCubed T-Balancer. Maxximus take note - it retails over here in Israel for 255NIS (less than $50). Does anyone have any experience with it? I don't need it for my current system, as Sunbeam Rheobus is perfectly adequate, but I'm considering it for upcoming major upgrade...

silvervarg
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Post by silvervarg » Sun Sep 26, 2004 6:14 am

The specification for that controller looks very promising. Loads of fans can be driven (5+3 externals). 3 temperature sensors might be a bit short for controlling this many fans.
I would have prefered if they had made the board with the PCB (without connectors) to fit in the PCI slot. The way it looks it might be a bit flimsy to just hold the board with 1 screw.
[size=75][b]Passive XP2500+:[/b] Convection cooled, ~XP1500+, DP-102 cooler, Abit NF7-M, CNPS6000Cu on NB, Antec Overture, Samsung P80 120GB[/size]

ultraboy
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Post by ultraboy » Thu Oct 14, 2004 2:36 am

Just bought one today.

Will play with it and report later. Hopefully my system/fans will be friendly with pwm. :roll:

This will be my first trial with pwm though :?: - so any suggestion is welcome.

Cheers.

JvT
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Post by JvT » Thu Oct 14, 2004 3:47 am

I made a little search on the internet with (of course) Google.

I found a review of the Zephyrus fan controller:
http://www.extrememhz.com/zephyrus-p1.shtml

Now I only need to find a reseller in Skandinavia

ultraboy
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Post by ultraboy » Fri Oct 15, 2004 4:55 am

JvT wrote: I found a review of the Zephyrus fan controller:
http://www.extrememhz.com/zephyrus-p1.shtml
The review doesn't seem to give any insight on how the unit works though except that reviewer has some issue with software. The rest are straight out of unit manual. :roll:

For instance, one question I have is whether the fan control in automatic mode would allow for fan rpm to step up gradually until 100% (like in the mCubed T-Balancer) or would it just go from low setting to 100% immediately. The manual suggests that user can set multiple parameter, but it's not very clear. In the manual mode user can adjust it through slide bar though.

Anyway since I already bought it, I guess I'll know that answer soon. :wink:

hvengel
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Post by hvengel » Fri Oct 15, 2004 6:39 am

It also appears to be Windows centric. With the Tbalancer you can program the usint using Windows and it will function with any OS. In addition the Tbalancer interface API is published so it should be possible to build a control program for other OS´s.
Hal

ultraboy
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Post by ultraboy » Sun Oct 17, 2004 9:49 am

Well, I have played with it the last 2 days. So here's my feed back on the unit in case anyone is interested.

Usb driver that come with the unit didn't work with XP Pro SP2 so I have to download the updated usb driver on their website. Updated program is also available there.

Once installed, it took a bit of time to get use to (may be due to my ignorant of pwm :D ) but nothing complicated.

Control for 5 fans can be set from 0 - 100%, but cannot really program it in such a way that fan speed move up gradually as temp rise. So far I can only manage to have 1 step in between minimum setting and 100%. Manual fan adjustment worked well though. Btw, fans all start at 12v. before program takeover.

3 flat head Temp sensors work ok, temp report by MBM can also be integrated with program and be part of setting.

All went well until software started to have strange behaviors. After a few successful autostart with window, it suddenly refused to autostart when turned on computer but still ok with manual click open. That happened a few time i.e. require manual click open after machine turned on, and then it just died - no autostart, click open did not work too. Me think it hated me :x :cry: May be I got a faulty unit. :?: :?:

Anyway, I have sent questions to tech support. Me goes back to trusty fanmate for now while waiting for respond. :cry:

ultraboy
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Post by ultraboy » Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:29 am

Two working days have gone without any respond from Tech support (am I unreasonable :?: ).

I decided to reinstalled the unit - although in a different way. When Window detect new hardware, I let Window update USB drivers (2 of them I think) from their website first. I then install usb driver that came with the unit and do not let them overwrite some of the files when Window suggested that the files being overwritten are newer. With this I can now get the Zephyrus back to work :) for the last 4 hours - hopefully it will stay that way :? :lol:

Pls. advise if this is a bad way to install driver.

ecto
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Post by ecto » Tue Oct 19, 2004 10:59 am

Looks like an interesting product.

Imo you're absolutely not unreasonable about the tech support not answering for tw days. Good tech support should answer within 24 hours imo.

I don't think that's a good way of installing a driver - you now probably have mixed files from two different driver versions, which could end up in incompatibility and unpredicted results. But hey, if it works it works! "Don't fix what's not broken".. :)

Please report on how the Zephyrus works.. I'm specifically interested in if you can get the fans to ramp up gradually. Just having three steps (min, one between, and max) isn't good enough to justify the price of the product I think.

ultraboy
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Post by ultraboy » Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:02 am

ecto wrote:I don't think that's a good way of installing a driver - you now probably have mixed files from two different driver versions, which could end up in incompatibility and unpredicted results. But hey, if it works it works! "Don't fix what's not broken".. :)
That's what I thought too, but decided to give a try anyway. :oops:

Based on the experiences I got todate, I would not really recommend Zephyrus to anyone though. As hvengel pointed out earlier, this unit is very Windows centric and unless they have a very good drivers/software team that keeps producing updated drivers/program, there's a high chance that the unit will have issues with so many Windows update. The fact that tech support is slow in responding - that's not a good sign. :x

If you're in Europe, I would rather point you to mCubed T-balancer as previewed by Mike today and previosly discussed in forum here.

ultraboy
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Post by ultraboy » Sun Oct 24, 2004 4:32 am

Well I got an answer from a marketing guy that say it caused by my Windows and asked me to reinstall, surprises :wink:

Actually that was the very first thing I did, and it did not help (see, how far we've come to trust MS).

The only thing left to try is a clean install. Will try that as soon as I have time for it - a good day is needed :evil:

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