Why build your own fan controller?
- You're just looking to under-volt some fans, not control the universe.
- You just found SPCR today, and you want to do something NOW!!
- You're as cheap as they come. ("Hey, is that a penny??")
- It's fun to make stuff!!
Simple Fan Controllers
Here's what you'll need:
- A molex connection. You'll often find a short section of wires connecting a male and female molex connector at the end of a fan connection, basically a power pass-through. These are great for modding.
- A molex pin remover. You can either buy one, or make one. Do a google on molex pin remover and you'll find info on both. I made mine using that guide and it worked great.
- The 7 Volt Mod
- Good: 7 volts is a good compromise between noise and airflow for most fans.
- Bad: It could kill your power supply (read blue caution box).
- The 5 Volt Mod
- Good: No danger to your power supply, and a really quiet fan.
- Bad: Not all fans start reliably at 5 volts, and you might not realize it until too late.
cpemma's great guide
Mike C's guide
Bleedin Edge guide
Maybe the best guide (lots of pics!)
These controllers actually give you some measure of control. You'll be able to create a range of voltages your fan can use, and some let you switch easily between them.
For some of these, you WILL have to solder. Soldering is easy to do, and low risk (as long as you have good health and property insurance). If you're a newbie to soldering, such as I am, then these guides are REALLY helpful:
A basic soldering guide
Not only is this guide from NASA, but it is all movies!!!
If PDF's are your thing...
Another great guide, complete with a first aid section!
Now that you're fully armed with soldering knowledge...we'll start off with a controller that doesn't involve any of that!
cmcquistion's Terminal Block controller
- Good: No soldering! And, gives you a wide variety of voltages to use.
- Bad: It's not very presentable, so you'll have to hide it in your PC. Also not very good for changing a fan's voltage "on the fly".
- Good: Allow for switching between two voltages. And no little magical electrical parts involved.
- Bad: Almost belongs in the simple controller section, except soldering is most likely involved here.
- Good: PWM control adds some capabilities straight voltage controllers can't.
- Bad: Not all fans respond well to PWM, and this stuff makes the Diobus seem like childs-play.
Also shown here, thanks to Alleycat
- Good: Use a knob to switch between voltages while the fan is running. Add LED's for a visual indication.
- Bad: You should definitely understand wiring schematics for this one. And there will be soldering.
Well, I think this is a good start. I'll add other controller ideas as I hear about them. Also, this thread might be useful stickied in this forum for all the boneheads out there who don't know how to gather information. Otherwise, if you don't feel this post is worth keeping in this forum, then don't reply to it and it will slowly sink to the bottom of the forum and die....along with my pride
Edit: Added PWM controller link, thanks to jamesm.