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Old October 2, 2008, 10:49 PM
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Post How-To: Make Homemade Fan Controllers

This guide will show you how to slow down your Computer's Fans, create a transferable connector that slows down your Fans, and Addind an ON/OFF switch to your Fans.

*Disclaimer* I am in no way responsible for any harm that comes to anyone from doing this, most of the actions required are elementary, however, they are dealing with electricity and drawing circuits, be careful at all times.


This guide will show you how to slow down your Fan's Speeds, It basically halves the speed by running them on half the Voltage, By Hooking the Fans up to the 5V line instead of the 12V. This guide is one of a series of guides to do with Fan Speed Control

Part 1: Fan Controllers:

Materials you will need:
  • Fan
  • Molex Pin Remover(Paper Clips/Small Screwdrivers work too)
  • Cable Cutters/Strippers
  • Soldering Iron(Can also crimp the wires, but Soldering is much better)
  • Molex Pin Connector(Only needed if the fan has a 3-Pin Power Connector: See Here, or for a cheap solution, buy This, and cut off the Sata Connector)
  • Electrical Tape
  • Additional Wire(Optional: Only if you want to make the cables longer)
  • Cable Sleeving/Heatshrink/Lighter(Optional)


Lowering Voltage on Fan's with 3-Pin Power Connectors:
First of all cut off the 3-pin connector on the fan, Make sure you save it since you can always use them later




Since the whole point of this How-To is to make a 3-Pin into a slower Molex fan, you can just rip off the Yellow Wire thats for Fan Control, If your uneasy doing this, just cut it off really low and put some Electrical Tape over it, I just ripped mine off though.



Now Strip the black and red wires of your fan with a wire stripper



Heres an Explanation of what were going to do, The yellow Wire is a 12V line, and the Red is 5V, the Black wires are both for grounding, Regularly fans run on the Red 5V line, were basically plugging them into the Red 5V line and running them at roughly half there speed



Now take the Male Molex Connector with wires in it, and take out one of the Red or Yellow, doesnt matter, and one of the Black wires, To take them out, notice that on each little pin, there are little fins on each side, use a Tool, Paper Clip, or screw driver to push these down than pull out. What I am going to do is take out all of the wires, than Put the Yellow Wire where the Red one was, and put a black Ground wire right beside it, You can also just Take out the Yellow and One black and that works too.



The "wings" i speak of:



Heres how it will look if you use my long roundabout way just because i like yellow :P, If not it should look the same but the Wire will be Red.



Now take the Red Wire coming from the fan, and Connect it with the Yellow Wire on the molex connector. There are two ways you can join them both shown below, you can fold them together with your fingers and crimp them, Or you can Solder them, See below:
Just use your Fingers and wrap the wires around each other, than fold it over, try making them as intertwined as possible



When your done, put some Electrical Tape over it:



Or you can wrap them around each other like so:



Then Solder them like so:



Once again, put some electrical tape over both wires:



After doing stuff like this, the Electrical Tape always looks ugly, so i like to put some cable sleeving over the wires: NOTE* This part is Optional:

Remove the Yellow and Black pins from the Molex Connector(Make sure you mark the plastic connector so you know which side they go in when your done)



Cut out a piece of Sleeving, and slide it over the Wires in a snake like movement:



Cut out two equal sizes of Heatshrink, and slide them over the Sleeving:







Now put the Yellow/Black wires back into the Connector:



And Walla! Your fan will now run at 1/2 its original Speed



Lowering Voltage on Fan's with Molex Connectors:
To Lower Voltages on Fan's with Molex Connectors, all you have to do is skip the first steps of cutting off the 3-Pin connector, and basically just flip the Red and Yellow Wires on your Fan!



Part 2: Transferable Connector:
Materials you will need:
  • Molex Pin Remover(Paper Clips/Screwdrivers work too)
  • Cable Cutters/Strippers
  • 3-Pin to Molex Wire Converter: (Can be Found Here)
  • Soldering Iron(Can also crimp the wires, but Soldering is much better)
  • Cable Sleeving/Heatshrink(Optional)


Creating a transferable connector to slow down your fans:
So first of all you start off with this






To begin remove all 4 Wires from the Molex Connector





Now you have to flip the location of the red and yellow wires, basically just changing the voltage going to the fan, for reference, with the beveled(little angled cuts) side of the molex connector facing up, this is how the order of color should go





You now have a transferable fan controller ;)


Part 3: How to add an ON/OFF Switch to a Fan:

Materials You Will Need:
  • Fan
  • ON/OFF Switch(Can be found at TheSource)
  • Soldering Iron(Can also crimp the wires, but Soldering is much better)
  • Cable Cutters/Strippers
  • Wire(Black and Red)
  • Electrical Tape


Adding the Switch to your Fan:
I needed to rewire one of my fans anyways so here i have pictured a Fan with wires cut off, and a molex connector, however, if ur adding this to an intact fan, just cut the Red wire, and follow the steps ignoring what i do with the Ground wire and molex connector.
So First of all, cut the Red wire, and strip both sides of it, most switches come with little rubber thingies that go over top of where the wires are, Make sure you put those over the wires before u fasten the wire to the switch


The Rubber Thingies:


Next, thread the stripped red wires through the holes in the the switch, and secure them, you can either solder them, or just twist them on tight. Than slide the "Rubber Thingies" over top



Lots of times the "Rubber Thingies"(I should TM that), are kinda loose, so i fasten them on the end with electrical tape too so that the wires dont short.


And your done, your fan now has an integrated ON/OFF switch :D




Section II: Where to get cheap Variable Fan Controllers
A nice, cheap fan controller I have found that works great is This (See below for a better image). I really hate how it takes up a PCI Slot on the back, and clutters up all the wiring, so i take it off and hide the dial in my case, since i rarely change fan speeds.


End Note:
For those of you that are looking to continuously change your Fan Configurations i would suggest a high end Fan Controller such as the:I hope this helped, If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, feel free to post below or pm me.
-Thanks

Last edited by arekieh; February 25, 2009 at 08:14 PM.
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Old October 2, 2008, 11:03 PM
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Good instructions, although anyone thinking of doing this should have a care - some fans won't reliably start with 5V of power. Swapping the molex pins can be reversed easily enough, but if you cut off a 3-pin plug, leave a few inches of wire on the plug in case you end up wanting to reattach it!
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Old October 2, 2008, 11:12 PM
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1) This isn't a fan "controller" its a fan off/on switch
2) Instead of electrical tape use shrink tube like you have works better and works just as good.
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Old October 2, 2008, 11:12 PM
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Very true that's happened to me a few times I think specifically with anted fans
Thanks for posting that I'll add that as a warning of caution to the beginning of the guide
Any other constructive criticism? I'd appreciate any input I can get

EDIT*...it also controls the fan speed by dropping the voltage
The on off switch section is only added as an extra

EDIT#2*Sorry for any grammar errors above^, posted off my dads iPhone :D.

Last edited by arekieh; October 2, 2008 at 11:29 PM.
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Old October 2, 2008, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arekieh View Post
Very true that's happened to me a few times I think specifically with anted fans
Thanks for posting that I'll add that as a warning of caution to the beginning of the guide
Any other constructive criticism? I'd appreciate any input I can get
...it also controls the fan speed by dropping the voltage
The on off switch section is only added as an extra
Again its not a fan controller but a voltage reducer.

Noctua includes these with their fans and called them a "noise reducer" or some odd name.
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Old October 2, 2008, 11:30 PM
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any suggestions for what i should call my guide then?
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Old October 2, 2008, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arekieh View Post
any suggestions for what i should call my guide then?
Fan Switch w/ Voltage Reducer
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Old October 2, 2008, 11:33 PM
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Great little guide. I do this kind of stuff all the time. You can also get 7V if you use the 5V lead as a ground (12-5 = 7V). You should get some basic electrical drawings to explain it to people.
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Old October 2, 2008, 11:37 PM
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Good idea,
Im currently working on a Logitech G9 Review, as soon as im done that ill update this one.
Thanks for the input guys.

P.S. Thanks for the title idea, that would be less misleading I guess.
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Old October 2, 2008, 11:48 PM
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That's all good - but I use 2 Antec Pro 80mm fans in my case and can easily control the speed with variable control using SpeedFAN - it also comes with adapters for the small connector or regular molex - I would attempt to use SpeedFAN first if you have one of those fans connected to your motherboard, it works with most motherboards.
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