loading

Computer fan powered by car cig lighter?

Ah, so I was doing an Instructable on taking a computer fan and powering via USB, but my fan was rated for 12v and my USB port doesn't put out that much power. But my parent's car puts out 12v, so I should be able to use my fan with it, right? I have the fan, I have a charger for a cell phone that fits into the cig lighter in the car, so it should just be a matter of connecting the wires, right? My fan is rated for .15A, how many amps does a standard cig lighter put out? I don't want to fry the fan (well, forget the fan, I don't wanna mess up the car). Anyone know? Thanks!

sort by: active | newest | oldest
1-10 of 18Next »
gyromild9 years ago
I believe you'll need to check the output for the car charger

i agree with zieak on this..

If you simply connect the wires of the charger to the fan, the voltage you will get is definitely less 12v, mobile phone charger supply around 5.7v, 800mA DC (for my nokia at least).
What will be useful in your case is the charger’s connector head, wire it directly to your fan bypassing all the internal components of the charger.
Bran (author)  gyromild9 years ago
Well it's my brother's old charger, but I have to wait to see if he doesn't need it. So, you think there would be resistors in it?
LasVegas Bran9 years ago
There would be an entire power supply inside. You would need to open it up and remove everything. Then just pass the wires through. You want the power directly.
Bran (author)  LasVegas9 years ago
Here are a few pics of the inside of it. So basically I need to desolder the wires going to and from the circuit board and then use some spare wire and solder the wires, bypassing the circuit board completely? My brother (who is also into electronics) said that this might blow the fuse. Btw, what is that thing with the coiled copper wire? Many thanks!
LasVegas Bran9 years ago
Yes. Just remove the board and bypass it. It won't blow the fuse if you don't short it out. The cigarette lighter uses a 20A fuse. Your fan uses 800mA (0.8 amps, less than 1 amp). I would have to see your pictures to know what you're talking about
Bran (author)  LasVegas9 years ago
You say my fan uses 800mA, but on the label (right alongside 12v) it says .15A.
LasVegas Bran9 years ago
Ah... Sorry... I was looking above at the power supply specs. Your fan uses even less! 150ma, or less than 1/6th of an amp.
Bran (author)  LasVegas9 years ago
Thanks to all who helped! The whole project turned out better and easier than I expected. (and best of all, I didn't get burnt by the soldering iron!). It was fun. 'Cept, the fan puts out a really soft breeze. I expected that, being that it only is meant to cool computer components centimeters from it. I don't guess there would be a way to make it go faster while still being powered by the car, is there? Thanks again!
LasVegas Bran9 years ago
If it's a 3 wire fan, you can connect the 3rd wire to a switch to the 12v line. When switched in, it should go to high speed.
Curious about a 3 wire fan.. Would it have the usual yellow :12v, red:5v, black: ground? So increasing the speed like you mentioned above would simply mean wiring the yellow(12v) and black, right? Instead of red (5v) and black.. Thanks..
1-10 of 18Next »