Instructables
This summer my trusty TJ65 suddenly said goodbye to the cruel world and started shutting down every 20 minutes or so. I figured out it was an overheating issue. I browsed around to buy one of those fancy cooler pads than just gave up, not feeling like to give $50 for a PC fan in a box.

I decided to build my own, needless to say, for much cheaper.

What you will need (and probably have lying around):
- old desktop DVD player or something similar with a metal housing that fits under your laptop
- smaller CPU fan
- some usb cable (can be anything, we only need the plug)
-  electrical tape, glue, solder

Tools:
- small metal saw (or dremel if you are into that kind of thing)
- soldering iron
- knife, screwdriver
 
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Step 1: Remove the guts

I decided to leave only the power switch (why not), the power cord (we'll attach the usb dongle to this) and the scart socket in (because it would have left a needlessly large hole). Plus I glued back the plastic cover of the dvd tray and the buttons to give it a funky look...

Step 2: Cut a hole for the fan

Making your own cooler is good becasue you can decide where to put the fan so it matches the airflow of your laptop. Position wisely.

After cutting the hole I instantly managed to cut my finger with the edge... but it gave me an idea. I stripped some of the power cord and glued the isulation around the edge. This will keep the fan in place and it wont scratch the bottom of my laptop.

Step 3: Wiring

Using a multimeter check the dongle for the +5 volts. Then solder everything up. Use tape where necessary, then put everything back together.

Note: the USB port has only 5V at 500 milliamps... tha fan needs 12... the reason why this works is probably because the USB ports are prepaired for anything, but be careful not to short them. So far it didn't fry my motherboard.
PSPerson2 years ago
Hmm... I have a bunch of old directv receivers on my parts shelf which could probably work quite nicely. I could even tap into the buttons on the front to do fun things....
Gazook2 years ago
A very cool cooler :) I'm currently using a targus something-or-other to put my laptop on, but now I'm thinking of remodeling my old Dreamcast to a netbook cooler.
djhusi (author)  Gazook2 years ago
Thanks :)
A cooler from a dreamcast, well that would look funky, please post a picture if you do it :)
ironsmiter3 years ago
all in all, nicely done.
choice of location for the fan is everything, for a laptop cooler.
looks like you choose the hard-drive cooling location.
good choice,


usb is DESIGNED for 5 volt under load.

in actuality, poorly regulated usb ports can pump out 7 volts or more, under dead short.

the other half of why it works is, the 12v fan can start on lower voltages, and run on even lower voltages.

In my testing, MOST smaller 12V fans can start on around 5 volt, and run down to around 3.
The higher power fans, like case fans that "ratchet" when you spin them by hand, tend to need higher starting voltages. usually, 7 is a minimum, and 5 is the low end running voltage. anything less, and you tend to get stalling.
djhusi (author)  ironsmiter3 years ago
Wow, long post thanks :)
Well yes actually the TJ65 blows out air at the back, and has two grills for sucking air in on the bottom, so I put the fan to the further one with face up so it blows air in.

As for the fans yes, absolutely true...
For me it was either this or two chipset/graphics card fans in parallel (those run on 5V). I chose this one because it has more than the average blades and makes a decent airflow, plus I only needed one :).