Hello guys, my name is Alex and this is my first instructables. As most of you, probably, I got addicted to this website and I want to say that it's all so great! Since the first thing I really needed was a laptop cooler (since my laptop turned into a efficient water heater!!!), I looked up some designs and made my own (if I used one of your ideas, I am sorry not to give you credit, mainly because I didn't realise it so if you want you can just comment or send me an e-mail and I will put your name in the instrctable.)
All right, now that introductions are done, lets start of with the instructables. What you will need:
- 2 x 12V, 0,2A pc fans.
- A piece of plexiglass (the size depends on your laptop size, mine is 15" by 11.5" so I needed twice that), or you can use any other piece of acrylique or lexan.
- 4 x 5mm Blue LEDs.
- 22 AWG cable.
- Hot glue gun and about 40 sticks of glue.
- a switch
- soldering iron
The total cost in my case was about 10$ becaue I already had the plexiglass and I only had to buy the leds and the fans (4$ each) but I beleive a peice of plexiglass big enough for this project goes for around 15$.
Step 1: Cutting the plexiglass
The part is pretty hard because no one seems to have a perfect homemade method for cutting plexiglass. To cut the rectangles (15" by 11.5"), I used the scratch and snap method. You first trace the lines you want to cut and then you use a nail or screw and scratch on that line for about 15-20 times(more is better) until you feel that the scratch is deep enough, you put the plexiglass on the corner of a table and snap it.
Once you did that, you take the fans and place them on the plexiglass (wherever you want, depends on your laptop) and trace the squares with a white board marker (so you can clean it after). You turn the plexiglass on the other side and with the fan under, you trace with you marker the round corners of the fan (as in the picture). To cut the circles, the best way I found to do this, is to use and old soldering iron and melt it. Its not a very fast technique but it helps to avoid accidents and destroy the plexiglass (which is pretty expensive). WARNING: try to do this outside somewhere or in a room with excellent ventillation because melting plexiglass smells like hell. After you cut the two holes (about 30 minutes), you use some glasspaper and smooth the edges.
Step 2: The legs
Ok so this step is not very hard but it's slow. The legs are purely made of hot glue. To do them I used the cylindrical cardboard of a used roll of paper towels (or paper toilet) and I taped electrical tape on the inside so it would be easier to take off after the glue has hardened. I then put this empty cylinder on the round piece of plexiglass remaining from the previous step and I started to fill it with hot glue (takes about 10 minutes to fill one cylinder. Once the cylinder is full, I left to harden for about 7-8 minutes, and took it off the plexiglass (be carefull, if you leave it too long on the plexiglass, it will stuck and it is pretty hard to take it off). Once the leg is dry, I used a cutter and made a small incision in the cardboard (dont worry about cutting the glue because if you do, you can always glue it back with the gun). I then took a pair of pliers and started to peel off the cardboard and electrical tape which actually come off pretty easily.
Once this is done, you need to make a hole near the base of the glue leg to insert your leds. In this picture, you can see the led has been inserted before starting to fill the cylinder which is stupid (as I realised after the first one) because it is much easier to just put it in afterwards. If the legs have some imperfections, just use the tip of the glue gun to smooth them.
Step 3: Fixing the fans
To fix the fans, I simply used hot glue on the four corners. I then glued the cables to the plexiglass and brought the to the back of the stand.
***BTW, fan1, fan2 and the four lights are all connected in parallel and each of the branches receives 12V and about 0,15A. ALSO DO NOT FORGET THAT THE FANS SHOULD BLOW THE AIR ON YOUR LAPTOP NOT ON THE TABLE!!!)
Then, I hooked up the fans (red cable with red cable and black with black (+ with + and - with -). Next, I glued the switch on the edge of the plexiglass and hooked it up to the parallel connection (The switch is between the power source and the triple branch node). I connected the switch to the paralled node with the same cable and I glued it on the plexiglass also, and the I connected another cable that with go from the switch to the power source. Next, I used another piece of cable to connect the the other side of the parallel node to the power source.
Step 4: Final step: putting it together
The base and legs were relatively easy to do. I used hot glue to stick all the legs on the base, and then hooked up the four leds in series (negative to positve, negative positive, and so on until I got the cables of the four leds connected at the back of the base. I soldered all the connections to be sure and glued the cables on the base. Once all this is done, I glued the base with the top and made the connection between the four legs and the parallel node seen in the previous step (positive with positive and negative with negative). Once it's all done, I hooked the cables to a 12V lead acid battery and turned it on and MAGIC.
After this, I found a transformer from an old rechargeable flashlight that gave me an output of 12V and 0,3A and my cooler is powered by a wall plug but I can undo that connection easily and hook it up to a battery to transport it. The reason I did this is because since the connection are all in parallel, the current needed is higher and it would drain my battery pretty fast.
Anyway, thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed it because I certainly did. Please, any comment or critique is appreciated.