Hi guys this is my first Instructable and I hope you'll enjoy it.
As a video editing, gamer, and general laptop enthusiast, my laptop tends to get pretty hot (see the screenshots in the test part). Because I had fans laying around, I decided to build a cooling pad. In this instructable I'm gonna show you how I build my 3 fan cooling pad with variable speed.
Step 1: Things You Need
For this build, I used some wood that I had laying around.
- Some wood
- Ventilation grid
- Electrical tape/Shrinking tubes
- Glue (hot glue or anything similar)
- Glue for wood
- Soldering iron
- Wood paste
- 1 ON/OFF switch
- 1 female power jack or this one
- 1 12V DC power supply (powerful enough to power 3 fans)
- 1 10k potentiometer
- 1 boost down converter board
- 3 (or less) computer fans
- Some wires
Step 2: Build the Base
This step is pretty straight forward. You'll need to make some measurement of your laptop to decide how much wood you need. Cut round holes for each fan. You can start by drilling a hole and then start cutting.
Cut everything to the size you want and then glue together some wood to make a cleat. The higher it is, the more tilted will be your laptop. Use some wood paste to fill in the gap beetwen the cleat and the main wood piece. That way you have the right tilt and it will be solid.
Then you can glue another small cleat to the bottom of you pad, that way your laptop will not slide off.
Last thing is to glue each fans to their location.
Step 3: Painting and Decorating
I use some black glycero paint to make it look a bit more stylished. I decided not to paint it everywhere because I was lacking a bit of time. The instructions on the paint tell us to apply two layers, with a drying period of 24h in between.
I also used ventilation grid that I took from the fans to cover the holes. Simply fixed with hot glue.
Step 4: "Hacking" the Boost Converter
The boost converter will be used to reduce the voltage received by the fans. The only problem is that the actual potentiometer is horribly small. What I did is use a 10K potentiometer that I plugged instead of the original one. The only downside is that because of the higher resistance of the potentiometer it's only possible to go to 11V max. But it's ok since my fans are very loud when they go full speed. I recommend using the same resistance potentiometer.
Step 5: Wiring Up Everything
First thing is to keep only the two important wire of the fan : VCC and GROUND. Usually they are red and black. In my case, I had 4 wires, and YELLOW was VCC and BLACK was GROUND. The 2 others are just for sensors. Each of my fans require 12V DC 500mA, wich will represent 1.5A of current. My power supply can deliver 3.8A, wich can be handy for later improvements.
Follow the schematic to wire everything together. Each fans are in parallel in order to receive 12V. Use some shrinking tubes or electrical tape to hide every connections you made.
Step 6: Final Product and Tests
Here is the final product. I think it looks pretty nice, especially with the ventilators grid.
- First benchmark picture is my laptop 5min after booting up.
- Second picture is after 20min of gaming (without the pad).
- Last picture is after 20min of gaming with the pad at full speed
Thank you for having read my instructable. Please comment if you have any questions/improvements/comments.
Please tell me if I haven't been clear at some point or if I made any mistake as English is not my native language.
See you next time for another project !