Introduction: Soldering Exhaust Fan / Laptop Cooling Fan
I was browsing through instructables the other day and found several projects which I wanted to try. But before I did I wanted to make a exhaust fan to keep solder fumes out of my breathing area.Thus the three fan array.
For this project you will need:
3 12v fans
2" of 1/4" Heat Shrink Tubing
1.5" of 1/2" Heat Shrink Tubing
1 2.5mm power jack
1 12v power supply
For the powersupply checkout goodwill you can usually pick one up anywhere between $0.49 to $1.99
Whenselecting your powersupply you should select one that can handle the current needed for all fans.
In my cas 2 of the fans draw .12 A and the third draws .17 A.
So I need a power supply with a minimum rating of (.12+.12+.17) = 410 ma or .41 A
The Pack that i chose is rated at 1.2 A so I am well below it rated capacity.
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Step 1: Select Fans and Fasten Together
The first step in this project is to select the fans that you will use to make the array. Originally I'd hoped to make this a square 4 fan array however I only found three fans out of the ones that I had that were quiet enough to use.
Once you have selected your fans arrange them into the desired configuration and tie together with 4" zip ties. You could use longer zip ties however they will be wider an may not fit through the fan screw holes.
Step 2: Secure Wire and Sleeve
In this step we will secure the power wires from al of the fans to converge to connect to our 2.5mm power adapter. Once wires are running to one central location cut all wires to the shortest wires length. Once this is done you can either start soldering or you can sleve the wires with a nylon sleeve as I chose to. To do this first meausre the wire length to determine hoiw long the sleeve should be. In my case the wires measured 3" long from end of fan array to end of wire so I decided to cut the sleeving to 2.5".
Once the sleeving is cut to length cut 2 1" lengths of heat shrink tubing 1/4" in diamater for each end of the power wire. Slide on the 1st segment of Heat shrink tubing followed by the sleeve. When doing this you want the sleeving material to slide inside of the Tubing. Apply heat to shrink tubing,I prefer to use a heat gun. However you can also use a match or soldering iron but don't place tubing into the flame or touch with the soldering iron. Doing so will result in the tubing simply melting.After the 1st segment is shrank slide the 2nd segment of tubing over the sleeving material and place as far away from where you will be soldering to prevent premature shrinking, also allow the tubing you just shrank to cool before doing this step as failing to do so will result in shringking as well.
Step 3: Solder on Power Connector
In this step you will want to strip all negative wires that need to be connected to power. Group all negative terminal wires and twist together, then thread twisted wires through power jack solder tab. Once this is done solder connection. Be cautious to not apply heat for extended periods of time as doing so will melt your power connector rendering it usless in many cases. Next adjust length of Positive wire allowing around 1/8" past the connector for stripping, now strip all three positive terminal wires, twist together, thread through solder tab, and solder connection. Be sure to snip off any sharp edjes that protrude from connection as these could pierce the heatshrink tubing used in the next step.
Step 4: Final Shrink Tubing
In this step we apply a 1/2" dia. x 1.5" piece of heat shring tubing over our 2.5mm power jack. Now heat Only the 1/2"dia tubing that is placed over the power connector. Also be cautious not to melt the connector as it will distort the hole making insertion and removal of power cable difficult. If you do by chance distort the connector you can attempt to salvage it by reheating the connector while wearing gloves until it is pliable and inset the power pack cable into the hole then allow to cool. The fit will likely be very snug after this process however twisting the plug within the socket will loosen it up a bit. Onece you have shrank the 1/2" tubing around the power connector you will likely notice that it isn't exactly snug. This is where the 1" x 3/8" piece of tubing that was placed on the wire comes into play. Slide the 3/8" tubing over the shrank 1/2" tubing then shrink tubing.
Step 5: Put It to Work!
Now that you've completed the assembly of your cooling and exaust fan you can now solder wiithout fumes lingering and it can also double as a laptop cooler by proving cross ventilation and keeping my hp dv9500 cool (hopefully extending time between video card failure!)