Introduction: DIY PC Fan Controller
This instructable should help you build a simple 3 speed fan controller for any 12v dc computer fan. I couldn't find a decent tutorial on fan controllers so i've made this simple one. This is my first Instructable so I hope it's alright :)
I can't be held responsible if you break stuff, i have tried to describe things as thouroghly as possible but if stuff breaks it's your fault not mine . None of my stuff broke
The 3 speeds will be off, half speed and full speed
Being able to turn case fans off helps you keep your computer quiet when you don't require the extra cooling, the two fan speeds allow you to turn the fans up when necessary and dow to keep the system quiet while still cooling
You will need:
DC fans - I used 2 i bought on Ebay for about £1.50 each from China, they came with 2 wires for power(+/-) Not PWM 3 pin/wire type and a molex plug so they would run at 12v constantly (Loud)
I don't reccommend LED fans, mine were LED and the change in voltage from changing the speed makes them go dim, not a massive issue but you might not want that
An On/Off Switch
A SPDT switch (3 pins underneath on/on)
Some bits of wire
Soldering iron and solder
Electrical tape or Heat shrink
A computer or computer powersupply to give the fans power
Maybe a screwdriver to open your PC case
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Step 1: Chop Chop Chop
First Chop the molex plug off the end of the fan wires,get as close as you can as it will give you more wire to work with later.
So then you should have a fan with a red wire and a black wire coming out and nothing on the end of them.
My fans had pass through molex connectors so you can connect several fans using only one molex outlet on your PSU, if yours does also then clip the end off like in the picture, you want as much wire as possible on the end we're keeping to make soldering easier
Step 2: Solder Stuff Up
Soldering starts now, so plug in your iron.
If youre using more than one fan join the connectors together, all of your fan + wires should be joined (Usually Red) and all the - wires should be joined together (Usually Black).
Add an extension bit of wire to make soldering to the switches easier, thats the blue wire in the picture.
Tape or heatshrink your soldered wires to insulate them.
Step 3: On Off Switch
Take your Negative wire you just soldered up and soler the free end to the on off switch NOT the SPDT switch.
Get your molex plug we saved earlier and twist the two black wires in the middle together and solder them to the other side of the on off switch with some wire.
Step 4: High and Low Speed Switch
So the speed change will be because of the switch between the two volages a molex plug provides.
Yellow is 12V (Full speed)
Red is 5V (Half-ish Speed)
Solder the yellow molex wire to one of the outside pins on the SPDT switch and the red one on the other side, extend if you need to, i'd reccommend adding some extra wire in as other wise you may struggle when fitting into your case.
While youre soldering the switch solder another wire onto the middle pin and leave the end free for the next step.
Step 5: Next Step
Now solder the middle switch pin wire to your + Fan wires (Red)
The electronics bit is done now apart from testing
Step 6: Testing
If you have an old PSU, use that!
Once again it's not my fault if you break something (Including yourself) during this stage or any other .
If you don't have an old/separate PSU I reccommend removing your PSU from your PC to test this. A fried PSU is better than a fried PC.
Unplug the PSU from the mains.
Unplug the leads into your motherboard and drives, un screw the PSU and it should lift out of the case.
There are loads of youtube videos that will help you with this so i'm not going to go into any more detail than that.
Now it's removed, find the green wire in the big bunch that went to the motherboard It's pin 16 (See picture)
Then get a small pece of wire and connect Pin 16 (Green) to pin 15 (Black)
This makes your PSU think it's attatched to a motherboard, otherwise it won't turn on
Now turn the PSU on and connect the Fans (Plug it back into the mains don't forget)
Turn your PSU on, the fans should come on when you throw the fan switch to on, and should be fast and slow when you use the other switch
Disconnect everything and put it back in your case
Step 7: Mount in Your Case
It's up to you how you mount the switches into your case, you can use empty drive bays or just put them in the case roof. If you add enough wire theres no reason why you cant have them in an external box on your desk or something
Hope ths is useful to you,
I'll be glad to hear your comments