DIY Super Budget Laptop Cooler




College kids are broke and so am I. I work my macbook down to the every byte it has. Today i decided to give it a helping had and try to keep it as cool as possible.

The total budget was just ender $10.00

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Step 1: Materials You'll Need.

1. Shoebox
2. Male USB cord
3. Soldering iron + solder
4. Shrink wrap
5. Fan (Make Sure it is 5v. USB from a laptop only puts out 5v) We will be running the power off of USB.
6. Hobby Knife
7. Pen
8. Double Stick tape

Step 2: Prep Your Box

Lay the fan in the box
Trace the fan with your pen.

Since i want the fan to lay underneath the laptop were going to need to cut out the hole for the laptop, leaving the rounder corners still in tact.

Lay a scrap piece of paper on the laptop and trace out the "curve"

Now use your curve to trace out areas your going to "save" when you cut your hole.

You should end up with something like a box with inverted rounded edge.

Step 3: Prep Your Wires.

1. Take your USB cord and strip away 2-3 cm wire. Make sure not to cut the inside wires.
2. Cut off the excess shielding/
3. Usual the Red and Black wires are going to be POWER and GROUND so go ahead and cut any other wire out. You can test the wires with a volt meter, but its pretty universal system,
4. Go ahead and strip 2cm of the black and red wires.

5. Prep your fan RED and Black wires and strip the wires 2cm back.
6. Slip on your shrink wrap tube now to get a good finish later.
6. Now set up and your soldering iron. and solder the red to red, and black to black.
after everything has cooled. MOved your shrink wrap tube over the solder wires and heat up the tube.

Step 4: Finish Up the Box.

Take your shoebox, and adjust the height as needed. I cut down my box to, two inches,

1. Take a pen and punch a whole for your wires.
2. Take some double stick tape and place a good bit on each corner of the fan.
3. Place fan in box on double stick tape points.
4. Secure your wires to the box, ( use tape or anything small you can find)

Step 5: Test It Out.

Everything looks good.

Enjoy your cheapo USB powerd laptop cooler.

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    14 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 2

    I'd put the fan on the side of the box. It would suck the hot air out more efficiently, because hot air goes up and if you try to move it down it just goes back up. Pushing it to the side works much better.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I have a spare case fan that I would like to use for this. However my case fan, unlike yours, has three wires coming out of it. Can I still do this project? If so, what should I do differently?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You should mention that the 5v fans work better because the output of USB is 5 volt, I tried with a 12v fan and it goes very slowly so it doesn't blow a lot of air

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    the bottom of macbooks get hot too the more air moving along the bottom the cooler it gets it takes heat away no matter where the air vents are


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, my friend made me one of these (except it was just a bare fan with a USB cord.) but it helped a lot! :D


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Just wondering, if you laptop is a mac book, the air vents are on the side not the bottom like all the other laptops are. So how do this take away all teh heat if its on teh wrong side.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    A few months ago someone posted using a 3-ring binder as a laptop stand, (I've been using 1.5") I'm thinking this may be a good addition.... I'll have to give it a try


    11 years ago on Introduction

    great idea. gives me ideas to make a more permanent one rather then cardboard. Wouldn't have thought of using the 5v out from the usb.