How to Make a Cheap USB Powered Fan

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Introduction: How to Make a Cheap USB Powered Fan

How to make a cheap fan from parts bought at the dollar store. This fan can be made for about $2 (plus tax), unless you can buy a double ended USB wire, then you can make 2 USB fans for $3 (plus tax). That definately beats the $15 or $20 stores tend to charge for these types of devices.

This is my first instructable so I wouldn't mind if people posted their opinion.

NOTE: Pictures will be added at a later date when I make the second fan, the first one (which I am writting this instructable from) was simply a test to see if it would infact work.

Step 1: Preparing the USB Cable

Cut the USB cable to the length you require (long if you need to attach fan to a USB port in the back of your computer). Becareful not to cut the inner wires, use a wire stripper (if you have one) or simply a pair of scissors (be careful not to cut yourself).

Once the protective jacket has been removed, remove some of the shielding such that the 4 wires which make up the USB cable are exposed.

Cut the white and green wires short (to the protective jacket) as they will not be needed for powering the device.

Step 2: Preparing the Power Wires.

CAREFULLY, remove the outter protective jacket from the red and black wires to expose the copper wire underneath. Twist the exposed wire (if not already done) to make your life easier.

Step 3: Taking Apart the Fan.

Remove the battery cover as well as the screw holding the two halves of the fan together (becareful not to loose any small parts such as screws/switches).

Step 4: Connecting the USB Wires to the Fan's Battery Terminals.

This was done through trial and error. I found that while the fan would run both if the red were attached to the positive and black negative or red to negative and black to positive but the second way produced sparks at the negative-to-motor connection so I obviously chose the former hook-up. Wrap the indicated wire around the indicated battery terminal folding the wire over so it stays temporarily. Once this is done, plug the USB wire into your computer (NOTE: Do this instructable at your own risk, I will not take the blame if harm comes to you computer/yourself/etc but nothing bad happened to me/my computer when I connected the fan to the computer) and turn the fan on. If it works, on to the next step, if not, maybe the wires are not connected properly or maybe they are loose, play around with it,m it should work fairly easily (and as long as the fan does not require 3 x 1.5V batteries or more for operation (IE no more than 5 V) ).

Step 5: Making the Conections Permenant.

Now that the fan works successfully, its time to solder the USB power wires to the battery terminals to make the connections more permenant and stable.

NOTE: After completing this instructable, I've discovered that the USB port is too powerful fo the fan I chose so a resistor wired in series before the connection to the fan would help lower the power and therefore not overload the fan/motor. This is as simple as soldering a resistor of high enough resistance to decrease the voltage to around 3 volts (from thew 5 that USB puts out).

Step 6: Personalizing Your USB Fan.

If you find the fan too plain, you can spice it up with paint, decorations, etc, anything you want.

NOTE: this instructable can be used to power practically any device that requires no more than 5.0V.

Enjoy the breeze!

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    55 Discussions

    0
    dsyn
    dsyn

    13 years ago

    I am incredibly interested in learning more about powering things using USB. I have been wondering if there is anyway to power larger devices, like things you have to plug in to an outlet. Think a computer with multiple USB ports combined as one power source could do it?

    0
    bmlbytes
    bmlbytes

    Reply 13 years ago

    No I don't think that would work. Computers output at 5v DC. Most electronics require 120v AC. Even if you got the computer to output 12v DC and used a DC to AC converter, there still wouldn't be enough amperage.

    0
    ajverbsky
    ajverbsky

    Reply 13 years ago

    I WANT TO CREATE AN USB CASE FAN! THEN I WOULD LIKE TO HOOK IT UP TO MY CEILING MOUNTED EPSON PROJECTOR WITH POWERED USB PORT. ITS PURPOSE WOULD TO BE HELP COOL THE PROJECTOR AND ALSO IF IT HAD BLUE LED LIGHTS IT WOULD LOOK WAY COOL. I FOUND A FAN THAT WOULD RUN WITH 5V , BUT WHAT IS THE AMP OUTPUT FOR A USB PORT. VERBSKY

    0
    CaffeineHouse
    CaffeineHouse

    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    See that key between Tab and Shift? hit it. see what happens? you don't look like a moron anymore.

    0
    neuromonkey
    neuromonkey

    Reply 4 years ago

    WHAT? WHICH KEY DO YOU ME---oh. wow. look at that. sheesh. i feel so relaxed now.

    0
    NathanC91
    NathanC91

    Reply 4 years ago

    That post was made nearly a decade ago, but whatever xD

    0
    EET1982
    EET1982

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I built my own AC to DC converter. 120VAC to 12VDC with a 3A Transformer that gives me enough juice to run 3 fans at full power.

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    0
    sleepykhan
    sleepykhan

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Hi please instructable or a diagram might be very helpful :)

    0
    lukkbox
    lukkbox

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    1. if your near a power source, use the plug socket, not your computer 2. if your away from a power source, there is no way your laptops battery would last longer than a minute 3. this is just constructive critiscism offered before you start albert einsteining what is, a bad idea love lukkbox x

    0
    SusanT5
    SusanT5

    5 years ago on Introduction

    hi,we produce the USB mini rechargeable handheld DC fan.

    My mail address: market@xinyujie.com

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    0
    markvergil38
    markvergil38

    5 years ago on Introduction

    how to create a 2-3 cpu fan through USB? I only know is 1 cpu fan to USB.

    0
    dog812
    dog812

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I am new to usb. I would like to make a usb adapter to charge my GPS. Will usb work on a battery that is roughly 6 volts? Or will it only charge up to 5 volts tops?

    0
    spartan094
    spartan094

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Here's mine. Using an old Play Station (the fat one) fan. I super glued it to a cd, and used an old pointless screw (bolt?) as a sort of pole to keep the cord in place. Put's out a considerable amount of air. I know it's sloppy, but the PS2's fan wires must have been around 30 gauge, ridiculously small. I did solder btw.

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