USB Desktop Fan

Introduction: USB Desktop Fan

About: look at "Interests"

This instructable will show you how to make a desktop fan out of old computer components. this is a good project for a rainy day when you fell like building something useful. I make my instructables very exact so there seem to be a lot of steps.

Step 1: Materials

the pictures show it all

Step 2: Preparing Items

Cut offf the USB cord as close as you can get to the end that doesnt go into your computer. If it has one of those cylinders chop that off too. Cut off the jack to the fan. Strip all wires. Find out which wires are power on the fan by using the 9 volt to test different wire combinations. Rmember that you might have the right wires but have them backwards, and then it wont spin, so try each combo both ways. If the fan spins, those two wires work(duh). Once you find the two wires, cut off any other wires.To test the usb cord plug one end into the computer and use the multimeter to test different combinations of wires. Mine was black and red, but i dont know if all cords are the same, but test those two first anyway. Once you find the two power wires, fold down the others onto the cord itself and tape around them, like the picture.

Step 3: Wiring

Use the small wire nut to connect the two red wires. Put the switch in by attaching one black wire to one peg and the other black wire to the other peg. You can also have the reds on the switch and the blacks connected, it doesnt matter as long as the colors are the same. After you get the wires on the switch, you can solder them on( i used hot glue because i still need to work on my soldering). once you have done that, use a band of electrical tape around the fan to attack it all. make sure you attach it so the switch is pointing the same way the fan will blow.

Step 4: Testing

Once you have everything put together except the stand, you need to test it. Plug the cable into a USB port and flick the switch. The fan should blow in the dirction the switch is pointing. If something doesnt work, tinker with it until it does.

Step 5: Making Stand

Use pliers to unwind the wire hanger. cut off the bottom bar so it is 17.5 inches long. I dont like to type long things, so i put pictures in cronological order. just use a ruler for measureing and needle nose pliers for bending

Step 6: You're Done!

Set up your fan and chill out(yes i use the same picture over and over again).



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    76 Discussions

    I want to buy
    But this will work with Pawer bank
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    Is it possible to make it without the switch??

    will it work??? or will I blow up my pc

    im stumped, i've been trying this for quite some time now, a 9v batter, once right combination of wires is found, only causes the fan to jump, not even enough power to make a full rotation, and yet, you seem to have gotten to work of a 5.2 volt USB in a computer, is there a step im missing here??

    2 replies

    Where did I say 9V could not initiate a full rotation? I don't think i did. If that is what happened to you, you could just have a dud fan. 5V works just fine.

    nice ible - I made one with a old game boy charger (really really old) and it plugs into the wall and converts the voltage from 120 to 6.7 it runs this type of fan nicely.

    Great step by step. Easy to make= Awesome fan! Thanks dude!

    USE FIREWIRE instead of usb and the fan will put out MUCH more air and will be very nice actually

    My build didn't include a switch, I might have to add that. Thanks!

    I actually built one of these before looking at this instructable. They don't really put off much air or cooling, but they are still pretty cool. I leave mine sitting on top of my computer just to make me feel like its helping. :D

    I would've gone with something like a Max606 to boost the voltage to 12V from 5V and maintain the current draw around 100ma or so if its going to be a single fan set up. For multiple fans I'd consider something like the LM2577 and paralleling two or more USB cables as the LM2577 can boost up to 3 amps if necessary. Most 12V fans can operate under 5V, but if the fan draws 300ma or greater it might need a little push to get it going. I love the simplicity on the stand btw, gotta try that, Thanks!

    Could I run this off the 9v instead of USB power? The fan blows much better with the battery. If so, how would I incorporate the 9v as the power source into the above instructions? Great, great site!

    1 reply

    Could I plug an Antec 120mm fan into a USB power charger without making things explode? I admit I still don't have a good grasp of electricity, I only know the difference between AC/DC. It's for another future project and possible Instructable.

    Nice one. I did this some time before - only diff was that I used the usb cable from a faulty mouse. I linked that with a PC ventitation fan, and it makes me less hot when i mount it on top of my lcd screen.

    maybe this is obsurd or w/e but i was wondering if anyone could tell me how or what is the best way to wire multi fans in series or parrallel wiff one usb. specifficaly 2 - 3 fans from one usb. im hoping to build my own fan stand for my 360. the xbox has the xtra usb port on the rear. and the pelican retail fan system is garbo. At least it seems like a good application for this DIY tut. ty ~Boon