U.S.B. Mini Fan




About: I am a Canadian boy that likes to make, invent, and tape things. my current project is a chocolate 3D printer. :-)

This is my my first instructable so please be nice, also I have already built it so I had to make the pictures on word.  

For this project you will need 
- Any old U.S.B. cord
-An old computer fan
-Wire cutters/strippers
-Computer to try it out on


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Step 1: Sort Out the Cable

Get out your U.S.B. cord and find the end with the plug that would go into to device. (no the computer)  

Step 2: Cut the Wire

Cut off the plug that goes into the device and if there is a tube thing cut that off too.

Step 3: Strip the Wire

Strip 2cm off the outer coating.

Step 4: Find Positive and Negative

You might need to dig through some foil and uncover wire but you should find a few multi-colored wires.  Use your multimeter to find the positive and negative wires. 

Step 5: Tape, My Favorite Thing!

Tape down the wires that are not needed.

Step 6: Wire It Up

Connect the fan to the cord.

Step 7: Build a Base!

You can build a base out of Popsicle sticks, thick wire or any thing that can support the fan!

Step 8: YOUR DONE!

Now when you are on instructables and scorching hot you can plug in your mini fan and cool off!  

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    5 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    If you're going to do things like this, you tell us which coloured wires you found to be the + and -. Why have people waste their time finding out for themselves when you've already learned it?

    -What is "Fail tape" (step 5 image note)?



    8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm sure this has been brought up a million times, but is it really safe to run a 12V fan off of a 5V port? I can't imagine the fan runs very fast, and wouldn't it possibly burn out the port/whole computer?

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Safe? yes.
    Burn out USB? not unless something goes horribly horribly wrong.

    You're feeding the fan 5 volt, at 100mA max.
    If it will start on that voltage, it should run no problem.

    MOST 12 volt fans I have worked with need closer to 7 volt to start, and will continue to running on as little as 3 volt, once moving.
    SMaller case fans, cpu cooler fans, laptop fans, etc... they often will start on lower voltages.

    Running on 5V WILL cause the fan to run much slower, but if all you want is a gentle breeze, then it might be fine.

    While the article I linked deals with molex powered fans... the principal is the same. The major difference is, a molex connector can usually source a LOT more than 100mA available to a standard usb port(note: 100mA is WITHOUT the usb handshake/shorted wire trick needed to bring the 500mA power for use)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Alright your information looks to be all in order...

    That's actually the first time I've gotten a detailed answer. Thanks!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    its a good instructable, but--
    real pictures are always better than pictures drawn in mspaint.
    some people prefer visual references to what theyre doing rather than digital references.

    not speading hate or anything, but its a suggestion for your future instructables.