Achieving 6 V from serial connection in practice.

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Achieving 6 V from serial connection in practice.

Post by kuzzia » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:04 am

I've read somewhere on SPCR that by connecting two fans to a single molex in serial, each fan will have a voltage at 6 V.

But how do I do that in practice?
And is it possible when using a molex to 3-pin converter?

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Re: Achieving 6 V from serial connection in practice.

Post by KayDat » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:43 am

It's just basic electrical theory. To do this, you'll need two identical fans, since resistance for different fans are not the same. You can figure out the resistance by looking at the current or wattage of the fan. For example, if the fan spec is 15 watts (that would be some crazy high flow fan), you would find the current with P=VI, or Power equals Voltage (12V in this case) times Current:

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So 15watts would equal 1.25 amps. Now we have the current, we'd use V=IR, or Voltage equals Current (1.24 amps) times Resistance:

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So this 15 watt fan would be 9.6 Ohms. If I hook this in series with say, this 120mm fan that runs on 0.3A (40 Ohms), the two fan resistances are quite imbalanced. Kirchhoff's circuit laws come into play, and you'd see that the large 15 watt fan takes about 80% of the voltage (so to speak), and would run at ~9.7V while the 120mm fan would only get ~2.3V.

So, unless you use two identical or very similar resistance fans, the voltage would be unbalanced. Now, if you already have two fans in mind, what you'll need to do is to remove the pins from the molex connector on both fans, and hook them up so instead of being in parallel, they would be hooked up in series.

And um...long story short, I guess if you don't know what you're doing, I'd recommend you stick with fan speed 'adaptors' that use simple resistors such as these, or fan speed controllers, such as these or these.

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Re: Achieving 6 V from serial connection in practice.

Post by Erelyes » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:01 pm

It's not hard to learn how to make electrical joins.

In practice, if you are OK hardwiring the fans, then what you can do is:

1. Cut the Ground wire from one of the fans (let's call it A). Ground is usually black. We'll keep the plug for this fan.

2. Cut all the connections from the other fan. (let's call it B). We'll discard the plug for this fan.

3. Connect the 12v wire from "B" to the ground wire of A's fan.

4. Connect the ground wire from "B" to the ground wire of A's plug.

If you want to know how to actually make electrical connections, it's relatively simple.

To be honest, the soldering mostly adds mechanical strength rather than electrical - i.e, if you won't be tugging on the wires in installation, you can probably get away without soldering (but soldering is best, and it's a good skill to learn)

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Re: Achieving 6 V from serial connection in practice.

Post by datapappan » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:28 pm

I've done something similar, but with a Y-splitter for 3-pin. This way you don't have to butcher the fan wires.

Cut the red wire to one of the plugs, and the black wire from the other. Strip the insulation on the plug wires some 10 mm, and connect them. Solder, or just cover with electrical tape.

Current will now flow from connector, via red wire into the first fan, drop 6 volts coming back in the black wire, continue in the red wire to second fan, and finally deliver 0V to black wire in connector.

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