Homemade usb fan to cool game consoles...

Control: management of fans, temp/rpm monitoring via soft/hardware

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Ozkar
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Homemade usb fan to cool game consoles...

Post by Ozkar » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:06 pm

I'm thinking of making a usb fan to cool down the cabinet where I keep an XBOX 360, PS3, and cable box. The cabinet gets super hot and there is no ventilation. One time the XBOX actually overheated and the game crashed.

So I think I can make a usb fan by taking a regular 120mm fan (or a smaller one) and using a spare usb cable to get the power. The cable box has a usb port that I can use. I don't want to use the PS3 usb port because I don't know if there is a risk of damaging the PS3.

Is this doable? what are the risks? is this a good idea? I'm not an expert with electronic mods like this....

Namheul
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Post by Namheul » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:08 pm

As far as i know, USB can only give 5 volts.

And im not sure if a fan would draw too many amps for a USB port either.

IsaacKuo
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Post by IsaacKuo » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:25 pm

A better solution is to use a cheap universal power adapter. These have a switch that lets you adjust the voltage between 3v and 12v. Thus, you can control airflow vs noise. It's also really easy to connect up the power, because the tip had a couple holes you just put wires into.

jhhoffma
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Post by jhhoffma » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:11 am

IsaacKuo wrote:A better solution is to use a cheap universal power adapter. These have a switch that lets you adjust the voltage between 3v and 12v. Thus, you can control airflow vs noise. It's also really easy to connect up the power, because the tip had a couple holes you just put wires into.
Yep, and they can be found at your local RadioShack for <$20.

You don't want to run a fan off USB unless you're well aware of your current draw.

Ozkar
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Post by Ozkar » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:11 am

IsaacKuo wrote:A better solution is to use a cheap universal power adapter. These have a switch that lets you adjust the voltage between 3v and 12v. Thus, you can control airflow vs noise. It's also really easy to connect up the power, because the tip had a couple holes you just put wires into.
So If I use one of these adapters, I will not have to worry about the current or amperage or anything else? I'm a complete newbie when it comes to this....

What about those USB fans that are sold on eBay?

IsaacKuo
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Post by IsaacKuo » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:26 am

The cheapest smallest least powerful adapter I've found is 600milliamps at Walmart. It's easily powerful enough to power two 120mm fans (which should be all you need).

Ash
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Post by Ash » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:12 pm

i did this about 4 months ago for my ps3. its in a low unit, but theres about 5/6 inches gap between the vent and the side of the unit. i just kept the fan in the gap to push the hot air away.

it has been fine, but i was also concerned about how much power its taking from the ps3.

i just stripped the 3 pin cable on the fan and stripped the usb cable and wired it together.

thejamppa
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Post by thejamppa » Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:29 am

would it it just be easier to get PCI-bracket that has 3 pin fan and 4 pin Molex connectors thru it? I've seen such things to be sold... Then you could sumply use fan mate control them without any modification and soldering..

Ozkar
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Post by Ozkar » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:16 am

So if I get a universal adapter, I can choose 12V for the fan. What about current? What should I look for? I'm not an expert with electronics. I'm worried that I will cause a fire....

CA_Steve
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Post by CA_Steve » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:38 am

Here's a page from the Scythe website showing the Slipstream 120mm fan drawing 0.1A to 0.24A depending on the rpm version.
...........................................................................

I was thinking...instead of buying new, look around the house for a discarded/unused wall charger (pre-USB cellphone, CD player, cordless phone, etc.). They typically output 7-9V DC and supply 200mA+. Seems perfect for a fan supply. Just be sure to use one that more that meets your fan's current req.

Plug it into a switched AC outlet so it turns on/off with your electronic appliance.

If you want to slow the fan down further and want fine control, get a Zalman Fan Mate 2.

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