Turn on/off your fans at the push of a switch
By Red Squirrel
With this toggle switch mod, you can switch it on when you leave your PC, and switch it off when you come to your PC, or simply watch your temps and turn it off when itís cool enough and turn it back on when itís getting too hot.
On my computer, I have 6 fans. The CPU fan, the PSU fan, the front HDD cooler fan (technically 3 fans but Iíll count it as 1), a side 80mm intake fan blowing air in front of the case, a 120mm intake blowing against the motherboard (PCI slot area, it gets my video card too, which is great), and an extra exhaust under the PSU.
Now, the front intake, the 120mm intake and the extra exhaust is not exactly required to keep it at a safe temperature, but they do help a lot. This mod enables me to turn on and off these 3 fans at the push of a button. Later on I might want to add an A/C thermostat but for now Iíll stick with doing it manually. A thermostat would be the same concept of the switch installation, but would all be done internally.
Here is some interesting information that I measured, these temps move around a lot but not more than a few degrees.
So for those who think fans donít make a big difference, they actually do!. Itís where they are located that matters. My article on airflow describes this well. Because of my case design, most of the proper airflow methods are bended a little, but my setup is still very effective, especially because the 120mm fan is blowing directly on the motherboardís cards including the video card. This is an area in most cases that is less touched by air and it only relies on the fact that heat rises to change air. But in my case, it is being blown on when my fans are on.
Ok, enough stats and theory, letís build!
What you need
It's tool time!
This seems like a lot of tools, and it is, but youíll see this is easy!
First, you want to solder two wires the same length to the switch. Make sure they are long enough to reach from the bay section to where the fan(s) will be located, and give it plenty of slack, you donít want it too tight.
Wires ready to be striped, hooked up, and soldered to the switch.
Solder them to the switch. Then you will have the switch with two wires dangling, donít do the mistake I did. I had removed the ring that tightens the switch and then I also soldered the other end of the wires to the Molex connector only to find out I had to cut the wire to install the switch! Duh!
Wires soldered to the switch.
Oops, don't do this at home!
Let's try this again
Before you connect the Molex (Iíll get to that later) drill the hole in the bay section that is big enough for the switch, put in the switch and slip the ring and washer through the wires and tighten the switch.
Once the switch is tightened properly and you have the wires dangling, you can now proceed with hooking them up to the Molex connector. Fans use the yellow and black wire. Take the Molex connector that has the female and male end and cut the yellow (or black) wire about in the center. I cut the yellow just because it was the last one so it was easier to get with the scissors, but it does not really matter, as long as you break the circuit and put the switch in between. Then, hook up the wires of the switch to both cut ends. Solder them and then tape them (to avoid soldered sections to touch components Ė that would be bad!) You will now have something that looks like this:
We're almost done!
Now itís simply the thing of hooking it up to the PC and plugging it in the power and then plugging in your fan(s) into the other section. By pressing the button you should be able to toggle it on or off.
And here is our finished product:
Our final product!
This is great if you want to control fans individually, as you can easily put about 5 buttons on one bay section, probably more if you really shove them together. Whatever you do, make sure you donít hook up anything essential to it such as a hard drive or cpu fan!!!
As a serious note, do be careful with a solder. My pictures of lying it on a piece of paper are not the safest measures to take especially if you plan to leave the room. I was simply keeping an eye on it and making sure it did not get too hot which it was not because of my stand.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it was helpful to you! If you have any questions or suggestions, please drop by the forum thread of this article. (Located below)
Your friendly adventurous admin
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