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Needing more Software-Controlled Fan slots

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January 4, 2010 9:42:27 PM

Hey everybody. I'm souping up an old P4M800 PRO-M v1.0a Motherboard to it's maximum specs before transferring it to an "off box" for the kids to play with. The box I'm moving it to is tiny, and the north and southbridge chips get very very hot. I am going to cool it with LOTS of extra fans and creating lots of extra airflow, but the problem is that the board itself only has one system fan power lead on the mobo to allow for SpeedFan to control it. I've been looking and looking for some way I can put an array of 3-pin fans under software control but it seems like all I can find are molex adapters which will have them blowing at full speed.

I was really hoping that there would be an old backwards compatible PCI adapter that had pins for controlling fans... I found this: http://www.velocityreviews.com/reviews/Sunbeam-Theta-US... but it comes with a proprietary software, and it doesn't seem like SpeedFan would work with it.

Can anybody suggest a product or adapter so I can control an extra five to seven fans? Three of them are 40 x 40 x 20 and going in a 5.25" drive bay, and I can piggy back those three little ones into a single connector. They'll blow right back into my PSU, which will then blow straight out the back. I've also got a 120mm front case fan intake, a PCI slot fan and a 90mm back case fan exhaust, and an 80mm side fan intake I would prefer to control.
a c 137 ) Power supply
January 4, 2010 10:19:30 PM

Zalman makes some fan controllers:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like fans to be at a constant speed; I think the noise is more tolerable that way.

You could possibly link all your fans together and plug them in to the motherboard using the contol wire from just one fan. Verify that the mobo can put out sufficient amps for them all.

I think your best solution is to buy a case with sufficient cooling using 120mm or larger fans.
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January 4, 2010 11:07:33 PM

Neither of those products is what I'm looking for, they are all HARDWARE controls. I can get one of about two hundred controls that will do that. I don't have an open 5.25 drive bay i can put those in. One 5.25 is holding a HDD and blowing 3 40x40x20 fans around it, and the other is my optical drive. The only 3.5 controller I saw is just a monitor, not a controller... and I'd rather not blow the control by exposing knobs or a fragile touch screens to my kids.

I need more ports that I can use with Speedfan, is what it boils down to. Will the earlier product I posted do that for me? If not, is there one that will? I have spare USB headers, and spare PCI slots. The board is old, it still uses an AGP interface.
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March 17, 2010 9:12:30 AM

I was actually talking to a friend of mine about a very simple and cheap way to do just what you are talking about; it would require some soldering and 2 electrical components: a MOSFET, and a resister. I put this together on my webpage to help illustrate the idea.

http://www.leb120.com/?p=64
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a c 248 ) Power supply
March 17, 2010 12:03:11 PM

You cannot control a case fan with just software. You will need some sort of hardware to replace the motherboard fan controls. :( 
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a b ) Power supply
March 17, 2010 1:22:53 PM

I have looked at simply wiring multiple fans together to feed off one mobo output port, and there are two significant problems that make this NOT the way for OP to go. One is that you really can connect in parallel only the Ground and + VDC (black and red) leads to have ALL of those fans run at the same speed (well actually, all of them receive the same voltage). You cannot expect to connect together several yellow leads - these are the ones that carry back to the mobo the speed pulse signal (2 per revolution) generated by each fan motor. If you did, the mobo circuits would be receiving a confused jumble of multiple speed pulses it could never use. So you can only connect and monitor the speed of ONE fan, leaving the speeds of all the others unknown.

The second and more important item is the capacity of the mobo fan controller to provide power. What others have said is that it appears most such systems can put out enough amperage to supply two normal fans easily once they are running, end even enough to start up two fans simultaneously (as would happen if they are simply wired in parallel). HOWEVER, it is doubtful the port could supply starting current for more than two fans on one port.
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