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Wiring a 4-pin fan direct to 12v DC

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  • Components
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February 3, 2012 11:55:50 AM

Hi folks,

If I want to wire my 4-pin Coolink SWiF2-120P PWM fan (yellow, black, green & blue wires) direct to a 12v DC source, do I connect the yellow lead to the 12v positive, the black to ground and ignore the blue and green signal leads?

I have searched all over and found some confusing (at least for me) information.

Thanks,
Jim

More about : wiring pin fan direct 12v

February 3, 2012 1:23:02 PM

I'm not sure what the colors mean on your fan or what the pinout is. Usually you've got say a Yellow, Red, and Black. I normally would wire the red and black to positive and neg respectively and ignore the yellow altogether.

If you end up wiring more than one fan though, make sure you wire them in Parallel not Series.

Example:


Do you have the fan-to-molex adapter for that fan or did it come with one? If so, then it's easy to figure out which ones are supposed to be on the 12v and which ones can safely be ignored. Look at this diagram:
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February 3, 2012 1:36:38 PM

rwbronco said:
I'm not sure what the colors mean on your fan or what the pinout is. Usually you've got say a Yellow, Red, and Black. I normally would wire the red and black to positive and neg respectively and ignore the yellow altogether.

If you end up wiring more than one fan though, make sure you wire them in Parallel not Series.

Example:


Do you have the fan-to-molex adapter for that fan or did it come with one? If so, then it's easy to figure out which ones are supposed to be on the 12v and which ones can safely be ignored. Look at this diagram:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/files/images/su_1257.jpg



rwbronco,

Thanks for your reply. According to what I can find on the internet, my 4-pin connector looks like this:

Pin 1 - Ground - Black
Pin 2 - 12v - Yellow
Pin 3 - Sense - Green
Pin 4 - Control - Blue
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February 3, 2012 1:55:54 PM

Then I'd just wire up pins 1 and 2 and ignore the 3 and 4 pins
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February 3, 2012 2:05:06 PM

rwbronco,

Thanks again, I'll give that a shot. I wasn't sure if the fan would run without some voltage feedback from the green wire.
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February 3, 2012 3:10:46 PM

now that's a good point, although I don't think it's necessary. I'm not sure what "sense" means in the 4-pin layouts, usually with 3 pin, the "control" is the fan speed. The motherboard reads out the temp and tells the pin to go up in RPM or down in RPM depending on the need for heat dispersion.

I wired up some regular 3-pins in a cabinet one time for an HTPC and they had the molex connector adapter. I liked going through the molex adapter because I could change out the fans if they died/quit working without having to desolder anything or clip and resolder.
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February 3, 2012 3:27:51 PM

rwbronco said:
now that's a good point, although I don't think it's necessary. I'm not sure what "sense" means in the 4-pin layouts, usually with 3 pin, the "control" is the fan speed. The motherboard reads out the temp and tells the pin to go up in RPM or down in RPM depending on the need for heat dispersion.

I wired up some regular 3-pins in a cabinet one time for an HTPC and they had the molex connector adapter. I liked going through the molex adapter because I could change out the fans if they died/quit working without having to desolder anything or clip and resolder.


Thanks again. It's funny that I'm having such a hard time finding the answer to this question. Answers given on other internet sites to similar questions by other posters were conflicted.

I would use the molex connector, but these fans are going into a telescope that doesn't use those connectors. Soldering is just part of the deal.

While trying to figure this out for myself, I touched the yellow wire to the red terminal on my 12v battery and the black wire to the black. What I got was a momentary spin-up of the fan that then stopped. I don't know if the weak connection formed by just touching the wires lightly to the terminals causes the temporary spin of the fan, or whether the green or blue wires need some kind of DC voltage for the fan to work.

While I was experimenting with touching different wires to the red terminal on the battery I fried a $15 fan. I ordered another, but I would like to avoid more costly experimentation. :pt1cable: 

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February 3, 2012 3:30:12 PM

rwbronco said:
now that's a good point, although I don't think it's necessary. I'm not sure what "sense" means in the 4-pin layouts, usually with 3 pin, the "control" is the fan speed. The motherboard reads out the temp and tells the pin to go up in RPM or down in RPM depending on the need for heat dispersion.

I wired up some regular 3-pins in a cabinet one time for an HTPC and they had the molex connector adapter. I liked going through the molex adapter because I could change out the fans if they died/quit working without having to desolder anything or clip and resolder.


Thanks again. It's funny that I'm having such a hard time finding the answer to this question. Answers given on other internet sites to similar questions by other posters were conflicted.

I would use the molex connector, but these fans are going into a telescope that doesn't use those connectors. Soldering is just part of the deal.

While trying to figure this out for myself, I touched the yellow wire to the red terminal on my 12v battery and the black wire to the black. What I got was a momentary spin-up of the fan that then stopped. I don't know if the weak connection formed by just touching the wires lightly to the terminals causes the temporary spin of the fan, or whether the green or blue wires need some kind of DC voltage for the fan to work.

While I was experimenting with touching different wires to the red terminal on the battery I fried a $15 fan. I ordered another, but I would like to avoid more costly experimentation. :pt1cable: 

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February 3, 2012 3:58:42 PM

the reason that is, is because you're sending 12v to some controllers on the fan that weren't intended to handle 12v.

This is kind of something I was referring to when I said "adapter"



That way you could simply unplug and swap the fan for another one if it ever had a ballbearing develop a flat spot and start squealing or clicking or if it ever went out completely.

edit: you'd simply clip the smaller black/red wires a ways back from the plug and solder/join those to the 12v lead making it easy to change out the fan if necessary
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February 3, 2012 5:14:47 PM

rwbronco said:
the reason that is, is because you're sending 12v to some controllers on the fan that weren't intended to handle 12v.

This is kind of something I was referring to when I said "adapter"

http://www.shopperbuy.com/product_images/o/380/l_02334796__40203_zoom.jpg

That way you could simply unplug and swap the fan for another one if it ever had a ballbearing develop a flat spot and start squealing or clicking or if it ever went out completely.

edit: you'd simply clip the smaller black/red wires a ways back from the plug and solder/join those to the 12v lead making it easy to change out the fan if necessary



Ah, thanks for the picture of the adaptor. That, indeed, would make future changeouts easier. Definitely a consideration assuming my fans will work as we expect them to with just the two leads connected.

Thanks again for all your help!
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July 2, 2014 9:41:43 AM

Hi all, I found this post that has been useful to me! So Thank you!
But I have a question; I have connected the same fan to an Arduino Due.
Yellow which is the power to the 5V of the Arduino Due.
Black which presumably is the ground to the GND.
Now the fan starts.
What I need is to be able from the Arduino to switch on/off the fan based on temperature.
The only way I managed to do it is using the Blue wire and connecting to the Digital pins (like 22) or PWM pin (like 3) and giving HIGH to start and LOW to stop.
I tried to put the yellow directly to the digital or pwm pins but it will not start.

I do not like this because at every Arduino loop, even if I do not change any pin, I got the fan to move...
And I do not know why.

Thank you if You can help me more.

Best regards,
Camillo
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