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New Fan-speed Controller

Zalman CNPS7700: The New Giant of Coolers
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One particular shortcoming of Fanmate 1 was that it had to be installed inside the case, due to its short cables. Another was that the old control knob was extremely fiddly, making adjusting the fan speed a tricky affair. Zalman has tackled these deficiencies, and the result is a better fan regulator. The wires leading to the electronics are now confined to one side, the new length of 80 cm is sufficient for most purposes, and the knob is bigger and easier to use.

Fan, board and control-unit connector

A bigger knob makes it easier to adjust the fan speed

The Fanmate 2's design is simple yet effective, consisting of a fixed-voltage regulator, a resistor and a potentiometer. This may not be especially innovative, but it gets the job done very well. It's something that manufacturers who use a single potentiometer for the fan speed should consider emulating.

Simple yet effective: the wiring to the fan-speed regulator. On the right is another maker's single potentiometer solution.

If the standard input is not grounded, the good old fixed-voltage regulator 7805 can be used for variable voltage control.

The output voltage can be set from 5 to 10.6 volts (manufacturer's specifications: 5 - 11.5 volts). Zalman includes a piece of double-sided tape for mounting the control unit.

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