Will this DIY fan setup work?
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Old 12-21-2003, 01:31 AM   #1
TonyMuffTana
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I know very little about electronics, so I'm hoping someone can let me know if this will work for me.

I have a 12V DC, 0.14A old computer fan that I'd like to install in my light canopy, I found an old nokia phone charger that is rated at 120V AC, 60HZ, 50mA, output at 3.7VDC, 035A.

I hooked it up to the fan and it seems to work fine. But since I'm a tool at electronics, could someone let me know if this is ok, or a future disaster and I might die?

Thanks for your time.
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Old 12-21-2003, 02:02 AM   #2
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I did something similar only the adapter that I used was 12 volt DC like the fan was rated for. You are only giving your 12 volt fan 3.7 volts which means it is turning slower than it possibly could. It is safe as long as you did a good job of wiring it and covering the contacts. I have mine set so the fans turn off when the lights do.
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Old 12-21-2003, 03:12 AM   #3
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In my experience of PC Mods I would say, give it the 12v it needs, these fans (with few exceptions) tend to not push a fraction of their rated amounts unless powered fully.
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Old 12-21-2003, 03:24 AM   #4
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So as long as I'm running under the 12v even though it's slow, are there any safety issues here?

I brought out the jigsaw and cut a hole in the side and mounted the fan. As long as it's safe for now, I'll run the 3.7v until I find a 12v somewhere. What is the amperage rating I should use, or does it even matter?
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Old 12-21-2003, 03:37 AM   #5
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NO, it should be safe, the fans don't draw much current, but as I said, if you underpower the fan, it will not be pushing very much air.
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Old 12-21-2003, 04:05 AM   #6
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do you know where I can find an inexpensive 12v power supply?
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Old 12-21-2003, 04:11 AM   #7
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Do you have like Radioshack or similar co's there...?
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Old 12-21-2003, 05:12 AM   #8
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I'd go with a 5-6v or 9v supply. It will run quieter, but shouldn't be too undepowered that it would stop running.
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Old 12-22-2003, 01:45 PM   #9
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I don't forsee any safety issues running it at a limited voltage. It would be the same as running it with a turned-down potentiometer. If you find it doesn't move enough air, just find a cheap 12vdc transformer. I have tons of them sitting around the house from old appliances (phones, radios, etc.). Or check no ebay links allowed
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Old 12-22-2003, 02:44 PM   #10
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I actually spent the 6 bucks for a new transformer the last time I set up a fan. This one was variable output, 3 to 12 watts possible I think, WalMart special. I've run the fan at 9 watts just to cut down on some of the noise, but when I'm not there it is at 12 to protect the light from burning out.
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Old 12-23-2003, 05:16 PM   #11
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Hi,

The only problem I get with using transformers is that if your fans draw more power than it can dish out, it'll burn itself out. What I do is rip out an old AT power supply unit (psu) from an old computer. It comes with a power switch. Simple plug and play. I'm powering 2 DC fans with it though I can safely add more without fear of overloading. I can even add on a fan controller to fiddle with the fan speeds if they get too noisy. The psu can be plugged into your timer so it turns on/off with the lights. I just leave mine on 24/7 without any problems so far. You can prolly find these at 2nd hand shops. Just make sure it's well grounded though.

The newer ATX power supplies will work too, but they lack a switch which you can add yourself, and you'll need to short 2 wires to get it to power on. There are quite a few online articles showing you how to do that. Do a search on "powering ATX psu without motherboard".
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Old 02-02-2004, 07:47 AM   #12
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hey, does anybody know if the amps needed for the fans and the amount of amps a DC transformer has matters? for example the smaller fans only need 1 or 2 amps to run, however most DC transformers have 5amps. will that be a problem?
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Old 02-02-2004, 03:26 PM   #13
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Your transformer needs to have more amps to supply than your device (fan in this case) can draw.
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