Need help powering pc fans - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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Need help powering pc fans

though powering these with batteries is novel it is far from efficient I would rather power them to a power cord, but can I burn these out by just hooking them into the connecters of my led lamps? the leds have 120 volts going through the cord not sure how that would work, i'll be testing the wires soon and I need to find a way to splice these in but don't want to blow them up, i'm also trying to set up a diy air conditioner for my chinchilla if anyone knows how to power a single 3 watt pc fan I would love to hear it, and if there is any interest i will post what i do for the air conditioner. I have a basic idea in mind.


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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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tested the wires of my silenX fans Found the positive and negative, just forgot if white or black is the positive line....


gonna take a leap of faith and assume black is negative got i hope i am right or my wife is going to kill me


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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all is well, and no fires, time to cut some hols in the fixture


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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 04:55 AM
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Just get a 12v transformer + adapter at radio shack and be done with it.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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i'll check it out tomorrow if these don't start up tomorrow, i need to get a switch spliced in anyway for manual control though will be on timer for the most part


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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haha three fans blew out, gonna need to get that 12 volt transformer


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 02:05 PM
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for any easy, ready made, self cooling 12/5 volt power supply buy the power supply for a computer as well. It has dual voltage and a built in fan. Just figure out which voltage you need and use those sets of leads. Or you can just use the connector that comes for that.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 02:08 PM
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I purchased a 12 volt fan and simply wired it to a 12 volt AC/DC adapter.I'm assuming a 7-8 volt AC/DC adapter would power it as well.

Check what the voltage on your fan is and just get one of the adapters, it's pretty simple.


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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 04:15 PM
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You definitely can't run a 12V PC fan off of a 120VAC source

You should have a suitable wall wart power supply already from some long forgotten electronics component. Most 12V fans will run fine on anything from 5V to 12V. Lower voltages will spin the fan slower, but that isn't an issue. Don't go too much above 12V.

Some ideas for sources:

Old cellphone chargers. Everybody has them, usually 5V.

Old PC power supply. Everybody has these too, but horribly inefficient when you're powering just a small fan. Use pin 1 from one of the the standard 4-pin molex connectors for 12V.

Old laptop power bricks. Often more than 12V, but worth checking.

I highly doubt you need to buy a power supply just for this. Reuse!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 04:47 PM
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Never connect anything straight to the mains. I'm surprised you didn't start a fire.

You should do a little reading before messing with DIY electrical. At least enough to know basic color coding.

Sink has made some good suggestions that would work for powering small fans. Much better than a gigantic pc power supply with a pile of wires coming out the back.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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thanks alot for the suggestions I have lots of old pc parts however powering fans with old supplies is like you said very inefficient so that isnt happening, gonna go through a box of ac adapters, I almost did start a fire but glad I didn't just fried the fans sadly. but will pick up more today and try again gotta find a 12v supply as I like the leds that are in these fans =]


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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 07:43 PM
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Pay attention if the power supply is AC or DC... I think the fans require DC.. It should be labeled, if not use a few AA batteries to see if it powers up the fan.


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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting I found a 120v input transformer that can output down to 1.5-12 volts, I had a question about it though, it also has a polarity switch, should this be in negative or positive, the output i will add is DC and the name of it is battery eliminator


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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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I used a 9v battery to find the positive and negative of the fans it powered tham up, they require dc, and that coupled with 120v ruined 3 good fans =p


I'm fairly novice at wiring, used connectors for my sockets does anyone know if i absolutely need a connector for the fans or can i get away with splicing them together and using electrical tape over them?


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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 07:46 PM
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It depends on what wired you hook up your fan. If one polarity doesn't work, switch to the other.

yes, electrical tape is fine.


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