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General Category => Your projects => Topic started by: Johnathan Barrett on June 24, 2016, 23:54:41 PM

Title: LED Fan Controller.
Post by: Johnathan Barrett on June 24, 2016, 23:54:41 PM
Hello, new to the forum and website.

My son wants to work on a project kind of like this: http://www.instructables.com/id/Color-Changing-Digital-PC-Fan-Controller/. But we have no clue what we're doing (When I say "we" I mean "me".) I downloaded the PDF that he mentioned in there to make the circuit board layout but it wasn't there sadly. To be brutally honest with you all. My area of work is a customer service representative, and I in no way understand how to read a circuit board let alone design my own. I am reaching out for help, any direction you point me into I will gladly fallow.

So, Let's begin!

My son wants to make a RGB LED + Fan controller, I guess that's the best way I can explain it.

-He want's to be able to hook up his 6 PC fans that he has in his computer.
-Change the lighting to what ever color he chooses.
-When the PC is idle, and not being used for games or 2D applications, he wants to be able to dial down the speeds of the fans so that it doesn't sound "like a rocket."
-He want's to be able to control it via a executable file he's learning to make. 

We're not looking for anybody to do the work for us.
We are looking for help on this project and everybody is welcomed to join us.
Title: Re: LED Fan Controller.
Post by: kam on June 25, 2016, 13:20:24 PM
Johnathan, I like you! Let your son see how you do the research so he leans how to learn.

Ok, First of, since this is your first project, break it down to many sub-projects. If you try to make a 6-fan controller instead of six 1-fan controllers, you will fail. Also, do not mess with programmable microcontrollers by no means. It is way to early and definitely not necessary for now. So for the fan controllers i suggest this little circuit:
High Frequency PWM Fan Controller (http://www.pcbheaven.com/circuitpages/High_Frequency_PWM_Fan_Controller/)

Then, you need 3 more PWM controllers, one for each LED color (RGB).  Here is one circuit:
An LED Array PWM Dimmer with the 555 (http://www.pcbheaven.com/circuitpages/LED_PWM_Dimmer/)

But I suppose that you cannot convert a schematic to PCB and you cannot develop a PCB right? In that case, you can ebay staff! For example:

This linear regulator is not PWM but it will do the job for the price of 1.3 Euro each.

As for the LEDs, well

This controller can handle one color, so you need 3. Or yu can go with a wireless one:

You may need to modify this one just a little bit.


Title: Re: LED Fan Controller.
Post by: Johnathan Barrett on June 28, 2016, 21:45:21 PM
Hey thanks for the reply. This is a great place to start! I will update you when I have begun the project.  :D
Title: Re: LED Fan Controller.
Post by: Johnathan Barrett on June 29, 2016, 00:05:24 AM
My son pointed out to me a product that he was looking at, http://www.ebay.com/itm/NZXT-AC-HUEPS-M1-HUE-PLUS-Smart-RGB-Color-Changing-Digitally-Controlled-LED-PC-L-/262374948851?hash=item3d16c3fff3:g:luEAAOSwAvJXBsi-

And we can see that somebody did the same thing we we're thinking about in this video with this product:
We're willing to skip the fan controller, or at least put in on the back burner for now. We want to focus on the RGB installation for some fans he's got kicking around.

Oh the parts list you gave me I already have a few of these kicking around from some model train sets I collected as a kid.

I've read into your articles that you recommended but unfortunately it's ancient Greek to me.  Any chance you can give me a legend on what the symbols mean and where we can create our own? My son is smart, WAY smarter then me. (As soon as he learns that I am doomed. ;D ) He's willing to undertake the challenge of building his own circuit board. We've purchased some copper plates and theirs a Staples (Canada's Home office and printing supply store.) that we're planning on printing this board onto. He says he really wants to build this from scratch and not have ready made parts. Trying to convince him otherwise is like moving a mountain.

I have another question, Will any 4pin RGB LED work? (ie, if we want to make it yellow, will just the blue and green turn on and cut power to red?) Because I bought these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/100pcs-5MM-4pin-Common-Anode-Diffused-RGB-Tri-Color-Red-Green-Blue-LED-Diodes/121727086096?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D777000%26algo%3DABA.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D37252%26meid%3D5024609cd3784c2ab13061d2cd599f81%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D112012764096

They're 100, 4pin RGB LED's. I should of asked before I bought them.
Title: Re: LED Fan Controller.
Post by: kam on July 08, 2016, 23:19:13 PM
Yes, these LEDs will work for you like charm.
Hmmmm... start from a scratch... Well, you have a lot to learn, and I mean a lot! Not only you have lots of theory to learn, you have also lots of experience to gain. So, here is what you can do. First provide yourself staff like these:

- A set of carbon resistors 1/4 Watt (example (http://www.ebay.com/itm/860pcs-1-ohm-1M-ohm-1-4W-Carbon-Film-Resistors-Assortment-Kit-Set-Component-V6X4-/142042762332?hash=item2112688c5c:g:I9YAAOSwXeJXdeBx))
- A set of electrolytic capacitors (example (http://www.ebay.com/itm/120Pcs-15-value-50V-1uF-2200uF-Electrolytic-Capacitor-Assortment-Kit-Set-New-/131544080386?hash=item1ea0a36002:g:3FoAAOSw95lXFKda))
- A set of ceramic capacitors (example (http://www.ebay.com/itm/300pcs-Assorted-30Value-High-Voltage-Ceramic-Capacitor-Assortment-Set-2pf-0-1UF-/131825649425?hash=item1eb16bc711:g:bKYAAOSwQaJXRG4d))
- Solderless PCBs AKA breadboards (example (http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-MB102-Solderless-Breadboard-830-Points-2-buses-PCS-Bread-Board-Test-Circuit-/181274974450?hash=item2a34d498f2:g:k84AAOxydB1Sno5-)) I sugegst this 830-points
- Breadboard wires (example (http://www.ebay.com/itm/High-Quality-65pcs-Male-to-Male-Breadboard-Jumper-Cable-Wires-For-Arduino-DIY-/182198935808?hash=item2a6be72100:g:z2UAAOSwRQlXf0X2))
- Definitely some transistors, NPN and PNP. For your job you can go with the good old BC337/338 NPNs and their pars (BC327 PNP).
- Some chips such as the 555 timer will be useful as well.
- Potentiometers, (example (http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Sets-1K-2K-5K-10K-OHM-Linear-Taper-Rotary-Potentiometer-Pot-/301727345757?hash=item464059ec5d:g:gVEAAOSwoydWsDcw))

Then try to make your circuit on the breadboard instead. This will consume your next couple of months... Try to replicate circuits such as linear or PWM LED controllers.

Then you can move one with eaglePCB software to start designing your PCB. Remember that you can always use pre-perforated PCBs to make your circuits, although for me this is a terrible idea and never had something decent made on such boards. When you have the PCB design you can either DIY at home (which requires more experience and search around), or you can order them online for some 10-15 USD per 10PCBs. There are some stores like seed studio (https://www.seeedstudio.com/fusion_pcb.html) and dirt cheap PCB (http://dirtypcbs.com/)