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cdelicath

DIY Fan and temp controller

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cdelicath

I was looking for a way to have my fans turn on only when my tank needed it so i started looking for DIY fan mods and found this LINK

I purchased this PC thermal cooling unit at my local computer store for $22.00 and it comes with everything needed to make a great little control center. most fan controllers don't shut fans off they just slow them so you will still need to add the mosfet and maybe the potentiometer depending on the unit you purchase, and if you want it to turn off or just slow down the fans.

You will notice this unit will control 3 fans and comes with 3 temp probes.

 

i have applied a thin layer of aquarium sealant to one of the probes and i will submerse it in the water to get my tank temp.

Comparing the accuracy of the unit temp and the temp read by my coralife temp meter showed -1 degree difference than the coralife unit. I would recommend testing the reading against another unit for accuracy if you plan to use this as your main temp guage for the tank.

 

My plans for this unit are to control my water temp fans "on/off" and my hood fan.

I will also monitor my tank temp, hood temp and room temp.

 

I just got the unit and I will add the instructions for modifying this particular unit to shut off the fans within the next few days.

 

 

Here are a few pic's out of the box:

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glennr1978

Looks very interesting, and alot less expensive than a chiller!! I'll be following along.

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Chaluz

Very interesting & couldnt have come at a better time. I was researching to do something similar. Will tag along.!!

 

P.S. On me favoritto

Edited by Chaluz

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reefkingdom

Very cool :D

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monkeytrumpets

Great idea. I'm anxious to see how it turns out.

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Gvtv44

Sounds awesome... and it's cheap! I may try it out on my next tank.... ;)

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rickyrivera1

Ok...I'm going to tag along for the ride. Are there anymore details on this?

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cdelicath

Here's a quick video of the final results.

i will have a parts list and guide up soon

i am also working on a skimmer and new light setup as well so bare with me :P

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBOwni4jVr0

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eklikewhoa

Awesome!

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coolwaters

i can see how this will be a lot better if the tanks are glass.

better heat exchange then acrylic.

 

but most of u will just use the fan to blow across the top.

my PCI fan at about 8CFM and it dropped my 10g tank by 2-3 degrees sometimes even 4.

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Jester

Great video.. can't wait to see your parts list... I was worried about whether the temp probe could withstand salt, but it looks like you covered it in airline tubing or something... I am using a ranco temp controller right now, but i really need that for homebrewing, so this could definitely do just as good of a job...

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seahorsedreams

Awesome!!

 

EDIT: Oh, someone already said that....

 

Cool!

Edited by seahorsedreams

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Chaluz

Simple & clean. Im not so into hradware but was wondering if there is a way to mod this a bit & use it to control a heater. you know like a swtich that turns on that in turns supplies power to the heater. this is possibly more reliable to a won bros I have.

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cdelicath
Simple & clean. Im not so into hradware but was wondering if there is a way to mod this a bit & use it to control a heater. you know like a swtich that turns on that in turns supplies power to the heater. this is possibly more reliable to a won bros I have.

 

i'm sure you could do it with a dc to ac solenoid but if you just set the heater it will turn on and off itself. right?

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cdelicath

Ok so there are 2 different ways to do this.

 

you don't need the fan controller at all i just got it because it will read 3 temps and it has alarms.

If you have a fan setup already or want to save the $30 you will spend on the fan controller, you can just follow the instructions HERE.

 

This will allow you the same result with just fans.

 

If you wish to do full temp unit here's what you will need:

 

Required

 

lcd controller $19.75+sh

Power supply *a old pc power supply or 2 variable voltage plugs "you need both 12v and 5v output"

Thermistors $0.69 each +sh you will need up to 3 "you may try to get the Potentiometer and the mosfet at this company as well to save a bit of $$ it sux to pay $7.00 shipping on $2.00 in parts"

Mosfet $1.99 each up to 3 needed.

10k Potentiometer $2.69 each up to 3 needed

Aquarium air line most likely FREE or $2.00 if not

Wire $5.99

Aquarium sealant $2.00 to seal the thermistor probes into the air tubing.

Fans $9.99 each "I'm sure you can find these a lot cheaper elsewhere"

 

Optional

 

Heat-shrink $2.99 don't cheap out do it the right way :P

Zip ties $1.99 "keep all the wires in line" :P

Split cable tubing $5.99 "Keep it looking clean" :P

  • Open the controller unit
  • unplug all of the fans
  • set the unit aside
    2167960382_163f896f7b.jpg?v=0

  • Now you should have all 3 fan wires in front of you.
     
    You need you modify each wire that you want to be temp controlled. If you only need 1 set of fan leads to be controlled you only need to buy 1 thermistor, mosfet and pot. If you want all 3 temp controlled then get 3 thermistors, mosfet's and pot's.
     
    At this point you need to de-pin the 5v yellow wire from the lead.
    use a paper clip or if you can't get it just cut the wire and tape it.
    2167169509_c4d3661f60.jpg?v=0
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    2167170185_7c9bff0921.jpg?v=0

  • Now with just the red (12v) and the black (ground) wires you need to follow this guide for each set of leads you want modified.
     
http://www.heatsink-guide.com/content.php?...t=control.shtml
2167960706_d233800f7b.jpg?v=0
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  • With that done you need to tidy up the wires and re connect the leads
    2167171213_aacca4a417.jpg?v=0
    2167170437_18768ecd1d.jpg?v=0
    as you can see in the picture i only used 1 lead to be temp controlled and this one lead will control my 2 cooling fans.

  • Now on to the Power supply, I used a 300w power supply I had laying around.
    2167964316_d44f58b794.jpg?v=0
    Any old PC power supply will do.
    Try to find one with a on/off switch on the back.
    You need to add a jumper to the unit to let it power on. This should be the green wire to any black wire.
    Caution: Dell unit's may be different.
    2167172313_a218992216.jpg?v=0
    Make sure you tape this in place good you don't want it falling out.

  • Next we need to make a extension for the 4 pin power connector
    I had extra ends on hand, you don't need this you can just cut and extend both the blacks and the yellow and red line. This is to allow for alternate mounting options and only needs to be as long as what fits your needs.
    For instance, my controller is on the top of my hood and the PSU is under the tank. My extension is 5' long, you may also want to take this time to extend any thermal probe and or fan wires that need it.
    2167173241_365ee66939.jpg?v=0

  • Finally we need to seal our thermal probes in the airline tubing to avoid damage by the water.
    This can be done with the aquarium sealant or with the little caps I found at my local Lowes store in the nuts and bolts section. They make a tight seal around the end of the air line.
    Make sure you cut the air line long enough to extend out of the tank a bit.
    2167963794_4b4618ce69.jpg?v=0
    2167962670_19d4d80c76.jpg?v=0
    You will be sliding both the probe from the controller and the probe from the fan down the air line.
    If the probes don't fit go to Lowes or Home depot or whatever and get a larger diameter tube in the pluming section.

So that's it tidy everything up:

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mount all your probes and fans and get a tiny flat head driver or a razor blade to adjust your pot's.

turn on the unit and set your time, alarm temps and then adjust your pot's for each fan lead as indicated in the mod link.

This may take some time for fine tunning and you may find that you need to leave the fans slightly running to get a lower response time.

Once you get it adjusted close it up and mount it you are done!! :D

 

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Chaluz
i'm sure you could do it with a dc to ac solenoid but if you just set the heater it will turn on and off itself. right?

 

Redundancy. if it ever happens that the thermostat on the heater breaks with the 'on' position the temp could rise & in your absence there would be a heatwave. What does that mean? I lost a tank full of corals.. thankfully it wasnt stocked with any duper expensive...but it pains to see them go.

 

A second check that cuts off supply would be good IMO.

 

excellent guide & love ur step by step approach...mayb u should patent it..........................

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...................... after i copied it tho ;)

Edited by Chaluz

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cdelicath
Redundancy. if it ever happens that the thermostat on the heater breaks with the 'on' position the temp could rise & in your absence there would be a heatwave. What does that mean? I lost a tank full of corals.. thankfully it wasnt stocked with any duper expensive...but it pains to see them go.

 

A second check that cuts off supply would be good IMO.

 

excellent guide & love ur step by step approach...mayb u should patent it..........................

...................... after i copied it tho ;)

 

I see your point and now I'm scared, I want a heater cut off please!!!!! :huh:

I never thought of that, I have never had a problem with heaters.

The heater I have is just a cheap petsmart POS so that up's my chances for failure.

 

anyone out there know how to make a heater cutoff?

after I finish my skimmer today i will look into it.

Edited by cdelicath

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Chaluz
I see your point and now I'm scared, I want a heater cut off please!!!!! :huh:

I never thought of that, I have never had a problem with heaters.

The heater I have is just a cheap petsmart POS so that up's my chances for failure.

 

anyone out there know how to make a heater cutoff?

after I finish my skimmer today i will look into it.

 

If it could save dollars the way you have the fan controller, I would try that too or there are a lot of pricey options out there & a lot of them are programmable too

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Jester

Awesome stuff... I am setting up a new tank over the next few weeks and will definitely be building this into my new tank... I like the looks of this controller and want to be able to control multiple fans... some in the canopy and a few over my sump...

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Mickle

If you can find a way of mounting in a heater control I'll be doing this too!

As long as its a cheap as the other option open to me...

http://www.reefdreams.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh0000...800#a1_21ATC800

I believe it's intended primaraly for central heating etc

 

Oh and if you could include an ato that would be handy... well theres 3 sockets no? ;)

Edited by Mickle

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coolwaters

hey i might do this. as a chiller and a way to cool down my LEDs better.

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cdelicath
hey i might do this. as a chiller and a way to cool down my LEDs better.

 

the temp probe would mount perfect to your heatsink because... well... thats what it was made for :D

remember you don't need the temp unit or even that model of unit. There are alot of other fan controller units out there that may do more or look better.

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Mr. Fosi

I'd love to find a MOSFET that'd handle 110V so I could hook up a real fan but alas, I haven't been able to find one.

 

I think I may make one of these.

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evilc66

you could try using one of those router speed controls that Harbor Freight sells. Mod it so the rheostat is replaced by a suitable temp sensor.

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