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Thread: Fan Chaining

  1. #1
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    Default Fan Chaining

    Quick Guide on how to Chain fans together to reduce the number of cables and headers used, very useful for those with either lots of case fans, or a water cooling set up :thumbup1:

    Firstly sort out the position of where you want your fans to go, and where you want the cables to dissapear off to, you'll need a common link point from the fans going to a header / psu cable, so bear this in mind when planning the cabling, you can get some impressive distances from the header to the fan this way.

    When daisy chaining fans, the best results are achieved by running the fans in parralel to minimise voltage drop accross the fans, to do this, you'll need to connect the cables up with like colours, so red to red, black to black. The yellow cable needs to only come from one fan to avoid causing a short, as this is the fans speed sensing line, transmitting to the unit reading them.

    Tools Required

    Side cutters
    Cable Strippers
    Soldering Iron
    Solder
    Heat Shrink

    I'm going to use the example of wiring up 3 fans on a tripple radiator as the basis for this guide, but it is easily adaptable for any circumstance.

    The first thing to consider is how many fans you are going to be linking together, and the rated output current of the unit supplying them, most headers have a maximum current of 1 Amp, and most fans have a current draw of 0.2 Amps, so 4 fans is the maximum I would reccomend anyone to put together, as when fans first start up they draw more than their rated current briefly. As 3 fans are being used, we're ok.

    Cut the plugs from 2 of the fans near the plug end of the cable, and cut the last plug off near the fan side of the cable, leaving enough length on the cable still on the fan to be able to strip back and solder it to the other wires. This shorter cable is to be the "Hub" for the set up. On the radiator itself. Attach the fans so that the fan with the shortest cable is nearest the header, to reduce any excess cable and make things that much neater. Next place the remaining two fans onto the radiator so that all three have their wires on the same side.

    With the fans in place, take the long wires and get a measurement for how long they need to be to reach the Hub. Cut them down to suit and strip back roughly 10 - 15mm of insulation, depending on how good you are at soldering, additionaly, remove as much of the yellow wire as possible from the two of the fans, making sure to leave the one on the hub fan in place. Once stripped back, check once again that the cables will reach and tuck away nicely down the side of the fans. Next, strip back the wires on the cable with the connector still attached. Prepare any braiding you may require, as its easiest to apply at this stage, You'll need to cut lengths for each wire, as the join will make it very difficult to braid, however it may be possible to use one length of braid, feeding the wires through gaps cut into it, having never used braiding before, I cannot say for certain.

    Cut three lengths of heat shrink, roughly 40 - 50mm long, depending on how much insulation you have stripped back from each wire and slide these over the wires still attached to the plug. Twist the ends of each wire to keep the individual strands together, then tin them with solder by applying a small ammount of solder to the end of the iron, then hold both the iron and the solder onto the cable from oppisite sides, as the solder starts to flow onto the wire, draw the iron and the solder towards the end. This should leave you with an ideal finish for joining the wires later.

    Once all of the ends have been tinned, you'll need to join all the red wires, all of the black wires, and then the two yellow wires, the one attached to the plug, and the one still on the hub fan. Do this by twisting all of the ends together, to give the best joint have the fan wires coming in together, then the wire from the plug coming in from the other way, so that it appears the three fan wires are forming into one and continuing along the cable. With the wires twisted together, solder them together in a similar manner to how you tinned them, apply a little bit of solder on the end of the iron, then apply the iron and the solder to the wires from different sides. As you already have a decent ammount of solder on the wires, you will not require a great deal more, just make sure to get it all flowing nicely, but try not to get the wires too hot, so be as quick as you can with the iron. It may help to have anothe pair of hands for this part to hold the wires whilst you solder, as they can have a tendency to move.

    With all of the wires soldered correctly, red to red, black to black, yellow to yellow, allow it to cool breifly then slide down the heat shrink to cover the soldered joint. Shrink it over the joint with something hot, preferably a lighter or a hair dryer, just avoid using the soldering iron as the heat from it is too concentrated to shrink the wrap effectively, and may burn it.

    Once complete you're ready to go! plug it in to a header and test the fans operation before installing into the water loop.
    Last edited by Sam; 17-10-2008 at 19:42.

  2. #2
    Administrator Lloyd_mcse's Avatar
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    nice one Sam,
    My bad, just realised the moderate options were still on, on this section. Sorry about that

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  3. #3
    Pro Member Ya Mother's Avatar
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    I was hoping for pictures

    i7 4770k 4.6ghz/Z-87 MSI G45 / X2 GTX770 Amp SLI / 16gb corsair vengeance/ X-fi Titanium soundcard/ Galaxy 1000 watt psu/250gb Samsung ssd/Crucial 128gb ssd /Level 10 GT case/27" Qnix LPS 2560x1440 Monitor / Ideazon stealth gaming keyboard/ Rat 7 MMO/windows 7 x64 Pro. Huge penis and testicles.

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    I was at college when i started it, i'll finish it up tonight and tomorrow, and add lots of pretty pictures

    Have finished off the written part, shall add some pictures tomorrow, let me know what you think!
    Last edited by Sam; 17-10-2008 at 19:43.

  5. #5
    Administrator Lloyd_mcse's Avatar
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    Nice one mate, that's is awesome

    RIG 1: Intel i7 4770K | ASUS SABERTOOTH Z87 | 16GB Corsair Vengeance Black LP 1866 C10 | ASUS GTX 1060 OC 6GB Expedition | 1x Samsung 850 Pro 512GB | 2x WD 1TB Black 6Gb/s RAID 0 | ASUS STRIX SOAR | Coolermaster CM 690 II USB 3.0 | Corsair AX860i | Corsair H100i

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    Cheers

  7. #7
    Pro Member Ya Mother's Avatar
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    Still no pictures?

    i7 4770k 4.6ghz/Z-87 MSI G45 / X2 GTX770 Amp SLI / 16gb corsair vengeance/ X-fi Titanium soundcard/ Galaxy 1000 watt psu/250gb Samsung ssd/Crucial 128gb ssd /Level 10 GT case/27" Qnix LPS 2560x1440 Monitor / Ideazon stealth gaming keyboard/ Rat 7 MMO/windows 7 x64 Pro. Huge penis and testicles.

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    Yeah i've not gotten round to it yet, just ordered a set of fans for that tripple rad i got off lloyd, going to fit them to that and chain them, do the pics then to get a proper walk through style set of photos.

  9. #9
    Administrator Lloyd_mcse's Avatar
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    cool, i look forward to seeing it

    RIG 1: Intel i7 4770K | ASUS SABERTOOTH Z87 | 16GB Corsair Vengeance Black LP 1866 C10 | ASUS GTX 1060 OC 6GB Expedition | 1x Samsung 850 Pro 512GB | 2x WD 1TB Black 6Gb/s RAID 0 | ASUS STRIX SOAR | Coolermaster CM 690 II USB 3.0 | Corsair AX860i | Corsair H100i

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  10. #10
    Pro Member Ya Mother's Avatar
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    im doing the same...triple rad and same fans. to a fan controller so i will probs need to extend the 3 pin lead to controller....anyone know wot guage the cable is....looks thinner than bell wire?

    i7 4770k 4.6ghz/Z-87 MSI G45 / X2 GTX770 Amp SLI / 16gb corsair vengeance/ X-fi Titanium soundcard/ Galaxy 1000 watt psu/250gb Samsung ssd/Crucial 128gb ssd /Level 10 GT case/27" Qnix LPS 2560x1440 Monitor / Ideazon stealth gaming keyboard/ Rat 7 MMO/windows 7 x64 Pro. Huge penis and testicles.

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    Been busy this evening, stipped my rig right down and have been trying to find a place to stick a tripple rad in a stacker...

    Got some photos of the old chaining i did and have added them to the first post as a temporary measure.

    so far as I know the cable used is .25mm csa, but its been a while since i last stripped it back to see, but i read somewhere that ATX power cable is 16 AWG.

  12. #12
    Pro Member Ya Mother's Avatar
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    I chained 7 yesterday x3 x2 x2. rigged me spare psu up and all work.

    i7 4770k 4.6ghz/Z-87 MSI G45 / X2 GTX770 Amp SLI / 16gb corsair vengeance/ X-fi Titanium soundcard/ Galaxy 1000 watt psu/250gb Samsung ssd/Crucial 128gb ssd /Level 10 GT case/27" Qnix LPS 2560x1440 Monitor / Ideazon stealth gaming keyboard/ Rat 7 MMO/windows 7 x64 Pro. Huge penis and testicles.

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    any pics coming sam? Be interested to see how it all goes

  14. #14
    Pro Member Ya Mother's Avatar
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    I used this.....http://www.chilledpc.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=5312 click on ralph jacksons link m8.

    i7 4770k 4.6ghz/Z-87 MSI G45 / X2 GTX770 Amp SLI / 16gb corsair vengeance/ X-fi Titanium soundcard/ Galaxy 1000 watt psu/250gb Samsung ssd/Crucial 128gb ssd /Level 10 GT case/27" Qnix LPS 2560x1440 Monitor / Ideazon stealth gaming keyboard/ Rat 7 MMO/windows 7 x64 Pro. Huge penis and testicles.

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