"How-To" : Connect your PC/Axial fans to a 12v Adapter

Discussion in 'Grow Room Design/Setup' started by MushuHappiness, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. Hello Ladies and Gentleman, Mushu here. After seeing how practically everyone doing Micro grows or even Cab grows likes to use PC/Axial fans to Ventilate/Cool their grows, thought I'd post this little "How To" to connect your PC/Axial fans to a 12v DC Adapter.

    Purpose/Use: For everyone that is always concerned about how to cool their Micro/Cab grows by using PC/Axial fans but was unsure of how to power these awesome puppies. No longer will you need a PC Power Supply(PSU) or have to buy AC axial fans that cost $10-$20

    Sorry if pictures are not up to everyones specs, they were taken using a camera phone :headbange

    Lets get started!

    First off... You'll need a 12v AC to DC power adapter. You can buy these at almost any place that carries electronics. You will need to figure out how many Amps you will need based on the types of fans you plan on using. Most PC/Axial fans draw less than .35A(350 miliAmps), and I have yet to see one that draws more than .3 in actuality. For 2 or more fans(again, depending on the amps being drawn) You will want one that has an output of 1000+mAs(or 1.0 Amp)

    You can also find adjustable AC/DC adapters to select the voltage to use for your fans to quiet them down, great for use during the lights off hours to keep air moving quietly through your grow space. Not recommended to go below 6Vs for your fans. Adjustable AC/DC adapters should be used in a parallel wiring setup.

    PLEASE NOTE: When wiring your fans, try and use the same exact same fans. Use one adapter for 120mm, another for 80mms, and so on. Also, the way I have mine wired are paralleled, meaning they're both hooked up at the same connection to get the full 12v(FanxFan -2-Adapter). If you want to use a "chain",meaning, one fan is wired to another fan, and then that fan is connected to the adapter... Fan-2-Fan-2-adapter, the voltage on each fan will be cut in half. Remember this as you decide how much air you want to move, or if your fans become too loud. To chain fans, your fans MUST be the same otherwise they will not function properly and could cause problems.

    Mine that I am using is a very old one I had lying around from somewhere.. I think it was used to power a Ethernet hub.. im not sure.

    Input: 120VAC 60HZ 24W
    Output: 12VDC 1.2A


    Next: You want to have One or more PC/Axial fans(The purpose of this "How To" :bashhead: ). You can find these at www.newegg.com, www.xoxide.com, www.tigerdirect.com, or at your local electronics store.

    I'm using 2 80mm fans that I pulled from old computers. They push around 35-40CFMs a piece and are silent over my ceiling fan(I have to put my ear real close to even hear them). You will have a hard time hearing PC/Axial fans unless the DBA is above about 35-40dba.


    Next: Cut the connectors off both your PC/Axial fans so that your only left with the actual wires. You may need to split the wires apart if they are connected together. Then Strip all wires so there is enough room to connect them all together.

    Also, on MOST DC Adapters, the wires will have some sort of indicator on the wires so you can tell White from Black... On this one, there is a white indicator that runs the length of the wire, this is your white, the other one is your black. Do NOT cross these two wires.


    Next: Take both Black wires of the PC/Axial fans(They are almost ALWAYS color coded, have to see some that are not). And either use electrical tape or shrinkwrap to connect them together. Do the same for the Red(or White) Wires.

    DO NOT LET THE BLACK AND RED WIRES TOUCH!!!!!! :bashhead: :bashhead: :bashhead:


    1. Connect your Red PC/Axial wires to the Adapters WHITE wire.
    2. Connect your Black PC/Axial wires to the Adapters BLACK wire.


    Thats it! Make sure you use Electrical tape, or Shrinkwrap(Best choice I think, but i did not have any on hand, so i taped the heck out of em :) )

    Your finish product should look like this....


    And after you plug it in?


    Viola!! Working PC/Axial fans that can be plugged safely into a wall outlet or powerstrip for your ease of use :)

    Enjoy Guys! And keep on Tokin an Growin :rasta:
  2. Awesome post and i know ill be needing it. +rep
  3. Thanks... I'll also be trying to do a how to on how to be able to connect a PC power cable to the back of a PC case to help make your case nice and stealthy :)
  4. Before buying an adaptor,most ppl go through several cell phones in there lives so look at the back and you may be suprised that you already have what you need.:wave:
  5. Very true... It better be a hella old cell phone though... I just looked at a couple we've saved over the years and the highest output from them was only 500ma... Thats only enough to power ONE PC fan efficiently.

  6. well i dont know about other cities but i know here in SF that the goodwill has a gang of old computer parts and a couple of old computer power supplies for 3.50 a peice each one can run at least 2 fans.... dunno food for thought
  7. Great Pictures and nice tutorial on this

  8. how do you know which way is intake and which way is outtake?? i cant tell whether or not to put the pc fan at the top of the box or the bottom
  9. Pretty simple... Turn the fans on.. And you should be able to feel the airflow with your hands. If you cant do it that way, take a regular sheet of paper and put it up to the fan, it'll blow away from the exhaust side, and it will stick against the intake side.
  10. Hey...
    first of all thanks dude thats solving me some problems i've got in my cloest...
    so i went and got a coputer fan , got a 12v adapter , hooked it up just liked you explained here..
    it wont work.

    got any ideas what did i do rong along the way?:confused:


    Attached Files:

  11. Did you test the 12v Adaptor prior to Canabalizing it ;)

    Could have been ferked to begin with mate.

    Also as an electricians perspective i would avoid using tape to join the cables together and Use Block Connectors.

  12. Yea.. What kind of tape is that anyway!? Idealy you'd want to use those twisty wire connectors or some heatshrink... The stuff your usin doesnt even look like electrical tape =/

    Also.. Did your check the output on your 12v adapter? It should be 6-12v for the span to even work. Also, did you make sure the miliamps/amps was enough to handle the fan. After that.. Its only left to the connection...

    And if none of that works... Well all i can say is what Kaos6669a said.. It mighta been not working before you slaughtered it =/ Always test your parts first.
  13. NO-NO-NO,You take a toke then just blow into the fan and kill two birds with one stoned!:D
  14. Thanks a bunch I was wandering how to do this ima book mark this page for when I grow indoors within the next two years.... Oh yeah + rep.
  15. i was just about to start a thread asking for someones help on how to do this! thanks a bunch, saves me a lot of time! :hello:

    just one question though, will wiring these so Mcgyver-like create any fire hazards?? the last thing i want is my plants burning too early...

  16. Not unless you get the wires wet or something, take your normal electrical precautions and it'll be fine.

    Also, i did the tape kinda on the fly.. Idealy Keeganator, nice name btw, reminds me of kegerators :p, go down your local hardware store and get some shrink wrap. They'll have a couplde different sizes.. I'd suggest picking up 3/32 for these kind of wires, and then just one size up just to be safe.
  17. my pc fan has red,white, AND black wires. can i use this?
  18. yeah, just forget about the white one, thats used by your computer to control the speed of the fan i think. i just taped the end with electric tape and forgot about it. works well so far!
  19. Note: If your using gonna use multiple fans, add up the amps (mili-amps) and make sure the total isn't higher than the output of the 12v adapter. For example, if you have two fans that need .3mA each, you wouldn't want to use an adapter that outputs .5mA... make sense? Little fire saftey tip :)

    Also... Most 12v adapter don't have an indicator for what wire is positive or negative. You cant wire this wrong, because its only going to work one way. If you mixed pos/neg the fan just wont run, so dont think your gonna blow your hand off :)

    Other than that, nice how-to :)
  20. hey what if my pc fan has a black, white and yellow wire? what do i do with the yellow one?

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