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How To Wire Up PC Fans

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by GoldGrower, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. #1 GoldGrower, Feb 27, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2013
    this is how I wire up PC fans so you can quickly and easily add more fans and change the arrangement of them without re wiring anything.

    to start you will need a pc fan and a transformer. I find multi voltage adapters great because you can adjust the speed by changing the voltage.

    if you can't use a voltage variable adapter then a 12volt version will run the fans at full speed, a 6volt adapter will run it at half speed etc...

    the voltage adapter will state what "A" or "mA" it can handle. don't exceed this amount or you will burn out the adapter. the pc fans will state what mA it draws, so it's a case of just adding them up.

    1. in the first photo it shows some extension leads and splitters. you don't need these unless you want to add multiple fans and space them out.

    2. if the fan doesn't come with a plug you will have to buy one. I find buying a splitter so you have two plug cheaper and easier as the wires are there for you already.

    there is a red (positive), a black (negative) and a yellow. the yellow can be discarded as it isn't used in this application

    strip the tips of the wired exposing the metal

    3. because these voltage adapters have the terminals exposed as two holes you can simply bend over the exposed wires and insert them in to the holes. if you don't have this option you will have to strip the wires on the adapter and splice them together

    4. put the wires in black to black and colour/marked to red. but test it to be sure. if they are the wrong way round the fan will not spin. however if it does spin, check its blowing in the correct direction. it should suck through the open side and blow through the framework

    5. here I have fixed the wires in place with a hot glue gun. this secures the connection so there's no worries of the wires coming out or touching eachother. nice and safe. if you don't have a glue gun you could just wrap it in tape. be sure that the two wires cannot touch. putting something between them to insulate them is worth doing.

    6. that's it done, you can easily plug and unplug your fan and you can buy splitters and extensions to have multiple fans running on a single plug

    if you have any questions I will be glad to help






  2. #2 GoldGrower, Feb 28, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2013
    if you have the 4 pin plug version cut and wire up like this. several fans can be daisy chained together
    again, check polarity before permanently fixing

    with it set up like this, the first fan is permanently fixed, and you just click in additional fans whenever you wish

  3. You da man bro, was looking for a tut like this. I like your proposed way of making it modular.

    Quick question, if I were a lazy stoner and just connected 2 or 3 pc fans to one supply by just putting all the red wires together, and all the black wires together (instead of doing it serially like you're doing) would that be a problem?
  4. I'm doing it parallel, not serially but yeah that would work fine, it's effectively the same but you just don't have the option to move things around much because you won't be using plugs, but it would run the fans just fine
  5. Cool thanks. Would you happen to know if a CPU cooler can run with a 12v charger? I saw a thread where some guy used some old intel cpu coolers, setup seemed pretty tight.
  6. I took 3 9v batteries (itll work with just 1 or 2) taped em together wired it in parallel and every time i need pc fan power i just hook up the positive and let er spin
  7. has anyone tried using small fans with a small solar panel? they could be clipped all over the place and would come on with the lights
  8. panels would work great my buddy has a bad ass setup that cost em about 300-400
  9. I have a couple fans hooked up to a car battery with a 10 watt solar maintainer in my little greenhouse. Instead of using a dc adapter you could do more of a ghetto setup and run a car better hooked to a battery charger :p. I wired the battery so the end of it is a 4 pin computer molex connection to make hooking fans up easier
  10. if I wire a 0.5 amp fan to a charger which only makes 0.3 amps does it catch fire?
  11. #11 Navarone, May 24, 2013
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
    Probably not, but you will be over working the charger, not by much though. Test and see, if its gets too warm then get a larger charger.

    Also, thanks OP for making this, I've noticed a lot of questions about pc fans lately and I wish I knew about this thread sooner to point people in the right direction!

    Here's what I did, with 70-80 ambient the 600w ballast could easily reach over 100 and now with two fans it's only a few degrees above ambient!

    Attached Files:

  12. this thread helped a lot with the wiring i needed, the adapter im using is an old laptop power adapter for my dell which has an output of 19.5 volts with 3.34 amps.. would this be enough to power 3 12v fans at .3 amps. sorry but ive never even tried to mess with this kind of stuff before now and i wanna make sure i dont burn down the apartment complex knock on bud.
  13. i know that the fans wouldnt run at full speed but i wouldnt mind that too much.
  14. if you connect each of the fans parallel like how I have shown above then the fans will run at a much faster speed.
    fans - 12volts, power supply - 19.5volts
    it would probably cause the fans to burn out. so make sure you run a pair in series. this will share the voltage between the two. each fan will get 9.75volts
    you could then run two pairs in parallel.
  15. This is what I'm working with, is it suitable?

    Attached Files:

  16. Yeah, you just need a 12v adapter. You can use lower voltage adapters but the fan will spin slower
  17. #17 Stonedlife, Dec 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2014
    Thank you, but what is the item called to connect the bare wires to the adapter?
  18. #18 WeedleTM, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2014
    Great diy-topic man! Very clear information and pictures  :hello: 
    When I daisy-chain my fans like you do in the second post, will they both receive the full voltage and amperage I give to them via the fan controller?
    Thanks man.
    Yeah they will get the same voltage, but draw twice the amperage so you will need to make sure your adapter will be able to handle it. What mA does your fans draw? And what mA, or A is your adapter rated for? 
  20. #20 GoldGrower, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2014
    I'm not sure what item you are referring to. Do you mean the plug? Most fans will have one of two types of  plug and socket combination on the wires. But if your wires have no plug you can either buy a plug and attach it on the fan, or directly connect the wires straight to the adapter. The advantage of using a plug is you can easily add and change fans 

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