Question Running RGB Fans without Computer/Motherboard

Jul 26, 2019
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Hey everyone,

I am a bit of new guy here when it comes to PC related stuff so thanks for taking the time to try and help me out.
What I am trying to do here is I am building a custom monitor riser for my desk and want to install some RGB fans on it to help circulate air flow in my office (I work from home and have 3 computers running at the same time so it get's hot).

I bought these fans: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S4CRG9W/ref=nav_timeline_asin?_encoding=UTF8&th=1
-- And I bought this adapter: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002TJNDU4/?tag=tec06d-20

I attached the controller to the 4 pin molex adapter and all 6 fans were running at what seemed to be full speed. But the LED fans and the 2 LED strips were not lighting up at all. I double checked the remote and I knew it worked because it was turning off and on another LED strip I had, guess it ran the type of remote control.

Do I need to purchase this to make them work as well or am I interrupting this wrong? The controller does have this 3 pin port but wasn't sure if this was needed or not.
-- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BSJGL0/?tag=tec06d-20
-- would these pics help?







Thanks.
 
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What you did originally is right, so if it's not working there is a flaw or some small detail missed. The central box with that set is both the power supply and the display controller for the fan motors and the RGB lighting units in each fan. It gets all its power from the 4-pin Molex input. The hand-held remote box merely sends lighting display control signals to that Controller / Hub, so if you can get the fans to run using that remote unit, it is working. I note the description of that system says the remote control can NOT change the speed of the fans. You do NOT need that last adapter.

However, I suspect the problem is a little different. Fan motors use a 12 VDC power source. The Addressable RGB lights in them use a 5 VDC power source. (There are other different RGB lights that use 12 VDC.) A 4-pin Molex output from the PSU has four wires to it and together they supply both 12 VDC and 5 VDC on separate wire pairs. Unfortunately the particular power supply module you bought has only the 12 VDC part, and nothing supplying 5 VDC. So I suspect that the Controller / Hub is simply not getting any of the 5 VDC power it requires to run the lights, but is getting the fan's 12 VDC supply.

What you need is a different power supply module. I did not find any like what you have - a simple closed box with a 4-pin Molex output female connector and both power outputs. But I did find a power supply box that has screw terminals on its end and sufficient current capability at both voltages simultaneously to fit your needs for those six fans. To use it you would have to connect to its terminals a grounded 120 VAC power input cord and the leads from a FEMALE (with 4 holes) Molex connector, then protect that terminal end from exposure and accidental contact. If you are "handy" at these things, you can do it with the right parts. First you need the power supply, like this

https://www.amazon.com/MEAN-WELL-RD-65A-Output-Enclosed/dp/B005T7EZM8/ref=sr_1_3?crid=KU76995P66J1&keywords=power+supply+12v+5v&qid=1564151953&s=gateway&sprefix=power+supply+12+V+5,aps,208&sr=8-3

NOTE that the seller says that Amazon has posted on that page the wrong photo, and the item they are selling really does have outputs of 12 VDC and 5 VDC.

Then you need a grounded AC power cord, which I'm sure you can get. Then you need a cable with a female 4-pin Molex connector on one end. The easiest way to get that is to buy a 4-pin Molex Extension cable, like this 12" long model.

https://www.amazon.com/Female-Extension-Adapter-Sleeving-Connectors/dp/B00Y738MN8/ref=sr_1_10?crid=37H112R5W7SZF&keywords=molex+extension+cable&qid=1564153049&s=gateway&sprefix=Molex+extension,aps,196&sr=8-10

Check the power input connector on your fan set Hub - I fully expect it is MALE with 4 round pins inside a shroud. So on the Extension cable you would snip off the male end leaving a FEMALE connector on the wires, and secure the correct wires to the correct screw terminals of the power supply box. Correct? Well, the proper pinout for a female Molex connector is the first item here

http://wiki.robotz.com/index.php/PC_Power_Supply_Voltage_Data_and_Connector_Types#Four_Pin_Molex_Power_Connector

So the YELLOW wire goes to the power supply unit's +12 VDC terminal labelled +V2, Red goes to the + 5 VDC (+V1) terminal, and the two Black leads go to the two "COM" terminals.

Good luck!
 
Jul 26, 2019
3
0
10
0
What you did originally is right, so if it's not working there is a flaw or some small detail missed. The central box with that set is both the power supply and the display controller for the fan motors and the RGB lighting units in each fan. It gets all its power from the 4-pin Molex input. The hand-held remote box merely sends lighting display control signals to that Controller / Hub, so if you can get the fans to run using that remote unit, it is working. I note the description of that system says the remote control can NOT change the speed of the fans. You do NOT need that last adapter.

However, I suspect the problem is a little different. Fan motors use a 12 VDC power source. The Addressable RGB lights in them use a 5 VDC power source. (There are other different RGB lights that use 12 VDC.) A 4-pin Molex output from the PSU has four wires to it and together they supply both 12 VDC and 5 VDC on separate wire pairs. Unfortunately the particular power supply module you bought has only the 12 VDC part, and nothing supplying 5 VDC. So I suspect that the Controller / Hub is simply not getting any of the 5 VDC power it requires to run the lights, but is getting the fan's 12 VDC supply.

What you need is a different power supply module. I did not find any like what you have - a simple closed box with a 4-pin Molex output female connector and both power outputs. But I did find a power supply box that has screw terminals on its end and sufficient current capability at both voltages simultaneously to fit your needs for those six fans. To use it you would have to connect to its terminals a grounded 120 VAC power input cord and the leads from a FEMALE (with 4 holes) Molex connector, then protect that terminal end from exposure and accidental contact. If you are "handy" at these things, you can do it with the right parts. First you need the power supply, like this

https://www.amazon.com/MEAN-WELL-RD-65A-Output-Enclosed/dp/B005T7EZM8/ref=sr_1_3?crid=KU76995P66J1&keywords=power+supply+12v+5v&qid=1564151953&s=gateway&sprefix=power+supply+12+V+5,aps,208&sr=8-3

NOTE that the seller says that Amazon has posted on that page the wrong photo, and the item they are selling really does have outputs of 12 VDC and 5 VDC.

Then you need a grounded AC power cord, which I'm sure you can get. Then you need a cable with a female 4-pin Molex connector on one end. The easiest way to get that is to buy a 4-pin Molex Extension cable, like this 12" long model.

https://www.amazon.com/Female-Extension-Adapter-Sleeving-Connectors/dp/B00Y738MN8/ref=sr_1_10?crid=37H112R5W7SZF&keywords=molex+extension+cable&qid=1564153049&s=gateway&sprefix=Molex+extension,aps,196&sr=8-10

Check the power input connector on your fan set Hub - I fully expect it is MALE with 4 round pins inside a shroud. So on the Extension cable you would snip off the male end leaving a FEMALE connector on the wires, and secure the correct wires to the correct screw terminals of the power supply box. Correct? Well, the proper pinout for a female Molex connector is the first item here

http://wiki.robotz.com/index.php/PC_Power_Supply_Voltage_Data_and_Connector_Types#Four_Pin_Molex_Power_Connector

So the YELLOW wire goes to the power supply unit's +12 VDC terminal labelled +V2, Red goes to the + 5 VDC (+V1) terminal, and the two Black leads go to the two "COM" terminals.

Good luck!


Thanks for the reply - I was looking around at a few other threads and someone had posted this
-- https://www.amazon.com/Coolerguys-100-240v-Molex-Power-Adapter/dp/B000MGG6SC/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1FPVGI0J12NVP&keywords=coolerguys+100-240v+ac+to+12+&+5v+dc+4pin+molex+2a+power+adapter&qid=1564154855&s=electronics&sprefix=cooler+guys+,electronics,131&sr=1-1

Do you think that'll work as well?

Kind Regards
 
MAYBE, but I am concerned about the max power use from the 5 VDC lines. That Coolerguys product is specified to be able to supply up to 2 A current max on each of the 12 VDC and 5 VDC lines. The Mean Well unit I linked to can do up to 3 A from the 12 VDC lines (36 W), and 6 A from the 5 VDC line (30 W), but a limit of 66 W total from both lines.

The specs for that Apevia fan set say the fan motors that use the 12 VDC supply draw at max 0.2 A per fans, or 1.2 A for six fans (14.4 W). No problem. However, the Apevia web page does not provide the current draw from the RGB lighting units in each fan, and they are the ones that use the 5 VDC lines. In fact, that set includes the six fans with RGB lights in their frames plus two separate light strips you can plug into the same Controller / Hub. So we're left to speculate somewhat. From other makers I looked at similar fans with ARGB lighting in their frames, and those that do tell us the current for the lights only say they are in the 0.3 to 0.45 A max range per lighting unit. So for 6 fans the max current draw from the 5 VDC lines can be 1.8 to 2.7 A. If you add the two light strips that rises to 2.4 to 3.3 A max. Thus, the Coolerguys model MIGHT be adequate if you use only the six fans and if their current draw for the RGB lights is at the lower end of what competitors' units need. Otherwise it is not, and you should go with the heavier output capability of the Mean Well unit. By the way, user comments for that latter unit say it works smoothly without significant noise or heat generation even when both outputs are loaded to near max.
 
Jul 26, 2019
3
0
10
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MAYBE, but I am concerned about the max power use from the 5 VDC lines. That Coolerguys product is specified to be able to supply up to 2 A current max on each of the 12 VDC and 5 VDC lines. The Mean Well unit I linked to can do up to 3 A from the 12 VDC lines (36 W), and 6 A from the 5 VDC line (30 W), but a limit of 66 W total from both lines.

The specs for that Apevia fan set say the fan motors that use the 12 VDC supply draw at max 0.2 A per fans, or 1.2 A for six fans (14.4 W). No problem. However, the Apevia web page does not provide the current draw from the RGB lighting units in each fan, and they are the ones that use the 5 VDC lines. In fact, that set includes the six fans with RGB lights in their frames plus two separate light strips you can plug into the same Controller / Hub. So we're left to speculate somewhat. From other makers I looked at similar fans with ARGB lighting in their frames, and those that do tell us the current for the lights only say they are in the 0.3 to 0.45 A max range per lighting unit. So for 6 fans the max current draw from the 5 VDC lines can be 1.8 to 2.7 A. If you add the two light strips that rises to 2.4 to 3.3 A max. Thus, the Coolerguys model MIGHT be adequate if you use only the six fans and if their current draw for the RGB lights is at the lower end of what competitors' units need. Otherwise it is not, and you should go with the heavier output capability of the Mean Well unit. By the way, user comments for that latter unit say it works smoothly without significant noise or heat generation even when both outputs are loaded to near max.

Gotcha, thank you for your input. If push comes to shove I'll just gets fans that don't have RGB lights and get another strip - just figured maybe I could try fans that have RGB included and slim down the wiring.

If you have any recommended fans, any brand will do, that could work better, even if it's a 3 pack only, that will be fine with me

Thanks.
 

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