Question Single ARGB fan without controller hub.

Jun 16, 2019
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I wanna purchase a single ARGB fan, but most fans require a fan controller hub.

Is there an ARGB fan that doesn''t? That is, to connect the 3-pin ARGB and 4-pin PWM directly to the motherboard?

I think MF120R ARGB can do it but I m not sure.
 
That fan, like any other, will require connection to two things. In fact, consider an ARGB Fan this way: it really is TWO devices in one unit: a fan (in this case, a 4-pin PWM type) and RGB lighting LED's in the frame. Each device has its own connection cable with a female connector in its end. Each cable needs to plug into a header that provides two functions: power is supplied, plus control of the device options (speed, or colour). You are familiar with the way that works for the fan motor part. Likewise, the ARGB connector on the end of the other cable needs such functions provided from somewhere. One option for that is to buy from Cooler Master their Addressable RGB LED Small Controller, a box that gets power from a SATA output from the PSU and has three buttons on it you can use to change the RGB lighting display manually.

But many mobos now have RGB headers built into them, and the control of lighting displays for devices plugged into such a header is done with a software utility that is supplied free by the mobo maker - no manual box with a connecting wire. HOWEVER, there are two INcompatible systems widely used for RGB lighting now. One is called just plain RGB and uses a 4-pin header that supplies a common +12 VDC power line and three separate Ground lines, one for each of the three RGB colours. The other is the more advanced Addressable RGB or ADDR RGB or ARGB system that uses a 3-pin header (very much like the 4-pin one, but missing one pin in the line) that contains common + 5 VDC and Ground lines and a Control Line. The way the LED's in the lighting device (strip or fan frame or whatever) are connected and controlled is different between these two systems, as well as the difference in power supply voltage, so you cannot mix them in one circuit.

So, OP, to power and control any RGB system from a mobo header using the mobo software to do the control, requires that your mobo have one of these headers on it, AND that you buy the RGB lighting device of the SAME TYPE as what your mobo has. In your case you would like to use the ARGB type of device, so you would need a mobo ARGB header to do it this way. If you do not have that on your mobo, then you do need some separate device to provide power and control. The simple manual box I mentioned is one way, and there are others.

To help, post back here the maker and exact model number of your mobo, and we can tell you what RGB capabilities it has, if any.
 
Reactions: ElPatron
I could not get that link to work. Nor could I find anything by searching for "RGB Converter" in Google, on Amazon, or on Deepcool's website. Closest I could get was video converters, not RGB lighting device converters.

AHAH! It turns out the device is called an RGB convertor - NOTE the "or" on the end! Unfortunately the website descriptions for it do not tell us what it can do, they only tell us how to plug things into it. So I can SPECULATE a bit, but I cannot say this is correct.

There are two issues that make the plain RGB and ADDR RGB systems incompatible. One is the power supply is different, and certainly I can see how a box like this could substitute a 5 VDC supply from a SATA power source from the PSU for the 12 VDC supply from a mobo plain RGB header. But the real problem comes from what type of signals are used in each system and what they can make the RGB display do. So start with the INPUT for this box, which is whatever signals are available from a plain RGB header. In that system, there is one common +12 VDC line for a lighting strip, and three separate "Ground" lines, one for each of the three basic LED colours. Along the lighting strip (or line of LED's in a fan frame) all of the Red LED's are connected to the common +12 VDC line and the Red Ground line. Likewise for the Green LED's and the Blue LED's. Simply connecting the correct Ground line for one colour to a real Ground of the power source would turn on those lights full brightness - ALL of the LED's of that colour. Connecting more than one Ground Line to the real Ground would turn on more than one LED colour, again each to full brightness giving you other colours than just the three basics. For even more colour range, the system could make the connection to true Ground not a direct connection, but through a resistance that limits the brightness of that colour. But note that in all cases the entire RGB strip length is always one colour at any one time, until the Ground line signal connections are changed by the controller running the mobo header.

In the ADDR RGB system control is quite different. It has common power supply lines (+5 VDC and true Ground), and a Control Line. Along the strip all LED's (same three basic colours) are grouped in Nodes. Each Node contains one LED of each of the 3 colours plus a Controller chip for that Node only. That chip has its own unique address, and listens to the Control Line for instruction packets coming along with its address. It manipulates only its three LED's according to its own instruction packets. Sending different colour combination codes to different Nodes along a strip can produce multiple colors all along the strip at the same time. But the plain RGB header cannot generate different colour codes at the same time - it can only generate ONE colour code (a particular combination of three Ground connections) at a time. So I can see it possible to have a converter box that takes such a one-colour code and sends it out to ALL of the Nodes on a ADDR RGB strip so that they all generate the same single colour, just as a plain RGB strip would do with that one-colour code from the original mobo 4-pin RGB header. In that sense, you certainly could build a box that substitues the correct power supply voltage for a 3-pin 5 VDC ADDR RGB strip and also converts single-colour code signals from a plain RGB header into identical single-colour code packets for ALL the Nodes in the ADDR RGB strip, and of course change to another colour when the mobo header issues that new instruction set. Then that strip would perform just like a plain RGB strip. It just would not be able to do the extra-fancy displays that a true ADDR RGB strip can do with multiple colours along the strip at the same time.

So, I can imagine how this can work. But has anyone actually got one of these and used it? What colour displays does it generate? My speculation says it WILL make the ADRR RGB strip display many and changing colours, but they will be limited to what the plain RGB (4-pin 12 VDC) system light strips can do - that is, the entire light strip is all the same colour at any one time.
 
Jun 16, 2019
5
0
10
0
I could not get that link to work. Nor could I find anything by searching for "RGB Converter" in Google, on Amazon, or on Deepcool's website. Closest I could get was video converters, not RGB lighting device converters.

AHAH! It turns out the device is called an RGB convertor - NOTE the "or" on the end! Unfortunately the website descriptions for it do not tell us what it can do, they only tell us how to plug things into it. So I can SPECULATE a bit, but I cannot say this is correct.

There are two issues that make the plain RGB and ADDR RGB systems incompatible. One is the power supply is different, and certainly I can see how a box like this could substitute a 5 VDC supply from a SATA power source from the PSU for the 12 VDC supply from a mobo plain RGB header. But the real problem comes from what type of signals are used in each system and what they can make the RGB display do. So start with the INPUT for this box, which is whatever signals are available from a plain RGB header. In that system, there is one common +12 VDC line for a lighting strip, and three separate "Ground" lines, one for each of the three basic LED colours. Along the lighting strip (or line of LED's in a fan frame) all of the Red LED's are connected to the common +12 VDC line and the Red Ground line. Likewise for the Green LED's and the Blue LED's. Simply connecting the correct Ground line for one colour to a real Ground of the power source would turn on those lights full brightness - ALL of the LED's of that colour. Connecting more than one Ground Line to the real Ground would turn on more than one LED colour, again each to full brightness giving you other colours than just the three basics. For even more colour range, the system could make the connection to true Ground not a direct connection, but through a resistance that limits the brightness of that colour. But note that in all cases the entire RGB strip length is always one colour at any one time, until the Ground line signal connections are changed by the controller running the mobo header.

In the ADDR RGB system control is quite different. It has common power supply lines (+5 VDC and true Ground), and a Control Line. Along the strip all LED's (same three basic colours) are grouped in Nodes. Each Node contains one LED of each of the 3 colours plus a Controller chip for that Node only. That chip has its own unique address, and listens to the Control Line for instruction packets coming along with its address. It manipulates only its three LED's according to its own instruction packets. Sending different colour combination codes to different Nodes along a strip can produce multiple colors all along the strip at the same time. But the plain RGB header cannot generate different colour codes at the same time - it can only generate ONE colour code (a particular combination of three Ground connections) at a time. So I can see it possible to have a converter box that takes such a one-colour code and sends it out to ALL of the Nodes on a ADDR RGB strip so that they all generate the same single colour, just as a plain RGB strip would do with that one-colour code from the original mobo 4-pin RGB header. In that sense, you certainly could build a box that substitues the correct power supply voltage for a 3-pin 5 VDC ADDR RGB strip and also converts single-colour code signals from a plain RGB header into identical single-colour code packets for ALL the Nodes in the ADDR RGB strip, and of course change to another colour when the mobo header issues that new instruction set. Then that strip would perform just like a plain RGB strip. It just would not be able to do the extra-fancy displays that a true ADDR RGB strip can do with multiple colours along the strip at the same time.

So, I can imagine how this can work. But has anyone actually got one of these and used it? What colour displays does it generate? My speculation says it WILL make the ADRR RGB strip display many and changing colours, but they will be limited to what the plain RGB (4-pin 12 VDC) system light strips can do - that is, the entire light strip is all the same colour at any one time.
i just got one and i will see how or if it works i am using it to connect my phanteks 350x case argb lights to my asus rog b450 mb rgb header. my guess/hope is as you stated it will just make them glow with the normal rgb colors and effects but as its linked to the mb i should be able to use aura sync to control the case as well as the other 4pin rgb stuff and have them all sync up... fingers crossed :)
 

Karadjgne

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My guess would be that it works, but only half-way. Rgb can only do a single color at any given time. Rgb software lacks the ability to do multiple colors. It's impossible. There's 3 or 4 color pins, depending on the saturation combination in those pins is what sets the color (4th pin is pure white, found in stuff like RGBW strips). Colors range from 0,0,0 to 255,255,255 in red/green/blue. So the one thing you won't get is a rainbow, you'll get solid coloration on an ARGB fan, that will change saturation, pulse, etc. Half-way work.
 

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