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November 10, 2007, 6:26 pm
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Re: Fan Control
The manual isn't too helpful. There is no picture of the back of the
LCD assembly, to verify what connectors are on it.
1) Connect the Molex 1x4 daisy chain power connector, to one of your
hard drive power cables. Since there are two connectors on it,
one male and one female, no connectors are "wasted" by using the
daisy chain connector. The left over connector can be used to power
2) Instead of having a HDD LED on the front of the computer case, they
have an indicator on the LCD panel. Connect the HDD+/HDD- two pin
connector, to the PANEL header on your motherboard (usually in the lower
right hand corner of the motherboard). Respect the polarity markings,
to get it to work ---> (+) goes to (+), (-) goes to (-). When the computer is
running, the HDD icon on the LCD will flash for each hard drive access.
3) It has temp monitoring and what looks like a single fan control
channel. Hook up the three temperature sensors. CPU, VGA, HDD.
The CPU one, you'd jam into the heatsink fins. The VGA gets jammed
into the fins of the graphics card heatsink (being careful to avoid
the fan blades). The HDD can be taped to the hard drive metal casing.
Be careful not to bend the sensors. You can upset the calibration of
the sensor by bending it. A typical time when the sensor gets damaged,
is when you try to pull the tape off the HDD sensor later.
The sensor scheme is entirely unsatisfactory, as these things go. It
won't give an accurate temp reading. So, then, what purpose does it
The manual gives some advice on placement - in particular, you are not
supposed to sandwich it between a chip and a heatsink, because that would
ruin the cooling ability of the heatsink. The sensor can be placed beside
a hot object, but then, the sensor would not be touching. The sensor type
provided, is not really good for this kind of application. Only the sensor
that gets taped to the surface of the hard drive, will be doing a good job,
and as I mentioned earlier, it is easy to damage that one later, if you
ever need to remove it and take the tape off it.
Of the three sensors, one of them is used for fan control. The other two
are purely to drive the temp display on the LCD.
I gather from the manual, that the CPU sensor controls the fan. The fan
has three manual positions (L,M,H), and one "Auto" position. In "Auto",
the value of the CPU temp, sets the fan speed. Up to 40C, makes the fan run
on low. 41C to 60C the fan runs medium. Above 60C the fan runs high. At 70C
higher, something is supposed to beep a warning.
If you jam the CPU temp sensor into the CPU heatsink fins, it is unlikely the
fins will get over 60C, so you'll be lucky to see the fan alternate between
low and medium, when it is set to the "Auto" position.
The fan you plug in, the one that is controlled, is the 80mm rear chassis
The manual doesn't mention more than one fan connector on the back of the
4) The manual mentions a beep function with the chassis speaker. But I don't
see an obvious way for this to be automated. If the motherboard SPKR signal
from the PANEL header, was connected to a SPKR input on the LCD, and then
the little piezo speaker was connected to a SPKR output on the LCD, then I
could see how the LCD could add its beep sound to the case speaker, if the
CPU overheats. But the instructions in the manual, state that you are
to connect the piezo speaker directly to the SPKR pins of the PANEL header,
on the motherboard. So it is not clear to me, exactly what is supposed to
if the CPU goes over 70C.
%0 They mention "graphical display shows power on/off". That would only be
possible, if the unit was powered by +5VSB. But it appears to be powered
from +12V and GND on a disk drive power connector. When you sleep, hibernate,
or shut down after a session, I don't see a way to signal the power status,
except for the display to go dark. I don't think that is what they have in
mind, yet I don't see a suitable power source to make things work different.
These things are much clearer, if there is a high resolution picture available
of the whole thing, as the connectors on the LCD may differ a bit from the
description in the manual.
If you need further info, try to find a picture of the thing, or post a
picture of it, on one of those image sharing web sites.
When I was using my search engine, I was surprised by how little info I could
find on 3RSystem. It appears the staff at that company, don't understand how to
submit their web site, to search engines, so it can be found easier. It took me
a while to find the manual, but at least they had the good sense to make the
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