Fan- with 2 wires?

By rogue12
Aug 4, 2007
  1. Hi all,

    Just a small question im looking to add a fan to my comp to exhaust the heat out, the only fan i can get has 1 red and 1 black wire (about 20cm long) coming out of it, im at ends on how i would install it in the computer as i heard that fans come with 3 pin connectors or something that simply you plug into the motherboard.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    A standard fan just has the power lead (red and black), others are designed to plug on to the board and as such can be either controlled or monitored by the motherboard, these can have 3 wires.

    To connect a standard 2 pin plug you can either feed it directly from one of the molex plugs using an adaptor cable or see if your board has a 2 pin power socket.

    Im no expert in modding and cooling, this is based on general use of a PC.

  3. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    You should be able to use the 2 wire in the 3 wire slot, depending on how your MOBO is setup. You could buy Y ends to convert the two over to 3 wire, those are cheap.
  4. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    why is that the only fan you can get? fans only cost a few bucks each.

    if it's a standard 12VDC fan, then the red wire should be +12v and the black wire should be ground. if it's not a standard 12VDC fan, then those wires could be anything ;)

    fans made for computers will have either a 3-pin mini fan connector (4-pin for a PWM fan), or a 4-pin molex connector (same as your PATA HDDs or CD/DVD drives).

    if your fan has just 2 bare wires coming out of it, then (a.) it had it's connector cut off of it, or (b.) it's not designed specifically for computers. that doesn't mean that you can't use it for your computer, it just means that you should verify the voltage and polarity before installing it.

    If you know it's a standard 12VDC fan, then you can splice into the power supply output to power it. on an ATX PSU, yellow is +12v and black is ground. you could connect the red wire of your fan to a yellow wire on your PSU, and connect the black wire on your fan to any black wire on the PSU.

    the eaisiest place to splice into PSU output wires is on an unused molex connector. you can either cut the unused connector off, or you can carefully cut off about 1/2" of insulation and connect your fan wires without cutting the connector off.

  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,466   +1,760

    Discretion is the better part of valor.....

    Methinks it would probably be prudent to check the wattage of any fan not specifically designed for a computer before installing it. But then, I'm sometimes histrionic.
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