Wiring Case Fans to Outlet

By thesonofdarwin ยท 4 replies
Mar 1, 2007
  1. What would I need to hook up case fans to a normal AC outlet? I have a laptop cooler that uses normal case fans which go into some sort of converter, I'd assume, which hook up to an adapter that plugs into the wall. Unfortunately, the 'thing' the fans plug into is failing and I'd like to create my own cooler without having to just go out and buy another cooler (it's only ~7 months old...).

    So I was looking around shops on the net that sell case fans, but I can't seem to find what I need to wire them to a wall outlet from simply browsing. I obviously have no idea what it'd be called to do a search either, so... you see where I'm going.

    Thanks :)
  2. n00b

    n00b TS Rookie Posts: 39

    well your gunna need a step down transformer because 120VAC going to your case fans will get blown up quickly plus you'll prolly want a variable speed so going from 5-12V would make it go from low to high but if its just a normal crap case fan without variable speed its jut gunna be 5v so basically you need a step down transformer maybe a filter to get rid of some of the ripple in the AC line and a series of resistors to get the voltage you need my suggestion in the end would be to just go buy a new cooler and save yourself alot of soldering and time
  3. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    hi thesonofdarwin and welcome to TechSpot :)

    to power a normal PC case fan, you simply need a 12V power supply. something like this would work fine.

    how do you know that the "thing" is failing? (and not the fans themselves?)
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    Case fans are 12V. AC to DC converter in the 5-24V range will work. Higher voltage the faster your fan spins. Once you clear about 18V you can expect significantly shorter fan life (probably not a problem) and increased loudness of the fans (probably a problem).

    So in short you need 12V, but you can run any range of voltages depending on how much airflow you need or how quiet it needs to be.
  5. jb444

    jb444 TS Rookie Posts: 100

    Transformers are rarely the part to break. You would be wise to check connections and test the fans with a working dc tranformer (phone charger or somthing) or 9V battery or whatever before going to all that trouble when it may not fix the problem.
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