DIY LED Computer Cooling Fan – For Light Up Computer Case

LED Case Cooling Fans are a good deal of nice looking clear PC cases in any type. And you can replace those fans with ordinary fans without any problem. So I went to upgrade my ordinary PC into cooler PC and then I find out good quality LED fans are quite expensive and lower price fans are not quality enough. So I decide to make my own LED fans and see how hard it can be.


First, I thought use handmade LED arrays for the lightning, but then I decide to use ready-made LED strips which is more suitable and very easy to work with. And you have to go with bigger cooling fan, because they have bigger space between the fans and housing than smaller once. Or you have to cut some fan blades to make enough space to put LED between them.

So here is the list I needed for the job.


1. LED strip (12V is better, make sure they can cut in the middle)
2. 120mm Regular cooling fan (Transparent ones are better)
3. Some white/ silver paint (If you couldn’t find a transparent fan)
4. Wires, Soldering iron, Glue or Double tape (you might want to check LED strip with that)
5. Paper cutter

Step 1
Dissemble cooling fan by removing the fan from its housing. Usually in the middle of back side you can find the lock for the axis. Removing it by safely you can remove the fan blade along with the magnet. Some of the fans are sealed and you may want to use some force to break, but if it’s sealed try to do the next step by skipping this.


Step 2
Measure the outer diameter of fan cover and cut the LED strip. Some strips contain transparent rubber cover for its looks and protection. You can remove it carefully to make LED strip more thin.

Step 3
Attach required wire to strip by soldering and attach LED strip into the fan housing as you planned. It’s better to use the thinnest wire you could find. Or use some coil instead.


Step 4
Check for any conflicts between fan blades and LED’s. If needed, use a paper cutter to peel off some material from the blades. when do that, make sure all the blades are getting the same amount of cuts or otherwise unbalanced load will be make vibration when the fan is rotating.


Step 5
Connect LED strip to power. If you use 12V LED strip and 12V cooling fan you can simply connect together with correct terminal. Or you may need to have different power sources to power them up.
After finishing this, I replaced my power supply fan with this and find out my power supply use 5V to power up the fan in initial state and only use 12V when the system generate more heat. So I had to connect separate 12V power to lighting LED strip. You can always get 12V from directly from PC power supply.

If you are not using a transparent fan, you should apply some paint over the blades. It will add a nice effect to the fan. And that’s it. Enjoy the new look of your PC.

Building 8 inch ported sub woofer box – Full size enclosure

Having a good sound system is fun, but what else is fun is making one by own. However, I already have a basic sound system and I needed to improve its quality.

When talking about quality, subwoofer is obviously the main factor because it’s pretty hard to get it right. As humans, we are less sensitive to lower frequencies so it had to be very powerful and to do that, we need precise technology to achieve maximum efficiency. For the any kind of subwoofer, enclosures is must for lots of reasons and it will help to reduce cancelation, distortion and improve ton of other stuff when get it right.

 

There are many types of enclosures, but Sealed, Ported and Bandpass enclosures are the most popular ones. Thus, each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. In short, Sealed enclosures are provided more accuracy output while Ported providing more loud output and Bandpass will focus on the specific frequency range and amplify it’s better than others.

 

So in my project I’m going to make a ported enclosure with 8” subwoofer for the several reasons. First one is my amplifier is based on TPA3116D2 which is capable of a maximum output 100W for subwoofer alone, but my power supply only capability to provide 65 watts max, So I’m not getting very good power output so I’m not going for sealed enclosure because it need more power to get the same loudness comparing to other types. Also, I already have a sealed enclosure box, so I’m not going to make it. And about Band pass, it would require some precise calculations or otherwise it would be sounds bad. Since I’m going to use cheap subwoofers I found on the market, I’m not going to get it right calculations and it’s a lot easier to build ported one without messing with those.

 

There is lot of designs you can use to make something like this. You can always find some good designs and helps, out there on the internet with tons of resources. With days of research I got this plan of enclosure from this site http://ddaudio.com/support/box-plans/. It is very detailed and looks accurate to me according to my research.

You can download PDF file from this link from their website.

First, I have to make cuts plan for MDF board. For the board I’m using 8×4 standard size ¾ inch MDF board. From one board I could have made 3 boxes, so I planned to make 3 of them for more fun.

I convert retard units to metrics, so I’m not getting any confuse. However since I do not have the correct tools for getting the job done, I asked help from professionals for cut the board.

After cutting is done, I used simple plain nails and glue for the keep it together build. At this point you can use screw drives instead nails, but you have to drill the holes half way through. In both cases there is a huge chance to board get cracking, so avoid that possibility much as I can, I used thinnest nails I could find.

Halfway through the building, I started painting work. Because it’s very important to seal MDF board completely, or otherwise toxic that leaking from MDF board might get you a cancer or something. However the painting MDF board could be a hardest part of the whole process. For any kind of finish you have to use some kind of primer base. In my case I used a generic wood sealer to the first coat. Then sand it and apply paint on it. For glossy finish or better looking finish you may have to go for more layer of coatings and sanding. But in my case I don’t need to get nice look, so I end up with just a painting box with minimum effort. you can clearly see how bad is my paint job. 

After painting I attached speaker terminal, connect wires and tape loose wires in to the box or they will make rattling sounds when box works.

When finished the wiring I attached the speaker and seal the box. When you attach speakers to box use sealing material between speaker and enclosure to ensure an airtight seal between it.

After finishing, check for air leaks in box and seal them properly with glue or any other material. You can easily spot the leaks when playing some high base from amp, you can feel the air coming through.

 

For the whole process it cost me at around 9000 LKR to complete 3 subwoofer box with drivers. My expenses as follows.

For MDF board LKR 3750.00

Cutting LKR 800.00

Paints LKR 1000.00

3 Subwoofer Drivers LKR 3000.00

Nails and other costs LKR 500.00

 

Total cost is LKR 9050.00 which is around 56$. For one Subwoofer it cost less than 20$ and that’s so much cheap considering other options in the market.

With this subwoofers I will attempt to make complete surround sound system in a later post.

Something To Do With Broken Screen – Turn LCD Panel in to Illuminated Backlit Picture Frames

When you have some LCD panel from old laptop or monitor or TV, there are lot of interesting projects you can try to do. However lot of projects are limited on usability of panel and it’s condition. Anyway last week I got 2 broken LCD panels from laptop and I was too excited to do something interesting with it. Since both panels are broken I’m going to make good old Illuminated Picture Frame or Backlit Picture Frame withing those. So if you got working LCD panel you can try some other projects like, Smart Mirror or Secret Monitor and projects like those. 

So my plan was remove LCD or TFT panel from it’s back panel and power up that backlit panel alone and make picture frame withing it.

My LCD panels are comes from Dell inspiron series laptops, so it’s contains LED back lit panel which is suitable for my project. Unless your panel is too old or too good, model number isn’t going to be problem. If your panel too old it will contain florescent bulbs to illuminate back lit panel instead LED’s on newer panels. It won’t be problem but those will consume more energy than LED panels and unlike LED’s you will need special driving circuit to use it. If your panel is too good, if it’s something like OLED or AMOLED panels, you won’t be able to find separable backlit panal and you have to go for another project to try. 

If you got separate your panel from it’s housing or from whatever it’s source like these you are good to go.

First step is separate back lit panel from whole unit. It’s depend on type of panel and usually panel is stick together by tapes or ticks. In this panel, it’s easily separated after all tapes removed.

After separate you can see there is some connectors coming from back lit panel witch is used to power up panel. Usually those connectors connected to LCD control board by somehow. You should be carefully separate those from each other. 

Next thing is find paths and power up back lit panel. In my case there is 5 lines comes from panel and I assumed widest line for V 0 ( Ground ) and others are different set of led +V Lines. Anyway in this step I have connected this to the power supply and tried to power up panel by starting with 3V but couldn’t get anything up to 19V. So I deiced to break through panel and see what it’s made of.  

After break through I found one LED strip with 3 set of 9 LED series, which is total 27 Led’s on the line. And also I found out I need  27V (3V * 9LED) for the power up this strip in rough estimation and unfortunately it’s turns out I don’t have the right equipments to make enough voltage to run this panel.  

 

So for now I’m stuck with this step but I’m going to find solution for that pretty soon. So if you have same problem and couldn’t power up panel, remember that dissemble back lit panel will almost screwed the panel. It will be not same as before it was.