PWM Motor Speed Controller Regulator - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-16-2014, 12:10 AM   #1
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PWM Motor Speed Controller Regulator

Someone recommended one of these as an option for fine control of fan speed and reduced power draw. I wish I could remember who suggested it so I could thank him.

I thought it was a fine idea; so I bought two.

I tested one out today on my Fantastic Fan and found it reduced the power draw slightly on high and on low settings it was about the same draw (slightly less )as a low fan setting of my fantastic fan.

I wired it in such that I preserved the directional capability of the fan and bypassed the three speed switch while making it easy to restore that in case the PWM circuit board craps out.

What I liked best about it was the near silent operation and the extremely fine control of the speed.

My fantastic fan had a three speed switch which had resistance coils which I could feel getting hot which means wasted energy. I

wish if taken notes on the current draw as I'm going by memory. I believe it drew about .5-.6 A more on high using the three speed switch and perhaps .1A more on low.

While I would like to modify my other (bathroom) fan, I decided to wait to change it to a better quality fan before patching in my other PWM controller I bought. I can see myself buying more of these for other DC fan applications.

I concluded a thermostat would be ideal enhancement as a temperature threshold to kick it on at an ear silent speed would keep my camper cooler in the morning without waking me up.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:01 AM   #2
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Thanks for the report. I purchased one that I think is the same as you have (from china?) and am getting ready to install it. Any thoughts on the best location? How did you preserve the directional capability? It seems like the board input has a polarity. I'll have to make a wiring diagram of what it is and will probably see what the situation is then.
Glad to hear that the control works well. These fans are overkill for a small egg...they can almost pop your ears if the window isn't open enough!
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:48 AM   #3
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Maybe he put the control in the main 12 vdc supply which doesn't change polarity. Do you suppose?
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:56 AM   #4
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I hooked up the device ground to Input ground and the "+12v" to the output of the fuse. I used make and female spade connectors so that I could reverse it if I needed the original fan control back and drew on the inside with a sharpie so that anyone could bypass it in seconds.

By the way DC is fed to the board with a connector which was not provided. I had a connector with wire that was a little lighter gauge than the supply but large enough to carry the load. I debated soldering leads directly to the board.

I secured the wires and board to the fan shroud with duct tape. I used hot glue to secure the board.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:26 AM   #5
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Thanks Frank and Conrad. I understand it now. I'll do mine soon. Good idea to make it able to go back to the switch as I don't know the longevity of this little circuit board. I can't believe that someone can make this and ship it from China all for less than $4!
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:42 AM   #6
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I believe it was me that made the original suggestion:
Fan-tastic vent speed/noise reduction

I purchased the 10A vs the 3A version. It is bigger, but it has terminals for both the 12 DC in and the fan output. I plan to install it in the kitchen cupboard with the speed control knob sticking out.
6V 12 24V 10A Pulse Width Modulator PWM DC Motor Speed Control Switch Controller | eBay

Since it was only $1 more, I figured it was worth it.

The one that I suggested is also pictured below:
Adjustable Regulator Pulse Width PWM DC Motor Speed Controller Switch 6V 28V 3A | eBay

I think I would have been tempted to de-solder the connector and solder the wires directly.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info. I might just re solder it as I'd like to have both connectors for other purposes.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:04 AM   #8
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I think I like the other control board better. Nicer connectors, better heat dissipation.

It is a fun modification, cheap, and easy while providing a real benefit perfect speed control.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Night Sailor View Post
I think I like the other control board better. Nicer connectors, better heat dissipation.
Yah, but substantially larger. Did you get your PWM in the fan, or mount it remotely?
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:15 AM   #10
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There were four corners to the fan shroud. One was empty so I used that corner for board and knob.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:05 PM   #11
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I think with the larger one, that may not be possible. I am planning on using it with an older 3 speed Maxxfan, (4.4A). I am worried that the fluctuating voltage may be a problem for the electronic thermostat. If I can't fit it in the fan, then I will probably have to run the final motor output back to the kitchen cupboard where the PWM will be installed, so six wires to the fan. I will probably get some Belden three pair cable.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:17 PM   #12
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For another idea, I added a resistor and a switch and turned mine into a 6 speed. I got the idea from this guys mod:

Fan-Tastic Vent mod from 3-speeds to 6-speeds - All Terrain Camper Discussions - Wander the West

So far it's worked well. I went with a resistor that brought my slower speeds almost all under an amp. Truthfully because of the size of my trailer I almost never take it off the lower setting which draws around .75 amps unless I'm cooking bacon.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:33 PM   #13
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The only down side to using a resistor for speed control, like the manufacture of Fantastic fans does, is that it wastes power. To reduce the current by half, you must use a resistor that is drawing as much power as the fan does. The PWM just turns the power on and off quickly. I suspect that the large capacitor smooths out the wave a bit. This wastes much less power. At the same fan speed you would be drawing far less current.

At $4 to $5, a PWM is cost competitive with a resistor.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
The only down side to using a resistor for speed control, like the manufacture of Fantastic fans does, is that it wastes power. To reduce the current by half, you must use a resistor that is drawing as much power as the fan does. The PWM just turns the power on and off quickly. I suspect that the large capacitor smooths out the wave a bit. This wastes much less power. At the same fan speed you would be drawing far less current.

At $4 to $5, a PWM is cost competitive with a resistor.
Perhaps I'm missing something? but my meter shows the fan drawing .72 amps when running through the resistor and 1.7 when it's not. The person who posted his mod in that link above also had similar results. Not saying you're wrong but it's not what I'm seeing through my Trimetric.
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