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Looking for Auto Fan Controller that is adjustable per fan/temp

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wildstar87

New Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
I've been looking around for a while now, and am having troubles finding a controller that fits my needs.

What I'm looking for is a 6 channel fan controller that can do the following:
  • Temperature monitor per channel
  • Based on temperature auto adjust fan speed
  • Be able to adjust auto temperature per channel
  • Have auto temperature rpm ramp, preferably adjustable

I've been looking at some of the Lamptron controllers, also the Alseye controller. I was also looking at the Thermaltake Commander, but just found out that it only had 1 temperature sensor.

The problem I have been having, is finding any detail about the Auto functionality of many of these controllers. I would look at the manuals, but none are posted online, and the manufacturers for some reason just don't respond to questions about them.

Any help, suggestions, other information would be most appreciated! Thanks in advance..
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
How are you trying to drive the fans? PWM or Voltage?

My suggestion would be to get a PWM splitter off of your motherboard's PWM outputs as those can be controlled via software-based system temperatures.
Then you can have some based on CPU temp, some based on motherboard temp, etc.
 
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wildstar87

New Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Unfortunately that isn't an option for me. This build is for a NAS running on Freenas or Xigmanas, there isn't a software utility like Speedfan available that I know of. Hence the reason I'm looking for a hardware fan controller to fit the bill. It seems like there might be ones on the market that can do this, however information available essentially never has anything about the Auto modes, and the actual instructions aren't available, or aren't detailed enough on the operation. All the reviews I've seen talk about the obvious manual modes, but never talk about the Auto modes. Other than being fancy looking, why buy a touchscreen multi-channel fan controller, if you aren't going to use Auto modes at least some of the time? A manual knob operated one is much cheaper, if all you are going to do is use the manual modes, but I digress.

I'd like to use PWM fans, but am open to Voltage control as well, as long as it gets me what I want.

Does anyone have information on the auto modes on these controllers, these might be able to do what I want?

Lamptron CM430
Lamptron CM615
Alseye 100L

I really don't want to have to try to develop something myself. I know it can probably be done using an Arduino, but I have very beginner experience with stuff like that.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Worst case, you could use bios controlled pwm off the cpu fan header and split the signal to all your fans. Unfortunately this is getting out of my realm of knowledge
 
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wildstar87

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Feb 4, 2020
Yeah, unfortunately, the temp off the CPU wouldn't really be usable in this case, since I'm looking at different temperature locations throughout the case, hence the needing it to be adjustable per channel. Using the motherboard fan control functionality would be ideal, if it had the ability to use a thermistor cable, but other than motherboards way back in the Socket 7 days, none have that ability, they only look at CPU and MB temp, and only the most recent ones seem to be able to specify per fan channel, which one they actually look at for temp adjustment. Otherwise they are locked into whatever the manufacturer has specified in the bios, with CPU usually only being linked to the CPU fan header, and then the rest are the arbitrary MB temp, wherever they are taking that measurement from.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Actually, there are a few motherboards which have thermistor connections on them... but they are generally on the high-end.
 
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wildstar87

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Feb 4, 2020
That's probably why I haven't seen them. I tend to stay high mid-level boards, and in this case I've already got the MB/CPU/Ram, so wouldn't be interested in changing MBs anyway.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I'm curious about the method to the madness.. as in, WHY do you want to control each fan by temperature? What do you believe you will get out of it? And what items for each channel will be monitored? It seems overly complicated (knowing few details).

It's a NAS right... why not simple airflow? A simple fan controller off the motherboard on low. Done. It's a NAS. :)
 
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wildstar87

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Feb 4, 2020
NAS is in a full tower, drives are located in different locations. Ambient temperatures change in the room that it is in, as well as when there is heavy activity. Fans draw air directly from outside to blow on drive bays/docks. The concept is simple, I want the fans to run at low speed when temp is low, and high speed when temp is high, and ramp in between temps. Some of the drives are in hot swap docks, others are in case drive bays, so they won't necessarily be at the same temperature all the time, hence the independent temperature adjustment. I could probably get away with 3 channels just for the drives, but then would like to also control exhaust fans, which are also in different locations in the case, some are located in the middle, some are in the top.

Sure, I could just run everything at full speed, but the point behind this is for noise, and power savings over time. Most of the time it will probably be running at minimum temp, but want it to auto adjust when the temp rises. To answer your question, why have multiple fan channels, or fan controllers in general if not for adjustments like these? Since it is a NAS, it would be a pain to have to get up, go adjust some knobs every time I'm accessing from another computer, or when it goes into consistency check at 3am.

If I was running a Windows system, I would install a util like Speedfan and be done with it. Since *nix systems don't seem to have these utilities readily available, I have to look at a hardware solution.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Ok.. gotcha. That's a lot of worry for a nas. Set fans on low from the mobo. Easy is my take. :)
 
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wildstar87

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Feb 4, 2020
If I thought it was that easy, I would do it, but not satisfactory for me. I tend to keep my stuff for a long time, and am wary of drive failure, keeping hardware with in its proper operating range tends to make it last longer, and reliable in the long run. If that's what works for you, fine.
 

maxfly

Member
Joined
May 7, 2005
Im pretty sure an aquero 6 can control fan speeds according to individual temp. Ive never used one so i may be thinking watercooling rather than fans...sticker shock may be a bit much as well @ $175.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
If I thought it was that easy, I would do it, but not satisfactory for me. I tend to keep my stuff for a long time, and am wary of drive failure, keeping hardware with in its proper operating range tends to make it last longer, and reliable in the long run. If that's what works for you, fine.
That's just it... is the thinking right in the first place? :)

There is data from backblaze(?) That shows drive failure was less when these ran a bit warmer....

@maxfly - Ahh, the aquero that is the one I was thinking!!! I could not think of the brand!!



EDIT: I found the backblaze link RE: temps (I misspoke)... https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-temperature-does-it-matter/

Hard Drive Temperature Takeaways
Overall, there is not a correlation between operating temperature and failure rates. The one exception is the Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB drives, which fail slightly more when they run warmer.

As long as you run drives well within their allowed range of operating temperatures, keeping them cooler doesn’t matter.

I had never worried about drives temps prior to this, and since that was released, continued not to worry. You are going to drop a lot of cash for what amounts to no appreciable gains. I'd imagine setting everything on low, even when they are in use, will keep things within the allowed range of operating temperatures. Temps are just one variable in failure... you could go through all of this and something else fails unrelated to temperature. It isn't the biggest reason for failure (so long as it is within operating parameters).

Anyhoo, hopefully that accelro is righ for you! Let us know :)
 
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