Vantec Nexus

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SUMMARY: Nice addition for case cooling and customization.

Vantec Kit

Kit includes Fan Controller, 2 Blue tubes, 3 fan wires and one power wire.

The good guys at Vantec sent us a sample of their Fan and Light Controller (Nexus-305) to test out; this is an updated version of the earlier model NXP-301.

The kit features:

  • 3 Fan channels (up to 18 watts per channel)
  • One Light Control channel (On, Off and Sound Activated)
  • Two blue cold cathode tubes (12 3/8″ long)
  • Three 4 pin to 3 pin converter cables
  • Power Cable
  • Screws and light mounting pads

The fan channels range from full off to full on. The light controller can be set for full On, Off and Sound Activated. A look inside

Vantec Box

shows the fan and light channels. The cold cathode transformer is prominent on the left side of the circuit board. The major visual difference in this version is that all the knobs now are the same size:


There are two colors available:


Silver and Black.

The front panel

Front Lit

is back lit


with blue LEDs (prior version: green). The Cold Cathode Controller features three settings:

  • On
  • Off
  • Sound Activated

To the right of the knob is the microphone for light activation by sound waves.

In addition to the kit, there are four new cold cathode tubes available:


Top down: Green, Red, Purple, UV

For systems with UV components, this controller should do a fine job of lighting everything up.

Email Joe

Performance Tests

I found the Fan Controller does its job fine, although the “active” region seems to be in an arc of about 180 degrees (this may be fan specific). However, I had no problem moderating fans from barely moving to Full On.

The Light Controller is more interesting. Activating the lights by sound is, I would think, the most interesting feature of this Kit. I first rotated the knob to Full On to see if the transformer was noisy – it’s not, doesn’t make a peep.

I then tried Sound Activation to test the microphone’s sensitivity.

I found that I could talk in a normal tone and the lights would flicker on and off at a distance of about 12-18″ from the front panel, responding to “hard” sounds. I also tested with music and found that it takes a fair amount of sound to activate the lights – not blasting, but certainly not background music” sound levels.

I would also think that if you have a noisy case, this may not allow sound activation, as you may have to turn it up so high that it will just stay lit. It would be a nice feature to have the microphone detachable (maybe a user mod??).

All this also depends on how far the music source is from the microphone. I also found that it seems to respond more to mid-level tones, but I think this is more due to sound levels than anything else.

I also found that the lights would not just flicker on and off, but vary in intensity with sound levels. For example, if the background music was loud enough, the lights would stay in at a reduced level and glow brighter as sound increased.


All in all, a nice package for case lighting and fan noise control – a great night light! If your case is quiet enough, no telling what sounds will set the lights to flickering.

Thanks again to Vantec for sending this our way.


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