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Power small fans with USB

Posted on 2012-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I wanted to check with the hardware gurus here if it would be possible to power old, small CPU cooling fans using the power from a USB 2.0 port.

I have a AIO system that I would like to throw some more air in thru the bottom. I  have several small old CPU fans ((80286, 80386, etc.) that I could mount to bottom of the system, but would prefer not to have to open the system to get power to them.

Therefore, I was wondering if I could wire the fans to a USB connection & plug it into one of its ports. I have more than enough USB ports.

Thanks!
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Question by:Blinkr
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7 Comments
 
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Dave Baldwin earned 600 total points
ID: 37749799
Most of those fans require 12VDC and USB only supplies 5VDC at either 200mA or 500mA per port.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37751245
as said - usb does not have the correct voltage; but i would not use it for that, even if it had the correct voltage - since you can overload the USB easyly - and then you need a new mobo

you could - if you still want to fan the system, look for 5V fans, with low amperage
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 37752218
I recommend that you bite the bullet and use case fans for they were designed for - connected to the power supply and moving air in the most efficient way.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37753091
that may be difficult on an AIO
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Author Comment

by:Blinkr
ID: 37754104
What about chipset fans??
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 37754409
They are usually 12VDC.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Blinkr
ID: 37899711
Thanks for the help!! I am unable to find a 12VDC fan, so I tapped into the power of the system fan to power another small fan mounted on the outside.
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