Lamptron FC-2 Rheobus Fan Controller

Testing & Results

Testing & Results

While digital fan controllers can often be 'tested' for their ease of use, temperature reading accuracy and built-in safety features, the Lamptron FC-2 being entirely manual in its operation cannot be subjected to the same level of testing. However as Lamptron have said themselves, the FC-2 is all about being able to control high-powered Delta fans, and it just so happens that we've got knocking about the office.


Voltage Test

But before we start creating our own Delta powered wind tunnel we're going to be checking the voltage output of the FC-2 fan headers with each of the controller turned fully to the left (off) and fully to the right (100%). The reason behind this testing is that some fan controllers fail to provide the maximum voltage to the fans (12v) when set to 100% or fail to completely power off the fans when set to 0%.


Referring back to the specifications for the FC-2, Lamptron state that the power output is adjustable between 0v-12v. However as we can see from above, with each of the controller knobs turned completely to the left, the fan controller still outputs varying levels of voltage to each of the headers. This unfortunately poses a problem in that fans which are able to run on voltages as low as 3.9v will still be turning, while fans connected to other headers running voltages around 1.9v wont.


Once the knobs are turned fully to the right the voltages even out significantly. At this point the voltage INPUT from the PSU is 12.20v, showing that there is very little loss of power in the FC-2 circuitry when running at 100%.


Delta Fan Test

For this stage of the testing we started off by connecting a single Delta TFB1212GHE to one of the fan headers. Rated at 2.45a (39w) the fan comes quite close to the maximum output power of a single header on the FC-2. With the rheobus knob turned fully to the right (100%) the fan worked as expected. However, on trying to slow the fan down at all by turning the knob to the left, the fan entered a constant speed up > slow down cycle accompanied by a high pitched squealing. Initially we put this down to being an issue with the fan not wanting to operate at anything less than 12.0v, but after replacing the FC-2 with a large 50w rheostat, the fan acted as expected thus placing the blame directly on the FC-2 controller.

Not deterred by this incompatibility we switched the single TFB1212GHE out for six Delta FFB1212EHE's rated at 2a (24w) each. Once again, at anything other than full speed the fans would enter a speed up > slow down cycle but thankfully this time there was no high pitched squealing.

This anomaly can most likely be put down to the use of PWM circuitary in the FC-2 which sends pulses of voltage to the fans in order to run them at slower speeds. Unfortunately this also renders the Delta fans we chose unusable at anything other than 100%. A recording of the fans can be heard here. However due to the 50dba+ rating of the fans the quality of the recoding isn't too good.
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Most Recent Comments

08-12-2008, 15:21:59

JN
Looking for a fan controller capable of taming even the most powerful fans? We check out the 45w per channel Lamptron FC-2.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...203617541s.jpg

Lamptron FC-2 Rheobus Fan Controller

08-12-2008, 15:23:45

Luigi
This is a very nice read, such a big shame it didnt live up to its claimes.. I would love to have my pc kitted out with deltas quietly purring, then jam them up and suck my room in!

08-12-2008, 15:43:57

monkey7
Good, easy to read review, thanks

Shame its performance sucks though. I was looking around for a good fancontroller, but this one is certainly not on the shortlist.

08-12-2008, 15:52:02

Bungral
Audio link on page 3 is dead mate...

Shame the controller doesn't really work... Would be nice to be able to tame Deltas down to a half reasonable level.

08-12-2008, 16:23:53

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Bungral'
Audio link on page 3 is dead mate...

Shame the controller doesn't really work... Would be nice to be able to tame Deltas down to a half reasonable level.
Well spotted. Will fix that in a sec.

Yeah I'm mass disappointed to. I really wanted to use a pair of these in my next build, but as I've got a box full of about 20 Delta's here which sound absolutely awful when hooked up to this controller, it gets a big fat thumbs down from me.

08-12-2008, 17:19:45

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
Well spotted. Will fix that in a sec.

Yeah I'm mass disappointed to. I really wanted to use a pair of these in my next build, but as I've got a box full of about 20 Delta's here which sound absolutely awful when hooked up to this controller, it gets a big fat thumbs down from me.
Is there any voltage you reckon that Deltas will still run but be near silent?

If so then someone coming out with a seriously good fan controller would be well worth the effort. Whack them up to hurricane for benching and then back down for normal use.

If you come across a good controller for Deltas, let me know and I'll buy some fans off ya

08-12-2008, 17:30:37

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Bungral'
Is there any voltage you reckon that Deltas will still run but be near silent?

If so then someone coming out with a seriously good fan controller would be well worth the effort. Whack them up to hurricane for benching and then back down for normal use.

If you come across a good controller for Deltas, let me know and I'll buy some fans off ya
I wouldnt say 'near silent' but they can push a bit more air than your average fan with the same level of noise when turned down a tad. It does depend what ones you get though. It seems like some are just designed to be noisy. Personally i like the tri-blade ones.

The only things I've found that really work for adjusting the Delta's speeds is 50w rheostats. The only problem is they are pretty large (each one is about the size of your thumb and forefinger made into an O) and they aint pretty either:

http://rocky.digikey.com/weblib/Ohmi...S%20SERIES.jpg

09-12-2008, 08:07:34

Rastalovich
This is my issue with mobos not adopting the control of fans.

If ur controlling fans outside of regular pc use, for ur rad etc, then fair enough. But if u need one of these to control ram, pwm, nb, drive, etc fans, then frankly ur mobo is pos, imo ofc.

Tack on the cost of the controller and get a decent mobo

09-12-2008, 11:31:57

Skiddywinks
I'm really disappointed, it has to be said. I am looking for a simple fan controller to stick my push-pull configuration on (whether it be six individual rheobuses or whether I have to daisy chain them on to less doesn't really bother me), and with the high amperage of this I figured it would be perfect for either situation.

Looks like they really dropped the ball with this one.

09-12-2008, 11:43:01

Luigi
Have you looked at the Mcubed t-balancer?? If you dont need all of those fans Ill buy a couple off you and try them out

09-12-2008, 13:28:37

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Skiddywinks'
I'm really disappointed, it has to be said. I am looking for a simple fan controller to stick my push-pull configuration on (whether it be six individual rheobuses or whether I have to daisy chain them on to less doesn't really bother me), and with the high amperage of this I figured it would be perfect for either situation.

Looks like they really dropped the ball with this one.
For 6 normal fans and a simplistic classy look then this is always a contender.

15-12-2008, 08:28:42

JN
Conclusion page updated guys with a response from Lamptron.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like the issues we experienced while using Delta's on the FC-2 are going to be resolved as it is being put down to the use of PWM for controlling fan speed.

15-12-2008, 20:28:06

shadowfish
The FC2 can be adjusted from 0-12V including all the fans. Cause the different starting Voltage of fan has different revolving angle. So the starting Voltage lower and the revolve angle will be small.
Reply
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