Lamptron FC-2 Rheobus Fan Controller

Conclusion

Conclusion

Lamptron FC-2With its CNC milled aluminium faceplate, uncomplicated looks and promise of being able to tame extremely powerful fans from the likes of Delta, the FC-2 seemed like the perfect fan controller for any enthusiast with a fetish for CFM and an eye for quality. However, as the testing over the previous page has shown, the FC-2 just has too many flaws to be treated as a respectable fan controller.

For starters setting all knobs on the controller to their lowest settings produces varying voltages across each of the fan headers with some reading as low as 1.9v while others as high as 4.1v. This obviously leads to a situation where some fans may stall while others remain spinning. Then there's the cosmetic flaw of only 10 LED's being used across the 6 knobs, leaving two knobs only half lit.

The final nail in the coffin comes from the fact that the FC-2 couldn't even effectively control the two different sets of Delta fans we tested it with. Considering that Lamptron are marketing the FC-2 directly for this purpose, it is extremely disappointing that the fluctuating fan speed and high pitched squealing issues we encountered weren't picked up early on in the design and development stages.

We wanted to like the FC-2, we really did - but even as a fan controller for 'normal' fans the FC-2 has some show stopping issues.


The Good
- Milled aluminium faceplate.
- Quality look and feel

The Mediocre
- 10 LED's instead of 12 leaves two of the knobs only half lit.

The Bad
- With knobs set to their lowest setting the voltages on each of the fan headers varies significantly.
- Couldn't effectively control the two models of Delta fans we used with it.





Thanks to Lamptron for sending the FC-2 in for review. Discuss this review in our forums.


UPDATE 15/12/08

As with all articles on Overclock3D, manufacturers are given the opportunity to respond to any issues highlighted during the course of the review. Lamptron has taken this opportunity,  and has  responded with the following comments:

To Readers,

Overclock3d released the review of Lamptron Fan Controller 2(FC2),and pointed a few questions of FC2, we need to explain these questions based on the review.

The Modulation system of PMW destines the necessity of producing the fan sound, which is not the problem of product quality, but a flaw of PWM technology.

The advantage of PWM technology is that its Output Power is high and its energy-saving,which is pursued by the overclockers who uses the high power needed devices.

As for the process of down regulation, especially for minimum voltage part when the fan starts running, the fan has the evidence of uneven rotating speed. Even for a certain voltage point, the fans may have the evidence of only vibrating but non-working with big noise. For the normal working fan, this position is useless working zone; and its existing has no application value.

There is still voltage on the control knob at the extreme left, it is a no-load situation. When connected to fans, the disappearance of the natural voltage, the phenomenon of spin won’t happen as the Rated voltage will be lower than the no-load force of the fans. (3V fans not available in the market, this testing use of 12V, 0.08A small power fan)

The following file also attached to Lamptron's email shows the difference in voltages across the 6 channels of the controller with fans both connected and disconnected:


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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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