Lamptron FC-2 Rheobus Fan Controller
The Lamptron FC-2 is presented in a rather compact single walled cardboard box with a windowed panel that allows the Aluminium front plate and knobs to be displayed in their full glory. The primary colours of the packaging are black and an electric blue which is quite appealing and will undoubtedly make the device stand out on retailers shelves.
While the front and top of the packaging don't really give away many details about the FC-2, the sides of the packaging have been kitted out with feature and specification lists in 'English' language only. Interestingly a blurb not found on Lamptron's website has been placed on the side of the box:
Not really anything that we didn't know already, but the specific reference to Delta fans by Lamptron is something that will be of importance to us in the testing phase of the review.
Opening up the box you are presented with the FC-2 sandwiched in between two styrofoam cutouts. This should be enough to ensure the the fan controller does not get damaged during shipping, but it would have been nice to see the controller its self placed inside a plastic bag to prevent any moisture from damaging the components. Also included in the box are six 3-Pin fan extension leads and a pack of screws. The bare minimum by all accounts.
It's very rare that something as basic as a fan controller could get us all excited, but as we're sure many enthusiasts will agree: the FC-2 looks awesome. It may not have all the bells, whistles and fancy LED readouts found on some of the digital fan controllers, but the simplicity of FC-2's design and that huge lump of milled aluminium at the front just goes to show that not everything exported from China is cheap and tacky.
Around the back of the FC-2 we can see just how Lamptron have managed to tame those high powered fans. A series of six mosfets are lined up at the rear of the PCB, each with its own small black aluminium heatsink attached. The rheobus controls at the front of the device are merely an interface to the mosfets as they themselves are far too small to take any real current.
As there is potential for a total of 270w to be passing through the FC-2, Lamptron have used binding posts to connect two heavy gauge wires to the molex connector. Considering that the power passing through this connector is well above the consumption of some high-end graphics cards, it will certainly be interesting to see if a standard molex can cope.
There is however a chink in the FC-2's armor. Switching off the lights and viewing the controller in complete darkness we can see that the outer edges of the fan controller are not lit. Initially we thought this was down to a faulty unit, but after further investigation and indeed re-reading Lamptron's specifications, the FC-2 only features 10 LED's for the 6 control knobs which leaves the outer two knobs only half illuminated. Poor show Lamptron!