So here it is, the introductory article to the project that is currently eating up the majority of my time. The reason and determination behind this project comes from a story which I will share with you now, then I will state some goals and a rough project outline.
I have been slacking big time on updating my website and if I wasn’t I would be able to point to an article that should exist in my Office PC section which revolves around a motherboard and a series of events that lead to an entire overhaul. I will try to skip the drawn out detail and get to the sum of it so here it is. I had a board that I was hanging on to for a home server / workhorse. I later changed my mind and decided to build a small home server for file storage in addition to an Office PC that would have a little power. I already had my case purchased since I had a purpose for the case and one thing I liked about the case was the fact it could hold up to 6 fans in addition to the processor fan. I could only use 5 because 1 of the 6 would hit on my CPU heatsink so I would have a total of 6 fans. Now with this board I have been saving which was an Asus M2n32-SLI Premium I would be able to run all 6 fans from the board which was important because it would allow me to use a 3rd party program like Speedfan to control all 6 of those fans so they would not be screaming at 100% 24/7.
Basically what happened was the processor I had which was passed down from my media pc was apparently too new for the board even though it fit and according to Asus’s website the board could run an AM3 processor and this was only an AM2+. Well it ran but it ran like dog poop so instead of buying a slower processor I decided to buy a new board, because I wasn’t paying attention and I bought an AM3 board I couldn’t even use that processor anyway but thats not the point here. Now here’s the point, The Asus board was rare in the fact that it could control 6 fans or even more than 4. Even most of the top of the line boards can only control 4 fans and I don’t know if this is just an AMD thing or if this is the way it is with Intel boards as well. To make things even worse I’ve found that if you get an AMD chipset with your AMD board it is likely it will only have 3 fan headers and only 2 of those can even be controlled at all. So now you see the dilemma.
Why not just get an off the shelf fan speed controller and monitor you say? I have searched and searched and I can not for the life of me find a controller which will allow control of 4 or more fans, monitor the RPM, monitor the temperature and automatically control the fan speed based on temps. So I am taking it upon myself to make something to fill this void.
– Create a means for monitoring and controlling 4 or more fans based on thermal readings and display output to an LCD.
– Find a Microcontroller and learn the langauge
– Read temperature for a temperature sensor (Compare to external sensor)
– Send data to an LCD display
– Send data to a computer
– Read the RPM of a 3 wire PC fan
– Control the RPM of a 3 wire PC fan
– Revisit Checklist and determine final goal
For future use I will Tag this with “FSC Project” which stands for Fan Speed Controller Project. This will help to tie all the articles together and search for related articles in the future.