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Old 9th Aug 2004, 04:10   #1
ConKbot of Doom
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How to lengthen fan cables *Fan Disassembly* (suprisingly 56k friendly)

I made this because I know it always seems like a fans wires are too short for whatever you want to do. Most of the time I just lop off the connector, and splice some wire in. If you are sleeving it also, this is fine. But if you aren't, or you are just a freak about stuff like this, this is how you make the fan wires longer and make it look professional.

First off, if you still want it to look good, but don't want to open the fan up, just cut the power wires on the spoke that goes to the central hub, cut one wire about 1cm shorter than the other. Then splice the wires and hot-glue them onto the spoke. The hot glue provides insulation, and the 1cm difference makes sure they can't get accidentally get glued together causing a short.

But for the daring, you want to rip apart the fan, and solder straight to the PCB, right?

First, take the sticker off the fan. My victim had a particularly ugly sticker, so I ripped it off the moment I got it, sorry, no pics (I think you can figure it out though )

Have a look; see the ring around the axle in the center of the fan? That’s the split ring which holds the fan blades onto the frame.


Second, we have to get the split ring off, my tools of choice were my Swiss Army knife, and a small jeweler’s screwdriver (1.4mm flathead if it bothers you that much). Push down on one side of the ring with the screwdriver and get the knife blade in on the other. Then bring the screwdriver around and use it to help get the ring off.

This particular ring was rather flexible, yours may not be, just try to be gently, it will come off. If you do break it or bend it beyond use, it may not be as much of a problem as you think, more on this later.

Flip the fan over and start pulling up on the blades, it may take more force than you expect since the fan has the permanent magnet holding it to the frame. Inside the fan you see a couple things, on the blades there is the permanent magnet (which may be on the side wall in regular, thick fans) and the bearing. This particular fan has dual-ball bearings. Cheaper fans may have just a piece of derlin or bronze for a bushing, Panaflo has their own bearing technology, so your experience may vary.
On the frame there is the PCB with the coils on it, and the screws holding it to the frame. I think you know what comes next.

With the screws out, you can now gently remove the PCB, but there is a trick that may help you not rip off the wires.

You may be wondering why you are bothering to not to rip out the wires. It is because if they are ripped off, they will leave some fine wire in the solder pad, which makes it harder to get the new wires in. You could also possibly pull up a track on the PCB if you yank hard enough. What you do is pull some of the wires though to one side and push them back through near the hub. Let the wire push the PCB out of the frame.

This is the PCB of the fan. This one has two Hall Effect sensor, though some only have one. There is also a protection diode in this one to keep from damaging it from reverse polarity.

Off with the wires! Just simply touch the soldering iron to the pad, wait for it to melt, than pull the wire out.

Now solder some new wires onto it. Just take the wire, strip a small amount, tin it, place it on top of the pad, place the iron on top of the wire, and wait for the pad to melt. Be sure to pay attention to orientation of the wires coming off of the pads, and the polarity. The protection diode can come in handy for the polarity if you forget. (Sorry, no pics during the soldering process, taking good detailed pics is a two handed job, and so is soldering)

Screw the PCB back into the frame, put the wires into the channel, and the notch in the frame for them.

Here is a pic of the fan running pretty much all the way upside-down without the split ring on the axle. The magnetic attraction held the blades in even when shaking the fan, though a sharp impact (smacking one hand into the other) managed to send the blades flying off spinning at 2500+rpm (toes look out!!) If you do break your split ring, it will probably be ok to run it without it. I would definitely put a wire grill on to keep the blades from coming out in a bad situation.

Here we see the split ring sitting of the axle. Grab your implements of choice.

Put one tool 90 degrees from the split and the other 90 degrees from the split on the opposite direction. Then push down gently and evenly. My ring went on easier than it came off, yours will probably be this way also.

Here is my finished product, I imagine that yours will be a little bit shorter, but this is just an example of what you can do.

This guide isn't about the connector, but I'll give you a few tips.
To take the pins out, simply take a small screwdriver and push down on the rectangle on top while pulling the wire gently. It should come out. Bend the spring back up, and transfer the pin from one wire to the other. Then stick it back in the body of the connector. IMO, easier than a Molex. Also if you are using cable like I am, rather than plain wiring, you can get neat results by massaging the sheathing towards the connector. I managed to get about 8mm of stretch to get the sheathing right to the back of the connector.

PM me with your email address if you want higher resolution and quality pics.

Happy Modding
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Old 9th Aug 2004, 22:24   #2
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Just a little update, for those of you mussing around with high-performance fans, I just pulled apart a delta 60mm fan, and a have a few tips for that.

After you pull it apart, you will notice that the PCB isn't screwed on. It is pressed onto a central support for the bearings, When you try to get it off, don't pry, you could break a trace on it, just push upwards. Once you get it up a little bit, you can pull it out easily.

Also, the delta has 2 bearings, and a spring to keep it pushed together. You can't run a delta without the split ring, the magnet is not over the coils correctly because the spring holds it up, so it wont even start.
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Old 10th Aug 2004, 00:05   #3
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Nice guide...I'll have to do this sometime in the next couple weeks.
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