Auto 12V Fan Controller

Posted on May 18, 2012

Transistor Q1 can be a 2N2222(A), 2N3904, NTE123A, ECG123A, etc. Not critical at all. It acts only as a switch for the relay so almost any type will work, as long as it can provide the current needed to activate the relay's coil. D1, the 1N4148, acts as a spark arrestor when the contacts of the relay open and eliminates false triggering. For my application the 1N4148 was good enough since the tiny relay I used was only 1 amp.

Auto 12V Fan Controller
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

However, you can use a large variety of diodes here, my next choice would be a regular purpose 1N4001 or something and should be used if your relay type can handle more then 1 amp. If you like to make your own pcb, try the one above. The pcb is fitted with holes for the relay but may not fit your particular relay. It was designed for a Aromat HB1-DC12V type. The variety and model of relays is just to great. How to mount it then? Well, I left ample space on the pcb to mount your relay. You can even mount it up-side-down and connect the wires individually. Use Silicon glue, cyanoacrylate ester (crazy glue), or double-sided tape to hold the relay in place. Works well. Note that the pcb and layout is not according to the circuit diagram in regards to the hookup of the fans. The PCB measures approximately 1.5 x 3 inches (4.8 x 7.6mm) If you print the pcb to an inkjet printer it is probably not to scale. Try to fit a 8-pin ic socket on the printed copy to make sure it fits before making the pcb. I experimented with different models from 22K to 100K and all worked fine after replacing the trimmer pot. The one used in the above circuit diagram was a 50K model. This 50K was measured at exactly 25 °C and with 10% tolerance. The resistance increases as the surrounding temperature decreases. Tolerance for my application (cooling a large powersupply coolrib) is 10%. Another name for this thing is 'NTC'. NTC stands for "Negative...

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