USB Powered Fan

USB Powered Fan

So I almost bought a USB powered fan that you might find if you looked for them on the internet…you know, the kind that plugs into your laptop and you flex it towards your face for a cool breeze? (example: here) Or the kind that sits on your desk and actually oscillates back and forth like a normal desktop fan would (example: here) Or better yet even one that has fancy LED lights on it that light up when you turn it on (example: here).

Well I decided to attempt making my own USB powered fan before spending $9, $19, or even $29 on one of the fancy-pants ones online. I used spare parts that I had lying around including an 80mm fan from an old broken power supply and a random USB cable I had lying around (let’s hope I don’t start looking for it later…)

USB Wiring Diagram

Start by stripping your wires on both ends. The USB cable will have 4 wires but you’re only going to be using the red and black wires. The fan (get yourself a 2-pin fan…the 4-pin fans will work but I used a 2-pin in mine) will have a black wire and red wire as well.

Case Fan Wiring Diagram

Simply solder (or use butt-connectors and crimp them tightly) the red wire on the USB cable to the red wire on the fan as well as the black wire on the USB cable to the black wire on the fan and use a little heat-shrink to cover it and clean it all up (or use electrical tape if that’s all you’re able to get to).

Plug it in an Voila! If your fan is sputtering or not staying on (or blowing VERY VERY weakly) try plugging it in to a different port. Different USB ports provide different amounts of power. Some provide very little power and some provide all you will need. If none of your ports provide enough power to get the fan working, you can consider buying yourself a powered USB hub from Newegg or something like that…but then again, if you’re paying for anything you might as well buy yourself a USB fan!

3 Comment(s)

  1. Check the voltage rating on the fan if it wont spin fast. For best results use a fan rated for 12 Volts DC or less.

    errr | Feb 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. the great thing about LED light is that they do not generate lots of heat”-,

    Zachary Graham | Oct 4, 2010 | Reply

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