Category:Product Reviews Posted: 02-09-2011 23:05
Comments: 0 [Post]
Synopsis: Phobya Fan Switch 6 Channel Review By Dark Mantis
Phobya Fan Switch 6 Channel Review
by Dark Mantis
I have here for review this time another fan controller from Phobya in Germany. Again it arrived packaged in a jiffy bag which personally I am not in favour of as it is too easy for the contents to be damaged. Hopefully the manufacturer will rethink this strategy and box them as the usual Phobya products are packaged. It will manage six channels at once and each of the switches are SPDT which means Single Pole Double Throw. This basically just means that they will control the positive side of each channel and has two settings if the off setting isn't counted. Now this sounds as if they are fairly limited in what they can control but that is not the case as I will explain later.
First the description of the device. Well it is a single drive bay solution to controlling your fans. It is made of an aluminiumfrontplate that has been black powder coated which houses the six switches each with their own display LED to show the status of the switch and fan. This is attached by four black allen bolts to two side arms made of mild steel that is unpainted. There are screw holes in each for fixing to the drive bay with the included screws. Generally it all feels fairly substantial and quite heavy.
The printed circuit board that holds all the electronic parts is secured to the front panel purely by the six nuts on the switch barrels. Even so that is more than enough for the weight involved. Behind the main PCB there is a secondary one that is just there to act as a connecting block. Unlike most fan controllers, this one doesn't use three pin molex connectors but the choc-block type of connector. Whilst this is a secure and easy to use fixing solution it does require the use of a miniture screwdriver and that the fan wires be cut and stripped on the ends. I know this isn't exactly high-tech but still assumes some degree of expertise of the user. It also makes the fans used on here unusable on a standard fan header unless the molex plug is re-attached. Some people will be a bit confused by the connections too as there is only a positive and negative socket for each channel.
Now as I mentioned earlier these switches can be configured to do more than just a straighforward off/speed A/speed B setting. The little orange coloured variable potentiometers that are located one for each channel above the switches on the PCB can be tuned so that when in the down position the speed fixed by that switch is whatever you want from approximately 4.5v up to the 12v maximum of the fan. The accompanying LEDs will change colour from red for the up position and full speed to green for the down position and whatever voltage/speed has been set by the variable pots.
The power for all these fans is supplied by the PSU via a large four pin molex connector that will attach to the socket on the rear of the ciruit board. There is also a three way molex adapter lead included to make connection to the power supply that much easier.
Considering the fact that it is aimed at unskilled users and that the fans will have to be customised to enable fitment to this controller I am not too sure of it's appeal there is also the fact that it only gives a two speed output to each channel albeit pre-settable. It feels surprisingly solid and seems well built. I award it 6/10.
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