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11 Feb 2012

Dumb PC fans come with 3 pin jacks, and have no PWM control. This app note explains how to make a “smart” fan from a “dumb” one by implementing PWM control using an ATtiny13 microcontroller. [via]

This application note describes the operation of 12 volt DC  cooling fans typically used to supply cooling air to electronic  equipment: These fans are typically based on two-phase Brushless DC (BLDC) motors drawing between 1 and 50 watts of power. Single-phase brushless DC motors are also used in fans,  but this is outside the scope of this application note.

Further discussion describes the addition of an Atmel ATtiny13  microcontroller and the benefits this offers, such as variable speed by external thermistor input. An additional input is a PWM pulse width-varying signal, which also controls fan speed.

App note: PC fan control using an ATtiny13 – [Link]

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