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Antec Blue and Tri-Colour LED Fans
Date 4th September 2002
Author James "Agg" Rolfe
Manufacturer Antec (USA)
Distributor Altech Computers


Ah, case-modders. There's been quite a few trends sweeping over that particular subculture over the last year or so. Case windows and rounded cables came and stayed, while neon lights and cold cathodes seem to be in a slight decline after an initial rush. However, it's been a few months since there's been something really new and interesting available commercially for those inclined to festoon their cases with brightly-coloured or flashing objects. But now, someone's taken two fairly simple ideas and combined them into something new, which has taken off once again. The two simple things are fans and LED's, with Antec, more famous for their cases and, recently, power supplies, doing the combining. There's been quite a few of these fans appearing in the PCDB lately, and Altech Computers were kind enough to send over a pair for review.

Click to Enlarge

At first glance this looks like a normal clear fan, which is fairly trick in itself. Antec provide 4 coarse-threaded, self-tapping mounting screws with the fan. Note the separate power and RPM-monitoring cables. This lets you keep an eye on fan RPM's without being concerned about blowing a fan header on your motherboard. At first it seems unlikely that this fan would draw enough power to require a molex connector, but bear in mind you're not just powering the fan motor here. The fans are identical except for the colour of the RPM sensor cable - blue on the blue-LED fan and yellow on the "tri-colour" fan. We'll look at the LED colouring on the next page.

We've seen clear-bladed fans before, but having the whole surround clear as well is pretty cool. In fact, even the motor body is clear, which lets you see the windings of copper wire inside the motor:

Click to Enlarge

All very snazzy. Looking at the side of the fan reveals a thin band of conductive material encircling the fan surround and connecting to the power cord.

Click to Enlarge

This metallic strip is held in place, on both fans, by a layer of clear sticky tape. Not the most high-tech solution to keeping it in place and protecting it from scratches, but it seems to work. On the back of the strip, the required resistor and the mounts for the LED itself project through the green plastic.

Click to Enlarge

The LEDs are mounted on the green band and protrude through holes in the fan chassis. As the entire fan including blades and chassis is made of clear plastic, the light should internally reflect around inside the fan and make the whole thing appear to glow.

Click to Enlarge


All original content copyright James Rolfe.
All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.
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