Lamptron Fan Controller FC5

Lamptron Fan Controller FC5

FC5 In Action »

A Closer Look

Lamptron has milled the entire front out of a single, thick aluminum sheet and then anodized the black version (while the silver one is all natural). This process is responsible for the excellent quality of the FC5.

From a design aspect, things have been kept simple. A few angled edges along with a straight dividing groove just under the display give the unit an edgy look. the dials are made of plastic, but feel very solid and do not have any play when turned. Turning the device around, we are greeted by an organised PCB along with some quality components. No residue of anything and no obvious oxidation can be seen. The solder points are not the cleanest, but besides that everything seems to be very organised.

Looking at the FC5 from the top, we can clearly see two PCBs, sandwiched together and connected via an array of pins. Taking it apart is an easy process, by simply removing four screws. I should mention that there is no reason for you to tear your unit into pieces as there are no connections, dials or anything else of use on the inner PCB.

The FC5 essentially has four pin arrays for different purposes besides the fans headers. On the right edge, you will find the display output labeled "SELECT", which allows you to switch between voltage or temperature display. Right next to it are a pair of pins to enable the alarm to sound with temperatures reach over 70 °C The array all the way on the right edge of the PCB is intended for the four diodes. This placement can be rather frustrating, if you do not have all thermal diodes connected before installing the FC5. The last connector is labeled R G B and allows you to select the color of the display. You may choose to go with one of the base colors or combine them for a mixed one like purple, yellow or white. There are also two identical ICs on the PCB, labeled Atmel ATMEGA8L. This is an 8-bit In-System Programmable Flash IC according to the manufacturer Atmel. W1zzard loves these little microcontroller for all his electronics projects, they are easy to obtain and nice to work with due to their C-Compiler support.
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