T-Balancer miniNG Fan Controller Review - A brain for your fans

Modding/Small Mods by jmke @ 2006-06-08

What do you get when you put a bunch of talented Austrians into a small room with a bunch of fans, a few silicon chips and a soldering iron? The world smallest and most advanced fan controller, their miniNG is basically a brain for your fans.

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Configuration Modes, XL Integration and Conclusion

Madshrimps (c)
Ad hoc test setup of the miniNG and T-Balancer XL

The small rheobus dial comes into play when you start configuring how the fan should spin up/down, each of the two fan channels can be configured individually, in its most basic configuration the dial works like any old fan controller, nothing too interesting here. A second configuration is to set a target temperature and using the temp probe readout, the fan will try to keep the temperature at the target temperature dynamically spinning faster/slower. A third method is fan speed control through a curve, the rheobus controls the maximum temperature, the curve starts at 0% fan speed at goes to 100% at the temperature you configured, default it’s at 70°C.

While the previous 3 methods are okay, they are not nearly as useful or interesting as the fourth one; it’s an altered curve setting which starts the fan speed at 30% making it less likely that the fan will stall at the lower part of the curve. So that pretty much sums up the miniNG if you hook it up in a stand alone configuration; the altered curve with fan anti-block and analogue power enabled proves to be an excellent method of giving your fan a brain so it knows how to react when there’s a change in system/component temperature.

For ~€40 it’s not the cheapest of solutions, with ordinary 4-way fan controllers costing only €10 you’ll have to spend quite a premium for this little wonder; however its extra functionality and hands-free (after configuration) utilization does make it infinitely more worthy than any old fan controller. The miniNG comes heartily recommended.

But wait, there’s more! If you are the lucky owner of a T-Balancer XL you can get extra functionality from the miniNG, hooking it up to the XL you can control the unit through software the same way as you would with the jumpers. But it goes further than that, you can alter the curve and set it to you likings and then store this new curve into the flash memory of the miniNG. Through the software you can switch between PWM/Analogue power on the fly and also set alarm temperatures accurately.

Below you can see a small movie recorded of how the altered curve works, red dotted line is the current temperature from the temp probe, pinching the probe between my fingers the temperature and fan speed increases immediately.

In the second small movie I blocked the fan’s blades and you can see how the miniNG starts increasing the voltage.

The cooperation with the T-Balancer XL is more than just the icing on the cake, the miniNG really shows it tiny little muscles when hooked up, it’s like an ant, very strong when working alone with even more impressive results when working in team.

The miniNG is available directly from mCubed for €39 by following this link. I like to thank Florian from mCubed for sending over the test unit.More information about their other products here.

Question/Comments: forum thread

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