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Noise Isolator (SWFC-6-BK) Switch Fan Controller

Former staff writer    -   May 28, 2003
Category: Cooling, Modding
Chill-Tek
Price: $20.00 USD +/-


Introduction
Last week, we took a look at the Noise Isolator (RH-35) VR Fan Speed Controller, today we'll be taking a look at another product from Noise Isolator, the SWFC-6-BK (Black) Switch Fan Controller.

 

What You Get
Included in the package was:

• 1x Switch Fan Controller (Black)
• 1x Instructions

• 1x Terminal Block Fan Cable
• 1x Molex Y-splitter Cable
• 4x Mounting Screws


A Closer Look / Installation


The SWFC-6-BK fits in a standard 5.25" drive bay, and can control up to 6 fans, with a maximum of 6W per port. Unlike most switch controllers, the Noise Isolator controller doesn't just have settings for "On" and "Off" or even a "Low", it's designed to be "On", "Off", or "Adjustable Speed". That's right, it's actually a switch and rheobus all in one.


Here you can see the switches. Notice they are mounted to the face plate via a metal nut. Simply removing the nuts from each of the switches will allow you to remove the controller from the face plat, giving you all sorts of moding options. :)


Here we have the nuts and washers removed from the controller, and below we have the controller board.



 To connect the fans to the switches, wires need to be connected to the terminal. It's labeled for you, so all you have to do is match up the red and black wires with the appropriate spot. Easy to do, however the screws here are very small, and I didn't have a flat head that would fit these screws. Oh well, gave me a reason to go buy some tools.


Here you can see the terminal block cable connected to the terminal. I had to pull some of the wires apart to get everything in the right spot. The orange knobs there are for the adjustment of the "variable speed". It's nice that you can adjust the speed, but you have to do it before you install the controller, which sucks.


I really didn't notice this at first glance, but as I started looing at the controller closer I noticed one major problem with the controller...

Did you notice it? Take a close look at the switches. You should see that they are not lined up, most noticeably the third from the left. I'd hope this was just a problem with the one I received, but after looking at the product page at several of the resellers, they all look to have switches that are slight misaligned. That right there is enough to keep me from buying something, or even suggesting it to someone.

That aside, it was time for me to hook up the controller, and see how it worked. I hooked up a few spare fans I had laying around, and turned everything on. With the switch pointing toward the LEDs, the fan will be in the "On" position (12V), this is indicated by a red LED, with the switch flipped away form the LED, you are in the "Adjustable Speed" settings, and have a greed LED. Putting the switch in the middle, will turn the fan and LED off.

 

Nice and bright LEDs. Even if the switches aren't centered, the LEDs are.


Now, if you remember, this unit can only handle 6W per channel. After reviewing the Vantec Nexus, the RH-35, and other controllers, this 6W max sounded a bit low to me, so I decided to see what fans would and would not work. Here is what I found:
Fan Name
Wattage
Compatible
Thermaltake SMART CASE FAN II 2.40 ~ 8.40
N
Thermaltake SMART FAN 2.16 ~ 5.4
Y
Thermaltake High Performance Fire-ball series 1.92
Y
Vantec Tornado 80mm 9.10
N
Vantec Tornado 92mm 12.5
N
Vantec ThermoFlow 80mm 1.8 ~ 2.8
Y
Vantec Stealth 80mm 1.20
Y
Sunbeam Round Cold Cathode 80mm Case Fan 1.56
Y
Cooler Master SAF-B82/B83 80mm 1.80
Y
Cooler Master TLF-R82 Neon LEDs Lighted 80mm 1.80
Y
Sanyo Denki ACE25 2.80
Y
Panaflo 80mm Ultra Quiet 0.84
Y

6W may not sound like a lot, but as I found out, unless you have a monster fan, you won't go beyond the 6W limit.

 

Conclusion
The ability to turn fans on or off is always nice, add the ability to adjust fan speed as well and a few LEDs, and you've got yourself one fine fan controlling device. At 6W you can control most fans on the market, except the few monsters out there. The only real problem with the SWFC-6-BK is the switches are not evenly aligned, which can make your're case look cheap.

 

Pros

  • Easy To Install
  • Bright LEDs
  • Adjustable Fan Speed
  • No Wire Cutting Involved
  • Could Be Easily Modded

Cons

  • Switches Are Not Aligned
  • 6W Limit Per Channel
  • Terminal Screws Are A Bit Small

 

Thanks to our European friends at Chill-Tek for sending this to us for review.




  1. Noise Isolator (SWFC-6-BK) Switch Fan Controller
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