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HOW TO: DIY USB Helmet Fans - No more 9v or AAs

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The first USB fan system on FISD.

I was tired of having to change a battery mid troop, so I've decided to build my own 5v fan cooling system using a rechargeable usb power cell. I trooped for 4 hours with this setup and only used 1/4 of the battery.

Flash back to my second troop where I burned through (3) 9v batteries in 3 hours. This will save money big time!!

 

IMG_3027_zpsmowshobo.jpg

 

7b2e18e5-ea32-4dd7-8c80-f29a1944a024_zps

 

Parts list:

 

Power Cell:

http://www.amazon.com/Anker-PowerCore-Portable-Ultra-Compact-Fast-Charging-Technology/dp/B0194WDVHI

 

3x 5v Fans:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5Pcs-Black-Brushless-DC-Cooling-Blower-Fan-5015S-5V-0-1-0-3A-50x15mm-/261690004729?hash=item3cedf094f9:g:4i8AAOSwg3FUguCW

 

Switches:

 

2x Tall Switch (mounted through the bracket)

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/judco-manufacturing-inc/40-2385-01/504PB-ND/161440

2x Tall Rubber Nut

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/judco-manufacturing-inc/19-1088-00/513PB-ND/63952

 

1x Short Switch (back fan)

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/judco-manufacturing-inc/40-3352-02/528PB-ND/611177

1x Short Rubber Nut:

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/judco-manufacturing-inc/19-1082-00/532PB-ND/611181

 

Wire:

 

22 gauge wire with connectors (both male and female)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/20m-Pairs-Clearance-100Mm-Jst-Line-Jst-Connector-Plug-For-Rc-Battery-/381394139361

 

USB Connector:

Old cell phone charger

 

Bracket:

 

Template (sized for AM2.0 may fit other if modified.):

http://www.tk10171.com/fan_mount_template.pdf

 

(.04) sheet metal black anodized aluminum. 24" x 4-5" inches needed.

http://www.ebay.com/...=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

 

Neoprene foam sheet ( Used as a backing to cover bracket and conceal most of the wires.)

http://www.ebay.com/...=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

 

Other items...

 

• Solder Gun / Solder

• Shrink tube (various sizes)

• Electrical Tape

• Wire stripper/crimper

Edited by cjdesign
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Ive been looking at doing this, but am unsure if anything beside a lipstick sized power bank or 2 would fit in my AP bucket

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Do you have any physical pictures of the set up laid out like your schematic?

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Not really... I covered the wires and the back of the bracket with neoprene foam sheet. see here

http://www.ebay.com/itm/301360445145?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

The Anker 10000 may be overkill. In order to run the fan setup you'll need at least min 1.5amp output. Usually 5000mAh and up.

I have a aukey 5000mAh that works great as well. http://www.amazon.com/Aukey-PB-N37-5000mAh-Ultra-Portable-Smartphones/dp/B015E363IK

 

Personally I was looking for flat behind the head and the anker works best in my bucket.

Edited by cjdesign

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This is great Carl!   I've been wanting to do this.    Thank you for sharing the links for parts.   Time to do some shopping!

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Do you have a link to where you got that padding? That looks incredibly comfortable! Great idea with the USB power bank - certainly going to have to test that out as well, thanks for sharing!

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Ive been eyeballing the Anker 3350 mAh powerbank due to its lipstick sized nature, would most likely fit in the tubes a lot easier. Im skeptical to try another brand other then Anker as they have a very good reputation :/

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After looking at that link, and hearing from you. I think i can pick one or two of those up safely. I just need to replace my current 12v fans with 5v fans

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A third exhaust fan was installed by adding an additional "Y" to the configuration above. The rear fan wires were folded onto itself, prior to shrink tubing - exposing the switch at the end. Each switch includes a ring nut, but I opted for the rubber nuts,  :)  available on the same website.

 

IMG_3025_zpspye4dmds.jpg

Edited by cjdesign

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Do you have a link to where you got that padding? That looks incredibly comfortable! Great idea with the USB power bank - certainly going to have to test that out as well, thanks for sharing!

The x-liner is incredibly comfortable indeed. Adjustable, Removable and Washable. 2 different thicknesses and many different sizes. Quality USA product. worth every penny. Also wanted a liner I could use for multiple helmets if needed.

http://www.gibson-barnes.com/prod-294519/Hgu55-Xliner.html

Edited by cjdesign
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Ive been eyeballing the Anker 3350 mAh powerbank due to its lipstick sized nature, would most likely fit in the tubes a lot easier. Im skeptical to try another brand other then Anker as they have a very good reputation :/

I hear ya... Anker is a good brand. Can't go wrong. Aukey has a good reputation as well. It's the brandless generics you need to worry about.

Edited by cjdesign
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If you don't have enough room in your bucket to accommodate a battery you can try mounting it on your person (chest or back) and connect via an extension cord.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161793888929?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

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Interesting..i am trying to avoid running wires down from my helmet though. Trying out a throat mic now actually lol

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I just ordered some 5v fans to replace my 12v set ups. Will likely test out the Eneloops AAs i hvae handy go see how long they will last before commiting to a power bank. The fans i ordered are rated at 6 CFM at 5600 RPM. 50x40x10mm

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Great thread! I'm going to update my FOTK bucket configuration to use a power bank, or two. Even two lipsticks to run each fan will be lighter and more streamlined than my current two 4xAA box config. Out of interest, which splitters did you use?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Edited by JAFO
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This is great! How's the noise though? I have yet to troop with fans but just testing them outside my bucket shows how loud they are! I can imaging it's hard to hear?

 

I thought about putting some kind of knob to control the fan speed maybe?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Great thread! I'm going to update my FOTK bucket configuration to use a power bank, or two. Even two lipsticks to run each fan will be lighter and more streamlined than my current two 4xAA box config. Out of interest, which splitters did you use?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

The splitters are created and soldered using the 22 g wires and connectors.

 

This is great! How's the noise though? I have yet to troop with fans but just testing them outside my bucket shows how loud they are! I can imaging it's hard to hear?

 

I thought about putting some kind of knob to control the fan speed maybe?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

The noise is not that bad. No buzzing. I don't have a hearing device yet and can still hear people talking to me. I'm currently working on a velleman's super stereo ear.

Edited by cjdesign
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The splitters are created and soldered using the 22 g wires and connectors.

 

The noise is not that bad. I don't have a hearing device yet and can still hear people talking to me.

Have you thought about controlling the voltage with a knob?

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Have you thought about controlling the voltage with a knob?

I like the power of the fans as is. I guess If you're running (3) 12v fans you may need to control the speed?

Edited by cjdesign

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Maybe. I like the idea of having full control of them anyways. I'll do some tests and report back!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Here is the wire diagram I used. By using you must assume all risks. Make sure to solder all joints correctly and cover with shrink tubing. Electrical tape is OK to cover positive and negative connection prior to shrink tube.  There are 3-4 wires in the usb. Use the red wire = 5 Volts (+) and black wire is the ground (-) only, ignore the other two wires.

 

Image Disclaimer: The wires for the "y" splitters have been transposed by mistake (eg. red wire on top, black/bottom)

Do not reverse polarity. Make sure to connect red to red and black to black. 

 

three-fan-system_zps2ggrqrmz.jpg

Edited by cjdesign
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Great diagram - very helpful. Thanks.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Great idea, just be mindful, that cheap Li ion batteries are unreliable and have been known to just catch fire. Avoid the cheaply Chinese versions.

When they catch fire they accelerate to an extreme temp very rapidly, and that is not what you need to happen while wearing a helmet.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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