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Old 07-21-2011, 06:50 AM   #1
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Default NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller Review

There has been a new article posted.

Title: NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller Review
URL: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/artic...er-Review/1342

Here is a snippet:
"Today we are reviewing the NZXT Sentry Mesh fan controller, which has five channels, each one controlling one fan up to 30 W.The Sentry Mesh comes in a simple and small box, in brown cardboard.click t..."

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Old 07-21-2011, 08:36 PM   #2
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Default The Sentry Mesh is Similar To The NZXT...

... Phantom case fan controller, although with more wattage capacity. I own a Phantom, and I noticed some similarities that I can comment on. The Phantom's controller has fan-attached LED indicators, so the lack of those on the Sentry Mesh is a bit odd. Although the sliding speed controllers don't have a large range of movement, they do not lack sensitivity and work fine IMO. One thing I don't like about the Phantom's controller is the cabling and connector for the fans. The cable is thin and very limp and seems weak, and the pins in the connector are fragile, I broke one not long after using the case. From the pictures, the cables and connectors on the Sentry Mesh look identical to the Phantom's. I think the Sentry Mesh would be a good choice if it can be had for $20 or less.

I've owned several after market fan controllers, and I've noticed that the fan's speed at the controllers maximum setting is less than the fan's speed when directly connected to a power supply. That is not a good thing IMO, and I would like to see that factor tested in fan controller reviews. I don't know if the NZXT controller also functions in that way. It would also be useful if the rated wattage of the controller could be verified, unless there is a reason that cannot be done in a meaningful manner. Fans are simply rated with a current draw rating, but I wonder if other electrical factors (resistance, capacitance, inductance, etc) can affect how a controller functions and reacts to those loads, or if those factors are meaningless.
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:39 AM   #3
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Default

I see one more strong point with this controller:
The long format, allowing easy fit with all sorts of tool-less mountings.
I also think that a simple adaptation of the connectors will allow them for use with PWM-fans, although I don't recommend it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsec View Post
... I've noticed that the fan's speed at the controllers maximum setting is less than the fan's speed when directly connected to a power supply. That is not a good thing IMO, ...
For a cheapish design such as this it's mandatory.
The output voltage is regulated by controlling the gate of a power FET, so there will be a voltage drop of 0.5-1.0 V in the FET (depending on exactly what FET is used) when it's fully "open".
To circumvent this problem there needs to be a "shunt" applied when the controller is set for full speed.
Same thing goes for total "off". A mechanical switch needs to be activated (as it is in my old SunBeam Rheobus).

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsec View Post
It would also be useful if the rated wattage of the controller could be verified, ... or if those factors are meaningless.
It's pretty useless. The fans used in a computer are typically rated at <2W each. Those rated at >20W are so noisy that any user will either just leave them at full pull for maximum performance or not use them at all to reach bearable noise levels.

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