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Old 31st May 2007, 10:38 PM   #11
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You won't hear much difference in the noise level, but 12VDC fans can be run from 6-8 V for quiet operation. Some won't start reliably at 1/2 the rated voltage, so you'll need to play around to get a combination of reliable starting and quiet operation.

If you had used pots on the 117VAC fans you'd more likely have burned up the pots than the fans.

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Old 1st June 2007, 11:13 AM   #12
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The best way to slow down a mains rated fan is to connect a mains rated capacitor in series with it. This way you will use the reactance of the capacitor to drop the voltage without generating any heat.

I would try a 1 uF capacitor first and see what the effect is and then experiment up or down from there. You can also parallel or series capacitors you have to get the value you need. Larger capacitance = faster fan.

Be sure to connect a 100 Kohm (or anything near that) 1/2 watt resistor in parallel with the capacitors to discharge them when the power is turned off, otherwise you might get a nasty surprise if you ever touch one (even days after it was last turned on).

The cheapest place to find these capacitors is inside discarded PC power suplies, old TV's etc.

Using this technique mains fans can be slowed right down to almost absolute silence and still deliver enough air to make a difference. Just make sure that the fan will start reliably every time.

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Old 7th June 2007, 11:50 PM   #13
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I have been thinking about how to get rid of tube heat lately, it is quite hard. The hard part is; Can't loose central air out chimney in the summer.

The only alternative to a chimney/fan would be a high temp/high btu air conditioning system in your cabinet.
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