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Variable Speed PWM Fan Control under $25 or less DIY

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Variable Speed PWM Fan Control under $25 or less DIY

Old 10-31-2018, 06:40 PM
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Another potential PWM controller are modern glow plug relays.

Lots of diesels these days PWM the glow plugs so they actually run for several minutes when the engine is running. They'll get an initial full power hit for fast warmup, but then run at a reduced duty until engine is warmed up a bit before turning off.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by stevieturbo View Post
Another potential PWM controller are modern glow plug relays.

Lots of diesels these days PWM the glow plugs so they actually run for several minutes when the engine is running. They'll get an initial full power hit for fast warmup, but then run at a reduced duty until engine is warmed up a bit before turning off.
Cool... Are they pre-programmed or are they controlled by an ECM? Technical details available?



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Old 11-01-2018, 01:53 PM
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Much as the fan controllers they're just some sort of high current relay controlled by the ecu. Although somehow a lot also have the ability to report faults in the circuit to alert the driver of faults in the glow plug circuit. Not sure how that is achieved as the one on my own van doesnt really have many more wires than most relays.

This a video with some info, although these particular ones are one step better in that the glow plugs also incorporate pressure sensors in cylinder. But you can see his test where the glow plugs get a PWM signal, from around 4 mins

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Old 11-01-2018, 02:23 PM
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Great video. Schematic was useful but I couldn't read the name of the input wires. Looks like the cylinder pressure readings are separate from the glow plug controller.

On the positive side, this glow plug controller may have 4 independent power circuits. Not sure if it's can bus controlled, but that would be great.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:21 PM
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That was just an example I could find with some actual testing info, but there are others out there.

My own van with a 1.7CDTI Isuzu engine uses a more simple setup without the pressure sensors but is defo a PWM setup too, it has 2 output circuits which are monitored somehow.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:08 PM
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I am guessing that pwm generator, does not retain memory? So if it were installed, it would have to be reset everytime the key is off?
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rpturbo View Post
I am guessing that pwm generator, does not retain memory? So if it were installed, it would have to be reset everytime the key is off?
It does retain memory. I was surprised also.

One could use 2 of them with another switch and have 2 preset speeds.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:34 PM
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Why not just use a heat sunk mosfet instead of the module?

You would need to boost the 5v PWM out of arduino up to say 12-15v to drive a nice package like a to220 but thats super easy.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Shownomercy View Post
Why not just use a heat sunk mosfet instead of the module?

You would need to boost the 5v PWM out of arduino up to say 12-15v to drive a nice package like a to220 but thats super easy.
Yes, it can be done.

But you need additional parts like snubber, heat sink as you mentioned, also parts to increase the voltage to 12-15 volts to drive most mosfets. Also at high current, the rise time becomes a factor..... it would be a good idea to use an additional driver chip between the arduino and mosfet(s) to reduce rise time. Also changing the frequency to around 20khz, to keep the fans quiet, where the most commercial fan controllers run, would require tying up more PWM ports unless you want to run at 31khz.

I went that route earlier and found this to be much easier, cleaner and probably cheaper after all is said and done.
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by LSswap View Post
Yes, it can be done.

But you need additional parts like snubber, heat sink as you mentioned, also parts to increase the voltage to 12-15 volts to drive most mosfets. Also at high current, the rise time becomes a factor..... it would be a good idea to use an additional driver chip between the arduino and mosfet(s) to reduce rise time. Also changing the frequency to around 20khz, to keep the fans quiet, where the most commercial fan controllers run, would require tying up more PWM ports unless you want to run at 31khz.

I went that route earlier and found this to be much easier, cleaner and probably cheaper after all is said and done.
Ah ok, doing what I described is a winter project for me. PWM fuel pump based on MAP 0-5v ref

May "borrow" your code as a starting block
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:16 AM
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Pretty cool. Thanks for posting
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Shownomercy View Post
Why not just use a heat sunk mosfet instead of the module?

You would need to boost the 5v PWM out of arduino up to say 12-15v to drive a nice package like a to220 but thats super easy.
one big advantage of the various modules is theyre already weatherproof and made for underhood conditions. anything home made would take a little extra work to do that.
i just picked up a couple of the ford controllers for about $7 each last weekend to play with. it would be hard to make something for that price.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
Pretty cool. Thanks for posting
YW. I'd like to test and document some more brands, if I can get my hand on them.

Originally Posted by TrendSetter View Post
one big advantage of the various modules is theyre already weatherproof and made for underhood conditions. anything home made would take a little extra work to do that.
i just picked up a couple of the ford controllers for about $7 each last weekend to play with. it would be hard to make something for that price.
Agreed. I went down that DIY path and although I had fun, I'm going with the commercial units for now.
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