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Sunbeam Theta USB Fan controller

Sunbeam Theta USB Fan controller Article Author : Ian
Date : 06-29-2005
 

Introduction

Sunbeam Tech have been around since 2000, back then they only made their extreme Cold Cathodes. Now days Sunbeam are putting out everything a modder dreams of. Stylish fan controllers, to small fan controllers. Cases, cooler, lights and cables.

Today Sunbeam sent me their latest idea. I might have been the one who encouraged it to be made. Its a Software controlled Fan Controller, using the USB interface.

Packaging

It all comes nicely packed in a small box. The box is all themed with the Theta colours. It has all the information on exactly what the Theta can do.






Specifications

Maximum Power per Channel 10W
Input / Output Voltage 12Volt / 6-12Volt
System Requirement Window 98 / ME, 2000, XP
Recommend Display Resolution 1024 x 768 or higher

What you get

The box includes:

  • Theta Fan Controller
  • USB to USB (Same plug each end)
  • 8 thermal sensors
  • Glue for thermal sensors
  • Software
  • Manual


The manual is very small, but explains everything you need to know, including how to skin the software you get with the Theta.



The Theta Fan Controller

The Theta fan controller is a card, similar to a PCI Expansion Cards, in fact it slots into a PCI slot. The Theta can control 8 fans or lights with a max output wattage of 10 watts per channel which is enough for more powerful fans or higher wattage Cold Cathodes. The Theta can also sense temperature with the included 8 Thermal sensors. You are able to use all 8 thermal sensors at once.





The Theta uses a single USB connection to interface with the software. Though USB is no way near powerful enough to use as a source of power, a 4 pin Molex is also required to be connected. When the USB cable is not plugged in all 8 channels have 100% power or 12 volts, which is handy if you don't want to read the temperature and you prefer to have the fans at full all the time.


Installation

The Theta is easy to install, and connecting the fans is just as simple. The only problem with this controller is you might need extension cables for your 3 pin fans.



The Software

The software included in the package isn't the best software, its very simple. It has a few special features like a Timer which enables you to have the software at a different setting. eg. at 10pm every night your controller sets Fan 1 and Fan 2 to OFF. Timer can be handy for the people who sleep in the same room as their computer.






Conclusion

This fan controller is exactly what I have been waiting for since I got a computer, its compact, it can be virtually controlled on a computer and can be setup up to control the speed of the fan according to temperature or just setting it to a certain speed or kill the power too it. And all that can be done through a USB cable. How useful is that!

This card is ideal for anyone who doesn't like the knobs on the front panel, sp there's no limit to what case you can use it with.

I recommend this fan controller if your getting a new fan controller or just get one all together... its a must have!.

Pro's ( + ):

  • Controls 8 Fans

  • Reads 8 Sensors

  • PCI slot mount

  • USB Interface with Software

  • Can control lights

  • No need to worry about Knobs in the way of Front Panel doors


Con's ( - ):

  • Doesn't come with 3 Pin extension cables

  • No 3 Pin Females to Molex or 2 Pin Cold Cathode invertors



 



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