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Old 07-01-2011, 06:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lamptron Fan Controller Touch

Lamptron Fan Controller Touch
By: Dan Durland


Today I'll be looking at another Fan Controller from Lamptron. A few weeks ago I reviewed the FC-3 Limited Editon and now we have the Touch on the testbed.

Originally Posted by Lamptron
The Lamptron FC Touch brings smart touch screen functionality to your fingertips for fan control. Control up to 6 channels in either manual or auto of your choice. Each channel can have its own independent automatic parameter in which you can adjust to your own specific needs. Each channel features up to 30w of output.

Pick your readouts in choices of RPM or voltage for one side, and Celsius or Fahrenheit for the other. Fits into a single 5.25 bay of your choice. All presented in a CNC milled faceplate.
Features and Specifications
  • CNC milled front panel
  • Clean and streamlined interface
  • Streamlined touch functionality to control your fan
  • Choose between RPM or Voltages and Celsius or Fahrenheit for readout
  • Set the channel in either Automatic or Manual control to control the fans
  • Black Anodized or Silver Aluminum
  • Dimensions: 148.5 x 42.5 x 64.5mm
  • Screen Dimension: 118 x 31.5mm
  • Power Output: Up to 30W per channel
  • Control Channels: 6
Image Gallery

In the first two pictures we see the front and back of the box. The front of the box gives us a prominent view of the Touch as well as a few of its main selling points. The back of the box lists the features, specifications, items list, color, and a few small screen images

Opening the box we have all the items packaged securely in protective foam. The second picture shows the contents of the box displayed for viewing.
  • 1x Fan Controller
  • 6x 3-pin Fan Power Cables (524mm)
  • 1x 4-pin Molex Power Cable Extension (195mm)
  • 6x Thermal Sensor Cables (725mm)
  • 1x Jumper (enable alarm)
  • 4x Screws
  • 1x Screen Cloth
  • 1x Installation Guide
  • 1x Product Catalog

In this next series of pictures we see the Touch from its four main views. The first picture is the 118 x 31.5mm touch screen. The second screen gives us a view of the connections. Across the top (left to right) we see the (6) 3-pin fan power headers and the main 12v power input. Below the 12v power input we see the column of (6) 2-pin thermal sensor connections. Below and to the left of this column we have the thermal alarm jumper connection. The default alarm setting is disabled, insert the jumper to activate the alarm function. The last two pictures are of the top and bottom of the Touch.

I tested the basic operation of the Touch using an old power supply, (3) 120mm fans, and my digital multimeter. After I installed the Touch I verified the readout of the thermal sensors using my UEi DT200 Digital Thermometer. The Sensors stayed within 1 degree of the DT200 which is expected since the Touch does not readout to the tenth of a degree. While I'm on the subject of the thermal probes I'll mention that you should not place the probe between a heatsink and the component it's meant to cool. The sensor will prevent the heatsink from making full contact which will can impede thermal dissipation and result in damage to the component as well as the sensor itself. I recommend using a small piece of tape when attaching the thermal sensors to your chosen locations. Thermal tape (not supplied) is recommended if you're attaching the probe to a heatsink or component that produces heat.

Let's take a few close-up views of the touchscreen in operation. The first picture shows the touchscreen in the 'off' position with the computer turned on. In this mode all of the fans operate at their assigned value. With a touch of the power button, located in the lower right hand corner, the Main Menu screen appears (second picture).

From the Main Menu screen we can select any one of the six channels available, labeled Fan 1 through Fan 6. Touching the Fan 1 icon brings up the Fan 1 control panel. On the left side, top to bottom, we see 6V, M, and a left pointing arrow. The 6V is the current Fan 1 voltage, touching this changes the display to RPMs. The M means that Fan 1 is operating in Manual mode, touching this changes the mode to Automatic. The left arrow will navigate down through the available fan channels. If you are in the Fan 1 control panel pressing the left arrow will bring up the Fan 6 control panel.

In the middle of the screen, top to bottom, we see a fan icon, Fan 1, and a bar that says 50%. The fan icon will spin in relation to the power output, at 12v the icon will spin faster than at 6v. When in Automatic Mode touching and holding the fan icon for 3 seconds will bring up the Automatic Mode Configuration Screen. Fan 1 is just identifying the current fan control panel. The bar labeled at 50% is the current power output. Touch or slide the bar to adjust the power level, or the tips of the bar can be touched to adjust the output by 1% increments.

On the right side of the screen (top to bottom, left to right) we see 28C, back button, and a right pointing arrow. 28C is the temperature reading from Thermal Sensor 1, touching this icon changes the reading to Fahrenheit. The back button will take you to the previous screen or the Main Menu. The right pointing arrow will navigate up through the available fan channels.

This next picture just shows the Fan 1 output at 100%, this old power supply doesn't quite output 12v.

In these next three pictures I've switched to Fan 2 and we can see my fan is spinning at 1020 RPM's at 100%. In second picture I've entered Automatic Mode. Touching and holding the fan icon for 3 seconds brings us to the Automatic Mode Configuration Screen (picture 3). The default values are shown, at 45C the output is 60%. The left and right arrows adjust the temperature parameter while the power output is adjusted by touching or sliding the bar, or the tips of the bar can be touched to adjust the output by 1% increments

This final picture shows the Touch installed in my computer. Depending upon the viewing angle you may see some of the backlighting.

  • Touch Screen
  • Full Feature Interface
  • 6 - 30W Channels
  • Easy Installation
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • Expensive ($70-$75 US)
  • Backlighting is visible
  • No Thermal Adhesive for Thermal Probes
Overall I really like the Touch Fan Controller. Utilizing today's modern touch screen technology along with a full featured interface, Lamptron has given us the ability to monitor and control our fans with the touch of a finger. It installs easily and has the power to control all the fans anyone might want to install in their computer. As far as fan controllers go, the Touch is expensive and the sample I received does have some visible backlighting that can be distracting in a dark room. I also think a supply of thermal tape should be included to aid in the attachment of the thermal probes.

I would like to thank Lamptron for allowing Tech-Forums the opportunity to evaluate the Touch Fan Controller and I'm awarding it a 4 Star Rating.


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Old 07-31-2011, 04:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lamptron Fan Controller Touch

Ooh, that's nice. I really want one Especially since my fan connections don't properly fit the connections on my mobo.
Good review. Is that 4/5 stars, or..?

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Old 07-31-2011, 04:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lamptron Fan Controller Touch

Yes it is 4 out of 5 stars.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You know I didn't really read the review yet. That aside I wanted to say I have never thought such an item is necessary. It looks really nice and the geek in me wants one.

So let me ask, is something like this really necessary? I will read through this shortly cause I wanna find out more info. But the broke as a joke person that I am has to know if something like this is worth it.
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lamptron Fan Controller Touch

No, it's not a mandatory item. But in some situations it's really nice to be able to control your fan speeds. And it can also control other 12V devices like a non-adjustable water pump can suddenly become adjustable.
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