Big Server Fan Becomes Fume Extractor

[Anthony Kouttron] wanted a fume extractor for his personal electronics lab, but he didn’t like the look of the cheap off-the-shelf units that he found. Ultimately, he figured it couldn’t be that hard to build own portable fume extractor instead.

The build is based around a mighty 110-watt centrifugal fan from an IBM server that’s rated at approximately 500 CFM. It’s a hefty unit, and it should be, given that it retails at over $200 on DigiKey. [Anthony] paired this fan with off-the-shelf HEPA and activated carbon filters. These are readily available from a variety of retailers. He didn’t want to DIY that part of the build, as the filter selection is critical to ensuring the unit actually captures the bad stuff in the air. He ended up building a custom power supply for the 12-volt fan, allowing it to run from common drill batteries for practicality’s sake.

Few of us have need for such a beefy fume extractor on the regular. Indeed, many hobbyists choose to ignore the risk from soldering or 3D printing fumes. Still, for those that want a beefy fume extractor they can build themselves, it might be worth looking over [Anthony]’s initial work.

We’ve seen some other great DIY fume extractors before, too. Even those that use drill batteries! If you’ve been cooking up your own solution, don’t hesitate to drop us a line!

Bringing Modern Technology To A Sled

Street sledding, a popular pastime in Norway, is an activity that is slowly dwindling in popularity, at least as far as [Justin] aka [Garage Avenger] has noticed. It used to be a fun way of getting around frozen lakes and roads during winter, and while some still have their sleds [Justin] wanted to see if there was a way to revitalize one of these sleds for the modern era. He’s equipped this one with powerful electric turbines than can quickly push the sled and a few passengers around the ice.

Since this particular sled is sized for child-sized passengers, fuel-burning jet engines have been omitted and replaced with electric motors that can spin their turbine blades at an impressive 80,000 rpm. The antique sled first needed to be refurbished, including removing the rust from the runners and reconditioning the wood. With a sturdy base ready to go, the sled gets a set of 3D printed cowlings for the turbines, a thumb throttle on the upgraded handlebars, and a big battery with an Arduino to bring it all together.

With everything assembled and a sheet of ice to try it out on, the powerful sled easily gets its passengers up to the 20-30 kph range depending on passenger weight and size. There’s a brake built on an old ice skate for emergency stops, and the sled was a huge hit for everyone at the skating pond. There are plenty of other ways to spruce up old sleds, too, like this one which adds a suspension for rocketing down unplowed roads.

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Fan With Automatic Door Is Perfect For Camper Vans

Ventilation fans are useful for clearing stuffy or stale air out of a space. However, they also tend to act as a gaping hole into said space. In the case of caravans and RVs, an open ventilation fan can be terrible for keeping the interior¬† space warm, quiet, and free from dust. “Blast doors” or fan blocks are a common way to solve this problem. [Raphtronic] whipped up a duly-equipped ventilation fan to do just that.

The solution was to create a fan setup with a custom fan holder and a sliding door to block airflow when necessary. [Raphtronic] designed a fan frame for this purpose using parts 3D printed in ASA plastic. This material was chosen such that they could readily withstand the 50 C (120 F) temperatures typical in his Ford Transit camper during the summer. A simple 12 V ventilation fan was then fitted to the frame, along with a sliding door controlled by a 12 V linear actuator.

The mode of operation is simple. A DPDT switch controls the linear actuator. Flipped one way, the linear actuator is fed 12 V in such a polarity as to move it to open the fan door. In this mode, 12 volts is also supplied to the fan to start ventilation. When the switch is flipped the other way, the actuator moves to the closed position, and a diode in the circuit stops the fan spinning backwards. As a bonus, limit switches are built into the linear actuator, so there’s no need for any microcontrollers, “off” switch positions, or additional wiring.

It’s a tidy solution to the problem of ventilating a camper in a clean and effective manner. Files are on GitHub for those wishing to build their own. We’ve seen some great work in this area before, like this off-grid van project that made excellent use of 3D scanning during the build process. If you’ve designed and built your own nifty camping gear, don’t hesitate to drop us a line!

PC Fan Controller Works On Most Operating Systems

For better or worse, most drivers for PC-related hardware like RGB components and fan controllers are built for Windows and aren’t generally of the highest quality. They’re often proprietary and clunky, and even if they aren’t a total mess they generally won’t work on Linux machines at all, or even on a headless setup regardless of OS. This custom fan controller, on the other hand, eschews the operating system almost entirely in favor of an open source fan controller board that can be reached over a network instead.

The project’s creator, [Sasa Karanovic], experimented with fan splitters to solve his problems, but found that these wouldn’t be the ideal solution given the sheer number of fans he wanted in his various computers, especially in his network-attached storage machine. For that one he wanted ten fans, with control over them in custom groups that would behave in certain ways depending on what the computer was doing. His solution uses two EMC2305 five-fan controller chip which communicates over I2C on a custom PCB with a RP2040 at the center. This allows the hardware to communicate with USB to the host computer for updating firmware and controlling over the network. There’s also a 1-wire and I2C bus exposed in case any external sensors need to be integrated into this system as well. To get power for all of those fans, the board uses a SATA connector to get power from the computer’s power supply.

With the PCB built and all of the connections to the host computer made, the custom board is able to control up to 10 fans in any custom configuration without needing a monitor or a driver since it is accessible over the network through an API. It’s also open-source so any changes to the firmware or hardware can easily be made for most air-cooled PC situations. If you’re less concerned about the internal case temperature and more concerned about all the heat your PC is dumping into a living space, you might want to look into venting your PC outside instead.

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This 3D Printable Soldering Air Filter Really Sucks

If you solder (and we know you do), you absolutely need ventilation, even for that lead-free stuff. Fortunately, [tinyboatproductions] has gotten into air quality lately and is here to help you with their snappy 3D printed air-filtering design.

At the heart of this build is a 120 mm notoriously-quiet Noctua fan coupled with a carbon filter. It does what you’d think — position the fan the right way and it sucks the air through the filter, which catches all those nasty particles.

The only problem is that the Noctua uses PWM, so there’s no governing it with a just potentiometer. To get around this, [tinyboatproductions] introduced an Arduino Nano and a buck converter, both of which were admittedly a bit overkill. Now the speed can be controlled with a pot.

Once control of the fan was sorted, [tinyboatproductions] decide to add an OLED display to show the fan speed and power condition, which is a nice touch. Be sure to check out the build video after the break.

If this doesn’t have quite enough features for you, here’s one that’s battery powered.

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Hackaday Prize 2023: AutoDuct Smart Air Duct

Modern building techniques are relying more and more on passive elements to improve heating and cooling efficiencies, from placing windows in ways to either absorb sunlight or shade it out to using high R-value insulation to completely sealing the living space to prevent airflow in or out of the structure. One downside of sealing the space in this fashion, though, is the new problem of venting the space to provide fresh air to the occupants. This 3D printed vent system looks to improve things.

Known as the AutoDuct, the shutter and fan combination is designed to help vent apartments with decentralized systems. It can automatically control airflow and also reduces external noise passing through the system using a printed shutter mechanism which is also designed to keep out cold air on windy days.

A control system enables features like scheduling and automatic humidity control. A mobile app is available for more direct control if needed. The system itself can also integrate into various home automation systems like Apple’s HomeKit.

A 100% passive house that’s also as energy-efficient as possible might be an unobtainable ideal, but the closer we can get, the better. Some other projects we’ve seen lately to help climate control systems include this heat pump control system and this automatic HVAC duct booster fan system.

A rotary subwoofer made out of a speaker coil, a medium-size fan an a grey wooden box to stand on.

Tear Apart Your House For $200 With This Rotary Subwoofer

Many movies and songs use a lot of of bass to make it feel more real to the viewer or listener. Because of this, subwoofers are common in high-quality audio setups, often costing a substantial part of the budget. [Daniel Fajkis] takes the subwoofer to it’s logical extreme by building a rotary subwoofer on a $200 budget.

The principle of a rotary subwoofer is that a normal subwoofer physically moves the air, and so does a fan. If you could make a fan oscillate the air instead of only pushing it, you could turn it into such a subwoofer, which is exactly what [Daniel] did. [Daniel] mounts a large electric motor on the case of an ex-subwoofer to spin the fan. Then, he uses the rotor linkage of a model helicopter and a modified subwoofer speaker to pitch the fan blades, spinning around to create a truly impressive gust of air oscillating at as low as 1 Hz.

The video, after the break, is well made with some good humor, including the legendary quote: “It’s gonna tear apart my household, there’s no way we’re surviving this one.”
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