The infamous vibrating Endless Breeze

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by JimmyM, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    I bought an Endless Breeze fan. I read the reviews and the most common gripe is that it vibrates due to imbalance. I imagine the fan blade mold was designed and the first one came out a little out of balance and they just said, "meh. Close enough". On high, it would vibrate enough to walk slowly across my bench.

    I built a balancing jig with a couple of carpenter's squares to form 2 level rails and a nail with a plastic spacer on it as an axle. It worked pretty well to find the heavy spot. After a little balancing and trial and error I got this....
    [​IMG]
    A couple of sharpie marks left over from testing and a washer for a #8 screw held in place by a little household "Amazing Goop".
    Now it runs smoothly with zero vibration. The motor makes a very little whining sound that isn't very noticeable and I don't find it objectionable.

    The low/med/high switch uses 2 coils of wire as resistors for the lower 2 levels. This just dissipates power as heat. Probably not very efficient. I may, if I feel like tinkering, build a PWM type speed controller. Just for goofs.
     
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  2. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

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    Great ideal!
     
  3. Antipodes

    Antipodes Call me Paul

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    Nice, Well thought out JimmyM.
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    This aught to do the trick. Infinite speed control.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Antipodes

    Antipodes Call me Paul

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    Looks like a kitset module? Off ebay?
    Do you know what is the difference in power usage for the wire wound version against the pwm version.
    High would be the same I guess but the low and medium may be substantially different?
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I haven't done the PWM mod yet, so I couldn't speak as to the difference.
    But that one above is like $6 on DX.com
    But you're right, High would be the same. I'm not sure about their design, but I'd use a low side FET. A good FET can have an (on) resistance lower than the switch contacts of the existing speed selector. So you'd probably pick up an imperceptible speed increase on high. But it could be measured.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    Knowing how easy it is to balance these fans, I'll be getting a couple more.
    I've also been looking to see if anyone has used a 12"-14" electric radiator fan as their vent fan. They can draw upwards of 10A, but boy do they move some AIR!
     
  8. BrianRosenthal

    BrianRosenthal Member

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    While I admit putting a PWM on it would be fun (perhaps with a temperature sensor?), according to the box, current draw is:
    Low 1.18A
    Med 1.62A
    High 2.59A​
    so I suspect there's more to the switch than just resistors.
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    They're not just little carbon resistors. They're coils of wire about 3/8" in diameter. I can take a pic this weekend if you like. But I suspect that there isn't much in that switch other than sliding contacts. The motor only has 2 wires, so it's not like it has different windings for each speed.

    But you're right. It would be fun. See. Now I want to do it just to measure the results.
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    OK. Fine. I just bought a couple of different PWM speed controllers and will mod my fan and measure the results.
    See what you made me do? :-D
     
  11. BrianRosenthal

    BrianRosenthal Member

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    Plus, you have infinite speed control, so you can get just the right balance between breeze and power!

    No picture needed, I can always go downstairs and get mine out of the box.....

    Please post your findings.
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh yes. BEHOLD! My knob of INFINITE CONTROL!
     
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  13. TRR

    TRR Active Member

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    Not as a camper vent fan but my dad mounted a 12v radiator fan to stand up on the hood of his riding mower to blow on him and cool him off while mowing the lawn. Talk about funny looking! He got a lot of ribbing about that one.
     
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    I ordered another fan and it's waiting at home for me now. So I'll have a another chance to look into the whole balance issue.
     
  15. BrianRosenthal

    BrianRosenthal Member

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    Now that you have two fans, you can hold one in each hand. That sounds balanced to me.
     
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  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    I received my second fan last week. It vibrated worse than the first. So I balanced as I did the first one, and it's nice and vibration free now.
    I also received the PWM speed controllers. The first one I tried worked great as was nice and small. But its switching frequency could be heard. A very high pitched squeal. I could barely hear it. So my kids would definitely hear it. The second one (the one pictured above) worked just as well, but made no noise. So I went with that one. After comparing the 2 fans I have some current readings.
    I did not have a tach to measure RPM but do have some observations.
    I used a regulated 13.8V power supply to power them. To measure current I used a Fluke 189 set to measure current in AC+DC mode to correctly measure the PWM output. The PWM controlled one has infinite variability, so I set their "low" and "med" speeds based on estimating the amount of air it moved compared to the un-modified fan.
    Stock
    Low: 1.5A (the coils of wire on the switch used to drop voltage were too hot to touch after a couple of seconds)
    Med: 2.2A
    High: 3.2A
    Modified:
    Low: 0.62 (If I turned it up to match the other fan's 1.5A, it was blowing WAY more air.)
    Med: 2.0
    High: 3.0
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  17. BrianRosenthal

    BrianRosenthal Member

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    Thanks for the report! I suppose the ceiling vent fan would be similar.

    If you were so inclined, you can make a simple "sail" flow meter to compare air flow. Tape a piece of light paper board to the down wind side of the fan so that the tape acts as a hinge and the wind pushes the "sail" away from the fan. Vary the weight and size to suit your air flow. This should allow you match air flow with the stock fan for better current comparisons.

    It a!so might be interesting to measure the current before the PWM to include the conversion losses (probably small).

    Or, it could be total overkill, and your previous measurements are good enough.
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    Ha. It's funny you mention a sail. I used a plastic bag as a sail to estimate the air flow. Not as official as a sail taped in place. But that's no more overkill than adding a PWM controller for a camping fan.
    But it is pretty cool. It's lower setting (lower than the stock "low") still moves an appreciable amount of air. And the controller doesn't even warm up.
     
  19. TRR

    TRR Active Member

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    I wouldn't call using a PWM controller overkill. At just $6 or so it's a great solution. I put PWM contollers on both of my ceiling lights in the camper to act as dimmers. Works great!
     
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    PWM dimmers. That's a nice application.
     

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