Custom Fan - Get More From Your SP3!

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by Cothek, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. Cothek

    Cothek Active Member

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    Newest Version: SP3 Duct 2.0

    After many iterations and trials the SP3 Duct is ready to cool your SP3! I have been working over the last couple weeks to make a duct that will work with an off-the-shelf fan that will reduce throttling and help us consumers realize the full power within the SP3 (and let's face it, play more games). My goal was to make this as cheap as possible while still being robust enough to carry around. Since 3D printing costs are based on volume I have forgone any "cool" styling for minimal size and functionality. Here is the result (I apologize for the yellow color before-hand):
    IMG_20140911_162842.jpg IMG_20140911_162943.jpg

    The duct uses a 60mm x 10mm fan and has a hook on the back to retain the extra fan wiring. The fan works by directing air into the vent holes on the side by the USB and mini Display-Port. To run the fan a 3-pin to usb cable is needed which can be purchased or easily made with a spare usb cable you might have. The cover is a separate part and must be purchased independently (links to all these parts will be provided below).

    The SP3 Duct attaches to the side of the case and still allows for a fairly large range of motion in the kick-stand:
    IMG_20140911_163103.jpg IMG_20140911_164734.jpg

    The duct works by blowing air into the side of the SP3 through its vent holes by re-directing the air:
    IMG_20140926_102201.jpg

    Unfortunately to power the fan it must use the one usb port on the SP3 but to solve that problem I created the SP3 Usb Holder:
    IMG_20140911_163646.jpg

    This little guy attaches to the SP3 Duct for compact carrying and attachment:
    IMG_20140911_163824.jpg IMG_20140911_164128.jpg

    There are even extra hooks that you can attach to the SP3 Duct if you want to hook it on without the duct:
    IMG_20140912_102559.jpg IMG_20140912_102648.jpg

    Here is a video of it in action. Playing skyrim, I let the SP3 heat soak and started recording:

    I hope this brings gaming to the Surface Pro 3.

    I know it kind of sucks having to buy each of these things individually but this way everyone can get and pay what they want. I wish I could go have a die made (several grand for each part) for each of these parts and sell them for cheap but as it stands 3D printing is the only option at this point.

    When installing the fan, the sticker side points down.

    See next post for links to parts.
    -The fan I linked is the fan I tested with. Feel free to use any other 60mm x 10mm fan but the one in the link has a very good flow rate that I could not find on others.
    -This fan is also a 12V fan and the USB supplies 5V so the fan will run quieter than the 37.9dB.
    -The 3-pin to usb connector is not necessary if you are willing to solder/wire-nut and strip a usb cable and your fan cables.
    -I have designed all the parts to snap together so no mounting hardware is needed.
    -I chose shapeways because I have had a few things made there and they all turned out very well but I have not had these parts made there yet.
    -The SP3 Duct blows air into the vent holes on the side of the SP3 and not just onto the back of the machine.

    Here is the previous thread that has testing results and discussion for those interested.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  2. Cothek

    Cothek Active Member

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    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015
  3. Cothek

    Cothek Active Member

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    An even cheaper solution than my duct is this Arctic Breeze usb fan. I have not tested nor seen the results using this so I don't know how it compares but it should help. See a video of it in action here. And some discussion here.

    Regardless of which you go with I'd like to see the community get the most out of their SP3 and enjoy using them.

    --DISCLAMER--
    I am not claiming any sort of magic or miracle with this duct and you should not expect either of those things. I made this for myself and am sharing it with the community, so please remember that this is not a consumer product that some large corporation has made, just a simple man. Your mileage will vary with this thing. Ambient conditions play a large role in your SP3's performance as well as the effectiveness of this duct. I cannot offer refunds. If the 3D print of your duct is poor, contact shapeways.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  4. foghat

    foghat Member

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    My Device:
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    Is the intent of this to suck the warm air out or blow cool air in? Do you have test results showing the effectiveness of the product? What is the additional drain on the battery?
     
  5. Sonnyboy

    Sonnyboy New Member

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    Cothek, great design and execution.

    Some questions: For the sound level, what dBA did you go with for your fan? Are 4 fan screws needed? For people with the docking stations, do you think the duct could fit on the Surface when it's docked? Also, could the fan duct be attached to the top of the Surface?
     
  6. Cothek

    Cothek Active Member

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    I added a link to the original thread with testing in the OP.

    The fan is really meant to blow the hot air inside the unit out and keep the external temp sensor from throttling the device.

    The link to the fan at newegg.com say 37db, I might be able to post a video of it running later. It's definitely quieter than the SP3 at full load.

    No mounting hardware needed.

    Should be able to fit when docked but I don't have one to test.

    Yes it can be attached to the top.
     
  7. olimjj

    olimjj Active Member

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    Just a thought; could you not use the USB port on the SP3 Power Supply, as your power source, instead of tapping power off the USB port on the SP3? What is the amperage requirement for the fan?
     
  8. Sonnyboy

    Sonnyboy New Member

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    Thanks for the additional information.
     
  9. mohcho

    mohcho Active Member

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    I would agree. At first, I thought the add-on module was for the SP3 power supply, but upon further viewing, I noticed that it is for a USB hub.

    To the OP, thanks for all your design work to make this happen.
     
  10. Cothek

    Cothek Active Member

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    You can but it is not always close enough to your computer.
     
  11. olimjj

    olimjj Active Member

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    When you do those intensive tasks (gaming, etc. ) that would precipitate throttling, and that your fan would aid in alleviating, do you not keep it on "charging" when possible?
     
  12. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

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    Excellent work.
     

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