Reviews > Aircooling > Lamptron Fan Controller FC10 Review

Lamptron Fan Controller FC10 Review

Published by Christian Ney on 29.01.13 (8301 reads)

The FC10 from Lamptron is not a fan controller like you are used to see. Lamptron gave it's latest toy a cool vintage/steampunk design using four Nixie tubes as displays. Apart from that it's a regular fan controller that allows you to drive up to four fans and monitor four temperature probes via remote.



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Specifications & Features



Lamptron Fan Controller -FC10-
Dimensions 148.5 x 42.5 x 75 mm (5.25″ Bay)
Power Output Up to 30 watts per channel
Control Channels 4 Channels
Panel Colors Available Brass, Black, White, Black Bench Drawing Metal, Black w/ Brass Trim
DC Input +12v (Standard 4 Pin Molex)
DC Output 0-12 V DC
Fan Connectors 4x 3-pin connectors
Recommended PSU Wattage 400 W or higher


  • Vintage Valve Amplifier/Steam Punk Design
  • Up to 30 watts per channel
  • CNC Milled from 3/4″ Aluminum
  • Displays Celcius, Voltage, or RPM
  • Interchangable Faceplates



Package / Bundle



 


The FC10 fan controller is being shipped well protected by foam all around in a black box in order that nothing gets damaged before one starts using it. The front of the box features a picture of the product in action where you can clearly see the four nixie tube displays. Above and below you find the brand, the name of the product and its three main features printed. On the back side you find the specifications and feature lists along with an illustrated items list that make the bundle. The presentation of the product isn't bad, as soon as you open the box you see the complexity of the thing and the bundle.



The contents include a manual, a sleeved molex extension, four temperature probes, four sleeved 3-pin connectors, four screws, one jumper, the remote control and finally the product itself. The remote has a 3V CR2025 battery pre-installed with a plastic protection to remove before use (to prevent useless use of the battery).

  


Closer Look



   


The front panel features four Nixie tubes that are used to display digits from 0 to 9 using a total of ten cathodes each shaped as digits. Under each nixie tube you find a LED that indicates you which fan/probe is under control/monitoring. At the top right you find Lamptron FC10 printed. At the opposite you find three more LEDs that indicates you what is being displayed, from left to right: Temperature, voltage and RPM. The fan controller is being fixed in a 5.25" using the four screws provided or the tool free system of your case.



On the back of the fan controller you find the the different connectors. In the top left corner there is an 8-pin connector for the four probes labeled from PT1 to PT4. On the right you find another connector which is 6-pin this time and labeled PM1 but I have no idea what this one is about. Futher on the right there is a 3-pin connector with a jumper on it that allows you to select the temperature unit (Celsius/Fahrenheit). Next to it there is the remote receiver with a wired antenna. Under you find a 2-pin connector labeled RC (I don't know what the use of this one either), the alarm speaker and another 2-pin connector populated by a jumper to enable/disable the speaker. At the bottom right there is the molex power connector. Finally the rest of the bottom part of the PCB is populated by the four 3-pin fan connectors.

   


On the first picture below we removed the first PCB to show the second PCB in charge of the nixie tubes. The faceplate is interchangeable and can be removed easily but other colours aren't avaiable yet.

   


Here is a picture of the FC10 in action. Unfortunately the coulour of the nixie tube displays cannot be changed.



Everything is controlled via the remote. This will not please everybody but we like it. The only contra is that the conrtol can only be done via the controller which means that once you lost the remote in your geek room then you can't tweak the fan controller anymore. The fan controller reacts very well to the remote and there is almost no delay even at long range with a big angle.
The "Open" button powers on the device while the "Close" button shuts it down.
The "+" and "-" buttons allow you to rise or lower the voltage of the selected fan by 1.0V steps.
The "<<" and ">>" buttons allow you to jump from a fan to another.
The "M" button is used to navigate between the different display modes (Temperature, voltage and RPM).



Conclusion

Personally I really like the design, this vintage/steampunk fan controller (the brass version) will fit a Bioshock mod just perfect. The temperature sensors are very accurate, there was only a 0.5°C difference between the fan controller and our Voltcraft thermometer. The fan controller is very reactive and the remote is working well. It's hard to argue on the price because it's very hard to find if not impossible. Outside the bad availability we will only criticize the quality of the plastic chassis used that looks very cheap though you don't see it anymore once the fan controller is mounted.

Pro:
  • Unique
  • Vintage/SpeamPunk Design
  • Remote control
  • Alarm
  • Accuracy of the thermal sensors


Con:
  • Availability
  • Plastic Chassis
  • (Control only possible via remote)
  • (Can only display one info at a time)






Author: Christian Ney c.ney@ocaholic.ch

Tags: Fan Controller   Lamptron   FC10  


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Author Thread
Anonymous
Published: 2013/1/30 18:01  Updated: 2013/1/30 20:45
 Re: Lamptron Fan Controller FC10 Review
This is a neat thing but it's sort of a "all show no-go" product.

I mean, why bother? The FC8, Fan-Atic, HUMMER or the FC2 are all stronger and better built fan controllers and can be had for half the price of this one, and can control more fans as well.

Why bother to put those tube amp thingies if you're going to throw away off-brand caps to the back of the thing? Cheap.

The FC8 comes with solid Japanese NCC caps on it's back.

I'd rather go with functionality over looks. The Sunbeam Rheobus controllers with the shitload of aluminum sink on their FET's are easily better than this.
Christian Ney
Published: 2013/1/31 10:52  Updated: 2013/1/31 10:52
Webmaster
Joined: 12/01/2010
From: Switzerland
Comments: 1722
 Re: Lamptron Fan Controller FC10 Review
Hi,

Thanks for the input. That's right I didn't check the caps quality.

This one is not like other fan controllers/Rheobus. On this one you go for the look/design not for the functionalities/features.

You can't really compare, those are two different kind of products.
Anonymous
Published: 2013/2/1 4:11  Updated: 2013/2/1 4:11
 Re: Lamptron Fan Controller FC10 Review
I realize that but this thing seems nothing more than a waste of money and a case bay...

even if you find one, it's too expensive and what's the point? The tubes can only display one info at a time, and you have to use a remote controller which is just as bad.

Sorry but looks alone aren't enough to make a product sell, and that's a pretty silly excuse to glorify this product. This controller should at most get 3 stars out of 5 and not 4 because of it's extremely poor functionality. This is more of a baybus "filler" to show your case off rather than a fan controller.
Anonymous
Published: 2013/8/13 22:34  Updated: 2013/8/13 23:47
 Re: Lamptron Fan Controller FC10 Review
yeah, of course.
displaying the fan info is just an excuse to buy a technically cool looking device.

You never bought something cause you liked the way it looked?
If yes, then of course you already understand. If your answer is no, well, then, its hard to believe !
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