Over the weekend we had Lamptron deliver their Limited Edition FC3 fan controller to us. The limited edition FC-3 designed by Ian Helmar, otherwise known as “SNiiPE_DoGG”, comes in two different versions. There is a Model A and a Model B, each with some distinct aesthetic differences. Today we are going to be reviewing the model A. Below are some shots of the two versions that we found on Lamptron’s website that should help illustrate the differences:
*These are not to be mistaken for the standard Lamptron -FC3- version below:*
Like we said before, we have the Model A version here today to review, so let’s get to it!
We just received new pictures from Lamptron showing off their new FC3 Limited Edition box design. As I said below they were still in the process of finalizing it and now it is complete. Here are the new pictures:
As you can see there is a noticeable difference in the designs. It will have the picture of the model A or B design, depending on which version you buy. It has ‘Limited Edition’ printed in the top right to help make it stand out from the normal FC3 unit. They also took the background out from behind the fan controller so that nothing will take your eyes away from the amazingly designed limited edition fan controller.
*Below are pictures of the regular FC3 from Lamptron. Now you can see for yourself the difference in box designs.*
Colors Available: Black Anodized Aluminum
You may have noticed the same thing we did once we got the package for the limited edition FC3. It is the normal box for the non-limited edition FC3. Maybe they are still working on a sweet limited edition box for it? Either way, it’s just a box, am I right? And it’s all about what’s on the inside, and what is on the inside of this box is something magnificent in fan controller standards!
When we opened the box and we finally got to see this beauty. We also took everything out for a quick picture to show everything inside that you would get when you purchase this fan controller. Here are a few quick notes on the wires. The power connection extender is just under 10 inches. The fan connection extenders are about 20.5 inches long. Both should give you ample length in connecting most everything you want in your case.
Most skeptics out there have an idea that most fan controllers are wimpy, with cheap aluminum and/or plastic. For this guy, this could not be further from the truth. You will find this out once you pick up this unit. It feels heavier than the other average fan controllers on the market and there is a very good reason why. This fan controller is CNC milled from blocks of 3/4″ thick solid aluminum. Now, for the ‘naysayers’ out there, we bet you are saying, “OK, but I bet that mesh grill behind the design is just thrown in there and will rattle around and make all sorts of noise.” Hey guess what? Wrong again! The mesh grill behind the design is bolted down to the frame. We even tried to move it with a flat head screwdriver just to test it out and it did not budge! Now that you are 0-2 in your false claims about this product, you start to act out in frustration. “I bet they spent all their money on fabrication and design and just threw on cheap .05 cent knobs to make up for it.” And once again you would be wrong, bringing the count to 0-3! We tested the knobs on this device thoroughly. We tried turning them too hard and pulling on them to see if the knob would pop off. We pushed them from side to side. We were defeated by the FC3 once again. The knobs are rock solid and they did not budge at all!
When we take a look at the back end of the Lamptron -FC3- Limited Edition, we can see a very simplistic design. It is everything you need with nothing you don’t. With this effective layout, there is a lot less chance that something could get broken off while installing your connections to it. You can see they perched all 4 fan connections and the power connection along the back for extremely easy access! With the 4-pin power connection sitting off the end of the device, it makes it easier to connect multiple components above and below it. Especially if you have more than one 4-pin connection you need to plug in.
Let’s move on to the installation of the FC3 into our test case to see how it looks. It was a very simple to install using the 4 screws that came with it.
Once we installed it, the beauty of this product started shining through. In the pictures above, you can see how nicely it fits into the bay drive. Also, in the bottom picture we turned out the lights and you can see the back lit LED’s shining through. A very cool thing about those LED’s are that they get brighter when you apply more volts to your fans. As you can see, knob 1 is extremely bright (12v) and knob 4 is off (0v). We adjusted each knob to a different voltage to show off the range of brightness on the LED lights. This is another welcomed addition put into the fan controller from Lamptron, but we would expect nothing less from this very solid product.
With Lamptron’s promise of 30 watt channels, we went digging for a formula to help us out. We found this: “To get the watts, multiply the amps times the volts. IE: 10 amps at 120 volts is 1200 watts.” Using our example formula, in theory, we could hook up 8.3 of our .3 amp fans (.3amps x 12volts = 3.6watts). With each fan pushing 3.6w, guess what? We hooked eight .3amp fans up (28.8watts) and, not surprisingly, this fan controller held up to the test. Even though we did not reach 30watts, it was still impressive to have 8 fans controlled by one turn of a knob. The fabrication of this fan controller is top notch! Everything on the face plate was extremely solid and well put together. With all 5 connections installed straight out of the back of the fan controller it allowed for easy installation and removal of the wires. This comes in very handy when you are working in small spaces. This product was built to last, and last it shall, with the great craftsmanship that went into building these units.
You can purchase the Lamptron FC3 here at Performance-PCs (non-LE).
The Lamptron FC3 LE has earned the TechREACTION Gold Silicon Award!