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Controller for aRGB Fans
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k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 12:46 AM
Is it possible to use an aRGB fan with some sort of controller to connect to the tp2? The aRGB fan I like (https://www.bequiet.com/en/casefans/3450) uses a 3 pin aRGB connection to the motherboard. I can’t quite figure out a compatible controller that might work - something that takes the 3 pin aRGB as input and outputs a PWM to the tp2?
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 12:50 AM
So, the first thing is this fan has 2 connectors: - 3-pin for ARGB - 4-pin for fan power, PWM and tacho
TPi2 does not have any type of the RGB controller integrated
You can buy, though, a pack of 3 of these fans with a controller like this:
I've never used a controller from be quiet so maybe someone else knows better, but what I have personally is a Corsair set and their controller is a USB controller that have own memory and can be set using a PC and will remember settings. Other choice could be to set the OpenRGB on the Node 4 and connect the controller there
An example set:
But this is just RGB. The fans need to be connected to teh power and maybe even PWM-regulated (to not run 100% of teh time all the time).
For this, you could use, for example Noctua NA-FC1 - a fan speed controller:
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 2:05 AM
I think the be quiet contoller you have above is really just a hub with no controller functions. It has another 3 pin argb cable as output, supposed to go to motherboard. So if I got a controller that can take the argb as input with a PWM output, will that work? Does that negate the PWM cable part? I am thinking of just one lightwing fan plus controller.
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 2:06 AM
Do you have any particular controller in mind that I can look at?
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 2:08 AM
Been looking at the razor chroma . trying to figure out if it has the right input/output to allow the use of the lightwing fan - https://www.razer.com/gaming-pc-accessories/razer-chroma-addressable-rgb-controller
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 2:09 AM
This seems to be a controller indeed, but only RGB controller, not a fan speed controller
I also don't see if it can work standalone (without USB connection and their application running)
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 2:12 AM
So implies argb fans in general will be a no no here?
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 2:12 AM
I did not say that
You need 2 things: 1. An ARGB controller that can work standalone (you won't have a Windows machine to run a software to drive the RGB effects) 2. A PWM controller if you do not want to run your fan at 100% all the time
As for the ARGB controller, I cannot find if the one you mentioned can work in a standalone mode. It might be better to ask on reddit for example in a Razer subreddit, or maybe there is some for the RGB
As for the PWM controller, I linked you one that can control speed of your fan. There are also other options available for sure, but you rather want something that you can set via knob, bit via a USB port (since, again, no Windows software)
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 2:16 AM
Where does the connection from # 1 go? #2 goes to the case fan connection,, right?
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 2:17 AM
#1 is simply a USB device that have ARGB headers
#2 Not necessarily, the case fan connector in TPi2 is just 2-pin - +12V and GND. This means full speed all the time. This is why I proposed a PWM controller Noctua NA-FC1 - you can connect it to this header on a motherboard or to the SATA power and then a fan to this controller and set the fan speed you want
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 2:22 AM
Regarding the usb connection , since the tp2 is a case with the two usb 3 ports sitting outside, do i have to route any required usb connection outside the case? I have something else plugged into the usb 3 header ( the one near the SATA headers ). Or perhaps there is some adapter I can use to share that header?
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 2:34 AM
Ok, I think I see probably where I did not explain it well enough to you. Most of the RGB software runs only on the Windows operating system. The controllers required to have the RGB on the fans, LED strips and and other accessories, rely on this software to make the light effects. With Turing Pi 2 you cannot run Windows, for example Windows 10 to run the required software. One of the solutions might be to check if given controller is supported by OpenRGB. OpenRGB is a 3rd piece of software that runs on Linux and can control some of the RGB controllers. Then you could use the USB 3.0 header on the TPi2 that's connected to the Node 4 and you might have a change for Node 4 to control the RGB. Another way is to use an RGB controller that can run in a standalone mode. What this means is you could use a PC to initially set the lightning effect that are then stored in the controller and can be ran without any USB connection. I personally only know about the Corsair controller I mentioned above that can do this. I don't know if the Razer Chroma can, this is why I proposed asking somewhere else like in a Razer or RGB subreddit, on the Razer forums, etc
b

batz_10k

04/25/2023, 7:31 AM
I don’t have an aRGB fan, but the case I am using with my tpi2 has aRGB case LEDs, I am using a Corsair lighting node pro connected to the 3 pin aRGB header in the case, and then to the USB ports on node 4. I have a CM4 running OpenRGB to control the LEDs (you don’t need the windows software for this). If I had an aRGB fan it would control the lighting on the fan also.
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 6:35 PM
@batz_10k So you have aRGB Light ( 3 pin) --> Cosair Node Controller --> USB 3 port assigned to node 4. In the case of a fan, it will also have a PWM cable for fan speed. So It gets really complicated with one controller for aRGB and another for fan speed control. The wish is for one controller to rule them all - providing aRGB and PWM control in one box. But doesn't seem to exist.
b

batz_10k

04/25/2023, 6:38 PM
Correct, I am using a noctua fan controller to control the fan. You could run the fan directly off the Turing pi’s fan header instead but it runs at full speed and is loud.
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 6:40 PM
ahh so you have 2 controllers in there? one for the aRGB and the Noctua one @_dhanos_ recommended ?
b

batz_10k

04/25/2023, 6:45 PM
Yes, they sit on the backside of the motherboard tray. The fan I have is an rgb fan not aRGB so I don’t have the LEDs in the fan connected (my aRGB fan was too big for this case)
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 9:02 PM
@_dhanos_ I am thinking of combining the razer argb controller with the noctua-na-fc1 . I see the razer requires a usb pin connection to the turingpi. I will have to use the one on node 4. However a bit confused about that slot. Its a 20 pin usb header. My case has a front usb slot which uses a 20 pin so I have it plugged in there. The razer uses this pin below. Looks like I can't connect both to the same header with some adapter?
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:03 PM
The blue connector on the TPi2 board is a USB 3.0 connector while the controller uses USB 2.0
I guess you'll need an adapter like this one:
I'm not sure where would you shop for it
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 9:05 PM
As i said, I have something plugged in there already - this ....
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:05 PM
Also, did you make sure the Razer Chroma can be controlled using OpenRGB?
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 9:06 PM
hmm forgot about that. Going to check now
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:06 PM
I missed the information that you have this connector already populated
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 9:07 PM
So is there an adapter I can use to connect both?
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:09 PM
This thing is odd - it's expensive and provides ony a single USB port
Is there a reason for it to expose only a single port?
What is this part?
LEDs, ok
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 9:11 PM
This is the front part of the streacom-DA2 case. The top part is the power button ( connects to the i/o port of the tp 2) and the bottom is a usbc port
yep - same thing
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:12 PM
What you could so might be to adapt this header to the USB A plug?
Only one will be needed to be connected (depending on what the controller uses)
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 9:14 PM
ok you lost me - where do I plug this? On the razer?
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:18 PM
Yes
The image you shared:
It expects a USB 2.0 header on the motherboard, but obviously it's not there
We have USB 3.0 header, but you already used it
So the other option migt be to adapt the USB 2.0 header into the USB A plug and use one of the ports (on the back, for example)
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 9:20 PM
Isnt it expecting a usb pin header? (Micro-USB to USB pin header)
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:24 PM
Wait, actually just noticed that
Indeed there is a micro-USB port on the controller. Just use any regular micro-USB cable with a USB A plug
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 9:27 PM
And that goes to one of the USB3 ports on the tp2. Means cable will have to be routed outside the case. Not a big deal I guess but not aesthetically ok. Now only thing left is to check about openRGB - A lot of hoops to jump through for a fan!!
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:30 PM
There's really no easy way of "splitting", since you cannot use just a Y-splitter of some sort. The internal port is occupied so we need a way around. Your front I/O module uses only one of the 2 USB connections, so in theory we could use anotehr one for teh controller, but that would not be a standard solution and you'd have to modify the cables which would not be easy.
So the above is really the only solution. And yes, I mean one of the USB 3.0 ports
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:43 PM
And where do you think you would connect it to?
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 9:45 PM
What is the exact connection to the 2x USB 3 port on the tp2 ? It expects 2 usb connections , no?
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:46 PM
I do not entirely understand your question. Can you rephrase it or elaborate?
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 9:48 PM
The usb 3 port on node 4 is shown as 2x USB3,. Is it expecting 2 connections ?
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:49 PM
I'm still not sure which information are you trying to show me. The USB controller connected to the node 4 has 4 USB lanes. 2 of them are connected to the USB A ports on the back and the other 2 to the USB 3.0 header on the board
What is expecting 2 connections?
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 9:51 PM
this ? what does the 2x mean?
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:52 PM
Yes, because this connector carries 2 separate USB lanes and can be then converted into, for example, 2 USB A ports
What you connected there is a single-USB-A-port front panel
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:53 PM
I thought you are going this route
This may or may not work
It depends
This connector carries 2 USB lanes and this splitter indeed splits them, but this means only a single USB lane is available after splitting on each of the blue connectors, and you do not know if it's the right one that the front panel thing is using
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 9:55 PM
right
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 9:57 PM
Ok, for simplicity, lets call the USB lanes L1 and L2. They have different pins on the connector
If the splitter routes L1 to L1 on the new connector and L2 to L2 on the other new connector, then one of them will work with your front panel, you'll just have to find out which one
If it connects L1 to L2 on one of the connectors but L2 to L1 on the other connector, then you don't know if this is the right one
However, if the first case is a thing, and you pair it with this:
You then, again, have a change to match them
But the descriptions of these cable do not mention how the wires are connected and the whole solution might or might not work
I personally would be able to split it this way even if I would have to modify the cables, but the question is can you?
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 10:01 PM
nope!
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 10:02 PM
This is also why I said that'd be a non-standard solution and might require modifying cables and why I did not go this route
k

kwaapia

04/25/2023, 10:25 PM
So the Razer uses its own software ( installed on windows ) to customize the settings for any aRGB fan.
u

_dhanos_

04/25/2023, 10:33 PM
As does any other controller, including the Corsair one mentioned by me and then by Batz_10K. The thing is that the Corsair one is also supported by the 3rd part app called OpenRGB and the question was if your is supported too
k

kwaapia

04/26/2023, 2:32 AM
@_dhanos_ Found this fractal design stand alone argb controller which seems rather simple and straight forward in design/setup. I like that it also uses the SATA power connector and not molex like on the razer. This with the noctua for the pwm part. However not sure about openRGB support. Still researching
u

_dhanos_

04/26/2023, 8:33 AM
It says
A software-free stand-alone ARGB LED controller.
so you cannot control it via any software, it's fully standalone (can be controlled only via the keys). The Corsair model we mentioned works in 2 modes - can be controlled via software, can have a hardware profile for standalone use. This one is only standalone, but is nice since has buttons and let you choose the lightning effect this way
And yes, the Noctua fan speed controller and you are all set
b

basil

04/28/2023, 4:36 AM
Ugh, my https://www.amazon.com/Longdex-Female-Motherboard-Adapter-Converter/dp/B07XNYX25V/ got stuck to the 20-pin USB socket, and when I tried to pull it out the whole socket came out. Now I'll have to figure out how to reattach this socket. It's fairly difficult since the holes on the bottom of the socket are very small
Finally got the socket back on. That was fun 🙂 Lesson learned: don't tug too hard on that thing.
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