The unmistakable sounds of a tiny cooling fan spooling up usually means you've sat your laptop on a soft surface, or launched one too many tabs in your browser. It's a textbook cry for help from all of our favorite consumer electronics but what if your next hardware project could also complain about overheating? Well now it can!
In all seriousness, though, sometimes you need to move a little air around. Whether for active cooling or ventilation, a tiny fan can make a big difference. However, a tiny fan also has tiny wires which can make it difficult to work with. We've remedied this issue by mounting it to a board along with the mating flat-flex connector, a voltage booster and an ATtiny-based driver so you can power and control the fan over the Qwiic bus.
The control firmware monitors the tachometer output of the fan in order to implement PI Control over the fan speed, allowing you to set your desired speed in real units. It's also possible to disable the PI control loop and set the speed as a proportion of the maximum. The accompanying Arduino library includes example code for controlling the fan, tweaking settings, and even setting the fan speed based on an attached Qwiic Temperature Sensor and a lookup table.
We're unable to find a datasheet for this fan in particular (which is intended to replace the OEM fan in a Nintendo Switch)
The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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