Testing it all
First test is the easy one. Knowing I'll only need the 12V supply, and I was likely to make a mess of the SATA power soldering, there are no traces for the 5V and 3.3V pins in the PCB, essentially giving myself breathing space if solder crosses over the connections. Also I can use the ground wire furthest from the 12V wire to avoid any short-circuiting there.
Sacrificial PSU, sacrificial motherboard (because I've lost my jump starter, don't have paperclips and don't have male ATX crimps to make one), Noctua fan to load the 12V rail, hit the switch and...
Success! Bright, blinding, flaring success!
I shan't put up another 3 pictures of the same blinding light, but suffice it to say all 4 headers work like a charm.
The bigger test is the fan splitter. Initial load works perfectly.
Full power going to the LED strip, nice and bright LED to glow that power icon. Didn't let it run for long as all that's coming off a single fan header on the motherboard 😬
The crunch comes tying everything together with the Asus fan extension card. I'm going to use the CPU fan header purely to monitor pump speed, so the 4 radiator fans will come off the extension card, and in turn one of those channels will drive the fan splitter so the 3 ML120s all work in unison.
So let's set up a rat's nest of cables and boards.
The chunky braided cable is female-female PWM fan cable coming off port 1 of the extension card and into the fan splitter for the trio of ML120s on the 360mm radiator. Port 2 will drive a Noctua NF-A12x15 sat on the single 120mm radiator. There will also be a Barrow temperature probe hooked into the extension card too.
And a quick test with the horrendous Asus Fan Xpert shows the ML120s reporting their RPM correctly and fully controlled through PWM.
So, that's the PCBs covered in this neverending build log. Next up is to measure wire lengths for the proper fan cable and the front panel connectors and get those cable looms made up.
Thanks for reading as always, stay safe and wash your damn hands 😎
Back soon 👍