Posted 2023-04-21 | Back to blog index
12 years ago I spotted a box fan for sale which made me do a double-take. Nice and large, but rechargeable! And… had an FM antenna sticking out and CFL lamps!
The weirdest combination I had seen
But as large aftershocks were still a weekly occurrence, it still kind of seemed to make sense to have an "emergency fan" like this during the hot summer
I never bought it, and have regretted it as the fan lived rent-free in my head since
Until I saw it for sale at a junk shop yesterday!!
I came home and plugged it in, and it worked, but even on the lowest setting, it was super powerful, too powerful to be comfortable!
The first thing I do with anything DC-powered I buy is try to power it by USB-C PD instead. So I did that here too. The power brick says 12V so I tried that and... 33W draw? But the box for the fan says 18W...
I inspect the fan closer and realize on the flap that was open it says 9V!
The junk store gave me the wrong adapter
Switch to 9V and it works great!
Next step is to check the internal battery, maybe I can cell-swap?
Wow, lead acid, stone age! Also, only one cell when there is space for 2.
Looks like the cell is dead as a doornail as well. Presumably from age or self-discharge, or if the charger circuitry passed on 12V...
Luckily replacement batteries are dirt cheap on Amazon
Anyway until then I can just run it off of USB powerbanks.
Even the 5 V power bank can run it for nearly 2 hours at a half-power(9W)
Also, this experiment lead me to add a vital label to one of my USB-C PD trigger cables!!!
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