12 years ago I spotted a box fan for sale which made me do a double-take

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!!

A box fan with an antenna, CFL lights, and an MP3 Player.The box is seen in the background with the name 神風 and Rebuilding Japan

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!

Adapter it came with that says brand IO Data and output 12V 1.5 A A USB-C power meter connected to an Anker battery showing 12.9 V 2.6 A / 33W Flap on the side of the fan where it says 9V 2A center positive A USB-C power meter showing 8.5V 1.45 A / 12.4 W

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

The rear of the fan with the battery lid removed XM6 - 4 (G4 AN/20HR)Constant Voltage ChargeVoltage regulationCycle use7. 3-7. 5VStandby use :6. 6-6. 9VLnitialcurrent: less than 1. 2A A multimeter measuring a 6V SLA battery and showing 3.2V

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!!!

A flat USB power bank connected via USB-A to a box with a 9V<>12V switch that leads to a DC plug A MagSafe power bank with a USB-C port on the bottom connected to a USB-C meter showing 8.7V 1.45A / 12.6W leading to a DC cable and a DC polarity switching cable A USB-C to DC PD trigger cable with a label that says Center Negative!

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