Reeven "6 Eyes" RFC-01 Fan Controller
I have just recently been in contact with a new company on the computer component scene called "Reeven". They are based in New Taipei City in Taiwan and so far have only a reasonably limited product line although they are expanding all the time. Most of their wares are aimed at the PC cooling side and I understand that they design and produce all their own models. This is a great start as it gives them totally free rein to get things just as they want to also it enables them to make alterations to any piece very quickly which many companies cannot do. They have the right outlook and philosophy in that they aim all their components to be of professional quality even though they are directed at the enthusiast/home market and the prices are in line with this and provide value for money. At the moment they have power supplies, case fans, CPU coolers, a liquid nitrogen (LN2) pot and a nice fan controller alongside a newly designed and produced graphics card cooler in their product line up.
It is the Reeven "6 Eyes" fan controller that I intend to review today. This has been on sale for a little while now and so it is something that you may already have come across. This item comes in a very nice retail box designed so that the Reeven branding seems to be throughout their range of products. It is a classy looking box with the picture of the controller on the top. In fact there are two of them, one black and one white although I understand the white version is being phased out due to lack of interest. This is a shame as although I can understand there being more demand for the black unit, the white was a nice variant and gave the customers the option of this if they were building a white case which do seem to be becoming more popular as a quick scan through the forum websites will prove. Also on the box top along with the usual manufacturer name and model are a series of selling points - 5.25" bay mountable, 6 fan controller, 6 temperatures, 7 LCD colours, fan stop function, warning alarm and retractable dials. I will expand on each of these features later in the review.
On the rear of the carton there is just the warranty details and although necessary is fairly boring. Everything is written in seven different languages which is a good point especially if English isn't your mother tongue. One end features a display of the windows, each in a diferent colour as are readily selectable. The opposite end lists the specification again in six languages. This is nice and clear. Both other sides show the "6 Eyes" logo and one reiterates the selling points from the top.
On opening the box it is obvious that everything is very well packaged in a fixed foam cutout with a lid that lifts off. With the lid removed a full box of goodies awaits you. The main display unit is again packaged in a seperate heavy duty plastic bag. Behind this are a bunch of cables for fan extensions and sensors. There is also a power cable. Underneath the hardware is an instruction manual which is very clear and in six languages. Even the paper that it is printed on is good quality and won't just fall apart after the first look.
Once laid out on the worktop it is a little more clear exactly what is included.There is the fan controller itself which is a single 5.25" bay device. It follows a fairly standard type of design and is manufacturered out of a heavy plastic mounting box. To the front are the six windows, one for each display and then at the far ends of the panel there are six retractable fan control knobs. A gentle push is all it takes to get these to come out so that they can be used and the same to hide them away again. This keeps the lines of the facia clutter free. As for cables there are three main groups all neatly bound together. First are the temperature sensors. They are analogue components and register 10K at ambient. Even though only six are required I found that Reeven had included an extra one which was a nice touch. Next is the power connector cable. You very well might not even need this as it is the same plug as was used for floppy disk drives previously. So if you have a slightly older PSU it is quite possible that one is included in the cable bundle anyway. There are a full set of three pin fan extension cables so if the fan you wish to control is a bit too far away it is merely a matter of attaching one of these cables first and then connect to the original fan cable. They are marked so there is no confusion. A bag of four fixing screws is also included in case you don't have toolless fixings in your case.
I think it is best to go through the manual next and list the various functions and options available.
On the left hand side is the designated display number, this corresponds to the same number for the control. At the top of each window is the temperature display. This can be either Celsius or Farenheit. The bottom shows the fan speed which goes from "STOP" to whatever speed the fan is capable of.
Everything on the circuit board is marked clearly and so I will just briefly go over this. Starting at the rear left is a line of headers that are to connect the fans and marked 1 to 6. Then comes the power connector. Next along is the row of headers for the temperature sensors. To the right of those is a three pronged header, which allows Celsius or farenheit to be shown on the display. A jumper is used to make the selection. Next are a pair of microdipswitches with three levers each. The first is used for the alarm and the second for setting the colour of the display windows. Lastly is a jumper that either enables or disables the alarm.
I have shown some of the details from the manual to clarify it.
Well I have already listed those so I won't waste more time here.
CONNECTOR FOR FAN CABLE
This is straighforward enough and just indicates how a fan cable or a fan extension cable connects to the headers on the board.The numbered cable matches up to the port number on the board.
Shows where the power input is connected.
CONNECTOR FOR SENSOR CABLE
Again matches up to the numbers on the board with the sensor leads.
DIP SWITCH FOR WARNING ALARM
The alarm can be set via this unit for anything from 55C to 90C dependant on switch configuration. This setting is global.
DIP SWICH FOR LCD COLOUR
Works in the same way as the alarm switch. Seven colours are available and OFF. There is red, green, apple green, blue, purple, light blue and white. This setting is global.
JUMPER SWITCH FOR CELSIUS/FARENHEIT DISPLAY
By moving the jumper the different ranges can be selected.
JUMPER ON/OFF SWITCH FOR SPEAKER
Audible alarm can be either enabled or silenced by inclusion of jumper.
HOW TO STOP THE FAN
This just explains that a fan shouldn't be left with voltage to it that is less than it's minimum necessary to start turning. It can cause overheating and damage to the fan. In order to allow this the control for that fan can be turned until it reaches the far anticlockwise point where it will actually show OFF on the display and all power to this channel will be cut.
Once set to the configuration that the user requires the front panel knobs can be pushed right in until they are flush with the facia to give a nice clean look.The Reeven 6 Eyes Fan Controller is an excellent bit of kit and what I particularly like about it for a start is that it has six seperate screens, each displaying the speed of the fan that is being driven by it and the temperature of the chosen site without having to change anything. The design and build quality is very good. Some people might not like the way the front is made of moulded plastic but personally I think it fits with many cases already perfectly. It is easy to operate and does exactly what it is meant to. I would be happy to give it a 10/10.
(Pricing etc to be confirmed.)