Protecting the solder joints on the fan

The fan module is one of the most popular modules for obvious reasons. However, a few of you have reported that you’ve had the wires break off where they are connected to the fan module. Here’s a simple tip to help you avoid that.

See the slot where the wires are routed in this picture? It’s important to leave the wires in there, just like you see here. The solder joints where the wires attach to the fan are strong, but they aren’t designed to allow the wires to move. If you take the wires out of their slot, the wires can move at the solder joint and they’ll sometimes break. So, just make sure the wires are left the way you see them here, and you should be OK!

One more thing: if the wires do break on your fan, it’s not necessarily the end of the line. A skilled solderer with a fine-tipped iron should be able to strip the wire slightly and re-solder the wires to the pads without too much trouble – then you’ll be back in business!

I’d like to add a tip here about using the fan. While building my “Frozen Snow Globe” project, I noticed that sometimes small debris could stop a fan. To prevent that issue, I affixed a swatch of window screen on the fan with removable glue dots on corners.

Maybe someone will find this to be a helpful tip. :smile:


Great! I used the same mesh on my “littleBitty Air Conditioner” project! It definitely helps!

This will also help with my 3d printers fans!

Hmmm. I don’t have a fan. I need to get one. From projects I’ve recently looked at, it seems the fan is also used as a higher RPM motor. Hopefully they still have one at Fry’s Electronics*. The littleBits modules have been flying off the shelf - they definitely need to restock!

  • ps, even though I get an ‘edu’ discount, I am a ‘see it, want it, buy it’ kind of consumer. The extra 5 bucks is worth it to me to walk out of the store (which is 10 minutes away) with the thing I want.
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Yeah same here. I think littleBits would benefit a lot if stores had a “try it out” mode where at least one of every bit was available to play with. Would boost sales significantly imho

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The fan connects to the fan bit using a 3pin connector.
I dont recall if the tethered DC motor is similar, if so perhaps one could just get a sunon fan and connect to the DC motor?
I have the model numbers of some of the fans in my “power draw” post.