Fixing a laptop cooler

Laptop cooler similar to the one I bought

Our laptop had some problems with heat in the recent spate of Summer temperatures. I pulled it apart and gave it a vacuum. Sure enough, lots of dust and a fair few dead cockroaches. To prevent a recurrence, I bought one of those "laptop cooler" products which prop the laptop up and blow air up and over it.

Problem is, the one I bought had little blue "bling" LEDs and really loud fans. The LEDs make me feel like one of those pindicks from the suburbs with a Honda Civic that goes Uuntz Uuntz Uuntz, with a spoiler and an exhaust pipe that leaves you in no doubt where my own anatomy is deficient. The fans were just annoying. Any time I was using the laptop late at night, it annoyed me: bright lights that really wasn't needed, and a bit of a low roar from the fans.

Kneel before my 31337 soldering skillz

So I snipped off the wires leading to the LEDs, which solved that problem. And I put a little variable resistor into the path of the fans, so I can control the speed. I used a 50K logarithmic pot, and now think I should have used a lower value or a linear. Still, works fine.

So now no bling lights, and the fans are dialed down to not make much noise but still move plenty of air. All for the price of a variable resistor, which was about $2.50.

Bling free